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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