The Sankey Story Is Finally Beginning to Get the Attention It Deserves . #JusticeforSankey #churchtoo

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Philippine_children_(4435472910).jpg
Philippine children– Creative Commons

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV


I had planned a more in-depth analysis of the following information. However, my elderly mother needed a medical procedure today which lasted far longer than expected. That was followed by a planned phone call from a victim which I thought would last about 30 minutes that lasted 2 1/2 hours during which I heard a disturbing story of  the sexual abuse of 11-13 year old girls within a church in a denomination that I have not covered on this blog. I was thoroughly sickened by the articulate woman who has offered a number of stories and some disturbing responses by church members. This is one of those conversations that you don’t cut short. I believe that there could be some national interest in this story and I hope to post by the end of next week.

So please forgive me for my lack of discussion. Special thanks to Justice for Sankey who gave me permission to  post some of their information. There is a reason I need to get this information up. The admission on the part of the church, especially Joe Coffey, that Tom Randall allegedly forged some information and was fired has opened up this story to further investigation. I believe that this story will attract attention on a national level in the near future. The information posted here will be used in a future story.

TWW readers will be amongst the first to access both of these stories.


For a review of the history of Sankey, please link to the home page of Justice for Sankey.

In the following post, pay close attention to Coffey’s excuse for his unwillingness not to believe the accusations against Tom Randall. Joe Coffey did far more than disbelieve the accusations but that will be discussed at another time.

Churchwide email from Joe Coffey (Jun 7, 2019)

On June 7, 2019, Christ Community Chapel lead pastor Joe Coffey sent an email to church members which contained an update on the review into sexual abuse allegations at Sankey Samaritan children’s home. This review had been announced in a March 2019 email, which said the review had been initiated in September 2018.

Summary:

  • Coffey claimed that two orphanage workers had been the subject of a “full investigation” in the Philippines. Coffey didn’t mention that these were not simply low-level orphanage workers – one was Tom Randall’s best friend and the director of the children’s home, and the other was the director’s son, Randall’s godson, and a board member. It’s hard to say what Coffey meant by a “full” investigation; it appears that at least two additional workers named in sworn statements were not investigated, and aside from the sworn statements made immediately after the rescue, we have found no evidence that any further investigation was done by the NBI or any other law enforcement body.
  • Coffey claimed the review was expected to complete within “the next few weeks.” Coffey wrote, “That process is nearing its conclusion, and we are hopeful that the review will be completed within the next few weeks. The timeline is subject to change based on the availability of information, but upon completion, the findings will be made available to anyone who would like to view them.” As of July 4, 2019, the review has not yet been released.
  • Coffey called the review “thorough” and said it covers “all documentation and information in connection to the case.” No explanation was given for why numerous witnesses have still not been contacted by Lewis-Johnson.
  • Coffey claimed CCC takes child protection “very seriously” and said the church has comprehensive child protection policies.The email did not mention the March 27, 2019 allegations that Tom Randall had groomed and molested a teenage girl in the Philippines or what steps, if any, were being taken in response.
    Full text:

From: Joe Coffey <joe.coffey@ccchapel.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 7, 2019 at 1:04 PM
Subject: AOET and CCC Family Update

Dear CCC Family,

In this past weekend’s services, we met Ernest Masaaba from a ministry partner called AIDS Orphan Education Trust (AOET), in addition to learning about AOET’s work. During the service, the option was given for each of you to donate $20 on the spot to help AOET continue to provide education and orphan care to thousands of orphans in Uganda. AOET is on the front lines, fighting for justice and mercy for the most vulnerable. As always, you responded with incredible generosity, going well above and beyond the goal of $10,000 in on-the-spot donations – at the time of this writing, the total is $11,231, with more still coming in. Thank you for being such a generous church, for making Jesus famous, and for caring for orphans around the world.

In that context, we want to take this opportunity to give an update on the status of the review into allegations of abuse at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena City, Philippines. In early 2014, the orphanage was raided by authorities, and CCC staff member Tom Randall was arrested along with two orphanage workers. At the time of the raid, Tom Randall was visiting the orphanage in his role as the Executive Director of World Harvest Ministries, the funding organization for the Sankey Orphanage and other mission work in the Philippines. Tom was never charged in connection to the case and was released. The other two orphanage workers were charged and were the subjects of a full investigation and legal proceeding by the Philippine authorities. Eventually, all charges in connection with the case were dismissed.

CCC’s review into the Sankey Orphanage matter is being led by Suzanne Lewis-Johnson. Suzanne spent ten years as a federal investigator of cases involving human trafficking and child exploitation. She is a member of CCC and the Executive Director of RAHAB Ministries. Independent of any CCC staff member or elder, Suzanne has been conducting a thorough review of all documentation and information in connection to the case. That process is nearing its conclusion, and we are hopeful that the review will be completed within the next few weeks. The timeline is subject to change based on the availability of information, but upon completion, the findings will be made available to anyone who would like to view them.

One reason we initiated the review is our desire to discern how we as a church can best partner with AOET and our other ministry partners that provide care for vulnerable children in various locations around the world. We look forward to learning from the review to work better toward justice and mercy in all our ministries. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect children when they are entrusted to our care and follow best practices to keep children safe. We have comprehensive child protection policies and procedures in place in all of our ministries to children and students and require all CCC staff and any volunteers who work with children and students to submit to a criminal background check and attend training sessions designed to reinforce appropriate boundaries and best practices for child safety. If you have any concerns or want to learn more about our child protection policies and procedures, please contact a member of our leadership team or me.

Finally, CCC has been made aware that a group of local concerned individuals plans to demonstrate at upcoming weekend services, most likely on the side of the road across from CCC’s Hudson Campus. In the event of demonstrations, we ask that you treat demonstrators kindly and drive carefully as you attend.

CCC exists to help people come to know Jesus, grow in him, and serve him daily, and we are so thankful for the role that each of you plays. If you have questions or concerns, we welcome the opportunity for conversation. Please contact Stacey.DiNardo@ccchapel.com.

Seeking to Make Jesus Famous,

Joe Coffey


Did you ever wonder what Joe Coffey might sound like as he makes his excuses to his church members? Once again, concentrate on his explanations for refusing to believe anything negative about his BFF, Tom Randall. He was willing to cast shade on some wonderful church members who would eventually be proven to be far smarter and more in tune with the Spirit than he was. Just remember this. Coffey didn’t merely *believe* Tom Randall. He acted on his belief.


Two instances in which Tom Randall appears to have been lying.

  1. The pro-level basketball player who decided to play in the Phillipines instead of for the jazz. Didn’t anyone ask a simple question? Where’s the proof? Sam Allard of the Cleveland Scene sought truth a bit more diligently than Joe Coffey and the rest of the leadership of CCC.

When I first heard the story of Tom Randall posing as a sacrificial basketball player who gave up playing for the pros in order to play ball in the Phillipines, I wondered what the hoopla was about. Basically, it proved to me that Randall was not the professional athlete that he claimed to be. According to Allard:

In 2002, Randall was interviewed by The Oklahoman about his role as chaplain for the PGA Senior Tour. He recounted to the reporter, as he often does, the tale of his conversion under Judson University basketball coach Dick Helm. During the conversation, he said – or hinted; the material was not a direct quote — that he was drafted into the NBA.

As presented, the above is absurd. Randall claims that he chose to forego a lucrative professional basketball career in the U.S. because the Jazz … already had Pete Maravich? The implication is that he preferred to be a big fish in a small, exotic pond than ride the bench in the NBA.

Except he wasn’t drafted. No player named Tom Randall, nor any player from Judson University, was ever drafted in Jazz franchise history.

2. The forged emails which resulted in his finally being fired from CCC.

Truthseeker posted Is missionary Tom Randall ghostwriting under his supporters’ names?

The internal review posted by the church confirms that the letter purportedly by Josh Kvam was in fact written by Tom Randall. Kvam did not respond to my inquiries, but he told Christ Community Chapel he did not write the letter. Tom Randall, when questioned, admitted that he wrote it. Randall was asked to resign as a result.

I have a question. Does anyone think that if Randall allegedly lied (I use alleged for potential attorneys in the future but I believe he did lie), twice, why do they trust his version of events in the Phillipines?


The 27 page repot by Siuzaane Lewis-Johnson is released and it doesn’t look so good for Randall, Coffey and the church leadership.

In another excellent article by Sam Allard of The Scene; Christ Community Chapel Releases Abuse Report, Pastor Tom Randall Forced to Resign over Fake Emails

A 27-page report produced by former FBI agent and current CCC member Suzanne Lewis-Johnson revealed that during her review of sexual abuse allegations at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage, the children’s home Randall founded in the Philippines, she discovered Randall had falsified an email corroborating his version of events. (This finding was consistent with the Truth Seeker blog, which has covered the Sankey case and reported on July 27 that Randall appeared to be “ghostwriting” under his supporters’ names.)

Here is a direct link to all 27 pages of the report. The following are quotes pulled out by Sam Allard of the Scene as linked in the above paragraph. (Sam Allard is an excellent reporter as well as a great writer. I wish I could write as well.)

Randall’s statements about abuse at Sankey and events preceding and following his detention in the Philippines included “significant inconsistencies.”

…”CCC leadership simply regurgitated what Randall had said,” the report found, “and were inconsistent with the established record…

…For too long, church leadership’s belief in Randall was almost blind. As a result Randall’s spending and directives went essentially unchecked. Because he brought a reputation and significant assets to CCC, he essentially spent funds freely.”

…The report found that despite the case’s dismissal in Filipino courts, abuse likely occurred at Sankey.

There appears to be significant questions over the financial relationship that Tom Randall had with the orphanage. Since CCC also supported this ministry, I would suggest an INDEPENDENT, third party forensic accounting Randall, his charity and CCC. I have a feeling that some members who have given generously to the church and to the ministry might have some worthwhile questions….

He also said that the case had heightened CCC’s awareness of its own members who might be in need of healing and restoration after experiences with abuse. To that end, CCC would be setting up support groups, Coffey said.

Several of the local advocates who have been sounding the alarm about the Sankey case attended the meeting Sunday and sat in the front row. One of them, Sarah Klingler, said on Twitter that they were “not impressed, in fact disgusted,” with Coffey’s remarks.

“Why would you think survivors would want to come to your support groups?” She said. “You haven’t proven yourself safe.”

I would suggest that CCC consider making a full replacement of leadership to include Joe Coffey and all of the elders who went along with this farce. It seems to me that these folks were far more interested in some has been, white basketball player who liked to show off his generosity than in some poor children in the Phillipines. I wonder what Jesus might say about this situation. One day, we will have the answer.


Let me leave you with a letter which was sent to church members. Priscilla (Mauk) Leighton bravely told her own story of being molested by Tom Randall. I originally posted her story when I wrote about Sankey. She expresses her concerns about the 27 page reporrt which she believes does not give a full picture of the abuse at the school.

In the end, I write about victims and it seems to me that it is fitting to conclude this lengthy post honoring one of the brave victims who came forward. I also believe that she came forward due to the love, support and tenacity of the folks of Justice for Sankey.

Aug 9, 2019, 9:52 AM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I beg you to please carve out the time to read my entire email. Please read it with an open heart and mind.  Please seriously consider the implications of this knowledge. Understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and actions. Ignorance is a choice you make and has its own set of consequences.

I am deeply concerned that Suzanne Lewis-Johnson did not present the whole truth in her internal review of Tom Randall, the Sankey situation, and CCC.  One of many missing pieces is the fact that Tom Randall groomed and then molested me when I was a young teenager.

My entire story became available for public access through the Wartburg Watch on March 27, 2019. Additionally, it was linked on JusticesforSankey.com.  Suzanne Lewis-Johnson was informed about my story through a video conversation with my sister, Miriam. Being a former FBI agent, I have confidence in her ability to seek out sources and get the information she wants.  When Skyping with my parents, she was also told about Tom’s behavior with me. However, she failed to initiate any form of communication with me. As of today, I have never heard from her. Additionally, she did not seem concerned about Tom’s behavior when talking to my sister, Miriam, and was only interested in whether or not I had ever reported.  She willfully choose to ignore Tom’s grooming behaviors. Because she clearly compromised in this area, I must ask what other facts about CCC did she choose to hide to protect the image and well-being of her spiritual leaders and friends.

According to Susane Lewis-Johnsons report, CCC let Tom go in June of 2019 because they discovered emails he had fabricated.  I’m concerned that the leaders of CCC allowed an accused child molester to remain on staff, have access to children and speak at events after allegations were made public.  I’m concerned that these allegations weren’t taken seriously or even mentioned. Rather, it was the shady emails that were questioned. These actions indicate that CCC is not a safe place for victims and it is not a safe place for children and young teens.  If you are a mother, father, or grandparent, attending CCC, let that sink in.

Abuse situations are rarely isolated.  Abusers, specifically child groomers/molesters, never have just one. I’m deeply concerned for other young girls who were groomed and possibly molested by Tom. Moreover, I’m grieved that CCC is not a safe place for them to speak out.  Look what happened to those who dared to speak the truth about Toto and Jake (accused child molesters). The reaction of CCC to the allegation of abuse at Sankey made me fearful of speaking the truth about Tom. If information just about Tom’s friends was not even received by CCC, how intimidating and terrifying it is to bring forth information about Tom himself.

It is with humility and embarrassment that I share my story.  It brings me no joy. My only goal in sharing something so personal is that it will ignite change in systems, churches, attitudes, and people. My hope is that these changes will protect future victims and make Christian communities a safe place for children and teens, rather than a safe place for predators.

I understand that CCC appears interested in offering an apology to some advocates and victims surrounding the Sankey situation.  Apologies are nice. But actions speak louder than words. It is critical that CCC asks an independent, 3rd party team, trained in abuse situations, to bring their professional help to the church and those affected.  Hiring GRACE (Goldy Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) https://www.netgrace.org/  would be a start.  Following recommendation for restoration published by professionals trained in abuse situations would be the fruits of repentance. Yes, this is hard. very hard. But we can do hard things with Christ and for Christ.

My Story- (please read)

I first remember Tom Randall from when I was about 10 years old (1991). He was a missionary who became a close friend of my father, Joe Mauk. As my parents’ close friend, Tom and Karen showed great interest in me and my sisters. But not all of us and not consistently. He showed us the greatest interest when we were teenagers. So, over all, we are talking about 20+ years of friendship between the Mauks and Randalls.

Being overseas missionaries in the Philippines, we did not have relatives nearby. However, unlike other many other missionary families, we never called people “Aunt” and “Uncle” who were not a sibling of my parents. I clearly remember the day that my parents met with us and we unanimously decided to call Mr and Mrs Randall, Uncle Tom and Aunt Karen. My family has no one else that close who bears that honour. Though everyone calls Uncle Tom, “Uncle Tom”, for our family, it was an honour only given to him.

My family’s ministries was two hours away from the missionary school that my sisters and I attended. It was a long ride over mountain roads. To help with the commute, we spent every Tuesday night with Uncle Tom and Aunt Karen. Aunt Karen was loving and practical, and so much like my mom. She was my mom’s best friend.

Tom and Karen were ministry partners with my Dad. They donated money to finish building “The Villa” at Caliriya. Half of the top floor was my family’s house, and the other half was Tom and Karen’s. The plan was that they would eventually spend more and more time out there.

Around this time, Uncle Tom started Sankey Samaritan Children’s Home. I remember by name and face the first kids to join. My mom and I would make regular trips to the home. And Uncle Tom was always having groups of westerners over to help with the orphanage. Interestingly, I clearly recall that Tom’s reason for starting the orphanage was so that he would have a place to bring short term missionaries. Tom always did short term projects and there was some concern about him diving into something long term. I also remember how odd it was when we were no longer welcomed at the orphanage; eventually we stopped going entirely. But this isn’t about the orphanage. It’s about Tom and me.

We spent Christmases together and Uncle Tom was always good for an adventure and great story. My parents had even told us that if they were do die, we would go to Tom and Karen. They were our Guardians. He would joke about my older sister, who’s a nurse, taking care of him in retirement. He also just loved to buy me things. I think it’s safe to say he bought me whatever I wanted. When I was 12 and still getting to know him, he bought me a horse. I still remember the day that Dutches came to me in the back of a truck. But, Tom most especially loved to take me shopping. In 7th grade, the sister closest to me left the Philippines for college. Tom would make a fuss about her being beautiful and loved to buy her clothes too. As I grew older, his attention towards me intensified. He had a picture of me that he carried around in his wallet. I remember thinking that was kind of odd. Then he added a picture of Aunt Karen to the other side of his wallet. Friends from school would tell me they met uncle Tom and he showed them my picture in his wallet and he really liked me. He called me “his princess” and was always complimenting my appearance. Since Uncle Tom didn’t have kids of his own, it seemed wonderful that he would treat me like a “daughter”. Though really, our relationship was not father-daughter at all.

In high school Uncle Tom and Aunt Karen moved back to America, but still frequently visited the Philippines. He took me shopping for school clothes and I always had to try on the clothes for him to see.

When they were still living in the Philippines, I remember a girl my age (teenager) came to stay with him and Karen. She was from Australia and had a beautiful singing voice. She was also his princess and she and I hit it off. I think I felt connected to her because he called her “Princess,” too.

One Christmas, my sister gave me a push-up bra. Tom thought that was interesting and made a few jokes about it. Later that week we were walking along and he pulled open my shirt and looked down. I pulled away and said “Hey…. what are you doing?” He said that he was just checking what kind of bra I was wearing. I thought that was weird, but since he was such an amazing man, I thought it was okay.

My parents were very strict with me and boys. I was never allowed to be alone with a boy and boys were never allowed in my room.

When I was a freshman in High School, just my little sister and I were making the two hour commute to school with our driver. One morning, our driver tried passing on a hairpin turn and hit a jeepney full on. My knee crashed into my sternum and I felt like I was going to die. Our driver flagged down a jeepney and laid me on the floor. He took us to a “hospital” and called my parents. Uncle Tom happened to be visiting and immediately came to the rescue. Because we were Americans, some of the hospital people tried to keep us in and started claiming additional charges. Uncle Tom paid everyone off and got us out fast.

He was so worried about us. I was in a lot of pain from the crash. My sternum hurt. Uncle Tom was very into massages. Because he was sporty, it seemed logical they he knew about injuries and massages. He insisted on giving a series “medical massages,” as he called them. I did not like this idea at all. It made me very uncomfortable, but it seemed like what was necessary for healing. He was allowed in my room and would close the door all but an inch. My bed was behind the door. Before coming in he would tell me to take off my bra and prepare myself. I laid face-up while he massaged my stomach and chest under my t-shirt. I felt terribly uncomfortable but thought it was normal. I had never had a massage before so this must be what they are like, and people just love massages. He massaged around and around my breasts, touching everything but my nipple- therefore I thought nothing was wrong.

I never really thought about that again until 5 years ago when things came out about the orphanage. I was talking with my sisters wondering how Uncle Tom could allow something like that to happen. Then I reflected that as an adult (32 years old then, now I’m 37), I have had dozens of massages, and not once did a massage person touch me like Tom did. So, I told my sister for the first time. Then I told my Dad. He later told me that what made it even worse was Tom had asked his permission to give me a ‘medical massage’ and he had said yes. He had no idea that Tom told me to take off my bra etc etc.

Anyway, Uncle Tom continued to be a very special person. He gave me money for my prom dress and jewelry. Another time my best friend and I were going to a school party and getting all dressed up. He rented a hotel room for us to spend the night with him after the party. And we did. My friend and I drank way too much iced tea at the party. We were up giggling in bed and needing to pee a million times. We wondered if he was awake in bed too and were very aware of his presence. It was uncomfortable but we got to stay in a really nice hotel room and only got to do that because of him.

I soon went off to college. That’s when our relationship ended. After all the attention, affirmation, and money, Uncle Tom was not interested in me anymore. I just didn’t understand it. I clearly remember my 3rd year of college. He was playing golf in Ventura. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went to watch him play golf. We actually got engaged the following weekend. I was so excited to see Tom and could not wait for him to hang out with my boyfriend and thought he would be so happy for us. However, he didn’t seem that happy to see us. In fact, it oddly felt like a break up. He told me that he had lots of princesses. Being the chaplain, he was giving a talk that night on the validity of scripture. He said he would introduce me to the group and I needed to introduce myself as Uncle Tom’s favorite princess. He said everyone would think that was funny because he had so many. I felt sick and couldn’t explain why.

After getting engaged, our parents and us agreed to have Uncle Tom officiate our wedding. He was our closest family friend. Then I never really saw him again. My husband and I bought a house in Chino California and soon had two kids. Tom was often preaching at a church 20 minutes from my house. I couldn’t fathom why he wouldn’t tell me he was there and never wanted to see me or my kids. Certainly a close family friend, my Dad’s best friend, would let me know when he was 20 minutes away. One time my Dad told me what services he was speaking at and said I could try to catch him. I didn’t want to. He had clearly cut me off. I decided that he was my Dad’s best friend and under no obligation to be nice to me.

In June of 2013, my little sister (Miriam Bongolan) got married. Of course, Uncle Tom was asked to officiate her wedding. It was just months later that the whole thing with Sankey broke out. Understanding how close he was to our family should paint a picture of how serious it was.  Tom was our everything- the family we never had on the mission field, the friend my Dad desperately needed, the provider of gifts and treats we’d never be able to afford on a missionary salary, the relative who showed-up to make holidays special, my spiritual hero- always there to save the day and give God the glory for it.  I have nothing to gain by sharing this, but plenty to lose.

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this.  Again, please seriously consider the implications of this knowledge. Understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and actions. And who knows, maybe you were born for such a time as this.

With Hope,

Priscilla (Mauk) Leighton


Comments

The Sankey Story Is Finally Beginning to Get the Attention It Deserves . #JusticeforSankey #churchtoo — 89 Comments

  1. I randomly came to this site tonight. I’m so very sorry Pricilla, your story is very tragic. It would be one thing to grow up without a father and be poor like I was but something very disturbingly twisted to grow up in faith and on the mission field besides. How much deep deep hurt that causes. I’m so sorry. That should never have happened to you. You deserved family and friends to protect you in your youth.

    Your very brave and while I don’t know you I appreciate you standing for truth and accountability.

    May God bring truth, clarity, repentance, consequences and reconciliation to all who seek it.

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  2. Thank you Dee for continuing to share! We’ve caught the fake email, Sam Allard caught the NBA thing, and Truthseeker has caught numerous inconsistencies. Sometimes I just wish to be done but there is more work to do . . . a number of the young people really love Tom. But he has lied repeatedly to everyone and has never dealt with Priscilla’s story. He really needs to get help and GRACE needs to be brought in to sort out the mess. The church thinks they can handle it on their own and that scares me. The way leaders are still treating some people makes me think they haven’t really changed their minds. I have no reason to trust them yet.

    Except one thing, the church has written to the Shepherds asking to pay back their house that Tom promised. That is very important to me. Alice was the principal and they lost their house on the compound after it was raided. They lost all of their retirement.

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  3. Re (in OP): “I’m concerned that these allegations weren’t taken seriously or even mentioned. Rather, it was the shady emails that were questioned.”

    From my distant remove, it kind of looks like the falsified emails provide the “acceptable pretext” to terminate TR, without drawing too much attention to the details of the underlying alleged crimes.

    I was a little put off by this line at the CCchurch sankey-review oage:

    “We want to be about healing and restoration because Jesus is about healing and restoration. We want to create opportunities for people to share and heal from abuse trauma that they have gone through.”

    Prior to the release of the internal review, it appears that the posture was that “healing and restoration” amounted to accusers repenting of their accusations and going quiet, and everyone else moving along.

    It all “feels” like damage control. A more persuasive statement would have looked something like: “we are appalled that it turns out there is more to these accusations than we first believed and we deeply regret our early skepticism toward and dismissal of the allegations, which led us to retaining TR in a role that may have endangered other young people”.

    IOW, IMO they’re not even trying to look sincere.

    I “vote” with the recommendation for a complete leadership change.

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  4. Clevin,

    It depends. It appears that there was some concern in the investigation of financial mismanagement or his charity, etc. I’m always suspicious of people who have no talent to make it in the real world and choose the church to make money. Knowing the good people of Justice for Sankey, they are making the calls. I also believe that there is a scandal that might attract some national attention. I plan to work with the Sankey group to make sure it is noticed.

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  5. Samuel Conner: I was a little put off by this line at the CCchurch sankey-review oage:
    “We want to be about healing and restoration because Jesus is about healing and restoration. We want to create opportunities for people to share and heal from abuse trauma that they have gone through.”

    I;m glad you pointed this out. Can you imagine Joe Coffey leading the new ministry to victims? Those victims better to be sure they do not upset Joe and his donors. We know who they’ll sacrifice now.

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  6. Thank you Dee for keeping this going – may it get picked up nationally so the pressure to change the entire leadership team finally happens. They are all tainted – they either knew and went along with it or are so stupid they shouldn’t be in charge of anything much less a large church.
    The insincerity of Coffey is unconscionable. He still doesn’t acknowledge the people that endured spiritual abuse at his command – nothing, no acknowledgement at all. This was a wonderful opportunity to start that healing process but he didn’t -why? because they exposed him and his lies. There is plenty of blame to go around here, the entire leadership team that does his bidding and then filter down through the whole staff that obviously worship him. The church didn’t initiate this investigation to see where they made mistakes, they finally had to do something because it was getting too much press. They had thought it would just go away but it didn’t. Has he reached out to the Mauks yet? no, he is too prideful to admit he was wrong. Great Pastor and Leader huh?
    He seems to care more about money and connections than the church and congregation so he should be stripped of both. He and Tom will have lots of time to go be best friends then.

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  7. Truth:
    The cover up involved national level actors (Tom Randall says former president Bush called on his behalf?!), and Tom Randall spent his days traveling around the country doing who knows what with his free time, so yeah, it should get national attention.

    https://medium.com/@truth.seeker.0/the-evangelical-machine-that-protected-tom-randall-until-now-47e378982bae

    And just think what it will be like in a Restored CHRISTIAN Nation, with the Godly in all positions of Power…
    “If footmen tire you…”

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  8. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Wait, you mean the godly aren’t already in positions of power? Like, America could be even greater?

    And no, I’m not rooting for the other party – I’m absolutely apolitical.I don’t imagine the godly are ever going to be in the positions of power on this earth, until all of the thrones are cast down, and the true God reigns.

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  9. “Seeking to Make Jesus Famous, Joe Coffey”

    A few years ago, a young reformer opened up an SBC church plant in my community. He promoted his new venture “Making God Big.” I advised him one day “You do know that God is already Big, don’t you?!” He was speechless.

    To Mr. Coffey, I say “You do know that Jesus is already Famous, don’t you?!”

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  10. Max:
    “Seeking to Make Jesus Famous, Joe Coffey”

    A few years ago, a young reformer opened up an SBC church plant in my community.He promoted his new venture “Making God Big.”I advised him one day “You do know that God is already Big, don’t you?!”He was speechless.

    To Mr. Coffey, I say “You do know that Jesus is already Famous, don’t you?!”

    One is reminded of the ways that David’s transgressions (and coverup) made the name of YHWH infamous among unbelievers of his day. David escaped capital consequences, but trouble pursued him for the remainder of his days (sort of an ironic inversion of the conclusion of Psalm 23, which was evidently composed in an earlier and happier part of his life).

    These leaders surely know the biblical precedents, and the warning that those who teach are subject to stricter judgment. One is tempted to think that there is no fear of God before their eyes, or that they reckon that “YHWH does not see.”

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  11. Dee,

    I can guarantee you that Coffey’s little video clip didn’t see the light of day without being approved by church insurance lawyers. I can also guarantee that nothing was said that could implicate the church or church officials. This leaves us with a video that is much less than the truth.

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  12. Max: To Mr. Coffey, I say “You do know that Jesus is already Famous, don’t you?!”

    Back in the day, Jesus became famous by healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding hungry crowds, even on occasion restoring to life people who had recently died.

    Then he voluntarily surrendered to arrest and trial and execution for other people’s crimes.

    The apostles did things similar to Jesus’ mighty works, evidently through “prayer in Jesus’ name.”

    Later, Jesus’ followers steadfastly faced persecution and death at the hands of pagan oppressors.

    All of these things ‘made Jesus famous.’

    What are the moderns who toss about this phrase doing to ‘make Jesus famous?’ Standing up on Sunday and talking about him?

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  13. Samuel Conner: These leaders surely know the biblical precedents, and the warning that those who teach are subject to stricter judgment. One is tempted to think that there is no fear of God before their eyes, or that they reckon that “YHWH does not see.”

    Or if they’re Truly Reformed, they are already The Predestined Elect; what can YHWH do to them, His Speshul Pets? PREDESTINED to never ever feel His Wrath? (That’s for those Reprobates and Arminians!)

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  14. Samuel Conner: What are the moderns who toss about this phrase doing to ‘make Jesus famous?’ Standing up on Sunday and talking about him?

    Most of the “moderns” in my area talk more about themselves than they do Jesus! The New Calvinist church planters here talk a lot about “God”, with occasional mention of Jesus, but hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. New Calvinist icons like Piper get more publicity than Jesus!

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  15. Bridget: This leaves us with a video that is much less than the truth.

    I saw the embedded video last week. One thing that struck me at the time was that Coffey took the trouble to use multiple cameras, so as to film himself from more than one angle. What’s that about? To me, it looked like he was producing some kind of calculated image. If Coffey was aiming for sincerity and openness, he missed in a big way.

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  16. Samuel Conner: Back in the day, Jesus became famous by healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding hungry crowds, even on occasion restoring to life people who had recently died.

    What are the moderns who toss about this phrase doing to ‘make Jesus famous?’ Standing up on Sunday and talking about him?

    They’re not simply talking about him; they’re expounding the scriptures. It’s vital that we understand this. This is what Jesus spoke about when he said those who believed in him would do greater things than he did. A godly pastor teaching from the bible is a far greater miracle than simply raising a dead person (or, indeed, dying on the cross and rising from the dead). Jesus was limited to lesser miracles because the scriptures had not yet been glorified.

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  17. Serving Kids in Japan: One thing that struck me at the time was that Coffey took the trouble to use multiple cameras…

    Was he definitely doing that, or did he just keep looking in a different direction and then the video appeared to cut to a different camera? That’s often done with just one camera, and pauses in shooting that are edited out.

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  18. Nick Bulbeck,

    I dunno, Nick. I’m not familiar with such techniques, but the transition seemed way too smooth for just one camera.

    And even if multiple cameras weren’t used, the question still remains: What’s the point of using that kind of cinematography? Maybe I’m just picking at nits, but it struck me as fake.

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  19. Nick Bulbeck: Jesus was limited to lesser miracles because the scriptures had not yet been glorified.

    A good proof-text for this view is the verse that says, “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Now that we have the perfect scriptures we don’t need what came before the scriptures.

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  20. Truth: A CCC pastor who received that email from Priscilla responded: “Unsubscribe”.

    Which demonstrated that he is not a “pastor” at all.

    Responses like that will (should) send members to the exit as they “unsubscribe” from their CCC affiliation, taking their pocketbooks with them.

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  21. R McPherson: I think making God big and making him famous really means presenting another version of the “health and wealth Gospel”.

    Which is not the Gospel at all. Like the previous version, it is only healthy and wealthy for pulpiteer charlatans who pick the pockets of the pew.

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  22. Ken F (aka Tweed): A good proof-text for this view is the verse that says, “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Now that we have the perfect scriptures we don’t need what came before the scriptures.

    And of course, “the perfect” applies to the Eschaton. Applying it to the Scriptures is sheer eisegesis. Especially considering that the complete Canon of Scripture was not formalized until the fourth century…and some key books (e.g., Apocalypse / Revelation) were still in dispute during Eusebius’s time. Hmmmm.

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  23. Ken F (aka Tweed): A good proof-text for this view is the verse that says, “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”

    That passage is the only real attempt I’ve seen to ground cessationism in the bible. A long tangent could be made hereabouts, which I’ll avoid here. But if indeed it is a cryptic reference to the completion of the canon of scripture, that would seem to me to create problems for those who believe Jesus will return. Wouldn’t his return inevitably present us with a form of extra-biblical revelation?

    A more insidious danger presented by the idea of Jesus returning is the heresy, believed by some, that everyone will see him. This is a false interpretation of difficult scribhser-fragments like “every eye shall see him” and “behold, they shall not teacheth unto one another, saying ‘know thou the Lord’, for they shall all knoweth unto Me thereof, saith the Lordeth”. But these false ideas imply that the simple, sin-addicted laity will no longer need a clergy of godly elders to rule them and interpret scripture for them.

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  24. Nick Bulbeck: But these false ideas imply that the simple, sin-addicted laity will no longer need a clergy of godly elders to rule them and interpret scripture for them.

    As much as I enjoy your satire, I am becoming worried that you are giving them ideas…

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  25. Nick Bulbeck: Jesus was limited to lesser miracles because the scriptures had not yet been glorified.

    The amount of money you could have made in mega-church like cults due to your interpretive abilities is incalculable. If you’d been a conman you could have made a mint Bulbeck, & right now be working on your third comeback & theological angle. Maybe it’s not too late!

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  26. The take away here is to be careful what you support through your church. Ask questions. Is the winter mission to Jamaica really needed? Is that missionary really raising the dead in India?
    I stopped my giving to church long before I left the faith. No accountability. I give to local charities, where I see the work being done.

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  27. Jack: Is that missionary really raising the dead in India?

    From my education on how India works through the Gospel for Asia debacle, coming from a western minister working and living their from decades, their comment was that 80% of the “Christians” that you come across would lie to donors, and cheat and just act totally “Mach” as I have posted in earlier comments. She recommended not trusting any of the charities that are run by Indians and being very cautious about the rest too as scams are the norm there.
    Add to that my experience with liars here, that they take great pride in being able to spin a ridiculous story and seeing people stupid enough to believe it, I would not give to any Indian missions that claim to have outrageous and numerous miracles including raising of the dead. It is 99.99% an indication of fraud. I would look for one that would tell you the truth, like this person did. Oversees missions is a messy business. You cannot trust everyone.
    For that matter, I would not give to any missionary that shows up on a Sunday morning in your church and only tells you the positive stuff about their mission that you really want to hear. On the ground, they are all actually having the same kinds of trouble that you see in your church. They have false brothers too, looking to gain influence for evil purposes or Mammon. They have to be cautious about who they trust, and whom they hire. They have actual gossip, affairs, brothers falling away from the faith and everything else that happens here also happens there. And some of those things will be even more common depending on what the local culture is like. In India, being a great deceiver and a great Mach is praised in their childrens books so the culture is even more wicked than our own. So donor beware…

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  28. Beakerj: The amount of money you could have made in mega-church like cults …

    … depends on a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a gimmick or two … it has nothing to do with how spiritual you are or even if you are a Christian!

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  29. Mr. Jesperson: She recommended not trusting any of the charities that are run by Indians and being very cautious about the rest too as scams are the norm there.

    I was friends with a local Bible college professor before his death. He made several trips to India to assist with seminary training of young pastors. He told me once that most cheated on their exams. On the other hand, I worked with several Indian Christians during my business career; I found them to be honest and trustworthy.

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  30. Beakerj: The amount of money you could have made in mega-church like cults due to your interpretive [that would be “b********ing” – ed] abilities is incalculable.

    😉

    However, there’s a genuinely interesting point to be made here.

    The thing in the way of my making tons of money in a religious business is that I’m autistic.

    There’s a widespread misperception that the fundamental challenge autistic people face is interacting with other people. That’s not actually true: the problem is filtering out non-essential stimuli. However, an autistic person has had this difficulty from birth. For a very young child, other human beings are a very intense source of stimuli, and we have to make sense of them as best we can. The practical upshot is that we generally do have difficulty interacting with other people, or else we interact clumsily.

    Therein lies the rub: after 50 years of practice, I can more or less interact with other people, but in the vital matter of non-verbal communication, I do so rather like a deaf person lip-reading. I understand the concept of hidden agendas and non-verbal signals, but I don’t sense them very well and I react slowly to them in real time. By the same token, I don’t have much grasp of the non-verbal signals I myself am giving off: when I attempt to convince anyone of anything, therefore, it’s like a deaf person trying to sing.

    99% of “the anointing”, or whatever it is that convinces people that someone is godly™, is nothing more than pressing the right buttons emotionally and psychologically. For me to get anyone to believe I could be “used of God” would take a literal miracle.

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  31. Mr. Jesperson: In India, being a great deceiver and a great Mach is praised in their childrens books so the culture is even more wicked than our own.

    That is a rather broad characterization of 1.34 billion people. On the other hand, I did read The Cat in the Hat, so maybe I am not qualified to judge.

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  32. Friend: That is a rather broad characterization of 1.34 billion people. On the other hand, I did read The Cat in the Hat, so maybe I am not qualified to judge.

    Several of my present workplace colleagues are Indian, and they’re of good reputation. But again, I’m a big fan of Dougal and the Blue Cat, so, the same goes for me really.

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  33. Nick Bulbeck: The thing in the way of my making tons of money in a religious business is that I’m autistic.

    I sympathize with all that you wrote. While the experts claim that I am not autistic, I do share about half of the symptoms of Aspergers though to a less severe extent. So I understand what you wrote perhaps better than others who are “normal.” I agree with you about those who are good social manipulators. Neither of us have those skills, nor do I think either of us would want them either.
    Communicating in a written form comes easier to people like us, and there is nothing wrong with that. And God’s power is made evident through our weaknesses and so we should brag about those instead of our strengths so that Christ’s real power might be more evident in our lives just as it was with Paul.

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  34. Friend,

    What I wrote was the comment of the missionary who has been there and worked with Indian pastors. They are not so hardened that they have given up on the culture, but they are honest about the difficulties, and their point of view is much more informed than those here who only met a few and found them charming, which is also common.

    My only dealing here, besides KP Yohannan who is the most successful con-man perhaps ever, was a boss. He was not above board. He decided to stop paying the employee taxes he was withholding to the IRS because he feared his own relatives who had lent him money more than the Feds. That is about my extent of interaction.
    The western missionary is brave and spoke out about KP even in spite of the very real personal danger they could be in, so I would respect their opinion over others that are much less well-informed. One thing that we all should have learned who are regulars on this blog: that things are often not what they are designed to first appear as at first glance.

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  35. Friend: That is a rather broad characterization of 1.34 billion people. On the other hand, I did read The Cat in the Hat, so maybe I am not qualified to judge.

    Amen!! I’ve known many people from India — one gal from Delhi lived with us for the first six months after we were married (long story) — and not one was a liar or cheater.

    No, I am not saying all Indians are saints (that would be patronizing over-generalization), but I personally have never known any who were crooks. I’m sure such people exist, but I doubt they represent the norm.

    (When Renu lived with us, we got to know some of her suitors — another long story!! — and none struck us as particularly deceitful or dishonest. Unless you think a shy Indian kid teaching math at Northeastern University is Crook Material…but IMHO that’s kind of a long shot. 😉 )

    At the mega-corporation I retired from several years ago, there was an IT guy from India whom we all relied on because he was simply more qualified, savvy, and knowledgeable than everyone else. Alas, he was kicked upstairs — because upper management wanted his expertise for themselves — so we no longer had ready access to him. But anytime we faced a technical conundrum, we would secretly go to him anyway.

    No, NOT because he was dishonest (he wasn’t)…but simply because he knew what the heck he was doing.

    Off my soapbox now. I can’t stand sweeping generalizations. Thank you, Friend!

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  36. Nick Bulbeck,

    It’s definitely multiple cameras. I’ve produced interviews. One camera was facing him and the other was to the side. They had a microphone on him and synced up the sound. In editing, they can switch camera views.

    I actually thought it was the producer’s misstep–the side angle looks untrustworthy and they should have cut it out. Not that I trust him anyway.

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  37. Clevin,

    So Coffey has been intimate friends with Randall for over 25 years, yet didn’t have the slightest inkling that anything was off, that he was a liar and manipulator, and perhaps worse? As I once said about my former pastor, who seemed to always manage to give the very worst advice – even if he is not a liar and deceiver himself, he sure doesn’t have the good sense to be a pastor and a leader. He needs to find another line of work.

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  38. Mr. Jesperson: She recommended not trusting any of the charities that are run by Indians and being very cautious about the rest too as scams are the norm there.

    Actually the missionary was a white kid from my province. He’s full of you know what. My east Indian co workers are among the most honest people I know.

    There are many roads to the truth. An elephant headed god gets the same believability as anything in the bible

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  39. Max: I was friends with a local Bible college professor before his death. He made several trips to India to assist with seminary training of young pastors. He told me once that most cheated on their exams. On the other hand, I worked with several Indian Christians during my business career; I found them to be honest and trustworthy.

    Blinkers. The point was not about the honesty of East Indian people, Christian or otherwise. It was about believing unsubstantiated claims and then giving money.

    Talk about the law of unintended consequences.

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  40. Mr. Jesperson: In India, being a great deceiver and a great Mach is praised in their childrens books so the culture is even more wicked than our own. So donor beware…

    Mr. Jesperson: For that matter, I would not give to any missionary that shows up on a Sunday morning in your church and only tells you the positive stuff about their mission that you really want to hear.

    Been in Asia nearly 30 years. Agreed, certain cultures value deceit such as the tribal Papua New Guinean group who liked Judas best because he had been such a good deceiver (Peace Child, by Don Richardson). Lowland Lao culture says a smartest man tricks others into working for him. That got played out in the early 1970’s when one political side got the Vietnamese and Cubans to fight for them and the other side got the Americans to fight. None of that however makes these cultures “more wicked” than any other. It’s just wickedness with a different face. America has it own wickedness- my local friends now ask me, “Aren’t you afraid to return to America with all those shootings?” So there you have it- wicked is as wicked does around the world.

    Having said that I agree with Mr. Jespherson to be careful about believing anyone from “far away” who only gives glowing reports. And yes, what one culture calls “lying” another culture calls “telling you something to keep you happy.” Money grabbing leaders, sexual sin, fighting- it’s the same around the world; humility and servant leadership are hard to find in any culture.

    Missionaries want to share encouraging news. No problem there. But when they come to your church talk with them after sunday school and ask, “What problems do you face? What mistakes have you/your national partners made?” Also look to see if they put God or themselves at the center of every narrative.

    From what I’ve read about Tom Randall I would not have trusted him with five cents. Any man who gives such glowing reports of himself (and degrading reports of nationals- such as how he described prison) is likely to be lying.

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  41. Nick Bulbeck: 99% of “the anointing”, or whatever it is that convinces people that someone is godly™, is nothing more than pressing the right buttons emotionally and psychologically. For me to get anyone to believe I could be “used of God” would take a literal miracle.

    You may be autistic and unable to read body language Nick, but the things you post are some of the most perceptive here on TWW. God uses the stuff you write all the time to make me laugh, expose pharisaical thought/behavior and remind me how awesome Jesus is. Not church. Not religion. Just Jesus. You grasp the difference and have a way of expressing truth that is often downright delightful. Rock on dude.

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  42. Fisher: America has it own wickedness- my local friends now ask me, “Aren’t you afraid to return to America with all those shootings?” So there you have it- wicked is as wicked does around the world.

    That is an interesting perspective. The people I am talking about just recently returned from India and will not be living on visas over there any more because they say that the whole country is becoming more dangerous. They did the opposite. They are continuing what they are doing but doing it from here instead of from there. They say that they trust the police much more over here than there.

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  43. TS00:
    Clevin,

    So Coffey has been intimate friends with Randall for over 25 years, yet didn’t have the slightest inkling that anything was off, that he was a liar and manipulator, and perhaps worse? As I once said about my former pastor, who seemed to always manage to give the very worst advice – even if he is not a liar and deceiver himself, he sure doesn’t have the good sense to be a pastor and a leader. He needs to find another line of work.

    There seem to be a lot of pastors who believed themselves to be best friends with Randall. Even Joe Mauk thought he was before this all happened. It was part of his con, I guess. I do feel sorry for them.

    https://twitter.com/truth_seeker_0/status/1159248170116767744?s=21
    https://twitter.com/truth_seeker_0/status/1159168823116750848?s=21
    https://twitter.com/truth_seeker_0/status/1159152791748661248?s=21

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  44. Mr. Jesperson: That is an interesting perspective. The people I am talking about just recently returned from India and will not be living on visas over there any more because they say that the whole country is becoming more dangerous. They did the opposite. They are continuing what they are doing but doing it from here instead of from there. They say that they trust the police much more over here than there.

    So there’s issues with trust, corruption but these missionary folks think they can do it (whatever it is) via remote control. Ok, I’ll concede that maybe supporting Christians in place might be more effective as they know the language and culture but given your previous statement, it makes no sense. It sounded like they have the wrong people in place so they’ll manage it Stateside? Where will these missionaries draw their salary from?

    If you’re supporting a charity (whichever one) there needs to be oversight and accountability. In the case of Sankey, there appeared to be neither.

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  45. IN THE NEWS
    https://lakehighlands.advocatemag.com/2019/08/risd-teacher-rob-temple-commits-suicide-during-child-exploitation-probe/

    “Rob Temple, a teacher at J.J. Pearce High school, committed suicide Tuesday. He’d been called in for questioning by Dallas police, they say, regarding accusations of child exploitation…The age and sex of the known victim has not been released.”

    [a quick google search finds he’d retweeted stuff from The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, Matt Smethurst, etc. He’d also worked as a camp counselor and youth minister per this tweet:

    “my yrs as a…camp counselor, and 20-something yth minister”

    https://twitter.com/robtemple56/status/1092144887917617158

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  46. Amanda: a number of the young people really love Tom

    Just as a number of young people really loved Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Bill Hybels, etc. etc. The lure of the cult of personality is that folks “love” their leaders.

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  47. I agree, leadership needs to go – serious lack of discernment on leadership – from pastoral staff to elders. It would appear that abusive tactics are/were being used against those members who were concerned – the “the problem is not what is happening at Sankey – the problem is you and your reaction” – that is a classic abuse tactic.

    How could you ever trust leadership after this? I hold pastors to the highest standard as they need to protect their flock and practice discernment.

    A wolf in sheeps clothing is mentioned in the Bible and such people often come off as the most charming, awesome people, often the center of attention – as it appears with Tom Randall.

    It is incredibly sad what happened to the children in the care at Sankey
    But God sees and HE is just.

    Grateful for those who pursued justice for these children.

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  48. Max: Just as a number of young people really loved Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Bill Hybels, etc. etc. The lure of the cult of personality is that folks “love” their leaders.

    I recommend someone start probing Parkside Church and Alistair Begg’s clan, there. I went there for over a decade before fleeing to CCC after going through some nice bullying by the pastors and elders, and once I was out I ran into countless other “Parkside refugees”. The really strange thing was how many spiritually abused people chose to REMAIN at Parkside.

    Alistair runs the church like a dictator, and SO many people are aware of his unchristian behavior but just jokingly brush it off as “Alistair just being Alistair”. It’s a complete bully culture, and they will either turn on their own like wolves or, if the poor soul is willing to submit to abuse, they will cover for them… like the 36 year old man who was arrested while going to meet a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL he talked to online… for sex… while armed with a handgun, just two years ago. He’s now a Sunday school teacher at Parkside… with kindergartners. The staff DEFINITELY knows about his past, because they were “counseling” him through his recovery. The said man also lost his wife and kids after she found out he was getting sexual favors at Cleveland massage parlors and even tried to meet with a mother/daughter combo for sex. He’s currently in a sexual addiction recovery group, as well.

    And yet they KNOWINGLY let him around the kindergartners.

    So… if that’s going on… What else is??

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  49. Max: Just as a number of young people really loved Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Bill Hybels, etc. etc. The lure of the cult of personality is that folks “love” their leaders.

    “It is not enough that you Obey Big Brother, 6079 Smith W. YOU MUST LOVE BIG BROTHER.”

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  50. Clevin: The really strange thing was how many spiritually abused people chose to REMAIN at Parkside.

    The fear and dread of hell is why many pew serfs would never throw off their yokes or complain about the lash.

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  51. Fisher,

    I agree – it’s so discerning.

    Nick maybe you could be like the Great Oz behind the curtain whilst someone who is able to read body language & so on,cons the masses using your words. All hail the Great Nick 😉

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  52. Amanda: Thank you Dee for continuing to share! We’ve caught the fake email, Sam Allard caught the NBA thing, and Truthseeker has caught numerous inconsistencies. Sometimes I just wish to be done but there is more work to do . . . a number of the young people really love Tom. But he has lied repeatedly to everyone and has never dealt with Priscilla’s story. He really needs to get help and GRACE needs to be brought in to sort out the mess.

    It’s a common misconception that there is some kind of “help” out there that can change sex abusers. There is not.

    The church thinks they can handle it on their own and that scares me. The way leaders are still treating some people makes me think they haven’t really changed their minds. I have no reason to trust them yet.

    Who, in their right mind, would trust them ever again? I mean, why would you or anyone? When someone demonstrates that the concept of truth is not meaningful to them, believe them. This is not something that is going to change.

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  53. Samuel Conner: From my distant remove, it kind of looks like the falsified emails provide the “acceptable pretext” to terminate TR, without drawing too much attention to the details of the underlying alleged crimes.

    I was a little put off by this line at the CCchurch sankey-review oage:

    “We want to be about healing and restoration because Jesus is about healing and restoration. We want to create opportunities for people to share and heal from abuse trauma that they have gone through.”

    Prior to the release of the internal review, it appears that the posture was that “healing and restoration” amounted to accusers repenting of their accusations and going quiet, and everyone else moving along.

    It all “feels” like damage control. A more persuasive statement would have looked something like: “we are appalled that it turns out there is more to these accusations than we first believed and we deeply regret our early skepticism toward and dismissal of the allegations, which led us to retaining TR in a role that may have endangered other young people”.

    IOW, IMO they’re not even trying to look sincere.

    I “vote” with the recommendation for a complete leadership change.

    Well said, Samuel Connor. I agree completely on all counts, not even trying to look sincere, much less *be* sincere.

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  54. Truth,

    Thank you.

    It’s just cult of personality. It’s everywhere in the Evangelical realm. Years of volunteering with Campus Crusade (now just CRU) showed me this, too. Every leader, EVERY leader, had this kind of following. “That’s just him being him.” For example, check out Rick McKee at Redemption Chapel (http://redemptionchapel.com/sermons/). Redemption was a satellite of CCC and Rick was on staff, under Joe Coffey. Redemption is now it’s own church, with Rick at the helm. Rick was formerly the campus staff director for Cru at Kent State, just 5 minutes down the road. Incidentally, Cru at Kent was renamed The Dive by Rick to avoid any Christan connotations that would deter “lost students”. Rick is in all things Mark Driscoll light. At Kent, the student leaders Rick picked were known for their clique-iness and “too cool” attitude, and Rick’s style was, and still is, cocky and cool, with a side of “man up”.

    It’s just par for the course these days. It’s how you get a following. It’s your brand. It’s your money maker.

    It will take me a long time to ever trust a Christian “leader” again, and never will I give them the position of authority in my life that I was conditioned to.

    Sick. Twisted. People. Both the leaders AND their loyal victims.

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  55. Max: When was the last time you heard someone say about a church leader “He’s Christlike” ?

    I’ve thought this many, many times over the past few years.

    I can’t think of any examples from my life. The only one who really comes to mind is Mister Rogers.

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  56. Clevin: I can’t think of any examples from my life. The only one who really comes to mind is Mister Rogers.

    Good example. Sad that there are not more like him.

    Maybe the Christlike folks are not driven to become “leaders”? I don’t know. I remember 40+ years ago when I was a new Christian, some of the older folks at church seemed very kind, patient and caring. They weren’t “leaders,” though. That was a long time ago.

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