Sep 29, 2006

The Heir to Ligonier?

Updated 9/29/06. Original posted 9/18/06.
Dr. RC Sproul’s ministry, Ligonier Ministries, has been instrumental in leading thousands of Christians into a daily deeper walk with Christ. This is an extremely important ministry for Christians world-wide today and we need to pray for them daily. But what is to be the legacy of this heretofore God-honoring ministry? Are we going to let the world laugh as it crumbles into the gutter? Who will be left holding the reins after Dr. Sproul? In all actuality, Dr. Sproul is no longer holding the reins, and we need to look at the family who is, to hold them accountable.

My blog is not a forum for gossip. My only purpose in presenting the following information is to call all Christians to unite and plead with Ligonier to clean up their inward workings, that their orthopraxy would match their orthodoxy once again! If you are a financial supporter of Ligonier, you have a double responsibility to contend with and confront Ligonier with their sin. Christians, we must unite together to call Ligonier to repentance. If Dr. Sproul has blessed you with his ministry, you owe it to him to gently restore this ministry to a place of righteousness once again.

Ryan Dick is the son of Tim Dick, who is the President of Ligonier Ministries, a position which should be held to the standards of "elder" in the Bible. Ryan is also the grandson of Dr. RC Sproul, who is an elder both in his church and in his ministry, Ligonier. Ryan lives at home with both his father and his grandfather, which make them doubly accountable for him and his actions. Scripture is very plain when it tells us that the qualifications for an elder is one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. This article will show if Tim Dick and Dr. RC Sproul are qualified in this area.

Ryan is also an employee at Ligonier and has been during the entire time period of his posts that I have copied here. I am including the dates and his My Space page here as well. If you were a donor to Ligonier at any time during the last couple years, you will get an opportunity to see how your donor money is being used to pay this young man's salary.

All his comments here were made during the time frame of his employment at Ligonier. I wonder how many of them were actually posted AT work? Sabrina (his girlfriend) sent this comment to Ryan on 5/5/06: "What are you doing on myspace at work? Hmmm..."
While there are other sites that have dealt with Tim Dick personally, this particular article is written to expose the wickedness in Ryan Dick’s heart. Of course, we all have wicked hearts, but there are limits as to the exercise of them.
As you read these comments, please see if these show a son who is reverent. Is he reverent to God? His father? His grandfather? Girls? His job? Ligonier? If you are financially supporting Ligonier Ministries, you need to be aware that you are paying this young man’s salary by your gift to the Lord. Is the father of this young ruling his own house well? Is the grandfather of this young man ruling his own house well? Who is holding them accountable?

What is even more important is that this young man seems to think that he will take over Ligonier some day. This is an OUTRAGE! The following is a cleaned up version of Ryan’s comments online so that it will not be offensive in language, but you should feel great moral outrage after you read these. I have linked to all his comments directly; you can check the threads from there if you feel the need. I wouldn’t recommend it.

(Update: The links were taken down immediately after I posted this article.) Why were these links taken down? Why was Ryan's My Space page taken down? While these comments have been removed, there is certainly no evidence of repentance.

First thread: Someone is giving away free auto stickers and asks people who want them to just reply with their name, address, and what color they want. This is the one post you will want to click on to verify who aframdw says he is.
aframdw: Ryan Dick
2741 Deer Berry Ct.
Longwood Fl 32779

This is his signature block. If you can’t read it, just know that it’s not very nice.
I love you Sabrina...
1f u c4n r34d th1s
u r34lly n33d t0 g37 l41d

Thread: A girl gets drunk and throws up in a boy’s car and causes a lot of damage. The boy wants her to pay for the damages.
5/9/06 aframdw: He** yah make that b**** pay....If it happend to me i wouldnt care if i had the money to pay for it my self **** that i would make the person who trashed my car pay for it....**** i would tell the mom fine see you in court...i wouldnt care if it was the civic or one of the lexus'....How old is she

Thread: About cars.
2/8/06 aframdw: I can say the same thing "just wait" im going to be taken over a family company and i will be able to get what ever car i want when im older if thats the route i choose....But im not sure if thats what i want so there for i dont dream about it now or brag about it or say what im going to get i just keep my mouth shut drive my lil civic and pimp the FAMILY CARS when i wana look fly in a baller car...and i dont lie either i tell ppl its not mine....Just dont talk about it untill you get it thats all u have to do
Another thread about buying cars.
4/20/06 aframdw: Dude the way you work the floor model is buy the warrenty on it and then you just have to know how to make it not work without making it look obvious then they give you the new model...

Thread: What would you guys think about this for an offical meet spot (started by aframdw)
2/28/05 aframdw #1: Its just an idea in the works but its got a good chance........What would you guys think about an offical meet spot my dad talked about buyn a warehouse or parking area to make an officle meet and show spot so that we dont have to have hassles of rice and fights and b/s and we would open a small restraunt as well or a lil burger stand thing.....anyways if it was just like a 1.00 a week per person to come chill and we would have security to make sure nothing goes wrong and we would host big shows there as well....Just let me know what u think.......Its just a thought right now but he would do it trust me I need to be able to show him what kind of turn out we could have weekly and monthly so anyways thats it..

3/9/05 aframdw #9: goes to keeping the place in shape and well operated.......Unless my dad changes his mind and does it for free........But one prob is no one is responding on the sites i put it up on i have to show him we can have alot of ppl there and so far its not working.....Its alot of money for him to put into a place and then not have anyone come out

3/10/05 aframdw #19: Well if we dont get a prop just for this we already have alot of office property that we own and could use and we just bought 43 acers for a college we are starting that have some sweet spots for photos.........So no matter what we can have a place.....Only thing wrong with those two places are ones in lakemary and one is buy the seminole town center and i dont think ppl would want to go to them btu they would be free i think

Other person asks: wait if your dad owns a lot of office property, why not ask him if we can use a parking lot that he owns?
3/22/05 aframdw #24: Thats what we are leaning to since no one is really responding but its more of a liability thing for that....It will take more work...And there would defffff be nooooo burn outs........
3/22/05 aframdw #26: Well i think there is a way to get a tax break for him if he buys a prop for us

3/23/05 aframdw #29: not in it for the money......Its to give us a place to chill in peace

4/9/05 aframdw #35: im going to see if we can meet at his office for now...But i also need to talk to eric and see if he would want to

4/26/05 aframdw #42: i just need eric to tell me if he wants me to talk to my dad about using our office or not

5/9/05 aframdw #45: Well if we do it at the office it would prob be free but i have to talk to eric and my dad

1/23/06 aframdw #50: u wouldnt have to worry about other ppl coming it would only posted on the forums and most of us here know if someone is from the forums or not and its my prop so i can kick out who ever...

3/7/06 aframdw #56: I havent had time to work on it at all since i got moved up...But there is on thing for sure...I will not allow any rice or any dumb drivers what so ever with all the stuff that has been going on...And there are cameras everywhere so we would have it on tape if needed to turn someone in for burning out and messing up the black top....But anyways when i get a chance to work on it a little more i will...We are having our national conf. this week which means working 7am-11pm and 3,500 ppl coming

Other person: your place looks tight aframdw definitely "NO" dumb driver allowed to pass your gated house
3/19/06 aframdw #61: LoL i wouldnt hold it at either of my houses it would be at our office...

4/13/06 aframdw #67: Prob. Every month...I havent had time to anything right now b/c i am now the Asst. Event Planner and Meadia Relations so i have been really busy....Hey we just used sonnys 2 weeks ago

5/23/06 aframdw #75: Lake Mary....But so far right now i dont see when i would be able to set anything up....or have time and look at the legalities (<--spell?) with my dad. Im basically taking over the job i was sup to be the asst. for....Its good for me tho more pay :)

Another thread about cars.
10/10/04 aframdw: Thats why im glad im selling it and getting a lexus so I wont be called rice by ppl that think they know what they are talking....Im going to talk down on all the ppl that i know that talked down on me b/c i drove a civic.....Nope im not that low

aframdw: And ur not (ugly gesture inserted here) Again thats why im glad im geting a lexus so i dont have to hear retarted coments

Thread: Pictures of naked women. I am posting the link, but I highly recommend Christians don’t look at the thread.
5/5/06 aframdw: LoL i opend it at work before i looked at the NWS part of the title o well

Thread: Talking about money.
Other person said: But its a fact that he makes more then you and me combined...a milionaire and counting.
11/3/04 aframdw #111: Maybe more than me yes but lol not in a few years when i take CEO of the family comp its a 12mill comp now and is sup to tripple in the next 3-5 years ..........So yah he makes more than me but i bet my gpa makes more and my dads pretty close.............So dont count ur cookies on that one

Other person: Wait wait wait... let me get this right..Your family owns a $12,000,000 company right now, and in the next 3 to 5 years it's going to be worth $36,000,000+, and you drive a ****ing $12,000 Honda Civic?
11/4/04 aframdw #119: Ummm YAh i do and i did it buy choice....You got a prob with that...? just b/c we have money doesnt mean i have to flaunt it i was planing on doing a bunch of other stuff to it but its just a pain in the *** thats why im getting a lexus I also never got a nice car in hs b/c i was sick of allways being the rich boy even tho i still got crap cuz i got a diff car every year to year and a half....Was going to get a 350z but i didnt get the 75% florida bright cuz i only went to the sat once and didnt care cuz i dont have to pay for college anyway....This time im buyn the car on my own with my own money so im more happy about it anywaysEveryone else in my family drives a lexus also....If you would like me to prove it come by to one of or all three of our houses there is one in lakemary one in seminole and one in deland ill give you a tour of them if you would like or come by and see the company if you would like..... Man i love it when ppl talk so much **** to me and they dont know what they are talking about .....o and if u want my cell pm ill set up a date for u to come by when ever you want i can get off work when ever

Other person: How do your parents get so much money if the company is a NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION? Come on! Did you really think things through before you posted a link to "your" company? First of all, it's a public corporation, which means you can't just take over. Second of all, I found this in your annual report. "Ligonier Ministries, inc (the Ministry) is a not-for-profit corporation that operates as a educational organization." I just am confused how you complain about the miseries of being a "rich boy" and then flaunt it all over OF how rich you are. And come to find out, it's all a front anyway. "Your" corporation is DONATION based- you ask religious christians to give you money so that you can "awaken as many people as possible to the holiness of God by proclaiming, teaching, and defending God's holiness in all its fullness."
11/4/04 aframdw #125: Well no i dont flaunt it around sorry this is the first time i have every talked about it and yah its a non profit and to make as much money that we do there is other things we do besides lig IF U HAVE ANY IDEA WHO RC is then you would know that.....ITS a front come over to my house i bet i could fit 2 of urs into just one of mine......Yall are some funny *** ppl and if ur a gurl u got a big *** mouth.....Yall talk some funny ****....COme over b4 u talk **** u have no idea

Other person: Wow, you know, I really don't know who RC is, so I guess I'm just dumb. But honestly, I expected better from the person who is getting ready to take over a multimillion dollar non-profit organization that helps spread the word about Christianity and proclaim the holiness of God. I mean, maybe I'm wrong (I'm only Jewish after all) but I thought Christians were supposed to be kind, modest, gracious people. Honestly, I don't care how big or small your house is. Only god can judge you, right?
11/4/04 aframdw #131: Getting ready lol no i have awhile years....And im a more down to earth normal person just cuz im christian doesnt mean i have to act perf and wear all white and never say a bad word thats where ppl have the wrong view......

Thread: Jobs.
Other person: Yeah i do.. I'm a rent-a-pig just started like a week ago because my last post fired me because i was always watching dvd's on my laptop If it weren't my dads company i wouldn't be able to work anywhere because i tend to slack off
11/5/04 aframdw: LoL same here that and im allways about an hr to 2hr late lol...Yah i saw u the other day i was taken my brothers friend home in my lil brothers car...(gray 03 altima) Ill stop buy sometime and check out ur car cuz my gf loves supras and i dont know anyoen that has one anymore...If thats cool with u lol

Here is Ryan's My Space webpage, copied from the original on 6/4/06 as is (but cleaned up for Christian viewing). (Pictures don't show, but just for verification purposes here.)
Ryan (a.k.a - Party Boy)'s Interests
Well it was cars now im just going to get something nice to chill in. Soccer....Partys........Chillen with my girl and all my boys......Chillen with my girls gfs........Spending a sh** load of money where ever i go!


Ryan (a.k.a - Party Boy)'s Details
Status: In a Relationship
Here for: Friends
Orientation: Straight
Hometown: Lake Mary
Body type: 5' 7" / Average
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Religion: Christian - other
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Smoke / Drink: No / Yes
Children: Someday
Education: In college

Tim Dick, what in the world are you thinking here? Should this person be working for you at Ligonier Ministries? Does this person have any business at all working in a Christian ministry anywhere? Tim, you need to get your son under control and you need to fire him ASAP!

RC Sproul, is this the legacy you are wanting to leave? This young man represents YOU! Since he is your grandson, we call on you now to fire this young man who is so totally irreverent to God and you and your ministry. Public relations? Please, RC.

Vesta Sproul and the rest of the board of directors, this man may be related by blood, but he is not what the Christian community needs to represent Christian ministry. We are abhorred by what we read. It is time for him to leave Ligonier.

Tim, RC, and Vesta, we plead with you for this young man’s soul. It is obvious that the holiness of God is not very important to him. Please invest your lives in him before it is too late.

Christians everywhere, please call Ligonier at 800-435-4343 and e-mail and write to all the addresses I have posted in my original Contending'>article and express your outrage. We must unite together and bring restoration to this once-God-honoring ministry.

And everyone, please pray for this young man’s soul, for Ligonier, and for Christ to somehow be glorified in this situation.


For the Record said...

[As Jen referenced, Ryan's Myspace page "ryakapartyboy" site reflected the same poor character -- until it was taken down in response to the public outcry. The last snapshot of the site was a June 3, 2006 picture in the Google cache. Censored excerpts are below, with comments in brackets. Emphasis added in bold.]

[Referring to Ryan's interests:]

General: Well it was cars now im just going to get something nice to chill in. Soccer....Partys........Chillen with my girl and all my boys......Chillen with my girls gfs........Spending a sh[**] load of money where ever i go!

Music: Rap/Hip-hop/Rock/country
REAL BIG (Mannie Fresh)

[There's a ghetto rap video running in a loop. Elsewhere there is a picture montage running in a loop that includes a pic of Ryan drinking from a very large glass of beer (he mentions in the caption that he likes to drink beer). No, I'm not a teetotaler]

Television Movies and TV: Napolean Dynamite, Old School, Anchorman The legend of Ron Burgandy Family Guy, Futurama, THE SIMPSONS, South Park, Nip Tuck, South Park, COPS COPS COPS,

[Are the two SP mentions on purpose or just a typo? Nip/tuck is a very explicit TV program with simulated sex in nearly every show. Has included simulated lesbian sex.]

Books: Pffffffffffffffffft dont read sorry only when im in school

Heroes: My dad b/c he showed me how to come up from working in a sh[**]y a[**] job to being C.E.O. of a mullty mill. company. [LIGONIER??!!] He also showed me that everyone starts somewhere and we are all the same! I dont see him as much now but he is still cool as he[**]. And so is my Mom.

just to clarify said said...

it seems he is a self-proclaimed heir - to answer the title of this post.

Time to Go said...

It appears that the self-proclaimed Ligonier heir worked overtime late last night to cover up these latest comments of his on the Internet. But that's okay; he can still get his beauty rest because, as he reports, he usually sleeps in and arrives hours late to work anyway. Besides, the internet evidence has already been copied just in case more people who don't want to face the truth keeping whining: where's the proof?

Ryan, you may be able to block access to the latest site in which you -- post obscenities, boast of wasting your parents' money, brag about your Lexus and your three homes, glory in spending the hard-earned money of sacrificial Ligonier donors, exult in exploiting family connections to get a job you admit to hardly working at, and otherwise bring shame to your family name and disrepute to the church -- but beware: the evil deeds of darkness will be exposed, as God's Word says.

In this case, such exposure includes your personal confessions on various websites for this blog to report. Taking the confessions down now (or blocking access to them) is no more than an admission of guilt. But admission of guilt without repentance just makes the judgment heavier -- in heaven and on earth.

Ryan, it's still not too late to preserve a shred of dignity, display some honor, show some masculine responsibility, and save some respect of others. You can do this by resigning.

Do it today, while the decision is still yours to make.

just to clarify said...

time to go, that was a good post until the end. should you not ask for a heart of repentance first?

TheIronHare said...

That's a blog post that leads with the picture of Ryan chugging beer from his former Myspace site.

I see "for the record" pasted in the first comment most of something I posted elsewhere (see link provided below the blog post I linked) plus adding some commentary including: " Nip/tuck is a very explicit TV program with simulated sex in nearly every show. Has included simulated lesbian sex." That I did not know. But Ryan being Ryan, I can believe it easily enough. And, from what I understand, South Park ain't exactly wholesome. - Dennis

Time to go said...

JUST TO CLARIFY: "time to go, that was a good post until the end. should you not ask for a heart of repentance first?"

Actually, I did point out that admission of guilt was not enough; repentance was also necessary. Ryan realizes this. But he probably doesn't realize just how damaging his behavior to date has been -- Not just to Ligonier but to himself. That's why I emphasized some of the other considerations.

Respect, for example. Given Ryan's self-confessed track record and attitude, you have to wonder how much, if any respect, is left for him at Ligonier. If, as I suspect, any existing respect is fading rapidly because of the latest revelations of the way Ryan talks and behaves when left to his own devices, I don't know how Ryan can stand to stay where he is. As a man, I don't know how I could work anywhere that my contributions were not respected...

One advantage of Ryan taking responsibility like a man and resigning before the board forces Tim to fire Ryan is that Ryan would gain instant respect. The respect of others may not be as tangible as a Lexus, but it's worth much more. Given the opportunity, Ryan would probably realize this.

The other side of the coin is that Ryan is who he is in large part because of his father. If Ryan is self-indulgent and undisciplined and spoiled, as seems clear he is, where does the responsibility lie? With Ryan in part. But also with the father who indulged the son.

I think it's best for Ryan, and not just for Ligonier, for him to voluntarily resign and be put to the test and proven in another environment where things don't just mysteriously work out in his favor, no matter what he does or when he comes in to work.

English teacher said...

This is [Ryan's] signature block. If you can’t read it, just know that it’s not very nice:

"I love you Sabrina...
1f u c4n r34d th1s
u r34lly n33d t0 g37 l41d"

For those who missed this, or need translation, Ryan says: "If you can read this, you really need to get laid."

Meaghan May said...

I do not agree with what Ryan posted, but it saddens me that your first response is to kick him out of the covenant community, instead of keeping him near Christians who may be able to disciple him, influence him, pray for him, and teach him about the Lord. We should exhibit the same patience towards Ryan as the Lord exhibits to this unbelieving world. If Ryan is not a believer, how can we expect him to live a righteous life? It is not my place to judge Dr. Sproul, Tim, or Ligonier for putting him in a position where they may influence him, nor do I believe it is ours. We too should pursue sinners--to love the sinner and hate the sin. My how quickly we condemn others without remembering that we are saved by grace, and not by our own behavior. To think that Ryan could lead a godly life all on his own diminishes the work of Christ in the life of all believers. i don't know if Ryan is a believer, but I do know that those of us claiming to be Christians only do 'good' because of the Holy Spirit in us, and then we STILL sin. Sin is not a small issue that anyonw can fix on their own, it is a hear issue. Until Ryan is changed on the inside, he will not be able to live like Christ (more) on the outside. Paul at least realized how mighty the Lord's work was in him, and it humbled him. I suggest that we should reflect upon that, and feel the same way.

Wendi said...

Meaghan May, if the Sprouls were not paying Ryan out of donor funds, you might have a point. If Ligonier really was a family business, such as a jewelry store or a computer repair business, they could and should do as they choose without my input.
But it's a nonprofit corporation operated by donations from people like me. It is indeed our place to judge what a 501c3 corporation calling itself a ministry does with my donations. NOT to judge would be grossly irresonsible. That you see it otherwise is indicative of immature thinking at best.

Anonymous said...

I'm still stuck on where young Ryan states that Ligonier is a front.

Jen said...

That is a real puzzler, Lawrence. I'm not sure I even want to know what that one means.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. You do all realize that Meaghan May works for Ligonier, right?

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Hi, anonymous. Yes, I think we did realize Meaghan works for Ligonier. I know I did. She posted about this on her blog and I responded with some concerns. She then removed the post.

Jen and Lawrence, I think part of the problem here is Ryan is about as incoherent as his did. I don't think he meant to say the ministry was a front.
I just read it all again and noticed that it was another commentor who first said it was a front- that person's point was that all Ryan's bluff and blather about being the rich kid who was going to inherent this multi-million dollar company turned out to be just a front, because Ryan couldn't inherit a public company, and it wasn't a *business* it was a ministry.
In response to being told his boasting was just a front, Ryan repeats the phrase, but I think his response could be interpreted as a rhetorical one rather than agreement that it's a front. I think it's more like saying, "Oh, yeah? It's a front? Just come out to one of my many mansions and I'll show ya."

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I think part of the problem here is Ryan is about as incoherent as his did.

And I find it impossible to review my own writing. How embarrassing to be so incoherent in a comment complaining of incoherency.

DAD. Ryan is as incoherent as his dAd.

I don't know who I am as incoherent as.

Diane said...

Meaghan May,
Calling for Ryan's resignation is not the same as kicking him out of the covenent community. His own family and church should be holding him accountable in regard to his sin.

In I Corintians 5:9-13 Paul, speaking to believers, said:
"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges[a] those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."

Ryan is an employee and such should be held accountable for his behavior. I doubt such behavior on your part would be tolerated and overlooked. His training in righteousness is not primarily the duty of an employer. If the people in his own family have so little effect on him in that regard, how would those same people be of benefit at work? If for no other reason, his poor attitude and performance at work are enough reason to fire him. Giving him the opportunity to resign would be gracious. I would apply the same to his father. I also agree that we should be in fervent prayer for Ligonier Ministries and all associated in any way. There is much that needs to change and doing the right thing would be painful.

I love R.C. Sproul and have been a fan and supporter of Ligonier Ministries for many years - even met my husband at a conference in Orlando - but I can't just close my eyes to what is happening at Ligonier Ministries. I would rather see it shut down than continue on the current path.

Disappointed said...

Jen why must you keep harping on Ryan Dick. I do not believe you have the best of intentions. You claim ALL of his statements were made while he was an employee at Ligonier, you simply cannot know for a fact that this is true. Why must you continue to post the picture of Ryan drinking a beer, and referencing "donor money" funding that beer. Is it a sin for Christians (of age)to drink? Please show me some scripture to back that up. Must we judge how every personal penny is spent, simply because it is "donor money"? If he didn't work for a ministry would it be okay then?

I'm not saying that I approve of what Ryan has said or done, he is clearly an immature young man with a lot of growing up to do.

Another thing, you keep making the point that Tim has failed as a father and RC as a grandfather. I didn't realize it was a grandfather's responsibility to raise grandchildren? Ryan Dick is a legal adult, at this point there is only so much his parents can do. I'm sure they are equally grieved by many of his actions, but also recognize he is a legal adult and will make his own decisions. They can't force him to live a Godly life.

Ligonier Ministries as an employer cannot legally police the activities of there employees. In fact, Ligonier Ministries can't legally make it a requirement that every employee is a Christian. What employees do in their personal time is their business. It certainly isn't your business or any one else's for that matter.

Whether you like it or not, you are being judgemental, and sadly your gossip continues. Ryan is NOT the heir to Ligonier. Please let it go! You do not know Ryan's heart and you do not honestly seem concerned about it.

Auffie said...


If Mr. Ryan Dick had the gall to put such irreverent speech on the web for all to see, then this is not gossip. If he recognized that such unwholesome talks are sinful and dishonoring to Christ, he would not publicly display them. Though he has taken down his posts, he did not publicly express repentence. If he does so, then I am certain Jen would be gladly obliged to remove these as well.

Jen is not being judgmental here. Calling people who are sinning to repentence is not judgmental -- check all of your Scriptures carefully and don't let this "be nice, don't judge" attitude become the only doctrine of Christian life.

As for your statement that Ligonier is not legally make it a requirement that every employee be a Christian, I must humbly ask you to think more carefully and biblically. Ligonier is required to obey the Scriptures above everything else. Unbelievers have nothing to do with being part of a ministry (2 Cor 6:14). If Ligonier gets in trouble with the powers that be for firing Ryan, so be it. What are they afraid of?

Let me share with you a story about a pastor in my denomination. He fired the church organist after the organist was discovered to be a practicing homosexual, unrepentent. He then suffered the ordeal of endless lawsuits and harassments from the homosexual groups. That's the kind of courage we need to see in our churches and ministries, and that's the kind of courage we need to pray that God will grant to Dr. Sproul, and to his elders to whom he has vowed to be in submission when he became an ordained minister in his denomination.

Can't believe it said...

disappointed: I am starting to become a bit stunned at how little Ligoneir supporters/employees know scripture.

It is becoming an embarassment for Ligoneir.

This may come as a surprise to you but if you understood scripture you would know that Jen is actually trying to 'save' Ryan. I know, in the touchy feely world of feelings and emotions, this is almost impossible to understand.

You do not save unrepentent sinners by coddling them. Read more Pauline scriptures and you may get it.

Wendi said...

We can know if he posted that during the dates of his employment, because both things are dated.
I also understand that this young party animal lives with his Grandfather and dad in the same house. Doesn't that make any difference to you?
I think what we are learning here (those with an eye to see) is that our admiration for Sproul Sr. has been misplaced and he has not been practicing at home what he preached in public for years.

It is disappointing, but rather than being angry at those who reveal these deeds of darkness, we should be grieved at those who perpetrate them.

Broken Messenger said...

My blog is not a forum for gossip.

If hours of prayer did not go into the decision as to whether or not you should release this post and/or you did not approach Dr. Sproul and the leadership at LM first, then I would seriously question your motivations from a biblical standpoint. Could you please address this since your blog seems to be missing these details?


past time to go said...

Broken Messenger / Brad:

I'll let Jen answer for herself, but I can tell you I spoke with a manager at Ligonier about my concerns about Ryan, and he completely brushed them off. He told me it was old news, and that Ryan just needed discipleship. I was told Ryan didn't have any authority at Ligonier anyway -- "just a glorified errandboy" -- and Ligonier's plan is to have him spend all his time with his grandfather.

This Ligonier manager's response troubled me for a number of reasons. First, since when has a gloried errand boy at any organization made enough money to buy a Lexus with his own money, as Ryan stated in his internet posts? Given the pay of other Sproul family members at Ligonier, I would not be surprised if the family errand boy was also receiving more than his due. If so, this is illegal as well as immoral.

Another point is that Ryan admitted that he usually goes to work hours late and can leave whenever he wants. Because Ryan is paid with donor money, not family money, doesn't this warrant a disciplinary response from Ligonier? Not according to "senior management."

Ryan has lived with his grandfather for 20 years, with the result we all see, so it's unclear that spending more time with his grandfather will help him. But even if it did, let it be on his and their time and nickle, not at donor expense. The comments Ryan put on the web would have gotten him fired at any other ministry where he was not a favored family son. Thos special treatment is also illegal as well as immoral.

Furthermore, as has been pointed out before, Tim Dick had the opportunity and double responsibility as father and CEO to deal with Ryan when the original myspace scandal occured. He did not do his duty then, and now, as a direct result, more scandal has occurred.

Given all of this and more, please direct your criticism to Ryan Dick, Tim Dick and RC Sproul, the sources of the problem, not Jen, who has only been the messenger that donors like myself deserve to hear. If anything is to be done to rescue Ligonier, it will come through the efforts of people like her, not those at Ligonier more interesting in defending their perks and privilege than glorifying God.

Neil said...

Thanks for taking the time to document this. It obviously isn't gossip. People have a right to know this.

I enjoyed RC's show for years. What a tragedy that they let this happen. Should they disciple their relative? Sure. But should he stay employed? Of course not.

Truth seeker said...

Brad, If you had read through all the posts and comments on this site, you probably would not ask that question.

It is obvious that Jen and her husband have reached out to make contact with Tim Dick and John Duncan. As she mentioned in comments they were to meet with Tim Dick but he cancelled. She also mentioned a 2 hour conversation with John Duncan AND numerous e-mails between her, her husband and Tim Dick that he asked her not to publish.

Whew! You think that is enough? Now, for the biggie. What about RC Sproul? Good question. Where is he? He has not been visible at all during any of this and did not sign his name to the withdrawal statement.

I think that will be the new Ligonier mantra: "They should have contacted RC first". Well, how exactly does one do that without going through Vesta and Tim first?

get your facts straight said...

past time to go...

You clearly have some facts to get straight about Ryan Dick. He is not a "glorified errand boy" spending all his time with R.C. He is the assistant event planner, and works in the Ligonier office from 8-5, 5 days a week just like everyone else. I don't know what "manager" you talked to or when, but I have a feeling it has been quite some time since this conversation took place. Posting such information as you have is where things start turning to gossip.

Wendi said...

Past time to go said: If anything is to be done to rescue Ligonier, it will come through the efforts of people like her, not those at Ligonier more interesting in defending their perks and privilege than glorifying God.

And this is key. If anything is done to turn Ligonier around, it will also not be the result of Ligonier's defenders, who act more as enablers and seek to hide what ought to be exposed to the sunlight and aired out and cleansed.

What I notice repeatedly in Ligonier's defenders is that they constantly find themselves doing exactly what they blame others for doing.
Brad, did you engage in hours of prayer and contact Jen personally and privately before posting this accusation to her blog? You judge yourself qualified to judge her *motivations,* which I find very odd.

What these posts and others have revealed is Ligonier's actions, and the actions of members of the Sproul family. Those actions in direct violation of express scriptural commands, and Ligonier's defenders cannot explain them away, they can only point fingers and accusations at those who opened the curtains.

If there was not dirty laundry hidden behind those curtains, posting Ryan's myspace statements would not embarrass him. My daughters have live journal accounts (we wouldn't permit any member of our household to have a myspace account, that alone indicates a problem), and anybody who found them might post them and there would be nothing there more embarrassing to us than a confession that they needed to clean their rooms or one of them had gotten a speeding ticket.
The disgrace is not in posting what was already public information- it is in the disgraceful professions Ryan makes.

Those who practice deeds of darkness do not like to see them come to light, so they try to redirect the light elsewhere. Shame on those who are trying to help hide these dark deeds by casting about for others to blame, and for blaming those who merely shone the light into a dark corner that needs cleaning out.

way past time to go said...

Get your facts straight said: "You clearly have some facts to get straight about Ryan Dick. He is not a 'glorified errand boy' spending all his time with R.C. He is the assistant event planner, and works in the Ligonier office from 8-5, 5 days a week just like everyone else. I don't know what 'manager' you talked to or when, but I have a feeling it has been quite some time since this conversation took place. Posting such information as you have is where things start turning to gossip."

You are mistaken on several points:

(1) It was not my testimony that Ryan comes in hours late to the office but his own, public statement posted on the Internet. So if you disagree with such "gossip," you'll have to take it up with him, not me.

(2) I also did not say that Ryan functions as a "glorified errand boy." John Duncan said those exact words to me to explain why Ryan shouldn't be fired in a phone conversation that was witnessed less than two weeks ago. If you don't agree with that assessment (I certainly did not and do not) then take it up with him, not me.

(3) I also did not say that Ryan has been spending all his time with his grandfather; I said that was Ligonier's plan to "disciple" rather than discipline him as a result of the scandalous postings on the Internet. Whether this will happen or not I don't know. But I do know that this is what John Duncan told me in that phone conversation. So, if you don't like that, take it up with him, not me.

These are the straight facts. I got them right the first time.

walt said...

Just wonderful. Well, this pretty closely resembles the account of Samuel's sons. Well, since judgment begins with the family of God, can somebody direct me to a rock to hide under when God starts bringing judgment upon the American church?

ligoniersupporterNOMORE said...

It reminds me alot of the days of Jim Bakker and PTL and all the coverup. Jen, it sounds like John Duncan's response was evasive and alot of trying to cover this mess up. It also reminds me of the days of Jimmy Swaggart and the downfall of his ministry. Let's face it. Whether Ligonier wants to admit it or not, Tim Dick and John Duncan have brought great shame on this ministry. They both need to repent of their pride and arrogant attitudes.

John said...

Walt: Just wonderful. Well, this pretty closely resembles the account of Samuel's sons. Well, since judgment begins with the family of God, can somebody direct me to a rock to hide under when God starts bringing judgment upon the American church?

Walt, I have felt much like you until recently. But lately I've been beginning to think what's happening to Ligonier isn't so bad. The point may be that all of these "ministries" aren't really ministries at all because they aren't part of the church; in fact, they undermine the church by replacing it. Perhaps God is protecting the church by destroying these idolatrous human substitutes. So maybe this scandal, including the hardness of heart of the leadership, is actually good news for the church.

Jen said...

I'm a little behind in responding to comments as this situation seems to have taken up a great deal of my time lately. Thank you for all the measured, biblical comments that I read here, especially as you each attempt to converse in a charitable manner when debating. I enjoy good, healthy debate here, as long as it remains within the biblical bounds of behavior!

Diane, excellent verse to bring up in regard to Ryan's recent behavior. While shunning should be reserved for very serious offenses, I Cor. 5 explicitly tells us what those sins are. The ones that seem to apply to this situation with Ryan are: sexually immoral, reviler, and drunkard. First, we are plainly told to judge those who call themselves Christians and yet exhibit these particular sins. Second, we are told not to have anything to do with them until they do repent. Somehow I think that would include not having an employee in a Christian ministry who exhibited such a sinful lifestyle.

Disappointed, as was already noted, I did go directly to Tim Dick and have 40 emails to prove it. In each and every one, I pleaded with him to repent. One of those areas I asked him to repent from was that, as a leader of a Christian ministry, he must hold to the biblical standards of being an elder, which includes having one's children live in submission and with reverence. I attempted to show here that Tim Dick is not biblically qualified to be in this position.

Since Ryan lives with RC, I feel that these same qualifications apply to him as well. He is not easy to contact, but I did write to him personally about this situation and when I talked to John Duncan on the phone for 2 1/2 hours, he verified that RC and Vesta both received the personal letters we sent them.

I think it is important that you understand that I am not operating in a vacuum here. I have a multitude of godly counselors who give considerable input about each post on this blog. I am under authority in this situation.

Someone asked if I thought it was a sin for an of-age young man to drink. No, I do not. But putting this together with everything else he himself has posted, I sincerely doubt how seriously he takes the verse, "Be not drunk with wine." It is a lifestyle portrayal here. Having a beer is not in and of itself worthy of being mentioned. Having a party lifestyle while you work for a Christian donor-supported ministry is worthy of being shunned, according to I Cor. 5.

John, very interesting subject. Should these para-church ministries be REPLACING church, or under the umbrella of a church? Maybe RC should focus more on his own church. I certainly don't recall any of these kinds of ministries in the New Testament, but that is NOT to say that they are wrong. It is certainly something to consider for the moment!

Bottom line on this post: Ryan needs the Lord. However, working for a Christian ministry will NOT save him, nor is it God's means of salvation. It is false security in his religious life, and it needs to be exposed as such.

walt said...


I appreciate your comments. I hope I'm brought to the same realization. The fact is, I just bought a Reformation study Bible from Ligonier, full of commentaries from God-fearing, wise men whose books shelve my library. I also just subscribed to Tabletalk, and very nearly paid for a Ligonier conference. The fact is, the American church is Ichabod. We're bereft of leadership and sound teaching and turn to ministries like Ligonier because RC Sproul is a well-known, God fearing man, just like John MacArthur. Now I'm hearing that RC's own son was defrocked by his presbytery, yet kept on as a speaker at a Ligonier conference. A Christian blogger is being sued for reporting this by an organization believed to be a Biblical ministry. God does not tolerate such things, nor does he tolerate the general lukewarmness of all of the brethren in America (I include myself). The same warnings that applied to the churches in Revelation apply to us. I get the distinct feeling this is all just the calm before the storm.

Anonymous said...

Well we need some rain.

Jen said...

Thanks, anonymous, but may I ask that you please use a name other than anonymous? Any name will do, as you look at this list of commenters!

John said...

Walt, thanks for your additional, thoughtful comments. I respond again below:

The fact is, I just bought a Reformation study Bible from Ligonier, full of commentaries from God-fearing, wise men whose books shelve my library.

That's the Bible I use most. Given the recent scandals, however, I won't return to giving donations anytime soon. Strange, isn't it, that America's churches aren't sponsoring such a work, so instead it is left to businesses (Ligonier for the notes and Crossway Books for the ESV translation) That's one thing you can give Rome credit for: they actually fund their own version of the "Bible." So do the Mormons. But the Christian church does not? It seems that priorities don't get much more out of kilter than that.

I also just subscribed to Tabletalk, and very nearly paid for a Ligonier conference.

I have almost a decade of Tabletalk on my shelves and many books published by Ligonier. But no more books and no more Tabletalk until I see genuine repentance, real taking of responsibility, and real consequences (e.g resignation/firing of the Dicks and John Duncan)

Now I'm hearing that RC's own son was defrocked by his presbytery, yet kept on as a speaker at a Ligonier conference.

He and his whole session were defrocked for sins they confessed to. This is thoroughly documented here. Then, two months later, despite considerable outcry, RC Sproul, Jr. spoke at Ligonier's 2006 National Conference. Now he is scheduled to speak at the 2007 National Conference "pre-conference seminar." By pretending his son is still biblically qualified to teach and by joining in Jr's refusal to honor biblical church discipline, RC Sproul, Sr. is thumbing his nose all every donor and every true Christian church.

The same warnings that applied to the churches in Revelation apply to us. I get the distinct feeling this is all just the calm before the storm.

You may well be right. If so, God is cleansing the bride of Christ from every spot and blemish.

down with the dicks said...

"Whether Ligonier wants to admit it or not, Tim Dick and John Duncan have brought great shame on this ministry. They both need to repent of their pride and arrogant attitudes."

Repent and face the consequences. If these two, plus Ryan Dick, really cared about the work of Ligonier and its legacy, they would resign right now for creating the original scandals in the case of the Dicks and creating a new cover-up scandal by lies and denials in the case of Duncan. The fact that they haven't resigned yet proves that they are in it not for the Lord but for their own excessive salaries and privileges. They are sorely mistaken if they think they can cling to their perks and weather the public storm. It is far from over and will only get worse, unless the board musters enough courage to fire all three.

Wondering said...

One question did come to my mind, though, in light of what's going on...

How did Tim Dick get INTO this family in the first place? He doesn't sound so very different from the rest of the world...

Was he dishonest upfront? Or has he backslidden over the years? One of his son's comments tends to suggest that there was duplicity from the outset ("My dad b/c he showed me how to come up from working a [expletives deleted] job to being CEO..."), as in "My dad is my hero because he married big money and influence"--but I don't know how seriously one can take anything that boy has written.

In any event, it concerns me that a man such as this got into a professing Christian family (if he was this way then), or that his residence with his father-in-law (why?) has been countenanced all this time. Dr. Sproul is the head of his own house, is he not?

(I interjected "why?" above because, with all the money Mr. Dick is making, why is he living with his father-in-law, especially with grown children?)

I don't know if any of this is germane. I'm just throwing out some questions that this raises to my mind. It's really very disappointing that someone who has otherwise been so very helpful to so many good Christians is even involved with this at all--maybe not at the dead-center, but by only a degree or so of removal...

It's a test of faith for some of us, I suppose: Do you believe it (Christianity) because it's true, or because someone you trusted said it was? Maybe this is a purifying action. Or maybe it's simply a test for Dr. Sproul, and we're unhappy enough to have to witness it.

I know everyone here is praying over this. I am too. I guess that, until we get a satisfactory and honest answer out of someone, ANYONE, all we can do is be "out of communion" with them and call them to come clean.

Jen said...

Wondering, I think you beginning to catch on to the underlying issue here: RC's personal qualifications as an elder. If you want to see what kind of children he fathered, you may check out this site: Ligonier Tales. And you wonder why his children turned out the way they did?

ReformedCalvinist said...

Ryan may be thinking of Franklin Graham's example. As the current Heir to Billy Graham Ministries, he started out pretty much like Ryan did. But Billy had more sense than to give him a high-paying position in the family business; he really was something along the lines of a low-level errand boy at the Lusanne Conferencel; furthermore, rather than defending him, Billy's version of 'discipleship' was more of a call to repentence--and it worked (see Franklin's book, Rebel with a Cause).

ReformedCalvinist said...

I'd like to respond to some of the suggestions made in these comments. Bear in mind that I haven't been in reformed circles for about a decade and until this week I barely knew anything about Ligionier Ministries beyond what I read in their World Mag ads. So take this as an Ouside Perspective.

Reformedcalvinist said...

John said:
"The point may be that all of these "ministries" aren't really ministries at all because they aren't part of the church; in fact, they undermine the church by replacing it. Perhaps God is protecting the church by destroying these idolatrous human substitutes."

Jen said:
"Should these para-church ministries be REPLACING church, or under the umbrella of a church?"

I work for a para-church ministry (making $20,000 a year with no benefit package), so I'm a bit biased I guess, but I don't see the fact that LM is para-church as the problem. I see the love of money as the problem. We chafee under the same sort of laws and regulations that limit what any non-profit can do to respond to the misbehavior of its employees, but there's a big note in our favor that many ministries lack: greed isn't a motivator. The sort of people who will work for sacrificial wages aren't usually the type to bring a ministry into ill repute by their profligate lifestyle. Why stick around if they can make more money somewhere else?

Fact is, no local church is going to pay their elders a million dollars a year. That money has to come in from individual donors out there. Thus the safeguard that already exists for a church body won't be there for a parachurch unless they make a point of putting it in their ops manual.

The ministry I work for has a policy of paying ALL their workers just a little over minimum wage, and that alone has kept the rampant nepotism among the board members, senior management, and grunt workers from even becoming an issue. People work here because they have a vision for the ministry, and because those who don't aren't interested in applying. If Ligionier Ministries had incorporated such a policy from the beginning, Tim Dick would still be part of Corporate America.

creeped out said...

Reading Ligonier Tales makes me feel sorry for Craig. Well, almost. He sure missed out on some much-needed spankings.

Jen said...

Reformed Calvinist, I'm trying to figure out if you are Reformed or not! Not that it really matters.

Interesting comparison to Franklin/Billy Graham. This is the first time I could agree with what Billy has done! Maybe we should call upon Billy to counsel RC! Now that would be something!

As far as your ministry paying just above minimum wage, I am sure that that does take care of a lot of potential issues. However, RC has another perspective on that. He feels that Christians should pay other Christians what is a comparable wage for doing the same job in the outside world. There are pros and cons to both sides, as I see it. I would tend to fall in the middle somewhere. I think $20,000, which is below poverty level, is not enough money to raise a family. I hope the wives don't feel pressured to go to work. I think Ligonier's salaries are a bit excessive, at least for a donor-supported ministry. These are two extremes; surely we could come up with more reasonable salaries for Christian families who honestly desire to serve the Lord.

always batya said...

reformed calvinist wrote: Fact is, no local church is going to pay their elders a million dollars a year.

Actually, there are quite a few churches paying close to that. Joel Osteen is one. And other mega's too pay upwards to 500,000. You can figure in book royalties and housing allowances, etc and come very close to that. There are tons of names to consider: Crouches, Copelands, Hagins, Hagee, Meyer, etc.

But we expect that of Word Faith people, right? It is wrong but nothing new.

the shocking thing has been to see this type of greed at 'reformed' Ligoneir. At this point, we do not even know what the book royalties are for Sproul or the speaking fees. But the high salaries and nepotism certainly have shocked many.

There are still people who refuse to see it and are waiting for some sort of explanation to make it go away.

I am not sure what is worse: The word-faith teaching that we can rebut with scripture or a reformed expositor teaching truth then totally disregarding what he teaches and living the total opposite.

That is Pharisetical.

Always Batya said...

Jen, As someone who has consulted with HR people all over the US, have seen all the stats on salaries by position and state, I must take issue with this "Christian Myth" that is portrayed at every church or parachurch ministry I have seen. (Except for are the far!)

I heard this all the time: We are trying to keep pace with what is paid in the real world. Well, I have news for everyone. In the real world (except for government both state and federal) the average salary in say, the midwest, is closer to 40,000-60,000 for middle to upper management in a typical company. Shocking, isn't it?

In large cities in the south you can bump that up to 60-80,000. Forget NYC and Calif, they are a league all their own.

I got so sick of hearing: Oh, I could make so much more money if I went out into the real world. Basically that is a lie. You would be working 50-60 hours a week for 40-80 thou a year in most cases. And you would need a Masters for that!

The absolute shock to many HR people now are the resumes they are getting for entry level management that are PhD's.

People who are in ministry need to get a clue. As do most state and federal workers who think they are so underpaid. Most can leave work at 4:30 or 5 pm while the corporate middle and upper manager would not dare. And in many cases, the assistant making 30,000 would not dare leave at 5 pm, either. And these are companies that advertise being family friendly!!

I am not saying that people in ministry do not work hard. That is not the point of this comment. The point of this comment is to rebut what Ligoneir told Jen about salaries.

They are not even big enough (in terms of non profit status) to pay those kinds of salaries. The typical director/president of a large non profit in the mid west
makes on the average of 80-100 thou a year. The president of my local metro united way (City of 1 million)makes 120,000 and has 200 employees. this is almost half of what Tim Dick makes and less than John Duncan makes.

Their explanation does not hold water statistically.

auferstanden said...

Surely Scripture speaks to this issue, but putting it to application in a real-life situation is the difficult part. On the one hand, Scripture requires of Christians to support ministers (e.g., 1 Tim. 5:17-18). It is our duty to relieve our ministers of worldly cares so that they may devote themselves to the studying, teaching, and proclamation of God’s Word.

On the other hand, Scripture has stern warnings about those who “peddle God’s word” (2 Cor. 2:17) and who think that godliness is a means of gain (1 Tim. 6:3-10). There is certainly a “godly mean” here, which should take into account variations such as average living costs in a geographical area.

I would expect the Reformed ministers to exercise a lot more wisdom and scruples here, and the present scandal just shows that we Reformed are at least absolutely right about the T in TULIP. No one is immune to worldly temptations, and therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor 10:12).

Some questions I should like to ask Dr. Sproul: At what point does it become evident that someone is peddling God’s word for monetary gain? A salary of $150,000 is considered a very comfortable income in most geographical areas in the United States, and should be sufficient to relieve a minister of his worldly cares, right? Even if you and Mr. Dick believe that your work justify much more than this, do you lack the wisdom voluntarily to refuse taking so much so that no one can accuse you of peddling God’s word? How could you in good conscience write to your donors for more contributions when you and Mr. Dick’s salaries from Ligonier increased so much over the past few years? If you believed in Ligonier’s work, should you not take the lead in putting your own money where your heart is (i.e., in the form of a voluntary reduction)? Surely your salaries from your church and your profits from books are sufficient for your needs, perhaps enough for you to be a net financial contributor to Ligonier?

Jen said...

It's not just that Ligonier is asking for more money while simultaneously giving huge salary raises to those in leadership, but they are letting other employees go at the same time. Shortly after the last documented raise we are aware of in 2004 (and I wouldn't be surprised if the actual figures are quite a bit higher by now), Ligonier also let 9 employees go due to financial concerns. Chew on that one a while!

Keepin' up with the Dicks said...

The discussion on Frank Vance's current thread is fast and furious and similar to this one. Check it out.

Refomredcalvinist said...

Jen said...
"Reformed Calvinist, I'm trying to figure out if you are Reformed or not! Not that it really matters."


$20,000 may seem poverty wages to you, but personally I think it's too high. A couple years ago I demanded a 10% pay cut. That's on top of refusing the $1000/mo benefit package. And I'm not the only person here supporting a family on this income--I just have twice as many children as the other one.

It's not my fault if I make others look greedy. I live on ten times what my fellow servants of Christ in the third world do.

walt said...


I don't think Tim Dick and his son are occupying the ecclesiastical offices of "elder", though I do think they should be held to Scriptural standards vis-a-vis Matt. 23. Both should be fired.

Before someone is hired, most companies now check the internet for 'dirt' on the potential employee. If the person has an inappropriate myspace page, they're usually not hired. If they get caught with one when they're already hired, they're usually let go. Surely, Ligonier can outdo the unbelievers in terms of moral standards?

It appears Ryan was 'spared the rod' far too often when growing up. His work at Ligonier is probably giving him a false sense of security regarding his standing before God. We need to pray for his soul.

curious? said...

Mrs. Epstein,

I am curious as to your evidence for layoffs of nine people in 2004. Please share your evidence since your concern for transparency and truth is without parallel.

Respectfully submitted.

Jen said...

I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. Following the raises in 2004, Ligonier laid off nine people in September 2005. I don't know exactly when the 2004 raises were, nor do I know about raises since then. I heard about it and was curious, so I contacted them to check it out. You can do the same.

Jen said...

ReformedCalvinist, that sounds very honorable for you to take pay cuts and not take everything you are entitled to. I sincerely pray that your family is not suffering needlessly. It is kind of odd that a servant of the Lord would brag about being poor on purpose, though.

We can't begin to compare our American lifestyle with third world countries. But it sounds to me like that is where your heart is. Maybe God will use you in missionary work there someday.

In the meantime, let's keep the comments on track!

Jen said...

Walt, we all agree that Ryan is not occupying the office of elder in any way, shape, or form. However, here we have a conundrum with para-church ministries. If it is not a church, but is either replacing the church, or mostly fulfilling the function of the church, shouldn't the biblical principles related to church have some authority over its structure? As president of a para-church ministry, I find that to be a similar position to that of elder in a church. I would think that any ministry would want its president to hold to same standards of elder as they would the pastor/elder of their church. Why should it be any different? For that matter, why should any Christian man not hold to those same standards? Are they truly so far out of reach for Christians?

My point here is that Tim Dick is biblically unqualified to be leading other Christians when his own house is in such disarray, such sin.

walt said...


I don't know if we can make a case that Ligonier should govern itself like a church - they don't gather weekly for preaching and the sacraments. It is indeed a conundrum. The best I think we can do is withdraw monetary support and encourage others to do the same. I'm not quite sure that parachurch ministries are even Biblical, as commentor John noted. The ambiguity is the problem, and I think it's incubent upon the donors to maintain vigilance over the ministry.

It shouldn't be hard for a Christian man to hold himself to the standards of the Bible, as His yoke is easy and his burden is light. We should all be seeking to mortify our sin if we're truly saved. I can't see any evidence of that in Ryan Dick's life, basing my opinion on his myspace page.

Are John Duncan and J. Ligon Duncan the same person?

Anonymous said...

Former lig man said...

And thus the problem with un-submissive women.

Jen said...

I'm not following you, anonymous (and please use a name other than anonymous!). Are you somehow inferring that I am unsubmissive? Or just what are you saying?

Jen said...

Whether we hold Tim Dick to standards of "elder" or not, is he really the standard we want to be held to whole world as the epitome of what a president of Christian ministry should be? I just can't see which of the biblical qualifications for elder would not apply to him. Could you enlighten me?

John and Ligon Duncan are brothers; they have another brother, Mel Duncan, who also works at Ligonier.

walt said...


The reason I say that Tim Dick and Co. can't be held to the standards of 'elder' is because they are not serving in a church. A church meets on the first day of the week for preaching, the sacraments, the singing of praises, and the giving of alms. The definition of what is a church must be strictly interpreted, to square with the regulative principle. If we widen it, we allow in Christian publishing houses, Campus Crusade, and many other organizations. A church is unique to these and must be kept so.

It's good to see that the Duncan's are keeping one another employed. Nothing like a little nepotism to validate a ministry.

Always Batya said...

Walt, would you say that Ligoneir is part of the Body of Christ? Their main business is expositing scripture through conferences, books, etc.

Ironically Walt, perhaps Ligonier thinks the way you do for different reasons and therefore do not think they are under the same authority as a church elder would be.

If para church ministries are not under the same authority then what? Do we merely view Tim Dick as an unethical businessman who markets the Word of God for a living?

By the way, when I got a few minutes, I went and read through Ligoneir Tales. Can someone tell me or explain why Robert Craig Sproul refers to the benefactress who helped start Ligoneir as a White Witch...several times? He never explains.

From my understanding, A White Witch is known in occultic circles as someone who has healing powers. (I am creeped out just writing that...sorry)

The whole book shined a light on a boy who was raised without much guidance and where there was an emphasis on those who were wealthy and those who were not. I am starting to see a pattern.

walt said...


I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. Of course they're part of the body of Christ. As I said in an earlier post, it's incumbent upon the donors and the people who run the company to ensure ethical standards. The individual church is something different. Christ gave the keys to the kingdom to the elders of individual churches. Likewise, they will be judged more strictly. The elders of Tim Dick and Ryan Dick's church should discipline these men. RC Jr. was defrocked by his presbytery, which is an example of Christ's institution of church government at work. Ligonier, if they were smart, should respect the decisions of the individual churches that govern these men (Ligonier appears not to care, as RC Jr. is scheduled to speak at some upcoming conferences). But the fact is, Ligonier is set up as a corporation, not a church. As John and I said earlier, parachurch organizations may be unbiblical. Christ and the apostles instituted churches and general assemblies, not parachurch orgs. Donors should pull their money, laypeople should not attend Ligonier conferences.

Reformedcalvinist said...

Re: treating a ministry the same as a church.

It can't be done legally. Churches (as yet) have unique protections under the law--see John Hagee for an example.

A ministry really isn't free to practice 'church discipline' for offenses that aren't spelled out as terminatory in the employment manual.

That being said, Ligonier Ministries has no excuse for the obfuscation, enablement, and cover-up. They should have hired senior leadership from the church rather than the corporate world, with salaries commensurate.

Mark Epstein said...


Just wondering if R2D2 or any other misogynists was/were posting comments on your blog……

Anonymous said...
Former lig man said...

And thus the problem with un-submissive women.
10/02/2006 11:10 PM

Sproul Internet Gossip said...

By the way, when I got a few minutes, I went and read through Ligonier Tales.

Good for you -- right before they took it down. Yes, Ligonier Tales has been abruptly taken off the internet. The timing, immediately after the comments here on Jen's blog, is highly suggestive that Ligonier's hand is in it. Jr. has received considerable criticism about Ligonier Tales before but ignored it all -- I guess it didn't compare to being defrocked, after all.

At any rate, someone, probably Papa Sproul, still felt he had some reputation to protect and thus the Tales have vanished from the Net. This is the third time that Sproul-family internet gossip has gotten Ligonier in trouble and led to desperate efforts to cover tracks on the Internet. But no repentance. It's, as Papa might say on an outing with Alice, par for the course.

walt said...

Well, this has been very educational for me. I've learned never to donate money to a parachurch org. The local church and its missionaries are the best places for our tithe money.

Jason Dawson said...

Just a simple question how do you know for sure the dialog is true?

Jen said...

Jason, I'm not quite sure what you are asking here. I personally cut and pasted all these from the forum he posted on. I have copies of all the originals. How do I know it was Ryan? Well, the threads disappeared immediately after I posted this. Hope that helps.

TheIronHare said...


sarah said...

The positive aspect of this is the Sproul's have not disowned Ryan over this stuff.

He's a stupid kid loose on the internet. I feel bad for him.

LizaJ said...

You need to get a life. I hope no one is as cruel to you as you are to these people. No one has perfect children. This is gossipy mean and vindictive. I don't understand your purpose in this.

Bookborn said...

I really appreciate you posting this. Personally, I'm fed up with Professional Church. You have well said regarding the criteria for an elder and having his children in subjection with all gravity and having faithful children, ruling one's house, etc. I KNOW OF VERY FEW QUALIFIED ELDERS. Thanks again for the posts. You have done the Christian community a service.