The Wondering Eagle had an email exchange with Anne Marie Miller in December of 2015. It came about because this blog annually reviews and writes about Cru’s Christmas Conferences. In an email exchange she discussed being the victim of a sexual assault. Between then and now Anne Marie Miller decided to go forward and make the report against Mark Aderholt.
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.“
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.
Psalm 119: 160 NLT
Anne Marie Miller
A dark scandal has emerged in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). It deals with the ongoing issue of sexual abuse inside the SBC. In this situation it deals with Anne Marie Miller and being sexually abused by Mark Aderholt. Mark Aderholt worked for the International Mission Board (IMB). After he resigned the IMB let an alleged sexual predator go onto another SBC church and have access to children. If you want to read the narrative of what happened you can do so in, “Anne Marie Miller’s Alleged Sexual Abuse by Mark Aderholt, and Did the Southern Baptist’s International Missions Board Cover it Up? Plus David Platt’s Response.” This blog had an exchange with Anne Marie Miller in 2015, lets look at the context as to how that happened.
This Exchange Occurred in Writing About Cru (Formerly Campus Crusade for Christ)
One of the topics I write about here at The Wondering Eagle is that of Cru, (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). I am deeply disturbed by the Neo-Calvinist direction of Cru. So every December I go through all the Christmas and Winter Conferences and analyze and write about them. I study the speaking agenda, and research each speaker. Each year Cru holds 9 Christmas/Winter conferences around the United States. Those conferences are in Baltimore, Maryland; Greensboro, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Indianapolis, Indiana; Denver, Colorado; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Los Angeles, California. Now what I do is when I write a post here at this blog is to then email it to the church or speaker. For example last week I wrote about three Evangelical Free Churches in Minnesota. I wrote about Trinity Evangelical Free in Plainview, New Life Evangelical Free in Hastings, and then Redwood Falls Evangelical Free in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. You can read those posts. in, “The Concerns that Exist with Redwood Falls Evangelical Free Abuse Reporting Policy” and “Is Nepotism a Major Issue Inside the EFCA? From the Spenst’s of Trinity Evangelical View in Plainview to New Life in Hastings, Minnesota. Plus Remembering the Nepotism Issue at the Former Community Evangelical Free in Elverson, Pennsylvania.” Each those churches got an email from me. So what happened is that when I was writing about Cru’s Christmas and Winter Conferences in 2015, is that I emailed the post to as many of the speakers as I could. Anne Marie Miller is talked about in, “A Comprehensive Overview of Cru’s Winter Conferences for December 2015/January 2016 … Paul Tripp, Curtis Allen, Kenji Adachi and Scott Nickell are Some of the Speakers.” Anne spoke at the Christmas conference in Denver, Colorado. Due to the agenda this blog wrote very negatively about it. With the exception of Anne Marie Miller the Colorado conference was very Neo-Calvinist that year. So that is the context of how this exchange occurred. If you want to read the other two Cru posts that I wrote you can do so in, “Cru Winter Conference Review 2016-2017: David Platt, Matt Smethurst, Jackson Crum and J.D. Greear are Some of the Main Speakers” and “The Wondering Eagle Reviews the December 2017 and January 2018 Cru Winter Conferences. Some of the Speakers Include Jim Davis, Sam Allberry, Tim Muehlhoff, Kirk Brower, and D.A. Horton.”
One final point I want to make before I get into the email exchange. At the time I wrote the Cru post about Anne Marie Miller I did so in my pen name of Eagle. I didn’t go public with my actual name of David Bonner. You can read that coming out post in, “Revealing My Identity and Bracing for the Long Haul; On Monday We Get to Work.” I went public before writing about Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. As you may know in that story I wrote about an EFCA church that practiced church discipline on an alleged sexual assault victim. The senior pastor’s son allegedly raped his wife while intoxicated and pointed a loaded gun at her. When she filed for divorce the senior pastor guided his church through a practicing of church discipline and excommunication service of her former daughter-in-law. You can read about that in, “Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania: A Painful Story of Domestic Abuse, Inappropriate Church Discipline, and Failed EFCA Polity.”
An Exchange with Anne Marie Miller Where She Talks About Her Sexual Abuse
The first email that brought about the discussion with Anne Marie Miller was sent on December 15, 2015. All the emails you see below were exchanged on December 15, 2015.
I just want to make you aware that you were written about in the latest post at The Wondering Eagle. I did a comprehensive review of all the Christmas/Winter conferences being held by Cru and asked a number of questions about several and either recommended, or did not recommend it. I want to give you an opportunity to respond. I am doing this with the speakers at Cru’s other Christmas conferences as well.
Have a good day!
That’s a pretty in-depth post 🙂 I appreciate your research.
God has called my hubby and me to help students understand they aren’t alone in their struggles with a broken world, whether that be mental health, sexuality, or otherwise…and that He can bring healing and does bring hope to the abused, the addicted, the confused, the hopeless. So, that’s what I’m going to speak about in obedience to that call. 🙂
That’s really all I have to say, except that I pray God will mightily move at any and all conferences, CRU or not, this winter!
Have a great Christmas,
I used to attend Minneapolis, and as I have aged and developed my career I have watched and witnessed people getting fried by religion. I love Cru but I am concerned about sections of it. What breaks my heart is the emails I have received through my blog or the people I have met with. Recently in a diner someone told me of how their daughter was sexually abused and how the church handled it. He’s upset. I also got another note last night from someone who tried to leave a legalistic church and how they were treated. There’s a lot of bad stuff out there and people are getting harmed. No one is really talking about this and its my hope and prayer that people do. Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and I believe Jesus would weep over the people who are getting hurt in the church today.
One of the people who reads and has commented on one post is the Executive Director of Recovering from Religion. It’s a large atheist organization. She left the Christian faith years ago when she was being domestically abused by her husband and the SBC church she was in told her to submit to the domestic abuse. She’s organizing the next atheist rally here in Washington, D.C. at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. Richard Dawkins, and a lot of high profile atheists will attend and speak.
There’s a lot going on in the church that we need to face. One person who is hurt in the church is one to many.
Take care of yourself,
Let me know if you need anything,
I’m sorry to hear those stories. I was sexually abused by a youth pastor in the SBC as a teen and even after reporting and his termination from one position, he is still a pastor. I know there’s a lot of pain and brokenness…I can only hope to speak light into some dark places.
Anne Marie Miller
Some Words for Anne Marie Miller
This blog is impressed with her honesty and courage. When I heard about this situation I was familiar with her name. I did a search through my emails and saw that we had an exchange three years ago. In 2015 I noticed that she was still struggling with the situation and was open in speaking about the ongoing issue. Its something that must be difficult to be filled with that kind of pain. So in that regard this blog has a deep amount of respect for Anne Marie Miller. I hope that this going forward will help her in the long course of time. I hope that one day she will find peace. I never went through sexual abuse. I have endured psychological abuse and a false accusation and that pain drives this blog. But my situation is different than yours. It takes a lot of courage and to go forward. It takes a lot to speak out and share what happened. Its not easy, its not easy at all. So this blog has a deep amount of respect for your courage. I hope that in the midst of the pain you will eventually find clarity and peace. That is my hope for you. Let me know if you are ever in the Washington, D.C. area and I will buy you a cup of coffee. This blog wishes you well