Where was the civil duty exercised in allegedly not reporting the concerns of parents and church leaders? Where was the restraint of conscience when Brandon was celebrated prior to his move to California after notification of alleged misconduct? Where was the accountability of the leaders? Were we in the pews being asked to increase our giving in the wake of lawsuits and protective orders against fellow members? I’m just asking.

“Steve’s sermons from the pulpit centered on the path to restoration. His June 7 topic incorporated several verses that encapsulated the need for restraint. He spoke of the restraints of government and the God-given restraints of conscience, family, civil authority, and the church. He likened the church to ‘salt to preserve what would otherwise decay in our society.’ He went on, ‘So when we go through times of brokenness, it is important to reinforce and strengthen and lean into the church, the structure that God has supplied. How do we do that? How do we support the church, because the church is always imperfect, yet beautiful, God-ordained? First, we have to fight for it, not against it. Support the leaders. Pray. Instead of being a critic, find something positive. Increase of giving over previous years.” At that point he dropped the all-too-frequent call for money.” (Taylor, Joy S., A View from the Pews — The Inside Story of a Broken Church, 2022, Lily of the Valley Publishing, Santa Claus IN, pp. 109-110.)

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