I did publish this response on my Facebook profile and as a comment to the main post (in there with 1,000 other comments, quite literally), but was asked to republish it here, in a place where others would have better access to it. I wanted to weigh in on a question that has come to some of us from many different sources. The question is:
Now that the blog has “done its job” will you close it down?
I think I can speak for all the other moderators when I explain that the answer is indefinitely no.
To answer the question, here are some thoughts:
1. No, the blog has not yet done its job. Donn Ketcham still has a license to practice medicine in the state of Michigan and is not a registered pedophile. (Please, let’s never forget how important this is. Let’s think about people and children in Allendale, Michigan, and not just ourselves.)
2. Those individual men responsible for the mess at ABWE have not repented individually, publicly or in writing. I speak of their sin and law-breaking (child endangerment laws) as individuals who bear individual responsibility for their actions, and I speak of a handful of men, not the organization as a whole. Let me be clear. Just a handful of men. We fully recognize that the board published a beautiful confession and we are appreciative of that.
[Addendum: Michael Loftis did recently admit in PRIVATE correspondence with moderators of the blog that "ABWE had an "inadequate" response to DK's sin. We made this letter from Loftis public, but note that he, himself, has never put his name on public repentance or confession in this matter. We take this seriously, and think it is important to note and should not be glossed over or forgotten.]
3. This blog has brought healing to a lot of people. Why would we shut it down? It is the story of truth and redemption. If some of the people discussed on this blog wish to have this blog, with over 1000 comments in just one month and over 6,000 views on average each day become a place where people read a story of redemption, they can go public with their apologies for ignorance or naivety or whatever they are guilty of, right here on this blog, as some others have done. Do you know what a blessing it has been to others? I hear this every day, what a blessing it is to see Christians stand up against lies and pedophiles, and see Christians admit they were wrong (i.e. aunts and uncles, the confession from ABWE’s board, etc.).
4. Even the Bible does not erase the sins of its “main characters” from history. Do you think David preferred the story of his sin with Bathsheba not be recorded in holy books? Do you think Thomas was a little embarrassed that his moment of doubt was all his coworkers for the gospel seemed to remember about him? Do you think the people Paul called out in his letters to various churches really wanted to be remembered that way for all eternity? God’s story is still being written. No, not the Bible, but the story of how God redeems and transforms His people every day.
People can either be part of it or they can look away, but if they are hoping this blog will shut down, they haven’t quite grasped the importance of transparency and honesty in ministry (and life!) and so this blog is still quite necessary.
- Tamara Barrick Rice