Julie Roys ethics

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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
A Hippy and a Scholar.
Me and Dr. Frank Smith

Edit.... My grammar school teacher would be all over me for writing or saying, "Me and Dr. Frank Smith." LOL


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Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Who’s frank smith?
He is a pastor now in the RPCNA but formerly one of the leaders in the confessionalist movement of the PCA that fought against the advancing tide of liberalism in that denomination. He published an online newsletter for a few years http://www.presbyteriannews.org/ that contained information that one couldn't get from the official church organs. (I don't recall if the denomination's publication was The Messenger or byFaith in those days.)
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I'm not familiar enough with the particular journalist mentioned in the OP to comment on her work, and I probably would not want to comment on it even if I were. But as a guy who spent the first half of my professional life as a journalist, I've thought about the matter of exposing corrupt pastors and ministries. Four thoughts:

1. There would be little need for investigative journalism to step in if elder and church-court oversight were in place and working correctly. That's really where pastors and ministries should be held in check and have godly men constantly looking over their shoulders, encouraging them in their daily spiritual habits, etc. Sadly, it has become common in American Christianity not only for such oversight to be lax, but for it not to be in place at all.

2. This means that Christian investigative journalism is probably a necessary and helpful endeavor. It's good for us to have some serious, careful, compassionate Christian professionals to do this. It's better than having only secular journalists to do it. I covered the Jim Bakker scandal in the 1980s and was sad that it took the Charlotte Observer to expose some serious wrongs that Christians had clearly seen and should have stepped up to address.

3. However, much of what passes for "journalism" these days is careless, lazy, or so intent on a right-camp/wrong-camp agenda that it selectively presents the facts. Too many Christians have copied the larger culture's irresponsible and angry approach to sharing "news." We need real Christian journalists who have the time to work an investigation properly, the oversight that forces them to document and defend everything they report, and the godly character to put truth and fairness and compassion ahead of other agendas. Most of those we would label "discernment bloggers" don't fully fit this description. This means that even if they are well-intentioned, they are in danger of coming closer to being gossips than real journalists.

4. It almost always takes a well-funded team to do investigative journalism properly. Sadly, I'm not sure there's enough of a market for this within American Christianity. Too many of us would rather just have our anger fed or our camp loyalties stroked than have our minds truly informed and wrongs made right.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Then there was the sorry story out of Scotland of Iain Campbell and the churchfolk who only began to do the right thing after 'discernment bloggers' exposed what the good folk in the church leadership were doing to the victim. Public embarrassment led to public apology. https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/2151240/anne-campbell-iain-campbell-isle-of-lewis-free-church/

Of course, sometimes it is hard to see the line between what can be the exceedingly slow process of the church courts on one side and stonewalling and cover-up on the other.

For the record, I consider Frank Smith one of the good guys.
Frank Smith is one of the good guys. Thanks Edward. He lives and speaks to where he lives and breaths. He understands boundaries. You have to love a person like that.

I try to do the same. If you post here you are in my boundaries. Just saying.

Who’s frank smith?

He was actually the first ordination in the PCA way back in the early 70's. He was in Atlanta last I remember working a RPCNA mission type of thing in a very Urban setting.

A Hippy and a Scholar.
Me and Dr. Frank Smith

Edit.... My grammar school teacher would be all over me for writing or saying, "Me and Dr. Frank Smith." LOL


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Was wondering that too. Googling "Frank Smith" isn't going to be the most productive method of finding out. :D

You need to type in Dr. Frank Smith Reformed Presbyterian..... I found this. https://atlanta-rpc.org/us/leadership/

He is a pastor now in the RPCNA but formerly one of the leaders in the confessionalist movement of the PCA that fought against the advancing tide of liberalism in that denomination. He published an online newsletter for a few years http://www.presbyteriannews.org/ that contained information that one couldn't get from the official church organs. (I don't recall if the denomination's publication was The Messenger or byFaith in those days.)
Randy, Nice picture with Frank. I first met Frank in the mid 1980s; my church unofficially candidated him and he was interested in one of the gals; didn't work out on either front; he eventually married a Brit (Penny) and as you say he has planted a RPCNA church in the most blighted part of Atlanta. We got to know each other over the years through long telephone chats. He has been an editor of some fashion for The Confessional Presbyterian journal from the beginning; he made a huge contribution with a piece I did the additional research for on the history of the literature on the regulative principle of worship from 1946 till like 2008. He also has one of the more memorable segments in the documentary Spirit and Truth: a film about worship by Les Lanphere. If you have not seen this it is absolutely must viewing. See https://www.missionalwear.com/spiritandtruth
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The Church is the worldwide Body of Christ; it is not merely a local manifestation. We see in cases of abuse and corruption that the entire local church leadership of some local churches cover for one another and cannot be trusted to correct themselves. Therefore, Christians from outside the local assembly may give a critique or ask questions. Public ministries can get public critiques.
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
If investigative reporting to uncover corruption is a good thing in the secular world, why would it not be a good thing in the "church realm" if done with skill, truth, and for the purpose of God's glory and the good of the church?
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
If investigative reporting to uncover corruption is a good thing in the secular world, why would it not be a good thing in the "church realm" if done with skill, truth, and for the purpose of God's glory and the good of the church?
Everything would seem to hinge on that "If"
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Our own church was hit a somewhat by such reporting. All because one of our members was arrested for child molestation (not on church property and not during church activities).

It didn't matter that it was reported the morning it was discovered, detectives did interviews, and within five days he found himself in jail facing charges--we obviously were covering something up.

Those facts were publicly available in local media, but the "investigator" only talked about how this happened in another Reformed Baptist church.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Our own church was hit a somewhat by such reporting. All because one of our members was arrested for child molestation (not on church property and not during church activities).

It didn't matter that it was reported the morning it was discovered, detectives did interviews, and within five days he found himself in jail facing charges--we obviously were covering something up.

Those facts were publicly available in local media, but the "investigator" only talked about how this happened in another Reformed Baptist church.
I remember that. A certain RB narrative of child abuse was not-so-subtly constructed, of which your church's situation was an additional building block.

I felt bad for your church when I heard about it, even though I didn't know anyone from there. To me, it didn't seem fair at all, but that hardly matters; even if totally unjustified, those kind of implications leave a real stink.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Our own church was hit a somewhat by such reporting. All because one of our members was arrested for child molestation (not on church property and not during church activities).

It didn't matter that it was reported the morning it was discovered, detectives did interviews, and within five days he found himself in jail facing charges--we obviously were covering something up.

Those facts were publicly available in local media, but the "investigator" only talked about how this happened in another Reformed Baptist church.
This incident is an example of 1) how things are supposed to work; 2) how important good ecclesiology is to addressing problems, and the importance of using it, for safeguard of doctrine, practice, and people; 3) the lingering and far-reaching effects of sin and coverup, even far away and long ago, both as to an individual and institution; and 4) the real yet frequently improper (and unscrupulous) tactic of "guilt by association."

The problem of disuse or misuse of church discipline creates a culture of indiscipline. This opens the door for a flood of negative effects in due time, in form deserved and undeserved, as more people are subjected to the negative effects of events and future consequences. When the issue is pressed and must be dealt with, there's doubt as to whether this will be another case of minimizing or sweeping-under the rug.

Another aspect of the perception problem comes from the duty to maintain "due process," presumption of innocence and other rights of the accused. When the matter is so ugly--having festered for too long--the plodding steps of justice seem like foot-dragging to onlookers. In fact, the guilty may indeed be obviously guilty; but almost always there are also falsehoods that must be cleared away, mainly to prevent mixing the justice with new injustice thus turning the perpetrator into a new victim.

When sin is dealt with early, even when it is serious (and it needs to be recognized as such!), all those interested can bear much easier the required delays and care taken. They are encouraged to have further confidence in the process by clearly seeing the probity of it. Compare how things should happen, both in church discipline or civil discipline, and what the corruption and opacity of justice has done to people's confidence in the processes.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Our own church was hit a somewhat by such reporting. All because one of our members was arrested for child molestation (not on church property and not during church activities).

It didn't matter that it was reported the morning it was discovered, detectives did interviews, and within five days he found himself in jail facing charges--we obviously were covering something up.

Those facts were publicly available in local media, but the "investigator" only talked about how this happened in another Reformed Baptist church.

I remember that. A certain RB narrative of child abuse was not-so-subtly constructed, of which your church's situation was an additional building block.

I felt bad for your church when I heard about it, even though I didn't know anyone from there. To me, it didn't seem fair at all, but that hardly matters; even if totally unjustified, those kind of implications leave a real stink.
I remember that as well. If I recall correctly the narrative came from someone who, after having outed a pastor publicly, believes he now knows everything there is to know about scandals and has effectively made himself the chief crusader against alleged injustice by shouting gossip from the internet roof tops.
At least that's how I had taken many of his articles.
 
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