An Open Letter to Greg Strand (Will the EFCA Take D.A. Carson Attacking a Sexual Assault Victim Seriously in the #churchtoo Era?)

An open letter to Greg Strand. This is encouraging the EFCA to address the issue of D.A. Carson attacking a sexual assault victim in support of C.J. Mahaney. Its time for the EFCA to act and do the right thing. After all Al Mohler of the Southern Baptists has recanted and addressed the issue. Why is the EFCA staying silent? 

“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.

Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”

Martin Luther King

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 6:10 NIV 

***Greg Strand is the Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing for the EFCA. He also serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. Greg is based in Minnesota, as the headquarters of the EFCA is in Minneapolis. Greg is a member in good standing of Northfield Evangelical Free in Northfield.***


Dear Greg-

This is a letter I have been meaning to pen for some time. Its been on my to do list as I write about the EFCA and the issues within. I do all this as an outsider to the organization though I have some history with the EFCA. It honestly shocked me as to how much corruption exists in evangelicalism. When I started this blog I never imagined the stuff nor the stories people would approach me about. In the last few years I came to the slow painful realization that nearly all the churches I have been involved in have had deep corruption issues. That problem could range from nepotism to child sexual abuse. In the near future I need to sit down and pen a post that explains why the EFCA is the perfect storm for child sex abuse. But that is a  discussion for another day. 

Greg I want to bring something to your attention and ask you an honest question. On May 24, 2013 D.A. Carson helped issue a statement through The Gospel Coalition. He did so with Justin Taylor and Kevin DeYoung . You can read that statement in, “Why We Have Been Silent about the SGM Lawsuit.” Now Kevin DeYoung became embarrassed and removed his name from the statement. You can see the older statement here. In that statement D.A. Carson defends C.J. Mahaney by tearing into someone who was raped when they were 13. At the blog SGM Survivors which documented the Sovereign Grace scandal a female posted on February 4, 2013 about how she was raped. at the age of 13. You can read the original comment here.  D. A. Carson targets this sexual assault victim in the following paragraph from his statement at The Gospel Coalition. 

Reports on the lawsuit from Christianity Today and World Magazine (among others) explicitly and repeatedly drew attention to C. J., connecting the suit to recent changes within SGM. He has also been the object of libel and even a Javert-like obsession by some. One of the so-called discernment blogs—often trafficking more in speculation and gossip than edifying discernment—reprinted a comment from a woman who issued this ominous wish, “I hope [this lawsuit] ruins the entire organization [of SGM] and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically.”

Through all this D.A. Carson never owned his mistake. He never said that it was wrong to attack a sexual assault victim. Carson has taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He retired and then came back to teach part time. He has taught at EFCA theology conferences and more. All the while he has not recanted on this situation. Recently in The Houston Chronicle Al Mohler recanted his support for C.J. Mahaney. You can read that in, “Leading Southern Baptist apologizes for supporting leader, church at center of sex abuse scandal.” Its led me to ask you the following question Greg. Does the EFCA take sexual abuse seriously? Does it recognize the damage, harm and troubles that came from it? Does the EFCA realize how people can be scarred for years or the rest of their life. 

The EFCA’s  lack of response is a response in the end. The EFCA will need to understand that communication today is very different. Especially in the age of the internet. A lack of response speaks volumes today. In the era of the #churchtoo movement the EFCA looks uglier and uglier the more it remains silent. As time passes the EFCA shows that it is not serious about sexual abuse. I find it hard to believe that the EFCA believes this actually honors and edifies God. Instead what it does is to embolden atheism and secular humanism. After all if this is how the church is to act, then why be involved or support it? The EFCA for nearly 6 years now has missed opportunities to repent, show grace and forgiveness and more. Al Mohler has taught more in an interview with The Huston Chronicle then the EFCA has done.  That is not acceptable Greg. Not one bit. I shouldn’t have to keep writing about this topic. If the EFCA actually cared about God and doing the right thing this would have been addressed quickly. From my perspective all the theology conferences, credentialing and more are worthless if the EFCA can’t prod someone to repent, and own a mistake. I hope you think long and hard about this. Your next theology conference EFCA One is occurring in June. I honestly hope in the backrooms that this note sparks discussion and creates a resolve to do the right thing. Its pointless to speak about justice when the EFCA ignores this issue of injustice. 

That’s it for the day, I hope you have a good weekend and week. 

Very Respectfully, 

David Bonner 



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