Tenth Presbyterian Church, GRACE, & abuse of authority

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:


Why would church officers who have covered up sexual abuse pay an outside business to investigate that abuse?
Because its understood beforehand that the bad guys will be the sexual predators, not the officers who gave those sexual predators free access to their parishioners. To their ewes and lambs. Again, the sexual predators are named and the hirelings are not.

Reminds me of this excerpt from “Sorting Sin’s Laundry” from Out of Our Minds:

People in general, Christian people in particular, tend to divide sins into two categories: their sins and our sins.
The Bible, of course, knows no such distinction. Sin is sin, without partiality shown to the sins of God’s people—our sins.
Drunkenness is their sin, so we preach against drinking. Covetousness is our sin, so we seldom mention it, even though it is given equal billing with drunkenness in I Corinthians 6:10.
Nobody is leading a crusade against men who molest girls or seduce their students. Yet there is such a crusade against homosexuals.
I think it’s because homosexual sins are their sins, heterosexual sins are ours.

And of course reminds me further of James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

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Agree very much with the above. But something else in the report caught my attention. The farther down the list of charges the more vacuous the charges became. That was troubling. GRACE’s methodology seems very unbiblical in what they consider a threshold for analysis. Some of the later charges could be levelled at anyone.

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One thing that apparently didn’t make the threshold of analysis was questioning Liam, eh? Love,

When I was working in road safety studies, one thing I learnt is that, “there is never one single cause of a road accident”. Often, many things have gone wrong at once to allow the accident to happen.

So also here. In too many cases, other people have known about the abuse, but not done anything; either to protect the wider institution, or because they didn’t recognise that the behaviour was abuse. Both of these factors have been at play in one recent British case. Analogous to what I learnt in transport safety, it is really important to be cognisant of how the wider environment allowed the presenting problem to occur. So yes, Liam should have been questioned.

Some context: many years ago, the senior pastor at the church I was part of was fired for “conduct unbecoming”. That part of the process held up, but the leadership tried to hide as much as they could; meaning that amongst other things, there was no chance to call them to account; a sort-of, “what did you know and when did you know it?”

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