It looks like the whole mess at Ligonier may (thankfully!) be drawing to a close. This afternoon two statements were posted to Ligonier’s web site. The first was from Ligonier’s Senior Management and the second from CEO Tim Dick. Since I have posted on this matter in the past, I may as well carry on and post what I (optimistically) hope represents the end of the matter.
Here is the statement from Senior Management (link):
On August 24, 2006, Ligonier Ministries filed a legal complaint and a request for an injunction since no ecclesiastical court could be found. The filing was an attempt to stem the slanderous and reckless allegations being made about Ligonier and its leaders on the Internet by an individual known as Frank Vance, whose true identity is still unknown to us.
The accuser’s malicious attacks culminated with the accusation that Ligonier defrauded Soli Deo Gloria, in our recent acquisition of it. This has been categorically refuted by Don Kistler, SDG’s founder.
Threats to Ligonier and its leadership have continued to escalate, with the accuser issuing deadlines for Ligonier to answer his non-credible charges. At one point our president was told he had “put a knife to his own throat,” by ignoring the accuser.
Throughout this entire ordeal, numerous emails and posts refuting the accuser were ignored by him. Mediation through ecclesiastical means is always preferred. On at least six occasions, we have sought information from the accuser as to how we might contact his pastor or session. The accuser has refused all requests, publicly scoffing at the notion.
Based on godly counsel we have received from churchmen and others, the decision was reached not to pursue a conclusion to this matter through the legal system.
Having withdrawn the complaint, we ask friends and fellow believers to pray that we will have wisdom as this matter comes to a peaceful end.
We are grieved by the entire matter, and we desire that God be glorified by the outcome of this decision.
– Ligonier Ministries’ Senior Management
And here is the statement from Tim Dick (link):
Public Statement from Tim Dick
President and CEO of Ligonier Ministries
On August 24, 2006 a complaint was filed in a Judicial Court of Seminole County, by Ligonier Ministries seeking injunctive relief because of the significant threats and allegations being made by a “blogger” under the name Frank Vance, whose true identity is yet unknown.
The decision to take this step was extremely difficult. The intention of the complaint was simply to respond to the unfounded, slanderous attack of our accuser, and to seek an objective response. I attempted to resolve this in private, as my beliefs require. Each time I refuted the accusations, he refused to listen. My denials were then used by the accuser to perpetuate his blog commentary. At that point, I stopped interacting with the accuser, who again escalated his attack, continuing to exhibit, by his public and private conduct, a testimony inconsistent with that of a Christian.
In light of Don Kistler’s statement and our concern for the health of the church, I have asked that our complaint be withdrawn. I regret any confusion this may have caused to our constituents, staff, Board of Directors and our friends and colleagues in the Christian community. As the President and CEO of Ligonier Ministries I accept full responsibility for the decision and consider the matter closed. I pray that in the days ahead, God will be glorified as we continue to serve Him.