Why Keep Blogging?

A question 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 of why, 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.) UPDATE: The state of Michigan requested Ketcham’s medical license and he surrendered it in early 2012.

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.

9 Responses to Why Keep Blogging?

  1. Alex says:

    I fear you have lost sight of the gospel in your efforts to bring about “justice.” The website reeks of non-forgiveness, bitterness, and malice. I do not see hearts willing to repent — as hard as that might be. I see a group of people who have encountered suffering — and scripture has much to say about suffering — and are responding in such a way to self-medicate by making a public spectical of the matter via continual attacks of a man and an organization rather than praying and seeking true repentence and forgiveness. Instead of seeking forgiveness and understanding (again, as hard as it might be) you are causing destruction and division in the church — not to mention ripping the church apart in front of a watching world just waiting to jump on a reason to reject the church even further. Forgiveness is absolutely central to the gospel. As brothers and sisters in Christ we give forgiveness because Christ first forgave us — we need no more reason than this. Yes it is hard. Yes it is tiring. But it is commanded and absolutely possible through the power of the Spirit. You may say you have forgiven, but your actions speak otherwise. You may say you have the best interest of yourselves, this man, and ABWE in mind — but you are being devisive and destructive. “ABWE AND KETCHAM ARE DESTRUCTIVE!” you might be tempted to belt back — which perhaps they were — but we are commanded to forgive. The model given to us in scripture for dealing with matters such as these is dealing with them in the context of the church, in an orderly mannor, with the proper church (and state) discipline. You complain that there is no state discipline involved, and I understand this, but you need to let the GRACE investigation run its course and accept the outcome. God is a just God — He doesn’t need your help (nor does He ask for your help) in bringing judgment on sin. You are better off praying for your enemy (I believe Jesus commands this) than exposing him to the public outside of the church. I suggest you trying praying for Ketcham and ABWE. I suggest each of you spend time on your knees and on your faces begging the Lord to allow repentence of any wrong done, forgiveness of any wrong done, and reconciliation of all parties with each other and the Lord. This is not easy, but it is necessary. While you are trying to raise a big red flag on Ketcham’s adultry and infidelity (in the context of deep perversion via the molesting of children) you are abandoning Christ your Groom and committing adultry with the fleeting satisfaction of revenge, exploitation and non-forgiveness. I do not presume to know the depths of each of your hearts, nor do I presume to know the depth of your hurt, but from you actions and words it is easy to see that you as well have great need for repentence. I exhort you to remain faithful to Christ as His bride and not follow Ketcham’s example of adultry, but I also charge you to deeply evaluate your heart (and your heart and desires behind what you are doing on this website). I urge you to come to grips with your past hurt through prayer, study of God’s Word, and1 biblical counseling and then move forward proclaiming the Gospel and Christ’s power to heal and forgive. I plead with you to STOP tearing down the mission of Christ to appease your own personal mission. I plead with you to allow Christ to heal you and to move forward proclaiming the Gospel and its power to heal those in this world and to proclaim forgiveness as God has forgiven you and offer that forgiveness to the ends of the World. I plead with you to stop making a spectical, to genuinely learn how to deal with your past (and present) hurts, and to seek help. The Gospel is too precious and the need is far too great to point fingers and plan the destruction of a missions organization. I plead with you to offer solutions rather than continuing to make more problems. God knows Ketcham’s sins. God know’s your sins. If you (and Ketcham) have submitted your lives to Christ, these sins are forgiven and its time to press on with the Gosepl. Billions of human beings will (and are) perishing with no knowledge of the Gospel and will experience an eternal hell — allow God to heal you and beg God to consume your heart with the desire to make Him known. This doesn’t mean we swallow our hurts and pains and go on like they never happened, but we allow God to teach us what He was using them to teach us and we go on, pressing into the world with the Gospel because this life is so very short. We don’t have enough time to point fingers and play judge and make justice our goal — we have a God who is absolutely just and you better believe justice will be served. You commandment is to go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all Christ commanded. Let’s not get distracted. While you are spending countless hours pleading YOUR own case, numberless souls are perishing to hell with no knowledge of the gospel. Our hurts are temporary. Our pains just for a moment. Hell and eternal wrath are just that — eternal. Please, I beg you, pick up your cross and follow Christ. Obey all that He has commanded. Go to the ends of the earth. Otherwise, I beg you to relent the name of Christ and continue to be absorbed in the matters of this world (and of yourself) under another name — but not under the name of Jesus my King. Let Him heal you and continue to walk with Him in His purposes — if you are unwilling to do this, please stop claiming His name to the destruction of His church and His mission. Yes He absolutely cares about your situation — but He has bigger purposes than what you are trying to accomplish. Jump on board with His purposes or continue on your purposes and drop your ties to Him. You are hindering the spread of the Gospel by damaging the name of Christ and the name of the Church by your own efforts to bring justice.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Wow. All I can say is that we serve a God who loves justice, loves little girls and does not want to see another one fall into the hands of a predator because grownups remained silent and “moved on.” I serve a God who wants to cleanse His Church of unrighteousness and filth.

      Your perspective is skewed. You say we are pleading our own case … wasting hours, etc. You don’t get it. It’s not just about us. We certainly don’t see this as being about “us” or we’d have given up a long time ago.

      Please, grasp the much bigger picture that what we are doing is going to save–we pray–OTHER little MKs from harm. We are not distracted from the gospel. We are bringing it to those who believe that God has abandoned them. They MUST hear the voices of believers crying out for them, and anyone who does not see that we are losing children to pedophiles every day in this country and abroad is blind.

      And I would thank you to not make the assumption that we do not already study Scripture and spend time in prayer and receive counsel. You really don’t have any idea who we are and how missional we are and how seriously we take God’s call on our lives.

      We obviously see our Christian calling to proclaim God’s love and gospel and forgiveness very differently. I believe that we are called to bring it to the oppressed and marginalized as much as anyone else on earth. Who are the oppressed and marginalized? Some of them are abused children, all grown up now, who must know that God loves them and must see His church rise up against this evil.

      Pedophilia is a crime in this country and so is covering it. Do you fault us for wanting to see laws enforced?

      As for dividing the Church, this is actually a moment for unity. Many churches are standing with us. What greater calling than to cleanse the Lord’s work from sin?

      — Tam

      • watching closely says:

        There is a HUGE difference between being adulterous, physically or spiritually, and sexually abusing children! Sexual predators do not just commit adultery, they use innocent, defenseless children for sexual purposes. If we were honest, all of us would have to concede that we have been spiritually adulterous, loving other things or people more than we love God. It’s not right, but it is not the same thing as abusing children for selfish, deviant purposes!

        As for spreading the Gospel, what kind of Gospel are we spreading if we preach one thing and live something completely different? Since when is telling the truth, uncovering the truth, fighting for the truth, detrimental to the spread of the Gospel? Who is going to listen to us if we can’t even admit the truth to ourselves?

        Pedophilia IS a crime in this country and so is failing to inform the authorities and warn future potential victims. The MK’s represented here waited 20+ years, in pain and silence. Don’t let anyone silence you now. Other people need your voice.

        As for dividing the Church, the Church has been dividing itself for centuries. Things like the color of the carpeting, the choice of hymnals, which version of the Bible to use, and what kind of music to use for church services have been dividing the church for years. If the issue of sexual abuse and covering it up actually were the cause of some divisions in the church . . . well, I would see it as making progress. Churches would finally be dividing over an issue that really matters!

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Alex,
      You need to re-read and study Matthew 18 and I Timothy. Paul is clear in I Timothy chapter 5, verse 20 when he says, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” The context is the spiritual leaders of the church. What you fail to recognize is that the leadership of ABWE has been confronted privately for over two decades to make this right. They were asked to identify Dr. Donn Ketcham as the pedophile that he is. By their quiet dismissal of him from the mission they have exposed hundreds of children to a known criminal. They have put other churches at risk. In fact, they have put the state of Michigan at risk. What ABWE did was criminal and the world can see it, as evidenced by the Penn State debacle.

      You want to blame the abuse survivors for damaging the name of Christ? You are seriously, grievously wrong in that accusation. Matthew 18 holds the perpetrator of crimes against children highly accountable for his actions. In fact, Matthew writes, “Woe to the one by whom temptation comes!” specifically referring to the man/woman believer who leads others into sin. In fact, they would be better off dead. Those are some pretty powerful words. From Scripture. I haven’t heard anyone calling for the death of Donn Ketcham or ABWE leadership. I have only seen them call for accountability. The church errs when it decides to handle crimes like this in house. What Donn Ketcham and the leadership of ABWE did is CRIMINAL. Legally and morally criminal. There is nothing in Scripture that justifies a response as you have laid out in your post. Nothing. The church damages their own name when they place themselves above the law.

      The gospel is not forgiveness alone. The gospel is forgiveness based on repentance. God does not need me to make His name great. I cannot hurt God’s character. Your words are abusive and manipulative but the Holy Spirit of God has opened my eyes to people like you who twist and distort Scripture to say what you want it to. Your words no longer hurt me, as (I am confident by your tone and excessive verbiage) you intended them to.

      Please read Scripture for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes. You will find forgiveness. You will also find the requirement of repentance. And, last but not least, you will find that the leaders of the church are held to a high standard of accountability. And when they fall, they fall for the world to see. They make their own decision to be a public spectacle when they choose to sin and refuse to repent.

      Diana Durrill

  2. Alex says:

    I first tried to post this on December 9, 2011 but is still “awaiting moderation” — i.e. intentionally being ignored and not posted. That being said my previous attempt said: I hear what all of you are saying. I agree that pedophilia is a crime. I absolutely agree that we are to take the gospel to the marginalized and oppressed. I agree that it is imperative that we live and preach the same message. But here is where we differ: I believe your ambition is too small and your desires are too weak (as is true of myself — Lord help us). I would argue that based on reading through 85% of all the posts, forums, etc. that your message and your actions differ tremendously. You say you want to bring the gospel and hope to children (girls) who are victims of pedophilia? I say that is an incredibly beautiful ambition. Your outworking? Way off. You will not bring the gospel to these girls (children, men, women) by making a public spectical of Ketcham and ABWE. You will not bring the gospel to these hurting individuals by launching an attack on Ketcham and ABWE. The posts are dripping with bitterness and sarcasm. There is an evident theme of anger and the innate desire to “take down” the person who has harmed you. Your attitudes seem unwilling to truly work in cooperation and you (plural) seem to be snide. You want justice on this earth? So do I. But the scriptures are very clear that vengeance is the Lord’s. It is not our place to punish other’s sins. ABSOLUTELY let the law run its course. We have a penal system for a reason, and God has placed that system around us for our protection, but vengeance is not yours. Public humiliation is not yours to give. Shame and disgrace poured out on a man and an organization are not yours to give. Perhaps you should begin publically declaring the deepest, darkest pits of your heart. Perhaps we should compile a list of all the men (and women) who struggle deeply with pornography and post them on a web page because they are fueling human trafficking and we should make it our goal and our ambition to take each one of them down and see that they are properly punished for being part of that fuel? (Not to mention the huge child pornography industry and child trafficking.) Or maybe, maybe we should make a list of all the men and women living in secret adultery in our churches and post them on a blog too and go to the news station with our list and we see that each of them receives their due punishment? What about the people who in their heart of hears absolutely HATE another people group or race? We should make a list of all the people with deep rooted hatred for a certain people and have them punished for their sins? Or even better yet, perhaps YOU should flood this blog and the forums with all of YOUR hidden sins and proclaim your deepest, darkest struggles to the world. Maybe you should offer yourself to public humiliation by spouting out all our your evil thoughts and desires and all the nasty judgments every one of us makes on others. Perhaps then you will be given a smidgen of a privilege to announce his deepest, darkest sins. I know this may sounds extreme, but it is the road your actions/mindset takes us down. If Ketcham was a normal American Joe with no knowledge of Christ then the governments penal system is about as far as things can go. BUT we are dealing with a brother in Christ. We are dealing with a man who committed incredible evil (just like you and I) and the biblical prescription to dealing with this situation is simple not the same as yours (red flagged raised now). The biblical prescription is to offer repentant man healing and reconciliation — which both ABWE and Ketcham seem to be in their many ignored pleads for forgiveness. What’s that mean? It means the church surrounds him and offers him much needed hope and compassion. It means we allow the church, and ultimately the Holy Spirit, to heal him and rehabilitate him. It means we pour love on our enemies and we hope for his repentance and for God to help him become everything Christ died for him to be. Your approach of isolation, humiliation, and condemnation are absolutely contrary to the gospel. Can’t you see this? From everything I’ve read what you want is for this man to be absolutely stripped down, broken down, and imprisoned. You want this man to lose everything and to be thrown in a lonely jail cell for the rest of his life. Can’t you see this is not Biblical? This is what it all comes down to: You want to bring the gospel to hurting victims of pedophilia? Show them how to forgive. Show them how to come face to face with God our Forgiver and to embrace His love and compassion and His concern for them in their hurt. Show them who God is through the way you live, forgive, show compassion, and healing. THAT is living and preaching the same thing. Justice is not yours. Vengeance is the Lord’s. For now we live in a corrupt, evil, messed up world. For now we have sleepless nights filled with tears as we wrestle with the sin around us and why we, God’s children, are marginalized in this world. Why do I get the shaft while it seems the whole world is living in the mirage of worldly satisfaction? Oh but the Lord will have His day and on that day sin will be judged and we will be glorified with Christ and live for eternity in sinless bliss praising our King! Yes! You want to make the gospel known to victims of pedophilia? Forgive. Teach them to forgive. Show them in your life what it means to know God and to be saved by the power of Jesus Christ on a cross and to be TRANSFORMED. You will never be satisfied on the road you are traveling – perhaps you follow this all the way to Ketcham’s imprisonment. On that day, and maybe the few weeks following, you will feel all warm and fuzzy inside – accomplished. And then what? You have wrecked a man’s life and kicked him while he was down (yes, you may claim that he has wrecked your life, but there is healing in Christ and revenge is not biblical). If he get’s imprisoned will you be happy? Will these victims know Christ because of it? Do you really think looking them in the eye and saying “the guy who molested me is in prison now, everything is going to be alright” provides them any sort of eternal hope? Not at all. If anything they will wonder well what about the man who molested me? I get no vengeance? Or they will make it their life’s ambition to get the man who molested them to put in prison – still all the while forsaking the mercy and grace and compassion shown to us on the cross and never being confronted with the God of the gospel who has forgiven us of our sins – which are just as evil and heinous in His eyes. This is why I plead with you to hop on board with Jesus’ purposes OR continue with your own and drop your ties to Him. You are forsaking the grace and mercy shown you by not in return showing it to Ketcham or ABWE. That is called hypocrisy and selfishness. So do I think you are preaching the same message that you are living? Absolutely not. You botch the gospel up in your actions. You are teaching revenge and justice in the hands of man, not forgiveness and compassion as shown to man from God. Again, I believe your ambitions are too small and your desires are too weak – think bigger, think Gospel.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Yes, there has been a delay in posting this. Quite frankly, I can’t wrap my head around your thought process. I was there. I saw my best friend’s life destroyed. I saw how the mission responded, both then and now. I expect more accountability from an organization claiming to be spreading the Gospel around the world. It’s not just about Donn Ketcham. It’s about the leadership who knew what happened and instead of helping the victims, helped the perpetrator.
      -Susannah Goddard Weldy

  3. Pamela E. Bennett says:

    It is obvious that ABWE has admitted their cover up and complicity to the sinful actions of Dr. Donn William Ketcham. Did their cover up and complicity hurt the Gospel of Christ? The documentation is written from ABWE’s own hand (I am referring to the Russ Lloyd Diary). Dr. Donn William Ketcham is an admitted adulterer as well as an admitted pedophile. I realize adultery is not a crime but pedophilia is definitely a crime, now as well as when it was happening by Dr. Donn William Ketcham. Many people outside the Gospel of Christ as well as ABWE knew Dr. Donn William Ketcham was an adulterer even when he was just beginning his service as a missionary doctor. Did this hurt the Gospel of Christ? I am wondering if Alex has reprimanded ABWE for their sinful actions of allowing a pedophile to literally walk free as he has reprimanded the victims of this blog, on two occasions, for their exposure of this sin? Remember we are talking about a crime, not sin alone. ABWE has also made this public knowledge on their web site, admittedly only when they were forced to do so, but none the less, it is out there for all to see. The fact that ABWE knew Dr. Donn William Ketcham was an adulterer before they found out he was also a pedophile should make us wonder about ABWE’s character and assessment of their missionaries. Once again did their cover up of Dr. Donn William Ketcham’s adultery not hurt the Gospel of Christ? Had ABWE dealt with Dr. Donn William Ketcham’s adultery these girls would not have had to do this in the first place as he would have been terminated as an adulterer well before he had access to these girls. What kind of testimony was left for ABWE when Dr. Donn William Ketcham was allowed to go back into practicing medicine allowing the very thing he did to children in Bangladesh possibly happen to children in the U.S? You don’t have to research very far to understand the chances of a pedophile just stopping his sin against children to all of a sudden stop is very slim. I have no personal knowledge of this happening mind you but I would have my doubts it just stopped. The Bengali people knew what was going on? It was apparent the Bengali people and ABWE knew Dr. Donn William Ketcham was committing adultery while he was on the field. Did that hurt the Gospel of Christ? The Bengali people saw how ABWE handled the sin of Dr. Donn William Ketcham when it finally came out by the 14 year old victim. Did that hurt the Gospel of Christ? When I read the Russ Lloyd Diary, I could hardly believe these 2 men cared about the Gospel of Christ? When sin is exposed why do we think it hurts the Gospel of Christ? Isn’t the Gospel of Christ all about sin in the first place. If we weren’t sinners we wouldn’t need the Gospel of Christ. This is bigger than the wickedness of Dr. Donn William Ketcham, this is the fact that ABWE hurt the Gospel of Christ when they chose self preservation rather than deal with sin in the camp. We have to keep remembering this sin was also a crime. Did the fact that the sin of Dr. Donn William Ketcham was far reaching from that point until this very day not hurt the Gospel of Christ? This sin in the camp is now having to be dealt with. I find it ludicrous that these girls are called out as hurting the Gospel of Christ when the fact is ABWE is wholly responsible for hurting the Gospel of Christ along with the evil deeds of Dr. Donn William Ketcham. How ABWE thought they would be able to get away with this is beyond me anyway. It reminds me of the new technology of DNA. Criminals of the past thought they got away with their crimes until this new technology and now their crimes are catching up with them. I say this is a VERY GOOD thing indeed. Full stop.

  4. Bill in South Jersey says:

    To the Victims: I don’t have any direct connection to any of you or your families, that I know of, except that I grew up in an evangelical church near the headquarters of ABWE, and knew some people connected with the mission. All were wonderful people, and none – so far as I know – had anything whatsoever to do with your story. But, as a PK whose family was fully immersed in their church, your story resonates with me, because I know the trust that is inherent within the Christian community, and I know what its like to be a young Christian, coming up in that environment. This blog is not a story about a pervert, as some who may be closer to all this seem to think. This is a story about you, and its story that, even though it’s sad and tragic, is beautiful. It’s beautiful because of you: your beauty shines through, as you try your best to find redemption and forgiveness in this mess.You are brave and inspired. You are setting a wonderful example for your children and other victims of abuse. Your tone speaks of truth and reconciliation. It is clear that you are not out “get” anyone. Don’t be distracted by those who criticize your message or method. One is needed, the other is appropriate. Don’t be beguiled by those who cloak there criticisms in the language of scripture; you have nothing to feel guilty for, you’re doing the right, honest and Christian thing.You’ve helped me find a little bit of my faith today. Thank you.
    To Alex: You are the kind of self-righteous spiritual bully who made me leave evangelicalism many years ago. You are one of those Christians who comes off as caring, concerned and irrefutably knowledgeable in the ways of the Spirit, but who is a judgmental and overbearing know-it-all who ultimately does more to destroy the church than to build it. Who are you to instruct these women in biblical precepts? Who are you to judge their motives or actions? If I were to be allowed one sin in Heaven, it would be that of laughing at your confusion and embarrassment when you finally arrived and were to discover that you didn’t know half of what you thought you did.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Thank you for your support, Bill. It means the world to us. We desperately need encouragement. We believe that we are doing the right thing before God, and your encouragement is a boon to our weary spirits.

      – Tamara

Thank You for Reading | We Are Unable to Moderate Comments At This Time

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s