R.C. Sproul, Jr., Ligonier Ministries, Abuse, Reformation Bible College
Ligonier Ministries has reported that RC Sproul, Jr. is stepping down from Ligonier Ministries & Reformation Bible College citing personal reasons:
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.
After this announcement was publicized, I noticed that his social media accounts were closed. His Facebook account was shut down. His Twitter account was changed to private. His blog was shut down entirely. However, I checked this morning and his Facebook account is up again.
You may recall that last year, R.C. Sproul, Jr. confessed to “visiting” the Ashley Madison site, only after hackers said they were releasing names of people registered to the site. This confession was published August 31, 2015:
In August 2014, in a moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity, I visited Ashley Madison. My goal was not to gather research for critical commentary, but to fan the flames of my imagination. There I found two gracious judgments. First, I felt the grace of fear. Second, I felt the grace of shame. I was there long enough to leave an old email address. And within minutes I left, never to return. I did not sign up for their service or interact with any clients. I have always remained faithful to my wife even after her passing.
The grace of God’s judgment bore its fruit, and by His grace I repented of my sin. By His grace, I have also received His forgiveness, the outworking of His love. Prophetic providence had done its good office. Jesus died for this sin, but there are still earthly consequences. With the revelation of the hack has come the revelation of my sin. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016. I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And now the world is informed. (Wayback Machine cache: http://web.archive.org/web/20161025140139/http://rcsprouljr.com/blog/general/judgment-and-grace/)
Ironically, just a month before the above confession (July 22, 2015), Sproul, Jr. had written this article on Ashley Madison.
The reality is that nothing that we do is private. Not because of the shocking reach of the Internet, not because of the devious skills of hackers, but rather because all that we do is known by the One who knows all things. The reality is that we all sin before the eyes of the watching God of Heaven and Earth. Not only that, but all of our sins will one day be publicly exposed. On that great day of judgment, there will be no delete; there will be no erase; there will be no way to hide all that all of us have done. It is my hope that this kind of cyber assault might wake us up to that reality.
My prayer is that we, even if we haven’t committed adultery, even if we haven’t flirted with committing adultery, even if we just learned about Ashley Madison, would just recognize and embrace the biblical truth that our sins will find us out. (Wayback Machine cache: http://web.archive.org/web/20161025140733/http://rcsprouljr.com/jce/hacking-ashley-madison/)
A quick Google search will show that R.C. Sproul, Jr., has a long checkered past. He was defrocked years ago (spiritual abuse) and started his own church group. He has long promoted Patriarchy. A number of people have send me reports of spiritual abuse, and here is one of the most popular blog articles in which I share one of the most demeaning and demoralizing ways a husband can treat a wife, wife spanking: The Christian Patriarchy Movement’s Dark Secret of Wife Spanking.
R.C. Sproul, Jr., has denied that he has taught husbands to spank their wives, or that he spanked his own wife. However, the article tells the account of one pastor, and referenced two others who also acknowledged these practices at Sproul’s house. Obviously, I am unable to verify this personally, but three different people saying the same story causes one to take note. Additionally, in a religious climate where women are ruled over by husbands, one doesn’t have to travel much more down that path to acknowledge that disciplining wives is not too far-fetched. It seems to be a natural progression in the husband/ruler and wife submissive/obedient roles.
So far, it’s unclear why he is stepping away from his positions. He recently remarried in the past couple of months (his first wife died after a long illness). Other than that, he’s been relatively quiet.
This will be a story to watch. There are far too many unanswered questions about what has happened in the churches under his watch. It is my strong belief that R.C. Sproul, Jr.’s long history of bad conduct/behavior makes him unfit for the pastorate. We don’t need any more harmed sheep.
Here are a few recents articles that have come out since the latest announcement.
- The Christian Post by Leonardo Blair: R.C. Sproul Jr Resigns From Ligonier Ministries a Year After Ashley Madison Confession
- Brent Detwiler blog: R.C. Sproul Jr. Resigns from Ligonier Ministries & Reformation Bible College for Undisclosed Reasons
Here are some older posts for reference:
The Christian Post: R.C. Sproul Jr Resigns From Ligonier Ministries a Year After Ashley …
The Christian Post: Christian Minister R.C. Sproul Jr. Is Suspended After Confessing …
- Christianity Today: Ligonier Suspends RC Sproul Jr. over Ashley Madison Visit