Yesterday Josh Harris of Covenant Life Church spoke publicly about the Nate Morales trial. Honestly, I want to see nothing but sincerity in his words. I have always liked Josh Harris. Even when I didn’t agree with him, I liked what I saw in him.
Brent Detwiler and others, including myself, said that Josh had made an admission of knowing about Nate Morales and the issue of his abuse.
Soon thereafter people were saying they heard no such admission. Joe Carter, of The Gospel Coalition called it a fabrication. Some said we were spreading rumors. Lies even.
Why did we think he admitted he knew about Nate Morales and his sexual abuse of children? The following is what he said around the seven minute mark:
“The three other men who had any connection to handling the Nate Morales issue are ready to do the same thing (take a leave of absence). This is me, Kenneth, Corby and Robin.”
This statement means one of two things. Either all four had to handle the issue of Nate Morales or just the “three other men” did. And since you cannot handle an issue you do not know about, either Josh and the “three other men” knew or Josh did not know and he is throwing them under the bus. And the latter seems unlikely. I just see Josh doing that unless they gave him permission. And in that case, I would expect him to make that point clear. But none of that really jives with everything else he said. The only meaning that makes sense to me is that they all four were “handling the Nate Morlaes issue” and therefore knew.
I’m willing to entertain other opinions as to what this statement could mean.
Thinking hard myself….maybe he only heard third hand (or not directly from victim and/or guardian)? Wanting to be charitible before throwing a claim of liar out there, but am struggling to come up with something. At a minimum, any reason we shouldn’t expect him to do at a minimum, what paterno did and resign? And why now….did some fact change with grant’s admission (other than they got caught?). Brent is all in on this one, at the cost of his livelihood, I have to think he’s playing with a full house and not bluffing….
I am no defender of SGM or CLC, what they have done in allowing sexual predators to continue to prey on children is reprehensible. I have tried to give Josh the benefit of the doubt. These things happened long before he was pastor at CLC. It is getting harder to keep giving that to him, though. I listened to his message yesterday and it is hard to know what he knew when, because he believes he cannot discuss it while there is litigation pending. So the waters around this are still mirky as ever. I think he is in the wrong for not just coming out and being straight forward with it all, who knew what when, litigation be damned. That is the only way to clear it up for sure.
That being said, IF he is telling the truth, then he believed the letter CLC sent out last year to be true, the pastors at CLC did not know anything about Morales abuse. If that is the case, then he was lied to by some or all of the other three pastors. Some of them actually did know and did not tell him. But in any case, I think what he is saying is that regardless if he knew or didn’t and was lied to or kept in the dark, it is his responsibility and the three other pastors and the buck stops with him and them.
Lots of speculation to get to that place. As long as Josh will not be forth coming with all the information about who knew what when, and protects CLC from litigation, that is all any of can do. He is wrong to not tell the entire truth now.
According to reports of the sermon Josh preached this past Sunday, he broke into tears and asked everybody to pray for the CLC pastors:
“Josh started crying and asking people to pray for the difficult time that he and the pastors are going through. Once again, it’s all about them. What about those that were abused. The families that were destroyed? The aftermath of horrendous decades of sinful leadership?” ( SGM survivors quote).
No matter what the truth is, and even if Harris has been innocent of any cover up, how can anybody hear about the most gruesome testimonies victims gave at the trial, and then beg for prayer for the CLC pastors?
SGM has been a pastor centered, leader worshipping organization, and even if CLC pulled out, it may take years to get that pastor centered mindset out of Josh. Why wasn’t he in tears begging people to pray for sex abuse victims, and for revival in this depraved world we live in. Why wasn’t he crying and begging for prayer that God protect little kids?
Pray for the pastors of CLC? You have to be kidding me.
I too hope Josh is weak and was brainwashed and will come out of it all eventually. A leave of absence can’t hurt. Until his focus is the flock-especially sex abuse victims from his own church – and not the pastors, he has a big problem and is not qualified to pastor.
In my experience, this is quite typical behaviour from those who see themselves as being above the rest of the body and who think they have a position to protect.