Contending For Truth - Ligonier Ministries Lawsuit Scandal

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ligonier Ministries Defrauds Soli Deo Gloria Ministries In "Acquisition"

"Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known." Luke 12:1-2


I've been hearing for weeks from former Ligonier Ministries employees that Ligonier President Tim Dick is a shark. "Shark" is actually one of the less colorful descriptors among his nicknames but it's nevertheless very revealing of his character. For any who might have any lingering doubts that Tim Dick is a shark let this article now serve to dispel those doubts.

As a result of information that I received from more than one source, on August 18 I sent an email to Ligonier Ministries President Tim Dick, which in part stated:

Tim,

I've gotten an earful from your former employees. I'm shocked by what they've told me. Absolutely shocked.

You need to go Tim. You're a big liability to Ligonier Ministries. If you cared at all about RC's ministry you'd turn in your resignation. But you don't care about anyone but yourself. You'll never leave of your own accord. You'd only leave with some very strong incentive and even then I have my doubts. I think you're just the kind of man that would rather see Ligonier destroyed before you'd resign. For you it's not at all about Christian ministry, it's about lining your pockets and gratifying your ego.

Ligonier may not be able to be saved from your clutches, but there's another ministry in your clutches that I've just gotten wind of that probably can be saved, and it definitely should be. You know exactly what I'm talking about Tim. If you have any common sense at all (and I'm very doubtful of that) and you're the least bit interested in not being publicly exposed as a con artist you'll relinquish control of that ministry and restore control AND OWNERSHIP to the rightful owner that you stole it from.

I don't know that man personally that you stole his ministry from and we've not spoken, but I do know of his work, his expertise and his reputation. I hope to talk with him some day and get the story directly from him. But I know his story as it's been told to me by others (it's not a particularly closely guarded secret Tim) and it makes me very angry to hear how you've gotten away with ripping off a man who's a hundred times the man of God that you'll ever be.

You've totally screwed an honorable godly man. Restore to him what's rightfully his Tim and then no one like me will be in a position to publicly expose you as a thief. Take care of it however you like. Say it was all a big misunderstanding how those contracts got switched. "Oops, the secretary goofed! We didn't mean any harm." Say whatever you want to save face. It doesn't matter to me. What matters is that you cannot be permitted to get away with defrauding Christian ministers.

I'll give you ten days Tim to take care of it and to FULLY and COMPLETELY restore the man and make him whole. Otherwise I'm going public and I'm quite confident that there are others who'll quickly pick up on the story as well. Your name will forever be mud.

I'm giving you the opportunity to save face, but I'm not giving you long. If you take care of things properly it's very likely that this is the last time you'll ever hear from me or my blog. If you don't I'll be around for a long time yet to come.

Though we exchanged several subsequent emails Tim Dick has evaded my allegations and stalled for time. At no time did Tim deny my allegations or even plead ignorance. He just evaded talking about it. In order to send a message to Tim that he'd better take me seriously I began to publicly drop some hints as to my intentions in the comments section of my blog. I also emailed Tim with a link to that section so that he couldn't later plead ignorance and claim that I hadn't given him fair warning.

I know that Tim is paying attention because I've been receiving may hits a day from the Ligonier office from at least five different computers there. But even though I've got Tim's attention he's also done nothing to communicate with me his intentions, which is to say that his intentions are to do nothing. Perhaps Tim thought I was bluffing? If that's the case then Tim is a bigger fool than even I thought.

I gave Tim Dick a ten day deadline in which time he's only further evaded and stalled. Tim Dick leaves me now with no other option but to go public with one of the most morally offensive incidents that I've ever heard of being perpetrated by a parachurch ministry.

On 22 September 2004 Ligonier Ministries, the ministry of Reformed theologian Dr. RC Sproul acquired Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, the ministry of Dr. Donald Kistler. Soli Deo Gloria was a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, as was and is Ligonier Ministries. As such Soli Deo Gloria was "acquired," not purchased. *

Of the acquisition Dr. Kistler originally stated, "I cut my teeth on the Puritans studying under Dr. R.C. Sproul, and to work under him is a dream come true. I look forward to many years of fruitful ministry together, exposing people to the holy God the Puritans knew and served." However Dr. Kistler's "dream come true" soon proved to be a nightmare.

What few if any people knew at the time, and what Don Kistler certainly didn't realize at the time, is that Ligonier President Tim Dick had perpetrated a grand fraud. The fraud against Dr. Kistler is of such an ugly and shameful nature that of the small number of people that have since discovered it no one has been willing in the two ensuing years to confront it, let alone expose it. Allowing two years to lapse hasn't improved upon Dr. Kistler's prospects for recovering what was stolen from him, quite the opposite.

Dr. Kistler's ministry was stolen from him by, quite literally, nothing more than a cheesy sleight of hand trick. After weeks of contract negotiations a final version of the contract was agreed upon by all parties. However, when it came time for the signing of the final contract, unbeknownst to Don Kislter, Tim Dick secretly switched contracts. The textual difference in that switched contract was small enough to have easily escaped the notice of everyone, yet the implications for Don Kisler were immense.

Contained in the mutually approved contract was a reversionary clause, meaning that at any time Don Kistler could exercise his right to reclaim full control of his ministry, with or without cause, and with no penalty or cost to himself. In the contract that Tim Dick surreptitiously switched at the signing ceremony that clause had been removed. The practical effect of Tim Dick's fraud meant that Dr. Kistler had his ministry stolen from him.

Soli Deo Gloria's primary presence on the internet is currently through the Ligonier web site. However, SDG has maintained its former web site, yet more evidence of Dr. Kistler's intention of potentially exercising the reversionary clause that he believed was still in the contract that he signed.

Dr. Kistler was Founder and President of Soli Deo Gloria Ministries. He had devoted some twenty years of his life to this Christ-honoring ministry. Yet by Tim Dick's treachery he had it all stolen from him in exchange for the privilege of becoming nothing more than the "managing editor" of Soli Deo Gloria and an employee of Ligonier, with no ability to reclaim his ministry should things not go as planned with Ligonier. Don Kislter is no fool and he would have never done such a thing of his own volition. It happened only because of Tim Dick's betrayal.

Given the esteem with which Dr. Sproul is held in the Reformed community it's understandable why no one in the know has been willing to personally expose such wickedness. Shedding light on this fraud, even if the only guilty party were Tim Dick, cannot but reflect very badly on Ligonier Ministries and, therefore, on Dr. Sproul himself.

It's doubtful that Dr. Sproul in two years hadn't become apprised of the fraud. In point of fact RC Sproul was apprised not long after the fraud was perpetrated. Furthermore Dr. Sproul has made no effort to correct the fraud that was perpetrated by his son-in-law against Dr. Kistler. RC Sproul was probably not complicit in Tim Dick's fraud, and probably had no prior knowledge of it. However his silence in the matter since he's discovered it has deeply troubled the hearts and minds of those who have also learned of the fraud.

The Ligonier "acquisition" of SDG looked like it should have been a win/win for everyone. However, Dr. Kistler's desire to "pursue his vision to expose contemporary Christians to the literature of Puritan writers" hasn't been aided by the Ligonier "acquisition." In fact his vision has been undermined.

From all accounts Don Kistler is a man of impeccable integrity who'll not compromise his convictions. Dr. Kistler is an ordained Teaching Elder in the RPCGA, the Reformed Presbyterian denomination that defrocked RC Sproul Jr. Even though Dr. Kistler anticipated that there might be serious repercussions, he voted, along with every other Elder in RC Sproul Jr's Presbytery, to defrock RC Jr. That vote was a unanimous one, so that should leave little doubt in the minds of the public as to how overwhelming the evidence must have been.

No doubt that was a very difficult decision for Don Kistler to make. Just imagine how hard that must have been to vote to defrock the son of one of your best friends and the son of your own boss. But Dr. Kistler is a man of conviction and he didn't shy away from doing the right thing. RC Sproul and Don Kistler were friends for many years. But from all accounts Dr. Kistler is now disdained by Dr. Sproul and persona non grata at Ligonier. I'm told that Dr. Sproul has barely spoken a word to Dr. Kistler since he voted to defrock his son. Tim Dick has now pulled out all the stops in retaliation against Dr. Kistler.

As President and Founder of Soli Deo Gloria, Dr. Kistler had complete freedom to pursue his Puritan vision, speaking in an average of forty different venues per year, including preaching in many churches all across America. Dr. Kistler is considered by many to be the leading expert in the world on the Puritans. As a public speaker and preacher he was highly sought after. Now he's just a Ligioner lackey with his entire life being dictated by the very man that defrauded him. Don Kistler must now seek authorization from Tim Dick for everything he does, including even where he preaches on Sundays. Ligonier treats Dr. Kistler as an indentured servant, requiring that he hand over the honorariums that he earns for speaking, including honorariums he receives for preaching on Sunday.

It would be naive to suppose that Dr. Kistler's days at Ligionier aren't numbered. The only reason he hasn't already been fired is because it would only be too obvious to everyone that his firing was purely retaliatory. Ligonier needs a good reason to fire Don Kistler and Don Kistler isn't the kind of man to give them a good reason.

Tim Dick's theft of Soli Deo Gloria, as well as his daily despicable treatment of Dr. Kistler has placed Dr. Kistler under extraordinary stress. That stress no doubt proved a significant factor in Dr. Kistler's recent stroke, which he suffered on 8-15 (first reported on The Puritan Board, a site where Dr. Kistler has regularly participated). Dr. Kistler is now at home recovering. His physician has no doubt ordered him to avoid all stressful situations. Stroke victims know all too well how important it is for them to avoid stressful environments. Provided that Dr. Kistler doesn't further subject himself to the outrageous abuses that he's suffered for months under the tyrannies of Tim Dick, his recovery prospects are probably quite good.

Nothing would suit Tim Dick better then to force Dr. Kistler to resign, thereby abandoning his ministry of twenty years to the complete and unfettered control of Tim Dick. With Dr. Kistler's stroke Tim is no doubt licking his chops. He's already defrauded Dr. Kistler. Now he's just waiting for the ideal moment to move in for the final kill. One might suppose that given that RC Sproul has had his own problems with strokes (two serious stokes so far) that Tim Dick would now become sympathetic to Don Kistler. But remember that we're talking about Tim "the shark" Dick, and we all know what sharks do when they smell blood in the water.

There's a remedy for all of this. The remedy includes making Don Kistler whole and restoring full control of Soli Deo Gloria to him. Soli Deo Gloria should also be placed back under its original Board Of Directors. The remedy also includes Dr. Sproul firing his charlatan son-in-law. Hucksters and con artists can't be permitted to preside over Christian ministries. Nothing short of these things can right this terrible wrong.

Tim Dick is responsible for the original fraud, so there's no realistic chance that Tim will be the one to correct it. RC Sproul has known about it a long time and he hasn't corrected it either. It therefore falls to the Ligonier Board Of Directors. Big problem there though. Vesta Sproul sits on the Ligonier Board of Directors and exercises tremendous influence. In all likelihood the only thing that's likely to bring justice is a public outcry against Ligonier Ministries.

Dr. RC Sproul has been a gift from God to the Reformed community. However, the manner in which he's governed his family and his ministry has been far from commendable. Dr. Sproul's credibility in recent months has suffered greatly, especially over his public statements about the defrocking of his son. In alleging that the charges against his defrocked son were "fraudulent" he slandered the good name of a Reformed Presbyterian denomination. Dr. Sproul via Shaun Nolan asserted that: "the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals (CRE) is conducting a detailed examination of the charges. What this means is that the trial they did not receive is being conducted by a third party. The results, soon to be released, will then be examined by other groups for the purpose of validating conclusions and clearing the name of the men involved." Those who have followed the RC Sproul Jr scandal know that the CREC didn't conduct a trial and they didn't clear RC Jr's name at all. In fact the CREC Report only confirmed the RPCGA's Judgment by saying, "It is our finding that there were significant pastoral mistakes, errors and sins by the former Session."

The esteem with which I formerly held RC Sproul has eroded and continues to erode. I doubt I'm alone, and this latest revelation about Tim Dick's fraud, and Dr. Sproul's failure to correct it, won't improve Dr. Sproul's image; unless that is Dr. Sproul acts swiftly and decisively. Christians are a very forgiving people. Should Dr. Sproul make full restitution to Dr. Kistler, and should he issue a public apology to the RPCGA, as well as to those that he effectively accused of being false witnesses, I'm sure that he'll receive a very favorable response.

RC Sproul and the Ligonier Board of Directors now bear full responsibility for exercising their authority to right this horrible wrong and to restore to Dr. Kistler what is rightfully his.

Dr. Kistler please know that you're in my prayers and, no doubt, in the prayers of many. May your health recover quickly. May God fully and completely restore to you what was stolen from you. May justice prevail.

Comments are welcome, particularly from insiders who wish to furnish additional details about this tragic story. Posting under an alias is permissible, however anonymous comments are not permitted.





___________
* See Can a 501(c)(3) Organization Be Sold?

As a CPA friend explained it to me a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organizations cannot be "sold" per se because the tax code prohibits the employees and officers of 501(c)(3) organizations from receiving a "private benefit" or "personal inurement." See Can a 501(c)(3) organization be sold?
"No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual." Inurement/Private Benefit - Charitable Organizations

81 Comments:

Anonymous TheIronHare said...

I find myself sickened by the situation described in what I've just read (i.e. the post to which I'm responding). And one can tell from my previous comments I haven't exactly been a Ligonier cheerleader in recent days. This is due to what I *already* knew. Wow. Maybe there will be a television show someday about the Sproul mob. The Sproulpranoes. On a new HBO channel (Holiness Bludgeoned Often alternating with Heredity Brings Opulence). Maybe the Sproulfather will write a new book and call it The Sprouliness of Fraud.

Don't let the sarcastic humor mislead. I'm honestly aghast. Ligonier is truly looking more and more like a criminal organization. At least at the top. - DC

8/28/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

Mr.Dick is holding all of the cards. He has a signed contract and therefore probably nothing can be done to him in a court of law. However; there is a higher court of God's Law. Tim Dick should be trembling in fear before a Holy Righteous God.

What I think should hapen is that Dr.Kistler should get his friend Dr.Talbot, who his a Lawyer to sue Ligoner. To prove that the contract was a Fraud. What is a man of God suposed to do when his very source of providing for his family is used against him.

Frank; another thing to do is provide mass exposure of this to everyone; maby get Dr.Kistler to come forth and confirm.

If John MacArthur; Al Mohler; C.J.Mahaney; and my personal favorite John Piper ever found out about this they would chalenge Dr.Sproul to confront these alligations.

Dr. Piper is a man filled with such integrity. He offers ALL of his mp3's for free; or a whatever you can afford policy. Piper is not in it for the money. He doesn't even take royalties from books. I am sending you an e-mail now Frank

8/28/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous John Steinhausen said...

This is tragic but I can't say as I'm all that surprised. R.C. Sproul has become one of those celebrity Christians. The worst thing that can happen to celebrity Christians is when their fans put them on a pedestal thinking they can do no wrong. The accountability evaporates right there, no one pays attention anymore, and then Mr. Celeb can pretty much get away with whatever he wants. A good example is the R.C. Sproul case and the fact that there hasn't been a public outcry against Sproul for having his defrocked son speak at the Ligonier Conferences.

I can still remember the outcry in the Reformed community against Jimmy Swaggart for not stepping down after he was defrocked by the Assemblies Of God. Reformed people love to ridicule others for not submitting to church discipline, but when it's one of their own that gets defrocked they just ignore it. At best there's only been a whimper about R.C. Jr. continuing to teach and preach and pastor at Saint Peter Presbyterian Church and preaching at places like the Ligonier Ministries Conference. No one seems to care very much about R.C. Jr's open rebellion to the denomination that defrocked him. The whole thing is just shameful. Too many people are just ignoring it and at worst there's a cover up going on. Tim Challies is a great example of a cover up artist.

Here's what I just posted on Challies this morning in response to his deleting a comment from a lady by the name of Amber who posted a comment and a link to this article of yours Frank (don't be surprised if Tim deletes my comment too),

I saw that article this morning too. Really shocking. It looks like Ligonier's got some major problems going on but you're too much of a shill to let anybody know about them yourself Tim, or even permit anyone else to say anything.

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=ligonier+ministries and you'll have no trouble finding that article.

Be sure you also delete my post too Tim, and delete it really fast just to prove what a shill you are.

Reader John Steinhausen
Date August 28, 2006 11:55 AM


Tim Challies needs a reality check. Keep up the good work Frank.

Oh! Guess what? Tim Challies just deleted my post! That didn't long! What a shill!

8/28/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Watchman said...

"The accountability evaporates right there, no one pays attention anymore, and then Mr. Celeb can pretty much get away with whatever he wants."

Hmm. What you're describing John are Arminians, not Calvinists. Don't Calvinists believe in the total depravity of man? Isn't it because of man's sinful nature that he requires ongoing accountability even after he's been saved? Isn't that why R.C. Sproul and his son are Presbyterians? So they can be held accountable? Oh, but I forgot, that's just for show. R.C. Sproul "parks his ordination" in the PCA but he pastors an independent non-denominational church, Saint Andrews Chapel, and that's just the way he likes it too. Zero accountability.

We all saw what happened with R.C. Jr when the RPCGA defrocked him. Rather than submitting to church discipline he publicly slandered the RPCGA just like his dad did. Well at least R.C. Jr is now showing his true colors by going into the joke of a "confederation" the CREC. At least now no one will be mislead into believing that R.C. Jr will be held accountable for anything.

Frank did you know that Tim Dick is a Deacon at Saint Andrews Chapel? Tim does R.C.'s bidding not only at Ligonier but at church too!

8/28/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

I am new to your blog, but I am terribly confused. If you say is true, then it begs two questions. Would not a lawyer have caught this "slight of hand" exchange of documents? And why hasn't Dr. Kistler come forward on this if he is upset? Do you take the readers of your blog for fools??

8/28/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Sally, I don't know if you're a fool or not. You're second question is a good one and I don't have an answer for that. I'd like to know myself. Your first question isn't very smart at all, but I won't go so far as to say that it indicates that you're a fool, just ignorant.

Your first question indicates that you've never been to a contract signing ceremony, so let me fill you in. I've got a few years of corporate experience and I've had to deal with a lot of contracts. While corporate attorneys quite often review business contracts they rarely if ever appear at signing ceremonies. They review contracts prior to that in the comfort and convenience of their own offices. Then they give their final approval to a final version of a specific contract. If someone covertly switches out a contract at the final signing there's nothing an attorney can do about that since he's generally not there to prevent it. Even if the attorneys were present it's entirely likely they might not spot the deletion of a few sentences. Although had Mr. Kistler's attorney been present it's far less likely that Tim Dick would have tried to pull the switcheroo.

8/28/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Frank,
Have you had any direct contact with Dr. Kistler regarding this issue?

Do you have proof that Tim Dick switched the contracts?

These are pretty harsh accusations...

8/28/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

No, I haven't had any "direct contact with Dr. Kistler regarding this issue." If you plan on posting a follow up question that has anything at all to do with disclosing my sources then please don't waste your time. I won't do that. Let's just say that my sources are credible and they're people who've been more than patient with Tim Dick and Dr. Sproul in this and other unethical matters.

Yes, I do have proof that Tim Dick switched the contracts.

If by "harsh allegations" you mean to use the dictionary definition of "harsh" being "unpleasant" then yes, you're correct that these are "harsh allegations." Harsh and unpleasantly true.

8/28/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Frank, has anyone that you know spoken with Dr. Kistler about this? Is HE upset by it?

8/28/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Susan,

Yes

and

Yes

8/28/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

As to contract signings...I have been to quite a few. Mr. Kistler probably never thought he would have to be careful with these people. Who wouldn't trust Sproul? I have been in contract signings before in the 'world' and each party brings their own same contract to be signed. Oh, if Kistler had done this!

People need to get real. It is doubtful Kistler will ever speak out. I mean, his whole financial life is in Ligioner hands. What about health insurance...with a stroke? One has to think of his family. Don't expect him to put his family in jeporady. And, it sounds to me as if he could not withstand the stress. Kind of cruel to even mention that he should fight this now, Sally, given his stroke and the circumstances. Where is your compassion?

Also, if Kistler never speaks out, do not expect the Pipers, McArthurs, etc. to speak out. It just does not work that way. Think of all the books they all have out there that have been endorsed by Sproul.

The Sprouls know this, too.

And as to Challies, he has built up a nice live blogging business with these guys. He has a lot to lose, too. And he is young and mesmerized by these big men of God.

Isaiah 2:22

8/28/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Fixit said...

Several things with this story and the comments need to be straightened out right now. First, Tim Dick is not a deacon at St. Andrews Chapel. Tim Dick was a deacon at Orangewood PCA at one time. Second, Dr. Kistler does keep honorariums when he preaches on Sundays. Last but not least, if SDG were to split from Ligonier, SDG does not have the financial resources to survive and Dr. Kistler probably is not up to starting it up again with the condition he is in.

8/28/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

I just posted a link to this blog on Challies blog. Let's see how long it takes for the coward to take it down. I don't even know who he is.

Suzan; stop and aks yourself a very logical question. Why would someone like Tim Dick even bother e-mailing Frank in the first place?

Simple: He knows what he has done.

So, if he gets away with it in this life you can be sure that he will stand before a Holy just God and give account. I wouldn't trade places with him for all the Tea in China

8/28/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous valkyrie said...

It's stuff like this that makes me sick to the gills of the "Reformed" crowd. I have worked in a very visible public ministry for nearly 20 years and have mixed with those of nearly every denominational stripe. The Reformed take the cake for being the most divisive, splintered, fractured and personally nasty of all those I have encountered. I don't know why that is. I say that as someone who is sympathetic to Reformed doctrine. I have no use for most of its practitioners today. Was it always this way? The back stabbing, hypocrisy, holding brothers to the letter of the law while simultaneously breaking God's law with no conscience about it? What good do all those videos and tapes and books and pamphlets from Ligonier do if you can treat someone like Dr. Kistler so badly? Who cares about the deep, deep points of doctrine and worship if it's all meaningless in how we treat our neighbor? Why not join the Joel Osteen type churches and have luuv and forget doctrine if it has no practical bearing on how we live? Is this kind of Christianity just some sort of intellectual strip tease--devoid of anything of substance? I used to think I heard thunder when all the men like R.C. Junior would speak. Turns out it was flatulence. Now this. This is very, very disillusioning. Thanks for listening.

8/28/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Watchman said...

Ouch! Valkerie you're right on the button. We Reformed folk have a lot of house cleaning and I'll be the first to admit that the Reformed house wreaks with hypocrisy and pride. We Reformed are so damnably proud that we've got our theology right but precious few of our teachers actually put all that wonder teaching into practice. In their personal lives they often don't measure up, but boy do they love to preach at us and demand that we measure up! They're usually right in what they say. They often don't do a real good job of setting the example though.

But in defense of most Reformed teachers and preachers let me also say that although many of them have some big issues with pride, and many of them fall seriously short as shepherds, few of them seem to suffer from the major character flaws that plague the Sproul family. The Sproul family problems go way beyond just pride and falling short sometimes. I've never heard of any other Reformed ministry family that's been so plagued with rebellion, autonomy, hypocrisy, fiscal wantonness, widespread nepotism, greed and corruption as the Sprouls. I used to think highly of R.C. Sproul but after everything that's happened this year I just can't anymore.

Frank's showing a lot of courage by what he's doing. He certainly won't be making many friends over this but what he's doing is seriously needed.

My bad about Tim Dick being a Deacon at Saint Andrews Chapel. Sorry Frank.

8/28/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

"Last but not least, if SDG were to split from Ligonier, SDG does not have the financial resources to survive and Dr. Kistler probably is not up to starting it up again with the condition he is in." I'd heard some rumblings to that effect too. But that's not really the point is it? The point is that Don Kistler was ripped off by Ligonier Ministries and Ligonier Ministries has a biblical obligation to make restitution.

Don Kistler somehow managed for twenty years to make a go of it, and with the help of the Lord and His faithful people he did a respectable job. So now the poor man has been ripped off, stressed into a stroke, and financially stretched. So what do you advocate now Mr. Fixit? Should Dr. Kistler just throw in the towel? Soli Deo Gloria is far too valuable an asset to Christ's Kingdom to leave in the hands of a reprobate like Tim Dick. No! Absolutely not! There's got to be a way of saving it. As for Dr. Kistler's health we serve a mighty God who is perfectly capable of fully restoring Dr. Kistler. I for one am praying for just that.

8/28/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

Valkyrie,

You are absolutely right! Without love, all the knowledge in the world is useless. It's such a simple, basic, Scriptural idea. It's amazing how such well educated men can miss the point isn't it?

1 Corinthians 13

8/28/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

All the excitement over this article has taken a lot more of my time today than expected. The number of unique visitors and page loads is off the charts! I've never experienced anything like this before (not that I can say I'm a man of much experience when it comes to blogging -- it's all still quite new).

I'll check in again tomorrow. Good comments today. Thanks also to those of you who've emailed as well. Say a prayer for Don Kistler before you go to bed.

Frank

8/28/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Behind the Veil said...

I have found out how to access what was Ryan Dick's personal Myspace website before he changed it to block public access. It is quite shocking that a grandson of RC Sproul would publish such a site to the world: http://tinyurl.com/jlymc

Probably worse even than having such a website is having it public for so long. The only way that was possible is if dad and grandpa didn't care. How can the CEO and Chairman of Ligonier Ministries, respectively, put and keep a son/grandson like that on the payroll? It's so sad that their refusal to repent in response to private overtures has led to this ever-growing public scandal.

(BTW, will some tech-savvy person who can host a website quickly copy and mirror for posterity ryanakapartyboy's original myspace page before it disappears? Thanks.)

8/29/2006 04:03:00 AM  
Anonymous TheIronHare said...

(From the June 3, 2006 cached page of Ryan Dick's former MySpace website. I had to censor it sadly. Stuff in brackets [] is by me.)

General Well it was cars now im just going to get something nice to chill in. Soccer....Partys........Chillen with my girl and all my boys......Chillen with my girls gfs........Spending a sh[**] load of money where ever i go!
Music Rap/Hip-hop/Rock/country
REAL BIG (Mannie Fresh)
Video Code provided by VideoCodeZone.Com [There's a rap video running in a loop. I didn't listen to the audio of it. Elsewhere there is a picture montage running in a loop that includes a pic of Ryan drinking from a large glass of beer (he mentions in the caption that he likes to drink beer). No, I'm not a teetotaler]

Movies
Television Movies and TV Napolean Dynamite, Old School, , Anchorman The legend of Ron Burgandy Family Guy, Futurama, THE SIMPSONS, South Park, Nip Tuck, South Park, COPS COPS COPS, [SP merits two mentions or that's just a typo?]
Books Pffffffffffffffffft dont read sorry only when im in school
Heroes My dad b/c he showed me how to come up from working in a sh[**]y a[**] job to being C.E.O. of a mullty mill. company. [LIGONIER??!!] He also showed me that everyone starts somewhere and we are all the same! I dont see him as much now but he is still cool as he[**]. And so is my Mom. [When someone like Ryan thinks you are cool as h... that's not necessarily good]
Groups: The LOCALS at LAKE MARY & LONGWOOD, Orlando Nightlife [note: be careful about clicking on pics because I did that once with one individual's pic (not Ryan) and saw some horrid stuff on his page]

View All Ryan (a.k.a - Party Boy)'s Groups


Ryan (a.k.a - Party Boy)'s Details
Status: In a Relationship
Here for: Friends
Orientation: Straight
Hometown: Lake Mary
Body type: 5' 7" / Average
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Religion: Christian - other
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Smoke / Drink: No / Yes
Children: Someday
Education: In college

8/29/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous FormerLigMan said...

Frank,

Like many here, I am also a former Ligonier employee. I've been watching much of what has gone on at this blog from afar, but am afraid I can't hold my tongue too much longer. There is a lot I have to say concerning this scandal and many of the accusations going on at this blog. Let's start with Ryan...

I've know Ryan Dick for some time... since he was a lil tyke. These latest developments in his childhood are not too surprising given his upbringing. Dr. Sproul, himself, thinks Ryan is an "idiot" (heard by my own ears). I have a young close friend that has had the unfortunate opportunity to hang out with Ryan and has personally witnessed drug use, foul language, and stealing. However, this was some years ago, so who knows if he has cleaned up since then. We all have "interesting" pasts, right?

Still, his MySpace site leads me to believe not much has changed. I know for a fact that the pic of him drinking the beer is in the kitchen of the Sproul residence (been there a couple times). Also, I wonder if it was donor money that paid for his ticket for the Alaskan Cruise? I wouldn't be surprised.

Concerning Don Kistler, here is what I know from reliable sources:
1. Don knows of this blog, but doesn't care for much of what goes on here. He has tried to post a couple comments on things, but none of them ever show up.
2. He doesn't like people fighting his battles for him. As a man that has the upmost respect for Jonathan Edwards, he would have God make the first move rather than taking matters into his own hands (remember the story of Edwards being kicked out of Northampton because of false accusations?).

Concerning Tim, let me set a couple things straight:
1. Frank, you tend to exxagerate a bit. I don't believe it was Tim's intention to switch contracts. I wasn't there, but I know those that were (board members of SDG). According to them, they had discussed the exception clause and Tim fully agreed this clause was necessary. However, for some reason it failed to make it in the final contract. I don't think this was intentional. In case you didn't know, Tim has a horrible memory (much to do with his heart attack many years ago in which he was dead for a matter of minutes causing brain damage). More than once at Ligonier did he forget entire conversations we had together concerning matters of importance. As a habit, I had to write everything down during the meeting so I had proof later in case he forgot (...and he did).

In the case of the contract, I truly believe he forgot to put in this exception clause after the discussion. In the end, I think you will be surprised to find out Tim has compassion and grace within him. I hope he makes amends with this SDG situation.

Concerning R.C., unfortunately, R.C. wants nothing to do with Ligonier Ministries. His true love is St. Andrews Chapel.

I have a lot more to say and will comment again. I just wanted to set things a straight while on this topic of Ryan and Don Kistler.

More to come...

8/29/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

The Ryan Dick comments aren't germane to the issue of the defrauding of Don Kistler by Tim Dick, and RC Sproul's failure to intervene and correct the fraud. However they do go to the issue of Tim Dick's lack of qualifications to head up a Christian ministry, and the disgusting values that he teaches his children: "Heroes My dad b/c he showed me how to come up from working in a sh**y a** job to being C.E.O. of a mullty mill. company." Value system imparted by father to son: Marry the daughter of the founder of a "mullty mill company" and then you're on Easy Street.

These revelations about Ryan Dick hardly come as any surprise. It's only too consistent. It fits the pattern. We can say the same of the character of RC Sproul Jr -- it fits a pattern. RC Jr, like all of us, is a product of his raising. He learned a long time ago that he could be on Easy Street by using dad's name. No need to make your own way in life when you can just ride dad's coattails.

One of the saddest indictments against so many preachers today is the pathetic condition of their own families. Those men whose children who have grown up to be rebellious, disrespectful, lazy, drunkards, foul mouthed, worldly and carnal have no business being church and ministry leaders, "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity." 1 Timothy 3:4 isn't optional, it's a mandatory prerequisite for being in ministry.

In recent months I've had to wonder why the Reformed community hasn't risen up to challenge RC Sproul and his qualifications to teach us the Word of God when it's so obvious that he's done such a poor job of teaching the Word to his own household? Sproul's son has a terrible reputation as being unethical, a tyrant and an alcohol abuser, and now on top of everything else he's managed to get himself defrocked. His daughter Sherrie went and married Tim Dick, a man that from all accounts is a heathen who masquerades as a Christian because he sees it as an easy way to make a buck. His son Ryan is only following in dad's footsteps, and he's even proud to talk about his corrupt value system. On top of everything else RC Sproul appoints Tim to head up his ministry. Now that Tim is on Easy Street why not put the whole family on Easy Street too? So Tim hires on his entire family and puts them on the Ligonier payroll! It's absolutely shameful.

In their ignorance Ligonier donors believe that when they write a check to Ligonier they're supporting Dr. RC Sproul. Little do they know that they're also supporting an entire extended family, most of whom are completely disqualified from Christian ministry.

8/29/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Thanks FormerLigMan for your comments. I look forward to hearing more from you.

My deepest apologies to Dr. Kistler for any of his comments which I didn't post. As I've stated repeatedly I generally won't post Anonymous comments. I expect people to use a name of some kind. Dr. Kistler is especially welcome to post his comments here but he like everyone else is expected to adopt a posting name.

I've received a number of emails asking why Dr. Kistler hasn't come forward and addressed this issue personally. Many seem to think that if Dr. Kistler posts here he really should identify himself. However, I can well appreciate the difficult circumstances in which he's found himself in the past two years. Rather than being a "dream come true" the Ligonier "acquisition" has probably been a living hell. For him to speak on the record publicly about these issues could very well just make things all that much more unpleasant.

However, there are higher values and principles that we should all look to in such circumstances. Dr. Kistler himself, as an expert in the Puritan worldview, knows these principles well. We as Christians must live by these principles, challenging and holding accountable wickedness wherever it is found, especially when it's found in our own camp, and leave the consequences to our Lord. The consequences may lead to hardship, perhaps even persecution, but we must never compromise with sin or sinful men.

What are the consequences to Dr. Kistler himself speaking out on this? He might endure some additional hardships, but the hardship would be entirely economic -- getting fired, loss of salary, loss of insurance, etc. Not pleasant but not "persecution" either. So where is our security? Our employer or Christ? In reality any real consequences to Dr. Kistler, when compared to many of our Christian forefathers, are minor. But if Tim Dick has come to believe that he holds something significant over Dr. Kistler, and Dr. Kistler has done anything to confirm Tim's belief, then Tim Dick has every incentive to stonewall. That's exactly what Tim Dick has been doing for the last two years, stonewalling.

"As a man that has the upmost respect for Jonathan Edwards, he would have God make the first move rather than taking matters into his own hands." I think that Dr. Kistler has more than demonstrated that in being defrauded by Ligonier Ministries he hasn't retaliated and he hasn't taken matters into his own hands. I didn't hear of this matter from Don Kistler. It came to my attention from other sources, folks just like yourself FormerLigMan. How does God "make the first move"? I'm not ashamed to admit that sometimes I wish that He'd send down lightning bolts from Heaven, but thankfully He doesn't do that (I might be the first to get hit!). In many cases God directs his justice by moving the hearts of men to action. Sometimes those men, men that we don't even know, act in ways that we ourselves wouldn't act, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're not acting under God's authority or by His will. It wouldn't surprise me if I learned that Dr. Kistler doesn't approve of my methods. From what I've heard about Dr. Kistler it sounds to me like he'd never do what I've done. I'm the first to admit that he's probably far more of a gentleman than I'll ever be. But if you want someone to take on a wicked bully you don't send in a gentleman, you send in the scrappy guy who knows how to handle a bully.

As far as Tim Dick's defective memory, I've dealt with similar circumstances and similar men before. In my experience an honest man with a defective memory knows to trust the memory of others before his own. Therefore when his colleagues challenge his recollection of an event he promptly defers to them, and he immediately takes whatever corrective action is necessary to conform to the testimony of those whose memories are known to be more accurate than his own.

On the other hand a dishonest man with a defective memory will operate out of "selective memory." He remembers what he wants to, and he remembers those things that are important to him as though he's never had a defective memory in his life. But when he finds it advantageous he'll play the "I don't have any memory of that" card. In Tim's case he even gets to play the sympathy card with Ligonier staffers, "Oh that's just Tim. Cut the guy some slack. You know how his brain works. He's lucky to be alive today. He's got brain damage from a heart attack. Now you might think Tim's a lying thieving, back-stabbing scoundrel but actually it's all just from brain damage. He doesn't really mean to act that way."

The incidents as described to me fall entirely into the latter category, not the former. But irrespective of whether Tim Dick deliberately defrauded Don Kistler, or whether it happened because of Tim Dick's brain damage, the question of the hour is what will Ligonier Ministries do about it now?

"I hope he makes amends with this SDG situation." I wish I could share your hope. You obviously know more about all this than I do, so maybe you have some cause for hope. Call me a cynic but if Tim and RC allowed two years to go by without doing anything about this then I don't have any reason to be hopeful that they'll do the right thing, at least not without a whole lot of public exposure and pressure.

Thanks again for your excellent comments FormerLigMan. We all look forward to hearing more from you.

8/29/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

I can relate to Dr. Kistlers not liking what is going on here. I found myself in a similar situation a few years ago being defrauded by a church and in the attempt to not lose it all, I wanted nothing but quiet.People told me to let God handle it.

Well, it just does not work that way. Who pointed out sin in the Old Testament and in the New Testament? Who rebuked and confronted? Since Dr. Sproul is the expert, perhaps he can tell us.

In the end, I lost everything. And the mega church senior staff is still living in luxury taking 3 month vacations and working 6 hours a day, spending money like drunken sailors. All because I spoke out on the abuse of funds, lying and deceitfullness. I thought the elders would want to know this. Well, they didn't.

Isn't funny how those who speak out on abuses by so called Christians are the sinners now?

My heart breaks for Kistler. He is stuck. But, Mr. Kistler, this involves more than you. It is now public information and people have a duty to uphold. Donors have a right to know who they are giving money to.

There may be another angle here, too. The Sprouls (Dick is included) may think Kistler is feeding behind the scenes and giving him a hard time. You know how these people think. Kistler is the victim here and in my experience the real victims get blamed.

Frank is right...what are they going to do about NOW? Whether it was intentional or not, something has to be recitified.

8/29/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Jane Austin said...

Frank, If I didn't know better, I would think you are being set up. Beware of creative spin from so called former Lig employees.

8/29/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Thanks Jane for the word of caution about "creative spin." I've had a lot of practical life experience in dealing with people who are masters of spin, including guys like Tim Dick. By nature I'm a cautious man and I always take into consideration people's motives and agendas. Not that an agenda necessarily undermines the veracity of someone's story, but it's still important to factor in.

People who engage in spin, whether it be Tim Dick or former disgruntled Ligonier employees, don't particularly bother me, or at least their spin doesn't bother me, because I can usually cut through the spin rather quickly. If you've followed my blog very long Jane then you'd know that.

As far as former Ligonier employees I'm quite aware that many if not most of them are disgruntled. Getting shafted by Tim Dick will do that to an employee. They might be looking for some payback. But those would probably be the exceptions. If anything probably all that any of them want is for the truth to be exposed. That's called justice, and if that's what they want then we're on the same page.

As I've said elsewhere on my blog former employees often make the best possible whistle blowers. When government investigators are digging up dirt on corporate execs some of the very first people they want to track down are former employees. They're even more eager to talk to employees who were wrongfully terminated because they know those people will be especially eager to talk. No one tosses out their testimony because they might have an ax to grind. Being mad at their former boss doesn't in and of itself discredit the truthfulness of their testimony.

8/29/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger cdwitmer said...

A wise Italian once said, "innuendo comes outuendo." This blog is just one more example of how little spiritual discernment and biblical understanding guide the self-appointed Christian contenders for the truth in cyberspace. Contentiousness abounds, but the truth is in sort supply. A few observations: 1) If the final pre-signing version of the contract was replaced by one with different wording, the disgruntled party could have pointed that out even after the fact. Or did Dr. Kistler just toss everything into the garbage can after reading it? 2) Presumably Dr. Kistler has a mouth and fingers and can communicate to the world without the "help" of outside third parties -- even outside third parties convinced of their ability to divinate the truth despite being separated from events by time and space. (It is a well-known fact that the Internet grants omniscience, or a close-enough approximation of it, to men with the form of godliness -- you know, the ones who are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of that for which they "contend.") 3) Did the contract also stipulate that the entire contents of Dr. Kistler's brain belong to Ligonier Ministries in perpetuity? Presumably *THAT* is where most of the value of Dr. Kistler's work resides, and it is inherently highly portable, contract or no. 4) I wish we lived in a society in which a man could find fame and fortune studying the Puritans, but I doubt the amount of money involved here is so great that Dr. Kistler couldn't just walk away from it all. How much money is there in a 21st century Puritan publishing empire? A PhD should be able to find any number of ways of making ends meet. The amount of money involved is irrelevant to the question of whether some wrongdoing has been committed, but it does provide powerful prima facie evidence that our self-proclaimed "truth contender" is not contending with a full deck: the idea that Dr. Kistler's hands are tied is preposterous on its face.

8/29/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

Ryan Dick is a 100% REPROBATE!

Now it's no surprise why Tim Dick and his wife lived with R.C. for so many years. The guy could not land a real Job and pay a morguage to save his life; and his son is foolish enough to believe that he dug himself out of a hole to be c.e.o. of a " multi-mill" organazation. It's kind of easy there Ryan when your married to Sprouls daughter.

So much for an optimistic escatology. How in the world are son's like Ryan Dick supposed to usher in a millennium of Gospel peace.

If Tim actually believed what Dr.Sproul has writen in "The Holliness of God" he would be on his hands and knees begging and pleading with his son to repent or perish.

Dr.John Gerstner must weeping from heaven.

So Thousands of dollars of Ligoner doner money is being spent on Ryans Education and his party life-style. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Heres one for ya; R.C. J.R. should shun his nephew. Think about it; if Ryan Dick was a member of St.Petersburg Defroked Church he would have been shuned and ex-communicated by now. And Rightly so.

8/29/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Saddened said...

Really, I hoped to see more Scripture here.
On that note, let us read all of Luke 12.
When will we follow verse 58?
Let that chapter sink in.
Enter into prayer.
Yearn for Godliness.

8/29/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Metzler said...

Frank,

Given all the prima facie evidence out there already about who is playing with a full deck (Frank or Dick?) I would love to offer a robust to Witmer's indirect Wilsonite apologia here; after all, the Defrocking scandal of Junior has been hammered out with as much rigor as could every be expected or needed for those who care at all about the truth, and I’m sure Witmer has a strange take on all that (i.e. he comes pre-disqualified). However, I don’t have the time at the moment. Tim's strange silence is further prima facia evidence for your claims, and locating Mr Dick's son's blog has made the ride well worth it so far. The legal argument needs to be made that this fraud could not have been addressed immediately and legally. This seems odd to me, but I don't know. A friend of another Ligonier big daddy did something very similar to this to my grandfather in private business, but my grandfather was quick to let it slide given his Christianity; bad guys can sometimes get away with stuff because of the goodness of those they are exploiting. Anyhow, I think there are some holes here remaining, and we don't want Wilsonite apolgists -- who care not for truth, but a person --crawling through them. At the very least Wilsonite Witmer mentioned at least two items that I do believe need to be addressed. Thank you, Michael

8/29/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous John Steinhausen said...

CD Witmer as in Christopher Witmer? Chris you are the biggest hypocrite! Just who are you to be talking about "Contentiousness abounds, but the truth is in sort supply"? Your pugnacious and duplicitous antics on Doug Wilson's blog are legendary. Talk about being contentious and untruthful! Then you have the nerve to ridicule "the 'help' of outside third parties -- even outside third parties convinced of their ability to divinate the truth despite being separated from events by time and space." Your hypocrisy knows no bounds Christopher. I've never seen anyone that even comes close to you when it comes to "divinating the truth despite being separated from events by time and space" like you do Chris. Anytime Doug Wilson gets himself in a jam and evades answering an embarrassing question (like that now infamous RC Sproul Jr debacle that Wilson helped turn into a full blown scandal) you leap out of the shadows ever ready to speculate and hypothesize about things that you have no personal knowledge of. Hypocrites are always welcome on Doug Wilson's blog. Maybe you should go back where you belong Chris.

8/29/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous John Steinhausen said...

Carson, if Ryan Dick were a member of St. Peter Presbyterian Church it's unlikely he'd be shunned, at least not over his "party life style." Sproul Jr himself appears to have quite a reputation as a party animal.

8/29/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

I agree with you John. My point was that if a member of st.peters son was posting rap songs with vulger content and pictures of half naked women they would be shuned.

8/29/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Christopher your silly little "innuendo comes outuendo" is just that, silly, but it has no application here. No one but you is making innuendos. What I'm making here are called allegations.

I'll have to go with John on this, especially since it sounds like he's got some personal experience of some sort with you. It seems that you're guilty of the very things that you're accusing me of. That's no innuendo it's an allegation.

8/29/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Michael Metzler has some interesting observations at Tim Dick is quite a..." Michael sounds a bit despondent or cynical. I'm told that Michael has gone through some very strange things with his pastor and church (which he calls a cult) so all that cynicism is probably to be expected. Can it get much worse than having Doug Wilson as your pastor? Maybe not worse but I've heard that having RC Sproul Jr as a pastor is at least as bad. God deliver us from wolves in sheep's clothing!

8/29/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Oh, Michael you asked, "How many daughters does RC have, I don’t recall?" RC Sproul has one daughter by the name of Sherrie.

Robert Charles Sproul also has one son by the name of Robert Craig Sproul. That means that his son isn't a Junior at all and at no time did dad name his son Junior. It's just a gimmick contrived by son more easily ride on dad's coattails. I'm not trying to make a big issue of that but it is just that much more evidence of family the duplicity.

8/29/2006 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

I just listened to a song by Steve Camp(I love Camp) The lyrics of this song remind me of Ryan Dick

Can you hear him say
You Call me Master and obey me not
You call me light and you see me not
You call me the way and you walk me not
You call me life and you live me not
You call me wise and you follow me not
You call me fair and you love me not
You call me rich and you ask me not
You call me Eternal and you seek me not
If I Condemn thee then Blame me not

8/29/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Carson, it's not just Ryan Dick but also Tim Dick. As a father of several sons myself I couldn't help but be horrified in looking over Ryan's Myspace. It's not just his own comments that I find shocking, it's the kinds of friends Ryan keeps. I clicked on the photos of several of Ryan's friends and was completely shocked. Ryan Dick's friends are foul mouthed drunken fornicators. The music they listen to is filthy and worse than obscene. It would seem that Ryan has earned his title "Partyboy."

The greatest irony is that every single one of Ryan's friends lists their "Religion" as "Christian." I guess I wasn't aware that Christians can be foul mouthed drunken fornicators! My, how times have changed! That Steve Camp song you posted Carson very appropriate here.

I don't encourage anyone else to read that filth for themselves or listen to that disgusting music. It's unhealthy. But in seeing and listening I also couldn't help but rejoice before God, confident in the assurance that my own children would never have such friends as Ryan Dick keeps. But then my children aren't foul mouth drunken fornicators and they've always been repulsed any time they've gotten anywhere near such kids, and they've told me so. My children are every bit as shocked and horrified by such wickedness as I am. Fathers should be training their children to flee sin. When we see children running to sin it's a good sign that dad failed his children.

"Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals." 1Cor. 15:33 I've imparted that to my children their entire lives and so my children don't keep bad company. Obviously Tim Dick doesn't believe that which is why he doesn't care about the company his children keep. But there's a reason for that. Tim Dick is bad company himself and so it hardly matters to him if his children keep bad company.

8/30/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous TheIronHare said...

This is still at Challies site. I guess it represents the maximum Sproul reality TC can tolerate (which is not much it seems).

A COMMENT BY Kristie
Thanks Tim! I'm bookmarking this page. I can only afford to go to one of these conferences. So I did some online searches to try and figure out which conference would be best for me. The big surprise came when I searched on Ligonier Ministries. Some people seem pretty upset about R.C. Sproul Jr. speaking at the Ligonier Conference. I didn't even know he'd been defrocked. How did I miss that? If you mentioned anything about it I guess I just must have missed it. It all sounds pretty serious. Guess I'll scratch that one off my list. But there's still plenty of other options.

Kristie August 26, 2006 10:00 AM

And I noticed Ryan's slideshow (featuring the big beer chug) is now gone from the cached page of his former MySpace site. - DC

8/30/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Saddened, sorry I didn't get to you sooner. If you mean to infer that Luke 12:58 applies to me then you've missed the point of what's been going on here. Christ's admonishment certainly applies to Tim Dick (although not in a civil judicial setting). I pleaded privately with Tim multiple times to right this injustice that he perpetrated. He was warned, in no uncertain terms, of the consequences if he didn't. I even gave him a deadline. Tim has never once denied any of these allegations, either privately with me or now publicly here or anywhere else. All he's done is evade.

8/30/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Jane Austin said...

Saddened, I think we have seen quite enough of people who quote scripture, even write books on it for crying out loud, but do not live it.

The Sprouls are 'do as I say, not as I do'.

Nice try though, with the guilt angle.

Witmer is trying to make us think Dick did Kistler a favor. Great spin!

8/30/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous TheIronHare said...

http://www.littlegeneva.com/hammerman/?p=34#comment-70

Glad someone saved the evidence.

8/31/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is the consensus that Dr. Kistler should sue a fellow brother, in violation of 2 COrinthians 6, where Paul says it is better to be wronged and defrauded than to put a cloud over the cause of Christ?

9/01/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Jane Austin said...

This is off topic but today Challies posted that he is writing a book on...of...all...things...
discernment!

In light of his obviousw protection of the Sprouls, I find this quite nervy.

I am afraid Tim has little credibility in this area.

9/01/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous FormerLigMan said...

Frank,
I can now confirm Don Kistler doesn't care for what is going on here at "Contending for the Truth". If anything, you are making the situation much worse for him as Tim and he go back and forth with the contract situation. I would reconsider your motives here.

Don't get me wrong. I think Tim is a tyrant that needs to be removed from the organization (and reformed community altogether). However, if you are making things worse for Don Kistler (the innocent party), then what have you accomplished with this post except making things harder for Don than they already are?

I think it is interesting that the minute anyone posts a comment in question of your tactics they get accused of working for (or posing as) Tim Dick.

I am questioning more and more whether this is the "God ordained" way of exposing the truth regarding Tim. The purpose might be right and true, but if you can't hold anyone accountable for gossip and exaggerations, then how "right" and "true" are the outcomes?

9/01/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Good question Anonymous, but once again I must remind you and others to not post anonymously. I've rejected most anonymous postings. I'm only accepting yours because it introduces an important topic.

I don't advocate suing Ligonier. But I'm also sickened by Christians who hide behind 1Cor. 6, throwing it up in the faces of those they've defrauded, using it as a license to sin against their brethren. I've had so-called Christian businessmen do that to me several times, after they'd defrauded me, which is why I'd just as soon not do business with professing Christians. If I'm looking through the Yellow Pages and see a fish symbol in a listing I won't call that business at all. People who wear their Christianity on their shirtsleeve like that can't be trusted.

I hate to admit it but I tend to trust unbelievers in business more than professing Christians. Unbelievers expect to be sued if they defraud a client. Unbelievers often fear the law more than many Christians do. Many Christians expect, and even demand, to not be sued if they defraud another Christian, and they'll quote 1Cor. 6 as their "defense." However, for a man to hide behind sacred Scripture and use it as a defense for his sin is worse than hypocrisy. The worst of all hypocrites is the hypocrite that appeals to Scripture, using it to justify himself, rather than repenting of his wickedness.

I don't know a lot about Dr. Kistler, but I've heard that he's the kind of preacher to actually do something quite unusual. Amazingly enough he actually obeys the Bible! Apparently he'll obey 1 Cor. 6 in any and all circumstances. I respect him for his stance, but I don't necessarily agree that that passage is an absolute prohibition in all cases. As an extreme example, if Tim Dick were to rape Mrs. Kistler I'm quite confident that Mr. Kistler would immediately call 911 and aggressively pursue secular litigation against a fellow Christian (assuming that Tim Dick is a Christian, a view which I don't necessarily share). Only later might Mr. Kistler call the Elders of his church about it.

The values practiced by Dr. Kistler and those practiced by Ligonier Ministries are at variance. While both profess the same values, what they mutually practice are dramatically different. For example, Don Kistler has no history of filing lawsuits against Christians or anyone else. Ligonier however has a reputation for filing lawsuits, especially against Christians, and they've done so to silence anyone who would speak out against their hypocrisies. It won't surprise me if I soon hear that Ligonier has also sued me.

Sally earlier asked, "And why hasn't Dr. Kistler come forward on this if he is upset?" Don Kistler knows quite well that Ligonier wouldn't hesitate to sue him. For most people the mere prospect of an expensive lawsuit is all that's necessary to shut them up.

9/01/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Thanks again FormerLigMan for your comments. As before these are very helpful.

Thank you especially for now confirming that Tim Dick and Don Kistler are engaged in contract renegotiations, at least that appears to be the impression you make when you speak of "Tim and he go back and forth with the contract situation." So in the two years prior to my publicly exposing Tim Dick's fraud did Tim express any interest in honestly dialoguing with Dr. Kistler about the contract? I'm told he did not. I'm told the gist of his responses have been, "We've got a signed contract. There's nothing that can be done about it now." Tim Dick evaded any meaningful dialogue with Dr. Kistler just like he evaded talking about it with me. In Dr. Kistler's case Tim stonewalled him for two years. In my case I only gave Tim ten days to stonewall. No point in giving an opportunity to a stonewaller to evade for any longer than necessary.

You'd already stated once before, "Don knows of this blog, but doesn't care for much of what goes on here," and I responded to you. I've already acknowledged that Don Kistler probably doesn't appreciate what I'm doing here. No doubt there are a lot of people who don't appreciate me right now, but I'm not doing this to make friends, I'm doing this for justice. The fact that Dr. Kistler doesn't appreciate it doesn't change the moral obligation to confront Tim Dick's fraud.

It sounds as though what you're encouraging me to do is to wrong my own conscience and just walk away from all this, leaving the victory to Tim Dick. I can assure you that will not happen.

No doubt you'll respond with, "Don Kistler doesn't need you. You're just making his prospects for getting back his ministry that much harder." I'm not one to put practicalities ahead of principle, but even on the practicalities you'd be wrong. You don't beat a bully by backing away or being a gentleman. Bullies view gentlemen as weak and vulnerable. This is exactly why Don Kistler found himself in this position in the first place. He's a gentleman and he's trusting. That's a complement not a criticism, but it's also to say that Don Kistler is easy prey for sharks like Tim Dick.

The one thing I'll fault Don Kistler for is being a four-point Calvinist. I fault a lot of my Reformed brethren for that. They profess belief in "the total depravity of man," but they don't live like they really believe it. Instead they live more like humanists. Tim Dick is a classic example of why we as Calvinists need to embrace "the total depravity of man" and reject the humanist doctrine of "give him the benefit of the doubt." There is nothing in Tim Dick that Don Kistler should have trusted. Therefore, he should have brought his own reviewed copy of the contract to the meeting and had Tim Dick sign it, watching him every second to make sure he didn't pull a fast one.

Don Kistler didn't come to me for help, and he may not want my help now. But there are much bigger things at stake here than the personal embarrassment that might have now come to Don Kistler as a result of my exposing Tim Dick's fraud.

As far as your comment about my accusations that some of the comments posted here have come either from Tim Dick or his employees (and I've only made a couple such comments) that's because I have evidence that they've originated from the Ligonier office. I think it's safe to assume that only Ligonier employees are in a position to post comments to my blog from Ligonier office computers.

As far as your concerns about holding people accountable for potential gossip and exaggeration there are ways of dealing with that. One of the best ways is to establish communications on a more formal basis than, say, what you've done here. One way of doing that is email. A number of people have done that. You haven't yet FormerLigMan. I extend to you the same offer that I've extended everyone else here. Send me an email. Let's talk. Let's contend for the truth.

9/01/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

I agree with Frank on the 1 Corin 6 debate. I, too, have stopped doing businesses with Christians who wear it on their sleeve. Too many people are wearing that label these days for marketing purposes.

My former church uses this same scripture to scare anyone trying to sue them. They are a mega with NO HR policies at all. They fire at will with no reason. I have seen it hundreds of times. Then they use the 'you are a sinner' if you sue. Great Bully tacic.

Here is the deal...what makes you so sure you are dealing with Christians? Do Christians act the way Tom Dick does? Ryan Dick, Sproul Jr? And now Sr????

As the Sprouls or Ligonier sued someone?

9/01/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

Frank you are absolutley right. You don't fight a bully by being a gentleman. I say what Regan said "Peace through superior fire power"

The problem is most Men in the church are spinless cowards. I used to think J.R. was a great spokseman for this; not anymore.

What you say about doing business is true: In the mega calvary chapel(dosesn't deserve to be capitolised) church I used to go to a fellow brother of mine was a painter. He did work for elders in the church. Thousands of dollars worth of work; and did not recieve a dime. When he told the pastor's; there greasey grace responce was " just forgive them". where the elders cald to repent? of course not.

As far as Ligoner suing you; I say BRING IT ON! There are plenty of organazations that would take your defence at no charge Frank.

Ken Sandy at Peace Mackers or prehaps The American Center for Law and Justice.

Keep fighting the good Fight my friend.

Man; I wish non of this would have ever hapened. I can't even stomach an R.C. S.R. teaching anymore.

What's even worse is I can't even bother telling most of my brothers in the church; because I would be accused of gossip and believeing lies.

We had J.R. Speak at our church and most of our elders noticed alot of pride and arogance. What's sad is; in the case of S.R. the apple dosent' fall far from the tree

9/01/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Dismayed said...

That's quite a story about the painter not getting paid by the Elders. The same thing happens at Saint Peter Presbyterian Church. At one time about 6 or 7 years ago Laurence Windham actually used to do some work for a living. Now we hear that Saint Peter pays him really well and all he does is hang out all day at the coffee shop and cigar shop. But 6 and 7 years ago he had to take side jobs because Saint Peter couldn't afford to pay him very much since just about everything that got put into the offering plate went straight into R.C. Sproul Jr.'s pocket. Just like all the other Sprouls R.C. Jr. insists on the six figure income. We'd never seen such a tiny church where the pastor got paid so much and demanded he be paid so much. Every other church we'd been in before and since then is much bigger and the pastors are never paid anywhere near what R.C. demands to be paid. But R.C. has always thought an awful lot of himself.

Laurence Windham had this carpentry business and he'd sometimes hire some of the young men in the church to work for him. Laurence never really did any work himself he just hired others to do it because Laurence doesn't really know anything about carpentry. One of those young men worked for Laurence doing carpentry work got stiffed by Laurence. Laurence refused to pay him, not because the man hadn't done the work and done it well. Windham just refused to pay for no good reason. That man had a family to feed and desperately needed the money but Laurence Windham just pocketed the money from the job for himself. The man took it to R.C. Sproul Jr. but R.C. refused to do anything about it other than to say that if he needed some financial assistance the church could help him out. He refused to take money from the church. All he wanted was for R.C. to hold Laurence accountable and make Laurence pay him what he was owed. R.C. ignored his pleas. Laurence Windham still owes him over a thousand dollars. R.C. is in cahoots with Laurence to rip off the men in his own church. The man could sue Laurence but he decided not to.

When pastors and elders act like that and their church members are too afraid to hold their pastors accountable then I think there's no longer any reason to say that 1 Corinthians 6 is binding. Laurence Windham is a thief and I think that young man should sue him. I think the same applies to this Don Kistler situation with Tim Dick and Ligonier. When creeps like Tim Dick are allowed to get away with stealing then the only thing that can come of it is that he'll just be encouraged to steal again. The only thing that deters a criminal is a severe punishment and if Mr. Kistler isn't going to take legal action against Tim Dick then the next best thing is exactly what you're doing here Frank.

9/02/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

RC Sproul Jr's character is probably a reflection of his upbringing. Just like RC Jr turns a blind eye to Laurence Windham's fraud and stealing I think we'll probably see RC Sproul turn a blind eye to Tim Dick's fraud and stealing. All this fraud and stealing by celebrity preachers just makes me ill.

9/02/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

For any who are interested in Ligonier's financials you can get them from Guidestar. The basic service if free but you have to register. Ligonier's tax returns are also posted there, at least up through 2004 (they're way behind on their 2005 return).

I've already mentioned Ligonier's problems with lack of transparency and their pathetic efficiency ratings (two out of five stars). Charity Navigator also rates Ligonier's pathetic efficiency. With each passing year Ligonier's efficiency only goes from bad to worse. Tim Dick gets all the credit for that.

Ligonier's 2004 990 tax return shows Tim Dick's Ligonier salary at $230,098.00. Not bad for a guy with brain damage and no qualifications for the job.

RC Sproul's salary and ministerial housing allowance gets him $269,326.00. At least RC might be considered "qualified" to be pulling down that kind of salary, but even still it's an awful lot higher than the Directors of other comparable sized ministries, and it's a lot more than most Directors of ministries that have ten and twenty and thirty times the size of Ligonier's annual revenues.

9/02/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Minister of Justice said...

Possibly even more interesting than the large sums of money earned by Minister-Chair RC Sproul and President/CEO/CFO Tim Dick (now that's a concentration of power!) in 2004 is the sum Mrs. RC Sproul earned that year as the only paid non-employee director of Ligonier:

Vesta Sproul / Director / $39,129 + $1,289
Stephen Levee (Mandeville, LA) / Director / —– 0 —–
David Maulding (Springfield, IL) / Director / —– 0 —–
Archie Parish (Atlanta, GA) / Director / —– 0 —–
E.W. Willis (Austin, TX) / Director / —– 0 —–

9/02/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous questioner said...

Shouldn't a lot of this all be directed at the Ligonier Board of Directors, who hired Tim Dick and pays him this salary?

Ultimately, they are in charge. His job is to carry out their policies and wishes.

9/03/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous FormerLigMan said...

Even worse, Tim and R.C. only will publish a Sproul book if the royality commission meets a certain criteria. Forget the idea of ever donating it to charity or even the ministry. The royalities from book sales goes straight to the lining of their pockets.

While we are on this subject, I am reminded of another lil unfortunate circumstance Tim Dick has got himself into at St. Andrew's Chapel (where I attend).

Did you know that any audio of R.C. Sproul from St. Andrew's pulpit is also owned by Ligonier Ministries? As a regular attender, I don't even have the right to get a message of last Sunday's sermon (free or paid). Instead, it goes to Ligonier headquarters where it will sit on a shelf and someday be repackaged into a CD set to be sold for money. Tim's claim is that anything R.C. does at St. Andrew's Chapel is owned by Ligonier Ministries. Does this sound fishy to anyone out there?

9/03/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

As Minister Of Justice pointed out Vesta Sproul is the only member of the Board Of Directors that receives a salary. Ligonier's 990 form shows Mrs. Sproul as working an average of a 40 hour week. Every other board member only shows 1 hour. Those who have some experience with corporate boards know that means something. Any board member who's shown only putting in an hour a week is generally nothing more than a figure head and their role is generally just symbolic.

The only reason Mrs. Sproul takes such a meager salary, in comparison to other family members, is to give the false impression that she's not actually a major player. However I'm told that the real power behind the throne is in fact Vesta Sproul.

Ligonier's Board Of Directors is probably nothing but a cadre of Vesta and RC Sproul yes-men. There's little in the way of genuine accountability so no one should hold their breath waiting on the Ligonier Board to hold Tim Dick accountable for his fraud against Don Kistler or for anything else. However one thing that probably would get the attention of Ligonier's Board is if they started receiving letters from financial supporters that threaten to curtail their giving if Ligonier doesn't immediately correct its fraud against Don Kistler.

Donor contributions are the life blood of Christian ministries and anything that threatens to impact the donor base is bound to get their attention. What especially gets their attention is to receive letters and emails from donors threatening to cut off their donations. So if you're going to cut them off over this Tim Dick fraud be sure and serve them notice about it first and tell them why you're cutting them off. Those are the kinds of letters they'd take seriously. Be sure that Tim Dick gets cc'd.

9/03/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

FormerLigMan, are you saying that RC receives book royalties on top of his Ligonier salary? If so, any idea what his royalty package looks like? While we're on that, any idea what his speaking honorarium package looks like?

Does RC Sproul receive a salary or any compensation from Saint Andrews Chapel? If he does then Tim Dick's claim that RC's sermons belong to Ligonier might have some validity. But if RC receives any compensation from Saint Andrews Chapel then it seems to me that he'd have no valid basis to such an ownership claim.

9/03/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Carson Allen said...

Frank

Thanks for the info. R.C. took a little over 213,000 in 2004; but that is not counting what he took in from St.Andrews. I'm sure that was about another 50,000; nor what he took in for Book Royalties

I am eladed to report that John Piper took ZERO from Desiring God; thats right not a DIME. I am sure he is living off of his meager salary from his Church. When he say's he takes nothing for Book Royalties; I believe him.

Thank God there are Men with such integrety as John Piper.

9/03/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Anonymous FormerLigMan said...

Carson,
You are exactly right. There are a "few good men" left out there... like John Piper. May God richly bless his ministry.

Frank,
I am pretty sure R.C. gets a salary at St. Andrew's, but not completely certain. For some reason, I remember hearing R.C. received a meager compensation of $60,000. Does that sound right former employees out there? I need someone out there to confirm this. Justus might know... What say you Justus?

I am unaware if R.C. receives an honorarium for his speaking engagements. One thing I do know, R.C. and Vesta will stay in nothing less than the best of the best hotels, only be chauffeured in the nicest of automobiles when out of town (Lincoln Town Car or better), and eat at the nicest of restaurants (on the donors' dollar of course).

Another thing that always got on my nerves...

The last couple years Ligonier has hosted these Alaskan Cruises each summer for their donors. There is nothing wrong with that. However, Tim Dick loves to take the whole entire Dick crew along (family reunion?). When it is all said and done, it was R.C., Vesta, Tim, Sherrie, Kaki (daughter - Development Officer), Johnny (Kaki's husband - Director of Marketing), Ryan (aka PartyBoy - Conferencing Assistant), and Michael (adopted son - too young to work). Not to mention, the other Yes-R.C. staff members in the high-up positions bring their families, too. Now, do they all NEED to go on this cruise? I wouldn't think so. How can they justify paying for all of those tickets via donor money?

9/04/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous FormerLigMan said...

Concerning book royalties, I wish I knew what the going rate was for some of these publishers: Intervarsity Press, Nelson, etc. I have a gut feeling it is $50,000+ per published book.

Once again, this money is not donated nor even deposited in Ligonier's acct. Instead, it goes straight to R.C. and Tim Dick.

Something wrong with this picture.

9/04/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

So RC Sproul is taking down at least $350,000, and probably closer to $500,000. Apparently some Christians think he deserves it but I've always had this thing against Christians enriching themselves in ministry. I don't think Christians should be going into ministry to get rich anymore than someone should run for public office to become rich. In both cases the inevitable result is corruption and compromise.

Before I make a financial contribution to any Christian ministry I do the same thing I do with my own church, I read their financial reports, and in the case of parachurch ministries I read their tax returns. It amazes me how few Christians do this. They just assume they're dealing with honest, prudent and thrifty men, but I know from personal experience how wrong those kinds of assumptions usually are. By making such assumptions people are saying, "Here, take this money and spend it any way you want. I don't really care. It doesn't matter to me."

That kind of lack of accountability is no different than what the government does when they tax us and then squander away the money. Every year it only gets worse because there's no accountability. I don't trust preachers to be honest anymore than I trust politicians. They all need accountability.

For those who think that RC Sproul and Tim Dick and all the other Sprouls and Dicks don't make enough as it is then by all means make a big check out today to Ligonier Ministries. But as for me and my household we'll find another ministry to support whose ministers aren't in it for the big bucks, the mansion on the golf course and the country club.

9/04/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Speaking of total lack of accountability check this out. Between 1998 and 2004 the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation gave Ligonier Ministries a total of $350,000 (too early to say yet what if anything they gave for 2005-2006). The moneys weren't earmarked for any specific purpose at all, just "Unrestricted Grant to General Fund." It doesn't get any more unaccountable than that.

Rich DeVos is the co-founder of Amway.

9/04/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous George said...

Do you really think that donor monies are paying for the whole family to go on the cruises? Does the whole family really work there?

9/04/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

To answer your question about the Sproul family employees, about the only family members who don't work at Ligonier are RC Jr and his wife and kids. All the other Sprouls and Dicks are on the payroll there.

I don't know about the Sproul cruises but it's unlikely that they're paying their own way. Since they're Ligonier employees the ministry (or rather their donors) probably pick up the tab.

9/04/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Charles said...

mr witmer wrote: 3) Did the contract also stipulate that the entire contents of Dr. Kistler's brain belong to Ligonier Ministries in perpetuity? Presumably *THAT* is where most of the value of Dr. Kistler's work resides, and it is inherently highly portable, contract or no.

Are you familiar with intellectual property laws? My guess is that the contract does stipulate something akin to what you say above. It can go even as far to say he cannot teach what could be sold for profit! I have seen many such contracts for intellectual property myself.

9/04/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Charles said...

By the way, anyone see the new website for Ligonier? It got star billing on Challies.

9/04/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Minister of Justice said...

Ligonier's slick new website was launched prematurely, if all the bugs I encountered are representative. Interestingly, Robert Craig Sproul isn't listed among the Conference speakers.

But fear not, Craig has not been left out. You'll find him on the schedule at the "pre-conference seminar."

It's really quite clever: When outraged donors call to ask about Craig, the Ligonier staff can say that he isn't a speaker at the 2007 Conference at all. And it will be true in form if not in substance. Having your cake and eating it too: postmodernism at its best.

It's ironic that Tim and Craig reportedly don't get along, given how similar they are.

9/05/2006 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous TheIronHare said...

RCraig speaking during pre-conference:

http://www2.ligonier.org/conferences_national_schedule.php

9/05/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Ligonier's IRS 990 forms from 1999-2004 are available at the Economic Research Institute. It's interesting to see the kinds of raises that RC Sproul and Tim Dick in particular take for themselves in that time frame. From all accounts those huge raises are in stark contrast to the lack of raises that most other Ligonier employees received.

9/05/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Mr. Vance I posted a comment about this article of yours at These Infinite Spaces asking if anyone had any opinions about it. Then the blog owner Craig posted an entire article about my question accusing me of gossip, etc. and saying it was "suspicious." http://creative2567.blogspot.com/2006/09/ligonier-soli-and-rebecca.html

I'm just floored that something like that could happen. It seems like a lot of Reformed Christians have blinded themselves when it comes to being able to admit that our own leaders are just frail men with feet of clay. The upshot of all this was that Craig said, "At most, the former owner of Soli Deo *may* have signed a contract without reading it carefully. In that case, he is completely culpable. You are responsible for any contract you sign, and it's your responsibility to read that contract before signing. And any court would agree." That just doesn't sit right with me but I'm not exactly sure why. Do you have any thoughts about it?

9/05/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Rebecca you're right about how willfully blind so many Reformed Christians are about our own leaders. Too many don't want to admit how frail some of our leaders are. They're unwilling to hold them accountable. Oh but how they love to point the accusatory finger at other preachers outside the Reformed camp when those preachers ever falter. I've heard Reformed people say, "Well it just goes to show. Bad theology leads to bad Christian living." So what do they say about RC Sproul Jr's ecclesiastical tyrannies that resulted in his being defrocked? What do they say of his being defrocked but the fact that he just went right on preaching at conferences like nothing had happened? Sproul is Reformed so obviously it can't be his theology, so they either come up with other excuses or they try and sweep it under the carpet. RC Sproul has his defrocked son speak at the Ligonier Conference and there's hardly a peep in protest from the Reformed community, and none of the other Reformed preachers say anything about it. But what a howl of protest rose up from the Reformed community when Jimmy Swaggart was defrocked, but he refused to submit to his denomination's discipline and he kept right on preaching like nothing had happened. What hypocrisy! It's starting to make me ashamed of being Reformed.

That statement of Craig's doesn't sit right with me either Rebecca. Craig is engaging in legal hairsplitting. He's using as his standard of righteousness the decrees of secular courts. I took a look at Craig's blog this morning. It's obvious that Craig isn't just ignorant, he's willfully ignorant. He's probably been a Ligonier fan for a long time, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I used to be one too, but then I started having too much exposure to the reality that is Ligonier Ministries and I can no longer be a fan. Craig has gone from been a mere fan to being a zealous cheerleader. That's the inevitable result of willful ignorance. In the end it's just likely to get him a lot of egg on the face.

9/06/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

The name of your blog, Contending For The Truth, is a great name for a blog. But you are missing a very important element. Where it the love? Where is grace? If I had received letters from you like I see on your blog I wouldn't respond either. It is like President Bush not responding to the letter from the Iranian leader. Did you really expect him to respond to your mean-spirited emails? I am so sick of Christians ripping each other to pieces over the "truth".

Truth is very important to me. But I have seen the devastation to peoples' lives because of some issue of so called 'truth.'

Even if some of what you say is true about Tim, the way you have gone about this is hurtful and shameful.

Yes, the church will get a black eye for this, but I am confident that God will somehow get glory from it all.

9/06/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Dennis Conroy said...

I am really concerned with all the Sproul bashing I am seeing in blogs. "Lets all be Reformed!" Lets all be seekers of Truth!" But nobody cares about slander. Nobody cares about the person's reputation that is on the line. Man, I am furious with all this stuff!! Guilty until proven innocent!

I owe a lot to R.C. Sproul in my early years as a new believer. I had the privilege of working for Ligonier Minitries for 6 years.

As we seek the truth lets wait on judgement and condemnation.

9/06/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Charles said...

Dennis, Quit following people and follow Christ.

You ask where is the love? Perhaps you should ask Tim Dick that. I have read his childish, hateful and petty posts over the blogesphere and am shocked that someone in his position is so immature.

Thier response has to been to accuse anyone questioning them of gossiping. They have been the name callers in this thing. I really think their finanical expenditures on salaries, mansions, etc, really say it all. And it ain't love for their donors.

Tell me, did charity navigators publish a lie?

9/07/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

I just get so sick of these celebrity preachers who live like fatcats. From all the comments I keep coming across Sproul and Dick are probably breaking the law by paying themselves way too much. But worse than that they're ripping off their donors.

9/09/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

What do RC Sproul and John Hagee have in common? Neither one operate under any form of genuine biblical accountability.

I received an email from Bernie Dehler who informed me of his efforts to bring accountability to John Hagee's personal profiteering at the expense of his donors. Just like Ligonier Ministries, Hagee is under no form of genuine accountability, and like just Ligonier, Hagee's Board Of Directors is made up of family members and other yes men.

Open Letter To Pastor John Hagee

Given Hagee's aberrant theology I'm in no way surprised by his conduct. In fact he's just being consistent with his beliefs. But RC Sproul, as a professing Presbyterian, knows better. Sproul's Reformed supporters also know better, but for the most part they're not acting any different from Hagee's supporters. Most just turn a blind eye.

9/10/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Call To Account said...

Last year when Ligonier was flush with capital Tim Dick took about $15 million of Ligonier's donor money and went and bought two of the most expensive mansions in the Orlando area. They're side by side and I think one cost $7 million and the other one $8 million. It sounded like Tim's plan was that the Sprouls would move into one and the Dicks into the other but they're still sitting vacant. All that money wasted on something so stupid and they're not even being used. It was around that time that Tim laid off a dozen employees supposedly because of cash flow problems. A lot of them had been at Ligonier for years. If you go and waste millions of dollars you're bound to have some cash flow problems. Makes it hard to make payroll.

What Tim did to those Ligonier employees was wicked. Tim needs a mansion but people are expendable.

9/13/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I seem to recall hearing RC Sproul say that they were having to let some employees go in the last couple years for financial reasons, during the same time frame that it appears there were some significant pay raises elsewhere in the family.

9/13/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

To Frank Vance:

I hate to break this to you, but friend you are not a child of God.

Irregardless if what you say about Ligonier is true or not. (I dont know them)

Your "fruit" is diplayed in your posts and comments above. And they are the fruit of a bad tree.

Your words and your language alone show what is in your heart.

I say this in all Christian Love, may God prick your conscience before it is too late, to repentence.

9/14/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Call To Account said...

R. C. may have mentioned letting employees go because of cash flow problems. It's a great way to play on the sympathies of donors and get them to cough up more money. So where did those fund raising dollars go? Certainly not to retain employees. R. C. has definitely never mentioned anything to anyone about his big pay raises while Ligonier employees were being thrown out on the street, and at least some of those being thrown out were thrown out to make room at their desks for Tim Dick's family members.

Here's R. C.'s Ligonier salary according to the Ligonier tax returns:

Year .... Salary .... Housing .... Total .... Raise
1999 . $104,000 . $36,000 . $140,000
2000 . $109,000 . $36,000 . $145,000 . 5%
2001 . $138,530 . $36,000 . $174,530 . 20%
2002 . $146,346 . $51,923 . $198,269 . 14%
2003 . $167,577 . $53,999 . $221,576 . 12%
2004 . $213,249 . $56,077 . $269,326 . 22%

Now bear in mind that doesn't include R. C.'s Saint Andrews Chapel salary (which I've heard but can't confirm is around $60,000), his book royalties, conference speaking honorariums, etc. R. C. pays himself a whole lot more money than ministers running ministries that are ten times bigger than Ligonier.

Here's Tim Dick's Ligonier salary:
Year .... Salary .... Raise
2001 . $77,500
2002 . $116,266 . 50%
2003 . $153,688 . 32%
2004 . $230,098 . 50%

No one knows yet what kind of raises that R. C. and Tim Dick have given themselves again for 2005 and 2006 (Tim is way behind on getting Ligonier's 2005 tax returns done). If Tim has given himself a couple more of those 50% pay raises he's now pulling down over $500,000.

The Sprouls have taken extremely good care of themselves while many of their employees were tossed out on the street like rubbish.

9/14/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Brandon Giromini said...

Call to Account,

Excellent information. I was going to do something similar by posting the salaries and percentage increases on my blog.

Do we have any evidence about the cash flow problems/layoffs, like newsletters from Ligonier, news stories, etc? Also, in regard to the mansions, do we have addresses for them or any related information? I just want to make sure we have hard facts to support any statements so as not to give defenders of Ligonier something to direct attention away from the issue of using a non-profit ministry for personal enrichment. I will probably collate all of these facts into a blog post.

9/19/2006 01:23:00 PM  

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