Nov 30, 2006

Ligonier Lynches Loyal Lecturer

Being loyal to Ligonier is becoming rather costly these days.

In all my own coverage of Ligonier’s deeds of darkness, I have chosen to focus on only those areas in which I have knowledge and documentation, purposely staying away from the Don Kistler aspect of Frank Vance’s original accusations until I knew more than just “Frank said.” As time has progressed, Frank Vance has provided more and more evidence that all his original accusations seem to be valid. Today is no different.

On November 28, RC Sproul and the board of directors fired Don Kistler, releasing this statement: "In November 2006, the Board of Directors for Ligonier Ministries voted unanimously to dissolve our employment relationship with Don Kistler, Managing Editor of Soli Deo Gloria Publications." We don’t know all the details yet, but what we do know sounds quite fishy, including the fact that Ligonier Ministries still retains ownership of Don Kistler's life work, Soli Deo Gloria. They didn’t like his website? And did they ever talk to him about it? Was it in the original contract that he couldn’t have his own website? Is his website really in competition with Ligonier? I’ve been there several times over the last couple months, and Mark and I considered buying a couple of his excellent books, but since they were only available through Ligonier, as was posted on his website at that time, we decided to wait, since we are not financially supporting Ligonier in any way at this time. So, if Don was selling his books on his website THROUGH Ligonier, that just sounds like free advertising for Ligonier to me. That really cannot be the reason.

Check out Frank’s new article for his ideas, but I think it’s time to call for the resignation of the Ligonier Board of Directors. The purpose of a board, as far as I know, is not only to help guide and direct an organization, but to hold them accountable when need be. I realize that many ministry boards are actually made up of “yes” men, as this one appears to be, but that is truly not in their own best interests. A board should desire to see a ministry be fully biblical in all areas of life, first of all, and should do all that would be in the best interests of furthering that ministry – not just bow down to the ministry leader’s every wish and whim. I am very disappointed in this decision by Ligonier’s Board of Directors. If Don Kistler has truly done something worthy of being fired, and that'd better be something FAR worse than Tim Dick representing a Christian ministry to sue another Christian, then Ligonier Ministries should be bold enough to name the offense directly and tell why it was something that could not be corrected (websites are rather easy to change, I would think), and even show that when confronted with his “sin,” Don Kistler refused to repent.

The last I heard, Don Kistler wasn’t even back to work full time since his stroke in August. They aren't paying him now, so he wasn't a financial strain to Ligonier. Besides, I think he works about as many hours as Tim Dick does, so that couldn’t really be it.

Although Tim Dick and John Duncan are not on the board, from Frank Vance’s account, it appears that they were the impetus behind finding a reason to fire Don Kistler. So, I will reiterate my call for a complete management/board turnover at Ligonier Ministries. Whether directly or indirectly involved in all these recent deeds of darkness, the board of directors and all management should be held directly responsible for the wickedness of these last few months, or in all probability, much longer. Change happens one person at a time, one step at a time. It may not seem like much for one person to make a phone call, but each one adds up. I am asking each person reading this to call Ligonier Ministries at 1-800-435-4343 and ask them for more information about why Don Kistler was fired. Ligonier's donors especially deserve the truth.

Please continue to pray for repentance for the board of directors and management of Ligonier Ministries. RC Sproul is leading this, so pray for his repentance as well. Ligonier's website asks us to partner with them as they proclaim the holiness of God to a world lost and dead in its sin. Now it is time to proclaim the holiness of God to a ministry losing its way in deed after deed of darkness.


Professor said...

Don't hold your breath about Ligonier Board doing the right thing. Even if donations drop off dramatically. The Sprouls know they can ride this out or they would not have done something this obvious and bold.

Just look at how such 'godly' men as John Piper and Tim Challies defended their lawsuit action.

Wendi said...

Here's something that strikes me. Ligonier purportedly fired Kistler because they suspected him of being Frank's 'source.'
That is itself a huge, and I mean HUGE, witness straight from the mouth of Ligonier that Frank's facts were accurate and true.

praying and thinking said...

Jen, I am not being sarcastic here, but earnest. If we asked all the leadership and staff in the Roman Catholic church who have false doctrine and do false things to resign, if all of them did, there would be no one left to operate or even sell the buildings. In the most important way, I want, like you, for Dr. Sproul and others in Ligonier to repent. How can all those who know what is being done and who either want or tolerate these false deeds, resign, and still leave enough upright persons in Ligonier even to sell the physical buildings and assets? Believe me, I'm not being sarcastic. Do you think that there is any way that Ligonier can continue on in an upright way other than to transfer the entire organization to the ownership, oversight, and management of a completely different organization, to cease to be a separate organization called Ligonier? If all who have done these deeds, or who have known and tolerated these deeds, repent and resign, who would be left remaining in Ligonier to continue the organization?

Jen said...

Professor, I am very afraid that you are right - they must "think" they can ride this out, having carefully weighed their options in this situation. The lawsuit surely must have taught them to be a bit more careful before plunging head first into something. RC must hold more sway over Christians than any one man should.

Wendi, every new deed of darkness seems to support Frank's position more and more, doesn't it?

Praying and Thinking - that is a great observation. However, cleaning house from the top down does not mean that there are not other dedicated Christians who could step in temporarily to help get Ligonier back on board until a new God-fearing permanent staff and board were to be found. I believe that there are enough believers who dearly love RC, but are willing to hold his feet to the fire, that would be willing to help in a time of crisis at Ligonier. I may be wrong, but I hope so. I'm just not holding my breath that it will actually happen.

I'll keep praying.