"We, the Board of ABWE and ABWE Administration ask for your forgiveness."

ABWE responds to MKs blog regarding Donn Ketcham issue.

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Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Repentance is great, but SO many in church leadership have no concept of the predator mentality, and what's worse, they don't want to know. It's high time folks put down their commentaries long enough to do some reading on forensic criminology and victimology. If one chooses to remain ignorant of these issues in spite of all the information available, they are an accessory as far as I'm concerned.

Louise Dan's picture

This is a great model for an appropriate response to such issues. I hope that [redacted ] will note this and continue to lead in repentance.

RPittman's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
This is a great model for an appropriate response to such issues. I hope that [redacted ] will note this and continue to lead in repentance.
And what will this accomplish? Do you have firsthand knowledge or involvement in these situations? It appears that you may have judged these situations from afar by either stereotype or secondhand information. IMHO, this is counterproductive in that it smells of gossip, fosters a mentality of judgmentalism, and diverges our attention from something that we can do--prevention.

RPittman's picture

You're heard of wearing one's piety on his or her sleeve, this is wearing one's repentance on one's sleeve. It's a great show of political correctness. There are points to consider:

(1) This is certainly not the original board that made the decisions over 30 years ago. Are we responsible for the sins of our predecessors?

(2) The so-called "sins" are poor decisions, lack of foresight, lack of supervision and follow-up, and failure to anticipate the ramifications. Is this sin or just human error and mistakes?

(3) What is the purpose of this public repentance? Is it to avoid the negative fallout from the blogging by the critics? What does it hope to accomplish?

I could go on ad nauseum but I'm sick of this pious business. Oh, don't take me wrong. I AM VERY MUCH ANTI-PEDOPHILIA! And it's all around us . . . . . . People express outrage and rant about what's already done. They are really into the political correct rage, counseling, victimization, restitution, repentance, etc. The problem is that most are unwilling to take action in prevention. Talk is cheap but action costs. Instead of the pious whining, why don't we do something?

Anne Sokol's picture

I know the president of ABWE personally, and I hear his voice coming through this letter so well. You would hear it, too, if you had ever met him. He is a somewhat unique and sensitive man. I'm glad he's holding to his integrity and being a leader. I pray it continues and he has God's wisdom.

ABWE wrote:
Dear ABWE MKs and families, please do not think that we now believe the matter is settled simply because we have taken ownership of our wrongs against you. This matter is not settled. It is only a first step in the right direction. There are more steps to be taken. While we will never be able to make it all right, we are committed to redressing the wrongs and making right what we can. We desire to see your faces and hear your voices. We desire to voice our apologies to you face to face and are willing to meet with any of you, anytime, in a safe setting acceptable to you.

We want to be both public and private in our apologies to each of you. That is why we are sharing this first on the blog, publicly. But we also want to be personal, specific and individual in our apologies, and so we hope with all our hearts that you will give us the opportunity to ask for your forgiveness face to face.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Roland,
There's lots of biblical precedent for confessing the sins of one's predecessors. Some poignant examples in Daniel and Nehemiah.
If you identify strongly with those who committed the offenses, it's quite appropriate to "own" them. It's also necessary for an organization to make things right and move forward in its relationships with victims and their descendents.
Since the organization has an identity of it's own, those who are part of that organization are part of it's past failures.

Nehemiah 1:6-7
Jeremiah 3:25
Daniel 9:7-8

RPittman wrote:
You're heard of wearing one's piety on his or her sleeve, this is wearing one's repentance on one's sleeve. It's a great show of political correctness.

Breathtaking. You not only fault them for following the pattern of Scripture but attribute ugly motives to them as well!

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Forrest's picture

Thank you,

Forrest

Forrest Berry

Dan Burrell's picture

Thank you, Aaron. "Breath-taking" is the correct word.

I know Mike Loftis personally and I agree with Anne and this letter has his fingerprints all over it and because I know him, I can also sense his pain and regret. I also know that Mike loved his predecessor and this letter assumes responsibility that is now his without casting dispersion on a leader who can no longer speak for or to his actions. Classy.

I've seen boards, churches and other spiritual institutions sweep stuff on the rug all my life. The board of ABWE has set an example for all of us to humble consider should we find ourselves in a similar situation. My respect level has soared for them as has my empathy for those victimized by the pedophile in question. We should pray for all involved.

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

tlange's picture

Thankful that ABWE has taken responsibility for this situation in a rather public and transparent manner.

I wish [redacted ] had done this when [redacted ] was arrested years ago for a similar crime. Instead, they hid behind lawyers and attempt to cover things up.

Thank you ABWE for setting an example of how to handle a sensitive situation.

Ken Woodard's picture

tlange wrote:
Thankful that ABWE has taken responsibility for this situation in a rather public and transparent manner.

I wish [redacted ] had done this when [redacted ] was arrested years ago for a similar crime. Instead, they hid behind lawyers and attempt to cover things up.

Thank you ABWE for setting an example of how to handle a sensitive situation.

Having Mr. "Redacted" redacted makes it seem like we are covering up for sin. If Mr. "Redacted" actually did wrong he ruined his own reputation. We also have a responsibility to protect our charges from potential injury by Mr. "redacted". How can we do that if we don't know his name?

Is he on a predator list?

Rachel L.'s picture

Yes. All the redacting gives evidence to the "good ol' boy" network in the IFB that protects mens' reputations on the backs of victims.

Ironic.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Any moderator editing you see is for the purposes of keeping this thread on topic. The topic is contained in the opening post. Please do not use this thread to rehash past incidents of this nature.

Joel Shaffer's picture

Quote:
After learning of additional victims in 2002, an investigation was begun but never completed. This was wrong. Please forgive us for this failure.

I think this was where the MK's from Bangladesh frustrations with the current administration came from. That the culture of cover up continued until a few weeks ago. Yet ABWE has taken an important first step of making things right by asking for forgiveness and pursuing justice, healing, and reconciliation with and for the many MK's that were abused and their families. I fully believe that they will continue to do the right thing, especially if there is a non-biased 3rd party that can do the full investigation. The MK's and their families are strongly recommending a group called Grace.
http://www.netgrace.org/index.asp?str_string=Home~none~none

Grace just finished investigating and working with New Tribes over an sexual abuse scandal from the 1980's in West Africa.

Jim's picture

*** Forum Director Comment ****

On the redactions

I'm not a big fan of redactions, but seriously we are just trying to keep this thread on track. The moderators and admin team have a private thread where we discuss (and try to reach a consensus) Sharper Iron forum issues. We don't always handle things consistently or even always handle things well (hindsight being 20/20). But there is no "coverup" or conspiracy. All the redacted names have been thoroughly discussed on SharperIron and those threads are still out there. So just a reality check for all

Thanks

*****************************

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

(OK, all the "redacted" stuff is my fault. I bypassed our usual team discussion of these things and just started hacking away. Not sure what came over me. Maybe it's my other job with the NSA. Oops. Did I just say that out loud? Anyway, "[redacted ]" is not how we usually do these things, and you're not likely to see it much going forward.)

It is kind of funny how people get to thinking that a reluctance to turn a discussion into a rehash of old arguments that have all been talked to death already all over the Web = some kind of coverup or is somehow protecting some guilty party.

To get back on topic...
It's encouraging to see ABWE be so unvarnished about this and I sincerely hope it helps both them and all those hurt move forward with a renewed zeal for the work God has given them to do.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Louise Dan's picture

I understand, Aaron. But this is quite relevant to these other situations and discussions. Could I start a new thread that discusses the implications of ABWE's example on these other situations?

rogercarlson's picture

Others in our movement could learn from ABWE's first step.

Roland,

The sin confessed here lies at he hands of previous ABWE leadership that covered up a crime. I will say again. Other's in our movement would do well to follow this example.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Louise Dan wrote:
I understand, Aaron. But this is quite relevant to these other situations and discussions. Could I start a new thread that discusses the implications of ABWE's example on these other situations?

Fair enough. Go for it.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Anne Sokol's picture

after further reading on that mk site . . . I really hope ABWE hires the third party guys. They really need experienced people handling this. From the beginning, I think they were making perhaps well-meaning but classic and major blunders in an abuse situation. And they will continue to do so if they don't get experienced, outside people handling this.

Also, I really dont think they can see straight, in some ways. It's the nature of the beast. I dont' mean that in a bad way. They have supporters and 1000s of missionaries to think about (my parents are some of them Wink ) And in this type of situation, those factors can very easily cloud decision making. IMHO, they really ought to do what is right on a personal level for those now-women, not pit that against what is best on an organizational level. The one is consistant with the other--in the past, this obviously was not seen to be the case.

Also, this is one reason I like the internet. it gives a voice. can be unhealthy sometimes, but other times, it's a really healthy reality-check for all of us.

shew. God help us all.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I agree, Anne. Leadership often thinks that they are equipped to deal with these issues, but many churches and ministries are woefully ignorant of how to deal with sexual predation. They think they can spot a liar or a molester, and they'll rationalize the situation and excuse anyone that doesn't fit their mental image of a pervert. They don't understand that there are many paths to sexual predation. I do not believe that mismanagement of these incidents is done with malice toward children, but because they are naive about how predators operate, and they are not accustomed to taking a child's word over an adult's.

There was a good article at The Baptist Standard about this a couple of years ago, http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id... ]Sexual predators often fly under the radar at church . There is some great information at http://www.kidssafeministries.com/ Keeping Kids Safe Ministries as well.

ABWE is handling this well at this point, but the whole thing was preventable with just a little bit of education and forethought. It will happen again elsewhere unless churches and ministries smarten up.

Anne Sokol's picture

the confession was so great. But the follow-up after that is making some of the victims more upset. They are so well-meaning, but they really have no idea what it's like to be a victim, betrayed, and how to speak to and deal with those people who are hurting now in a way that reaches them. I mean those comments from my vantage point, fwiw. They are still behaving unprofessionally or something, even though they want to love those victims. They need professional help now to get in touch with these people in the right way, rebuild trust, take action, develop accountability, etc.

Sheesh, what a thing to inherit. But it's their time to shine if they're willing to do it.

tlange's picture

Rachel L. wrote:
Yes. All the redacting gives evidence to the "good ol' boy" network in the IFB that protects mens' reputations on the backs of victims.

Ironic.

I really appreciate the lack of common decency when my posts are redacted without letting me know. I am done with this place and I will encourage others to avoid this place as well.

Yes, Rachel L. the good old boy network is alive and well here at SI....

Aaron and moderators -- I am very disappointed.... nothing more to say, your actions said it all...

Thank you and good bye

Greg Long's picture

tlange wrote:
Rachel L. wrote:
Yes. All the redacting gives evidence to the "good ol' boy" network in the IFB that protects mens' reputations on the backs of victims.

Ironic.

I really appreciate the lack of common decency when my posts are redacted without letting me know. I am done with this place and I will encourage others to avoid this place as well.

Yes, Rachel L. the good old boy network is alive and well here at SI....

Aaron and moderators -- I am very disappointed.... nothing more to say, your actions said it all...

Thank you and good bye


It looks like overreaction is alive and well here at SI, too.

So, tlange, you're absolutely positive that the motive of the moderators for redacting the names was to keep a good old boy network going, rather than to keep the post on topic and/or to refuse to possibly be party to libel by posting the names of the accused in a public forum?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Well, we've managed to make the thread mostly about the thread. :~ I definitely did my share to contribute to that.

Terry, nothing personal intended with the redactions. I was trying to tidy some things up quickly and the saying is true that haste makes --at least some--waste. So all i's not dotted or t's crossed as would have been ideal.

If there even is a good ol' boys network, though, I sure haven't heard from them.

In general, my drive is to try talk more about ideas here and less about people. But I do realize you can't always separate the two.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jay's picture

I think it's safe to say that the good 'ol boys network dislikes us enough that they wouldn't believe us even if we did try to defend them...

I mean, when SI runs stories like:
*Sweatt's speech at the regional FBF mtg and subsequent discussion
*The Don Ketcham story
*The Biblical Evangelists' story on Hyles
*Some of Kevin Bauder's articles

It's obvious that we're out to preserve and protect the Fundy Grand Poobahs. Whoever they are. ;p

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Dan Burrell's picture

TLange is a good guy and not extreme in any way. I think his frustration (and I don't intend to try and speak for him) is out of the fact that he wasn't given a courtesy "heads up". His involvement with the Pastor and ministry whose name was "redacted" is very personal and painful for him and like the victims of the ABWE missionary, he and many associated with that situation have never received any sense of closure or that justice was done. From my perspective, I think seeing his post censored, edited, redacted or whatever else you want to call it simply struck a raw nerve in him based on his personal experiences. I would think it appropriate that someone might reach out to him personally. He's not "just a guy on SI" but a graduate of Central Seminary, someone who desires to serve the Lord and a good guy with great potential.

Frankly, there does seem to be an uneven approach to moderating that has caused me to "take breaks" for periods of time as well. I know it's a difficult and thankless job, but once we jump into the practice of moderating -- there are always unintended consequences. It just often simply feels like "big brother" is watching or that we are kids who need a clucking school marm hanging out on the playground making sure we "stay in line." After 40 plus years of having uneven "standards" applied to me and the scrutiny that such oversight requires, I guess I'm probably just a bit sensitive to it all myself as well. I personally prefer being treated like an adult even if threads take twists and turns and rabbit trails. Frankly, when I hear a preacher chase a few rabbits, I'm just as likely as not to learn quite a bit. I wish the moderating was for obnoxious or unbiblical behavior and let the threads grow as they will. But that's just me and I'm certainly not wanting the difficult job of moderating.

I just wanted to speak up for TLange -- who really is a good guy who belongs in our dialogues.

And so the thread devolution continues.....sorry....

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Roland,
There's lots of biblical precedent for confessing the sins of one's predecessors. Some poignant examples in Daniel and Nehemiah.
If you identify strongly with those who committed the offenses, it's quite appropriate to "own" them. It's also necessary for an organization to make things right and move forward in its relationships with victims and their descendents.
Since the organization has an identity of it's own, those who are part of that organization are part of it's past failures.

Nehemiah 1:6-7
Jeremiah 3:25
Daniel 9:7-8

I don't think that your references are teaching this kind of thing at all. It was an entirely different relationship between Israel and God. You cannot generalize these incidences of national repentance by a specially chosen group into the setting of a modern parachurch organization. Your hermeneutic is faulty. It is rather like an allegoric interpretation and identification of Israel with the USA. I don't see any Scriptural warrant for repentance via groupspeak. How can one repent for another? After all, what is your view of repentance?
Quote:

RPittman wrote:
You're heard of wearing one's piety on his or her sleeve, this is wearing one's repentance on one's sleeve. It's a great show of political correctness.

Breathtaking. You not only fault them for following the pattern of Scripture but attribute ugly motives to them as well!
Yeah, this kind of thing is the politically correct thing to do from NY Life Insurance Company apologizing for insuring slaves to the latest politician caught in a compromising situation. What else would you call it if it fits the pattern? The old wisdom was to keep it under wraps for sake of the ministry and the innocent individuals involved; now, it is to make a public apology and show of repentance. Now, did I say anything about their motives or did you assume that, Aaron? I made a comment on observable behavior.

RPittman's picture

Jim Peet wrote:
Left to right: Jim, Aaron, Jay and Larry
These guys look like guards on the Texas chaingang. LOL Smile

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