Tag Archives: christian

Horrified: About the Loudoun Times-Mirror Article

Written by Naomi

 

Today, the Loudoun Times-Mirror published an article detailing sexual abuse at Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia.

An excerpt from the article reads,

“Now 26, the Maryland woman, along with one other victim, have come forward, alleging rampant sexual assault within the church among members of its leadership, teachers and teacher’s aides.

The women paint a disturbing picture of an atmosphere where physical and sexual abuse were not only tolerated and encouraged, but “taken care of” within the church should a victim come forward.

But Thompson and the other woman, whose name is being withheld by the Times-Mirror because she fears for her safety, say they can’t stay silent anymore.”

Horrified. It is the only word that portrays my feelings with accuracy. I am horrified at the stories, horrified at the circumstances detailed in the article, horrified at the extent of Calvary Temple’s inability to act like a real Christian church, horrified that children endured these atrocities, horrified that any human being would respond in the way CT did, horrified that there are still several hundred followers there, horrified that some choose silence over warning, horrified that Calvary Temple exists and cloaks itself in the guise of spirituality.

Horrified. Filled with horror, to shock greatly. To make my blood run cold. To make my hair stand on end. To scare the living daylights out of me.

In 2012, my little hometown was engulfed in one of the greatest sexual abuse scandals in the nation. Penn State University’s former football assistant coach and defensive coordinator was accused of multiple years of sexually abusing young boys from a charity that he founded. I was surrounded by people of all walks of life with same normal human response to this scandal: they were horrified. They were not horrified because of the publicity or because of PSU football or anything like that. Over and over, people expressed their horror for the abuse that those poor boys endured. In my workplace, folks talked of little else. They shook their heads in shock. Grown men were grieving. Women who never met the victims cried tears of empathy. And when Jerry Sandusky was pronounced guilty by a jury of his peers, our tiny town erupted with rejoicing for justice that had been done.

It is normal as a human to empathize with the innocents. To be angry at injustice. To be horrified by evil. To fail at this normal human response is to become a monster.

As I write these words, my four month old son sleeps peacefully on my shoulder. Before he was born, I thought I understood what love was. Now I know without a doubt the intense love of a parent for their child. My actions are driven by the God-given responsibility of parenthood. My child is small, defenseless, innocent. Far be it from me to ever put him in danger or to stand silent while he was harmed.

As a parent, I am horrified at the stories of things happening at CT’s church and school. I am horrified that people would question a sexual abuse victim in front of her abuser. I could not raise my child at Calvary Temple. I could not allow him in a place where multiple accusations of sexual abuse have been raised. I could not entrust him to a church-esque community that has shown themself to be unworthy of trust. As a parent, I would run far, far away.

In a passage of Scripture so important that three of the four gospels repeat it nearly verbatim, it says,

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”
Mark 9:42 NASB
 

The God that we serve hates those who hurt children. In the same way, we Christians (followers of Christ) are compelled to stand against such things. The oddity in this situation is that Calvary Temple routinely hurts children, by turning their parents against them, by counseling (i.e. forcing) them to abandon their children, to shun them, to ignore them for daily church events, to give them to the care of a school that has no oversight with teachers that are not certified and inept and according to the article, willing to overlook abuse.

The straw that breaks the camel’s back? Star R. Scott and his taped confession of sexually abusing minors. Calvary Temple’s revered leader, senior pastor and self-professed Apostle-Prophet-Pastor-Teacher who is accountable to no one, admitted that what he formerly stated was adultery and a one-time-thing, was actually sexual abuse. Of course, he offers spiritual-sounding excuses and justifications to disguise the truth, but they matter little. Star R. Scott ought to be behind bars, not leading a church. Forgiveness is not a get-out-of-jail-free card, and his repentance, if it were real, would have led to justice.

Star Scott’s actions make him unfit for ministry.

“Namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,”
Titus 1:6-8 NASB (underline added)
 

Star Scott deserves reproach by law enforcement, normal people, churches, Christians and the universal Church. He does not deserve respect or a position of church authority. When the email detailing those accusations against him was released in 2008, his response was essentially “it’s not true.” People believed him, but even loyal followers said to themselves, “if it is true, we would leave.” Fast-forward to seven years later and he admits the truth. What will the response be now?

It is possible for those at Calvary Temple to become immediately defensive at the Loudoun Times-Mirror article, but I strongly caution against the reaction to denigrate the victims brave enough to tell their stories (and those additional victims not featured in the article). It is extremely rare for a childhood sexual abuse victim to lie about what they have suffered. It often takes the courage that comes with adulthood for them to tell their stories. You may read more about childhood sexual abuse here to give understanding about the normalcy of their responses and the mountain of issues that they bravely work through to come to a point of sharing their stories publicly. Their stories are not to be taken lightly.

As a human, as a parent and as a Christian, I am horrified at these things, at Calvary Temple. If God had not already rescued my husband from their clutches four and a half years ago, I might be tempted to stage a hostage rescue attempt. Unfortunately, you cannot rescue those who do not wish to be rescued. So today, I make my appeal.

Dear CT congregants, please leave. Please, please leave. Before the horror escapes your heart and you become immune to evil, please leave.

 

 

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Resource: The Purpose & Limits of Authority by Carter Conlon

We have been extremely blessed over the years by the ministry of David Wilkerson. Through his tireless devotion in starting Teen Challenge and also founding Times Square Church in New York City, authoring countless books that have edified the Church and preaching truth accurately over the course of his lifetime, he has proven himself as a humble man of God. Eventually, Carter Conlon became the senior pastor of Times Square Church and continues in the same spirit of simple, honest and careful Bible preaching.

Have you ever wondered if your church (i.e. Calvary Temple) is misusing or abusing spiritual authority? This sermon may help you to answer that question.

Understanding Spiritual Authority (Part 2): The Purpose & Limits of Authority by Carter Conlon

 

As an aside: This teaching was brought to the attention of Star Scott and his response was, “David’s gotten ‘off’ in recent years.”  We submit that the fruit of David Wilkerson’s teaching and ministry is much more far-reaching and eternal than anything of Calvary Temple or Star Scott. David Wilkerson has been consistently accurate in his prophecies and blameless in his conduct throughout his seventy-nine years of life. We highly doubt that he had gotten “off.” And besides, this message was preached by Carter Conlon so it seems to be a moot point.

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Resource: You Know You’re in a Cult When…

You know you are in a cult when…

1. You are told not to question what is being taught because the leaders know better than you and they want the best for you, so you must trust them.

2. The pages of your phone book are all filled up almost exclusively with other members of your group.

3. The only real vacation you’ve taken in 20 years is to the church sponsored retreat.

4. You are told not to ask questions why anyone left, you are to accept the answers the leaders give you such as: they fell into sin, they didn’t receive correction, they weren’t open or they had a bad heart and didn’t want to be disciples.

5. The only music that you own comes from your organization or its authorized list.

6. If you want to leave, you are being told that there is no other church where you could grow as well as here.

7. You can’t figure out why your leader doesn’t run for President or something really big.

8. You are made to feel your failures, that your performance is not up to the Bible’s standards.

9. You think that most people that aren’t in your group are alcoholics, drug addicts, or neurotic (unless of course, they’re friends with your leader).

10. Your leaders put down other churches and build themselves up.

11. The only things you can remember about your past are the painful parts.

12. You just sold your car so you can give it to a need in the church that’s REALLY BIG, like renovating the sanctuary or buying another corvette for the racing ministry.

13. You are seriously thinking about selling your house for the same reason.

14. They bring attention to what they do, and ignore others that may be doing the same things outside their church.

15. The only way you can really like people is when they are members of, or potential recruits for your group.

16. You do your two and half-hours of evening prayer and still wonder if that was enough and feel bad because you think you can never really do enough.

17. They put down others to make themselves look better, calling themselves “righteous’ and others “unrighteous.”

18. You think all the other groups just like yours are “cults,” but not yours.

19. They call those who leave “fall aways” and “enemies” and “heretics”, “dogs returning to their own vomit” and use the examples of Korah or Judas.

20. You think all the other groups just like yours don’t ask enough of their members, but yours is better– because you have to do even more than they do.

21. They stop you from reading anything negative about themselves calling it spiritual pornography or recommend you not to read it for your own spiritual protection.

22. A lot of stuff that you used to think was really weird, you are now doing.

23. They recommend for you to be around their people, expecting you to be at all the group activities. If you are not “faithful,” then your spirituality and dedication are questioned.

24. Even though you told yourself that you would never bow down to a human being–you just touched your teacher’s feet.

25. They defend all that they do, even though it can be harmful or wrong, even calling outside interference “persecution for righteousness’ sake.”

26. You don’t care anymore who understands and who doesn’t if they’re not in your group.

27. They are arrogant and demand you to obey if you are considering otherwise. Or is it done subtly by manipulating you into obeying by statements such as, “real Christians obey their leaders” or “if you were following Jesus, you would see what I’m saying is right. True disciples did not question Jesus.”

28. There is an instant bonding of friendship without you knowing who they are or they really knowing you, they act as your best friend (love bombing still works).

29. You ask questions about their history or the group, and they are vague in their answers or avoid answering them. (not answering or postponing it makes it go away)

30. Christ is the only way….and we’re the only way to the Way (and you cannot go directly)

31. You are required to attend studies, going through the program before you are allowed to be a Christian. (this will attach you to the group’s goals)

32. Cults will always divide the family unit instead of bringing them together. They will make you choose between God and their church. They use scriptures such as “Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace” or “one must give up brothers, sisters, wife, and house for the kingdom and be a true follower.”

Compiled from RickRoss.com, Letusreason.org and truthinheart.com.

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