Anglican Watch recently received the following message via our online form about the sordid mess at Tenth Pres, and we’re calling BS:
There’s news of Phil Ryken scheduled to preach at Tenth Presbyterian Church on Sunday March 3, 2024, the Wheaton choir will be singing. https://www.tenth.org/session/january-23-2024/
Because of the calendar structure, the following communion schedule was approved for March:
Sunday, March 3 – NO Communion (Dr. Phil Ryken preaching + Wheaton Choir)
Sunday, March 17 – 6:30pm communion
Sunday, March 24 (Palm Sunday) – 9, 11am, 2pm communion
The Session continues to review the GRACE report. A committee of Session is looking at the report and its recommendations and will report back to the Session how the elders and the church can benefit moving forward.
There are several problems with this approach.
At the highest level, many of the antics at Tenth appear to be efforts to shield Phil Ryken and the rest of the inner circle.
This habit of trotting out bad actors with titles to gloss over bad behavior is getting really old, really fast.
For instance, we have the announcement that George Sumner, an arrogant, unethical dirtbag who sandbagged a valid Title IV complaint about sexual harassment/retaliation involving David Halt at St. James Texarkana, will be speaking at Church of the Advent Boston.
That’s telling, as George Anderson, the outgoing rector who just landed a golden parachute for sexual harassment and other bad behavior, was part and parcel of the sordid mess at St. James Texarkana, and subsequently lied about his actions.
Similarly, no one at Tenth wants to touch Goligher’s adultery, his lies, and his bullying of Phil Snyder, as this would ultimately reach Phil Ryken, Wheaton College, and the McFarland/Goligher power circle.
There’s also an inherent problem with using the GRACE report to guide session. Not only was the scope of work carefully selected to keep issues away from the nomenklatura, but it neatly sidestepped major meltdowns in the church. Like why the church didn’t approve that most rudimentary of safeguards, background checks for employees. Wonder why.
Similarly, the report made scant mention of the church’s perjury and other illegal conduct towards Phil Snyder. To be clear, perjury is a crime, as is filing a false police report. So criminal conduct extends all the way to George McFarland and Liam Goligher.
In other words, relying on the GRACE report is a logical fallacy. Because it contains glaring omissions, any outcome based on it will have similar, if not greater, gaps and omissions.
Then we get to the heart of the matter, which is that session cannot discipline Goligher. For that to happen, someone would have to have the spine to file a report with the presbytery. So far, we’ve seen nothing to suggest that anyone in this sordid drama has had the backbone to do that.
In other words, as bad as Goligher’s lies and adultery are (and those of Susan Elzey), the even greater moral breakdown is session. Like modern-day Scribes and Pharisees, they talk a good game, but they omit things like love, integrity, and compassion. The group is nothing but a bunch of self-important men who like to think that being connected with Tenth somehow makes them important, even as they look down their noses at the dwindling number of people in the pews.
Folks, it’s time for the charade to end. Real integrity involves:
- Referring Goligher to presbytery for discipline.
- Holding Susan Elzey and the other perjurers/bullies in the Phil Snyder matter accountable.
- The resignation of the entire session, which is about as corrupt as they come.
Will these things happen? We don’t know. But given the current trajectory of things at Tenth, if they don’t happen, the Baptists will be buying the place in the not distant future.
So, if session wants to benefit from the GRACE report, it can start by accepting its own culpability in this sordid crock of goo and resign en masse.
Anything else is empty words and empty theater.