Ministry Safe Video: They Claimed to Be Victim-centric and Would NEVER Sue a Church Because They Don’t Tear Down Churches.


Jupiter Marble-NASA

“If you see oppression of the poor, and justice and righteousness trampled in a country, do not be astounded.” –King Solomon


Special thanks to Wade Mullen whose tweets, found at the end of this post, called my attention to this video made in 2018 at Dallas Theological Seminary.

This eye opening discussion will be helpful for those who want to better understand the role of Ministry Safe as seen through their own words.

Dr. Jay Sedwick, chair of the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department, talks with Mr. Gregory Love and Mrs. Kimberlee Norris, visiting faculty members and founders of MinistrySafe, address abuse prevention within ministry, recognizing how the Gospel has not changed, but the environment in which we deliver both the message and protection have changed dramatically.

Sadly, comments were disabled for this video. I would imagine they would have been interesting.

We don’t sue churches. Call one of those billboard lawyers instead.

Early in the video, Love/Norris were quite clear that they will not sue churches. Love claimed he would find it difficult to tell Jesus that he gave back 10% of his gain from suing a church. It appears to say that he feels he is robbing God by suing the church.

I found this statement irritating. It could be interpreted that he was claiming a *righteous* response as opposed to those who might decide to sue a church for egregious actions that allowed abuse to be covered up, etc.

Later in the video Norris/Love once again state they will not sue churches. They claim that there are lots and lots of lawyers out there who would love to sue churches. (Naughty lawyers.) I think they called them those lawyers on billboards. Are they saying that those are icky lawyers unlike the ever-righteous Norris/Love?

We do not tear churches down. Are they referring to those awful victims who sue these churches?

Note how Norris/Love characterize those victims who do sue, Those people are *tearing down the church.” Instead, Norris/Love claim to be called to mend and build up the church, not to tear it down. Imagine that you are a victim. What does this statement say to you? Maybe “We of Norris/Love are righteous and biblical and the rest of you who sue are trying to tear down God’s church.” Heap on the guilt, folks.

Norris claimed that most people don’t want to sue their churches.

She claimed that statute of limitations in most states are getting longer and longer and may even eventually be abolished.I concur with this observation. However the next remarks bothered me.

  • She claimed that entities get sued by plaintiffs lawyers only when they are worth suing. I interpret this to mean that only churches with money get sued. Most churches these days have insurances policies and I know of some poor churches which were sued. I covered a couple on this blog.
  • She claimed that most people really don’t want to sue their churches because they love their churches. Does that mean that people who end up suing their church don’t love their church?
  • Victims usually sue when they are treated poorly when the bring their abuse to the attention of the church. I agree with this.

Sedwick at Dallas Theological Seminary appeared to be doing an ad for the services of Ministry Safe and managed to prove that they represent the corporations not the victims.

He stated that he believed that Ministry Safe (Norris/Love) are the premier organization of its kind in the nation. He claimed that they are o*on top of this like no one I know.* He mentioned that they represented the US Olympic Committee, US Youth Soccer Association, National Insurances, and childcare organizations. Note that none of these are victims. These are corporate and not for profit entities.

Sedwick overlooks an important aspect of Ministry Safe. Is DTS teaching up and coming pastors that it is more important to protect the church from lawsuits as opposed to protect and compensate abused children when something occurs? Seems so to me but I”m no fancy lawyer.

Ministry Safe wants people to bring their anger to the church and to let the church be the balm.

Norris/Love observed that our culture is becoming angrier and angrier. I wonder why? As more and more reports of sexual abuse in churches become part of the public record, I would suspect that more expressions of anger towards the church would become commonplace. Is this a bad thing or a normal response to the abuse of children. I get really angry when kids are sexually abused. I would think they would as well…

They claim that the church develops a bunker mentality. Instead Norris/Love contend that churches should say something like “We welcome this anger and we want to be the balm.” Why should people go to the church to be a balm? Where are the actual examples of this in some of the cases that Ministry Safe represented? Would anyone go to Highpoint Memphis to get *the balm?” Good night! This is nonsense, in may opinion…

Norris claims that their perspective is unequivocally victim-centric and I deeply disagree.

They may have a different definition of what constitutes victim-centric but their actions do not prove this to be the case. One merely needs to read Attorneys Boz Tchividjian and Mitch Little Help a Sex Abuse Victim in Her Quest to Hold Matt Chandler and The Village Church Accountable

Victim-centric groups do not respond like Ministry Safe.

-The church would not let the mom meet with Ministry Safe because they represent the church!!! Folks, remember this. They are not there for the victims.
-Ministry Safe says they are not there to counsel and they (catch this)“generally” advise the church to remove a person accused of sex abuse while they are being investigated. Repeat: I believe that this group doesn’t care about your kids. They care about protecting the church. This is why I refused to speak with them when they called me during the Jules Woodson situation.

Kimberlee Norris will take pastors to the wood shed but will not sue them.

Norris claims that she does take pastors to the wood shed which apparently is a righteous way to handle churches which mishandle abuse. She calls herself a fairly aggressive as a female attorney. The private woodshed out in the backyard sounds really, really scary to me….Does she cut switches and swat their bottoms? Whoops-abuse….so no.

I find several areas with which I agree with Ministry Safe.

  • They believe that churches have a hard time saying that they are sorry when they have due something wrong.
  • They believe that policies and procedures in churches should take into account grooming behavior.
  • Churches should not investigate what they should and should not report to the authorities.

Wade Mullen’s tweets:

 


Comments

Ministry Safe Video: They Claimed to Be Victim-centric and Would NEVER Sue a Church Because They Don’t Tear Down Churches. — 75 Comments

  1. 3’s a crowd.

    The discussion was a mix of some good points, as you mentioned, Dee, and some stuff that would make me want to run for the hills if I were a victim. Sometimes, it is the people who put themselves forward as ‘the church’ who are in fact tearing apart the body of Christ and destroying ‘the least of these.’

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  2. Re:
    “They claim that the church develops a bunker mentality. Instead Norris/Love contend that churches should say something like “We welcome this anger and we want to be the balm.” Why should people go to the church to be a balm?”

    Churches and a lot of Christians are dreadful at helping people who are going through divorce, people with mental health problems, people who are in grief over death of a loved women, and women who are in abusive marriages.

    I am of the view now that if you’re someone who is undergoing some kind of hardship or heartbreak in your life, a church is the last place you should go.

    You’d be better off seeing a secular therapist.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  3. They seem to give inadequate acknowledgement that a church can be Grievous Wolves Inc., meaning they might be short on healing balm. In such a case, challenging the “church” can be the correct course of action. Par for course.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  4. Victim-centric = Victim is at the center of the bulls-eye. First when targeted by the perpetrator, then again when targeted for shaming by the church’s attorneys.

    As to the refusal to represent victims, I think it is fairly common for a law firm to specialize in representing only one group of potential clients, such as representing either individuals or businesses/organizations.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  5. raswhiting: As to the refusal to represent victims, I think it is fairly common for a law firm to specialize in representing only one group of potential clients, such as representing either individuals or businesses/organizations.

    Fair enough but, then, I don’t see any reason to denigrate those colleagues who are able and willing to representing those who are not potential clients. Especially to insinuate ulterior or mercenary motives as Norris did.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  6. I think they have a lot of good points. Hopefully their education will help churches start reporting sexual abuse instead of sweeping it under the rug, which seems to be their main focus- I got the impression that their business is educating churches to do what the law requires so that they don’t get into trouble.

    I didn’t sense much compassion or awareness of the victim’s perspective in them and I kind of doubt they would be doing this business from the standpoint of preventing the innocent from being hurt, if there was no spector of legal issues for churches nowadays. (Just my impression.)

    I think that their real value is in going into a church before there has been a problem, to enlighten them about the issues and prepare them to be ready to do what’s right.

    If there has been abuse, if people have been hurt, if the organization has betrayed victims, silenced them, covered it up, I would rather see an organization like GRACE get involved, that is more focused on the victims and their healing. It’s too late for balm after betrayal has happened.

    I really doubt people are lining up to represent abuse victims suing churches. Those comments rubbed me the wrong way, and the woodshed stuff is just silly. The only woodshed that will make a church change is public disclosure of what has gone on and financial and legal penalties. Love even admitted that organizations don’t change until they are sued. I think the promise they will never sue is to appeal to churches’ self interest in order to get the job.

    The church organization is *not* Jesus. Suing a church is *not* suing Jesus.

    I’d like to see churches learn to be healing balm, too, but they have a long way to go. Just remember, people don’t want lip service and flowery words. People want truth. They want action. They want to see the church’s support and resources go to the victims, not the predators. They want to see real change.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  7. Estelle: Fair enough but, then, I don’t see any reason to denigrate those colleagues who are able and willing to representing those who are not potential clients. Especially to insinuate ulterior or mercenary motives as Norris did.

    Yes, it’s disturbing, and I think is just their schtick to appeal to the organizations. The message is, we’re on your side, we’ll never go against you no matter what.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  8. Definitions matter.

    I personally believe that the church of the Bible is referring to a body of believers gathering together to worship. Plus maybe the building they might use on a regular basis.

    But today most of the use of the word “church” refers to the business organization that operates the building and employs the staff and in most ways represents the body of believers to the world outside of a local church or denomination.

    This leads to all kinds of statements where people talk about “the church” and are really talking about different things. But most usage of the term today refers to the business entity, NOT the body of believers. And to be honest many in the “body” don’t get the difference.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  9. Two thoughts:

    From a “sovereignty of God” perspective, the numerous plaintiffs attorneys available to act on behalf of victims can be regarded to be there by God’s decree, so one should not wring one’s hands about it. Perhaps they should be regarded to be an extension or auxiliary of the civil magistracy, which Paul tells us is there to punish evildoers.

    Does this keep ministries “safe” from the consequences of other forms of abuse, gaslighting, manipulation, etc? Given that this frequently comes from the very top of the church corporation, which is what Ministry Safe is there to protect, I would imagine not. What would MinistrySafe have done to protect HBC from James MacDonald?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  10. I’m just going to point out one huge, huge lie: NO, there are NOT lawyers lined up to take these cases. You can’t just get a law firm with a billboard to handle a case like this. These guys are set up to work auto accidents and other torts with a long history and deep case law. Guess what? Church child sexual abuse cases are neither. Most of the time they were settled in the past, so no long history OR deep case law. There are, now, a few specialized law firms that will take them on, but your local “ambulance chasing” (and I say this in love, one of those firms helped out my brother in a hit and run) law firm? They’re not set up to handle this.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  11. “…the Gospel has not changed, but the environment in which we deliver both the message and protection have changed dramatically.” —DTS website intro to video

    Right. The institutional church in the USA has it worse than a homeless Jesus and his ragtag band of fishermen and tax collectors.

    These claims always bug me. They deny that we can apply our knowledge of Christ to challenges today, because Jesus lived before liability law, social media, and yoga pants. Jesus only had to deal with Herod, Caiaphas, and Pontius Pilate. What would He know about facing claims of abuse? Pay no attention to the dizzying role reversals. Justice and mercy are quaint folk beliefs we can no longer afford to study.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  12. It is important to realize that in many cases abuse victims are instructed to seek assistance from Ministry Safe. If MS is actually serving the interests of the organization rather than the victims of abuse, this can be tantamount to telling your story to the defense team. It is misleading at best, and appears to be a deliberate attempt to control the narrative and shut down any avenues for victims to seek true justice. Surely no capable prosecution would show all of their cards to the defense before they had a chance to present their full case on record.

    It seems to me that churches who hire Ministry Safe without explaining who they actually serve are not being honest.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  13. Samuel Conner: It looks like a for-profit corporation providing needed protective services to other for-profit corporations. It looks like “risk reduction” for the paying clients.

    Quite so. If organisations are generally sued when they’re worth suing, then equally organisations are represented if they can pay for it.

    Nothing in the MinistrySafe output I’ve seen provides any evidence that they’re other than a commercial organisation that has learned to use contemporary christian-like jargon to reach out to its intended market.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  14. Samuel Conner: From a “sovereignty of God” perspective, the numerous plaintiffs attorneys available to act on behalf of victims can be regarded to be there by God’s decree, so one should not wring one’s hands about it. Perhaps they should be regarded to be an extension or auxiliary of the civil magistracy, which Paul tells us is there to punish evildoers.

    Couldn’t agree more. Indeed, since the various bodies of the numerous local Christs that have made it big will not submit to anyone else, they should rejoice when God disciplines them through the agency of the civil authorities. After all, it proves that the biblical BibleGospel principle of God disciplining his children, applies to them.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  15. I wish they would examine a case like Sarah Kacala’s ,or any number of others that have been covered by WW,and other blog sites. On the video at 21.36 Ms.Norris talks about how to recognize grooming of children by a predator. Then she jabs he finger in the air and and says,Report to the “right people”,essentially. (Simply meaning keep it in the church} And don’t rent a bill board, etc.
    In Sarah’s case she followed all the procedure that “gesticulating Ms Norris” talks about. But upon closer examination you realize that the problem lies with corrupt leadership at the very top….

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  16. One of the comments in Rod Dreher’s recent article about Matt Chandler included this link from a Presbyterian church that sought out GRACE after their incident:

    https://tcpca.org/addressing-our-present-future

    I think it hits the nail on the head: it’s policy and culture. MinistrySafe is very good at policy, but this video suggests they’re rotten on culture. You can explain grooming behavior and mandatory reporting all you want, but when the culture is that the pastors would be the real victims, the church’s great mission can’t be stopped by even valid criticism, etc., predators will be protected.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  17. The implied moral imperative of not using church corporation bank account funds to compensate victims for harms suffered appears to me to be contrary to both civil and biblical principles of equity.

    IMO the ministry that is being protected is “ministry of the Graspel.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  18. In the video, Kimberlee Norris says (starting at 1:20) that she started her career as a labor lawyer but took on a case in which a ministry candidate working at a children’s facility “got fired for reporting sexual abuse.” She says, “I took the case, notwithstanding that it made no financial sense … I was outraged by what had occurred.”

    Did she have a billboard?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  19. Regarding this transcripted quote:

    …there’s some practical aspect of that too, of, like, suing the Body of Christ, meeting Jesus someday, and telling him I gave them back ten percent. You know. It’s just unwise I feel.

    (Noting that it’s a transcript of words spoken, so the punctuation is a matter of interpretation.)

    Firstly, you can’t sue the Body of Christ. Figuratively: You can’t sue what you can’t see. There are, of course, many parachurch organisations calling themselves churches, and perhaps marketing themselves as bodies of christ (which body, or which christ, is never clear, but what is clear is that there are many of each). You can sue them, obviously; but I believe the capitalisation is misleading.

    Secondly: Inasmuch as you did it for the least of these, you did it for me. Those words suggest that Jesus is much more concerned for his people than he is for ten percent of anybody’s money.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  20. I just did the Ministry Safe video training as part of my church’s volunteer training. The training was good, and there was an emphasis on noticing grooming behavior. However, the biggest emphasis was “you don’t want a child abuse scandal to torpedo your ministry.” (They do have a strong message of churches reporting immediately to authorities-that was good).

    If the risk to your ministry is the only reason for doing the right thing, a church is far from showing God’s love and mercy.

    Flip side-it’s the first time my church has even offered anything close to the video training. We have many people with an “it can’t happen here” mentality, so it will be helpful in that way.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  21. I always find it funny-bizarre when I see lawyers attempting to “talk for Jesus.” The scribes (lawyers in Jesus’ times) were his outspoken enemy. Most lawyers are in it for the money now as it was then. And so few would be happy with Jesus words that you cannot serve both God and money at the same time. And these guys on tape are there in order to protect the assets of a 501c3 corporation. Jesus church grew very fast early on without this kind of legal structure.
    The Church is not a building or a corporation. It is according to the New Testament, all the true believers in a given town. The Church exists to save people from eternal separation from God. It does not exist to merely entertain religious people and protect itself as an institution. I see nothing Christian here, although some of the training is marginally useful as it would be with secular institutions like schools that deal with children as their business.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  22. SiteSeer: The church organization is *not* Jesus. Suing a church is *not* suing Jesus.

    True. But this is not what most churches want the pewons to believe. In fact, churches, church leaders, and it appears Ministry Safe as well, wants church goers to believe that the church organization and its leaders is = to Jesus.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  23. “Kim and I are both believers, we’re both in church leadership, we’re both in our 24th year of student ministry at CHRIST’S CHAPEL BIBLE CHURCH IN FORT WORTH. And the point of all that is to tell you
    we don’t sue churches”

    Yet another incognito Baptist church?

    church website https://www.ccbcfamily.org/new-to-ccbc/

    “Christ Chapel is an elder-led Bible church…As a Bible church, we are non-denominational”

    Oops, here they are in the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Church Directory:

    http://sbtexas.com/affiliated-churches/christ-chapel-bible-church-fort-worth/127/

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  24. “Kim and I are both believers, we’re both in church leadership, we’re both in our 24th year of student ministry at Christ’s Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth. And the point of all that is to tell you
    WE DON’T SUE CHURCHES”

    Sort of. The pair have been very active suing the Jehovah’s Witnesses church (per Greg Love, it doesn’t count, as it’s a cult):

    http://www.silentlambs.org/newsletter/NewsLetterItem.cfm?SendoutID=218

    “The Love & Norris firm said there are currently 26 lawsuits pending against the Jehovah’s Witness church in California”

    “Lawyers told Action News they are working on five more cases in Monterey County against the church for alleged sexual misconduct.
    The Love & Norris law firm says it is holding special town hall meetings, like the one in Monterey, to expose sexual abuse in the hope that other victims will come forward…’it has a been more concerned about protecting the reputation of the organization than protecting children in the congregation,’ lawyer Kimberlee Norris said.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  25. “Kim and I are both believers, WE’RE BOTH IN CHURCH LEADERSHIP, WE’RE BOTH IN OUR 24TH YEAR OF STUDENT MINISTRY AT CHRIST’S CHAPEL BIBLE CHURCH IN FORT WORTH. And the point of all that is to tell you
    we don’t sue churches”

    December 2018
    https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article223675445.html

    “A Fort Worth oil executive was removed from his volunteer ministry role at Christ Chapel Bible Church last month after allegations arose that he had sexually abused a girl…Charles “Chuck” W. Seely Jr., vice president of the Seely Oil Company, surrendered Wednesday on warrants accusing him of sexually assaulting a teen over several years, beginning when she was 15…At least one of the sexual encounters occurred at a Christian camp, according to the affidavits.”

    “Bill Egner, executive pastor of Christ Chapel Bible Church, said Friday in an email to the Star-Telegram that…Seely was immediately removed from all volunteer ministry roles the same day that the allegations came to light. ‘The allegations related to one child, and the inappropriate behavior alleged by the victim and confessed by the perpetrator occurred outside the walls of our church,’ Egner wrote.”

    “Egner said Seely volunteered in various capacities over his 17 years with the church, including roles serving children and students. But Egner said every interaction with any child or student had been supervised by a least one other trained and screened adult and ministry employees…’We have received no other allegations from any other child or student within Mr. Seely’s volunteer tenure…the inappropriate sexual behavior appears to be limited to this one child,’ Egner wrote”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  26. It has the feel of the entire edifice of organized religion crumbling.

    https://ministrysafe.com/the-risk/

    claims nearly 13,000 organizations — presumably this is the number of corporations that are using their methods. That’s a significant fraction of the evangelical movement, and it indicates that the problem is everywhere.

    Jerome: And the point of all that is to tell you
    we don’t sue churches”

    is that a desperate plea?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  27. It deeply disturbs me when someone says ‘We don’t sue churches’. If any institution that calls itself a church abuses and/or facilitates the abuse of others, there is absolutely no reason to not sue them. A Church is not an individual, and does not fall under the Matthew 18 admonition. A church is an institution, and it should be held accountable to moral and civil laws.

    I am not suggesting that every so-called church that experiences abuse, and deals with it properly, must be sued. But all which deliberately cover up and foster abuse deserve to be sued until it hurts; so that they will never make such a grievous mistake again.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  28. TS00:
    It deeply disturbs me when someone says ‘We don’t sue churches’. If any institution that calls itself a church abuses and/or facilitates the abuse of others, there is absolutely no reason to not sue them. A Church is not an individual, and does not fall under the Matthew 18 admonition. A church is an institution, and it should be held accountable to moral and civil laws.

    I am not suggesting that every so-called church that experiences abuse, and deals with it properly, must be sued. But all which deliberately cover up and foster abuse deserve to be sued until it hurts; so that they will never make such a grievous mistake again.

    Someone I know told of a local SBC church which reportedly had kids as young as 8 being lobbied to vote to commit the church on an eight-figure building project a few years back.

    Recently, there was a revote when cost went up by half or so. When the kid vote issue came up as well as the age of majority concern, the head pastor — also on the church’s executive committee — apparently saw no issue with it while previously expressed surprise that it had occurred.

    Someone brought up whether proceeding in this fashion would survive a legal challenge. The guy he appointed to be his right hand man on the committee, a well-connected lawyer and lobbyist, reportedly said something to the effect of “we have lawyers too.

    The church apparently got asked to approve a $1M-plus daycare-related add-on earlier this month and to approve it by the end of the month with scant details on impact on debt from the original project but lots of ‘or else’ rhetoric. Oh, and their own publications say their numbers are down, apparently chalking it up to trends. Autocrats gonna autocrat.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  29. TS00:
    It deeply disturbs me when someone says ‘We don’t sue churches’. If any institution that calls itself a church abuses and/or facilitates the abuse of others, there is absolutely no reason to not sue them. A Church is not an individual, and does not fall under the Matthew 18 admonition. A church is an institution, and it should be held accountable to moral and civil laws.

    I am not suggesting that every so-called church that experiences abuse, and deals with it properly, must be sued. But all which deliberately cover up and foster abuse deserve to be sued until it hurts; so that they will never make such a grievous mistake again.

    Yes. I agree. I was a witness for the plaintiff in a suit against a church for sexual abuse. In the end, at the 11th hour, the church decided to settle out of court and the plaintiff (a good friend) decided to accept for the sake of her young boys. She was the one abused and the destruction of her marriage and the boys’ loss of church and being shunned where bad enough without their mom being dragged through the mud publicly in the press. It was a tough decision for her.

    But, her attorney told her that the only way to get the attention of churches in this was financially. Sadly, it seems the pastor and his wife chose to spin it as persecution, took up an special offering and raised part of it that way. People outside the church know better, but those inside the that cult are blind. Still makes me sad.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  30. Jerome: “Christ Chapel is an elder-led Bible church…As a Bible church, we are non-denominational”

    Oops, here they are in the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Church Directory:

    http://sbtexas.com/affiliated-churches/christ-chapel-bible-church-fort-worth/127/

    Nice catch. I doubt that the membership in general is aware of this. I’ve known a LOT of people who have left SBC churches for CCBC. Some of the differences are in areas where some SBC churches are moving toward being like CCBC, i.e. Elder led.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  31. Jeannette Altes: But, her attorney told her that the only way to get the attention of churches in this was financially. Sadly, it seems the pastor and his wife chose to spin it as persecution, took up an special offering and raised part of it that way.

    Someone in new testament times commented that

    … if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

    I sometimes wonder when churches suffer over their own wrongdoing, and despise the discipline involved. Are they declaring their spiritual parentage?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  32. Jerome: “Christ Chapel is an elder-led Bible church…As a Bible church, we are non-denominational”

    Oops, here they are in the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Church Directory:

    I’m confident that one could argue casuistically that “SBC is not a denomination” in the sense that there is no formal authority structure above the local congregation. And that would be true, strictly speaking. SBC is an “association” of (like-minded more or less; probably “less” in the case of SBC given the neo-cal incursions), like ARBCA.

    If ARBCA was clever, it could infiltrate the neo-Cal movement within the SBC and rebrand itself. That would be something!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  33. Nick Bulbeck: I sometimes wonder when churches suffer over their own wrongdoing, and despise the discipline involved. Are they declaring their spiritual parentage?

    I’ve wondered that, too. I’ve had many talks with Papa about this ‘preacher boy,’ as my aunt nicknamed him. I am assured that it is being dealt with. Sigh. Sometimes Papa seems to be awfully slow.

    But the church has never recovered from the fallout of this. They are still going, but membership is half what it was then and they are trying to sell the building which the still owe around $1,800,000 on. We’ll see…

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  34. I can’t remember before if I mentioned on this site that my mother wouldn’t let me go on a church “swim day” at a local river because she didn’t think there was enough supervision (three adults, I think, for 20 kids-no lifeguard at the site).

    One of my friends, 14, drowned. He couldn’t swim, and he dove into several feet of water. The current did the rest.

    I never questioned my mom again when she said “no.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  35. I am in midst of using a Christian U. The faculty jumped to conclusion I was using them before I even bonded it. I only know because I got my records through FERPA. They also told people in authority I was threatening to sue for two years. While that was news to me,perhaps if they hadn’t jumped to conclusions things could have been settled out of court. Seems the Christian organization is assuming you will sue – assumption that seems to sometimes directly lead to a suit.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  36. Jerome: “Kim and I are both believers, we’re both in church leadership, we’re both in our 24th year of student ministry at CHRIST’S CHAPEL BIBLE CHURCH IN FORT WORTH. And the point of all that is to tell you
    we don’t sue churches”

    Yet another incognito Baptist church?

    church website https://www.ccbcfamily.org/new-to-ccbc/

    “Christ Chapel is an elder-led Bible church…As a Bible church, we are non-denominational”

    Oops, here they are in the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Church Directory:

    http://sbtexas.com/affiliated-churches/christ-chapel-bible-church-fort-worth/127/

    Well, well, well.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  37. Jerome: “Egner said Seely volunteered in various capacities over his 17 years with the church, including roles serving children and students. But Egner said every interaction with any child or student had been supervised by a least one other trained and screened adult and ministry employees…’We have received no other allegations from any other child or student within Mr. Seely’s volunteer tenure…the inappropriate sexual behavior appears to be limited to this one child,’ Egner wrote”

    Rather amazing how naive someone can be when they really *want* to believe something.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  38. J: Seems the Christian organization is assuming you will sue – assumption that seems to sometimes directly lead to a suit.

    I think that the way churches treat victims is often the same way- with suspicion and defensiveness. It’s pretty hard to provide “balm” under that sort of mindset.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  39. Jerome: “A Fort Worth oil executive was removed from his volunteer ministry role at Christ Chapel Bible Church last month after allegations arose that he had sexually abused a girl…Charles “Chuck” W. Seely Jr., vice president of the Seely Oil Company, surrendered Wednesday on warrants accusing him of sexually assaulting a teen over several years, beginning when she was 15…At least one of the sexual encounters occurred at a Christian camp, according to the affidavits.”

    Sooo… does Christ Chapel use Ministry Safe? What happened here.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  40. J: Seems the Christian organization is assuming you will sue – assumption that seems to sometimes directly lead to a suit.

    Because if they pressure you to sue, that makes you the Satanic Enemy with the Jezebel Hardened Heart.

    This is the old passive-aggressive blame-shift. Needle and manipulate the victim into actually losing it and throwing the first punch, making you the Poor Poor Innocent Victim/Angel of Light with total Plausible Deniability. My NPD/sociopath brother was a master of it – I was the violent Crazy Kid and he was the Poor Poor Innocent Angel of Light who had to put up with his Crazy Brother.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  41. J: They also told people in authority I was threatening to sue for two years.

    In one word PRE-GROOMING.
    Abusers don’t only pre-Groom their victims; they also pre-Groom third parties (especially those in authority) as Allies, pre-“poisoning their minds” against the victim.

    I once saw a revenge plot where the abuser pre-Groomed third-party allies (i.e. setting up all the chess pieces) for TEN WHOLE YEARS before making his move. (“You should have been Nice to me when you had the chance.”)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  42. SiteSeer: Sooo… does Christ Chapel use Ministry Safe? What happened here.

    The firm’s website says this about Kimberlee Norris: “Through MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems, she has trained over 450,000 ministry staff members and volunteers since 2005.”

    My calculator says this comes out to training 32,143 people per year over 14 years. “She has trained…” That would be a lot of lectures in packed auditoriums. My guess is that the number includes people who watched a video at home.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  43. __

    “There’s a solution?”

    hmmm…

    ‘Ministry Safe’ ™ is not ‘safer’ or more productive than social media for the victim of 501c3 abuse, but they can try…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ncL1O9BX2Ik

    All of Heaven is watching,

    Jesus said, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk…”

    In the name of Jesus, ‘do so today!’

    (those of you who know what I mean) 🙂

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)§

    – –

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  44. Slight tangent, but I keep having moments at work when I think, crikey, my eyesight’s deteriorating. Then I clean my glasses, and it solves the problem.

    There may be a lesson for us all here.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  45. Nick Bulbeck,

    “Slight tangent, but I keep having moments at work when I think, crikey, my eyesight’s deteriorating. Then I clean my glasses, and it solves the problem.

    There may be a lesson for us all here.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    well, i love tangents.

    we can clean our metaphorical glasses, our ‘perceiver’, by taking a sabbatical from any ideological organization.

    if we choose to return, perhaps the objectivity is at least a bit sharper.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  46. Most important: Parents, don’t check your brain ‘out’at church. Stop thinking that everyone serving in church ministry is perfect. They are not. Abusers seek out church positions (especially that involve children), and become ‘pastor’s pet’ so they can have access to the kids. Stop being so dumb!! Use the same cynicism that you do, in worldly matters, when it comes to protecting your children. Parents are ultimately responsible. Re-think church camp, sleep-overs, etc.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  47. Why aren’t the ‘ministers’ destroying people’s lives ever perceived as the ones who ‘tear down the church’? I just don’t get it. ‘MinistrySafe’ seems much more concerned that suing one of those monsters or the churches that harbor them is ultimately more damaging to the ‘church’ than the evil acts that set the wheels of justice into motion in the first place.

    It reminds me of when Jesus railed on the pharisees for tithing of their mint, dill and cumin but neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faithfulness. Do they not realize that the LORD Himself is the champion of the abused, the powerless and the down-trodden? These guys just seem to have everything backwards by defending the institution rather than the people victimized by it.

    My bottom-line is like this: if a church allows or knowingly harbors an abusive pastor/teacher/worker to remain in their position and sweeps everything under the rug, then they should be sued out of existence and cease to be a church!
    But like I said, maybe I just don’t get it.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  48. Jean Lash:
    Most important:Parents, don’t check your brain ‘out’at church.Stop thinking that everyone serving in church ministry is perfect.They are not.Abusers seek out church positions (especially that involve children), and become ‘pastor’s pet’ so they can have access to the kids.Stop being so dumb!!Use the same cynicism that you do, in worldly matters, when it comes to protecting your children. Parents are ultimately responsible.Re-think church camp, sleep-overs, etc.

    A guy recently created a post on a baseball message board and posted a link about ‘going viral’ on Reddit because he tossed a baseball to a kid in the outfield at an MLB game and it hit the kid in the face. (And yeah, someone was sitting by the guy filming this toss). Between the laughter emojis and ‘look at what I did’ tone, it emerges that this wasn’t a random batting practice or foul ball, but one that the guy bought and then picked some kid to whom to throw it.

    As the guy — who’s been on this baseball board for 7 years and represents himself as a veteran — keeps talking, he lets it slip that this wasn’t a one-time occurrence bought that he always — yes, always — grabs a couple of things from the Authentics store (generally, game-used items like the one he gave the kid, complete with case) to give away to kids. In other words, a key part of his gameday experience (none of which is cheap to begin with) is to pay marked up prices for multiple items at the stadium and then sit in an area where batted balls are expected and distribute goodies to kids he selects.

    Adding to the preplanned element is the following, when enough people cited the creepy factor: “I usually have some sort of interaction with the parents before offering the kid a ball. I don’t just run up all random like.” And who knows, he might be able to dudebro with a parent, work his way to an acquaintance, and so forth. (Oh yeah, noticed another posting of his promoting a get-together of message board posters, which could enable further interaction, relationship furthering, and door opening.) Perhaps those who posted that this constituted “a random act of kindness” despite evidence against randomness or a single occasion will get more attention and gifts.

    Like you said, you can’t check your brain at the door.

    (Less than two months after this post, word came in that he was in a bad car accident and was in a coma, but now is out. Don’t know details, but ‘Uncle Raggy’ came to mind, especially as any creepout factor has turned to sympathy.)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  49. Root 66: Why aren’t the ‘ministers’ destroying people’s lives ever perceived as the ones who ‘tear down the church’? I just don’t get it

    Pew sitters are expendable. Grievous wolves this, as well as proof-texts and spins which turn dissenters into “them”. They also know the same as well as the effectiveness business insulation entities in sustaining whatever they choose, especially from the enrichment and gratification realm. If worse comes to worse, they can always claim to be a “we”, as in we have all fallen short, who are we to judge, etc. Rinse, repeat.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  50. Another wee tangent: piano.

    So, I just played the short solo double-octaves bit near the end of Tchaichovsky’s Bb Piano Conshertoe to Lesley, with the observation: this is as fast as I can play it.

    Then I played her a FaceTube clip of Horowitz playing the same passage.

    I’m just off to shoot myself.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  51. Root 66: Why aren’t the ‘ministers’ destroying people’s lives ever perceived as the ones who ‘tear down the church’?

    Because they are excellent manipulators and put themselves in the position of directing others. And those others are not able to see clearly because of the beliefs they hold.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  52. JDV: JDV: Pew sitters are expendable. Grievous wolves this,

    Grievous wolves know this…

    Throughout history, the only reason the Lowborn have for existing is the enrichment and convenience of their Highborn Betters. And the convenience of a single Highborn is worth the expenditure of unlimited Lowborn lives. Kneel before Your Betters.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  53. Just found some comment thread in the archives…

    Apparently Ministry Safe was involved in some way in the Jules Woodson affair. One of my comments in that thread asked whether that meant “The Fix Is In?”

    Apparently so.
    If Ministry Safe is involved, THE FIX IS IN.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

Leave a comment - Click here for our commenting rules

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *