Unless Christ Community Chapel Hires an Independent, Third Party Investigator, the Questions About Sankey Will Not Go Away.

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“You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren’t alone.”  ― Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children

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This purpose of this post is to help other churches and parachurch groups figure out how not to screw up an investigation into sex abuse. I am going to focus on what I believe were the missteps on the part of the leadership of Christ Community Chapel as they dealt with the accusations surrounding one of their pastors, Tom Randall, and Sankey Residence in the Philippines.

The SBC has begun to understand the need for third party, independent investigation.

Many of you have been following the devastating revelations of the large numbers of child sex abuse reports coming out of the Southern Baptist Convention. Not only did the Houston Chronicle report on the abuse of over 700 kids but they also listed the number of pastor predators (220) as well as pastors and churches who covered up their knowledge of ongoing abuse.

In May 2018, Al Mohler, the head of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the de fact ohead of all things Reformed in the SBC, wrote The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am going to take a leap of faith here and surmise that Mohler was aware that an investigation on SBC child sex abuse was underfoot.

A church, denomination, or Christian ministry must look outside of itself when confronted with a pattern of mishandling such responsibilities, or merely of being charged with such a pattern. We cannot vindicate ourselves.

I believe that any public accusation concerning such a pattern requires an independent, third-party investigation.

SBC Voices wrote What Does Al Mohler Mean by “Independent, Third-Party Investigation”? The author admits that third party investigations are the way to go.

Mohler covers a lot of ground in that piece about clergy abuse of women, including both practical and theological aspects of the issues but the quote above is interesting and the call for “any public accusation” to demand an “independent, third party investigation” is new ground in some ways.

On the individual church level, independent, third-party investigations have been employed sporadically but regularly in SBC. But what does Mohler mean when he writes that a denomination…must look outside of itself? I don’t want to parse every word of Mohler’s piece but I assume when he writes of  a “pattern” he isn’t excluding individual acts that should require an independent, third party investigation. 

Why is a third party, independent investigation considered the gold standard?

Am I saying that a person close to a situation would never be able to give an unbiased review. No, but I do claim that it is much harder to do so. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV tells us to avoid the appearance of evil. I liked this definition of what this means.

We need not become legalistic regarding what others may perceive to be evil. But we do need to remain cognizant of our witness to the world and of our duty to support fellow believers. We should also be aware of our own tendencies toward sin.

I will revisit this momentarily as I look at Suzanne’s letter to CCC,

CCC appears to have given inaccurate information on several occasions about the *investigation* into the Sankey Orphanage.

Let’s take a look at how the church described the investigation at various times.

11/4/18: Joe Coffey addresses a meeting of members and says *the case is finished”according to witnesses.

According to witnesses, he says that people are protesting the Live Boldly event in Aurora on Nov 4 (?) evening. He had gotten word that there might be protesting. They are likely protesting because there had been charges against Tom and two employees in the Philippines in 2014. Joe explains the legal fees saying that in the Philippines, the state is not required to provide an attorney if a person can not afford one. So we paid for the legal fees. The case finished and a group of people are not happy about the outcome of the case. He uses the words “time and truth” and says that the church would not walk in fear. This meeting was not recorded that we know of, and this is a summary from the memory of witnesses.

12/14/18 CCC Meeting wit responses from Stacey DiNardo appears to say there is an outside investigation ongoing by multiple people, only one of whom has a CCC *loose connection.

Read this dialog carefully. Stacey claims:

  • They (meaning more than one)
  • They are not funded or supported by CCC.
  • One individual has a *loose” association.
  • The rest have zero affiliation.
  • Stacey appears to say that the church is not doing this for the members and that Stacey has no obligation to answer Taylor’s question. I guess church members who pay their tithes and support the church have absolutely nothing to say about a serious investigation being conducted by the church.
  • The Mauks reached out to GRACE which seems to indicate that they are disqualified But, did CCC actually get someone who never heard anything about anybody at CCC?
  • Multiple people conducting the investigation apparently have superior qualifications to GRACE. Hmmmm

Now to the meeting:

Julie: now you told me [referring to Stacey] that there was an outside investigation going on.  But we, I mean I haven’t heard anything nobody’s contacted me

Stacey: Well, I think I emailed you about that and that is just that at this point there’s a lot so the stack of things that I know I have received just from all of the lawyers and court documents that we handed over to them was about this tall (signals with hands somewhere between 3 to 8 inches–guess). So that at this point they are continuing to go through that. And I think I emailed you and said you know they just shared with me they’re like you can let them know that we are just not ready to reach out to them at this point. But it still is under, go–, you know, it still is taking place, still moving on. And that’s something I mean I know I see written because I have shared that with you and April maybe as well is that they feel there’s no need for our, first of all, again, in many regards we don’t feel an obligation to, our elders our church we feel you know we want to make sure we do our due diligence.

Taylor: so I had a question.

Taylor: the third party group you have. Are they in any way affiliated with CCC, um funded by CCC, supported by CCC.

Stacey: Um they are um not at all funded or supported by CCC. They are independent and they are still even  in the works, some of it is even continuing to develop and grow as far as the actual group. Um There is a loose association with one individual that even honestly reached out to us that is in correlation with it. But that is why they are continuing to have other individuals as a part of this group that have absolutely zero association.

Taylor: so my question is then, what was the reasoning um to have any association when GRACE exists as a completely neutral organization who has been demonstrated to be one of  the best in the country. Why did the church pick anyone that was even slightly associated loosely or otherwise?

Stacey: so again, I don’t feel an obligation to uncover, and we’re doing this for our benefit, not for the benefit of you um because our elders and feel that let’s just make sure that there is no rock left unturned in this. Um there are as I shared with a of couple of you, with with GRACE number one, we do know like that the Mauks have reached out to them. Number two the actual qualifications of the people that I know of that are currently involved in this are actually superior to the qualifications that we researched of the mainly prosecutors that are part of the team at GRACE.

Last Friday, in an attempt to help folks wade through these odd and conflicting responses by the church leadership, I decided to track down answers to my questions.

  1. Was the FBI involved in this matter? As you will see, the answer is “No.”
  2. Are there a number of people involved on the investigative team-all of whom who have qualifications which are far superior to GRACE? The answer is “No.”
  3. Is there a person who has only a loose association with CCC and receives no funds or support from CCC? The answer is “No.”. As you will see in the following letter from Joe Coffey, Suzanne Lewis-Johnson is the only one named by Joe Coffey as investigating this situation. She is a member of CCC and she receives monetary support from CCC and the Sankey Foundation.

So, where does that leave me? It appears the church has been paying games with CCC members about who is involved in this investigation. It’s just one person and she is definitely not a third party, independent investigator. I’m sure she is a really nice person but her niceness is not the subject of this post.

So why did the church leadership decide not to tell the truth? Do they understand that this puts one big question mark on the proceedings?

Joe Coffey/Stacy Di Nardo’s letter to CCC (after my post from last week.)

I highlighted portions that jumped out at me. They finally admit that the *team* is made up of only Lewis-Johnson.

Dear CCC Family,

The following is a brief update regarding the 2013 allegations of abuse at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in the Philippines and the current action that we are taking. We wanted you to receive this directly from me, and to know that we are available for any questions or concerns.

Seeking to make Jesus famous,
Joe

In September 2018, Christ Community Chapel’s leadership team and board of elders initiated a review into the 2013 allegations of abuse at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena City, Philippines in addition to the organizational response to the allegations.

Sankey Samaritan was funded by World Harvest Ministries, which became a ministry of CCC in 2014. As the legal process proceeded in the Philippines and even after the last of the charges were provisionally dismissed in 2016, CCC continued to receive questions from concerned individuals regarding the case which prompted the initiation of this review. CCC desires transparency and truth in addition to our commitment to pursuing justice and mercy, especially for society’s most vulnerable. Also, CCC desires to know if there are ways in which we could have better-pursued justice in this situation to determine responsibility and seek to best honor Christ through our organizational conduct.

The person conducting the review is Suzanne Lewis-Johnson. Suzanne is a member of CCC who has served ten years as a federal investigator of child exploitation and human trafficking cases before her involvement with RAHAB Ministries. RAHAB is a ministry that works to fight against human trafficking in Akron and the surrounding areas. Her review is being conducted without influence or involvement by any CCC staff member or elder.  If you have firsthand information or documentation that is pertinent to this situation, we encourage you to contact Suzanne at facts4review@gmail.com.

We are grateful to Attorney Martinez, the attorney involved in the criminal case in the Philippines, for graciously allowing Suzanne access to legal documentation connected to the case, including affidavits, investigative reports, and court documents. We are also profoundly grateful to those both here in Northeast Ohio and around the world who continue to fight tirelessly for justice and mercy for the vulnerable. When Suzanne completes her review, her findings will be released. Until that time we do not plan to speak publicly regarding this situation. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to ask them, and we welcome the opportunity for conversation. Please contact

Stacey.DiNardo@ccchapel.comwith any questions or concerns.

A letter to CCC from Suzanne Lewis-Johnson

Suzanne did not return my call to her on 3/8/19 which did not surprise me. I had a feeling I knew what was happening at this point.

I left the FBI in May 2018 because I believed I could do more to protect freedom by leading RAHAB than I could by conducting investigations.

During ten years of investigating human trafficking and child exploitation matters, I saw that human trafficking truly is the modern-day slavery it’s often called. It’s the manifestation in the physical realm of the spiritual slavery introduced in the garden, when evil took all of humanity into captivity.

Those who traffic and exploit use the snake’s weapon–deception–to conceal their actions with false narratives and to physically enslave women, children and even men.

I realized through my investigations, and by reading my Bible from cover to cover, that Love and Truth in the flesh is the antidote to the physical and spiritual slavery brought by the snake’s venom.

From parting the Red Sea to Calvary, God is in the business of setting people free through Love and Truth in the flesh.

We’re called to let Love and Truth live through us to continue that story.

As an FBI Agent, that meant finding facts, so they could be placed on the record in the judicial system. It meant loving my neighbor by treating victims, witnesses and even subjects with compassion, so they could be safe to tell their stories.

As an investigator I wrestled with having too few resources. I wrestled with the lack of accessible corroborating evidence for dark deeds done in secret, with judges who downward departed from sentencing guidelines, with prosecutors who weren’t allowed to pursue cases they might lose and with defense attorneys who worked to get guilty clients off on technicalities.

I saw from a unique perspective that law enforcement alone isn’t the answer, although it’s important and can be a deterrent to some extent. But sadly, prosecuted cases are only the very tip of the iceberg.

As much as I wrestled with the system’s imperfect reflection of divine justice yet to come, I wrestled more with the collective Church’s failure to live what it said it believed.

I saw women and children dying in slavery in my own backyard, while RAHAB seemed too slow to open more safe housing and grow services. At times, law enforcement operations to identify victims seemed almost futile, when victims couldn’t be moved out of traffickers’ clutches to safe, trauma-informed places.

As an FBI Agent I couldn’t publicly ask where the American Church was in supporting this work to a greater degree, but I could communicate with my own pastor. I fired off an email to Joe Coffey. Instead of telling me to get rid of the plank in my own eye, he connected me with leadership who oversaw local outreach, so I could get on my soapbox some more.

When I realized I needed to live what I believed by investing more in RAHAB personally, I left the FBI to lead RAHAB in fulfilling a vision of growing RAHAB locally and replicating RAHAB broadly. With completion of that vision, no one will be trafficked for lack of safe places or people to live the Love and Truth that counteracts enslaving lies.

After I left the FBI, Christ Community Chapel asked me to review the church’s response to allegations of abuse at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in the Philippines.

I rejected that role as a distraction from what I’d been called to do at RAHAB.

I recommended CCC entrust the work to a different former law enforcement officer and attempted to identify one with the following qualifications, to ensure recognition of critical context and to ensure competence compiling facts in non-argumentative written form:

• Extensive experience interviewing child victims.

• Extensive experience interrogating child abuse subjects.

• Familiarity with judicial systems and criminal proceedings.

• Experience drafting affidavits presented for a Judge’s consideration.

• Familiarity with Evangelical worldview and Biblical ministry.

When neither CCC nor I were able to identify an available former law enforcement officer who met the criteria, I reluctantly committed to review records on a volunteer basis.

I asked CCC not to disclose my identity during initial stages to avoid confusion with my role at RAHAB. At first, I committed only to organizing facts, with original sources attached, to equip church leaders and others to independently judge and interpret based on their own scrutiny of the evidence.

When some asked for feedback and an assessment of conduct, I said that wasn’t my role. But eventually, I realized I had landed in this place for a reason, and those asking for candid feedback about their actions deserved to receive it.

When I shared where preliminary information could be leading, based on emergence of familiar patterns, CCC leadership encouraged me to be bold in speaking what I saw, and to document any areas of concern I encountered.

Rather than disparaging me, as I’ve heard of in other churches, or targeting me for retribution, as I’ve encountered elsewhere, CCC encouraged me to pursue Truth, regardless of what it illuminated. In fact, Joe Coffey told me he trusted me precisely because of the “ferocity” with which I had advocated to him for exploited children in the past. Any of us willing to scrutinize our own actions or decisions will likely find what we could have done differently, and I hope those calling for account in this instance will invite accountability of their own conduct to the same degree.

While I’ve reviewed material from several perspectives, important pieces still need to be pursued and processed. I look forward to others responding with the same humility I’ve encountered until this juncture.

During this review of around a thousand pages to date, some have publicly claimed a role in pertinent events and indicated they possess evidence outside the scope of what I’ve seen. I encourage anyone with information connected to CCC’s conduct to provide it to the church.

First-hand information relevant to the review may also be provided directly to me via email at . Any such communication should fully identify the sender and how and when each piece of information was obtained, so that sources and authenticity may be verified.

records4review@gmail.com

Argumentative messages attempting to persuade of the righteousness of a particular position will be ignored as attempts to sway the outcome. No response will be provided to questions or requests for comment for the duration of the review. RAHAB staff have been instructed not to forward communications related to this matter, so please use the above email to ensure all important information reaches me.

Some have described this situation as having two contingents or perspectives—CCC’s and that of a group of advocates. Each supposed side has been accused of bias for being too close to the situation, blinded by affection or connection–with the church alleged to be unable to admit sin among their own and the advocates alleged to be projecting their own history of abuse or that of someone close to them onto the situation.

If concerns that no one from one supposed side could see the other were valid, I would be blind to both of them.

Not only am I a member of CCC, but the stories coming from the children of Sankey and my own share a common thread.

Not just from my experience in the FBI, not just from my work with RAHAB, but from some of my own earliest recollections I know the shame that silences, the fear of being returned to that place and the betrayal by someone I expected to be a protector.

That bias or blindness is inevitable is false.

It helps to conduct a self-assessment of the experiences we bring. They can be a hinderance or a benefit. Personal experience can help us understand nuances we might not otherwise see and give us insight to ask better questions.

It can also lead us to make logical leaps and assumptions. Even if we’ve seen or experienced something many times before, we need to question how we know it’s the same in this instance.

After benefitting from the insight and knowledge personal experiences bring, good investigators step outside of their own perspective. This is imperative in every investigation of any kind, because everyone views life through a lens.

Real factfinders identify critical questions to examine their own suppositions, and every piece of information presented. For every “fact”, they ask, “How do I know it’s True?”

That would be a valuable practice for anyone living in a culture polarized by politics, posts and tweets. Too often we determine in our own minds what is True and then shift information to support a position. When spin takes Truth even a tiny bit off track, Truth isn’t Truth at all.

If any of us believe we have the perfect corner on Truth, or that a particular group does, we’ve been deceived again into the slavery of the original prideful sin. We’ve placed ourselves or that entity in the place of God. We will only know complete and perfect Truth when the One who is Truth reveals it at the end of time.

In the meantime, although we all see through a filter, in this fallen world, we can know Truth to some degree, and the objective of this review is to present what can be known to CCC.

To be transparent, there is a bias I struggle to move beyond– frustration with the American Church. In my mind, the support for efforts to end exploitation don’t come close to being enough, and it will never be enough until there are no more stories to be told like those coming from the Philippines, like those I hear at RAHAB, or like mine.

Since taking on this review, I’ve been reluctant for RAHAB to continue conversations with CCC or supporters we’ve had in common with the Philippines orphanage; however, I was wrong to let fear of potential critics’ conflation slow our progress. Questions about conduct in one place should not cause withdrawl of life-saving support to end exploitation in another location.

Despite CCC’s knowledge of what could be perceived as my having bias against them, I’ve been asked to finish this review. As a result, absent identification of a willing former law enforcement officer meeting the identified criteria, I will stay the course until completion.

Thoughts on the Lewis-Johnsons’ letter

  • Her ability to Ignore the potential for bias is also a false premise.
  • By ignoring potential bias, church leaders offer little hope that this investigation will finalize answers to the questions. There will always be concerns that bias affected the outcome. Be prepared for years and years of questions about what happened. I know. My former church did an internal investigation on a similar situation 10 years ago and people are still asking questions.
  • GRACE has investigated missions agencies involved in abuse. Here is a link to their investigation of New Tribes MIssion. It appears that they are far more skilled in this area than just about anyone.I’m surprised that their excellent service has been overlooked by Lewis-Johnson and the church leaders. It seems to me that there might be some sort of prideful turf war going on here.
  • Lewis-Johnson did not mention the friendship between Joe Coffey and Tom Randall.
  • She implies that she also wants accountability for those raising questions. Ummm-no. They did not abuse anyone. They did not place themselves in the position of investigating the mess. She did. Sorry- but this is what you get when you decide to tout your FBI credentials and take charge of an investigation.
  • She does get money from CCC and the Sankey Family. She should have acknowledged this.
  • Her stated bias against the American church does not translate into anyone at CCC believing that she has a bias against that church. She is a member there, after all, and gets money from them. I don’t think they are too worried about her *bias.

Finally,

I’ve seen a number of pictures of Tom Randall visiting the Sankey Residence in January. I have been told that he brought wonderful electronic gifts that will help in the education of the residents. However, it seems a bit odd that he would schedule such a visit after being told that an independent investigation was underway. I wonder if anyone told him how such a visit at this time that might appear?

I also plan to submit a photo that I have obtained to Suzanne Lewis-Johnson to aid in her internal, non-independent investigation.


Comments

Unless Christ Community Chapel Hires an Independent, Third Party Investigator, the Questions About Sankey Will Not Go Away. — 148 Comments

  1. *rolling my eyes* at his stack of papers is THIS big. Is this preschool? Are we comparing workloads? Is that even a thing? If my stack is bigger than your stack do I win? What do I win?

    “I’m sorry, your honor, my stack of work was THIS big. No, really, I had to measure it twice. Would like to see it?”

    And from the other guy (Coffey?)…pretty sure Jesus is already famous. He didn’t need your help with His PR campaign.

    What is with these guys stuck in middle school immaturity? smh

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  2. “I recommended CCC entrust the work to a different former law enforcement officer and attempted to identify one with the following qualifications, to ensure recognition of critical context and to ensure competence compiling facts in non-argumentative written form: Extensive experience interviewing child victims; Extensive experience interrogating child abuse subjects; Familiarity with judicial systems and criminal proceedings; Experience drafting affidavits presented for a Judge’s consideration; Familiarity with Evangelical worldview and Biblical ministry. When neither CCC nor I were able to identify an available former law enforcement officer who met the criteria, I reluctantly committed to review records on a volunteer basis.”

    The bit about “compiling facts in non-argumentative written form” is interesting; who exactly got knocked off the qualified list by that standard? Also, Akron is not far from Cleveland. Are we supposed to believe that no one could meet the above standards in that massively populated area? Of course, if you’re not looking particularly hard for someone because you have someone with another desired qualification — say, being an in-house entity that’s more than loosely connected with body being investigated but is a member, you might have trouble identifying anyone else, one might conclude. The lack of clarity as to who was examine what may add to such a conclusion.

    “Despite CCC’s knowledge of what could be perceived as my having bias against them, I’ve been asked to finish this review. As a result, absent identification of a willing former law enforcement officer meeting the identified criteria, I will stay the course until completion.”

    Right, because ‘identification of a willing former law enforcement officer meeting the identified criteria’ will just happen organically without anyone actually actively seeking that.

    Reminiscent of a church whose governing body insisted that an independent entity be hired to evaluate questions concerning massive overages in a building project as well as examine options going forward. Those who had been in charge during the process leading up to the overages said one of their number knew a guy at a firm that for a great price — not identified, could deliver the analysis. The ones in charge remained in charge, asked their own questions rather than those of the board, fought releasing full info and access to the governing body, and generally ran out the clock with the blessing of the senior pastor, as their terms didn’t expire but those on the governing body did. This was touted to the congregation as a 100% percent independent analysis. Rinse, repeat.

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  3. Coffey needs to drop the “making Jesus famous” mantra. The only people who say that ridiculous nonsense are people who are either immature, clueless about Jesus, only interested in making themselves famous—or all of the above.

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  4. Doubtful:
    Not to be too skeptical. …do we really know that Lewis-Johnson was an FBI investigator involved with trafficking investigations?

    Perhaps she is and perhaps she isn’t. Perhaps John MacArthur was at the epicenter of the MLK assasination and walked by police barricades to stand in his blood, and perhaps MacArthur was heavily courted by several NFL teams, including one that eyed him as a replacement for a future Hall of Famer—even though John Mac barely got playing time on a tiny, tiny college team that scarcely could field enough players to make a full 11.

    I guess I’ve learned to take claims by anyone at cult-like churches with a grain of salt.

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  5. Law Prof:
    Coffey needs to drop the “making Jesus famous” mantra.The only people who say that ridiculous nonsense are people who are either immature, clueless about Jesus, only interested in making themselves famous—or all of the above.

    Yeah, that made me gag. Is that really his mantra? Does he say it with a straight face?

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  6. Law Prof:
    Coffey needs to drop the “making Jesus famous” mantra.The only people who say that ridiculous nonsense are people who are either immature, clueless about Jesus, only interested in making themselves famous—or all of the above.

    Not for the first time in recent days, you’ve taken the words right out of my head! Figuratively speaking, of course. (At least, I assume so.)

    Specifically, the idea that men using that mantra often seem to be using it as part of their drive to become famous themselves. The Jesus™ brand is a very powerful one at the moment, and if [generic] you play your cards right you can get very rich off it:

     You make a ton of money
     You open up rich career opportunities
     You become celebrated and admired
     You get free moral credit
     Few of your customers can tell the difference between “Jesus™” and Jesus

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  7. JDV: The bit about “compiling facts in non-argumentative written form” is interesting; who exactly got knocked off the qualified list by that standard?

    Yes, that is an interesting question, isn’t it?

    I suppose that the people most likely to be knocked off the list are those who are NOT prospering under the status quo, and NOT content to let as little as possible happen as slowly as possible. Those who have been targeted by abusers, for instance.

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  8. Doubtful: Not to be too skeptical. …do we really know that Lewis-Johnson was an FBI investigator involved with trafficking investigations?

    And, if so, that she left under the conditions she describes.

    Well, those are some of the first things a journalist would check on.

    Ms Lewis-Johnson is likely a tremendous person and investigator. There is a reason, though, that officials recuse themselves from dealing with situations they are close to. Even if they are thoroughly objective and independent, there will always be the appearance of impropriety. After all of her hard work, she may find herself dogged by questions and doubts and wonder why she ever let herself take this on. And there is the possibility she is being taken advantage of.

    I am confused that no one could be found who met their standards, necessitating they take on this investigation themselves. As Dee mentioned, GRACE would be the obvious choice, given their experience, reputation, and qualifications. I noted the stipulation “Familiarity with Evangelical worldview and Biblical ministry” – could it be the problem lies in how they define those things?

    I guess I just don’t know why, in this day and age, they would choose to go this route.

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  9. In her explanation of how she took on and is carrying out this job, she sounds kind of embattled. I just don’t think it’s going to get any better. If she comes down on the side of victims, she’ll likely find herself shunned by her church, if she comes down on the side of faculty she’s liable to end up on the cover of the Daily Beast or the like, if she doesn’t make progress, bloggers will keep attention on… and what is happening with her ministry, meanwhile?

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  10. Law Prof:
    Coffey needs to drop the “making Jesus famous” mantra.The only people who say that ridiculous nonsense are people who are either immature, clueless about Jesus, only interested in making themselves famous—or all of the above.

    I think that has entered evangelical meme-hood via recent hymnology. We’re probably stuck with it.

    As prominent churches become infamous, one wonders how pleased Jesus is to be associated with us.

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  11. It’s no longer even an investigation but simply ‘a review’ – so what happened to the team that were going to ‘invrstigate’. They are not seeking outside help because outside people will truly leave no rock unturned

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  12. I have to say that I find all this a bit confusing and disturbing. Contrary to what Ms Lewis-Johnson says, Ohio has taken the initiative in combatting trafficking through a multi-agency approach and has had some success in that area. You can read about it here.
    https://www.tuscagainsttrafficking.org/history

    Although this was and is a multi-agency approach (which was not started by the FBI, but grew out of one of their sting operations in 2005) the RAHAB website credits Ms Lewis-Johnson with the success – “In the FBI, Suzanne led cases that made headlines. She coordinated a Child Exploitation Task Force that addressed violent crimes against children in ten Ohio counties and led a human trafficking investigation The FBI Story recognized as one of the top cases of 2014.”

    From this it is fair to say that she was in the FBI but isn’t the best person to conduct this particular investigation.

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  13. Nick Bulbeck: Not for the first time in recent days, you’ve taken the words right out of my head! Figuratively speaking, of course. (At least, I assume so.)

    Specifically, the idea that men using that mantra often seem to be using it as part of their drive to become famous themselves. The Jesus™ brand is a very powerful one at the moment, and if [generic] you play your cards right you can get very rich off it:

     You make a ton of money
     You open up rich career opportunities
     You become celebrated and admired
     You get free moral credit
     Few of your customers can tell the difference between “Jesus™” and Jesus

    I should probably be happier than you that we are starting to think alike.

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  14. Law Prof: Coffey needs to drop the “making Jesus famous” mantra. The only people who say that ridiculous nonsense are people who are either immature, clueless about Jesus, only interested in making themselves famous—or all of the above.

    “making Jesus famous” may have become a meme through Paul Oakley’s “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”. This was a popular chorus in a growing but not yet (but wanna-be) “mega” congregation that I attended in the ’00s.

    I intuit that the hymns of the churches may be among the most powerful of their teaching tools.

    It might be that the roots of this meme could be credited to John Piper. In his “The Pleasures of God”, IIRC he portrays the God of the Scriptures as the One Righteous Narcissist — the only being who is rightly pre-occupied with his own glory as the highest good, to which all else is subordinated.

    If that reading of Piper is right, I wonder whether he deserves some credit for what seems to be the plague of narcissism in present-day pulpits. People become like what they worship. Perhaps they are simply manifesting “the image of God” as they understand it.

    “all for you, Jesus; for your glory and your fame”

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  15. Samuel Conner,

    Sounds like some people, particularly that peculiarly self-obsessed type in some corners of mega church evangelicalism, are always making up a God in their own image.

    When I think of the Lord, my experiences with Him are that’s He’s infinitely occupied with loving us, not Himself–even as we wreak havoc with His creation. Don’t know why He’d be so into us. The God I know is a lot more like a mother of many children who just gives and gives and pours herself out for her kids. Not a cosmic narcissist.

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  16. Law Prof,

    And that’s surely a more accurate vision of what Jesus was pre-occupied with in what we see of His public ministry in the Gospels. What Jesus was doing was glorious and, yes, there would be glory for Him in that, but that wasn’t WHY He was doing what He was doing.

    I think that your vision of God is worthier of one’s allegiance than (what I understand) Piper’s (to be), and a better thing to “become like.”

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  17. Samuel Conner,

    I’ll just come out and say that I think the ‘It’s all about God’s glory’ stuff is B.S. I do NOT think God’s motivation and meaning for creation was to bring himself glory. It is this sort of faulty teaching that has led to the massively destructive theology we live with today.

    God does not have to seek glory. All that he is and does is perfect, good, glorious – and it matters not one whit whether anyone else recognized that or not.

    It is only little minds that seek glory. Narcissistic, self-serving phonies think only of how others view them. Genuine loving does not display such self seeking.

    Think of a genuinely loving parent. He or she wants nothing more in the world than to allow and assist his or her child to fully develop all of his capabilities and use them for creative, constructive good. The second it becomes about how this child reflects upon ‘me’ is the second you fail as a parent.

    The same is true with God. Contrary to centuries of faulty teaching, he is not and never has been ‘all about him’. He is, and always has been, all about us, his beloved creation.

    As a young teen, Romans was one of my favorite books to read, but I will never forget the day that the meaning of Romans 8 penetrated my soul.

    “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

    Try reading ‘It’s all for God’s glory’ into this deeply moving message of God’s great love for us. It simply isn’t there. And yet, that is the message of the modern church. God needs your money, your submission, your . . . whatever . . . because he desperately wants to have a successful ‘Kingdom’ in which every knee bows down to him.

    As if he could not have created just such a ‘Kingdom’ were he the narcissistic, authoritarian, all-controlling, determinist Calvinism declares him to be.

    No, my friend, God wants you to know how much he cares about you. He wants you to understand that there is nothing he would not give for your sake. Because he loves you and desires your genuine love in return. It is not about glory, which is his by default and without him striving for it. It truly is about you and me, and the unthinkable love God has for us.

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  18. TS00,

    One could argue that most reliable test of a theology is the kind of fruit it produces in peoples’ lives, and the vision of God as the great narcissist in the sky does not seem to produce good fruit in the churches or in the lives of individuals.

    I’m not entirely comfortable with “it’s all about us” either; that’s not incompatible with the view that we are indeed, as you say, deeply loved. Maybe something else is going one — perhaps the “real point” is the instruction of the mysterious “powers” mentioned in Eph 3:10, for example. But such speculations should IMO be held with a very light grip.

    I used to want to have a clear vision of “the big picture”; am no longer confident that the Scriptures tell us enough to inform one. But the vision of God that we see in Jesus is indeed deeply beautiful and worthy of worship and worthy, in our creaturely way, of imitation. And I find that is enough.

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  19. JDV: The bit about “compiling facts in non-argumentative written form” is interesting; who exactly got knocked off the qualified list by that standard? A

    You know, that one rubbed me the wrong way. Will they ignore evidence if they deem the person *argumentative? Last evening I sent 3 photos. I said I would send one but found two more. I was polite. Let’s see how they view me…

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  20. SiteSeer: Ms Lewis-Johnson is likely a tremendous person and investigator. There is a reason, though, that officials recuse themselves from dealing with situations they are close to. Even if they are thoroughly objective and independent, there will always be the appearance of impropriety. After all of her hard work, she may find herself dogged by questions and doubts and wonder why she ever let herself take this on. And there is the possibility she is being taken advantage of.

    You summed up my post!

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  21. Here is the automated response that I received after sending in the photos.

    “Thank you for your message.

    I am unable to respond to questions or requests. However, if you have
    provided first-hand information, please know that lack of immediate follow
    up does not mean you will not be contacted at the appropriate time, during
    the course of the review. If your your contact information changes, I would
    be grateful if you would send another email with updated information.”

    https://hudson.ccchapel.com/media-and-resources/resources/suzanne-lewis-johnson/

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  22. Law Prof: I should probably be happier than you that we are starting to think alike.

    Well, I don’t know about that! 😉

    Although, if you find yourself developing a passion for Liverpool F.C and cricket… you’re welcome!

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  23. “After benefitting from the insight and knowledge personal experiences bring, good investigators step outside of their own perspective. This is imperative in every investigation of any kind, because everyone views life through a lens.” (Suzanne Lewis-Johnson)

    Good investigators recuse themselves from investigations where there is a perceived conflict of interest. Ms. Lewis-Johnson appears qualified based on her professional background, but every day in America qualified professionals excuse themselves from participation in cases where they’ve had direct contact with individuals/organizations under investigation to avoid even the perception of bias. Crimes against children deserve true third party independent investigations.

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  24. Samuel Conner:
    Law Prof,

    And that’s surely a more accurate vision of what Jesus was pre-occupied with in what we see of His public ministry in the Gospels. What Jesus was doing was glorious and, yes, there would be glory for Him in that, but that wasn’t WHY He was doing what He was doing.

    I think that your vision of God is worthier of one’s allegiance than (what I understand) Piper’s (to be), and a better thing to “become like.”

    Yes, right, Jesus seems to epitomize the mother looking out for her children. Actually, He’s also a lot like a father—at least a real, godly father, the real deal, rather than these preening, flexing little middle school locker rooms boys that pass for men and fathers in neocalvinism.

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  25. Nick Bulbeck: Well, I don’t know about that!

    Although, if you find yourself developing a passion for Liverpool F.C and cricket… you’re welcome!

    Not a cricket guy, but one of my colleagues two doors down, an accounting prof, is from Jamaica and of course, is a major West Indies fan. He’s flagged me down as I walked by his office before and shown me matches on his computer. I cannot figure out the scoring.

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  26. Law Prof: I cannot figure out the scoring.

    Well, you’re quite correct about that…

    It’s been an excellent series between the Windies and England, from the POV of the neutral cricket fan certainly, although England were under-prepared and (one could say) we underperformed. But there’s been some very good cricket played, and a strong Windies is good for the sport. They’re not up to the standards of the legendary Windies sides of the 1980’s – but then, nobody is!

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  27. Drafting qualifications in the search for an investigator which apply to yourself is like writing your own job description before you are hired … there are no other viable candidates for the position.

    GRACE professionals may not have an FBI background, but they sure the heck have a passion to root out the truth in child abuse allegations, including identifying those who cover-up abuse and protect abusers. There is no perceived conflict of interest in their work … they are biased only toward protecting children and ridding the church of those who don’t.

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  28. Max:
    “After benefitting from the insight and knowledge personal experiences bring, good investigators step outside of their own perspective. This is imperative in every investigation of any kind, because everyone views life through a lens.” (Suzanne Lewis-Johnson)

    Good investigators recuse themselves from investigations where there is a perceived conflict of interest.Ms. Lewis-Johnson appears qualified based on her professional background, but every day in America qualified professionals excuse themselves from participation in cases where they’ve had direct contact with individuals/organizations under investigation to avoid even the perception of bias.Crimes against children deserve true third party independent investigations.

    Any reasonable person of integrity in her position would take pains to tell CCC that she cannot by definition conduct an independent investigation and that if she were to rip them to shreds, if it’s warranted based on her findings, that she would be in grave danger of having her ministry’s funding cut off. That is so obvious as to be screaming in everyone’s face.

    For them to suggest that she conduct the investigation in the first place is strong evidence that they do NOT want a bona fide arm’s length investigation, that they do not want the truth to come out. They want a narrative that they can control, and they know she will come to them in private with whatever she finds, and they will then have a great deal of leverage over her. She has some major integrity issues or inability-to-say-no issues, or something of that nature herself, or she would never have agreed to have anything to do with this.

    They don’t want the truth. Certainly not unvarnished truth that they cannot govern. Last thing they want.

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  29. Law Prof: they do NOT want a bona fide arm’s length investigation … they do not want the truth to come out … They want a narrative that they can control … They don’t want the truth

    If church leaders desired the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they would have turned this mess over to a true third party independent investigator. If CCC members think the current arrangement with another church member is alright, then the whole bunch deserve each other. But their children still cry out for justice. Ask a child who attends there what they think about the church investigating itself and they would tell you “It ain’t right Daddy. Children have been hurt by them. Let’s go somewhere else.” Children have more sense than adults sometimes.

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  30. Samuel Conner: It might be that the roots of this meme could be credited to John Piper. In his “The Pleasures of God”, IIRC he portrays the God of the Scriptures as the One Righteous Narcissist — the only being who is rightly pre-occupied with his own glory as the highest good, to which all else is subordinated.

    And for God to have such Supreme Glory and Supreme Importance, nobody/nothing can be allowed to have any Importance whatsoever.

    Didn’t Lewis call this “The bloated spider image” in his preface to Screwtape Letters, only he applied that image to someone other than God?

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  31. Law Prof: Perhaps she is and perhaps she isn’t.Perhaps John MacArthur was at the epicenter of the MLK assasination and walked by police barricades to stand in his blood, and perhaps MacArthur was heavily courted by several NFL teams, including one that eyed him as a replacement for a future Hall of Famer—even though John Mac barely got playing time on a tiny, tiny college team that scarcely could field enough players to make a full 11.

    I guess I’ve learned to take claims by anyone at cult-like churches with a grain of salt.

    Including “I WAS A NAVY SEAL”?

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  32. Charis: *rolling my eyes* at his stack of papers is THIS big. Is this preschool? Are we comparing workloads? Is that even a thing? If my stack is bigger than your stack do I win? What do I win?

    I’m thinking of a different “Mine is Bigger than Yours” instead of a stack of papers…
    (Looks down into his pants and goes “Come on, Cringer! We have work to do!”)

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  33. For the record, “the Mauks”have never contacted GRACE. There are a considerable number of advocates who have contacted the Mauks for information and these advocates have been reported to make inquiries to GRACE on what could be done. From the end of 2013 to the present the Mauks have focused on making the testimonies of victims known. First to the responsible mission director, then to a church intervention team. When the director refused to take action in behalf of the victims and protected the accused perpetrator, and the church intervention team could not act in the light of the powerful local police/military protection of the accused abuser and his protective director, some of the Mauk family brought this to the attention of U.S. law enforcement. They extensively interviewed the ones who received the reports of abuse and recommended action to Philippine authorities on the national level. The investigation of Philippine law enforcement revealed multiple perpetrators and resulted in a raid/rescue by the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (Anti-human trafficking branch). This was when Tom Randall was “falsely arrested”. Well, not so falsely actually since he was protecting two individuals who were then charged with crimes based on written and sworn testimony of the victims.
    However, since the arrests there have been relentless attacks on the Mauks as being vindictive ministry-destroyers. There are accusations of their masterminding every objection or question from every questioner all over the world, in addition to the assumption that they were able to manipulate top agencies from two nations to falsely arrest people!
    As to the CCC “investigation”, oops, I mean “review”, this is what CCC Stacey sent to me last September:
    “Hello Joe – I am on staff at Christ Community Chapel and wanted to message you regarding your comment yesterday. We attempt to not engage in negative social media banter that can cause confusion and division within the body of Christ. Given a few people’s concerns that have recently been expressed, we have engaged with an independent investigation. The investigative team may be reaching out to you for information.”

    Since that time, not one victim, not one reporter of the abuse, not one of the several staff members who left Sankey in the two years before abuse was revealed, has been contacted by the CCC “investigator” oops again, I mean “reviewer”.

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  34. Doubtful:
    Not to be too skeptical. …do we really know that Lewis-Johnson was an FBI investigator involved with trafficking investigations?

    Whether He/She/It is or is not does not matter:
    In either case, THE FIX IS IN.

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  35. Samuel Conner: It might be that the roots of this meme could be credited to John Piper. In his “The Pleasures of God”, IIRC he portrays the God of the Scriptures as the One Righteous Narcissist — the only being who is rightly pre-occupied with his own glory as the highest good, to which all else is subordinated.

    This does beg a fair question:

    Other than having immense power and weight to throw around at will, how is their god any different than the gods of Egypt and the gods of the Canaanites?

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  36. “CCC leadership encouraged me to be bold in speaking what I saw, and to document any areas of concern I encountered.”–Suzanne Lewis-Johnson
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    “bold”…. is that different than “blunt”? than the uncompromisingly forthright presentation of the plain facts?

    well, what else would an ‘independent 3rd party investigation be’? why the need to clarify? kind of like clarifying to the Secretary of State “please be articulate”.

    kind of strikes me as ‘methinks he doth affirm to much’.

    if there is some kind of a cover-up going on, Mr. Coffey will expressly not want the uncompromisingly forthright presentation of the plain facts. but of course that’s all part of the secret. seems to me “bold” sure sounds good, but has convenient loopholes.

    (somehow i managed to get all that information out of that one sentence)

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  37. Headless Unicorn Guy: Including “I WAS A NAVY SEAL”?

    Yeah, that sort of thing. My experience has been that people who actually did heroic things are reluctant to talk about them, almost ashamed. My great uncle was a shy, awkward guy, rail thin. But I knew he’d served in World War II. You’d have never known what he did, though, he wouldn’t talk about it. In the last couple years of his life, he finally talked a little bit to me one time and one time only. Turns out he’d been on Iwo Jima, jumped off a PT boat, the whole thing. He was the guy with the radio, big bulky thing you wore on our back. Said when they dumped them out of that boat the Japanese wre firing at them, he went splashing right down, bobbed up, then the Japanese wre firing away and he went under. Buddies helped him up. Managed to get to shore and hunker down and tried to fire up the radio but wouldn’t work. He took a closer look and then he saw the bullet hole in the waterproof bag they put around them. They’d shot up the radio he had strapped round him—saved his life. He even saw one of those two famous flag raisings. But you never would’ve known through the 40 years that followed. I just told you everything he ever told me, and he only talked about it for about three minutes that I ever heard, and only at the end of his life.

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  38. TS00,

    I think people get too hung up on Calvinism. For example, here is theRoman Catholic answer to the question.

    Why did God make us?

    God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven.

    (a) By creating the world God did not increase His own happiness, since He was infinitely happy from all eternity, but He did manifest His glory externally by sharing His goodness. All creatures by their very existence show forth the glory of God, for all depend on God for their existence.

    (b) God created man to manifest His glory in a special way. He gave man an intellect and a will that he might know, praise, and love his Creator. In the service of God man finds his true, though imperfect, happiness in this life. Perfect happiness has been promised in the next life as a reward for the merits man acquires here on earth. Thus the happiness of man is also a purpose of creation.

    (c) The happiness of heaven consists in the direct vision, love, and enjoyment of God. This reward so far exceeds man’s nature that without the supernatural help of God it could not possibly be attained. In heaven God gives us the light of glory, which enables us to see Him face to face. During our life on earth God gives us His grace, which enables us to live a supernatural life and to perform the actions that can earn this reward.

    (d) The happiness of the blessed in heaven varies according to the merits of their lives on earth. All in heaven are perfectly happy, but one person may have a greater degree of happiness than another because he has more capacity for happiness, by another because he has more capacity for happiness, by reason of a more virtuous life on earth.

    And none of that contradicts Romans.

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  39. Headless Unicorn Guy: And for God to have such Supreme Glory and Supreme Importance, nobody/nothing can be allowed to have any Importance whatsoever.

    Didn’t Lewis call this “The bloated spider image” in his preface to Screwtape Letters, only he applied that image to someone other than God?

    IIRC Piper (in “The Pleasures of God”) riffs on the Jonathan Edwards’ vision of “the nature of true virtue”. My mind and memory are getting old and leaky, but IIRC Edwards’ idea was basically that large-hearted public-spiritedness is more virtuous than small-hearted selfishness; surely a valid intuition. He then extended that idea to enlarge the concept of “the public sphere” to include all of reality, including God Himself. The most virtuous form of virtue is that which values the good of the entire public sphere, including God.

    God, being perfectly virtuous, necessarily values Himself.

    I never finished Edwards’ book, and so my sense of his argument is dependent on Piper’s understanding of it (and my memory of that is surely imperfect). But IIRC Piper deduces that God’s glory outweighs everything else in “the public sphere” and so we get the vision of God as the One Perfectly Righteous Narcissist.

    But I have been wondering whether it is indeed perfectly righteous of God (within Piper’s mediation of Edwards’ vision of “true virtue”) for God to arbitrarily disregard the interests of the creation in pursuit of His own glory. Piper’s argument is, IIRC, that God is so much more important than everything else that “everything else” simply doesn’t matter and doesn’t contribute in a meaningful way to the calculus of what “the public interest” actually is.

    But it seems to me that “God’s interests” plus “the interests of the created order” are a superset of “God’s interests” — it’s a larger set of interests, and so to neglect the interests of the rest of the created order isn’t all that public-spirited of God after all.

    It’s a rationalistic counterpoint and perhaps flawed, but I don’t find Piper and Edwards as convincing as I used to.

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  40. Muff Potter: Other than having immense power and weight to throw around at will, how is their god any different than the gods of Egypt and the gods of the Canaanites?

    Or the gods of Mesopotamia, who created humans as an afterthought so they’d have somebody to worship and praise them — then sent a flood to kill all of them off (except Ut-Napishtim and his Ark) because they got tired of being called upon?

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  41. Lowlandseer,

    As I suggested, all that God is and dies cannot but bring him glory. God’s glorious character, intentions and abilities will be manifest in all that he made when he brings all to completion. Yet I still challenge the idea that this ‘glory’ is all he desires, and, in the case of determinism, is sufficient reason for the cruelty and heartlessness shown to those he created for destruction. It is only by holding up this glory motive that they find justification for their God being the unavoidable author of evil (much as they try to get around it).

    All that is good and glorious cannot but bring its author glory. The lie is in claiming that evil and cruelty can also bring God glory. No, in the end all will see that there is not a shadow of evil in God, who hates wickedness more than we can begin to imagine. He will not attain glory at the expense of his creation, but in and through his good and loving works, bringing them to their full glory; just as he always intended.

    God’s appropriate jealously for his glory is a result of the destruction that is wrought when deceivers falsely steal this glory, thereby misleading and harming many. This is a far cry from the unrighteous desire for glory that drives the narcissist.

    God’s genuine glory will be revealed and freely proclaimed when we see the full picture, and understand that he did not desire and certainly did not predetermine irresistibly such evils as rape, murder and child abuse.

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  42. dee,

    Any indication why CCC sent out the mass email this week about the “review”?

    My gut says you do that kind of thing to get out ahead of some pending negative publicity. Any idea what that could be?

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  43. Lowlandseer: Oh, and it is the case that God created man for His glory.

    “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:7

    Yeah, I get that, the creation of humans as evidence of The Almighty’s unequaled glory as creator, and I believe it too.

    But what I don’t sign onto is the proposition that his only desire after that is to continually acquire and bask in more glory (as taught in some circles of ixtian thought).

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  44. Muff Potter: Lowlandseer: Oh, and it is the case that God created man for His glory.

    “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:7

    Yeah, I get that, the creation of humans as evidence of The Almighty’s unequaled glory as creator, and I believe it too.

    But what I don’t sign onto is the proposition that his only desire after that is to continually acquire and bask in more glory (as taught in some circles of ixtian thought).

    Funny how different that verse appears in context:

    “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
    When you pass through the waters I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
    when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
    For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
    I give Egypt as your ransom,
    Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
    Because you are precious in my eyes,
    and honored, and I love you,
    I give men in return for you,
    peoples in exchange for your life.
    Fear not, for I am with you;
    I will bring your offspring from the east,
    and from the west I will gather you;
    I will say to the north, Give up,
    and to the south, Do not withhold;
    bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the end of the earth,
    every one who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

    This statement is made after long declarations of God’s love, and the great lengths to which he will go to care for his people. The whole ‘God’s glory’ idea has been terribly distorted. Mankind is, without question, the grandest demonstration of God’s glory; yet note that even when God states this, it is in the midst of explaining his great love and faithfulness to his glorious creature. A far cry from the Reformed story of God heartlessly, hopelessly d*amning countless millions simply because it supposedly gives him ‘glory’.

    God’s not into that kind of glory, whereas the most cruel, murderous despots in history have been.

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  45. Comment from Joe Mauk: This is very important

    JMauk:
    For the record, “the Mauks”have never contacted GRACE. There are a considerable number of advocates who have contacted the Mauks for information and these advocates have been reported to make inquiries to GRACE on what could be done. From the end of 2013 to the present the Mauks have focused on making the testimonies of victims known. First to the responsible mission director, then to a church intervention team. When the director refused to take action in behalf of the victims and protected the accused perpetrator, and the church intervention team could not act in the light of the powerful local police/military protection of the accused abuser and his protective director, some of the Mauk family brought this to the attention of U.S. law enforcement. They extensively interviewed the ones who received the reports of abuse and recommended action to Philippine authorities on the national level. Theinvestigation of Philippine law enforcement revealed multiple perpetrators and resulted in a raid/rescue by the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (Anti-human trafficking branch). This was when Tom Randall was “falsely arrested”. Well, not so falsely actually since he was protecting two individuals who were then charged with crimes based on written and sworn testimony of the victims.
    However, since the arrests there have been relentless attacks on the Mauks as being vindictive ministry-destroyers. There are accusations of their masterminding every objection or question from every questioner all over the world, in addition to the assumption that they were able to manipulate top agencies from two nations to falsely arrest people!
    As to the CCC “investigation”, oops, I mean “review”, this is what CCC Stacey sent to me last September: “Hello Joe – I am on staff at Christ Community Chapel and wanted to message you regarding your comment yesterday. We attempt to not engage in negative social media banter that can cause confusion and division within the body of Christ. Given a few people’s concerns that have recently been expressed, we have engaged with an independent investigation. The investigative team may be reaching out to you for information.”

    Since that time, not one victim, not one reporter of the abuse, not one of the several staff members who left Sankey in the two years before abuse was revealed, has been contacted by the CCC “investigator” oops again, I mean “reviewer”.

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  46. dee: As to the CCC “investigation”, oops, I mean “review”, this is what CCC Stacey sent to me last September: “Hello Joe – I am on staff at Christ Community Chapel and wanted to message you regarding your comment yesterday. We attempt to not engage in negative social media banter that can cause confusion and division within the body of Christ. Given a few people’s concerns that have recently been expressed, we have engaged with an independent investigation. The investigative team may be reaching out to you for information.”

    Give such a response to you, I believe that CCC has engaged in a deceptive campaign. Shame on the leadership for lying to honest inquiry.

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  47. dee: However, since the arrests there have been relentless attacks on the Mauks as being vindictive ministry-destroyers. There are accusations of their masterminding every objection or question from every questioner all over the world, in addition to the assumption that they were able to manipulate top agencies from two nations to falsely arrest people!

    Joe

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been treated this way. I, too, have been accused of being a ministry destroyer. However, as Ive said before and will say it again and direct it to CCC, ” I don’t need to be a ministry destroyer. CCC leadership is doing fine in that area without my help.”

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  48. Truth: Tom Randall has said Homeland Security was involved in his initial arrest. But who knows, maybe this has dropped off their radar. The FBI has a tip line.

    Ummmm That’s a but odd. Could anyone send me dates and I will make a call to *Homeland Security.”

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  49. dee: Joe

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been treated this way. I, too, have been accused of being a ministry destroyer. However, as Ive said before and will say it again and direct it to CCC, ” I don’t need to be a ministry destroyer. CCC leadership is doing fine in that area without my help.”

    My influence is very localized and small compared with people like you folks, but I, too, am part of the club, I was told by a (now) former pastor when I started blowing the whistle on abuse “You’re a destroyer of the church.” I believe a verbatim quote. So we have that in common. Bet there are a lot of members of the destroyer club.

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  50. CCC lobbied to get Tom Randall Toto and Jake out of jail and have been backing them ever since. Time to get these guys off the streets and out of our churches. Time to finally do what is right and get an investigation to turn things around and insure the safety of children in all places. Let’s not let creeps disrupt and destroy our lives. Tom Randall doesn’t care about CCC one bit or he would have removed himself long ago and not brought all this trouble down upon a great church. Time to take the bull by the horns and make that guy retire!!! Or whatever it takes!!

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  51. TS00: Funny how different that verse appears in context

    Yes! Context is everything! It is amazing how proof texting God’s words can change the essence of what he is actually saying about us, himself, and us in relation to him.

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  52. dee,

    Joe Coffey in his January 19th sermon read off a text message he had received from Tom:

    “Homeland security agents here for questioning in one hour, hope to give whole story and get things turned around. Ironic, it was US that’s the problem.”

    (15:32 at https://vimeo.com/84537689)

    Also from Tom’s blog:

    “During my arrest I was questioned by both the Philippines’ NBI and the US Homeland Security agents.”

    http://tkrandall.squarespace.com/toms-thoughts/2014/8/27/august-2014.html

    I have a FOIA request pending with ICE but you know how long those take.

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  53. dee:
    Here is the automated response that I received after sending in the photos.

    “Thank you for your message.

    I am unable to respond to questions or requests.However, if you have
    provided first-hand information, please know that lack of immediate follow
    up does not mean you will not be contacted at the appropriate time, during
    the course of the review. If your your contact information changes, I would
    be grateful if you would send another email with updated information.”

    https://hudson.ccchapel.com/media-and-resources/resources/suzanne-lewis-johnson/

    I will be surprised if she responds.

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  54. dee,

    I have been keeping DHS here in the Philippines up to date. They receive all the links of all the blogs that have been published. The DHS are not in the habit of keeping citizens updated as to their process. So i don’t know what they are currently doing, but I do know they are aware.

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  55. Brave,

    “CCC lobbied to get Tom Randall Toto and Jake out of jail and have been backing them ever since….Tom Randall doesn’t care about CCC one bit or he would have removed himself long ago and not brought all this trouble down upon a great church.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    What makes CCC a great church, in light of the fact that the leaders lobbied to get them both out of jail and continue to support them?

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  56. TS00: A far cry from the Reformed story of God heartlessly, hopelessly d*amning countless millions simply because it supposedly gives him ‘glory’.

    God’s not into that kind of glory, whereas the most cruel, murderous despots in history have been.

    Very much agreed.

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  57. Samuel Conner: It might be that the roots of this meme could be credited to John Piper. In his “The Pleasures of God”, IIRC he portrays the God of the Scriptures as the One Righteous Narcissist — the only being who is rightly pre-occupied with his own glory as the highest good, to which all else is subordinated.

    Seems more like a description of ‘the god of this world’ when you think about it…

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  58. Law Prof: Not a cricket guy, but one of my colleagues two doors down, an accounting prof, is from Jamaica and of course, is a major West Indies fan. He’s flagged me down as I walked by his office before and shown me matches on his computer. I cannot figure out the scoring.

    Here’s a tutorial! “A Cure for Insonmia? Cricket Explained” 😀 https://blog.calm.com/relax/a-cure-for-insomnia-lulled-to-sleep-by-cricket-the-game-not-the-insect

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  59. JMauk: As to the CCC “investigation”, oops, I mean “review”, this is what CCC Stacey sent to me last September:
    “Hello Joe – I am on staff at Christ Community Chapel and wanted to message you regarding your comment yesterday. We attempt to not engage in negative social media banter that can cause confusion and division within the body of Christ. Given a few people’s concerns that have recently been expressed, we have engaged with an independent investigation. The investigative team may be reaching out to you for information.”

    Since that time, not one victim, not one reporter of the abuse, not one of the several staff members who left Sankey in the two years before abuse was revealed, has been contacted by the CCC “investigator” oops again, I mean “reviewer”.

    Hmmm. Okay, that looks very bad. Is this how they kill an investigation in the FBI?

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  60. Woke up early- there is something deeply dark about this story. We must pray God lays an axe to the root as there is a root which is darker than the symptoms we are seeing. Can you please join in that prayer folks. This is deeply serious. Unfortunately it is playing out chapter and verse to other stories. But God sees it all.

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  61. There’ve been numerous comments on God’s glory, God’s love and God’s either being, or not being, a narcissist who’s completely up Himself. Well, that’s a crude summary, but you know what I mean. It seems invidious to pick any one commenter out, so I’m joining a group discussion rather than responding to one comment.

    It’s often asked: why does God allow suffering? I think a more informative question is: why does God choose to suffer? Paul wrote of Jesus that he emptied himself, made himself nothing, took on the form of a servant, became obedient (a narcissist can never be obedient), and while in obedience, endured the ultimate loser’s death. And according to John, that same Jesus said, Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.

    The phrase “born again” has been mutated into a trite and hackneyed trademark. But Jesus introduced it in a context. He also said that unless you are converted and become like a wee bairn – i.e., born again, spiritually this time – you can’t see the kingdom of God. All you’ll ever see, surely, is a man-made attempt to second-guess what the hypothetical kingdom of God would be like, assuming God is what I imagine He/She/It must be. Which is where all these first-century problems with Gnosticism came in, I assume. People were developing a taste for this new Christianity but bringing all their own stuff with them, adapting the two to fit one another. It’s still happening. Maybe I can become famous for “making Jesus famous”, for instance; then I get the best of both worlds.

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  62. Nick Bulbeck: It’s often asked: why does God allow suffering? I think a more informative question is: why does God choose to suffer?

    Honestly this is one of the most profound questions I’ve ever heard.

    In recent years I’ve spent time pondering a related question, “As I suffer right now over family who have walked away from God and as a result are distant from me too, how do I now understand God better who mourned over raising children (Israel) who rejected Him? ”

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  63. elastigirl,

    Hmmm… I would like to type out Rev 2: 18-29 but you can look it up! Hung out at CCC last Sunday in support of the in house whistleblowers. Many people are clueless. Many are afraid. Some are working diligently to resolve the situation…many for years now… wounded birds are in the community who have been kicked out or had to drop out of life groups they loved for asking too many questions… threatened into silence… innocent children, church attendees, members, the elderly, the loving and kind, the tremendously creative staff are suffering. I see it in their eyes. Once this gets resolved the true believers will be free to be the great church that I see. I love this community and will continue to attend until this situation is resolved. I will not quit!! Believe me I am not BRAVE so only the LORD gives me the strength to enter the lions den for the love of the children of Hudson and on the mission field . When you know what can happen to a child who has been abused you realize the danger of not keeping them safe. In the extreme they end up in institutions because their families cannot have them at home anymore. They can’t go to school because they touch others. Their entire lives are ruined! That’s why many in Northeastern Ohio need help and I thank you for it!

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  64. trying to figure out whats going on. one question i had is that in the email about the “review” it says that charges have been “provisionally dismissed”. what does that mean? is that true?

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  65. BRAVE: kicked out or had to drop out of life groups they loved for asking too many questions

    Beware of small groups which have leaders hand-picked by the pastor/elders who spy on you, to report back what they see and hear you doing (these are “life” groups that are actually dead). If you express concerns about church matters in those meetings, you could be interrogated, shunned, and/or excommunicated. And you thought these were simple Bible studies where you could fellowship with other church members through the week!

    (Note: If you are kicked out of such a church for challenging anything contrary to the will of God, Jesus will come looking for you)

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  66. george: it says that charges have been “provisionally dismissed”. what does that mean? is that true?

    Given this institution’s inability to say what they mean, be careful here. The word *provisionally* means subject to confirmation. There has been no confirmation of this. No announcements by the authorities that the charges are dismissed. Therefore, as far an I’m concerned, provisionally, of course, nothing is going on.

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  67. Clevin,

    This post is dealing with the subject of Sankey and the rather abysmal response of CCC. As far as I know, there have been no charges that children at CCC are in any sort of danger. However, it is the position of TWW that parents should always be vigilant. Even thought background checks are important, most molesters of children do not show up in the database because they have yet to be arrested. For the sake of the children, in any church and in any place, parents should be vigilant.

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  68. dee,

    Yes Indeed. Christians confess this in many churches, although in the Neocal circles I’ve seen it more of a mental ascent to the truth and less of a personal reality. For me it’s become a deep reality as I have identified in recent years with the grieving heart of the father for his wayward children.

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  69. dee: For the sake of the children, in any church and in any place, parents should be vigilant.

    Amen. A sad situation, but parents should keep as much careful watch over their children for possible dangers in church as they do the mall.

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  70. Fisher: in the Neocal circles I’ve seen it more of a mental ascent to the truth and less of a personal reality

    Sadly, some religious tribes have determined that the essence of Christianity rests in doctrines ‘about’ grace, rather than a direct experience ‘of’ Grace – a personal encounter with the living Christ.

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  71. TS00,

    I’ve just started reading volume 6 of the Works of William Perkins which covers the following topics
    Golden Chain (Foldout poster in the front)
    Manner and Order of Predestination
    Treatise on God’s Free Grace and Man’s Free Will
    Fruitful Dialogue Concerning the End of the World
    Against Alexander Dickson
    On Memory

    I’ve attached a link to the Golden Chain which is a visual representation of the Order of Salvation. Makes things much clearer. 🙂

    http://andycontramundum.blogspot.com/2014/02/william-perkins-golden-chain-ordo.html

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  72. Cari,

    I am praying with you, for this situation and all of the victims of wickedness that has taken place and continues. It was not so long ago when my world was no bigger than my local church. I truly did not know the magnitude of such things as domestic and child abuse, human trafficking and world-wide oppression and suffering. At times, growing increasingly aware, I feel so sad and so helpless.

    When discouraged and overwhelmed, I seek hope in the thought that just maybe what we are seeing is the beginning of the end. Maybe, as evil in many places continues to be exposed, more people will wake up from the well-crafted false reality we have so long lived in.

    It is difficult and frightening to wake up, and many prefer to keep their head in the soft sand and slumber on. We do not want to give up our political heroes or our religious gods. We do not want to believe that so-called medical science has repeatedly sold out to corporate dollars over human welfare. Too many of us, after one look outside the cave, fearfully return to the safety of our chains to gaze at the man-made shadows. Who would have thought Plato could foresee the screens that now dominate our lives?

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  73. TS00: I seek hope in the thought that just maybe what we are seeing is the beginning of the end

    “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19)

    When, Lord, when?!

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  74. Lowlandseer,

    It’s a fine example of Ramist logic which was opposed by the Jesuits, Lutherans, Theodore Beza, among others, on the grounds that “Where universities were open to Ramist teaching, there still could be dislike and negative reactions, stemming from the perceived personality of Ramus (arrogant, a natural polemicist), or of that of his supporters (young men in a hurry)”. (Sounds familiar?)

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  75. Nick Bulbeck: It’s often asked: why does God allow suffering? I think a more informative question is: why does God choose to suffer? Paul wrote of Jesus that he emptied himself, made himself nothing, took on the form of a servant, became obedient (a narcissist can never be obedient), and while in obedience, endured the ultimate loser’s death. And according to John, that same Jesus said, Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.

    Beautiful thoughts.

    How often do I run, crying, to God, asking ‘Why, oh, why, don’t you do something? How can you let this go on, as more and more people are cruelly abused and oppressed?’

    How could I be so stupid? What more could he have done, apart from tyrannically forcing his will upon us? He has given us ‘a way out’ – at great personal cost – and the promise that he intends to ‘fix’ this mess once and for all; in his time and his way. But because he respects the freedom and autonomy with which he made us, he has allowed us, for a time, to go our own way. He has allowed us to refuse, reject or simply ignore all that he has done and all he intends to do. He has allowed us to misuse all that he provided for man’s good, and to steal and oppress in order to get more than our share.

    There is ‘a way out’, but it is through a vale of tears and the laying down of one’s life. Is it so surprising that many would be seduced into another way, a broader path, that is smooth and comfortable, with great bands, comfy theater seats and custom lattes? All you have to do is check your brains at the door, ignore the nagging questions that pepper your subconscious and assure yourself that you’ve done your due ‘worship’ and given your dollars to ‘build the kingdom’. Now you can get back to your ‘real’ world.

    Honestly, can anyone imagine Jesus frequenting today’s Mega-churches, or even many not so Megas? I imagine him as more likely to be turning over the tables of today’s money-changers, posing as churches and non-profits as they prey upon the innocent and helpless.

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  76. TS00: How often do I run, crying, to God, asking ‘Why, oh, why, don’t you do something? How can you let this go on, as more and more people are cruelly abused and oppressed?’

    God the Father saw His own Son abused and murdered.

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  77. TS00: How often do I run, crying, to God, asking ‘Why, oh, why, don’t you do something? How can you let this go on, as more and more people are cruelly abused and oppressed?’

    I do the same thing, asking God to intercede, because I don’t have the power to make right (in real time) the stuff that is wrong.

    But at the same time (my opinion) if we humans are truly crowned with glory and honor (Psalm 8) then we have the power to do away with the vast majority of human misery and suffering.

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  78. Muff Potter: I do the same thing, asking God to intercede, because I don’t have the power to make right (in real time) the stuff that is wrong.

    But at the same time (my opinion) if we humans are truly crowned with glory and honor (Psalm 8) then we have the power to do away with the vast majority of human misery and suffering.

    A provisional conviction that has grown in my mind over the years is that generally it is “up to us,” to the extent that we are able, to address the problems that we perceive. And perhaps that is one of the things that “prayer” is for; it’s a reflection of our hearts’ desires and perhaps in the present “ordinary” mode of God’s governance of the world it is supposed to lead to our own involvement in the solution of the problems that are the subjects of our petition and intercession. The first chapter of Nehemiah is a good biblical precedent for this view of prayer.

    The alternative is Jn 14:13 and parallels, but that doesn’t seem to work as well as it did in the apostolic era.

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  79. dee,

    right. again i may be naive but after reading some of the other information between here and medium although it looks like there is something funky going on with the church for me the biggest questions are number one is there reason to suspect/believe children were abused and/or trafficked? the answer to that one is obvious but it is important to ask. number two was that claim reported to and investigated by the appropriate authorities and what is/was the outcome? because in any abuse situation justice for those who suffered is most important so we would want to determine if possible what that looks like and how to accomplish that under the circumstances of this. i am sure i don’t have all the info but it feels like those questions are core

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  80. So I have a very basic question as a parent. Tom had legal guardian ship of the orphans . Then the orphans say they had been abused by their NON LEGAL guardian. As a parent I would put money to the attorneys to defend my child- but NO- this legal guardian and friends poured all the money towards attorneys to defend the NON LEGAL GUARDIAN. Any one see something drastically wrong with this picture?- what ‘parent’ would do this? Hmmmm

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  81. Cari: Any one see something drastically wrong with this picture?- what ‘parent’ would do this? Hmmmm

    Plenty of people in the real-time real-world have the same WTF reaction.

    But in some cases (it seems mostly in sex-abuse scandals), the evangelical world is topsy-turvy.

    A kind of through-the-looking-glass realm complete with Alice, Humpty Dumpty, the Red Queen, and Cheshire Cat…

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  82. Cari,

    well thats why i asked the question of whether or not this was turned over to the appropriate authorities. im not a legal expert in any way and especially not one in the phillipines but in a criminal case wouldnt the victim be represented by the state with investigators attorneys a prosecutor and the like? is it common in criminal cases for the victim to hire an attorney in addition to the representation provided to them? i would think that an attorney might be hired to file a civil case but in a criminal case i dont even know for sure if the state would allow the influence of an outside attorney

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  83. Samuel Conner: A provisional conviction that has grown in my mind over the years is that generally it is “up to us,” to the extent that we are able, to address the problems that we perceive. And perhaps that is one of the things that “prayer” is for; it’s a reflection of our hearts’ desires and perhaps in the present “ordinary” mode of God’s governance of the world it is supposed to lead to our own involvement in the solution of the problems that are the subjects of our petition and intercession. The first chapter of Nehemiah is a good biblical precedent for this view of prayer.

    Wow thanks for this I am thinking about it!

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  84. Lowlandseer: I’ve attached a link to the Golden Chain which is a visual representation of the Order of Salvation.

    This prompted me to finally look up the definition of supralapsarian. I am not Lutheran, but I like the perspective offered in this link: http://g2witt.blogspot.com/2014/02/lap-who.html?m=1

    Simply put, these ordering of decrees is an attempt to peer into the hidden God. From our perspective, the whole discussion really is not worth having and worth taking a stance upon. To put it in Lutheran terms, it’s a theology of glory and not a theology of the cross. Instead of being focused on Christ crucified for you, it’s focused on decrees in eternity past. Instead of focusing on the revealed God given for you in Christ, it’s focused on the hidden God, not revealed to us to much extent in Scripture. Yes, for sure the people in these different Lapsarian camps use Holy Scripture to defend their positions. But from my perspective, none of them are slam dunks anyways. It’s speculation for the most part. And speculation can be a bad thing sometimes.

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  85. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    There is also this –

    “We’re not irrational or simplistic, we just have no desire to go beyond the Word into hidden topics.”

    This is how I view much of theological debates. They go beyond the actual scripture and/or string together pieces of scripture to make an entirely different point from what was intended.

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  86. george:
    dee,

    right. again i may be naive but after reading some of the other information between here and medium although it looks like there is something funky going on with the church for me the biggest questions are number one is there reason to suspect/believe children were abused and/or trafficked? the answer to that one is obvious but it is important to ask. number two was that claim reported to and investigated by the appropriate authorities and what is/was the outcome? because in any abuse situation justice for those who suffered is most important so we would want to determine if possible what that looks like and how to accomplish that under the circumstances of this. i am sure i don’t have all the info but it feels like those questions are core

    Hi George–here is a series of articles that can give you a background on the situation

    https://medium.com/@truth.arr/what-happened-at-sankey-fdb8cdbdd94e

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  87. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Reminds me of one of my favorite P.G. Wodehouse stories, in which a rural Anglican vicar of a rustic country flock, planning his Sunday sermon, struggles to find a simple one-syllable term that means “supralapsarianism.” LOL!!

    Not that I myself have Clue One what supralapsarianism means. But it sure sounds fancy, dunn’t it?

    I have missed you sorely, Ken F. Recently I attended an Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy, and I was utterly bowled over. So much beautiful God-focused reverence; so little man-centered nonsense!

    I still maintain that I am Latin / Western Catholic in my bones and blood, through and through. They’ll have to pry my statues, rosary beads, and holy cards from my cold, dead hands.

    Nonetheless, that haunting Byzantine *a capella* chanting and Scripture-saturated liturgy is incredibly powerful. Thank God for St John Chrysostom!!

    I hope and pray you can find spiritual fulfillment with the True Church of Jesus Christ and True Sacrament of the His Body and Blood!

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  88. george:
    trying to figure out whats going on. one question i had is that in the email about the “review” it says that charges have been “provisionally dismissed”. what does that mean? is that true?

    The victims were indeed assigned a government prosecutor. He sat calmly by while the case was almost dismissed at the initial hearing. He had not informed the victims of their need to appear as witnesses. An advocate missionary happened to be in the same court on that day representing a different rape victim. She heard the names called for the Sankey case witnesses, knew they had not been informed, and immediately informed the judge of this. A new hearing was scheduled three weeks later at which the witnesses and several advocates were present. The victims asked if we could provide private legal representation which we did for two years or so until “trial fatigue” caused the victims to decide that they would not keep appearing in court through all the delays and shenanigans for the next 10-12 years, this being the estimate of their attorney as to how long to get a conviction/jail time after all appeal processes would be exhausted.

    The result of their own legal representation as described by their attorney:
    “Correct term is “case was dismissed for lack of witnesses to uphold the charges against father and son.” we had no choice as the court simply could not proceed without the witnesses.”

    However, one of the reasons the victims finally decided not to keep being abused by the legal process was that the court proceedings to date had properly recorded their testimony as well as that of the arresting NBI agent so they were confident the truth could be found by those seeking.

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  89. Max: “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19)

    When, Lord, when?!

    Heard a good report from someone from India in ministry there where just a few weeks ago he faced threats of death and the burning of a widows/orphans home over the manner of burial of one of the widows (the locals insisted no casket was used, as it’s apparently associated with Christian rite). A stretcher to take the body to be buried was used, and he actually was able to share testimony at a memorial for the widow (in which he had invited those threatening violence,) and they apparently indicated they wouldn’t threaten again. So while challenges remain, we do get some some positiv answers here and now to your question.

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  90. JMauk:
    The result of their own legal representation as described by their attorney:
    “Correct term is “case was dismissed for lack of witnesses to uphold the charges against father and son.” we had no choice as the court simply could not proceed without the witnesses.”

    However, one of the reasons the victims finally decided not to keep being abused by the legal process was that the court proceedings to date had properly recorded their testimony as well as that of the arresting NBI agent so they were confident the truth could be found by those seeking.

    it seems curious to me that this is how things played out. so the victims are saying that even though the justice system has their testimony they decided to stop showing up and based on your last sentence are expecting someone other than the justice system to administer justice to their abusers? is there more to the story? i know the system is not great but its the system at this point and if the evidence is as strong as everything i have read makes it sound even if it takes a long time it would seem that is the best way to ensure that the perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice. another way of asking my question is lets say the church eventually brings in grace and grace turns up something what happens then? how do we make justice happen? im sure there are things you know and understand that i dont.

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  91. george: it seems curious to me that this is how things played out. so the victims are saying that even though the justice system has their testimony they decided to stop showing up and based on your last sentence are expecting someone other than the justice system to administer justice to their abusers? is there more to the story? i know the system is not great but its the system at this point and if the evidence is as strong as everything i have read makes it sound even if it takes a long time it would seem that is the best way to ensure that the perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice. another way of asking my question is lets say the church eventually brings in grace and grace turns up something what happens then? how do we make justice happen? im sure there are things you know and understand that i dont.

    The victims are not expecting anything. They are trying to get on with their lives. The most severely abused was the most persistent in asking the attorneys to persevere with the case and strongly desired justice served by jail sentence for the perpetrators. For almost three years the legal battle was on. Twice “the fix” was in and was overcome. In the system here, if at any time the witnesses don’t appear, the case would be dismissed. The witnesses would show up, the defense team would suddenly be unavailable and the hearing re-scheduled. The attorney for the victims was confident of eventual conviction but honestly set forth the process they would face for the next 8-10 years. The attorney was recommending proceeding, the victims made their own decision.
    We had done everything we could in response to the requests of the victims and endured great vilification in the process. When they withdrew we thought the matter had come to an end and I, rather embarrassing to admit, put it largely out of mind. About a year later requests for information began coming from multiple individuals. I have tried my best to provide whatever information I have to whomever asks. Apart from the unfair treatment of the young people it seems that the big issue that has grown from this is the classic institutional coverup being perpetrated by the former missionary and his senior pastor.

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  92. Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    I pared back my commenting here lately for several reasons:
    1) Lack of time. I have a lot going on right now and need to limit the amount of time I spend on line.
    2) The more I learn about various theologies and church history the less I feel I know. I used to be pretty sure of these things and I once enthusiastically argued for positions I no longer hold. Now I am not so sure, which causes me to tread more lightly.
    3) The topics covered here are overwhelming. I feel like my pea-brain thoughts do more to detract than to contribute. This is the biggest reason for me holding back more lately.

    I am also struggling to find a “good enough” version of Christianity. The Bible seems to be clear that Christians should fellowship with one another. But it seems impossible to find a local group where there is not some kind of twisted idolatry related to a person, a confession, a doctrine, or practices. I was becoming very attracted to Easter Orthodoxy. From a belief/theology perspective I am pretty much there, but the practice/culture is so incredibly complex that I don’t know where to begin. And the process for becoming Orthodox is lengthy. It does not seem like it should be this hard. For now I am in an in-between stage where I don’t fit anywhere. Oh well…

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  93. JMauk: We had done everything we could in response to the requests of the victims and endured great vilification in the process. When they withdrew we thought the matter had come to an end and I, rather embarrassing to admit, put it largely out of mind. About a year later requests for information began coming from multiple individuals. I have tried my best to provide whatever information I have to whomever asks. Apart from the unfair treatment of the young people it seems that the big issue that has grown from this is the classic institutional coverup being perpetrated by the former missionary and his senior pastor.

    wow. i cant imagine. do the kids know this is all going on? although i guess at this point they are probably late teenagers or even in their 20s.

    in terms of outcomes, in your mind what constitutes resolution to this? i know right now were pushing for grace t come in but i would guess in that case the victims are no more likely to speak with a grace investigator than they might have been to continue to speak with law enforcement and unfortunatey i dont know if grace will make a definitive declaration one way or the other regarding the abuse claim without talking to the kids and only by reading about it in documents. under those circumstances how can justice be accomplished for the victims? what should we hope for? a lot of talk about the church and what they did or did not do but it seems like if they were trying to cover this up they have done a pretty shabby job and it did get to the proper authorities. i guess im hoping to see what grace is going to accomplish that the justice system didnt. im sure there is an answer and maybe i am being overly pessimistic

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  94. george: wow. i cant imagine. do the kids know this is all going on? although i guess at this point they are probably late teenagers or even in their 20s.

    Yes they know. Current age range 20-29 with most in the 24-25 range. One exception is the youngest at time of raid/rescue who is now 16.

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  95. george: but i would guess in that case the victims are no more likely to speak with a grace investigator than they might have been to continue to speak with law enforcement and unfortunatey i dont know if grace will make a definitive declaration one way or the other regarding the abuse claim without talking to the kids and only by reading about it in documents.

    The victims who caused the case to be pursued are still willing to talk to law enforcement, GRACE, or anyone else. There are indications the victims and other young people who have been silenced would provide very interesting information to professional investigators. I would expect GRACE would not do anything less than actual personal interviews with everyone willing to do so.

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  96. george: a lot of talk about the church and what they did or did not do but it seems like if they were trying to cover this up they have done a pretty shabby job and it did get to the proper authorities.

    Ask the average CCC member what happened five years ago and you’ll find the coverup has been very effective.

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  97. george: in terms of outcomes, in your mind what constitutes resolution to this?

    Again, though rather embarrassing to admit, I gave up long ago expecting any resolution in behalf of the victims. I have no expectation of that changing.
    As to a secondary resolution, it would be nice if the trusting members of an historically excellent church were no longer being lied to about it.

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  98. I have been carefully reading everything I can find about Sankey situation for years. At first I felt those in leadership would see that they made a bad call. I prayed and waited for justice to be done. I have been to Sankey, in the Philippines, met many of the kids. LIstened to thier songs and skits. I have have prayed for them and have been heart broken over the things that have come out. What happened can not be undone. What can be done is an independent investigation of the lack of transparency of CCC so that those who have chosen to look the other way, can be held accountable. I have heard recently of the amount of respect/power that CCC has in the community. That only goes to make it worse! Surely, they would want the truth! With the TWW articles that I have been reading along with the back ground, It puts alot into perspective for me. What are they hiding!? When I read about the leaders/elders/pastors bullying, their members,and that is what it is, it’s hard to stomach. It is a tragedy that the members of CCC have been repeatedly lied to for years.I believe most of them have no idea! I read that CCC told its members not to read these posts. All more reason to be looking! Recently I was made aware of a gathering where Mr. Randel, was in the Philippines, with some of these kids,now adults and some of those who were staff at Sankey,, giving out money and other tech devises. I find this so detestable. When discussing this with someone of more tied to the Philippine culture, thier response was ‘you have to understand how poor they are’. Did it come to this? Yes… it did! Poor people being bought so the rich can continue to exploit others. So I am still waiting for justice for Sankey. ‘Be not decieved God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man shows that shall he also reap…’

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  99. george,

    Actually they did an excellent job covering this up. Tom Randall has been invited to speak at many other churches after this whole fiasco. He tells them his sob story about being “falsely” arrested and that you know, the one girl apologized and learned what a fire can be spread from one lie. People believe him and they don’t look up the other side. Privately he tells pastors that Joe Mauk is a liar and owes him money and has made threats of violence against him, and so on. He tells them there’s lies about him online. They don’t even check or ask about the other side. Chip Ingram invited him to speak about his “prison experience”.

    It’s very sad to see so many Christian leaders exercising an utter lack of discernment or basic fact finding. One resolution I would like to see is an end to these lies and some education and learning for those who were duped.

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  100. Brave: I was one such person kicked out of a Bible cell group, sponsored by CCC because of my “involvement with the Philippine matter”. Apparently I asked too many questions about what happened at Sankey orphanage and I wanted answers? As the Bible reads: Psalm 68:5 says, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows, is God in his holy habitation.” He who numbers the hairs on our head will certainly not turn away from the children living as orphans, and this should inspire us to act. You would think that a Bible study, sponsored by CCC, who supported the Sankey orphanage would want to know happened to those kids at Sankey – but I was kicked out of the Bible Cell group and not welcome because I refused to turn my head/blind eye. Why would CCC and the cell group apparently feel uncomfortable about discussing what happened? Why wouldn’t they demand an investigation FIVE YEARS ago? We shouldn’t turn away from the children living as orphans…I will never turn away from the children! As Psalm 68:5 says – we this should inspire us to act!!! What would Jesus do?

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  101. Truth: Actually they did an excellent job covering this up. Tom Randall has been invited to speak at many other churches after this whole fiasco. He tells them his sob story about being “falsely” arrested and that you know, the one girl apologized and learned what a fire can be spread from one lie. People believe him and they don’t look up the other side. Privately he tells pastors that Joe Mauk is a liar and owes him money and has made threats of violence against him, and so on. He tells them there’s lies about him online. They don’t even check or ask about the other side. Chip Ingram invited him to speak about his “prison experience”.

    It’s very sad to see so many Christian leaders exercising an utter lack of discernment or basic fact finding. One resolution I would like to see is an end to these lies and some education and learning for those who were duped.

    Wow. That reminds me of Lester Roloff, playing the hypocrite, speaking in front of churches as a sanctimonious savior of kids, begging donations, while meanwhile the kids were trapped in the horror of his girls’ home. He had the typical church-goer pegged, the naivety, intellectual laziness, credulity.

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  102. JMauk: Again, though rather embarrassing to admit, I gave up long ago expecting any resolution in behalf of the victims. I have no expectation of that changing.
    As to a secondary resolution, it would be nice if the trusting members of an historically excellent church were no longer being lied to about it.

    JMauk, You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Thank you and your family for standing up for the powerless, giving them hope and faith that, however many abusers there are in their world, there are also genuine people who love God, care about them, and will risk their own well-being to help them.

    You have no control over the outcome of your actions. All you can do is what you can do. I am speaking to myself here, as well, as I grieve so deeply for those who are yet in harm’s way. Particularly when abuse hides under the mantle of christian missions or charity. May all such victims have an honest, godly individual to turn to, who shows them the real heart of God in a world where it is all too rarely on display. May God show them a path to safety and recovery. Please tell us if there is something the average, powerless person can do to help.

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  103. JMauk: it would be nice if the trusting members of an historically excellent church were no longer being lied to about it

    Did CCC get to be “historically excellent” under different leadership? It’s clear that this current bunch of leaders are not that excellent – they are writing an awful chapter in CCC history.

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  104. im still trying to understand so please bear with me i ask this question delicately. in one place it says that the victims want to move on with their lives which is why they stopped testifying and in another place it says they are ready and willing to talk to anyone including law enforcement. maybe im missing something but those two things seem to be in contradiction. can anyone clarify that?

    and the other thing i notice is that any response to what justice looks like has something to do with the church and some sort of retribution or exposing or something and the question that lies in the back of my mind is what does thst do for victims? it brings no tangible benefit of justice to them and honestly though the church has not handled this well it seems like they were not involved with the orphanage beside maybe giving money when the actual abuse happened and they did not prevent the report from getting to the appropriate authorities. maybe that can offer some explanation as to why they respond the way they do because they look at the case and see that it is dismissed and they look at those advocating and see that at first glance their goas dont seem to be centered around anything bringing a benefit to the kids but rather around bringing retribution to the church who seems like it had no authority at the orphanage when the abuse was actually said to happen. im sure there is info i dont have but has anyone actually tried to have a conversation with the church about what justice looks like for the victims or had it only been conversations centered around calling into question the character of the leaders? maybe i have a naive view of the church but i wonder if the church would be open to providing something to the actual victims even if the case was dismissed if that conversation was had in good faith. in other words if it is a historical excellent church and this incident is an abberation rather than a pattern maybe there something to be said for not always jumping to worst possible conclusion. im not trying to defend them but asking the question.

    again i know there are many who have been following thus much longer than me so take my observations and questions for what they are worth.

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  105. To George. I guess you could think about the millions of dollars Tom Randall brought back to the church after he got out of jail and the fact that he was made and still is a pastor there and a very close friend to the other pastors. Adding that to your endless questions would be good and while you are at it please read all of the posts from the beginning and many of your questions will be answered. A vast amount of information is already there for you to think about. That last post didn’t quite sound like George. Are there two Georges? You dropped all of your capital letters and have run on sentences now. Not making as much sense with your aimless wanderings

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  106. george,

    To quote Brother West, “Justice is what love looks like in public.”

    In my mind, the first step in this case is publicly telling the truth. This is something Tom Randall, Joe Coffey, and CCC leadership have failed to do time and again – from disparaging the motives and honesty of the Mauks and other advocates, to a lack of transparency on the charges and outcomes of the proceedings in PI, to current deceitfulness regarding the so-called “investigation”.

    Until the truth is told, how can anyone assess what more tangible demonstrations of justice would be appropriate?

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  107. george,
    George
    I know that you think you are being rather clever with your questions but it is patently clear that you are ill-educated when it comes to abuse and victims. In fact, the greatest healing for victims comes when they are finally believed .

    Secondly, you use the same old worn out meme that people who are involved in bringing truth and justice are doing so to bring retribution to *the church.* Why in the world would I be out here attempting to bring down you church in Ohio? Did I just get up one morning and say “Gee, time to get go George and his church?” I love the Lord and I love His church. I am involved in my church and I teach confirmation to kids. I have a good life. My husband is a physician and my children are now grown. I have the capability to do something that is important to me. Child sex abuse is my hill to die on. It is obviously not yours.

    Sadly, you sound like a conspiracy theorist who has little grasp on the subject of children and sex abuse. Since you can’t figure it out, you decide to blame the bearer of the bad news. This is a typical tactic of those who have nothing to say so they shoot the messenger.

    george: if it is a historical excellent church and this incident is an abberation rather than a pattern maybe there something to be said for not always jumping to worst possible conclusion. im not trying to defend them but asking the question.

    George, you are trying to defend them and you know it. In fat, it is so obvious that I’m tempted to add (I live in the south) “Bless your heart.”

    Your church is made up of sinners. That includes your pastors and your elders. It even includes you. Your naivety runs deep of you don’t understand that your church has had problems in the past and will have problems in the future. Some of them may include serious sin. Take a look at what came out about the Southern Baptists recently. Do you know how many of them were on my blog telling me that their SBC church was excellent, godly, etc. Yet some of those same commenters were members of church now being exposed.

    Did you know that evangelical churches have a serious problem when it comes to child sex abuse/ In fact, Boz Tchividjian of GRACE who is Billy Graham’s grandson was quoted in Tim Magazine as saying our problem may be worse than the Catholics.

    Yet George is still functioning in *make Jesus famous* land. “We are the best. In fact, we are excellent.” Good night! No wonder this stuff is happening all around us. People like George are running around thinking they are asking clever questions.

    Finally, as for getting the info toto authorities…are you one of the ones out there who still believes that OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and Case Anthony are innocent because they won their court cases?

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  108. george,

    Do you go to CCC, george? I’m not really sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying that pastors who lie and cover up sexual abuse shouldn’t be held accountable for it? Or are you saying that if the victims of sexual abuse don’t spend the rest of their twenties and thirties reliving their darkest moments in a justice system that, let’s be real, is designed to give the edge to defendants, then there’s nothing else the church can or should do?

    Can you share what you think justice would look like when multiple perpetrators sexually abuse children and a pastor and his church use their considerable wealth and influence to protect those perpetrators from being held accountable in the justice system? All the while lying about the whole thing? There are two sets of perpetrators who need to be held accountable here — first, of course, the men who sexually abused those kids. But there’s also the pastors who lied and protected those abusers instead of helping the victims.

    The purpose of revealing the truth is always to help victims.

    (1) To help known past victims. Victims need to be heard and believed and supported to heal. Sometimes a criminal conviction isn’t possible, but there’s still other things Christians can do to help. That doesn’t include calling the victims liars and trying to silence them.

    (1b) To help unknown past victims. Sexual abuse is hugely traumatic. Many many who experience it *cannot* tell anybody for years or decades. If multiple children came forward in 2014, how many more did not and are still living in silent shame and fear?

    (2) To prevent future victims. The abusers and those who enable them need to be removed from their positions of power and influence. Sometimes this is through a criminal conviction and sometimes not. (If you follow these abuse cases, you’ll see that sadly sometimes even a criminal conviction isn’t enough.)

    CCC’s efforts to cover up the abuse began from Day 1. It’s not like they only started after the court case was dismissed. It’s all quite well documented. Here’s a summary:
    https://medium.com/@truth.arr/ohio-church-says-abuse-allegations-at-orphanage-untrue-attack-by-former-friend-26b747fddcf2

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  109. Everyone keeps talking about justice and the courts as if that’s all the victims need. The problem is much deeper. If abuse happened these adults are in need of counseling and emotional and mental support that goes far beyond achieving a court verdict. CCC denying the abuse and encouraging the now adult abuse victims to continue hiding the truth is causing emotional, spiritual, and mental trauma that the victims may not be able to recover from. Courts aside, CCC clearly needs to come clean and accept responsibility for the post abuse trauma the kids have gone through because of their cover up. These “kids” are 20-29 years old now. And still being controlled by funds comming from CCC. That’s just wrong. And if you don’t want to say “controlled” even “supported” at that age is fishy. I doubt you could find an agency anywhere that agrees that providing the financial support of 24/25 year old adults after graduation and encouraging them to stay near the home is best for them. The best measure would be for them to be fully functioning, independen, emotionally and mentally healthy adults. There is no way these adult can achieve that while CCC is aiding the cover up of their abuse and obviously, based on their claims that the kids can be called and will say nothing happened, persuading/manipulate them to continue to lie about the abuse when questioned. People are resilient to a lot. But for how long can these adult continee though this abusive reaction CCC has to the abuse before they are damaged perminently?
    People worried about the church and it’s reputation, and not worried about the hell these kids have lived through, clearly have no experience or knowledge about abuse and how damaging CCC’s response would be to victims. I can’t fault them for not knowing and commenting in ignorance, but I do challenge them to research abuse, it’s long term effects, the abuse that cover up causes, and the history of cover up in Christian organizations before they start trying to engage in these conversations.

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  110. george,

    george, stop trying to sweep sin under the rug and excuse it.

    1 John 2:21: “no lie is of the truth.” Jesus does not use lies, he does not build his church on lies. What is built on lies is built on sifting sand and will fall.

    There is someone who is happy to use lies to build his house:
    “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

    Which one do you follow, george?

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  111. Truth,

    “They don’t even check or ask about the other side. Chip Ingram invited him to speak about his “prison experience”.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Dee: a future blog post or news article.

    TRUST: Christians, we have a problem

    Demonstrating how easily swayed professional christians are by influential others. their lack of due diligence in critical thinking (if thinking critically at all). Which is then passed on to their equally non-scrutinizing followers who trust just as easily what they are told.

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  112. george:
    im still trying to understand so please bear with me i ask this question delicately. in one place it says that the victims want to move on with their lives which is why they stopped testifying and in another place it says they are ready and willing to talk to anyone including law enforcement. maybe im missing something but those two things seem to be in contradiction. can anyone clarify that?

    and the other thing i notice is that any response to what justice looks like has something to do with the church and some sort of retribution or exposing or something and the question that lies in the back of my mind is what does thst do for victims? it brings no tangible benefit of justice to them…

    I just think the truth is the truth and that’s a good thing. It’s not like this is exposing someone’s bedroom talk or purely private matters. If CCC really did support abuse or look the other way when it was happening and not do a true due diligence investigation into this place, that’s a big thing, it’s a strong sign that the church is not historically excellent but historically corrupt. Supporting the destruction of children is not an abberation, a little thing. It’s the sort of thing for which Jesus recommended people be chucked into a sea with a heavy stone tied to their necks. Of course, He also spoke of whispers in inner rooms being shouted from rooftops.

    How can you reconcile your position, which is basically, “Further inquiry into this isn’t doing any good, it’s only likely to hurt CCC and not help victims, so just let this go, it’s otherwise a good church”, with Jesus’ two positions above? George, I think your big issue is with Jesus, take it up with Him.

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  113. george,

    One more thing George. I don’t know what harm there can be in clearing the air completely on this matter, finding out just what CCC leaders actually knew or didn’t know, did or didn’t do. Because if they’re really historically excellent people, then further inquiry into this should only vindicate them, right? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? And if in fact they’re not excellent, but have been lying and covering up to save their own skins, then wouldn’t you want to know that also?

    Seems like more information and a closer look at the truth is a win-win, how could it not be?

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  114. dee:
    george,
    Secondly, you use the same old worn out meme that people who are involved in bringing truth and justice are doing so to bring retribution to *the church.*

    Assume what George says is true. Assume we are all trying to bring retribution to the church, because we just hate this church up in Ohio or churches generally (BTW, I do not hate the Church, I love it, and I love Jesus). Even if we were all atheists who hated the Church, how in the world would the ultimate results be bad if they bring about the truth? If my biggest enemy calls for the truth about me to be told and it gets told and ruins my career, so what? I had it coming—who cares what the source is? Jeremiah called King Nebuchadnezzar the “destroyer of nations”, he was by all accounts a monster. But the Jeremiah also called him “my servant”.

    George, you need to stop worrying less about who and what is being used to expose the truth and start worrying more about the truth itself.

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  115. Law ProfJeremiah called King Nebuchadnezzar the “destroyer of nations”, he was by all accounts a monster.But the Jeremiah also called him “my servant”.

    What I meant to say there was the Lord (through Jeremiah) called King N a destroyer of nations…and simultaneously His servant. The point being, even if we were all foam-at-the-mouth followers of Anton LaVey, it shouldn’t really be an issue if we’re calling for the truth to be told. If George and others at CCC care about the truth, or, perhaps, the One who called Himself “the truth”, they should be leading the charge for the cold, hard truth, whatever it is, and fighting to get it. If they want to call themselves “Christians”, they shouldn’t be letting outsiders take the lead.

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  116. TS00:
    Truth is never afraid of closer examination or hard questions. It is deceivers who seek to hide their actions in darkness.

    Of course, this is so obvious. It is so patently UNchristian to do otherwise.

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  117. Law Prof: TS00:
    Truth is never afraid of closer examination or hard questions. It is deceivers who seek to hide their actions in darkness.

    Of course, this is so obvious. It is so patently UNchristian to do otherwise.

    “If you don’t want to call it God, call it Truth.”
    — the “Bill” who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, re “higher power”

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