Did the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board Decide Not to Report Sexual Assault They Knew About for Years?

It isn’t the original scandal that gets people in the most trouble – it’s the attempted cover-up. Tom Petri

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I bet some of our readers think that this will be the typical, horrific story of a pastor who allegedly assaulted a teen. This one runs far deeper and calls into question what the Southern Baptist Convention really means when they say that they are against abuse. This will not be a he said/she said, since the pastor perp has been arrested and charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors. I will use the word ‘allegedly’ during this post. Lawyers take note. However, I want to state in the strongest possible terms that I fully believe Anne. Also, I have 100% proof that the International Mission Board knew about this alleged assault and chose not to report it.

What would you say if I told you that I now believe that an SBC sex offender data base would be absolutely useless since they wouldn’t bother to put offenders on it because they cover up the offenses? Am I being a little harsh here? Let’s back up and tell you the story.

Who’s who?

  • Anne Marie Miller: As a teen she was allegedly molested, more than once, by an SWBTS pastoral student. The pain that she suffered at the hands of the student, Mark Aderholt, has caused her to seek emotional support and treatment. Here is the post we wrote about her seeking help. Did a Large SBC Entity Refuse to Report a Known Sex Offender to Authorities and to Other Churches? Law Enforcement Is Now Investigating. #sbctoo #metoo She is a well-known speaker and author.
  • Mark Aderholt: He is a former pastor, missionary, and SBC official who allegedly molested Anne Miller. He has now been arrested and charged. His attorney claims he is innocent.
  • Jules Woodson: Anne contacted Jules several months ago and shared her story. Most of the world knows Jules’ story. We will be updating her story next week.
  • Amy Smith and Dee Parsons: Amy Smith of Watchkeep and Dee were contacted by Jules with Anne’s permission. We became a support team for Anne as well as *doing our thing* by keeping an eye on what was happening with this story. Amy accompanied Anne to her appointments with the Arlington PD.
  • The Arlington Texas Police Department: After confirming that there was no statute of limitations for this sort of crime, the police began to conduct an investigation. They reportedly contacted the International Mission Board and asked them to turn over all records regarding Anne’s contact with them over the years.
  • South Carolina SBC: Mark served as a strategist for this group for approximately 1-1/2 years.
  • Columbia (SC) Baptist Church: Mark volunteered with teens in this church until sometime in May.
  • Immanuel Baptist Church: Some people call this *Bill Clinton’s* former church. (Google it.) Aderholt served as a pastor in this church after being recalled as a missionary. We do not know if the church was informed of his *being let go* as a missionary for the International Mission Board.
  • Hungary/Eastern Europe: Aderholt served as a missionary in this area for 10 years until he was recalled. We do not know if the missions team in this country or the authorities were informed of the allegations.
  • David Platt: President of the International Mission Board this year when Anne approached the IMB, once again, to deal with the Mark Aderholt situation. The buck must stop there. He is part of the *new and improved* SBC. Is the what we can expect in the future?
  • The International Mission Board: Arguably the most influential organization within the SBC.
  • Derek Gaubatz: The Stanford Law School graduate and IMB attorney who oversaw this entire situation. He did NOT report this crime, and he suggested that Anne *let it go* and *forgive.*

An investigative report by Sarah Smith of the Fort Worth Star telegram

Today, Sarah Smith, an investigative reporter, released Southern Baptist officials knew of sexual abuse allegations 11 years before leader’s arrest. This article is chock full of facts about this case, including a video of Anne discussing Aderholt, whom she now describes as a pedophile.

The story through 2007

When Anne was 16, Aderholt began a physical relationship with her. She was looking for someone to help her with a *See You at the Pole* event. Aderholt, an SWBTS student, responded to her plea. The relationship quickly became physical. From Sarah Smith’s Star Telegram article:

As they were kissing, according to the affidavit, Aderholt asked Miller if she were a virgin. She was, she said. Aderholt told her that he lost his virginity at 13, according to the affidavit. He continued to kiss her.

“In my memory, it’s like I’m just watching it,” Miller said. “I’m not there. I’m just watching it from floating above.”

At that point, the contact moved beyond kissing and progressed to further sexual contact above and below the waist.

To Miller, who had been raised in a conservative church culture, Aderholt kissing her meant he loved her. They were exclusive, boyfriend and girlfriend.

Aderholt eventually ended the relationship in April 1997 because he became engaged to the woman to whom he is now married. Over a period of years, Anne mentioned to friends that she had a bad relationship with a pastor. One day, when watching an Oprah show which dealt with spotting predators, she began to realize that she had been the victim of a pedophile.

In 2007, Anne approached the International Mission Board, which decided to do an investigation. Along with the investigative reporter, Sarah Smith, Amy, Jules and I have copies of the 300 page documented investigation. Due to the difficult descriptions of Anne’ assault, as presented in these pages, we will not release the transcript. However, if the IMB would like proof that we have it, we would be happy to provide them with pictures of the document.

This investigation was led by the IMB attorney Derek Gaubatz, and the proceedings were documented by a certified court reporter. This took place over the course of two days in October 2007. The IMB is refusing to answer questions about this investigation, according to Sarah Smith. However, Smith found an ex-boyfriend who was asked questions during this investigation.

The ex-boyfriend, now 47 and a teacher with his own family who had asked for anonymity, said they asked him how long he’d known her, what their relationship was and what she told him about Aderholt.

“They also asked me how she dressed,” he said. “I thought they were almost insinuating she asked for it, or she could have been more complicit in the interaction than what she claimed.”

The IMB decided not to report this crime since Anne, at that time, did not want to report it herself. It is perplexing to me that a well-educated man like Gaubatz did not think to involve the police. Aderholt was recalled from Hungary, where he had served as a missionary for 10 years. Aderholt himself did not dispute the findings of the IMB.

According to the Star Telegram:

Aderholt, the assessment team determined, had “more likely than not” engaged in an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with Miller from 1996 to 1997. As for Aderholt, the the team found he was “not truthful” about the “full extent of the relationship.”

Aderholt did not dispute the findings; instead, he resigned in January 2008.

So, in 2008, we are left with a guy who was *not truthful* and *more likely than not* had engaged in an inappropriate conduct. Is that how the IMB left it? In fact, that is precisely what they did.

Questions for the IMB/SBC/David Platt

  • Did any of these *investigators* check to see if Aderholt had molested any teen in Hungary while he was there for 10 years?
  • Did the IMB notify the police in Hungary with their concerns?
  • Did anyone on that team show any concern for the teens under his care while he was a missionary?
  • Did anyone think to report it to the US authorities since there was an admission to the events by Aderholt.

The story from 2008 – July 2018, which proves the IMB did nothing about Aderholt.

One would think that the IMB would have kicked Aderholt to the curb and keep him out of Christian ministry. After all, he abused his pastoral/missionary privilege, and most people would agree that he shouldn’t be anywhere near a pulpit or a missions trip.

Not so. In 2009, he headed to Arkansas, where he became a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church. He stayed until sometime in 2016. He, along with a lead pastor of Immanuel, Gary Hollingsworth, lead pastor of Immanuel, headed to the South Carolina SBC where Aderholt became the *chief strategist.”

These were hard years for Anne, who suffered from depression. It is our experience that most victims of sexual assault suffer greatly until their abuser is brought to justice. Anne told us that she had written a number of emails to Attorney Gaubatz through the years. One of these letters is posted at Sarah Smith’s article. It is obvious to us that she was asking for help to bring justice to this situation. Gaubatz’s response to one of these emails is astonishing.

Gaubatz’s *professional* advice for Anne?

  • Let it go
  • Forgive
  • Case closed

Gaubatz never once told her that a crime may have been committed by Aderholt. He never offered to help her report the crime. He didn’t ask her if she is getting the support she needs. The coldness in his response to Anne may have caused her to struggle in the years that followed.

In 2011, Anne again wrote Gaubatz, asking why Aderholt was allowed to be a pastor. This time Gaubatz did not respond. Did Gaubatz ever consider that he was retraumatizing Anne by his silence?

In 2018, Anne became aware of the #metoo #churchtoo movement. She told me that she didn’t want her daughter growing up in a world in which children and teens were being assaulted in church by pastors. That is why she reached out to Jules.

Over a period of a few months, she bravely came to the decision that she needed some help to deal with the issues that began with her assault. She was no longer content to *let it go*. She wanted to take action, so she reported her story to the police, who began an investigation. She also contacted Atty Gaubatz one more time.

At this point, Gaubatz should have realized that Anne meant business. His thoughtless response only made the situation worse. He merely repeated what he said back in 2011.

He told her not only to forgive but to reconcile with her abuser! This is 2018. The #metoo movement is well known. How could a bright, Stanford Law School graduate respond in such an insensitive fashion? He said she should reconcile with Aderholt, even though his crime hadn’t been reported to the police?

I am left with several impressions.

  • Is Gaubatz ignorant when it comes to responding thoughtfully to a sex abuse victim? Why is he in this position?
  • Maybe he is not ignorant, and this is how the IMB covers up potential crimes? Maybe that is why he is in this position?
  • He does not express any concern that there may be other victims.
  • He appears to be discouraging Anne from going to the police since it was such an old crime and it probably would not be pursued by the police. Remember, this is a Stanford Law School graduate. Surely he knows how to look that up. It took me about 5 minutes on Google, and I’m no lawyer.

Aderholt was teaching teens at late as May 2018.

As the investigation commenced, Amy and I became concerned that Aderholt was still involved with children. We discovered that Aderholt was indeed teaching 9th and 10th grade students at Columbia Baptist Church, which had recently experienced their own sex abuse scandal. Remember, Anne was 16 when this assault allegedly took place. Aren’t 10th grade student around that age?

Amy and I decided that we had a moral obligation to report this to the police, which we did. Unbeknownst to us, Anne had reported this as well. At the time this tweet was sent, Aderholt was working for the SCSBC and attending that CBC.

Statement to the IMB/David Platt

We believer that the churches that Aderholt attended or served should have been warned by the IMB. We know that Columbia Baptist Church had absolutely no idea about Aderholt’s background. This failure to reach out to other churches BY THE IMB is unconscionable. But, I guess that is how the IMB rolls…

The curious case of Mark A and mission trips.

During the period of 2008-2018, Aderholt was involved in a number of mission trips with various churches.  We were contacted by several people who served with him on these trips. Some of these trips were reportedly taken for or with the IMB. I have not been able to confirm this because the IMB is not talking.

Mark Aderholt always posted his name as Mark A. Unfortunately, his name was removed from the SCSBC website before we could snag a shot of him listing himself as *Mark A*. According to some of the people who went on mission trips with him, Aderholt claimed he did this to protect himself and his family since he went into *closed* countries. If anyone else knows any other reason why he always wrote his name *Mark A,* we would love to hear about it.

UPDATE: Thank you for Amy Smith and the Wayback Machine. Here is an example of how Mark officially listed his name, and no one thought to call him on it. Did they buy the *covert* missionary line?

According to the Star Telegram, in another article written by Sarah Smith and Deanna Boyd: He quit in June. Now Southern Baptist leader is charged in teen’s 1997 sexual assault, Aderholt was involved in many missional efforts.

Aderholt is prolific as an international missionary. He formerly served as the missionary to Eastern Europe for the International Mission Board, an organization affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. He’s cited as having also served in Bulgaria and Slovakia, among others.

Question to IMB/David Platt:
Has the IMB reached out to all of these countries and to those who served with Mark A?

What does the SBC/IMB/David Platt have to say about this arrest?

Essentially nothing…

IMB spokesperson says they investigate charges of sexual assault internally and, If warranted, take action to report it to police.

The Christian Post reported on the IMB statement in SC Baptist Convention Leader Resigns, Charged With Sexual Assault From 20 Years Ago.

This statement is a real problem. They claim to be investigating internally, and then they make decisions about whether or not to report. Instead, the IMB should have immediately reported this to the police and allowed them to investigate. They would have been told back in 2007 that Aderholt could be charged. But, the Standford Law School graduate did NOT allow that to happen. This statement by the IMB raises multiple red flags. Is the SBC/IMB involved in not reporting potential crimes?

International Mission Board spokesperson Julie McGowan, who confirmed that Aderholt served with the organization from 2000–2008, said the organization has a “zero-tolerance policy” on sexual misconduct.

“IMB has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct that is shared with all personnel. If anyone has knowledge of a case involving sexual misconduct, we strongly encourage them to come forward, and we provide multiple avenues for them to report. When we are informed of possible cases of sexual misconduct of any kind, we investigate those situations immediately and, if warranted, take the appropriate action to report it to local authorities and remove individuals from IMB employment,” she said.

McGowan told the Star Telegram:

Julie McGowan, the Mission Board spokeswoman, declined to answer specific questions about whether it shared its findings with other Soutern Baptist churches. In an email she said responding to such questions “could subject IMB to possible lawsuits under tortious interference with contract laws.”

The initial SCSBC statement is laughable because it states Aderholt’s resignation was accepted because or *the Gospel.* 

Is this how the SBC handles thing? Throw out a bunch of *gospel words* and hope it sticks? Is this how we misuse the term *gospel?* According to WISTV which posted Former SC Baptist Convention employee charged in Texas for sex assault accusation from 1997, they accepted his resignation in order to “see every life saturated and transformed by the hope of the Gospel.”

Dr. Gary Hollingsworth, the Executive Director/Treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, has received and accepted a letter of resignation from Dr. Mark Aderholt who had been serving for the past year and [a] half as the Associate Executive Director and Chief Strategist for the Convention.

While accepting this with a heavy heart, Dr. Hollingsworth did so based on the importance of staying focused on the Convention’s Vision statement of “seeing every life saturated and transformed by the hope of the Gospel.”

Hollingsworth informed the Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the staff of the SCBC, all the Associational Directors of Missions and leaders of the Convention’s Institutional Ministry Partners and wanted to make sure all South Carolina Baptists were made aware of this staff change.

He and the SCBC staff are committed to continuing to see the Gospel advanced here in South Carolina and around the world by working to fulfill the Convention mandated priorities of evangelism, church strengthening/discipleship, missions mobilization and church planting.

Recently, the SCSBC spoke through their lawyer when asked questions by the media about Aderholt. Basically, they ain’t talking!

Hollingsworth had been pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, where he and Aderholt worked before going to the South Carolina Baptist Convention. In response to 29 questions about Aderholt — including the hiring process at Immanuel and the South Carolina Baptist Convention and whether anyone had known of the Mission Board’s investigation — the South Carolina Baptist Convention deferred comment to its employment law attorney, Stephen Savitz of Columbia, S.C.

“Our longstanding advice to the South Carolina Baptist Convention and to our other clients is that as to former employees, they should only give a neutral reference which would be dates of employment, position held and salary,” Savitz wrote in an email. “I do not recommend his responding to additional questions.

Summation:

The SBC/IMB/David Platt did not report a crime that they have known about since 2007. This raises the question – do SBC leaders respond to abuse by covering it up? In this case, we have proof that they did not report this crime to the police. We also know the police would most likely have arrested Aderholt if the IMB had reported.

We’ve been told that the IMB investigates incidents of abuse internally and then decides if they will report it. Given their response in this situation, we know that they don’t always report sexual abuse.

  • How many more of these crimes have been covered up?
  • How many victims have been denied justice by savvy lawyers who convince them to “let it go.”
  • How many victims have been asked about what they wore when they were assaulted?
  • How many victims go years without getting the support that they need?
  • How many victims have been told to forgive and reconcile?

I believe that the leadership of the SBC needs to repent and ask forgiveness for their actions. Let’s see how the *new and improved* SBC responds to this. If they remain quiet, hidden behind lawyers, we may discover that the new and improved SBC is no different than the old SBC. We will wait on a statement from their new President, JD Greear.

In the meantime, please join me in praying for:

  • Justice for Anne
  • Other potential, unknown victims
  • Apologies from the IMB/David Platt
  • Resignations of those who covered up the situation

We believe that Anne’s story may be the tip of the iceberg for the SBC. We know there will be more coming.

#metoo #churchtoo #justiceforAnne #IMBcoverup


Comments

Did the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board Decide Not to Report Sexual Assault They Knew About for Years? — 195 Comments

  1. I hope a big fat lawsuit against IMB, SBC, and personally against leadership is the result of this outrage. I want to see these Bozos on the witness stand under oath
    “Let it go and forgive” my donkey’s behind.
    It is an apocalypse for the SBC!

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  2. Note to Dee: Saw the investigative report by Sara Smith of the “Fort Worth Star” earlier today. Thanks for putting this further investigation together. Excellent work.

    Note to Anne Marie Miller: Thanks for coming forward with your story and saving others. You are the one with courage, the only real leader in this saga. (Simon Sinek, who studies/writes about leadership, has said courage is the one characteristic that defines a leader.) God bless you as you seek justice and restoration from predatory assault within the arms of the church, of all places.

    So the youth pastor expected Anne Marie Miller to be a tool, as a teen/minor/child under his care as a youth pastor, for his immorality (even as he was courting his now wife).

    Then the churches’ “leadership” expected Miller to be silent about their hire of a predatory youth pastor who criminally assaulted a minor. And they provide further opportunity for the predator. They should be charged, also. They are no better than the predator. They all are equally doubled-minded with forked tongues.

    Finally, imagine this predator traveling throughout the mission field (“Mark A.”? – reputation in those countries so he doesn’t use his name?) with vast opportunity for innocent prey. Google Baptist missionary to Lithuania, “Nathan Leuthold”.

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  3. I will note that Stanford law graduates are a mixed bunch; I live near enough to the school (and a near relative graduated from it though before Gaubatz’s time) to hear both the bad and the good.

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  4. Sad. I’ve been waiting for the details. You do a good job of covering all the bases and being sure your information is accurate.

    Now, what will the IMB/SBC do? That is the question.
    Who knew what, and when?

    Prayers for Anne.

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  5. Churches need to quit “investigating” these things. We live in a society where we pay taxes to support police departments and district attorneys to deal with these issues, so let them do their job. The part of the Bible about how Christians shouldn’t sue one another, is about civil issues between individuals, not Criminal. It is amazingly hypocritical that these organizations that want to investigate themselves because they think it is more Christian to not involve the secular authorities, do not mind hiding behind paid lawyers to protect themselves. If they truly believed they had truth on their side, and faith that God was on their side, they wouldn’t need lawyers to protect them.

    For a much less serious example, I knew of a Baptist church, several years ago, who discovered that their bookkeeper had embezzled thousands of dollars from the church. The Pastor and Elders, did not inform the police and as far as I know even the congregation, because when they confronted her she was remorseful and begged forgiveness. So they allowed her to resign. Because, Christians shouldn’t “sue” Christians. However, this was a woman who works as a CPA. I told the person from the church who was telling me about this, “So, y’all are just enabling her to go and fleece others, many of whom will be Christians, including other churches she might be handling the books for” And all he could answer was she repented so there is nothing more we could do. This is a church that teaches that not tithing is stealing from God. That they could turn a blind eye to stealing, led me to question what else they would turn a blind eye to, as long as the person appeared “repentent.” It made it clear to me that I wanted nothing to do with a church that would operate in that manner. Churches need to remember that Forgiving is NOT the same as FORGETTING.

    Congregational Autonomy should not be an excuse for not sharing such information with others in the convention. IMB should have considered themselves beholden to the churches that support it, and should have informed them of his past. While individual congregations have autonomy in the SBC, the parachurch organizations do not and should not. Each level of the convention, and any parachurch boards should be beholden to the individual churches below it, because it is the individual churches that created them, that is how a grassroots congregational structure should work. And, about references, the truth is they DO NOT have to provide a reference, positive, negative, or neutral.

    The IMB has failed Anne, other missionaries, the churches they failed to warn, all SBC churches, and God. If they had any sense of decency every person who knew about these allegations and did nothing should resign immediately, but I think we know that will not happen.

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  6. I always find it interesting how churches rail against others being subject to the governing authorities, while they choose not to submit when their own are found being unlawful.

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  7. Todd Wilhelm:
    David Platt is one “Radical” dude. I say less books and more attention to doing the right thing. Now that’s a radical concept.

    The first “Radical” thing David Platt should do is announce his simultaneous resignations as president of the International Mission Board and pastor-teacher at McLean Bible Church. This coming Sunday might be a good occasion for such an announcement. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath that this will happen Sunday, if ever.

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  8. Amy Smith: Mark A.

    He claims to not use his surname due to risks in the countries where he served. In what countries did “Mark A.” serve, and when?

    How many other missionaries who also served, same time and place, are in the SBC “name protection program”? Or, is this because the “Mark Aderholt” name reaps a trail of indiscretions throughout those countries? There is such a trail here in the US.

    Nowadays, with the internet, a person can run but they cannot hide.

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  9. So what I’m trying to figure out, is this story the reason for the news that there has been a data breech at the IMB. I have to say I am not suprised by this but profoundly saddened. It is heartbreaking the way the SBC has conducted business and I suspect this is thd tip of an iceberg that will eventually sink thier autonomous ship. I dropped out of seminary and became a card carrying done because I couldn’t stomach stuff like this any longer, I was sitting in classes where they railed against abortion and homosexuality of “the world” while refusing to condemn the blatant and obvious abuse by members of the “church”.

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  10. Actually been through a Baptist seminary years back, and ran into some with flirty mentality. Many go through at a young age where they aren’t conscious of much and have accepted such behaviors as the “new normal.” I think many seminarians just assume with these guys that they fail to graduate and never see them again. Legal punitive approaches might solve this, it might to a point but in reading Guyland by Michael Kimmel and other books on how young males are sexuaized at a young age in popular culture and typically look at females and address matters like date rape, it’s quite sad. Thinking it bleeds over, Todd Friel stated in Wretched awhile back that in a five year survey study on porn, 50% of clergy were found watching porn on a regular basis.

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  11. mitch:
    So what I’m trying g to figure out, is this story the reason for the news that there has been a data breech at the IMB. I have to say I am not suprised by this but profoundly saddened. It is heartbreaking the way the SBC has conducted business and I suspect this is thd tip of an iceberg that will eventually sink thier autonomous ship. I dropped out of seminary and became a card carrying done because I couldn’t stomach stuff like this any longer, I was sitting in classes where they railed against abortion and homosexuality of “the world” while refusing to condemn the blatent and obvious abuse by members of the “church”.

    that’s one of the things that bothers me. They put out the Nashville Statement against homosexuals and couldn’t care less about CRIMES being committed under their own roof. I just hope that all this attention will allow young women to understand that if this happens to you, you don’t go to the church, the seminary, or ANYONE but the POLICE and judicial system who can prosecute the crime. This guy is fixing to find out that when it comes to a criminal act, the law doesn’t “forgive and forget”.

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  12. Bio of ‘Mark A.” at the Little Rock church (2016), from the Internet Archive:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160401111306/http://ibcgo.org/welcome/who-we-are

    “[Photo, not of his face – just the back of his head!]
    MARK A
    Pastor of Missions
    Mark is responsible for the overall missions focus at Immanuel. He holds a BBA from Wayland Baptist University, Master of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry in Missiology from Mid-America Seminary. Prior to Immanuel, Mark served as an evangelist, church planter trainer, and strategist with the International Mission Board in Norway, Romania, and Hungary for more than ten years. He has led short-term teams and facilitated partnerships in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Middle East, and South America. Mark is originally from Texas…”

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  13. Aderholt at a conference for teens last year:

    https://www.andersonuniversity.edu/news/au-host-conference-help-teens-discover-their-calling

    “the primary focus of the event will be helping students explore ways God may be calling them to serve in ministry and missions roles”

    “…workshop leaders will include: Keith Shorter, Pastor of Mt Airy Baptist Church in Powdersville and President of the SC Baptist Convention; Jay Hardwick, Church Planting Team Leader for SBC; Mark Aderholt, Associate Executive Director and Chief Strategist for the SCBC; Evan Dickson, Minister to Children at Concord Baptist Church in Anderson…”

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  14. April 2000 Baptist Press article featuring Aderholt:

    http://bpnews.net/5580/

    photo caption:
    “Mark and Kristie Aderholt of Fort Worth, Texas, share how God called them to career overseas missions. They were among 38 new missionaries appointed during an International Mission Board appointment service March 31 at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth. The Aderholts will serve in the Central and Eastern Europe region.”

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  15. jyjames: He claims to not use his surname due to risks in the countries where he served. In what countries did “Mark A.” serve, and when? How many other missionaries who also served, same time and place, are in the SBC “name protection program”? Or, is this because the “Mark Aderholt” name reaps a trail of indiscretions throughout those countries? There is such a trail here in the US. Nowadays, with the internet, a person can run but they cannot hide.

    MANY people I know who work overseas are cagey about using their full names on the internet. Even among people serving in the same country- some families never want to be associated with the “M” word, others could care less. Even in “open countries” some families still choose anonymity. My wide experience in this area inclines me to put the “Mark A” fact in a box marked, “maybe”.

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  16. Dee/Deb,

    In no way defending the IMB here, but David Platt was not President on the IMB when the 2007 investigation was occurring. That was Jerry Rankin. An Tom Ellif succeeded him in 2011. Is there evidence that David Platt was aware of the investigation?

    I only ask because I have no issue with holding anyone accountable for hiding abuse, but no one can be accountable for something they were not even aware of.

    Thank you.

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  17. Ryan Abernathy: Is there evidence that David Platt was aware of the investigation?

    I can’t answer that question, but Aderholt was arrested July 3rd and the Fort Worth Star/Telegram article appeared July 9th. I would have hoped for a statement from Platt since then.

    Then again, Platt is a short-timer at the IMB. He may not be paying attention.

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  18. mitch: So what I’m trying to figure out, is this story the reason for the news that there has been a data breech at the IMB.

    I read the BRNow.org article and while there is not much detail in the article, It did say that the IMB computer network has been having unusual activity since April 11. To me , that sounds like a data mining hack not specific to the Aderholt story.

    https://brnow.org/News/July-2018/IMB-toughens-cyber-security-after-data-breach

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  19. Ryan Abernathy,

    Ryan, Dee or Deb will probably be able to answer this better but my understanding from reading the articles and this report was that Anne sent a letter to IMB recently as a last resort. If I read correctly the final notice was under Platt’s watch. I may be mistaken but I believe that was the connection to Platt. If all the letters we prior to Platt I would agree he can’t be held accountable for past actions but just as he wasn’t accountable for the previous administrators fiscal fiasco, he can and should be accountable for actions taken as of the arrest and outing of Mark A.

    The excuse of the SBC is a confederation of autonomous churches just isn’t gonna keep washing here or in today’s culture. Also while the latest statement appears strongly worded they do not tolerate child sexual assualt, it doesn’t mention that in addition to a lack of toleration they will report all cases of such CRIMES, even those they think may lack credibility to law enforcement agencies. The buck as of this moment stops with Platt. So far it appears they are fumbling it, they should get with thier lawyers, PR folks and perhaps a historian who can run them through the most recent misteps on sexual assualt issues andaybe they can recover the fumble and do better.

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  20. “He (Attorney Gaubatz) told her not only to forgive but to reconcile with her abuser!”

    Please tell me that Attorney Gaubatz is not an elder in an SBC church.

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  21. “What would you say if I told you that I now believe that an SBC sex offender data base would be absolutely useless since they wouldn’t bother to put offenders on it because they cover up the offenses?”

    If there were to be such a database in SBC ranks, it should have three categories:

    (1) Church leaders/staff known to have committed sexual abuse

    (2) Church members known to have committed sexual abuse

    (3) Church leaders/staff known to have known and covered other church leaders or members who committed sexual abuse

    While all of the above should be subject to listing by civil authorities, SBC’s established and prospective church members also need to have such a tool available to them.

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  22. “What does the SBC/IMB/David Platt have to say about this arrest? Essentially nothing…”

    Platt is now a short-timer at IMB. He has resigned from that post, staying on until a successor is named. He is trying to carry as few bags as possible away from that job; thus “no comment.” However, his legacy of recalling 1,000+ veteran foreign missionaries and their families may travel with him for a while.

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  23. Max: Please tell me that Attorney Gaubatz is not an elder in an SBC church.

    Is there any doubt that he is or was at some point? The odds are pretty good that he is/was.

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  24. Max:
    “What does the SBC/IMB/David Platt have to say about this arrest?Essentially nothing…”

    Platt is now a short-timer at IMB.He has resigned from that post, staying on until a successor is named.He is trying to carry as few bags as possible away from that job; thus “no comment.”However, his legacy of recalling 1,000+ veteran foreign missionaries and their families may travel with him for a while.

    So he has resigned. Then he should go ahead and lay down that work immediately as well as stepping down from his MBC pastorate. It’s also clear he’s not the only one to be held accountable here; other personnel who were aware, or should have known, about this matter also need to step away.

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  25. Prior to his fall from SBC executive ranks, Aderholt was “Chief” Strategist for the South Carolina Baptist Convention .

    It continues to amaze me how a man like this can reach “Chief” status in SBC ranks without other leaders knowing about his misbehavings. Then I remembered other recent SBC Chiefs who fell when the tribe caught up with them, including Paul Pressler, architect of the SBC Conservative (aka Calvinist) Resurgence; Paige Patterson, seminary president; Frank Page, CEO of SBC’s Executive Committee; etc. I guess these folks were considered too big to fail by those who knew about and covered their sins. But God …

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  26. Todd Wilhelm:
    David Platt is one “Radical” dude. I say less books and more attention to doing the right thing. Now that’s a radical concept.

    Radical idea for David Platt: Do one job really well rather than 5 jobs poorly. He claims to spend 30 hours a week in sermon prep. How can you do that, plus be a pastor, plus write books, plus do the speaking circuit, plus run the IMB. In addition to all that, the gospel glitterati dude-bros like to shame all of us normals about how great they are as fathers to their many, many children and us plebs all need to do better. You can’t do that many things well, and you start cutting corners.

    Platt’s coverup at the IMB could be MUCH more nefarious than what I wrote about. That is the LEAST damning possibility.

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  27. Amy Smith: Derek Gaubatz

    who answered child abuse and assault with, “Let it go,” meaning “Let it go … on,” and that’s exactly what happened. Leadership? No. Enabling. Yes.

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  28. Loren Haas,

    I now believe that the SBC has covered up lots of sex abuse reports. The *new and improved* SBC now has a chance to change things. Unfortunately, David Platt, one of their tribe, is implicated in this one. Maybe he is too tired running a church and fussing about the old baddies in the SBC to care about sex abuse. Let’s see if he or JD Greear actually do anything. Now is their chance.

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  29. Casey: 50% of clergy were found watching porn on a regular basis

    Very disturbing. Human? Normal? Maybe, but don’t enter the clergy profession to give access and authority to act on the fantasies and then sweep it under the rug, forgive and forget, carte blanche. Alcoholics should probably not be bartenders, gluttons may be more successful in employment outside of a kitchen, drug addicts outside of a pharmacy.

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  30. jyjames,

    The new and improved SBC leaders like to pretend that they are true dudes- hip, care about women, etc. They would look down their noses of the IFB for that denominations frequent problems with sex abuse, etc. I think they are just like the old guys. Let’s see if they do anything about this.

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  31. Jen: Now, what will the IMB/SBC do? That is the question.

    Let’s see if they respond. Anne should receive apologies from JD Greear and David Platt. The attorney should be fired along with everyone else who knew about this.

    If nothing happens, I will write one heckuva post.

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  32. Todd Wilhelm: David Platt is one “Radical” dude. I say less books and more attention to doing the right thing. Now that’s a radical concept.

    Platt told the attendees at T4G this year that they are all racists and need to move out of homes and into the tough areas of town, just like he did in Birmingham. Many people don’t know that his talk was roundly criticized. I now know why.

    He is playing a game. He points out the sins in others that he has overcome in the *new and improved* approved way. Yet, he allowed his IMB to cover up Anne’s assault. So pure and radical Platt is not so pure and radical as he would lead you too believe.

    Remember when he came to Dubai when you were there? He asked for prayers for going into a dangerous country. In the meantime, his posters were all up around the city. Mr Radical travels cushy but wants you to think he is radical.

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  33. Linn:
    I always find it interesting how churches rail against others being subject to the governing authorities, while they choose not to submit when their own are found being unlawful.

    They appear to beleive that they are a higher authority than the police. You know, *gospel* authority.

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  34. singleman,

    he has resigned from the IMB and is due to step down anyway. That was done months ago. He did not handle the money thing well when he was President and he managed to miff off a fair number of people. However, he was President when this occurred in March.

    He will never leave MBC unless he screws up there. What happened at that church is absolutely fascinating. We are trying to get some details but the list of it is this.

    Lon Solomon started that church and built it into a large church with lots of money. However, he wasn’t a Neo Calvinist. Behind the scenes, some pastors, who were Calvinists and a big name guy (think about Calvinists in the area) got together and worked out a plan to get rid of Solomon and take over this thriving church.

    It worked. Platt has to stay there to keep the peons in line. Platt is part of the *new and improved* Calvinista SBC. However, if I were in the church, I would watch out for my kiddos since Platt does not seem to have a problem with not reporting assaults.

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  35. The more I read, the more I feel like throwing up my hands and saying, the heck with it. It is extremely difficult not to paint Christian leadership with a broad brush when I keep hearing the same song, second, third, fourth, fifth verses.

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  36. Jerome: The Executive Vice President of the International Mission Board is Sebastian Traeger, a protege of Mark Dever and brother-in-law of SBC President JD Greear.

    Ugh. Churches clearly haven’t learned yet that nepotism leads to all kinds of problems. When you hire an unqualified person, but because of relationships, that person believes they can do no wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster.

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  37. jyjames,

    You get what I am concerned about. Mark A had access to kids all over the world as well as the US. Was this a one time deal? It seemed too smooth for that.

    However, his lawyer claims *he is innocent, I tell ya.* I will watch the court proceedings with interest. I don’t see how the lawyer will get him off the hook due to 300 pages of documentation which a bunch of us have in our hands to be sure it won’t disappear. And that testimony is damning. Aderholt even admitted to what happened.

    The one=ly thing I can think of is the Andy Savage defense which didn’t work out so well. “That teenage Jezebel wore *those*clothes and I couldn’t help myself.”

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  38. mitch: It is heartbreaking the way the SBC has conducted business and I suspect this is thd tip of an iceberg that will eventually sink thier autonomous ship. I dropped out of seminary and became a card carrying done because I couldn’t stomach stuff like this any longer, I was sitting in classes where they railed against abortion and homosexuality of “the world” while refusing to condemn the blatent and obvious abuse by members of the “church”.

    The fact we have the 300 pages of documents is not due to a data breach. It was given to us freely. Nope- no hacking was involved. People may not like what we do here but we will NOT participate in illegal activity.

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  39. Just as an aside, it’s worth noting that the SBC seems to have learned little from its history. There’s a famous Virginia Supreme Court case dealing with abuse known to the missions board that was covered up in the 1970s/80s. They weren’t held liable by the court in this case but the facts hardly cover the missions board in glory. And this is a case that’s reprinted in several legal textbooks so fairly well known.

    https://law.justia.com/cases/virginia/supreme-court/1991/901690-1.html

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  40. dee: The new and improved SBC leaders like to pretend that they are true dudes- hip, care … Let’s see if they do anything about this.

    Nothing cavalier about dealing with pulpit predators. Ask Woodson, Miller, Pastor Wade who has introduced without success a database for offenders, and even Dee, you folks, in what you deal with here at TWW. Courage (leadership) is neither cheap nor cocky and it doesn’t come easy.

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  41. Ryan Abernathy:
    Dee/Deb,

    In no way defending the IMB here, but David Platt was not President on the IMB when the 2007 investigation was occurring. That was Jerry Rankin. An Tom Ellie succeeded him in 2011. Is there evidence that David Platt was aware of the investigation?

    I only ask because I have no issue with holding anyone accountable for hiding abuse, but no one can be accountable for something they were not even aware of.

    Thank you.

    Hi Ryan. Platt will have four years at the IMB, by next month, if I am correct. That means he inherited a mess. He has now owned a mess.
    The best summary I can produce for Mr. Platt, is this.

    The meter is running.

    Let’s give Mr. Platt complete immunity prior to assuming the lead position, as is proper. That still leaves him with a role to play.

    The question now for Platt is, what did he know and when did he know it. Everything going forward from his appointment is viewed through this question.

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  42. Jerome: The Executive Vice President of the International Mission Board is Sebastian Traeger, a protege of Mark Dever and brother-in-law of SBC President JD Greear.

    Any card-carrying (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptist who doubts that a network has been formed within the denomination to Calvinize it should stop doubting and start praying.

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  43. dee: Mark A had access to kids all over the world as well as the US.

    Very disturbing. They exported predation in the guise of the “Gospel”. Sick. Evil. Unreal.

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  44. dee,

    If I remember correctly, MBC wasn’t affiliated with a denomination until joining the SBC a few years back. They were unaffiliated when I participated in some singles group activities a number of years ago; ditto when I attended their Career Network Ministry while in job transition during the last recession.

    I hope parents of children and teenagers at MBC are taking notice of what’s going on. The church to which I currently belong requires anyone working with children and teenagers, even on a volunteer basis, to undergo a comprehensive background check and participate in child protection classes plus regular refresher courses. Does MBC have a similar policy?

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  45. Another IMB Vice President is Zane Pratt, also longtime associate of Mark Dever.

    Owen Strachan: “Zane Pratt…won Mark Dever over to Calvinism while the two were at Duke”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2012/11/how-can-you-grow-in-your-faith-learn-theology-like-at-gospel-coalition-2013/

    Dever and Pratt pastored New Meadows Baptist Church in Topsfield, Mass. It was the ‘Healthy Church’ prototype: when Pratt left to be a missionary, Dever wrote the church from England counseling them to choose a pastor committed to the ‘Nine Marks.’ They selected Andy Davis, who left after several years, after which the church went belly up.

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  46. Tina: The more I read, the more I feel like throwing up my hands and saying, the heck with it. It is extremely difficult not to paint Christian leadership with a broad brush when I keep hearing the same song, second, third, fourth, fifth verses.

    Me too. I am so very, very, very DONE. These guys cover up child sexual abuse and continue to shuffle the perp around and they’re lauded? *shakes head* And I’m sure this is not the only person they’ve done this for. I wonder how many other Mark Aderholts there are? When power is your only game and the little people exist only to pay, pray and obey, probably quite a few. *scowl*

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  47. dee: I think a bomb just dropped. If they did it to this one person, can you imagine how many more they could have done it to?

    I think that the poo-poo may have really hit the fan this time, and that we could very possibly see a real-life replay of the film Spotlight.

    As I’ve opined here before, the courts are rapidly losing their patience with the fundagelical-protestant-boyz-klub below the Mason-Dixon line.

    And when that patience is finally exhausted, the gavel will come down hard and heavy.

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  48. To me, these are all just more examples of how narcissists work to worm their ways into places of power. They kiss the asses of those who have the power to promote them and step all over anyone underneath them. I hate these church systems with kings and ceo’s at the top. Nothing has changed. I see a great judgment coming soon on the western church because it is little different than the Israelites of old that did many evil things. That old judgment, when it finally came, was very harsh. God does not change. Judgment starts with the church and it certainly starts with its leaders. We need a new anti-narcissist move of God and we will certainly get one. For every good church leader there are likely 20 bad ones, which is why this same evil keeps repeating. The names change but the wicked actions of proud leaders stay the same. Do not be surprised when God judges Pride and Mammon inside of his own church. And do not assume that we are better than those guys. It is only by the grace of God that we stand.

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  49. dee: You get what I am concerned about. Mark A had access to kids all over the world as well as the US. Was this a one time deal? It seemed too smooth for that.

    This reminds me of a scandal that occurred in Salt Lake City in the 1990s when I lived there. A young man sexually abused a five year old and was convicted based on her testimony. (He took a particular medication that caused his body to have a singular smell.) The family of the little girl was hounded out of the neighborhood, because how could you turn in a “good priesthood holder” to the police? Then the father found out that the perp was going to get out of prison, not on parole, but actually released, no probation, no nothing. And you know why? The perp had gotten a Mormon mission call to Chile. The people who go to the prisons to work with the prisoners had been very impressed with this very religious child abuser who had turned his life around and they thought he should be able to go on a mission, which is pretty much a requirement for guys in Mormon culture. The father was frantic. He apparently went around to anyone within the Mormon church who would listen but nobody would do anything.

    He finally went to the evil Salt Lake Tribune, the usual last resort for scandals involving the Mormon church (it still is, btw). He told the story, the Trib did its research and spilled the beans. The father’s rationale was, “You’re going to let a guy who is convicted of child sexual abuse not only out of prison but on a mission to Chile where he’d have ample opportunity to molest more children? You must be nuts.” The perp got out of prison, but he had no mission call. But people were very, very upset, because the perp was REPENTANT. He said he wouldn’t do it again. But they were going to give the perp another chance to cause an international incident because they didn’t get that child sex abusers usually don’t just do it once.

    So yeah, how many other kids did “Mark A” have access to?

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  50. Muff Potter: And when that patience is finally exhausted, the gavel will come down hard and heavy.

    Just yesterday IMB posted an article with this conclusion: “Every crisis is an opportunity to exalt the name of Jesus.” (see https://www.imb.org/2018/07/13/thailand-cave-rescue/)
    They are, of course, thinking of a different kind of crisis. We’ll see what they do with this new opportunity they created for themselves.

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  51. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: When power is your only game and the little people exist only to pay, pray and obey, probably quite a few.

    And because everyone is doing it. (https://www.thedailybeast.com/harvey-weinstein-speaks-everyone-trades-sex-for-film-roles?ref=wrap)

    Actually, everyone is NOT doing it, but the problem is an ever-expanding culture of predators, victims, and enablers. The godless desert is now swallowing or supplanting the oasis of God’s church.

    In the church, the trade-off is not Hollywood but access to power and social networking. The spiritual in-crowd. The inner circle sanctum being big donors and Hybels’ “A-type”, “flavor-of-the-week” trophy ladies.

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  52. Jerome: Another IMB Vice President is Zane Pratt, also longtime associate of Mark Dever.

    Owen Strachen: “Zane Pratt…won Mark Dever over to Calvinism while the two were at Duke”

    I repeat … Any card-carrying (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptist who doubts that a network has been formed within the denomination to Calvinize it should stop doubting and start praying.

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  53. Did the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board Decide Not to Report Sexual Assault They Knew About for Years?

    SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

    And the SBC had More Important Things to do — like bend the knee and burn the pinch of incense to Calvin, and make sure those Wimmen didn’t get Uppity.

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  54. jyjames: His position(s) facilitated access, thanks to his supervisors. What did he do with his access?

    Claimed Privilege of Godly Rank, of course.

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  55. Jerome: Yeah, Andy Davis, IMB trustee, now involved in selecting the replacement for David Platt:

    “One Hand Washes The Other (kissy kissy).”

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  56. dee: The one=ly thing I can think of is the Andy Savage defense which didn’t work out so well. “That teenage Jezebel wore *those*clothes and I couldn’t help myself.”

    Would have worked in the Republic of Gilead.
    (“Come the Revolution…”)

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  57. jyjames: the problem is an ever-expanding culture of predators, victims, and enablers. The godless desert is now swallowing or supplanting the oasis of God’s church

    You paint the picture well. In this valley of dry bones, the Church within the church carries the burden of the Lord upon it … lamenting the subordination of Jesus and His waning authority in the institutional church … groaning for the Holy Spirit to be welcomed back … yearning for the Kingdom of God to replace the kingdoms of men.

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  58. http://www.freedomfellowshipofroanoke.com/our-story/

    “During the time Lakeside Fellowship was searching for a new pastor, we were blessed to have a young couple in our congregation who did missionary work. God seemed to have placed them in our church with a purpose in mind, for Mark Aderholt served as interim pastor for several months and his wife, Kristi, served as our Children’s Minister. After their time with us, Mark and Kristi moved to Budapest to continue their missionary work.”

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  59. Jerome:
    http://www.freedomfellowshipofroanoke.com/our-story/

    “During the time Lakeside Fellowship was searching for a new pastor, we were blessed to have a young couple in our congregation who did missionary work. God seemed to have placed them in our church with a purpose in mind, for Mark Aderholt served as interim pastor for several months and his wife, Kristi, served as our Children’s Minister.After their time with us, Mark and Kristi moved to Budapest to continue their missionary work.”

    I wonder how much longer that paragraph will remain on their website following the news of Mark Aderholt’s arrest.

    It appears I accidentally misspelled my handle on a previous post. I apologize for any trouble that caused. I’m definitely not the world’s greatest typist, that’s for sure.

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  60. Apparently had a sports camp ministry in Hungary:

    https://www.wbu.edu/news-and-events/archives/2004/october/buckmissions.htm

    “The pastor at her home church contacted her about being part of a missionary group to Hungary for the summer of 2003. Pampa native MARK ADERHOLT, also a Wayland graduate, is currently serving in mission work there, and the church wanted to support his endeavor. Buck agreed and spent the summer working in SPORTS CAMPS and teaching intense English as a Second Language classes in various areas of Budapest. She and other summer missionaries also gathered research on the Hungarian culture”

    Blurb about Aderholt and the sports camp ministry in a Hungarian magazine (scroll to bottom left):

    https://library.hungaricana.hu/hu/view/KeruletiLapok_17ker_Hirhozo_2003/?pg=186&layout=s

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  61. Max: In this valley of dry bones, the Church within the church carries the burden of the Lord upon it … lamenting the subordination of Jesus and His waning authority in the institutional church … groaning for the Holy Spirit to be welcomed back … yearning for the Kingdom of God to replace the kingdoms of men.

    Unless and until she becomes the true called out one, and hears once again the call to ‘come out’ from the false and destructive structures that have so long deceived, robbed and oppressed her? Just as Jesus came to do in the first place, and ended up being murdered by the false ones he stood up to. Perhaps he really meant it when he instructed us to take up our crosses and follow him, or that those who persecuted the master would also persecute his followers?

    The benefit of seeing the abuses of ‘The Church’ – if there is one – is that it opens one’s eyes to the heretofore unthinkable thought that ‘The Church’ may have been an imposter all along. Maybe, just maybe, we need to stop thinking about how to save ‘The Church’ and get back to doing our small part of God’s amazing task of saving the world.

    At the very least, being able to ponder this as a possibility, however unlikely we deem it, gives a new and helpful perspective to believers who have been brainwashed into thinking ‘Where else will I go?’

    I wish I could say I have found the answer to that question, but at least I have learned how seriously I need to seek God’s face and direction as I ask him daily, ‘What now?’

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  62. Anon1983,

    ““So, y’all are just enabling her to go and fleece others, many of whom will be Christians, including other churches she might be handling the books for” And all he could answer was she repented so there is nothing more we could do.

    …That they could turn a blind eye to stealing, led me to question what else they would turn a blind eye to, as long as the person appeared “repentent.”

    …Churches need to remember that Forgiving is NOT the same as FORGETTING.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    repentance, God removing our trangression from us as far as the east is from the west, does not apply to the laws of the land.

    I thought that was obvious. (as i’m sure you agree)

    so, commit a crime, say I’m sorry to a pastor, and you’re good to go. end of story. very convenient.

    play The God Card and you can broker a silence pact. The criminal does not face justice, the pastor keeps his power and giving units undisturbed, plus nuisance factor kept under control.

    amazing, how “the gospel” can be engineered to shield from consequences!

    from those who deserve the consequences, that is.

    but not from those who were exploited and lied to. they are the ones who bear the consequences of the criminal and the pastor enablers.

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  63. elastigirl: those who were exploited and lied to. they are the ones who bear the consequences of the criminal and the pastor enablers.

    In church, of all places. What kind of, or whose gospel is this?

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  64. Re Platt and Birmingham: just which bad neighborhood did he relocate to? When we were there last year some pretty bad areas were being gobbled up and gentrified. Is his still a bad area?

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  65. dee,

    Dee, I want to clarify, I didn’t think you got that document in any illegal way, but I could see that being a red herring tossed out in an attempt to muddy the water. At this point I wouldn’t put anything past any one of them. You guys are top notch and demonstrate the power of knowledge and the ability of truth to always find a way!

    I do not comment much but I am a daily ready and support and admire the work you two have done and will do.

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  66. singeman,

    The only problem with background checks, particularly in private organizations, you only have a negative background if you are caught. When churches and other organizations-private schools, sports clubs, Scouts, etc. “pass the trash”, offenders can do sustained damage over a number of years. That’s why mandatory reporting laws are so important, but they need to be obeyed.
    That’s how you get an Aderholt.

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  67. Ken F (aka Tweed): Just yesterday IMB posted an article with this conclusion: “Every crisis is an opportunity to exalt the name of Jesus.” (see

    How is this different than Rahm Emmanuel “never let a crisis go to waste”? Both are disgusting, as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s helpful to think of Jesus saying “don’t worry about tomorrow” is about not manipulating today’s circumstances for the outcome you want tomorrow. If your sole goal is to prop up an institution, however, this is how you operate.

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  68. Atty Graubatz:
    “I am so grieved that the *relationship* with Mark Aderholt continues to cast this shadow over your life today. I pray that even as this old wound arises in you, that [you] would experience in a fresh way the love of Christ for you in Christ who was wounded for *your trangressions*…”

    He sees it as an inappropriate relationship in which she was complicit.

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  69. dee: Platt told the attendees at T4G this year that they are all racists and need to move out of homes and into the tough areas of town, just like he did in Birmingham. Many people don’t know that his talk was roundly criticized.

    I listened to the entire message. I think it was the worse one I have ever heard.

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  70. dee,

    “The attorney should be fired along with everyone else who knew about this.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    who is the “everyone else”? Who was a part of the IMB at the time? (or any time when this was being discussed)

    (maybe it’s already been talked about here…)

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  71. Amy Smith,

    Thanks, Amy.

    It really urks me that people abused by pastors and clergy go to other elders or pastors for help only to be FURTHER SPIRITUALLY ABUSED when they are told to forgive and forget. It is sickening that they are sending young women to their own lawyers for counsel. NO ONE in these situations is looking out for the girl/woman/flockmembers. They are monsters inflicting further harm.

    Derek Gaubatz along with Mark Aderholt are MONSTERS.

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  72. Max: Any card-carrying (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptist who doubts that a network has been formed within the denomination to Calvinize it should stop doubting and start praying.

    AMEN!

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  73. Mr. Jesperson,

    “The names change but the wicked actions of proud leaders stay the same. Do not be surprised when God judges Pride and Mammon inside of his own church. And do not assume that we are better than those guys. It is only by the grace of God that we stand.”
    +++++++++++++++

    shall i tell you about my agnostic relatives, atheist and muslim friends who consider it beneath them to lie because it’s wrong? who knew what the right thing to do was, and did it at personal cost?

    they stand tall.

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  74. dee: Platt told the attendees at T4G this year that they are all racists and need to move out of homes and into the tough areas of town, just like he did in Birmingham. Many people don’t know that his talk was roundly criticized. I now know why.

    The number one thing I hate about how politics/ideological blood sport is played today is the insistence that someone can read everyone else’s mind. This idea that the only reason someone might disagree with you is because they are racist, sexist, or full in the blank is poisonous. Both sides do it, and it makes it harder for us to talk to each other.

    I’m glad that Platt did what he thought was right for his family. If someone else weighs the options and comes to a different conclusion, what gives him the right to judge. Also, he will probably have a different motto/straw man/5 point plan next year which will reveal that this was just an attempt to get attention

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  75. dee: He is playing a game.

    David Platt’s game with Southern Baptists resulted in 1000+ foreign missionaries losing their jobs. He has been an effective piece on the New Calvinist chessboard to Calvinize the denomination. Radical in a dangerous way. His passion is a misplaced passion.

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  76. mitch:
    Dee, I want to clarify, I didn’t think you got that document in any illegal way, but I could see that being a red herring tossed out in an attempt to muddy the water. At this point I wouldn’t put anything past any one of them. You guys are top notch and demonstrate the power of knowledge and the ability of truth to always find a way!

    I received this letter as a potential victim this morning. So I don’t think they could have kept it a secret. But I would have sent it to dee had IMB not sent it.

    Now I have to figure out if I’m going to take their offer for their “security protection”.

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  77. dee: The fact we have the 300 pages of documents is not due to a data breach.

    Now we know the IMB knows how to promptly notify law enforcement officials:
    “The Southern Baptist entity launched a ‘comprehensive response’ immediately upon discovering the cyber security incident and promptly notified law enforcement officials, according to a statement released to the Biblical Recorder on July 12.”
    https://brnow.org/News/July-2018/IMB-toughens-cyber-security-after-data-breach

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  78. truthseeker00: Unless and until she becomes the true called out one, and hears once again the call to ‘come out’ from the false and destructive structures that have so long deceived, robbed and oppressed her? Just as Jesus came to do in the first place, and ended up being murdered by the false ones he stood up to. Perhaps he really meant it when he instructed us to take up our crosses and follow him, or that those who persecuted the master would also persecute his followers?

    The benefit of seeing the abuses of ‘The Church’ – if there is one – is that it opens one’s eyes to the heretofore unthinkable thought that ‘The Church’ may have been an imposter all along. Maybe, just maybe, we need to stop thinking about how to save ‘The Church’ and get back to doing our small part of God’s amazing task of saving the world.

    At the very least, being able to ponder this as a possibility, however unlikely we deem it, gives a new and helpful perspective to believers who have been brainwashed into thinking ‘Where else will I go?’

    I wish I could say I have found the answer to that question, but at least I have learned how seriously I need to seek God’s face and direction as I ask him daily, ‘What now?’

    same here. while I thought the theology of the southern baptist church was correct, which was the only reason to “hang on”, I no longer think it is and must leave the baptist church. (which I should have done many many many years ago, because the actions spoke way louder than the “correct theology”.) Jacksonville is bereft in the church department..

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  79. Ray: Max,

    “How long, Lord?” Hab. 1:2

    Yes, that is a frequent cry (complaint?) from my heart. I honestly don’t know how God endures the evil in this world – I’m not even close to holy, and I can hardly stand it!

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  80. Deb: AMEN!

    I will wonder forever why the church I was attending was just “given up” to a calvinist so easily. There is a network, and people have to decide between supporting it, or leaving…I don’t stay any way to stay in it and keep sanity. I hope somebody starts a new denomination for real…

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  81. Ct: I will wonder forever why the church I was attending was just “given up” to a calvinist so easily.There is a network, and people have to decide between supporting it, or leaving…I don’t stay any way to stay in it and keep sanity.I hope somebody starts a new denomination for real…

    Some years ago a number of dissenting Southern Baptist churches formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. While I haven’t heard of any stories of sex abuse coverups in the CBF, it has its own share of other problems. So does my liturgical denomination, for that matter.

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  82. truthseeker00: Maybe, just maybe, we need to stop thinking about how to save ‘The Church’ and get back to doing our small part of God’s amazing task of saving the world.

    “There is enough of God’s justice to spread to all people and all places and all times. Don’t sell his justice short; be faithful in the avenues of justice he has placed you in here and now. He who declared you righteous in his Son calls you to be righteous with his Son.” – Timothy Isaiah Cho, https://faithfullymagazine.com/

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  83. Ricco: this was just an attempt to get attention

    Well, Platt should have gotten a LOT of attention from SBC’s rank and file non-Calvinist millions when he recalled 1,000+ veteran foreign missionaries! He cited a funding shortage, but his bud Kevin Ezell over at NAMB is spending $60 million per year to plant 1,000+ churches annually (with predominantly New Calvinist pastors). Yep, the rank and file should be kicking and screaming about the Calvinization of their denomination! When they didn’t cause a sufficient fuss about those missionaries, it was a clear sign to me (a 60+ year Southern Baptist) that the average pew sitter no longer gives two hoots about the things that matter in the Kingdom of God … I joined the Done tribe as a result.

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  84. elastigirl: shall i tell you about my agnostic relatives, atheist and muslim friends who consider it beneath them to lie because it’s wrong? who knew what the right thing to do was, and did it at personal cost?

    they stand tall.

    Yes they do stand tall.
    On their own merits.
    Pure heresy for some, yes I know, but what can I say?
    I’m an unregenerate heretic of reprobate mind.

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  85. dee: The one=ly thing I can think of is the Andy Savage defense which didn’t work out so well. “That teenage Jezebel wore *those*clothes and I couldn’t help myself.”

    Why do these guys always target under-age girls?
    Are they that bereft of maturity, charm, and personality, that they can’t strike up a consensual relationship with someone their own ages or older?

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  86. Muff Potter: Why do these guys always target under-age girls?
    Are they that bereft of maturity, charm, and personality, that they can’t strike up a consensual relationship with someone their own ages or older?

    I’m guessing they’re stuck in adolescence, still trying to make up for their miserable humiliating experiences in high school. It’s quite sad, really. For everyone involved.

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  87. Max: Platt should have gotten a LOT of attention from SBC’s rank and file non-Calvinist millions when he recalled 1,000+ veteran foreign missionaries!

    Echurch today has a very encouraging story from Emmanuel Enid regarding their missions program. They are doing it right. God bless them! Watch and be uplifted! Know that God is doing great things through those who truly love Him and love their neighbor as themself.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/07/14/echurchwartburg-7-15-18/

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  88. Muff Potter: Why do these guys always target under-age girls?
    Are they that bereft of maturity, charm, and personality, that they can’t strike up a consensual relationship with someone their own ages or older?

    Perhaps because they want sex not a relationship so have to be able to intimidate the other person into silence (and they don’t want to pay the money to hire a prostitute). BTW I wouldn’t call Mark Aderholt a pedophile on the evidence presented; he went after a sexually mature though underage woman and pedophiles are sexually attracted to those who are not sexually mature. Grooming techniques can be used against all ages though older people are more likely to be able to see them for what they are (hence why age of consent is much later than puberty).

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  89. Erp: Perhaps because they want sex not a relationship so have to be able to intimidate the other person into silence (and they don’t want to pay the money to hire a prostitute).BTW I wouldn’t call Mark Aderholt a pedophile on the evidence presented; he went after a sexually mature though underage woman and pedophiles are sexually attracted to those who are not sexually mature.Grooming techniques can be used against all ages though older people are more likely to be able to see them for what they are (hence why age of consent is much later than puberty).

    Pedophilia: entirely or mostly sexually attracted to those aged 0-10 (prepubescent)
    Hebephilia: entirely or mostly sexually attracted to those aged 11-14 (pubescent)
    Ephebophilia: entirely or mostly sexually attracted to those aged 15-19 (older teens)

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  90. roebuck: I’m guessing they’re stuck in adolescence, still trying to make up for their miserable humiliating experiences in high school. It’s quite sad, really. For everyone involved.

    I heard somewhere that people can be sexually attracted to someone the same physical age as their own emotional-development “age”. Probably in connection with Bill Got Hard.

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  91. mitch: dee,

    Dee, I want to clarify, I didn’t think you got that document in any illegal way, but I could see that being a red herring tossed out in an attempt to muddy the water.

    Dezinformatsia?

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  92. DEE

    On FB you posted “Mohler got Mahaney’s sons in law through SBTS when they weren’t even Baptist. Now they are, of course. This is all a game.”

    If I recall correctly, you can attend a SBC seminary without being SBC but the tuition in much higher (like out of state tuition).

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  93. “Let’s see how the *new and improved* SBC responds to this. If they remain quiet, hidden behind lawyers, we may discover that the new and improved SBC is no different than the old SBC. We will wait on a statement from their new President, JD Greear.”

    I doubt Mark A is important enough to keep protecting in this climate. Watch what happens to the IMB attorney and star SBC gurus involved. And will they continue to conduct “internal” investigations?

    These are the kind of people who would be in charge of any SBC database. Not trustworthy.

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  94. Lydia: These are the kind of people who would be in charge of any SBC database. Not trustworthy.

    I guess some of the SBC generals and their lieutenants consider certain characters just too important to lose just because they’ve done a little misbehavin’.

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  95. Muff Potter: Why do these guys always target under-age girls?
    Are they that bereft of maturity, charm, and personality, that they can’t strike up a consensual relationship with someone their own ages or older?

    In short, yes. Their emotional maturity level is that of a 15-18 year old instead of a 21-26 year old. It is a known fact. The brain is not fully matured yet. If the bozos in charge would believe just a bit of scientific study they would not have young adult men in charge of youth groups or churches!

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  96. Bridget,

    However, there are twenty-something teachers, camp counselors, and coaches in charge of teens in the professional world who do their jobs with integrity (and, violators of all ages who get outed – in the news every week). So how do schools, camps, and sports programs maintain dignity and honesty with all involved? Do these institutions operate differently than the church?

    Any readers here with professional HR expertise as well as church experience?

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  97. Bridget: If the bozos in charge would believe just a bit of scientific study they would not have young adult men in charge of youth groups or churches!

    That might require some ‘non-biblical’ ideas and common sense.
    God forbid!

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  98. jyjames: So how do schools, camps, and sports programs maintain dignity and honesty with all involved? Do these institutions operate differently than the church?

    Any readers here with professional HR expertise as well as church experience?

    Well, there are still some problems in the professional world. Besides that, yes, there is a huge difference in training AND response. One example, my 16 year old daughter had to go through extensive training on all forms of abuse before she could work at the YMCA. In the process, she became aware that she is also a mandatory reporter – at 16!

    I think it would be good if everyone had to do this training . . . but you can’t force people to learn about anything . . .

    I have come to the conclusion that churches are the worst at being informed about abuse and sexual predation. They also don’t seem to be as motivated to care for people (I know, crazy) as the professional world is motivated to protect their assets. It is a sad truth.

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  99. dee: Remember when he came to Dubai when you were there? He asked for prayers for going into a dangerous country. In the meantime, his posters were all up around the city. Mr Radical travels cushy but wants you to think he is radical.

    How could I forget?
    “Broadcasting live from an undisclosed location [The Mariott Hotel in Dubai], David Platt will challenge you, your group, and your church to take the next step in your relationship with Christ. In this place where proclaiming Jesus could mean literally losing your life, Platt will invite us to forfeit our own lives for the sake of the gospel.”

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  100. All the talk at the SBC about changing was a Big Lie IMO and the way the IMB tried to cover up this horrible circumstances with Ms. Ann Miller.

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  101. singeman,

    When I volunteered with children’s ministry about 10 years ago at MBC, church policy required me to undergo a background check.

    David Platt’s involvement with MBC is an enigma to me. Though I moved out of the DC area many years ago, I’ve tried to remain aware of what’s going on at the church and have some close friends who still attend. Lon Solomon was always anti-Calvinistic and pro-dispensationalism/Christian Zionism. David Platt, conversely, is strongly Calvinistic (by comparison) and amillennial (a position which Lon Solomon has denounced on many occasions). In fact, MBC’s doctrinal statement precludes amillennialism.

    It is really baffling to me how Platt came to be Lon’s successor, and I can’t help but conclude that MBC needed to bring in a big name so that Lon’s departure wouldn’t shrink the church. I’d love to think otherwise, but American evangelicalism is driven by economic considerations as much as any for-profit business would be.

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  102. Bridget: In short, yes. Their emotional maturity level is that of a 15-18 year old instead of a 21-26 year old.

    “HEY, BEAVIS! HE SCOOOOOORED! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH!”

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  103. Bridget: They also don’t seem to be as motivated to care for people (I know, crazy) as the professional world is motivated to protect their assets.

    Maybe it’s because in the professional world organizations need good employees who can effectively and efficiently produce good products, whereas churches just need replaceable giving units who won’t rock the boat.

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  104. One comment not allowed. Do not blame the woman for failing to report. And don’t play dumb. We have written extensively on why tales those who have been assaulted many years to report. The reasons have become so well known that states are changing their SOL to reflect that knowledge. Anyone who claims to be seeking knowledge after all we have written is playing a game.

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  105. Bridget,

    I’m not HR, but I’ve been involved with camps, churches, and schools since the early 80s. I’ve also supervised younger mandatory reporters (16-20 year old summer staffers). I’m currently helping to supervise 10 in my school’s summer camp.

    It only works if all are on board. In other words, if someone suspects abuse, they report, no matter what kind of relationship they may have with the alleged victim’s family. Then the supervisor who receives the report, turns it directly over to the authorities, again without taking into account how well they know who is being reported. In mandatory reporting states, the name of the reporter is to be kept confidential. If organizations do it it right: report, keep confidentiality, work with the authorities, the process can go forward and work in a positive manner.

    The breakdowns occur when:
    a. People don’t care enough to report (this especially happens in situations when it seems like everyone needs an abuse/neglect report-I’ve worked in places like that).
    b. They don’t trust the process, so they refuse (and, yes, mistakes are made sometimes by the authorities, but less than the public thinks. in 40 years, I’ve only seen one situation where the authorities had to eat crow and say that things were not as they seemed).
    c. People can’t keep their mouths shut, and word gets back to the family that they have been reported. They will then begin to do everything they can to circumvent the process, including moving in the middle of the night, making their children lie that nothing is occurring, or even threatening the reporter.
    d. Administrators (pastors and elders) who try to do their own investigations because they want to handle it themselves. We have plenty of horror stories about how that can turn out thanks to Dee and Deb.
    Two years ago, at a school in my city, a principal investigated a especially deviant sex acts committed by a teacher on several second grade girls. When a parent went to the police herself, her “investigation” was discovered. She was almost jailed over it. She did have her credentials revoked and will never teach/administer again. The teacher is in prison for life, no parole.

    I have unfortunately averaged about one report every two or three years in my time of teaching/church work. Usually, I want to think the worst. Often, especially in cases of neglect or non-sexual abuse, it’s stressed-out parents doing the what they think is best (over-spanking) or without the resources to take care of their children. The hardest, I think, involve sexual abuse. There is no excuse for that, and the children need to find alternate placement as soon as possible.

    i grew up in a home with severe domestic violence. I remember being terrified to come home after school. It wasn’t considered child abuse back in my day. That has changed (at least in my state). There were many times when I was young when I wished I had a place to flee. I did find that place in high school when I met Jesus and my church “adopted” me=providing many positive activities and encouraging me to follow my dream of being an educator/missionary. I’ve made it my personal mission to keep an eye on the kids I teach. I don’t look for problems that aren’t there as there are too many that already exist.

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  106. Eric Price: David Platt’s involvement with MBC is an enigma to me.

    Do the good people at MBC, who I assume to be primarily non-Calvinist based on previous leadership there, understand what is going on in the SBC re: Calvinization of the denomination? And that David Platt is a prominent leader in this movement?

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  107. drstevej: “Before addressing the congregation, Conlee received a standing ovation from the filled sanctuary.”

    I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but I knew that would happen.

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  108. Max,

    I don’t think the average congregant pays much attention to doctrinal issues. They want a good worship “experience” and top programs for their kids. I have had Calvinista friends express how much they enjoy Joel Osteen, and it makes my eyeballs rattle in my head. No matter your doctrinal preferences, Calvinism and the prosperity gospel aren’t go-togethers. They really don’t understand the doctrine of the church they attend.

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  109. Linn,

    Sorry for what you went through growing up. Thank God for all He has done for you – gives one hope. Most of all, thanks so much for sharing your stories, observations, and wisdom. We don’t learn this in the institutional church (as leadership often hand-waves predation and silences discussion). However, we can do “church” right here at TWW and learn from each other. Ever grateful.

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  110. Max: Do the good people at MBC, who I assume to be primarily non-Calvinist based on previous leadership there, understand what is going on in the SBC re: Calvinization of the denomination?And that David Platt is a prominent leader in this movement?

    My sense is that the answer is “no”. I do not think the majority of persons at MBC are aware enough of broader trends in evangelicalism to understand how the church is being folded into the Neo-Calvinist movement. However, I am aware of concern among some congregants about the lack of transparency in the process by which Platt was selected as senior pastor. It happened unbelievably fast.

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  111. jyjames,

    About a decade ago, teachers, physicians, pastors, counselors, etc are required to report domestic violence to the authorities (in my state). A routine question when I have a medical appointment is if I might be in danger at home. Incidents continue to happen, but at least there is an attempt to bring help when needed.

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  112. Eric Price: I do not think the majority of persons at MBC are aware enough of broader trends in evangelicalism to understand how the church is being folded into the Neo-Calvinist movement.

    This is exactly why the SBC is being so easily taken over by the New Calvinists … the pew ain’t got a clue. While they are in this stupor, they are financing their own takeover! The majority of Southern Baptists may still be non-Calvinist in belief and practice, but the New Calvinist church planting program within SBC coupled with takeover of traditional churches through stealth and deception are trending the denomination toward Calvinism quicky.

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  113. jyjames: “We knew that people didn’t want to give anything, sing anything, or do anything — they wanted anonymity, not community. They didn’t want theology lectures; they wanted to be entertained and inspired. So we set out to give them exactly what they wanted.”

    “We don’t want to learn any big words, Pastor. You’re Here To Keep Us Comfortable!”
    — burned-out pastor I know, direct demand from his congregation

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  114. Max: I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but I knew that would happen.

    Funny… First reading at Mass this morning was from the Book of Amos.

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  115. Linn: About a decade ago, teachers, physicians, pastors, counselors, etc are required to report domestic violence to the authorities (in my state).

    Unfortunately, many pastors don’t do it even when it is required. And some states don’t require pastors to report abuse.

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  116. Ryan Abernathy: That was Jerry Rankin. An Tom Ellif succeeded him in 2011.

    The Ellif boys are experts at this kind of thing. Tom’s brother, Bill, made big news in the 80’s for supporting a child molester while at Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, OK.
    https://newsok.com/article/2113437/convicted-child-molester-reaping-strong-support-from-norman-church

    Tom Ellif, the former IMB President who mysteriously resigned without a specific reason, is currently on the board of a parachurch organization ran out of The First Baptist Church of Sapulpa, OK (which TWW has covered twice). This organization’s board has other men who have known sexual sins that would ordinarily disqualify them from ministry. They also employ a former IMB missionary who was banned by the IMB from ever being a missionary due to his “lifestyle”.

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  117. dee,

    That’s my worry. This may be the tip of a huge iceberg. How many more cases did they ‘investigate’ and not report?

    These people are living in the 1950s, not the present day.

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  118. jyjames: “They didn’t want theology lectures; they wanted to be entertained and inspired. So we set out to give them exactly what they wanted.” (Pastor W. Kallestad)

    In a nutshell, this was the “ministry” model that Bill Hybels used at Willow Creek. He borrowed it from Robert Schuller. “Tell me which way you want to go and I’ll get out in front to lead.”

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  119. Just an interesting aside: I know of one person, long time hard serving SBC, who has stepped out of that group and into another. That person is now studying not Calvinism, or paying any attention to the current crop of rising leadership in the USA, but rather what is being taught and growing in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Not what we are exporting but what they are “home growing.”

    Theory is that American churches, liturgical and evangelical, Calvinist and non Calvinist, church growth movement following or not, contemporary services or traditional, are all shooting themselves in the foot. Says we are about to experience what the Jews did in 70 AD as not one stone is left standing. However, this person believes that Christianity will be replanted by missionaries to the West, America and Western Europe, by missionaries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    I’m not convinced, but wonder about ya’lls’ opinions on this, and how it relates to shenanigans happening like SBC coverups.

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  120. Max,

    Max, yep on that. Bill Hybels and rick warren, both credit ole Robert Schuller to being essential in helping to form their respective ministry vision….

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  121. Benn:
    Max,

    Max, yep on that.Bill Hybels and rick warren, both credit ole Robert Schuller to being essential in helping to form their respective ministry vision….

    Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral Christmas/Easter Pageant Spectacle fame, who said if he wasn’t a preacher he would have been in showbiz, he liked putting on spectacles so much.

    And whose empire disintegrated upon his retirement, until the RCC Diocese of Orange bought the entire Crystal Cathedral campus at the fire sale and turned it into a REAL Cathedral.

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  122. Headless Unicorn Guy: And whose empire disintegrated upon his retirement, until the RCC Diocese of Orange bought the entire Crystal Cathedral campus at the fire sale and turned it into a REAL Cathedral.

    The empire (Calvary Chapel) that Papa Chuck built is coming apart at the seams too.
    The old guard (now in their 60s and fast fading into the sunset) tried desperately to remove Brodersen (Papa Chuck’s son in law) from the helm and failed.

    The brand (Calvary Chapel) has now become like a mythical kingdom of warring knights and petty satrapies.

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  123. Headless Unicorn Guy: Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral Christmas/Easter Pageant Spectacle fame, who said if he wasn’t a preacher he would have been in showbiz, he liked putting on spectacles so much.

    Oh but Schuller ‘was’ in showbiz! He helped usher in easy believism (come as you are, stay as you are) with followers who worshiped the Great God Entertainment.

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  124. Benn: Bill Hybels and rick warren, both credit ole Robert Schuller to being essential in helping to form their respective ministry vision

    It’s also interesting that Mark Driscoll also considered Robert Schuller one of his “influencers” … yep, the potty-mouth preacher from Seattle actually put on a suit once and preached at the big glass house. It’s amazing that God didn’t send a bolt of lightning to shatter the place that day! Schuller himself was influenced by Norman Vincent Peale (Mr. Positive Thinker); when they both were preaching on the radio, you couldn’t tell which one was talking. There is a spirit in the American church which is not holy – a spirit that is influencing preacher boys across the land.

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  125. Max,

    I’m sorry, but as an atheist: Enough with the idea that this is caused by a “godless world”. This is no more caused by a godless world than anything else, good or bad that happens in our world. Either there are no gods, so it makes no sense to distinguish between those who live lives informed by belief or those who don’t since it is inconsequential. Or there is a god like the one described in the Bible and he is in charge of the entire world, whether people in it believe in him or not he allows everything that happens to happen.

    The idea that bad things happen because of godless people is at the very least rude to those of us who do not believe as you do. At its worst, you are implying that we are all terrible people, in this case people who commit statutory rape.

    Please think through what you say before you say it. Just because you want to lament the terrible things that happen to people in our world, that doesn’t mean you have to use whatever Christian cliche comes to mind first. Since you proclaim the good of Christianity, treat others as Jesus instructed.

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  126. linda:
    Just an interesting aside:I know of one person, long time hard serving SBC, who has stepped out of that group and into another.That person is now studying not Calvinism, or paying any attention to the current crop of rising leadership in the USA, but rather what is being taught and growing in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.Not what we are exporting but what they are “home growing.”

    Theory is that American churches, liturgical and evangelical, Calvinist and non Calvinist, church growth movement following or not, contemporary services or traditional, are all shooting themselves in the foot.Says we are about to experience what the Jews did in 70 AD as not one stone is left standing.However, this person believes that Christianity will be replanted by missionaries to the West, America and Western Europe, by missionaries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    I’m not convinced, but wonder about ya’lls’ opinions on this, and how it relates to shenanigans happening like SBC coverups.

    There may be at least partial truth to this. One argument I have heard is that Christianity is in decline here. As if to say that the truth and goodness of Christianity can be proven or disproven by whether it is popular or not in this part of the world (argument ad numerum).

    There seems to be a pattern of decline or even extinction in this or that area followed sooner or later by a rising and flourishing somewhere else. We don’t normally think think of southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa as hotbeds of Christianity, certainly not the evangelical type, but at one point the Roman Empire was the happening place. Northern Europe was not Christian at the time and may not have been particularly civilized. Saxons were actually resistant for a while. the center of Christianity then moved there although the vitality had since faded. Later it spread and became influential in the New World. Africa in the 60’s, South America in the 70’s, Asia in the 80’s, yes indeed. Fear of the future of Christianity is nothing new: Cotton Mather afraid that God would judge New England for her lack of piety, another 17th century American cleric afraid that Christianity would not be around to see the next century, an observed lack of religion among early rural Pennsylvanians. Ross Douthat, in his book “Bad Religion”, observed both a decline of traditional Christianity and a rise and flourishing of aberrant forms thereof. Since America is still strongly religious the problems and dangers facing the country are not primarily due to the sins of the unbelieving but to the sins of the faithful. [“If my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves ….]

    What will happen exactly I don’t know. There are parallels between early 18th century England and America, 18th century England in general and our culture, yet powerful revivals occurred, reversing the trend. I even read that America may not have been fully Christianized until the mid-19th century, i e after the Second Great Awakening.

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  127. okrapod:
    linda,

    https://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2007/10/18/mohler-on-african-missionaries

    First TEC then SBC?Could be.

    That article mostly took the words out of my mouth. GAFCON, the conservative alternative conference to the Anglican doctrinal Lambeth Conference, recently concluded. A video about it was recently shown during a morning service that I attended. Our rector (senior minister); who gave the final address, tying the loose ends together; could be seen and heard in it. (He told me that the fellowship with people from different parts of the world was a foretaste of heaven.) Not only was the chairman a black African archbishop, but numerous black faces could be seen there.

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  128. “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” — Ida B. Wells, African-American Investigative Journalist, 1862-1931, born a slave, died a freedom fighter with the pen as her sword.

    We have our own church Woodward and Bernstein here at TWW: Dee and Deb. God bless you two and your work. And God bless all who bring their two cents to the table.

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  129. B Badger,

    Interesting aside. Makes sense by sheer numbers. Nigeria, largest population on that continent, with many Anglicans.

    – The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion.
    – Most of its 85 million members live in the Anglosphere of former British territories.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Communion

    If China (1.6 B), and the rest of Asia (i.e., India), ever get their house collectives organized, it would be a massive denomination.

    China is the one place where media mega church with excellent online evangelism and discipleship would make sense. They have population, and area, and they embrace social/educational media. If indeed, the Great Commission brings the 2nd Coming, this may be a last outpost, with social media being the implementation. However, the government, (bless their hearts), is prohibitive (which is not necessarily bad, considering our snake oil religion here in the West). It’s a thought. Sometimes, a prayer.

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  130. jyjames: We have our own church Woodward and Bernstein here at TWW: Dee and Deb. God bless you two and your work.

    I’d include them as our very own Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden too.

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  131. This is why, when SNAP first made the database suggestion to SBC leaders back in 2006, it went hand-in-hand with the suggestion for the creation of an independent abuse review panel to responsibly assess abuse reports (i.e., those not subject to criminal prosecution), archive abuse reports, and inform the local churches.

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  132. Deebs can you clarify a matter for me? As I read the article above, when Anne informed the IMB in 2007 (when she was 26) she did not want to report it to police. Is the WW position that IMB should have informed the police – notwithstanding the victims desire to not file a law enforcement report? I’m a prosecutor by trade, so I have a strong preference for reporting offenses ASAP… but my jurisdiction also has a “restricted reporting” option where a victim has an option to make a report to get medical, emotional help etc without triggering a law enforcement investigation. (Not available in child offense cases but if victim was 16 – as here – that would not be an offense against a child in my jurisdiction, or most US jurisdictions). It seems that an expectation that IMB would report a matter to law enforcement over a victims objection would deny a victim the option of restricted reporting, in jurisdictions that offer it and generally fail to respect a victims right to choose when and if to start the criminal investigation process. That process can be very hard for victims and many have compelling personal reasons to not go that route. Just curious what WWs expectation is for organizations who are approached by an adult victim who specifically does not want to bring in law enforcement at that time.

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  133. Max,

    You are on the money, Schuller is quoted as saying that if he hadn’t become a preacher, he would have gone in to show business with out a doubt….

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  134. Wes,

    So glad you asked that, Wes. I have wondered if an adult victim is breaking the law if they choose to not report in the situations you have mentioned. My son is also ‘a prosecutor by trade’ but I have not been able to ask him because he is also a part time JAG on active duty in Iraq right now and not available to talk about stuff like this. When he gets home I intend to pursue the matter as to how it works in our state.

    I have felt, and do feel, that some adult may have real personal reasons to choose to not report to law enforcement, and I have also felt (and this is just a feeling since I am a doctor and not a lawyer much less a prosecutor) that a victim should not be required to do something which could make their situation worse should that be the case.

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  135. truthseeker00: I have learned how seriously I need to seek God’s face and direction as I ask him daily, ‘What now?’

    As every believer should do. You certainly can’t trust the organized church to lead you in the right direction in its current state. As the words of an old hymn advise us:

    “My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

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  136. RW: The idea that bad things happen because of godless people is at the very least rude to those of us who do not believe as you do.

    Actually, neither I nor jyjames (whose comment you refer to) imply that. We both know lots of people who don’t know God or His Son – they may be “godless” but they live moral lives.

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  137. Thanks to those responding to my tangential question.

    My friend sees a bit of shift both in how church is done and in basic theology. So far his opinion is that church as business/pastor as ceo is unbiblical and that is what will come down. Well, that and what he calls a “sinning religion” as in redefining sin as “not sin” which we have done at so many levels. He is expecting church to be still well organized as a larger body, but lived out in “small church” of half dozen to maybe a dozen. Nobody making a living as a professional religious person. More a bit of the old Wesleyan cell group concept where if you were not living up to the faith you were ousted from the group. As to doctrine he is seeing more of a shift to what could be called “holiness” but not our old time clothesline holiness or long list of lifestyle rules. More adhering to the Bible and what it teaches to be considered saved. In other words, a shift from salvation being about what you believe to being about both what you believe AND what you do. Yet not works based. No working to be saved but works because the interior person has been reborn.

    Will be interesting to see if it happens. I can see where it would require a lot less capital, be fewer in numbers but maybe higher in discipleship, and be far more close knit.

    I can also see the value in bringing in other points of view than male white northern European as regarding theology. Of course we don’t want to toss that viewpoint altogether.

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  138. Muff Potter: The empire (Calvary Chapel) that Papa Chuck built is coming apart at the seams too.
    The old guard (now in their 60s and fast fading into the sunset) tried desperately to remove Brodersen (Papa Chuck’s son in law) from the helm and failed.

    The brand (Calvary Chapel) has now become like a mythical kingdom of warring knights and petty satrapies.

    Complete with Red Weddings?

    “A cold Iron Throne
    Holds a boy barely grown;
    His crown based on lies,
    YOU WIN OR YOU DIE,
    Game of Thrones…”

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  139. Max: As the words of an old hymn advise us:
    “My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

    I’m more familiar with the filk version:

    “My hope is built on nothing less than
    Freeze-dried foods and Smith & Wesson…”

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  140. Max: It’s also interesting that Mark Driscoll also considered Robert Schuller one of his “influencers” … yep, the potty-mouth preacher from Seattle actually put on a suit once and preached at the big glass house.

    Where now the RCC Bishop of Orange celebrates Mass.

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  141. Wes,

    And to clarify on my last question (ref: organizational responsibility to report to law enforcement when victim does not want to do so) I understand the situation changed at some point in this case when Anne later sought the IMB’s help in bringing a formal report. I just want to understand WW’s view on what the right response for an organization would be after Anne’s *first* report to them (at which time she did not yet want to bring in LE).

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  142. Deebs – disregard my ?’s I just had a chance to read the linked articles (finally at a desktop). Looks like the incidents were when Anne was “a child under 17.” I think I got calendar years and her age mixed up. That answers my questions as it puts MA’s misconduct in the “offense against child” category, and I don’t think any jurisdictions provide for legally protected restricted reporting for child offenses. Wish there was a way to delete comments betraying my failure to read closely…. 😉

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  143. This is a sad story! I guess my questions is, Did the IMB have a responsibility to report the sexual assault when the victim, who was an adult when she reported the incident to the IMB, said that she did not want to report it to the authorities? Should they have reported it against her wishes anyway?

    As to them failing to notify SBC churches about the sexual assault, there were no charges filed. So the most they could have said was “Mark resigned after an internal investigation revealed that he lied to the IMB about a sexual assault (or whatever the wording of their report said).” I wish they would have at least communicated this but I’m guessing they did not because of legal constraints regarding personnel practices.

    There need to be clear steps outlining how churches and denominational entities should deal with these issues!

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  144. Michael: Did the IMB have a responsibility to report the sexual assault when the victim, who was an adult when she reported the incident to the IMB, said that she did not want to report it to the authorities? Should they have reported it against her wishes anyway?

    Yes. The law says one must report a crime, even if it was agains the victim ‘s wishes.

    Also, you are assuming that she did not want it reported. Many victims needs the assistance of the entity to Mae the report. On other words, they want the entity to report it.

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  145. Wes: ref: organizational responsibility to report to law enforcement when victim does not want to do so

    The organization must report. Recent story: 22 year old high school teacher had sex with 18 year old student. School found out. The parents and the boy did not want it reported. However, it is against the law for a teacher to have sex with a student. She was arrested and arraigned and her teaching license revoked. It is a crime and a crime must be reported. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5346561/Teacher-22-arrested-having-sex-student.html

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  146. It gets more complicated. I know a man now middle aged who denies that he was sexually abused as a teen, but there are those who doubt the validity of his denial. If he was abused, and if he does not now report it to the cops, is he committing a criminal act by not reporting? In other words, does the victim become a criminal by denying the abuse?

    I am not making this case up. I know this man and his family.

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  147. dee,

    I agree that there is a moral obligation but the law is very specific regarding who must report and I don’t think it requires the IMB to report in this instance. She told the IMB during the interview that she did not want to report to the authorities. She has clarified she only said this once and wished the IMB had encouraged her to report.

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  148. Michael: I agree that there is a moral obligation but the law is very specific regarding who must report and I don’t think it requires the IMB to report in this instance.

    Every church leader (IMB is technically part of the church) is required by law – indeed, mandated – to report sexual abuse. Civil authorities should have been notified. Victims are often confused about what to do, especially when a pastor is the abuser – civil authorities need to intervene. Churches, denominational entities, and parachurch organizations should call 911 and not try to handle criminal offenses themselves. TWW has published too many horror stories when church leaders told a victim to forgive and forget, leaving the abuser to continue in ministry to commit other crimes.

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  149. mitch: I was sitting in classes where they railed against abortion and homosexuality of “the world” while refusing to condemn the blatant and obvious abuse by members of the “church”.

    And there you have church in a nutshell.

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  150. The SBC’s Baptist Press cast it this way today:

    “IMB, ex-missionary’s accuser differ over abuse response”

    http://bpnews.net/51282/imb-exmissionarys-accuser-differ-over-abuse-response

    Again, they say Aderholt was an IMB missionary from 2000-2008.

    But this profile of Aderholt suggests that he was a missionary from 1994-1996 too:

    https://prezi.com/kkaadku1pdby/missionary-mark/?webgl=0

    “Director of Student Ministries and Associate Pastor North Sea Baptist Church, Stavanger, Norway (1994 – 1996)”

    The Norway church’s website has him listed under “Journeyman Missionaries and Associate Pastors” on its church history page.

    (Journeymen Missionaries is the International Mission Board two-year program for twentysomethings)

    Sounds like Aderholt served several years in Norway, came back to get a seminary degree, then was sent to Hungary.

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  151. Hi Dee,

    Have you and Deb heard about pastor pastor giovanelli??? He abused Sarah Jackson when she was 16 years old. In May this pastor spoke out against the abuse. He took over the church that pastor giovanelli was a pastor at. Dr. Bob Gray called Pastor Shifflett as doing the devils work for speaking out against the abuse. You need to take a look at his youtube video. He took it down but others have put it back up there. I spoke with him, very nice man. He gave me the name and number to a reporter with World Magazine who is doing a story on this topic. These guys are with the SBC so you are right this is much bigger. If you have written about him already then disregard my post but I would still take a look at Pastor Shifflett’s youtbue video. Very powerful!!

    Response by Pastor Stacey Shiflett to North Valley Baptist Church official statement

    https://youtu.be/Wcmaa8WZ5jE

    It won’t let me do the link. Maybe when i post the message it will pop up.

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  152. shauna,

    I need to correct. I spoke to Pastor Shiflett he was very nice. Bob Gray stated this about Pastor Shiflett

    ” If every accusation made is proven to be true his(pastor shiflett) is still grievous and wrong. A rebuke is called for concerning this pastor for being an instrument of Satan and I know judgement for his behavior will come from God. Don’t buy into thei unscriptual method used by this pastor”. End Quote!

    Sarah’s post

    I have overcome a lot in my 28 years. I have been through things that make me sick to my stomach. I have come out stronger.

    There has always been one thing that I wasn’t “allowed” to deal with. I have held on to one thing in my past that happened to me 12 years ago that I have searched and searched for a way to let go.

    Why now? Well, now I am a mother. I will do whatever I can in my power to not allow something to happen to my son that happened to me as a 16 year old girl. So this is my story, and with this, I let go.

    I was raised in a way where you respect your elders and your leaders. Your Pastor in the Baptist faith, is pretty much right under God. You trust him. With everything.

    You go to him for guidance, advice, and wisdom. He is someone you can could on when your parents aren’t around, right? Someone you ( as a child ) idolize for lack of a better word.

    I did, too. At 16, I was forced to grow up too quickly. I was put in a position no 16 year old girl should EVER be put in. Things were taken from me I will never be able to get back.

    When those things were taken from me (that should not have been taken until marriage), I was left with “dont tell anyone.” , ” We take this to the grave”.

    Cameron Giovanelli, my pastor, abused his power and “leadership” into creating a physical and emotional relationship with a 16 year old girl that carried on her entire senior year of high school. I have kept quiet for 12 years because I am not a spiteful person. This kills me to type. I cared about him. But I also cared for my innocence which was ripped from me by someone I was supposed to trust.

    But as a 28 year old mother to a perfect little boy asleep up in his crib, I will do whatever I have to, to bring awareness so this never happens to another child. I have worked through alot in my past, and this is the last thing I need to let go of, to fully move forward. It was not ok. Its still not ok. And it will never be ok.

    Listen to your children. Watch for signs (withdrawn, depressed, distant) and get to the bottom of the cause. Always be a listening ear and an open door for them to run to.

    I am so grateful for the support from my parents, husband, family and friends that have been there for me these past few years as Ive searched for a way to let go of this. And with that, I move forward with my life and my family.

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