Contending For Truth - Ligonier Ministries Lawsuit Scandal

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Holding Ecclesiastical Tyrants and Scammers Accountable

I received an encouraging comment from JoeReformed asking me to post more articles similar to Ligonier President Tim Dick Honors Me. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that a man with Tim Dick's obnoxious personality would make so many enemies.

Had it not been for the fact that Tim Dick wrote me twice I might never have posted an article about him at all. That's often how things like this get started, and it still amazes me that the President of a well-respected ministry would want to provoke a fight with me. If Tim would do that to me, someone that he doesn't know from Adam, just imagine what the man is capable of doing to his own employees!

If I have a beef at all it's not with Dr. Sproul personally, but just with some of the decisions he's made, such as defending his defrocked son and claiming that the charges against him were "fraudulent," and such as making his son-in-law the President of Ligonier. It would be one thing if Tim Dick were qualified for the position. I had some doubts about that before, but after his bizarre email exchange with me it's self-evident that the man is as unfit to head Ligonier Ministries as is RC Sproul Jr unfit to be a pastor.

JoeReformed requested that I write more articles about Ligonier Ministries and Tim Dick. The problem is that I really just don't have much more to say about it. That's not to say that more probably doesn't need to be said, just that I'm not the one best qualified to say it, since I'm not an insider.

However, I'm willing to permit this blog to be used as a forum for articles by insiders, such as current and former Ligonier employees, donors, etc. If any would like to write an article themselves (either real or assumed names acceptable) feel free to submit it to me at and I'll review it for posting here.

My one and only motivation is accountability. If that's your motivation too, and you've got something to contribute here in furtherance of Joe Reformed's request, feel free to submit it.

Accountability is seriously lacking in far too many parachurch ministries. For that matter accountability seems to also be lacking in far too many churches too. Sometimes the only effective means of restoring accountability is public exposure, and blogs like this one bring results.

A great example of this is what's going on out in Moscow Idaho with Doug Wilson and his boutique "confederation" the CREC. Former Christ Church member Michael Metzler is holding Doug Wilson's feet to the fire over the CREC's exoneration of defrocked minister RC Sproul Jr, as well as Wilson's 8 month cover up of his double-pedophilia scandal. Had Wilson dealt properly and honestly with Metzler months ago he wouldn't be now facing all the public criticism.

  • Donors have a right to have full disclosure about the ministries that they support and assurances that the funds that they contribute won't just be squandered to improve the personal lifestyles of that ministry's officers.
  • Job interviewees have a right to have full disclosure about a potential ministry employer before they become ministry employees.
  • Christians have a right to have full disclosure about a pastor before they move half way across the country to join his church.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might want to turn your attention over to It looks like Sophocles posted there a couple days ago and Tim attempts to respond back to his accusations.

6/27/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Mr. Vance:

I've enjoyed your commentary on the blog with reference to the Sproul issue.

A similar (though much more disturbing and heinous) abuse of power can be found at:

If you can find the time to post these addresses on your blog it would be great. The word needs to get out on these men. They have controlled information in a cultish fashion to the point where most parishioners are ignorant of the events. They need to be exposed (Eph. 5:11).

Thank you!!!

6/29/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank-you for doing this. I'm sure you will come under a withering fire of criticism, hostility, and slanderous attacks. I appreciate you being willing to take those risks. What you are doing needs to be done.

6/29/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

In spite of my requests to the contrary, I've continued receiving anonymous comments.

I've said it before and I guess I have to say it again. DON'T POST ANONYMOUSLY! It just causes everyone confusion.

When posting select "Other" and then create a name. I don't care what name you use, but do use a name. Thanks for your cooperation, and if you don't cooperate then do expect me to hit the "REJECT" button.

7/06/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's important to establish credibility. The person who accused Tim Dick of using donor money to buy a car and of buying a needless airconditioner for his office has no credibility.

Ligonier has passed 3 straight IRS audits. If there was some illegality, it would have been caught.

Tim Dick also has a medical condition that requires his office to be substantially cooler than the rest of the Ligonier offices. And no, it's not his girth.

There may be serious improprieties, but these two aren't among them. Unfortunately, in our day, the charge seems to make someone guilty. Charges that can't be proven are just gossip, which is sinful.

7/06/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Ana said...

Frank, I have to disagree with you about SR. He may be a brilliant theologian but not having serious outside accountability for his organization really concerns me and shows a lack of humility.

And, if employees are running scared and ex-employees are concerned about their reputations being sullied with retribution, that says quite a bit right there. Ligoner is not interested in truth.

I saw how this worked at my former mega. No one spoke about the abuses there from senior staffers for fear of losing their job.

Ligoner is having financial difficulties and Sr. needs to make an executive decision if he wants to have any future credibility.

I simply will not read his books anymore knowing what I know about all of this. It's the Clinton syndrome all over again. Who he is in private makes all the difference. You cannot separate it from the man himself.

If senior wants to live out his faith in public, he will publically tell his son to repent and stop preaching, not give him a stage to teach from and not use friends to try and clear his name on a blog, for crying out loud.

I am amazed that other 'Christians' are so afraid to speak out or even ask questions about improprieties. The only reformed blog that even mentioned Jr's defrocking was Slice.

By the way, I have gone back and read many of Jr.'s writings and one thing struck me on almost all of them...a lack of humility and a lack of love.

7/24/2006 10:52:00 PM  

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