Contending For Truth - Ligonier Ministries Lawsuit Scandal

Friday, September 29, 2006

More Ligonier Lies: Exposed By Orlando Sentinel

Newspaper Reports Ligonier Dropped Suit Only Because It Couldn't Collar Vance; Ligonier Tips Hand About Intentions To Refile Lawsuit

World Magazine Blog and Christianity Today Blog have both made passing mention of the Ligonier Ministries lawsuit story, but they have yet to commit a drop of ink to it in their magazines, this in spite of the fact that this story is more than newsworthy. Thank God however for the secular Press who obviously aren't so timid.

Today Orlando Sentinel staff reporter Rene Stuztman wrote a new article published in the Orlando Sentinel about the latest on the Ligonier's lawsuit against me:

Posted September 29, 2006

Sanford -- The Lake Mary religious group that sued a blogger, trying to limit what he could put on the Internet, has dropped its suit.

Ligonier Ministries Inc. voluntarily dismissed the case Wednesday against Frank Vance, who published remarks critical of the ministry and its president, Timothy Dick, on the Web site "Contending for the Truth."

That's because the group couldn't find Vance, so it couldn't officially notify him that he was being sued, something judges require to make sure defendants have the opportunity to defend themselves.

The group tried to find Vance, whom it accused of posting false and defamatory statements. It hired a private detective, companies that specialize in tracking e-mail and Internet postings.

It even sent Vance an e-mail, asking him to disclose his whereabouts, but none of that worked, according to court records.

Ministry attorney Daniel Brodersen said Thursday that if the group does find Vance, it may file a new suit.

Rene Stutzman, Erin Ailworth, Christine Dellert and Kristen Reed of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

What a story! It's almost better than a PI novel, Pinkerton Detective Agency and all!

"That's because the group couldn't find Vance" says it all. Nothing about, "We came to our senses and realized how inappropriate it was for a Christian ministry to be filing lawsuits, especially against professing Christians. It wasn't right and it's cost us dearly, especially among our loyal supporters. Regardless of what Mr. Vance has said about our President we regret what we did and express our sincere apologies." Tim Dick and his lying lawyers just blew a great public relations opportunity to show some Christian humility and contrition and instead just tipped their hand that this legal war is far from over.

Filing a new lawsuit is precisely what I expected that Ligonier would probably do, if only they are given the opportunity. This is exactly why I'm not responding to any demands for personal information.

There are several things that tipped me off that Ligonier's intentions over dropping this lawsuit was probably just a ruse:
  1. The fact that they publicly announced that the lawsuit had been "withdrawn" when they hadn't even filed the legal paperwork yet.
  2. The fact that after publicly announcing that the lawsuit had been "withdrawn" it took them a week to actually file the paperwork.
  3. The likelihood that had there not been significant public exposure to their lies over "withdrawn" the lawsuit they likely never would have filed the paperwork at all to withdraw it.
  4. The fact that once they did file the paperwork to withdraw the lawsuit they only withdrew it "without prejudice," thereby tipping their hand that they wanted to reserve the opportunity of suing me again.
  5. The fact that at the same time that Ligonier publicly announced "having withdrawn" the lawsuit I started being daily bombarded with blog comments and emails from obvious Ligonier shills in what can only be characterized as a coordinated front to obtain my personal information.
  6. The fact that a Christian attorney -- we'll call him Jack -- on Tuesday spoke with Ligonier attorney Dan Brodersen and discovered that Ligonier hadn't dropped the lawsuit last week, and hadn't even intended to drop the lawsuit at all. Jack told Brodersen that the lawsuit was groundless and that "it's going to ruin Ligonier. You have a professional responsibility to tell your client to drop it." Brodersen did NOT then say, "I realize that, Jack. In fact, we've already released a public statement saying that we've withdrawn the suit, and I'll be filing a the Voluntary Dismissal with the court soon." Instead, Broderson told Jack, "We haven't been able to serve Vance yet, and if we can't serve him real soon then we'll have to drop it. But we just got a lead on Vance so we might be able to serve him now."
The lies and the cover ups only grow and only continue to be exposed.

Ligonier Ministries has obviously learned nothing from this tragic saga. They're still out for their pound of flesh. They've repented of nothing, owned up to nothing, and learned nothing. They're still not getting it.

Ligonier Ministries still doesn't comprehend how offended most Christians are to see them suing a brother in Christ. Even if they want to now ex post facto allege that I'm not a brother in Christ their lawsuit would still be unwarranted and offensive because it's a horrible testimony for Christians everywhere. Furthermore Ligonier still doesn't comprehend how offended most Christians are that they have repeatedly lied about every single aspect in every single phase of this lawsuit.

As to Ligonier's claim that their attorneys emailed me, that could very well be true. If they did though they never identified themselves, nor did they specifically ask me to "disclose my whereabouts," at least in the conventional sense of that term. However, I do recall receiving several emails from an "Amber" offering to mail me a copy of the lawsuit. She seemed quite eager to obtain my address, but as I explained to her, my present location doesn't afford me the opportunity of readily receiving postal mail. I asked her to scan the case and email it to me. She declined, claiming that her scanner was broken.

I'm predicting that Ligonier's next move will be to call off the dogs who've been daily badgering me for personal contact information. They should already have figured out that won't work. In fact that strategy has just backfired by causing me to be just that much more suspicious. So they'll change the tactic from bad cop to good cop.

Their next move may be to hire a "Christian mediator." It might be an actual bona fide mediator, or it could be just another Ligonier shill. Either way it won't matter. Through the mediator they'll make appeals for "biblical reconciliation" and once I agree to enter into Christian mediation they'll just take the contact information that I'll be obligated to furnish to the mediator and use to file another lawsuit. The problem for me is that if I refuse to enter into mediation it'll make me look bad, but the potential consequences of agreeing to mediate would be far worse. So unless Ligonier first legally promises in writing to never sue me again there's no chance that I'll agree to being setup for another Ligonier lawsuit by a Ligonier ploy for "mediation."

Irrespective, the issue anymore isn't even about brokering some peaceful resolution between me and Ligonier Ministries. The issue is about Ligonier's very obvious and very public sins of suing fellow Christians and then repeatedly lying about that lawsuit. Everything else is just a side-show. Christians are a very forgiving people, if that is they see some indications of contrition and repentance. When will Ligonier repent?

44 Comments:

Blogger Jen said...

Well, Ligonier may try to paint you as the uncooperative, self-proclaimed-but-doesn't-act-like-a-Christian, who is not willing to be under church authority, but it should be obvious to your faithful readers that their little game is up, at least as far as trying to portray you as an "unbeliever" so they can continue justifying suing you.

9/29/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Blown away said...

This is blowing my mind. I cannot believe it! Are they nuts? A private investigator? Hired with Donor money!

How can anyone not see the game that is being played here. It was hard for people to believe you, Frank about Tim Dick. They could not comprehend that the President of Ligoneir was as vindictive and thuggish as you said. He really, really is.

This boils down to one thing: Because of pride they want to ruin you.

YOu must insist they are not able to sue you again if you enter into any mediation at all. YOU MUST. They are not to be trusted at all.

Actually, I would not communicate with them at all at this juncture but through attorneys only. It is obvious they want to ruin you.

9/29/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous jimmy olsen said...

Jinkies, they hired a gumshoe to find you out? Obviously not a very good one, once again showing Ligonier's penchant for wasting donor money. And I'd hate to see (although I will see it in oh, about 2 years) the amount of money Brodersen and his gang were paid for this travesty.

Pride is the biggest fault of Ligonier and many in the reformed community. They believe so strongly that they have a corner on the truth and that pride is used to justify all manner of sin.

Let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Jer. 9:24

9/29/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous not surprised said...

blown away: "Are they nuts? A private investigator? Hired with Donor money! ... This boils down to one thing: Because of pride they want to ruin you."

Excellent analysis. Ligonier's senior management has forgotten that "Pride goes before a fall" and still refuse to feel the air rushing by as they plunge.

The only question now is whether the board is similarly blinded or diligently seeking truth and ready to clean house. We'll see.

9/29/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Wendi said...

What I find hardest to believe here is not their duplicity, but the stupidity. Did they really think nobody would notice the suit had not been withdrawn, when people had already done their homework to find the suit and post it?
Did they really think that talking to a reporter and admitting they'd hired a private investigator and would serve you again if they could find you would not make its way to the public?

And what I do find completely mind boggling is how anybody could possibly still defend them. They have destroyed their own testimony and left it but a tattered shroud of what it once was.

9/29/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Practicing Attorney said...

Did they really think that talking to a reporter and admitting they'd hired a private investigator and would serve you again if they could find you would not make its way to the public?

Wendi, I think what happened was that "senior management" was so busy doing spin control at the office to keep the employees from open revolt (and probably also working overtime on spin control to the board) that he/they completely forgot to call the attorney to tell him what to say. Or maybe the different stories got out of control, so it wasn't clear which story to tell the attorney.

The result was that the attorney wasn't given the latest version of the spin (or at least wasn't told not to comment) so he spoke honestly to the reporter, and the cat was out of the bag.

What now? Most likely there will be another desperate effort at spin by blaming the lawyer for everything. But with each new excuse, the circle of remaining true believers has gotten smaller and smaller. The end is near.

9/29/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger John Steinhausen said...

Frank, if I were a wagering man I'd start a betting pool and let people place bets on how many days (or maybe just minutes) until Tim Dick gets the boot (don't let the door hit you on the way out Tim).

If I were betting myself I'd be betting that the entire board, with the exception of Vesta Sproul, turns in their resignations. Now that Ligonier has withdrawn their lawsuit this may be the only opportunity the board has to get out while the get'ns good.

All I can say is while I don't regret buying RC's books I'm grateful that I never wrote Ligonier a donation check. I think a lot of Ligonier donors must be kicking themselves for not first doing some homework. Thanks Frank for providing all those links to Guidestar, etc. Our family will be using those services religiously.

9/29/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan the Man said...

I knew that Steve Camp had written some great Christian music. What I didn't know is that he could expound the Bible so good. Check out his article on Slice Of Laodicea.

"Ministries, churches, pastors, and Christian individuals that resort to lawsuits (or even the threat thereof) to settle disputes between genuine believers in Christ have lowered the biblical standard (and themselves) to the status of nothing more than worldly bottom-fishing clerical scavengers in order to guard their rights, name, reputation and financial supporters."

"This issue is simple and only one question is even necessary to explore: are lawsuits a biblically sanctioned option for the righting of wrongs for believers of the Lord Jesus Christ to adopt? The short answer... no. There is no scenario, beloved, that gives the Christian the right to champion their own rights and pursue a lawsuit against another believer in Christ for punitive or personal satisfaction through the legal process--absolutely none. To do so is to dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ, disobey His Word, distrust His sovereign will, and defame the work of God."

Frank its just nuts that a Christian song writer would know the Bible better than a professional theologian like R. C. Sproul. There hasn't been one thing about this law suit that's made any sense to me. How can a ministry like Ligonier that's run by such a smart theologian be acting so stupid?

9/29/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous there but for the grace of God... said...

Dan the Man asked: "How can a ministry like Ligonier that's run by such a smart theologian be acting so stupid?"

Smart isn't the same as wise. Or humble. Or meek. God opposes the proud. I believe he is opposing the proud at Ligonier and blinding them to their folly. He may also be hardening their hearts. How many widows and orphans have suffered through the pride and greed of Ligonier leaders? Or others that the Lord especially looks out for? I certainly cannot say, but I can say that what is happening at and to Ligonier looks very much like the judgment of God. May He have mercy on us all.

9/29/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous wondering said...

Does anyone know if John Duncan at Ligoneir is related to Ligon Duncan the pastor.

9/29/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous wish i didn't know said...

Unfortunately, yes. They are brothers. Mel Duncan, another brother, also works at Ligonier. It seems there are now two family dynasties at Ligonier: the Sproul-Dicks and the Duncans.

9/29/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous praying and thinking said...

I was glad to read Ingrid Schlueter's comments on Ligonier Friday night at SliceofLaodicea. I have been concerned about the silence from many. Frank, are Albert Mohler, John Piper, John MacArthur as silent in this as they seem to me? Are any other leaders among evangelicals addressing the problems that have been raised so prominently (Don Kistler, Ryan Dick, the lawsuit against you, so many untrue statements from Ligonier about the suit)? After the previous commenter's statements about Ligon Duncan's 2 brothers at Ligonier, I noticed that Ligon Duncan, Dr. Mohler, Dr. Piper, Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, and Dr. Sproul Sr. are photographed all together in "Together for the Gospel." If the others remain silent in the face of overwhelming evidence, what will that indicate of them? Frank, I am still pulled to be cautious, but I want to thank you for doing this. You have taken on a real hornet's nest. I would that all who read your blog would also pray for you earnestly.

9/29/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Metzler said...

I want to warmly invite Ligonier defenders to write a short essay critiquing my argument you can find here. I typically allow all well reasoned statements to be posted on my web site, and I will insist that the best essay in response to this post be published. I just can’t see where my argument goes wrong and so I am in need of assistance.

Thank you,

Michael Metzler
Pooh's Think

9/29/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Teacher said...

Wendi, It really is not as stupid as you may think. So far, not one well known reformed preacher has said a word that we know of andit would probably make its way here if they did.

Even Challies has not said a word and he was used. Where is World? Frank, have they called for an interview?

I think they are hoping if they bury their head in the sand long enough, it will go away. The spin we will hear now is that the suit has been dropped. No one will mention the private investigator or the 'without prejudice' clause.

See, Wendi, they are not so dumb. John Duncan has a well known reformed pastor brother. Who is very close to Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, etc. You think they are going to embarass Ligon?

Don't expect any of these men to speak out and ask Sproul to repent. Not Piper, McArthur, etc. They talk a good game, but you are seeing what they teach in action now.

If court records and a Orlando Sentinel article are not enough for them to go on...don't expect them to stand on scripture. Some may say it is not their place to say anything. Then who should? And who can with authority?

Follow Christ...not men. Isaiah 2:22

9/30/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Wendi said...

At this point what Ligonier's defenders seem to be objecting to is that Vance didn't make it easy for Ligonier to sue him.
Shame on you, Vance. It's the obligation of every professing Christian to wise as doves and smooth the path of those who wish to sin against them by suing them in court.
I'm sure there's a verse about that somewhere.
Or something.

9/30/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

praying and thinking said:

"After the previous commenter's statements about Ligon Duncan's 2 brothers at Ligonier, I noticed that Ligon Duncan, Dr. Mohler, Dr. Piper, Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, and Dr. Sproul Sr. are photographed all together in "Together for the Gospel." If the others remain silent in the face of overwhelming evidence, what will that indicate of them?"

I would caution anyone who might assume that the public silence of those men (or anyone else, for that matter), would have to mean anything other than they have chosen to not publicly comment on this mess.

I would also caution folks against falling into the trap of guilt by association on this one. Its already begun with some folks, and that's a shame to see it happen.

There are a lot of people who have opinions on what's going on, and they have chosen to keep their opinions to themselves for now, or at the very least, discussed them only with close friends. Those of you reading who have not commented, know exactly what I mean.

It's a shame this all happened, and happened the way it did. As for the silence of some, lets turn to Scripture for the wisdom on that one:

• Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (James 1:19)

• In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. (Proverbs 10:19)

• He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. (Proverbs 17:27)

• He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. (Proverbs 18:13)

• Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)

• Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.(Ecclesiastes 5:2,3)

Sometimes, contrary to dissenting opinion, keeping silent about a matter is the wiser thing to do.

Just some food for thought.
I hope in some way, God will be glorified in what has happened.

SDG,
Carla Rolfe

9/30/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Blitzkrieg said...

Hmm....

Tim Dick who is a public person keeps the investigation in the family by hiring a private Dick?


Blitz

9/30/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous always batya said...

FYI: John Piper is scheduled to speak at Ligoneir Ministries in March of 2007

http://www.desiringgod.org/Events/SpeakingSchedule/

I am sure this was scheduled long ago.

9/30/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Former Lig Donor said...

"There are a lot of people who have opinions on what's going on, and they have chosen to keep their opinions to themselves for now, or at the very least, discussed them only with close friends."

I get the gist of your meaning Carla. The question is just how long will prominent Reformed men keep their opinions to themselves? When will they confront the obvious sins of Ligonier? By keeping silent for so long (it's been over a month since Ligonier sued Frank) aren't men like MacArthur and Piper and Mohler and Duncan and Kennedy sending a message? I hear the message loud and clear. The message is that those men are running a good old boys club. They're more concerned about protecting their pals than they are about standing up for righteousness and maintaining the purity of the church. They don't hold each other accountable because they don't want to be held accountable themselves.

Tim Dick needs to be called to repentance, NOT by Frank Vance. This should have never been Frank's responsibility in the first place. It seemed to fall on him only because no one else would do it. It should have been done a long time ago by R.C. but obviously R.C. doesn't care. R.C. has never held Tim Dick or any other family member accountable and he never will. Just look at the atrocious way he handled the defrocking of his son. If he'd held Tim Dick accountable we'd see some evidence of it AND we'd see R.C. issuing the public statements, not Tim Dick AND they'd be statements of humble repentance, not just the phony excuses that Tim Dick has insulted our intelligence with. So R.C. Sproul is sinning by his silence. That makes him complicit.

But now there are other people complicit in Ligonier's sins too. Where are the Reformed ministers to hold R.C. accountable? Why are they silent? These are public sins, not private sins that you can twist scripture to justify their public silence.

Carla I've read some of your blog articles and thought you were a wise woman. Obviously I was wrong. You're advocating sinning by silence and your handling of the scriptures here is abysmal. Those are all good verses and we should all take note of them. The problem is that not one single passage you've quoted applies in this situation. Shame on you for trying to use scripture to justify sin!

9/30/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

One should take caution in assuming that those publically saying nothing are doing nothing. We really do not know either way.

It is quite possible that several people are working on Sproul and Co. quietly trying to maintain a relationship so that they can be effective. Look at how Sproul dealt with Whitefield Seminary (cutting off ties) and that wasn't even about him, but about Robert Craig's defrocking. Repentance could be foremost in someone's mind that we haven't ever heard from. What are they supposed to do? Announce that they are maintaining ties so that they can get this resolved in a Christian manner? That would be unreasonable and horribly counterproductive.

Maintaining a relationship means access; if you are relating you are still talking. If someone is maintaining relationship in hopes of quietly seeking repentance and change in this matter then God bless their efforts.

9/30/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Teacher said...

Carla, their silence speaks very loudly. but what is there that needs to waited upon? A brother of theirs, well known, is teaching that suing another Christian is ok. Fabricating information is ok.

What about these:

Luke 17:3
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,

1 Timothy 5:20
As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

2 Timothy 4:2
2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Titus 2
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

1 John 1:6
6If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

3 John 1:9
9I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.

(Wouldn't it have been wiser for Paul to be silent about Diotrephes? I mean he wrote about him for all to see the rebuke for thousands of years!)

I Corinthians 5
11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

Galatians 2:11-14
11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

(Wow, Paul did this in front of everyone and Peter was a more 'senior' disciple. Now how many people will be lead into sin by thinking it is ok to file a lawsuit since the teacher of all teachers has done so?)

Rebuking can be very loving. I could go on but I am tired and weary of all of this posturing. It is very clear.

9/30/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Former Lig Donor said...

Lawrence, it wasn't "quietly seeking repentance" that brought Ligonier to their senses to drop that wicked lawsuit. It was Frank's public exposure of Ligonier's lies and coverups. It was the daily barrage of phone calls and emails and letters from Ligonier donors just like me threatening to cut off my support. After calling them several times it became obvious to me that's the only thing they really care about. Money. They obviously don't care about obeying the Bible and men who don't care about obeying the Bible in the first place aren't going to be convinced by secret back office "maintaining relationship" deals through "access." Is that what the Bible says Christians are supposed to do? Is "access" a prerequisite for calling a sinner to repentance? Who cares about "access" when there's sin in the camp? Rooting sin out is a whole lot more important than maintaining access. When you talk about maintaining access what you're doing is just confirming my suspicions that all any of these Reformed preachers care about is maintaining the tight little cozy relations they all have together that they all personally profit from. R.C. Sproul has been a key player in that Reformed conference cadre. Probably none of them have the guts to confront Sproul and demand his repentance for fear that he'll pull out of the club and then their conferences won't pull in the big crowds anymore. They're thinking about what's best for themselves, not about the purity of the church.

Ligonier's sins are public sins. That calls for public repentance, and if that repentance doesn't come and come quickly then that calls for public rebuke. Ligonier has had more than enough time to repent. If they haven't done it by now they're not going to do it. It's time for the Reformed leadership to speak out and speak publicly and speak boldly against this sin. If they really love R.C. and respect him they'll call him to repentance. That's what real friends do.

9/30/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous time to go said...

See, Wendi, they are not so dumb. John Duncan has a well known reformed pastor brother. Who is very close to Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, etc. You think they are going to embarrass Ligon?

The continuing public outrage at John Duncan will do far more to embarrass his brother Ligon Duncan than any quick firing or resignation. If John Duncan resigned now, he would instantly regain much of his reputation by becoming the only man yet to do the right thing at Ligonier. But hanging around and continuing to manage the cover up will result in a war of attrition he can only lose.

It's probably 100 times easier in the Internet age to communicate and coordinate efforts to hold public teachers accountable, and as much as Tim Dick and John Duncan want to consider the matter over, it's far from over. The way things started, they had all the advantages: huge war chest, multiple staff to devote to the scandal, a strong public reputation, etc. But they still lost all the early battles. Now that their funds are being depleted and their reputation is shot it can only get worse.

Ligonier's senior management greatly underestimated Vance when they filed their frivolous and ungodly lawsuit in the first place. They continue to underestimate him and so many others who have rallied to him since. The Titanic is sinking. The only important question now for Ligonier staff members is: Will you be on a lifeboat or go down with the ship?

10/02/2006 04:07:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Frank,

In light of the truth surrounding Ligonier’s obfuscation, disingenuousness, and outright falsehoods regarding its alleged “dropping” of the lawsuit against you, it is simply inconceivable to me the Reformed leadership is publicly silent. Although Carla raises a very valid argument, the opposite position is just as viable and biblically reasoned position concerning the lack of leaders calling for repentance on the part of Ligonier’s founder, leadership, and board members. The absence of any public repentance for this very public sin is rapidly approaching the status of an obscenity. Aberrant actions DO have consequences, and as long as the Reformed leaders remain silent, the cancer continues to grow within the Ligonier organization and, therefore, we must continue to view this through the Word of God, realizing that God will NOT be mocked. Ligonier is honor-bound to publicly admit wrongdoing, display real public contrition and public repentance, as well as make restitution to you. We can discuss the merits of your accusations later because this fact remains unchanged: Ligonier, as a ministry, has and had a higher level of accountability to God for their actions.

Lastly, if there are Reformed leaders working behind the scenes with Ligonier, I would have to really wonder what the parties are saying to one another. Supposing there are leaders speaking with Ligonier behind the scenes, then I would have to ask the following: Is Ligonier continuing to kick against the goads or are the counselors just as prideful and defiant of God as Ligonier appears to be?

Mark

10/02/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger APinkFan said...

The reason John Duncan can't 'jump ship' is a financial one. Inside sources say that John Duncan was 'FRONTED' $75,000. to come on board with Ligonier. He needed the money to make a down payment on a home in Lake Mary, Fl. Tim Dick, who claims John is the 'smartest person' he ever met, needed someone to do his bidding and John was given this huge salary to replace a dedicated, sharp, God fearing Christian who was making $60,000. annually.
I assume part of the $179,000. will be used to repay Ligonier for the DP on the home.
Pray for the 'DONORS' to Ligonier, who are trying to make ends meet on $40,000 +or-. per year. Pray that God will give them wisdom as to where to send their offerings in the future. Also, pray that God will give them the courage to let Tim Dick know what they think of the way he's handling their funds.
It's way past time for RC to speak to the troops who have made all this possible.

10/02/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

My point was not that public repentance was not needed, not that it was not needed quickly, it is. The point was that there may be people working in a way we do not know. Granted this is but a hope on my part, and day by day this hope fades further and the possiblity of seeing any form of real repentance fades. I guess now we are discovering where Robert Craig gets his attitude. So sad.

10/02/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Former Lig Donor said...

Thanks Lawrence for restating your position. I've wanted to be hopeful too that Sproul's preacher friends are holding him accountable and working behind the scenes to try and fix this whole mess. But how long are we suppose to keep our hopes up? At what point do we say enough's enough? Isn't a month more than enough? What are we supposed to think and say if they let another month go by and they say nothing publicly?

It's already past time for MacArthur, Piper, Duncan, Mohler, Dever, Mahaney (am I forgetting anyone?) to show some leadership and speak out. Everyday that goes by and they say nothing just makes it look like they're running some kind of corrupt good old boys club. It's almost enough to make me want to go back to being a Fundi Baptist. At least those men aren't afraid to speak out against sin in the camp.

10/02/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Brandon Giromini said...

APinkFan,

Is this the house?

Possible John Duncan residence?

10/02/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Realist said...

With the exception of Ligon Duncan all those men you've named ARE Baptists. They're just not the fundamentalist Baptist variety of Baptists, and I completely agree that fundi Baptists would never put up with this. Maybe that's a big part of the problem here. Sproul doesn't hold himself accountable to Presbyterians and he's not even seen very often speaking at a conference with other Presbyterians. Sproul himself isn't a Presbyterian in spite of what he claims. He pastors a nondenominational independent church. Claiming that he's a Presbyterian just because he "parks his ordination" in the PCA doesn't make him a Presbyterian anymore than it makes the defrocked RC Sproul Jr an ordained minister (in spite of the CREC's pronouncements).

I think that anyone who believes that any of Sproul's friends are going to hold him accountable are just engaged in wishful thinking. Sproul keeps his friends just like he keeps his church elders. They're hand picked by him and they only get picked if he knows they'll never call him on the carpet. It's not just Sproul that needs to be held accountable. His friends need to be held accountable too for failing to hold Sproul accountable.

10/02/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous ReformedCalvinist said...

Prior restraint is notoriously ineffective at preventing more of the same. Shutting down this blog will only bring out more of what Sproul inc. is trying to avoid. Just look at what trying to shut it down did for its hit volume.

10/02/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger APinkFan said...

Brandon;
BINGO!!! Ligonier should have hired you to track down that 'elusive' Frank Vance fella.
I could use a man with your talent.
Good job....

10/02/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous always batya said...

Nice house, Brandon, if it is his. Pool, spa, 4000 sq.ft.

I suggest that we may see reformed leaders speaking out about Christians suing in general. Sort of like Steve Camp did. I would not hold my breath to see them actually name names and ask for repentence.

10/02/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Donor agent said...

Even though Ligonier donors funded the downpayment, I doubt John Duncan will let us inspect his house to see just what the money went for. Still a closer look seems in order.

(The arrow is off slightly; the correct home is the fourth to the left of the T)

10/02/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Ex Lig Donor said...

I suggest that we may see reformed leaders speaking out about Christians suing in general. Sort of like Steve Camp did. I would not hold my breath to see them actually name names and ask for repentence.

I think the bare minimum would be cancelling future speaking appearances at any Ligonier events unless and until full repentance with consequences. This step alone wouldn't be courageous but it would be better than nothing.

10/02/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Be kind said...

I'd hate to be a Ligonier employee these days. Between Duncan and the Dicks, it must be crazy over there. I bet taking sneek peeks at this blog and Jen's and Ultimate Truth must be the only fun -- and that only after hours.

It's certainly no fun to calculate salary multiples (Duncan's take home must be, what, 7X that of the customer service reps, while Dick makes over 10X more?) And what do the front liners get in return for their tiny wages? Lies and More Lies from management.

Let's remember that and be kind to them each time we call Ligonier -- whether to get someone on the record about the special insider home loan to Duncan or to ask when RC will speak out, or to ask if Ryan is still there, or to ask about whatever else is the next scandal to be exposed.

10/02/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous A Word To The Wise said...

As I discovered calling the customer service reps and asking anything about the law suit you'll immediately get transferred to a "frontline manager" like John Duncan. If you call the 800 number they can see your phone number, even if you have caller ID block. My number is unlisted and I don't particularly like the idea of having my phone number in Ligonier's database. If you don't want them to see your number then call 407-333-4244.

10/02/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger APinkFan said...

If you do not wish to have your phone number displayed, you can hit *67 before you dial. It will not show up on their board.
That's Star67.

10/02/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Keepin' up with the Dicks said...

The discussion on Jen's Gems current thread is fast and furious and includes much similar to this one. Check it out if you haven't already.

10/02/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Frank, do you get the feeling that "Senior Management" has put a "gag order" on Ligonier employees/staff from commenting on our blogs any more? What a pity to lose their point of view!

10/02/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Anonymous The Chairman's House said...

Here is RC Sproul's house -- or at least one of them.

10/02/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous practicing attorney said...

...do you get the feeling that "Senior Management" has put a "gag order" on Ligonier employees/staff from commenting on our blogs any more? What a pity to lose their point of view!

It does seem clear that John Duncan has exceeded his authority by issuing a blanket gag order. Although he does have authority to prohibit a Ligonier employee from public utterance on behalf of the organization, Duncan has zero authority to prevent any Ligonier employee from expressing his personal opinion on his own time (although I would recommend an alias to avoid retribution). Duncan also has no authority to stop whistleblowers from reporting corruption and crime (although using an alias in this instance is also highly recommended).

In short, Duncan's gag order is nothing more than huffing and puffing and bluffing.

10/03/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Frank, I referred my readers to "Ligonier Tales" by RC Sproul, Jr. for more background info on the Sproul family. Unfortunately, it appears to have suddenly disappeared from cyber-space!

However, Always Batya had a question that maybe your readers could answer: "By the way, when I got a few minutes, I went and read through Ligoneir Tales. Can someone tell me or explain why Robert Craig Sproul refers to the benefactress who helped start Ligoneir as a White Witch...several times? He never explains.

From my understanding, A White Witch is known in occultic circles as someone who has healing powers. (I am creeped out just writing that...sorry)

The whole book shined a light on a boy who was raised without much guidance and where there was an emphasis on those who were wealthy and those who were not. I am starting to see a pattern."

10/03/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous still amazed said...

All the chapters are still available in the google cache. Grab 'em while you can!

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11

10/03/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger TheIronHare said...

My commentary on Ligonier Tales.

http://www.xanga.com/item.aspx?tab=weblogs&user=TheIronHare&uid=471805673

The 2004 ETC issues (in which I and another blogger were lied about in so-called open letters) disappeared temporarily. After I blogged about that and the other blogger linked to my post at his site they reappeared as part of the revamped ETC section. So maybe LTales will reappear, perhaps looking fancier. Maybe. It might take public shaming of RC "Jr." tho.

(As long as I'm logged into my blogger.com account already I'll use it. I'll confirm that it's legit via email, Frank.)

10/04/2006 01:07:00 PM  

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