"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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RPittman's picture

Aaron wrote:
What is the point if calling this "political correctness" if not to imply that ABWE is only doing this to be politically correct? If it isn't relevant to the thread, why bring it up?
In short, yes, you did say something about their motives and no assuming was involved. You should apologize.
Aaron, you overly rationalize everything to your own preconceptions. You're always telling me more about what I said than I ever intended. Again, you are wide of the mark and missed the whole point.
1. Every circle, group, or association has its own political correctness.
2. ABWE moves in circles that sees this course of action (i.e. making public apology and repentance, offering professional counseling to victims, etc.) as the proper course according to its political correctness. Evidently, you buy into this too. (Please correct me if I err.)
3. This has not always been the mindset and thinking in Christian circles. At one time, Christian leadership thought to protect the ministry was the priority. Although we may disagree with their thinking and conclusions, we are wrong to vilify them in their sincere and honest efforts because we have feet of clay too.
4. The aforementioned mindset was in sync with their times and culture just as our thinking has been vastly influenced by the "political correctness" of our culture especially as it pertains to the ideas of CSA, victimization, restitution, culpability, etc.

I stand by my statement that this closely follows the political correctness of our culture and times. So, if it's a spade, call it a spade. It just so happens that I am in disagreement with the current approach in dealing with this heinous crime and sin. As I have pointed out repeatedly, without you and others seemingly picking up on it, the present approach is one formulated out of a feminist agenda. It's there and you should know it if you are familiar with this movement and competent to address the issues. Don't believe me but listen to the secular sources that admit it.

Let me spell it out for you, if you will please try not to go behind my words to question my motives (which you did and owe me an apology).
1. The rant and rave approach (i.e. the bloggers) is singularly ineffective. Many of those in therapy get worse, not better. Furthermore, the ever zealous therapists dig up forgotten memories that may have been healed naturally by the human mind. The depression/anxiety, etc. may be of another etiology. It's a can of worms and these people will probably never get out of psychotherapy when they get into it.
2. The humble repentance/apology approach seldom works. ABWE will never be able to satisfy their detractors. All the ranting, raving, and airing all the dirty launder before an unbelieving world does little to advance the cause of Christ or uphold His Name. It is strange that I've heard no one questioning how this will affect our Savior's Name in the world. NO, people would rather vent their own spleen. I am indignant because the Name of Christ has been dragged down!
3. What's done is past. We must mightily condemn sin but there's no need to dwell on it. God is one of peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Do I hear these themes on SI? NO!
4. Furthermore, I am very disappointed that except for Susan and one or two others, no one is talking about a Biblical response. The whole schema and mindset is in lockstep with the secular approach, which is essentially an expression of feminist philosophy. Do we, as Christians, have nothing better to offer? Are we so gullible and ignorant that we uncritically swallow the whole mess. And when I try to put forth some of these points, what do I get? The owner of SI goes beyond my words, reads my thoughts, and impugns my motives. Shame on you. I never implied that ABWE was guilty of perfidy or sinister motives but I do question their wisdom, their understanding, and their misdirection.

There is no good solution. When wrongdoing happens, it cannot be undone. Closure needs to brought to this situation ASAP. Wallowing in the misery sure doesn't help. Yes, a statement needs to be made and a resolute course of action needs to be pursued but it doesn't need to drag on forever.

Aaron, your rationalistic reasoning has played you false again. You have NOT eliminated all the possibilities before erroneously posting: "In short, yes, you did say something about their motives and no assuming was involved." Well, you did wrongly assume. Here are some possibilities:

1. They did it just to be politically correct and to be accepted among the politically correct brethren. (I think Peter did this on more than one occasion. So, if an Apostle is subject to such pressures, why not others?)
2. They buy into (i.e. believe) political correctness and were sincere.
3. Politically correct pressure brought them to respond.
4. They're being politically correct to gull folks into thinking all is alright.
5. They did what they thought was in the best interests of the ministry.
6. They are naive and are not savvy enough to realize the ramifications.

Well, Aaron, I could go on ad infinitum, but please tell me which of the above I implied. I would really like to know my sinister intentions. Wink

RPittman's picture

rogercarlson wrote:
Roland,

I think Greg made my point pretty well. I am not trying to armchair quaterback. But I can't see how Ketchum's superiors did not do more to make clear to his pastor and church what he actually did. There is no excuse for that. If I were in a position of leadership of a mission board and someone under me did this, I would think I aided in their sin (and sinned myself) if I did not do everything in my power to see that he was exposed. The only loving thing to do for the victim's in this case is to see that this man was/is brought to justice. My heart also goes out to Ketchum's family, but God's justice has to be held in higher reguard. In my view, to deal with this quietly would be like Joshua sweeping Achon's sin under the rug for the sake of his family.

No one, at least not me, is arguing for sweeping it under the rug. It just doesn't need to be blogged where it attains a high gossip value. Yes, the situation was poorly handled but it is too late to rectify that now. Only the present and future are malleable. The situation called for some decisive action by the leadership at ABWE. They obviously flunked. However, who knows what any of us would have done in the same situation, time, and place. In 20-20 hindsight, Ketchum should have been investigated, brought home, fired, arrested, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. That's a given. Furthermore, the pastors, parents, and other involved parties with a need to know should have been informed. However, there's no need to publish this on blog sites. Although it was Ketchum's fault, it's spreading brings reproach upon the Name of Christ.
Quote:

You are right that we need to work on prevention. I couldn't agree more. But dealing with things this quietly is what allowed Bob Gray to molest other kids while staying in a pulpit.

This is another situation that was poorly handled. What matters is what we do now!
Quote:

Larry,

I will not claim to be an abuse expert. But one thing, I have found in dealing with people who have been abused is that they think no one believes them. When they finally get the courage and grace to go forward, it does help them a great deal to have people take this seriously. In our own ranks, I think there is something we can do. Many of us at SI have been clear that we believe leaders have mishandled these cases and in some cases outrighted sinned. I personally have decided I will not associate at all with some of these men. I will not join organizations that they are in and I will not go to conferences where they preach. I will not send anyone to their churches and I will be frank as to why I wont sent people there. Outside of that and speaking loudly, there is not alot we can do.

I disagree! There's a lot that we can do but it takes time, effort, and vigilance. We're not willing to pay the price.
Quote:

I do also agree with Mike. The good ole boy network is alive and well in our movement. Because of that only certain "sins" are sins. The others? "Well you can't believe everything disgruntled people say...Doc So and So is a good guy." For years people said that about Bob Gray and about his deacons and others who just turned a blind eye.
The only warning is that although this may exist, it can be overblown so that everyone who is not on our bandwagon is part of the good ole boy system.

RPittman's picture

Anne Sokol wrote:
I guess this is how I see this situation (if you've read thru that blog): this situation has been repeatedly undealt with in a righteous way by ABWE on various private levels. Repeatedly. So, in order to up the ante, they went public. This is where we come in. We are here to consider facts, and put pressure, where we may, on this organization, to finally do some right in this situtation and in other situations that are coming to light through this. I think this is where we come in to this equasion in this particular case.

Hey, Aaron, did you read this? Isn't this pretty much what you said that I was implying about ABWE? Well, what do you think about this? I think Anne is pretty clear in her opinion.

rogercarlson's picture

Roland,

I find this statement troubling:

3. This has not always been the mindset and thinking in Christian circles. At one time, Christian leadership thought to protect the ministry was the priority. Although we may disagree with their thinking and conclusions, we are wrong to vilify them in their sincere and honest efforts because we have feet of clay too.

God's glory is more important than one ministry. The leadership of years ago did not understand that. The Bible is pretty clear that we cannot cover our sins. The sin in the camp at ABWE was not dealt with. Dr. Ketchum was not biblically dealt with. Let me put it in unvarnished terms. Covering up crimes (or not fully exposing them) is sin! It is wicked. It is unholy. That is not politically correct, but it is timeless truth.

As far as the Biblical response goes, I think I have. Also, forgiveness is granted when repentense is sought. That does not allow a victim to be bitter. Yet, forgiveness cannot be granted until one seeks it. You and I were not forgiven by Christ until we sought it. He was ready to forgive, as I should be ready to forgive someone who has sinned against me. But I cannot technically grant it until they seek it. You seem to want everyone to let this go without all of those who sinned to repent. But there is another Biblical truth here. Dr. Ketchum is still practicing medicine. He is a pediphile and he is still in a position to where he can do harm. That is a slap in the face to God's Justice and his holiness.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

RPittman's picture

Susan R wrote:
I think we have to figure out, on an individual basis, whether or not someone is descending into self-indulgence, or they need to be comforted. There are quite a few verses about ministering to the weak and wounded. That requires a relationship with the person(s) in question, and can't be done via keyboard.

I would agree that the dynamic has changed- there was a time when you didn't even say the word 'pregnant' in public, and now folks are talking about all manner of intimate issues with 500 of their best friends and thousands of people they don't know at all.

We have to remember that we are talking in this thread about the always immoral and now criminal victimization and brutalization of children. Don't anyone tell me that there are some things that happened to you in childhood that don't still affect you on a visceral level. I still shudder whenever I see a mannequin. Those things are seriously creepy. And don't get me started on clowns...

Susan, you're making good sense. I think the best comforters and counselors are good friends who are spiritually mature and grounded in the Word. There is no esoteric knowledge possessed by the professionals.

RPittman's picture

Mike Durning wrote:
Someone has asked me to explain why I feel so strongly about this issue.

I think that many of us from my era were very poorly educated as to how to deal with these things. I myself handled a situation like this in my early ministry in a sub-optimal way, but through ignorance rather than conspiracy-like plotting. I also found that in the 1980's the obstacles to even reporting certain kinds of wrong-doing were significant. Since our case was an adult woman pursuing teenaged guys, I found that prosecutors weren't that eager to do anything (as in "There's no such thing as a non-consensual teen guy"). Since the fellows were past that state's age of consent (16), I literally had nowhere to report it. It didn't fit the legal definitions of child molestation at the time. And since the school was a Christian school, there was not even a way to pull professional credentials. When the entire administration of the school and church changed over the next few years, the woman even got a good reference from an employee of the old school as she applied for a new position -- based, I was informed, on her repentance. By God's grace (and a little legwork by former victims, the person has been hounded out of positions where she can do the same to others.

Was there a cover-up? Well, at some point, we ran out of options to report it. And then we kind of forgot about it. And then she was teaching someplace else!!! Only when one of her former victims walked into school and saw her in a classroom did further action begin. Could we have done more at the time? Sure. But at the time, it wasn't clear what. In this sense, I completely understand what happened at ABWE with this matter. They hit up against a barrier as to how to report their situation, and inertia finally stalled the effort. Now, looking back, as it is in my case, it's "should have, would have, could have".

Mike, thank you for this story. This is often how it happens. It's not an intentional coverup but it's the way things fall out due to workload, knowledge, etc. On the other hand, we should be working to improve this situation.

Anne Sokol's picture

i think rpittman is assuming that "professional counselling" equals psychotherapy or something. I want to clarify what I am stating.

In this situation, family members and missionaries were all instructed not to talk about it, not among themselves, no one. So you have teens who are dealing with a devastating stituation who can't even get counsel from their parents? She was told not to talk to her parents!

Anyway, away from this situation, I think there are times that people can handle this on their own, and times when they need help processing who was responsible, how to deal with anger, etc. It depends on the person.

I have experienced this myself just witnessing birth abuse in the hospitals here. After that incident, I had insomnia, crying jags, rage . . . every time a friend had a baby. I finally realized that this was effecting my life in a habitual and unhealthy way. I needed help. Once I started asking for help, God "talked" to me one day while I was reading the Bible. He put a stream of reasoned, Biblical thoughts in my mind that helped me see my sinful responses to the sin I witnessed. But that was about 2-3 yrs after the fact.

Having experienced (professional?) Christian people talking to women dealing with heavy sins against their person goes a long, long way. I personally probably wouldn't counsel an abuse victim myself without getting help for me (the counselor). I probably wouldn't know where to start. When we work with post-abortive women, we go through a well-written Bible study. I wouldn't know how to deal with all their issues or even what they are. They might not even realize the way this has effected seemingly unrelated areas of their lives. Experienced people have a better handle on that.

About feminism. i think you need to be careful with what you are imlpying. Are you saying abused women today have problems b/c feminism has groomed them to have struggles after they are abused? Do men not struggle when they are abuse victims? I think any Christian woman should be very bothered by being abused and should have an outlet for getting help emotionally and spiritually. i dont think that's a (bad) result of the feminist movement. Sure, wallowing around in sinful response is wrong. But getting help to get out isn't.

Don Johnson's picture

Anne Sokol wrote:
I guess this is how I see this situation (if you've read thru that blog): this situation has been repeatedly undealt with in a righteous way by ABWE on various private levels. Repeatedly. So, in order to up the ante, they went public. This is where we come in. We are here to consider facts, and put pressure, where we may, on this organization, to finally do some right in this situtation and in other situations that are coming to light through this. I think this is where we come in to this equasion in this particular case.

Other than talking about it here on SI, I mean.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Anne Sokol's picture

have written one letter so far. I am considering more. But I want to see if the ABWE president is still the man of character I knew him to be, so I'm waiting. I know the ABWE administration personally and at least one board member . . . we will see. Praying. Still working through my own anger and shock issues. I want to talk to my parents, too (they are ABWE missionaries), but they are in a no-internet place right now.

Don Johnson's picture

All right then, so what should the rest of us be doing about it?

And, BTW, how will your actions contribute to the solutions of this problem?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Anne Sokol's picture

Mike Loftis was the youth pastor of my church for a while, and he is probably the main reason I'm in Ukraine today. I used to write his wife personally and she acutally wrote me back Smile They've eaten Sunday dinner with us.

The pastor of my sending/home church is an ABWE board member. My dad was also on the staff of our church before they became missionaries, so anyway.

I think everyone should just pray. pray pray pray. I have no idea if my actions will contribute, but my inactions will certainly not contribute. But I know that several pastors who support ABWE missionaries are starting to write them, ask for investigation, etc. So if you support ABWE missionaries, maybe you should kindly do that. I think that is the whole point of the blog.

Greg Long's picture

The actions of the people who created the blog have already helped work towards a solution to this problem, as have the actions of every person who commented, as have the actions of those who pointed people to the blog. I don't think ABWE would have felt the need to respond and then to modify their responses, except for the outpouring of emotion and concern expressed on the blog and as a result of the blog (through direct correspondence to ABWE).

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jay's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
All right then, so what should the rest of us be doing about it?

And, BTW, how will your actions contribute to the solutions of this problem?


I'm not sure what you're getting at, Don, and while I can't speak for Anne, I did advise my pastor of the situation (once ABWE confirmed what was going on) and asked if we are supporting ABWE Missionaries at our church too (we don't). I think that's prudent....esp. since I'm involved with the Missions program at my church. I have no qualms about reconsidering my support of ABWE in light of this revelation.

Furthermore, it contributes to the solution - we may have needed to check on our (hypothetical) missionaries or pull funding. I will not support a missions agency that covers up criminal activities and terminates missionaries without informing their funding/sending churches of what has happened. Furthermore, my pastor mentioned that this isn't the first time he's heard of a situation like this happening, so apparently it's a typical practice.

Proverbs 27:12 would seem to apply here.

"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

Don Johnson's picture

Anne Sokol wrote:
Mike Loftis was the youth pastor of my church for a while, and he is probably the main reason I'm in Ukraine today. I used to write his wife personally and she acutally wrote me back Smile They've eaten Sunday dinner with us.

The pastor of my sending/home church is an ABWE board member. My dad was also on the staff of our church before they became missionaries, so anyway.

So you have some personal connections with ABWE... I can understand your concern.

Anne Sokol wrote:
I think everyone should just pray. pray pray pray. I have no idea if my actions will contribute, but my inactions will certainly not contribute. But I know that several pastors who support ABWE missionaries are starting to write them, ask for investigation, etc. So if you support ABWE missionaries, maybe you should kindly do that. I think that is the whole point of the blog.

You have said you sent one letter. You are also 'going to' talk to your parents about it. And then what? What if none of those actions (plus talking about it on a thread on SI) does anything to help. What will you do then? Will this become your personal crusade, all the way from the Ukraine? Not real practical, is it? And is it your responsibility, beyond maybe writing to express concern because you have some direct connections with ABWE?

For others of us here, what exactly is our responsibility? I wouldn't support an ABWE missionary for separation reasons. I'm not connected with ABWE. I am not on any board connected with ABWE. etc., etc. So... this is really just a news item as far as I am concerned. It is a terrible story and very regrettable and all that, but beyond that, why are you trying to get us on a guilt trip as if we have to do something?

Now, maybe that isn't what you are trying to do, but that is the impression I am getting from your many posts in this thread. So far, I don't see any reason why I should 'do' something. I don't know what I could do, anyway. So I could write a letter, too. Big whoop! What will that accomplish?

I could get on this thread and wring my hands about it and say we all must do something. And what would that accomplish? How would it help this situation or improve any (God forbid) future situation?

Think about it.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

rogercarlson's picture

Don,

My reason for commenting orginally was to comend ABWE for their latest response. Any other board, pastor, church should do the same thing when responding to their sin. IMO ABWE representatives sinned 20 years ago and the current representatives are doing what they can to take ownership of it and correct it. I think that is a great example for any of us if this were to have happened in our ministries before we came.

The only thing we can do about something like this is determine if it affects us or are ministry personally. If I know of of a church or parachurch organization that handles something like ABWE, what I will try to confront them. If that doesn't work, I will seperate from them. How does that work practically? Withdraw from any fellowship that I would have had is no longer until they deal with the matter Biblically. That would mean not go to conferences where they would preach, etc. Will it matter to the organization? Maybe, maybe not. But I believe God will be honored.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Greg Long's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
For others of us here, what exactly is our responsibility? I wouldn't support an ABWE missionary for separation reasons. I'm not connected with ABWE. I am not on any board connected with ABWE. etc., etc. So... this is really just a news item as far as I am concerned. It is a terrible story and very regrettable and all that, but beyond that, why are you trying to get us on a guilt trip as if we have to do something?

Now, maybe that isn't what you are trying to do, but that is the impression I am getting from your many posts in this thread. So far, I don't see any reason why I should 'do' something. I don't know what I could do, anyway. So I could write a letter, too. Big whoop! What will that accomplish?

I could get on this thread and wring my hands about it and say we all must do something. And what would that accomplish? How would it help this situation or improve any (God forbid) future situation?

Think about it.


It seems that the letter-writing, email-writing, phone-calling, and blog-posting did have an effect on ABWE. No one's asking you to do anything, Don, but I hope you're not implying that all that was just a "big whoop."

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I think we take to heart the saying that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. It would be best if those directly connected to a church or organization took action without any other pressures being brought to bear, but sometimes it ain't so. If it does take an outcry for Christians in positions of leadership/influence to be held accountable for illegal and immoral activity, then that's what it takes. I have no problem with that. It's the level of hysteria that some people attempt to generate that usually muddles the situation. Even though we are shocked, broken-hearted, and angered, we don't need to demonstrate our passion for justice with hyperbole and vitriol.

RPittman's picture

Anne wrote:
About feminism. i think you need to be careful with what you are imlpying. Are you saying abused women today have problems b/c feminism has groomed them to have struggles after they are abused? Do men not struggle when they are abuse victims? I think any Christian woman should be very bothered by being abused and should have an outlet for getting help emotionally and spiritually. i dont think that's a (bad) result of the feminist movement. Sure, wallowing around in sinful response is wrong. But getting help to get out isn't.
No, Anne, I am not saying, "[A ]bused women today have problems b/c feminism has groomed them to have struggles after they are abused?" What I am saying is that the feminist approach is the wrong way to handle it. The feminist approach is more about political philosophy than personal help although it professes to help the individual. Feminist philosophy is rage and empowerment whereas the Christian response is more about a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who knows our every testing. Yes, the perpetrator of abuse must be turned over to civil authority and punished but help for the victim is found in the grace and comfort of God. Sometimes, we must teach Biblical principles of forgiveness, faith, and hope to the victims to equip them with tools for coping with their hurt, anger, and sense of violation. IMHO, the victim's coping and response is as critical to the victim's future as the original travesty. Rage and anger soon precipitate into bitterness and cynicism that can destroy one's joy and hinder his or her service for God.

RPittman's picture

Jay C. wrote:
Don Johnson wrote:
All right then, so what should the rest of us be doing about it?

And, BTW, how will your actions contribute to the solutions of this problem?


I'm not sure what you're getting at, Don, and while I can't speak for Anne, I did advise my pastor of the situation (once ABWE confirmed what was going on) and asked if we are supporting ABWE Missionaries at our church too (we don't). I think that's prudent....esp. since I'm involved with the Missions program at my church. I have no qualms about reconsidering my support of ABWE in light of this revelation.

Furthermore, it contributes to the solution - we may have needed to check on our (hypothetical) missionaries or pull funding. I will not support a missions agency that covers up criminal activities and terminates missionaries without informing their funding/sending churches of what has happened. Furthermore, my pastor mentioned that this isn't the first time he's heard of a situation like this happening, so apparently it's a typical practice.

Proverbs 27:12 would seem to apply here.

Yes, it can apply but it doesn't open the door to witch hunts either!

Jay's picture

How is it a witch hunt if ABWE confirms the suspicions? Did anyone here say that we should suspect other missionaries of the same thing, or accuse ABWE of intentionally covering up more of this?

"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

RPittman's picture

Jay C. wrote:
How is it a witch hunt if ABWE confirms the suspicions? Did anyone here say that we should suspect other missionaries of the same thing, or accuse ABWE of intentionally covering up more of this?
Jay wrote:
I'm not sure what you're getting at, Don, and while I can't speak for Anne, I did advise my pastor of the situation (once ABWE confirmed what was going on) and asked if we are supporting ABWE Missionaries at our church too (we don't). I think that's prudent....esp. since I'm involved with the Missions program at my church. I have no qualms about reconsidering my support of ABWE in light of this revelation.[emphasis added ]
Jay, somehow your two statements don't seem to jive. It seems that you are would consider pulling support of ABWE missionaries who may be very remotely removed from this incident. Is it guilt by association or what? What are you thinking?

Furthermore, my comment was specifically directed toward the application of Proverbs 27:12, not the ABWE situation.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

RPittman wrote:
Aaron, your rationalistic reasoning has played you false again. You have NOT eliminated all the possibilities before erroneously posting: "In short, yes, you did say something about their motives and no assuming was involved." Well, you did wrongly assume. Here are some possibilities:

1. They did it just to be politically correct and to be accepted among the politically correct brethren. (I think Peter did this on more than one occasion. So, if an Apostle is subject to such pressures, why not others?)
2. They buy into (i.e. believe) political correctness and were sincere.
3. Politically correct pressure brought them to respond.
4. They're being politically correct to gull folks into thinking all is alright.
5. They did what they thought was in the best interests of the ministry.
6. They are naive and are not savvy enough to realize the ramifications.

Well, Aaron, I could go on ad infinitum, but please tell me which of the above I implied. I would really like to know my sinister intentions.


I think you may be forgetting what you what you actually wrote. I reproduce it below. Very few of the items in your list above are compatible with the actual words.

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. 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.


In case it's still not clear, you called it a "great show" and characterized it as a nauseating display of piety.
(I could be wrong but I'm assuming the piety nauseates you because you believe it's false piety. If you're actually nauseated by true piety, I've completely misunderstood, but really, who could blame me?)

Maybe being free of "rationalistic reasoning" means being able to retroactively resignify words? It's probably easier to just say "I overstated my point and think better of it now." No shame in that, really. We all do it sometimes.
In any case, if you're now denying that ABWE's statement is some kind of nauseating, politically-correct pretense, I'm happy to hear that!

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.

RPittman's picture

Don wrote:
For others of us here, what exactly is our responsibility? I wouldn't support an ABWE missionary for separation reasons. I'm not connected with ABWE. I am not on any board connected with ABWE. etc., etc. So... this is really just a news item as far as I am concerned. It is a terrible story and very regrettable and all that, but beyond that, why are you trying to get us on a guilt trip as if we have to do something?

Now, maybe that isn't what you are trying to do, but that is the impression I am getting from your many posts in this thread. So far, I don't see any reason why I should 'do' something. I don't know what I could do, anyway. So I could write a letter, too. Big whoop! What will that accomplish?

I strongly agree with what I think you are saying. What is the purpose of this thread and all the blogging? What's the good coming out of it? Not much, I'm afraid. I don't think this thread is going to affect the ABWE situation very much. However, good can happen if people will let it.

One of the things in child sexual abuse prevention is keeping vigilant. It's hard to remain constantly vigilant over a long time. Constant vigilance, however, is best achieved by keeping the threat and need high profile. So, what can you do? Well, what are you doing at your church? Do you have policies and procedures for working with children? Do you have a plan for dealing with allegations? Of themselves, these things have little value unless implemented and enforced. On the other hand, a good plan properly implemented and practiced will reduce the risk to a bare minimum.

Are you convinced of the risk? If so, what are you doing about it? What are you doing to help and aid the victims of sexual abuse in your church?

Do you need Scripture? "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Hebrews 12:13-15)." "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men (I Thessalonians 5:15)."

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't see any reason at all to reconsider support of ABWE missionaries. Does anybody think that no other mission boards have some "bad apples"? Seems to me that the organization is moving in the right direction and this is reason to be more supportive not less supportive of them and their constituents.

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.

Jim's picture

Quote:
What is the purpose of this thread and all the blogging? What's the good coming out of it?

  • The purpose of this thread was to report the ABWE confession
  • All the blogging?
    • If you are referring to the MK blog referenced above: http://bangladeshmksspeak.com/
    • It's clear to me that ABWE would not have begun to act proactively unless she (they) had gone public
Anne Sokol's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
I don't see any reason at all to reconsider support of ABWE missionaries. Does anybody think that no other mission boards have some "bad apples"? Seems to me that the organization is moving in the right direction and this is reason to be more supportive not less supportive of them and their constituents.
As a missionary, too, I would like to add, that if you are going to drop support for something the missionary has not directy done to disqualify from service, strongly consider not dropping until they are planning a furlough time.

Jay's picture

RPittman wrote:
Jay C. wrote:
How is it a witch hunt if ABWE confirms the suspicions? Did anyone here say that we should suspect other missionaries of the same thing, or accuse ABWE of intentionally covering up more of this?
Jay wrote:
I'm not sure what you're getting at, Don, and while I can't speak for Anne, I did advise my pastor of the situation (once ABWE confirmed what was going on) and asked if we are supporting ABWE Missionaries at our church too (we don't). I think that's prudent....esp. since I'm involved with the Missions program at my church. I have no qualms about reconsidering my support of ABWE in light of this revelation.[emphasis added ]
Jay, somehow your two statements don't seem to jive. It seems that you are would consider pulling support of ABWE missionaries who may be very remotely removed from this incident. Is it guilt by association or what? What are you thinking?

Furthermore, my comment was specifically directed toward the application of Proverbs 27:12, not the ABWE situation.


No, it's not guilt by association - I'm not punishing the missionaries for someone else's actions. I'm "punishing" - even though that's not the right term - ABWE for concealing a criminal abuser. I'm saying that I can't fund ABWE because of what they did. If I had a missionary with ABWE, I'd make it clear to ABWE that the church's funding is ONLY to be used for the guy we're supporting and that I will not consider funding any more future missionaries as a result. I say this because I know some missions agencies pool all the church income for all of their missionaries, and some do it line by line - so cash from First Baptist of Constantinople goes only to the missionary that FBConstantinople is supporting.

What ABWE did is so egregious that I don't think I could fund any of their future missionaries, although I'm willing to back off that stance now that ABWE is contracting with GRACE or the other agency. Now they're putting things to rights, but I certainly don't know if I would want to support an agency that had covered in the past.

As for Proverbs - If I know that ABWE covered for a criminal, then I have reason to avoid them. As I just said, I'm willing to reconsider that, but ABWE isn't going to be my preferred missions agency for a while.

--edit--

So I guess all I'm really saying is that I won't be planning on funding future ABWE Missionaries until I'm sure that this cannot happen again. Fair enough?

"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

Don Johnson's picture

RPittman wrote:
I strongly agree with what I think you are saying. What is the purpose of this thread and all the blogging?

Right, that is what I am objecting to. There is a lot of recrimination, broad generalization, accusations that we're all guilty because we're fundamentalists, and, it seemed to me, calls for us to do something about this specific situation.

RPittman wrote:
One of the things in child sexual abuse prevention is keeping vigilant. It's hard to remain constantly vigilant over a long time. Constant vigilance, however, is best achieved by keeping the threat and need high profile. So, what can you do? Well, what are you doing at your church? Do you have policies and procedures for working with children? Do you have a plan for dealing with allegations?

Yes to all of that. One thing that has developed here recently is that the insurance companies are insisting on written abuse policies and good practices. We try to implement all the suggestions we have received from the insurance company and via consultation with other churches.

In some ways, this is a case of the children of the world being wiser than the children of light. Policies like this have been in place for kids sports around here before we even were aware.

All of these things we can do.

But to sit here and use a news item to somehow lay a load of guilt on everyone who reads it and isn't doing something about this specific situation, well... the mind boggles...

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

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