What do you call telling the crowd you aren’t pressuring or inserting influence against the outspoken while you allow your alliances with family and the elders to move against them? What is the term for filing lawsuits against the whistleblowers to stop them from talking to the church body? The elders announced the lawsuit filed against those who openly recounted the story of Brandon’s actions and the senior minister’s reactions about eight days after the leaders’ meeting. The petition came out on behalf of the senior minister and FCCF. Did the church pay the legal fees? Did the senior minister and the elders opt to use the tithes and offerings of the flock in this way without consulting the church body? I don’t know; I’m just asking.

“He made a point of mentioning a couple of times that he would never ‘strong-arm or threaten’ or otherwise influence what the college should do about Professor Lay and the case study. I noticed that Steve distanced himself from the action in implying he would never, but it was okay if his brother was the one influencing the college to silence Prof. Lay.

Elder #5 broke in to tell the audience that attempts at meetings and communication via email had occurred between the whistleblowers and the elders, including Steve. He talked of moving toward reconciliation in some vague way and proceeded to inform us that Doug and Tamy Lay had been asked to step down as Sunday school teachers at FCCF. I am not sure how removing them was a conciliatory step.” (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. 88-89.)

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