RC Sproul Jr Is Now a Convicted Felon Alcoholic and Is One Step Away From a Tragedy

“I think the warning labels on alcoholic beverages are too bland. They should be more vivid. Here is one I would suggest: "Alcohol will turn you into the same a**hole your father was.” ― George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? link


Liquor

Warning: Unless RC Sproul Jr gets some real help, the next incident could be tragic.

We received an email from a former member of RC Sproul Jr's church. Through the years, we have heard that RC Sproul Jr has had an issue with drinking. We were reluctant to write about this since he continued in ministry under his dad. Surely his dad RC Sproul Sr would have dealt with it. Once again, I am proven wrong. However, this email led me to do some reading at the Spinderella Sproul website.

This website has been following RC Sproul Jr for years and has documented many problems with his ministry. We have covered some of these issues through the years. This Wikipedia article covers things like the Ashley Madison scandal and his defrocking. Julie Anne Smith, at Spiritual Sounding Board, has written a number of article on him, including accusations that he allegedly believes in wife spanking.

Unfortunately, in spite of years of problems including accusations of excessive alcohol intake, it does not appear that dad Sproul and others in his orbit did much to help him deal with his alleged substance abuse issues. Eventually, when loved ones look the other way and/or enable the behavior of people who have drinking problems, a crisis will rear its ugly head, as it did in this case.

Here is part of. the email we received.

I'm a former member of RC Jr's "church" St. Peter Presbyterian. I've been following with some interest his recent arrest for drunk driving with his kids in the car. For those of us who've personally witnessed RC drunk it came as no surprise. My biggest concern is that he'll give some time for the dust to settle and then weasel his way back into "ministry." The only thing that's likely to prevent it is more public exposure.

As you might already know he recently plead guilty to one felony in a plea bargain. Given what a big deal his arrest was it's surprising to me there hasn't been hardly any further word about his status since then. The only place that seems to have stayed on top of giving updates has been the Spinderella Sproul blog, the same blog you linked to in your original post. 

So maybe it calls for a TWW update? You can gain a lot of useful info from going through the pertinent comments in the thread I linked to (waste of your time reading the ones from Mr. Smith though). This comment seems especially relevant.

I've enclosed a letter from Lael Hill, the Indiana State coordinator for MADD who I've been in contact with. She's given me permission to share her letter and you can use it as you deem fit. 

Sproul initially pled "Not guilty" and tried to get heard in the Drug Court.

RC Sproul Jr initially pled *not guilty," proving he was not ready to face his issues. Basically, he lied. If he didn't lie, why would he later plead guilty?

Here is a report of the arresting officer.

Per the sworn affidavit of the arresting Allen County Police Officer Paul Heffner he observed RC Sproul Jr driving left of the center line, failing to maintain his lane, driving off the roadway, striking a curb, and weaving. He was also driving at 30 mph for at least 2 miles with a flat tire on I-469. When he was stopped, the officer observed that Sproul needed support to walk, he swayed, mumbled and had a moderate smell of alcohol on his breath. A chemical test later revealed his blood alcohol content as 0.175, more than twice the legal limit. He was also arrested and charged with endangering the lives of his two minor children who were with him in the car. 

Today RC Sproul Jr pleaded not guilty and requested a trial by jury. The court has set a trial date of June 6, 2017. 

Sproul tried to get this heard in the Drug Court but was unsuccessful because he was charged with felonies not misdemeanors. 

Driving drunk with two minors netted him two felony charges,

On May 30, 2017 RC Sproul Jr appeared before Judge Frances C. Gull in Allen County Indiana Drug Court to determine his eligibility for the Drug Court Treatment Program. Had he qualified and successfully completed all the requirements of the Drug Court Treatment Program he could have avoided a criminal trial altogether. He might have even qualified to have his criminal record expunged.

However, as we noted previously, Drug Court only applies to misdemeanor charges.

Sproul pled guilty to one felony and the rest of the charges were dropped.

On 6/2/17, Spinderella Sproul posted Spinderella Sproul: Lessons In Spin With RC Sproul Jr.

Having failed to meet the legal criteria of having his criminal case accepted by the Allen County Drug Court, RC Sproul Jr appeared on June 2, 2017 in Allen County Indiana Superior Court before Judge Samuel Keirns for a pre-trial status conference. In that hearing RC Sproul Jr plead guilty to one of four criminal charges against him:

9-30-5-3(a)(2)/F6: Operating Veh. While Intox or Controlled Substance: Passenger Under 18

His three other criminal charges, two misdemeanors and one other felony, were dismissed under a plea agreement in exchange for his pleading guilty to the one felony.

He was sentenced to 1 year and 183 days incarceration. That prison sentence was suspended and he was remanded to "1 year active adult probation." 

RC Sproul Jr was facing up to 7 years in prison and $21,000 in fines. Under this plea agreement  he will face no prison time, provided he successfully completes the requirements of his probation. However, he does now have a permanent criminal record, and a felony record, no less. 

No doubt RC Sproul Jr is breathing a huge sigh of relief that he will not have to face a full criminal trial before a jury. That trial had been scheduled for June 6, 2017. The odds of his being able to convince a jury of his innocence was remote.

Besides others being irate at the lenient sentence, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was also none too pleased.

Were Sproul Jr's actions consistent with his Pro Life stance?

Spinderella points out that his behavior is hypocritical, given Sproul's involvement in the Pro-Life Movement.

What's especially remarkable about this case, and therefore makes it even more newsworthy, is that RC Sproul Jr is a well-known and very public spokesman for the Pro-Life movement. He's even raised a lot of money for various pro-life causes. RC Sproul Jr has characterized abortion as a terrible form of violence and a "holocaust" against the pre-born. Yet at the same time he treats his own children with total disregard for their safety, as though their lives had no value.

Sproul allegedly has a long history with alcohol abuse and drunk driving, although not arrested or convicted of doing so until this year.

According to Spinderella, Sproul has allegedly been drunk driving with his kids for years.

none of that was news to us — he's been doing all that for years

According to Spinderella, the church governing body was aware of this issue for many years. He allegedly also served children alcohol.

Many members of St. Peter Presbyterian Church, the church that he started in Virginia, and then subsequently resigned from after his defrocking in 2006, often witnessed RC Sproul Jr inebriated, including at various church celebrations (i.e. keggers). It was commonplace at those church parties that minor children were served alcoholic beverages, including drinks spiked with Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol). RC Sproul Jr fostered a culture of heavy drinking at St. Peter Presbyterian Church, not just with church members but also with the pastors he invited to his "Pastor Camps" (open bars were the norm). He was also known to turn a blind eye to drunk driving. For example a young man who was one of RC Jr's personal assistants had lost his driver's license because of multiple DUIs. RC Sproul Jr was well aware of it but raised no objections to his continued driving. After all the assistant still needed to run numerous errands for RC, and a little thing like a suspended driver's license wasn't going to get in the way of that. 

Drunkenness was one of a number of formal charges that were brought against RC Sproul Jr in late 2005 to his denomination, the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly. As word of these charges spread a number of other former members of St. Peter Presbyterian Church also stepped forward and corroborated the allegations, including the fact that some of their own children had been plied with alcohol without their consent.

RC Sproul Jr has experienced tragedy in his life.

1. His wife passed away from cancer in December 2011.

Denise Sproul passes away from leukemia.

2. His daughter, Shannon, born with Lissencephaly, died in October, 2014 at the age of 15. This rare disease is profoundly disabling and usually results in an early death.

Heartbreaking tragedy is not an excuse for substance abuse. Sproul Jr. needs serious help.

I learned an important lesson while working in an alcoholic hospital when I was young. Tragedy does not cause alcoholism. Alcoholism is an excuse to drink and every alcoholic in the world usually tries to find an excuse to drink.

In reading through the Spinderella blog, I read a number of comments which accused Sproul Jr. of telling people in his former church to stop taking medications for psychiatric disorders. This led to serious issues for the people involved. If these stories are true, then it is evident that Sproul looked to alcohol for relief from his pain and was able to ignore the fact that he was, in fact, treating his depression. Sadly those poor folks he advised not to take their medicines were far more intelligent and realistic than Sproul Jr.

It might appear that his parents and family have helped Sproul continue on his trajectory with excessive use of alcohol as opposed to getting him the serious counseling that he needs.

Since he pled guilty to a felony, there is no question that Sproul is an alcoholic and needs serious counseling. He made need to be hospitalized and treated by those who are not overly impressed with the Sproul name. This man needs help. If he has been drinking as long as is being alleged, Sproul is at high risk of offending again. The next time, his children or people in other cars may not be spared. If people in his orbit keep hiring attorneys and keep making sure he has lots of money, they are enablers and will bear some of the guilt when something tragic happens. Mark my words, it will happen. This was a wake up call.

Finally, if anyone who is aware of further drunk driving or other forms of abuse, I hope that they will call Child Protective Services. This is not cruel. Those children need help as well. They are likely growing up in a home with an alcoholic and will develop serious problems as the years go on. RC Sproul Sr-time to protect those grandchildren.


UPDATE (6/23/17):

As I (Deb) have shared before with our TWW readers, when I was just 12 years old, I was in a vehicle that was struck by a drunk driver. A friend had invited me to go to the beach for a fun weekend with her and her parents. Tragically, her parents were killed upon impact, and my friend and I were pinned in the GMC pick-up in which we were riding. It took rescue workers 2-1/2 hours to cut us out of the wreckage.

My friend's injuries were so severe that she was in the hospital at UNC for months and months. Here bones had been severely broken, and I will never forget seeing her elbow and knee in traction. She lost an eye because when her cheek struck the dashboard, the bone came out through her eye socket. She also lost her two front teeth, among other serious injuries.

I sustained a skull fracture (from which I could have died had I not undergone surgery quickly), broken toes, a broken pinky, as well as several fractured vertebrae in my neck. I also had lacerations above my eyes and on my arms and legs, along with scalded skin from an exploding radiator.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are photos of my injuries a few days after the horrific tragedy. If sharing these ghastly pictures will convince someone not to drink and drive, I will be so grateful!

Deb's Facial Injuries

Deb's Injuries

Comments

RC Sproul Jr Is Now a Convicted Felon Alcoholic and Is One Step Away From a Tragedy — 945 Comments

  1. Wow! For the first time ever, I’ve got the first comment, all the way from England. It’s almost midnight over here, so time to hit the sack. Thanks, Dee and Deb, for all you do on TWW. It’s an honour to count you as friends.

  2. Hi Dee and Deb, just a couple of things you might want to correct in this part of your post:

    >> Heart breaking tragedy is not an excuse for substance abuse. Sproul Jr. needs serous help.
    I learned an important lesson while working in an alcoholic hospital when I was young. Tragedy does not cause alcoholism. Alcoholism is an excuse to drink and every alcoholic in the world usually tries to find an excuse to drink.<<

    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.

    And I'm sure you didn't mean 'Alcoholism is an excuse to drink' — I'm pretty sure you meant something like "Alcoholics use tragedy as an excuse to drink…. "

    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

  3. Clearly you have never experienced the total helplessness and pain of having an alcoholic loved one.
    I read this website often . ( I’m a Harvest Bible Chapel member and I keep up with all things JMAC). I have always considered this site to be , for the most part, a discernment ministry that is pretty fair and doesn’t make unsubstantiated allegations for the purpose of harming or hurting. At least until this article.

    If you had ever lost a loved one to alcoholism ( I’ve lost two ) you would know that entire families can spend every waking minute and all of their financial resources to try to help and get help for their alcoholic family member resulting in failure after devastating failure . Alcoholics cannot be helped and won’t be helped if they don’t want it. And even if they want it sometimes it’s too difficult. Alcoholics are liars- the best liars.
    Why do you feel it’s necessary to malign a godly servant like RC Sproul as if he is in some way responsible for his grown sons actions! He has been through enough pain without your unfounded accusations and threats even that if his son hurts someone it will be on his head . This is inexcusable and seriously hurts your credibility.

    I’ve been a ligonier for years . I watch RC continue to persevere through terrible physical pains preaching Gods word wearing an oxygen mask . Leave him alone! We all grieve over our grown children when they inflict pain on themselves and others knowing that most of the time our help is rejected.

  4. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.

    Plenty of people who are Christians still have serious medical problem and still need medical care and other care. We hear all of the time the horrible “counseling advice” from Nouthetic Counseling/Biblical Counseling that people who are depressed or have other mental health problems aren’t really Christians if they take medication, haven’t tried hard enough, etc. Nonsense.

  5. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.

    (P.S. I was excommunicated from my NeoCalvinist church on a trumped up charge, like the godly doctor in his 70’s before me, and a godly middle-aged woman in finance before him.)

  6. I hope he gets help I really do. I will say this if this was just a pew sitter he would have been gone years ago tossed on the trash heap. RC sr. would have pontificated from on high with that authoritative voice the nonsense he often says, like he does with science, which he knows next to nothing about. I have taken care of people with those types of disabilities for almost four decades. From the church folks, I knew, it was don’t bother us for the most part. It got depressing, I have lost well over 200 of the people I worked with, most of them younger than I am. No one wanted to hear it, not a soul I could blank off, which is fine, but so could the people I work with. We don’t have money for the hanger-on’s those that are faking it bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.

    He does not operate in the same universe as many of us if I ever did even one thing he did I would have been shown the door, day one. I raised a kid that a sibling could not care for, and never, not one time, ever not once was I not there, my nephew’s words, not mine. I personally think I was a piece of crap uncle but that’s me. I will admit one thing, I have never made more than 50 K a year in my entire life and I work 60-90 hours a week which includes much of my advocacy work. I am extremely angry and jealous that I did not make the money he made. I could have had my mother die at home like she begged and that is a sin I will never forgive myself for.

  7. When you spend so much of your life covering up sins, I’m sure there is a need to numb that kind of pain. So, his alcoholism caught up with him. I sure hope that church members or family members uncover the rest of the sins that have been covered up at St. Peter. Sometimes it takes the strength of one brave soul to shine the spotlight on evil and help save victims.

    If any are reading and know what I”m talking about, please contact me. I know the story, but need someone willing to come forward, even anonymously. I need to verify you are who you say you are, but will respect your privacy. spiritualsb@gmail.com

  8. Julie Anne wrote:

    I sure hope that church members or family members uncover the rest of the sins that have been covered up at St. Peter.

    Are the victims adults or children?

  9. Shannon Sproul passed away in 2012, not 2014. Later it was discovered that his late wife Denise either lived in a town with toxic waste problems or went to a school that had toxic waste problems. I got the impression that several people from that area had developed major health problems.

  10. Velour, I’m not going to directly answer your question until I can tell the story properly with vetted sources.

    With regard to RC2, along with his alcoholism, and the alleged wife spanking which I posted about several years ago, there are numerous reports of spiritual abuse, failure to submit to authority, church discipline, etc. RC2 has not been a humble, exemplary church leader. He has used his position of authority and harmed people. These accounts can be found in many places on the internet. Just search his name and spiritual abuse, etc.

  11. “Unfortunately, in spite of years of problems including accusations of excessive alcohol intake, it does not appear that dad Sproul and others in his orbit did much to help him deal with his alleged substance abuse issues.” (Dee)

    “wine is a good gift of the Lord … I cannot forbid my brother in Christ from drinking” (R.C. Sproul, Sr.)

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/guilty-conscience/

  12. @ Max:
    RC seems to be a bit dodgy here. After reading the entire cited paragraph, RC limits his comments to drinking alcohol and sidesteps ABUSE of alcohol by others. Not many would criticize the moderate consumption. Wine is praised as a gift in scripture. Drunkenness is also condemned. RC talks about drinking, suggests that if HE has a problem HE should abstain, but leaves the impression that we should mind our own business about others drinking and abuse.
    Sounds like something an enabling father would say, doesn’t it?

  13. Max wrote:

    “Unfortunately, in spite of years of problems including accusations of excessive alcohol intake, it does not appear that dad Sproul and others in his orbit did much to help him deal with his alleged substance abuse issues.” (Dee)
    “wine is a good gift of the Lord … I cannot forbid my brother in Christ from drinking” (R.C. Sproul, Sr.)

    You have taken this quote out of context . Here is what he REALLY said.
    It is also possible to have a guilty conscience when no objective guilt is present. Some people, for example, may be convinced that consuming alcohol is against God’s law. Yet while Scripture condemns drunkenness, it nowhere says that consuming strong drink is in itself evil. In fact, wine, not unfermented grape juice, is viewed as a good gift of the Lord (Ps. 104:14–15). False guilt attaches to many people in this area because some traditions have prescribed a rule against alcohol when no such law is present in the Bible.

    However, this particular distortion of guilt feelings can be complicated since authentic guilt may occur even if a person drinks without ever becoming drunk. God’s Word says that “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). If a person believes that consuming alcohol is wrong and takes a drink, he has transgressed what he believes is glorifying to God and has therefore chosen sin over his love for the Lord. The sin is not in the drinking of the wine itself, it is in violating the conscience (vv. 1–23).

  14. Julie Anne wrote:

    RC2 has not been a humble, exemplary church leader. He has used his position of authority and harmed people

    The guy may have suffered tragedy but we all do in some way, shape or form. There’s still no excuse to be an abuser of others.

  15. Deborah Coan wrote:

    Alcoholics are liars- the best liars.
    Why do you feel it’s necessary to malign a godly servant like RC Sproul as if he is in some way responsible for his grown sons actions! He has been through enough pain without your unfounded accusations and threats even that if his son hurts someone it will be on his head . This is inexcusable and seriously hurts your credibility.
    I’ve been a ligonier for years . I watch RC continue to persevere through terrible physical pains preaching Gods word wearing an oxygen mask . Leave him alone! We all grieve over our grown children when they inflict pain on themselves and others knowing that most of the time our help is rejected.

    I am sorry for the pain of alcoholism in your family and your losses to that disease.

    You have raised some important issues.

    I would also like to say that in my own extended family there are some alcoholics. And I have found their parents, spouses or girlfriends (depending on their marital status), to be enablers, capable of cover-ups and lying. Their denial is just a problematic as the person who is the problem drinker.

    12-step groups like Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics also address these issues.
    http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

  16. @ Deborah Coan:

    While I appreciate your heartfelt comment, I am compelled to share a tragic and devastating childhood experience with you.

    When I was a month away from turning 13, I was invited by a friend to go to Myrtle Beach with her and her parents. On the way, we were hit head-on by a drunk driver. My friend’s parents were killed on impact, and my friend was severely injured. She was in the hospital for several months after the accident. I sustained serious injuries as well – a skull fracture, broken bones, and quite a few cuts (I am blessed that I didn’t lose my eyesight because I had lacerations above both eyes).

    The woman who hit us was found guilty of manslaughter and served time in prison.

    I believe you missed the intent of Dee’s post. If Junior makes the same mistake that the drunk driver who hit us did, R.C. Sproul Sr. will experience MUCH MORE suffering than he is right now. 

    Drinking and driving is SO DANGEROUS! I learned at an early age that it can be DEADLY!!!

  17. Deborah Coan wrote:

    You have taken this quote out of context .

    So, does Dr. Sproul consider alcohol to be a gift from the Lord? And he does say at the end of the article “the Bible does not condemn alcohol, and so I cannot forbid my brother in Christ from drinking.” We all hope that Dr. Sproul attempted to intercede with his son’s alcoholism, rather than leaving his son’s conscience to deal with it – he was obviously in trouble.

  18. Wartburgers, I suppose I should recuse myself from further comments on this piece. I am an old-school Southern Baptist who feels Christians would do well just to leave alcohol alone (period). I’ve seen the terrible impacts of alcohol abuse in my family, beginning with just a beer at the picnic to full-fledged alcoholism with many consequences. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I will upset folks if I keep talking … catch you on the next TWW piece.

  19. Julie Anne wrote:

    He has used his position of authority and harmed people.

    Today, JUNE 21, 2017, the Huffington Post ran an article called, THE SUPER PREDATORS:
    WHEN THE MAN WHO ABUSES YOU IS ALSO A COP.

    The point being, that when someone is in a position of authority over others, even adult to adult, and they use that authority to take advantage of another person (in this case, a policeman husband and his non-law enforcement wife), that is a super predator.

    Would a clergy-person uses their position to
    – accrue great personal financial gain from donors, or
    – to assemble a bevy of personal intimate liaisons, or
    – to exercise unusual control over parishioners’ personal lives –

    Would that also be a Super Predator?

  20. Deborah Coan wrote:

    Why do you feel it’s necessary to malign a godly servant like RC Sproul as if he is in some way responsible for his grown sons actions!

    Yes, I would much rather malign him for the blasphemous statements he makes, like this one from http://www.ligonier.org/blog/forsaken-jesus-became-curse/:

    If there ever was an obscenity that violates contemporary community standards, it was Jesus on the cross. After he became the scapegoat and the Father had imputed to him every sin of every one of his people, the most intense, dense concentration of evil ever experienced on this planet was exhibited. Jesus was the ultimate obscenity.

    He didn’t just feel forsaken; he was forsaken.

    It was as if there was a cry from heaven, as if Jesus heard the words “God damn you,” because that’s what it meant to be cursed and under the anathema of the Father.

    RC Sproul has a very twisted view of the Trinity and the crucifixion. Is it possible that his son is reacting to the terrible theology he was taught? We don’t know. But we do know what RC Sproul teaches, and it is very damaging.

  21. Max wrote:

    You have taken this quote out of context . So, does Dr. Sproul consider alcohol to be a gift from the Lord? And he does say at the end of the article “the Bible does not condemn alcohol, and so I cannot forbid my brother in Christ from drinking.” We all hope that Dr. Sproul attempted to intercede with his son’s alcoholism, rather than leaving his son’s conscience to deal with it – he was obviously in trouble.

    With respect, you still didn't quote this correctly. He said "wine" not alcohol. And he is correct in that drunkenness is a sin but drinking wine is not forbidden. Personally, I choose to abstain, and I wish everyone wouldn't complicate their lives with it at all. Alcohol can kill, it can ruin marriages and finances and it's a waste of Gods finances but that is all my personal opinion. Like RC, none of us can dictate to our grown children how to live their lives. We don't know the extent to which RC2 family have tried to get help for him, but RC1 is a faithful brother of all of us in Christ. I would hope we don't condemn his parenting or assume he is an enabler when we have no proof of this. At that point, it makes our comments nothing but gossip.

  22. Deb wrote:

    While I appreciate your heartfelt comment, I am compelled to share a tragic and devastating childhood experience with you.
    When I was a month away from turning 13, I was invited by a friend to go to Myrtle Beach with her and her parents. On the way, we were hit head-on by a drunk driver. My friend’s parents were killed on impact, and my friend was severely injured. She was in the hospital for several months after the accident. I sustained serious injuries as well – a skull fracture, broken bones, and quite a few cuts (I am blessed that I didn’t lose my eyesight because I had lacerations above both eyes).
    The woman who hit us was found guilty of manslaughter and served time in prison.
    I believe you missed the intent of Dee’s post. If Junior makes the same mistake that the drunk driver who hit us did, R.C. Sproul Sr. will experience MUCH MORE suffering than he is right now. 
    Drinking and driving is SO DANGEROUS! I learned at an early age that it can be DEADLY!!!

    Sadly this is so true.

  23. @ Max:

    When my hubby was in college, his favorite uncle (who was a terrible alcoholic) died holding my husband's hand. It had such a devastating impact on my husband that he doesn't drink alcohol.

  24. Max wrote:

    Wartburgers, I suppose I should recuse myself from further comments on this piece. I am an old-school Southern Baptist who feels Christians would do well just to leave alcohol alone (period). I’ve seen the terrible impacts of alcohol abuse in my family, beginning with just a beer at the picnic to full-fledged alcoholism with many consequences. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I will upset folks if I keep talking … catch you on the next TWW piece.

    I don’t draw a hard line in the sand, which I think can go to the other direction of legalism.

    Many Christians, including from other cultures and countries, incorporate alcohol just fine in their lives without any problems. (I use red wine in cooking and I am glad to be out of an insufferable NeoCalvinist church that saw ‘sin’ in everything, including spaghetti sauce.)

    There are people who are alcoholics and yes, the first drink (beer, etc.) leads to much worse compulsive drinking. But not everyone is an alcoholic nor should they be classified as such.

  25. Deb wrote:

    When I was a month away from turning 13, I was invited by a friend to go to Myrtle Beach with her and her parents. On the way, we were hit head-on by a drunk driver. My friend’s parents were killed on impact, and my friend was severely injured.

    Deb,

    I remember that you have told us this story before. I am glad that you survived and are ok. I am glad that your friend survived. I am so sorry that her parents were killed.

    Several of my friends in high school were killed by drunk drivers.

  26. @ Deborah Coan: Thanks.

    I will NEVER get over the fact that a drunk driver took away my friend’s parents in a split second when she was just 13. A couple from her church moved into her home and raised her.  Her parents didn’t get to see her graduate from high school or college. They didn’t get to attend her wedding or hold their grandchildren. 🙁

    Here’s hoping Dee’s post will have such an impact on someone that they will resolve to NEVER drink and drive.

  27. @ Deb:

    Thanks for sharing. God bless you and your friend in every way, and so glad you are here, Deb. And, yes, thankful for Dee's post.

  28. Velour wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:

    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem.

    But expected from the Righteous(TM).

  29. JYJames wrote:

    Would a clergy-person uses their position to
    – accrue great personal financial gain from donors, or
    – to assemble a bevy of personal intimate liaisons, or
    – to exercise unusual control over parishioners’ personal lives –

    Would that also be a Super Predator?

    Well, his position of Authority comes direct from GAWD, so what do you think?

  30. Max wrote:

    We all hope that Dr. Sproul attempted to intercede with his son’s alcoholism, rather than leaving his son’s conscience to deal with it – he was obviously in trouble.

    How can it possibly not be idolatry to not hold accountable leadership in the church?

  31. Deborah Coan wrote:

    Why do you feel it’s necessary to malign a godly servant like RC Sproul as if he is in some way responsible for his grown sons actions!

    If he is putting his son into jobs in ministry (which is my understanding, correct me if I am wrong), he is enabling him in some way. Maybe he should have let him truly hit bottom, so he would be more motivated to change.

    I do agree that people won’t change unless they want to.

    But if he is routinely drinking and driving with kids in the car, he might have been better off to spend some time in jail since that is a serious concern.

  32. @ Max:
    I have no problem with alcohol use by people who aren’t alcoholics and are responsible about it. If you have a problem, cut it out or abstain.

    Obviously Sproul Jr. has a problem.

  33. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    responded to your comment with a quote from RC Sproul, but the comment is not yet visible, probably because of the words Sproul used. In the meantime, here is the link: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/forsaken-jesus-became-curse/. Please check back later for why I think this article is pertinent.

    Mr. F- if you don’t agree with RC Sprouls theology that is your business and I’m not interested . Answer to God. It has nothing to do with the point that blaming the father for the sins of the son is not logical To say the least . Most people in this thread are staying on topic in a civil manner .

  34. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.

    Not born again huh? You sure about that?

  35. Thanks for this article Dee.

    RC Sproul Jr has been jeopardizing the lives of the public, his own children, and other people's children, for many years. To underscore how terribly serious these matters are, and how long they've been going on, here's a very disturbing comment from Cortney on Spinderella Sproul:

    "As sad as this is, it isn't surprising. In 2005, I was 13 years old and my family had just joined R.C. Jr's church in Virginia, Saint Peter Presbyterian Church. One time, his daughter invited me to the Sproul house for a sleepover. She and R.C. came to pick me up in his car. The Sprouls lived in an extremely rural town called Mendota. The road to Mendota was very long and wound sharply through thick woods. R.C. didn't want to slow down enough to safely take the corners. He instead cut them, crossing into the opposite lane right on the extreme point of blind curves. It was apparently his routine to engage in this life-threatening behavior during every commute to and out of Mendota. He had two children in the car, and we could have been caught in a head-on collision at any time. When I got home, I told my dad what R.C. had done, and he forbade all of us, his kids, to ride with him ever again. He's already a menace on the road when sober. I'm astonished he hasn't killed someone already."

  36. @ Deborah Coan:
    So you fully agree with what Sproul wrote in that article? And you disagree that being raised under this theological umbrella could cause problems?

  37. Velour wrote:

    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.

    Preach it sister!

  38. I am a very grateful member of Alanon and a not so very grateful family member of the CIA( Catholic, Irish, Alcohollic) actually not Catholic anymore. Family helping an alcoholic usually does not help. Hitting bottom helps. Another time I may share a miracle that happened in my family members life. I tried really hard to help and could not. That is where God met me and my family member. Changed lives.

  39. And here is the moderator’s response to Cortney:

    “Cortney, your story is not an isolated incident. There have been many such stories of people’s lives having been put into jeopardy by getting into RC Sproul Jr’s car. It’s good that you told your parents about it, and it’s good they protected you from further harm.

    “What may have not been apparent to you at the time is that RC Jr wasn’t just driving recklessly with you in the car. He probably was already drunk, or at least under the influence. Most drunk drivers know they’re drunk, and they’re worried about potential consequences, so they slow down. In fact most drunk drivers are pulled over by the police not because they’re driving recklessly, but because they’re driving abnormally slow. They know they’re drunk so they slow way down, and this gives them away.

    “But then there is what’s known as the “functional drunk” or the “functional alcoholic.” Functional drunks tend to be over-confident of themselves and, therefore, may become reckless behind the wheel and take dangerous risks. Cutting corners and crossing the center line on blind curves is about as reckless as it gets.

    “More than likely RC Sproul Jr is a functional alcoholic, if not a “high-functioning alcoholic.” He’s held down a successful career (or at least he’s made a lot of money), been a reasonably successful father, has been held in high esteem by many people, etc. From just a casual observation he’s not a drunk. But those who’ve been paying close attention over the years have known that he’s got a serious drinking problem. He just masks it well.”

  40. Muff Potter wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.
    Preach it sister!

    Thanks, Muff.

    The idea of publicly humiliating people who have serious problems that require medical intervention does not sit well with me. I am not an alcoholic. I don’t have a compulsion to drink. But I know people that do…and I can’t imagine the struggle.

    Yes, alcoholics need consequences to their actions to help them ‘hit bottom’. But they also need bona fide help from people who know how to deliver it and are trained in it.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us here too.

  41. “Sentenced aggressively and appropriately” Sad but these “c”hristian pastors et al won’t even go that far with a rapist or child molester.

  42. Leslie wrote:

    I tried really hard to help and could not. That is where God met me and my family member. Changed lives.

    Leslie,

    I am glad that Al-Anon has helped you. And that’s wonderful news to hear about changed lives in your family.

  43. if this current bout of drinking heavily was a continuance of grieving, he could use:
    1. Hospitalization with detox and follow-up care by his physician
    2. Psychiatric evaluation with continuing monitoring to help with alcohol abuse as self-med for suffering from unresolved pain brought on by deep grief

    Yeah, he needs help. Not any system that overlooks his cries for that help.

    He is not a strong man, apparently. So others will need to intervene who do care for him. I hope they do. Whatever issues he has and whatever wrong he has done, he is still a human person in need of help, the RIGHT KIND of help. Not the good-ole boyz club nonsense, no. God have mercy.

    So sad about his daughter. So very sad.

  44. Deborah Coan wrote:

    I’ve been a ligonier for years . I watch RC continue to persevere through terrible physical pains preaching Gods word wearing an oxygen mask . Leave him alone! We all grieve over our grown children when they inflict pain on themselves and others knowing that most of the time our help is rejected.

    Interesting you can say this. I am sure that had someone else been doing the same actions that RC2 did who wasn’t RC’s son and bearing RC’s same name that they would have been history much earlier. I am sure RC2 was given all types of preferential treatment due his being related to RC.

    His drunkenness just by itself disqualified RC2 from being a leader.

    As others have pointed out rather than enable RC2, RC should have insisted no special treatment be given to RC2 and thus forced RC2 to hit rock bottom. This just goes to show what can happen when you have related people working in a ministry like this.

  45. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    @ Deborah Coan: So you fully agree with what Sproul wrote in that article? And you disagree that being raised under this theological umbrella could cause problems?

    Mr F I am not interested in reading the article and getting into a debate on his theology and no I do not believe that sin in RC2 life is caused by his fathers theology.

  46. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.

    Not sure I would quite go this far (God is the only that can really say this) but RC2 certainly has denied God’s power that Paul wrote about in II Tim 3:5. RC2 is doing this “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” Paul said in this same verse to “Avoid such people.”

  47. Steve240 wrote:

    His drunkenness just by itself disqualified RC2 from being a leader.
    As others have pointed out rather than enable RC2, RC should have insisted no special treatment be given to RC2 and thus forced RC2 to hit rock bottom. This just goes to show what can happen when you have related people working in a ministry like this.

    I agree that Sproul 2 shouldn’t be enabled by his father, Sproul 1.

    But I don’t think Sproul 2’s substance abuse (he is an adult) disqualifies his father from serving in the clergy. Sproul 2 has his own household and is not part of his father’s household.

    As the saying goes in rooms like Al-Anon, a 12-step program for the family and friends of alcoholics, “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.”

  48. Steve240 wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:
    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.
    Not sure I would quite go this far (God is the only that can really say this) but RC2 certainly has denied God’s power that Paul wrote about in II Tim 3:5. RC2 is doing this “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” Paul said in this same verse to “Avoid such people.”

    Sigh.

    How will the church ever be helpful in getting people help if the answer is to just avoid them and to cherry-pick Scripture verses to justify your own lack of love?

    I know people who are recovering alcoholics who have been diagnosed with bipolar and other problems. They were self-medicating with alcohol.

    You don’t know the extent of Sproul 2’s medical problems since neither of you are physicians who specialize in this.

  49. Deborah Coan wrote:

    Alcoholics cannot be helped and won’t be helped if they don’t want it. And even if they want it sometimes it’s too difficult. Alcoholics are liars- the best liars.

    oh my goodness …..
    I know you have suffered from people in your family with this disease, and there is controversy about ‘responsibility’ versus the helplessness of illness;
    but alcoholism causes medical and psychiatric problems if not treated, and these problems deserve intervention.

    Perhaps you need some help as a family member of people who were alcoholics, so that you can find some people to talk to? Sounds like it would do you good.

    In the end, people hurt. And some self-medicate. And it compounds their pain and affects those around them also.
    Whatever that ‘hurt’ is, it must be addressed. And if it is not, then they may very well continue to self-medicate in self-destructive ways, yes.

    We can’t assume ‘they can’t be helped’, no. We must try to get help for suffering people: medical intervention AND psychiatric intervention. With follow-up.

    When we have done all we could, then ….. But in the mean-time, we cannot ‘look away’ or play the blame-game on overwhelmed souls. We are obliged to do the right thing in intervening for OUR sakes as well as theirs: because we are human persons too and our day may come when we are ‘the overwhelmed’ and in need of the mercy of others. God help you, dear. You have my prayers.

  50. Christiane wrote:

    We can’t assume ‘they can’t be helped’, no. We must try to get help for suffering people: medical intervention AND psychiatric intervention. With follow-up.

    Clearly you didn’t read my comment with any understanding of what I was saying. Please read and then perhaps you will be able to respond according to what I ACTUALLY said.

  51. My wife’s oldest son is alcoholic. He is also charming, manipulative, an involved father and a liar.
    He lost one wife and two beautiful daughters because of it. Like RC2, he drove around drunk with our grandkids in the car. She was wise enough to divorce him and move across the country. And get involved with Al Anon.
    By then he was almost dead from liver failure and heart disease. Somehow, he recovered, fathered a son, but soon was drinking again. His “wet” brain led to do something stupid and put him in jail for a year, including 90 days in San Quentin for “evaluation”. (I think the judge wanted to shake him up.)
    We took him in to help in his recovery. He regained his health, went to AA, extensive counseling and stayed sober. Eventually, he regained visitation with his son and found a job. But he stopped going to AA and we realized he was drinking again. He agreed to go back into out patient treatment. Sadly, we smelled the booze again and he admitted that he was choosing to drink. (He is not driving)
    We asked to leave by the end of the month. We will do almost anything to aid recovery, but we will not enable alcoholism.
    The point to this story is that alcohol, for some people, is almost invariably destructive and those that love them have a limited ability to help them. I do know that covering up their behavior is as destructive as buying them booze and could end up with somebody dead. (So sorry for your terrible experience Dee)

  52. Velour wrote:

    I agree that Sproul 2 shouldn’t be enabled by his father, Sproul 1.
    But I don’t think Sproul 2’s substance abuse (he is an adult) disqualifies his father from serving in the clergy. Sproul 2 has his own household and is not part of his father’s household.

    I would agree that Sproul shouldn’t be disqualified due to his ADULT son’s issues. On the other hand if Sproul has bee covering up and protecting his son then maybe Sproul should be disqualified for protecting and covering.

  53. Steve240 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I agree that Sproul 2 shouldn’t be enabled by his father, Sproul 1.
    But I don’t think Sproul 2’s substance abuse (he is an adult) disqualifies his father from serving in the clergy. Sproul 2 has his own household and is not part of his father’s household.
    I would agree that Sproul shouldn’t be disqualified due to his ADULT son’s issues. On the other hand if Sproul has bee covering up and protecting his son then maybe Sproul should be disqualified for protecting and covering.

    Steve240,

    That’s as harsh for the father as the recommendation for the son.

    Alcoholism as the saying goes is a ‘family disease’. People who don’t even pick up a drink can have unhealthy behaviors. The father may be in just as much help as the son from experts who deal with alcoholics and from free groups like Al-Anon, for the family and friends of alcoholism.

  54. Having had much shade thrown our way in the early ’80’s because our oldest son was into alcohol and drugs, we decided to start a support group called “Parents Concerned” This was in Silicon Valley. We ran this support group for 16 years. People from many churches came to our group . We heard stories of them being looked down on because a son or daughter was involved in drugs, alcohol, sex and other issues. Our group was a safe place for parents. Many non Christians came and eventually came to The Lord. We had connections with the San Jose Police dept, Good Samaritan Hospital, The Foundry School, The Bill Wilson House, Teen Challenge, Victory Outreach etc,etc. we went to seminars and learned a lot about drug and alcohol abuse. The one thing we learned is that you cannot change someone else.

    Being a parent of an alcoholic or drug abuser is scary. Parental instincts are to protect your child at all costs. It takes a tremendous faith in Gid, as well as support from non judgement all Christians to let go and let your child experience the consequences.

  55. Leslie wrote:

    Our group was a safe place for parents.

    That’s wonderful, Leslie, that you started a safe group that was so helpful to other parents.

    Thank you for sharing your family’s story with such honesty, and hope.

  56. @ Lea:

    If you know you have a problem with alcohol, you need to face up to your issue and get help. That is the most important thing I learned in Al-Anon, a support group for family members/friends of alcoholics.

    Last month, a young couple from my church was in a horrible accident just down the street from my house. The 19-year old mother died, leaving s two-year old without a mother. Her boyfriend is still hospitalized with injuries that will cause him lifelong disabilities.

    I checked out the comments on the Spinderella blog. RC2 sponsors keggers for staff in which alcohol is served to CHILDREN!! He mocks people who don’t drink like he does. He is going to end up dead or lifelong in prison if he does not get serious help, and the fact that his family and colleagues contribute to his continued drinking behavior implicates them as well.

  57. Linn wrote:

    I checked out the comments on the Spinderella blog. RC2 sponsors keggers for staff in which alcohol is served to CHILDREN!! He mocks people who don’t drink like he does. He is going to end up dead or lifelong in prison if he does not get serious help, and the fact that his family and colleagues contribute to his continued drinking behavior implicates them as well.

    Hopefully an intervention can be done on Sproul 2 and his minor children can be removed from his care since he is a danger to them. He needs to be in in-patient treatment for alcoholism (and whatever else troubles him that the medical professionals figure out).

    I am not surprised that an active alcoholic is pushing drinks on everyone around him, as it makes him seem ‘normal’ and justifies his drinking.

  58. We had missionaries , elders and some pastors come to our group, they were in such pain and could not share in their Christian communities.@ Velour:

  59. Leslie wrote:

    We had missionaries , elders and some pastors come to our group, they were in such pain and could not share in their Christian communities.@ Velour:

    I can believe it, Leslie, that Christians couldn’t safely share this information in their churches about their families without judgment, put downs, and potential gossip.

    I am very glad that you turned your own pain into a hopeful message for others. What a wonderful ministry that you have had!

  60. My father also struggled with drinking, he could and did say some of the most God awful things to us kids etc. I moved back in to help with my nephew and a bit with him for a few years. He had severe arthritis as well it totally crippled him to the point he could not work, took gold shots, eventually, the treatment and bad medical advice killed him. I won’t go into too much what I was told when I moved back in by my church family, abandoning God, letting the church down, not having the mind of Christ, succumbing to the world, loving my family more than loving God etc. A few years later as my father’s health deteriorated it was late and I was in the shower and I heard this crack and for the very first time my father called out my name in desperate need, it was in a voice I will never forget. The crack I heard was his leg bone splitting lengthwise down his leg.

    I was right there, like I always was, at times he would be cussing, why this or that but he needed me. All the years of being there listening to the beratement and anger gave me the ability to listen as well to the pain and fear. I tried so hard to offer some comfort. I wanted to offer God as comfort but my father had had enough of the evangelical/catholic rhetoric from his mother and from our family priest and a war and so on. He went to the hospital the next day, he did not want to go that evening but finally, my mother insisted.

    I was on the road when it hit, Loma Prieta, things collapsing the road buckling and our house was thrashed though we did not know it until it sold a few years later during the inspection while selling it and we took a big loss on it; Foundational and chimney issues. I drove to the hospital right after shutting off the gas and water at our house. I got there, there were big huge cracks in the wall, the elevators were broken people screaming and injured and there was my father asleep right after his surgery. He had never slept through an earthquake before even the small ones.

    That was the last time I saw him alive. You know I wanted to share the gospel with him, go through the 4 spiritual laws, take him down the Romans road, walk him through the gospel of John etc. But I was just there, I was always there never moving not flinching no matter what I was there. That night I was alone, my mother was somewhere around the city or in the hospital, he was in recovery and my nephew was with a neighbor. I was home alone. He died that Wednesday in the afternoon. He waited for my mother to leave, was very stable, then just let go. I personally believe it was so he would not be a burden on us. He got to tell me he loved us kids, my sister was incarcerated and my brother was living in another state. I got to tell them, they were somewhat angry at me but there was a lot of emotions.

    I did go back to my faith family. It was not too long until the did he know the Lord questions started, did I witness to him, you know his blood is on your hands if he is not saved God will hold you accountable… A few years later my brother in law was dying and I went to see him, very long story, and I shared with him the Gospel and the love of Christ, He “accepted” Christ, my church family reminded me that almost all death bed conversions are false conversions and most likely my brother in law died in his sins and went on to a Christless eternity. In very pious terms of course.

    I’m sorry for all this, it’s just that fathers day was very hard for me this year. I really loved my father very much and he gave more for his family in deeper ways than most of the superhero folks that command such respect in the franchises from what I have observed. I have never shared this before but I just needed to. Thank You.

  61. We outed ourselves, started. Christian support group, made headlines in The Milpitas Post , etc, etc. I think what I am trying yo say is each person stands before God on his/her own.were we guilty of our son’s choices,? Yes,?, no?, I don’t know ? Actually, at the end of the day he was responsible for his choices. He is now a wonderful father and husband. My trying to save him from the pain of his choices only made things worse.

    I can totally understand RCSproul wanting to protect his son, What I don’t understand is his lack of faith in Gid dealing with his son.

  62. brian wrote:

    I really loved my father very much and he gave more for his family in deeper ways than most of the superhero folks that command such respect in the franchises from what I have observed.

    Nice story about your father, Brian. I can see why you loved him, faults and all.

    Your ex-church family sounds like a bunch of cheerless people. I’m glad you are no longer around them and their hateful views.

  63. Leslie wrote:

    We outed ourselves, started. Christian support group, made headlines in The Milpitas Post , etc, etc. I think what I am trying yo say is each person stands before God on his/her own.were we guilty of our son’s choices,? Yes,?, no?, I don’t know ? Actually, at the end of the day he was responsible for his choices. He is now a wonderful father and husband. My trying to save him from the pain of his choices only made things worse.
    I can totally understand RCSproul wanting to protect his son, What I don’t understand is his lack of faith in Gid dealing with his son.

    I am in Silicon Valley, as you know, so I know all of the groups and organizations that you have mentioned.

    Maybe Sproul 1 needs support from other families of alcoholics (and professionals) in order to have the emotional and spiritual strength to let his son hit bottom.

    I am glad to hear about your son’s recovery.

  64. brian wrote:

    A few years later my brother in law was dying and I went to see him, very long story, and I shared with him the Gospel and the love of Christ, He “accepted” Christ, my church family reminded me that almost all death bed conversions are false conversions and most likely my brother in law died in his sins and went on to a Christless eternity

    so much sadness in your comment, Brian

    I don’t know what ‘church’ teaches that death-bed conversions are ‘false’, but I am Christian enough to know that isn’t true …. that if a person who is in peril holds his hand out to Our Lord, Our Lord takes his hand and saves him

    too many ‘hate preachers’ out there, I’m afraid, so discouraging and spreading despair instead of hope and all I can do is ask ‘Why?’ when all around them is life and light, but they cannot ‘see’

  65. brian wrote:

    I’m sorry for all this, it’s just that fathers day was very hard for me this year. I really loved my father very much and he gave more for his family in deeper ways than most of the superhero folks that command such respect in the franchises from what I have observed. I have never shared this before but I just needed to. Thank You.

    sending hugs

  66. I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if I am off topic by this point.

    It is remarkable how LITTLE one can do for an addict if the addict doesn’t want help.

    But it is also remarkable how MUCH can be done to protect others from the addict, that is NOT done.

    People think they have far more impact than they do re: what they can control re: an addict, and they think they have far less control than they do re: what they themselves can do to reduce the impact of the addict.

    Sr. can’t make Jr. stop drinking.
    Sr. CAN keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit.

    Sr. can’t stop Jr. from spending his money on alcohol.
    Sr. CAN cut off the paychecks.

    :0|

    It’s a sad world sometimes.

  67. Here's a quote from at least as far back as 2005. R.C. has been working up to his felonious status for a long time. The fact that he felt ok about this statement says a lot of about an addict's powers of denial.

    "I try, like most of us, not to be easily offended. I don't like the other idea of other people having to go about on pins and needles because of my weaknesses. But sometimes that's where we end up. We are, after all, all Christians here, and are called to bear one another's burdens. I pray one day my conscience will grow stronger, so that this wouldn't be necessary. But we're not there yet. So here it is. Would you please, so as not to cause me to stumble, stop suggesting that it is wrong to drink alcohol in moderation, or that drinking alcohol in moderation somehow is a failure to love my brothers? Thanks ever so much."

    Double, Bubble, Toil and Stumble, by RC Sproul Jr.

  68. seems to me that ‘enabling’ is not the same thing as really helping

    and a lot of people think they are helping when they are just enabling the status quo

    a hospital detox AND good psychiatric care are NOT the same thing as ‘enabling’ because they are designed to STOP the status quo

    so I think that is the way to go

    agreed: if a person does not want to stop drinking, they can’t be forced; but if the person gets into enough trouble (ie. developing an alchoholic psychosis), then they have to have help to be restored enough to MAKE a decision about if they want to go forward in a good direction or not

    some thoughts

  69. Muff Potter wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.

    Not born again huh? You sure about that?

    Well, according to their own theology, he’s not. When your theology is based on exclusionary principles, you have to accept the consequences when that sword cuts the other direction.

  70. Velour wrote:

    Hopefully an intervention can be done on Sproul 2 and his minor children can be removed from his care since he is a danger to them. He needs to be in in-patient treatment for alcoholism (and whatever else troubles him that the medical professionals figure out).

    I agree with all of this but people also need to stop supporting abusive churches.
    I did some research. This guy is a real piece of work. It’s hard to play the empathy card with this clown.
    I think both him and his dad would have been jerks with or without alcohol.
    The best thing for him and those in his orbit, his incarceration.
    Might be the only justice his victims get and I’m sure that his church and family may actually get some help while he’s in county lockup. If nothing else, they’ll get a breather.
    And I know about substance abuse. My brother is a drug addict & alcoholic.

  71. When someone and his behavior is a threat to self and others then that person and his behavior have to be dealt with, as a danger, and strong steps must be taken. It matters not if the ‘problem’ is a ‘sickness’ or a moral failure. The innocent must be protected.

    One of the grandparents of my generation has relatively early dementia-the same thing that killed his mother and the same disease that has now stricken him. This is a disease, not a moral failure. He has to be protected from injuring himself or others-regardless of the fact that it is a sickness and not a crime. Nobody blames him, but nobody fails to monitor his behavior either.

    We don’t need to be accepting alcohol abuse at any level merely because it may be a ‘disease’. The victim of somebody else’s alcohol is just as much a victim (dead on the road is what I saw over the years) whether the drunk person was ‘self medicating’ or whatever the reason. No excuses. Let the medical personnel deal with motivations, when and if the person ends up in treatment, if they think that is helpful. Society meanwhile needs to jerk people’s licenses away from them and remove them from their jobs when necessary including withdrawing staff privileges at the hospital or refusing admission to the pulpit much less being a truck driver-all of it.

    I am so sick of hearing excuses. I can never forget the dead that were dragged in off I-95 into our ER. I can never forget the time they called me back to try to convince some drunk driver to let us get some x-rays of him and they told me that the others that he hurled his large truck into were in the morgue-man, woman and two children. At some deep emotional level if I hear ‘self medicating’ one more time used to minimize reasons, effects or societal responsibilities of alcohol abuse—Arrrgghh. Put a stop to this carnage. For everybody’s sake.

    And if it is true what you all say about people looking up to preachers, then right up at the top of people who need their jobs taken away is the drunk preacher.

  72. PaJo wrote:

    Sr. can’t make Jr. stop drinking.
    Sr. CAN keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit.

    Sr. can’t stop Jr. from spending his money on alcohol.
    Sr. CAN cut off the paychecks.

    Wisdom.

  73. Off topic. Follow up.

    I had surgery Monday. For those who care about ‘women’s issues’ it was an all female surgical team. The same woman surgeon from before and a woman anesthesiologist and more women in scrubs packed into the OR than I thought necessary-but they have their reasons.

    But yesterday I had to go back and let them look at a post-op problem that has arisen, and the delightful surgeon in the office who saw me was a man. I liked the way he was thinking and agreed with his conclusions and really liked the way he dealt with the problem and the patient.

    So-yeah for women in surgery, but yeah for the men also. Just my take on it. Sure there are some bums out there. But bum-hood is not gender specific.

  74. Linn wrote:

    He mocks people who don’t drink like he does.

    That’s awful. I have friends and family who don’t drink, for various reasons. Generally will not drink around them. I have been to bars with friends and had tea and nobody cares. It’s deeply odd for a grown man to mock anyone who doesn’t drink. (but then, in certain ‘christian’ circles, mocking for all sorts of things seems to be endemic, which is a possibly related problem).

  75. Leslie wrote:

    We had missionaries , elders and some pastors come to our group, they were in such pain and could not share in their Christian communities.@ Velour:

    How sad.

    Re Sproul, I’m kind of with Jack in that it’s hard to have sympathy for him, because I’ve seen too many other things that bother me. But I have a lot of sympathy for his kids/family, and hope he gets help for their sakes.

  76. @ brian:
    What you wrote, brought tears. Although my situation is different. I stay and take the good with the bad. Trying to live love and help my husband. But with my Christian friends and ‘family’ I am often second guessed. Mainly because there seems to be little to show for all the years of effort. I know it’s hard, I do cry for strength, I don’t always like him for the damage done to our family. I just want to be true-blue, show him that God doesn’t run away from us when we are bad. Through thick and thin just be there, as you spoke of. However it’s ten times harder hearing the discouragement in others voices. Hope makes not ashamed. A wounded (broken, messed up) spirit who can bear? Not many want to, or want me to, even if I made a vow to be there in good times and bad. The church became a sounding gong and clanging cymbal. I am sorry to complain, thankyou for sharing about your Dad, Brian. It meant a lot to me.

  77. westerner wrote:

    So here it is. Would you please, so as not to cause me to stumble, stop suggesting that it is wrong to drink alcohol in moderation, or that drinking alcohol in moderation somehow is a failure to love my brothers? Thanks ever so much.”
    Double, Bubble, Toil and Stumble, by RC Sproul Jr.

    This is interesting…to read his reasoning. I actually completely agree that there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in moderation. But to say that is what is causing him to stumble? You have to wonder if people weren’t trying to get him to cool it ages ago and this was his reaction.

  78. Deborah Coan wrote:

    Why do you feel it’s necessary to malign a godly servant like RC Sproul as if he is in some way responsible for his grown sons actions! He has been through enough pain without your unfounded accusations and threats even that if his son hurts someone it will be on his head . This is inexcusable and seriously hurts your credibility.

    I am not sure that you know my background. I have worked in an alcoholic facility and have lost loved ones to alcoholism. My husband’s father was an alcoholic. We certainly understand the issue as much as anybody,

    I believen you may not know that history with JR. He has been defrocked along with other troubles and has worked for years for his father who continued to pay him out of Ligonier funds in spite of his issues. We are looking at years and years of reports. The only way to get an alcoholic to seek treatment is to pull the rug out from under them: no money, support, etc. You get the family together and do an intervention. You get police involved if he is driving under the influence. You get CPS involved to keep checking on he welfare of the children.

    Unfortunately, it means humbling yourself and opening up your family to public inspection. But the life of our loved ones is at stake.

  79. Muff Potter wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:
    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.
    Not born again huh? You sure about that?

    As I understand it RC Sproul Jr. is a Calvinist just like his father and thus hold to “TULIP.”

    According to the “P” in “TULIP” they believe in the “perseverance of the saints.” This basically states that if one is a true believer or as they put it selected by God for salvation or in their term “unconditional election” this person will not backslide etc. but continue in the faith. If a person “backslides” then they teach this person never was a true believer really never given “irresistible grace.”

    Thus if one interprets RC Sproul Jr.’s actions as not persevering then according to what they teach Sproul was never a believer.

    I definitely don’t agree with “TULIP” but this is what he and the group is a part of incuding RC Sproul Sr. teach.

  80. So far, nobody has mentioned Jr.’s recent second marriage. As far as CPS removing his kids goes, they probably won’t as long as she remains in the household, unless there is proof of her abetting his drunk driving with kids in the car. She may not have much say over what he does, especially anything involving his children.

  81. Leslie wrote:

    Actually, at the end of the day he was responsible for his choices. He is now a wonderful father and husband. My trying to save him from the pain of his choices only made things worse.
    I can totally understand RCSproul wanting to protect his son, What I don’t understand is his lack of faith in Gid dealing with his son.

    As others have shared it sounds like RC Sproul Sr. by “trying to save him from the pain of his choices only made things worse” for RC Sproul Jr.

    It is natural for a father to want to protect a child from the consequences of their actions but at some point in time when the child keeps doing this the parent has let them experience the consequences. Perhaps if nothing else RC Sproul Sr. shielded and protected his son due his son having his same name and thus the son’s actions tarnishing the father’s name.

    With one person I knew who was bailing out her adult sons I would tell her that she needs to let them experience the consequences of their actions. Perhaps cushion the fall but still let them fall.

  82. @ Deb:
    I have more than a few alcoholics in my family, some of whom have passed away, possibly a direct or indirect effect of the alcohol. I have an occasional drink, but honestly can barely muster up the desire for that, given what I’ve seen. Plus I don’t like the way it makes me feel.

  83. Leslie wrote:

    Being a parent of an alcoholic or drug abuser is scary. Parental instincts are to protect your child at all costs. It takes a tremendous faith in Gid, as well as support from non judgement all Christians to let go and let your child experience the consequences.

    I’m a parent, and not all of my children have always made me very proud of them. But one thing I learned a long time ago is that if I really love them I’ll let them suffer the consequences of their actions. Sure, those consequences may be really really hard. But we have to remember that those consequences don’t have to be eternal ones but only temporary. As a Christian I have to look at it like their eternal soul is the MOST important thing of all, much more important than any earthly hardships could be. If I bailed them out every time they got into trouble they’d never learn that their bad choices have bad consequences. I could be paving the path to hell for them.

    I’m convinced that’s exactly what Mr. and Mrs. (Vesta) Sproul have done to their “Precious.” I don’t say it out of ignorance or just speculation. Anyone who bothers to check out the evidence, and the evidence is overwhelming, will be convinced that’s exactly what they’ve done his entire life. You can get a taste for it in Jr’s self-obsessed “novella” that he published on his “ministry” web site many years ago, Ligonier Tales. He’s been mollycoddled and bailed out every time he’s gotten himself into trouble. Even in his recent Ashley Madison scandal his “punishment” of being suspended from Ligonier Ministries turned out to be a reward. Yes, he was suspended, but he was suspended WITH PAY. So for creating a scandal he got a ten month paid holiday. So what did his parents hope to teach him from that? How did his parents handle their son’s defrocking in 2006? The defrocking was plenty scandalous all on its own, but RC Sr. turned it into a full blown debacle. RC Sr should have called his son to repentance and to make restitution to all the families he’d abused. Instead he said the charges against his son were “fraudulent” which meant he was basically accusing everyone of being liars. I used to have a lot of respect for RC Sproul Sr. No more. Like his son he doesn’t practice what he preaches.

    As I’ve already said on Spinderella Sproul, RC Sproul Jr is unregenerate. He’s a lost drunkard, and a wolf in sheep’s clothing on his way to hell. More than anything that’s what his parents should have been concerned about all these years. Instead they’ve provided a life of ease and luxury with hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for very little effort. They’ve paved the path to hell for their “Precious.” The consequences of their enabling are far far worse than if they’d just let him have to face the consequences of his bad life choices on his own.

  84. Jack wrote:

    The best thing for him and those in his orbit, his incarceration.

    “His three other criminal charges, two misdemeanors and one other felony, were dismissed under a plea agreement in exchange for his pleading guilty to the one felony.

    He was sentenced to 1 year and 183 days incarceration. That prison sentence was suspended and he was remanded to “1 year active adult probation.” – Spinderella Sproul web article

    According to the article that Dee quoted, Sproul 2 won’t be going to jail. The best place for him to go for his ‘probation’ is an in-patient treatment facility for alcoholism (and whatever else his problems are that his intake uncovers).

  85. NJ wrote:

    So far, nobody has mentioned Jr.’s recent second marriage. As far as CPS removing his kids goes, they probably won’t as long as she remains in the household, unless there is proof of her abetting his drunk driving with kids in the car. She may not have much say over what he does, especially anything involving his children.

    Thanks for giving us that information. I didn’t know about his second marriage.
    She needs help for being married to an alcoholic: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

  86. dee wrote:

    I believen you may not know that history with JR. He has been defrocked along with other troubles and has worked for years for his father who continued to pay him out of Ligonier funds in spite of his issues. We are looking at years and years of reports. The only way to get an alcoholic to seek treatment is to pull the rug out from under them: no money, support, etc. You get the family together and do an intervention. You get police involved if he is driving under the influence. You get CPS involved to keep checking on he welfare of the children.

    Yes.

    And anything less is colluding in killing the alcoholic.

  87. westerner wrote:

    Here’s a quote from at least as far back as 2005. R.C. has been working up to his felonious status for a long time. The fact that he felt ok about this statement says a lot of about an addict’s powers of denial.
    “I try, like most of us, not to be easily offended. I don’t like the other idea of other people having to go about on pins and needles because of my weaknesses. But sometimes that’s where we end up. We are, after all, all Christians here, and are called to bear one another’s burdens. I pray one day my conscience will grow stronger, so that this wouldn’t be necessary. But we’re not there yet. So here it is. Would you please, so as not to cause me to stumble, stop suggesting that it is wrong to drink alcohol in moderation, or that drinking alcohol in moderation somehow is a failure to love my brothers? Thanks ever so much.”
    Double, Bubble, Toil and Stumble, by RC Sproul Jr.

    It sounds to me like he has a different definition for “in moderation”.

    (If someone already said this, apologies. Am still reading through the comment thread.)

  88. Christiane wrote:

    seems to me that ‘enabling’ is not the same thing as really helping
    and a lot of people think they are helping when they are just enabling the status quo
    a hospital detox AND good psychiatric care are NOT the same thing as ‘enabling’ because they are designed to STOP the status quo
    so I think that is the way to go
    agreed: if a person does not want to stop drinking, they can’t be forced; but if the person gets into enough trouble (ie. developing an alchoholic psychosis), then they have to have help to be restored enough to MAKE a decision about if they want to go forward in a good direction or not
    some thoughts

    Yes, I remember being part of a group meeting where a social worker talked to a crowd of us about how to deal with an alcoholic in our group. A couple things stood out to me:

    – Alcoholism changes the person’s brain. You cannot reason with them because they quite literally cannot think straight. They have their own logic, and it’s different from yours. Things that make perfect sense to you do not compute for the alcoholic, and vice versa.

    – When an alcoholic stays sober for a length of time, with the first drink they take, they’re right back where they left off. There is no gradual progression or build-up. (Is this still considered true? That intervention meeting was more than a decade ago, and I know theories can change over time.) If that is the case, the person who says, “Aw, come on. One little drink won’t hurt” is tragically wrong.

    (And it’s my understanding that that is the exact attitude of RC Jr. and his followers towards alcoholics in their midst, including a couple of young men who came to learn from him at the Highlands Study Center.)

  89. refugee wrote:

    – When an alcoholic stays sober for a length of time, with the first drink they take, they’re right back where they left off. There is no gradual progression or build-up. (Is this still considered true? That intervention meeting was more than a decade ago, and I know theories can change over time.)

    I don’t know. I’ve read a lot of pushback to AA’s all or nothing approach recently. Some of it I don’t think is fair, but there may be some merit in it. It probably depends on the individual. I think I’ve read that some people have linked drug and alcohol additions to life situations/trauma/etc and said once that moment in their life passed they were able to drop the drugs and/or alcohol with little problem.

    Obviously, alcohol can cause neurological trauma, but it is unreal the amount of alcohol the people I saw who actually ended up in the hospital were drinking. It was far more than a couple drinks a day. I don’t know where the line is.

  90. Herringbone wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    Barbara Roberts wrote:
    Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.
    Not born again huh? You sure about that?
    Well, according to their own theology, he’s not. When your theology is based on exclusionary principles, you have to accept the consequences when that sword cuts the other direction.

    Ah, but by their theology, he also bears a certain immunity. Leaders can fail, “like David”, don’t you know? Then as soon as they express repentance (they don’t have to show it, they just have to say the word), they’re restored, and everyone else is supposed to show understanding and forgiveness.

    This only applies if you are a member of the in-crowd. If you are a subordinate leader (and maybe not always in lock-step with the top dog), you will be more likely to be asked or forced to step down.

    RC Jr., of course, was “top dog” in the congregation(s) he led — because of his father’s reputation and influence, maybe?

  91. Dee, Deb, totally off topic but can you investigate something for us?

    The SBC passed a resolution this summer affirming penal substitutionary atonement as “the” correct theology, or so I am told.

    Many in the SBC hold to substitutionary atonement but not PENAL substitutionary atonement. They are quite different. And some are Christus Victor and a few are governmental.

    Can you find out for us if this was a New Calvinist takeover thing? Does that mean those holding different views will be given the left boot of fellowship? BFM2000 is not, to my knowledge, PENAL, rather just substitutionary.

  92. refugee wrote:

    (And it’s my understanding that that is the exact attitude of RC Jr. and his followers towards alcoholics in their midst, including a couple of young men who came to learn from him at the Highlands Study Center.)

    True. RC Sproul Jr has destroyed the lives of quite a few people with alcohol, especially young men who are insecure in their manhood. RC Jr’s message has long been that heavy drinking is “manly” and if you want to be a real man (like him?) you’ll follow his example. Getting a DUI at St. Peter Presbyterian Church was no big deal and driving on a suspended license was also no big deal. Why? Because DUIs are manly.

  93. Lea wrote:

    Obviously, alcohol can cause neurological trauma, but it is unreal the amount of alcohol the people I saw who actually ended up in the hospital were drinking. It was far more than a couple drinks a day. I don’t know where the line is.

    That was something else the social worker talked about: a timeline for the addiction. Alcoholism is like other types of drug addiction. The addict builds up a tolerance over time, needing more and more to get the same “good” feeling that they’re seeking. At some point, the alcoholic can drink huge quantities without seeming effect. In fact, they need to drink quantities, just to feel “normal” and function “normally.” But then (if I’m remembering right), at some point in the progression of the disease, they cross some boundary and reach the point where they “can’t hold their liquor” anymore.

  94. refugee wrote:

    The addict builds up a tolerance over time

    Even if you aren’t an addict, you can start to build a tolerance if you drink consistently. (I actually read something recently that was talking about ‘dry January’ or something to reset your tolerance and although I’m sure that wouldn’t be promoted by some, it seems like not a bad idea as far as making sure you don’t actually have a problem.) I guess maybe that’s how this crazy high drinking starts, but imagine drinking a case or two of beer in a day? I get full after two.

  95. Sorry to burst the bubbles of any here who revere RC Sproul Sr, but as the old adage goes “The nut doesn’t fall very far from the tree.” A commenter from Spinderella Sproul says:

    I attended seminary with Jr. when Dad was teaching at RTS. Both were over the top, heavy drinkers, and very full of themselves. The first semester we lost 20 guys who were so put off by Daddy and Jr. picking students out and tearing them down in front of the class. His Mom, Vida, was no prize either. My young wife used to attend a few of my classes with me. At the time Jr. was unmarried and although he knew that she was my wife, he came on to her more than once.

    RC Sproul Sr was, at least in RC Jr’s formative years, a heavy smoker and drinker and set the example for his son. Unlike his son though he didn’t brag about it, at least in his sermons, like RC Jr does — “We’re Presbyterians so we smoke and drink.” But neither was RC Sr at all ashamed of being a drug addict (alcohol and cigarettes are drugs and can be very addictive). RC Sr gave up smoking awhile back. RC Jr was also addicted to tobacco, in the form of an even nastier habit, chewing, but eventually gave it up. Neither one ever gave up the booze though, although with RC Sr’s poor health (multiple strokes) he may be drinking less than he did.

  96. Lea wrote:

    I don’t know where the line is.

    They don’t either. But here may be a hint. If somebody asks themselves where the line is then the line may be something they have already crossed in their own mind, or else why would they even ask.

    Like calories. How much can I eat and not gain weight? Answer: not that much so dial it back.

  97. Imagine if I, a member of one of these churches, a lowly women less, was caught gambling or driving under the influence? Don’t imagine anything but being run out on a rail. Yet, for famous pastors we have excuses….amazing

    Am very familiar with alcoholism, drug abuse. Intervention only works when the abuser is willing to submit to a program.
    Of course enabling doesn’t help, ever.

    My FIL was a terrible abusive drunk, he eventually got sober at age 54. For a while he literally slept out in the reeds by a river. When he hit rock bottom, and the family stopped coddling, excusing his drinking, he went to detox. No way to cure the disease, except to not drink.

  98. H.A. wrote:

    Sorry to burst the bubbles of any here who revere RC Sproul Sr, but as the old adage goes “The nut doesn’t fall very far from the tree.”

    Sounds like RC Sr. also needs treatment as do the non-drinkers in the family.

  99. okrapod wrote:

    If somebody asks themselves where the line is then the line may be something they have already crossed in their own mind, or else why would they even ask.

    Probably the minute you think “am I drinking too much?” is a good time to cut back. [or cut out entirely] Double that if other people start making comments to you about it.

  100. “Why? Because DUIs are manly.”

    Acting like a sixteen-year-old boy is not manly, it is obnoxious and childish.

  101. Mae wrote:

    Imagine if I, a member of one of these churches, a lowly women less, was caught gambling or driving under the influence? Don’t imagine anything but being run out on a rail. Yet, for famous pastors we have excuses….amazing

    Rank Hath Its Privileges,
    and Rank awarded by Divine Right Hath the Most Privileges of All.

  102. refugee wrote:

    RC Jr., of course, was “top dog” in the congregation(s) he led — because of his father’s reputation and influence, maybe?

    Try “Highborn Heir to the Iron Throne of House Sproul.”

  103. H.A. wrote:

    RC Jr’s message has long been that heavy drinking is “manly” and if you want to be a real man (like him?) you’ll follow his example. Getting a DUI at St. Peter Presbyterian Church was no big deal and driving on a suspended license was also no big deal. Why? Because DUIs are manly.

    Could this be Justification by “If Everybody’s Doing It…”?

    As recovering alcoholic Steven King put it, “Alkies drink because that’s what Alkies do. To an Alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink cannot be violated in any way.”

  104. refugee wrote:

    Alcoholism changes the person’s brain. You cannot reason with them because they quite literally cannot think straight. They have their own logic, and it’s different from yours. Things that make perfect sense to you do not compute for the alcoholic, and vice versa.

    What one friend called “Rummy Logic”.

    I got hit by it some 20-odd years ago, when my bathtub plumbing sprung a slow leak into the unit below me, occupied by a retired rummy (retired as in “I’m Retired!”). The repairs needed to be done from his unit, and he had a simple and logical solution other than letting the plumber into his unit for repairs: “If You Just Stop Using Your Shower, We Won’t Have a Problem!” Made all the sense in the world to him. (AKA “He stops taking showers, the leak stops, think I’ll have another Drink…”) Took a water-collapsed ceiling, him harassing me over the phone, and a resulting court fight (with him suing me for as much as he could and yelling at the judge in the courtroom) before things settled down.

  105. refugee wrote:

    It sounds to me like he has a different definition for “in moderation”.

    More like “As much as I can, as strong as I can, to get as hammered as I can, as fast as I can”?

  106. H.A. wrote:

    I’m convinced that’s exactly what Mr. and Mrs. (Vesta) Sproul have done to their “Precious.”

    Remember what happened to Gollum and his PRECIOUSSSSSSSSSSSS…

  107. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Thanks for giving us that information. I didn’t know about his second marriage.
    She needs help for being married to an alcoholic: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
    But that wouldn’t be Godly Submission.
    (Stay Sweet…)

    As one woman I know who got help for being married to an alcoholic said to me,
    “I wasn’t just a doormat with the word ‘Welcome’ written on me, I was wall-to-wall carpeting!”

    Her husband finally got clean and sober.

  108. Linn wrote:

    I checked out the comments on the Spinderella blog. RC2 sponsors keggers for staff in which alcohol is served to CHILDREN!! He mocks people who don’t drink like he does.

    Because if everyone drinks like he does, it then becomes NORMAL!
    “EVERYBODY’S DOING IT! SEE? SEE? SEE?”

    Sounds like Alcoholic Logic to me.

  109. H.A. wrote:

    RC Jr’s message has long been that heavy drinking is “manly” and if you want to be a real man (like him?) you’ll follow his example.

    It seems to me that secure and confident men (I don’t like the term ‘real’ men/women) should do as they wish/deem wise themselves, instead of acting like teenage boys trying to impress each other.

  110. Jack wrote:

    The guy may have suffered tragedy but we all do in some way, shape or form. There’s still no excuse to be an abuser of others.

    To say that this is the reason he abuses alcohol is obfuscating the real fact that not everyone who goes through tragedy becomes an alcoholic. For example, when my daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, I struggled and eventually went on a psychotropic drug for about 6-8 months that helped me considerable. I am no longer on that drug. I realized I was consumed with anxiety and I sought professional help. We have to be humble to accept help, especially if you think you should be a perfect Christian.

    I always encourage people who need help to see professionals.

  111. Leslie wrote:

    either lived in a town with toxic waste problems or went to a school that had toxic waste problems.

    Thank you. I am not sure one can blame leukemia on a toxic waster problem with surety. Cluster groups have been studied at length for things like brain tumors, etc. They used to believe that high power lines caused brain tumors. That has been debunked through the years. Many people also get leukemia as adults who did not live near toxic waste sites. Sometimes, we just have bad genes because we live in a world with disease and suffering.

  112. Max wrote:

    Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I will upset folks if I keep talking …

    It is perfectly fine for you to believe that. I, on the other hand, enjoy a glass of wine occasionally. In fact, I get very nauseated from using any sort of opioids. In my recent bout with serious pain from psoriatic arthritis, I found that 4 oz. of wine was effective in taking the edge of the pain so that I did not have to use any stronger pain medicines.

    When I had a knee replacement, they always prescribe opioids for the serious post op pain. Two days into it, I called my doctor and begged him to take me off the blood thinners so I could take non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Think ibuprofen). He said I was his first patient to do that and he complies since he knew we are medical people and could spot a problem with a clot.

    During that time, I would have a half glass of wine each evening which dulled the discomfort. It beat opioids for me. However, I also get nauseated if I drink more than 8 ounces of wine.

    The church that I attend believes in using wine for communion but it also offers grape juice for those who choose not to drink it.

    There is definitely a difference between an alcoholic and others who enjoy a beer or wine.

  113. Deborah Coan wrote:

    Mr. F- if you don’t agree with RC Sprouls theology that is your business and I’m not interested . Answer to God.

    Please understand that your comments could be thought to be a tad overbearing as well.

  114. Deborah wrote:

    Clearly you didn’t read my comment with any understanding of what I was saying. Please read and then perhaps you will be able to respond according to what I ACTUALLY said.

    Once again, you are a bit strong.

  115. dee wrote:

    I realized I was consumed with anxiety and I sought professional help.

    I’m glad they were able to help!

    Brene Brown said something about if you numb the pain, you are also numbing the good emotions, and that’s sort of in the back of my mind now when I think about things like alcohol and other distracting and numbing tools.

  116. “instead of acting like teenage boys trying to impress each other.”

    It is impressive and respectable when one man has the confidence to tell a group of men ((NO)) to drinking when he does not want to or talking vulgar with the boys.

  117. Velour wrote:

    According to the article that Dee quoted, Sproul 2 won’t be going to jail. The best place for him to go for his ‘probation’ is an in-patient treatment facility for alcoholism (and whatever else his problems are that his intake uncovers).

    Much as I hate to say it. This is probably the best option for all involved. Doesn't increase my warm and fuzzies for the guy but if it makes him more tolerable and safer to his family then go for it. As long as he stays de-frocked and out of his victims' lives.

    Unfortunately, I think he's a psychopath. Tolerable and safe is probably the best you can hope for.

  118. For Sproul Jr. to only get probation and no prison term must have been the result of having a good lawyer. I am sure that Sproul Sr. paid for that. If so, a shame he did. Prison might have done Sproul some good. If nothing else get a dose of reality.

  119. Velour wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:
    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.

    Velour, you are assuming Barbara is saying that based on his alcoholism. Perhaps she is basing it on much more than that. (BTW, I agree with her.)

  120. Steve240 wrote:

    For Sproul Jr. to only get probation and no prison term must have been the result of having a good lawyer.

    Our justice system and plea deals and the pitfalls of that could be a whole topic. I've been listening to true crime lately and there is SO much 'this person probably murdered their wife but they plead down so they only got a year' and 'this person wasn't charged for rape about 5 times for lack of evidence and then oops, they turned out to be a serial killer and none of that was on file' stuff. It's disturbing.

  121. @ Steve240

    My uncle was a drunk driver. He totaled many of my grandparent’s vehicles.
    Caused the police to go on chases all over our parish, physically attacked police officers, lied to and about police officers. He never went to jail longer than three days because he was a Southern Baptist preacher’s son. I concluded RC got off because he is a preacher’s son.

  122. PaJo wrote:

    Sr. can’t make Jr. stop drinking.
    Sr. CAN keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit.
    Sr. can’t stop Jr. from spending his money on alcohol.
    Sr. CAN cut off the paychecks.

    re: Sr. can keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit: This is not true. RC2 started his own brand of churches after he was defrocked by his father’s group.

  123. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Barbara Roberts wrote:
    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.
    Velour, you are assuming Barbara is saying that based on his alcoholism. Perhaps she is basing it on much more than that. (BTW, I agree with her.)

    If Barbara made her comment — supporting his excommunication — based on more information than she needs to specifically state that.

    But to just say that someone with a drinking/substance abuse problem in the church should be publicly humiliated is NOT how substance abuse is supposed to be handled or treated.

    What are you agreeing with Barbara about…that all people with serious problems that require medical intervention and treatment should be publicly humiliated in a some kind of Salem Witch Trials II hearing? Not impressed.

  124. It is very sad that money, power and prestige can buy one out of justice. A sort of similar tale in our county. Just last week our District Attorney got brought up on 13 felony counts. He pleaded no contest to one and the rest were dismissed. He got a $350 fine and 250 hours of community service. No prison time. He did get booted out of office and will most ptobably lose his law license .

  125. Leslie wrote:

    It is very sad that money, power and prestige can buy one out of justice. A sort of similar tale in our county. Just last week our District Attorney got brought up on 13 felony counts. He pleaded no contest to one and the rest were dismissed. He got a $350 fine and 250 hours of community service. No prison time. He did get booted out of office and will most ptobably lose his law license .

    Contra Costa County? (California)
    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/State-AG-files-13-felony-counts-against-Contra-11220366.php

  126. dee wrote:

    There is definitely a difference between an alcoholic and others who enjoy a beer or wine.

    I understand. Since y’all are medical people, is alcoholism a disease?

  127. Julie Anne wrote:

    re: Sr. can keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit: This is not true. RC2 started his own brand of churches after he was defrocked by his father’s group.

    A “brand of churches” implies plural churches like a denomination. RC Jr never did start “his own brand of churches after he was defrocked by his father’s group.” So wrong on both counts.

    1. He was defrocked by the RPCGA, a denomination his father never had anything to do with. 2. After he was defrocked he stayed as head pastor of St. Peter Presbyterian Church but changed his and his church’s affiliation to Doug Wilson’s CREC. After burning his bridges there he left and joined the CPC, another denom he had nothing to do with starting. After he left St. Peter Presbyterian in 2010 to move to Orlando and join Ligonier Ministries he also part-time preached at a couple of tiny churches started by others, the first of which he was shown the door for stealing church moneys, and the second of which was started by a personal friend of his. 3. His father most definitely “CAN keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit.” Without Sr’s support Jr would have had no choice but to seek another vocation in 2006 after his defrocking. Sr is 100% responsible for keeping him in the pulpit, both via Ligonier conferences and through his personal influence. It’s all about the name “Sproul” and his father’s personal influence over other ministers. They all knew that by inviting Jr into their pulpits in their churches and at their conferences it would buy them favor with the old man. Sr didn’t dissuade them he encouraged it. Sproul Sr is his son’s enabler.

  128. Max wrote:

    Since y’all are medical people, is alcoholism a disease?

    The surgeons would tell you pregnancy is a disease 🙂

    My DSMIV refers to substance related disorders, general alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, etc. (don’t have the V in front of me).

  129. @ Velour:

    In all fairness, that is not what Barbara said. She said specifically this person and she specified because of his prominence.

    I would tend to agree with her about this person, assuming that he has, as some have claimed, publicly and speaking from some position of religious prominence defended his actions. That is a whole different level of bad behavior. This man, if all that is being said is true, is guilty of causing scandal-that is lots worse than just being some pitiful old drunk.

  130. Lea wrote:

    The surgeons would tell you pregnancy is a disease

    My son-in-law says that my love for fried chicken livers is a “sickness.”

  131. Julie Anne wrote:

    started his own brand of churches after he was defrocked by his father’s group.

    Ugh. I had forgotten that. Then it is up to the people who see this going on to stop it. One way or another.

    I don’t have a lot of hope that this will happen, however. There are some people who can con their way into whatever position they want, even in a denomination that has a “superstructure.” 30 years ago, a minister in my then-denomination, one with a national/regional/local superstructure, had an affair with a counslee, and embezzled some money. He was fired from the local/regional, and the local/regional bore the lawsuit and payout of the woman. They guy went to another church in the same denomination and “auditioned” or whatever you call it for the head preacher job. Our church told that church’s search committee *everything* that had gone on….and they still hired the guy. Unbelievable. And guess what… Yeah. NOW he is a chaplain and accountant for a senior care facility. I think.

    With all of that information available, and with all that superstructure that is supposed to protect people (and it would have had the people listened), he still gets hired.

    It’s bewildering.

  132. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:
    In all fairness, that is not what Barbara said. She said specifically this person and she specified because of his prominence.
    I would tend to agree with her about this person, assuming that he has, as some have claimed, publicly and speaking from some position of religious prominence defended his actions. That is a whole different level of bad behavior. This man, if all that is being said is true, is guilty of causing scandal-that is lots worse than just being some pitiful old drunk.

    Okrapod,

    Please include what quote you are talking about.

    Barbara is not a medical doctor with training in alcoholism and substance abuse. To the best of my knowledge she does not have training in the subject of alcoholism. I addressed the comment she did make because that is NOT how alcoholism/substance abuse is supposed to be treated.

    Should alcoholics and drug addicts be enabled? No. They should face the consequences of their actions, including job loss.

    But to publicly humiliate people instead of directing them to in-patient substance treatment is wrong. And what about all of the other people in the pews who watch that go down…who have problems? They will learn not to talk about problems and not to seek help for problems, because it’s obviously not a safe place and they could be publicly humiliated next.

    You have no clue what is beneath someone’s drinking problem, nor does Barbara. I have friends who are recovering alcoholics who have been diagnosed as being bi-polar. They were medicating mental illness with alcohol.

  133. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    RC Sproul has a very twisted view of the Trinity and the Crucifixion. Is it possible that his son is reacting to the terrible theology he was taught? We don’t know. But we do know what RC Sproul teaches, and it is very damaging.

    Yes, indeed; RC Sproul Snr (and his buddy MacArthur) is one of the most dangerous false teachers around, spewing forth a false gospel; and wasn’t he the one who had advocated that “Christians (his version of it) should watch filthy movies and so on? He is damaging indeed, and the fruits are showing. All. Too. Clearly.

  134. This story cuts too close to home. I know people, who are close to me, involved with St. Peter’s I love and miss dearly. I wish I could get them out of it, as I can’t even visit I am so appalled by it. They spent a lot of time helping RC Jr. when his wife was dying.

  135. Velour wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:

    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.

    (P.S. I was excommunicated from my NeoCalvinist church on a trumped up charge, like the godly doctor in his 70’s before me, and a godly middle-aged woman in finance before him.)

    Velour, so sorry to hear you were unjustly excommunicated. I think that experience may be clouding your reading here.

    Barbara wasn’t saying that RC Jr should be thrown out of the church because he’s an alcoholic (although some might argue driving drunk with your kids in the car might qualify). She said, “he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all.” In my view and experience with RC Jr she’s absolutely correct. Please explain to us how her logic is flawed. How can an unregenerate unrepentant un-remorseful drunkard be allowed to pass himself off as a member in good standing of any Bible believing church? RC Jr is all about “covenant theology.” What does it say of the covenant when all that is necessary to be a covenant member is you’ve been baptized as an infant but you can go on sinning like the devil with no remorse for your wickedness?

    Would it help your perspective any to know that RC Jr has unjustly excommunicated entire families, and we’re not just talking a few, including small children, for the alleged “sins” of their parents? In most cases those “sins” were nothing more than they wanted to leave his church for another church. He calls it “contumacy” and “breaking your covenant vows.” You could join St. Peter Presbyterian easily but just try leaving without his permission, and getting permission was impossible unless you had a good reason to be moving far away. Joining another church across town was never a good enough reason.

  136. Once again Velour’s advice is pragmatic and sound. It is always a pleasure to read her advice on legal/medical/mental matters, as her experience clearly shows.
    Good on you, Velour, dear sis.

  137. @ Velour:

    This comment is where you brought forward Barbara’s comment about the question at issue.

    “R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.”

    I am commenting on the same statement you commented on. I just happen to see the religious and public aspects of this differently from how you see it.

  138. H.A. wrote:

    Barbara wasn’t saying that RC Jr should be thrown out of the church because he’s an alcoholic (although some might argue driving drunk with your kids in the car might qualify). She said, “he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all.” In my view and experience with RC Jr she’s absolutely correct. Please explain to us how her logic is flawed. How can an unregenerate unrepentant un-remorseful drunkard be allowed to pass himself off as a member in good standing of any Bible believing church? RC Jr is all about “covenant theology.” What does it say of the covenant when all that is necessary to be a covenant member is you’ve been baptized as an infant but you can go on sinning like the devil with no remorse for your wickedness?
    Would it help your perspective any to know that RC Jr has unjustly excommunicated entire families, and we’re not just talking a few, including small children, for the alleged “sins” of their parents? In most cases those “sins” were nothing more than they wanted to leave his church for another church. He calls it “contumacy” and “breaking your covenant vows.” You could join St. Peter Presbyterian easily but just try leaving without his permission, and getting permission was impossible unless you had a good reason to be moving far away. Joining another church across town was never a good enough reason.

    Thanks H.A. for sharing your further insights about R.C. Sproul 2. He sounds arrogant and terrible. He sounds like he has inflicted terrible damage on many peoples’ lives, and for that I am sorry.

    I do not support enabling R.C. Sproul 2, including in keeping his job.

    My concern about Barbara’s comment is that at no time did she mention in-patient medical treatment for R.C. Sproul 2’s drinking (and whatever other problems that he has) and an intervention by family and friends with a trained professional. She just trotted out a few scripture verses as though that will take care of everything. It won’t. He has children and a wife. He needs to be in treatment and his family needs to be in special support groups for dealing with an alcoholic relative and learn how to take care of themselves.

    I would say the same about someone who didn’t go to church.

  139. H.A. wrote:

    Would it help your perspective any to know that RC Jr has unjustly excommunicated entire families, and we’re not just talking a few, including small children, for the alleged “sins” of their parents?

    Disgusting!

    okrapod wrote:

    I just happen to see the religious and public aspects of this differently from how you see it.

    I think it’s a huge problem that he is still in ministry. It’s not just the alcohol abuse. IT’s all the things! I don’t know what Barbara meant specifically, but I find it hard to think well of him at all, considering what I’ve read. I also am of the opinion that alcohol does not change who a personal fundamentally is. (aside from neurological difficulties that may come after an extended time period). Alcohol is generally an excuse.

  140. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:
    This comment is where you brought forward Barbara’s comment about the question at issue.
    “R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.”
    I am commenting on the same statement you commented on. I just happen to see the religious and public aspects of this differently from how you see it.

    Thanks, Okrapod, for posting the quote you were referring to.

    I happen to see the public health aspects of alcoholism and drug addiction differently than you and Barbara (and Julie Anne) see them.

  141. Velour wrote:

    at no time did she mention in-patient medical treatment for R.C. Sproul 2’s drinking

    We don’t know enough about Sproul to know if he needs inpatient or outpatient medical treatment, but neither is likely to work if he isn’t actually interested in quitting.

    I am all for using these tools but they are not a panacea. They will not change who the man fundamentally is.

  142. @ Lea:
    Come to think of it, I’d be pretty surprised if this plea deal/arrest didn’t come with some sort of treatment required/AA. In fact, that’s one reason AA has been controversial, because people are sent for mandatory treatment by the courts who don’t actual want to quit. So he may have already been to treatment.

    Does anyone know?

  143. Lea wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    at no time did she mention in-patient medical treatment for R.C. Sproul 2’s drinking
    We don’t know enough about Sproul to know if he needs inpatient or outpatient medical treatment, but neither is likely to work if he isn’t actually interested in quitting.
    I am all for using these tools but they are not a panacea. They will not change who the man fundamentally is.

    Most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment programs for 30 days to 90 days. Of course people have to ‘want’ sobriety for it to work. But getting someone into treatment is the first step of many to helping them.

    Having their family members go to programs like Al-Anon helps as well, as they learn not to enable the alcoholic and to take care of themselves.

    Perhaps you have very little experience with people (men and women) who have gotten clean and sober. There are many lovely ones and I count several as close friends. They are not consigned to their pasts.

  144. Velour wrote:

    You could join St. Peter Presbyterian easily but just try leaving without his permission, and getting permission was impossible unless you had a good reason to be moving far away. Joining another church across town was never a good enough reason.

    Isn’t there some kind of authoritative oversight in the Presbyterian denomination? One that would intervene when a pastor went this rogue? Jr. sounds like he’s running a cult, not a Presbyterian Church.

  145. Velour wrote:

    Most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment programs for 30 days to 90 days.

    I really doubt most alcoholics CAN go to inpatient treatment for 30 let alone 90 days. Would love to see some stats on that.

    Outpatient treatment is not a bad thing.

    Velour wrote:

    Perhaps you have very little experience with people (men and women) who have gotten clean and sober.

    You assume a lot and you would be wrong. Okrapod is a doctor and I work in mental health. I think you are misunderstanding me.

  146. okrapod wrote:

    One of the grandparents of my generation has relatively early dementia-the same thing that killed his mother and the same disease that has now stricken him. This is a disease, not a moral failure. He has to be protected from injuring himself or others-regardless of the fact that it is a sickness and not a crime. Nobody blames him, but nobody fails to monitor his behavior either.

    The difference, of course, is that the dementia patient can’t help it. My mother would ask me the same question over and over. And I answered it over and over. She couldn’t help it that she forgot so quickly. The problem drinker, on the other hand, CAN help it. Picking up the bottle is a CHOICE, and thus a moral failure and sometimes a crime (when they get behind the wheel drunk).

  147. Velour wrote:

    My concern about Barbara’s comment is that at no time did she mention in-patient medical treatment for R.C. Sproul 2’s drinking (and whatever other problems that he has) and an intervention by family and friends with a trained professional. She just trotted out a few scripture verses as though that will take care of everything. It won’t. He has children and a wife. He needs to be in treatment and his family needs to be in special support groups for dealing with an alcoholic relative and learn how to take care of themselves.

    I would say the same about someone who didn’t go to church.

    Then I agree with both of you. With Barbara because he does need to be put out of the church as a “minister” (and that needs to be permanent) and as a member (although that could potentially be temporary). But I wouldn’t support putting him out of the church the way he’s put others out. RC Jr has routinely practiced excomminicating and shunning. He’s ordered his parishioners to shun entire families and he’s destroyed the faith of many people as a result of his vindictiveness, including small children. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t shun entire families for the alleged “sins” of one family member. RC Jr does. He can be put out of the church for disciplinary reasons without shunning him. So I agree with Barbara, but not just because RC Jr is an alcoholic but for much much more than that. It is what the Bible calls for.

    But I also fully agree with you. RC Jr needs professional help and I’ve already said so on the Spinderella blog. But you should know as well as anyone that you can’t get anywhere with an alcoholic by forcing him. He’s got to want it for himself. More importantly he’s got to want it because he loves his family. I don’t think he knows what it is to love someone other than himself, and he doesn’t do a good job of even that.

    Someone earlier said RC Sproul Jr a psychopath. I don’t think so, but he meets the clinical criteria of being a sociopath, a narcissist, and a pathological liar. You probably know as well as anyone they don’t make good candidates for alcohol rehab, but family systems that enable an alcoholic make it all but impossible. With RC Jr I just don’t ever see him getting professional help, let alone sobering up for good. That being said I think the far more important issue is figuring out some ways of keeping the public safe from him.

  148. Lea wrote:

    Okrapod is a doctor

    That is not the point. I am not the one who is talking about diagnosis or treatment variables. I am not the one who is saying how people should get people into treatment programs. I have said nothing medical at all in any way.

    I have been talking about how the church should react in the face of this sort of egregious behavior. The church. Not the family, not the legal system, not the medical people-the church.

  149. @ Julie Anne:
    By their fruits…. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Look at the fruit. It’s very revealing.

  150. Lea wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment programs for 30 days to 90 days.
    I really doubt most alcoholics CAN go to inpatient treatment for 30 let alone 90 days. Would love to see some stats on that.
    Outpatient treatment is not a bad thing.
    Velour wrote:
    Perhaps you have very little experience with people (men and women) who have gotten clean and sober.
    You assume a lot and you would be wrong. Okrapod is a doctor and I work in mental health. I think you are misunderstanding me.

    OK, where I live most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment. But yes, out-patient treatment would also work.

    Okrapod, I thought, worked in radiology or something along those lines. I don’t think Okrapod specialized in treatment of alcoholics and substance abusers. (I figured that if you had a DSM book that you were in mental health in some capacity, and I’ve read your other comments on other threads.)

    My specific concern about Barbara’s comment, and others like it, is that’s NOT how substance abusers are supposed to be handled, or for that matter their families. Yes, job loss should happen for Sproul 2, but with the church directing him and supporting him into treatment.

    If RC Sproul 2 eventually gets clean and sober and makes amends, with the help of a recovery sponsor who mentors him, I am sure that he will have a lot of wreckage to clean up at his former churches.

  151. Boston Lady wrote:

    Yes, indeed; RC Sproul Snr (and his buddy MacArthur) is one of the most dangerous false teachers around, spewing forth a false gospel; and wasn’t he the one who had advocated that “Christians (his version of it) should watch filthy movies and so on?

    More setting up for “But Everybody’s Doing It!”?

  152. Leslie wrote:

    It is very sad that money, power and prestige can buy one out of justice. A sort of similar tale in our county. Just last week our District Attorney got brought up on 13 felony counts. He pleaded no contest to one and the rest were dismissed. He got a $350 fine and 250 hours of community service. No prison time. He did get booted out of office and will most ptobably lose his law license .

    Rank Hath Its Privileges.
    And One Hand Washes the Other.

  153. Christiane wrote:

    Isn’t there some kind of authoritative oversight in the Presbyterian denomination? One that would intervene when a pastor went this rogue? Jr. sounds like he’s running a cult, not a Presbyterian Church.

    The accusation about St. Peter Presbyterian Church being a cult and RC Sproul Jr being a cult leader was widely assumed for years in Bristol, Virginia especially among pastors in the area. They generally avoided RC Jr like the plague. Here’s just one example of his cult-like practices.

    As for Presbyterian oversight his denomination defrocked him in 2006. So I’d say that part worked. Unfortunately his daddy stepping in and called the charges “fraudulent” and put Jr right back in the pulpit via Ligonier conferences. RC Jr also refused to leave. He just had his church take a vote and put him right back in as their pastor, which is all the proof you need to know his “church” was actually a cult.

  154. H.A. wrote:

    Then I agree with both of you.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment to me. I agree with what you wrote about Sproul 2 and how the different problems should be handled.

  155. okrapod wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Okrapod is a doctor
    That is not the point. I am not the one who is talking about diagnosis or treatment variables. I am not the one who is saying how people should get people into treatment programs. I have said nothing medical at all in any way.
    I have been talking about how the church should react in the face of this sort of egregious behavior. The church. Not the family, not the legal system, not the medical people-the church.

    The church frequently blows it on things like this, without proper training and guidance.
    The proper course of action is to not enable someone and to get them into a treatment program.

    By the way, you have posted before what area of medicine you worked in. Wasn’t it radiology or something like that?

  156. @ H.A.:
    I would be interested in writing a post about. the accusations surrounding JR and his church. Since you have a background in this, would you be willing to assist me? Send me an email.

  157. StillWiggling wrote:

    The problem drinker, on the other hand, CAN help it. Picking up the bottle is a CHOICE, and thus a moral failure and sometimes a crime (when they get behind the wheel drunk).

    I agree with this. My mother’s brother died of alcoholism. He fell drunk on the floor in his home. His family had left him and he died of runaway of pneumonia. My mother said “He couldn’t help it. He had a disease.” I said to her “When Abby was diagnosed with her brain tumor, what I wouldn’t have given for such a disease. Instead of surgeries and treatments, all she would have to do is avoid bending her elbow to bring alcohol to her lips and she would be cured.”

  158. Lea wrote:

    I’d be pretty surprised if this plea deal/arrest didn’t come with some sort of treatment required/AA. I

    Usually that requirement is listed in the sentencing.

  159. Velour wrote:

    What are you agreeing with Barbara about…that all people with serious problems that require medical intervention and treatment should be publicly humiliated in a some kind of Salem Witch Trials II hearing? Not impressed.

    I agree that he should be put out based on his ongoing chronic abuse behaviors, some behaviors that have not been mentioned here (including his abuse of alcohol which has put kids in harm’s way).

  160. Max wrote:

    is alcoholism a disease?

    I look at it as a psychiatric disorder which becomes an addiction that causes a number of physiological diseases. Once it has reached the stage of addiction, then it is a medical concern since detox can lead to seizures, etc. I believe some people are born with a tendency towards addictive behavior and that is why I believe in psychiatric counseling for these tendencies.

    However, it is not the same as a disease which is not brought on by the choice of behavior. In other words, my daughters brain tumor was a disease that was not caused by her behavior or the behavior of those around her. So in that respect, one has a choice component. The other does not.

  161. Velour wrote:

    OK, where I live most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment.

    30-90 day inpatient treatment is cost prohibitive for a lot of people, even if they wanted to go. 

    Velour wrote:

    My specific concern about Barbara’s comment, and others like it, is that’s NOT how substance abusers are supposed to be handled

    I don't think barbara was making a medical argument, though. I would be very surprised if he hadn't at least been required to go to a few meetings.

  162. H.A. wrote:

    A “brand of churches” implies plural churches like a denomination. RC Jr never did start “his own brand of churches after he was defrocked by his father’s group.” So wrong on both counts.

    Yes, you are correct – I meant his own as in a new group unaffiliated with his father’s. Thanks!

  163. Lea wrote:

    Brene Brown said something about if you numb the pain, you are also numbing the good emotions,

    Part of the problem is that anxiety which found its start in a serious situation, like my daughters brain tumor, leads to the body getting used to being anxious. After awhile, even when things settle down, one can still feel the same sort of anxiety. Some medications break the cycle the body is running on-producing anxiety. That allows time for the body to get used to being *not anxious* or experiencing regular anxiety like being late for an appointment. I needed that sort of help.

  164. dee wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I’d be pretty surprised if this plea deal/arrest didn’t come with some sort of treatment required/AA. I
    Usually that requirement is listed in the sentencing.

    Then the plea deal is even worse than listed. He’s not going to jail or treatment? What is that about?

  165. dee wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Brene Brown said something about if you numb the pain, you are also numbing the good emotions,
    Part of the problem is that anxiety which found its start in a serious situation, like my daughters brain tumor, leads to the body getting used to being anxious. After awhile, even when things settle down, one can still feel the same sort of anxiety. Some medications break the cycle the body is running on-producing anxiety. That allows time for the body to get used to being *not anxious* or experiencing regular anxiety like being late for an appointment. I needed that sort of help.

    Thank you for the explanation!

    Even though they were on the same comment, i didn’t mean to apply that brown comment to your situation, but generally to the use of alcohol to dull pain. That was maybe confusing.

  166. Velour wrote:

    The church frequently blows it on things like this, without proper training and guidance.
    The proper course of action is to not enable someone and to get them into a treatment program.
    By the way, you have posted before what area of medicine you worked in. Wasn’t it radiology or something like that?

    Two very separate issues here. First I do not agree that it is the church’s responsibility to have any medical opinions about people, or try to channel them into any treatment options, or to espouse any particular medical opinions as the official opinions or procedures of the church. I believe that the church, as church, needs to stay out of it. You and I differ on this, and I see no agreement between us on the issue of what is the rightful place of the church in such matters.

    You asked why my specialty was. After internship I started a residency in psychiatry but I did not finish the residence. Then for a while I was admitting staff physician in charge of adult female admissions at a large psychiatric hospital. I then got entirely away from that direction and went into radiology. Radiology was the only thing I was board certified in. After a total of 35 years I got entirely out of ‘clinical’ and went into what the licensure people call ‘administrative’ which is a wastebasket term for non-clinical and did that for 15 years. The job description was ‘medical officer, non-clinical’ for the VA in which I reviewed medical records and tried to explain medical things to people who had no medical training, including but not limited to the lawyers on the BVA (Board of Veterans Appeals). The federal government actually paid me to be an explainer. That was a waste of time.

    And FWIW as an RN I did mostly OB except for one year in public health with my little black bag in the slums of my home town.

    To my knowledge I have never expressed a medical opinion here; other opinions you bet, but never ‘as a medical professional I think…’. It would be unethical for me to do so. I have not crossed that line to my knowledge. Bear in mind the differences between (a) information, (b) personal opinion and (c) medical opinion. Vastly different things.

    So, my personal opinion is that churches need to stay out of medicine and medicine needs to stay out of religion and pew people as well as leadership need to try very hard to quit trying to tell each other what to do in the areas of medicine and certain other areas which we are not discussing here right now. In keeping with that opinion I do not feel that it is my responsibility to try to make anybody agree with me on this issue, nor my responsibility to agree with anybody else not even agree with the majority opinion should there be such a thing.

  167. Velour wrote:

    I happen to see the public health aspects of alcoholism and drug addiction differently than you and Barbara (and Julie Anne) see them.

    How do you see it different from me? I don’t think I’ve revealed much of anything on my views for you to make such a statement.

  168. Christiane wrote:

    Isn’t there some kind of authoritative oversight in the Presbyterian denomination? One that would intervene when a pastor went this rogue? Jr. sounds like he’s running a cult, not a Presbyterian Church.

    Yes, there sure is. It doesn’t always work when you are in the Boy’s Club or RC1’s son. Reports I have read from many who attended St. Peter indicated that it was run like a cult. When there are cover-ups to protect the leader, whole families shunned because they don’t like the church, those are certainly red flags.

  169. linda wrote:

    The SBC passed a resolution this summer affirming penal substitutionary atonement as “the” correct theology, or so I am told.
    Many in the SBC hold to substitutionary atonement but not PENAL substitutionary atonement. They are quite different. And som

    I have put your question into a draft and will get back to you, probably as a post. I have been meaning to write about it anyway. Thank you.

  170. okrapod wrote:

    First I do not agree that it is the church’s responsibility to have any medical opinions about people, or try to channel them into any treatment options, or to espouse any particular medical opinions as the official opinions or procedures of the church. I believe that the church, as church, needs to stay out of it. You and I differ on this, and I see no agreement between us on the issue of what is the rightful place of the church in such matters.

    I see getting someone into treatment for a major addiction as the responsible thing for a church/employer to do as well as a Christian act of mercy. Both for the substance abuser
    and for their family who need help dealing with an alcoholic.

    Churches frequently blow it on all of the ‘big issues’ — mental health, domestic violence, divorce, and sexual abuse — because they remain unteachable and think they have all of the answers. And they don’t. It would be nice if church leaders humbled themselves and got advice from professionals who know how to handle these situations.

  171. Guest wrote:

    @ Steve240

    My uncle was a drunk driver. He totaled many of my grandparent’s vehicles.
    Caused the police to go on chases all over our parish, physically attacked police officers, lied to and about police officers. He never went to jail longer than three days because he was a Southern Baptist preacher’s son. I concluded RC got off because he is a preacher’s son.

    Parish? You live in Louisiana, amirite? 😉

  172. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I happen to see the public health aspects of alcoholism and drug addiction differently than you and Barbara (and Julie Anne) see them.
    How do you see it different from me? I don’t think I’ve revealed much of anything on my views for you to make such a statement.

    Hi Julie Anne,

    You responded to me that you think that Sproul 2: “should be put out based on his ongoing chronic abuse behaviors, some behaviors that have not been mentioned here (including his abuse of alcohol which has put kids in harm’s way).”

    You’ve posted several comments about this and never mentioned that Sproul 2’s church should get him into treatment for alcoholism (and whatever else ails him). Why not?

    How does it help children to have an alcoholic parent ‘put out’ of a church and not gotten into treatment for alcoholics?

  173. @ Velour:

    You have a good heart. You seem to think more highly of church than I do in these matters, however, because I think that getting church to perform up to speed in these areas is a hopeless quest. Yes it would be nice, but I just don’t see it happening. In this issue I hope that your apparent hope is justified.

  174. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:
    You have a good heart. You seem to think more highly of church than I do in these matters, however, because I think that getting church to perform up to speed in these areas is a hopeless quest. Yes it would be nice, but I just don’t see it happening. In this issue I hope that your apparent hope is justified.

    Thanks, Okrapod.

    I just see it as our obligation as Christians to do these things: get help and services for people, point them in the right direction. The idea of just kicking someone to the curb and not getting them help (and help for their family) is not the ‘Christian’ thing to do, in my opinion.

  175. Velour wrote:

    You’ve posted several comments about this and never mentioned that Sproul 2’s church should get him into treatment for alcoholism (and whatever else ails him). Why not?

    I thought I had addressed this issue, but apparently the post didn’t enter. Of course he needs treatment, but there are far more people harmed by his chronic abuse behavior from his position behind the pulpit as pastor. To me, the urgency should be to get him out of ministry leadership entirely.

    But as others have said, if he doesn’t go into treatment voluntarily and want to get help, it will do no good. He has shown no signs of full repentance and a changed life, so that’s why treatment is not as important to me right now – it won’t work.

    But please don’t assume that I am not for treatment. I absolutely am. I’m just looking at his outward responses to not only his alcoholism, but his Ashley Madison scandal, and don’t see it as a possibility for him right now. You may recall that he wrote a post about the Ashley Madison scandal, knowing he had an account, and later had to confess after he was outed. The guy is not “repentant” until he is caught. This guy is not pastoral material, period.

    The ideal situation IMHO is to get him out of ministry entirely and get help for his family so they understand alcoholism.

  176. Julie Anne wrote:

    The ideal situation IMHO is to get him out of ministry entirely and get help for his family so they understand alcoholism.

    Agreed, Julie Anne.

  177. Velour wrote:

    Most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment programs for 30 days to 90 days. Of course people have to ‘want’ sobriety for it to work. But getting someone into treatment is the first step of many to helping them.

    This often does not happen because money is not available. The state does not usually come up with the funds for treatment.

  178. Boston Lady wrote:

    Yes, indeed; RC Sproul Snr (and his buddy MacArthur) is one of the most dangerous false teachers around, spewing forth a false gospel;

    Max often reminds us that most Baptist churchgoers don’t pay much attention to theology. I think it’s the same for followers of RC Sproul as well (and John MacArthur). Now that I’ve been spending more time reading what they write, I am shocked that they have any platform at all. People need to wake up.

  179. Bridget wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment programs for 30 days to 90 days. Of course people have to ‘want’ sobriety for it to work. But getting someone into treatment is the first step of many to helping them.
    This often does not happen because money is not available. The state does not usually come up with the funds for treatment.

    Thanks, Bridget.

    I qualified my response to Lea, in case you missed it, that most of the alcoholics in my area go to in-patient treatment. But then we have more disposable income.

  180. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    You could join St. Peter Presbyterian easily but just try leaving without his permission, and getting permission was impossible unless you had a good reason to be moving far away. Joining another church across town was never a good enough reason.
    Isn’t there some kind of authoritative oversight in the Presbyterian denomination? One that would intervene when a pastor went this rogue? Jr. sounds like he’s running a cult, not a Presbyterian Church.

    Yes! Yes! Exactly.

    That is exactly what RC Jr. and like-minded men are running, and many are running their cults under the protective coloration of a mainline denomination, such as the PCA or the SBC.

    We came out of one of those churches. My heart goes out to the commenter who mentioned loved ones still caught in the clutches of St. Peter’s. We have friends who still go to our former church who are blind and brainwashed.

    We could not see how brainwashed we had been until we had gained some distance, time, and perspective. Now I can look back and say, “How in the world did we not see how destructive their theology and community was?”

    However it might have happened, we did not see it until we were out.

  181. Deborah wrote:

    Mr F I am not interested in reading the article and getting into a debate on his theology and no I do not believe that sin in RC2 life is caused by his fathers theology.

    No need to debate. You stated you have been a ligonier for years, so I assume that means you agree with Sproul when he stated a few years ago that Jesus was the ultimate obscenity. The type of fatalistic Calvinism taught by Sproul certainly had an impact on Sproul Jr. Is Sproul Jr’s behavior the fruit of being so close to that teaching? Or perhaps it is a reaction against that teaching. It is surely a complex issue with no single cause.

  182. mot wrote:

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering what it means for people like me who are members of SBC churches that are not (yet) Calvinistic.

  183. refugee wrote:

    We could not see how brainwashed we had been until we had gained some distance, time, and perspective. Now I can look back and say, “How in the world did we not see how destructive their theology and community was?”
    However it might have happened, we did not see it until we were out.

    I’m glad you got out. I am so relieved to be out of my ex-NeoCalvinist church/cult too.

    Here is psychologist/author/cult expert/Thought Reform expert Steve Hassan explaining
    the process that you just described: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pvpd6wCeM4

  184. Velour wrote:

    My specific concern about Barbara’s comment, and others like it, is that’s NOT how substance abusers are supposed to be handled, or for that matter their families. Yes, job loss should happen for Sproul 2, but with the church directing him and supporting him into treatment.

    Just think of him as the Mark Driscoll of his particular church/whatever denomination he may be claiming these days.

    Even if his church wanted to help him get clean and sober and go into treatment, he very likely has the people under him (the ones who stay) brainwashed enough that they believe that a) he can do no wrong, and b) if he is said to have done something wrong, it is actually persecution and not that he has done anything wrong, because… (see point “a”).

    The elders at our former church were quite enamored of RC Sr, RC Jr, and their teachings.

  185. That was the purpose of our Parents Concerned ministry. We were basically a para church ministry. Churches through the valley recommended us to parents of teens in trouble with drugs and alcohol. Over the years we formed connections with hospitals, rehabs, special schools. The churches we worked with said they could not handle the work we did. They were grateful that they had a place for people to go. As our ministry grew we ended up handling adult issues also. Through the connections we had made a lot of lives were changed. Some of our members moved to other states and started groups. We ran our group from 1985-2002. We learned a lot during these years. Not everyone has a spiritual gift to deal with these issues. Our reliance on God increased 1000% during those years and we saw his blessings and mercies everyday. So many changed lives. Unfortunately four funerals.We always felt that we were so blessed that God had chosen to use us in this way. And it made us see that the pain we had experienced with our oldest son could be used for good.href=”#comment-329312″ title=”Go to comment of this author”>Velour:

  186. dee wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    The guy may have suffered tragedy but we all do in some way, shape or form. There’s still no excuse to be an abuser of others.

    To say that this is the reason he abuses alcohol is obfuscating the real fact that not everyone who goes through tragedy becomes an alcoholic. For example, when my daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, I struggled and eventually went on a psychotropic drug for about 6-8 months that helped me considerable. I am no longer on that drug. I realized I was consumed with anxiety and I sought professional help. We have to be humble to accept help, especially if you think you should be a perfect Christian.

    I always encourage people who need help to see professionals.

    Your situation reminds us that there are ‘excuses’ and there are ‘reasons’ and your real anxiety over your daughter’s illness was a REASON, not an excuse for medicating ….. you were right to get help and thank God you did.

    In my family, there was a sudden death and one of the parents reacted with extremely heavy drinking (binge) and ended up with delirium, shaking, and experiencing auditory hallucinations and feelings of being persecuted … a psychotic break. He was hospitalized, detoxed, and put into psychiatric care with good follow-up and today, he is not drinking and no longer has the severe symptoms. He is living under the supervision of other strong, caring family members who watch over him and he is slowly regaining his ability to function normally, as well as his dignity.

  187. Velour wrote:

    Yes, job loss should happen for Sproul 2, but with the church directing him and supporting him into treatment.

    A further thought, Velour. What if we were discussion a DUI as the culmination of years of heavy drinking on the part of your former pastor? Would your answer remain the same? Or would you see the situation differently?

    Believe me, I am all for treatment, and I am extremely frustrated that there seems to be no way to help someone who doesn’t want treatment, whether they deny they have a problem, or they admit that they have a problem but they don’t want treatment anyway.

  188. @ Velour:
    Thank you. I’m glad you got out of your situation, too, and have learned much from reading your comments and resources.

  189. dee wrote:

    it is not the same as a disease which is not brought on by the choice of behavior

    Agreed. If alcoholism is a “disease”, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle. Addictive behavior can certainly impact the mind and body, so that the medical community has to eventually treat the consequences of alcohol abuse. Addiction, rather than disease, is a better way to characterize alcoholism IMO.

    Years ago, I led a Bible study of workplace colleagues in which a young man confessed that he was struggling with excessive drinking because he was the son of an alcoholic. I advised him that with Jesus’ help he could choose not to walk that path. The group gathered around him to pray. After struggling with this for years, it was like a light bulb was turned on. From that day forward, he chose not to drink. That night, he was literally set free … 30 years later, I still communicate with him – he is not the alcoholic he feared he would become.

  190. refugee wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Yes, job loss should happen for Sproul 2, but with the church directing him and supporting him into treatment.
    A further thought, Velour. What if we were discussion a DUI as the culmination of years of heavy drinking on the part of your former pastor? Would your answer remain the same? Or would you see the situation differently?
    Believe me, I am all for treatment, and I am extremely frustrated that there seems to be no way to help someone who doesn’t want treatment, whether they deny they have a problem, or they admit that they have a problem but they don’t want treatment anyway.

    The legal issue with Sproul 2 is that he wasn’t diverted to the substance abuse court which dealt with misdemeanors and he was being charged with felonies. Whatever legal consequences the judge orders, including a combination of jail time and substance abuse treatment as a condition of probation, would be the best plan of action in dealing with him as a substance abuser.

    To answer your question, I would feel the same way if it were my ex-NeoCalvinist pastor who was caught doing the same thing Sproul 2 has done. Trying to save children from the hell of an actively alcoholic parent is a good thing. (Besides if it were my ex-pastor, and he was working with a sponsor in a 12-step program, my name would eventually make it to the 9th Step list of the people he had harmed and had to make amends to!)

  191. refugee wrote:

    Believe me, I am all for treatment, and I am extremely frustrated that there seems to be no way to help someone who doesn’t want treatment, whether they deny they have a problem, or they admit that they have a problem but they don’t want treatment anyway.

    I have heard that alcoholism which begins as a reaction to another issue, can become itself an issue as large and consuming as the original one.
    In short, what began as a ‘symptom’ or ‘presenting problem’ of some deeper problem takes over and then becomes a worse issue, a consuming vicious ‘solution’ to the original suffering. In cases like this, I can’t see abandoning the person but the WORST thing to do would be to ‘stand by them’ and ‘enable’ their alcoholism. THEN, the problem grows even larger.

    It’s too much for some families. Outside help IS best when family members are too emotionally close to the problem and can’t find their way alone.

  192. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering what it means for people like me who are members of SBC churches that are not (yet) Calvinistic.

    I’m in the same boat with you. I already am apostate in the SBC because I believe God gifts men and women in the sharing of God’s word. I wonder when I will be kicked out?

  193. Velour wrote:

    To answer your question, I would feel the same way if it were my ex-NeoCalvinist pastor who was caught doing the same thing Sproul 2 has done. Trying to save children from the hell of an actively alcoholic parent is a good thing. (Besides if it were my ex-pastor, and he was working with a sponsor in a 12-step program, my name would eventually make it to the 9th Step list of the people he had harmed and had to make amends to!)

    I guess I put my question badly, for I wasn’t asking if your feelings would change based on the identity of the person, but rather the nature of what that person lives and teaches and imposes on others. (Which, admittedly, was not a part of the original discussion.)

    If we were discussing instead your ex-pastor, I might imagine that those who surround him would be enabling him and calling it support, as an extension of the culture of the place where they seemed to see nothing wrong with unconditionally supporting their Megan’s list friend.

    My point was that RC Jr. appears to be / have been a controlling cult leader, which is similar to what your ex-pastor sounds like from what I remember reading.

    Again, I realize that was not the point of the original argument. I was just thinking out loud. I thought perhaps that JA and Barbara were referring to the entirety of RC Jr’s choices and damage inflicted from his lofty position as spiritual authority, even though from the context that wasn’t obvious. I kind of understood what they were saying because I came from a church that was very chummy with Sproul Jr and his teachings.

    I also see your point, that his family might be better off if he got treatment. Unfortunately, drunk or sober, he espouses patriarchy, even to the point of rumored wife-spanking.

  194. refugee wrote:

    My point was that RC Jr. appears to be / have been a controlling cult leader, which is similar to what your ex-pastor sounds like from what I remember reading….
    I also see your point, that his family might be better off if he got treatment. Unfortunately, drunk or sober, he espouses patriarchy, even to the point of rumored wife-spanking.

    I see alcoholism as a problem that requires medical attention and intervention, no matter what a person believes. I would say the same thing if the person was a diabetic and required insulin.

    Many times when people get clean and sober, and start assessing the ‘wreckage of their past’ with a sober sponsor in a recovery program, the recovering alcoholic matures and grows out of old habits and ideas. If he Sproul gets clean and sober he will probably ditch many ideas that he used to justify including patriarchy.

    That will certainly be my prayer for him, his family, former church members that he has harmed, and present church members that he is harming.

  195. We all pretty much know what the ideal scenarios are for alcoholics. Unfortunately, it is usually an entirely different story getting those scenarios to take place.

  196. Bridget wrote:

    We all pretty much know what the ideal scenarios are for alcoholics. Unfortunately, it is usually an entirely different story getting those scenarios to take place.

    No one knows where an alcoholic’s ‘bottom’ is and what finally makes that person raise the flag of surrender for help. But interventions and treatment does work. And it’s important to try.

    Thank you.

  197. Velour wrote:

    But interventions and treatment does work. And it’s important to try.

    Amen! In the 12-point plans that are out there, an alcoholic would do well to pick Jesus as his “higher power.” You would think a preacher would have that figured out. Unfortunately, even preachers succumb to the flesh by straying from being led by the Spirit … where flesh rules over Spirit. It is not predestined – it is chosen.

  198. Velour wrote:

    But interventions and treatment does work. And it’s important to try.

    It works some of the time. Not always. Often it is tried multiple times. No one has said we shouldn’t try.

  199. Bridget wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    But interventions and treatment does work. And it’s important to try.
    It works some of the time. Not always. Often it is tried multiple times. No one has said we shouldn’t try.

    Actually, yes, several people have never mentioned treatment. Barbra said that R.C. Sproul 2 should be kicked out of his church and that he wasn’t really a believer, etc.

  200. mot wrote:

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering if a 2018 resolution will be about “depravity” or the “elect”????

  201. mot wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Can you find out for us if this was a New Calvinist takeover thing?

    It appears so, based on this article: https://baptistnews.com/article/satisfaction-guaranteed-southern-baptists-refute-efforts-soften-atonement/#.WUxPq-mQzIU

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    A question:
    I think this is the belief of the Ligonier teacher R.C. Sproul:
    ” The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ.”

    Is this ALSO the teaching of the rest of the SBC concerning Who died on the Cross?

    I found that quote on this site:
    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/it-accurate-say-god-died-cross/

    Do the Ligonier people believe that a ‘person’ or a ‘nature’ died on the Cross? How can a ‘nature’ be crucified? I’m not sure what the Christology OR the Trinitarian doctrines are of the Ligonier group,
    but I thought most Christian people understood that Christ is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (God) and that a Person died on the Cross. So I am left with confusion.

    I do know that most Christian people do believe that Christ died for them out of love for them, not to ‘satisfy’ a wrathful entity who despises them. That is, if the words of sacred Scripture “For God so loved the world …” hold any solid meaning for them.

  202. Velour wrote:

    If he Sproul gets clean and sober he will probably ditch many ideas that he used to justify including patriarchy.

    I’m not sure about that. I know plenty of cold sober people who embrace patriarchy.

    However, I do appreciate your emphasis on treatment. It is difficult to watch someone you care about who seems bent on a path of self-destruction, and be helpless to do anything but pray.

  203. refugee wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    If he Sproul gets clean and sober he will probably ditch many ideas that he used to justify including patriarchy.
    I’m not sure about that. I know plenty of cold sober people who embrace patriarchy.
    However, I do appreciate your emphasis on treatment. It is difficult to watch someone you care about who seems bent on a path of self-destruction, and be helpless to do anything but pray.

    Are you speaking of recovered alcoholics that you know that support patriarchy?
    Or just the general run of the mill people who support patriarchy (because it’s what they are used to being taught)?

    The recovering alcoholics that I know who work good sobriety programs (men and women alike) have ditched many of their old ways. And they have people in their life who are honest with them and call them on it.

    I don’t doubt any of the bad things that people claim that R.C. Sproul Jr. has done. I just see the hope really being in getting people like him into treatment, and getting treatment/support for their family members.

    Yes, it is helpless to watch people on a path of self-destruction. And yes, we must continue to pray.

  204. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Max often reminds us that most Baptist churchgoers don’t pay much attention to theology. I think it’s the same for followers of RC Sproul as well (and John MacArthur). Now that I’ve been spending more time reading what they write, I am shocked that they have any platform at all. People need to wake up.

    It is insane that these false teachers have any followers too. Wow, the deception is strong! People need to wake up, I agree; and TURN from these deceivers and their despicable fatalistic, man-made “gospel.” Good heavens!

  205. Velour wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    It works some of the time. Not always. Often it is tried multiple times. No one has said we shouldn’t try.

    Velour said: Actually, yes, several people have never mentioned treatment. Barbra said that R.C. Sproul 2 should be kicked out of his church and that he wasn’t really a believer, etc.

    Velour, please do not be so quick to assume that because someone failed to mention treatment, that they are against it. There is more than one issue going on with RC2: alcoholism, spiritual abuse, unrepentant heart, etc. I am not against treatment, and Barbara did not say her opinion, so until she specifies, we cannot assume.

  206. PaJo wrote:

    It is remarkable how LITTLE one can do for an addict if the addict doesn’t want help.
    But it is also remarkable how MUCH can be done to protect others from the addict, that is NOT done.
    People think they have far more impact than they do re: what they can control re: an addict, and they think they have far less control than they do re: what they themselves can do to reduce the impact of the addict.
    Sr. can’t make Jr. stop drinking.
    Sr. CAN keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit.
    Sr. can’t stop Jr. from spending his money on alcohol.
    Sr. CAN cut off the paychecks.

    I’m new here, haven’t been to this website before. Just wanted to say, this echoes the thoughts that have been running through my mind after reading the article.

    Someone (I don’t know who) has definitely enabled RC Jr to drink – and give drink to children! – and drive with children while drunk!

    This is beyond shocking to me. I don’t know a lot about Sproul Sr, but I’ve always been led to understand that he is a God-fearing man and pastor. If he, or other Christians who are closer to Jr, have not confronted Jr scripturally, this greatly decreases my respect for them.

    To say that I am very very concerned for the children he’s given drink to, and his own children as well, is a huge understatement.

    He has suffered tragedies, yes. Many of us have suffered tragedies. This does not give any of us an excuse to walk in disobedience to the Lord as he has. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

  207. I should add… Someone (I don't know who) has definitely enabled RC Jr to drink TO EXCESS…

  208. Julie Anne wrote:

    re: Sr. can keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit: This is not true. RC2 started his own brand of churches after he was defrocked by his father’s group.

    I see this correction has been made. This means that someone else (or more than one) has allowed RCSJ to continue in this sin (drunkenness is defined as sin in the Bible), even to the point of endangering the lives of children. This is beyond shocking.

  209. Velour wrote:

    If he Sproul gets clean and sober he will probably ditch many ideas that he used to justify including patriarchy.

    I respectfully disagree. He’ll become a sober endorser of patriarchy.
    He’s like Driscoll and so many others.
    He’s has experienced tragedy and he needs treatment but at the core is still an odious personality.

    These men have made fortunes off the backs of faithful, trusting people.

    Without accountability, anything else is worthless.

    I feel for his family and his victims but there won’t be any hugs coming from my direction.

  210. Velour wrote:

    Actually, yes, several people have never mentioned treatment. Barbra said that R.C. Sproul 2 should be kicked out of his church and that he wasn’t really a believer, etc.

    I don’t think we can assume that a person not mentioning getting treatment in a blog post means they don’t “believe” in people getting treatment. They simply didn’t give an opinion about it in that comment.

  211. Jack wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    If he Sproul gets clean and sober he will probably ditch many ideas that he used to justify including patriarchy.
    I respectfully disagree. He’ll become a sober endorser of patriarchy.
    He’s like Driscoll and so many others.
    He’s has experienced tragedy and he needs treatment but at the core is still an odious personality.
    These men have made fortunes off the backs of faithful, trusting people.
    Without accountability, anything else is worthless.
    I feel for his family and his victims but there won’t be any hugs coming from my direction.

    My FIL quit drinking, stayed sober 30 years. However, he was considered a,”dry drunk”,never stopped his stinking thinking. Never reconciled with some of his adult children, became semi reclusive. Not all former drinkers transform into likeable people.

  212. any man who drives drunk with his own children in the car has got more problems than just alcoholism, yes

  213. Well, I am diabetic (Type 1, specifically) and I do take insulin.

    Oddly enough, it does affect my entitlement to drive. I have to have a blood sugar reading within certain limits in order to be allowed to drive. (I have an NHS-supplied test kit, so this is simple enough.) The point being that even relatively mild hypoglycaemia is known to impair brain function; if I were involved in an accident whilst hypoglycaemic, I would be considered in law to be driving under the influence of medication.

    There are, perhaps, one or two differences between Type 1 diabetes and alcoholism. For instance, I’ve no control over my basal insulin requirement; if I take too much I’ll be hypoglycaemic (albeit mildly) in the morning, and if I take too little, my glucose levels will be high (albeit much less than they were when I was diagnosed!). An alcoholic likewise has little or no control over his drinking – by definition.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing compelling me to take insulin. I can choose not to and on very rare occasions (maybe twice in five years) I’ve forgotten to. And taking insulin doesn’t have a continual negative effect on my choices and behaviour; quite the reverse. Also, I am never remotely tempted to pretend that I could give up insulin or that I don’t have a problem controlling my blood sugar. Nor is it “brave” of me to “admit” here in public that I’m diabetic – it’s not an “admission” at all, any more than it is to say that I have perfect pitch (musically) but that, at almost 49, I need glasses these days to read small print.

    It’s not yet known for certain what causes the onset of Type 1. I suppose it’s not really known for certain what causes the onset of alcoholism – what, for instance, makes some people more susceptible to it than others. There’s even less agreement on the extend to which an alcoholic is responsible for his behaviour whilst drunk. Nevertheless, it is classically associated with lying and unhealthy denial – things that are not becoming in a follower of Jesus. Nobody should pretend, or be told by his “friends”, that he can hold a prominent role in the body of Christ whilst drunk.

    I don’t know what treatment would work best for Mr Sproul, but I don’t think it should differ that widely from what would be offered to any of his parishioners. This includes parishioners suffering from alcoholism, or female parishioners suffering from a desire to read scripture in public.

  214. Some other thoughts.

    It is one thing for someone like R.C. Sproul Jr to have a problem with alcohol and be getting drunk repeatedly as people are saying. That is bad enough but when the person can’t control themselves from driving when they are under the influence of alcohol makes this a lot worse in so many ways and more so when has children riding in the car with him when he is drunk. A lot of injury can be done by someone driving under the influence of alcohol.

    I do wonder why so many people continue to support R.C. Sproul Jr. and even his father Sr. Do you think that this is the best use of their contributions to give to Ligonier Ministries when they are used to support someone like R.C. Sproul Jr and his drunk lifestyle etc. Hopefully exposure like with this blog and especially the Spinderalla blog helps expose it.

    Why do so many people not realize they are doing what Paul refers to here in II Cor 11 19-21:

    For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.

    Then again for a period of time in my life I bought into leaders like these. It can happen. The Steve Hassen Youtube link helps explain that. When you are in a bubble and surrounded by a bunch of other people buying into the same false information and teachers it can be hard to realize just how deceived the group and you are. Much easier to see when you are out of “bubble” like this.

  215. dee wrote:

    There is definitely a difference between an alcoholic and others who enjoy a beer or wine.

    What exactly is the definition of an alcoholic? I know several individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis and seem to have normal lives and hold down great jobs or are self employed. They also seem to be very kind and generous; not manipulative, etc. They don’t need an excuse to drink because it seems that they simply enjoy drinking. I was told that they are called “functional” alcoholics, but I’m not sure they are alcoholics because they don’t fit the stereotype alcoholic or “happy” drunk image.

  216. @ Ken G:

    I don’t know whether there’s a formal definition, or even consensus, on what makes an alcoholic. But I would have thought a non-alcoholic can always go without alcohol: that is, it’s an issue of choice and control.

  217. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    … which doesn’t answer your question at all, and indeed I don’t suppose improves on what you could have said yourself!

    Never mind…

  218. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering if a 2018 resolution will be about “depravity” or the “elect”????

    I would not doubt it all. Sadly the SBC expects everyone to be in lock step and they do everything they can to create fear in leader’s lives that they will lose their paying positions. For me these people are PURE EVIL!!

  219. I have updated the post with photos of the injuries I sustained almost 45 years ago because someone chose to drink and drive. 🙁

    Scroll down to the bottom of the post.

  220. @ Deb:

    Ouch. Double ouch. With that much trauma to the face I would tend to say that you are fortunate to not have sustained crippling injuries to your neck and/or traumatic brain injury.

    And yes, the drunk chose to drive. His addiction did not force him to drive, and his addiction did not force him choose alcohol rather than treatment, assuming he was actually addicted.

  221. Claire wrote:

    He has suffered tragedies, yes. Many of us have suffered tragedies. This does not give any of us an excuse to walk in disobedience to the Lord as he has.

    By creating a false correlation you just gave him the excuse he needs, and you’re not the only one here who keeps doing it. This issue of RC Jr having “suffered tragedies” (the loss of his wife in 2011 to cancer, the loss of his daughter in 2012), has been brought up here and elsewhere repeatedly. Those who do so are implying there is some correlation.

    Assuming there is a correlation only gives Sproul the perfect excuse he needs to justify his drinking, and I can guarantee you it’s also the excuse he used with his drunk driving attorney who then used it on the Prosecutor and Judge: “My client lost his wife to cancer in 2011 and his daughter in 2012. Yes he shouldn’t have been driving drunk with his kids in the car, but he was really depressed.” They didn’t go for his excuse, not just because there is no excuse for drunk driving but because they probably already knew there was no cause-and-effect correlation.

    “But he’d lost his wife to cancer” is the same excuse his supporters used to defend him over his Ashley Madison scandal. “Yes, he shouldn’t have been on Ashley Madison, but he’d lost his wife to cancer and was probably lonely.” It doesn’t take any effort to destroy such a lame excuse. No one would have faulted Sproul for signing up for an eHarmony or Christian Mingle account. But a sex hook up account? Ashley Madison wasn’t just about his being “lonely.” It was about a horny perv who was sniffing for an easy lay.

    “He’d lost his wife and daughter” only works if we ignore chronologies. The record of his life, the record he created and boasted about in his own sermons and publications, the record he established boozing it up in front of his church members, proves that RC Sproul Jr has been abusing the booze for many many years prior to his personal family tragedies. There is no cause and effect, no correlation at all, between RC Jr’s family deaths and his heavy drinking. The fact is RC Jr has been abusing booze since he was a teenager. In all likelihood he became an alcoholic as a teenager. He boasts about it in his Ligonier Tales with no regret, remorse or embarrassment expressed. He’s been a heavy drinker the majority of his life and he’s proud of it.

    Drunk driving wasn’t just a one time incident, and drunk driving with kids in the car didn’t happen just the once either. It’s all been taking place for many years prior to the loss of his wife and daughter.

    Having debunked this mythical correlation could everyone just stop speaking as though there is one? Thanks.

  222. mot wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering if a 2018 resolution will be about “depravity” or the “elect”????

    I would not doubt it all. Sadly the SBC expects everyone to be in lock step and they do everything they can to create fear in leader’s lives that they will lose their paying positions. For me these people are PURE EVIL!!

    I fully expect the 2000 BF&M to be modified in the future to make it more Calvinistic.

  223. Sin is “cosmic treason” against The Holy God. No human is exempt and even a hint not guilty. It runs in the “family” and has only one “Redemptive Hope” for each and all who hear the Gospel and by Grace and through Faith put their full Hope in the Righteousness of Christ to Cover (atone for) all “my”sin or your sin.

    Gossip and Condemnation of others is no less sinful than is murder. The Church is to “restore those who are struggling in sin not” not shoot them. I need to be careful to look to Scripture for my measure of God’s Law for sin, not taking the measure from what people and tradition may say sin is. Come on People!!!! Our sin is as sinful as is his.

  224. @ okrapod:
    Also, we know both vehicles were traveling at 60 mph upon impact. A highway patrolman searching for the drunk driver who had been reported by someone witnessed the crash.

  225. Ken G wrote:

    I know several individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis and seem to have normal lives and hold down great jobs or are self employed.

    So… these people have a high tolerance for alcohol, habitually drink large amounts ‘on a regular basis’ and your first impression is that they may not be alcoholics? So…as far as you know they have adequate job performance, so…so did Winston Churchill. So these people are not mean or manipulative as far as you know, but the last time you saw one their wives try to tell them they had too much on board, what was their reaction…sweetness and light…thank you dear for reminding me? Or do you not know?

    If they carry their lunch is there a bit of the recipe in their thermos? Do they choose their friends among other heavy drinkers? Do they look for excuses to have the equivalent of one for the road? The last time their PCP prescribed a pain killer without knowing the patients’ drinking habits what problems with the med did you notice? Are they defensive about their drinking habits, ever ready with an excuse even when one is not needed, sensitive to perceived criticism more than most? Do they criticize non-drinkers?

    More than that, how do you know what their drinking habits are? Did they brag about how much they can drink, allude to their prowess with the bottle? Under what circumstances did you become aware of alcohol abuse in these people-that might be a tip off.

    People do not drink large amounts habitually and still live ‘your best life now’. Those two do not go together. There is more to the story with these people.

  226. Deb wrote:

    I have updated the post with photos of the injuries I sustained almost 45 years ago because someone chose to drink and drive.

    Scroll down to the bottom of the post.

    That Frankenstein line of forehead stitches – did it heal up? Is there still a scar?

    And the steam burns from the radiator explosion – on the picture they look like first-degree burns. Steam explosions from a pressurized system rupture are BAD.

  227. @ Christiane:
    Back in 1972 shoulder seat belts weren’t installed in vehicles. This truck had lap belts, which I’m pretty sure we weren’t using. It wasn’t a law back then.

  228. okrapod wrote:

    So… these people have a high tolerance for alcohol, habitually drink large amounts ‘on a regular basis’ and your first impression is that they may not be alcoholics? So…as far as you know they have adequate job performance, so…so did Winston Churchill.

    Churchill might not be the best example; according to his daughter, he drank less than commonly believed. Usually a “Churchill Cocktail” – about 1/4 inch (or a cm) of whiskey at the bottom of the glass, then fill the rest with water; dilutes the mix down to less than 3% alcohol. Probably started that trick during his time in South Africa during the Boer War; it’s an old field expedient for water purification – the alcohol kills off anything biological in the raw suspect water.

  229. As the kid of an alcoholic & as a (former) wife who had her husband arrested (& convicted) for drunk driving I have to admit my patience with problem drinkers is very very thin because of the levels of devastation they inflict on others. I work with a lot of young people who have an alcoholic parent – just met a new one today – & it guts families & childhoods. I feel so sorry for those kids – all my kids of alcoholics now use my term ‘stupid juice’ for alcohol because your intelligent parent becomes an intellectual & moral moron when drinking & think they can lie with impunity. It’s so embarrassing on top of everything else. And then there’s the delightful habit they have of wanting everyone around them to drink heavily – as Sproul is reported to have done – to normalise their issues.

    I hope Sproul Jr gets help, but tbh his theology preaches such a hateful God that if I had to believe it I’d turn to drink too. How do you realistically deal with the tragedies he’s faced with those beliefs? Awful.

  230. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t think we can assume that a person not mentioning getting treatment in a blog post means they don’t “believe” in people getting treatment. They simply didn’t give an opinion about it in that comment.

    Yes, that is what I was trying to say earlier, but the html code messed up and my words looked like Velour’s words. Thank you, Bridget!

  231. A gamer I knew got rammed and killed by a drunk driver around 20 years ago. (Guy was kind of a jerk, but still…) He was taking a shortcut home from work on his motorcycle when a drunk head-oned his bike. Talk-and-die Syndrome; taken to the hospital where they spent most of the time and effort repairing/removing his spleen; they didn’t notice the slow brain-bleed/brain swelling; went critical overnight and he died the next morning. Drunk driver got Vehicular Manslaughter (if not outright Murder) added to his DUI.

    My own experience with a probable was one night when I was going down Orange Ave in Anaheim at night. The street is a two-laner through Fifties-vintage tract homes, and I was eastbound somewhere between Brookhurst & Euclid when I noticed the headlights coming towards me looked WRONG. Like they were in my lane. This was still a ways off, so I turned into the first driveway and waited. Sure enough, car driving very slowly and deliberately down the wrong side of the street.

    Drunks do not necessarily drive all wild and out-of-control. They also drive very slowly and deliberately, overcontrolling.

  232. H.A. wrote:

    He’d lost his wife and daughter” only works if we ignore chronologies. The record of his life, the record he created and boasted about in his own sermons and publications, the record he established boozing it up in front of his church members, proves that RC Sproul Jr has been abusing the booze for many many years prior to his personal family tragedies.

    Exactly! His boozing and chronic bully behavior was going on long before the family tragedies. Those cannot be used as an excuse.

  233. Beakerj wrote:

    all my kids of alcoholics now use my term ‘stupid juice’ for alcohol because your intelligent parent becomes an intellectual & moral moron when drinking & think they can lie with impunity. It’s so embarrassing on top of everything else.

    As Mel Gibson found out the hard way a few years ago. His ethanol-fueled rant in the back seat of that cop car got described as “Instant A-hole; Just Add Alcohol.”

  234. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I have had plastic surgery three times. The last surgery was done at Duke when I was a senior there. The scars are still there but not that noticeable.

    I had a wound in between my eyes that was so deep you could see the bone. That took many months to heal. I didn’t have serious burns, jist brown patches, PTL!

    One of the hardest things was having the front half of my head shaved. I turned 13 about a month after the wreck and felt like a freak! I wore a wig to school for about 6 months until my hair grew out enough that I wasn’t ashamed of how I looked.

    It was a life changing experience.

  235. H.A. wrote:

    Claire wrote:

    He has suffered tragedies, yes. Many of us have suffered tragedies. This does not give any of us an excuse to walk in disobedience to the Lord as he has.

    By creating a false correlation you just gave him the excuse he needs, and you’re not the only one here who keeps doing it

    To be Faire To Claire, I rather think she was denying, not creating, the correlation, but your point is otherwise important.

  236. H.A. wrote:

    By creating a false correlation you just gave him the excuse he needs, and you’re not the only one here who keeps doing it. This issue of RC Jr having “suffered tragedies” (the loss of his wife in 2011 to cancer, the loss of his daughter in 2012), has been brought up here and elsewhere repeatedly. Those who do so are implying there is some correlation.

    “Alkies drink because that’s what Alkies do. To an Alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink cannot be infringed in any way.”
    — Steven King, recovering alcoholic

    (King relates this in the autobiographical first half of his nonfiction book On Writing. Apparently he was genetically hardwired for alcoholism; from his first taste of alcohol, he immediately wanted more and more and more. Says that even now, when he sees a half-full glass of wine or beer left over at a restaurant, he has to fight down the urge to run over, grab the glass, and chug the remainder.)

  237. Deb wrote:

    Also, we know both vehicles were traveling at 60 mph upon impact.

    Oh, good grief. That so easily could have been all she wrote. We are so grateful that you made it.

  238. Sopwith wrote:

    “You’re not drunk if you can lean on the pulpit without holding on.” -RC Sproul Jr.

    Now THAT is a Serious Sauce Hound speaking.

  239. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    To be Faire To Claire, I rather think she was denying, not creating, the correlation

    I meant no offense to Claire, nor did I intend to pick on her specifically. She was just the last in a long line of others before her who have brought it up. It needs to stop.

  240. Deb wrote:

    God gave me a second chance, and I’m very grateful!

    My heart goes out to you and your family, Deb. I went through something similar, only no one died, I was 18 and driving, and the driver who hit me was not drunk – he was undergoing chemo, wasn’t supposed to be driving. He passed out at the wheel. He t-boned my car on the driver’s side at a stop sign …. I was stopped, he was doing 55 in a 35. Crushed the left side of my skull. I have a hole in my skull about the size of a quarter just Bove and in front of my ear. The surgeon told me no steel plate because if my body had rejected it, I would not have survived a second surgery to remove the plate. The EMTs told me later that they were 100% certain that I would be DOA at the hospital.
    I can’t imagine going through what you did at such a young age. You are strong!

  241. Deb wrote:

    I have updated the post with photos of the injuries I sustained almost 45 years ago because someone chose to drink and drive.

    @Deb, it’s hard for me to express the outrage I feel for the drunk driver who took the lives of your friend’s parents and for the physical and emotional suffering they inflicted on you and your friend.

    Drunk driving is one of the most selfish things a human being can do. It’s absolutely inexcusable.

    In a practical sense drunk drivers express a form of contempt toward others as malevolent as any ISIS terrorist. Hopefully one day our judicial system will get that. People should not have to die or be maimed before our courts meet out punishments that suit the crime.

  242. Deb wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I have had plastic surgery three times. The last surgery was done at Duke when I was a senior there. The scars are still there but not that noticeable.
    I had a wound in between my eyes that was so deep you could see the bone. That took many months to heal. I didn’t have serious burns, jist brown patches, PTL!
    One of the hardest things was having the front half of my head shaved. I turned 13 about a month after the wreck and felt like a freak! I wore a wig to school for about 6 months until my hair grew out enough that I wasn’t ashamed of how I looked.
    It was a life changing experience.

    Lord have mercy. What a traumatic experience for a young teen. So glad you came through it alive and well!

  243. Deb wrote:

    I have updated the post with photos of the injuries I sustained almost 45 years ago because someone chose to drink and drive.
    Scroll down to the bottom of the post.

    Horrific…..emotionally, physically , life changing in every way.
    Drunk/ drug driving maims and kills. No excuses for it, ever.

  244. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Bridget wrote:
    It works some of the time. Not always. Often it is tried multiple times. No one has said we shouldn’t try.
    Velour said: Actually, yes, several people have never mentioned treatment. Barbra said that R.C. Sproul 2 should be kicked out of his church and that he wasn’t really a believer, etc.
    Velour, please do not be so quick to assume that because someone failed to mention treatment, that they are against it. There is more than one issue going on with RC2: alcoholism, spiritual abuse, unrepentant heart, etc. I am not against treatment, and Barbara did not say her opinion, so until she specifies, we cannot assume.

    Hi Julie Anne,

    Barbara could have easily included treatment for alcoholism in her comment. Instead she said “ha ha” and discussed kicking him out of the church, complete with scripture verses to justify the deed. (For readers that don’t know Barbara, she and Jeff Crippen write over at the A Cry for Justice blog about domestic violence in the church.)

    I take Barbara and what she stated. And she showed that she had no clue what kinds of intervention should be done for an alcoholic (or substance abuser) in getting them into treatment and getting help for their spouse and children. Barbara trotted out the classic evangelical line that people with these problems aren’t real Christians, aren’t bearing fruit, etc.

    Yes, the church should “raise the bottom” on the alcoholic by terminating his job and not enabling him. But the church should also do their level-best to get him into treatment since he’s a full-blown alcoholic with all of the classic symptoms. The church should do their level-best to get help for his wife and children.

    Here is an article by a Christian woman Heather, the author of Sober Mercies, about her own journey as a recovering alcoholic. https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/ask-a-recovering-alcopholic-response-heather-kopp

  245. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Alkies drink because that’s what Alkies do. To an Alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink cannot be infringed in any way.”
    — Steven King, recovering alcoholic
    (King relates this in the autobiographical first half of his nonfiction book On Writing. Apparently he was genetically hardwired for alcoholism; from his first taste of alcohol, he immediately wanted more and more and more. Says that even now, when he sees a half-full glass of wine or beer left over at a restaurant, he has to fight down the urge to run over, grab the glass, and chug the remainder.)

    Exactly, H.U.G.

    By the way, King’s book On Writing is one of the funniest books I have ever read! I never laughed so hard in my life as reading that book.

  246. Christiane wrote:

    any man who drives drunk with his own children in the car has got more problems than just alcoholism, yes

    It is beyond my comprehension 🙁

    Shame on Junior!

  247. Lea wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    OK, where I live most alcoholics go to in-patient treatment.
    30-90 day inpatient treatment is cost prohibitive for a lot of people, even if they wanted to go. 
    Velour wrote:
    My specific concern about Barbara’s comment, and others like it, is that’s NOT how substance abusers are supposed to be handled
    I don’t think barbara was making a medical argument, though. I would be very surprised if he hadn’t at least been required to go to a few meetings.

    I agree with you that the judge probably ordered that Sproul Jr. go to some 12-step recovery meetings, as that is normal what the probation department would recommend in their report to the court.

    The church can also play an important role, and probably has the financial resources, to get Sproul 2 into a treatment program and to come alongside his children and second wife and get them help too.

  248. __

    Lights Out: “Drinking The Reformed KoolAid?”

    hmmm…

    When the church’s reformed pastors have a worst track record than those they wish to save, it is way past time to reform their pulpits, ya think?

    (sadface)

    Sopy

  249. Leslie wrote:

    That was the purpose of our Parents Concerned ministry. We were basically a para church ministry. Churches through the valley recommended us to parents of teens in trouble with drugs and alcohol. Over the years we formed connections with hospitals, rehabs, special schools. The churches we worked with said they could not handle the work we did. They were grateful that they had a place for people to go.

    Wonderful ministry, Leslie.

    I am so glad for the help that you gave to people in our area (Silicon Valley).

  250. @ Barbara Roberts:
    Rcjr had his license suspended for six months. Has been dry since Nov. 29, 2016. Had therapy and continues to do so. Much of the information posted is inaccurate both in substance and interpretation. When court go through process you are instructed by your Atty and the judge how to plea to give you time to look at all alternatives. Drug court was denied because he was not bad enough, not because he had felonies. The purpose of Drug court is for those charged w felonies to be submersed in a rehab program for 1-1.5yrs and graduate with the Judge being the one sharing that persons story and how he/she has been redeem and will acclimate as a reformed person in society- it’s a big deal. Then the sentencing happens afterward, moving felonies to misdemeanors. Rcjr is a gentle spirited man who loves his family and grieves over his sin. Everyone who knows him confesses how genuinely repentant of a person he is and how quick he is to admit his failures.
    What he did was wrong and could have been much worse than it turned out to be. What it did do is wake him up to his own sins and cause effective change immediately. He who is without sin cast the first stone. It’s not about hypocrisy, it’s about the fact that we all have feet of clay and yet strive to do what is right, stumbling as we keep walking.

  251. Velour wrote:

    Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Hi Julie Anne,

    Barbara could have easily included treatment for alcoholism in her comment. Instead she said “ha ha” and discussed kicking him out of the church, complete with scripture verses to justify the deed. …

    I take Barbara and what she stated. And she showed that she had no clue what kinds of intervention should be done for an alcoholic (or substance abuser) in getting them into treatment and getting help for their spouse and children. Barbara trotted out the classic evangelical line that people with these problems aren’t real Christians, aren’t bearing fruit, etc.

    Velour,

    She did not show that she had no clue. She just didn’t mention it, and she didn’t need to. You are insisting on everyone saying treatment for alcoholics is the way to go (and I agree). She was saying he should be put out. You both have different and appropriate responses, so why you are putting her down is beyond me.

    In fact, why don’t you just ask her opinion of treatment? You know how to contact her. To paint her as saying she is against treatment when she has said no such thing is not right. You tried to paint me with the same brush, but I happened to read your response and corrected you. Please stop.

  252. Deb wrote:

    I have updated the post with photos of the injuries I sustained almost 45 years ago because someone chose to drink and drive.

    Scroll down to the bottom of the post.

    Wow, Deb. I can’t imagine the pain and loss you experienced. That is horrific.

  253. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Alkies drink because that’s what Alkies do. To an Alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink cannot be infringed in any way.”
    — Steven King, recovering alcoholic

    I’ve never read that before but it gave me goosebumps. I have been on the receiving end of that sense of entitlement, & preferential treatment of alcohol over humans many times. And that blinking smug look that comes with it.

  254. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Julie Anne wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    Hi Julie Anne,
    Barbara could have easily included treatment for alcoholism in her comment. Instead she said “ha ha” and discussed kicking him out of the church, complete with scripture verses to justify the deed. …
    I take Barbara and what she stated. And she showed that she had no clue what kinds of intervention should be done for an alcoholic (or substance abuser) in getting them into treatment and getting help for their spouse and children. Barbara trotted out the classic evangelical line that people with these problems aren’t real Christians, aren’t bearing fruit, etc.
    Velour,
    She did not show that she had no clue. She just didn’t mention it, and she didn’t need to. You are insisting on everyone saying treatment for alcoholics is the way to go (and I agree). She was saying he should be put out. You both have different and appropriate responses, so why you are putting her down is beyond me.
    In fact, why don’t you just ask her opinion of treatment? You know how to contact her. To paint her as saying she is against treatment when she has said no such thing is not right. You tried to paint me with the same brush, but I happened to read your response and corrected you. Please stop.

    Hi Julie Anne,

    You aren’t making any sense in your belief that we’re all supposed to intuit what Barbara is thinking and therefore she ‘doesn’t have to say it’.

    You are also incorrect that I am ‘putting Barbara down’ because I disagree with her. I very concerned that in this day and age with all of the resources available to help guide the church with handling serious problems including substance abuse that the only response that Barbara had was to kick Sproul out of the church.

    Will his children ever step foot in a church again after seeing their father get publicly humiliated? Will his wife? What will other alcoholics in the pews do or substance abusers who are struggling? Will they be publicly humiliated next? What will the families of alcoholics and drug abusers do?

    You advocated, like Barbara, that Sproul Jr. be kicked out of his church. You didn’t, however, explain your reasoning for such a drastic step. That’s why I gave you push back, because a lot more is at stake than just him and how this is handled.

    I have never contacted any poster here privately and asked them to clarify their views. And I’m not starting. They can clarify their views here. (Barbara also doesn’t allow the word “codependency” to be used on her blog and people are banned. Sigh. So behind the times.)

    “Please stop”? What does that mean? Please stop advocating for his children? Or for his wife? Or for the other secret alcoholics in the pews who are struggling and ashamed and who need help? Please stop advocating for other family members of substance abusers and how the church treats them?

  255. Julie Anne wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    Isn’t there some kind of authoritative oversight in the Presbyterian denomination? One that would intervene when a pastor went this rogue? Jr. sounds like he’s running a cult, not a Presbyterian Church.
    Yes, there sure is. It doesn’t always work when you are in the Boy’s Club or RC1’s son. Reports I have read from many who attended St. Peter indicated that it was run like a cult. When there are cover-ups to protect the leader, whole families shunned because they don’t like the church, those are certainly red flags.

    I quoted this post because it has both your posts in it. Julie Anne reminded me about the path RC-Jr took, after MY post previously. (This is confusing me… ). Anyway. Christiane, you ask whether there is authoritative oversight in the Presbyterian Church. Julie Anne gave you a good part of the answer. But I’m going to respond a little further.

    NO, there is no authoritative oversight, for a couple of reasons. First off, there are multiple Presbyterian denominations (Presbyterian denoting the form of government, not the theology, although most claim some degree of Reformed). What RC-Jr did was jump from one denomination to another so he could continue in his own ministry, and the denominations do not respect one another’s “defrocking” (although they usually respect one another’s ordinations).

    As a matter of fact, when a denomination refuses to ordain a particular person, that person can go start his own *denomination* and set himself up as its “bishop” and be quite successful at so doing.

    So no, there is no authoritative structure.

    And then, even *within* a denomination, my former one being PC-USA, when a pastor is fired for cause (affairs, embezzlement), he can move across the country, and in a different regional body, talk his way back into a pastoral position. I described this happening upthread.

    So no. Not authoritative.

  256. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour,

    …Please stop.

    Have to agree. Velour, we get your point (how could we fail to see it when you’ve made it so many times?). But please accept the fact that we don’t all agree with you on all the details, including what if any role a local church should play in the life of an alcoholic. You’re making blanket statements that aren’t helpful when there are too many variables. Moreover, there is a context to this discussion. We’re not just talking about an alcoholic (RC Sproul Jr). As bad as his alcoholism is it pales in comparison to all the spiritual and emotional carnage he’s caused. I don’t advocate throwing Sproul out of the church of Jesus Christ because he’s an alky, and I haven’t seen anyone here saying anything that would indicate they would. I advocate throwing him out because he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing and we should be far more concerned about protecting sheep from wolves than we are for getting wolves sober. After all even a sober wolf is still a wolf who will ravage sheep if given the chance.

    Now to deal with your concerns in a more general sense (and this is where it seems we differ), in my experience most churches aren’t in any way qualified to deal with alkies. There are too many cases where churches have stepped in and made a bad situation only worse. We’ve all seen it, and if you haven’t then count yourself fortunate. The majority of pastors, elders, deacons, church counselors, and church staff in general aren’t qualified to give “counseling” of any kind on any subject (even the Bible sometimes), even though they often presume they are. The absolute worst counseling I have ever received in my life has always come from pastors, which is why I never go to pastors anymore for counsel or advice. An honest pastor will say, “I’m sorry, but I’m not qualified to give you advice about that,” but that would be a rare pastor.

    It would be rare that any of them are qualified when it comes to alcoholism and substance abuse in general. They don’t even know anything about the “treatment programs” you refer to, nor will they take the time to learn. And one thing an alky can sniff out in a heartbeat is an ignorant person trying to give them advice. If they will listen to anyone at all it has to be someone who’s been there themselves. If a church has an alky support group/ministry they’d be the exception, and only in that case would I say a church is qualified to step in and help.

    I speak from some experience on this. I helped lead a Celebrate Recovery group in my church (I’m not an alky but my co-leader is a recovering alcoholic). We were the only church for many miles around who had a CR group. Some people view CR as just a Christian version of AA because it was founded by an AA leader. I’ve taken alky friends and acquaintances to AA meetings, so I know both programs pretty well. I do think CR is better, but even as good as CR is the results are anything but impressive. In fact the long term success stories are the exception, and according to CR headquarters what we experienced at our church is the statistical norm.

    Plainly put so-called “support” programs are overrated. The recidivism statistics bear this out, and the “treatment programs” are just as disappointing. AA in particular is seriously overrated, and even the courts know it. Yes, they can be a big help but only if the person is dead serious about sobriety. They have to want it themselves, and desperately so. They also have to be willing to cut themselves off from all their friends (the only friends alkies keep are drinkers and other alkies) and make new sober friends. Few of them are willing and even able to do that. For it to happen they almost always have to have hit rock bottom. One or two DUIs is usually not enough.

    They absolutely cannot be shamed, manipulated, coerced, convinced, or reasoned into sobriety. This is precisely where most churches will fall flat on their faces with alkies. Too many churches are already a breeding ground for guilt, shame, coercion, manipulation, etc. There just aren’t that many emotionally healthy churches who even know how to genuinely love sober people, let alone the chemically dependent ones.

    Does this mean I don’t support CR, AA, and other support groups? No, I definitely do support them. However, I don’t believe their marginal successes in any merit the sort of dogmatic enthusiasm you give them. Moreover, I am even less convinced that your average church is in any way qualified to intervene in the typical alky scenario. Odds are high they’ll just make a bad situation worse. As far as I’m concerned most churches are incompetent to even lend the kind of support to the families of alkies that they need, and they should probably just stay out of it.

  257. Velour wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    If he Sproul gets clean and sober he will probably ditch many ideas that he used to justify including patriarchy.
    I’m not sure about that. I know plenty of cold sober people who embrace patriarchy.
    However, I do appreciate your emphasis on treatment. It is difficult to watch someone you care about who seems bent on a path of self-destruction, and be helpless to do anything but pray.
    Are you speaking of recovered alcoholics that you know that support patriarchy?
    Or just the general run of the mill people who support patriarchy (because it’s what they are used to being taught)?
    The recovering alcoholics that I know who work good sobriety programs (men and women alike) have ditched many of their old ways. And they have people in their life who are honest with them and call them on it.
    I don’t doubt any of the bad things that people claim that R.C. Sproul Jr. has done. I just see the hope really being in getting people like him into treatment, and getting treatment/support for their family members.
    Yes, it is helpless to watch people on a path of self-destruction. And yes, we must continue to pray.

    No, I am not talking about recovered alcoholics who repented of embracing patriarchy. None of the people I know who have left patriarchy are (so far as I know) recovering alcoholics. That doesn’t mean there aren’t possibly a whole host of them out there. I don’t know. I just don’t know any.

    I do think that some forms of patriarchy (as lived by RC Sproul Jr, Doug Wilson, as examples) can encourage conditions that are fertile for alcoholism to develop. Part of the “real men drink” — beer and bourbon are two favorites at church picnics. The hotter it is, the faster those icy cold spirits will flow.

    Wine for all (no grape juice–“what are you, some kind of wimp?”) at communion. Don’t drink wine? I guess you can just take a piece of bread, then.

    I don’t know if Wilson’s church actively shames recovering alcoholics, but I have read numerous accounts of Sproul Jr’s church doing so. If Sproul Jr is going to go dry in the culture he built or helped to build in the first place, then he’s going to have to have the motivation and gumption to change that entire culture.

    If he wants church support, he’s going to have to change churches, I think. And he doesn’t strike me as a would-be follower, so he’d have to start another church and lead it in a sober way, and with his record of installing yes-men to advise him in his former churches, the outlook just does not seem terribly optimistic, to be realistic.

    Not impossible. But doesn’t seem all that likely.

    And yes, God can do anything he wants. Even Sproul Jr says so. But he doesn’t always choose to do what we want, no matter how fervent our prayers may be.

    Yes, give Sproul Jr. the right opportunities to get well.

    I am just not going to be holding my breath, that’s all.

  258. @ refugee:

    I’d say that was posted by a chatbot if it weren’t for the fact that there did seem to be some semantic link between the sentences.

  259. Velour wrote:

    Barbra said that R.C. Sproul 2 should be kicked out of his church and that he wasn’t really a believer, etc.

    That is probably because some of us have been following RC1 and RC2 longer than others. As for Presbyterian polity, RC1 is ordained in the PCA, but the last I heard, he was the pastor of an *independent* Presbyterian church. Right. RC2 has been off the rails for a long time and has been able to act outrageously under his father’s overt protection. He was into the Federal Vision (Doug Wilson) heresy which caused a lot of anguish for a lot of people for years. So that is why I and possibly some others had a visceral reaction of “Remove this cancer from the Body once and for all.” Does his life bear the mark of a Christian? I don’t think so, but only God knows. According to his own theology, it does not.

    That does not mean that we do not also think that he should get treatment for the good of his children and his wife and the community at large. But when we have followed the path of destruction he has left in his wake for decades, I hope you can understand why our first reaction was not “Get treatment for RC2.” It’s just that our first thought is for his past victims and future victims if he is allowed to continue.

  260. @ H.A.:

    As you and I discussed here yesterday, I am in agreement that Sproul Jr. should be terminated from his job because he is unfit. I am not giving him a pass on his abusive behavior. He should face consequences for it.

    Most of us are in agreement that Sproul Jr. needs treatment for alcoholism. I have always qualified my comments with the fact that the church should seek professional help in how to deal with him and NOT handle it themselves.

    I am well aware of the failure rates of alcoholics and substance abusers. I also know plenty of men and women who are clean and sober and have had transformed lives. They and their families are all the better for it.

    H.A., “However, I don’t believe their marginal successes in any merit the sort of dogmatic enthusiasm you give them.” OK, that’s not what I said or believe and since when is getting someone professional care for their problems “dogmatic”?

    There is no reason for churches to be stuck in the Dark Ages on subjects such as substance abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, domestic violence and a host of other prevalent problems that will come up in peoples’ lives.

  261. Velour wrote:

    Will his children ever step foot in a church again after seeing their father get publicly humiliated?

    Not that it has anything to do with alcoholism, but many adult children of my acquaintance will never step foot in a church again because of the toxic teachings of RC Sproul Sr., RC Sproul Jr, and like-minded men who espouse the same teachings.

    So whether or not the church eventually deals with his behavior, his children have a good chance of becoming atheists anyhow. And even if they remain in their brand of the church, it’s a pretty poor imitation of Christianity: all surface appearance and no substance. Being a believer, in that crowd, has little to do with belief and everything to do with appearances.

  262. Gram3 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Barbra said that R.C. Sproul 2 should be kicked out of his church and that he wasn’t really a believer, etc.
    That is probably because some of us have been following RC1 and RC2 longer than others. As for Presbyterian polity, RC1 is ordained in the PCA, but the last I heard, he was the pastor of an *independent* Presbyterian church. Right. RC2 has been off the rails for a long time and has been able to act outrageously under his father’s overt protection. He was into the Federal Vision (Doug Wilson) heresy which caused a lot of anguish for a lot of people for years. So that is why I and possibly some others had a visceral reaction of “Remove this cancer from the Body once and for all.” Does his life bear the mark of a Christian? I don’t think so, but only God knows. According to his own theology, it does not.
    That does not mean that we do not also think that he should get treatment for the good of his children and his wife and the community at large. But when we have followed the path of destruction he has left in his wake for decades, I hope you can understand why our first reaction was not “Get treatment for RC2.” It’s just that our first thought is for his past victims and future victims if he is allowed to continue.

    Thanks Gram3 for your explanation of the damage that R.C. Sproul 2 has done. Your reactions make sense. He has a lot of wreckage to clean up and much damage to many peoples’ lives.

    I’ve known some recovering alcoholics to go back to churches and to speak before the entire church about the damage they did to so many peoples’ lives, as well as make personal amends to people that they have harmed. Miracles happen.

    R.C. Sproul 2 is still in the throes of active alcoholism and all of its destruction.
    I hope his (second) wife and children get help to take care of themselves around his alcoholism and learn how to set boundaries with him.

  263. Lisa wrote:

    What he did was wrong and could have been much worse than it turned out to be. What it did do is wake him up to his own sins and cause effective change immediately. He who is without sin cast the first stone. It’s not about hypocrisy, it’s about the fact that we all have feet of clay and yet strive to do what is right, stumbling as we keep walking.

    Welcome to TWW. I am grateful that R.C. Sproul Jr. didn't hurt himself, his kids, or anyone else when he was operating a vehicle in an intoxicated state. I hope he will have the strength to remain clean.

    As someone who was severely injured by a drunk driver (see bottom of the post), I don't appreciate your "he who is without sin" diatribe. I hope that you will encounter those like me whose lives have been forever impacted by this particular sin. The pain is awful, particularly when loved ones have been snatched away because someone foolishly chose to drink and drive.

  264. Beakerj wrote:

    all my kids of alcoholics now use my term ‘stupid juice’ for alcohol because your intelligent parent becomes an intellectual & moral moron when drinking & think they can lie with impunity.

    The mental/audio equivalent of Beer Goggles.

  265. H.A. wrote:

    but only if the person is dead serious about sobriety. They have to want it themselves, and desperately so. They also have to be willing to cut themselves off from all their friends (the only friends alkies keep are drinkers and other alkies) and make new sober friends. Few of them are willing and even able to do that. For it to happen they almost always have to have hit rock bottom. One or two DUIs is usually not enough.
    They absolutely cannot be shamed, manipulated, coerced, convinced, or reasoned into sobriety.

    I know this. It just makes me sad all over again. We are the unwilling spectators to some of the young people who have left (or been thrown out of) patriarchal circles, and are flushing their lives down the toilet.

    I keep telling our kids that “living well is the best revenge” and so far, I think they’re listening, but my heart grieves over these other young lives that are going to waste, almost as if they are desperate to fulfill the pastors’ and their parents’ grim prophecies about what happens to those who leave the straight(jacket) and narrow(minded) way.

  266. Deb wrote:

    As someone who was severely injured by a drunk driver (see bottom of the post), I don’t appreciate your “he who is without sin” diatribe.

    Like Mr Sin-Leveler higher in the thread, I just chalked that up to Christianese Boilerplate.

    They have absolutely NO idea how phony it sounds to someone outside the Amen Chorus.

  267. refugee wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Will his children ever step foot in a church again after seeing their father get publicly humiliated?
    Not that it has anything to do with alcoholism, but many adult children of my acquaintance will never step foot in a church again because of the toxic teachings of RC Sproul Sr., RC Sproul Jr, and like-minded men who espouse the same teachings.
    So whether or not the church eventually deals with his behavior, his children have a good chance of becoming atheists anyhow. And even if they remain in their brand of the church, it’s a pretty poor imitation of Christianity: all surface appearance and no substance. Being a believer, in that crowd, has little to do with belief and everything to do with appearances.

    Refugee,

    You’re absolutely correct about the damage that these false teachings have done to so many people who will forever associate them with the “church’ and won’t step foot in a church again.

  268. Velour wrote:

    I hope his (second) wife and children get help to take care of themselves around his alcoholism and learn how to set boundaries with him.

    I cannot say “Amen” too many times to this.

  269. @ refugee:
    I agree with this. If their Dad is a hard drinker selfish enough to drink and drive with them in the car, then they’ll have probably seen a huge amount of other poor behaviours, including him not being able to act as a functional adult for them when their Mum & then their sister died. The yawning gap between what he has preached as a Pastor & how he’s been as a man is a fertile ground for stopping believing, if they ever even started.

  270. refugee wrote:

    I don’t know if Wilson’s church actively shames recovering alcoholics, but I have read numerous accounts of Sproul Jr’s church doing so.

    Pride goeth before a fall, and what a fall RC Sproul Jr. is having.

    The very people he ridiculed – recovering alcoholics – will probably be the first ones to help him.

    (I have also wondered about several other NeoCal pastors, including Doug Wilson, and if they are alcoholics. They display all of the signs.)

  271. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    They have absolutely NO idea how phony it sounds to someone outside the Amen Chorus.

    It does sound phony – maybe it’s not. Maybe the congregation in question would give the same love and grace to someone in a pew. Even if they were a woman. Maybe they show the same support and solidarity to the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed. Maybe, in other words, they’re treating the paid guy in the pulpit exactly the same as they’d treat the least of Jesus’ siblings.

    Maybe.

  272. Lisa wrote:

    @ Barbara Roberts:
    Rcjr had his license suspended for six months. Has been dry since Nov. 29, 2016. Had therapy and continues to do so. Much of the information posted is inaccurate both in substance and interpretation. When court go through process you are instructed by your Atty and the judge how to plea to give you time to look at all alternatives. Drug court was denied because he was not bad enough, not because he had felonies. The purpose of Drug court is for those charged w felonies to be submersed in a rehab program for 1-1.5yrs and graduate with the Judge being the one sharing that persons story and how he/she has been redeem and will acclimate as a reformed person in society- it’s a big deal. Then the sentencing happens afterward, moving felonies to misdemeanors. Rcjr is a gentle spirited man who loves his family and grieves over his sin. Everyone who knows him confesses how genuinely repentant of a person he is and how quick he is to admit his failures.
    What he did was wrong and could have been much worse than it turned out to be. What it did do is wake him up to his own sins and cause effective change immediately. He who is without sin cast the first stone. It’s not about hypocrisy, it’s about the fact that we all have feet of clay and yet strive to do what is right, stumbling as we keep walking.

    Lisa,

    Welcome to TWW.

    Apparently you don’t understand the nature of alcoholism if you don’t think his case is bad enough.

    There may be other legal reasons for R.C. Sproul Jr.’s case to have been handled the way it was, and not for the reasons you cited.

    While it’s good that he is in therapy, where is his accountability with other recovering alcoholics?

    From what has been described here by people who know R.C. Sproul Jr.’s history, he has been terribly abusive to people and whole families and he has caused a great deal of damage. If he was working with a sponsor in a 12-step program he would be required to make a list of the people he had harmed and to make amends to them, except when do so would injure a person.

    Since many of his abuses of people appear to be in front of the entire church, than at some point in his recovery besides making individual amends he should be making public amends, with the help of a sponsor guiding him in the process.

  273. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I don’t know whether there’s a formal definition, or even consensus, on what makes an alcoholic. But I would have thought a non-alcoholic can always go without alcohol: that is, it’s an issue of choice and control.

    Thanks for giving it a try. Our President Donald Trump doesn’t drink at all. He had an older brother who died an alcoholic.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/us/politics/for-donald-trump-lessons-from-a-brothers-suffering.html

  274. Velour wrote:

    I hope his (second) wife and children get help to take care of themselves around his alcoholism and learn how to set boundaries with him.

    This we can all agree on.

    I’m impressed to now discover that there are multiple Celebrate Recovery groups in the Ft. Wayne area: http://www.celebraterecoveryfortwayne.com/

    Hopefully someone close to Lisa Sproul is following this thread and may encourage her to attend. Odds are remote that RC Jr will ever go, but the CR program can be extremely helpful to family members. The best insights and advice a family will ever get about an alky family member is from other alkies.

    The ironic thing, Velour, is that in my experience most recovering alkies, both in AA and CR, would encourage Lisa to show RC Jr “tough love.” It’s a term that comes up often in CR meetings. What that entails goes far beyond “boundaries” and often means marital separation, i.e. throw him out of the house. I say it’s ironic because you seem so terribly concerned about keeping RC Jr in his church, while your typical recovering alkie would say just the opposite. I think they probably know what works and what doesn’t.

  275. H.A. wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I hope his (second) wife and children get help to take care of themselves around his alcoholism and learn how to set boundaries with him.
    This we can all agree on.
    I’m impressed to now discover that there are multiple Celebrate Recovery groups in the Ft. Wayne area: http://www.celebraterecoveryfortwayne.com/
    Hopefully someone close to Lisa Sproul is following this thread and may encourage her to attend. Odds are remote that RC Jr will ever go, but the CR program can be extremely helpful to family members. The best insights and advice a family will ever get about an alky family member is from other alkies.
    The ironic thing, Velour, is that in my experience most recovering alkies, both in AA and CR, would encourage Lisa to show RC Jr “tough love.” It’s a term that comes up often in CR meetings. What that entails goes far beyond “boundaries” and often means marital separation, i.e. throw him out of the house. I say it’s ironic because you seem so terribly concerned about keeping RC Jr in his church, while your typical recovering alkie would say just the opposite. I think they probably know what works and what doesn’t.

    H.A.,

    Did you miss my comment to you at 4:41 p.m. today?

    I was very clear that R.C. Sproul Jr. should NOT be enabled in keeping his job and that he should face consequences (i.e. job loss).

    I am very familiar with alcoholism and ‘raising the bottom’ on alcoholics and not enabling their behavior.

    Please go back and read my comment to you. Because I actually ‘get it’. It’s a multi-pronged approach to dealing with an alcoholic.

  276. Lisa wrote:

    @ Barbara Roberts:
    Rcjr had his license suspended for six months. Has been dry since Nov. 29, 2016. Had therapy and continues to do so. Much of the information posted is inaccurate both in substance and interpretation. When court go through process you are instructed by your Atty and the judge how to plea to give you time to look at all alternatives. Drug court was denied because he was not bad enough, not because he had felonies. The purpose of Drug court is for those charged w felonies to be submersed in a rehab program for 1-1.5yrs and graduate with the Judge being the one sharing that persons story and how he/she has been redeem and will acclimate as a reformed person in society- it’s a big deal. Then the sentencing happens afterward, moving felonies to misdemeanors. Rcjr is a gentle spirited man who loves his family and grieves over his sin. Everyone who knows him confesses how genuinely repentant of a person he is and how quick he is to admit his failures.
    What he did was wrong and could have been much worse than it turned out to be. What it did do is wake him up to his own sins and cause effective change immediately. He who is without sin cast the first stone. It’s not about hypocrisy, it’s about the fact that we all have feet of clay and yet strive to do what is right, stumbling as we keep walking.

    Are you R.C. Sproul’s wife, Lisa?

    If “yes”, please consider going to at least six Al-Anon meetings (they’re free) for the family and friends of problem drinkers.

    Here is a link: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

  277. @ H.A.:
    I’m fortunate in that my Dad did get sober via AA. He was a success story. Over the last 15ish yrs of his life he swapped alcohol for compulsive eating, but at least it allowed him to get sober, practice law again, re-marry & have a 2nd family. He really didn’t deserve it, & my Mum, who worked up to 3 jobs & permanent night duty as a Nurse to bring us 3 up without him, didn’t deserve that life, though she never never complained. She told me before she died that she had forgiven him & she never thought she would. God was with my parents & gracious to them in very different ways.

  278. @ Velour:
    Al-Anon was a lifesaver for my Mum when she was dealing with a severe alcoholic & 3 kids under 6 whilst thousands of miles away from home – Hong Kong.

  279. T J Mercer wrote:

    Gossip and Condemnation of others is no less sinful than is murder. The Church is to “restore those who are struggling in sin not” not shoot them. I need to be careful to look to Scripture for my measure of God’s Law for sin, not taking the measure from what people and tradition may say sin is. Come on People!!!! Our sin is as sinful as is his.

    Murder is a crime. DUI/DWI is a crime. DUI/DWI with minors in the vehicle is a crime. Tax evasion is a crime. Theft is a crime. If you think gossip is on the same level, go turn all of the gossipers you know in to the police. See how much jail time the gossipers serve.

  280. Deb wrote:

    As someone who was severely injured by a drunk driver (see bottom of the post), I don’t appreciate your “he who is without sin” diatribe. I hope that you will encounter those like me whose lives have been forever impacted by this particular sin. The pain is awful, particularly when loved ones have been snatched away because someone foolishly chose to drink and drive.

    It’s beyond sin. It is criminal. There is a difference.

  281. H.A. wrote:

    tough love.” It’s a term that comes up often in CR meetings. What that entails goes far beyond “boundaries” and often means marital separation, i.e. throw him out of the house

    H.A.,

    While some people in Celebrate Recovery may advocate divorce, Al-Anon doesn’t take that approach for the spouses of problem drinkers. Each situation is different. Spouses are taught to take care of themselves, to not enable the problem drinker, and to let the problem drinker face the consequences of their actions.

    In time, the spouse of a problem drinker will have clarity as to how to proceed.

  282. Velour said:

    You aren’t making any sense in your belief that we’re all supposed to intuit what Barbara is thinking and therefore she ‘doesn’t have to say it’.

    Velour, since the beginning this discussion, your mission has been “treatment.” Barbara has posted ONE comment. From this one statement (“R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13”.), you assume that Barbara is against treatment and have gone on and on about your assumption without even fact checking. That is wrong.

    You are also incorrect that I am ‘putting Barbara down’ because I disagree with her. I very concerned that in this day and age with all of the resources available to help guide the church with handling serious problems including substance abuse that the only response that Barbara had was to kick Sproul out of the church.

    You started talking about me the same way and I was offended by your words. I don’t like others to speak for me. I have to be careful what I say because of my blog and if you went on to say JA is against treatment for alcoholics based on what you thought, you would be giving misinformation.

    Will his children ever step foot in a church again after seeing their father get publicly humiliated? Will his wife? What will other alcoholics in the pews do or substance abusers who are struggling? Will they be publicly humiliated next? What will the families of alcoholics and drug abusers do?

    His alcoholism is one of the least of the family’s concerns. Remember Ashley Madison? Remember defrocking? This is normal for their family. If they leave church, it would most likely be because no one put him out and continued to let his family suffer harm.

    You advocated, like Barbara, that Sproul Jr. be kicked out of his church. You didn’t, however, explain your reasoning for such a drastic step. That’s why I gave you push back, because a lot more is at stake than just him and how this is handled.

    I already alluded to the fact that there is much more than the public is aware of. You can be sure that Barbara, Dee, and I sit on a lot of information that never gets released to the public. We want it to be exposed, but we must be careful, have sources checked, etc. This is the case with RC2. I’m sorry that I’m unable to divulge further, but based on what I know, I say he should be put out, period.

    I have never contacted any poster here privately and asked them to clarify their views. And I’m not starting. They can clarify their views here. (Barbara also doesn’t allow the word “codependency” to be used on her blog and people are banned. Sigh. So behind the times.)

    So, thankfully, I am on my week break before school starts again, because if I hadn’t been following the comment thread, you would have been comfortable saying that I do not agree with treatment for alcoholics (until I corrected you). That’s just not cool.

    “Please stop”? What does that mean? Please stop advocating for his children? Or for his wife? Or for the other secret alcoholics in the pews who are struggling and ashamed and who need help? Please stop advocating for other family members of substance abusers and how the church treats them?

    It means please stop adding to what Barbara said. Quoting or summarizing her words is fine, but to point blank say she is against treatment for alcoholics is wrong when she did not say that.

  283. Beakerj wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Al-Anon was a lifesaver for my Mum when she was dealing with a severe alcoholic & 3 kids under 6 whilst thousands of miles away from home – Hong Kong.

    Thank goodness!

  284. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    mot wrote:
    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering what it means for people like me who are members of SBC churches that are not (yet) Calvinistic.

    Same for both:
    YOU WILL BE PURGED.

  285. Julie Anne wrote:

    The ideal situation IMHO is to get him out of ministry entirely and get help for his family so they understand alcoholism.

    But that runs right up against CELEBRITY Syndrome and “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!”

  286. Velour wrote:

    Barbara Roberts wrote:
    R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
    What a hateful thing to recommend that be done for someone with a serious substance abuse problem. He needs to be in an in-patient treatment program. He needs a skill-intervention by those people around him.
    (P.S. I was excommunicated from my NeoCalvinist church on a trumped up charge, like the godly doctor in his 70’s before me, and a godly middle-aged woman in finance before him.)

    Hello Velour, I am sorry you were excommunicated on a trumped up charge. I know that kind of thing happens often these days. And I know how the victims of such unjust expulsions often feel, because we hear from them often at A Cry For Justice. In fact, in my post there last Monday I express outrage about how PCA churches are often excommunicating victims of domestic abuse for divorcing their abusers.

    Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)

    If a person professing to be a Christian and is a drunkard (i.e. his life is focused on his next drink) then God tells us to put that person out of the church — to hand him over to satan for the destruction of the flesh.

    I don’t disagree with you that a drunkard also needs medical assistance to give up his addiction, and very likely would also benefit from mental health assistance to deal with other underlying issues he may have. But putting him out of the church does not stop him getting that assistance. In fact, putting him out of the church may prompt him to truly ‘hit bottom’ so he realises that he MUST get help and he takes serious steps, ongoing efforts, to get the help he needs.

    Letting him remain in the church passing himself off as a Christian does not help him hit bottom. It only cossets him in his denial.

    So Velour, it would be nice if you would reconsider what you’ve said to me. 🙂

    And regarding 1 Corinthians 5, Ps Sam Powell has preached two very good sermons about it. You might like to listen to them.

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=64172013222

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=611171954312

  287. Julie Anne wrote:

    So, thankfully, I am on my week break before school starts again, because if I hadn’t been following the comment thread, you would have been comfortable saying that I do not agree with treatment for alcoholics (until I corrected you). That’s just not cool.
    “Please stop”? What does that mean? Please stop advocating for his children? Or for his wife? Or for the other secret alcoholics in the pews who are struggling and ashamed and who need help? Please stop advocating for other family members of substance abusers and how the church treats them?
    It means please stop adding to what Barbara said. Quoting or summarizing her words is fine, but to point blank say she is against treatment for alcoholics is wrong when she did not say that.

    Hi Julie Anne,

    I don’t think it’s “cool” of you to say that someone should be kicked out of their church, not explain yourself (it’s actually a VERY serious step in the church that you’re advocating) and then get upset when you get push back.

    When you advocate excommunications for people, be prepared to fully explain yourself and be prepared for push back.

    When Barbara starts off her comment with “Ha Ha” and trots out Scripture verses, and never makes mention of treatment for alcoholism and for the family members, than she will get push back from me too.

    Barbara won’t even permit the word “codependency” to be used on her blog. Sigh. So very Dark Ages.

  288. okrapod wrote:

    So… these people have a high tolerance for alcohol, habitually drink large amounts ‘on a regular basis’ and your first impression is that they may not be alcoholics? So…as far as you know they have adequate job performance, so…so did Winston Churchill. So these people are not mean or manipulative as far as you know, but the last time you saw one their wives try to tell them they had too much on board, what was their reaction…sweetness and light…thank you dear for reminding me? Or do you not know?
    Obviously, I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I did meet a fiancé and she was well aware of the drinking and didn’t seem to mind.

    If they carry their lunch is there a bit of the recipe in their thermos? Do they choose their friends among other heavy drinkers? Do they look for excuses to have the equivalent of one for the road? The last time their PCP prescribed a pain killer without knowing the patients’ drinking habits what problems with the med did you notice? Are they defensive about their drinking habits, ever ready with an excuse even when one is not needed, sensitive to perceived criticism more than most? Do they criticize non-drinkers?
    No, they don’t criticize non-drinkers and they don’t make excuses for their drinking.

    More than that, how do you know what their drinking habits are? Did they brag about how much they can drink, allude to their prowess with the bottle? Under what circumstances did you become aware of alcohol abuse in these people-that might be a tip off.
    I have a common interest with one individual – vintage automobiles. We met many times at a local restaurant after car shows. I had a normal meal and he had no food, but many drinks and remained at the restaurant (drinking) after I left. The other individual was an executive at a corporation (think Sr. Vice President). Our secretary had to make arrangements (many times) to have him picked up from a bar / tavern because of his condition due to drinking. By the way, he was the only individual who thought I was worthy of a promotion and signed the papers for my promotion.

    People do not drink large amounts habitually and still live ‘your best life now’. Those two do not go together. There is more to the story with these people

  289. Julie Anne wrote:

    His alcoholism is one of the least of the family’s concerns. Remember Ashley Madison?

    I am not the least bit surprised by this as it’s commonplace in alcoholic behavior and something that is covered in treatment and on-going recovery programs.

  290. H.A. wrote:

    Drunk driving wasn’t just a one time incident, and drunk driving with kids in the car didn’t happen just the once either. It’s all been taking place for many years prior to the loss of his wife and daughter.

    Does he have other actual convictions for DUIs or endangering the children?

    And regardless of your answer, if people in his sphere (church) are aware, but ignoring the issues, then they have something to answer for as well.

  291. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)
    If a person professing to be a Christian and is a drunkard (i.e. his life is focused on his next drink) then God tells us to put that person out of the church — to hand him over to satan for the destruction of the flesh.
    I don’t disagree with you that a drunkard also needs medical assistance to give up his addiction, and very likely would also benefit from mental health assistance to deal with other underlying issues he may have. But putting him out of the church does not stop him getting that assistance. In fact, putting him out of the church may prompt him to truly ‘hit bottom’ so he realises that he MUST get help and he takes serious steps, ongoing efforts, to get the help he needs.

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for your response. The Bible is much more complex than just a few Scripture verses on any one topic, including the ones you have cited to justify kicking problem drinkers to the curb.

    You and I don’t have the compulsion to drink, so it’s easy for us to say “just don’t drink.” But I know of many people — including Christians — who have fought that battle (alcoholism) mostly in secret. Here is one wonderful article by a Christian woman in recovery, who waged her battle with alcoholism in secret and she explains what she thinks the church can do.
    https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/ask-a-recovering-alcopholic-response-heather-kopp

    My problem isn’t with the Bible, it’s with your lack of knowledge about how to treat addictions in the Christian community.

    Take care.

  292. Velour – The chronic behavior (for decades) that I and others have mentioned: spiritual abuse, Ashley Madison, putting his family in harm’s way by drinking and driving, are more than enough to get him kicked out. There was no need for pushback, just as there was no need for you to wrongly assume that we are against treatment (which Barbara clarified above).

    I had already read your first comment about Barbara and codependency. That feels like another put down and I’m really uncomfortable with it. Blog owners can run their blogs how they like. But to take that info and post it here?

  293. Bridget wrote:

    Does he have other actual convictions for DUIs or endangering the children?

    And regardless of your answer, if people in his sphere (church) are aware, but ignoring the issues, then they have something to answer for as well.

    As far as I know, no prior convictions. If he had then he probably wouldn’t have just gotten off with a slap on the wrist.

    Totally agree with you about his “church” (and Ligonier, etc.) having some things to answer for. It’s for good reason that so many have called it a “cult.”

  294. Velour wrote:

    Are you R.C. Sproul’s wife, Lisa?

    If “yes”, please consider going to at least six Al-Anon meetings (they’re free) for the family and friends of problem drinkers.

    Thank you Lisa for your comments here. Whether your last name is Sproul or not I hope you’ll still feel welcome, although I’m sure this is all hard to read.

    Velour’s suggestion is a good one and I hope you’ll take it to heart. Al-Anon is extremely beneficial and informative, albeit unpleasant. They will also confront you with a dose of reality about alcoholics. It will help you recognize that the picture you paint about RC Jr is wishful thinking that doesn’t line up with reality. For example: “Everyone who knows him confesses how genuinely repentant of a person he is and how quick he is to admit his failures.” Sorry dear, but you couldn’t be more wrong. You haven’t talked to “everyone” (not even close) so how could you make such assumptions?

    You’ve been hoodwinked. Not that you’re to blame for it. Those of us who have practical life experience with alkies know they’re masters of deception, and it doesn’t get any more deceptive than faking humility, remorse and repentance, something that alkies often develop much practical experience with. “I’m so sorry, I promise I won’t ever do it again” is the first line of defense of the alky, no extra charge for the tears.

    But some of us here also have not just experience with alkies in general. We also have personal experience with RC Jr. The problem with your narrative is we’ve seen it all before. Some of us have been on the receiving end of RC’s lies and manipulations, so it’s not just speculation. Some of us do know him, and some of us knew him far longer than you have. So it’s simply not true that “Everyone who knows him confesses how genuinely repentant…”

    Here’s the pattern that’s been repeated many times over the years: RC commits some grievous transgression, gets busted, is held accountable, “confesses” and “repents,” but then is quickly shown to have simply used a show of confession and repentance as a means to an end. Televangelists and other huckster preachers have done it many times.

    Call me a cynic, but RC Jr’s track record on “repentance” is abysmal. So it makes it very difficult to believe there’s anything genuine about it now.

    Velour wrote:

    Since many of his abuses of people appear to be in front of the entire church, than at some point in his recovery besides making individual amends he should be making public amends, with the help of a sponsor guiding him in the process.

    Very true. So I’ll start to believe that RC is repentant when he contacts me personally to confess and repent of all the damage he caused me and my family. I’ll also know when I start to hear from some of the others he did the same to and they let me know he’s confessed and repented to them too. There are so many of us, Lisa.

  295. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour – The chronic behavior (for decades) that I and others have mentioned: spiritual abuse, Ashley Madison, putting his family in harm’s way by drinking and driving, are more than enough to get him kicked out. There was no need for pushback, just as there was no need for you to wrongly assume that we are against treatment (which Barbara clarified above).
    I had already read your first comment about Barbara and codependency. That feels like another put down and I’m really uncomfortable with it. Blog owners can run their blogs how they like. But to take that info and post it here?

    Hi Julie Anne,

    There was a need for “push back”, since in the beginning you never outlined your reasons supporting R.C. Sproul Jr.’s excommunication. We’re not mind readers.

    We’re all (finally) in agreement that the man needs treatment. And his family needs it as well for living with a problem drinker. Hopefully they get to Al-Anon and counseling. They will need it and find many facing the same problems that they are, or have faced problems that they have and have words of wisdom to share.

    I know someone who has been banned from Barbara’s blog for using the term “codependency”, which Barbara doesn’t permit. I no longer read Barbara’s blog for that reason either.
    So you’re “uncomfortable” with those truths. Sorry I can’t help you, friend.

  296. Velour wrote:

    While some people in Celebrate Recovery may advocate divorce, Al-Anon doesn’t take that approach for the spouses of problem drinkers.

    Velour I don’t know if you suffer from reading comprehension problems in general or are just having a bad day. Either way you need to stop putting words in other people’s mouths. You’re too quick to take offense because you’re reading things that haven’t even been said.

    I did not use the word “divorce.” Go back and read what I said.

    Celebrate Recovery does not advocate divorce. They do recommend “tough love” including “setting boundaries” as you also said you support. When those boundaries get repeatedly violated then a marital separation might be called for, although it doesn’t always need to even be a legal separation filed in the courts. It’s all part of that “raising the bottom” thing you claim to support. Divorce would go beyond that to “It’s the end of the road.”

  297. readingalong wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I don’t know whether there’s a formal definition, or even consensus, on what makes an alcoholic. But I would have thought a non-alcoholic can always go without alcohol: that is, it’s an issue of choice and control.

    Here is a link to the DSM-V Criteria (manual for Psychiatric disorders) for ‘Alcohol Use Disorder’:
    https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders

    From the article. A sad statstic.

    “However severe the problem may seem, most people with AUD can benefit from treatment. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of them receive any treatment.”

  298. H.A. wrote:

    Al-Anon is extremely beneficial and informative, albeit unpleasant. They will also confront you with a dose of reality about alcoholics.

    I would just like to add that many Al-Anon meetings are safe and warm places. People go at their own pace. Try several different meetings and find one that’s a good fit for you.
    http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

  299. Velour wrote:

    The church can also play an important role, and probably has the financial resources, to get Sproul 2 into a treatment program and to come alongside his children and second wife and get them help too.

    I only agree with this to the extent “the Church” is willing to do the same for any member of their church who should need the same.

  300. H.A. wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    While some people in Celebrate Recovery may advocate divorce, Al-Anon doesn’t take that approach for the spouses of problem drinkers.
    Velour I don’t know if you suffer from reading comprehension problems in general or are just having a bad day. Either way you need to stop putting words in other people’s mouths. You’re too quick to take offense because you’re reading things that haven’t even been said.
    I did not use the word “divorce.” Go back and read what I said.
    Celebrate Recovery does not advocate divorce. They do recommend “tough love” including “setting boundaries” as you also said you support. When those boundaries get repeatedly violated then a marital separation might be called for, although it doesn’t always need to even be a legal separation filed in the courts. It’s all part of that “raising the bottom” thing you claim to support. Divorce would go beyond that to “It’s the end of the road.”

    H.A.,

    I was reading on an iphone.

    Back to my point, Al-Anon doesn’t make these recommendations — including separation. Each person arrives at their own solution, in their own time, for their own relationship.

  301. Velour wrote:

    Barbara could have easily included treatment for alcoholism in her comment. Instead she said “ha ha” and discussed kicking him out of the church, complete with scripture verses to justify the deed.

    Velour, I said ‘haha’ about the typo which the authors of this post had inadvertently made in the text of their post. I seems you didn’t get the joke. The authors said said that RC Jnr needs ‘serous treatment’ which I assume was a typo because they meant he needs ‘serious treatment.’

    Serous means to do with blood. I used to be a nurse so that word is familiar to me. I knew they’d made a typo and I found it a rather amusing typo… which is why I took it further by pointing out that RC Jr needs to be born again (which entails being washed in the blood of Christ.)

    I hope you can now see why I saw a joke in the typo. I was not laughing at alcoholics. I was laughing at the double-entendre of the typo.

  302. Velour wrote:

    I would just like to add that many Al-Anon meetings are safe and warm places.

    I stand corrected. I shouldn’t have used the term “unpleasant” because Al-Anon isn’t that at all. However, they are very good at confronting self-deception with reality, and that can sometimes be less than pleasant.

  303. Hi Julie Anne,

    There was a need for “push back”, since in the beginning you never outlined your reasons supporting R.C. Sproul Jr.’s excommunication. We’re not mind readers.

    Your use of “we” in your comment doesn’t make sense to me because you’re the only one to push the issue. And I mentioned several times RC2’s behavior that justifies him being put out.

    We’re all (finally) in agreement that the man needs treatment.

    Finally? No, apparently all were agreement from the very beginning. You chose to believe your wrong assumption about Barbara and me.

    So you’re “uncomfortable” with those truths. Sorry I can’t help you, friend.

    I’m not uncomfortable with Barb’s rules. She can run her blog how she likes. If you posted something negative about Dee or Barb at my blog as you have here, I’d remove your comment, too. It’s rude.

  304. Velour wrote:

    (Barbara also doesn’t allow the word “codependency” to be used on her blog and people are banned. Sigh. So behind the times.)

    Velour, that is untrue.

    We tell our readers that we prefer them not to use the word ‘codependent’ when describing victims of domestic abuse. And we explain why we think that word is an inappropriate and unhelpful when talking about domestic abuse. You can read our explanation here:
    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/are-abuse-victims-codependent/

    We have never banned a person from our blog for using the word ‘codependent’. We have occasionally declined to publish a comment which uses the word ‘codependent’. But more often than not, we do one or the other of the following with such comments: —

    Either we publish the comment unedited and then respond on-blog encouraging the commenter to read our explanation of why we think ‘codependent’ is not a good term for abuse victims.

    Or we edit the comment by replacing the word ‘codependent’ with some other word, and then publish the comment. But if we do this, we usually reply to the comment on-blog telling the commenter that we edited their comment and why we edited it.

    So Velour, I ask you to please withdraw your false statements about what we do on A Cry For Justice.

  305. Julie Anne wrote:

    Hi Julie Anne,
    There was a need for “push back”, since in the beginning you never outlined your reasons supporting R.C. Sproul Jr.’s excommunication. We’re not mind readers.
    Your use of “we” in your comment doesn’t make sense to me because you’re the only one to push the issue. And I mentioned several times RC2’s behavior that justifies him being put out.
    We’re all (finally) in agreement that the man needs treatment.
    Finally? No, apparently all were agreement from the very beginning. You chose to believe your wrong assumption about Barbara and me.
    So you’re “uncomfortable” with those truths. Sorry I can’t help you, friend.
    I’m not uncomfortable with Barb’s rules. She can run her blog how she likes. If you posted something negative about Dee or Barb at my blog as you have here, I’d remove your comment, too. It’s rude.

    Hi Julie Anne,

    We really need to drop it as this point. We have gone several rounds. I have explained myself and you have explained yourself.

  306. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    So Velour, I ask you to please withdraw your false statements about what we do on A Cry For Justice.

    Hi Barbara,

    I appreciate the work that you and Jeff Crippen do at A Cry for Justice.

    Thank you for explaining your editorial views about the word “codependent”. I do know someone that you banned and she was offended and has never returned to your blog.
    While it is your prerogative since it is your blog, there are other legitimate treatment methods that do incorporate the word and there is nothing wrong with it.

    I disagree with your lack of knowledge about addiction treatment, how we handle it in the church, and your theology.

    Take care.

  307. @Velour, didn’t you just say, “We really need to drop it as this point.”? Now you’re just provoking more? In case you hadn’t noticed this article is about RC Sproul Jr, but you’re making it all about you. Would you PLEASE STOP!

  308. H.A. wrote:

    @Velour, didn’t you just say, “We really need to drop it as this point.”? Now you’re just provoking more? In case you hadn’t noticed this article is about RC Sproul Jr, but you’re making it all about you. Would you PLEASE STOP!

    H.A.,

    OK, knock it off.

    Two people made comments to me and they expected replies. I replied because that’s the right thing to do, not because it’s “all about [me].”

    Please feel free to skip over reading them since they bother you.

  309. Thanks for the help on fathers day it was very good to tell that story. I have been trying to put many old “demons” to rest and cancel out some of those old tapes that keep repeating. I hope everyone has a very nice day. Please keep our nation’s decision makers in prayer over the next few weeks. Thank you.

  310. Velour wrote:

    do know someone that you banned and she was offended and has never returned to your blog.

    Velour, that person you know may believe that we ‘banned’ her from A Cry For Justice. But we did not ban her. We chose not to publish a comment (or comments?) from her when she kept on and on telling us that we were wrong to take the view we took about codependency.

    If we ban someone from our blog, we put their email address on the ‘blacklist’ which means that WordPress will then automatically send any comment submitted from that email address to our Spam folder. \
    We did not do that with the lady in question who was going on and on about codependency.

    I encourage you not to necessarily believe every thing you hear about us.

  311. Velour wrote:

    Hi Julie Anne,
    We really need to drop it as this point. We have gone several rounds. I have explained myself and you have explained yourself.

    So Velour, you have now ordered JulieAnne around by telling her what ‘she needs’ to do.

    Do you realise how offensive that is? It’s fine for you to decide that YOU want to ‘knock it off’. But unless you are the owner of the blog it’s not okay for you to tell someone else to stop responding to you.

  312. Deb wrote:

    Welcome to TWW. I am grateful that R.C. Sproul Jr. didn’t hurt himself, his kids, or anyone else when he was operating a vehicle in an intoxicated state. I hope he will have the strength to remain clean.

    @Deb Thank you for the welc

    As someone who was severely injured by a drunk driver (see bottom of the post), I don’t appreciate your “he who is without sin” diatribe. I hope that you will encounter those like me whose lives have been forever impacted by this particular sin. The pain is awful, particularly when loved ones have been snatched away because someone foolishly chose to drink and drive.

  313. Barbara is correct on the I Cor.5 text. Many “Christians” are allowed to live a double life because we are afraid to confront. Loving accountability along the way always helps prevent “expulsion” because it can guard against backsliding. But, in the case of a person that just will not repent and get help, and they refuse to own their sin, I Cor 5 is pretty clear. Remember too, that Paul also confronts the church when they do not welcome the repentant brother back. It just always seemed clear to me how Paul was instructing the Corinthian church to deal with sin that caused harm to the testimony of Christ. (And we are all frustrated with the double standards we have seen!!)

    I realize that our understanding of addiction today does make it complex, but I am just frustrated with the hypocrisy that makes us look pathetic to non-believers.

  314. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Hi Julie Anne,
    We really need to drop it as this point. We have gone several rounds. I have explained myself and you have explained yourself.
    So Velour, you have now ordered JulieAnne around by telling her what ‘she needs’ to do.
    Do you realise how offensive that is? It’s fine for you to decide that YOU want to ‘knock it off’. But unless you are the owner of the blog it’s not okay for you to tell someone else to stop responding to you.

    Hi Barbara,

    Julie Anne and I have each explained our thoughts on the topic of this alcoholic pastor multiple times. There isn’t much else to say. We know each others’ positions. I don’t consider that “offensive”.

    I agree that he should lose his job for his abuses and that he should not be enabled. I also think that his wife and children need help in living with a problem drinker and that the church should encourage them in this, as well as him getting treatment.

    H.A. telling me that I can’t comment to people who are expecting replies from me isn’t ok.

    Finally, you and I have different theological perspectives about how to handle people with addictions in the church.

  315. Velour wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Wartburgers, I suppose I should recuse myself from further comments on this piece. I am an old-school Southern Baptist who feels Christians would do well just to leave alcohol alone (period). I’ve seen the terrible impacts of alcohol abuse in my family, beginning with just a beer at the picnic to full-fledged alcoholism with many consequences. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I will upset folks if I keep talking … catch you on the next TWW piece.
    I don’t draw a hard line in the sand, which I think can go to the other direction of legalism.
    Many Christians, including from other cultures and countries, incorporate alcohol just fine in their lives without any problems. (I use red wine in cooking and I am glad to be out of an insufferable NeoCalvinist church that saw ‘sin’ in everything, including spaghetti sauce.)
    There are people who are alcoholics and yes, the first drink (beer, etc.) leads to much worse compulsive drinking. But not everyone is an alcoholic nor should they be classified as such.

    Velour, I concur with what you have said. This past Saturday, June 17, my daughter was married. We all toasted to the bride and groom with a glass of champagne. The ceiling didn’t come crashing down and God didn’t scream from the rafters, “Sinners, the lot of you! Put that drink away now!” Here as I type these words, there is a bottle of wine sitting on the kitchen counter within my view. It has been unopened for a month now, waiting for the opportune time to celebrate. Perhaps on my wedding anniversary.

    Just as people say, “Guns do not kill people, people kill people.” So also, alcohol is not the problem, but the people who abuse it.

  316. Lisa wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    Welcome to TWW. I am grateful that R.C. Sproul Jr. didn’t hurt himself, his kids, or anyone else when he was operating a vehicle in an intoxicated state. I hope he will have the strength to remain clean.

    @Deb Thank you for the welc

    As someone who was severely injured by a drunk driver (see bottom of the post), I don’t appreciate your “he who is without sin” diatribe. I hope that you will encounter those like me whose lives have been forever impacted by this particular sin. The pain is awful, particularly when loved ones have been snatched away because someone foolishly chose to drink and drive.

    @Deb – Thank you for the welcome. Apologies for hitting to soon and posting.

    With all humility and compassion I am sorry for your tragedy. I lost a cousin to drunk driving incident many years ago- she was a mother of one child. I also understand the difference of being the victim vs the perpetrator. Yes, the pain is awful. Thank you for sharing.

    In my professional life I both treat and work integratively healing disease with nutritional therapies- including those who have undergone transplants due to chronic substance abuse. I speak at CR on behalf of educating, as well as other community organizations supporting families such as AA.

    You cannot change your past, nor can I, nor can Rcjr. Effecting change is a responsibility every person has no matter their role; whether victim, family member of a substance abuser or the one directly responsible. I am thankful for support, growth and change.

    I know that if I told my patient/client they could never change and they might as well give up now and just die, it would not only go against my professional code of ethics, but the passion of my training assisting others to get well. Some never recover, some fully recover- but all live with the result of where they are and how they got there one way or another.

  317. George wrote:

    It just always seemed clear to me how Paul was instructing the Corinthian church to deal with sin that caused harm to the testimony of Christ. (And we are all frustrated with the double standards we have seen!!) I realize that our understanding of addiction today does make it complex, but I am just frustrated with the hypocrisy that makes us look pathetic to non-believers.

    A different opinion here, perhaps, or a different way of looking at this. From 1 Cor. 5, that you mention:

    “I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is
    an immoral person, [sexual immorality?]
    or covetous, [going after what belongs to others]
    or an idolater, [worshiping false gods]
    or a reviler, [verbal attack, slander, violent language]
    or a drunkard, [substance abuse]
    or a swindler [scams, cons]
    —not even to eat with such a one.”

    IMHO, these behaviors are socially dangerous, and therefore, that is why, perhaps the Bible says to not socialize with those who practice these specific 6 in the church. (The passage says these are found in the world, yes and moreover, in the church we are all sinners. However, due to the toxic nature of these 6 practices in a group fellowship, do not allow these.)

    Not being a theologian at all, perhaps my interpretation is off the mark? However, that is how I see that particular passage: social danger to others, or more than looks and testimony.

  318. @ Velour:
    I think it is best to take this argument back a bit. This is not a hill to die on and one of the purposes of the blog is to understand the point of view of others. I find that the best part of blogging. It causes me to stretch and to become more understanding.

    Unfortunately, I am in a lot of pain and maybe looking at surgery so I am having trouble keeping up with things.

  319. A different opinion here, perhaps, or a different way of looking at this. From 1 Cor. 5, that you mention:
    “I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is
    an immoral person, [sexual immorality?]
    or covetous, [going after what belongs to others]
    or an idolater, [worshiping false gods]
    or a reviler, [verbal attack, slander, violent language]

    Not saying you are wrong JY, but if you read the entire chapter, including the beginning of chapter six, Paul references the “assembly” as well, and “turning over to Satan”….

    It appears that the message is that if we allow someone to that has no intention of repenting to go on like “business as usual”, we are NOT helping the person and it sends the wrong message to others. Look at Paul’s comment about “a little leaven”.

    I wonder if Paul accused them of “boasting” because they were more concerned with numbers and protecting their reputation by sweeping things under the rug…. where have we seen that before?

    Remember too, that in a church that is functioning well, there are plenty of people that have sin issues that are sincerely repentant and asking for help, and we should be giving them loving care and it may involve counseling and financial resources.

    So, perhaps Paul is assuming that we need to put resources on the brothers and sisters that are really asking for help. Galatians 6 seems to differentiate between those people who are to be restored and those in ICor 5 that are to be “put out”.

    Not here to preach…. I enjoy reading here!

  320. dee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I think it is best to take this argument back a bit. This is not a hill to die on and one of the purposes of the blog is to understand the point of view of others. I find that the best part of blogging. It causes me to stretch and to become more understanding.
    Unfortunately, I am in a lot of pain and maybe looking at surgery so I am having trouble keeping up with things.

    Hi Dee,

    I am sorry that you are in pain and may have to have surgery. We will all be praying for you.

    As for my part, I have dropped it. It is shocking, and saddening to me, that in this day and age, with all that is known about how to help people with addictions, people in the church advocate kicking Christians with addictions out of church as a matter of policy.
    Not even your friend pastor Wade Burleson advocates that.

    Here is a lovely article by a Christian recovering alcoholic Heather about her journey as a Christian and an alcoholic. https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/ask-a-recovering-alcopholic-response-heather-kopp

  321. Beakerj wrote:

    If their Dad is a hard drinker selfish enough to drink and drive with them in the car, then they’ll have probably seen a huge amount of other poor behaviours, including him not being able to act as a functional adult for them when their Mum & then their sister died. The yawning gap between what he has preached as a Pastor & how he’s been as a man is a fertile ground for stopping believing, if they ever even started.

    I quoted the whole thing because it made me think of the whole PK phenomenon which may have played a role in RC2’s character formation. I am not making excuses. However, it must have been difficult to try to find yourself in the shadow of RC1 and all that entailed. And, it would have been in the interest of RC1 to try to coverup any misbehavior by RC2 that reflected poorly on RC1, especially in the “covenant child” framework of Covenant Theology. RC2 as an intelligent child and adolescent would learn to leverage that, and then we are off to the races toward where we are now. See also Tullian Tchividjian.

    I think that if RC2 truly loves his children, he will get himself some serious, serious top-drawer psychological and medical help. He will also get real psychological help for his children to work through the various traumatic experiences they have been through. Otherwise, there may well be avoidable tragedy in their futures.

  322. PaJo wrote:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if I am off topic by this point.
    It is remarkable how LITTLE one can do for an addict if the addict doesn’t want help.
    But it is also remarkable how MUCH can be done to protect others from the addict, that is NOT done.
    People think they have far more impact than they do re: what they can control re: an addict, and they think they have far less control than they do re: what they themselves can do to reduce the impact of the addict.
    Sr. can’t make Jr. stop drinking.
    Sr. CAN keep Jr. from standing in the pulpit.
    Sr. can’t stop Jr. from spending his money on alcohol.
    Sr. CAN cut off the paychecks.
    :0|
    It’s a sad world sometimes.

    Pajo: Excellent comments!

  323. Lea wrote:

    I have friends and family who don’t drink, for various reasons. Generally will not drink around them. I have been to bars with friends and had tea and nobody cares.

    When I am around a person/s who are alcoholics, I will not drink alcohol because I don’t want to be a cause for them to be tempted to drink. I think that is the kindest thing I can do for them as they are the weaker one/s in this regard.

  324. Darlene wrote:

    This past Saturday, June 17, my daughter was married. We all toasted to the bride and groom with a glass of champagne. The ceiling didn’t come crashing down and God didn’t scream from the rafters, “Sinners, the lot of you! Put that drink away now!” Here as I type these words, there is a bottle of wine sitting on the kitchen counter within my view. It has been unopened for a month now, waiting for the opportune time to celebrate. Perhaps on my wedding anniversary.

    That’s wonderful news! Congratulations to your daughter and family, Darlene.

    And have a happy upcoming wedding anniversary.

  325. George wrote:

    Not here to preach…. I enjoy reading here!

    Ditto. The exchange of viewpoints is very effective.

    I’m going to look at this again, with your comments in mind. When you brought up 1 Cor. 5, it is the opportunity I’ve been looking for, as pastors don’t really teach and preach about this much – maybe that is part of the problem. This includes the situation mentioned in this blog about a clergy family with substances abuse issues, to the point of endangering others.

    Thanks for your response, thoughts, and viewpoint.

  326. Lisa wrote:

    Rcjr is a gentle spirited man who loves his family and grieves over his sin

    and fails to get the help he needs …. so he keeps the whole thing going? That is not ‘repentance’, no. To seek to return to the Lord means to leave behind all of those temptations that cause one to fall and to no longer go where one is tempted. For many, if the self-med is alcohol or drugs or opioids, this requires medical help; and very likely psychiatric intervention and follow up also.

    The terrible way I have heard that an alcoholic manipulates others is that he/she will deny drinking, but then plot and plan to do anything that gets them to that ‘next drinkie’ ….. and nothing or no one, not family or innocent people, are considered

    I think Jr. is in serious trouble. Intervention: the RIGHT kind by STRONG people who really care about him is needed before a tragedy unfolds. Your post seems not to understand this, but if I have misinterpreted you, please correct me.

  327. I will be the first to admit that I have a definite bias. I have studied and truly believe and understand the disease/treatment model for addictions. I think many people do not understand how alcoholism changes the brain/cognitve activities of those addicted. Their brains truly don’t work. You might as well talk to a brick wall.

    But! Having been raised in a highly abusive alcoholic home (My mom) it sickens me sometimes to read about the love and compassion we should have for the addicted.And for the “we are all just sinners crowd” your ignorance is truly sickening. Can you imagine for one second the shame and embarrassment of having everyone know that your mom is a fall down drunk? To have her fall stark naked in front of you and others?
    If one has not read the Adult children of alcoholic books, don’t consider yourself educated on this matter.

    God in his infinite mercy intervened and all three children in this home were saved. Jesus has been helping us for over 60 years(along with many professionals) but oh the damage and hurt. If I even half told you what it did to my younger sister, people would get pitchforks. I don’t wish hell on RC Sprouls jr or any other alcoholic but I can guarantee you that their children have been through hell. Today children would be removed from such an environment, but in the deep deep South 60 years ago this was not the case

  328. @ Lisa:

    Thanks for your follow-up comment. Please know that I will be keeping R.C. Sproul Jr. and his family in my prayers.

    May he undergo professional treatment and break free from what appears to be a terrible addiction to alcohol.

  329. dee wrote:

    Deborah wrote:
    Clearly you didn’t read my comment with any understanding of what I was saying. Please read and then perhaps you will be able to respond according to what I ACTUALLY said.
    – – – – – –
    (Dee replied)
    Once again, you are a bit strong.

    I’m not totally on Deborah’s side in being so defensive of Sproul, but… in this particular matter, the other woman she was responding to (Christiane?) misunderstood her.

    I got what Deborah meant when she said “addicts cannot be helped,” but the other lady who replied to her took that remark the wrong way. The key part to what Deborah added was ‘the addict has to want to be helped.’

  330. Velour wrote:

    But to just say that someone with a drinking/substance abuse problem in the church should be publicly humiliated is NOT how substance abuse is supposed to be handled or treated.

    What are you agreeing with Barbara about…that all people with serious problems that require medical intervention and treatment should be publicly humiliated in a some kind of Salem Witch Trials II hearing? Not impressed.

    I’ll admit to being too lazy to scroll back up the page to read Barb’s original comments, but I don’t recall her asking for anyone to be publicly humiliated (?)

    I took her post as saying if a guy is doing something unethical or that the Bible says disqualifies that person from a leadership position, then the guy should step down.

    I think that would apply even to alcoholics or people with other sorts of problems.

    Do people who have alcoholism or other issues get passes from rules and standards that apply to everyone else?

  331. Max wrote:

    My son-in-law says that my love for fried chicken livers is a “sickness.”

    I was about to defend you, until I saw the word “livers” in there.

    Fried chicken yes, but fried chicken livers, no. Seek help! 🙂

  332. brian wrote:

    Thanks for the help on fathers day it was very good to tell that story. I have been trying to put many old “demons” to rest and cancel out some of those old tapes that keep repeating. I hope everyone has a very nice day. Please keep our nation’s decision makers in prayer over the next few weeks. Thank you.

    Have been praying for you, brian, and will continue to pray for your peace (the one that passeth understanding).

    I know something about old tapes. Got a few of my own.

  333. Velour wrote:

    Should alcoholics and drug addicts be enabled? No. They should face the consequences of their actions, including job loss.

    I think that is all what she was getting at, her basic point.

    Maybe she was advocating for it to be done in public (? – don’t recall, still too lazy to scroll up to re read her comment at this time) – would it be fine with you if he was fired in private?

  334. Boston Lady wrote:

    and wasn’t he the one who had advocated that “Christians (his version of it) should watch filthy movies and so on? He is damaging indeed, and the fruits are showing. All. Too. Clearly.

    That sounds very Mark Driscoll-ian. Maybe these two guys were separated at birth.

  335. H.A. wrote:

    Would it help your perspective any to know that RC Jr has unjustly excommunicated entire families, and we’re not just talking a few, including small children, for the alleged “sins” of their parents? In most cases those “sins” were nothing more than they wanted to leave his church for another church. He calls it “contumacy” and “breaking your covenant vows.” You could join St. Peter Presbyterian easily but just try leaving without his permission, and getting permission was impossible unless you had a good reason to be moving far away. Joining another church across town was never a good enough reason.

    He sounds like a great big jerk and a control freak.

  336. Velour wrote:

    My concern about Barbara’s comment is that at no time did she mention in-patient medical treatment for R.C. Sproul 2’s drinking (and whatever other problems that he has) and an intervention by family and friends with a trained professional. She just trotted out a few scripture verses as though that will take care of everything. It won’t.

    Maybe Barbara would support all that stuff… is it fair to base your arguments on silence? That she didn’t address him getting treatment does not necessarily mean she is opposed to the idea.

  337. I said, “Sproul Jr. has suffered tragedies, yes. Many of us have suffered tragedies. This does not give any of us an excuse to walk in disobedience to the Lord as he has.”

    H.A. took exception to what I said and said I “created a false correlation”.

    No sir (or ma’am), I did not create a false correlation. I clearly said there was no such correlation, that any excuse to the contrary is not accurate.

    However, you did make a good point, and I’m glad you did: Sproul Jr. did indeed engage in that sin and irresponsibility before those tragedies occurred his life — which bolsters my original statement.

    I spoke as “softly” as I did (from your POV) because others here apparently do not realize that drunkenness is clearly called a sin in the Bible.

  338. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    But to just say that someone with a drinking/substance abuse problem in the church should be publicly humiliated is NOT how substance abuse is supposed to be handled or treated.
    What are you agreeing with Barbara about…that all people with serious problems that require medical intervention and treatment should be publicly humiliated in a some kind of Salem Witch Trials II hearing? Not impressed.
    I’ll admit to being too lazy to scroll back up the page to read Barb’s original comments, but I don’t recall her asking for anyone to be publicly humiliated (?)
    I took her post as saying if a guy is doing something unethical or that the Bible says disqualifies that person from a leadership position, then the guy should step down.
    I think that would apply even to alcoholics or people with other sorts of problems.
    Do people who have alcoholism or other issues get passes from rules and standards that apply to everyone else?

    Hi Daisy,

    Nice to see you again.

    It seems that most of us are in agreement that:

    1. R.C. Sproul, Jr. has a serious drinking problem;
    2. That he is not qualified to serve as a pastor given his abusive history of church members, former church members, and other disqualifying behaviors;
    3. That he should get treatment; and
    4. That his (second) wife and children could benefit from help as well for the family members of problem drinkers so that they can learn to take care of themselves around him.

    We part company, however, over the theological issue of how to deal with people who are struggling with addictions in the church. Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church. I am not in that camp as that is an extreme position and there is much more that is known now about helping people with addictions.

  339. Deb wrote:

    Welcome to TWW! I wholeheartedly agree with your comment.

    Thank you, Deb. I appreciate the kind words. 🙂

  340. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    My concern about Barbara’s comment is that at no time did she mention in-patient medical treatment for R.C. Sproul 2’s drinking (and whatever other problems that he has) and an intervention by family and friends with a trained professional. She just trotted out a few scripture verses as though that will take care of everything. It won’t.
    Maybe Barbara would support all that stuff… is it fair to base your arguments on silence? That she didn’t address him getting treatment does not necessarily mean she is opposed to the idea.

    Thanks Daisy.

    We’ve already discussed this up the thread.

    She and I part theological company. She believes that alcoholics/addicts should be kicked out of the church, and that H.U.G. and I have a problem with the Bible.

    It’s a much more complicated issue than that. Even pastor Wade Burleson who has E-Church here on Sundays doesn’t subscribe to that.

  341. Velour wrote:

    It seems that most of us are in agreement that:

    1. R.C. Sproul, Jr. has a serious drinking problem;
    2. That he is not qualified to serve as a pastor given his abusive history of church members, former church members, and other disqualifying behaviors;
    3. That he should get treatment; and
    4. That his (second) wife and children could benefit from help as well for the family members of problem drinkers so that they can learn to take care of themselves around him.

    We part company, however, over the theological issue of how to deal with people who are struggling with addictions in the church. Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church. I am not in that camp as that is an extreme position and there is much more that is known now about helping people with addictions.

    I definitely agree with #1 and #2. And I agree with #3 — the kicker is, does HE want treatment? No one can make him do that.

    As for whether or not other believers part company with him — that situation is delineated by Christ Jesus Himself in Matthew 18.

    If RSJ confessed his sin, repented of it, and was restored to the Body of Christ, Hallelujah!

    If not — again, according to Christ Jesus, Himself — it would be appropriate for the local body to withdraw fellowship.

    Note, that process was taught by Christ Jesus for ANY believer. The responsibility of a pastor/leader is FAR greater, not less.

  342. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    H.A. wrote:

    Claire wrote:

    He has suffered tragedies, yes. Many of us have suffered tragedies. This does not give any of us an excuse to walk in disobedience to the Lord as he has.

    By creating a false correlation you just gave him the excuse he needs, and you’re not the only one here who keeps doing it

    To be Faire To Claire, I rather think she was denying, not creating, the correlation, but your point is otherwise important.

    Thank you, Nick. You got it. 🙂

  343. jeff wrote:

    If one has not read the Adult children of alcoholic books, don’t consider yourself educated on this matter.

    Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your story about growing up in an alcoholic family. I am so sorry for all of the abuses, shame, and humiliation that you and your siblings were subjected to.

    I am glad you got help and that your life is better.

    The books you recommended are quite good and I have read them.

  344. Velour wrote:

    You’ve posted several comments about this and never mentioned that Sproul 2’s church should get him into treatment for alcoholism (and whatever else ails him). Why not?

    Hmm. Just pondering here.

    It’s one thing for churches to give crummy, harmful (medical / psychological) advice to people
    (which I don’t think they should be doing, such as, telling depressed persons to cope with depression by forgoing medication and “read the Bible and trust in Jesus”)…

    …But is it always a church’s responsibility to tell, advise, or command a person to get some kind of medical or psychiatric treatment?

    I don’t know if that is a church’s role or responsibility.

    That would probably fall to the individual him or herself and/or their family.

  345. Mae wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    I have updated the post with photos of the injuries I sustained almost 45 years ago because someone chose to drink and drive.
    Scroll down to the bottom of the post.

    Horrific…..emotionally, physically , life changing in every way.
    Drunk/ drug driving maims and kills. No excuses for it, ever.

    Deb, your photos were the first thing I saw. WOW!!! doesn’t say it nearly strongly enough.

    I learned fairly early in life to fear drunk driving. When I was 12yo I began babysitting for a family who regularly attended my church. The parents would go to the local country club on Saturday nights, and they paid me well to watch their children, who were fantastic little people. We had a great time together.

    The parents would always come home much later than they had said. That was great for the money I was paid, but the dad would be so drunk, he could hardly keep the car on the road (forget about the correct lane) as he took me home.

    Thank God it was always so late, thus basically no traffic. (We lived out in the country.) I was always scared stiff riding with him, literally praying all the way home, and I didn’t even know the Lord then.

    Years later when I was a senior dating an “older” guy (in his twenties, lol) who took me to a college party about an hour from home, I made him promise me that he would not add anything to my Coke. He promised, but when we got there and got my drink, I knew it didn’t taste right. It turned out to be rum.

    It was pouring rain outside, but I gave the drink back to him and told him to take me home. He was shocked, couldn’t believe it. But I was serious and stood my ground, even though back then I was usually quite shy around older guys. He had always been so nice before, but that made me feel that I couldn’t trust him. (And that was pretty much the end of our short relationship, such as it was.)

    He took me home. I got there at about 9:30. My mother couldn’t believe I was home so early, lol. Now that I’m grown and look back on that, I realize even more clearly how serious a situation that could have become — if he had had a few too many, driving home on twisting mountain roads in the pouring rain.

    All this to say, I am so very glad you survived! I lost a number of friends in high school who didn’t. Two of them were guys showing out while drunk, but the others were victims of drunk drivers. 🙁

  346. Claire wrote:

    I definitely agree with #1 and #2. And I agree with #3 — the kicker is, does HE want treatment? No one can make him do that.
    As for whether or not other believers part company with him — that situation is delineated by Christ Jesus Himself in Matthew 18.
    If RSJ confessed his sin, repented of it, and was restored to the Body of Christ, Hallelujah!
    If not — again, according to Christ Jesus, Himself — it would be appropriate for the local body to withdraw fellowship.
    Note, that process was taught by Christ Jesus for ANY believer. The responsibility of a pastor/leader is FAR greater, not less.

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    There is so much more to Scripture than just Matthew 18:15-17 when it comes to dealing with people with problems. We are also to bear one anthers’ burdens, help one another, etc.

    There is so much more that is known about alcoholism and addiction.

    I wouldn’t step foot in a church that wasn’t trained to deal with the ‘big issues’, including substance abuse, and just kicked people out.

  347. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Should alcoholics and drug addicts be enabled? No. They should face the consequences of their actions, including job loss.
    I think that is all what she was getting at, her basic point.
    Maybe she was advocating for it to be done in public (? – don’t recall, still too lazy to scroll up to re read her comment at this time) – would it be fine with you if he was fired in private?

    In such churches (at least from my experience), excommunication is a public process.

    In our former church, which I understand was similar in many ways to RC Jr’s church, it involved either calling a congregational meeting (that would be to talk about the situation before taking it to excommunication) and then acting when the congregation was gathered together for worship (the cynical part of me wants to say, “The more the merrier” but it probably has something to do with holiness and ceremony), an elder would read out a statement and pronounce the excommunication.

    I remember a few times (fewer than the number of excommunications, of course), someone was also publicly welcomed back at a worship service and “biblically” restored to the body.

  348. @ refugee:
    I forgot to mention above, that the person being excommunicated is not present at the excommunication, because usually they’ve left the church by that point.

  349. Mae wrote:

    My FIL quit drinking, stayed sober 30 years. However, he was considered a,”dry drunk”,never stopped his stinking thinking. Never reconciled with some of his adult children, became semi reclusive. Not all former drinkers transform into likeable people.

    Yep, that is true.

    I’d also add that AA, in the case of one of my family members, after he stopped drinking, contributed to his so-called “stinking thinking.”

    It caused him to victim-blame everyone any time they shared some struggle they were going through with him, even though they were not at fault.

    (Sometimes some of the treatment programs can create another set of problems in a person.)

  350. H.A. wrote:

    “But he’d lost his wife to cancer” is the same excuse his supporters used to defend him over his Ashley Madison scandal. “Yes, he shouldn’t have been on Ashley Madison, but he’d lost his wife to cancer and was probably lonely.” It doesn’t take any effort to destroy such a lame excuse.

    Interesting points. My mother died several years back, causing me great emotional pain, but I didn’t turn to alcohol (or other substances) to cope with that pain. I didn’t even over-eat.

    There’s a show about morbidly obese people on cable TV, and some of them over eat to medicate pain left over from childhood.

  351. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    You’ve posted several comments about this and never mentioned that Sproul 2’s church should get him into treatment for alcoholism (and whatever else ails him). Why not?
    Hmm. Just pondering here.
    It’s one thing for churches to give crummy, harmful (medical / psychological) advice to people
    (which I don’t think they should be doing, such as, telling depressed persons to cope with depression by forgoing medication and “read the Bible and trust in Jesus”)…
    …But is it always a church’s responsibility to tell, advise, or command a person to get some kind of medical or psychiatric treatment?
    I don’t know if that is a church’s role or responsibility.
    That would probably fall to the individual him or herself and/or their family.

    I agree with you, Daisy, that churches should not be giving crummy advice to people. They do more harm than good.

    In my comments, in case you missed them, I also talked about the importance of churches seeking professional advice for dealing with pastors (or other members) who have substance abuse problems.

    For me it falls under the “love one anothers” to direct a person into substance abuse treatment as well as to care for their family and to guide them to appropriate help.

  352. Deb said: “Back in 1972 shoulder seat belts weren’t installed in vehicles. This truck had lap belts, which I’m pretty sure we weren’t using. It wasn’t a law back then.”

    Exactly. I remember those days very well.

    Deb, I also meant to say, How horrible for your friend that she lost her parents in such an awful way! And that she suffered injuries, too.

    Commercials always depict drinkers as so happy, having fun, etc. The down side of too much drink is never shown.

    Someone else posted about Stephen King. I didn’t know he was a “dry alcoholic”. That’s a very hard life, to put it mildly. It can also be very hard to live with one.

    My FIL was a dry alcoholic. When he was born again by the power of Christ Jesus, he did become a new creature in Him. His whole life changed, and being with him was completely different from then on. An inexpressible blessing.

  353. T J Mercer wrote:

    Our sin is as sinful as is his.

    The Bible teaches no such thing. The Bible does not teach that all sins are equal in severity. It just says any and all sin can send a person to Hell, not that all sins are the same or equal.

  354. mot wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Wonder what will happen to churches or SBC leaders if they are not willing to sign off on this resolution?

    I’m wondering if a 2018 resolution will be about “depravity” or the “elect”????

    The “meshing” of the SBC with Calvinists, as I’ve witnessed for several years now, both locally and online, has been a great mystery to me. There doesn’t appear to be any agreement in their doctrines at all.

  355. Velour wrote:

    Barbara could have easily included treatment for alcoholism in her comment. Instead she said “ha ha” and discussed kicking him out of the church, complete with scripture verses to justify the deed. (For readers that don’t know Barbara, she and Jeff Crippen write over at the A Cry for Justice blog about domestic violence in the church.)

    I did not see her post in that manner. I think you’re being a little hard on Barbara.

    (And this is coming from me, who pointed out in one blog post on my Daisy Blog that I am confounded and disappointed that she and her co-blogger have prohibited discussion of codependency at their domestic violence blog.)

  356. Velour wrote:

    Barbara trotted out the classic evangelical line that people with these problems aren’t real Christians, aren’t bearing fruit, etc.

    Based on everything I’m reading about this guy in this thread and the OP by various people, (that he joined an adultery site, he’s been a bully for years, is authoritarian, he has his church ostracize ex members, etc) are you saying that this bad fruit should be ignored, all because the guy is also an alcoholic?

    From what I’m seeing on this thread, RC Jr. is Mark Driscoll, but only with more beer added.

  357. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Barbara trotted out the classic evangelical line that people with these problems aren’t real Christians, aren’t bearing fruit, etc.
    Based on everything I’m reading about this guy in this thread and the OP by various people, (that he joined an adultery site, he’s been a bully for years, is authoritarian, he has his church ostracize ex members, etc) are you saying that this bad fruit should be ignored, all because the guy is also an alcoholic?
    From what I’m seeing on this thread, RC Jr. is Mark Driscoll, but only with more beer added.

    Hi Daisy:

    I’m posting the list again from a few comments ago. I have already covered this in Point #2, that he is not qualified to serve. I’m not giving him a pass on any abusive behavior. I don’t support enabling him.

    “Velour wrote:
    It seems that most of us are in agreement that:
    1. R.C. Sproul, Jr. has a serious drinking problem;
    2. That he is not qualified to serve as a pastor given his abusive history of church members, former church members, and other disqualifying behaviors;
    3. That he should get treatment; and
    4. That his (second) wife and children could benefit from help as well for the family members of problem drinkers so that they can learn to take care of themselves around him.
    We part company, however, over the theological issue of how to deal with people who are struggling with addictions in the church. Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church. I am not in that camp as that is an extreme position and there is much more that is known now about helping people with addictions.”

  358. Velour wrote:

    Claire wrote:

    I definitely agree with #1 and #2. And I agree with #3 — the kicker is, does HE want treatment? No one can make him do that.
    As for whether or not other believers part company with him — that situation is delineated by Christ Jesus Himself in Matthew 18.
    If RSJ confessed his sin, repented of it, and was restored to the Body of Christ, Hallelujah!
    If not — again, according to Christ Jesus, Himself — it would be appropriate for the local body to withdraw fellowship.
    Note, that process was taught by Christ Jesus for ANY believer. The responsibility of a pastor/leader is FAR greater, not less.

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    There is so much more to Scripture than just Matthew 18:15-17 when it comes to dealing with people with problems. We are also to bear one anthers’ burdens, help one another, etc.

    There is so much more that is known about alcoholism and addiction.

    I wouldn’t step foot in a church that wasn’t trained to deal with the ‘big issues’, including substance abuse, and just kicked people out.

    We agree on your closing statement, Velour. And, yes, there is more. Another poster posted Scripture from one of Paul’s letters about not fellowshipping with people who proclaim faith in Christ Jesus, but live a life of continual unrepentant sin.

    The process which Christ Jesus taught was not “kicking someone out”. He gave several steps to be taken in dealing with a professed believer who is living a life of rebellion against God.

    It’s hard here to put everything in words, but I really don’t think we are very far apart on this issue. To me, the bottom line is — Does RSJ want help? Will he receive it?

    Confession that his drunkenness IS sin (it sounds like that alone would be a huge step), then repentance toward God (making a U-turn and living a completely different life) AND toward others (asking forgiveness of everyone he has wronged) — these would be HUGE steps for him. The only way he could/would ever do this would be by the power of God giving him the grace and strength.

  359. T J Mercer wrote:

    Gossip and Condemnation of others is no less sinful than is murder. The Church is to “restore those who are struggling in sin not” not shoot them. I need to be careful to look to Scripture for my measure of God’s Law for sin, not taking the measure from what people and tradition may say sin is. Come on People!!!! Our sin is as sinful as is his.

    The old playing the “gossip card”. It is an old tactic that sadly a lot of leaders have used for a long time that has allowed them to hide their sin and or at least questionable actions. I am sure this “gossip card” is one of the factors that allowed RC Sproul Jr. to get away with what he did for long. People were afraid to discuss it.

    First of all, it can be pretty hard to define just what gossip is. Groups like Sovereign Grace Churches and others have a pretty broad definition of what they consider “gossip”. They also throw in the “slander” term. When there are such broad definitions of what gossip is, many regular members are afraid to share with others their concerns and issues they see. When people are discussing or pointing this out many people begin to think they are the only seeing these problems when multiple people have these same views.

    It is great in this day and age with blogs etc. People can discuss their thoughts and glaring hypocrisy so that what we are seeing with R.C. Sproul Jr. can be exposed.

  360. Dear friends, Now that my rant is over, I feel that if a business can tell tell an employee “Joe you have a problem that’s affecting your work, get help” then a church should be able in love to request/require an individual to get treatment. My thing has always been to understand that the addict is probably hurting others and that’s not OK.

    Treatment can help only those who reach rock bottom. I feel everyone involved( church, family, job should ethically help a person reach bottom. Mr Sproul Jr has not reached the bottom. He is still employed and has his children.

    I do not believe that an addict should be thrown out of church.There is afterall a disease involved, but a church should not enable. That of course is subjective and christian people will disagree on what is help and what is enabling. I am a hardliner. I think a spouse should leave and take the children (better yet kick the addict out of the house) I have seen people who lose their family and job recover and then the family can be restored. Praise God, that is truly His heart and should be ours.

  361. Daisy wrote:

    Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)

    Daisy,

    Perhaps you missed Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m. to H.U.G. and me:

    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

    We are called in the Bible to many other things, including loving one another, bearing each others’ burdens, than simply kicking people out who aren’t like us. Many people — including women — secretly struggle with addiction in the church. It is complex. To simply kick them out, in my opinion, is wrong.

    I will not go to a church that has such Dark Ages practices.

  362. Someone commented and said that this was the only time that R.C. Sproul Jr. was arrested for driving under the influence and seemed to want use this as another defense for Jr.

    As the saying goes, for every rat you catch you know that there a lot more that you don’t catch. I have no doubt that it wasn’t the first time by any means that R.C. Sproul was driving under the influence. Just because this was his first arrest don’t assume that this was the first time he did it. Based on his history I am sure he did it numerous times without getting caught.

  363. Velour wrote:

    You aren’t making any sense in your belief that we’re all supposed to intuit what Barbara is thinking and therefore she ‘doesn’t have to say it’.
    You are also incorrect that I am ‘putting Barbara down’ because I disagree with her. I very concerned that in this day and age with all of the resources available to help guide the church with handling serious problems including substance abuse that the only response that Barbara had was to kick Sproul out of the church.

    Why does someone have to specifically endorse treatment for someone or something in order to confirm in your mind that they are not ‘anti-treatment’?

    I don’t get your reasoning on any of this.

    You said,

    that the only response that Barbara had was to kick Sproul out of the church.

    Perhaps you are being blinded by the guy’s alcohol addiction.

    Temporarily remove the alcohol factor from consideration.

    Based on what I’m seeing by other people here, who have left posts (other than the one person above who says RC Jr is “gentle”), the guy sounds abusive.

    He’s apparently a carbon copy of Mark Driscoll, only with an alcohol problem. I’ve never excused Driscoll’s awful behavior, why would I excuse this RC Jr. person’s?

    You said,

    “Please stop”? What does that mean? Please stop advocating for his children? Or for his wife? Or for the other secret alcoholics in the pews who are struggling and ashamed and who need help? Please stop advocating for other family members of substance abusers and how the church treats them?

    That’s obviously not what JA meant.

  364. Claire wrote:

    We agree on your closing statement, Velour. And, yes, there is more. Another poster posted Scripture from one of Paul’s letters about not fellowshipping with people who proclaim faith in Christ Jesus, but live a life of continual unrepentant sin.
    The process which Christ Jesus taught was not “kicking someone out”. He gave several steps to be taken in dealing with a professed believer who is living a life of rebellion against God.
    It’s hard here to put everything in words, but I really don’t think we are very far apart on this issue. To me, the bottom line is — Does RSJ want help? Will he receive it?

    Your comment was a nice surprise, Claire.

    I don’t think that an active substance abuser has a good idea of what they want many times, besides the next hit of [substance of choice]. That’s the importance of getting them into treatment…and then waiting, praying, and not enabling.

  365. Velour wrote:

    Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church.

    I don’t recall anyone saying addictions alone warranted anyone being kicked out. Can you please identify the comment?

  366. H.A. wrote:

    Plainly put so-called “support” programs are overrated. The recidivism statistics bear this out, and the “treatment programs” are just as disappointing. AA in particular is seriously overrated, and even the courts know it.

    Yep. I did some research into AA a few years back after a family member of mine joined and was in a few years, after his behavior became weird and more annoying than usual.

    Anyway, some of the stuff I discovered is that AA (and groups similar to it) have a high failure rate. There are other problems with such groups, as well.

    Most revealing are the forums and blogs by ex members. Those are very informative.

  367. Daisy wrote:

    Perhaps you are being blinded by the guy’s alcohol addiction.
    Temporarily remove the alcohol factor from consideration.
    Based on what I’m seeing by other people here, who have left posts (other than the one person above who says RC Jr is “gentle”), the guy sounds abusive.

    Hi Daisy,

    Are you not reading my comments to you? Have you not caught up?

    Here’s my list again to you of the issues, and I have already covered what you have raised in my list in Point #2: That R.C. Sproul Jr. is not qualified to keep his pastoral job.

    “Velour wrote:
    It seems that most of us are in agreement that:
    1. R.C. Sproul, Jr. has a serious drinking problem;
    2. That he is not qualified to serve as a pastor given his abusive history of church members, former church members, and other disqualifying behaviors;
    3. That he should get treatment; and
    4. That his (second) wife and children could benefit from help as well for the family members of problem drinkers so that they can learn to take care of themselves around him.
    We part company, however, over the theological issue of how to deal with people who are struggling with addictions in the church. Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church. I am not in that camp as that is an extreme position and there is much more that is known now about helping people with addictions.”

  368. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church.
    I don’t recall anyone saying addictions alone warranted anyone being kicked out. Can you please identify the comment?

    Barbara made the comment to H.U.G. and me.

    “Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m.
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

  369. refugee wrote:

    Aha. Sin leveling at its very finest.

    LOL, my thoughts, too.

    If you had to be stuck on a desert island with one of three guys,
    1. a serial killer,
    2. a check forger, or
    3. a rapist,
    which guy of those 3 would you choose to be stuck with?

    I don’t even think the sin leveler types would go with choices 1 or 3. 🙂

  370. Gram3 wrote:

    That does not mean that we do not also think that he should get treatment for the good of his children and his wife and the community at large. But when we have followed the path of destruction he has left in his wake for decades, I hope you can understand why our first reaction was not “Get treatment for RC2.” It’s just that our first thought is for his past victims and future victims if he is allowed to continue.

    That is the picture I’m getting from those of you who have kept up to speed on RC Jr for a long time. This guy has way more going on than alcoholism.

  371. jeff wrote:

    Dear friends, Now that my rant is over, I feel that if a business can tell tell an employee “Joe you have a problem that’s affecting your work, get help” then a church should be able in love to request/require an individual to get treatment. My thing has always been to understand that the addict is probably hurting others and that’s not OK.
    Treatment can help only those who reach rock bottom. I feel everyone involved( church, family, job should ethically help a person reach bottom. Mr Sproul Jr has not reached the bottom. He is still employed and has his children.
    I do not believe that an addict should be thrown out of church.There is afterall a disease involved, but a church should not enable. That of course is subjective and christian people will disagree on what is help and what is enabling. I am a hardliner. I think a spouse should leave and take the children (better yet kick the addict out of the house) I have seen people who lose their family and job recover and then the family can be restored. Praise God, that is truly His heart and should be ours.

    Hi Jeff,

    Great minds think alike! I also think that churches, like employers, play a role in getting people with addictions into treatment. It doesn’t mean it will work. But it should be tried.

  372. Velour wrote:

    I was very clear that R.C. Sproul Jr. should NOT be enabled in keeping his job and that he should face consequences (i.e. job loss).

    I think that was what Barbara was in part advocating for up thread.

  373. The Bible calls “drunkenness” a sin. I’m not contesting that.

    Drunkenness may involve more of a choice than does alcoholism. One may be a choice, the other, an illness.

    I wish to God I had not had to learn what I have about addictions.

  374. Steve240 wrote:

    Someone commented and said that this was the only time that R.C. Sproul Jr. was arrested for driving under the influence and seemed to want use this as another defense for Jr.
    As the saying goes, for every rat you catch you know that there a lot more that you don’t catch. I have no doubt that it wasn’t the first time by any means that R.C. Sproul was driving under the influence. Just because this was his first arrest don’t assume that this was the first time he did it. Based on his history I am sure he did it numerous times without getting caught.

    Spot on.

  375. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I was very clear that R.C. Sproul Jr. should NOT be enabled in keeping his job and that he should face consequences (i.e. job loss).
    I think that was what Barbara was in part advocating for up thread.

    Yes, she and I are in agreement on that point.

    We are theologically different, however, in how we view people with addictions. She stated in her comment to H.U.G. and me that she believes that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church and that the problem and H.U.G. and I had was with the Bible if we didn’t agree.

    Ummm no.

    Lots more is known about addictions these days.

  376. Velour wrote:

    I am not the least bit surprised by this [RC JR using an adultery site] as it’s commonplace in alcoholic behavior and something that is covered in treatment and on-going recovery programs.

    So… a married guy being an alcoholic is a justification for using a cheating site?

  377. PaJo wrote:

    The Bible calls “drunkenness” a sin. I’m not contesting that.
    Drunkenness may involve more of a choice than does alcoholism. One may be a choice, the other, an illness.
    I wish to God I had not had to learn what I have about addictions.

    Thank you, Pa Jo. Precisely.

  378. Steve240 wrote:

    Someone commented and said that this was the only time that R.C. Sproul Jr. was arrested for driving under the influence and seemed to want use this as another defense for Jr.

    I’m not sure if I’m thinking of the same comment, but I remember reading a comment that was confirming that this was the first DUI in a long history of drinking and driving (a history that goes way back, before the deaths of his wife and daughter, which means he’s been doing this for years).

    I got the idea that the commenter thought it was a pity that there hadn’t been any earlier DUIs, because the judge would not have let him off so easily if there had been a past record.

    I don’t remember if it was the Spinderella blog or somewhere else, but I do remember reading a comment from a former member of his church whose kid was in Sproul Jr’s car when he was driving drunk, and (if I’m remember right) after the kid told the parents, they never permitted their kid to ride with him again.

    Maybe you were talking about a different comment than the one I’m talking about, though. This thread has been pretty lively.

  379. Velour wrote:

    My problem isn’t with the Bible, it’s with your lack of knowledge about how to treat addictions in the Christian community.

    I think there’s a mixing of apples and oranges here, and it’s been going on since the very start of this thread.

    Barbara’s focus is on how the church should deal with it, how to deal with someone who’s chronically misbehaving, which is a separate topic from how and when should someone receive medical attention for a problem.

  380. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I am not the least bit surprised by this [RC JR using an adultery site] as it’s commonplace in alcoholic behavior and something that is covered in treatment and on-going recovery programs.
    So… a married guy being an alcoholic is a justification for using a cheating site?

    No it’s not. But sexual problems are a common problem in alcoholics — men and women alike — and it’s covered in treatment programs and post-treatment programs. And money. And stealing. And lots and lots of other things that are common problems in alcoholics.

  381. Julie Anne wrote:

    I had already read your first comment about Barbara and codependency. That feels like another put down and I’m really uncomfortable with it. Blog owners can run their blogs how they like. But to take that info and post it here?

    JA, I addressed that in a blog post on my Miss Daisy Blog some time ago (that my posts at Barbara’s blog were censored for mentioning codependency. I found learning about that topic very helpful to me – my mother was raised in a home filled with alcoholism and domestic violence).

    I’m not entirely sure why it’s considered relevant by Velour in talking to Barbara about RC Jr., though.

  382. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    My problem isn’t with the Bible, it’s with your lack of knowledge about how to treat addictions in the Christian community.
    I think there’s a mixing of apples and oranges here, and it’s been going on since the very start of this thread.
    Barbara’s focus is on how the church should deal with it, how to deal with someone who’s chronically misbehaving, which is a separate topic from how and when should someone receive medical attention for a problem.

    I wouldn’t call it a mixing of apples and oranges. Handling substance abusers in the church requires a multi-pronged approach, best done on the advice of experts in substance abuse who can properly direct the church’s leaders in how to handle it.

  383. Velour wrote:

    I know someone who has been banned from Barbara’s blog for using the term “codependency”, which Barbara doesn’t permit. I no longer read Barbara’s blog for that reason either.

    I was never banned from her blog- you may have misunderstood my post on that at my blog.

    I said on my blog that the TOPIC itself was banned, which I find detrimental to women who are in abusive relationships (whether marriage, friendship, at work, etc).

  384. JYJames wrote:

    George wrote:

    It just always seemed clear to me how Paul was instructing the Corinthian church to deal with sin that caused harm to the testimony of Christ. (And we are all frustrated with the double standards we have seen!!) I realize that our understanding of addiction today does make it complex, but I am just frustrated with the hypocrisy that makes us look pathetic to non-believers.

    A different opinion here, perhaps, or a different way of looking at this. From 1 Cor. 5, that you mention:

    “I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is
    an immoral person, [sexual immorality?]
    or covetous, [going after what belongs to others]
    or an idolater, [worshiping false gods]
    or a reviler, [verbal attack, slander, violent language]
    or a drunkard, [substance abuse]
    or a swindler [scams, cons]
    —not even to eat with such a one.”

    IMHO, these behaviors are socially dangerous, and therefore, that is why, perhaps the Bible says to not socialize with those who practice these specific 6 in the church. (The passage says these are found in the world, yes and moreover, in the church we are all sinners. However, due to the toxic nature of these 6 practices in a group fellowship, do not allow these.)

    Not being a theologian at all, perhaps my interpretation is off the mark? However, that is how I see that particular passage: social danger to others, or more than looks and testimony.

    JYJames, thank you so much for posting that scripture reference — and the phrases in it. I was looking for that recently.

    I do agree with George because I believe that scripture passage is the Word of God. I’m not sure that we disagree? Blessings to you both. 🙂

  385. Daisy wrote:

    Julie Anne wrote:
    I had already read your first comment about Barbara and codependency. That feels like another put down and I’m really uncomfortable with it. Blog owners can run their blogs how they like. But to take that info and post it here?
    JA, I addressed that in a blog post on my Miss Daisy Blog some time ago (that my posts at Barbara’s blog were censored for mentioning codependency. I found learning about that topic very helpful to me – my mother was raised in a home filled with alcoholism and domestic violence).
    I’m not entirely sure why it’s considered relevant by Velour in talking to Barbara about RC Jr., though.

    I appreciate Barbara’s ministry to domestic violence victims on her and Jeff Crippen’s blog.

    I have been concerned for some time, like you, about her banning “codependency” terminology, which is helpful in describing the dynamics in many families.

    I am even more concerned about her lack of education and information about addiction, including co-addiction (i.e. codependency).

  386. @ Barbara Roberts:
    I think Velour was confused by a post I put on my ‘Daisy’ blog.
    I mentioned in a post on there that your blog (among a few other ones I’ve seen) either ban the use of the word or topic of Codependency, or make the incorrect claim that it is “victim blaming.”

    She may have been confused and thought I wrote that I myself have been banned from your blog, which I never wrote or said.

    I said in my post that the topic is banned on your blog (which is a shame, because learning about it has helped me immensely. My mother was codependent in part because her father used to abuser her and her mother, and she raised me to have codependent behaviors, which left me vulnerable to being exploited or abused by other people.)

  387. Barbara Roberts wrote:

    Velour, that person you know may believe that we ‘banned’ her from A Cry For Justice. But we did not ban her. We chose not to publish a comment (or comments?) from her when she kept on and on telling us that we were wrong to take the view we took about codependency.

    I know you all did not ban me there.

  388. George wrote:

    Barbara is correct on the I Cor.5 text. Many “Christians” are allowed to live a double life because we are afraid to confront. Loving accountability along the way always helps prevent “expulsion” because it can guard against backsliding. But, in the case of a person that just will not repent and get help, and they refuse to own their sin, I Cor 5 is pretty clear. Remember too, that Paul also confronts the church when they do not welcome the repentant brother back. It just always seemed clear to me how Paul was instructing the Corinthian church to deal with sin that caused harm to the testimony of Christ. (And we are all frustrated with the double standards we have seen!!)

    I realize that our understanding of addiction today does make it complex, but I am just frustrated with the hypocrisy that makes us look pathetic to non-believers.

    Thank you so much for this balanced and compassionate post, George. Very well said. 🙂

  389. Darlene wrote:

    When I am around a person/s who are alcoholics, I will not drink alcohol because I don’t want to be a cause for them to be tempted to drink. I think that is the kindest thing I can do for them as they are the weaker one/s in this regard.

    I don’t drink alcohol. When you’re a non-drinker at social functions, the drinkers noticed.

    I’ve had people pressure me to drink when I’ve gone to parties (when they see me standing there sans drink in hand), and I’ve had a few people ask me if I’m a recovering alcoholic.

    I don’t think many people in American culture know what to make of people who go to social functions and don’t stand around with a drink. It makes some of them feel uncomfortable for some reason.

  390. jeff wrote:

    I will be the first to admit that I have a definite bias. I have studied and truly believe and understand the disease/treatment model for addictions. I think many people do not understand how alcoholism changes the brain/cognitve activities of those addicted. Their brains truly don’t work. You might as well talk to a brick wall.

    But! Having been raised in a highly abusive alcoholic home (My mom) it sickens me sometimes to read about the love and compassion we should have for the addicted.And for the “we are all just sinners crowd” your ignorance is truly sickening. Can you imagine for one second the shame and embarrassment of having everyone know that your mom is a fall down drunk? To have her fall stark naked in front of you and others?
    If one has not read the Adult children of alcoholic books, don’t consider yourself educated on this matter.

    God in his infinite mercy intervened and all three children in this home were saved. Jesus has been helping us for over 60 years(along with many professionals) but oh the damage and hurt. If I even half told you what it did to my younger sister, people would get pitchforks. I don’t wish hell on RC Sprouls jr or any other alcoholic but I can guarantee you that their children have been through hell. Today children would be removed from such an environment, but in the deep deep South 60 years ago this was not the case

    Jeff, I hear you, brother. A close friend and her hub are rearing three teens (have reared them from babyhood) because their mom (their daughter) did these (ed.) very things, along with allowing a number of guys to use her as they chose, which often put her children’s lives in jeopardy.

    Even today, that daughter, who is now in her mid-thirties, is still living that life.

    Yes, that daughter needs HELP!!! (caps and emphasis intended)

    But her children have been wounded and scarred. One’s dad ritually abused her as a baby, and another one doesn’t even know his dad.

    These need compassion. These need help. Yet often they are overlooked while the oppressed one gets all the attention. I am NOT saying that the oppressed one does NOT need attention and HELP!!! I’m just acknowledging the reality of what was your life and what is their life.

    I pray the Lord will heal you of all your wounds, sir. Just as I pray for them, too.

  391. Velour wrote:

    In my comments, in case you missed them, I also talked about the importance of churches seeking professional advice for dealing with pastors (or other members) who have substance abuse problems.
    For me it falls under the “love one anothers” to direct a person into substance abuse treatment as well as to care for their family and to guide them to appropriate help.

    OK, well, I’m not sure if I am in agreement with that view or not.

  392. jeff wrote:

    I do not believe that an addict should be thrown out of church.

    I wonder if the people who are advocating for alcoholics to be removed from a church mean only specifically a person who also works in a leadership position, such as pastor? I wonder if they are applying this to all, or only to people who fill certain roles?

  393. Velour wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)
    —–
    Velour said:

    Daisy,
    Perhaps you missed Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m. to H.U.G. and me:
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”
    We are called in the Bible to many other things, including loving one another, bearing each others’ burdens, than simply kicking people out who aren’t like us. Many people — including women — secretly struggle with addiction in the church. It is complex. To simply kick them out, in my opinion, is wrong.
    I will not go to a church that has such Dark Ages practices.

    Whoa, what? That was not my post or quote. Why are you addressing that to me?

  394. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    In my comments, in case you missed them, I also talked about the importance of churches seeking professional advice for dealing with pastors (or other members) who have substance abuse problems.
    For me it falls under the “love one anothers” to direct a person into substance abuse treatment as well as to care for their family and to guide them to appropriate help.
    OK, well, I’m not sure if I am in agreement with that view or not.

    I understand.

    We’v had varied opinions on how to handle addictions in the church on this thread. To me, it’s the better road than the kick them out approach.

  395. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Daisy wrote:
    Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)
    —–
    Velour said:
    Daisy,
    Perhaps you missed Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m. to H.U.G. and me:
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”
    We are called in the Bible to many other things, including loving one another, bearing each others’ burdens, than simply kicking people out who aren’t like us. Many people — including women — secretly struggle with addiction in the church. It is complex. To simply kick them out, in my opinion, is wrong.
    I will not go to a church that has such Dark Ages practices.
    Whoa, what? That was not my post or quote. Why are you addressing that to me?

    It is Barbara’s quote to H.U.G. and me. It’s not your quote. I have no idea why it quoted it twice and there was a glitch attributing Barbara’s quote to you.

    I was answering your question to me and what Barbara wrote to H.U.G. and me.

  396. Julie Anne wrote:

    I may or may not have had a glass of wine after reading this thread.

    Just make sure to have some dark chocolate, no matter what you do.

  397. @ Velour:
    I’ve read all your comments to this point, yes, and I’m still mystified why you are so upset with other people’s comments. I think you’re seeing something in their posts that is not there, or are misunderstanding their post.

    One theme I’m getting from your numerous replies, and in spite of your protests to the contrary, is that a person’s alcoholism should out-weight all else, and excuse that person.

    You’ll say in one breath that the dude should be fired or held accountable, but then you get angry with people who say he should be held accountable or be fired (in public).

    I don’t really remember seeing anyone in this thread say they are anti- treatment.

    I’m not getting the disconnect going on in this thread.

  398. Velour wrote:

    Barbara made the comment to H.U.G. and me.
    “Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m.
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

    1 Corinthians 5:11-13:

    11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[a] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[b] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

  399. Velour wrote:

    I wouldn’t call it a mixing of apples and oranges.

    I would because it’s factoring into your misunderstanding or assumptions about Barbara’s first post to this thread.

  400. Barbara/Julie Ann

    I remember how lonely I was when I first walked away from the spiritually toxic environment that I found in the inner circle of that church. I say “I” because it was just I. For several weeks my wife continued going with my daughter while I stayed at home and grieved my loss. I’m talking about the loss of time with real friends who are still my friends. Those that saw the issues, which were primarily with the entrepreneurial head pastor, minimized them and advised me to hang in there and focus on my small group fellowship. I remember the anticipation of validation and consolation as some of those same people also left soon after. It never came as most of them immediately started looking for the next shiny thing. In the midst of my own imperfections, it was difficult for me to find peace in my assurance. Eventually I found assurance in my peace. On the way to that peace I found a little bit of information about ARC, which my church was affiliated with and that made all the difference in the world.

    As I started to spend more time alone with God and listen to “Where Could I Go, but to the Lord”, my heart started to change. My wife walked this bumpy road with me and patiently ignored me when I reacted out of hurt. We now approach these matters much more like a spiritual team and have developed richer relationships not dependent on being part of the organization. I have forgiven that pastor in my heart and now have sympathy for the hurts that helped form his character.

    Only in the past few months have I started posting a little here. I try to steer clear of saying something that might offend someone like, but I could tell that one of my comments somehow triggered the abusive experience memory of another poster, so I did my best to clarify my comment rather than double down and magnify the confusion. It was obvious that the other poster had replied out of their own painful experience. It seems to me that Velour’s initial comments were based on her own painful experience of being pushed out when she needed to be embraced instead. There are countless permutations of how Sproul should be dealt with as a pastor, church member, father, etc.; but it seems that Velour is like Christ n her desire to see this man reconciled in his relationship to God and with his fellow man. I say this in support of Velour without being critical to either one of you who may have responded from your own pain. It is my prayer that others who’ve been hurt find assurance in God’s peace.

  401. Julie Anne wrote:

    I may or may not have had a glass of wine after reading this thread.

    I wouldn’t blame you. Though I’m not a drinker. I am a choco-holic. Unfortunately, I don’t have any chocolate in the house, sad face: 🙁

  402. Daisy wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I’ve read all your comments to this point, yes, and I’m still mystified why you are so upset with other people’s comments. I think you’re seeing something in their posts that is not there, or are misunderstanding their post.
    One theme I’m getting from your numerous replies, and in spite of your protests to the contrary, is that a person’s alcoholism should out-weight all else, and excuse that person.
    You’ll say in one breath that the dude should be fired or held accountable, but then you get angry with people who say he should be held accountable or be fired (in public).
    I don’t really remember seeing anyone in this thread say they are anti- treatment.
    I’m not getting the disconnect going on in this thread.

    Hi Daisy,

    At no time have I excused R.C. Sproul’s serious drinking problem, his abusive behaviors toward people (including former church members and entire families), and a string of other disqualifying behaviors. I do not believe that anyone is doing him any favors by enabling him. I’ve said so.

    I think that PaJo made an excellent comment about the differences up the thread.

    I am, however, shocked and disappointed that in this day and age –with all that is known about helping people with addictions — that people would advocate Dark Ages treatment that addicts should be kicked out of the church and proof-text their way to doing it.

    Here’s my list again:
    “Velour wrote:
    It seems that most of us are in agreement that:
    1. R.C. Sproul, Jr. has a serious drinking problem;
    2. That he is not qualified to serve as a pastor given his abusive history of church members, former church members, and other disqualifying behaviors;
    3. That he should get treatment; and
    4. That his (second) wife and children could benefit from help as well for the family members of problem drinkers so that they can learn to take care of themselves around him.
    We part company, however, over the theological issue of how to deal with people who are struggling with addictions in the church. Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church. I am not in that camp as that is an extreme position and there is much more that is known now about helping people with addictions.”

  403. P.S. About the three teens I mentioned: The other one has been deeply depressed and suicidal for at least a year. She is going to counseling regularly and, thankfully, has allowed people at church to pray for her. She seems to be slowly but surely getting better.

    Correction of typo (I wish we could edit here!): “…their mom did these very things…”

  404. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I wouldn’t call it a mixing of apples and oranges.
    I would because it’s factoring into your misunderstanding or assumptions about Barbara’s first post to this thread.

    No, we have theological differences about how people in the church with addictions should be handled — kicked out.

    There are many women, including older women, who struggle with addictions. That’s not the answer to their problems.

    The writer Anne Lamott, a recovering alcoholic, writes about going to a black church in Northern California when Anne was not sober. She just soaked up the love in the very back and left each time. She was in a very fragile place. She needed that love. And it helped her on her road to sobriety. Today that little church…is her home church.

    Nobody kicked her out. They loved her.

    https://sobercourage.com/2015/07/08/because-guess-what-me-too-by-anne-lamott/

  405. Velour said, “Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church.”

    I know that scriptures about church discipline have been posted in their proper context, even with compassion for how to treat those who have repented. But I have not seen anyone say, “Kick them out of the church!”

    That is an exaggeration and overstatement. I do agree that we have different views here. I do believe the Word of God is the Word of God and is far superior to anything we could ever dream up in our own minds. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and He will lead us to apply those scriptures with grace and truth. It is always appropriate to speak the truth in love.

    The Bible says that Christ Jesus went about “healing all who were oppressed of the devil”.

    These days, many people whose are trained in psychology do not recognize the presence of evil. They deal with mind and body, not recognizing that man is first and foremost a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body.

    I know that man’s wisdom can only carry one so far. I have observed and experienced this truth throughout my own life. The love and truth and power of God can accomplish things which man cannot even imagine.

  406. Claire wrote:

    Velour said, “Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church.”
    I know that scriptures about church discipline have been posted in their proper context, even with compassion for how to treat those who have repented. But I have not seen anyone say, “Kick them out of the church!”
    That is an exaggeration and overstatement.

    Hi Claire,

    This is what Barbara posted to H.U.G. and me on Friday evening:

    ““Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m.
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

  407. scott hendrixson wrote:

    Barbara/Julie Anne

    It seems to me that Velour’s initial comments were based on her own painful experience of being pushed out when she needed to be embraced instead. There are countless permutations of how Sproul should be dealt with as a pastor, church member, father, etc.; but it seems that Velour is like Christ n her desire to see this man reconciled in his relationship to God and with his fellow man. I say this in support of Velour without being critical to either one of you who may have responded from your own pain. It is my prayer that others who’ve been hurt find assurance in God’s peace.

    Hi Scott, what a thoughtful comment. Thank you. I, too, have wondered if there was something here that felt familiar to Velour’s abusive church experience.

    Velour, is there anything in our conversation that has triggered an old experience for you? My first thought was this seems unrelated because of the alcoholism, but Scott brings up a good point about being put out. If I have said something that has caused you harm, please let me know. I would sure like to be aware of that when conversing with you.

    And as far as dark chocolate goes, I didn’t have any with my wine (oops, gave it away), but I did have 1/4 of my Trader Joe’s dark chocolate and almond bar that I am savoring. It’s about time for another trip to Portland or Spokane to stock up again! 🙂

  408. Daisy wrote:

    jeff wrote:

    I do not believe that an addict should be thrown out of church.

    I wonder if the people who are advocating for alcoholics to be removed from a church mean only specifically a person who also works in a leadership position, such as pastor? I wonder if they are applying this to all, or only to people who fill certain roles?

    Good point, Jeff. A scripture in James 1 speaks of the far-greater responsibility church leaders/teachers hold than believers who are not in leadership.

  409. Velour wrote:

    Claire wrote:

    Velour said, “Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church.”
    I know that scriptures about church discipline have been posted in their proper context, even with compassion for how to treat those who have repented. But I have not seen anyone say, “Kick them out of the church!”
    That is an exaggeration and overstatement.

    Hi Claire,

    This is what Barbara posted to H.U.G. and me on Friday evening:

    ““Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m.
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

    I see that, Velour. But I don’t exactly see her saying say, “Kick them out of the church!” either. I thought she was referring to a professed believer who would not repent, but I may have been reading between her lines. She can correct me if I did.

    Also, that particular passage(I probably should read it again) does not speak of putting people out of church, only of believers not having fellowship with people who do the things described in that passage — not even having a meal with them.

    That was applied to believers who were professing to be believers in Christ Jesus, but were living a life of open rebellion and hypocrisy. The sort of people who are roundly criticized by unbelievers all the time.

    In Matthew 18, Christ Jesus Himself taught on dealing with believers who are living lives of outright disobedience.
    (RSJ’s life definitely qualifies, sad to say.) He DOES speak of a time to cut off fellowship with a believer who does not repent of sin when someone goes to him about it. That’s the Lord Himself teaching, so I don’t take that lightly.

    It is also true that there is an even higher standard for church pastors and leaders — a number of scriptures address this issue.

    Someone else mentioned Galatians 6. Verse 1 in that chapter is very special to me, as it addresses the right way to approach a professed brother who is living in disobedience to God.

    I realize that you and I may not ever come to a point of complete agreement. But I think we do agree on some things. 🙂

  410. I am so glad that Anne Lamott got help — that’s wonderful! It is also worthy of note here that she was not a church pastor/leader who was preaching to believers from a church pulpit. That is also comparing apples to oranges.

  411. I was right — I needed to read that passage in I Corinthians 5 again. I was only thinking of verse 11. This gives the full context (thanks to Daisy):

    1 Corinthians 5:11-13:

    11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[a] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[b] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    I see now that verses 12-13 do indeed deal with the issue of putting an openly rebellious, unrepentant professed believer out of a church.

    I cannot add to or take away from God’s Word. I believe it. I also believe we should take this in context with Matthew 18 and Galatians 6 and James 1 (and maybe others, too). All together they give the whole picture of how church leaders are supposed to deal with this type of situation.

    Isn’t it ironic (and beyond sad) that this thread IS about a church leader. :'(

  412. Claire wrote:

    I am so glad that Anne Lamott got help — that’s wonderful! It is also worthy of note here that she was not a church pastor/leader who was preaching to believers from a church pulpit. That is also comparing apples to oranges.

    More of Anne Lamott’s conversion story: http://ontopofgiants.blogspot.com/2012/06/anne-lamott-on-her-conversion-to.html

    As I quoted up the thread to Daisy, I have never said that R.C. Sproul Jr. should be enabled nor that he should be able to keep his job. He should be fired.

  413. Claire wrote:

    It is also true that there is an even higher standard for church pastors and leaders — a number of scriptures address this issue.

    Hi Claire,

    At no time did I say that R.C. Sproul shouldn’t get the consequences of his actions, including the loss of his job. Enabling him will help kill him, and that is no kindness.

    I fully believe that, if he’s agreeable to treatment, that down the road that he should be willing to make both private amends to the people he harmed and public amends at churches where he caused harm. This is in keeping with working the steps with a sponsor in a recovery program and “cleaning up the wreckage of one’s past.”

    He also needs treatment and I think his church’s leaders would be wise to consult with a professional who works in substance abuse and figure out how to support him in getting treatment.

  414. Julie Anne wrote:

    Velour, is there anything in our conversation that has triggered an old experience for you? My first thought was this seems unrelated because of the alcoholism, but Scott brings up a good point about being put out. If I have said something that has caused you harm, please let me know. I would sure like to be aware of that when conversing with you.

    Thanks Julie Anne for asking.

    As a matter of fact, I could have ended my life over what my abusive church did to me in excommunicating and shunning me. I had to be treated for major clinical depression and be put on anti-depressants. I lost all of my friends of 8 1/2 years and people were ordered to never speak to be again…and none of it was true.

    Someone here posted — months ago (and they’ve done it several times) — about a police officer at their church who was excommunicated and then committed suicide.

    When people here casually toss around excommunicating and shunning people…it the height of cruelty and you have no idea what will happen to them or their family.

    I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, including my ex-pastor who did it to me (and the doctor before me and to the woman in finance before him) or the other horrible pastors/elders.

    There are ways to handle problems that other denominations use that don’t involve this evangelical shoot-from-the-hip “kick them out” response.

  415. @ Claire:
    Oh, so true. My hubby and his eight siblings suffered severely under their father’s alcoholism….the youngest is now 55, but the emotional scars linger.
    My cousin and wife were heroin addicts, their children suffered from neglect, were removed to foster homes….damage done.
    Yes, help the addicted but not at the expense of the children, they are the true innocent party to it all, they suffer the most.

  416. Velour wrote:

    I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, including my ex-pastor who did it to me (and the doctor before me and to the woman in finance before him) or the other horrible pastors/elders.

    I guess I was looking at it from the viewpoint of Sproul’s victims.

    Comparisons between yourself and Sproul are a little mismatched.

    You weren’t part of a church as a “leader”. You didn’t intend to hurt people.

    Sproul’s alcoholism and the fact he’s a jerk are two separate issues.

    However reading your narrative (and others) has given me much to think about.

    My experience with my brother had no religious component. Neither one of us are church goers and our family is no overly religious.

    In some ways being secular made it somewhat less complicated though no less painful.

    Perhaps church is part of the problem not part of any solution.

    Another reason to stay secular.

  417. @ jeff:
    Jeff I hear you. As soon as a young person who is telling me about an addicted parent & their behaviour finds out I’ve been there the sense of relief for them is overwhelming as it means I KNOW, & that their constant embarrassment & humiliation is no stranger to me. Then they really start talking.

  418. @ dee:

    I am sorry to hear this. Will continue to pray for you and everyone here who are dealing with pain. Pain is no fun and draining.

  419. As far as Sprouls Jr’s removal from the church goes, my thoughts would go along the line of ‘will this help him hit rock bottom & genuinely pursue help, given how long he seems to have been drinking?’, plus ‘is this a healthy environment for him?’ Given the propensity of evangelicalism to put the wrong people on a pedestal, encouraging them to continue behaviours which hurt others (i.e. tempt others into heavy drinking, act as a Pastor while not being in a fit state to do so & so on), does he actually need to be out of this environment for his & others protection? Here’s where it can be complicated to be part of the church – if the church environment is where he’s long been allowed to play out sinful behaviours should he be there right now?

  420. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t think many people in American culture know what to make of people who go to social functions and don’t stand around with a drink. It makes some of them feel uncomfortable for some reason.

    If it makes someone uncomfortable, me thinks they may need to do some self examination about their drinking.

  421. @ Deb:

    so terrifying. thank you for sharing these circumstances. where driving under the influence is concerned, makes things patently clear. i’m very sorry you had to go through that.

  422. __

    Free Pass : Professional 501(c)3 Pastoral Improper Judgement Permit Provided?

    hmmm…

    Q. Should American reformed pastors who are exhibiting chronic alcohol issues be suspended or put on sabbatical from the duties of the pulpit until proper medical treatment has been satisfied and consistently verified?

    Improper judgement is known to be observed during alcohol impairment.

    In this man’s case, the police authorities, legal professionals, and the public have observed boughs of demonstrated impairment and the use of Improper judgement.

    Q. Have child protection services been properly notified and satisfied?

    Q. Have the proper 501(c)3 religious authorities been properly notified?

    Q. Will this 501(c)3 religious professional be held accountable for his use of improper judgement and child care endangerment?

    An 501(c)3 pastoral position of public trust has been verified?

    ADAPTED identifiable applicable scriptural reference application: “This is a trustworthy saying ; An overseer, must be above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable… and not dependent on wine…

    Decerning minds wish to know…

    (sadface)

    Sopy

  423. Beakerj wrote:

    As far as Sprouls Jr’s removal from the church goes, my thoughts would go along the line of ‘will this help him hit rock bottom & genuinely pursue help, given how long he seems to have been drinking?’, plus ‘is this a healthy environment for him?’ Given the propensity of evangelicalism to put the wrong people on a pedestal, encouraging them to continue behaviours which hurt others (i.e. tempt others into heavy drinking, act as a Pastor while not being in a fit state to do so & so on), does he actually need to be out of this environment for his & others protection? Here’s where it can be complicated to be part of the church – if the church environment is where he’s long been allowed to play out sinful behaviours should he be there right now?

    This!! In this particular case, RC2, there is more involved than just the alcohol issue. Disfellowshipping someone who refuses repentence and change should not be a life sentence as it is not so in scripture. The point of it is to not enable the bad behavior. It should also be noted that removing someone from the church, for a time, does not mean they are declared an unbeliever. That is God’s department. In my opinion, when someone is refused fellowship in the church, there could still be close friends or pastors who keep in touch with this person until they change or refuse the contact.

  424. @ H.A.:

    “RC Jr’s message has long been that heavy drinking is “manly” and if you want to be a real man (like him?) you’ll follow his example. Getting a DUI at St. Peter Presbyterian Church was no big deal and driving on a suspended license was also no big deal. Why? Because DUIs are manly”
    ++++++++++++++

    so ridiculous. ridiculous with devastating consequences. what a moron.

    i think of my agnostic relatives. they have no religious trappings and baggage. they simply enjoy all kinds of beverages because they pleasurable. and just as simply, they don’t drive afterward – someone who only drank soft things is the designated driver.

    in observing their lives, i see how common sense has served them very well. as opposed to their christian relatives who have been strapped with all manner of convoluted *& conjectured* shoulds and shouldn’ts.

    they are excellent human beings.

  425. Velour wrote:

    Great minds think alike! I also think that churches, like employers, play a role in getting people with addictions into treatment. It doesn’t mean it will work. But it should be tried.

    I haven’t seen anyone here, including the people you keep belittling, say that a church shouldn’t even try to get professional help for an alcoholic member, just the opposite. You appear to have reading comprehension problems and are far more focused on insisting that you be heard (thus you keep posting the same 4 point list, over and over again) than you are willing to consider others’ opinions.

    We’re already all in agreement, Velour, about “getting people with addictions into treatment.” So please stop arguing where there is no dispute.

    Here’s where we seem to fundamentally agree: After the alky refuses to cooperate, which most drunkards do (sorry for substituting the “Dark Ages” biblical term), what then? Would it be okay with you to then obey what Jesus and Paul say in the Word of God? At what point, under what circumstances, under what conditions, is it okay for us to remove the drunkard from the church and it not be “Dark Ages practices.”

    So far you’ve been entirely nebulous about it. Time to get specific.

  426. dee wrote:

    Unfortunately, I am in a lot of pain and maybe looking at surgery so I am having trouble keeping up with things.

    you need to take some time to rest, DEE

  427. H.A. wrote:

    After the alky refuses to cooperate, which most drunkards do (sorry for substituting the “Dark Ages” biblical term), what then?

    lots of contempt in them there words ….. what is the story behind them?
    There is usually a reason when people have strong feelings of negativity, and this issue triggers emotional responses from many of us

    your anger is showing, yes

  428. Velour wrote:

    The writer Anne Lamott, a recovering alcoholic, writes about going to a black church in Northern California when Anne was not sober. She just soaked up the love in the very back and left each time. She was in a very fragile place. She needed that love. And it helped her on her road to sobriety. Today that little church…is her home church.

    Nobody kicked her out. They loved her.

    I love this story. And I can picture her sitting there and not being intimidated or harassed, but I reckon it must have been like ‘coming home’ around people who had been through hard times and come out of it with humble hearts and thankfulness AND love.

    I think Annie found ‘sanctuary’ in the best sense of the word. 🙂

  429. Christiane wrote:

    your anger is showing, yes

    Anger, no. Frustration, yes. Okay, maybe a little anger too.

    The term “Dark Ages” is Velour’s term, and one she has painted any of us with who happen to take what the Bible says literally about Matthew 18 church discipline. If she were an unbeliever it wouldn’t matter. Unbelievers have often accused Christians of “Dark Ages thinking.” But for a professing believer to attack other believers in such a manner is disturbing.

  430. @ Bridget:

    i was in costa mesa last week end. i’m in those environs every so often. are you far from there? maybe we could have a cuppa sometime… wouldn’t that be somethin’…. masks off!

    (not that any of us aren’t being transparent in this virtual thing, here. i have mental pictures of what everyone looks like – wonder how accurate i am. all are attractive.)

  431. Velour wrote:

    Thanks Julie Anne for asking.

    As a matter of fact, I could have ended my life over what my abusive church did to me in excommunicating and shunning me. I had to be treated for major clinical depression and be put on anti-depressants. I lost all of my friends of 8 1/2 years and people were ordered to never speak to be again…and none of it was true.

    Someone here posted — months ago (and they’ve done it several times) — about a police officer at their church who was excommunicated and then committed suicide.

    When people here casually toss around excommunicating and shunning people…it the height of cruelty and you have no idea what will happen to them or their family.

    I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, including my ex-pastor who did it to me (and the doctor before me and to the woman in finance before him) or the other horrible pastors/elders.

    There are ways to handle problems that other denominations use that don’t involve this evangelical shoot-from-the-hip “kick them out” response.

    I wouldn’t wish spiritual abuse on my worst enemy either. I wouldn’t wish it on RC Jr.

    What you experienced wasn’t Matthew 18 church discipline. It was spiritual abuse, a form of abuse that sounds remarkably similar to the same abuse RC Jr has inflicted on dozens of people. In fact in his case it goes much further than it went with you. He “excommunicates” entire families for the alleged “sins” of just one family member. Then he orders his church to shun the entire family, including small children. Talk about a great way of destroying the faith of children! If that was the objective of RC Sproul Jr he should know it’s worked!

    The solution to spiritual abuse isn’t to cast aside what the Bible commands the church to do, it’s to obey the Bible.

  432. Christiane wrote:

    lots of contempt in them there words ….. what is the story behind them?
    There is usually a reason when people have strong feelings of negativity, and this issue triggers emotional responses from many of us
    your anger is showing, yes

    You want to see anger? Go back and re-read what I said. I am furious at how our culture tolerates substance abuse as much as we do. Excuses it. Even finds ‘reasons’ for crying out loud. You want to see whence my fury? Maybe my white coat still hanging in the back of my closet may still have a blood stain which did not wash out. You want to hear the horror stories behind my fury? Pick up any newspaper and read. And I have contempt when people excuse and tolerate and make excuses for substance abuse of any kind; that helps no one.

    IMO, any so called Christian who is not angry about this needs to take a good look at their own heart. Of course he is angry. Good for him. May his tribe increase until we take vigorous steps to drastically change our whole culture in this matter. Fume. Fuss. Sputter. Bang head on table. Color me angry.

  433. @Velour, now I’m getting your “Dark Ages” polemic. You appear to be equating church discipline with spiritual abuse. Perhaps you’ve never witnessed Matthew 18 church discipline carried out in a loving biblical manner. I have and it can be a beautiful thing. The objective and end goal must always be “repentance unto restoration.”

    I would agree the church in the dark ages had a very bad reputation when it came to church discipline, Spanish Inquisition and all that. If RC Jr could have legally used “the rack” at St. Peter Presbyterian I’m confident he would have, at the very least, held out the threat of its use. He certainly used the threat of excommunication and shunning as a form of “the rack.”

    I still think I’m justified in taking offense by such a term. But now I understand why you’ve used it. I would ask that you not use it again though. Biblical church discipline is not “Dark Ages” nor cruel. It’s about loving the wayward soul back to being restored. In Sproul’s case his problems go much deeper than alcoholism. Being a drunkard is just a symptom of some much deeper issues.

  434. Beakerj wrote:

    Here’s where it can be complicated to be part of the church – if the church environment is where he’s long been allowed to play out sinful behaviours should he be there right now?

    Another very insightful comment. Perhaps it would be wise for RC2 to be under the oversight of a completely different church where he could be viewed as just another church member rather than RC1’s son and the failed pastor. That would be difficult, but more likely to lead to a successful recovery, ISTM.

  435. @ okrapod:
    I think the blood stains on that white coat might help explain that anger pretty well…. nothing worse than a drunk driver hurting innocent people and it’s NOT an ‘accident’ when a drunk gets behind the wheel and people die or are hurt terribly … and ‘being sorry’ doesn’t cut it in court

    Like I said in my other comment, this issue raises a lot of emotions in a lot of people

  436. @ elastigirl:
    it did sound harsh, didn’t it

    sometimes ‘getting angry’ is the first step out of depression …. so pushing anger down is exhausting and depressing and being able to BE angry openly is a step in the right direction

    My husband likes to read ‘Peanuts’ and is always amused when he can announce that I’m having a ‘crab-in’ a la Lucy Van Pelt

  437. Gram3 wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:
    Here’s where it can be complicated to be part of the church – if the church environment is where he’s long been allowed to play out sinful behaviours should he be there right now?

    Yes, very insightful.
    The church as the playground of sinful social behaviors that are demonstrably harmful to others? (Expire a life, or innocence or a reputation, or a family’s resources…, etc.) Again, 1 Cor. 5 comes to mind. Is this text taught or preached in churches? (let alone applied in practice?).

  438. Daisy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    My FIL quit drinking, stayed sober 30 years. However, he was considered a,”dry drunk”,never stopped his stinking thinking. Never reconciled with some of his adult children, became semi reclusive. Not all former drinkers transform into likeable people.
    Yep, that is true.
    I’d also add that AA, in the case of one of my family members, after he stopped drinking, contributed to his so-called “stinking thinking.”
    It caused him to victim-blame everyone any time they shared some struggle they were going through with him, even though they were not at fault.
    (Sometimes some of the treatment programs can create another set of problems in a person.)

    I don’t know if the various treatment programs ( CR, AA ) create new problems or uncover existing, hidden issues.

    My extended family has a lot of alcoholics.( a few drug addicts too ) I have to confess, I am somewhat intolerant of their behaviors. Seen too many neglected children, too many doormat wives, too many run ins with family members, cops, late night contentious phone calls, etc , etc.

    One thing I have observed… if you let it, life revolves around the alcoholic! It’s non stop catering to their lifestyle. The alcoholic never thinks about anyone other then themselves.

    That a pastor is a drunk, is reason enough for the Congregation to fire him.
    Why should a pastor be held to a different standard?

  439. ‘church discipline’ ….

    honestly, if people front-loaded their development with Christian formation, then I think a lot of that Church discipline stuff wouldn’t be needed

    Why?
    because when a person is educated in ethical and moral behavior, they KNOW what it is and WHY departing from it is harmful and hurtful, so they are able to grow in examining their own conscience and responding accordingly ….. they are able to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and make course correction before making ship-wreck of their faith

    I think solid Christian formation is far more productive and healing than the miserable anecdotes I hear about of ‘Church discipline’ which seems so negative and punitive and results in public SHAMING, something that is very destructive for any person

    Christian formation is education and the root of the word ‘discipline’ is that one ‘learns’ …. so I think that the front-loaded moral and ethical formation of a young person in the Church is a kind of ‘preventative’ and strengthening function, far more positive than ‘punishment’

  440. Christiane wrote:

    I think solid Christian formation is far more productive and healing than the miserable anecdotes I hear about of ‘Church discipline’ which seems so negative and punitive and results in public SHAMING, something that is very destructive for any person

    I wasn’t raised with the concept that your church keeps tabs on what you’re up to.
    Some might call it being accountable. It just sounds creepy to me.

  441. Jack wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I think solid Christian formation is far more productive and healing than the miserable anecdotes I hear about of ‘Church discipline’ which seems so negative and punitive and results in public SHAMING, something that is very destructive for any person

    I wasn’t raised with the concept that your church keeps tabs on what you’re up to.
    Some might call it being accountable. It just sounds creepy to me.

    I think the way these churches do it IS called ‘accountability groups’ where people are urged to ‘confess’ everything to the group and I’m not sure what happens next …. it seems too public and intrusive for most people, I think;

    the worst thing I’ve heard is that the leaders of the accountability groups go running to the pastor with all the details and what is admitted to in the group comes back later to haunt the person if they attempt to leave the Church

  442. H.A. wrote:

    If she were an unbeliever it wouldn’t matter. Unbelievers have often accused Christians of “Dark Ages thinking.” But for a professing believer to attack other believers in such a manner is disturbing.

    Yeah, this is exactly why I left church behind. Any discussion that veers from the literal path is an “attack”.
    I don’t know velour personally but she appears to be as much a person of faith as anyone who posts here.
    I’m comfortable with my apostasy, you make being an “unbeliever” sound bad. I’d take it over blind faith any day.

  443. H.A. wrote:

    I wouldn’t wish spiritual abuse on my worst enemy either. I wouldn’t wish it on RC Jr.
    What you experienced wasn’t Matthew 18 church discipline. It was spiritual abuse, a form of abuse that sounds remarkably similar to the same abuse RC Jr has inflicted on dozens of people. In fact in his case it goes much further than it went with you. He “excommunicates” entire families for the alleged “sins” of just one family member. Then he orders his church to shun the entire family, including small children. Talk about a great way of destroying the faith of children! If that was the objective of RC Sproul Jr he should know it’s worked!
    The solution to spiritual abuse isn’t to cast aside what the Bible commands the church to do, it’s to obey the Bible.

    We have already covered this multiple times. I said, as you know, that he should lose his job. I also said that down in the road, in his recovery (if he’s agreeable to getting clean and sober), he needs to make amends to people individually that he harmed, to families, and to entire churches (including publicly up front) with the help of a sponsor(sober mentor) directing him in how this process should be carried out.

    There’s a lot that’s known about how to deal with people with addictions. And the policy among some here to kick them out and to the curb is indeed a Dark Ages policy and shows a complete lack of education on the subject.

    There’s also a lot more to the Bible than just one verse.

  444. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t think many people in American culture know what to make of people who go to social functions and don’t stand around with a drink. It makes some of them feel uncomfortable for some reason.

    I remember a friend teaching me to ask for sparkling water or ginger ale with a wedge of lime at a cocktail parties because it looked like something alcoholic… Gave me something to hold in my hand, and kept the guys from trying to buy me a drink.

  445. Jack wrote:

    I wasn’t raised with the concept that your church keeps tabs on what you’re up to.
    Some might call it being accountable. It just sounds creepy to me.

    I was raised with the reality that people know what you are doing and it all comes back on you-at school, at church, in your social circle, on the job and wherever. But we were in a semi-rural small town exurb and life is like that in smaller circles. It has its uses because social pressure can be brought to bear from time to time, and you do know whether to let your kids go play over at so and so’s house (not if Daddy is a drunk, for instance and keeping with this conversation) and it does get out who (married) was seen with whom (not a spouse) and what sweet young thing got into the car with whom after school after being forbidden to do that.

    It certainly was not just a church thing, it was a cultural thing. However, I have seen two people disfellowshipped at a church, and both of them should have been based on scripture. In time they were each restored, one after repentance and one after a time in prison. I cannot even imagine that a church would have no means of church discipline at all, the world being what it is and scripture saying what it does. Abuse is a different issue.

  446. Velour wrote:

    The writer Anne Lamott, a recovering alcoholic, writes about going to a black church in Northern California when Anne was not sober. She just soaked up the love in the very back and left each time. She was in a very fragile place. She needed that love. And it helped her on her road to sobriety. Today that little church…is her home church.
    Nobody kicked her out. They loved her.

    I get the same “apples and oranges” feeling someone else mentioned. From this description, Anne was not in leadership at her church, and she was not actively hurting others in the church, or pushing alcoholic beverages on others in that church to somehow justify her own drinking. At least, from the description.

    I don’t see the comparison as connecting to RC Sproul Jr., except for the coincidence that they are both alcoholics. Kind of like connecting Lizzie Borden to a lumberjack because both of them used an ax.

  447. H.A. wrote:

    @Velour, now I’m getting your “Dark Ages” polemic. You appear to be equating church discipline with spiritual abuse. Perhaps you’ve never witnessed Matthew 18 church discipline carried out in a loving biblical manner. I have and it can be a beautiful thing. The objective and end goal must always be “repentance unto restoration.”
    I would agree the church in the dark ages had a very bad reputation when it came to church discipline, Spanish Inquisition and all that. If RC Jr could have legally used “the rack” at St. Peter Presbyterian I’m confident he would have, at the very least, held out the threat of its use. He certainly used the threat of excommunication and shunning as a form of “the rack.”
    I still think I’m justified in taking offense by such a term. But now I understand why you’ve used it. I would ask that you not use it again though. Biblical church discipline is not “Dark Ages” nor cruel. It’s about loving the wayward soul back to being restored. In Sproul’s case his problems go much deeper than alcoholism. Being a drunkard is just a symptom of some much deeper issues.

    Hi H.A.,

    Why don’t you take a break from the put downs of other people like me, telling us what to do, how to think, how to feel, and that we’re not entitled to our opinions?

    So far (yesterday) you upbraided me for responding to two people and told me that I couldn’t respond to people that have made comments directly to me.

    For all that you talked about how you knew about recovery programs, you showed a lack of knowledge about Al-Anon (for the family and friends of problem drinkers) and said to “Lisa” who posted here what they would tell her to do if she went, including that sponsors would advocate separation. You got it dead wrong. Al-Anon helps people take care of themselves around an alcoholic, to see clearly, so that they can make a decision that is best for their situation at the right time in their lives.

    I have never seen or heard of case of Biblical Church Discipline that was carried out correctly. To the contrary, this blog is littered with stories of the failings of 9 Marks, Acts 29, and a plethora of other churches who have inflicted great harm on people before hundreds if not thousands of people.

    R.C. Sproul Jr’s spiritually abusive treatment of church members and whole families. What he did was wrong. He needs to make amends to all of the people he hurt and to confess publicly at the churches where he pastored about the damage he did.

  448. H.A. wrote:

    The solution to spiritual abuse isn’t to cast aside what the Bible commands the church to do, it’s to obey the Bible.

    Name me one church and one case that has carried out “Biblical Church Discipline” correctly.

    This blog is filled with stories of just the opposite.

    Most people here have already commented that churches don’t know what they are doing with serious subjects and do more harm than good.

  449. refugee wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    The writer Anne Lamott, a recovering alcoholic, writes about going to a black church in Northern California when Anne was not sober. She just soaked up the love in the very back and left each time. She was in a very fragile place. She needed that love. And it helped her on her road to sobriety. Today that little church…is her home church.
    Nobody kicked her out. They loved her.
    I get the same “apples and oranges” feeling someone else mentioned. From this description, Anne was not in leadership at her church, and she was not actively hurting others in the church, or pushing alcoholic beverages on others in that church to somehow justify her own drinking. At least, from the description.
    I don’t see the comparison as connecting to RC Sproul Jr., except for the coincidence that they are both alcoholics. Kind of like connecting Lizzie Borden to a lumberjack because both of them used an ax.

    Refugee,

    Perhaps you missed my list up the thread from last night. Here it is again:

    “Velour wrote:
    It seems that most of us are in agreement that:
    1. R.C. Sproul, Jr. has a serious drinking problem;
    2. That he is not qualified to serve as a pastor given his abusive history of church members, former church members, and other disqualifying behaviors;
    3. That he should get treatment; and
    4. That his (second) wife and children could benefit from help as well for the family members of problem drinkers so that they can learn to take care of themselves around him.
    We part company, however, over the theological issue of how to deal with people who are struggling with addictions in the church. Some here believe that people with addictions should be kicked out of the church. I am not in that camp as that is an extreme position and there is much more that is known now about helping people with addictions.”

    There are some here who advocate kicking addicts/alcoholics out of the church. Much more is known about getting people treatment and about the nature of addictions.

  450. @ Velour:
    I don’t think Barbara used the word “excommunicate”, although I do see how one could extrapolate the idea from “kicked out”.

    To me, the word “excommunicate” evokes a ceremonial process, in which a congregation is informed that a certain member is no longer a member. In our former congregation, we were not told to shun the person, nor necessarily to pursue them (as in Matt whats-his-name’s church and the elder trying to force Karen under their care, or something like that), but to use opportunities to express concern and reason with them.

    Some of the members (not necessarily the elders) of that church were indeed empathetic and caring, and went out of their way to meet with those who had been put out of the church.

    I am not defending excommunication in any way. The thought makes my stomach turn, in part because it is tied to membership covenants. I’m just saying that it was handled with some thought and care at that church, and not at all taken lightly. It was not (so far as I know) used to get rid of people as punishment for disagreeing with the leaders.

    As flawed and controlling and crazy-making as that church might have been, at least most of the people there didn’t strike me as malicious.

  451. okrapod wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    I wasn’t raised with the concept that your church keeps tabs on what you’re up to.
    Some might call it being accountable. It just sounds creepy to me.
    I was raised with the reality that people know what you are doing and it all comes back on you-at school, at church, in your social circle, on the job and wherever. But we were in a semi-rural small town exurb and life is like that in smaller circles. It has its uses because social pressure can be brought to bear from time to time, and you do know whether to let your kids go play over at so and so’s house (not if Daddy is a drunk, for instance and keeping with this conversation) and it does get out who (married) was seen with whom (not a spouse) and what sweet young thing got into the car with whom after school after being forbidden to do that.
    It certainly was not just a church thing, it was a cultural thing. However, I have seen two people disfellowshipped at a church, and both of them should have been based on scripture. In time they were each restored, one after repentance and one after a time in prison. I cannot even imagine that a church would have no means of church discipline at all, the world being what it is and scripture saying what it does. Abuse is a different issue.

    Yes to all. Cultural/societal/political issues are at play in all of life.

  452. @ Velour:
    No, I saw your list. I have read it several times, actually.

    I think where we differ is that I did not see Barbara’s comment as a blanket endorsement of kicking all addicts/alcoholics out of every church. I saw it as narrowly focused on RC Sproul, Jr. Her main mistake, perhaps, was not adding more context to indicate that the “kicking out” was not due *only* to the alcoholism.

    Because I have had my nose rubbed in Sproul Jr’s teaching for a couple of decades, I took my own understanding from what she said, quite the opposite of the one you seem to have taken.

    Please pardon me for saying this, but from the tone of your comments, it seems as if your reaction was more to go to war with Barbara than to try to find out what she actually meant.

    I am not trying to take you to task, because you are obviously passionately defending a carefully considered stance, but your mode of communication is obscuring your message.

  453. Jack wrote:

    H.A. wrote:
    If she were an unbeliever it wouldn’t matter. Unbelievers have often accused Christians of “Dark Ages thinking.” But for a professing believer to attack other believers in such a manner is disturbing.
    Yeah, this is exactly why I left church behind. Any discussion that veers from the literal path is an “attack”.
    I don’t know velour personally but she appears to be as much a person of faith as anyone who posts here.
    I’m comfortable with my apostasy, you make being an “unbeliever” sound bad. I’d take it over blind faith any day.

    Thanks Jack.

    H.A. is pretty controlling. Telling me that I can’t respond to other people here who post comments to me. Telling me how to think, how to feel, that I’m not permitted to use certain terminology. And now that I’m “attacking” other Christians for saying that there is something seriously wrong with how these churches carry out Biblical Church Discipline and that it’s from the Dark Ages.

    Dee and Deb have written how many horrific cases here of people who have been subjected to Biblical Church Discipline? And yes, Dark Ages applies to how the church mishandled each one of these situations.

  454. refugee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    No, I saw your list. I have read it several times, actually.
    I think where we differ is that I did not see Barbara’s comment as a blanket endorsement of kicking all addicts/alcoholics out of every church. I saw it as narrowly focused on RC Sproul, Jr. Her main mistake, perhaps, was not adding more context to indicate that the “kicking out” was not due *only* to the alcoholism.
    Because I have had my nose rubbed in Sproul Jr’s teaching for a couple of decades, I took my own understanding from what she said, quite the opposite of the one you seem to have taken.
    Please pardon me for saying this, but from the tone of your comments, it seems as if your reaction was more to go to war with Barbara than to try to find out what she actually meant.
    I am not trying to take you to task, because you are obviously passionately defending a carefully considered stance, but your mode of communication is obscuring your message.

    Thanks Refugee for your feedback. Barbara wrote a pretty nasty response to me and H.U.G. I was responding to her about that.

    I agree with R.C. Sproul being terminated from his job for a litany of abuses and disqualifying behaviors. He does need to work on getting clean and sober and cleaning up his own life, and the ‘wreckage of his past’ as they say in recovery programs.

    I disagree, however, with the policy that people struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction should be kicked out of their churches.)

    I didn’t appreciate Barbara’s comment to me and H.U.G. “Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m.
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

    These evangelical arguments that it’s in the Bible and that settles it get very old.
    There’s a lot in the Bible, not just one verse.

  455. @ refugee:
    In short, Velour, I was trying to say that my experience has shaped my view of excommunication as re-defining a relationship from “fellowshipping together” to “reasoning together”.

    In contrast, your experience has left you with a definition for the word that involves quashing any kind of disagreement with leadership, and shunning, and cutting off relationships altogether. It sounds so evil.

  456. refugee wrote:

    I don’t think Barbara used the word “excommunicate”, although I do see how one could extrapolate the idea from “kicked out”.

    Hi Refugee,

    Barbara wrote this response to H.U.G. and me:

    “Barbara’s comment on Friday at 5:40 p.m.
    “Having said that, I suggest you read the verses I gave (1 Cor 5:11-13). The Bible says that those who profess to be brothers in Christ and are drunkards need to be expelled from the church. So I was only saying what the Bible says. If you think that is ‘hateful,’ your gripe is with the Bible not with me. (And the same goes for HUG where he contemptuously described me as ‘righteous’.)”

    That is what I was responding to. She didn’t use the term ‘excommunication’. She did however advocate that people with addictions be kicked out of the church.

  457. refugee wrote:

    @ refugee:
    In short, Velour, I was trying to say that my experience has shaped my view of excommunication as re-defining a relationship from “fellowshipping together” to “reasoning together”.
    In contrast, your experience has left you with a definition for the word that involves quashing any kind of disagreement with leadership, and shunning, and cutting off relationships altogether. It sounds so evil.

    I see, Refugee.

    No, I can’t say that I have ever seen NeoCalvinists want to “reason together”.

  458. For several decades the 12 step model/solution has been the dominant one in US treatment facilities. It seems to be getting some challenges now. I’m not expert enough to know what the truth is in that area. I know 10 years ago if someone indicated a drinking or drug problem I would simply recommended AA or NA or rehab, where at that time they would most likely be directed to attend 12 step meetings after treatment. Now I guess I would say seek professional help and hopefully you can work out a mode of recovery that works for you.
    Secondarily, what were the terms of his probation? Has that been reported on or discussed? That is an important element here.

  459. Christiane wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    Christiane wrote:
    I think solid Christian formation is far more productive and healing than the miserable anecdotes I hear about of ‘Church discipline’ which seems so negative and punitive and results in public SHAMING, something that is very destructive for any person
    I wasn’t raised with the concept that your church keeps tabs on what you’re up to.
    Some might call it being accountable. It just sounds creepy to me.
    I think the way these churches do it IS called ‘accountability groups’ where people are urged to ‘confess’ everything to the group and I’m not sure what happens next …. it seems too public and intrusive for most people, I think;
    the worst thing I’ve heard is that the leaders of the accountability groups go running to the pastor with all the details and what is admitted to in the group comes back later to haunt the person if they attempt to leave the Church

    Yes, Christiane, that’s precisely how it works. It’s a form of blackmail.

  460. Dew wrote:

    Secondarily, what were the terms of his probation? Has that been reported on or discussed? That is an important element here.

    As far as anyone can tell it hasn’t been reported on. It’s also not public information. However, Lisa (Sproul?) did comment above and gave us some important facts (and a lot of fiction too):
    Lisa wrote:

    Lisa

    Lisa wrote:

    Rcjr had his license suspended for six months. Has been dry since Nov. 29, 2016. Had therapy and continues to do so. Much of the information posted is inaccurate both in substance and interpretation. When court go through process you are instructed by your Atty and the judge how to plea to give you time to look at all alternatives. Drug court was denied because he was not bad enough, not because he had felonies. The purpose of Drug court is for those charged w felonies to be submersed in a rehab program for 1-1.5yrs and graduate with the Judge being the one sharing that persons story and how he/she has been redeem and will acclimate as a reformed person in society- it’s a big deal. Then the sentencing happens afterward, moving felonies to misdemeanors. Rcjr is a gentle spirited man who loves his family and grieves over his sin. Everyone who knows him confesses how genuinely repentant of a person he is and how quick he is to admit his failures.

    To summarize but also fill in some gaps:
    1. RC Sproul Jr’s license was suspended for six months. That was the time between his arrest in November 2016 and his plea deal. His license was reinstated early this month with no restrictions. No ignition interlock, no restrictions in terms of when and where he can drive, no restrictions on who can be in the car with him (children, etc.).
    2. Lisa claims that RC Jr “Has been dry since Nov. 29, 2016.” Lisa probably has little if any practical experience with alkies. If she were experienced her statement would have started with, “As far as we know…” Those who do have practical experience know that it’s exceedingly difficult to know for certain if their alkie loved one is really dry unless that is they’re “sloppy drunk” with a low tolerance for the stuff, which RC Jr is not. RC Jr is a “high functioning” alkie who is quite adept at sneaking a few tipples through the day and leaving no telltale signs. The only people who are likely to be able to pick up on it are other alkies.
    3. RC Sproul Jr “Had therapy and continues to do so.” I take her at her word. It would be good if she could be more specific on what this alleged therapy is though. Is is with a licensed professional who’s trained and qualified in alcoholism? My guess is not because RC Jr has a long history of feigning “submission” for the sake of appearance. More than likely his “therapy” is with someone lacking the qualifications, such as a pastor fan-boy giving him “counseling.” Also, it might be reasonable to assume that since Lisa didn’t specifically state that RC Jr had an AA or CR sponsor he’s probably not in an alky support group.
    4. Lisa clearly doesn’t understand the scope of Drug Court, the cases they can legally accept (felony indictments are an immediate and mandatory disqualification), but this isn’t surprising. She’s getting her information, plus a lot of spin, from RC Jr. However, she does offer us some valuable insight about RC’s end game: “Then the sentencing happens afterward, moving felonies to misdemeanors.” This is exactly what I suspected might happen. With as much as he’s paying his attorney, and as competent as his attorney is, he could very well convince the court to drop the felony and convert it to a misdemeanor. Within a year or two he’ll petition the court to expunge the misdemeanor. Viola! No record and right back into “ministry” he goes! Or at least Ligonier Ministries.

  461. Jack wrote:

    Sproul’s alcoholism and the fact he’s a jerk are two separate issues.

    Precisely, Jack.

    R.C. Sproul Jr. should definitely be fired for his litany of abuses of church members and his other disqualifying behaviors.

    How his alcoholism is handled is a separate issue, I agree, from him being a jerk to people.

    With the prevalence of addictions, including in women (and that includes older women), the solution in my opinion isn’t to kick them out of the church but to come alongside them and get them (and their families) help.

  462. Christiane wrote:

    I think the way these churches do it IS called ‘accountability groups’ where people are urged to ‘confess’ everything to the group and I’m not sure what happens next …. it seems too public and intrusive for most people, I think;

    Ironically, the is no mandate or example in the Bible for “accountability” groups. Nor is there any Biblical support for accountability among Christians.

  463. Velour wrote:

    It’s a form of blackmail.

    Yes it is. There is no excuse for it. Father S, the RCC priest when we did RCIA, said that in the early church when somebody sinned they had to go around individually and confess and reconcile each with everybody, and that this caused problems in and of itself. He said that this was one of the reasons that private and secret confession to a priest was adopted.

    Of course, if people believe that the real church somehow went dormant with the death of the last apostle and was not revived until the sixteenth century a lot of otherwise good ideas based on experience are just trashed-like the need for privacy regarding some things and how to handle both sinners and privacy within the church.

    IMO, some things about the so called Dark Ages were not all that dark, and this idea is one.

  464. H.A. wrote:

    3. RC Sproul Jr “Had therapy and continues to do so.” I take her at her word. It would be good if she could be more specific on what this alleged therapy is though. Is is with a licensed professional who’s trained and qualified in alcoholism? My guess is not because RC Jr has a long history of feigning “submission” for the sake of appearance. More than likely his “therapy” is with someone lacking the qualifications, such as a pastor fan-boy giving him “counseling.” Also, it might be reasonable to assume that since Lisa didn’t specifically state that RC Jr had an AA or CR sponsor he’s probably not in an alky support group.

    Yes, it would be nice to if Lisa would clarify what she knows about the kind of counseling that R.C. Sproul Jr. is receiving and that person’s training/licensing.

    Just because that information wasn’t provided, however, doesn’t mean that he’s not seeing a licensed professional. His case was in the court system. A probation department typically makes a written recommendation to the judge about the course of treatment, that includes professional treatment. The prosecutor also has to agree to the terms of a plea deal and the probation report is also given to the prosecutor.

  465. elastigirl wrote:

    in observing their lives, i see how common sense has served them very well. as opposed to their christian relatives who have been strapped with all manner of convoluted *& conjectured* shoulds and shouldn’ts.
    they are excellent human beings.

    I see this all the time too. From drinking, to how the non-Xtian men I know have treated women, to spending money…I have not seen the kind of demonic pandemonium that certain Evangelicals would have us believe results when non-Xtians do anything. You have to live into a very small world not to know that.

  466. Christiane wrote:

    H.A. wrote:
    After the alky refuses to cooperate, which most drunkards do (sorry for substituting the “Dark Ages” biblical term), what then?
    lots of contempt in them there words ….. what is the story behind them?
    There is usually a reason when people have strong feelings of negativity, and this issue triggers emotional responses from many of us
    your anger is showing, yes

    H.A. was hurt, and has seen others hurt (including whole families and children), by R.C. Sproul Jr.’s abuses of power, spiritual abuse, and excommunications and shunnings of people. Sproul Jr. does need to be fired for his abusive conduct.

    H.A. is obviously angry and much of it is rightly so.

    The pejoratives about “alkies” (they’re called alcoholics) and other put downs (my reading comprehension for instance, etc.), are out of line.

  467. Dew wrote:

    Secondarily, what were the terms of his probation? Has that been reported on or discussed?

    I erred in previously responding with, “As far as anyone can tell it hasn’t been reported on.” Spinderella Sproul has reported on this but the specifics on RC Jr’s probation terms seemingly been difficult to come up with. They did however report that his driver’s license had been reinstated with no restrictions, and it was from there that I answered your question about that.

  468. Daisy wrote:

    I wonder if the people who are advocating for alcoholics to be removed from a church mean only specifically a person who also works in a leadership position, such as pastor? I wonder if they are applying this to all, or only to people who fill certain roles?

    A lovely woman in my church was an alcoholic. She was single and did not drive–harmful only to herself. Because she never appeared even tipsy, few people knew her problem. She refused help that was quietly offered. She had trouble finding work, but volunteered at church and around town about 60 hours a week. Our clergy led by example, embracing her and letting her have the full dignity of worship and service. Finally she allowed a member to take her to the hospital, but it was too late to save her life. Someone tried to organize a bedside vigil, yet this proved unnecessary: many people loved this woman, and they showed up at all hours to sit with her, although she was unconscious.

    When she died, the church (silently) bore all the funeral costs. Hundreds of people showed up. The scene was an absolute tidal wave of love. There was no condemnation of her drinking, just sadness and even more love, and powerful lessons about the price of alcoholism.

    Had she been confronted and expelled from church, none of this would have happened. She still would have died, but alone and condemned. I daresay that people would have learned less about alcoholism, too.