Paul's Passing Thoughts

Some Hope in GRACE, and ABWE’s Position on the MKs via the Michael Loftis Letter

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 31, 2012

GRACE (Godly Response To Abuse In The Christian Environment), the organization investigating the “actions” of GARB (General Association of Regular Baptists) missionary Donn Ketcham issued an update (circa) yesterday. Ketcham was a missionary under the Association of Baptist for World Evangelism (ABWE) which is primarily sponsored by GARB.  All in all, I found the report reasonable and hopeful. Though I am uncomfortable with GRACE’s softball language, I suppose I understand that they need to be brutally neutral in the situation. Sometimes the only hope we have is the hope of others in the situation, and that was the hope I was functioning on until this report.

I went to school to become a police officer, but even at a very young age, I faced up to the fact that I didn’t have the temperament for it and bailed. While attending Law Enforcement classes at Sinclair in the 70’s, I used to ask myself if I thought a child molester would make it to the police station while in my custody without some unfortunate accident occurring. Probably not, so I went into sales instead. You may preface this article with that information in tow. As Clint Eastwood used to say while portraying the character, Dirty Harry: “A man has to know his limitations.” Dirty Harry also exemplified the kind of righteous indignation that pastors used to have.

However, even with the softball language, GRACE revealed some information that adds oil to the lamp shining light on ABWE’s sleaziness. Sorry, good works, and even good people, does not fix sleaze—only genuine repentance or separation does. Christ said a little leaven leavens the whole lump; ABWE can’t have their sleaze and their good works both.  And I may not know much, but even a child can see that ABWE’s responses thus far are full of our good works outweigh these “unfortunate circumstances” (i.e., the ABWE “flagpoles” press release).

Apparently, ABWE wanted to meet with various MKs prior to the final report by GRACE—GRACE deemed this idea “premature.” Ya, no kidding. GRACE also pointed out in the report that such meetings would be unwise because, in my interpretation of the lingo, the meetings would not be based on full disclosure. Some kind of supposed reconciliation based on partial information; that’s definitely not a good idea. Add the fact that GRACE somewhat committed to a timeline for wrapping up their investigation (18 months which I think is very reasonable compared to my 30 minute trip on the way to the police station), and hope is rising. Also, the fact that ABWE heeded GRACE’s “encourage[d]ment” to postpone such visits may indicate that the GRACE organization has some teeth in this matter.

The apostle Paul said, in essence, that our actions are a letter describing our lives and hearts. ABWE’s heart in this matter is evident via the Dr. Michael Loftis letter. Shortly after becoming president of ABWE, Loftis and other ABWE leaders were confronted at a reunion with information about the pedophilia that took place on the ABWE mission field in Bangladesh:

Early 2002 – At “The Return” ABWE MK reunion at Messiah College a group of MKs, now grown women, tell Michael Loftis and ABWE employee Jess Eaton about the abuse they suffered from Donn Ketcham while children on the mission field–these specific women are promised an investigation (which did not happen until GRACE was hired in 2011); these specific women are promised payment for counseling (which did not happen until 2010, after a sibling insisted ABWE begin helping)–note: only a fraction of Donn Ketcham’s MK victims were even present at “The Return”

Loftis knew. And apparently, didn’t keep his word to the victims for a light starter. Nothing could be more obvious than the fact that zip was going to be done until the victims published their infosite on the internet in 2011, roughly nine years after informing Loftis. Nevertheless, when the gig was up, he wrote syrupy letters to supporting churches and ABWE missionaries that described his languishing and pining away at the fact that these precious missionary children were “estranged” from the ABWE Waltonesque family located in spiritual Mayberry RFD.  And for the most part, the GARB flock of penguins bought into the motif hook, line, and sinker. As more and more information has surfaced, a denial mentality has reached biblical proportions in GARB circles. The looming GRACE report must now look like a horse dinosaur pill that is not going to be easily swallowed. I have come to believe, though grudgingly, that GRACE is not going to sugarcoat this thing.

Loftis knew, Loftis didn’t keep his word, and Loftis was disingenuous. And his actions may have also been criminal. Consider this recent news report:

Staffers at a charter school in La Marque are accused of taking almost three weeks to inform authorities that one of their students reported being sexually assaulted, Texas City police officials confirmed Monday.

The three employees at Mainland Preparatory Academy were each charged last week with failure to report child abuse. Police said the girl, 10, told the school officials that she had been assaulted in mid-December by a man identified by authorities as Derrick Wayne Reed, 29.

“It was not reported to (Child Protective Services) or a law enforcement agency until Jan. 4,” said Capt. Brian Goetschius.

State law mandates that school workers are required to report allegations of child abuse to the proper authorities within 48 hours.

Goetschius said the three school workers were questioned about what happened. Texas City police identified them as Diane Merchant, 58, Wilma Green, 67, and Rayshandra Ashthon, 29. They have since been released on bail and could not be reached for comment.

Notice that at least in Texas, it is the “allegation” that must be reported within 48 hours—nothing about when or where the allegation occurred. But even if Loftis’ response was not criminal, it is certain that other events surrounding what was reported to him were. It is what it is. At the very least, his actions were so egregious that it even prompted ABWE to deem him the most worthy of escape goats to be thrown under the bus. Even with that, ABWE made no mention of why there was a mutual agreement between him and the board that it was a good time to end his stellar service as president of ABWE. But everyone knew the timing was no accident.

But Loftis now serves as a letter that clearly shows the heart of ABWE and GARB in particular. Loftis is presently in high demand as a speaker/leader in GARB circles, and has been on the Board of Trustees at Cedarville University throughout the ABWE scandal, pre and post. Cedarville University is to GARB what Westminster Theological Seminary is to the Presbyterians. My wife Susan, an alumnus of Cedarville, is still working on her article that concerns Loftis’ position as Trustee at Cedarville.

As far as we know, Loftis has not made his 9-year boo-boo right with the MKs. Because apparently, he thinks like ABWE: our good works outweigh our boo-boos, even the big ones like pedophilia. But in all of this, there is hope in ABWE’s buffoonery: they fear GRACE more than they fear the counsel of the apostle Paul who said that he beat his body into subjection so that he wouldn’t be disqualified from preaching the gospel. Behold the arrogance of ABWE/Loftis: the apostle Paul could have been disqualified, but not them. Too many good works. And apparently, the apostle Paul was afraid that he couldn’t generate the good works that the spiritual behemoths of our day like Loftis can produce.

I know what you’re thinking: “They ought to beat the GRACE report to the punch. Have a no holds barred coming to Jesus blood bath. Let GRACE mediate it—they would come out of this looking like what everybody wants to believe about them.”

They aren’t that smart. Their utter stupidity and spiritual blindness adorned with Doctorate degrees precedes them.


2 Responses

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  1. Jo said, on May 31, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    I get it. And I truly hope that GRACE peels back every single onion-skin-thin layer of cover-up to expose the roots of the cancer to the air of truth.

    The news report from TX is interesting. I used to work in a school corp where (long story short) I was afraid that the principal was going to get in trouble for not immediately reporting a high school student’s complaint about abuse. How immediately? I think he was about 30-40 minutes late. On another occasion I stayed about an hour after work so I could be with 3 children who were picked up by the family services people. Even the world knows that no time can be wasted.


  2. Bene D said, on February 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    ABWE dumped G.R.A.C.E. today, just a few weeks before the final report, and hires a private PI firm which generates reports for their eyes only.


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