Saturday, January 12, 2008

Paige Patterson and Dr. Vines

I am going to shock many of you with what I am about to say. But I feel it is the right thing to do. When this is over, I want to walk away from this knowing I did everything the Lord prompted me to do. And that I, in love, not only confronted the sin, but also defended when appropriate. We are not supposed to cast judgement without all of the facts. With DG, there are more than enough facts and allegations (a 20 year background), and biblically I Tim. 5:19-20 says, "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning." This is talking about elders sin."
Now, my point. There are many things being said about Paige Patterson and Dr. Vines. I have my own personal feelings about what did and did not happen in the past, and even now. However, to blast them on this or any other site only based on what we are being told by the media and the past allegations of cover up, would be wrong. I Tim. 6:11-12,20-21 says, "...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge...Grace be with you." What we feel was cover up, and what we are reading (I am guilty of this too) is in effect godless chatter and false knowledge. We really don't know what either man said or did outside of what is being reported to us. I know that I wish they had done more at that time and even now (making a statement admitting mistakes) but, we have to remember they may be wishing they had done more, they have to live with that knowledge every day. And no matter what they say publicly right now it can be misconstrued and taken out of context. I do fully believe they were in over their heads with DG back then, and I truly believe they did not know how to properly handle it. They made mistakes, but don't we all? Every day.
I am not defending them fully, but I have had a heart check and as I pray for the purifying of my heart and the correct motives, I must speak this truth out loud especially with so many of you reading and responding. I do not want to be responsible for passing judgement on these men. We know who the real criminal is here.
I do not believe either of these men condoned the behavior of DG, nor did they feel what he did was o.k. If they did, there would have never been an inquiry in 1991 - and I know personally they pursued all of the allegations that were brought to them in June 1991. I can't answer for any of the other times. I know Dr. Vines was sick over it and shocked. I met and talked with him during that time. I am sure they have regrets. If there were allegations overlooked and dismissed by Patterson, he and the victims and the Lord know it.
Do we really know that they did not warn the churches? No we do not. Do we know why Dr. Vines later spoke in DG's church? No, we can only speculate. Do we know why they have chosen not to apologize publicly for making some of these mistakes? No, although we are waiting and it would make us feel better. Should DG have ever had the ability to speak in a pulpit again? Absolutely not, and both of these men told him this to his face, and Paige Patterson stripped him of his seminary license to preach (whatever it is titled) he went on to preach without the license of a Pastor. And the last time DG contacted Patterson (one year ago), he again told him he washed his hands of him and because of his past and his divorce, he biblically was not worthy of Pastoring and he would not talk to him again. And Dr. Vines did not speak with him or associate with him for a number of years until DG came to him and lied saying he had completed treatment for sexual addiction and asked for his forgiveness, Dr. Vines extended him forgiveness but also told him he still should not preach. I know he later spoke in his church, he knows this was a poor choice. But we do not know the full story.
To crucify these two men over the sins and problems of DG would serve no purpose. To challenge these men to stand up now and humbly admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness is, I believe, totally appropriate, especially as they are leaders and called to a high standard. And what I would like to see is for them to now step up and help put an end to this problem within the church.
They cannot stop sin, but we need a system where sexual predators go on the books (especially after more than one allegation) some kind of record accessible by all churches to check before hiring Pastors or other staff. It is not enough to do criminal background checks because many times victims do no more than confront the church, so there is no public record. We need a system available to churches nationwide that prevents this. I know several people have asked for this for years (primarily I know Christa Brown has made this her mission) isn't it time now to make this happen. Such a simple thing really. Who better than two prominent voices like Paige Patterson and Dr. Vines? I am told there is a record within the SBC but it is private and only used by them. That does not help the churches! We cannot stop all of the predators, but what if it were a substantial number? DG would have never made it to Victory or Shiloh or FBC for that matter if this had been in place tears ago. Think of all of the victims who would have been saved - at least 50. That is a shame. That is the REAL issue here. Let's stop this abuse. Let God hold them accountable for their sins, but let's not partake in it by turning our heads. And let's not further the sin by tearing each other apart. I am preaching at myself here to. Christ loved the sinner but hated the sin. Let's focus on the sin and put the devil on the defense He wants this sin to destroy God's house and the families within. Let's make a strong circle in the name of Jesus and make the devil flee. He can only have the power over us that we allow, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." DG was an impostor among us, he was falsely shepherding for his own gain. We need real men of God shepherding. Let's all allow God to make some good out of this, shall we? Who is with me on this? I think it is time for God to be glorified by us all doing the right thing. Thank you for your time as I rambled on, I cannot believe the time - I have chosen every word carefully and had to wait until the house was quiet to think clearly.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't Be Afraid Anymore

I know of several people who have been courageous with their stories and are a little intimidated about the thought of speaking out in front of the State Attorney and a court room. I know you feel a little scared at the thought of facing Darrell Gilyard again and others who may be there. I know you are worried about your name and your story being known. It is one thing to tell case workers or detectives in one quiet meeting or even telling me in a personal email or phone call. It is much bigger to tell it publicly in a court. I know their are those of you who feel you and your family will be embarrassed and I understand, fully, what you mean. It is difficult to expose the truth when it is this ugly. It is embarrassing, you do at times feel it would be easier to remain silent and just let it go away. But the thing is, it never goes away, not completely. You (I hope) will learn to forgive, but only God is capable of forgetting. It will creep up when you least expect it and it does show up in your life in different ways. Even if you do not allow it to become a focus, it is there.
What I am trying to say is, it is much better to face it, to purge it, to boldly confront it than to try to bury it or remain in bondage by the fear of coming out. You will not be embarrassed unless you allow yourself to be. You were not looking for this, you did not welcome the predator. No matter what you may have even consented to happen, you were still victimized by a respected figure you were supposed to trust. That is a violation and the only one who should carry shame is him. Shame is also a form of bondage and the devil can use that to keep you from all that God has planned for you - and trust me dear friend, He still has BIG plans. You may be able to help someone else down the road that you would otherwise have been unable to help, but with a shared story, there is much compassion and healing. I know from experience. I (after my 1991 incident) went on the following year to work at a Children's Home for troubled and abused children. I had the time of my life there helping others deal with their trauma and healing from physical and sexual abuse from people that they respected and loved. They had the choice to let it negatively affect their lives (some did) or to stand up, and work through it and forgive and to allow God to "work it all for good" because He loves us so. You may think "Why did God allow this?" well, there is this thing called free will, he allows us to sin and make our own choices (your predator made his choice to violate God's and man's law) unfortunately, you were the victim. But God's arms are WIDE open my friend, ready to heal, ready to make Beauty from the ashes. But it is all up to you ,there's that free will thing again : } you have to allow Him to be your strength, you have to welcome Him in to heal and direct you. And you have to expose the truth. You cannot fully heal unless you do, trust me. I have healed all over again during these last few weeks, it does not get any better than allowing God to take something that man meant for harm and let Him (the Great Healer) make it for good.
Please, be courageous (you already are a survivor) don't be silent or afraid, please don't allow your silence to cover his sin. To many people have already, and now there are more victims, I have to live with that also. But, I have seen His hand moving here and I have (with many others) covered this in prayer and I believe He is exposing it all at this time because it is time. I believe God is walking with us right now more than ever. I've seen so much happen this week that you cannot deny His hand at work! So, you pray about it and I know He will walk with you all the way through the process, all the way through what you are now fearing. He will give you strength. He never gives us more than we can bear, he must know you are really strong. Come and join us, let's glorify the Father and put and end to this deceiver. I am proud of you and many others are proud of you as well. The majority of the emails I receive are encouragement and love. It's not as bad as you think. Those that come against you or talk negatively, they are not friends, and they would turn on anyone. Be true to yourself, make your family and friends proud by showing what strength lays underneath those wounds. Then let the Lord be glorified by healing those wounds and using it for good. He is who we serve, not man, not evil.
I love you my fellow victims and warriors!! I know you can do it! I believe in you and I will stand with you. When this is all over, and we are allowed to communicate, we can have a survivors celebration dinner together - how does that sound?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church

To all of you from Shiloh:
I see so many blogs from members there who are hurting.
I want you to know that I feel you have been victimized to. You are supposed to love and respect your Pastor and learn from Him. Of course you feel sad and angry and defensive and many mixed feelings. There were people who knew about Gilyards past and allowed him to come there and shepherd you anyway, but, not everyone knew of his past. Now, you need to pray for healing for your hearts and souls (as many of us are for you) as you will have to heal as well. There are MANY VICTIMS here, not just those he harassed, but those of you who loved him as your Pastor. He is a phenomenal speaker of the Word and God's word does not return back void. So even in the midst of sin, God's word was still speaking to His sheep. I pray that you will not allow your hearts to become bitter and that you will not let this turn you away from the church. Let God heal you (He is who we look to, not to man) and let Him turn these ashes into Beauty!!!!Bless you!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Gilyard Resigns!!!!!

Updated interviews late tonight and all day tomorrow, I will add the links as soon as they become available.
Jacksonville News Stations CBS47, First Coast News, Fox 30 and News 4 Jax confirm the resignation of Gilyard.
See his Resignation Letter here. So where's he headed too next? Looks like Atlanta.

Upcoming News Tonight

I just received word that there will be new reports on CBS 47 News and First Coast News tonight. So please be watching. You will be shocked at what the news will be, it is worth watching. (1/7/08 Monday)