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Wednesday
Apr252012

Ambassadors of Reconciliation Refuse All Reconciliation Attempts

The Ambassador of Reconciliation (AoR) Report to the Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries (April 10, 2012) raised many troubling concerns for me.  Chief among them the hypocrisy of Ted Kober who serves as the President of AoR.  After its release, I attempted to interact with Ted in private. 

When those attempts failed, I sought the help of Jim Pappadeas (SGM Refuge), Kris (SGM Survivors), Bob Dixon, and Larry Tomczak.  I tried to set up a meeting with Ted to discuss our concerns for his report.  Ted did not respond to these initiatives either.

Yesterday, I wrote the Board of Directors for AoR.  I brought my concerns to their attention and made them aware I’d be posting a public rebuke on my blog given Ted’s refusal to meet in private or follow his own teaching.  I also presented my case against Bryce Thomas, the trial lawyer hired by SGM, who helped design the Three Panel Review that took place last December.  I asked the AoR Board to take disciplinary action against Ted, Ed Keinath (co-author of the report), and Bryce for failing to follow the Standard of Conduct for Christian Conciliation.

I now bring this matter to the attention of those effected by the AoR Report and invite you to write Ted Kober (tkober@hisaor.org), Ed Keinath (crosslife@frontier.com), Bryce Thomas (brycethomas@charter.net) and the AoR Board of Directors (mail@hisaor.org) in a redemptive manner in obedience to the process outlined in Matthew 18:15-17.

I am confident Ambassadors of Reconciliation has done much good helping other groups experience reconciliation.  Unfortunately, some of their efforts have produced greater suffering and division for those inside and outside of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

What follows is a chronological presentation of my/our unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation.

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:33 PM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Offenses with Me 
Importance: High

Hello Ted,

I just finished reading your report.  I get the feeling there is a substantial list of undiscussed and unresolved issues in your heart toward me.  This concerns me since you have never written or talked to me about any offenses you may have with me.  In contradistinction, I have always talked and written to you about all my concerns.  I’ve been open, honest and transparent about the faults/concerns I have perceived in your perspective, character, or approach. 

Therefore, please highlight each section or sentence of your report where you have me in mind and send that to me.   It is impossible to know who you are referring to in comments like “Another threatened to publicly humiliate and discredit us by posting extensive blogs on the web if we didn’t respond in certain ways by that person’s imposed short deadline.”  I am glad to entertain your criticisms but I need to know which ones apply to me. 

I’d appreciate your prompt response.

Thank you,

Brent  

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:29 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: RE Offenses with Me 
Importance: High

Please call me if you prefer to do this via a conversation.  Today if possible.  I need you to point out each statement in your report where you have me in mind.  You have not come to me in private so I want to afford you that opportunity.

Sincerely,

Brent

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:12 PM 
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Offenses with Me 
Importance: High

In the report, you claim you “addressed sinful attitudes, words and actions of key individuals” but that is not true with me.  We had two conversations.  During those interactions you never addressed any attitudes, words or actions of mine as sinful.  The subject never came up.  The statement below is entirely untrue as it pertains to me.  You have never come to me in private.      

“The Ambassadors of Reconciliation team addressed sinful attitudes, words and actions of key individuals or leadership groups privately as Scripture requires.  Some expressed fear that the AoR team would not confront key leaders or groups on individual actions that contributed to the conflicts.  Others expressed their desires that the team would expose sins of key leaders or admonish them publicly.  Just as this report does not publicly address the sins of individual members, neither does it publicly address the sins of individual leaders.  However, AoR did address such issues with key leaders privately.”

After our second conversation on January 25, you wrote me on February 4.  In that letter you ask me to consider several questions but you did not correct me or reprove me for sin except for one passing sentence.  That is, “Moreover, I don’t often see the love and forgiving heart in you that your Lord Jesus has shown you.”  That is the only corrective statement you made and it was not something you ever talked to me about in person.  In fact, you never followed up after February 4 about any of the questions you posited for my consideration even though I wrote you about the contents of your letter.  You cut off all communication and refused to interact with me. 

Here is the point.  You have never corrected, confronted, reproved, rebuked, or addressed any “sinful attitudes, words and actions.”  You asked some questions in writing but you never told me my attitudes, words and actions were sinful.  If you believe I have sinned against you or others, you have not told me so.  As such you have flagrantly disobeyed your own teaching.  You did not come to me in private.  Even more seriously, you make the false claim in your report that you obeyed Scripture when in fact you disobeyed Scripture as it pertains to me.  That is totally misleading.

Ted, I have ought with you.  Please leave your altar and call me.  The first thing I want to know regards which comments in your report are directed at me.  The second thing I want to know is why you never came to me in private.  You have never talked to me about any sins you feel I have committed.    

##  

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:00 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Kris and Jim

You did not come to me in private.  Did you go to Kris (Survivors) or Jim (Refuge) to correct them in private before posting your report?

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:26 PM
To: Kris; Jim @ SGM Refuge
Subject: Ted

Did Ted ever talk to you in private and correct or confront you for the sins he accuses you of in the report?

##

From: Jim @ SGM Refuge
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:38 PM
To: Brent Detwiler; Kris
Subject: Re: Ted

We talked privately, but the blogs were a very small part of our conversation.  There was zero correction.  He broke his own ministry guidelines.

##

From: Kris [mailto:kirs@sgmsurvivors.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:22 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: Ted

No.  Never.  And I did something I never do - I actually initiated a conversation with him via email, offering to be of assistance in any way I could.  He never responded to my email.

##

From: Brent Detwiler  
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:08 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Great Hypocrisy
Importance: High

Ted, you have acted with great hypocrisy toward Jim, Kris and me.  You need to make this right.  See their responses [above].

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Firday, April 20, 2012 8:51 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Are You an Ambassador of Reconciliation? 
Importance: High

Ted,

In your report you make the following statement.

“Our observation is that the power of worthless talk (Ephesians 4:29 if) and sinful judging (Matthew 7:1-2; James 3:5-12; 4:11-12) was greatly exacerbated by those writing and reading blogs and widely distributed emails.  Coupled with the falsehoods and exaggerations about AoR, our team members and work were the threats and condemning words sent to us.  Based on false information, people made assumptions, misquoted and twisted our words and statements, and made damning statements against us.” (p. 10)

The facts show you did not come to me, Jim or Kris.  I’d like to know if you went to anyone in private.  Did you attempt to restore these individuals in a spirit of gentleness (Gal 6:1) as you are apt to point out to others?  Or did you leave them in their sins and give them no opportunity for repentance?  You make no reference to any attempts to act as an ambassador of reconciliation.  It appears you are content to make vague accusations on a website but are unwilling to approach such individuals in a biblical manner.

You are completely at odds with your teaching if you have not gone to these people and acted as a peacemaker.  I also wonder if you are exaggerating the magnitude of the sins against you since you provide no evidence.  What falsehoods?  What exaggerations?  What threats?  What condemning words?  What false information?  What damning statements?  Without evidence I am concerned these kinds of statements may constitute “worthless talk” and “sinful judging.”  You spend a lot of time in the report highlighting how people have sinned against you.  I am not sure why you felt the need to do so.  Are you bitter or resentful?

Most importantly, however, have you contacted each of these people regarding the accusations above to work out your offenses?  Have they been given the opportunity to respond?

I am still waiting to hear from you.  Please tell me all the places in the report where you have me in mind.    

Regards,

Brent

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 9:47 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Use of Email

Given your position on the use of email and your counsel to SGM, why didn’t you call me regarding the “sensitive issues” contained in your February 4 email?  From my perspective, you did not follow your own admonition.  Do you agree? 

“It seemed apparent to us as outsiders that leaders within SGM have made extensive use of email for rather sensitive or confidential communications. While this may be an expedient way to communicate when key leaders work from scattered locations, the extensive use of this medium in sensitive communications seems unwise to us…. Matters of confronting others about sin, discussing issues with legal implications, discussing employment or supervisory information, confessing sins or forgiving others, and other similar communications should be done in person or documented in more formal written communications.  Email tends to be less formal and inadequate for addressing sensitive issues.” (p. 15)

##    

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:14 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Bob Dixon

In your report, you appear to have Bob Dixon in mind as one of those individuals who has sinned against you and SGM?  Is that correct?  If so, have you gone to him in private to confront his perceived sin and be reconciled?

##

From: Brent Detwiler  
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 2:57 PM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Great Travesty

Dear Ted,

Here is your authoritative exhortation to the Sovereign Grace Board of Directors about going to be reconciled.  It is found in the Consultation Report from last August. 

Before engaging the help of other Christians (such as through Ambassadors of Reconciliation), we remind the SGM Board members of their biblical responsibilities to initiate action for reconciliation.

Note that the direct teachings of Jesus and the Apostle Paul urge us to go and be reconciled to those with whom we have disputes.  It does not matter whether we believe we have been sinned against (Matthew 18:15), the other person is entrapped in sin (Galatians 6:1), or if the other person has something against us (Matthew 5:23-24). We are to make every effort to make peace (Romans 12:18; see also Hebrews 12:14).

As we consider these and other verses in the full context of the Bible, we see that “going” to be reconciled requires more than email, more than blogs, more than letters, more than phone calls – it requires going to meet face-to-face.  Note that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son (John 3:16). Jesus the Christ humbled himself to become flesh (Philippians 2:1-11) and come to earth in person to dwell among us (John 1:1, 14).

Note also that our responsibility to “go to be reconciled” is not excused simply because another indicates that he does not want to meet.  God reconciled us to himself “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:6-11).  God did not wait until we desired for him to come.

It is obvious to us as we read the documents written by Brent Detwiler and met with you that there are broken relationships between Brent Detwiler and C.J. Mahaney, between Brent Detwiler and individual members (current and former) of the Board of Directors, and between Brent Detwiler and the entire Board of Directors.  According to Scripture, it does not matter who caused the offense.  When relationship is broken, it is incumbent upon every believer in Christ to “go and be reconciled.”

Scripture does not excuse us because we are fearful that our words might be twisted.  Scripture does not excuse us if we think the other person might not listen.  Scripture does not excuse us if the other party indicates in emails that he will not meet with us.  Scripture does not excuse us if the person does not live in our town.  Scripture does not excuse us if the other party has widely shared his complaints against us.  Scripture does not excuse us if the whole world reads about the complaints against us in some public media.  People find all kinds of excuses not to obey the teachings of Scripture, but our social practices and customs are not what guide God’s people in such matters. (Ted Kober, Consultation Report, August 24, 2011, pp. 13-14)

My question is simple.  Why haven’t you followed any of your own demands?    In relation to me, Kris from SGM Survivors, and Jim Pappadeas, you have made no effort to walk in the light and be reconciled.  I suspect the same is true of Bob Dixon but you have not answered my questions regarding him.  In all seriousness, have you made any effort to meet with anyone you speak against in the report?   Have you taken any action to contact those with whom you have offenses? 

The majority of your offenses go back to August-November of last year.  You’ve had months to pursue reconciliation.  Once again, why haven’t you followed your directives in relation to me, Kris, Jim, Bob and others?  Per your admonitions, you should have been on a plane to meet with each of us months ago.  Furthermore, why haven’t you written me as requested?  Why haven’t you called me as requested?  Why haven’t you offered to meet with me?  I am ready to do all of the above. 

Ted, you have done nothing you have taught thousands of others in relation to us.  This is a great travesty and needs to be corrected.

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 7:03 am
To: Bob Dixon
Subject: Ted Kober

Has Ted ever come to you in private to confront or correct sins he believes you have committed against SGM or himself?

##

From: Bob Dixon  
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 9:15 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Ted Kober

No, why do you ask?

Bob Dixon, BSCJ, QMHP, Family Counselor

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:41 AM
To: Bob Dixon
Subject: RE: Ted Kober

Have you ever talked to Ted or Ed [Keinath]?  Did you meet with either of them last November at CLC?  If so, did they ever register any concerns for you?

##

From: Bob Dixon
Sent: Firday, April 20, 2012 10:45 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: Ted Kober

Marsha and I were told by another couple who interviewed with A of R that their counselor had indicated with dismay and shock, that in fact, 104 pastors had come forward in an effort to expose SGM for their abuse.

Our interviewer [Ed Keinath] was moved to tears as we shared [our] story.  He gave every indication that he completely sympathized and understood the tragedy of our situation.  When we were finished with the interview I looked out the small window of the office door and saw Gene and Liz sitting there.  I asked the interviewer to please escort Gene and Liz down the hall so we could leave without interacting with them.  He did so and said, “I absolutely understand.”

##

From: Bob Dixon 
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:58 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: A of R

Brent.... Marsha reminded me that at the end of our session with Ed, he asked me if I would be willing participate in a meeting in order to address concerns about SGM.  This was yet another indication from A of R that they were taking our complaints seriously.  Our hopes were very high when we left. Unfortunately, I never heard from anyone from A of R again.  Looks like it will stay that way.

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 4:10 PM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Follow Up on Bob Dixon

Bob met with your associate, Ed Keinath in November at the Pastors Conference.  Ed only empathized with Bob.  He did not confront him on anything.  No one from AoR has ever brought any concerns to Bob’s attention.  Just the opposite.  I hope you did not have him in mind in your report.  I await your clarification.  Did you?

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:43 PM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Take Along One or Two Othes - Matthew 18:16

Ted,

I wanted to talk or meet with you in private in order to show you your fault and win you over (Matt 18:15).  I’ve waited five days for a response of any kind but you could not take 5 minutes to call me or two minutes to text me.  You should have expressed eagerness, if not a willingness, to meet with me.

I’ve written you numerous times over the past week.  I asked to talk with you.  I asked to know what parts of your report are in reference to me.  I pointed out your dishonesty in saying you addressed sinful attitudes, words and actions with me in private when you did not.  I pointed out your hypocrisy in not coming to me when offended at me.  I pointed out your hypocrisy in relation to Kris and Jim for the same thing.  I asked for an explanation on your use of email in raising “sensitive issues” contrary to the counsel you have given others.  I asked whether you have gone to anyone with whom you have offenses.  I’ve told you your sins in print.  I’ve asked to do this in person.  In spite of all this, you have made no effort to “leave your gift at the altar” and “settle matters quickly” with a “brother [who] has something against you.” (Matt 5:23-26.)

Ted, you have grievously sinned against me, specific others, the abused, the churches of SGM, and the larger Body of Christ.  Therefore, I have asked Kris (SGM Survivors), Jim (SGM Refuge) and Bob Dixon to appeal for your repentance.  I also asked them to join me in meeting with you per the teaching of Matthew 18:16.  As is obvious in your report, you believe many people have sinned against you (and SGM) and yet you have not gone to them.  We also believe you have sinned against us.  For example, you confronted us in your public report but never came to us in private.    I assume you justified doing so by leaving out our names but it is readily apparent who you had in mind.  That amounts to duplicity.

Ted, you have set a terrible example for one who teaches others on peacemaking and the pursuit of reconciliation.  You have not been a conciliator.  You have brought more division.  To be honest, I am concerned you hold sinful anger in your heart toward us and others.  This much I know for certain; you have repeatedly violated Matthew 5:21-26, Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15, Romans 12:18, Galatians 6:1 and Hebrews 12:14.  I hope you will repent to us in private and then make public restitution.  Please let me know by Monday if you are willing to meet with us or talk to us using Skype.  Then we can set a date and make arrangements.  If Kris, Jim or Bob are unable to participate, I will provide other witnesses as required by Scripture.

Please show me the simple dignity of a response.  Sinners do that much.

Brent

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:17 AM
To: Ted Kober
Subject: Please Contact Me Today

Please don’t let the day pass without calling or writing to set up a time to meet with us for reconciliation.  As I said before, I am glad for you to point out in the report where you had me in mind and then tell me my faults.

Sincerely,

Brent    

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 4:41 PM
To: Jiim Pappadeas; Kris; Bob Dixon
Subject: An Appeal to Ted Kober
Importance: High

Dear Jim, Kris and Bob,

I’ve repeatedly attempted to contact Ted Kober.  He has been unresponsive.  Though he shows no interest, would you be willing to meet or talk with Ted in accordance with the second step of redemptive discipline outlined in Matt 18:15-17?  I believe he has sinned against us and others.  Kris, we can make special arrangement for you if you are unable to join us in person or prefer not to use Skype. 

I’ve limited the scope of my correction in addressing Ted for now.  There are some good parts in his report.  There are some bad parts.  Mostly, there are missing parts.  I believe Ted has sinned in other ways but I will address those additional matters in private and give him the opportunity to respond. 

For now, I’d appreciate your assistance in helping Ted to see his hypocrisy, unwillingness to attempt private reconciliation, and public slander having not come to us first.  You are also welcome to share your general perspective on his report.  

Bob has already provided me a statement to send Ted.  Jim and Kris, would you do the same?  It can be short.  I will also ask Larry Tomczak for his perspective on the report.  I’d like to send them to Ted tomorrow if possible. 

I know we are not in habit of communicating with each other but I felt it important that we collectively reach out to Ted, appeal for his repentance, and share with him our perspectives.

I’ve included my private correspondence with Ted below.  I plan to post our correspondence this week if he is unresponsive and ask others to reach out to him and Ed Keinath and appeal for their repentance.  I will also contact the Board of Directors for Ambassadors of Reconciliation. 

Thanks for your help.

Brent

##

From: Jim @ SGM Refuge [mailto:jim@sgmrefuge.com]
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 9:29 PM
To: Brent Detwiler; Kris; Bob Dixon
Subject: Re: An Appeal to Ted Kober
Importance: High

I would love to interact with Ted regarding his condemnation and misrepresentation of my blog.  As AoR’s primary blog cheerleader, I’m surprised my efforts were ignored by Ted.  I’m not hurt or offended, just surprised.

I am greatly disappointed that Ted was apparently offended by the perceived sin of those abused by SGM leaders, and felt the need to add to their pain with his very public condemnation.  I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around such a blatantly hurtful act coming from the president of an organization that calls itself Ambassadors of Reconciliation.

If Ted honestly cares at all about reconciliation, he should publicly repent to the abused, as he has now joined the ranks of the abusers.  His actions bear no resemblance to peace making.

Grace,

Jim

##

From: Kris [mailto:kris@sgmsurvivors.com
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 8:23 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Cc: Guy
Subject: RE: An Appeal to Ted Kober 

Hi Brent –

Our policy has always been that we want to remain anonymous.  Although we were very disappointed with the way that AoR chose to go after “the blogs” as relentlessly as they did, without attempting even a simple response to the emails I sent, in which I offered my help, I don’t really feel like we need to participate in any sort of reconciliation process with anyone – at least not the sort of process that the AoR people would expect.  We would not wish to speak on the phone or Skype with anyone.  We’re happy, however, to have you pass on the following statement to the AoR folks:

To whom this may concern:

As random bystanders who were ourselves thrust unwittingly into the midst of SGM’s problems back in late 2007, we definitely sympathize with the magnitude of the job with which the AoR organization was tasked when hired to explore SGM’s weaknesses and failures and attempt to bring healing to SGM’s victims.

Much has already been said on the Survivors site in response to the report which AoR released recently.  If I were to summarize our readers’ reactions, I’d say that many were very disappointed with the way so much of the report’s focus seemed to be upon “the blogs” and the (perceived) sinfulness of those who had spoken out about the way they’d been harmed by SGM.  It came across quite clearly in their report that the AoR folks had taken personal offense with “the blogs” early on and never bothered to dig more deeply to try to find out WHY AoR was met with suspicion.  Consequently, AoR is – ironically – guilty of committing the very same sins toward blogs and bloggers that they themselves had found so off-putting.  The AoR representatives felt free in their report to vent their disdain toward “the blogs” without ever having communicated with anyone from SGM Survivors.  (And this, of course, was despite the fact that I’d made at least a couple of efforts to engage with Mr. Kober via email back in December and offered to help AoR in any way I could.) 

Also, since it is my understanding that AoR was hired to examine and evaluate Sovereign Grace Ministries, NOT “the blogs” or SGM’s victims, it was especially bizarre to see so many peevish references to all the ways in which bloggers and SGM’s victims did not meet AoR’s expectations. 

That being said, I can truly say that AoR’s report was, unfortunately, essentially what I had expected it to be.  I’m sorry that that turned out to be the case, but I can understand why a “reconciliation” business with only the most rudimentary outsider’s understanding of SGM’s history and culture would lack the perspective and the knowledge to look beyond SGM leaders’ pretty words and shining surface behavior and see how twisted the organization actually has been.

We don’t want anything from AoR.  But if they would like to grow from this experience, I would suggest that they consider the ways they failed SGM, SGM’s victims, and themselves by being so quick to accuse bloggers of sins without taking the time to explore more deeply where the bloggers are coming from – and why they themselves felt it was OK to castigate “the blogs” in their report without first following their own rules for conflict resolution.

Blessings,

Kris

## 

From: Bob Dixon  
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:45 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: Ted Kober

As most people understand, it is extremely difficult for anyone who has been abused to report the offense, even to the proper authorities for a myriad of reasons (fear of retaliation, fear of more abuse, ostracism, fear of revisiting the feelings and emotions relevant to the abuse, embarrassment, shame, etc.).  Everyone who shared their stories of abuse with A of R were hoping that by entrusting their story to the perceived “proper authority,” in this case A of R, justice and resolution would occur.  The very last thing abused individuals expected was for the proper authority to essentially turn on them.  This is a great travesty.  These people are now doubly harmed and have had emotional and psychological problems aggravated by their experience with A of R.

Our interviewer [Ed Keinath] was moved to tears as we shared [our] story.  He gave every indication that he completely sympathized and understood the tragedy of our situation.  When we were finished with the interview I looked out the small window of the office door and saw Gene and Liz sitting there.  I asked the interviewer to please escort Gene and Liz down the hall so we could leave without interacting with them.  He did so and said, “I absolutely understand.”

Personally, Marsha and I feel betrayed.  We were told by another couple who interviewed with A of R that their counselor had indicated with dismay and shock, that in fact, 104 pastors had come forward in an effort to expose SGM for their abuse.  He gave every indication that he completely sympathized and understood the tragedy of our situation. When we were finished with the interview I looked out the small window of the office door and saw Gene and Liz sitting there. I asked the interviewer to please escort Gene and Liz down the hall so we could leave without interacting with them. He did so and said, “I absolutely understand.”

Prior to the interviews starting I wrote A of R asking them to reconsider the venue for the interviews because they were asking the abused to come back to the place that represented where the abuse occurred.  I also mentioned the Pastors Conference was simultaneously being held where those reporting abuse would likely see their abusers face to face (which of course they already knew).  In light of the emotional trauma this would likely engender in those reporting abuse, I asked them to reconsider where they had chosen to do the interviews.  They ignored this request (which further demonstrates and lack of appreciation and knowledge in dealing with abused people).

Looking back, now that the report has come out, I am convinced A of R simply did not and does not comprehend what has happened to those who have experienced abuse at the hands of SGM.  I’m afraid rather than resolve any problems or being ambassadors of reconciliation, they have stirred up a hornet’s nest and are complaining as to why they are being stung.

Thanks,

Bob

## 

From: Larry Tomczak [mailto:1larrytomczak@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 5:41 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: An Appeal to Ted Kober

To whom it may concern:

I have been asked my thoughts on the AoR report.  First, I appreciate all the hard work that went into this project dealing with very sensitive matters in scores of people's lives.  I trust AoR was well compensated. 

Second, after waiting and praying for almost a year regarding this endeavor (regularly not daily), I was EXTREMELY disappointed with the results.  I could scarcely believe what I was reading.  I believe multitudes share this perspective. 

Third, my wife and I believe the report was a serious disservice to scores of people who invested incredible amounts of time and effort to serve the AoR team.  Doris and I gave over 250 hours to prepare for our contribution in addition to travel time and the days given to the interview.  Addressing the illegal, immoral and documented blackmail plus the reprehensible conduct that shattered our reputation, relationships and family ties (plus our livelihood) was afforded a dismissive SIX sentences in the report!  Unbelievable. 

Finally, we are of the opinion that if the SGM leaders had simply done the report on their own, they would have been more forthright and harder on themselves than this most favorable AoR document. 

When we shared our experience with Ted and his assistant, one wiped away tears and the other dropped his head in shocking dismay at our traumatic experience, manipulation, falsehoods and numerous examples of unChristlike behavior we experienced that could have destroyed our Christian lives as a family of six.  We, like hundreds of others who experienced spiritual abuse from SGM leaders, now wonder if some of the apologies and asking of forgiveness will have to suffice. 

We love you Ted and the team but inquire if your labors represent the accurate picture of the systemic problems that multitudes hoped would be addressed and corrected so SGM could begin a new season in humility and integrity. 

Trusting God’s sovereign grace, I am, yours in His service,

Larry Tomczak

## 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:14 AM
To: Ted Kober
CC: Jim Pappadeas; Kris; Bob Dixon; Larry Tomczak
Subject: Private Appeals Continue

Dear Ted,

It has been over a week since I first asked you to call me.  I don’t understand how you can reject all my attempts to engage you.  I believe you have sinned against me and I am happy to hear how you believe I’ve sinned against you.  I’ve sincerely sought to engage you in a redemptive and biblical manner but you appear obstinate in your rejection of all attempts at reconciliation.

Jim Pappadeas, Bob Dixon, Larry Tomczak and I would like to meet with you.  We all have concerns for your Report to the Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries from April 10, 2012.  We would like to discuss our concerns with you personally. 

In obedience to Scripture and for your godly good, I’ve also asked these men to join me in helping you see how you have sinned against us and others.  I’ve included their appeals and perspectives [above] but this is inadequate.  We also need to meet in person.  As it stands Ted, you are rebelling against the commands of Scripture and living contrary to everything you have taught and demanded of others.

I have many things to say about the report regarding inaccuracies (e.g. AoR’s confidentially requirement), bias, unfactual assertions, and dereliction of duty.  That is, how you largely failed to address what you were tasked to do.  There are some good and bad parts in the report but the most important parts (e.g., C.J. and the Board’s deceit) are left out.  I will write you in private about these matters and give you the opportunity to correct my perspectives before I share them at large.  The report is public.  It requires a public response.

Of greatest importance for now is your failure to meet, hear our offenses, or pursue reconciliation.  Your indifference undermines all your credibility and the entire ministry of which you are the President.  If you have not done so already, send my previous appeals to your Board of Directors along with this correspondence.  I hope they will reprove you and hold you accountable to the most basic tenets of the organization.

Ted, I have faithfully sought to obey Scripture in my pursuit of you.  Please text, email, or call me today.  I’d like to keep this matter confined to Jim, Kris, Bob, Larry and me.  Whether I appeal to a wider audience is up to you.  Contact me by the end of the day so we can set up a time to meet in the near future.

God’s grace rest upon you.

Brent  

Post Script

Used by permission

From: Jenn Grover [mailto:jenngrover@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:34 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Cc: mail@hisaor.org; Bryce Thomas; Edgar Keinath; Ken Sande; Ted Kober; Chip Grange; Andrew Mahr; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Tommy Hill; Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Al Pino; Ian McConnell; John Loftness; Ken Mellinger; Paul Buckley; Phil Sasser; Eric Grover; Bethany Grover; Mike Pierson; Tom and Jennifer Calano; Nathan Rutman; Ryan & Krista Hughes; Wayne and Michelle Harvey; Mark Altrogge
Subject: Re: AoR Refues All Reconciliation Attempts

I would add that my own interview with Ed Keinath also was in complete contradiction to what AoR published.  Ed told me that since last summer he and Ted had been concerned about the board's blind devotion to CJ.  He also expressed whole-hearted agreement when I indicated that at the heart of SGM's problems was a culture of selfish-ambition.  Ed also indicated that he and Ted estimated that about 20-30 churches within SGM were already prepared to leave SGM. 

I don't pretend to know why the report does not match what was communicated to many of us but the disharmony between what we heard with our own ears and what was published casts a significant cloud of suspicion over the report and the SGM leadership.

I plead with you that if any of you fear God and know why this disharmony exists that you would come forth.

Jenn Grover

Pittsburgh, PA

[Used by permission]

##

From: Grover, Eric [mailto:Eric.Grover@uhhospitals.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:55 AM
To: Jenn Grover; Brent Detwiler
Cc: mail@hisaor.org; Bryce Thomas; Edgar Keinath; Ken Sande; Ted Kober; Chip Grange; Andrew Mahr; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Tommy Hill; Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Al Pino; Ian McConnell; John Loftness; Ken Mellinger; Paul Buckley; Phil Sasser; Bethany Grover; Mike Pierson; Tom and Jennifer Calano; Nathan Rutman; Ryan & Krista Hughes; Wayne and Michelle Harvey; Mark Altrogge
Subject: RE: AoR Refues All Reconciliation Attempts

I would like to add my voice to the others in regards to the contradictions between the AoR report and my interview as well.  During our phone call Ed Keinath expressed to me his concerns about how the interim board was expressing “blind loyalty” to C.J. and he asked me what I thought they could do to make sure that the board “got it” (referring to their report).  He told me that based on their interviews that around 30 churches were ready to “walk out the door.” 

Here is the e-mail that I sent to Ed last week after the report was released requesting a phone conversation to help me reconcile the disconnect between the report and our phone conversation.  Ed has not replied to my request.

4/18/2012

Good morning Ed,

You may not remember, but I spoke to you several months ago during an interview as a part of the SGM group reconciliation process.  During that conversation, you shared several things that led me to believe that the AoR report would include significant criticism of SGM.  When I read the report that was publicly released yesterday, I was greatly confused as the report seemed very different in content and tone than what you represented was your view of the SGM board during our conversation.

I was wondering if you would be willing to talk to me on the phone and help me clear up the confusion that I am experiencing regarding the disparity between our phone call and the report?

Thanks for your time, I am grateful for brothers in Christ outside of SGM who are faithfully seeking unity in the body.

You can reach me by e-mail, or by cell phone at [deleted].

Thanks.

Eric Grover

[Used by permission]

##

From: Todd Twining [mailto:toddtwining12170@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:32 PM
To: Bryce Thomas; AoR Board [mail@hisaor.org]
Subject: AOR

Dear Bryce, Ted and AoR,

Many questions are swirling around in my mind right now.  Please take time to consider that it was very difficult for me to even come before the panel with my testimony.

I would have to say that I am more than sad at the AoR report regarding Sovereign Grace Ministries.  I believe righteous indignation would be appropriate at this point.  There is a poor amount of information regarding Larry Tomczak - the primary reason I was involved in speaking before the panel. Reading the report, and considering the volume of documents and testimonies brought before AoR, sadly, my biggest question is this - Was this an utter waste of time and resources? 

How has this report accurately considered the information brought by Brent Detwiler?  Why are the blogs such a focus when people who have at times been part of an often secretive, suppressive and oppressive leadership environment have been so shut down that being able to talk about it is actually useful?  Have you gone directly to Jim Pappadeas and Kris/Guy?  Do you think there may be injustices done here that this report does not reflect?  I do. These blogs do not exist because we don't have anything better to do. We are wholly concerned with what we see taking place.

Does the abrupt move to Louisville, Kentucky, of the SGM staff raise any concerns in your minds?  The fact that this move has coincided with the release of this report is unfortunate.  Many of those who have been in relationship with SGM for decades had NO IDEA this was coming.  Does the lack of courtesy bother you?  Many say no one is owed an explanation, but we say we are.  It is our time, money and lives that have partnered together to build SGM. We feel betrayed.

This report favors Sovereign Grace Ministries’ leadership and does not advocate for those who have been courageous to come forward and share their hearts and experiences with you.  It is not non-existent, just way out of balance.  There are countless others who did not experience the grace or strength to come before you with their own experiences and give a report.  To be dismissive of us by quoting a percentage makes us a statistic.  We are not a statistic.  We are brothers and sisters in Christ who has been greatly offended and negatively affected by Sovereign Grace Ministries.

I am grateful for so many things about my time in SGM and have been careful and consistent to bring those things up whenever I have a chance.  But I am tremendously burdened that your report is doing a major disservice to the kingdom of God.  Would you please prayerfully consider if this report, in any way, has minimized the sin of Sovereign Grace Ministries leadership?  Was this report possibly focused more heavily on the blogs and the specks in other people's eyes than the beam in the eyes of those you were called to evaluate?

I understand that reports will have limitations and the scope of what any human organization is able to accomplish is not going to be all-inclusive.  But your report will be the dividing mark for so many people, not because of what it says, but because of what it does not say.

Sirs, I gave my trust to you in participating in this “reconciliation” attempt.  My ultimate trust is in our Lord Jesus alone, but I believe the ministry of reconciliation is so close to His heart.  It is the ministry He gave to all of us believers.  So, I am coming to you to let you know that I cannot in good conscience agree with or support this report.  My testimony was to help the Tomczak family by revealing ways SGM had several missteps in the process.  Quite frankly, I feel you have violated my trust and it would be difficult for me to recommend you as an organization to anyone else.

Sincerely,

Todd Twining, former Sovereign Grace pastor

[Used by permission]

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