“A person who experiences spiritual abuse often begins by asking for dialog or some form of support and is left instead with a weight of guilt or condemnation and feeling less worthy as a person.” link
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse
There is a book that I heartily recommend to anyone who is part of a church or seeking to become part of the church. It addresses the problems of spiritual manipulation and false spiritual authority. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse was written by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen.(ed. note:I do not accept Amazon kickbacks not do I accept ads or any payment for what I do on this website.) David Johnson just retired after 38 years as the senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Jeff Van Vonderen is a former pastor and counselor.
Any church that has nothing to hide will allow church members to freely discuss any questions or concerns that they have with the leaders. Not only that, but the church leadership should welcome such a discussion.
- Does a church allow you to see their budget?
- Does the leadership become irritated when you try to figure out what is going in the church?
- Do they tell you not to *gossip?*
- Do leaders use words such as slander or defamation when you ask question?
- Do they make you feel that you are the problem when you attempt to discuss the problems that you see?
- Do they use strong arm tactics like removing you from a small group in order to shut you up?
- Do they spend a lot of time discussing their authority as pastor or elders?
- Do they tell you that you are not being submissive to their authority in order to get you stop asking questions?
The book carefully delineates the difference between true authority and poor leadership. The authors discuss how such abuse develops and why members are blinded to it, initially. Later, when it’s too late to do anything about it, the congregants finally realizes what happened to their church. Interestingly, it also helps the members of such a church to understand what it is about their own personalities that allows such domineering pastors and elder boards to control them.
One of the finest chapters deals with the misapplication of various Scripture verses that are used to secure the abusive pastor’s position and keep the members of the church in line. They show how verses such as Matthew 18 are misapplied and misunderstood. It is fascinating to see how the Bible can be misused to justify almost any action, including unbiblical ones. The authors stress how the average member in such a church often feels burdened and lacking in joy. It is fascinating to note that even the “really intelligent” individual can be taken in by this sort of a church.
Why I’m concerned about Sankey, Tom Randall, Toto, Joe Coffey and Christ Community Chapel (CCC).
Let me repeat what I said at the beginning. A church which has nothing to hide will welcome questions and concerns in an open and loving manner. There are a number of people who love CCC and who are also concerned about the alleged abuse of children at Sankey. I also believe that there is a serious problem at this children’s home
The expressed concern for the welfare of the children by church leaders appears tepid, at best.
The first thing that jumps out at me is the apparent lack of concern from the victims by those in leadership. In my 10 years of documenting abuse in the church, I find this to be a consistent problem. The involved leaders are discussed in glowing terms and are to be protected at all costs. Somehow, the same passion and concern for the children gets lost in the *So and So is a great leader and speaker.*
I have a question. Who do you think Jesus would spend time with: The locally famous church leaders or the children? Jesus was deeply concerned about the welfare of the children. Matthew 18:6 (NIV) gives one of His most serious warnings.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
There appears to be an attitude amongst some that a pastor cannot be involved in serious sin.
This is one of the most dangerous beliefs of all. I know this hard for many people to hear but no one knows what goes on inside of a man or woman. Have you seen the latest reports on the number of pastors who have been convicted of child sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention? Even the leaders of the SBC acknowledge there is a terrible problem. Abuse of Faith: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms. How many people at CCC have followed the recent scandal involving Bill Hybels and Willow Creek, a huge church with 30,000 members. He stepped down because of accusations of sex abuse over the course of decades. Do you know how many of the people in that church didn’t believe it because they thought the *knew him?* Instead of hiding it under a rock, after pressure, this church had an outside, independent investigation (that is the gold standard in investigations) to corroborate what had happened.
So, why the apparent abuse of church members who ask questions and demand accountability?
This is the main reason I believe there is something wrong . There appears to be an attempt by the leadership to shut down questioning by church members.
The criteria for questioning an elder or a leader in the church has been met in this instance. According to 1 Timothy 5:19 (NIV)
Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.
There are videos available of the children along with heavy documentation brought by numerous members of the church. According the Scripture, the evidence must be considered by leaders as possibly valid. So why the poor treatment of a member of the church who recently brought forth the claims to leadership?
What is an independent, outside investigation and why is it the gold standard?
An investigation must be conducted by those with experience in the matter and who do not depend on support from the victims or the church leadership. If there is any support whatsoever, the investigation will be tainted.
I’ve been told that some leaders are claiming that the FBI is investigating. Today I called the FBI office in Akron. They issued the standard Glomer response.
In United States law, the term Glomar response, also known as Glomarization or Glomar denial, refers to a response to a request for information that will “neither confirm nor deny” (NCND) the existence of the information sought. For example, in response to a request for police reports relating to a certain individual, the police agency may respond with the following: “We can neither confirm nor deny that our agency has any records matching your request.” Such a response is invariably a false statement, regardless of whether the entity actually possesses the information requested, as they actually can confirm or deny it, but simply chose not to. Accordingly, Glomar responses are favored for their ability to reject a request for information without claiming the information does not exist.
Basically, this means they will not say one way or the other. However, unless the FBI has issued a statement “We are investigating so and so,” it is highly unlikely that they will allow a leaders to run all over kingdom come saying *The FBI is involved.” So, I doubt the FBI is involved.
However, I’ve been told that some believe that one of the directors of Rahab Ministries, Suzanne Lewis-Johnson, a former FBI agent, is conducting the inquiry. If this is true, she is not doing it *for the FBI.* Also, she cannot be independent since her ministry receives funds from CCC and the Sankey Family Foundation. This would be a conflict of interest and any investigation would not be considered independent. Apparently, the offices of Rehab are closed on Fridays so I left a message for Ms. Lewis-Johnson to call me.
The testimony of Taylor
If you don ‘t have time to read the entire post, skip down to the section that says “the really important emails.”
I know the identity of Taylor. It was my suggestion that this person’s identity be kept anonymous due to my concern about possible thoughtless reactions by the church. Since I am sure the church leadership will know who this is, I shall gauge their reaction to the documents.
The rest of this post will be the actual emails that were sent by, or to, Taylor. The take place from November, 2018-January 2019.
Taylor to Joe Coffey 11/13/18. Taylor outlines basic concerns.
After listening to the podcast below my heart is deeply grieved. This is not a fabricated testimony of women- one does not fabricate Truth in this manner/ it is not elaborated. We are called to discern truth rightly.
I don’t believe Tom is guilty- maybe of loyalty to man- however somewhere in the equation I am hoping discernment has not fallen and loyalty to man may be exceeding loyalty to the Lord. Joe this is not coming from the outside but people, strong members, inside our four walls concerned about undisclosed monetary decisions and lack of an objective elder board as oversite and covering for you and unilateral decisions.
You are correct time and truth and I am confident the Lord will shine on all that is hidden; yet I also know we are humans and can allow passion and loyalty and friendship to supersede what may be awful atrocities against young people. I know they recanted- under pressure it can be too much. And money can buy much
I’m sure this email has at first sparked anger/ that is not my intent- Joe I know what passion and pride can do- if even an ounce of this is true- the Lord is quite displeased and it could crash all to the ground-
As our leader, I’m asking that you personally go before the Lord and allow Him to speak- laying aside loyalties – I’m just a small person in the church who has probably annoyed you more than once. But I’m honest and forthright and I pray!
This is not going to end especially if evidence builds that exposes and you will personally go right down with the rest. I know you don’t walk in fear but first and foremost you have been called to Shephard.
If you have not heard the link below, I’m asking you listen with objectivity- all the way to the end as the last 5 minutes of what they desired from Tom are more than gripping.
In His Grip and with deep prayers in my heart. God will be glorified always!
You don’t need to respond especially if you are infuriated as you are not accountable to me by any stretch- I just happen to be someone who cares and has enough guts to write.
Here is a podcast / interview with the whistle blower and one of the victims at Tom Randall’s place in the Philippines.
I have listened to more than half and I find it pretty disturbing.
Joe Coffey to Taylor- 11/13/18: Joe Mauk’s smearing campaign and evil social media
This is absolutely NOT true. This continues to go on. Joe Mauk seems like he is increasing his efforts to smear Tom and CCC. It’s crazy. I had to address it before the message a couple of weeks ago. Social media is so dangerous and evil at times. Anyone can say anything. The case was investigated for 4 years by the child services and the government authorities of the Philippines. All charges were dropped. Tom was never charged with anything.
Joe Mauk, who triggered the raid, has lost all credibility in the Philippines and is desperate to try to exonerate his actions. Thanks for trusting us. One of the interesting things about anyone who gets infected by Joe is that they all refuse to even meet with Tom and Karen and hear their story. That’s amazing to me. Somehow Joe convinces them that they shouldn’t even talk to Tom when supposedly these are Christian people who want to know the truth. This has been a huge distraction and has been terribly painful for both Tom and Karen. Ok, I’m done.
You can tell whoever sent you this that they should talk to Tom or get the phone numbers for some of the kids and get their perspective. We gladly give anyone their numbers so they can hear first hand what happened and what didn’t happen.
Taylor to Joe 11/13/18
but as my pastor I’m coming direct to the source- I have not forwarded this to anyone but you!!!- Joe you have always told me the truth . (Sends links to Phoenix preacher
Joe to Taylor 11/15/18; Note how Coffey talks about an independent investigation.
I appreciate your concern but I would invite anyone who has questions to sit down with Tom and Karen and talk to them. They will gladly connect you to the people who are actually in the Philippines, the kids that actually lived there and know Hazel and the Mauks. You can speak to Hazel’s sister who was also a part of the orphanage. You can see her file over the years, understand her background.
I would suggest looking into the primary sources before you make a judgement based on a blogger or even this video. There’s a lot of information you don’t know. I can pretty much guarantee whoever is spreading this has never taken the trouble to sit down with Tom and Karen and ask them direct questions or researched the primary sources to see what is true or not true. Which is really sad when you think about it because it seems so biblical. Please do the work necessary before jumping to conclusions about whether loyalty has blinded anyone.
We also have asked a group of trained professionals (men and women trained in human trafficking and law enforcement) to conduct an independent investigation into everything to make sure the DSWD (child services in the Philippines who conducted 2 full investigations and the NBI (the Philippine version of the FBI) didn’t miss anything. If you are really concerned then please sit down with Tom or Karen and talk with them. They have both longed for people who have questions about them and what went on in the Philippines to just ask them and let them tell what they know.
Taylor to Joe 11/17/18: The children have no voice at CCC.
I’m heeding you advice and doing the work . Fortunately a few within our midst have also been burdened to do the work-well founded documentation – this is quite serious in my mind and I cannot treat it casual-
I think to say someone has a vindictive spirit is to underestimate what might have actually occurred- just curious too- why is our church holding 2 million of Toms money-? Is that really a church function Joe. ? Some things just are not adding up with some of us- we care loads but won’t tolerate if Truth is really falling down.
You are right much is not known – but what is being presented does not seem to add up either-
One podcast certainly does not tip the scales- what independent investigation and will it be completely objective if CCC is funding it- doesn’t loyalty right now potentially out way striving for Truth- Joe can you honestly say that you would stand in front of everyone if Toto is found to be a wicked man and say to the whole congregation that CCC was wrong to defend- I hope so because in my heart I believe the possibility is there- the documentation is not cheesy- it’s overwhelming!
This is highly serious as our church may have defended a very evil, manipulative, and deceptive man who has hurt kids. And what saddens me more is that it was ignored- these are children Joe who traditionally have no voice.
We have heard Toms side- but our own church is completely minimizing the other side as awful people. Joe the ones concerned are believers under your leadership – even in the level that the church has overstepped the bounds of involvement that are appropriate-
I care lots as well as highly concerned.
Joe to Taylor 11/18/18 Tom Randall has PTSD and Joe Mauk is trying to organize a protest.
You should know that we have had Tom in counseling for PTSD to try to deal with the night terrors he has had at least 5 times per week for the last 5 years from the beatings he took from the NBI while in jail. That’s literally hundreds of night terrors that he and Karen have gone through. Joe Mauk minimizes Tom’s experience in jail. Tom doesn’t tell anyone all that went on. Why would Joe Mauk minimize something like that?
I tell you this because Tom probably had a night terror last night and is going to try to speak tonight knowing that Joe Mauk is trying to organize some kind of protest against him. I’ve told him to try not to think about it and just do what God has called him to do. He will call you Monday to arrange a time to meet.
Further discussions ensure about the need to meet with Tom Randall.This is important later one in the post.
Joe to Taylor 11/18/18 Claims that Toto was an employee of CCC Also, makes claims about Joe Mauk which Mauk refuted.
First, the church has never heard Tom’s side. You haven’t heard Tom’s side. If you are going to “do the work” you need to sit down with Tom and Karen, get the phone numbers of people in the Philippines, talk to the missionaries who have been right there from the beginning, talk to the kids who were there for their entire lives. You haven’t done any of that. The person who is feeding you information, the blogger who is posting this, the “advocates” have never done any of this. Way back in 2013 the only person who did the research was an Akron Beacon reporter who Joe Mauk called and fed all this to called me. I gave her all the numbers to call, she did the work of a real reporter and called me back saying, “wow, there is a completely different narrative that the kids tell” and she said as a reporter she could and would never print what you are hearing and what you are reading.
The bylaws of every ministry I know read the same as our bylaws. If CCC decides to close the elders are bound to find a like minded organization and transfer all assets and liabilities to that organization. The board of World Harvest approached CCC and asked us if we would be that organization for them. We agreed. We took over all their assets and liabilities including all the ministries they were involved in within the Philippines. We have an external audit every year to make sure every single thing we do is above board. Does Joe Mauk do that? Does every ministry you know of do that?
The lies that people are willing to believe are amazing to me. We did nothing for Toto Luchavez and his son Jake except to provide legal counsel for them, which by the way the attorney says was our legal responsibility since they were employees. Would you rather we break Ohio law because of an accusation? Do you know anything about Joe Mauk? Do you know anything about the way he has treated the kids, what he promised or threatened Hazel with or CM? Do you know he owes World Harvest 450k? Have you sifted through all his posts with Tom to see how many lies, flat out lies he has posted about the ordeal? If he is telling the truth then why would he have to lie at all?
you really need to completely stop, make an appointment with Tom and Karen and sit down and let them tell you the mountain of stuff you don’t know and will never know until you ask them. You of all people should know that Satan is most effective when he weaves some truth with some lie. You are reading partial truth and partly lie and you are willing to believe it. Do not go deeper into this terribly dangerous mixture without talking to Tom and Karen.
You say this was ignored. How in the world was this ignored? Do you know how many hours have gone into the investigation in the Philippines and here in the States? You only know what Joe Mauk is feeding you. Do you know anything about GRACE and whether they have forensic interviewers in the Philippines who could help? Do you know what Joe Mauk feels would be resolution? Do you know if Joe Mauk wants more money from World Harvest? Do you know if he has stolen money from World Harvest? Do you know if he ever hit one of the kids? Do you know if he is guilty of crimes in the Philippines, one of which is NOT reporting a sex offender who molested one of the kids 10 years ago when it was his responsibility? Do you now about Miriam and her history? Do you know we sent a team over to the Philippines to meet with the kids to get their story? Do you know that church leaders over in the Philippines have investigated and concluded that Joe Mauk is in disobedience? Do you know if Joe Mauk is accountable to anyone? I mean anyone?
And yet you say we have ignored this whole fiasco and never done the necessary investigation to find out the truth of what happened? Do you know the NBI and the bribes?
What exactly do you know? You know what a single person is wanting you to know. ASK. All you need to do is sit down with Tom and Karen and ask and no one, not a single person, not ONE person Joe Mauk has infected has ever been willing to do that. Doesn’t that strike you as wildly unbiblical? Why would Joe Mauk convince people to not talk to Tom and Karen.
And please do not say to yourself, “Oh, Joe’s loyalty has clouded his judgement” until you have spent the hundreds of hours I have spent with this and until you talk to the one person who is right here who knows more than anyone else about the kids, Joe Mauk, the Philippines, Hazel, the money, CM, World Harvest, the NBI, the Child services, the investigations, the raid that Joe Mauk did 3 weeks before the raid, the raid, prison, the missionary community in the Philippines and all 31 of the children at Sankey Samaritan and what they are doing now.
Google Joe Mauk and then google Tom Randall and tell me who has been maligned. We haven’t said or written anything about Joe Mauk since my first blog back in 2013 which I took down within the week. Joe Mauk has posted literally hundreds of things about Tom(including making fun of Tom riding a unicycle for ministry) and about me and about the church to try to discredit us. Miriam posted that we sit under a “glittering dome of lies”. What lies? What is a single lie we have told about any of this? She says CCC has thrived on the backs of children who have been abused. Really? How have we thrived off of this? Do any of their comments, any of their lies concern you?
Please do not talk to me about this tomorrow before I preach. Call or write Tom right now and set up a time for you and the whole group to sit down to talk with him. He has longed for anyone with these questions to just ask him.
The really important emails
A meeting was held with Tom Randall which did not clarify the issues for Taylor. Then the following communications occurred. Let me preface this by saying that I advise ALL church members to refuse to go to any meeting with leaders/pastors which may involve controversy UNLESS they are allowed to have a witness present. I also encourage then to record these conversations.
Taylor to Joe and Jim 12/17/18 Jim Colledge is the founding pastor of CCC: Taylor outlines concerns.
Dear Jim and Joe
The last five weeks have been nothing short of horrifying and disturbing. You must know that I did not “seek” out anything. In fact, I believed wholeheartedly the stand from the pulpit. Yet, when I heard some of the tapes of the girls, something inside had a deep check that I could not ignore and I prayed about it – ALOT. Then things started to happen and I was in touch with people, who independently, unrelated to Joe Mauk also had questions and for years and month started bravely weed whacking through evidence and testimony. Why, because most abuse cases are not fabricated. In fact, most of the cases happen with the most unlikely people- not strangers. Why else, because there are 27 verses in the Bible that talks about the Lords eye on the orphans.
I’m a bit personally surprised and distressed by the following:
1. Joe C, your initial tweet said there are two sides but I believe Tom – I personally believe your responsibility was to place discernment over loyalty regardless of how you “felt”.
2. You challenged me to sit down personally with Tom and Karen to hear their side – yet, what you preached to me was not practiced in kind as the response you and the “hidden” elders in our church gave when he wrote a very professional letter was to deny the request. He too is a brother in Christ – so your challenge to me was not upheld by your own practice – I ponder why and it is unnerving.
3. I have it on the account of two witnesses – not one Joe, two- who had nothing to gain except to protect kids, that when you were personally presented and avidavit of a young boy sodomized and forced to give a man a blow job that you “arched your back” and said “you know how orphans are” and the tenor of the meeting was anything but a pastors listening ear and humility. This for me is probably the most disturbing of all. Joe, you were like the father I never had – you told me the truth years ago and it is with tears while I heard the same account – its two different people who have not spoken in a few years. They were both there – They had nothing to protect Joe – absolutely nothing – they believed like I would that a pastor would stand up and take notice. They did not get humility Joe. This is not anything like my own father. Given the abuse he suffered he would have cried – did you ever cry Joe when you heard about those kids or was all the focus directed towards protecting your friend al all cost.
4. Our church did not give one single dime to the orphans to assist in their trial – because we were already pre-disposed to a level of innocence.
5. If my child was abused and wrote a signed avidavit – I would not read it once, I would read it 10 times regardless of how painful. When Tom and Karen were questioned on this on Friday – they read NONE of them – that was said “they read NONE of them”. Their supposed children, and they read none of them
6. Some of these kids have been made out to be mentally ill and off base as if they decided they were abused to gain something. Joe, wake up. They have nothing and if their support is threatened in any way, they will do anything. We only spoke of “kissing” in our church. Do you know that one boy is in hiding? Do you know that one boy physically shook in the courtroom when he saw the face of his perpetrator.
7. When I personally asked what the charges were against Toto – Tom said he did not know – yet it was his employee. When I asked Tom on the phone if he released Toto immediately – He said yes. Yet documented evidence is contradictory – in one place he says he fired him, in another place he said he let him go, in the meeting he said he told him to go across the street and play golf.
8. If the church truly had nothing to hide, truly, then there would have been absolutely no hesitation to bring in a neutral third party immediately and solicit the help of all who were deeply concerned – this did not happen. In fact, it makes it almost impossible to believe the story board because the church supposedly picked someone better. Can you honestly and forthrightly say that the “person” you picked is objective, no strings attached to CCC, no benefit from CC on tithing – absolutely no strings attached – BIG QUESTION JOE, BIG QUESTION- and yes it is caps because to me it is deplorable that the church would not listen to others who came to you time and time again. Instead you have lifted up your friend above the call to protect the church.
In closing, I came yesterday and will continue to come because I care a tremendous amount that God’s reputation would be preserved and I sit there in pray. By the way, your message yesterday was very good. Was it comfortable, no. You see Joe, whistleblowers are coined as divisive. Read the account at Willow Creek. The pastors and the elders ignored what was right under their noses and the victims were single handedly destroyed. I take the risk that you all will attempt the same on me – but yet I stand in confidence that from the day I have walked into CCC until this day, I have honored the leadership. So, you can only imagine the horror to have much of this get shattered as I have probed and dug.
The women and men who have come forward are not idiots. Many top researchers around the country that are not linked by anything have probed and probed and even tried to poke holes in their own investigations only to confirm the evidence.
Most importantly, why did Tom go to such great lengths to defend Toto and Jake who were unsupervised much of the time? That alone is a very curious question. He could not even answer who was on his board at the time of the arrest, yet we know.
I also did not appreciate the visual image that Tom portrayed to females in the room that he had to put a straw up his penis to pee. Seriously! – Also my daughter who is a nurse says this is almost an impossibility. The church said he got medical help.
Then he claimed that the orphans were starving and had not eaten in three days so he bought chicken. He did buy chicken for the inmates. The evidence shows that the children were taken food by two missionary’s daily and provided a cake for one of their birthdays.
I am sure that as you both read this, you believe I am crazy. Fortunately this entire summer, the Lord has had me in a quiet place to realize that truth will cost me on every level and also to keep redirecting me to my identity in him. This case is not closed as was conveyed by the pulpit and the final NBI report actually states that they are certain some level of abuse happened at the Sankey orphanage. No one can tell me that the power and money behind a mega church and the political influences wielded did not have an impact to erode justice. We know it happens in the secular world Joe. It is a fact.
In closing, the issue is this. Did you follow Micah 6:8? – Have you shown one ounce of care to the orphans or is the church no more on a mission to protect their own? The hiddenness of the elder board, the hiddenness of finances, and the hiddenness and reluctance to work others (correction:3/9/19) as well, seems that there was a desire to “keep it in the family” – that is what Tom did with the kids – “not good to share outside the family”.
I am making one last appeal for the sake of the church that you would both lay down loyalty and possible pride that nothing could possibly happen at CCC. I am begging you to deeply pray as it is with extreme bravery I wrote this to you. It was with bravery I sat in my normal spot on Sunday. And, it was with even more bravery that we challenged Tom in the end. Remember, God sees the orphans whether the church sees them or not. Horrific things occurred. I almost vomited when Tom said Jake was this meek and mild boy who could do no harm.
What if it did happen gentlemen and pastors? – what if the thinking has been clouded by a very polished speaker? Unfortunately, where there is smoke there is fire. I hope you will pick up this appeal, be open and forthright and start working with the advocates. This is not a Satanic bunch Joe.
In His Grip Forever.
Jim to Taylor on the same day.
Having received your email of December 17th the elders intend to invite you to meet with members of the board to address the subject of your email, as well as the charges within it. The elders have a number of questions for you as we consider the severity of the accusations made. I suggest that we allow the Christmas holiday to pass before scheduling a time to meet in January.
Additionally we would ask that you cease attempting to contact Tom Randall through his cell phone. The elders are asking you to respect both his privacy and the process of the independent investigation that is being done presently.
Jim Gaul, Chairman of the Board of Elders
Jim Colledge, Founding Pastor
Editor note: Taylor was told time and time again, as documented above, to contact Tom Randall. Now Taylor is told not to do so. Looks like Taylor asked too many hard questions….
Taylor to Jim on the same day.
My phone and records are available for anyone to review- I have not contacted or harassed in any way and if that is what he is saying- it is false and a lie- you can convey that as he has no proof of such things because they are untrue- I’m not foolish to contact someone like Tom.
I will be praying about this as it took courage to write-
Thank you for your response
In a His Grip
Taylor to Jim 1/1/19: What is this meeting about? I want to bring someone with me.
Happy New Year Jim
In relation to the meeting – I have some key questions
A. What is the purpose
B. What are the questions
C. Who will be in attendance
I would also like to bring another party with me.
In closing, I work full time so it would have to be in the evening.
Since many of my troublings were associated with Joe Coffey- I Trust He will be in attendance
Thanks much and I hope 2019 brings much blessing
Jim to Taylor 1/2/19 Taylor may NOT have a witness.
I am sorry that I was not clearer. Because the request by the elders is to address your allegations and concerns regarding Christ Community Chapel as a member we do not think it would be
inappropriateappropriate(ed. note: there was a followup email that I did not use that corrected this word to appropriate 3/9/19. It is obvious that the church did not want Taylor to have a witness present.) for anyone else to be present.
Taylor to Jim 1/2/19 Taylor refused to come to the meeting alone.
Thank you for the response. In view of the decline for someone to be present with me, I will not be a participant in such a meeting. Previous attempts to engage Joe or engage an objective research of the accusations have not produced any results. I wrote to you and Joe in the sincere hope that it would be a “wake up” and a voice that has been a long standing member who has valued the leadership. I was wiling to sit with the Elder Board provided I could have a “witness” to the discussions. I was trying to provide a final opportunity to both of for the church to redirect towards pure objectivity. The supporting evidence cannot be ignored or minimized – there is just too much and it is just too deep. At Joe’s request some weeks ago, I spoke to the orphans. Jim, the mantra can be that the affidavits were not true, the mantra can be that all parties are innocent. However, God will deal with this and He will deal in a thorough manner. These, now adults, are not lying Jim. If the church truly wanted objectivity they would have solicited a totally independent organization capable of a totally unbiased investigation and not selected one in part supported or linked to CCC in any way shape or form. CCC should have been willing to be completely hands off and let the third party drive the investigation and present the unbiased results. That did not happen at all which makes it impossible to believe that image has not superseded a real desire for truth to be brought to the light.
In His Grip
Jim to Taylor 1/4/19: This is the most important email because it outlines the problems with the leadership at CCC.
It is disappointing that you have chosen not to meet with members of the Elder Board. I, for one, looked forward to addressing the issues that divide us as related to the church.
If I may, I believe you misunderstand the purpose of why the elders are asking to meet with you. It is not the intent of the elders to address anything related to the events and alleged charges that may or may not linger in the Philippines. Our desire is to address your position and understanding of leadership and governance of Christ Community Chapel and your willingness to (abide) by the membership covenant that you affirmed when you became a member of this local church. These concerns of the elder board are quite separate from the past events and present investigation of the Sankey School/Home, World Harvest Ministries, and Tom Randall.
Your demonstration of mistrust and disrespect for the spiritual leadership of Christ Community Chapel is astounding. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, you have determined that you have authority to discern the spiritual health of the local church. This is a dangerous position for anyone to assume. I have been a pastor for nearly forty years and what you are doing I have seen before. The end is always the same. Like others, you will leave the church and settle somewhere else. Eventually you will do the same thing and leave a legacy of harm and divisiveness. I urge you for the sake of the gospel to reverse your decision to meet with members of the elder board of the church.
Taylor to Jim a few days later.
I read your email with openness, although tremendously unnerved by the concept of divisive, but that is ok. Given I can bring no one- I would be willing to meet with ONE elder and their wife in a public place – , I’m glad you told me the nature of meeting- I will not set myself up to be bullied or intimidated so if these terms are acceptable- I’m willing. If not, then so be it, this needs to be two way dialogue- not one way battering/ I also know what it means to follow leadership ; however not at all cost if I deem that something is in violation to true Christianity- which is why I take exception to some of your takes. I appreciate your forthrightness on the purpose. I think my terms are more than reasonable.
Will await your response
In His Grip
This is the last email: Taylor has received no response
An outline of an appearance of abusive tactics on the part of the church
Let’s take a look at a few statements from the leaders.
- The elders invited Taylor to a meeting to address issues. However, they will not let her have a witness present. TWW does not advise anyone to ever go to such a meeting alone. Leaders usually use these meetings to stomp on the individual who is asking difficult questions.
- “There’s a lot of information you don’t know.” Pastors try this one on me all the time. However, this is usually a deflection. Ofter times, I have far more information than the pastor. What he really means is that he doesn’t want to talk about this.
- The elders ask Taylor to stop contacting Tom Randall. This has to be the most confusing instruction of all. I have read email after email from Joe Coffey tellingly Taylor to contact Tom Randall. Now they tell her not to do that. Make up your minds, already! I would venture to guess that Taylor actually expected some answers to her questions and Tom just didn’t want to go there.
- Now they get down to the nitty gritty. ” I believe you misunderstand the purpose of why the elders are asking to meet with you. It is not the intent of the elders to address anything related to the events and alleged charges that may or may not linger in the Philippines” This appears to be the beginning of the spiritually abusive tactics of this church. This isn’t about the victims. This is about Taylor. See the next point.
- “Our desire is to address your position and understanding of leadership and governance of Christ Community Chapel and your willingness to (abide) by the membership covenant that you affirmed when you became a member of this local church.” Do you get what is being said here? These men are now making Taylor out to be the problem. Taylor does not *understand leadership ands governance.” This is the *submit to the elders* nonsense that is often employed in these situations. This is to get Taylor to shut up. They even pull the old *membership covenant* baloney. At this point, I told Taylor that I was concerned for her well being since I saw the abusive and totally tedious tactics of these men.
- “Your demonstration of mistrust and disrespect for the spiritual leadership of Christ Community Chapel is astounding.” Here is where they begin to turn the tables. Taylor is the problem. Who gives a flip about the children in the Phillipines? Taylor is upsetting *the poor, prevailed-upon leadership.” This is an abusive tactic with is outline in the book on Spiritual Abuse that I recommended.
- “For some reason, unbeknownst to me, you have determined that you have authority to discern the spiritual health of the local church. This is a dangerous position for anyone to assume.” The leadership is playing the *authority* game and appear to say that the insightful church member cannot be gifted with the ability to judge the spiritual health of a church. In fact, they go further. They now claim she is dangerous….Do the realize how silly they sound? Maybe it’s worse than silly. They are disrespectful to the church members who are also gifted by God and can be useful in pointing out weaknesses in a church.
- “Eventually you will do the same thing and leave a legacy of harm and divisiveness.” Now this member who loves the church is called divisive and harmful. This is almost the full cycle. This dear member who is loved by God and who cares about the children in the Philippines is being relegated to the sidelines. Get ready for the final punch.
- Taylor may not be a Christian. “I urge you for the sake of the gospel to reverse your decision to meet with members of the elder board of the church. The very gospel is at stake here. Taylor are you listening? The g.o.s.p.e.l!….Cmon, leaders!…at which conference did you learn this belittling tactic? Shame on you.
I believe this entire church needs to read the book on Spiritual Abuse. These emails are standing stones to the abusive nature of some of the leaders in that church.
The emails from December 2018-January 2019 are important. The gloves come off and the pastors are demonstrating that they are so uncomfortable with Taylor’s questions that they are willing to become downright spiritually abusive. For those of you who don’t thinks so, I would ask you to read the book recommended at the start of this post.(Leaders of CCC: you all need this book as well.)
As someone who has blogged about abuse in churches for 10 years as of this month, I am in a position to say that I’ve heard this sort of response before. It usually means that something is very wrong at the church.
Perhaps the action which is the most indicative of the problem is the fact that there does not seem to be an independent, outside investigation of this situation unless some members are speaking for the FBI and that would be a first. If this investigation is being undertaken by anyone associated with Rahab Ministries, it is a biased investigation and useless. The church has made a serious mistake by going down this road. I predict that the questions will only get louder and louder. Are there any leader sin that church who are willing to stand up and act like Jesus?