R.C. Sproul Jr. “Resigned” from Ligonier Ministries Because of Arrest for Driving Under the Influence with a Child in Vehicle
On Tuesday, I wrote R.C. Sproul Jr. Resigns from Ligonier Ministries & Reformation Bible College for Undisclosed Reasons. Those reasons are now known. R.C. Jr. was arrested for driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle. He has been charged with two misdemeanors and two felonies. More on that shortly.
1 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:7 lay out the requirement that an overseer must not be given to wine. The Greek word is paroinos. It is composed of a preposition, para, and a noun, oinos. Para means “by the side of” and oinos means “wine.” Literally, an overseer must not be “by the side of wine.”
The KJV translation is best, “Not given to wine.” In his lexicon, John Henry Thayer translates paroinos, “one who sits long at his wine.”
Those who know R.C. Sproul Jr. know he has a history of sitting long by his alcoholic beverages. That includes his parents, his pastors, leaders in his denomination, and leaders in Ligonier Ministries. His givenness to drink is widely known.
This was posted today by former friends in response to his arrest. I’ve provided this excerpt to help you understand the bigger picture. Please read the entire article.
R.C. Sproul with Drunk Driving
Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 4:43PM
Those who have personally witnessed RC Sproul Jr consuming prodigious quantities of alcohol know that tossing back a 1/2 pint or more of whiskey, on an empty stomach, in less than an hour, isn’t unusual for him.
This blog has been sounding the alarm for over ten years that RC Sproul Jr has a serious drinking problem. For the most part those warnings have gone ignored, and RC Jr himself has outright mocked those concerns. As far as he’s concerned he always “drinks in moderation.” But given that he has often rendered an opinion on “moderation” while he’s drunk he hardly qualifies as an expert on that subject. Some have voiced concern that RC Sproul Jr is an alcoholic and is in desperate need of rehab.
We’ve long been aware that RC Sproul Jr routinely gets behind the wheel inebriated, endangering himself and the lives of others, including his own family members. It’s remarkable he hasn’t long ago killed himself and perhaps a few others.
Many members of St. Peter Presbyterian Church, the church that he started in Virginia, and then subsequently resigned from after his defrocking in 2006, often witnessed RC Sproul Jr inebriated, including at various church celebrations (i.e. keggers). It was commonplace at those church parties that minor children were served alcoholic beverages, including drinks spiked with Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol). RC Sproul Jr fostered a culture of heavy drinking at St. Peter Presbyterian Church, not just with church members but also with the pastors he invited to his “Pastor Camps” (open bars were the norm). He was also known to turn a blind eye to drunk driving.
Drinking beer, wine or liquor is not sinful. Drinking too much and coming under their intoxicating effect is. Ephesians 5:18 (ESV) says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” Debauchery is excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures. It is far better to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is why Paul the apostle lays out another qualification for men in ministry. They must be temperate (Gr., nephalios, 1 Tim. 3:2 and Tit. 2:2). Nephalios means “sober…abstaining from wine either entirely…or at least from its immoderate use” (Thayer), “not self-indulgent,” (Getz) “well-balanced…careful” (Hendriksen).
“Such a person lives deeply. His pleasures are not primarily those of the senses, like the pleasures of a drunkard for instance, but those of the soul. He is filled with spiritual and moral earnestness. He is not given to excess (in the use of wine, etc.) but moderate, well balanced, calm, careful, steady, and sane. This pertains to his physical, moral, and mental tastes and habits.” (William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary, Exposition of First and Second Timothy and Titus (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1968), p. 122).
The intemperate and intoxicating use of alcohol by R.C. Jr. should have been addressed by his pastors, denomination, and Ligonier Ministries as a disqualifying sin in his life. They let it pass. Now he is going off to jail unless his lawyers find a way to prevent it. There is shared responsibility for this tragedy. I also wonder who allowed him to drive drunk with his child in the car.
This lack of temperance, which is a dangerous and disqualifying sin, also resulted in R.C. Sproul’s “visit” to the Ashley Madison. Ashley Madison is a perverse website used to arrange illicit relationships for the purpose of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and lesbianism. There he set up an account. He denies doing so but it is one of the many lies he has told about the matter. See Ligonier Ministries Lifts Suspension of R.C. Sproul Jr. for His “Visit” to Ashley Madison.
Last night, the Christian Post ran this story, R.C. Sproul Jr. Resigned From Ligonier Ministries After Felonious DUI Arrest With Minor in Vehicle. It summarized the charges this way.
“Sproul was charged with two class A misdemeanors: operating a vehicle with alcohol concentration equivalent to .15 or more, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering a person. Under Indiana law both charges attract up to 365 days of jail time, probation for a year, and the suspension of a driver license for up to two years.
“He was also charged with two felonies for operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance with a passenger younger than 18, which attracts a penalty of six months to three years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines under Indiana law.
“In addition, he was slapped with the felony charge of neglect of a dependent in a way that the dependent was endangered.”
You can read and follow his criminal case summary by doing a case search here. It gives you various options for how to search. Use this information.
Case Number: 02D04-1612-F6-001308
Party: Robert C Sproul
Lawyer: John David Cowan
The arrest was made on November 29 which was a week or two after his marriage to Lisa Sproul. She appears to have three children. R.C. Jr. has eight children. In all likelihood, he is tragically off to jail. No one wishes that for his new wife or family.
Knowing full well about his arrest, the Ligonier Board nevertheless put out this statement on Monday.
A Statement Concerning Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.
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.
R.C. Jr. was arrested on November 29. He “resigned” ten days later on December 9. Ligonier Ministries told the world it was for “personal reasons” on December 12. Now we find out the truth on December 16. I agree with the following excerpt.
Ligonier Ministries Fires RC Sproul Jr?
Posted by RC 2.0 @ 8:37 PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
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’.” …
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. …
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.
I didn’t write about it in my last post, but there were indications in the Ligonier statement above that a convoluted process lay behind the resignation. It wasn’t a simple matter of resigning for personal reasons. A lot more was going on.
First, the statement said, the board of directors received and affirmed the resignation. Second, it said R.C. Sr. was informed by phone. Third, the resignation was later communicated in writing to the entire board.
That raised several questions for me. For example, R.C. Sproul Sr. and his wife Vesta are on the 13-person board. R.C. Sr. is the chairman. Why then did he need a phone call when he and his wife supposedly already received and affirmed the resignation of their son per the statement?
In a similar way, why was the reception and affirmation “later communicated in writing to the entire board of directors”? They already knew per the statement above. Further, it was bizarre that mom and dad learned about the resignation from the board and not their son.
And lastly, the super abbreviated, “We…give thanks for the many edifying contributions of Dr. Sproul Jr. over the years through his work at the ministry and the college.” R.C. Jr. was the cornerstone for the future of the ministry. Here’s what was said in part when he was appointed rector and chair of philosophy and theology in the bible college.
From Reformation Bible College
February 27, 2014
On the occasion of this announcement, Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr. said, “We are grateful to God for Dr. Sproul Jr.’s unwavering commitment to Scripture and service to Reformation Bible College, and we look forward to many more years of his teaching and leadership as we seek to educate the next generation of Christian leaders in the things of God. He has seen the impact of Ligonier Ministries from the beginning, knows how I approach theological matters, and in this way, provides us with yet another way to maintain theological continuity and fidelity for the next generation.”
Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. brings a wealth of experience in teaching and administration to his new role at RBC. … Most importantly, his firsthand knowledge of the life and ministry of the founder of Reformation Bible College—Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr.—will provide steady guidance as the college endeavors to be faithful to Dr. Sproul Sr.’s vision to teach nothing but the historic truths of biblical Christianity as understood in the consensus of the Reformed tradition.
R.C. Jr. was positioned for “many more years of…teaching and leadership.” He was also on the board of directors and a prestigious teaching fellow. Practically speaking, there were also huge implications for him resigning as rector of theology and professor of apologetics in the middle of the school year. I thought, “What is going on?” And why would R.C. Jr. give up his high positions and hefty six figure salary and benefits? We now know.
One last point, the resignation was “received and affirmed.” So how did this affirmation occur? Probably by a vote in which the majority board members prevailed and called for his resignation. If so, that’s why it was necessary to inform R.C. Sr. and the “entire” board after the fact.
Ten days transpired between the arrest and the resignation. During that time, there must have been intense discussions and negotiations on what to do and what to say. In the end, R.C. Jr. agreed to resign and they agreed to say nothing about his arrest. Oh, my Lord! Why couldn’t they just be honest! Did that ever occur to them?
R.C. Jr. should have said he was stepping down from all his positions because he was just arrested and may face jail time. Then he should have publicly asked forgiveness for his sinful example and its effects. The Ligonier Board should have said they could no longer keep R.C. Jr. in their employment given the charges and the reproach that has been brought to Christ. Instead, the truth was covered up but with consequences.
When R.C. Jr. was about to be exposed by hackers for Ashley Madison in August 2014, he put out a deceptive and deceitful “confession.” It was full of pretention and manipulation. Just as bad, Ligonier Ministries knew the statement was bogus but they promoted it as the one and only explanation for his actions. That is why I confronted Chris Larson, the President & CEO of Ligonier Ministries, after interacting with him and other over six months. The following is an excerpt.
From: Brent Detwiler [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:36 PM
To: Chris Larson firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: An Invitation to Repent
I couldn’t believe you were directing people to a statement you knew contained false and misleading information. In that moment, I realized you, and I must assume Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr. and the Ligonier Board, were committed to covering up for R.C. Jr. by promulgating his false narrative! …
Chris, I invite you to repent by the grace of Christ. Then I hope you will be used of God to lead R.C. Jr. to repentance along with all the related parties who have covered up for him. By “covered up” I mean not exposing his false narrative but instead promoting it. The evidence of repentance will be a public confession by R.C. Jr., you and the Ligonier Board.
Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr.’s greatest work and greatest contribution to the church is his teaching and book on the holiness of God. I highly commend it. And yet, the handling of his son over the years has been unholy. The same is true for the board of directors and other leaders who are familiar with R.C. Jr.’s disqualifying sins.
One can profess Scripture as their normative authority but it means nothing unless they embraced Scripture as their causative authority. In other words, the Bible commands us what to believe and it commands us how to behave. The former without the latter is called hypocrisy.
Partiality and favoritism combined with nepotism are lethal. In this case, it could have gotten people killed. This is yet another blow to my confidence that Ligonier Ministries will do what is right and biblical in times of temptation. Like so many other men and ministries, they have shown a greater concern for their own reputation than the reputation of Christ. As a result, the gospel has been harmed and their credibility greatly diminished. And now one of their chosen is facing serious criminal charges. The book of Lamentations is in order.
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