I’ve received a ton of inquires like the one below. Steve is exactly right.
October 07, 2011 12:15 PM
One item that people have brought up about the reconciliation process is that AOR may require as part of the reconciliation process some type of confidentiality agreement. My understanding is that if one enters into the AOR reconciliation process you will be bound to not disclose what is discussed in the reconciliation.
To me this type of agreement should be a major red flag if it exists. One of the problems with SGM is that SGM has been able to hide their questionable actions and sin for a long time. People haven’t known about their abuses. It appears that AOR would keep people from knowing about various SGM sins.
What are your thoughts on this?
I also read the following post from Jenn Grover. She’s a perceptive young lady. She gave me permission to publish her comments. I’ve add my own in the brackets [ ] with blue ink.
A few problems with the SGM/AoR Group Reconciliation Process
by Jenn Grover on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 8:29am
Comments were closed on the SGM blog, so I will post my problems with the process here. The more I consider this group reconciliation process, the more insulting it becomes:
1. In most cases, it is not the grieved [those sinned against] who have failed to understand biblical peacemaking, it has been the leaders [those who sinned].
2. I do not see a biblical mandate that before we go to be reconciled to someone the offended party [those sinned against] must first sit through teaching and coaching to ensure I [those who sinned] get the proper response. Why is the focus still on the response of the people who were hurt and NOT on the people who caused the hurt?
[I am also concerned what will be taught at the seminar. In my personal dealings, I’ve not found AoR to be impartial. And to be precise, I am more concerned for how they teach the material. What will they emphasize? What will they leave out? What interpretations of Scripture will be questionable? What practices might they impose or confuse with principles? They could skew the seminar in favor of SGM. In other words, people might come under pressure to do things a certain way that is protective of SGM’s interest but does not do justice to the ways people have been sinned against. The seminar may also enjoin upon consciences an understanding of gossip, slander and confidentiality that are foreign to Scripture or unwarranted under the circumstances. AoR needs to emphasize the need for public repentance, confession and restitution from SGM leaders.
3. “Confidential interviews” = a way for SGM to suppress the breadth of the offenses.
[I would not recommend anyone agree to an interview with AoR if that means you cannot share your comments with others because you are bound by a confidentiality agreement. The same is true about written documents. You should not swear to keep confidential all information you record on a form AoR asks you to fill out.]
4. It excuses SGM from the biblical mandate to go and be reconciled and puts the onus on the aggrieved. SGM made a list of people they suspect fall into this category. If they have a list and know those they have been wronged, what has held them back?
[The SGM Board has a very long list of people wronged going back the last 30 years.]
5. There is no evidence that should lead anyone who participates to believe that there has been genuine repentance, therefore, it is unlikely that you would see any type of true restoration occur. SGM has NOT changed their positions on most key issues.
[I fully agree with Jenn’s assessment. When you study all their public statements there has been little to no admission of wrong. Certainly none of any significance. I plan to write a blog post on this subject.]
6. There has been no public apology from anyone in SGM for misleading us to the true nature of Larry’s departure. If they cannot even admit wrongdoing in something so heinous why should we expect they will admit it in these more private affairs?
[Larry misled people. We misled people. I was a part of it. People should have known about the blackmail and other factors. I’ve asked C.J. and the SGM Board to publically explain what happened and acknowledge our sins at the Pastors Conference. I believe Larry would be willing to do the same but that’s impossible since C.J. “uninvited” him to the Pastors Conference and vowed to keep all sins secret.]
7. It just feels like another way SGM can say they have done all they could without any real personal sacrifice from them or investment of their own time or resources. Maybe if these leaders had to foot the bill they would feel differently.
[True. The greater danger is SGM burying all the information AoR gathers through the “Reconciliation Process” by swearing people to an unholy confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement. Don’t do it. Protest.]
8. Where do you go from the AoR process? It is occurring outside of the church so there is no next step if SGM fails to respond. If there are, in fact, confidentiality agreements, you are left with no further recourse
[Let there be no doubt, AoR works for SGM. The SGM Board is in control. AoR makes recommendation but they have absolutely no authority. They too are puppets in the hands of SGM. C.J. and the Board cut the CLC pastors out of the process by sending C.J. packing to Capitol Hill Baptist and Mark Dever. He fled the scene of his crimes. Who cares if Josh “sinned” against him especially in light of C.J. sins against Joshua (and the world). Moreover, there are 17 other pastors. The SGM Board removed C.J. from the local church to which he is accountable.]
I am still waiting for any real signal that something has fundamentally changed in SGM and it is completely absent.
[Said like a pro!]