This is a brief post that is an analysis of Covenant Life Church’s Mark Mitchell email regarding the arrest of Larry Caffery. This email is basically useless as it withholds key information and shows that the DNA of Sovereign Grace remains in the organization.
“I am a passionate believer of freedom of speech. I would not support anything which would impinge on aggressive robust freedom of the British press, but when things go wrong and there has been outright illegality, there should be proper accountability.”
“Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and judgment.”
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
Proverbs 16:16 NIV
There has been a lot happening with Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Covenant Life was formerly ground zero for the movement of spiritual tyranny known as Sovereign Grace. Its pretty clear that its DNA is still present and a factor I would contend. On Friday I plan to review the newest situation but I read the following letter by Mark Mitchell to the congregation and I felt it deserved to be analyzed. Larry Caffery was arrested on March 16, 2016. Covenant Life Church allegedly learned of the arrest on March 26, 2016. Mark Mitchell who once claimed that Satan was attacking Covenant Life emailed out the congregation on March 29. I want to do this quick post analyzing the letter Mark Mitchell sent to the congregation. Since we are talking about Mark Mitchell, the “Church Lady” from Saturday Night Live makes another appearance. Mark Mitchell earned that title here at The Wondering Eagle when he claimed that CLC is under satanic attack in the form of a Washingtonian article about Covenant life.
When I read this email below that Mark Mitchell sent out it raised a number of issues, that I think need to be discussed. I will write below in red and as always I invite correction and your thoughts.
Dear church family,
I am sorry to bring sad and disturbing news. We learned Saturday that a 66-year-old male member of the church was arrested earlier this month and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor. We are grateful that law enforcement is involved. We are not naming the accused at this time to protect the minor.
No doubt when I read this letter I could only guess that this was first vetted by an attorney. That reflects in this email given the obtuse nature of the communication. I am grateful that Mark appreciates that law enforcement is involved. I would be fascinated to know if law enforcement would state in the course of time about how much and willingly Covenant Life cooperated. Now what does disturb me is that Covenant Life will not name the accused in this email to the congregation. How does that help people in Discovery Land? How does that help the rest of the church? How can parents ask their children some questions about their safety? You kind of need a name…and in this situation its necessary to tell the name so that people will know. Again for me this shows how Covenant Life is more committed to their image than to do the right thing. The reality of the situation is that if they moved quickly and released the helpful information then their image problem would take care of itself. Do the right thing up front and that will solve this problem and their image will take care of itself.
We’ve been learning all we can so that we can communicate with you fully and accurately in the days to come. We want to reassure you that our child protection measures are robust, and we continue to work hard to ensure Covenant Life remains a place of safety for children.
The second paragraph is at odds with the first. If Mark Mitchell and CLC were learning all that they could so that they could communicate all that they could…why did they withhold the name of Larry Caffery from the church in this email? I see this email which I would consider worthless to be more of a public relations move by a business or major corporation than a church. Its goal is to give the appearance of action when in reality it largely does nothing. It states something happened then leaves people in the dark about the details or even the perpetuator. After all I learned about this situation at Covenant Life a few days before the congregation did. How could an outsider know some of this information ahead of the congregation? Covenant Life’s communication is slow and warped, which is a legacy of Sovereign Grace.
Now here is the thing that caused me to be stunned and resulted in my jaw hitting the ground. In the paragraph above despite the history of all the problems of child sex abuse and even this knowledge of the situation Covenant Life describes their child protection measures as robust. I almost choked when I saw that! You can’t make this stuff up! Is the reason why Covenant Life sent two women to be tools before the Maryland legislature to oppose changes to the Statute of Limitation issues due to the fact that their child protection measures are robust? Let’s stop for a second and ask…how do you define robust? According to dictionary.com robust means strong and healthy, hardy and vigorous. If situations like Larry Caffery are coming out of a robust program I would like to know what is sick? What is an unhealthy program? Can someone from Covenant Life Church explain that to me?
So far as we know nothing related to these charges occurred at the church. However, if you have any information we encourage you to contact Montgomery County Police at 301-279-8000.
I see this last paragraph as being legal maneuvering. Does it matter where the charges occurred? They are destructive wherever they occur. What can happen at home can still be harmful and dangerous. Plus the person in the situation carrying out the abuse was involved in Discovery Land from what I understand.
I really view this email to be worthless on so many fronts. It gives the idea that action is occurring when it does nothing. It doesn’t communicate the needed action to the people at the church. I read this and was like..”okay…that’s it?” This email left me wanting for more. If I were a parent I’d grab my kid and run for the doors. Like I said…if this is robust…what is spiritually sick? Mark Mitchell can you explain that to me?