Ligonier Ministries Requires Biblical Instruction

balaams_ass_speaksWill It Take a Balaam’s Ass To Speak Before They’ll Listen?

For most of my life I’ve professed Christ as my Savior, and for a number of those years I’ve also held to Reformed theology as what I believe to be the purest expression of the Christian faith. Because of Dr. RC Sproul’s own commitment to Reformed theology, and the lucidness with which he expounds the Word of God, I’ve for years been appreciative of his labors through Ligonier Ministries, particularly for his books and his radio ministry. I give Dr. Sproul some credit in motivating me in “renewing your mind.”

Imagine my shock at discovering that Ligonier Ministries doesn’t practice what it preaches. Perhaps the most obvious example of that is their recent lawsuit against me. I wouldn’t think it necessary for a layman like me with no formal biblical education to have to expound the Word of God to Reformed theologians like RC Sproul, but evidently that’s the case.

Christians shouldn’t be suing Christians. 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 not only states that plainly, it even explains why:

1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life? 4 If then you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? (1 Corinthians 6:1-7)

If Ligonier Ministries as a Bible teaching ministry didn’t know the Bible well enough to have figured that out before, then they’ve probably figured it out by now (whether or not they’re willing to admit it is a different matter altogether). After the withering criticism they’ve come under in the past month they could’ve figured it out without ever reading the Bible at all. Even if Ligonier as a Bible teaching ministry had never seen 1 Corinthians 6 before, just good old common sense would’ve by now taught them that suing a fellow Christian isn’t a smart public relations move. But even if I weren’t a Christian (as some now ex post facto wish to allege in order to find some elusive biblical escape clause), or even if I were a “Muslim” as Doug Wilson has alleged, suing me would still have been an incredibly stupid move.

Prior to suing me hardly anyone had even heard of Frank Vance and his little dispute with Ligonier’s President Tim Dick. Suing me has just turned my obscure little blog into front page news in the biggest newspaper in the United States. If I could afford to match Tim Dick’s $230,000 salary (2004 figure, probably much higher now) I’d hire him as my PR director. Great job Tim (for me anyway — not so good for Ligonier)!

RC Sproul’s good pastor friend John MacArthur certainly seems to understand why Christians shouldn’t sue Christians. In his Study Bible John MacAurthur says:

6:1 Dare. Suing another believer in a secular law court is a daring act of disobedience because of its implications related to all sin — the displeasure of God: a matter against another….
6:4 …the basic meaning is clear; when Christians have earthly quarrels and disputes among themselves, it is inconceivable that they would turn to those least qualified (unbelievers) to resolve the matter.
6:5,6. Shame. Such conduct as suing a fellow believer is not only a sinful shame, but a complete failure to act obediently and righteously. Christians who take fellow Christians to court suffer moral defeat and spiritual loss even before the case is heard, and they become subject to divine chastening.
6:7 why…not…accept wrong? …Christians have no right to insist on legal recourse in a public court. It is far better to trust God’s sovereign purpose in trouble and lose financially, than to be disobedient and suffer spiritually.

One of the reasons that we as Christians shouldn’t “dare to go to law before the unrighteous” is because it’s a lot like disrobing in front of strangers, or as others have put it, “it’s like airing our dirty laundry for the whole world to see.” Tim Dick and his defenders would argue that it was I who was responsible for airing Ligonier’s dirty laundry by posting my articles on the internet. He’d argue that because of my blog anyone in the world could see his dirty laundry and that the Ligonier lawsuit was merely a method of pulling the dirty laundry off the line. In theory that might be true… in theory. In practice however that’s completely ridiculous.

Prior to Ligonier suing me no unbeliever had any reason or inclination to go searching for my blog, and the same also applies to the vast majority of Christians. In order to search for something, anything, you first have to know that it exists. Then you have to know how to search for it. Prior to Ligonier suing me hardly any Christians knew about my dispute with Tim Dick, let alone any unbelievers. It’s only because of the lawsuit that many thousands of people now know, including a lot of unbelievers who should’ve never found out.

I’m in no way pleased that so many unbelievers have now found out. In fact I’m very troubled by it. But there’s only one reason they did find out — the lawsuit. My blog comments brought some personal embarrassment to Tim Dick, but on an extremely limited scale. Even Tim Challies is now admitting this. However, Ligonier’s lawsuit against me brought shame and reproach to the entire body of Christ and it also reinforces the preexisting biases of many unbelievers that “the church is full of hypocrites.” As one “atheist (an agnostic when facing surgery)” put it:

So as you do, I had a little google. And lo, a whole can of worms came forth… and particularly slimy, wriggly ones at that, considering these are supposed to be the ‘moral’ people. The blogger, Vance Tribe, has issues with the financial management of Ligonier Ministries.

His criticisms are not only managerial, but spiritual and theological, and he’s been unafraid of saying so on his blog. Ligonier Ministries is a massive moneymaking publishing affair largely exempt from tax and public scrutiny and it appears that in this instance, as they always do, the leeches have battened onto the credulous faithful. There’s defrocked priests, nepotism, hypocrisy and greed, and bad behaviour by the bucketful if you don’t mind wading through the sanctimony. Juicy.

It’s a interesting story, and doubly so for bloggers, because this religious business is trying for prior restraint to stop blog criticism before it even happens. That has implications for many bloggers if it’s successful. If they can do it, so can other churches, and a lot of churches have a lot to hide.

Christians shouldn’t be giving atheists cause to rejoice over sin and hypocrisy in the church. Ligonier’s lawsuit has brought shame and reproach upon many thousands of Christians and rather than repenting for it they’ve issued pubic statements full of excuses, self-justifications and more lies. Furthermore, by his actions Tim Dick has just reinforced in the minds of many the fact that he’s a thin-skinned crybaby. No doubt the judge thought much the same. One of the running jokes now is that Tim Dick sued me because I called him a “nincompoop.” Amazingly enough though it’s not just a joke. Tim actually lists that in the lawsuit as one of the reasons he sued me!

Tim Dick is trying to make this whole thing out as a purely honorable act on his part in defending the good name of Ligonier. But anyone who’s actually taken the time to read the lawsuit knows that Tim’s motives were only about himself:

“8. VANCE has published several false statements about Plaintiffs on his blog including, but not limited to:”

“Plaintiffs” is plural, meaning both Tim Dick and Ligonier. Yet every single one of the thirteen alleged “false statements about Plaintiffs” are about Tim Dick, and practically all of them are only about Tim Dick, and if they refer to Ligonier at all (which is debatable) it’s only by extension and the fact that Tim Dick is Ligonier’s President/CEO/CFO. Tim Dick didn’t act to defend Ligonier’s honor. He sued me only because he’s a thin-skinned crybaby who was too cheap to hire his own attorney to sue me. So he used Ligonier donor money instead to sue me.

One of the more remarkable aspects of Tim Dick’s lawsuit is that he brought matters that are clearly of a religious nature before a secular court. For example:

f. VANCE’s August 14, 2006 statement that “Incompetent and unqualified family members are to be found running around (or sleeping on the desk) everywhere in Ligonier, often in key positions, with little or no understanding or appreciation for the Reformed theology championed by Dr. Sproul.

j. VANCE’s July 18, 2006 statement that “From everything I’ve heard, Tim Dick is a very corrupt man. Some have told me that based on his behavior they don’t think there’s any way he could be a converted Christian. To have such a man heading up an honorable Christian ministry is an embarrassment to the church of Jesus Christ.”

l. VANCE’s June 27, 2006 statement that “It would be one thing if Tim Dick were qualified for the position… it’s self-evident that the man is as unfit to head Ligonier Ministries as is RC Sproul Jr to be a pastor.”

Tim Dick alleges that those are “false statements.” But no judge is just going to take Tim Dick’s word for it, especially through some sneaky ex parte procedure. In order to grant Ligonier’s request for a temporary injunction, and then a permanent injunction, the judge would have to first determine if my allegations were false by examining various evidence and the testimony of witnesses. Just one of many problems with doing so is the fact that the above statements touch on questions of faith and religion, and no civil judge in his right mind would get anywhere near trying to determine the veracity of religious opinions.

Judge Nelson likely knew her own jurisdictional limitations, both civil and ecclesiastical and she wasn’t willing to touch this case with a ten foot pole. I don’t know if Judge Nelson is a Bible believing Christian, but odds are she’s not. It wouldn’t surprise me if she was mystified over why a Christian ministry was bringing a religious dispute before the civil magistrate.

If nothing else this entire episode has proven to be a valuable learning experience for many other ministry leaders. If ever there was a practical example of the folly of Christians suing Christians this would be it. Unfortunately there are still some who in their pride, and their blind defense of Ligonier, won’t take heed.

If there are those who remain sympathetic to Ligonier Ministries (and there are) the vast majority of them are smart enough to keep their unbiblical opinions to themselves. But there are a few noteworthy exceptions. In an article this coming week I’ll give honorable mention to at least one of them.


89 Comments on “Ligonier Ministries Requires Biblical Instruction”

  1. Jen says:

    Frank, it sounds to me as if even an atheist can see that you must be a Christian. Unbelievers just don’t talk the way you do.

  2. Frank Vance says:

    Speaking of Bible preachers who need to be taught in the Word themselves:
    Doug Phillips and RC Sproul Jr — Hypocrisy

  3. jimmy olsen says:

    Ligonier may not have a clue about 1 Cor 6, but John Duncan seems to know a lot about the passage “women are to be seen and not heard” according to Jen’s blog. Wait, you mean that’s not in scripture? Perhaps it’s in the same translation that has the passage “God helps those who helps themselves.”

    I’m thinking Ligonier’s copies of the Reformation Study Bible have a lot of passages cut out and some new ones pasted in, considering their recent behavior. Maybe they need a new copy, with key passages highlighted and the notation “This means YOU!” next to them.

    This whole situation screams of a group of people so hard hearted and puffed up from years of being so that it would take a spiritual earthquake to shake them out of it.

    Sooner or later God will deal with each of us, and some of us will have smokin’ sandals at the judgement seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:15)

  4. Truth seeker says:

    Ligonier does not care about truth. They have made that plain for anyone who cares to pay attention.

    For the same reason I cannot watch a movie with Alec Baldwin in it because I know his politics, I will never be able to take any teaching from Sproul: I know he does not practice what he teaches.

    My guess is that Ligonier is taking PR tips from someone now.(Perhaps even buying it with donor funds like the PI) “Keep your mouths shut, this will go away”. It will just be on a few blogs.

    Even Challies is buying into the lie that this was kept to the blogosphere. And is intent on helping them cover their tracks!

    The bottom line is this: If they really want to repent and come clean they will make it legal that they can never sue you in the future.

    The unfortuanate outcome is that many are going to be disappointed in other reformed leaders by their silence. Sin does not sell conference tickets.

    And for those who think that blogs have no purpose: It was Drudge that brought us Monica Lewinsky. The big media would not touch it.

    It was a blog that brought Dan Rather down and caught his lies. What was Dan’s complaint? It went something like this: But, there is no institutional authority with blogs.

    We have seen institutional authority with Ligonier and it does not please God.

    Welcome to the new media. People who abuse authority are apt to hate blogs.

  5. Mark Epstein says:

    Truth Seeker said:

    “People who abuse authority are apt to hate blogs.”

    All I can say is AMEN!

  6. simplegifts3 says:

    Regarding the Phillips/Sproul Jr. link above — reading that yesterday made something snap inside of me.

    Not only did RC Jr. thumb his nose at true authority and make insinuations that justice was perverted in his case, which Peter Kershaw very concisely explained was a lie, RC senior then went on to speak with Jr. at this convention, where they all taught us the importance of being under authority and of honoring our elders.

    As a friend of mine said, “the hypocrisy is hip deep.”

    It is somewhat amusing at this point to watch the Baylys, Wilson, and Phillips all start to write about bloggers, ones with no authority, in such colorful language: “assassins,” “barking sheep,” committing the sin of “patricide.”

    When they show they are accountable to authority, then I will listen to them.

    I am so saddened by all of this, because for years I have held Sproul Sr. in high regard, and I do not attend a church that would be considered Reformed, even.

    I agree they can’t seem to see that I Corinthians 6 applies to them in this case. It is so sad.

  7. Balaam's Ass says:

    Hey Passerby, er, John Duncan … Are you going to contact former Ligonier employees (such as Scott) and blame them for your current problems? Why do you not accept the responsibility yourself?

    Just wondering …

  8. truth seeker says:

    “I know of no surer way of a people’s perishing than by being led by one who does not speak out straight and honestly denounce evil. If the minister halts between two opinions, do you wonder that the congregation is undecided? If the preacher trims and twists to please all parties, can you expect his people to be honest? If I wink at your inconsistencies will you not soon be hardened in them? Like priest, like people. A cowardly preacher suits hardened sinners. Those who are afraid to rebuke sin, or to probe the conscience, will have much to answer for. May God save you from being led into the ditch by a blind guide.”

    –Charles Spurgeon

  9. Wendi says:

    Frank, I have another question here about timelines.
    I just read the lawsuit more carefully http://geocities.com/advancemyten/Ligonier_Ministries_v_Vance_complaint.pdf and had a question.

    I brought this up in comments at Jen’s blog, and as I hit send realized I should have asked you first to make sure I understand this correctly.
    Better late than never:
    See page 7 of that suit, in point 22. Here Tim Dick and his lawyers (as evidence that they must shut you up immediately) quote this comment of yours “…Monday is the deadline, Tim, and I don’t particularly care about ‘time constraints.’ Your ‘full schedule this week’ isn’t my problem…”

    Your use of quotes there makes me think you are replying to something Tim Dick said to you in an email, and that he, rather than laughing at your accusations (as I would at false allegations against me), or telling you to get lost, is actually pleading with you for more time because he is too busy that particular week to do anything more about it than to write you and tell you that he is too busy.
    Is that a correct understanding? Are you, in fact, quoting him directly?

    If so, I have to say that while up until reading the lawsuit I had preserved a neutral status about the Kistler stuff in my own mind, if I am understanding that correctly, Tim Dick himself is nudging me over into the ‘He’s Guilty as charged, your honor’ side of things. Because if he was innocent, it would have taken less time for him to email you something along the lines of “I am innocent, you dolt,” than it did for him to plead for more patience from you because of his ‘full schedule’ and ‘time constraints this week.’

    My second question also goes along with the first- if I am understanding correctly that you are actually quoting directly from Tim Dick that he has a ‘full schedule’ and too many ‘time constraints this week’ to address your concerns, then it seems to me that his duplicity is very evident here, as it appears that what was filling up his schedule and imposing all those nasty and inconvenient time constraints upon him was the unbiblical lawsuit he was at that very time in process of initiating.

    If you are, in fact, quoting directly from an email from him, it might be interesting to know the date of that email and compare it to the date the lawsuit was filed in court.

    I ought to be passed surprise at this point, but I am almost daily more grieved than ever by something coming out of these larger parachurch ministries. Ligonier has, sadly, not only damaged their own credibility, they have splashed mud on other ministries as well- and unfortunately, as others have pointed out, some other ministry leaders seem to want to lie down in the mud right along with them.

    Or perhaps they have long been having a roll in the mud and we just never knew it. Sadder but wiser…

  10. Kenny says:

    I am not sure of the rights and wrongs of this whole saga, however, I have a few questions for those who seem convinced they must call Ligonier to account:

    1. Will you forgive Ligonier and Ligonier staff for any wrongdoing you feel they have done?

    2. Are you willing to leave judgement to the Lord (“Vengenance is Mine”)?

    3. Why do you feel qualified to be the ones who excercise church discipline in this case? (“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone”)

    4. Are you sure your motivation for continuing to accuse is right? Could there be any proud or bitter root leading to this continuing saga?

    It saddens me to read the general tone of some of this blog. It’s as if folks are simply trying to prove they are right rather than seek to be reconcilled. Let’s remember that Christ Died for the ungodly on the cross. Let’s meditate on that and have our hearts changed. Let’s remember how difficult it can be to humble oneself and repent. We need the Lord’s help. Pray for Ligonier and those on the “other side”.

  11. Jen says:

    So, Frank, if Wendi’s assumptions are correct, can I connect the dots to expose something that seems even more sinister than we all thought? You wrote to Tim Dick on August 18 giving him 10 days to respond or you were going to go public. He writes back and says he needs more time, but what he was actually doing was trying to stop you from saying anything at all on your blog about him or Ligonier, by filing a temporary injunction enjoining you. I have to agree with Wendi: if he wasn’t guilty, it would have been a simple thing to write back and say, “I didn’t do it,” but by virtue of the fact that his only real response was to attempt to gag you from talking about him – all I see is GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY! He is more dirty than we thought.

  12. […] Here’s an interesting question. If Frank Vance’s criticism was directed solely to Tim Dick (and it was), why did Dick hire lawyers with Ligonier’s money? Why did he not hire a lawyer with his own money rather than with the donations of a non-profit ministry? If you work for the post office, and someone gets on your nerves, and you decide to sue him, do you think the unfederal government will foot the bill? […]

  13. […] Here’s an interesting question. If Frank Vance’s criticism was directed solely to Tim Dick (and it was), why did Dick hire lawyers with Ligonier’s money? Why did he not hire a lawyer with his own money rather than with the donations of a non-profit ministry? If you work for the post office, and someone gets on your nerves, and you decide to sue him, do you think the unfederal government will foot the bill? […]

  14. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matt. 12:36-37

    Those who insist on continuing to rehash this stuff over and over to keep the story alive would do well to heed Jesus’ warning here. There comes a point when the line has been crossed from trying to hold someone or some entity accountable to just plain vindictive hateful speech…and I fear most of you posting here have crossed it.

    Any productive discussion of this matter has long since vanished, and further attempts to keep it going begins to look silly.

    I hope you will reverse your normal tendancy to edit out the majority of dissenters and post this and other comments that are not favorable to your position…you are currently not portraying a very accurate view of what people think.

  15. truthseeker says:

    Kenny, If you are not sure of the rights and wrongs of the saga then you do not have the facts or want to be blind. I have some questions for you:

    1. Do you not love Ligoneir? If you do, then how can you stand to see their lies and deception? Are not not afraid for their eternal life?

    2. How is seeking truth a judgement? So far, we have seen nothing but lies.

    3. Who is qualified? Who is Ligonier accoutable to? All of us are waiting to hear!

    4. What is your motivation for wanting to sweep this public sin under the carpet? How many Christians who follow Ligonier will think it ok to take things to the heathen court? Are you not concerned for false teaching?

    Thanks!

  16. truthseeker says:

    Brian writes: I hope you will reverse your normal tendancy to edit out the majority of dissenters and post this and other comments that are not favorable to your position…you are currently not portraying a very accurate view of what people think. ”

    You mean like Challies does at his site?

    Brian, we are still waiting to hear why Challies posted the statements without verifying them first. Then, when it was obivous they were not true because the lawsuit had not been withdrawn at all, Challies failed to tell his readers that fact. Why? Not important? That is sinning by omission. Challies purposly mislead his readers by omitting these facts. And, tell me, why did only Challies, Frank and World get the statements? How come we could not find them on Ligoneirs site? Can you answer that?

    Then, finally, when they withdrew it after the onslaught of phone calls, complaints, they withdrew it without predjudice which means they can sue again. Then we read where their attorneys tell the Orlando Sen that they hired a PI and if they can find Frank, they may sue. (All this being done with donor money)

    Challies did not comment on that either. Why? Not important?

    Why are you all condoning false teaching and lies from Ligoneir? Do you not love truth?

    By the way, Brian, I thought you were not coming back here anymore.

  17. The Ministry Watch page on Ligonier is getting deluged with hits, but at the very bottom it says, “there are no news related to this ministry at this time.” I tried to post the following discussion starter, and was told,
    “Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error ‘80040e14’
    Cannot insert the value NULL into column ‘TO_Archived’, table ‘ministrywatch3.dbo.tblTopic’; column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails. /mw2.1/F_AddNewDisc.asp, line 91″

    the comment was:
    Ligonier Ministries has filed a lawsuit against a blogger who set up a website devoted to exposing a growing scandal involving several members of RC Sproul’s family who are directly involved with Ligonier Ministries.

    The blogger, Frank Vance, first became aware that he was the subject of a defamation lawsuit after it had been reported in the secular media. The lawsuit went on to make front-page news in USA Today.

    Ligonier continued to deny that there was any lawsuit, right up until they (on a hidden page of their website) claimed to have withdrawn it (which they didn’t actually do until over a week later). But it was withdrawn with the reported intent of re-filing it, should they be able to serve Frank Vance, whose precise whereabouts are still undisclosed.

    Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the defamation Ligonier has suffered consists of claiming that “Incompetent and unqualified family members are to be found running around (or sleeping on the desk) everywhere in Ligonier, often in key positions, with little or no understanding or appreciation for the Reformed theology championed by Dr. Sproul.”

  18. jimmy olsen says:

    Kenny, I would respectfully disagree with some of the scripture you used in some of your items…

    #2 “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” It states here that vengeance is exclusively God’s, not judgement. Although God will ultimately judge and exercise vengeance, that does not imply that we are not to exercise judgement.

    #3 “Let he who is without sin…” Jesus was speaking to Pharisees who did not accept Jesus’ teaching, not to believers. Paul rebukes the church of Corinth for not judging (1 Cor 6:1-5), and Paul judged others, although he himself realized his own sinful nature battling against his new nature (Romans 7:24).

    We are given guidelines for judging others. We are told not to judge in unimportant issues (Colossians 2:16). We should be merciful (Matthew 7:2) and remember we are judged by how we judge others. We also should judge ourselves as to motive ( I Corinthians 11:30-31).

    Yes, the path to humbleness and repentance can be very difficult. Much of that difficulty we bring on ourselves through hardening our hearts to the Holy Spirit and letting those roots of bitterness grow deep. I also pray for those on both sides. My dearest desire is for repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation in this situation. What I fear is that once again the crisis at Ligonier will fade away and things will go back to the status quo. That for me would be a greater tragedy than even if Ligonier sued Frank and won (sorry Frank, hope you understand what I mean!)

  19. Ministry Watchman and all “Frank’s” pseudonymns,

    The fact that you will not allow any posts which call for evidence is very telling. Likewise that you will not address “Vance’s” ecclesiastical status indicates that you are unprepared for defense. Until you can defend his / her ecclesiastical status with evidence, your charge of “unbiblical” action on the part of Ligonier is invalid.

    As stated in the earlier, censored post : there are no facts listed in “Vance’s” voluminous posts ; there is gossip, slander and opinion. The details, as some call them, are speculations and conjecture, they are not in any way fact.

    There is a fundemental flaw in the argument that the innocent are admitting their guilt by silence : Christ was silent before Pilate.

    I would urge whoever has adopted this paradigm, as a method of accusation, to abandon it with haste.

    Anyone who is calling Dr. Kistler’s letter “questionable” has dismissed themselves from substantive debate on the issue of Ligonier. Such a tactic is so strained and so weak that it reveals desperation.

    Ministry Watchman, you are failing in your fundemental mission, your first day on the job. If you are going to do anything good for the kingdom, it won’t be in league with “Frank Vance.”

    sincerely,

    WtW

  20. Watchman says:

    “The fact that you will not allow any posts which call for evidence is very telling.” Given the fact that I already specifically told you to not clutter up my About page with your comments for and about Frank Vance, and the fact that you continued doing so anyway, not just once but twice after I told you not to, my refusal to approve your whiny comments in my About page is “very telling” of nothing against me, other than that I did exactly what I said I would do — not approve any more comments there having to do with Vance. That’s not what my About page is for.

    If there is anything at all “very telling” about this incident it is either that you are illiterate or an anarchist who whines like a crybaby when he doesn’t get his own way (sort of like Tim Dick?). If you don’t like the rules here then go post somewhere else.

  21. Lawrence says:

    Watcher,
    There is a fundemental (sic) flaw in the argument that the innocent are admitting their guilt by silence : Christ was silent before Pilate.

    I agree. I have some trouble with how Vance handled that just as I have trouble with it happening at Doug Wilson’s blog where someone new every week is accused of being Michael Metzler and it is taken as verification if the person does not vehemently deny it. This paradigm is religiously practiced over there, so I guess that means you’ll be addressing it with Doug Wilson soon too, right?

    This is a standard that none of us should adhere to, but Vance apparently had other things he was reliant on rather than just the silence. Still, there are some problems with the original execution of this whole scenario. Some of the problem lies with authority in the church. Much is made of Vance’s accountability, but how accountable is Ligonier? Ecclesiastically they are members of an unaffiliated, non-denominational, congregationalist church. Those who lead Ligonier run the church which makes a virtual cabal. How does one go about seeking ecclesiastical clarification or justice in such a case? Who has ecclesiastical authority over those who refuse to place themselves under any authority? How does one go about bringing up an ecclesiastical matter in this case, especially when the accused has gained a reputation for predatory legal action? Let’s hear some positive suggestions. I eagerly await your answers because I have been trying to find a few myself and any help will be appreciated.

    As stated in the earlier, censored post : there are no facts listed in “Vance’s” voluminous posts ; there is gossip, slander and opinion. The details, as some call them, are speculations and conjecture, they are not in any way fact.

    False witness, as illustrated below, shame on you! It is not all speculation and conjecture (granted, there is some and not all of it healthy), but there are also many facts noted.

    Until you can defend his / her ecclesiastical status with evidence, your charge of “unbiblical” action on the part of Ligonier is invalid.

    Vance’s status is irrelevant at this point in Ligonier’s troubles. Even if we eject the Kistler issue from the table, even if we find that Vance never was a Christian, then Ligonier still has some problems.

    The powers that be at Ligonier have publicly lied several times. The evidence was solely of their own making , no one made up anything for them. They filed the court papers, all of them, and all of them public record. They denied doing so, repeatedly to any who owned a telephone capable of dialing their number. They publicly declared they were dropping the suit all the while going back to court (those pesky public records again). In public announcements they stated reasons for the dropping the suit that turn out, according to their own lawyer, to be false. A very public admission by their attorney made in a very public newspaper.

    Ligonier does not need Frank Vance or anyone else to act as their accuser of “unbiblical” action, they do a bang up job of it themselves, and better yet, did it in just about the most public, verifiable ways possible. Whatever there may have been before there are far, far more than two witnesses now thanks to Ligonier. Their response was neither biblical, professional, nor even remotely competent. Vance is wrong about Ligonier in one area, a nincompoop would have done a better job of things.

    At this point only a liar or total buffoon could excuse Ligonier. They may well be innocent of some of the original allegations, for that we will have to see, but they deserve to be excoriated solely for how they have handled this. Regarding Vance and any false allegation, he has already stated that if he is wrong he will gladly and publicly repent (as he should), which unfortunately is more than anyone is seeing Ligonier doing.

  22. Watchman,

    The post was placed on the “About” page because it is “About” the basic premise of your blog. You are claiming to be an objective inquirer into the work of reformed ministries, but you are already showing an inability to do that, without bias.

    You are allowing the comment by Praying and Thinking to stay on your “About” page, which is a defense of “Frank Vance.” You need to get your story buttoned up about what the rules are there. The rules, as you’ve demonstrated, are faulty extensions of misguided journalism.

    It is clear that you censor questions which shed light on your weak positions.

    That’s what “Vance” has done at his previous site. That’s not a good way to start off your new blog.

    You further injure your case by making ad hominem retorts to a sincere inquiry. Why don’t you just answer the questions you have been asked ? Your contortions are obvious.

    I have not demonstrated illiteracy or anarchy in what I’ve stated. You seem to be very comfortable making accusations without evidence.

    You sound sort of like “Frank Vance.”

    WtW

  23. Watchman says:

    And you sound sort of like John Duncan. Tell me “Watching the Watchers” do you also go by the name “Passerby”? A simple yes or no will suffice. Do you also go by the name John Duncan? A simple yes or no will suffice. It would be nice to get an answer to that, but given the kind of duplicitous person that you are it’s also not at all realistic. After all Frank never could get a simple answer out of Tim Dick to “Did you or did you not defraud Don Kistler in the Soli Deo Gloria Ministries acquisition?” An honest man would have just answered the question, not evaded it.

    Since you have reasonably good spelling and composition it’s unlikely that you’re Tim Dick. Given your demanding demeanor it’s very likely that you are Passerby, um, John Duncan. I may not be able to prove that you’re John Duncan, but one thing I do know is that you’re posting blog comments from the Ligonier office.

    I hardly think that a Ligonier employee is in any position to be pontificating at me about communicating “without bias.”

    When are you and Tim Dick going to repent of your lying ways?

  24. Watchman, Frank, Michael, whichever head is speaking today,

    Thank you for demonstrating why this blog was created and that it has even less credibility than the previous incarnation.

    May I suggest some new names for your next bogus entity :

    Accusation without Evidence, Inc.
    Contending for Lost Credibility
    Contending for A Useful Dayjob
    How I Alienated Planet Earth
    Spare Time For Harassment
    Schizophrenics R Us (and Them)

    WtW

  25. Watchman says:

    And thank you WTW, Passerby, John Duncan, whichever head is speaking today on behalf of Ligonier Ministries from the Ligonier Ministries office on a Ligonier Ministries computer using a Ligonier Ministries IP address.

    A simple yes or no answer to my questions would have sufficed. Since you refuse to answer my questions I think it’s reasonable to assume that the answers must be “Yes.”

    I’m quickly discovering exactly why Frank Vance got so incredibly frustrated in his dealings with Tim Dick.

  26. a pastor's perspective says:

    I know nothing of this situation except what I’ve read on the internet (USA Today, Orlando Sentinel, etc.), and don’t have any conclusive opinions yet.

    I am not yet prepared to grant any of the premises of “Frank Vance” (whoever he might be).

    I will make this one assumption (and am happy–and even hoping–to be corrected): That “Watchman” is telling the truth about this one thing–that “Watching the Watchers” is in fact posting “from the Ligonier Ministries office on a Ligonier Ministries computer using a Ligonier Ministries IP address.”

    Based on that one fact (if it is indeed a fact) and that one fact alone: I don’t want any of my money or any of my church’s money going to a business whose employees act the way “Watching the Watchers” has acted in just these few posts.

    So damned fleshly, it is just sick.

  27. Watchman,

    I appreciate your willingness to let through such vacuous whining; perhaps in the future some kind of requirement might be nice, such as the need to back up a strong accusation with a citation, fact, or, golly, something. But it has been revealing to see the sorts of things that are coming from Ligonier’s IP address. This is a problem we see everywhere: it is precisely those who do not care about the truth and who desire to cover up clear evidence that are first to start raising the “blog slander” alarm. This has been the consistent pattern for months, including Tim Dick’s original parade through the world wide web after RC Sproul Jr.’s defrocking. Keep up the good work.

    And am I missing something, or did you just get accused of being Michael Metzler? (!)

    Michael Metzler
    http://www.poohsthink.com

  28. Peter Brannon says:

    What a crap-filled website.

  29. When the various accusers are known, by their given names, and are in the presence of Christian witnesses, they can expect a response in like manner.

    Meanwhile you are adVancing wrong assumptions with every post.

    WtW

  30. Watchman says:

    Oops! Sorry for letting those last two sneak through Michael. That’s just a sample of the sorts of comments I don’t normally approve. Then when I don’t approve them the commenter inevitably comes back and whines that I’m not approving his posts that only he and he alone somehow believes have some value to the readers here.

    It saddens me to know that these are Ligonier’s staunch defenders, and in the case of the second one a Ligonier employee posting from Ligonier’s office. I just can’t understand how reading Tabletalk and listening to R.C. Sproul on the radio or working in the Ligonier office (and in the case of Passerby/Watching the Watchers/John Duncan drawing a $180,000 salary) could have produced such foolish people. As far as I had known Dr. Sproul’s teaching was outstanding and that there was an emphasis on “renewing your mind.” Maybe I was misinformed.

    Yes Michael I believe that you are being accused of being me and/or Frank Vance. I hope you’re not too insulted.

  31. praying and thinking says:

    What a storm. Past all the fury, this seems needful, what Frank has done.

    Watchman, you are welcome by me to remove my Comment on the About page. Of course, this is your blog-site, so that you are free to do as you think best. When I posted that, two comments had already been posted there, and I did not know that Comments to the About page were not appropriate. Please remove my Comment, or leave it there, as you think best.

    When the Lord was silent before Pilate, He was a Lamb brought to the slaughter, and “as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” There are times when a disciple should be silent after accusations, but that is not always so. When the truth is overwhelmingly obvious, or when the truth is irrelevant to the accusers or onlookers (so that strong, clear proof of innocence would be rejected), silence might be appropriate. For one example, if a man is handing out gospel tracts on a college campus and an enraged student shouts, “you’re only trying to find young female students to seduce,” silence might be appropriate. Very differently, when one is accused before others who really care about the truth, when the accusation is really serious and others genuinely want to know the truth, when people have a true interest in the matter (interest in a truthful witness before lost people, interest in a responsibility to donate their money to good uses and not to dishonest solicitors of money), when people need to know the truth of the accusation in order to know what to conclude to do toward the accused, then silence is inappropriate. This seems very obvious to me. If the I.R.S. says you have cheated on your taxes, or if a pastor sincerely asks whether you have been inappropriate toward the church secretary, silence is not appropriate. Here, in this sad situation, you have many people who genuinely want to know the truth, and there is an important difference — and consequences — in learning the truth of whether Ligonier defrauded Dr. Kistler or did not defraud him. As Lawrence wrote in his Comment, things have proceeded far beyond the original concern about whether Dr. Kistler was defrauded.

    Frank had asked Tim Dick, Did you do this?, and Tim never replied. Frank said that if Tim had denied the accusation, Frank would not have gone public with this. After Frank’s inquiry to Watching the Watchers, are you passerby and are you John Duncan, the response of silence is — like Tim Dick’s silence — remarkable.

    I was once accused of an extremely bad thing, which I did not do. I can still now years later shake with emotion as I remember that. I immediately, very naturally, told the truth about that, and I wanted the others to know plainly the truth, pleading for an investigation to find and prove the truth. Knowing the truth was needful, for me and for the others looking on, and very important in the consequences for me and for others who knew me. Silence would have been very wrong, and a strong indication of guilt. I pled with people to probe and learn the truth of the matter. Not every situation is like the silence in Isaiah 53:7.

    Watching the Watchers, please read I Peter 1:21-23. I am not being sarcastic nor cute. Please read that.

    Could others who read this please say a better explanation than me of the truth that in serious accusation, when people have a genuine desire to know the truth and a need to know the truth in order to make future decisions about the one accused, the accused one should respond to make clear the truth of the matter? This seems so obvious to me, but I would be glad if others would say this better than I have.

  32. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    the accused one should respond to make clear the truth of the matter

    No! The ACCUSER should provide evidence backing up his accusations from the outset…which Vance/Watchman/Whoever has yet to do. When I initially asked him to provide proof of his allegations, he replied by stating that he could not because of the legal action against him. Well, the legal action has been dropped (not to mention that Vance’s allegations were made well before the suit was filed)…so…where’s the proof???

    Frank, where is your evidence backing your claims made at the outset of your allegations?

  33. John Steinhausen says:

    Brian,

    I posted a comment in your Ligonier vs. Frank Vance Is Officially Over article on your blog. Frank’s in no better position legally now than he was before:

    Brian you’re probably right about this not being over, but you’re glossing over the most significant reasons why it’s not over, including the fact that Ligonier dismissed their own case without prejudice. If you think that’s insignificant you couldn’t be more wrong. What that means is that they left themselves the option of suing Vance again. If they didn’t care about suing him again they would have never specified “without prejudice.” Through their attorney they even officially announced that’s exactly what their intentions are in an interview he did in the Orlando Sentinel.

    So you want to blame Frank Vance for continuing to write about this story when it’s Ligonier who’s publicly announced that the story isn’t over yet? I don’t get it.

    Comment by John Steinhausen | October 10, 2006

    Brian, as I’ve already pointed out Ligonier’s legal threats against Frank are anything but “Officially Over.” After seeing some of the comments that you’ve posted recently on Tim Challies about the Ligonier lawsuit my opinion of you is starting to change, and for the better I’m glad to say. You seem to be thinking somewhat more clearly now, and more biblically too. Keep it up.

  34. “You seem to be thinking somewhat more clearly now, and more biblically too. Keep it up.”

    John,
    Thank you for your comments. But, I have never defended Ligonier with regards to the law suit. What I have done all along is ask Frank to provide proof of his allegations…proof that should have been offered when he first began them…well before any law suit was in view.

    Also, why would he have to worry about a law suit anyway, be it from Ligonier or anyone else? Doesn’t he trust in the Lord? Doesn’t he follow the Lord’s admonition in Matthew when He says, “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”?

    All I want is for Frank to either provide proof of his allegations, or admit that he really doesn’t have any…except maybe for the claims of a few disgruntled people. And he should be able and willing to do that without fear of any kind of legal action. God IS in control, isn’t He? What, really, can man do to him? After all, IF what he says is true, then he can’t lose with regards to any legal aqction brought against him, right?

    BTW, is everyone aware of the jury award to the lady in Florida of $11.3 million for internet post defamation?

  35. Brian Writes:

    “Also, why would he have to worry about a law suit anyway, be it from Ligonier or anyone else? Doesn’t he trust in the Lord? Doesn’t he follow the Lord’s admonition in Matthew when He says, “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”?”

    And then concludes:

    “BTW, is everyone aware of the jury award to the lady in Florida of $11.3 million for internet post defamation?”

    Brian, your application of this “let him have your coat also” principle seems like a big liability to the church. I think we have better things to do with our money. I know I don’t want to have to crack my piggy bank in order to help Frank Vance pay off $11 million dollars if Ligonier did to Frank Vance what they would like to do. After all, if Vance asked me to run one mile, I should go two, right? I’d prefer paying some of the risk insurance up front.

    Michael Metzler
    http://www.poohsthink.com

  36. Frank Vance says:

    Brian, I appreciate your frustrations on the Soli Deo Gloria issue.

    Where I’ve been able to provide evidence for my accusations without compromising my own legal position, or compromising my witnesses, I’ve done so. Some of that evidence was already public information which most people just weren’t aware of, such as the outrageous salaries of Ligonier’s senior management, or Ligonier nepotism and the hiring of Tim Dick’s entire family regardless of their lack of qualifications, or drunken fornicating family members like Ryan Dick being employed by Ligonier in a key position and using his donor-funded salary to pay for his hedonistic lifestyle which he openly boasts about on the internet.

    I’ve also furnished evidence of the repeated pattern of lies and cover ups by Tim Dick and John Duncan in their version of the Ligonier lawsuit scandal, starting with “There is no lawsuit. We don’t know how that story got started,” to “It’s not a lawsuit, it’s an injunction,” to “It’s not a lawsuit it’s a legal complaint,” to “The legal complaint has been withdrawn” to “Throughout this entire ordeal, numerous emails and posts refuting the accuser were ignored by him,” to “I attempted to resolve this in private, as my beliefs require. Each time I refuted the accusations, he refused to listen,” to now the latest from Ligonier which is “Ministry attorney Daniel Brodersen said Thursday that if the group does find Vance, it may file a new suit.”

    The likelihood that Ligonier will sue me again is extremely high and disclosing my sources and evidence of the SDG fraud could, I’m told by my legal counsel, give a strategic advantage to Tim Dick. However, my chief concern isn’t so much in giving Tim a legal strategic advantage, but a strategic advantage in his witch hunt. Publicly providing the sort of evidence and testimony that you and others seek Brian would expose the identities of my witnesses, and exposing my witnesses means exposing them to the threats and harassment of Tim Dick and John Duncan.

    I’ve received repeated confirmations that Tim Dick and John Duncan have been incessantly harassing anyone they suspect of being the source of a “leak.” Plenty of “insiders” have spoken with me, and they continue speaking with me. However in each case they first obtain assurances of confidentiality from me, and I’ve been faithful to keep those promises. I’ve often asked these insiders, “Why is confidentiality so important to you?” Every response I’ve ever received has had a fear element associated with it, and apparently they often have good reason for their fears. What’s at stake here is the implied threat that if anyone talks to me they might get drug into an ugly lawsuit themselves. Plenty of people want the truth to come out, and they’re grateful for what I’ve done. They just don’t want to have to hire an attorney themselves in the process.

    In a very real sense what Tim and John are engaged in is witness tampering. If they were to engage in this kind of harassment in the midst of a lawsuit they could wind up going to jail for it. But having already withdrawn the lawsuit they’re free to harass anyone and everyone who might become a future potential witness in the next lawsuit they file against me, and yes that would include Don Kistler. Tim and John aren’t very wise, but they are shrewd, as in “shrewd as the Mafia.”

    What’s also at stake are the close family relations and friendships that many of these insiders have, not with Tim Dick (he doesn’t seem to have any friends), but with the Sprouls. Anyone close to the Sprouls is dumbfounded by their loyalties to the Dick family, but if they want to remain friends with the Sprouls they already know they can’t confront RC about it, and even less so Vesta.

    The mere suspicion that anyone has been talking with me has subjected those persons to any number of real and implied threats by Tim Dick and his henchman John Duncan. The ones who’ve been harassed the most have been current and former Ligonier employees. But even some bloggers completely unrelated to me who’ve never even had any form of communication with me, but who’ve reported on these matters in a way that is in any way favorable to me, have been harassed by Tim and John.

    As much as I’d like to be in a position to disclose the evidence of Tim Dick’s fraud in the Soli Deo Gloria acquisition I just simply can’t. I’m not about to do anything which would just further enable Tim Dick and John Duncan’s witch hunt and witness tampering.

  37. John says:

    BTW, is everyone aware of the jury award to the lady in Florida of $11.3 million for internet post defamation?

    The dollar figure made for a great headline, but the facts of the case are much more mundane. The person who was criticized on the Internet was not a public figure, unlike, e.g, Tim Dick, so it would have been much easier for the plaintiff to prove defamation. Not only that, but the person who posted the critical remarks on the internet represented herself before the court and offered no defense of herself at trial. No attorney and no defense at all. Without a response to the charges, the decision of the judge in favor of the plaintiffs was all but automatic, and, given the guilty verdict and the plaintiff’s desire to send a message, the jury was happy to accommodate.

    The jury felt especially free to award a large sum because it knew that, whatever the amount, the defendant was unable to pay. So the large dollar figure was purely a symbolic gesture that cost no one anything.

    Of course, the story will still be useful for ministry businesses who try to antimidate whistleblowers by threatening SLAPP suits, so I expect the context-free headline to be repeated far and wide.

  38. […] The following was recently posted way down in a comment thread; the general question is: ‘why not reveal the witnesses about the allegations related to Kistler?’ Here’s the response: Brian, I appreciate your frustrations on the Soli Deo Gloria issue. […]

  39. […] The following was recently posted way down in a comment thread; the general question is: ‘why not reveal the witnesses about the allegations related to Kistler?’ Here’s the response: Brian, I appreciate your frustrations on the Soli Deo Gloria issue. […]

  40. always batya says:

    Brian writes: No! The ACCUSER should provide evidence backing up his accusations from the outset…which Vance/Watchman/Whoever has yet to do”

    Brian, Unfortuantly for Ligoneir, so much other horrible information about LIgoneir and their Sr Management came out when they filed the lawsuit that is fact based and verfiable, that many of us have forgotten the Kistler thing. Their behavior has been appalling and there is no explanation for it from a Christian perspective…especially for a ministry that exposits scripture and uses donor money to do so.

    Just based on the lies, deception, salaries, lifestyles, defrocking, etc., etc., I will never trust them again. Forgive? Yes. Trust? No.

    Brian, why are they reserving the right to sue again? Why not be wronged as Sproul teaches others to do? Isn’t that pharisetical? Brian, why did they use donor money to pay attorneys and PI’s? Why did they lie about the lawsuit?

    Can you answer these please and let us know if you think these things are ok.

  41. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    “As much as I’d like to be in a position to disclose the evidence of Tim Dick’s fraud in the Soli Deo Gloria acquisition I just simply can’t.” – Vance

    Frank,
    Your explanation above of not giving Ligonier any more ammunition for a law suit does NOT address why you didn’t provide any proof of your allegations BEFORE any legal action was filed at all.

    My question to you is this: why did you not provide any proof or evidence when you initially made your allegations and claims…BEFORE there was any law suit?

    Michael:
    Do you realize that you are going completely against Scripture and ignoring the words of Christ with your comments above? And you misquoted Jesus’ words when you said, “After all, if Vance asked me to run one mile, I should go two, right? I’d prefer paying some of the risk insurance up front.”

    Jesus was talking specifically in the context of being sued…not someone asking you to do something.

    I am still confused as to why someone like Frank Vance making such serious claims and allegations such as fraud would not provide evidence of that fact at the outset of making the allegations…only then to say he can’t provide proof because of a law suit…and NOW to say he can’t provide any evidence because of the threat of a POTENTIAL lawsuit.

    Frank, IF what you claim is in fact true, and can be proven with your proof…then what do you have to fear???

  42. “admit that he really doesn’t have any…except maybe for the claims of a few disgruntled people.”

    So if we call them “disgruntled people”, we can instantly discount what they have told Vance…Interesting tactic. Much of the “distrungled” former employee information posted in comments has been very accurate.

    I for one hope this matter comes to a swift conclusion, and that the truth comes to light. If Vance comes out to be completed wrong in regards to Don Kistler, I hope he takes appropriate measures to publically repent, as he as stated before.

    On the other hand, much of the information shared by former ligonier employees, as seen in the comment section, has been fairly accurate and opened new avenues for research into financial matters. I also think this will bring much needed scrunity on other ministries and how donor-funds have been used to enrich certain individuals, all under the cloak of being a non-profit. People need to know if when their favorite ministry calls for donations, that said favorite ministry leadership lives on a golf course and makes $$$,$$$.$$ per year in salary.

  43. John Steinhausen says:

    Brian have you asked Tim Dick or anyone else at Ligonier why they still haven’t posted the Don Kistler statement on their web site? The only place I’ve ever been able to find that is on Challies. How do we know that statement isn’t completely bogus when even Ligonier won’t post it on their web site? The Don Kistler statement is credible to you and Challies and other Ligonier diehards but the fact that Ligonier won’t post it on their own website smells really bad to me.

    Even if it can be shown that Don Kistler himself did write it how do we know he wrote it of his own free will? It’s entirely possible that he wrote it under duress. Maybe Tim Dick threatened to fire him if he didn’t cooperate. Like Frank has pointed out there’s been a lot of Tim Dick and John Duncan harassment going on. Why wouldn’t he harass Don Kistler too?

    Kistler probably needs his job more now than ever because of his recent stroke. He needs time to recover and he needs a steady paycheck. Who else would hire Kistler right now right after he’s just had a stroke? Tim Dick knows that too and he knows he’s got the upper hand with Don Kistler. Even if Kistler were in top physical health right now it could still be really hard for him to come up with another job that would pay him $88,000. Any way you slice it Kistler is in a bad position so it’s not at all hard to imagine that he’d be willing to compromise to save his position.

  44. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    John,

    Kistler seems to be doing just fine, as he has started up a new web site: Don Kistler Online – The Preaching and Teaching Ministry of Don Kistler.

    The further speculation that Dr. Kistler wrote his statement ‘under duress’ is just that…speculation. Yet, many (Frank and others) seem to be banking on that inorder to discount his statement.

    Why are so many so quick to believe Frank’s statements without any proof…yet so quick to discount a statement from someone like Dr. Kistler? Why the double standard?

  45. Brian,

    I don’t think Vance or others have asked anyone to “believe that Kistler’s letter was written under duress.” I’ll let others correct me if I’m wrong here, but from my take, they have simply asked people to understand what the prima facie evidence currently is about this matter. The total body of evidence at this time justifies the withholding of the belief that “the allegations about Kistler were wrong.” But to support a belief like this, you have to mention the evidence we currently have for the fact that Kistler’s letter was perhaps written under duress.

    As for the total body of evidence: Part of this total body of evidence is internal to the letter, part of it surrounds the immediate context of the posted letter (e.g. when, where, etc), and part of it is located in the large amount of background evidence we now have, such as 1) the fact that the allegations were not denied by Ligonier, 2) the allegations are the stated reason for the law suit and yet not listed as part of the ‘libel’, and 3) a statement was made by Ligonier about dropping the law suit as soon as the very late letter from Kistler was procured. We also do not have any clear confirmation that the letter was in fact sincere and true; Ligonier has done little to make confirmation clear, such as their failure to even include this letter on a private yet official page of their web site.

    Michael Metzler

  46. Frank Vance says:

    Frank,
    Your explanation above of not giving Ligonier any more ammunition for a law suit does NOT address why you didn’t provide any proof of your allegations BEFORE any legal action was filed at all.

    Brian, how many times will it be necessary for me to answer the same exact questions for you? Your propensity for repeatedly asking the same questions, coupled with your refusing to acknowledge that I’ve already answered your questions, makes it appear as though you’re badgering me.

  47. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    Okay Frank…so let’s go with your answer from the link you just posted:

    “Answer: No one demanded or even requested that I publicly provide evidence for the allegations.”

    So, this is your answer…that you did not provide any proof because no one asked you to? I am confused as to why you would have to have someone request you provide proof of your allegations before you will provide proof.

    Are you then saying that if someone back when you initially began making allegations asked you to publicly provide proof, that you would have complied? Is that your position?

    I am asking now for proof…will you comply? Or will you forever hide behind the threat of a potential law suit? If I had the proof that my allegations were true…I would want to display that proof, which would once and for all put to rest all the speculation about whether all that I was alledging was true or not. Wouldn’t you?

    Doesn’t it make sense to reveal your evidence proving your allegations true? Where would there be any grounds for a law suit if you were right and what you were saying was correct? And IF you were correct and accurate in your allegations, where would the fear be in facing a potential law suit?

    It just doesn’t seem to be adding up or making sense as to why you didn’t then, and are not now producing evidence to support the claims you made in the beginning.

  48. Frank Vance says:

    I am confused as to why you would have to have someone request you provide proof of your allegations before you will provide proof.

    You seem confused about a lot of things Brian. You’ve been confused ever since we first crossed paths. You were confused about why me and so many other people were offended by the fact that RC Sproul put his defrocked son on the podium next to honorable preachers barely a month after he’d been defrocked. You staunchly defended Sproul’s decision and ridiculed anyone who was justly offended by Sproul Sr and Sproul Jr’s open rebellion against the denomination that had just defrocked RC Jr.

    Brian it’s more than apparent that you see and hear only what you want to see and hear. If you don’t get the answer you demand you just keep asking the same questions over and over again (badgering). Witness:
    I am asking now for proof…will you comply?

    My answer: No.

    Are you then saying that if someone back when you initially began making allegations asked you to publicly provide proof, that you would have complied? Is that your position?

    My answer: If at any point prior to suing me Tim Dick had asked me for evidence, yes, I would have produced the evidence for him. The fact that he never asked is significant, just as it’s significant that he repeatedly evaded the question, “Did you or did you not defraud Don Kistler in the Soli Deo Gloria acquisition?” Rather than forthrightly addressing that question he stalled for time, claiming that his schedule didn’t permit him to be responsive to my email prior to the ten day deadline, even though he’d already replied to six other emails that we’d exchanged that same week.

    Brian, if my explanations here “doesn’t seem to be adding up or making sense” then there’s really nothing more that I can do for you. I’ve been more than patient with you and your badgering.

  49. John says:

    Brian, in an earlier comment to this thread you wrote:

    “Those who insist on continuing to rehash this stuff over and over to keep the story alive would do well to heed Jesus’ warning here. There comes a point when the line has been crossed from trying to hold someone or some entity accountable to just plain vindictive hateful speech…and I fear most of you posting here have crossed it. Any productive discussion of this matter has long since vanished, and further attempts to keep it going begins to look silly.”

    In the context of the original post, this means you don’t want to read anything else about the sin and folly of a ministry that professes to be Christian suing a man who professes Christ. I might agree with you, if there weren’t still so many Christians claiming I Corinthians 6 somehow doesn’t apply to Ligonier, that there’s some unwritten exception for them. That being so, I’m glad that this post includes an amplification and clarification of the issues. You may not need it, but others definately do.

    The other problem with your comment about the impropriety of rehashing things over and over is that it also applies to the Kistler situation, absent new evidence. There has been no new evidence since Ligonier refused to host the Kistler statement on its own website, which would not only constitute the first official acknowledgement of that statement but also, if it proved to be the product of duress, confirm Ligonier’s legal liability. Without new evidence, which neither you nor anyone else has supplied, all you are doing is “continuing to rehash this stuff over and over to keep the story alive.”

    Since this is the standard you have put forward for continued discussion of a subject, it is the standard you need to apply to yourself.

  50. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    My question to Frank – “Are you then saying that if someone back when you initially began making allegations asked you to publicly provide proof, that you would have complied? Is that your position?”

    Frank’s answer to me – “My answer: If at any point prior to suing me Tim Dick had asked me for evidence, yes, I would have produced the evidence for him.”

    It is obvious that you are not willing to answer my question in a straighforward manner. I did not ask you about supplying Tim Dick with evidence…I asked you about “publicly” providing proof of your allegations, since you were publicly making those allegations.

    That’s not badgering…it is simply not letting you get away with dodging a straighforward question…which you still have not answered.

    If all this stuff you are continually rehashing and talking about is so detrimental to the body of Christ, then why not publicly provide proof of the claims you have made from the beginning? Are your legal interests really more important than the apparant deception by Ligonier to the body of Christ? IF you can prove to me and the public what you have been alledging, then I will stand with you in condemning Ligonier, Tim Dick and the whole bunch!

    Come on, Frank…it’s time to put up or shut up.

  51. praying and thinking says:

    Brian, Please consider and answer these 3 questions.

    Are you unaware of the ruthless tactics of a number of “Christian” organizations toward their employees or others whom they might view as an embarrassment to them? Ruthless tactics. For one example, have you ever had a friend who was a calvinist (or, believed the doctrines of grace) and who had attended Bob Jones University? Sadly there are other examples of the fierce behavior of “Christian” organizations. Have you ever experienced such extreme pressure and warfare, affecting so severely not only yourself but your wife and children? Are you unaware of such things done by “Christian” ministries, schools, publishers, etc.?

    Are you so unaware of the consequences (financial, emotional, etc.) of a lawsuit against a regular person? Frank has been offered much pro bono help from attorneys, but others — even if they are totally exonerated in a trial — lose enormously in their personal assets to pay an attorney, to say nothing of great stress and other consequences to them and their families. Have you really not considered this in your requirement that Frank and all those who have confidentially informed Frank must openly declare all they know, inviting the wrath of Tim Dick and his company and helping their opponent to win a lawsuit?

    Do you think it is better to wait until there is absolute, unquestionable proof (to many, there is no such thing, no matter how strong and clear the evidence and facts, like Michael Moore and his 9/11 assertions), to wait until either 1. Ligonier implodes like Jim and Tammy Bakker in the 1980’s, for all the world to see and to think badly of Christians who knew well and never said a thing to stop the corruption, or 2. to wait indefinitely and endlessly while charlatans manipulate and fleece donors, listeners to the broadcasts, and others? Is that preferable?

    I would be glad if another said better than I said the wrongness of silence to accusations when the ones wanting a reply from the accused one genuinely care about the truth and who also have a responsibility to learn the truth so they can know how to proceed with the accusation (donors have a responsibility to decide whether a ministry is truthful or fraudulent).

  52. Truth seeker says:

    Brian, you are conveniently forgetting the other two statements released to a very narrow audience at the same time as Kistler’s statement. The other two statements have been proven to be totally bogus. That is verifiable. Your buddies you follow at Ligonier lied on those statements. Pure and simple. And you wonder why we question Kistler’s statement?

    I doubt that Kistler will ever speak out one way or the other. People like Sproul have so much gravitas that you could be ruined forever. Don’t forget that Kistler voted to defrock Jr. His life may have been miserable since then. As we have seen, the Sproul’s do not take well to correction or even questioning of their ministry dealings.

    I was glad to see Kistler’s website, too. Great timing. Maybe he can make some retirement income from what he is selling there and get out of Ligoneir.

  53. Frank Vance says:

    Come on, Frank…it’s time to put up or shut up.

    Like I said, you’re badgering.

    IF you can prove to me and the public what you have been alledging, then I will stand with you in condemning Ligonier, Tim Dick and the whole bunch!

    I think we all know Brian, based upon your track record, that proving anything to you whatsoever that is in any way adverse to Ligonier is untenable. You have yet to acknowledge anything negative about Ligonier, including of those things for which there is strong evidence that you can easily verify for yourself. You’re being willfully ignorant.

    It’s more than just a little ironic Brian that you’d accuse me of being one “who insists on continuing to rehash this stuff over and over to keep the story alive.” Yet you as much as anyone is only interested in the SDG issue. You “rehash this stuff over and over to keep the story alive.”

    Brian, if you were a man who had demonstrated some ability to enter into cogent argument then it might be worth pursuing further dialogue with you. But all you’ve demonstrated is that you’re a badgering willfully ignorant Ligonier sycophant. I’m glad to see that you care so much about what I think and say (why else would you keep coming back?), but I don’t share the same opinion of you. To be perfectly candid I don’t care what you think.

  54. John Steinhausen says:

    In a very real sense what Tim and John are engaged in is witness tampering. If they were to engage in this kind of harassment in the midst of a lawsuit they could wind up going to jail for it. But having already withdrawn the lawsuit they’re free to harass anyone and everyone who might become a future potential witness in the next lawsuit they file against me, and yes that would include Don Kistler.

    The ramifications of what you’re saying here Frank are extremely troubling. This doesn’t sound like a Christian ministry at all. It sounds like a bunch of unprincipled thugs.

    Frank has Don Kistler also become a subject of Tim Dick’s witch hunt? Is he afraid of speaking out and saying what he really thinks? Have you been able to speak with him?

  55. Frank Vance says:

    Frank has Don Kistler also become a subject of Tim Dick’s witch hunt? Is he afraid of speaking out and saying what he really thinks? Have you been able to speak with him?

    John, I do know the answers to each of your questions. Unfortunately I’m not in a position to share the answers. If Don Kistler and I were to have spoken (and I’m not saying that we have or that we haven’t) then I would’ve extended to him the same offer of confidentiality that I have to others. Therefore I wouldn’t be in a position to answer those kinds of questions.

  56. Truth seeker says:

    WARNING-

    I made a terrible mistake. Checking Dr. Kistler’s site again today, I noticed that I would have to buy his tapes from Lignoneir. That was NOT on there yesterday as far as I can remember.

    NO WAY would I give them one dollar for anything. Try pay pal, Dr. Kistler.

  57. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    Frank,

    Just because I don’t regard every word out of your mouth as gold (without corroborating proof) as do so many others here doesn’t mean I don’t have reservations about some of things that have taken place.

  58. Chuck Nimoy says:

    Frank, John, Brandon, Mark, Michael and all you brave freedom fighters,

    I know a guy, who knows a guy, who has a clump of Bigfoot’s hair. I want to offer this to you as evidence, in your ongoing struggle.

    You guys are visionaries, like Russell Crowe in a “Beautiful Mind.” You see patterns and pictures that other people can’t see. They’re jealous because they don’t have the gift.

    Don’t be discouraged, I go through this same kind of thing, every time I’m abducted.

    Look at the way they treated the Ghostbusters.

    your pal,

    Chuck N.

  59. APinkFan says:

    In trying to understand why good Christian people have to put up with ungodly tyrants like Tim Dick, I have concluded that we swap our souls for a lousy paycheck. Believers, like those that toil for Ligonier, have not trusted the words of the scriptures that say “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” We need to pray that God will strengthen our faith and that when we are confronted with a test of dealing with a creep like Mr. Dick, we need to be ready to clean out our desk rather than stay employed and enable a man who will treat us like property.
    There is no ‘ball & chain’ on our leg. My prayer is that Mr. Kistler and the other good folks at Ligonier, will TRUST God and walk from that place.
    We believers claim that God will provide and He will never leave us nor forsake us but the time will come when those words need to be proven to us and our families.
    Ligonier was a great ministry that taught many thousands of us to understand and trust God for all His benefits. Now may be the time when we put feet on our belief system. God can and will supply our needs but we have to trust Him.

  60. james says:

    Truth Seeker, I went to Kistler’s website to check. His tapes (cd’s actually) are purchased from him via paypal. The books you have to buy from Ligonier.

  61. Jonathan says:

    So it is wrong for a Christian to sue a christian, quite right, it does bring the name of God into disrepute amongst those of the world. The biblical proof you present are compelling and correct! However so do statements/ accusations about other Christians made on a Blog. If you bring something like this out behind the closed doors of the church you can expect a responce in a similar way.

    A complaint about a brother should be made in person, then if there is no repentence with a witness and then it should be brought to the church – only then can the matter be made public – Matt 18:15-17 and then only if the church has deemed there is something that needs to be repented of.

    Perhaps it is wisdom that keeping some of these men quite on this matter and the fact that they do not want to be involved in the very poor witness this whole debacle is turning into.

  62. Kenny says:

    Truth Seeker/Jimmy Olsen,

    Thank you for your comments and questions which have given me something to think about. I appreciate that my questions gave the impression that I think that it is wrong to make any kind of judgement about otheres. I apologise for this as this is not what I was trying to say and I realise that I need to learn more about church discipline as my knowledge is lacking here.

    An attempt to answer Truth Seeker’s questions is below:

    “1. Do you not love Ligoneir? If you do, then how can you stand to see their lies and deception? Are not not afraid for their eternal life?”

    I think I realise that I do not love as I should and I need to grow in loving others in different way (which includes church discipline)

    “2. How is seeking truth a judgement? So far, we have seen nothing but lies. ”

    I don’t think seeking truth is necessarily a wrong kind of judgement. I was wondering if it is possible for our sinful hearts to distort our truth seeking by adding in some wrong kinds of judgement.

    “3. Who is qualified? Who is Ligonier accoutable to? All of us are waiting to hear!”

    Good question. I’m not sure. Would it be the leadership (elders) of the churches where Ligonier staff are members?

    4. What is your motivation for wanting to sweep this public sin under the carpet? How many Christians who follow Ligonier will think it ok to take things to the heathen court? Are you not concerned for false teaching?

    I don’t want sin swept under the carpet. I would like it dealt with in the right way and with a right attitude. However, I’m realising I need to learn more about what exactly that means.

    Warm Regards,
    Kenny

  63. […] Posted by Michael Metzler on Thursday, October 12, 2006, at 9:27 am. Print This Post | EMail This Post « previous post Pooh’s Think is powered byWordPress.       […]

  64. […] Posted by Michael Metzler on Thursday, October 12, 2006, at 9:27 am. Print This Post | EMail This Post « previous post Pooh’s Think is powered byWordPress.       […]

  65. Brian at VoiceoftheSheep says:

    Watchman,

    While my article on lawsuits and the believer most certainly applies to Ligonier…it was the primary result of a post over at challies about a lawsuit that someone was filing against a previous employer.

    Why do I have to mention someone or some entity by name for my words to apply to them? You say I have given Ligonier the “soft and easy” treatment. Prove that in light of the article by me that you posted above. Where in that article did I exempt Ligonier from my thoughts on lawsuits???

  66. always batya says:

    It is hard to believe that someone you have put on a pedestal and followed their teachings for so many years can sin so blatently and lie about it. You know there must be an explanation somewhere. They can’t just ignore what they have taught. Right?

    Wrong. They can and do all the time. It is one reason why we are so blessed to have direct communication to Christ through His Word. We do not have to go through priests/ministers/elders for truth. (Thank you reformation)

    The bigger concern is when this sin is brought to our attention and our pride refuses to let us see it clearly. We are embarrassed that we could be snookered. When the person is a celebrity like Sproul, it makes it even harder. It becomes sort of personal because you promoted this person and their teaching. You feel a fool. This may be what Brian is dealing with now. I can relate:

    I can remember when Billy Graham excused Bill Clinton’s behavior. I was devestated. But, it made me go back and research him and I found there were other very troubling things I had missed before. No scandals here just some troubling doctrinal issues and choices he made years ago that are questionable reguarding politics, public relations, numbers, etc. I loved Billy Graham. This was very hard for me at the time.

    While Sproul has sound teaching it does not match his living. It’s as if it has been head knowledge to him and not something he puts into practice. I am basing this on many things that have come out that are factual and verifiable and also biographical including Jr’s Ligoneir Tales about his childhood.

    We would all do well to remember Isaiah 2:22.

  67. Disgusted by Lig Hypocrites says:

    That article by Brian Thornton is really good. It’s hard to believe someone like Brian wrote it. But just take a look at this comment (#3) Brian posted on 9/22 when Tim Challies like the good little Ligonier sycophant that he is dutifully posted Tim Dick’s and Ligonier Senior Management’s not-so-public public statements without even a pause to check if there was a shred of truth to them:

    “Thank you, Tim Dick and Ligonier Senior Mangement, for taking these actions and doing everything on your part to resolve this in a manner that exalts Christ.”

    So Tim Dick and Ligonier senior management lie and cover up about every single aspect of their lawsuit against Frank Vance, they lie about withdrawing it, and they instruct their employees to lie to everyone who calls in and asks about it (I know, I called several times and got a different lie every day I called). Then they issue two public statements that are full of just more lies.

    Isn’t it wonderful that Ligonier did “everything on their part to resolve this in a manner that exalts Christ”? If this is exalting Christ I’d hate to see Brian’s definition of what it would take for Ligonier to dishonor Christ.

    Is. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

  68. Frank Vance says:

    I’ve been asked from time to time, “Frank, how did this all get started?” It started shortly after RC Sproul Jr got defrocked, which is a pretty severe form of church discipline. For an ordained minister it just doesn’t get any worse than being defrocked. But what especially caught my ear was the fact that it wasn’t just RC Sproul Jr that got defrocked but his entire Presbyterian Session of Elders, four of them altogether. I’d never heard of that happening before. That’s a real significant event, but after reading the Declaratory Judgment I knew that Sproul and his Elders deserved what they got.
    But RC Jr didn’t humble himself and submit to his discipline. Instead he rebelled and slandered the denomination that defrocked him, the RPCGA. It was barely a month later that as a defrocked minister he was teaching and preaching at the Ligoiner national conference, all with the blessing of his dad. A lot of people were very offended by that, including me. Sprouls Jr and Sr were carrying on as though being defrocked meant nothing at all.

    But apparently that just wasn’t enough in the way of offending Christians everywhere. No, the Sprouls had some additional ways they wanted to offend Christians too. Sproul Sr publicly stated that the charges against his son were “fraudulent.” It was at that point that I knew something was seriously amiss in the Sproul dynasty. But the problem extends beyond the family Sproul and includes some of their pals whose names include Phillips, Wilson and Bayly. They too wish to offend Christians everywhere by demanding that they and the Sprouls be honored, all the while slandering the RPCGA and refusing to submit to church discipline:
    Sproul Jr. is to Ezzo as Wilson is to Seacoast

  69. praying and thinking says:

    Truth seeker wrote in the Comment on October 11 (posted at 3:21 P.M.), “I doubt that Kistler will ever speak out one way or the other. People like Sproul have so much gravitas that you could be ruined forever. Don’t forget that Kistler voted to defrock Jr. His life may have been miserable since then. As we have seen, the Sproul’s do not take well to correction or even questioning of their ministry dealings.”

    What Truth seeker wrote here seems more disturbing to me than any other detail in so many postings by Frank and so many comments by others. Truth seeker points to a profound problem exceeding the details of Ligonier. If other professing believers, churches, organizations, would tolerate — much less accept or embrace — an unqualified claim by R. C. Sproul, Sr. or by anyone else to “destroy” a person, that would prove that they have a false religion. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul saying, “Because of who I am and what I’ve done, take anything I say at face value without proof, and stigmatize, ostracize, ‘destroy’ (to use Truth seeker’s word) anyone I don’t like, just because I say so.” As evil as such an effort to “destroy” a person is, to tolerate such practices and to cut off the disfavored target without proof of the disfavored one’s heresy or sinful behavior, to tolerate and accept Sproul, Sr. or anyone else’s effort to “destroy” another person’s name or work is almost more evil.

    If what Truth seeker described is so, then Reformed evangelicals are little or no different from so many others who name the name of Christ but gut the truth they profess. I don’t want to think this is so, yet strong facts I have known long before Frank Vance mentioned any of this have pulled me to think this. If this is so, then many or most of the P.C.A., Founders’ Group Baptists, the Reformed seminaries, and those who attend the big “Reformed” conferences, many of them — certainly those who tolerate practices such as Truth seeker described — are little or no different from the Bob Jones and Pensacola fundamentalists, or the old Southern Baptist churches that had open Masons to serve as Sunday School teachers, deacons, and elders. Their doctrines may be different from the Roman Catholics, reading and quoting Edwards, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, Pink, etc., but their attitudes and practices look so close to the pope, to the Jesuits, to ruthless practitioners who know nothing of the truth and love of Christ.

    If MacArthur, Mohler, Piper, Dever, Mahaney, D. James Kennedy, Philip Ryken, Ascol, and on and on so many others, remain silent about what Ligonier has done, or support Ligonier in this, that will seem to me worse than what the leaders of Ligonier have done.

    I don’t like what Truth seeker wrote, or rather, I don’t like the conclusions about a group that tolerates the practices he described. That Sproul,Sr. or anyone else could do such to Dr. Kistler, and that others would allow such to be done to Kistler. Who does worse in a crime, the criminal or the crowd standing by and watching, doing nothing when they could stop the crime? Who does worse, the Mason, or the pastor and congregation who would allow a Mason to teach Sunday School or to hand out the bread and grape juice at communion? Who does worse, Tim Dick and the Sprouls, or so many leaders who know well and yet remain silent or proceed to speak at conferences with Sproul?

    I don’t like the conclusion, but I think Truth seeker had obvious reason to write what he or she has written. I also have observed many things in the past, done by Reformed people. I don’t want to think that this is true of most Reformed evangelicals. The appearance is not good now, in the silence and apparent tolerance of this by so many leaders of Reformed organizations. Remember before the first Gulf War, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the first President Bush said, “This will not stand.” If the leaders and leading organizations of Reformed evangelicals allow what Ligonier has done to stand, if they proceed on as if none of this ever happened, or if they allow anyone to “destroy” a person’s name or work without proof of good reason, then our group of Reformed evangelicals will be as surely infiltrated and perverted as the United Methodists, the P.C.U.S., or the “fundamentalists.” Possibly the Reformed leaders and organizations will have sound doctrine, but all the true doctrine in Scripture without reality, “truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6), is a false religion.

    I don’t want to think this of our group. I want the Reformed leaders to do what they should do. Those who would practice or even tolerate what Truth seeker described, have a false religion. The Epistle of I John alone has many verses that show this, and Scripture is replete with the necessity of genuineness.

    I have thought for a while that what Frank has started really goes far beyond Ligonier.

  70. A Quiet Observer says:

    Watchman,

    It is interesting to note the vitriol emanating from the visceral responses to Frank Vance merely posting on your website. Are these individuals (Brian, Watching the Watchers) Christians? I respectfully recommend these two (at a minimum) take a cue from Mr. Steinhausen, who is obviously capable of gentlemanly decorum (GENTLE being the operative word).

    Is it not tragic enough there are many Reformed leaders who are so fearful of exposure they are devoting their time to preempt critics instead of feeding their sheep? Have they no shame? How will they answer their Over Shepherd when He demands an accounting for their inexcusable behavior? What a misfortune for the leaderless sheep, particularly those who “follow” men advocating a Christian has any standing to sue another human being, whether the defendant be a sinner or an adherent to the Apostles Creed. It appears we can stop worrying about government and secular persecution, for it seems tyranny is already reigning within the pews.

    AQO

  71. Character Matters Now says:

    Frank and your 3 Man posse (not counting any pseudonymns),

    There is a plausible explanation for why you are not receiving defenses of Ligonier, through all your strenuous and strabismic protests.

    It could be that Ligonier’s innocence (given how disparate your allegations are) and Ligonier’s testimony (40 years strong) are so vividly clear that no one feels the need to comment any further.

    Ligonier advocates’ silence is more powerful and resolute than your desperate machinations.

    Can you not apprehend that in the atmosphere here ?

    Those who feel otherwise are left to ask themselves, why can’t I perceive what is self-evident to thousands and thousands (arguably millions) of other objective believers ?

    Pride and sin dilute even the most noble intentions. Whatever shred of good intention that drove Frank to start his crusade against the Sproul family (and I can’t think of a noble reason, based on his conduct) is now long gone.

    This site is a cauldron of deceit, arrogance and Pharisaical foppery. The only ones who disagree are it proprietors.

    CMN

  72. John Steinhausen says:

    “The only ones who disagree are it proprietors.”

    Sounds just like another one of those Ligonier “senior management” types. If not them it’s obviously one of their shills.

    Frank those Ligonier guys are just obsessed with your blog! They just can’t stay away. They rant and rave and claim that nobody’s interested, nobody agrees with you, that you’re all washed up, but they keep coming back over and over again.

    It’s really sad to see them so obsessed. I’m almost starting to feel sorry for them.

  73. Steinhuffin says:

    John,

    I think you would be inclined to check in, every now and again, on a website which was committed to accusing you of all the obscenities you guys accuse Ligonier of everyday.

    Which is it :

    Are you guys the simple, misunderstood do-gooders of the blogosphere who only want a little privacy while you work out your pet accusations or are you the new powerful force of reason battling an evil, reformed empire ?

    Pick a pathology and stick with it please.

    Steinhuffin

  74. Mike Johnson says:

    This site is a cauldron of deceit, arrogance and Pharisaical foppery. The only ones who disagree are it proprietors.

    Very well said. Frank, you’re a hasbeen. Get a life. You can’t show proof because you don’t have any . Empty claims can only get you so far.

  75. Arguably One in a Million says:

    Hmmmmm…let me see if I have this straight “Character Matters Now.” Thousands (arguably millions) are too theologically ignorant, stupid, uninformed, lazy, dishonest, and otherwise ethically challenged to see the lack of character demonstrated by the following:

    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to confront his own son concerning the sin undergirding his defrocking;
    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to confront his own grandson’s repugnant behavior;
    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to refrain from sharing the same podium with his defrocked son;
    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to recommend his son not participate in a conference on HONOR;
    -RC Sproul’s (junior) inability to repent of the sin undergirding his defrocking;
    -RC Sproul’s (junior) inability to acknowledge the authority of those whom legitimately defrocked him;
    -Tim Dick’s egregious behavior surrounding the lawsuit filed at donor’s expense against Frank Vance, a lawsuit filed over such insignificant allegations as being called a “nincompoop” in the blogosphere;
    -John Duncan’s alleged authoring of all three letters (Don Kistler’s, Tim Dick’s, and “Senior Management”) that somehow never made it to any publicly accessible portion of the Ligonier website, but were found on certain sites belonging to Ligonier “shills”;
    -The repeated lies by Ligonier employees as to the status of the lawsuit;
    -The immorality of blaming a corporate attorney for the actions of management;

    And the list goes on and on and on and on but, guess what, “thousands (arguably millions)” are NOT as stupid as you think they are Character Matters Now. Yes, character DOES MATTER now, but Ligonier is so compromised and morally bankrupt no one can find any character worth noting and, therefore, your comment does NOT MATTER.

  76. jimmy olsen says:

    CMN, “Ligonier’s testimony (40 years strong)” is an interesting statement. It brings to mind other religious organizations who had lovely public testimonies until what was unearthed that was hidden through deceit and bullying of those most close to the organization.

    If I were you I wouldn’t dare make that kind of statement about Ligonier. Just the facts that have come out about Ligonier and its management in the last 12 months are enough to call that “testimony” into serious question. This sort of behavior doesn’t usually erupt spontaneously, it is more likely recent evidence of a person or person’s poor character and lack of Christian maturity.

    Oh yes, indeed character matters. And bad character is exactly what has been exposed ever since RC Jrs’ defrocking. By their fruit you shall know them.

  77. Your Pitiful Case says:

    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to confront his own son concerning the sin undergirding his defrocking;

    You have no knowledge of what Sr has said to Jr

    You simply cannot assert your opinion on the matter as authoritative and binding, particularly as a lone, unnamed accuser

    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to confront his own grandson’s repugnant behavior;

    You have no knowledge of what has been said or done on this matter

    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to refrain from sharing the same podium with his defrocked son;

    Your basic premises are erroneous, so are your other conclusions

    Ligonier conferences are not worship services but free gatherings of Christians

    -RC Sproul’s (senior) inability to recommend his son not participate in a conference on HONOR;

    Again you assert your opinion as a moral decree for others, it is not

    -RC Sproul’s (junior) inability to repent of the sin undergirding his defrocking;

    Why don’t you contact him personally, oh wait, that’s not what you do, because you’re not intersted in Scriptural methods of interacting with Christians

    -RC Sproul’s (junior) inability to acknowledge the authority of those whom legitimately defrocked him;

    Why don’t you ask him ? You would have to use a real name though.

    -Tim Dick’s egregious behavior surrounding the lawsuit filed at donor’s expense against Frank Vance, a lawsuit filed over such insignificant allegations as being called a “nincompoop” in the blogosphere;

    You know that is a lie. You have threatened numerous leaders, you are guilty of slander and malice and posting personal information with intent to harm.

    -John Duncan’s alleged authoring of all three letters (Don Kistler’s, Tim Dick’s, and “Senior Management”) that somehow never made it to any publicly accessible portion of the Ligonier website, but were found on certain sites belonging to Ligonier “shills”;

    Meaningless conjecture

    -The repeated lies by Ligonier employees as to the status of the lawsuit;

    twisted interpratation of the timeline to suit your scandal

    -The immorality of blaming a corporate attorney for the actions of management;

    Meaningless conjecture, irrelevant

  78. […] And then (here comes that name again) there’s RC Sproul, Sr. His problem starts off similar to the first one I mentioned, where his profitable (for him) non-profit “ministry” (which should remind you of Ezzo right off the bat) is so nepotistic it’s not even funny. His son-in-law Tim Dick seems to have some serious problems starting with defrauding Dr. Kistler. From there, he and Ligonier have filed (and denied filing) a lawsuit against Frank Vance, the blogger who exposed them. His son (RC’s grandson) Ryan Dick has made a mockery of himself, his family, Ligonier, and Christian ministry with his ill-advised bragging over on My Space (which has been removed, but not before plenty of people saw and copied it). And what is RC’s/Tim’s/Ligonier’s response to criticism? File a lawsuit against a blogger, threaten him and use scare tactics to try to shut him up. Because of pride and money. […]

  79. […] And then (here comes that name again) there’s RC Sproul, Sr. His problem starts off similar to the first one I mentioned, where his profitable (for him) non-profit “ministry” (which should remind you of Ezzo right off the bat) is so nepotistic it’s not even funny. His son-in-law Tim Dick seems to have some serious problems starting with defrauding Dr. Kistler. From there, he and Ligonier have filed (and denied filing) a lawsuit against Frank Vance, the blogger who exposed them. His son (RC’s grandson) Ryan Dick has made a mockery of himself, his family, Ligonier, and Christian ministry with his ill-advised bragging over on My Space (which has been removed, but not before plenty of people saw and copied it). And what is RC’s/Tim’s/Ligonier’s response to criticism? File a lawsuit against a blogger, threaten him and use scare tactics to try to shut him up. Because of pride and money. […]

  80. formlessandvoid says:

    CMN – you being a defender of Ligonier, I assume you have some understanding of Scripture. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 40 years of testimony can be squandered in a day if it is not jealously guarded. Also, I assume you understand that money can easily corrupt a ministry. And, I am sad to say, given the way the leadership in Ligonier is behaving, it will probably take donors’ withholding their contributions to bring them to accountability, humility, and repentance. But that’d be too late, would it not? And if it comes to that, how do we know if their repentance will be genuine, and not just for the money?

    You should have given your advice to be silent to Mr. Dick. He would have “fared much better” (I speak in worldly words, since Ligonier’s behavior is worldly) to have kept quiet in the face of Mr. Vance’s accusations. But as it was, he displayed his folly to the world by making noise, big one at that, in the form of a lawsuit. If he were as wise as you, silence would be sufficient to prove his innocense.

  81. APinkFan says:

    Well said, Formless… It reminds me of the old saying …”it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
    Tim Dick should have memorized that pearl of wisdom rather than open his yap and let everyone know what kind of a ‘FOOL’ he really is.

  82. Frank Vance says:

    “The corruptions at Ligonier are only made possible by this kind of unjust lethargy and willful ignorance from many of the Christians surrounding them.”
    Does Anyone Have A Good Defense for Ligonier? Part 2

  83. Joe Reformed says:

    Truth Seeker,
    Your statements are not completely accurate. Yes, if you wish to purchase any Puritan book through his website, then you will have to purchase it through Ligonier. However, if you wish to purchase a tape/CD series of his personal preaching ministry, then you will be purchasing them straight from him. Ligonier does not own the rights to those series nor house them for him.

  84. Watchman says:

    Frank, I don’t envy what you’ve had to go through with carpers like Brian Thornton. It’s obvious he’s become preoccupied with your exposure of Ligonier’s hypocrisies. Brian even recognizes what a bunch of hypocrites Ligonier is. How do I know that? From reading his comments on Challies and even one of his own recent articles. It’s actually a pretty good article, except for the fact that it’s obvious that Brian is talking about the Ligonier lawsuit but he never mentions Ligonier by name. Brian is obviously troubled by Ligonier’s unbiblical behavior, but he’s not man enough to name Ligonier.

    Lawsuits and the Believer

    It seems that we sometimes have ‘tunnel vision’ with respect to what we can and cannot do as a believer based upon what Scripture says (or does not say) in one particular part of the Bible. I think – this is my opinion – that some take 1 Cor. 6 a little too narrowly when trying to justify the filing of a law suit by a believer.

    We are quick to say, “a believer should NOT sue another believer…but it is okay to sue an unbeliever because 1 Cor. 6 is in the context of believer vs. believer.” Or, some will say, “it is okay for a Christian ministry to sue an individual because 1 Cor. 6 is referring to individuals suing individuals, and does not prohibit an entity from suing an individual.”

    I think we sometimes rationalize our actions by interpreting certain texts a little too narrowly, as in the case of 1 Cor. 6.

    Paul asks in 1 Cor. 6:7, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” Should we really apply those questions ONLY in the context of believers, while having the mentality that if our suit is against an unbeliever then it is okay?

    What about when Jesus says in Matt. 5:40-41, “And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”?

    Are we to interpret this so narrowly that it allows for us to initiate a legal action, but just that we are not to counter sue someone who has initiated action against us?

    I think John Gill says it best regarding law suits and taking action against others: “It is more advisable to a believer to suffer wrong than to go to law with any man, and especially with a brother.”

    I think Gill captures the essence of what our moral duty is to be as a Christian when it comes to taking legal action against someone else, whether they be a brother in Christ or not.

    Brian keeps carping about the one and only issue that he thinks he can make hay over, the SDG fraud allegations, while he just completely ignores all the other significant issues that there’s overwhelming evidence to support.

    But even if it could be shown Frank that you were 100% wrong about the numerous other allegations you’ve made against Tim Dick (and it’s obvious that will never happen), Ligonier would still have no biblical justification to sue you. Even Brian Thornton recognizes that the Bible clearly condemns their actions. Brian’s just not man enough to come right out and say it.

    Rather than holding Ligonier as Bible teachers accountable to a higher biblical standard (James 3:1) Brian gives them the soft and easy treatment. But with you it looks as though he’s going to continue carping until he’s had an aneurism.


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