‘”[Mrs. Loraine’s] sweet lips folded themselves into a straight line, and Stella thought briefly how odd it was that thinking differently about God tended to make even the nicest people not very sympathetic towards each other.” ― Elizabeth Goudge, Gentian Hill.
This has been a busy week for me. My husband took the week off, and we have been going through my mom’s furniture, clothes, etc. I hope you don’t mind if I post a few articles that I found interesting to read and discuss. There have been further developments at Park Street Church, and I’m afraid the reports are concerning. I will follow up with a post once I have the correct information. I want to be quite cautious with all that I share since the dreaded “lawyers” are involved at this point. Blessings to all.
The Alistair Begg controversy: Please be kind to one another with this one.
I almost didn’t post this since it involves LGBTQ+ issues. Alistair Begg is a well-known, New Calvinist influencer of some magnitude. He takes a traditional, expected, conservative evangelical stand on the issues involved except for one. This piece of advice has drawn the ire of fellow Calvinists. The usual suspects are quoted in this article and others. Do not be confused. Begg still stands solidly against gay marriage, as you will read in the post.
The accusations being leveled against Begg are that he has caved to the LGBTQ movement after encouraging a grandmother he didn’t know to attend her grandson’s wedding to a transgender person.
To be transparent, I gave similar advice to the mother of a gay man who was about to be married. The added complication was that her other son, a pastor, opposed his mom’s final choice. She loved both sons. She went to the wedding. Her son knew of her conservative view of the matter. She brought gifts and lots of love. She is now friends with her son and his spouse and is grateful. Her other son stands appalled and separated. You can critique my advice as well.
Baptist News Global’s Rick Pidcock posted, ” Who is Alistair Begg, and why are American fundamentalists so upset with him? ” The following side story is even more compelling and worth the time to contemplate.
In perhaps Begg’s most widely shared presentation of the gospel, he humorously reflects on the idea of the thief on the cross walking up to the gates of heaven following his crucifixion when suddenly he’s met by an angel.
“I can’t wait to find that fellow one day to ask him, ‘How did that shake out for you?’” Begg envisions.
He imagines the angel asking the thief, “What are you doing here?”
Then the thief replies, “Well, I don’t know.”
So the angel asks, “What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Because I don’t know,” says the thief.
At this point, Begg impersonating the angel begins to stutter and goes to get his angel supervisor.
When the angel supervisor arrives, he asks the thief, “Are you clear on the doctrine of justification by faith?” At this point, the congregation is roaring with laughter.
Then the thief replies, “I never heard of it in my life.”
Confused, the angel continues: “And what about, let’s just go to the doctrine of Scripture immediately.”
The thief is just staring.
Then Begg gets to the crux of the matter. “And eventually in frustration (the angel) says, ‘On what basis are you here?’”
“Begg’s gospel presentation seems to pit compassion against condemnation, while siding with compassion.”
With the room so quiet you could hear a pin drop, Begg imagines the thief answering, “The man on the middle cross said I can come.”
What is the difference between PCA and SBC polity, and does it matter?
Baptist News Global’s David Bumgardner and Maina Mwaura wrote NAMB hires a Presbyterian Calvinist to lead urban church planting. The NAMB is not talking. They do what they want and pay what they want, and you, the tither, have no input whatsoever.
In a Facebook post dated Jan. 10, pastor and author Doug Logan Jr. announced his new role as director of urban church planter development for the Southern Baptist Convention North American Mission Board’s church planting initiative, the Send Network.
BNG reached out to NAMB spokesman Mike Ebert to confirm the hire and details about Logan and did not receive a response. Ebert and NAMB have a long history of not responding to media inquiries NAMB’s full staff list is not published anywhere and he does not show on theleadership web page for the Send Network. However, multiple other NAMB insiders confirmed the hire to BNG privately.
…In a break with tradition for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, however, Logan does not appear to be a Baptist — or at least not until recently, maybe.
He is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church in America
And to make it more interesting to our readers, he is part of Acts 29, the Gospel Coalition, and the ever-so-unknown Grimke Seminary, for which females may not apply.
Logan once served in a church planting residency program at 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. That church’s longtime pastor, Liam Goligher, resigned in December after it was revealed he was arrested in 2014 for “lewd or sexual behavior” in a public park with another church leader
…He is currently listed as a church planting pastor of the SBC-affiliated Remnant Church of Richmond, Va. Remnant is part of the Acts 29 Network, a coalition of conservative and Calvinistic evangelicals of varying denominational affiliations.
Logan also serves as president of Grimké Seminary, an unaccredited institution affiliated with Acts 29. Grimké Seminary does not admit any female students, claiming on its FAQ page that it “exists specifically and exclusively to train qualified men who are current or aspiring pastors and church planters for the local church.”
And as for him having a PhD? Go figure…
Another biography listed with The Gospel Coalition, a popular conservative Reformed website, claims Logan does, in fact, have an earned doctorate from Newburgh Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind. The seminary’s website, however, reveals it does not have either national or regional accreditation.
I am not planning on referring to him as Dr. Logan.
Christian boarding schools’ allegations of torture and abuse
The Lord’s Ranch allegations;
Baptist News Global’s Mallory Challis wrote In the name of the Lord’s Ranch: The exposure of an Arkansas residential facility’s elaborate ruse of child abuse.
Prior to its closure in 2016, the Lord’s Ranch was known for decades as a place where children ages 7 to 17 would receive “unparalleled” treatment in a “uniquely beautiful, peaceful and safe environment.”
Under the guise of expected treatment, the company was able to facilitate the transportation and housing of children across the United States who soon would be under the direct authority and control of child predators.
That sounds more like the story being told in a recent lawsuit filed by eight victims of child sexual abuse against the Lord’s Ranch and multiple members of its leadership who are alleged to have been directly involved in or complicit with abuses that happened there.
Thanks to a recent change in the law, victims can sue.
Although the statute of limitations for these victims would have otherwise expired, this lawsuit is being filed under the Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act, which changes the statute of limitations for Arkansas victims of sexual abuse if they meet the criteria of being a “vulnerable victim” at the time of the crime.
Presley was abused, and Jiles did nothing.
…Emmett Presley was a counselor at the Lord’s Ranch and served as a senior director of the Lord’s Ranch entities and facilities and as the director of social services. Presley is alleged to have committed repeated and vulgar acts of sexual and psychological abuse during his employment at the Lord’s Ranch, using his position as a counselor and director to do so without reprimand.
…Alonza Jiles also served as a senior director of the Lord’s Ranch entities and facilities. The lawsuit alleges he and other staff members were made aware of Presley’s abuses on a multitude of occasions but did nothing to stop them and at times actively perpetuated further abuse.
And the money kept rolling in.
From 2009 to 2014, the Lord’s Ranch received even more money — more than $135 million in Medicaid funds for inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services.
This continued support allowed the Lord’s Ranch to promote its services to even more children, some from outside Arkansas. Aside from children residing in Arkansas, the company formed bonds with states such as Alaska, Indiana, Illinois and Texas and facilitated the transportation of children from these states to their residential facilities in Arkansas.
Despite the 2007 study’s doubtful outlook on the efficacy of residential medical care programs, the Lord’s Ranch continued to advertise itself as a place where children would receive “the best possible treatment.”
And the abuse was horrible.
Although some victims only experienced sexual abuse at the hands of one staff member, the staff at large allegedly worked together to hide what was happening and ensure it continued. Despite repeated attempts to alert staff members of the abuse, residents’ allegations were, at best, ignored. However, these eight survivors allege they were consistently met with ridicule, punishment and various forms of further abuse by the adults they confided in.
The lawsuit explains, “Children at the Lord’s Ranch lived in constant fear, knowing that they were alone in a remote, unfamiliar environment far from home and at the complete mercy of a sadistic staff. For many children, survival meant compliance with the physical and sexual abuse.”
One example of the horrific abuse.
John Doe 1’s residential stay at the Lord’s Ranch lasted from 1997 to 2000, during which he was “sexually molested and raped by Emmett Presley dozens of times, at nearly every weekly counseling session, over an approximately two-year period.” Presley’s alleged abuses included oral rape, genital molestation and child pornography.
When he told staff member Gary Jackson about what Presley had done to him, John Doe 1 was asked to re-tell his story in front of staff member Philander Kirk and senior administrator Alonso Jiles. However, the men called him a “liar” and threatened him with severe consequences should he “ever utter another word about the abuse.”
One week later, he says he was subjected to “violent physical restraint, causing him to break his collar bone,” as an alleged “warning” from the Suhl family to stay quiet.
According to Challis, this was all done “in the name of the Lord. ” Residential facilities for children are increasingly under scrutiny, and questions are being raised about whether such facilities are effective.
Agape Boarding School sued for the wrongful death of a student.
Steve Rabey of BNG wrote: Wrongful death suit is latest challenge for former Agape Boarding School.
Jason Britt’s parents hoped Agape Boarding School could help their troubled son Jason, but the abuse he suffered there led to his death, according to the latest of two dozen lawsuits filed against the now-closed school, also known as Agape Baptist Academy.
The suit calls Agape “a concentration camp or torture colony cloaked in the guise of religion” and names six defendants, including two local sheriffs who worked at Agape. Local law enforcement routinely rounded up kids who had run away after suffering abuse but allegedly did nothing to investigate or stop the brutal practices.
…The suit, filed in October, says workers at the Academy confined Jason Britt in a padded room, forced him to strip naked for strip searches in front of others, repeatedly beat him, causing injuries requiring stitches, forced him to stand up against a wall for hours at a time while reciting Bible passages, and gang raped him.
His parents rescued him from the school, but not before he experienced mental health issues. He wrote a suicide note at one point and ultimately died of heart and kidney failure last year.
…SNAP says two dozen suits have been filed against Agape, which housed more than 6,000 boys over three decades, and 16 suits already have been settled. One Agape staff member was convicted for first-degree statutory sodomy involving a student.
Agape is the fourth and final unlicensed Christian boarding school to close in Cedar County, Mo. The state’s lax oversight led to a growing troubled teen industry there before claims of abuse and mismanagement led to the closure of all four schools.
…Steve Robert Wukmer, a former children’s minister who worked at Agape and three other now-closed boarding schools, was indicted in March for 215 counts of possessing child pornography.
There are many more lawsuits out there for different schools. Just google “abuse at Christian boarding schools” and prepare to be sickened.
All in the name of our Lord.