That’s what grace is for: reflections on the ABC News 20/20 IFB Report.

I had a whole different post completely written up and ready to post, but I was listening to some music and the Lord spoke to my heart. So you’re getting this version instead…

If you have read my Statement of Faith or my About the Author pages, you know that I am an Independent Fundamental Baptist (or rather, IFB, as many call it) – and I make no apology for it. Naturally, when I first heard about this whole ABC News 20/20 Report on IFB Churches I was slightly infuriated. I know, anger is not of the Lord. So in an effort to be “angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26a), I kept my mouth shut about it for a couple days, let myself simmer down, watched the report for myself, and read several other articles on the matter.

This is my first attempt to talk about it… well, second attempt if you count the first note I wrote and opted not to post.

Instead of voicing my disapproval (not that it matters) for the way this situation was handled in the news report, and instead of trying to set the record straight on behalf of IFB churches who do not fall into the “rapist/molesters/abusers” category, I have an open letter for Tina Anderson.

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Dear Tina,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry you were hurt. I’m sorry that men who were supposed to be your protectors became your preditors. I don’t know what it’s like to be betrayed in that manner – molested and raped – so I can’t say that I feel your pain or understand what you went through.

I’m sure the days were hard. I’m sure that the day-to-day struggle drained you – emotionally and physically. And I can only imagine that you wanted to throw in the towel and simply give up on life. You have had to relive those days over and over again with every memory flashback that appeared in your mind; it’s as if you’ve been trapped in a prison of your memory for the past 13 years. How many nights did you cry yourself to sleep? How many times did you ask God why He allowed such hideous things to happen to you?

I’d like to share something with you that happened in my family many years ago…

My grandfather was murdered. The bullet paralized him from the neck down, and he struggled to live for a short time after he was shot. Before he died though, he was able to identify his killer to the police from his hospital bed. My dad, being the rough-and-tumble man that he was, told my grandfather that he could kill the murderer if grandpa wanted him to – all he had to do was say the word. With all the strength he could muster, this is what grandpa said to my dad: “Son, if you do that, he will not only have gotten me, but he will have gotten you too.”

The killer went to prison, grandpa died, and within two years my dad buried 18 of the people he loved most – including his brother and his best friend. Several years have past since then, and my dad realized that if he allowed bitterness and hatred to build up in his heart, it would destroy him and his family without having the slightest affect on the one the emotions were targeted at.

Bitterness is poison to the human heart. It poisons the heart from wence it comes, and has enormous affects on those closest to said heart. And the larger it grows, the more it destroys. The Bible said it best in Hebrews 12:15 – “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.”  It’s not always easy to forgive; it’s even harder to forget — impossible, even. It’s hard. It hurts.

You have a beautiful family now – your children are precious. I wonder if you’ve told them what mommy went through when she was a little girl? Do they know? Have they seen the hurt in your eyes as you replay your childhood? Have they heard the bitterness in your voice as you talk about your IFB upbringing? Thirteen years later, has Ernie gotten your family as well?

Answers. We always want answers. We want to know why… we need to have explanations! But sometimes God is silent in His replies. He doesn’t always give us His reasoning why He allowed certain things. One of my favorite quotes is this:

“…But faith sits down before mysteries such as these, and says, ‘The Lord is good, therefore all that He does must be good, no matter how it looks, and I can wait for His explanations.'”  ~ H.W. Smith

The Lord is  good, and He’s so faithful. And though it may hurt more than words could ever express, we must remember that nothing happens in our lives before it first slides across God’s desk and gets stamped with His permission. That includes heartbreak. That includes murder. That includes rape.

The past is said and done now. Nothing you do or say will go back and undo what’s happened. But nothing that has happened to you cannot be forgiven. Sometimes I forget that my sin caused the Saviour’s crucifixion just as much as the sin of the man sitting in prison did. Yet no matter how bad, how gross, how hurtful – the blood of Christ is strong enough to cleanse the sinner and wipe out sin stains forever. The same blood that covers you and I, covers the vilest of men when he calls upon the Name of Jesus Christ.

Your story, in it’s many variations, has been repeated throughout history: Joseph, Bathsheba, Tamar, Corrie Ten Boom, and so many more. Each story different, yet each story the same. Different because of the people and actions involved; the same because of the end-result that grace has.

I am thankful that, after all that you have gone through, you have kept your faith in the Lord. I’ve seen people go through much less and walk away from their faith. Keep holding on to Him. He’ll mend your broken heart; walk through mercy’s door — that’s what grace is for.

Sincerely,
Heather Joy
Romans 5:20b

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Posted on April 13, 2011, in Open Letter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. And THAT is a Christ-like response. He is still on the Throne. So thankful for His grace and mercy, and that his mercies are NEW every morning!!

    Laura

  2. I watched the 20/20 report on YouTube yesterday afternoon. I heard about it through a brother at church. It was very hard, and I don’t think it gave IFB a fair shake. Playing videos by people like Jack Schaap (who needs to be saved anyway) really do a lot of damage to the name Independent Fundamental Baptist. The word “cult” is way too strong for it, and they should have been a little more fair due to the fact that they’re not the only denomination with these problems! I am so sorry for Tina and Jocelyn who were harmed by those who should be watching over them, and I pray that they would be comforted by the Holy Spirit and not hold bitter feelings toward all IFB’s for what happened to them. There was recently a church nearby us who was an Independent Baptist church by the same name as ours (common church name) that had a problem just like this, only this man was deeply rooted in children’s ministry, we had explain to people we are not affiliated with them, people just do not understand that it seems. Sickening, what these men did, to say the least, and if we are so outraged by what these evil men have done, how much more is the Thrice-Holy God? As we have seen, God has not let this go unpunished on earth, and He certainly will not on that Great Day of Judgment. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

    Thanks for posting, this was on my mind as well.

  3. I had the same reaction at first… anger. And just like you, I had to remind myself to keep my mouth shut. After considering and pondering what was said and covered in the 20/20 report, the main thing I thought about was the “big” leaders and pastors we support and associate with. Like any woman, I struggle with the fine line of desiring respect and love vs. desiring equality and authority. I will say, whole-heartedly, I believe that my role is not the same as that of a man. My husband is the final authority in decision making, and I am to submit myself to his authority. There is a certain way that I should dress, certain things that should be covered, certain things I should not do, certain places I should not go, etc. HOWEVER, since I was a teenager going to summer camp, I’ve had a hard time with some of the “big” independent, fundamental baptist leaders and their view of what a “biblical woman” should be. These leaders are the main examples to the lost and dying world of what we believe and teach. Because a woman is a size 22 instead of a size 2, she’s not a good example of what a Christian woman should be? If you get married as a size 6 and you become a size 10 and your husband decides to be an adulterer, you’re to blame because you gained some weight? If you wear a size 14 or larger, you shouldn’t represent a church or school because you’re not a good example of a Christian woman? Is your physical appearance the most important thing about you? Is that why a man should want to marry you? I realize that your body is the temple and you should take care of it… But, does being overweight make you a bad Christian? Really? … And why do we only hear this junk about women? What about overweight men? Why don’t we ever hear rantings in sermons about that? The whole thing to me is sickening, carnal, degrading and disgusting! I can’t imagine Jesus ever saying, “sorry ma’am, you’re too overweight to represent me.” Not only that, but sometimes, the presentation of truth is so arrogantly given… what happened to meekness? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE strong preaching! I love me some Tony Hutson just throwing the raw truth out there! But only when it comes from the Bible… none of this, “I can’t stand…” or “It makes me angry when…” or “It makes me sick that…” ~ I don’t care what makes you sick, I don’t care what you don’t like, I care what makes GOD sick! That’s why I do what I do and believe what I believe! Thank God for my “IFB” church that “speaks the truth in love”!!! The Word of God is offensive enough, you don’t have to add your 2 cents to it! God lays out His practical plan for us in His word, we don’t need men’s preferences! So, if there is anything to be learned from the 20/20 special, it is that we need to do a better job of “speaking the truth in love” to the world… their view of us is so terribly wrong because of the arrogant, hateful example being portrayed by some who call themselves independent, fundamental baptists.

    • Amen. Great comment, Marlie. Thank you.

      • How is a woman finally seeing justice served equate bitterness? How is it that all of you have forgotten that Tina DID not pursue this? The police came to her. And she complied. How is that wrong? How is that bitter? How could ANY of you watch 20/20 and see Tina or Jocelyn and come to the clonclusion that they are bitter?

        Heather, the big thing you are missing is that with your Grandfathers story JUSTICE WAS SERVED. This has NOT happened with Tina or Jocelyn. You cannot use an example to them when they have not had their abuse vindicated. It is sooo wrong!

        And how did you miss Tina stating that when her children were old enough she would tell them her story?

        What I saw on 20/20 was two heart-broken women standing for righteousness. Only the blind could miss it.

        • Sorry, three heart broken women.

        • Absolutely! See justice served – I couldn’t agree more.

          I think you misunderstood my post though. I did not say she was bitter. I was encouraging her to avoid becoming bitter.

          Justice has now been served for Tina. But my point with the story about my grandfather was not to point out whether or not justice was served. My point was what my grandpa told my father. My point was that Ernie got Tina, but if she allows bitterness into her life over the situation then Ernie will have gotten her family as well. She’s been hurt enough – why continue it in the heart?

          Indeed, the women were broken-hearted. I was broken-hearted FOR them! I did not miss that.

          I do, however, think it’s a shame that the News Report made all IFB Churches to be a “cult,” when that could not be further from the truth.

          Blessings to you and your family.

          • Tina has not received justice when part of the offense against her was done by the Pastor and her mother. What the pastor did was vile and an offense against Christ. FTR I am IFB myself and the fact that this happened in a church of the same name brings shame on my church unless we do something about it.

          • Rod, I’m not sure if you saw this or not – and I’m not sure what in it is true or not, but here’s the link: http://www.drchuckphelps.com/

            “…the fact that this happened in a church of the same name brings shame on my church unless we do something about it.”
            I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Marlie, I am a man and thank you for this excellent summary. The ego has no place, ever, especially at the pulpit.

  4. I know you may not have intended it this way, but your letter comes across as very condescending. You imply that Tina is “bitter” (or is in danger of becoming so) simply because she decided to go public with her story. Nothing that I saw of her on the 20/20 show seemed bitter to me. She was just a woman living a quiet life when the police contacted her regarding her story. There is nothing wrong with desiring to seek justice.

    • I’m sorry that you feel that way.

      She may not be in danger of bitterness at all. And if that is the case, wonderful! My comments on the matter were merely to encourage her to keep trusting the Lord and seeking to be Christ-like in her spirit.

  5. I see a couple of things here about your letter Heather.

    1) It was written after you stopped and thought about your first response in regards to her writing off and condemning the denomination you love.

    2.) It forced you to consider her experience and in doing that you were able to say sorry to her – which is a good thing.

    3.) You were able to draw on your own families experience in a couple of important area’s.

    Now a couple of things.

    It’s been my experience that sometimes Christians are too quick to forgive and they shunt their emotions and memories deep down below and try to bury them – instead of processing them… By actually acknowledging the fullness of your hurt and that you have a right to be hurt – you can then truly start the forgiveness process…

    This means within a pastoral setting we need to first build the bridges with a person and truly explore with them – their feelings, memories, responses and not even mention anything about forgiveness at this point in time – though praying for and with the person for God to heal the wounds / memories is a good thing.

    Once the person has truly vented and got out of their system how they feel – then it is time to explore the issue of forgiveness. On another note – within a pastoral / counselling setting its never wise to bring into the situation our own experiences – for in doing so it then makes it about us and makes it hard to bring the counselling / pastoral event back to the context and trauma of the other person… and it can and does often shut the other person down… simply because its impossible for any one of us to KNOW what the other is feeling or gone through – all we can do is listen and give them feedback / reflect as to what we hear them saying and how we can hear them frustrated, hurt, sad, down, wits end …etc.

    Having said that – I realize your letter was not a pastoral response as such and that it will be most likely that you wont have any direct contact with the person whom the ABC spoke about… and therefore you were more writing about the whole issue of pain and experience and how forgiveness must take place…. and that within this letter you were venting your own hurts and wounds within your own family setting… how awful this must be for you and your family…and yet how therapeutic it must be to be able to write about it.

    Bless you Heather. I truly pray that the Lord will truly bring Joy to you all in the midst of heartache…that he will heal the memories of the past, that rivers of water will flush out the strains of pain upon your bodies and minds and that the Lord will bring about peace and healing for the lady you spoke about and many others who have been hurt in the church or are hurting in the church – through his ways. In Jesus name I pray.

  6. I think that this would be something for me to address in my own blog, TheRecoveringLegalist.com, because I am one of the “hurt.” Even now I am writing, then erasing, my thoughts. As a matter of fact, I just erased 20 minutes worth of stuff.

    I don’t want to offend, but many IFB churches ARE way out of line with the way women are treated. They are WAY out of line when it comes to their interpretation and application of the doctrine of separation. The very things ABC showed, I saw and heard preached through my youth into my 20’s. As a matter of fact, I believe that there ARE many IFB churches that could be categorized as “occult.” On the other hand, I believe…

    Not all IFB churches are this way. The last church I attended was an independent church, and it was NOTHING like what I grew up with. Further, being and SBC pastor, I can truthfully attest to the fact that OUR church, just like all SBC churches, are ALSO independent. Every Southern Baptist church is autonomous and answers to nobody but God. That being said, ABC did a great dis-service by attempting to lump all IFB churches into one category.

    It was shameful of ABC to paint the picture of IFB churches as categorically approving of child abuse, rape, and incest. The reporter was smug and condescending. She was also disingenuous concerning Scripture and orthodox Christian doctrine.

    All in all, I think the ABC report was unfair, but it did raise issues which need to be addresses, not only in the IFB churches, but all Christian denominations. Don’t think for one moment that this smear piece was meant to hurt IFB churches, only. It was meant to cause hatred for ALL churches that preach the Gospel without compromise, Independent or not.

  7. Sorry, I didn’t get back here until today. My comment about Jack Schaap is based upon his repeated, consistently un-christian behavior and his absolute denial of the essential doctrine of repentance. His fruits have shown that he is frankly a charlatan posing as a Christian and maybe he thinks he is one, sadly enough, but looking at his life his fruit shows that he has no repentance manifest at all and that leads me to doubt his salvation severely. While I cannot say for sure, I still believe that he is not, primarily because of denial of repentance and the Lordship of Christ at salvation. Could be wrong, and I’ll accept that, but even so he is dangerous and should be warned against. His pragmatism is the most dangerous of his deceptions.

  8. After about half and hour on YouTube or so, allow me to retract on repentance. He seems to hold so some view of repentance somewhere. But he has been shown, if you search it out some, that he has lied and used terms that are truly unfit for a minister of the gospel, I dare say Christians at all, in his “preaching”. I stand on the pragmatism and the Lordship of Christ position though.

  9. Perhaps I should say denial of the Scriptural view of repentance, but clings to the Hyles-ian view of repentance which is very weak if there is any at all. I see what you could call the “hard-believist” view of repentance in the Bible, being demonstrated by deep contrition and complete abandonment of that sin. This happens not by human effort, but by the granting of repentance from God who has given Godly-sorrow, conviction, and the time in which to repent and continually supplies strength through the Holy Spirit to resist temptation and stay away from that sin. I’m not trying to overload the comment section, I am simply trying to be as clear as I can, and the more I think about it the more I feel the need to be clearer. Here it is: the shallow 1-2-3 repeat after me, easy-believism that First Baptist of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson is famous for is absolute heresy and is sending people to Hell by droves. Are some saved in this? Yes! But in spite of it and not because of it. While I don’t stand with David Cloud on a lot of things, you can kind of see where I come from if you look at what he has said about this controversy.

    If I have been unclear at all I beg your forgiveness and thank you for being patient to read this far.

    God richly bless you.

    By the way, I really enjoy reading what is posted here, this blog is very interesting and is one thing I love to came back to visit.

    • I can’t say that I agree with you completely on this one, but thank you for responding to my comment. I really appreciate it.

      The Lord has really used Dr. Hyles, Dr. Schaap, Hyles-Anderson, and First Baptist of Hammond to do a great, great work. They have been faithful men in the ministry. I dare to say they accomplish more for the Lord in one year than most Christians will accomplish in their lifetime. They are on fire, zealous, and pushing forward for the cause of Christ. I’m thankful for them and their ministry.

      I’m so glad you enjoy visiting this blog! There’s a lot going on around here, and a good, healthy, civil discussion is always welcome (and encouraged)! :]

      Blessings to you as well!

      • I have to say, I understand what Mike is saying. I probably would not go as far as to say that I don’t think Jack Schaap is saved, but I can understand why you might question. Honestly, I love preaching! I’ve already said, I love STRONG preaching… but, the majority of the time, I can’t listen to him. It doesn’t help me spiritually, or make me want to be better for Christ. I need to hear, “The Bible says that God thinks *this* and that’s why we should do it.” Not, “I think *this*… and you better do it.”

        • Amen, good preaching is hard to come by these days. The more I look the more I find it in the people who have passed on before us into Glory, but they left behind a bunch of good preaching tapes and CD’s. Start scrolling through Sermon Audio or Sermon Index in the classic speaker’s section sometime, you might find something surprising.

  10. There are a couple of things to say. First your family’s experience is nothing like Tina. Your father was seeking to do a great or exact revenge. What Tina is doing is to right a wrong through the law. She is not doing anything wrong. She is working through law enforcement to see that her rapist gets his day in court, justice not revenge. And by going on 20/20 she is telling her story to help others who have been abused and to help raise awareness to what happened to her. Unfortunately her story is not an isolated one.

    Secondly you cannot confuse anguish or even anger with bitterness. When I hear Tina’s story I get upset. It makes me mad knowing what happened to her, how she was treated and how wronged she truly was, but that doesn’t make me bitter. People like to use bitterness as a whipping boy. You can be angry at what happened to you and not be bitter. You can be upset and still forgive. The Bible doesn’t condemn anger. Look at the Psalms they are filled with vitriolic language of David lamenting God, lamenting his attackers and sometimes lamenting life itself. Deep anger. We don’t sing those Psalms but they fill up a good portion of that book. Tina has every right to be angry. But I didn’t even see that in the interview much less bitterness. They pointed out that she is not angry or bitter at God. God isn’t the problem. And she certainly is not bitter.

    • First of all, thank you for your comment!

      Secondly, you’re right – my family’s situation isn’t anything like Tina’s, and I did address the fact that I could not know what she’s gone through because I’ve never been in her shoes in the first paragraph of the letter. I never compared my family’s situation to her own – I was simply using the story to lead up to the point I was trying to make – what my grandfather told my dad. I’m apologize for any confusion.

      Please understand that I was upset when I heard Tina’s story as well – it made me mad as well. My heart hurt for her. As you said, there is a difference between anger and bitterness – well said. I couldn’t agree more.

      I never once in the letter said that I believed Tina was bitter. In a comment below mentioned that I thought she had a very sweet and humble spirit about her in the interview. My letter was merely an encouragement for her to keep on that path.

  11. I was IFB…trained to blame the victim and not correctly deal with the offender. It is easy to warn someone to not be bitter when you have not been through deep waters…been there and done that…UNTIL i went through deep waters

    • Yes, it’s easy to talk the talk when you’re not having to walk it. I’ve been through my own deep waters, so I understand what you’re saying.

      Thank you for the comment. Blessings.

  12. The use of Heb 12:9 is getting a lot of use these days to warn people not to feel bitter. If you’ll study the passage, I believe you’ll find that it has nothing whatever to do with people feeling bitter. The writer of Hebrews is making a reference to Deut 29.

    It’s actually an agricultural metaphor. If you’ve seen the movie French Kiss you remember Luke smuggling a piece of grape vine with root from America to France to replant a vineyard. Similarly, sometimes vinekeepers get a bit of root from a good vineyard and plant it in theirs in an attempt to improve their crop. Obviously, you have to be careful when you do that because if you accidentally get the wrong root, a vine that produces bitter fruit could overtake your vineyard and ruin it for years.

    That’s the image Moses was using. Looking at his flow of thought in Deut 28-29, it becomes clear that the root of bitterness – the root that produces bitter fruit – has reference to pagan religious practices that get mixed into the worship of God; i.e., syncretism. Heb 12:9, then, is warning us to be careful not to bring our culture’s sensual pagan practices into the church because it will poison the body in a way that will have ill effects for years. E.g., the whole Seeker-sensitive movement is based making the church worship service into something appealing to unbelievers. And, boy howdy, the bitter fruit that tactic has yielded!

    I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to apply the principle to those in a church body who sexually abuse others or cover up for sexual abusers. In a way, that’s like the mother of bitter fruit-bearing plants. Its effects are devastating to the whole church for decades, as we’re now seeing.

  13. Telling people to repress their feelings is common in IFB circles. There’s a suspicion of emotions generally. (I know whereof I speak – I followed my parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins in attending BJU. Dad was the founding pastor of an IFB church, and also worked at the Wilds. I could go on.) I don’t see support for that in scripture. I think it was inherited from American culture in the early 20th century in an over reaction to Romanticism. Seems to me that a person who is abused ought to feel bitter about it, at least while they’re working through it. If they don’t, they’re probably ignoring an internal problem that will manifest itself one way or the other sooner or later. Feeling bitter to avoid a root of bitterness. How’s that? :)>

    • David – I am saddened to hear this.

      What surprises me about this issue is that 1/3 of the Bible is about expressing emotions. Sadness, anger, bitterness, and even joy and laughter.

      We see David bitterly weeping. Jeremiah isn’t known as the ‘weeping prophet’ for being a happy chappy! the books of the Psalms and Lamentations teaches us that its right, proper and Godly to express our emotions. Paul teaches us to cry with those who cry – laugh with those who laugh!

      Even Jesus expressed emotions between joy, anger and sadness.

      Yes we are told not to SIN in our anger – which is totally different to not expressing our anger and disappointment. In the final countdown – it is God who created us with emotions…. He created us to have the ability to feel – and he called that GOOD!

      Sorry for my rant / ramble. It’s an area that makes me mad 🙂

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, David.

  14. ‎20/20 ends the segment with Tina in church. The following eight words spoken by Tina were the last words of the program, “We made it through and God is good.”

    Doesn’t look like a bitter person to me. If you knew Tina personally you wouldn’t say she was bitter either. Maybe we should think before we bare false witness….even in ignorance.

    • Kitty, you misunderstood my letter.

      You’re absolutely right, the program ended that way – I acknowledged her continued and steadfast faith in the Lord despite all that she had gone through. I’m thankful she hasn’t given up on Christianity and God altogether!

      However, I did not say Tina was bitter – I’m sorry if that’s how it came off. Quite opposite, I thought her spirit on the program was very sweet and humble. My letter was merely an encouragement to keep on that path. I did not bear false witness in any way.

      Blessings to you!

      • Why don’t you write an open letter like this to Chuck Phelps? One about apologizing, telling the truth, stop spinning, being humble? Phelps has changed his story quite a few times, then the night of the airing of this program his website goes live. Before that the only claimed he had “called” the Concord police Department. Now I work in law enforcement and my husband is a state trooper in a different state from where Tina’s rape allegedly occurred. even we were will to give him the benefit of the doubt. Despite how efficient police departments try to be those little pink “you had a call” message slips do occasionally get misplaced, misfiled and just plain lost because unlike the movies most police officers do not spend their time sitting at a desk in the precinct. Although we never gave him a pass about how he never said he called back the CPD did when he claimed they did not respond as someone in position should have in the case of a rape of a 15 year old girl.

        Phelps then goes to great detail about how he claims to have called the police and DCYF. Phelps states on his website that “Tina accused a man of a crime”. The only crime in play here is rape, whether forcible or statutory. Phelps and his defenders are bending themselves into pretzel’s over their claims the assault was “consensual.” It is strange to me, that if Tina were of consensual age Phelps would claim he contacted the police and DCYF and say that “Tina accused a man of a crime?” As I see it, If it were consensual, and Tina were of consenting age in NH there would be no reason for Phelps to claim he called the police and DCYF because “Tina accused a man of a crime”. Phelps it appears is trying to have it both ways.
        Also, I am very aware of what Phelps has claimed up until now. Am more “in the know of both sides” that most people realize. It has only been after the airing of the 20/20 episode (or chuckphelps.com went live that evening) that Phelps started claiming that Tina was 16. Before that he repeatedly said she was 15 but blamed the Concord Police for dropping the ball because he “called” the police and they did nothing. Phelps is now saying that he and Tina’s mom “filed multiple reports”. That’s a physical piece of paper. Phone calls are not “filing reports”. So, now that we know he “filed multiple reports” they should be a matter of public record. Phone calls to police can be disputed, actual “reports” can’t be.

        • Kitty, I didn’t write a letter to Dr. Phelps because he wasn’t the one who was raped.

          This letter was not about Phelps – in fact, I never mentioned him in my letter even once because, quite frankly, I’m not sure what in his reports are true or not. So I don’t feel that I really have any room to discuss that part of the matter.

          You, being in law enforcement (as is your husband), have more knowledge on reports and pink slips and the such than I do.

          Thank you for your comments – I really appreciate them. Blessings.

  15. I am an IFB pastor and I had mixed feelings about this “report”. It did make me realize more then ever that we as God’s people need to protect those we have been entrusted with. I am sorry for the abuse suffered by Tina and others however ABC went out of its way not to pick on one church or one pastor or the police or the social workers involved. It went out of its way to attempt to make every IFB church a cult that encourages and protects child abusers.
    Sounds like from your posts you are familiar with the IFB movement (I like Bro. Hutson too). You and I know that out of 10,000+ churches that IFB churches vary greatly with differnt colleges, publications, preachers and on and on. If fact many IFB churches will not even fellowship with other IFB churches in the same town. It is insane to lump them into “the IFB church
    I like your site and am puting it on my favorites. Thanks

    • Thank you for your comment, Pastor Josh. I appreciate your thoughts, and agree with you completely.
      You are correct in that I am very familiar with the IFB movement – I have been a part of it all my life. Blessings to you, your family, and the ministry the Lord has blessed you with.

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