Saturday, December 17, 2016

RC Sproul Jr Charged With Drunk Driving

As we reported earlier, RC Sproul Jr resigned (was fired) from Ligonier Ministries. Now we know the reason why.   

RC Sproul Jr drunk driving arrest

State of Indiana v. Robert C Sproul

Allen County Superior Court 6
Case #: 02D04-1612-F6-001308

On November 29, 2016, RC Sproul Jr was arrested in Indiana for drunk driving with two of his minor children in the car. His blood-alcohol level was .175, over twice the legal limit.

Here's how the University of Oklahoma describes RC Sproul Jr's drunken state:
0.13 — 0.15 BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria* is beginning to appear. Judgment and perception are severely impaired.
( * —Dysphoria: An emotional state of anxiety, depression, or unease.)
0.16 — 0.19 BAC: Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a "sloppy drunk."
In The Know Zone describes it this way:
6. BAC = .12-.15 = Vomiting usually occurs, unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance to alcohol. Drinkers are drowsy. Drinkers display emotional instability, loss of critical judgment, impairment of perception, memory, and comprehension. Lack of sensor-motor coordination and impaired balance are typical. Decreased sensory responses and increased reaction times develop. The vision is significantly impaired, including limited ability to see detail, peripheral vision, and slower glare recovery.

7. BAC = .15 = This blood-alcohol level means the equivalent of 1/2 pint of whiskey is circulating in the blood stream. 
8. BAC = .18-.25 = Drinkers are disoriented, confused, dizzy, and have exaggerated emotional states. Vision is disturbed, as is perception of color, form, motion, and dimensions.  
Those who have personally witnessed RC Sproul Jr consuming prodigious quantities of alcohol know that tossing back a 1/2 pint or more of whiskey, on an empty stomach, in less than an hour, isn't unusual for him.

This blog has been sounding the alarm for over ten years that RC Sproul Jr has a serious drinking problem. For the most part those warnings have gone ignored. RC Jr has outright mocked those concerns, including those raised by visitors who voiced objections to RC Jr's controversial approach to Pastor Appreciation Sunday. RC Sproul Jr has literally destroyed the lives of several people that we're aware of, and no doubt more we're not aware of, by his deplorable example in abusing alcohol and encouraging others to abuse it too. He either refuses to see it or is incapable of seeing it. As far as he's concerned he always "drinks in moderation." But given that he has often rendered an opinion on "moderation" while he's drunk he hardly qualifies as an expert on that subject. Some have voiced concern that RC Sproul Jr is likely an alcoholic in desperate need of rehab.

We've long been aware that RC Sproul Jr routinely gets behind the wheel inebriated, endangering himself and the lives of others, including his own family members. It's remarkable he hasn't long ago killed himself and perhaps a few others.

Many members of St. Peter Presbyterian Church, the church that he started in Virginia, and then subsequently resigned from after his defrocking in 2006, often witnessed RC Sproul Jr inebriated, including at various church celebrations (i.e. keggers). It was commonplace at those church parties that minor children were served alcoholic beverages, including drinks spiked with Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol). RC Sproul Jr fostered a culture of heavy drinking at St. Peter Presbyterian Church, not just with church members but also with the pastors he invited to his "Pastor Camps" (open bars were the norm). He was also known to turn a blind eye to drunk driving. For example a young man who was one of RC Jr's personal assistants had lost his driver's license because of multiple DUIs. RC Sproul Jr was well aware of it but raised no objections to his continued driving. After all the assistant still needed to run numerous errands for RC, and a little thing like a suspended driver's license wasn't going to get in the way of that.

Drunkenness was one of a number of formal charges that were brought against RC Sproul Jr in late 2005 to his denomination, the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly. As word of these charges spread a number of other former members of St. Peter Presbyterian Church also stepped forward and corroborated the allegations, including the fact that some of their own children had been plied with alcohol without their consent. These and many other charges were to have been adjudicated by the presbytery in a formal trial. RC Sproul Jr formally confessed in writing of "abusing his authority in an inexcusable manner" (i.e. spiritual abuse), thereby effectively pleading guilty to at least some of the charges. 

"Coming as his own accuser and confessor" the presbytery voted unanimously to depose him from the ministry. Having already made plans with Doug Wilson to make his exit strategy to the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, RC Sproul Jr pleaded to be released from the jurisdiction of the RPCGA and transferred to the CREC, which they granted. Having no further jurisdiction of him the RPCGA cancelled the trial and permitted RC Jr to transfer membership to the CREC. The CREC allegedly reviewed the charges and held an investigation (an "investigation" in which they didn't interview a single witness who had submitted formal written charges). The CREC ignored the evidence and testimony, including the charges of drinking abuses and drunkenness, and reinstated RC Sproul Jr after issuing a report. Having had his dirty laundry cleaned by the CREC, RC Sproul Jr subsequently departed the CREC to be ordained by the Covenant Presbyterian Church Presbytery. Then he later took his place at his father's ministry, Ligonier Ministries, where his annual compensation quickly rose by 2014 to $279,702, all at the expense of Ligonier Ministry donors. It seemed his troubles were behind him. But it didn't last.

On August 31, 2015 RC Sproul Jr outed himself for having "visited" Ashley Madison. In reality his "brief visit" involved him setting up an Ashley Madison account, including registering his "Affair Limits." All but his most adoring fans (of which he seems to have had many) saw through his "confession" and "repentance" and recognized it for the sham it was. His suspension from Ligonier Ministries was also a sham -- a six-figure ten-month paid vacation -- a golden parachute suspension. 

Even so RC Sproul Jr still retained many adoring fans who were eager to "forgive" and ignore the overwhelming evidence that he was unfit to function as a minister of gospel of Jesus Christ. But then many of them were the same ones who ignored the overwhelming evidence that he was in no way fit as a minister when he was defrocked by his presbytery in 2006. Just how bad does the evidence have to get for some people before they cease their hero worship? Perhaps RC Sproul Jr's arrest for drunk driving and endangering the life of a minor child will finally be the end of it?

The State of Indiana has charged RC Sproul Jr with four criminal counts:

Count 1:
35-46-1-4(a)(1)/F6: Neglect of a Dependent def. places dependent in situation that endangers the dep

Count 2:
9-30-5-3(a)(2)/F6: Operating Veh. While Intox or Controlled Substance: Passenger Under 18
Count 3: 
9-30-5-2(b)/MA: Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated; Endangering A Person

Count 4:
9-30-5-1(b)/MA: Oper Veh w/ Alcohol Concentration Equivalent to .15 or More

From the records it appears that RC Sproul Jr may have remained in jail for up to a week after his arrest awaiting a bail hearing (although this isn't entirely clear from the court record). On December 7 RC Sproul Jr posted a $5,000 bond. His next court hearing is February 2, 2017. 

We can only hope that he loses his driver's license and is required by the court to enter rehab. Anything less continues to put the public in jeopardy.  

It was obvious to us that the RPCGA had it right when they said in the their Declaratory Judgment of RC Sproul Jr and his cohorts in ecclesiastical tyranny in 2006:
"Most importantly, their actions manifest that they lack the qualification for the ministry (1Timothy 3:1-7). It would be unwise to allow these men to continue to hold an office for which they are not qualified."
Doug Wilson and the CREC ignored that very wise determination, as did the CPC, as did Ligonier Ministries, as did many other ministry leaders who paid RC Sproul Jr to speak at their events. Their collective whitewashing of the scandal-ridden career of RC Sproul Jr served as an example to the church at large. As a direct result too many gullible Christians have been willing to "give him the benefit of the doubt," as though there were some credible basis for doubt.

There are important lessons to be learned here, not the least of which is this: the church of Jesus Christ needs to repent of its idolatrous practice of placing mortal men on pedestals. There is only One who is worthy of our adoration.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ligonier Ministries Fires RC Sproul Jr?

On December 12, 2016 Ligonier Ministries announced that RC Sproul Jr tendered his resignation:

December 12, 2016

Last Friday, the board of directors of Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College received and affirmed the resignation of Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. He is stepping away from his duties at the ministry and the college for personal reasons. This was communicated by phone to his father, Dr. R.C. Sproul, the founder of Ligonier Ministries and chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and it was later communicated in writing to the entire board of directors of Ligonier Ministries.

We support the Sproul family and give thanks for the many edifying contributions of Dr. Sproul Jr. over the years through his work at the ministry and the college. We believe he will be well cared for by his church during this time of transition, and we pray for him in his future endeavors. 
The board of directors for Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College "affirmed the resignation." By definition to "affirm" means "to declare one's support for." In other words Ligonier's board wanted RC Sproul Jr gone. But did RC Sproul Jr himself want to be gone? This seems improbable, and for reasons which will be explained here. As such his so-called "resignation" is equally improbable. In all likelihood RC Sproul Jr was fired; but to make it all look nicey-nicey he was given the opportunity of resigning. However, a forced resignation is, in reality, a firing. As Brent Detwiler put it:
If fact, I highly doubt the resignation was voluntary.  I provided 60 pages of carefully documented findings on R.C. Jr.’s lying, deceit, and hypocrisy to the board of directors and other ministry leaders in April.  I think they “fired” him though it will never be explained in those terms.  
High-placed business  execs, as well as political staffers, have often been told, "We need to terminate our relationship. We're asking you to resign." Implicit in the message is, "We're giving you the opportunity to save face by resigning. If you don't resign we'll have no choice but to fire you. That will look bad for you, but it will also look bad for us because we were the ones who were stupid enough to hire you in the first place. Now just look at the mess you created. So please tender your letter of resignation pronto. And feel free to say you're leaving for whatever reasons you like. If you can't come up with something good then just say, 'I'm resigning for personal reasons'."

In some cases the exec or bureaucrat isn't even given the choice of resigning. It's commonplace, especially with high political offices, that when someone is appointed to direct a government agency, that they're required to sign an undated letter of resignation. You can bet that Donald Trump will make liberal use of undated letters of resignation with many that he appoints. Should the need arise all he has to do to get rid of them is affix the current date on their letter of resignation, and then call them to let them know they've "affirmed" their resignation. No messy firing necessary and no need to even ask them to resign. In all likelihood he'll appear along side them at a press conference and thank them, and with generous accolades for their years of service. It will even appear genuine because he'll say far more than merely, "We support the ________ family and give thanks for the many edifying contributions of __________ over the years through his work at ________,"

The remarkable brevity of Ligonier's "thanks" is a strong statement of just how bad things must have become between they and RC Sproul Jr. They might as well have said, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

It's actually not at all unreasonable for us to take some cues from the world of politics, for based on its track record Ligonier Ministries is very political organization. Take for example, "He is stepping away from his duties at the ministry and the college for personal reasons." How many times have we heard the same exact statement when the head of some political agency has been forced to resign over some scandal? Rather than acknowledging the obvious reason that they were fired they are allowed to resign for vague and unspecified "personal reasons." This is, of course, nothing but a smoke screen, and none but the most naive will buy it.

As we reported previously, between Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College, RC Sproul Jr was paid some $279,702 in 2014. Our sources report that he received in the neighborhood of $350,000 in 2015, and that even with his suspension (with pay) over RC Sproul Jr's Ashley Madison scandal

RC Sproul Jr is not independently wealthy. He can't afford to voluntarily resign and walk away from a six-figure income (and a very high six-figures, at that), especially where he has no prospects of finding a job with a salary that comes even close to what he's accustomed to. He remarried only last month and, from all accounts, his new bride isn't independently wealthy either, nor do dieticians typically earn six-figures.

RC Jr's job prospects are dismal. Where else can a defrocked pastor and theologian make six-figures when even his own father's ministry won't have him anymore?

RC Sproul Jr has been pulling down six-figures for well over a decade, even well before he was defrocked from the ministry by his presbytery in 2006. That defrocking resulted in his ultimately having to leave the church he'd started in Virginia, St. Peter Presbyterian Church, and move back to Florida (a place that he had many times said he hated and would never go back to), to take a position at Ligonier. The reality is there was no other place that would hire him, let alone pay him in the manner to which he had grown so materialistically accustomed. Only at Ligonier could he expect to take home six-figures for so little work. Nepotism is a beautiful thing!

Other than being a theologian and an author, RC Sproul Jr has no marketable job skills; and let's be candid here -- those aren't particularly marketable skills (not for six figures anyway), and especially not for anyone who's resumé includes "Defrocked from the ministry in 2006."

There is no other ministry who could or would justify paying RC Jr anywhere near what his daddy paid him. Moreover, with all the scandals he's caused there probably isn't a ministry in the world who would hire RC Sproul Jr for any amount of money. So it's improbable, if not inconceivable, that he voluntarily resigned Ligonier to take a position elsewhere, or for any other credible reasons. And "personal reasons" is about as bogus as it gets.

RC Sproul Sr's health has significantly diminished over the past several years and today is, at best, precarious. Because of his health problems he's withdrawn from virtually all his former duties at Ligonier. It could be that Ligonier's board of directors saw the handwriting on the wall and didn't like the prospects for Ligonier's uncertain future. Ligonier's board couldn't leave things to chance that, when RC Sr leaves this world that his scandal-ridden son might make a power play. Perhaps Ligonier's board was just prudent enough to preempt that possibility altogether.

Did Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College fire RC Sproul Jr? Given RC Sproul Jr's scandal-laden track record it's a question that many people are reasonably asking. Unfortunately neither Ligonier nor RC Jr are being at all forthcoming, and given their respective track records it's unlikely they'll divulge anymore than they already have.

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