Ps Mike Ross, Christ Covenant Church NC — Why Hasn’t He Answered Jeff Crippen?
Here is the text of an email Jeff Crippen sent to Mike Ross, Senior Pastor of Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, North Carolina, a PCA church. Jeff’s email was sent 12 Feb 2016.
Ps Mike Ross has not replied in any way to Jeff. The question on the table is WHY?
My name is Jeff Crippen. I am the pastor of Christ Reformation Church in Tillamook, Oregon and the author of Unholy Charade, Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church (Justice Keepers, 2015) and A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church (Calvary Press, 2012).
I understand that Nathan Bond is a member of your church, and if so I would ask that you and your session confront him for his abusive, falsely accusing charges he has made on Amazon about me and my colleague Barbara Roberts, author of Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion (Maschil Press, 2008).
Below are 11 screen shots to document what I am saying. The first two are his reviews of my two books in which he libels me as a false prophet. In the ninth screen shot he libels Barbara as a false prophet. In the eleventh screen shot he libels Barbara and me as cult leaders.
This fellow is certainly free to critique our books, but has no right to publicly libel us as false prophets and cult leaders. I am sure that you and your session would agree with that and recognize that he needs to be called to account for it. I suggest to you that according to 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, a man who professes to be a Christian but refuses to repent of reviling, needs to be excommunicated. And I put to you that such repentance ought to include making a full and public confession and apology.
I would appreciate feedback from you as to action taken.
Jeff Crippen, Pastor
Ps Jeff Crippen’s letter to Ps Mike Ross then appended our screen shots of Amazon reviews of Unholy Charade, A Cry For Justice, and Not Under Bondage which we had good reason to believe were all written by Nathan Bond. The language in each of the reviews was so similar — no more than cut and paste at times — that they were obviously written by the same person.
Now, Nathan hadn’t given his name in writing those three reviews, but he HAD used the name Nathan Bond when he wrote a comment slamming Persistent Widow’s one-star review of The Peacemaker. A woman who uses the handle ‘ToGodBeTheGlory’ called out Nathan for that nasty comment of his addressing him by name. She had seen the name ‘Nathan Bond as the author of the comment, when his comment was first published, and she’d replied to his comment that same day his comment. So, when Nathan later saw that she’d called him out, and he realised he’d used his real name, he scrubbed his name from his comment. Therefore, you can no longer see his name on that comment at Amazon, but you can see ToGodBeTheGlory’s reply immediately below it, where she addresses Nathan by name:
Now, an impartial reader might wonder where we had wrongly assumed that the man who had called himself Nathan Bond on Amazon and then scrubbed his name, was associated with Christ Covenant Church Matthews NC. We promise you, we had good reason to believe we were right in having identified and named the right man. We can’t disclose all our reasons here. But we do have evidence we can state here which strongly suggests we had identified the right church:
On 22 Feb (ten days after Jeff’s email was sent) we observed that most of Nathan’s stuff which Jeff had complained about had been deleted from Amazon.
Any observant person can tell that Amazon reviews and comments on reviews only get scrubbed if (a) the author deleted it himself/herself, or (b) someone else complained about it to Amazon in which case Amazon staff might then delete it if they deem the item outside the bounds of responsible cyber-citizenship.
Of the things Jeff complained about to Pastor Ross, these items had been deleted by 22 Feb:
- Nathan’s review of A Cry For Justice,
- his review of Unholy Charade
- his review of Not Under Bondage
- his critical comment on Persistent Widow’s one star review of John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage
The stuff that remained was his four comments on Persistent Widow’s review of The Peacemaker. At the time of writing this post, that material is still visible on Amazon (link). If Nathan ever removes that material you will still be able to see a copy of it on the wayback machine.
If Jeff had sent his email to a church that didn’t know Nathan Bond from a bar of soap, wouldn’t Mike Ross have immediately replied to Jeff saying that?
The fact that Nathan’s offensive material was scrubbed from Amazon within ten days of Jeff emailing Mike Ross, is indicative that we had the right church and the right man.
In our opinion, Mike Ross and the session at Christ Covenant Church have displayed spinelessness. And if they spoke to Nathan and told him to remove his material from Amazon, as we suspect they did after getting Jeff’s email, why didn’t they check to see whether Nathan had removed it all? And since Nathan hasn’t made a public (or private) apology to us, we have to conclude that Christ Covenant Church didn’t require him to do that.
It is this kind of slipshod, wet-sponge, half-hearted, backroom ‘discipline’ of abusers which keeps giving abusers the message that it’s easy to get away with abuse in Christian circles because church leaders are a push-over.