Thursday, August 17, 2017

R.C. Sproul Jr. and King David

"King David did far worse. We are sinner's like everyone else, the difference is we're forgiven in Christ. The man has repented and been forgiven. There is not one of us who would like our thoughts put up on a big screen for all the world to see. I'm just glad I'm judged by God and not man."

A YouTube comment posted in defense of RC Sproul Jr.

RC Sproul Jr and King David

For almost two decades RC Sproul Jr has found himself at the center of one controversy after another (not to mention a few scandals, as well). RC Jr has never shied away from controversy. In fact he gravitates toward it and seems to enjoy creating it. He's welcomed the free publicity that controversy garners him. Because of the controversial positions he's taken, RC Jr has found himself regularly featured as the topic of discussion on many blogs and social media.

Refusing to back down in the face of controversy has been one of the things that has earned him so many fans, even though he's the one who has usually been responsible for fomenting those controversies in the first place. Whether it be anti-public school (homeschooling-only), anti civil government, male control and stay at home moms and daughters ("patriarchy"), anti-birth control ("full-quiver"), anti-Sunday School ("family integrated church"), flaunting his use of alcohol and tobacco ("Christian liberty"), etc., RC Sproul Jr has made a career of extremism and fringe causes.

RC Sproul Jr could have found ways of expressing his opinions diplomatically, reasoning with and exhorting his audience respectfully. Instead, he's often been self-righteous, sanctimonious, dogmatic, and demeaning of all contrary opinions. This then affords him the added bonus of being able to play the victim when he's attacked for the positions he's taken and the obnoxious ways he goes about expressing them. His willingness to speak out forcefully in support of fringe positions has earned him the admiration of an element of the church who have felt disenchanted with, and disenfranchised from, mainstream Christianity.

Unfortunately, his fans have often shown a remarkable lack of discernment for knowing where mere controversy ends and scandal begins. They've seemingly grown so used to defending RC Jr over his controversies that they lack the ability to cease defending him when prudence dictates they should. They fail in asking themselves some obvious questions, such as: Is this topic/situation about a mere controversy or is it about sinful behavior? If it's about sinful behavior should I be defending RC Jr and thereby be deemed guilty of defending sin?

Several of RC Sproul Jr's sinful scandals have been so egregious that they became very public, being published in numerous Christian periodicals and blogs, and even in mainstream media sources. Examples include:
  1. His defrocking in 2006 for, among other things, "abuse of authority in an inexcusable manner" (i.e. ecclesiastical tyranny) against multiple families in his St. Peter Presbyterian Church, "a consistent pattern of duplicity"stealing the tax ID number of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC), and other serious charges that he plead guilty to in order to avoid being put on trial for numerous additional charges, such as drunkenness and plying minor children with hard alcohol. 
  2. His Ashley Madison scandal in 2015.
  3. His drunk driving scandal in 2016.

In the first two cases there were a number of his loyal fans that wrote blog articles in his defense, and hundreds more that posted supportive comments to those articles, as well as comments to what few negative articles there were (as well as to YouTube posts). Things, however, did begin to change a bit with RC Sproul Jr's drunk driving arrest and felony conviction, something which even his most ardent supporters found difficult to defend. With his felony DUI conviction there may not have been any supportive articles (all news and blog articles were less than flattering). However, there still were dozens of comments posted to those articles by RC Jr fans who attempted to minimize the seriousness of his egregious actions of driving drunk with two minor children in the car, and a blood alcohol level of over .175 -- more than twice the legal limit of .08 -- enough that normal people (anyone lacking the high tolerance from decades of alcohol abuse) would have passed out long before.

RC Sproul Jr is hardly the first preacher to find himself at the center of a scandal or two. In fact almost everyone can name some names of scandal-embroiled preachers. In most cases when a preacher is outed for egregious misconduct he quietly withdraws to private life, usually for good; and this is as it should be. However, there are exceptions, and those exceptions almost always heap scandal upon scandal -- the original scandal itself, and then the added scandal of that preacher refusing to leave, thinking himself qualified to return to ministry, when all the evidence shows he just needs to permanently depart. Such has been the case with RC Sproul Jr.

Yes, RC Sproul Jr. was suspended from his positions at Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College over his Ashley Madison account. But that turned out to be a golden parachute suspension -- a paid vacation. The Ligonier Ministries board of directors, controlled by his mom and dad, suspended him with pay to the tune of a six-figure salary, all at the expense of Ligonier Ministry donors. Then after ten months right back into his former positions he went, all aided and abetted by his family connections at Ligonier Ministries.

With three major scandals under his belt so far there's still no indication that RC Sproul Jr intends to leave ministry for good, nor that his family connections won't result in some new position at Ligonier Ministries once the shock over his latest scandal subsides. Certainly he's made no announcement, either publicly or even privately, that he intends to leave the ministry for good. In all likelihood RC Sproul Jr has already planned his comeback. That concerns us greatly, but that concern would be somewhat abated if there were an indication that he didn't still have an enabling fan base. Unfortunately, even with his drunk driving conviction there is talk of "restoring him."

RC Sproul Jr has not repented of any of his egregious and very public sins and transgressions, so restoring him to a position of leadership is getting the cart before the horse. It shouldn't even be a consideration to anyone, but for some it is. Even in the event that someday he does make public confession of his public sins, and even if he does make restitution to the many that he's harmed, injured and abused over the years (for that too is biblically required, and even Alcoholics Anonymous requires it), would that alone qualify him to return to ministry? It would not. However, his manifest disqualifications aren't about to dissuade him or his enabling family members.

RC Sproul Jr and Jimmy Swaggart
With the self-deluded doggedness of a Jimmy Swaggart,  RC Sproul Jr has conned himself into believing that, regardless of any misconduct, he will always be qualified to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

RC Sproul Jr. is manifestly disqualified from Christian ministry, and that fact has been well established, and very publicly so, particularly since 2006 when he and his cohorts in ecclesiastical tyranny were defrocked by their Presbyterian denomination:
"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."
That, however, did not stop his family, pastor buddies, and devoted fans from rushing in to lend him cover. In addition to his father RC Sproul Sr who called the charges "fraudulent" (charges which RC Jr had already pled guilty to) most noteworthy of his enablers were Doug Wilson and Doug Phillips, both of which have since been thoroughly and irreparably disgraced by sex scandals; in Doug Wilson's case by defending and actively supporting two pedophiles in his church, and in Doug Phillips' case by being exposed and sued by his children's nanny as a sexual predator, lecher and pervert.

Were it not for the encouragement of his devoted fans, and the enabling of his family and pastor pals, RC Sproul Jr probably would have been forced to leave the ministry a decade ago. Unfortunately there are just too many naive Christians who have been eager to sweep RC Sproul Jr's sins and transgressions under the carpet. As Christians are prone to do they usually dress up their excuses in biblical-sounding rhetoric in support of their undying devotion to their favorite religious celebrity. One of their most oft-used biblical examples is that of King David. Here's an example comment posted in defense of RC Sproul Jr, and there are dozens more just like this one:

"King David did far worse. We are sinner's like everyone else, the difference is we're forgiven in Christ. The man has repented and been forgiven. There is not one of us who would like our thoughts put up on a big screen for all the world to see. I'm just glad I'm judged by God and not man."

Anyone who makes such excuses for RC Sproul Jr only demonstrates their ignorance for scripture. Unfortunately such ignorance is widespread. Are we "forgiven in Christ"? Only when we genuinely and humbly confess and repent, something which RC Sproul Jr himself has taught, but something which he has not done for any of his scandals. As we've been exposing here for over a decade, RC Sproul Jr has been abusing alcohol, encouraging others to abuse alcohol (under the guise of "drinking in moderation"), and driving drunk for many years. Is RC Sproul Jr sober today? Has he sworn off the booze as an alcoholic should do? Perhaps. Is he sorry he got caught? Undoubtedly. But does that equate to repentance? Given his long history for proudly abusing alcohol and mocking anyone who expresses concern about it, at best it only equates to regretting being reckless enough to have been caught. Given RC Jr's track record of sham confessions and faux repentance it seems improbable that he's genuinely repented.

Some have asserted RC Sproul Jr has repented. But if so where is the evidence for it? We believe the evidence proves exactly the opposite. One cannot tell lie after lie in their confession, as RC Sproul Jr has routinely done, and then legitimately claim they've repented. An example of this is how he allegedly confessed and repented to his Presbytery in 2006, but then as soon as he was released from their jurisdiction he commenced to slandering them and contradicting the very confessions he'd formerly made. His confession and repentance was proven to be a complete sham in order to escape being put on trial. It was a confession of convenience, not a sincere heart.

A more recent and perhaps even more brazen example of this is RC Sproul Jr's Ashley Madison scandal, a case in which he outed himself, only as a direct result of Ashley Madison being hacked, in order to avoid a much worse scandal had he risked waiting on others to out him later on. He "confessed" on his blog (which he has since taken down) in a highly manipulative way to garner sympathy and even admiration, all the while telling one lie on top of another. As we proved the evidence of his brazen lying about his Ashley Madison account is overwhelming. That's not biblical confession but the ploy of a crafty and sleazy politician. RC Sproul Jr's duplicitous actions leave no basis for interjecting King David into the discussion.

If we elect to make honest comparisons, King David is the example of a man reduced by his sins to a "a broken and a contrite heart." In contrast RC Jr has twisted and perverted confession and repentance for personal advancement and material gain. It was in the context of Nathan confronting David for his sins of adultery and murder that David penned, "a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Ps 51:17) Great sin calls for great contrition, and contrition is something that RC Sproul Jr has never demonstrated, only excuses, lies, duplicity, and equivocations.

And as for "not one of us who would like our thoughts put up on a big screen for all the world to see," how does that apply to King David? Oh, right, his sins were exposed to the entire nation of Israel (2 Sam 2:12) and then memorialized in the Word of God for the whole world to read about. God Himself clearly deems it just and appropriate to put the sins of prominent leaders "on a big screen for all the world to see."

Even with David's repentance, and God's forgiveness of his awful sins, God still imposed consequences on David for those sins. God decreed that the child that David had conceived with Bathsheba would die (2 Samuel 12:14). But even much worse than that would befall him:
Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun." (2 Samuel 12:11-12)
Yes, God forgives the genuinely repentant sinner; but that doesn't mean that forgiveness absolves the transgressor of the consequences of his sins. The expectation that RC Sproul Jr permanently remove himself from any and all forms of Christian ministry is a reasonable and biblical expectation, and certainly a very minor consequence in comparison to what King David suffered.

Why did the Lord impose such harsh consequences on David for his sins even though the Lord had forgiven those sins? Because, "by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme." RC Sproul Jr has repeatedly "given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme." Yet strangely enough there are those who wish to put RC Jr right back into ministry, thereby extending to him yet more opportunities to encourage the "enemies of the LORD to blaspheme."

RC Sproul Jr's defrocking in 2006 should have been enough to prove to his fans, his family, and especially to himself, that he was disqualified from Christian ministry. If wasn't. He made excuses and justified himself. His fans, and even his otherwise very intelligent father, followed his example of rebuffing the clear instructions of scripture. His Ashley Madison scandal in 2015 should have been enough to prove to his fans, and even to himself, that he was disqualified. It wasn't. Once again he made excuses for himself and his fans followed his example. Getting exposed as a drunkard in 2016 and convicted for felony DUI in 2017 should have been enough to prove it to himself. Driving drunk with kids in the car has finally pushed a large portion of his remaining fan base over the line; but it's still not enough for RC Sproul Jr. What line does RC Sproul Jr need to cross -- how severe a transgression must he yet commit -- before he recognizes that he's disqualified from being a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Christian leaders are held to a higher standard and God says they come under a more severe judgment -- by their scandals they give cause to the enemies of Christ to blaspheme His name:
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:)
For years too many of RC Jr's fans have shown little if any regard for how the scandals of RC Sproul Jr have given cause to unbelievers to blaspheme the name of the Lord. They've given far more regard to defending the reputation of a man than to defending the reputation of the one they call "Lord." Too many have labored to lower the bar -- the biblical standard of accountability, every single time RC Sproul Jr was exposed in some sinful scandal. They didn't learn to do that from the Word of God. No doubt they learned it from the example of the religious celebrity they admired and followed.

May the Lord God deliver us all of our hero-worship and turn our hearts to rely instead, not on men, but on the Holy Spirit to rightly divide the Word of God for us.

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At 9:12 AM, Anonymous John Kelso said...

You're totally right about RCJR giving cause to unbelievers to mock the Lord's holy name. He's become the brunt of jokes by unbelievers. RCJR needs to go away forever so he can be forgotten about.

I don't think anyone, Christian or non Christian, really expects Christian leaders to be perfect. But we do expect them to be good examples. The Bible also requires it. So how has RCJR measured up? He's a moral train wreck and he's always been a moral train wreck. He's an embarrassment to the church and to the Lord who supposedly saved him. If RCJR is an example of a man "saved by grace" would any non Christian ever look at RCJR and think, "I need to get saved too"? No way! The only thing non Christians think when they look at RCJR is they're already better off than the moral train wreck that is RCJR. They look at him and think "The last thing I need is his religion." He's brought so much shame to the name of Jesus. He needs to go away.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

@John Kelso, thanks for your comment. RC Sproul Jr's mendacity and hypocrisy serves well the cynics' disdain for Christianity. He's also caused the cynics much confusion by what he's often said. Some of the better informed cynics have no trouble discerning that some of RC Jr's theological positions contradict scripture (many atheists actually do know the Bible pretty well because they grew up in church, and some even went to seminary). But it's no different for many Christians who've been alarmed over the same exact RC Jr positions.

In the YouTube you linked to Mike Malloy, an obvious cynic of Christianity, seems puzzled over RC Jr's statement, "First, I felt the grace of fear. Second, I felt the grace of shame." Something about RC Jr's views on grace just don't add up for this atheist. But then a lot of Christians are equally puzzled by RC Jr's views on grace. Is grace infused by fear? Does God manifest His grace by shame? What sort of a God does RC Jr worship? The same God that created sin:

"I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that He created sin." RC Sproul Jr. Almighty Over All pp 53-54

This is just one of many aberrant theological positions that RC Jr has advanced. Once you start heading down the "God is the author of sin" slippery slope you're well on your way to ultimately viewing God as an evil-creating ogre rather than a compassionate redeeming Father. If God created sin then it would make perfect sense to RC Jr that fear = grace and shame = grace. But that's not what the Bible says leads us to experience His grace. We experience grace through repentance, and repentance comes by "godly sorrow":

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Cor 7:10)

So there are two kinds of sorrow: godly and worldly. From all appearances RC Sproul Jr has repeatedly experienced worldly sorrow, a sorrow born out of fear and shame that brings death. Just as God is the author of sin, He is also the author of fear and shame.

RC Jr hasn't experienced the godly sorrow that brings true repentance. We pray that someday RC Sproul Jr may come to know what real grace is and the path we must take to experience it.

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Sergio Hernandez said...

Your excellent article applies not just to R.C. Sproul, Jr. but a lot of other Christian celebs and their fans too. I'm so sick of hearing that King David excuse. It pops up every time a Christian leader falls into some nasty sin. Their fans often don't care about defending our Lord's holy name. They only care about making excuses for whatever religious leader they idolize. It makes me sick to hear their dumb excuses.

Here's another one, "Christians are the only army who shoot their wounded." I hate that one! First of all it's a lie when it's used about a Christian leader falling into gross sin. A Christian leader's sins have nothing to do with their being "wounded" as though they were the victim. Saying something that stupid is just an excuse to excuse them rather than hold them accountable to biblical standards of leadership. What's happened to the church's obligation to preach and live out personal holiness?

Some of the stupidest comments I read just after R.C. Jr.'s "resignation for personal reasons" were posted on Ligonier's Facebook. I've been a fan and supporter of Ligonier Ministries for a long time, but seeing all the willful ignorance by Ligonier fans has got me rethinking my support of Ligonier. Here all this time I'd assumed Ligonier was training and equipping Christians to be earnest in their studies, to be Bereans and think for themselves. But it looks like they've created some sort of mind control cult that's indoctrinating a bunch of nonthinking drones.

R.C. Jr. has been a huge liability to Ligonier. They should've got rid of him years ago. Better yet they never should've hired him in the first place. To see so many comments posted on their Facebook of people wanting Ligonier to take Junior back, even before they had any idea what his reasons for "resigning" were just makes me want to scream "How can you people be so stupid?"

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Amy said...

I agree that RC Jr has some terribly unbiblical views. Especially about mercy, grace, salvation, fear, shame, judgment, etc. He's jumbled it all together which is a pretty strong indicator that he's never been saved. As bad as his examples of "Christian liberty" have been to the "Young, restless and Reformed" generation (boozing, smoking, etc) his unorthodox doctrines have caused even more damage, as in eternal consequences damage. It's obvious from what he teaches that he's lost. He doesn't understand mercy and grace because he's never personally experienced them. He needs to have a biblical view of redemption before he presumes he's able to teach anyone else. Frankly I hope he never teaches anyone anywhere else again. The damage he's already caused is enough to last a life time.

I found a wonderful article that could have been written just for him. Oh, in fact it was! I hope he reads it.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

@Amy, good find. That's an excellent article and it addresses some of the same concerns we've long had about RC Jr's soteriology. In our view his soteriology is a mess. He identifies as "Reformed," but his doctrines deviate from the Westminster Confession of Faith in significant ways. In our view RC Sproul Jr is not Reformed and holds to positions far more akin to Federal Vision, particularly where it concerns soteriology. He hates it when people point that out, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

It's no surprise that RC Sproul Jr would deny being Federal Vision. Many other closet FVers have done the same, preferring to legitimize themselves with the "Reformed" label. though their doctrines are something the Westminster Divines would have anathematized. Even the Godfather of Federal Vision, Doug Wilson, recently claimed he no longer accepts the "Federal Vision" label. Now he claims he's just “a Westminster Puritan within an irenic river of historic Reformed orthodoxy.” And we say, "Bunk!" Doug Wilson is now, as he has always been, a very cunning and polished prevaricator.

Given all the baggage that Federal Vision has accumulated over the years no one should marvel that RC Jr claims to not be something that his doctrines so strikingly resemble. If Doug Wilson can pull it off, and his fans actually buy it, so can RC Jr.

One of the things that RC Sproul Jr has confronted many times in his church sermons, conference lectures, classes, Basement Tapes, etc., is the tendency of Evangelicals to assume their young children are unsaved until they're of age and capable of "making a decision for Jesus." On that much we might agree. Many Evangelicals do tend to assume their children aren't in Christ until they've walked the isle or filled out the decision card or thrown the pine cone in the fire, etc. But Sproul goes on to say that Christian parents should do just the opposite -- assume their children are already "in Christ," even from the time they're baptized as infants, and to only assume otherwise once they've reached late teens to young adulthood and have evidenced by the fruit of their life that they're unregenerate.

One might be tempted to go down the rabbit hole of RC Sproul Jr's Federal Vision-like "objectivity of the covenant" (baptismal regeneration?), etc. We'll hold off on that. However, we do agree with RC Jr that "walking the isle" or merely professing to be a Christian does not necessarily mean one is regenerate or "in Christ." The evidence of being in Christ isn't just one's profession of faith (though that is important) but also the fruit of one's life. In this sense "the walk" is more important than "the talk." The book of James has much to say on this.

Holding up "the walk" (not the talk) of RC Sproul Jr's life it quickly becomes untenable to claim that RC Jr is, or has ever been, regenerate and in Christ.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

@Amy, you mentioned the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement. While there are many honorable and even godly young people who identify as "YRR," and several reasonably credible and mature pastors they look to as role models, the YRR movement has also served as a magnet for carnal Christians. Some of the more visible and vocal of the YRRs are, in a sense, Christian hedonists. From all appearances flaunting their "Christian liberties" is their "mission." They expend far more time and energy “reviewing” craft beer and cigars than being missional with the gospel. Not that we have anything against beer and cigars, etc. It's not so-called Christian liberties that bother us. It's the childish flaunting of it that we find idiotic, and the selfish disregard for "weaker brothers" (1 Cor 8:11) that we find disturbing.

And this brings us back to RC Sproul Jr. Even though he hasn't yet (as far as we know) gotten any tattoos and body piercings, RC Jr is viewed by many YRRs as a role model, a unifying force, for their movement. Why have so many YRRs held up RC Sproul Jr as a catalyst and someone they wish to emulate? For one thing he can be just as edgie as Mark Driscoll but he’s got a famous bonafide theologian/scholar for his dad. But more importantly RC Jr, more than any Calvinist minister, has for many years flaunted his so-called Christian liberties. He doesn't just like good beer he brews his own (or at least he brews beer from box kits) which qualifies him for the "Super-Cool Preacher" award. RC Jr also delights in mocking "weaker brethren," which appeals to the “edgie” element of the YRR crowd (of which there appears to be no shortage). RC Sproul Jr appears edgie to the Christian hipster types, particularly when he promotes the liberal consumption of beer and cigars, pipes and whiskey, etc.

RC Sproul Jr should take no pride from knowing that, with all his sophomoric swilling, he's served to inspire the next generation of Calvinists -- the New Calvinists -- and draw in more tattooed body pierced youth to the YRR movement; but that is indeed his legacy. Given how utterly puerile Ligonier Tales is it’s inevitable that this would be his legacy.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I are former members of St. Petes' in Bristol. We are working class uneducated people. We attended R.C.Jr.'s church about 25 years ago before the defrocking, etc. We were fairly new in the faith at that time, but it did not take very long for us to realize something was amiss. We have no training in logic or rhetoric, and could never stand toe to toe with him in a debate or theological discussion. However, we were puzzled and confused by his immature attitude toward drinking and smoking. He reminded us of a rebellious young college student who had just left home and was so proud of his independence and wanted to prove to all his peers how big and grown-up he was.
I understand the debate among evangelicals about "smoking and drinking", but I personally don't think its relevant to discussions of grace and mercy. What turned us away more than his immaturity, was his haughty attitude towards those who disagreed with his views. We had the impression he was very proud of his sharp intellect, and disdained those who had not attained to his understanding of truth. Those of us who are truly saved by grace ought of all people to walk in humility. This I know.
I can see from all the incidences that have occured in the intervening years, that he really is just a rebellious, immature teenager inside. His late wife, Denise, was a lovely, gracious, humble, woman and he has a lovely family. I hope for their sakes that R.C. is able to grow into the full stature of manhood.

At 3:44 AM, Anonymous John Martin said...

Whatever we may think of Billy Graham's compromise with the Catholic church, at least he has had 7 decades of exemplary behaviour with regards to his conduct - no drunkeness, no flirting, no tax scandals. He is a lesson in how to live in the public eye.

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Willie said...

Life is a banquet of consequences. I think those who would say God imposed serve punishment on David for his egregious sins are making assumptions about the actions of God that are far beyoung their comprehension and perspective. Every Action in this life has consequences. Just because you are forgiven in Christ does not miraculously end the chain of consequences of those actions. To say God causes the suffering of those negative consequences directly as punishment for sin has a faulty view of grace and mercy.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Sara said...

I couldn't help but compare many of your points to Trump - a love for attention and controversy, cultic fanbase following of a leader, defending leader in the face of awful allegations and continue to follow no matter what horrible things the leader does or says. :P

But back to just Sproul Jr...I had high regard for the late Sproul Sr and I wonder how their relationship played out. It is very concerning to me that Sproul Sr gave him paid leave for all those months and then gave him his job back. I'm thinking his love for his son clouded his judgment.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

@Sara said: "I'm thinking his love for his son clouded his judgment." All the evidence would indicate as much. However, a perhaps even more significant Sproul family dynamic is that between mother and son. Vesta will likely continue playing the part of RC Jr's chief enabler for years to come. Given that she is an important member of Ligonier's board of directors she may insist that her dear "Precious" be brought back into the Ligonier fold, along with Ligonier's exorbitant compensation for family members. If that happens it will be sans fanfare and as quietly as possible, so as to not cause yet another Ligonier Ministries scandal. The reality is, however, that should they be foolish enough to do so word will ultimately get out and a scandal will be unavoidable.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

@Willie said, "To say God causes the suffering of those negative consequences directly as punishment for sin has a faulty view of grace and mercy."

Willie, please elaborate. Your comment so far is entirely too vague and leaves too much to guess. Are you saying the consequences King David suffered were entirely a coincidence? A yin and yang thing? The effect of some natural law forces of the Universe? Or perhaps a karma thing? Before responding you might want to review Hebrews 12:4-11.

Our position is that David is perhaps the single greatest biblical example of what happens when a loving Heavenly Father disciplines a son for his sins. Did God forgive David? Yes. But God also severely disciplined him as even a loving earthly father disciplines and imposes consequences on his wayward son too. That discipline is an evidence of that love.

However, as it applies to RC JR there are a couple of ways of viewing this. Some might say Hebrews 12 directly applies and others might argue it assumes too much. Some might argue RC Jr is being punished/disciplined by the Lord to correct him bring him to repentance because God is RC Jr's Heavenly Father and loves him. Others might argue (and not unreasonably so) that RC Jr isn't being disciplined by the Lord because he's not a son but is rather is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Therefore, what he's receiving isn't the discipline of a loving Heavenly Father but divine retribution for his having victimized so many of the Lord's precious sons and daughters.

Your opinion on this matter is welcome.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous H.A. said...

Sproul The Junior has been heavily enabled his entire life, especially by mom and dad, not to mention all the devoted fans. Now that dad has gone to heaven mom is wasting no time picking up the slack. Tragically for R.C. his new wife is at least as big an enabler as mom. Lisa married R.C. out of personal ambition. She craved the notion of being the wife of a celebrity preacher, along with all the personal attention that would bring her. Considering the horrible choices she's made in prior marriages hitching her cart to R.C. should have been a major upgrade. Unfortunately her 4th husband went out and got spifflicated just 10 days after their wedding. We know R.C. has a serious drinking problem, but still... One has to wonder what must have happened on the home front to prompt him to get blind drunk and go careening down the public highways with terrified kids in the back seat.

It's only been a few months post felony conviction and together they're daily posting trite religious quips on their joint Facebook and Twitter accounts. Too many of them are messages implying poor R.C. is the victim. It's very much the same old R.C. tune. Only now it's being encouraged by a devoted new enabler. Lisa's not about to let hubby #4 withdraw from religious celebrity status regardless of how irreparably devastated R.C.'s public image is. She's polishing him up bright as a new penny.

"What line does RC Sproul Jr need to cross -- how severe a transgression must he yet commit -- before he recognizes that he's disqualified from being a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ?" What a disturbing question, and it comes with some frightening implications. Wherever that line is he hasn't crossed it yet. He'll have to do something even much worse than he already has, and he probably will too. God help us! So far God has been very merciful by preventing R.C. from killing anyone. But if he insists on weaseling his way back into ministry he shouldn't expect that he'll be doing so with God's blessing or protection. Calamity seems inevitable.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

"Too many of them are messages implying poor R.C. is the victim." That's RC Jr's M.O., and he's very accomplished at it too. It's always amazed me how quickly he'll default to victim status when he's confronted for his sinful behavior. That's textbook sociopath behavior.

RC gave his endorsement to Mike Sarkissian's 2017 book Bullying in the Church: Addressing a Hidden Problem in Christianity. Tragically the author had the wool pulled over his eyes, not recognizing he's been duped into using an endorsement by a man who epitomizes the very behaviors his book speaks of. “It has been said the church is the only army that shoots its wounded. Too often, it’s also the one doing the wounding. Mike Sarkissian explores the reality of bullying in the church and points us back to the one solution to this and every problem, that we would repent and believe the gospel.” —R.C. Sproul Jr.

RC bullied and spiritually abused individuals and entire families in his church for a decade. St. Peter Presbyterian Church had become a revolving door of one family after another fleeing his bullying. Ultimately it cost him his ordination when he was defrocked in 2006 for, among other things, spiritual abuse. Rather than repenting for it he claims to have been unfairly targeted by the "malicious slanderers and gossips" who drew up hundreds of pages of formal detailed charges against him. Rather than being the bully RC magically transformed himself into the victim. RC is very gifted at spinning tales. Many believed his spin, and some even continue believing his spin to this day.

It's remarkable how gullible some Christians can be. In spite of the overwhelming evidence of all his spiritual abuse and bullying, some choose to believe that RC isn't the perpetrator, but the victim, of bullying.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too was a member some years ago. We may even know each other. It took many years for me to come to terms with the deep rooted systemic problems there. The main reason that I was blind to the issues is because of the similar sins in my own life. Eventually I feel afoul of that heavy handed authoritarian session. The pain of that situation was apparently the chastening I needed to provoke my repentance of pride, abuse of my own authority, and some amount of false doctrine. I completely agree with your sentiments in your last two paragraphs.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger JohnS said...

I am very disappointed in RC Sproul SENIOR! Pastor kids frequently rebel. But to not keep is own family and associates on a short leash, reveals love of mammon over God. It brings under question their salvation. Know and honor God’s Standard and repent when we fall short of God’s standard. But NEVER NEVER NEVER ignore, twist, or corrupt God’s standard.


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