Joe Carter is employed by The Gospel Coalition as an editor. He tweeted a woman today, “Watch the actual sermon and you’ll see Detwiler is making it up. Harris makes no admission of knowing about the abuse.”
Harris doesn’t explicitly say in his sermon that he knew about the abuse in one comment. The acknowledgement comes from a number of remarks taken together in conjunction with the testimony given by Grant Layman at the Morales trial last week.
For instance, Harris refers to 2007 but doesn’t explain. He says, “The events related to 2007 are a significant issue for us and they are going to be fully addressed and accounted for by us. I can’t say any more than that.”
What is this “significant issue”? In 2007, Morales told Layman he sexually abused boys at Covenant Life Church. Layman testified under oath that he shared this information with the “pastoral team” at CLC. He further testified that he had a responsibility to report these crimes but didn’t do it.
Upon reception of this information, the “pastoral team” discussed how they should handle the situation and what they should do with the information. Like Laymen, they did nothing. None of the pastors reported the acknowledgment of sex crimes by Morales to the police. That is ever so serious.
Layman also testified at the trial that he knew about Morales’ sexual abuse all the way back in 1992. So did other pastors like C.J. Mahaney, Robin Boisvert and Chris Glass.
Harris also said in his sermon.
“This week, I requested, I asked the other pastors, the board of elders, that I be placed on administrative leave until this issue can be fully addressed. The three other men who had any connection to handling the Nate Morales issue are ready to do the same thing. This is me, Kenneth [Maresco], Corby [Megorden] and Robin [Boisvert].”
“Handling the Nate Morales issue” is a reference to “the events related to 2007” when Morales told Layman he was a sex abuser and Layman conveyed this information to Harris, Maresco, Megorden, Boisvert and others. Once again, the “issue” concerns them not reporting his crimes to police. Carter says “Harris makes no admission of knowing about the abuse.” He is wrong. From my perspective, this is Harris’ implicit admission. That is why all four men are prepared to take a leave of absence. They have "greatly endangered the church."
In general, Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition has no clue what he is talking about as it pertains to the long term knowledge of Morales’ crimes by former and current pastors at Covenant Life Church. He doesn’t have the police reports. He hasn’t read the indictments. He hasn’t studied the “Memorandum of Law in Support of State’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Sever.” He was not at the four day trial. He did not hear Layman’s sworn testimony. He has not spoken to or interacted with victims and witnesses. I have all of the above and I’ve done all of the above.
Nor did Carter hear Assistant State’s Attorney Jessica Hall tell the jury three times in her opening statement that the “heinous crimes” committed by Morales were “covered up” by Covenant Life pastors.
Joe Carter should be spending all his time exposing the widespread criminal conspiracy to commit and cover up sex abuse at Covenant Life Church and in Sovereign Grace Ministries rather than discrediting those who are on the side of justice.
He should listen to the words of Jeff Cole, the stepson of Nathaniel Morales. Last night he posted the following comment on my Facebook page.
Jeff Cole If these so called men of God did what they were supposed to way back when they would have saved my mom 18 yrs. of marriage to this monster and my brothers from being victims and the countless others in MI, NV, OK possibly Puerto Rico and Mexico. I have almost lost my faith because of this man and all the other men of God (said with as much sarcasm add possible) who knew about it and covered it up. Fucking hypocrites!!!!!!!!
Carter should also listen to the words of Jeff’s mother, Marcia Jo Griffeth (maiden name). She divorced Morales last year. She married him in 1994, two years after former and current pastors at Covenant Life knew he was a sex abuser. Last night, Marcia and I had this exchange on Facebook
Brent Detwiler Been real busy but I am glad to report the verdict is getting out to the public and Christian leaders throughout the nation. So many powerful leaders have covered up for C.J. and Layman. I am confronting them. And people at CLC are finally beginning to ask hard question of their pastors about the cover up. All good.
Marcia Jo Griffeth It’s a relief to have it all behind us now! I never would have dreamed I had married such a monster! Perfection in how he befriended his victims! As I followed the closing remarks, it was exactly how he continued after we married!
Brent Detwiler I am so glad it is behind for you!
Marcia Jo Griffeth If people would have done the right thing by reporting it [Morales’ sex abuse] instead of worrying about their reputation, all of what happened to my family n others would never have happened!!
Brent Detwiler Absolutely true! Can I quote you on that?
Marcia Jo Griffeth. I really think I may want to write a book or speak one day to encourage others to report these things. … Yes you can quote me!
Here’s my question. When will all the former and current pastors who knew about Morales’ crimes in 1992 and 2007 confess their sins and make restitution to “the countless others in MI, NV, OK possibly Puerto Rico and Mexico” not to mention Maryland. It is true, countless boys have been sexually abused because CLC pastors including C.J Mahaney did not report to police. Morales should have been locked up in 1992. Not 2014.
Joe Carter that is the real issue. Cover it and expose it! You can start by attending the additional trials against Morales that began today. Go to Courtroom 3 in the North Tower of the Montgomery Circuit Court.
In January 2105, Michelle Boorstein, the religion reporter for The Washington Post, wrote an article about Joshua Harris leaving Covenant Life Church for seminary. During an interview, Harris told her about the policy not to report the sexual abuse of children to law enforcement. This policy was set by C.J. Mahaney and carried out by his staff. Here is the relevant excerpt.
Pastor Joshua Harris, an evangelical outlier, heads to mainstream seminary
January 30, 2015
In an interview, Harris said the isolation of Covenant Life, and of a small cluster of churches of which it was a part, may have fed leadership mistakes, including the decision of pastors — himself among them — to handle a child sexual abuse case internally instead of going to police.
A former Covenant Life member [Nathaniel Morales] who helped with the youth group was convicted last year of molesting three boys in the 1980s. Trial testimony showed that the victims or their families had gone to church leaders for help and that the church officials did not call police. Harris said the thinking of the church was that such allegations should be handled as an internal, spiritual issue.
Joe Carter claims I made up the admission that Joshua Harris knew about the sexual abuse of Nathaniel Morales and other predators in Covenant Life Church. No I didn’t. And what was implicit is now explicit. Does that mean Carter will “cover it and expose it!” Not a chance! Carter has never admitted his error or asked forgiveness for his false accusation. Instead, he and his clan continue to cover up for C.J. Mahaney whose heinous policy resulted in the unreported abuse of children and minors for over 30 years.
Please Help Financially
My efforts are designed to help Christians judge righteously, think biblically, and live courageously. Your financial support makes that possible. Please consider a gift today at BrentDetwiler.com. Thank you!