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Brent Detwiler's Tweets
Friday
Oct262012

Random Thoughts on Recent Events

Church Polity:  This Sunday the Board of Directors will send the polity proposal they adopted to the SGM pastors.  I think it will be a combination of Presbyterian and independent.  They probably hope it will serve as a distraction from the class action lawsuit.

Challies:  I wonder if pro-C.J. blogger, Tim Challies, will tell his readers not to read the lawsuit like he did my documents.

Mohler & Duncan:  I wonder if Al Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and Ligon Duncan, noted Presbyterian churchman, will vilify the plaintiffs and call all the charges in the lawsuit slanderous?  That’s what they’ve done in the past with anyone who speaks against C.J. 

SBTS Trustees:  What does the Board of Trustees at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary think now about the cozy relationship between C.J., SGM and the seminary?  I doubt they’ll make a 100k contribution like C.J. did in 2008 to help cover lawyer’s fees.

C.J.’s Circle of Friends:  Will men like John Piper, R.C. Sproul, D.A. Carson, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Wayne Grudem, Kevin DeYoung, Carl Trueman, Matt Chandler,  et al., continue to actively support C.J. by having him speak in their churches, participate in their conferences, endorse his books, etc.  It will interesting to see if any of these men grant an interview on the SGM website commending C.J. and SGM until the lawsuit is resolved.

Name of Church:  Now would be a good time for any church with Sovereign Grace in their name to change it. 

Molestation Policies:  Churches need to have policies and procedures in place to protect against child abuse at all church functions (home groups, seminars, retreats), not just on Sunday morning.     

Sex Offender Register:  Every church should have a sex offender register on their website.  Require this of your pastors. 

Leave of Absence for President and Chairman:  The SGM Board of Directors should relieve President Mahaney and Chairman Loftness of their responsibilities until the lawsuit is resolved - not as an admission of guilt but as a precaution.

Mahaney and Loftness Fired:  If SGM, Mahaney, and Loftness are successfully sued for covering up child molestation they should be immediately fired by the Board of Directors.

Pastors Who Cover up Molestation:  Every church needs to find out how their pastors have handled sexual and spousal abuse in their church in the past.  Did they contact the police, etc.?  Demand an accounting.  Church members must find out if sexual abuse was covered up.

Civil Versus Criminal SuitThink of O.J. Simpson.  He was not found guilty in a criminal court but he was found liable in a civil court.  One article I read explained it this way.  “The burden of proof in criminal matters is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ which is much more difficult to achieve than the ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard used in most civil cases…. The civil justice system does not determine an offender’s guilt or innocence, but works to determine whether the offender is liable for the harm caused to the victim…. This burden of proof essentially means that one side’s evidence must be more persuasive than the other; this is far lower than the burden necessary in a criminal case.”

Monetary and Equitable Relief:  “A plaintiff can either ask for monetary relief, or equitable relief.  Monetary relief is when the plaintiff asks for a cash award to remedy the situation.  Equitable relief is when the plaintiff asks for the court to order the other party to do or not to do something” (“The Difference between Civil Courts and Criminal Courts,” The Leadership Conference).  If SGM or any of the defendants are liable, I hope the plaintiff’s ask for both kinds of relief.  I assume they can require SGM to take action that prevents the cover up of child molestation in the future. 

Liability Insurance:  SGM has liability insurance but I don’t believe it covers the kind of malpractice alleged in the class action lawsuit.  If I am correct, that means SGM will have to pay all lawyer fees and damages awarded by the court if found liable.  That could bankrupt SGM.  I assume individual defendants will also have to cover their own their own expenses and damages if found liable.  May the innocent be vindicated and the guilty held accountable.  I don’t want to see anyone harmed financially or otherwise who is not guilty.      

Additional Defendants:  More defendants should be named in the lawsuit.  I can think of a few in light of recent revelations.  I’m sure the attorneys are busy taking names and gathering information. 

Ambassadors of Reconciliation: Ed Kober and Ed Keinath defended SGM in “Cases Involving Sexual Misconduct” on page 19 as found in their April 10, 2012, Ambassadors of Reconciliation Report to the Sovereign Grace Ministries Board of Directors.  They said the following.  “Some raising their concerns alleged that SGM consistently handles such cases in irresponsible ways.  While we did not complete detailed reviews of cases involving sexual misconduct, we were able to review documentation in some situations that demonstrated the SGM leadership understood the gravity of the situations.  SGM leaders offered care and concern, they sought professional legal and counseling help for SGM and key leaders involved, and in some cases they helped connect parties to Christian mediators.”  This amounted to a complete vindication of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  AoR should also be name as a defendant in the lawsuit.  If the allegations in the lawsuit are true, then at least some of the plaintiffs made this clear to Ted and Ed.  They did nothing but commend SGM in their report. 

Stop Giving:  How can anyone be donating money to Sovereign Grace Ministries?  Last year they paid out over 400k to cover the cost for Ambassadors of Reconciliation and the corrupt Three Panel Review.  This year they will pay out hundreds of thousands in attorney’s fees to fight the class action lawsuit.  And fifteen months later, we still don’t know how much C.J. is compensated even though he promised to reveal it.  Approach your pastors and find out if they are still giving your tithe money to SGM.  Demand they stop.  They should redirect the church’s giving to worthy individuals and organizations.  

Start New Churches:  If your church doesn’t leave Sovereign Grace Ministries, you should consider starting a new church comprised of people who are devoted to love our Lord Jesus in humility, integrity, and truth.

God’s Opposition:  I’m sure C.J. and John are telling all their friends and associates that the lawsuit is full of slander.  That they are not guilty of covering up child molestation.  This much is certain, God continues to oppose the proud in SGM and only the proud in SGM are foolish enough to deny it (Jam 4:6-10, 1 Pet 5:5-6).  Being good Calvinists, they shouldn’t blame the devil or people as primary agents.  Yet C.J. and the Board present C.J. as the suffering servant who has been victimized by evil doers.  They continue to deny God’s sovereign opposition.  Pray for C.J.  Proverbs 29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken  beyond healing. 

My Bitterness:  Eleven months out of the year I do okay dealing with temptations to bitterness.  October is different.  I should be 25 feet up a tree in my beloved deer stand dressed in camo.  Instead, I’m on the ground before my computer screen addressing SGM.  A bitter man with a bow is not a good combination.  By the way, I desperately need some updated  broad head arrows.  Make a donation so I can put food on my table and overcome my resentment.  Help the hungry and pray November allows for hunting.  Remember the words of Jesus to Peter.  Acts 10:13 A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!”

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