Monday, January 21, 2008

Where do we go from here?

What amazes me at this point are the sheer number of lives damaged here. How many people have really been damaged by these sins? How many lives have been changed and families broken? How many people this trickles down and has a negative effect on.

I am saddened that some people struggle with this in a way that makes them question whether they will ever attend church again. I am also saddened by the thought of the lost world saying "look at those church people, that's why I don't have anything to do with church."

I feel it is better if we allow the sin to be dealt with and exposed rather than covering it up, especially to the lost world. It also sends a better message that it will not be tolerated in the church. It lets the victims know that they do not stand alone and shouldn't just "deal with it" as they watch the perpetrator walk away to another church. That almost tells the victim they are not important and that no one cares about their pain.

But we do care! That is what prompted me to write this particular post. How do we show the people destroyed by this that they matter? That they have cheerleaders wanting them to recover and do more than "learn to live with the pain." Not just talk about the problem, but do something to make it better somehow. How do we tell the lost readers that this should not keep them from seeking God? That this is about the corruptness of man and his choices to sin against God? That most churches would not cover this sin up, and most churches would not call a man to Pastor that had a blemish on his charachter?

I posted recently asking you to encourage the victims and only one person posted. I know many of you are praying for them. Let's take a moment to tell them that we care about them and their recovery? Tell them how brave they are and how sorry we are that they have suffered. Let's show Christ like love to them.

They need encouragement right now as they wait. Let's do something to show them we care and help them begin to heal. This post isn't about Gilyard or the church or the scandal, this is about love in action.

Please note any negative comments or attacks on the victims under this post will be deleted.


Anonymous said...

To those who are thinking about not ever returning to church ... that is just what Satan would have. Remember we are to look to Christ not people. People will fail us.

too much too soon said...

For me, its not a matter of not returning to church, as I have stayed in a church, but not Shiloh.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for Christians....thre wouuld be more............ Christians.

sick of predator pastors said...

I have been very disappointed in the churches unwillingness to question or hold accountable even their general membership much less pastors on areas of outright unrepented sin. I speak in general terms and not on one particular church.

Their seems to be more concern with being embarrassed more than doing what is difficult to stop a problem.

Personally, I think the lost would respect christianity more if we took the initiative to expose and call to question people that are engaging in unrepentant sin.

Anonymous said...

I would like to encourage the victims to not give up and know there are lots of Christians praying for you. You will have to be strong in your faith and in God to keep going to church, I know, and to not be a permanant victim of this pastor and the whole church system, and I encourage you to seek counseling and not just let your feelings take over your life. Good luck and people are praying for you.

Voice_of_Reason said...

Tiffany - I am sure Paige Patterson reads your blog since it mentioned his name. If he doesn't, his minions do. Anyway, please ask him about not just his covering of sexual predators, but of financial predators too. He should be protecting the flocks from predatory pastors, whether they be taking sex or money from the sheep. Please ask him about Mac Brunson accepting a "gift" of a $307,000 piece of land only two weeks after arriving at FBC Jax. And ask him if he KNEW about that gift when he asked seminary students to pray for poor old Mac who got no honeymoon in Jax. And see what he thinks about a new pastor putting his wife and son on salary yet not having a real job position for them and not even including them on the web site staff members list. See if Paige or Jerry Vines will say ANTYHING to these pastors (we already know they can attack us who ask questions) when Paige and Jerry show up for the pastors conference to sell their books and tapes.

It is sickening and someone needs to question these so called men of integrity. Your blog may be the only way to get these guys to consider apologizing, or holding each other accountable!

Voice_of_Reason said...

Tiffany - one other quick question. Was Bob Barton, or Calvin Carr, aware of what happened to you. Bob was the youth pastor and Calvin high school pastor at the time. I think it is important that these guys be held accountable too, IF they knew what happened but kept it quiet. Maybe the newspaper and TV reporters will follow-up on them here in Jacksonville and Gainesville if needed.

Anonymous said...

Hey newspaper and TV reporters that are looking for a story. Ask Mac Brunson about the nepotism, free land gift and by-law changes he implemented at the church. See if he tells you the TRUTH. If not, publish what he does tell you and WE WILL DO THE REST to expose him as a LIAR and FLEECER of his sheep.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

To Voice of Reason: To answer your question about Bob Barton and Calvin Carr, no they had no involvement in the situation. It went straight to Dr.Vines and then Dr. Vines went to Texas where Patterson became involved. Calvin was my youth pastor and he and his wife knew after it was all over. They were helpful and encouraging.
The issue falls on the ones higher up who got him out of the pulpit at that time. He should have never been able to resume that position anywhere. With all of the news at that time (nationally) and the huge split of the church and all of his previous history, I cannot understand why Shiloh hired him. I do know that with no "criminal" charges no actual record was available. But why would anyone want a Pastor with so many problems and such a history to lead their people? And why was he allowed to counsel women and girls alone? Why was the church insurance used to pay people off for their silence? So many questions. We may never know the answers to them.

Christa Brown said...

It's not just Shiloh that uses hush money agreements. Southern Baptist churches all over the country have paid hush money to keep clergy abuse victims quiet. Not long ago, the attorney for the Baptist General Convention of Texas (the largest state-wide Southern Baptist organization in the country) described these sorts of agreements as "standard," and he was talking in the context of clergy sex abuse when he said it.

Back in 2002, the National Catholic Bishops Conference adopted an express policy AGAINST the use of confidentiality (hush money) agreements when dealing with clergy abuse victims. But in 2008, Southern Baptists are still using them. They may be legal, but they are morally reprehensible when used to hush up information about ministers who sexually abuse kids. You'd think religious leaders would realize that.

I don't blame the victims who wind up signing them. They're usually terribly depressed and in desperate need of counseling. It's just further exploitation when church leaders use that vulnerability to get them to sign a secrecy agreement. It contractualizes the victims' undeserved shamed silence and self-blame, which is what the church SHOULD be seeking to help them heal from.

sick of predator pastors said...

I think it is really sad how some people want to take advantage of this blog for their own selfish personal vendettas that have no reason to be here. Please stop posting your accusations about Dr. Brunson on this blog and use your own blog for that garbage.

voice_of_reason said...

sick of predators - thanks for the opportunity to clarify my points. If you can't see the same leadership atmosphere for Gilyard and Brunson (and the countless other pastors that have abused their flocks) that allows these predators to abuse their congregations, then you are not being open minded. One is a financial charlatan and takes what he wants (money) and the other, the same thing but takes sex from woman and girls. Neither has ANY accountability accept to hand-picked yes men and both have other pastors and leaders sticking up for them. The problem is larger than Gilyard or Brunson. Nothing personal against either one, my beef is with the lay leadership that protects these men behind secret budget reports and other bodies. (And with Vines and Patterson, who say and do nothing while the abuse continues right under their noses. "And Paul was there, giving his approval" while they stoned Stephen.)

Hmmm...maybe I will start my own blog. ;)

Anonymous said...

A. I think some of you are way wrong about Mac Brunson, (I mean, I just know from going to First Baptist that I think you are way off about him, don't know for a fact, but I just think this comparison between Brunson and Gilyard is way wrong.

B. Did anyone ever stop to wonder if some of these preachers might be actually not Christian at all, but infiltrators (by satanic organizations) of some of these churches? I would like to just caution everyone involved in some of these incidents to be very careful of some of these preachers and their supporters, (especially if you start getting hate mail and weird phone calls after the fact, or start getting followed around by people, believe me, it won't take long to figure out.) Sometimes I wonder what the current day church is really dealing with. There has to be a really high level of deception going on to be able to get in a pulpit Sunday after Sunday and be lying to such a degree. You never know what might really be going on. (you just wouldn't BELIEVE what some of us out here have seen) Good Luck again to these victims. C. treadway

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

i am going torequest that we keep on track here and that this not become a blasting post for feelings on other Pastors not involved in this particular sin.
Let's not begin to get off track.
This site is about Darrell Gilyard's accountability for his crimes and any other Pastors abusing their sheep in a sexual manner. Especially repeat offenders.
I am sure many people have different opinions of different Pastors in our community, the intentions on this blog are only centered around this problem. Thank you for understanding the goal.

Lin said...

"Did anyone ever stop to wonder if some of these preachers might be actually not Christian at all, but infiltrators (by satanic organizations) of some of these churches?"

No on 'infiltrations', but of course they are NOT Christians. This has to be the biggest problem we have...that we think we are saved when, in fact, we are NOT. Can you get good fruit from a bad tree? Would a 'Christian' wander THAT far off the narrow road over and over? Of course not. They have NOT been regenerated. True Christians are 'broken' by their sin. They HATE it and are in repentance daily. Anyone can call themselves a 'Christian'. And anyone can go to seminary. And anyone can have the 'title' of pastor.

Read Hebrews 10:26-31
Then read all of 1st John and focus on walking in the 'light'. It means a lifestyle.

ms. j said...

To lin:


Pastor Rod H. said...

It should not be a surprise to anyone the deplorable condition of the pastorate.The Lord Jesus Christ at the beginning of his three year minisitry warned his disciples and all who would listen to beware of false prohets who come to you in sheep clothing;though inwardly they are ravenous wolves(Matt 7:15).The greek word for ravenous can be vicious or devouring,but it also can mean a swindler.Jesus further stated that you would know them by there fruit;believe me that without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit these wolves can't restrain their lustful desire for money,power,prominence or sex.In Matt.7:21 Jesus stated that"not every one that says to Me,Lord,Lord,shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven;but he that does the will of My Father which is Heaven.Many will say to Me in that day(judgment day),Lord,Lord,have we not preached in Your Name? and in Your Name cast out devils? and in Your Name done many mighty works?" Jesus replies "then will I profess to them,I never(emphasis)knew you:depart from Me,you workers of iniquity".These men claim to know Christ,but unfortunately Christ did not ever know them.At the end of the Lord ministry just before going to the cross to redeem believers He again gave a sober warning to His disciples in Matt.24;three times in verses 5,11 and finally verse 24:"For there will arise false Christs,and false prophets(preachers),and shall show great signs and wonders;so as to deceive and lead astray,if posssible,even the elect(God chosen ones).Behold,I HAVE WARNED YOU BEFOREHAND(v25).This may have been spoken to these early disciples but it was directed to future beleievers.The Apostle Paul warned the Ephesus elders to "Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the flock of God"."For I know that after I am gone,ferocius wolves will get in among you,not sparing the flock;Even from among your selves men will come to the front who,by saying perverse(distored and corrupt)things,will endeavor to draw away the disciples after them.Therefore be always alert and on your guard[Acts 28:28-31a amplified ].Paul also informed us "wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse,deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and lead astray themselves"[2Tim.3:13].Finally the Apostle Peter warned future saints "There were false prophets among the people(Old Test.Saints),just as there will be false teachers among you.Many will follow there their immoral and lascivious ways;and because of these imposters the WAY OF TRUTH will be maligned and defamed.And in their covetousness(lust,greed)they will exploit you with false arguments[2Peter 3:1-3].The Bible is absolutely filled with warnings of perverted men and women posing as pastor who are actually agents of Satan.God has began His end time judgment and he stated it would begin with cleaning up the wickedness in his true church before He turns his attention to the wicked world[1Peter 4:17-19].Beleive me you are only seeing the beginning of this type of gross perverted activity,this is why brave people like Tiffany must step forward and stand with God and oppose and stop these wicked imposters such as Darrell Gilyard.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Thank you for the wisdom you have shared. I enjoy so much your addition of the scriptures. I fully agree with all that you shared. Please continue to place your comments here.

Ms. J said...

To: Pastor Rod H.

THANKS! I loved reading those scriptures.