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Pipim Sexual Abuse Victim: The Story from a First-person Observer
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Submitted: Jun 7, 2012
By Loren Seibold


A year ago Dr. Samuel Korangteng Pipim admitted to sexual misconduct while traveling in Africa. Dr. Pipim is well known as the author of a number of books against the ordination of women pastors in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and accusing some of the top theologians in the denomination of heresy in their interpretation of Scripture. He was an ordained minister and employed as director of campus ministry by the Michigan Conference. He resigned from denominational employment, turned in his ministerial credentials and ended his membership in the Church.
 
In subsequent months Dr. Pipim has endeavored to restore his reputation, even writing a book about his infidelity and starting a ministry of recovery. He has now asked to be rebaptized by the local church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Though Dr. Pipim has received a lot of attention the victim, a young student from Africa, has been largely forgotten. Recently she consented to let her counselor, Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, speak on her behalf. She was interviewed by Adventist Today writer Loren Seibold.
 
Adventist Today: How did you get involved with Dr. Pipim’s victim?
 
Jennifer Jill Schwirzer: I’m a professional counselor licensed in the state of Pennsylvania, and I volunteer for a ministry that helps victims of clergy abuse called The Hope of Survivors (THOS). Nandipa (a pseudonym) contacted someone for help, who referred her to THOS, who then referred her to me. I’ve talked with her off and on for most of the past year.
 
AT: What can you tell us about Nandipa?
 
JJS: Let me first say this: I’ve been given Nandipa’s permission to share her story, but I do so with great reservation because of the danger of exposing her to blame. She was 20 years old at the time, a new convert, with no Adventist background and little support within the church, attending university. She’d had some experiences in her life that left her deeply vulnerable. Dr. Pipim had been invited there by a church young adults’ organization for a week of prayer. She was one of his contact people and hosts for the visit. She felt, and still feels, very vulnerable to this man of God who she so looked up to.
 
AT: How did the encounter happen?
 
JJS: Nandipa asked him for counsel regarding some scars from her life before meeting Jesus. He invited her to his hotel room. To Nandipa, he was an awesome, larger-than-life spiritual figure. Others were going to his room for counsel. It didn’t cross her mind that she should be afraid. So she innocently went into his “counseling office.” After talking awhile, he began to touch her. Nandipa wasn’t sure what the touches meant. She didn’t want to accuse a man of God of impropriety, yet he appeared noticeably aroused. That encounter ended when another counselee came. She left in a state of confusion.
 
He came to her later telling her to come to his hotel room again, that he wanted to give her a sermon on CD.
 
AT: Why did she go back?
 
JJS: I pray people will understand the psychology here. She’s a struggling girl. She’s kicking herself, thinking, “This is because I’m such a bad person. He’s a man of God. Maybe I’m imagining this.” When you’re new to the faith, young, and female, you don’t question someone like Dr. Samuel Pipim. He was a hero, especially in that part of the world. Plus she did take what she felt was a precaution: she rode to his hotel the second time with a Seventh-day Adventist chaplain, thinking that she’d get the sermon and she’d leave with the chaplain, as he was her ride. Instead, Pipim sent the chaplain away, saying he’d send her home in a cab. Essentially, he then violated her while she protested in tears. Before he sent her away he gave her $100 and some of his books.
 
AT: Would you call it rape?
 
JJS: Some don’t understand how, short of physical force, one can be a victim of rape. That attitude shows psychological, social, and spiritual naivete. Statistically it’s been shown that women often plead, cry, and try to reason with perpetrators of sexual crime, but they rarely scream and fight, even though their chance of escape increases when they do. There’s a power imbalance. She did what women in her situation typically do: she pled for him to stop. He didn’t.
 
Forcible rape uses physical strength. Power rape uses social and psychological strength. If Nandipa had had the psychological training and strength, she could have screamed, fought, and run. It was psychological overpowerment, plus her own lack of internal strength and social support, that kept her there.
 
AT: Dr. Pipim did eventually confess.
 
JJS: Here’s my understanding of the timing. The abuse occurred January 21 of last year. He didn’t confess until May 23. In between, Nandipa had gone to the Botswana conference brethren. They wanted proof. She taped a phone conversation with him that proved it. They took the matter to the division president, who called Pipim. Pipim then called Nandipa, telling her he would be confessing the matter.
 
He then called his conference, and confessed his version of the story. On the surface it seemed like an honorable act, but really he gave a very inaccurate confession. He said it was “the sin of a moment,” a “moral fall.” He gave no indication that it was abuse. But really, it had to be. When someone in power has sex with someone powerless, or nearly so, it’s always abuse. Abuse of the office and abuse of the person. That’s not to say there’s never any fault on the part of the victim. In Jesus’ parable to Simon the Pharisee, he presented the guilt ratio of perpetrator to victim of sexual abuse to be ten to one. (Luke 7:40-43)
 
 AT: What was Nandipa’s relationship with Dr. Pipim afterwards?
 
JJS: She felt confused, bewildered. There’s something called a “betrayal bond,” where the victim shares a secret with the perpetrator. He tried to keep a relationship going in which he presented himself as her father. It was classic perpetrator behavior to try to keep her loyal to him. But she gradually broke free of that and sought help.
 
The spirit of this girl, her resilience, is quite touching. It took huge courage and faith to report it to the brethren. Fully 84 percent of rape never gets reported, mostly because victims fear bad treatment by authorities. Why shouldn’t they? They’ve already been mistreated by someone powerful. Especially in a religious context, a victim’s worst fear is that the loyalty to the perpetrator will outweigh any loyalty to them. And so often it proves true.
 
AT: You seem to question the sincerity of Dr. Pipim’s confession.
 
JJS: I would say it more strongly: From what I can see, his confession is utterly deceptive. First, as I mentioned before, the “moral fall” wasn’t consensual, it was abuse. He hasn’t confessed to abuse. He’s confessed to infidelity. It was much more than infidelity. Second he didn’t confess till he had to. Four months passed between the event and the “confession.” Third, he has continued to pursue influence. A truly repentant person would want to withdraw from public life for a time. But he seems unable to let go of his status. Sexual abuse is abuse of power. Power addiction leads people to the kind of thing Pipim did to Nandipa. It seems that to recover from this unhealthy use of power he’d need to abstain completely from it, at least for a few years. But no. He’s written two books and launched a whole new ministry. Without so much as a month break!
 
Some believe in restoration of fallen pastors, some don’t. But even the most lenient wouldn’t advise that a fallen pastor go immediately into a new ministry—what foolishness!
 
Those who have supported him in this premature rebuilding should take a step back and consider this: For infidelity alone, denominational policy says, “He/she must plan to devote his/her life to employment other than that of the gospel ministry, the teaching ministry, or denominational leadership.” (NAD Working Policy L 60 20, Steps in Discipline of Ministers with a Moral Fall)


AT: Someone may ask, why isn’t Nandipa speaking out herself, or at least letting you use her name, when Dr. Pipim is being exposed?
 
JJS: Because of ignorance of the psychological dynamics of power rape, people often blame the victim. In some circles, the woman is always at fault. Disclosure can be good for the victim, both because in so doing they help future victims, and because sharing one’s story can be healing. But great risks are also associated with disclosure. Specifically, those fond of Pipim are likely to see her as a troublemaker, “bringing down a man of God.”
 
There are certain traits that make a person more vulnerable to sexual abuse. Jesus spoke of them in Matthew 18, going so far as to suggest that those who lead ”little ones,” meaning vulnerable people—the young, the small, new converts—into sin, should suffer capital punishment! So, far from the victim’s weaknesses exonerating the perpetrator, they make him or her more guilty.
 
AT: How does Nandipa feel about Dr. Pipim’s actions since the confession, such as his writing a book and starting a new ministry?
 
JJS: She’s troubled by it, because like so many victims, she’s had to watch the perpetrator apparently prosper while she suffers with the consequences. It’s super hard to watch someone who’s deeply hurt you receive praise and support, while you’re forgotten. But she’s rightly trying to detach herself and go on with her life, and I must say, doing a good job of it. I believe she’ll pull through.
 
AT: Has the church been too quick to let Dr. Pipim move on in his ministry?
 
JJS: As I understand it, he was disfellowshipped, de-credentialed and de-ordained. In many cases there is far less appropriate discipline. On the other hand, he was hired shortly after his confession by a lay publishing ministry. He’s continued to do ministry in some situations. And he’s already been declared a candidate for rebaptism.
 
I think those who have supported him fall into two general categories. Number one, nice people who are touched by someone’s apparent honesty about a sin and who want to bestow grace upon him. Number two, people with a political bent who think that his sin was the result of a demonic attack, which came because he was a champion of certain causes. These believe he should be quickly restored so he can carry on his ministry of reform. I honestly can’t think of better way to open the floodgates to abuse than to lionize someone who committed such an indecent act. Heaven help us!
 
My role in this situation has been to advocate for the victim. I want people to hear her side of the story. I must do that without overexposing her, which is difficult. I’ve tried to walk that fine line. We’re told to, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9. I don’t really know Sam Pipim, and have no desire to hurt him. My focus is Nandipa. I know I’ll probably be accused by some as being in cahoots with liberals. The truth is, I weigh in on the conservative side of the theological spectrum on most issues. So I am not really his enemy in every respect. I agree with him on some “conservative” issues. But I would like to see truth and justice prevail.
 

________________________
Share your thoughts about this article:

Tapiwa Mushaninga
2012-06-08 6:46 AM

JJS

What Dr Pipim did is deplorable but to suggest rape  and abuse?? Is there any evidence to corraborate that you are indeed her representative? This would I'm sure you understand will help in the issue. Do you believe a crime was commited?

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 8:11 AM

Tapiwa, the level you have gone to make excuses for Dr Pipim is quite interesting compared to your harsh approach to homosexuals (even celibate ones).  

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 8:24 AM

And Spectrum is running the exact same story, and cites numerous other sources that corroborate the story.

JaNe
2012-06-13 11:29 PM

Spectrum-LOL-about as reliable as AT...

George Tichy
2012-06-08 11:03 AM

This is not a "suggestion" of rape. This is rape pure and clearly! And yes, in the US, rape is a crime! 

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 9:27 PM

Yes I agree.  But wasn't this in Botswana (although no doubt it is still rape there too)

Karli Bed
2012-06-13 7:49 AM

Tapiwa you raise an interesting question. JJS claims to be a professional who knows the psychology of victims.  But could she very well be exposing some naivity or ignorance on her part? There are scores of women who change their story and aledge rape when they realise that they can not have a permanent relationship with a man they had an affair or sex with.  Yes Pipim was wrong! But could this victim be getting back at him with a doctored story? And could JJS be falling for it?

Are we to believe only her side of the story?

Tapiwa Mushaninga
2012-06-08 6:58 AM

JJS

How do we know that you are not exploiting this girl's situation to get your 5 mins of fame as the "Lady  who stood up against the mighty abuser Sam pipim?" IF you believe there was a crime commited I'm sure you know the correct protocols but to to carry out an interview on Atoday is testament that you are only after your own ends!

You and I know that by Giving Info to Atoday you lose credibility to the majority of adventism hence nandipa is not really helped! It seems you are also guilty of the sin of which you are accusing Pipim? I truly feel For Nandipa it seems People will continue to exploit her. Some for sexual gratification, others for 5 mins of fame on the adventist blogsphere.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 7:57 AM

"It seems you are also guilty of the sin of which you are accusing Pipim?"

Tapiwa, are you serious?  You are acusing JJ of something equivalent to what in effect amounts to rape of a young woman! I can't believe your response and it is really quite outrageous! 

Yes, I did think whether JJ should be devulging this information to us, but the information is obviously no private.  There is a legal principle that might be applicable here - you can't bring up an accussed's bad past unless they try to bring up their good past.  In this case, as Dr Pippin has publicly stated his own version of events, his right to confidentiality has been waived and the same Adventist public is entitled to hear the other side of the story from the victim.

The only concern I have is whether the victim herself approves of JJ devulging this info.  If Nandipa has given her approval for this information to be devulged then I have absolutely no problems at all.  Perhaps AToday could clarify that?

JaNe
2012-06-13 11:31 PM

Good point Tapiwa

Tapiwa Mushaninga
2012-06-08 7:02 AM

JJs

I am not refusing the possibility of Nandipa being sexually abused by Pipim. I am questioning however your credibility and your motives by giving an interview to Atoday. Do you really believe that this will really help the Girl? You are just providing ammunition to a particular side in the adventist cold war. Abuse and exploitation can come in many forms.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 8:06 AM

"I am not refusing the possibility of Nandipa being sexually abused by Pipim."

But Tapiwa you are do just that...you are...

Tapiwa Mushaninga
2012-06-08 9:20 AM

Stephen Ferguson

I am not defending Pipim. For all we know he could have actually done it. However it is another thing to accuse someone of rape without sufficient evidence. Your double standards and misrepresentation are unbecoming!! I am accusing JJ of taking advantage of Nandipa albeit for Different reasons. I am not defending Pipim If HE is guilty then Justice should be done. But to accuse a man without sufficient evidence just to win an ideological battle Mr Ferguson is low low low............

Do you hate him that much I have major  differences with many people here but I would never want them to be accused for a crime they did not commit. I state again If pipim raped that girl, then He should be imprisoned. But you seem to be more concerned about Pipim's denigration rather than the victim.

Happy sabbath


Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 10:27 AM

Tapiwa, Sabbath greetings to you also my friend.

I am not making any comments at all for ideological reasons.  In fact, in my own local areas, there have been very serious concerns about Deliverance Ministries (a.k.a. Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare), and as far as I know, Dr Pipim is about the only major Advenist leader today who is still willing to talk about the dangers of this Pentacostal-Prosperity Gospel influenced ministry (despite the GC BRI producing a report in 1980s warning about this exact type of ministry).  Therefore, contrary to what you might think, I have immense respect for Dr Pipim actually, in terms of some of his theological positions. Although I obviously don't agree with all his positions, you would be surprised that I do actually agree with some of them, and he performs an important role in at least ensuring that certain view points are given a voice.

I also agree that it is unclear whether JJ was providing this information with the permission of Nadnipa, which should be clarified by AToday.  If Nadnipa doesn't know or consent, then it may be a serious breach of confidentiality by JJ and AToday.

Rather, my concern is you seem to be more concerned with protecting Dr Pipim, and your own assertion that JJ and AToday must be motivated for ideological reasons in reporting this matter.  With some irony, that would appear to reveal your own ideological motivations.

Re your notion that unless Dr Pipim is charged and convicted of a crime the Church should leave him alone, I get where you are coming from.  However, that is a false standard because:

- Whether he can be charged and convicted of a crime requires a very high burden of proof at 'beyond reasonable doubt' rather than 'balance of probabilities' (assuming Botswana's Common-law legal system).  No where is it suggested the SDA Church should adopt the same standard of proof test.

- The girl may well be too intimidated to lodge a formal criminal complaint. 

- As is common in many rape cases, it is very difficult to obtain a criminal conviction on the higher standard of criminal proof.  However, the mere absence of a criminal conviction is not proof that Dr Pipim is innocent or that the SDA Church should do nothing.

- Most importantly, Dr Pipim himself has admitted to some sort of sexual sin with this woman. Regardless of whether he did or did not force himself on her in a criminal sense, he was in a position of power, and clearly took advantage of her.  Ellen White has very serious things to say about men who do this.

- Regardless of whether the sexual sin of rape did or did not occur, a serious question mark hangs over whether it is appropriate to rush Dr Pipim's re-baptism.  In fact, there is an argument that is actually against Dr Pipim's own self interest to do so, because his own conscience might have been better with a  little longer period of self reflection.  This is made clear in the Church Manual, and it appears in this instance the local Church conducting the local baptism is perhaps cutting corners because of his celebrity status.

JaNe
2012-06-13 11:31 PM

Very good point Tapiwa

J. David Newman
2012-06-08 10:39 AM

Both of you are unsure whether Nandipa gave her permission or not.  It seems that you missed this statement at the beginning of the interview with MS Schwirzer  "JJS: Let me first say this: I’ve been given Nandipa’s permission to share her story."  I don't know how it can be clearer than that.

George Tichy
2012-06-08 11:16 AM

Yes, any trained counselor will do that as a professional requirement. I am sure she has the permission well documented too. Nobody would put their license at risk just "because"...

So there is actually no reason for Tapiwa keep questioning all this. It seems that he can't cope with the fact that the man (over 50) raped a girl (20) and is being called on that. There was clear abuse of power aiming personal gain. Did he really think that $100 and some of his own books would do it? And worse, apparently he kept in contact with her for a while,  most probably exploiting her emotionally.

Still worse is his current attitude, almost defending himself. Chech his own site and see the article "An Answer to Everyone"  on  www.drpipim.org

This is an outreageous case of arrogance. I have never seen someone being rebaptized with such an attitude after committing adultery. Much less after a rape!

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 9:29 PM

Sorry, yes that it clear.  It seems that answers Tapiwa's central complaint then. Also, as I said before, people can't really complain about AToday bringing up the victim's side of the story when Pipim himself has heavily promoted his own story.

Jennifer Schwirzer
2012-06-08 11:57 AM

George Tichy, thanks for your sane comments. And you're correct, permission was always obtained, in writing. 

Jan
2012-06-08 12:58 PM

Jennifer Schwirzer, thank you for sharing from Nandipa's story... and yes ... this is a topic that gets swept under the cloak probably in every city ... I hope that your bringing this in the open will give every girl or woman or boy, permission to tell someone... Why did the church allow this doctor to have counseling in his bedroom on the road, anyway?  There is liability far and wide on this... if taken to the legal systems.  My prayers for Nandipa ... that she will realize her value and that God does not rape her.

Karen & Thomas Kotoske
2012-06-08 12:08 PM

One can easily wonder how many other victims Pipim has had before, and will have in the future. This is smelling something the Catholic pedophile tragedy to me.


olive hemmings
2012-06-08 12:16 PM

This is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly or glossed over by re-baptism.  Mr. Pipim has presented an image to the world that has been distorted by his own arrogance, obsession with power and suppression of the voice of a powerless young woman.  Let there be fasting and prayer for the powerless of this world and those who exploit them.  Let the conference seek radical psychtherapy for Mr. Pipim rather than re-baptrism.  To those with a keen sense of discernment he has shown no sign of true repentance, but seems angry that someone has inconvenienced him by reporting his misdeeds.
What would Jesus say here?  What would our prophet say here?  Let the church put aside ideology and politics and seek to protect the powerless and vulnerable.  Let the church be prophetic rather than political.

John Huskins
2012-06-08 12:30 PM

This is a serious offense. On an administrative side, I believe that Sam could be rebaptized, but he should never regain his ministerial creditials or be allowed a leadership position in the church again. This is not revenge or punishment. It is keeping our trusting vulnerable people safe.

Joe Erwin
2012-06-08 12:34 PM

And if we did not already know better, we might imagine that this is an isolated case, for the perpetrator, and for his profession. Not to excuse him, or anyone else, but this is a side of human behavior that is very often kept secret to whatever extent possible. Mature men should know better than to place themselves in situations where they are vulnerable to accusations or unconscionable moral lapses. Without blaming the victim(s), young women should also know to avoid such circumstances--with anyone, including respected ministers. The scene plays out over and over, not just among SDAs or catholics or baptists, and not just involving clerics.

Somehow, it seems more egregious when someone who makes a handsome living preaching moral correctness to others than for others to similarly err.

Jan
2012-06-08 1:01 PM

Let the legal system work.  Let confession work.  There are baptistries in prison. 

Loren Seibold
2012-06-08 1:24 PM

I just want to speak on behalf of Dr. Schwirzer: she was scrupulous in the interview in wanting to be protective of Nandipa, and even in being fair to Dr. Pipim. She was cautious, checked and rechecked that she had the facts right, and that she had permission for everything she said. And the facts screamed loudly that something more than infidelity had happened here. While Dr. Pipim was starting a new ministry and writing books to justify himself, Nandipa was shoved into the corner and forgotten—thank God, not by everyone. I have great confidence in Dr. Schwirzer. 

Loren Seibold

Inge Anderson
2012-06-08 1:37 PM

I see few reasons for "righteous anger" in the church. Most things I see are matters of  misunderstanding, lack of information, etc. The case of Dr. Pipim's abuse of power is an exception.

When this case first became public, I spent some time following Dr. Pipim's reaction on is own website. I didn't need Jennifer Jill Schwirzer's testimony to see that Pipim was clearly not repentant, but represented himself as a victim in need of support and sympathy. Granted, he did not blame the real victim, but he blamed the devil for taking advantage of him through the person with whom he engaged in a "moral failure," that, given his high standards (for others), could surely have been no more than a little "impropriety."

He soaked up the sympathy and letters of support, featuring some to them prominently on his site. Among other things, he posted an adulatory poem sent him by another young women, casting him as a "wounded eagle." That is not the behavior of a repentant man -- even if he engaged merely in an "impropriety." The whole tenor of his writings minimized the sin and maximized his victim status.

Immediately after his publicized "confession," he was actively seeking sympathy and support while clearly continuing to see himself in the role of counselor and leader of young adults. He made numerous references to all the great work he had done for the church. Never did he take his website offline. Most who visited his site in the following months to read his essays and buy his books had little idea of what had actually taken place.

This was not the behavior of a repentant man.

I just now visited <a href="http://drpipim.org/">his website</a> again and found the front page article entitled, "'An Answer To Everyone'" A Response to False Accusations."  In his "Answer," he spends a little space reminding readers of his "repentance" (a portion of the original acknowledgement of a "spiritual fall") and a great deal of time verifying his accomplishments by recounting the wide-ranging influence of "Campus Ministries" and GYC. Possibly he forgets that if "Campus Ministries" is a work of God, it is not for him to take credit. And we do not believe "in once saved, always saved," and hence not in "once a good work done, all subsequent works will be good." Yet he goes on about ministries "birthed" by the ones he originally started. Is he seeking to bask in the approval those ministries generate?

It seems that he has continued without misssing a beat.

Previous to his "spiritual fall," I wondered why he did not mention his family, particularly his wife, in his appearances. Without some research, it was not evident that he was even married. Now he does mention his wife as "suffering the same humiliation and pain" that he suffered.

In his "Answer," Pipim categorically denies that his conduct constituted "rape," calling the accusation slanderous, and claiming that he should be consulted before such things could be truthfully said. No mention of the person against whom he sinned -- whatever that "sin" might be, according to him.  (I would not expect him to name the person, but I would expect a truly repentant person to at least acknowledge the damage done to a vulnerable young woman. But then he does not acknowledge that the person involved is such a person, casting it more as a consensual relationship. As I suggest above, those who know Dr Pipim's high standards may very well assume that the encounter did not go as far as sexual intercourse but may only have involved inappropriate touching, if that. )

Apparently others picked up on the implications of his publishing the adulatory letter about the "wounded eagle" on his website, since he spends a fair bit of time "explaining" the action.

Pipim quotes a passage from Ellen White in which she counsels a man not to publicly confess a private sin, even though the sin is of a different nature than his. However, he neglects to quote from her writings passages that indicate that some pastors should never re-enter the ministry but should serve God in some other way. She even goes so far as to write that some should never be re-accepted into church fellowship -- and if they are saved at all, they will be saved outside God's church. (I don't have time to find these counsels  jus now, but others may.)

And now "Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD" has launched another ministry to mentor others to do what he does so well.

May our God of justice and mercy intervene in the way He knows best.

Inge Anderson
Editor of <a href="http://ssnet.org">Sabbath School Net</a>

Inge Anderson
2012-06-08 1:54 PM

It seems as though the comment interface does not pick up links the usual way, but readers may be interested in the statement Dr Pipim referenced in his "Answer."

It can be found at http://www.scribd.com/doc/96287948/Board-Letter
(Just copy and paste into your browser.)

Beverly Kirby
2012-06-08 2:11 PM

After reading this article I had to go back to my Bible and read the story of the woman caught in adultry. I had great compassion for this woman before all the teachers of the law, the educated scholars of Scriptures, the preachers and teachers, the public accusation before all the towns people, the gossip and the shame she felt from friends and family. "It was her fault. not the man's fault!" He wasn't even accused! Then I looked and looked for the story of the man that was caught in adultry. I couldn't find that he was accused or shamed for his actions. I couldn't find his story. Am I missing something here?

Truth Seeker
2012-06-08 2:36 PM

A close relative once worked for a Social Service agency in PA and confidentiality was critical. I do not understand how a professional from the same state is so free with her information.

Pipim was obviously involved in a foul deed, to say the least, and he must pay the price. Only the local church to which he belongs can determine the proper action. One must ask whether the liberal press is ganging up on Pipim because of his previous stands and careful interpretation of Scripture.

my 2
2012-06-08 4:04 PM

Far from "the liberal press is ganging up on Pipim."

http://advindicate.com/?p=1360

Inge Anderson
2012-06-08 2:41 PM

Here's one statement from Ellen White (found by someone else) applicable to Sam Pippim's situation:
"I have no real ground of hope for those who have stood as shepherds to the flock, and have for years been borne with by the merciful God, following them with reproof, with warnings, with entreaties, but who have hid their evil ways, and continued in them, thus defying the laws of the God of heaven by practicing fornication. We may leave them to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, after all has been done to reform them; but in no case entrust to them the guardianship of souls. False shepherds! Oh, can it be that the men who have been engaged in this work for a long time will corrupt their ways before the Lord after great experience and special light?"--Testimonies to Ministers 428.

But Pipim has already started a new ministry! What now? Are the folks in the Michigan Conference considering this? Is his pastor?

Sandmom
2012-06-08 2:56 PM

I find it very interesting that Dr. Pipim makes several statements in his June 12 letter that would seem to contradict a true repentance.  He states that "he is in good spirits", "it's a stumble, not a fall" and "his faith is stronger than ever before".  Note that the abuse occurred on January 21 and this letter was written approximately two weeks after his public confession on May 29.  The confession seems only to fit in after the victim revealed what had happened.  Where does a public confession fit in with "an act of faith" which he describes in his letter.  And then I quote again, "and what was meant for evil could very well turn out to be a blessing in disguise".  "Already I'm beginning to see that the Lord will use even this incident to His glory".
Two weeks from public confession to these types of statements are a pretty short time period for one to map out life's continued pathway after a moral detour.

my 2
2012-06-08 3:58 PM

This is not a "liberals" against Pipim issue, as some try to make it. See the article posted in ADvindicate.com (sorry that the link won't post). They even expose confidential documents without permission.

Gregory Matthews
2012-06-08 4:00 PM

Confidentiality:  Speaking as a trained counselor, there are times, especially with issues that have become public, that an individual may need to get their story out.  They may need someone to represent them in telling their story.

Rape:  On one level, rape is a criminal act which is defined by the statute.  On this level, if the statute is not violated, rape did not take place.

Statutory rape:  Statuatory rape is defined in the law in a manner that says that under a given set of circumstances rape occured regardless of whether or not the other individual consented.  In effect, such a law states that the individual cannot give consent.

Professional counselors typically believe that "power relationships" can exist in which it is impossible for one party to give consent.  Such relationships can be between a psychiatrist and a patient.  It can be between a pastor and a member of a congregation.

In the U.S. there are a few places that can criminally prosecute for Statuatory Rape that occurs between a clergy person and one seeking spiritual help.   But, this is not often.  More typically the clergy person cannot be prosecuted.

If the offense occured in Africa, I doubt that any criminal prosecution can take place.


Ervin Taylor
2012-06-08 5:00 PM

I'm going to assume that anyone who believes the actions of Dr. Pipen did not constitute rape will encourage him to file a lawsuit for libel.  Then the force of civil law will require all of the documents and testimony under oath to be made public.  I suspect that Dr. Pipen will not want that to happen.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 9:31 PM

Yes exactly. Hasn't he made those threats?  Let him make them good, where in court 'truth' is a defence against defamation.

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-08 5:05 PM

Several seemed not to have noticed that the victim gave her consent to her story being told by her counselor.

Confession:  I admit to the sin of schadenfreude.  It is almost impossible not to, given the circumstances and the individual involved, who can be compared to Jimmy Swaggart, Bakker, and the original:  Elmer Gantry.  Young girls flock to such people like "groupies" to a rock star and can so easily be taken advantage of by their idol.  It is not only no different, but much worse because this individual claims to be "A Man of God" not a pop star.


Jean Corbeau
2012-06-08 6:29 PM

Since when did AT and Spectrum become purveyors of tabloid journalism?  All this Monday morning quarterbacking is meaningless.  How many of the posters here actually know the man (or the alleged victim) or have spoken to either one of them?   It is easy to pass judgement when we aren't personally involved.

Can't we leave the man alone and accept his repentance?  This is starting to remind me of the junk that passes for news on network TV; only with an Adventist twist.

David committed adultery and murdered his victim's husband.  His repentance was accepted.  Unless we can read his mind, I don't believe we can judge the genuineness of Pipim's repentance.  Where are the posters who usually cry out against "judging?"


Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-08 9:34 PM

Jean 2 things:

1. As I said before, people can't really complain about AToday bringing up the victim's side of the story when Pipim himself has heavily promoted his own side of the story.  You can't ring the local newspaper, tell your version of events, and then complain when another newspaper prints the other side of the story. The whole reason AT has printed this story is in large part because Pipim has been extremely public with pushing his side of the story - he has published a book for goodness sakes!

2. Second, God did forgive David, but not without consequences.  If you recall, David was given a very public dressing down and his unborn child died. Our sinful actions in this world, even when forgiven by God, can continue to have ongoing temporal consequences.

cb25
2012-06-08 6:59 PM

Conservative religion - too often the paint on the whited sepulchre.

Director of camups ministries! Perfect place to carry out his secret behaviour. How many more young women have been his victim?

When in ministry I attended more than one program about sexual abuse. Pipim's position, reactions to exposure and subsequent behaviour suggests he is potentially a classic example of a perpetrator/predator.

Inge Anderson
2012-06-08 8:10 PM

Sam Pipim's "Mother's Day Tribute" provides an interesting side light. What went through the mind of a man who is the product of an adulterous (rape?) relationship when the young woman he raped reminds him of his mother's situation?
See http://www.drpipim.org/why-drpipimorg-mainmenu-123/197-awomantoremember.html (tribute) and http://www.scribd.com/doc/96346371/Transcript-of-Victim-s-Recording

The transcript indicates that he is attempting to cast the interaction as consensual -- which is typical of sexual abusers.

Jean Corbeau
2012-06-08 8:18 PM

I'm disturbed by the way so many here are so quick to judge and condemn the man when they know nothing first hand.  I've been around long enough to know that these stories are not always what they appear to be when viewing them from this distance.  Is there any chance of a double standard here?  If he were not perceived as a "right wing fundamentalist" by so many of his detractors, would the rush to judgment be so rapid?  Last time I checked conservatives did not have a monopoly on sins of the flesh.  Would the dog-piling be as rapid and extensive if he were a left wing liberal?

Darrell Corbel
2012-06-08 11:25 PM

Jean,

At the very, very least Pippin coerced, by his position and power over this women alone, a vulnerable young, emotionally fraught woman into having sex with him...a women 3-4 years shy of being young enough to be heis grandaughter!! At worse, he is a power-influence rapist.

Let's assume the best for Pippin...the first option alone does not warrant his attitude, arrogance, behavior and quickness to come back into the ministry like he has. He speaks of 'moral failures' and 'heat of the moment' like this was some sort of accident, like he slipped and fell into intercourse with this moment. Option 1 or 2, this was clearly a premeditated act! not the way that he seems to want to portray it. He is a predator no matter which way you want to slice it and just that alone should disqualify him from ever coming back to the ministry, EGW's clear affirming words to that nature, aside.

Patti Grant
2012-06-09 10:37 PM

Jean Corbeau, you are right that most commenters most likely do not know Pipim firsthand.  So we are obliged take a step back and look at the institutional process by which the church arrived at its decision to rebaptize him.  It is obvious to even the casual observer that the church board and administrative personnel did not exercise any degree of due diligence in obtaining information from all sources, such as contacting their counterparts in Ghana.  Or worse, if they did, they found a way to denigrate it and the young woman, and proceed with their plans to rebaptize.  Their rush to forgiveness is every bit as egregious as a rush to judgement.

Ervin Taylor
2012-06-08 8:42 PM

Who's talking about "judging"?  We are talking about aledged facts and events.  If the aledged facts are incorrect and the events did not happen, then Dr. Pipen has recourse to an objective and distinteristed forum, the civil legal system.  Those who support him should insist that he take advantage of that system.  If he only uses an forum of a conservative church whose many members support his idealogy and theology, then it is rather simple to conclude that his potestations of innocence are hollow.  If that church returns his membership in the face of so much public evidence of guilt, then we can conclude that it has no standing as an force for bringing out the truth of what actually happened.         

cb25
2012-06-08 8:46 PM

Jean,

"Last time I checked conservatives did not have a monopoly on sins of the flesh.'

Maybe so, (though I'm not convenced) but they sure have the monopoly on white paint.

Kevin Riley
2012-06-08 10:36 PM

My understanding is that Dr Pipim is establishing his position in an independent ministry.  The conference revoked his orination and his credentials as a pastor.  That is all they can do.  His local church disfellowshipped him.  As policy stands, Sam Pipim cannot be employed by the church in any ministerial role.  But no level of the church has any control over anyone who sets up an independent ministry.  While we can, and should, be angry that people can get away with committing crimes, we also need to remember that people are also falsely accused.  Most of us have no way of knowing the truth of what happened in this case.

Richard Harty
2012-06-08 10:47 PM

Dr. Pipim is a popular man in his 50's in the position of power and of a counselor.  It is his responsiblity to maintain proper boundaries with a 20 year old girl even if it was consentual.  This is a serious breech of ethics even in secular value systems.  It is not considered statuatory rape simply by the technicality of age.  It is certainly rape by the gap of power between the two.  If the girl's story is true then it was premeditated as well.  He should never be allowed to be in a position of power or influence again.

A culture who makes excuses for this behavior is diseased and becomes equally responsible for any future abuses by this man.  It is clear that he is using this incident to regain power as an "expert" on recovering from "the devil's snares."  This simply plys on the gullibility of a culture ignorant of predator cons.  It also reveals a culture more interested in the illusion of "man of god" celebrity than people.

I simply don't have the words to express my disgust toward those who would excuse this behavior in even the slightest manner.  I have no interest in punishing Dr. Pipim, but I do have interest in severely limiting his ability to gain power ever again.  There are a multitude of ways to serve humanity without giving him any responsiblity over others ever again.  This is not a punishment.  It is a safeguard to prevent anyone else from being harmed by this man again.

Kendra Perry
2012-06-08 10:58 PM

I agree 100% with this comment.

1) A responsible counselor does not counsel people in his hotel room privately -- EVER.
2) A responsible counselor takes his role seriously and recognizes that the counselee is not an "equal" who can participate in a "consensual" relationship.
3) A responsible counselor who has concerns expressed by friends does not shrug them off and defend himself -- he admits his fault, makes restitution so far as possible, and seeks an alternate ministry that will remove him from ever encountering similar circumstances in the future.

This is true of a religious counselor or a secular counselor.  By any standard, Dr. Pipim's behavior is irresponsible, and allowing him to continue working with students or to counsel others will place them in danger.  If he wishes to have a private writing ministry, that may be reasonable.  I cannot see any appropriate role for him outside that.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 3:56 AM

Totally agree Richard. In particular, I agree preventing Dr Pipim from being in a similar position ever again is not punishment, it is just cautious duty of care.  

For example, look at many modern policies of child abuse (including specific pro-child abuse ministries). Most of them note it is important to try and reach these people, who although criminals (or alleged criminals) deserve to have the forgiving love of Jesus.  HOWEVER, that is not to say that churches should be foolish to allow the situation to arise again.  When child abusers attend church, the local church and conference must take steps to ensure the offender themselves are never put in a situation where it is easy for them to offend again.

Moreover, even where the offender is not formally convicted by a criminal court (because of the standard and proof and presumption of innocence), doesn't mean the church should take no precautions for the future.

What I would like to know is what this local church is re-baptising Dr Pipim is doing as practical cautions to prevent this type of situation happening again - I suspect not much!

Allen Nash
2012-06-08 10:51 PM

A few thoughts:
  • Did Dr. Pipim abuse this young lady? God knows.
  • Should Dr. Pipim be rebaptized and admitted to church membership? The pastor and congregation where he attends will make that decision.
  • Must a sinner confess before being confronted with their sin for their repentance to be sincere? The Prophet Nathan challenged David who hid his power abuse of Bathsheba, murdered her husband, a faithful and loyal servant solider for King David. Only after being confronted with his sin did David confess, and when he did he humbled himself. He did not make light of his sin. His heart felt confession and repentance was accepted by God, and he was allowed to stay in office as King.
  • Dealing with sin cannot be done in the exact same way in every situation, given that circumstances vary.
  • We do need a process however to deal with cases of a moral fall to any degree.
  • By accepting his credentials, disfellowshipping him, and terminating him from employment all connects of authority and accountability were severed!
  • There is no room for constructive, redemptive, accountability work to be done.
  • By making no provision to work with a fallen church employee, especially a minister or teacher, we cast the fallen one to the wind and hope they disappear and cause us no more problems.
  • It is our responsibility to have in place a plan where by a well thought through time line is in place which includes counseling, accountability, retraining, healing and restoration to whatever degree is possible based on acceptance of responsibility for the sin committed, the willingness to “own” the sin fully, and in the judgment of the counselor and then a seasoned pastor and wife to mentor the recovering one and spouse. When the support team, chosen to guide the fallen and their family through a process, when the team agrees it is time to recommend rebaptism, a role in ministry, etc. only then should it happen.
  • By virtue of the fact that we do not as a church have in place a plan to deal with the fallen, we leave them to their own devises. We are not officially intentional about a process to deal with them.
  • A fallen church member is dealt with at the local church level.
  • Censure is provided to allow time for the fallen one to be accountable to the church, before a decision is made about what will happen at the end of the period of censure.
  • A fallen church employee, with training must be held accountable at a higher level in the church, given the platform they have for ministry.
  • An ordained minister is credentialed to serve the world church and to speak for the world church.
  • We need to give careful thought to a procedure for our conferences to follow in the case of a fallen employee, and it should not be to simply cut all ties and send them out and hope for the best.
  • The controversy we are dealing with regarding this case is largely because we have focused on keeping the church books clean of sinners. If our focus was to be responsible for them, for their salvation, etc. we would plan to work through the situations whatever they may be, and take our time so those who can be restored are, and those who can never serve in leadership roles again are not, and so the victim if there is one can know there is accountability for the church employee.

Richard Harty
2012-06-08 11:18 PM

Claiming the holding Dr. Pipim accountable for his actions as a lack of compassion is a fallacy.  I also question the use of David as an example of accountability.  David regularly pronounced the death penalty for far lessor breaches of trust.  David not only commited adultery and murder.  He committed treason by causing the death of a loyal soldier.  All of these offenses called for the death penalty by biblical law.  And yet the punishment is the death of a child?  How is this just?

David, by virtue of being king, clearly gets preferential treatment.  And while Dr. Pipim doesn't appear to be getting preferential treatment officially, restoring his ministry in any form is a lack of accountability.  I agree that we can have compassion for Dr. Pipim, but in no way should we excuse what he did.  Taking responsibility means acceptting the consequences of one's decisions.  No counselor who did this would ever be allowed to counsel again no matter how talented.  Recovery from this type of power abuse is rare or non-exsistent.  The safety of others should be the highest priority and anyone who was truely sorry would understand this and not allow themselves to be placed in that position ever again.

Kevin Riley
2012-06-08 11:40 PM

One difference is that ministers are called by God.  If God calls someone to be a minister after a fall, then God's way of dealing with David is a possible model of how we should work.  God allowed David to continue as king after his fall.  Being the annointed king of God's people is a higher position than being a pastor.  We need a process that allows for discerning the will of God for an individual.  But it should not depend just on how adminstrators feel about the individual.  It needs to be a well thought out process that is a strasnparent as possible, as Allen calls for.  If God calls someone after a fall, it is because he believes that person is safe to be put back in that position.

my 2
2012-06-09 12:16 AM

God has called the church & its leaders to exercise discernment & protect the flock. Just because someone feels called back to ministry does not mean it is safe. 

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:22 AM

And it isn't just a question of whether Dr Pipim should be allowed back - but whether it should be so soon.

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-09 12:06 AM

In all of the recommendations given above by Allen, there was not one mention of the innocent victim.  Who is caring for her?  What should the church offer her, who has been violated and taken advantage of by a man of God she trusted? What about her rehabilitation?  Only the $100 he gave her--like a cheap prostitute?  This indicates he knew what he had done and was paying her for her services; or was he thinking that was payment for a few CDs?
 
She lives in a culture where women are often second-class and when a rape has occured they are often "filthy" and unmarriagable.  Where is the pity for her?  It has all been extended to Pipim and where is his concern for her ever mentioned in his book size essay addressing "false accusations."  Does that tone of being falsely accused sound like a penitent sinner?

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:23 AM

Very good point Elaine.  And that is what JJ and AToday are indeed trying to ask - what about the victim, who has been all but forgotten?

Jan
2012-06-10 8:27 PM

There is an organization called "Pure Desire International" founded by Dr. Ted Roberts that was founded to bring to repentance and recovery pastors who are sex addicts and to help recover their victims.  It would be miraculous if the SDA church would model such or require their pastors to go through this recovery which sometimes takes 5 years ...  http://www.puredesire.org/.

Allen Nash
2012-06-08 11:40 PM

My point is that by cutting this man loose we lost the ability as a caring employer to lead the man to take ownership of what he has done, to lead him through a process that will result in his realizing his vulnerability to this type of use of power to the hurt of this young lady. By cutting him loose he is on his own, a loose cannon and we lost our opportunity as a church to affect his end. He is free to move forward in life as HE sees best with input ONLY from those who approve of him.

David did not get special treatment because he was king. David got just what he decreed to theProphet Nathan. Look at what happened to each of his "lambs".  Uriah lost his precious lamb.

2Samuel 12:5-6  "And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6  And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."

Trace what happened to David's four sons.

How is this fair is a question for God. We on earth don't to well at figuring out fair. We will have 1000 years to talk with God about fair and then the rest of eternity, if we own our sins and let Jesus cleanse us from all unrigheousness.

my 2
2012-06-09 12:08 AM

Pipim resigned & requested that his church membership be removed. He cut himself off. He pre-empted any disciplinary steps & maintained control over what happened.

laffal
2012-06-09 12:41 AM

Also the sword never left David's house because of his action and attempted cover up.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:24 AM

What I get out of the example of David is that whilst God forgave him, God still said there were consequences for David's actions.

Edwin A. Schwisow
2012-06-08 11:53 PM

The good doctor appears to have engaged in sexual predation, using his office of minister as a snare. This is a man who NEEDS a church from which to operate as a Holy Man—and he's very, very good at it. How wonderful to welcome home a sinner for whom Christ died! How serious the chance that this behavior will express itself compulsively again with newer and younger lambs of the flock?

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-09 12:09 AM

Some things shouldn't be delayed until heaven but demand action now.  My concern is for the young victim, not for Pipim.  Who is taking care of her needs? She is the forgotten one in all this.  He loves the attention, else why would he write such a lengthy essay trying to rationalize, justify, even minimize his actions. 

George Tichy
2012-06-09 12:38 AM

A person who is "suffering emotionally" for doing something wrong  does not write articles like  those Pipim is writing. And he wrote a book about it all? Who is wasting money buying his books? Besides, his language is of grandiosity, as if nothing serious had actually happened and it's all over now.

Elaine is right, more attention should be given to that girl. He was a church employee, and in this circumstance I think that Pipim's former employer should make sure the girl get proper treatment and recover from this traumatic experience. I understand she was a new convert. What a bad experience she went through. It actually became a "bed" experience with someone who was supposed to help her and to protect her. I wish she recovers from this as much as possible. The pain, however, will be with her for ever.

my 2
2012-06-09 12:33 AM

Apparently the baptism has been cancelled due to yet another sexual impropriety being revealed. 

George Tichy
2012-06-09 1:55 AM

In cases like this, it's not uncommon to see a domino effect taking place. Most times it's just a matter of time. It's sad, very sad.
I am thinking of the victims, and how this must have affected their lives. 

Jennifer Schwirzer
2012-06-09 12:46 AM

It's true. Check it out at http://advindicate.com/?p=1394 


Darrell Corbel
2012-06-09 1:59 AM

I hope that letter from Nicole gets read by everyone. It completely supports what Jennifer has put out and was written 6 months before this! How anyone can support such a megalomaniac, sexual predator like Pipim, claiming that these allegations are attacks by the devil against a shining light of conservative theology is completely beyond me.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:31 AM

"On Thursday night June 7, 2012, I received a call from a member of our church with a concern. For over two years he and his wife had information that implicated Dr. Pipim in another moral situation. For reasons, known to them, they did not share that information. Therefore it was unknown until Thursday evening, both to the Elders, myself and the Conference Leadership. On Thursday night, the member and I went to Dr. Pipim with the story. Early Friday morning, June 8, I was notified by Dr. Pipim that the information was true."

http://advindicate.com/?p=1394


Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:38 AM

Matt. 7:15-20 - 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (emphasis added)
                                                                               
Gal. 5:19-21 - 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (emphasis added)

lerato chi
2012-09-25 7:00 AM

 When another encounter was revealed june of this year that stopped his baptism, it shows that hes battling with that sin, and has been for years. i would personally expect him to totally withdraw from public life after this and remain silent. As EG WHITE counsels on this issue this person should not be entrusted with dealing with souls, because his past record disqualifies him to do so. 

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:33 AM

"...I called Pastor Gallimore, Conference President, this morning, Friday June 8, and shared with him the results of our visit. We both concurred that the baptism should not  go forward given this new information."

http://advindicate.com/?p=1394


Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:46 AM

When someone speaks out about abuse, it is rarely the first time it has happened.  Usually, there have been countless other times, but where the previous victims were too scared, shamed or intimidated to say nothing.  However, once one person has the courage, one can become surprise how many others victims are waiting to share their story. 

Well done and God bless to the courage of Nandipa and those like JJ who supported her. It isn't clear to me whether this second person to come forward did so because of Nandipa, but it is highly likely this other 'moral situation' would have stayed in the dark (where sin likes to hide) without Nandipa having the courage to speak up about her own situation.

Once again, thankyou Nandipa - you have the real courage of Esther and Daniel both.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-09 4:54 AM

Sorry and just one more thing before I shut up. One could go back through the comments above and now gloat over those clear fans of Dr Pipim who have recently stood up for him.  As I said, I have been a fan of some of his ministries (although obviously not all), including his strong condemnation of Deliverance Ministries (which the Church seems to have gone quiet over now).  

However, before anyone thinks about gloating, I would like everyone to remember that his strongest supporters are the one most betrayed - other than Dr Pipim's actual victims of course.

This should be an object lesson for all - never put your whole trust in other human flesh.  No human being, no matter how picture perfect and Holy they seem, is God-incarnate.   Rather, the only one we can trust is Jesus Christ, and everyone else is but a flawed servant - very flawed.  To that extent, I hope we all can unite learn something positive from this whole sorry mess, no matter how tragic. 

Jean Corbeau
2012-06-09 2:35 PM

The folks I know who have appreciated Pipim's ministry over the years have certainly not put him up on a pedestal or deified him.  They have appreciated his (along with many others) strong stand for truth.  This recent turn of events in no way detracts from the good work he did before hand; anymore than the apostasy of Jones and Waggoner detracted from their good work in proclaiming the 1888 message of righteousness by faith.

Those in positions of influence, who are doing damage to the devil's kingdom, are the ones he works on the hardest.  So it should be no surprise that there will be the occasional "victory" on his part.  But I'm not throwing away his books.  Must We Be Silent, Receiving the Word, & Here We Stand (which he edited) are some of my favorite books.  His downfall does not diminish the truths contained in those works.


RT1B
2012-06-09 6:51 PM

To the contrary, I think his fall illustrates why those books are so harmful.  I have seen the impact those books have had in my local congregation, and they have been devisive and hurtful, contributing to the loss of several members.  The intolerant, black & white, my way or the highway
approach outlined by Pipim is rooted in perfectionism and irrational/impractical thinking.  (His Faithful unto Death seminar especially illustrates this).  He has attacked numerous very decent, fine Christian Adventist scholars like George Knight, Alden Thompsen, some of his former seminary professors, etc.  Was his outlook on these matters, his ethic, shaped by his torn conscience, by the conflict with his inner demons and the dishonesty with which he approached life?  If he had a grace orientation, would he have recognized that he didn't have to be perfect, that he could admit mistakes and associate with other imperfect people without cricizing or fearing criticism?  If he'd had a different worldview than espoused in his books, might he have sought help early on, as this behavior was developing?  I certainly can't know that, but I his books and writings DO reveal his character in ways that are only now confirmed.  My wife and I both agreed when we first read his Faithful Unto Death seminar questions that this man had a fixation with sex and that we thought it was in reaction to issues in his own life.  That is now confirmed.  Jesus said, Whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean.  I believe that goes for writing as well.

Jean Corbeau
2012-06-09 8:38 PM

Well, that's one man's opinion, but I haven't found those books to be the curse you seem think they are.  The gospel is divisive, my friend.  Jesus said as much.  Jeremiah wasn't too popular when He preached his message, and the message of Jesus was, in fact, "My way or the highway."  "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

And I disagree that Pipim's theology is "rooted in perfectionism."  His "attacks," as you call them, are nothing more than exposing the errors taught by these individuals.

Allen Nash
2012-06-09 2:12 PM

  • Regardless of what Pipim thinks he got away with here, God knows and the truth and true accountability will happen in God’s time, if we get it wrong now. I hope we don’t. He won’t get away with anything!
  • Ferguson is to be affirmed for going directly to Pipim and not just talking about his sins. Rightly done.
  • Had the church had a policy and procedure in place to give the conference an alternative to simply accepting Pipim’s credentials and resignation from work we would likely be in a different situation now, AND the victims interests would be better served.
  • If the local church refused to accept his resignation from membership, and voted to censure Pipim and place him in the care of a professional team to evaluate him and work with him over time…
  • In general if any minister or teacher is confronted with a moral fall AND if the church had a plan, to pull their credentials immediately, put them into moral intensive care, with counseling, assigned reading, and perhaps removal to a secluded location as a family, perspective might be gained.
  • The fallen one regardless of a power abuse or a consensual fall between two adults the fact is a trusted church leader can only do such a thing if perspective has been lost, and connection with Christ has been neglected.
  • Dealing honestly and continually over time with Pipim or any other person who has had a moral fall is the best chance to achieve reformation.
  • If we are working with Christ our goal will be redemption, not getting even. None of the saved will be treated, as we deserve!
  • There are some things that are debatable. Immorality is not one of them. If the Bible teaches a thing it is Biblical. To attempt to reform the church regarding issues that are debatable and upon which the church is divided is something to be avoided in my opinion. If the Scriptures are not so clear that all believers who are lead by the Spirit do not agree, perhaps the things should be allowed to rest.
  • When the Scriptures are so clear about adultery, sexual immorality, etc. this is not up to debate and needs to be dealt with wisely.
  • Concern for the confused and concern for the power abuser are both needed. Jesus died for all sinners of which we are all included.
  • We need a plan, a policy, a procedure that includes adequate time to allow the dust to settle and to deal redemptively with all parties. The local church and leadership in Africa must deal with ministry to the victim. Her care and recovery from this awful experience will take time.
  • Pipim on the other hand was a church employee and the church needs a plan to deal with him. If he is responsive there may be a place for him in God’s work sometime in the future, thoughtfully recommended by people who really know and are trained and can indicate what would be an appropriate place for him.
  • By drop kicking Pipim even if he offers to take leave, forfeits on our part ongoing, intentional care with the intent of accomplishing the best outcome.
  • Too bad Pipim was not in the care of someone like JJS who will not white wash the matter, but will bring the man to see himself as others see him in a professional manner.
  • Second-guessing based on our knowledge and training is full of possible error.
  • Let’s plan ahead as to how we will deal with the fire before it breaks out, rather than debate how the fire should be contained while it is blazing. A plan gives us the best opportunity to be thoughtful and effective in bringing accountability in a time of crisis.

Jan
2012-06-10 8:36 PM

There is an organization called "Pure Desire International" founded by Dr. Ted Roberts that was founded to bring to repentance and recovery pastors who are sex addicts and to help recover their victims.  It would be miraculous if the SDA church would model such or require their pastors to go through this recovery which sometimes takes 5 years ...  http://www.puredesire.org/

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-09 3:29 PM

Such redemptive work must always be done in conjunction with a licensed and professional counselor who is knowledgeable about people with this record.  Had it occurred in the U.S. it would have been subject to criminal courts, so it cannot nor should it be dismissed so lightly. 

In the U.S. (we do not know the place of the second victim's story), ministerial redemption would not even be an option.  He would have been charged with rape.  The evidence of the ministers' working for a year on his spirituality falls a little flat in light of the severity of the actual accusations.  It was NOT simply adultery; it was rape!  It seems the church was treating it as marital infidelity rather than the crime that it was. 

When a church treasurer becomes an embezzler, does the church counsel the perpetrator or do they report it to authorities?  Only because this occured in Africa was that not possible, but there are phones there and the leaders of the church there should have been contacted to ascertain the facts.

Pipim's aura of infallibility in his spoken and written words is indicative of a personality that overcomes vulnerable people:  emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  In the willingness to be forgiving and restorative, the men of the cloth overlook what everyone else is able to see:  a wolf in clerical robes which made them blind to the obvious.

Allen Nash
2012-06-09 5:43 PM

  • Ms Nelson, we agree that a licensed counselor such as JJS should be given the opportunity to deal with someone as mentioned in this case [Sam Pipim]. Great!
  • No one is advocating dismissing this lightly. What is at issue is the best approach to dealing with the big as life preacher who can tell others what is right and wrong on many subjects and do so with his own authority and think he is right. Don’t disagree with him or lightning from heaven will be seen striking the earth amidst the sheep! It has been his way or you are wrong plain and simple. [Speaking of SP]
  • I am not sure where you have concluded that this man should be given a year to work on his spirituality. I have not seen that advocated by anyone in this blog. Intensive Care under the direction of someone like JJS who seems to be a professional counselor is what has been advocated. As for the time period none has been suggested. The licensed counselor will need to determine how long that needs to be.
  • You say it was rape. It may have been. We do not KNOW what it was. We know what he said, and we know what she told her counselor. We don’t like what he said. We are appalled that any minister or any 20 year old girl any where would think it wise to meet for any reason in his hotel room. Honestly, we don’t like what we have been told, but to draw a final conclusion and state it as fact before the jury convenes seems a bit of vigilantisms. It very possibly is abuse of power and rape it could be, but none of us were there. We have a hurting young lady, who cannot be expected be able to beat him away. She might have not gone in the first place. Why did she allow her ride to leave? She is not to blame it does not appear to me, but this is not a clear case as angry as we may be about it.
  • We can’t blame the church for treating it as marital infidelity today when they did not have the representations we have today. The man quit his job, turned in his credentials, and resigned from the church. The position he took was accepted and he walked away no strings attached. No method of accountability. No way to monitor his progress.
  • When we focus on retribution—making the sinner pay, this is what we get. When we focus on redemption we have a chance of dealing with the core issue it seems the man has.
  • Forgiveness without justice is not God’s plan. No one is advocating that we all just forgive and forget and say it is all behind us. The plan of redemption includes justice as well as mercy. Unconditional love and forgiveness without ministry to provide accountability and correction is just what the evil one wants of us. It only encourages more evil. The cost of sin is extreme.
  • The men of the cloth and what everyone else is able to see??? Are you making generalizations? All men of the cloth view things one-way and everyone else sees another way?

RT1B
2012-06-09 7:04 PM

Alan,
I don't understand your fixation with the idea that by terminating Pipim's employment (either voluntarily or not) the church lost control/leverage to effect change and drive counseling processes, etc. for him.  I disagree.  The church cannot force him to go to counseling whether he is an employee or not.  He must be willing to do so of his own accord.  If he does, the church an provide a path to restoration of membership when sufficient time has passed with evidence of repentance and reformation.  On the other hand, if he does not, then the church may by withholding membership deprive him of the validation that he so craves to support his business enterprise (aka 'ministry').  In fact, I think the opposite is true of your claim:  by restoring him to membership the church will lose leverage over him and his 'ministry'.  Especially if that restoration is the result of a politically motivated cover-up which he can then use as leverage against leaders who know.

Kendra Perry
2012-06-09 8:40 PM

I think, regardless of his current employment status, the conference (his former employer) could very well release an official statement stating their view of the situation and placing responsibility where it should be.  That would be a really lovely thing to see.

John Ferrah
2012-06-09 7:45 PM

TruthSeeker you say "Pipim was obviously involved in a foul deed, to say the least, and he must pay the price. Only the local church to which he belongs can determine the proper action. One must ask whether the liberal press is ganging up on Pipim because of his previous stands and careful interpretation of Scripture."

Yeah, the liberal press is ganging up on Pimpin for his"VERY DETAILED" interpretation" of Scripture to the "Saints" :)



John Ferrah
2012-06-09 7:54 PM

On a more serious note.  As SDA Christians we seem to talk about grace, forgiveness and move in our sermons to talk about Jesus telling Peter to forgive 70 x 7.  Yet our application of it seems to be totally messed up. 

Dr. Pipim has been extremely harsh and right wing in his theological approach.  But these are the kinds of experiences that teach us about grace and our need of Christ.  

If Dr. Pipim does turn around, his ministry might very likely be extremely powerful.  But the question remains whether he will experience the power of God's grace or not.  

Truth Seeker
2012-06-09 8:20 PM

"Intensive Care under the direction of someone like JJS who seems to be a professional counselor is what has been advocated."

And someone who recognizes the value of  confidentiality. I just cannot accept that a person who claims to be a professional would talk  freely and publicly  about either the victim or the perpetrator. That boggles my mind.

George Tichy
2012-06-09 10:42 PM

According to JJS the appropriate release forms were signed, she has consent from the victim. If so, nothing that was done is against the law. We cannot suggest that the counselor was unethical or did something illegal. As a Psychologist myself, I would not have any problem acting the same way if the victim wanted to make public the information so that she could find some more peace in her heart.

Actually, I have the impression that the victim took this as an nopportunity for personal catharsis, that letting the world know about this rape is most probably part of the healing process for her. 
Let's not be mad at the counselor or at the victim, please. They did nothing wrong. The wrongdoer here is only one, the perpetrator Pipim. Trying to revert the responsibility to the victim, and now involving the counselor is just unfair and unacceptable.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-10 9:00 AM

Thanks George.  To tell the truth, I had similar concerns re Truth Seeker.  I find it really beneficial to hear from another professonal Psychologist re yourself.

Thanks again

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 9:27 PM

Truth Seeker, when a victim has come to a certain point in the healing process, they sometimes desire to regain their voice by either confronting their perpetrator--sometimes in writing and sometimes in the safety of the counseling office.

Often the perpetrator has denied or minimized what was done, and in this case, Dr Pipim has told his version of the story online and in print in various ways for all the world to see. So in my opinion it is entirely appropriate for her to tell her story, in this case through giving someone she trusts permission to give the interview. I do not know her, but I would also think that getting it out there so he could not have free rein to do it to other girls might be a motive--I know it is for many victims.

There is a time for confidentiality, and there is a time for truth telling. Secrets thrive in darkness, and organizations who choose to guard their secrets end up having them brought to the light after they have multiplied. Since you are a truth seeker, having both sides out in the open will not be scary to you.

David
2012-06-09 10:18 PM

This story looks a repetition of what happened in time of Jesus, If you look close to the history of Simon (the religious leader that became a leper) and Mary (probably was seduced by Simon) you will find out similarities. I hope that also this drama will end as the one register in the New Testament. Both the young woman and the experienced religious leader are redeemed by the Blood of Jesus. 

Elaine Myers
2012-06-09 10:25 PM

Jill,
     Thank you so much for making yourself vulnerable to all sorts of criticism for revealing the side of the victim.  There is need for Mr. Pippin to honestly look at why he is using this abuse of power that is demeaning to the young lady and to himself.  Thank you for calling upon for him, and those in authority, to be responsible for his actions.  There is much cleansing of the soul that needs to take place here.  Since there are so many comments on this article, I will not say more than to just Thank You.

R.  Elaine Myers

Howard Flynn
2012-06-09 10:42 PM

Wow! what an experience this trip has been! We began with a minister who is guilty of a sexual indiscretion and ended with a tried and convicted serial rapist condemned to hell by EGW.

He has lost his job, his credentials and his church membership. Technically he is no longer an Adventist and does his writing as a private citizen. This means that he is no longer doing what we feel he should not be doing.

A couple of questions, though
<<
<<Some don’t understand how, short of physical force, one can be a victim of rape. That attitude shows psychological, social, and spiritual naivete. Statistically it’s been shown that women often plead, cry, and try to reason with perpetrators of sexual crime, but they rarely scream and fight, even though their chance of escape increases when they do.>>

Here we have a 20 year old woman who goes to a hotel room and Dr. P:ip fondles her, yet she does not know what that means?

What bothers me some is that she goes back the next day and sleeps with the good doctor. She receives $100 and leaves.
Tragic, yes. Rape? Perhaps. However, if is she is as fragile as described, is this the place to be sharing her story?

She signed a consent, but was it an informed consent? If she is in this mental state, how could it be? Well, I hope that JS knows what she is doing and that this will turn out well.

By the way, where is this young lady? The crime [that is what rape is]happened in Africa. Is this young lady in the United States? If so, how and why did she get here? Does she have a family, and are they aware of what we now know?

I am not passing judgment, just stating facts and asking questions. Actually, I wish nothing but the best for this young lady and hope that she can work through this. I hope that she gets peace of mind and finds happiness.





Yvonne Stratton
2012-06-09 11:08 PM

1. Thank you to the real victim here, Nandipa who deserves kudo's for her courage, and to Jill for putting herself in the line of fire. I'm a physician and know quite a bit about confidentiality and as an Ob/Gyn have treated many victims of abuse. There has been no breech of confidentiality. Jill has written authorization to tell and represent this woman's story. I think Jill has handled that responsibility very well. In addition a pseudonym for the victim has been used and, as the practice in medical cases that are reported, there is no breach of confidentiality. I think anyone would be hard pressed based on Jill's story to identify the woman. In addition, Jill's comments are very correct in her description of a woman's vulnerability and reaction in this type of case. 2. I've been quite sure from what I've read that Pipim has written that he has no, NO, respect for women. They are just chattel to him. His behavior and subsequent lack of humility (unlike King David) confirms my assessmentm thus, his stand on women's ordination. 3. The NAD does have a protocol for dealing with victims and clergy perpretators but either it was ignored (another reason for women to be ordained to break up, what is often the boy's club of silence and protection of each other), or Pipim refused to participate - may be part of why he "resigned." 4. We can all be forever grateful for God's Grace; and we all need to accept that with utmost humility. Pipim can partake of this Grace and I will not pretend to judge that; however, there are still consequences from our actions and one of those for a minister is to not be put in similar situations ever again and be monitored and held accountable.

Ervin Taylor
2012-06-10 12:36 AM

His local church has called off the rebaptism with a report that a second woman has come forward reporting similiar actions on the part of Pipim.  Those who are involved prefessionally in this field indicate that it is rare in these cases to have only one victim.  Others may now find the support they need to come forward and tell their story as well.    

George Tichy
2012-06-10 1:34 AM

I have no clue about Pipim's behavior other than what has been reported publicly on the forums. But based on my professional experience as a clinical psychologist I know that this type of behavior is not something that happens all of a sudden out of nothing. It's not that he saw the girl in his room and at that very moment he had a "bright insight" and imagined himself having sex with her. No, no, no. It does not happen this way.

Usually the thougts about the behavior or act develop in the perpetrator's mind for quite a while. A plan starts to be designed. And then it's execuited according to the opportuinity. Calling a female to a hotel room for "counseling" is certainly a clear sign of a very well elaborated PLAN to do something. Neither pastors or professional therapist see counselees in hotel rooms. Rapists do!

This is also why there is usually more than just one instance, because there is a plan to benefit from situations like this, and the plan is executed whenever there is an opportunity. Seeing girls for "counseling" in hotel rooms in different cities and coutries as a routine practice will most probably not make just only one hurting victim ...  We may still see a strong domino effect happening soon.

Remember Herman Cain and how the "conspiracy" against him made him abandon the campaign? But only after the domino effect took place.

Pipim is already getting the taste of it. Let see what's next.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-10 9:08 AM

Hi George, I really appreciate your professional insight re this.  Stupid question, but are there any things Churches can put in place to try and mitigate the chances of these things from happening again?

Why does it seem that Pastors are always being kicked out of the Church for sexual incidents?  I have heard it said that pastors are regularly in danger of going down this path if they are not careful.  They are in positions of power, and where vulnerable people really share very intimate things with them.  In fact, probably not unlike Psychologists.

Are there any professional standards that say apply to Psychologists that could apply to Pastors? I may not be framing my questions well but a professional insite would be helpful.

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 9:42 AM

Stephen, I am not a psychologist but my husband is a pastor of over 20 years, and his rule has always been that he does not counsel a woman alone or even in most cases visit a woman member or Bible study interest alone. Not because of what he is scared he might do, but to protect the interests of both parties. He takes an elder, a deaconess or other female church member or myself. He does not hold himself out as a professional counselor, and if after a session or two it is obvious that their needs are outside the scope of his training, he refers.

Unless specifically trained, most pastors are not counselors. That is not given them at the seminary. So when any pastor spends hours talking to hurting women, my red flags go up. We have seen a number of pastors through the years who liked attention from broken women and who insisted the rules didn't apply to them. Their "ministry" usually ended in tragedy--for both sides.

I have seen conferences try to hold this type of pastor accountable but have not seen it work because accountability cannot be forced on someone. Unfortunately, the local church usually has even less ability to enforce it than the conference, because grandiosity often accompanies this pattern and the pastor says things like "They just don't understand, I am using the gift that God gave me" etc. And anyone who disagrees with this "gift from God" is then given no further credence or influence. Termination is the only accountability they cannot squirm away from--and sadly, that often only happens after a victim is brave enough to come forward.


George Tichy
2012-06-10 7:31 PM

Stephen,

To be able to renew my psychologist licenses (CA active, UT inactive) every two yeras I have to complete CEUs (continued education units) - 36 in CA, 48 in UT. There is always one subjetc that it's mandatory to get some units for it or no renewal is allowed. Its LAW & ETHICS.

The laws are very strict on us, and it's right, it's good. But there are still many people often losing their licenses because of sexual misconduct.They just don't do what the law says.

Now, imagine pastors! No laws, no CEUs, no special training, nothing! They just study their Bible, preach sermons, and do so many other things - all without any further requirement after school.

Pastors should take some mandatory classes on Ethics once in a while during their career. I don't even know if such classes or semina rs are offered for pastors. And remember, pastors usually have no professional training to do counseling, but they do "pastoral counseling" anyways... which sometimes ends up like in Pipim's case. Instead of praying with the needy, they end up "preying on the unwilling." This is sad. 

Now, this business of doing counseling in a hotel room... well...needless to say that any sane person will find this very strange...

Jan
2012-06-10 8:54 PM

There is an organization called "Pure Desire International" founded by Dr. Ted Roberts that was founded to bring to repentance and recovery pastors who are sex addicts and to help recover their victims.  It would be miraculous if the SDA church would model such or require their pastors to go through this recovery which sometimes takes 5 years ...  http://www.puredesire.org/

Yvonne Stratton
2012-06-10 1:27 AM

For the "gentle" attacks on Nandipa posted on this blog - not believing her story, she should have "fought him off". She should have reported it, etc. - I think she was wise to have someone represent her. Obviously she did report Pipim to church leaders and they demanded proof forcing her to interact with her abuser again.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-10 9:10 AM

The fact that Nandipa had the courage to even report the incident to her Church leaders really, really impressed me. 

Kendra Perry
2012-06-10 9:22 AM

Totally agree.  She has proceeded VERY wisely, and I commend the women who are representing her as well for being willing to take the heat on her behalf.

John Ferrah
2012-06-10 5:39 AM

We need to understand that the bottom line is this.  It is his word against hers.  She is an adult who willingly went to the hotel room.  NO ONE KNOWS what happened, because it was behind doors with no evidence whatsoever, except for Nandipa saying that she was forced into having sex.  



Kendra Perry
2012-06-10 7:46 AM

There are transcripts of recorded phone conversations between the two of them in which they discuss what happened.  He confesses and apologizes.

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 8:30 AM

No evidence whatsoever? Not quite. Courts all over the land deal with cases every day in which there is no video and no witness. Does that mean there is no evidence?  How two people act after an event gives "evidence". Maybe not to a person who wants to isolate that event from every other event in history. But to anyone who has educated themself or has had experience in the effects of abuse and the mindset/behavior of a person who has grown up with it, there is a weight of evidence.

Everything that has been done by both parties since the event, in public and private, is evidence. How that evidence is interpreted varies wildly, based on the bias and life experience of the interpreter. That is why there is disagreement.

John Ferrah
2012-06-10 8:56 AM

Kendra and LMcCabe, this article does not clearly state whether the recorded conversation between the two revolved around Pipim forcing himself on her.  All we know, is that the recorded conversation could have been about his promicuous actions with Nandipa.  Pipim definitely abused his power.  

It still boils down to his word against hers.  She was there willingly.  We still don't know if she took the money. If she did, why?  He apparently came on to her the first time but she did not "understand" what happened.  So she goes to his room later and he forces himself on her.  After forcing himself on her, she is STILL in the hotel room when he forces himself  on her the next morning.  Why didn't she leave right away.

I am not saying it was her fault.  All I am saying is, it's not clear.  She had her first opportunity as to what kind of a person Pipim was (she does nothing about it but return).  He forces himself on her (she still lingers in his room) and he takes advantage of her again the third time.  She is either very naive, or there was something consensual between the two.   

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-10 9:13 AM

I think it is getting a little beyond a joke that people are still defending Pipim.  A conspiracy might be theorectically possible in one instance - but two cases - hardly.  This is just a re-run to the whole Hermain Cain incident, where Cain claimed it was all some media conspiracy, until the multitudes of women started to come out.

Look people, even the Pastor who was going to re-baptise him has now in effect recognised he was wrong.

Kendra Perry
2012-06-10 9:18 AM

The transcripts are available on the web if you would like to read them.  

Regardless of how she did or did not respond, the fact that they were in a counseling relationship makes a consensual relationship impossible.  In fact, even if she initiated the sexual contact, the fact that he was counseling her means that it STILL would not be considered consensual.  He took advantage of a situation in which there was unequal power.

Kendra Perry
2012-06-10 9:20 AM

In addition, NO PROFESSIONAL PASTOR OR COUNSELOR holds counseling sessions in a private hotel room.  That right there is predatory behavior.

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 9:04 AM

And I might add that her life before the event is also evidence. Nothing comes from nowhere. A girl who had been raised in a different social setting or by a dad who loved and respected her would likely have responded to his advances very differently. Her response to him--bewildered compliance--is congruent with the issues she was struggling with (that she went to him for counseling in the first place).

John Ferrah
2012-06-10 9:16 AM

It is a very sad story from all perspectives.  There is nothing that justifies Pipim's actions.  Nandipa going to Pipim was an indication of the changes she wanted to bring to her life.  She had realized her condition.  The sad part of the story is Pipim himself.  He put a ton of load on others to uphold the "standard".  Yet here he is writing about his "Majestic Silence" and wanting to come back to ministry and he has still not realized his spiritual condition (In reference to the new case that has come up against him).  

Spiritually speaking, the person to be pitied here is Pipim who has not realized his spiritual condition.  

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 9:49 AM

That we can totally agree on. Yesterday I had a heavy blanket of sadness over me. Sad for Nandipa, sad for all the people who are affected by this, sad for God, sad for Pipim and his family--doesn't he have teenagers? I can't imagine what his wife and kids are going through and my prayers are with them as well.

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 9:12 AM

John, your questions are logical and rational. You see no evidence, I see congruence. You see an adult woman and an adult man, I see actions that lean towards predator and victim. Were we on the same jury, my brother, we would probably not see eye to eye...

Truth Seeker
2012-06-10 11:49 AM

"Those in positions of influence, who are doing damage to the devil's kingdom, are the ones he works on the hardest.  So it should be no surprise that there will be the occasional "victory" on his part.  But I'm not throwing away his books.  Must We Be Silent, Receiving the Word, & Here We Stand (which he edited) are some of my favorite books.  His downfall does not diminish the truths contained in those works."

Jean you are absolutely correct. Were David's Psalms banned because he was involved in a sordid affair involving adultery and murder? The judgmentalism and condemnations from parties who are not in a position to dictate the penance one must engage in, demonstrate a clear dislike for a man who has been at the forefront of truth.

I certainly wish the Ann Arbor church success in doing what is right without pressure from the liberals.


Jennifer Schwirzer
2012-06-10 3:20 PM

LMcCabe knows what she's talking about. 

Truth Seeker
2012-06-10 4:49 PM

Between this blog and the Spectrum blog I can't recall seeing such an outpouring of unhelpful, judgmental statements about a sinner for whom prayer should be the first expression. This is in no way condones the sinner.

I would like Schwirzer to explain how she was able to get a signature on a document to release info publicly from a person in Africa. I have sympathy for a predator but the facts must be substantiated. If it is a "he says" and "she says" how can anyone who is fair-minded make an accurate judgment?

And no matter how much some of us strive for justice there seems almost always to be a commenter ready to spin it in a way to make it appear other than is intended.

LMcCabe
2012-06-10 5:13 PM

A question, TS. What, in your opinion, would it take to substantiate the facts? What do you believe "fair-minded" people would be looking for? I am sincerely asking and hope you take time to respond. Thanks...

LMcCabe
2012-06-12 6:29 AM

Still waiting....

George Tichy
2012-06-10 7:40 PM

Truth Seeker,

Schwirzer does not have to explain to any of us how she got consent from the victim, her patient. This is none of our business. I only tell you that if she is saying she has it, she has it. I doubt she would jeopardize her license, her career just for the fun of breaking the law an possibly beig prosecuted. No sane person would do it.

So instead of looking for possible flaws on the part of the victim and her counselor, I think it's better to realize that who commited a crime is the perpetrator, not the victim or her counselor.  I know...., the perpetrator is, first, a male, then... he was an influential pastor, and he is still very arrogant. He may still get some simpaties from onther men...


Nic Samojluk
2012-06-12 10:37 AM

Very easy. I have had people sign real estate documents from the other side of the world online.

Yung & Carmen Lau
2012-06-10 6:33 PM

I am wondering if the believability threshold for what happened here might differ according to gender.

Jennifer Schwirzer
2012-06-10 7:54 PM

George Tichy, I've also noticed the diversion of blame from where it really belongs to the victim and those trying to help her . . . 


Jennifer Schwirzer
2012-06-10 7:56 PM

And what's more important than the signature is that I actually have a relationship with this person and she'd be the first to tell you I care about her. 

Ervin Taylor
2012-06-10 8:53 PM

I would like to second the question posed to TS by L McCabe.  What, from your perspective of "Seeking Truth,"  would it take to sustantiate the truth?.  Would Pipen himself have to admit everything?   Is that your position?  Since bringing criminal charges of rape against Pipen would be difficult because of the venue in which it occurred, would you suggest to Pipen that he file libel charges?  If he is innocent, then would not the truth come out in a civil court?  I think we would all agree that in situations such as this, actions speak much louder than words.

Jan
2012-06-10 9:09 PM

Thank you again to Jennifer Schwirzer, professional counselor and Nandipa... for coming forward and risking publicity over a personally excruciating shaming experience.  This type of behavior on the part of ministers must be acknowledged, and addressed and prosecuted if necessary,  as it occurs more often than is now known.  In the Catholic church, the corporate church became liable not because individual priests committed crimes but for the corporate church role in cover up.  Thank you to A Today for publishing this story and shedding light on the actual words of Pipim and the victim(s).  Turn the lights on.  That is the only way to be healed as a church and as individuals.  There is an organization called "Pure Desire International" founded by Dr. Ted Roberts that was founded to bring to repentance and recovery to pastors who are sex addicts and to help recover their victims.  It would be miraculous if the SDA church would model such or require their pastors to go through this recovery which sometimes takes 5 years ...  http://www.puredesire.org/.  This requires that they even take periodic lie detector testing to insure they are telling the truth, it requires being involved in an ongoing accountability group of other men, modurated by a leader counselor.  I would like to recommend this to the SDA church.

Darrell Corbel
2012-06-10 10:20 PM

Sad as it might be to have to do this, perhaps it would be good for Jennifer, knowing the victim, to point out the illogical fallacies of this case if Nandipa is not telling the truth here. So many on the three SDA sites featuring this story are saying things like 'Well her story isn't adding up' etc, etc, to put Pipim in a better light. I have no doubt that her story is true and Pipim is a predator. I fail to see the logic or evidence, based on the facts, to support that she could be making this up. For starters:

MOTIVE
1) Was she looking for money? I'm sure she could do much better than a church author. I don't care how popular SKP is in the church. If you want to land a whale, he ain't no John Travolta or other mult-millionaire to exploit. And if you are going to go to the highest church authorities and have your name dragged through the mud and expose yourself to ridicule, scorn, religious censure and myriads of other social woes, you better have a much better payoff then a Protestant evangelist the world has never heard of.

2) Was she a woman scorned? Trying to get back at Pipim for something he said or did for her to turn a consensual sexual tryste into a case of rape? Nothing seems to indicate that. On the contrary, we see by the conversations they had over the phone and Pipim's own actions after the fact wanting to be  her 'daddy' and offer to pay her plane ticket to come to the US shows that he WANTED to continue some sort of relationship, not end it brutally with her.

STORY
I'm sorry. If you want to bring up false allegations for money, noteriety or vengeance, you keep the story simple. "We went upstairs for CDs, and he took advantage of me." Heck you are lying anyway so make it plain! You don't come up with a strange convoluted chain of events like being offered a shower, the man going to take a shower, falling asleep on the bed, getting violated, falling asleep again, waking up the next morning to get violated again, be given a $100 and a CD. Please

BEHAVIOR
It was clear that something was different in Nandipa the next day. Many noticed it. A far cry from someone who willingly and premeditatedly had sex (and wanted to have sex) with an SDA superstar. Her vulnerability on the phone messages, her internal anguish and her finally coming forward in a patriarchal society to the highest church authorities of her area to tell this tale all point to her having a valid and consistent story of rape. What about Pipim's behavior? He clearly had something to hide. He manipulated the truth even if it was a consensual act. He turned a premeditated act of taking advantage of a young vulnerable girl into a "heat of the moment" momentary moral lapse. Then he hid it until he was threatened with it going public. Then he spins a yarn to make himself look good.

I'm sure others could add more. Let's put this foolish blaming on her away. Let's stop deflecting the arrows that clearly need to land on Pipim. Let's start to make him be held responsible for this and not a 20 year old new convert of our church.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-10 10:50 PM

Agreed.  And as I said, and as others said, the evidence is now overwhelming given:

i) recorded transcripts;

ii) Pipim's own admissions;

iii) the fact that he visited with this woman alone in a hotel room, which was obviously witnesses by the SDA chaplain who was asked to leave, and which is untoward before by Pipim no counsellor would do;

iv) the fact that another victim has now come forward (which makes the possibility of some sort of vexatious claim by Nandipa impossible now); and

v) the fact Pipim's own strongest supporters, notably those in his local church, seem to acknowledge their mistake in trying to re-baptise him (the Pastor's letter is quite strong in talking about Pipim on judgment day).

One can make excuses to the cows come home, and keep blaming the victims, if that makes you feel better, but the fact is Pipim is, by his own admission, someone who has engaged in sexual misconduct (even assuming it wasn't rape) with a young woman under his care, and on that basis he is not fit to be a Minister of Religion. 

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-10 11:15 PM

People might also like to know that under Botswanian law, an adult is 21 years old:

" age of majority" means when a person has attained the age of 21 years;

http://www1.eis.gov.bw/EIS/Policies/Environmental%20Policies/Interpretation%20Act.pdf


Regardless of the practical difficulties of charging and convicting Dr Pipim with rape, the fact is by his own admission he in effect had sex with a 20-year old, who under Botswanian law was still a child.  Therefore, even assuming Dr Pipim's defenders are correct, that Nandipa gave consent, can one of his defenders explain how one can continue to defend his actions, given he in effect had intercourse with a child, given a child's consent is not relevant?


George Tichy
2012-06-10 11:38 PM

I hope everyone knows what would have happend if he had had sex with a minor in the US!
So, to those who have any urge to defend him, just think that he committed the same crime just in another country.

Kevin Riley
2012-06-11 12:52 AM

I don't believe it changes the case much, but the age of consent in Botswana is 16.  Should any case against Dr Pipim prodeed there, it would be a charge of rape, not child abuse.  The age of majority and the age of consent differs in many countries.  Whatever the case may be legally, I think we can all agree that however the offinse is labelled, that the church views it as a serious sin. 

I believe the focus of this blog was not so much on how Pipim's actions should be labelled, but the danger posed to the church, to himself, and to others by not demanding a sufficient time span between when he confessed and when he was to be rebaptised, and also his rush to return to ministry of any sort.  In fairness to everyone the church needs to do whatever it can to make sure enough time elapses so that Dr Pipim's change of heart can be demonstrated to be genuine and to have resulted in a change of behaviour.  If he has truely repented and reformed, then it is in his own interest to make sure he allows time for others to see that and for it to be beyond dispute.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-11 1:46 AM

Kevin broadly agree.  However, in many countries (including Australia), the age of consent is actually higher (usually 18, which is our age of majority) if the perpetrator is in a position of power, care, control or custody (which Dr Pipim arguably was).  I was pointing to the age of majority being 21 (which is the commonlaw age of consent) to point out that even if Dr Pipim cannot be charged with rape, and even assuming the sex was consensual (which his supporters argue), it does seriously call into question the morality of that act given the girl was still in fact a 'child'. 

In my mind, the sin is more serious because:

- The girl is indeed very young (a 'child' whether or not she had the capacity at law to give consent).
- Dr Pipim was in a position of care, control, custory or power over the girl (which is why implictly most jurisdictions raise the age of consent to the age of majority where such a relationship exists).

Kevin Riley
2012-06-11 7:19 AM

A 'child' is defined by international convention as someone under the age of 18.  Legally this young woman is an adult.  But the age is not that relevant.  Someone in a position of power has misused that power.  Whether the young woman was 20 or 30 or even 50 would not change that.  I don't believe we should go down the road of saying this is worse because the other person is young, or female, or from an oppressed country, or a lot of other things that tend to take the focus away from the simple fact that a person in power misused that power for their own gain.  Even had the young woman consented, the results should have been the same in terms of church discipline. 

To focus on all these things that you and others say make this case 'worse' is to lessen the harm if they do not apply.  It is his act that is at fault, and that is what should lead to an appropriate response from him.  He has taken advantage of a vunerable person by virtue of his position and standing.  Had this been a 50 year woman (or man) instead of a 20 year old woman, it would still have been just as wrong. The nature of the vunerability is not that important in dealing with the issue.  However you look at it, this was not a case of two adults consenting to a relationship built on love and respect.  I believe both sides admit that. 

Even if it turns out that Dr Pipim's account is true, there still has to be concern that in less than 6 months he has repented, been rehabilitated, has established a new ministry and was about to be rebaptised.  I don't believe his theology or the vulnerability of the other person needs to be taken into account for a resaonable person to decide that that is too little time.  Is it even enough time for his wife to work through her issues and be ready to support him again?  The words 'unseemly haste' come to mind even if we assume the best case scenario. 

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-11 9:48 AM

Ok Kevin, I don't disagree

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-11 5:11 AM

My concern is that several scholars have gotten away with a questionable interpretation of Scripture and they keep preaching it from our pulpits and writing abut it in their books and magazines in spite of the fact that a substantial nnumber of Bible students and teacherrs and Church leaders disagree with them. Does it appear now like this interprepretation of the Word of God  is being used by at least one person to place about one half of the mankind God has created on a level where they can use anyone of the other half as a plaything to satisfy their carnal lust?
Is this a question worth considering?

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-11 5:12 AM

Sorry, in laymen's terms - what interpretation of scripture?  Sorry for my ignorance.

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-11 9:54 AM

Some of you may not have been around when Dr. Leona Running, a competent Greek scholar, wrote an article in our MINISTRY magazine about 50 years ago. She questioned the wording of 1 Tim. 3:11 in the KJV as applying only to the ordination of males.  Laymen: Look up the text in your KJV Bible and notice the three words rendered in italics. Those italics show you that they were not written in the original text by Paul, but added later by the translators. These words were needed to change the meaning of the text to apply only to males and not to females being ordained. Ellen White must have been aware of this discrepancy when she in 1895 wrote that some women should be ordained, and never put down a iota against the ordination of women. A host of scholars and church leaders seem to be fully aware of this.

This must not have pleased certain individuals. To them it has seemed essential to read the Bible with the understanding of the pope. And this non-Biblical downgrading of the value of a woman seems also needed for a man  to view a beautiful young creature of God as a toy for his own pleasure. That is why we must harness the right posers under divine guidance to restore our church.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-11 10:58 AM

Thanks Johann.  Do you have any comments about this mess about Pipim, his views on women, and a possible connection to Last Generation Theology (LGT), victory over sin, perfectionism and Pipim's strong involvement with young people in GYC? Are there any relevance or possible links between these ideas?

George Tichy
2012-06-11 11:51 AM

The problem I see with that LGT (for me it stands for Latest Garbage Theory) is that it develops people who are so authoritative and arrogant about their newly developed (great discovery!) theory that they start behaving as if they were real "saints" and in a position of dictating to others what to believe. Only they have the truth...

Read some descriptions on Pipim as a person dealing with others and preaching, and you will be reminded of some dictators in history - that ended up actually abusing and exploting others.

Äbusing and exploting?" Hmmm, sounds familiar isn't it? It seems it happened in a hotel in Botswana as well....

Kevin Riley
2012-06-11 7:39 PM

Last generation theology as Ellen White presents it is different to what LGT usually says.  It is not about beoming perfect at law keeping, but becoming perfect in love.  That was also Welsey's understanding.  I personally believe we would be a better church if we had people concentrating on loving as God loved (John 3:16) rather than on making sure they (and others) have not knowingly sinned.  If Dr Pipim was focused on loving the world as God did, rather than holding the church to his own idea of perfection, would this have happened?  I like to think the answe is 'no'.

David
2012-06-11 3:52 PM

I’ll not like to be in the shoes of Mr Pipim. His live in the trash, no matter how is cut.  Initially was the seducer, the sinner, the adulterous/fornicator.  Now the tune went up in AT to the degree to be “the criminal” “the rapist”.
If he goes to any SDA church the brothers and sister will think, “ here comes the adulterous the rapist”… “watch out keep away your girls the wolf is out”.
Who will like to hear a sermon of this man? or read a book of him?
In these days thanks to the Internet in seconds we can see his picture and recognize him.  Well in this case AT even facilitated (did AT got his permission to put his picture in the blog?  Watch out if you overlook that one you could loose all you founds). This man is marked for the rest of his live.  I hope that Mr Pipim could find forgiveness of God. 

George Tichy
2012-06-11 7:13 PM

I bet he could find forgiveness from everyone. But his attitude remains defensive, arrogant, and defiant. Will God forgive him with such an attitude? I don't know. But I know that human beings feel offended with this attitude and have a hard time to just forget it all. Why would they do it anyway when the man just keep being arrogant?

Have you read his defense/explanation on his site? It's kind of a thesis...   www.drpipim.org

Allen Nash
2012-06-11 10:49 PM

1John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
 
When Mr. Pipim confessed something about the first known sexual encounter, if it was from the heart it seems he would have owned up to all such experiences. If not then Mr. Pipim, do it now for the sake of your soul! Get yourself a licensed counselor to help you. Admit it, you are in need of outside help.
 
When Lucifer sinned in heaven he hardened his heart and moved into open rebellion. He was determined to do it his way. When Adam and Eve sinned, when confronted by God accepted the provision God made for them. To gain the benefit of the promised Seed who would defeat the old snake, they had to confess and repent.
 
“No man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s’ righteousness while practicing known sin, or neglecting known duties.” R&H 1890
 
In Matthew 7 those turned away with the “I never knew you…” words were those who claimed the right to enter because they had worked miracles, cast out demons, and done many wonderful works! Time to lay aside self justification and admit sin and need of the Savior!

CW
2012-06-11 10:57 PM

 

Let me first start by saying that I am not one to post things on discussion like this.  However, I feel that my voice needs to be heard too.  There have been many good points brought to this this discussion from both sides.  As a Christian therapist and social worker, my heart goes out to this brave girl for telling her story.  I work with rape victims, and I see first hand the torment and distruction it does mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.  While there may be argument that there is in conclusive evidence, I can tell you, I have never in my career, found a young woman who has lied about being raped.  Having been sexually molested myself, I can tell you, it is not something you make up and the amount of guilt and shame felt by the victim is enormous.  There is one thing that everyone needs to understand...IT IS NEVER THE VICTIMS FAULT!! I don't care if she did not yell, scream or fight, it is not her fault.  New research, and yes I am an evidence based practitioner, suggests that it is actually better when women do not fight, yell, or scream because this does not bring out the physically violence that often accompanies rape.  However, this is not true for ever case! There are always exceptions to the rule.  
This being said, before I worked with rape victims, I worked with sex offenders.  I am a 100% believe that there can be reform and remorse with the right spirit.  I have no idea what is in Dr. Pipim's heart and what he talks to God about in his peronsal time with him.  I believe as a church we should forgive him and give him council, but he also needs to take respondibility.  I agree with the psychologist who has posted previously (I'm sorry I have forgotten your name) that these incidents do not just "happen out of the blue" and often when one victim comes forward usually this gives validity and allows others to come forward as well.  

I for one am not a believer in perfectionalism.  I think this sets us up for failure.  But being open to be used by God and filled with the Holy Spirit we can be mighty tools for His service.  Personally, I think there should be concequences, but also redemption.  It not our place as sinners to point fingers and judge, and I believe there are many on here who feel that way.  I actually think this could be looked at as a positive occurance.  Stay with me for a second.  I've grown up in the Adventist Church and I love almost everything about it.  The one thing I see almost everyday in my practice is people scared to be real in their church.  I have been told many times by church leaders that our church does not have domestic violence, sexual molestation, affairs, and many other "worldly" things.  Guess what, we do!!  But guess what else, there is hope!  With the lighting of these situations, I believe we can grow and stragnthen our church and move fully towards the purpose of winning souls for Christ and finally be able to go to our forever HOME!
I apologize if I offend people, but this is my point of view.  I have seen way to many young people hurt and have a hard time staying quiet any longer.  Sorry this is so long, and hopefully you can make it through without getting angry.  That is not my intent.  I am not a confrontational person, and I believe each indvidual has a right to their own opinion and I would never want to push my point of view on others...shocking coming from a liberal, I know....but we are human.  No one is without sin, all we can do is be sincer in our confession to God and to man.  


Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-11 11:58 PM

CW, even if Pipim can and should find forgiveness, and can and should reform himself, does this mean as a question of duty of care he should ever be allowed to work with young people (especially young women again)? 

For example, my understanding of paedophile ministries is that while we are meant to show love and forgiveness, we should still be as cunning as snakes (Matt. 10:16), which means taken steps to remove or mitigate from the person any temptation. 

Do we his bretheren (and in particular any Church that re-baptises him, or any ministry that hires him, including any independent ministry) owe a moral duty to watch out for Dr Pipim, to ensure (as much as is practically possible) not put in such a situation of temptation again? For example, does anyone know how GYC have responded to all this - will Dr Pipim continue to be involved with young people?

Whilst I feel the official SDA Church did act relatively swiftly, we can all see the problem in the relative short term, when Dr Pipim re-enters the Church in either an official or unofficial capacity. 

Kevin Riley
2012-06-12 1:42 AM

The time to take due care is before anything happens.  No pastor should be counselling in a hotel room alone.  There are times when pastors need to cousnel one-on-one, but it should be somewhere where they can be seen.  That protects both parties.  Most instances of abuse are opportunistic in that the opportunity is there and is taken.  Churches need to make sure the opportunities are minimised as much as possible.  The greatest danger is not from known or suspected abusers - they are almost always watched - but from unknown abusers.  It is too late in this case, but all churches need to take the necessary steps to prevent abuse, not just jump into action when it happens.  I would have no problem (well, no more than I have ever had) with Dr Pipim speaking at youth rallies, etc after it is clear he has been rehabilitated, but it would be foolish to allow him to counsel anyone on a one-to-one basis.  There should never be any excuse for him to be found alone in a motel room with anyone except his wife.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-12 2:17 AM

And stupid question then - are there policies, procedures and standards in place to mitigate this sort of thing?  I would have thought, for example, that many mental health professionals are subject to certain professional standards?  Was Dr Pipim subject to any such similar standards?  If the answer is no, then is that something the Church needs to address? I know in my own conference, there are now very strict 'child safe' guidelines to protect children.

LMcCabe
2012-06-12 6:43 AM

Speaking for the conference where my husband pastors, there are policies, procedures and standards in place which are presented in various ways at various staff and pastoral meetings. But if a pastor or administrator wants to disregard the policies, they have many opportunities to do so.

Accountability happens when the person either asks for it and submits to it (for example the pastor making his own standards clear to his board/church family and is in an accountability relationship with a same-sex friend with similar standards) or when others see red flags and hold him accountable, whether he wishes it or not. (for example: "Dr Pipim, we do not agree that counseling at your hotel is the best. We will provide a place here at the facility for you.")

The higher up on a pedestal a person is, the harder it is for those around him/her to hold them accountable. Especially if they have a history of arrogance and grandiosity.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-12 8:40 AM

Thanks LMcCabe.  Instead of this all being about 'what a terrible tragedy', it would be great if this could because a discussion about how the Church could become more accountable.

LMcCabe
2012-06-12 9:15 AM

Raising awareness of these issues helps contribute to greater accountability. So in that way, these discussions are a good thing, in my opinion.

Truth Seeker
2012-06-12 9:07 AM

McCabe-"Especially if they have a history of arrogance and grandiosity." Does Pipim have that reputation? I have never met him.

In my view, LMcCabe, it is the fellow pastors and their superiors who attempt to shield the perpetrator from scrutiny by transferring him to another area or another Conference. I have no doubt viewers could cite examples of that type of action. It is  "circle the wagons" mentality. Accountability is not very evident to the laity in the hierarchical structure generally.

I fail to see how arrogance and grandiosity enter this picture.


LMcCabe
2012-06-12 9:36 AM

I have never met Dr Pipim nor heard him speak nor read his books, so I cannot speak to his personality nor relational style. I was speaking in general of individuals I have known and observed who resist accountability. When confronted about their activities that seem to be questionable, they sometimes become indignant, deflective, defensive and self-righteous. And especially so to those whom they do not consider to be their intellectual equals or those who "understand" them. 

For clarity, I was also speaking of the conference that we have pastored in for nearly 20 years. I cannot speak to the polices of other conferences. I agree with you that we have not always had a climate of openness and accountability in the church and until that changes, laity have every right to be skeptical. Fortunately, it is much harder today to sweep things under the rug than it used to be! And the laity is speaking out--as evidenced by the fallout in this situation. Leaders who used to make decisions behind closed doors and not have them questioned are having to get used to a new way of doing things.


George Tichy
2012-06-12 9:38 AM

"Does Pipim have that reputation? I have never met him."

I haven't met him either. But just reading him arrogant "defense" of his crime on his own site makes me believe in what so many people have written on the blogs.

Check it out for yourself:  www.drpipim.org

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-12 9:41 AM

Wonder if he is going to take that defence down - or change it further?  

George Tichy
2012-06-12 1:13 PM

My bet? A revised version including a long (at least 15 more pages) list of explanations of the "second moral issue." 

LMcCabe
2012-06-12 9:48 AM

Truth Seeker, to address your last comment..."I fail to see how arrogance and grandiosity enter this picture."

The discussion above was regarding polices and procedures to keep this from happening again. I did not say that it entered into "this picture." My example of Dr Pipim was to illustrate what forced accountability might have looked like.

You said in a previous post "...and no matter how much some of us strive for justice there seems almost always to be a commenter ready to spin it in a way to make it appear other than is intended." May I respectfully point out that can go both ways?

Did you see my question further up? I would really like to hear your answer.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-12 9:57 AM

Pipim writes in his 21,000 word defence:

"Sadly, none of these individuals and organizations (all of who claim to be bonafide Seventh-day Adventists) has done the Christian thing of personally sitting down with me to ascertain the truth or, at least, seek a clarification from me. And yet, they have splashed these uncomplimentary and malicious information all over the world."

www.drpipim.org

It would be interesting to know if Pipim's claim is true.  At any time did AToday ever contact Pipim for his own response? 

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-12 10:01 AM

Pipim also writes in his 21,000 defence (that doesn't actually appear to have much mea cupla and a lot of counter-attacking, which is an ironic example of his purported 'majestic silence'), he claims he will be commencing legal action for defamation.  As others have noted, we can only hope he does:

"4. Issues At Stake. There are some issues at stake in the manner before us this evening. First the substance of the allegations and, second, the process used by those making the allegations. It is my contention that— 
 
(1) on both scores (content of accusations and process used to address them) major damage has been done to me, my family, and the cause of God.
 
(2) the accusation by this individual and my other accusers that my moral fall was a criminal act cannot be sustained by facts. At the appropriate forum, this slanderous and libelous accusation will be forthrightly addressed. 
 
(3) the accusation by this individual and my other accusers that I am spreading false theology or teachings that are contrary to our beliefs are equally without merit. My teachings are in the public domain, and it is up to them to show wherein I have erred..."

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-12 10:18 AM

Sorry, just one more gem from Dr Pipim 21,000 defence. 

It really does get all a little incredulous when he tries to explain in great detail why he only confessed after being caught.  He even tries to use Spirit of Prophecy - not sure if Ellen would have agreed to be used in such a way?  Clever men, and Pipim is indeed cunning, can really rationalize anything with scripture if they really want - the sad thing is when people don't see through their fruits of the flesh, rather than fruits of the spirit. 

My favourite and most outrageous line is:

"As far as I knew, our sin had been repented of, confessed, and renounced." 

Well obviously we now know that is not true when he said it on 29 May, as evidenced by the latest victim that has just come out since then. What do people think we can expect from Dr Pipim's 'An Answer To Everyone Part II'?

Check it out:

"#5. Why Public Confession after 5 months? A fifth issue we discussed at our August 27 meeting had to do with the timing of my public confession. My “friend of 25 years” wanted to know why I didn’t confess to my wife or the church right away in January, but waited till May. It almost seems like I had to go public because “I was caught.” Moreover, he felt that my “marriage vow” compels me to disclose any such conduct to my wife immediately anything like that happens.
 
In response, I mentioned that, indeed, I revealed my sin to my wife 5 months after the incident--within 24 hours of the day I got to know that it had become public knowledge (7-10 people). Why didn't I tell her when it happened? Based on my understanding of Scripture and EGW’s “Private sins should be privately addressed.” As far as I knew, our sin had been repented of, confessed, and renounced. There was no need (definitely at that time) to share that information with my wife. If I didn't consider it a private issue between the other woman, myself, and God, I'd have immediately revealed the sin to my wife. But as far as I knew it was a private issue to be dealt with privately. At the very most it was up to me to use my discretion as to the best time to share with my wife the information about my moral failure (knowing that she was battling with cancer-related health issues)."

 

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-12 12:06 PM

Shades of John Edwards, dej vu.  A wife with cancer not told because of her "health issues." 

 

"As far as I know (?) "our" sin (indicting the victim as accessory) was a private issue to be dealt with privately....it was up to me to use my discretion as to the best time to share with my wife..."

Pure, unadulterated slime defenses.


Truth Seeker
2012-06-12 1:47 PM

Even should a victim give permission what would be the motive of a Professional to give details as well as her name? I realize the Professional may have later expressed concern for having given out publicly a name. It seems to me, having had access myself to critical personal info during my career, that disclosure of a name is almost invariably verboten!

Why would a 20 year old remain in the room overnight with a molester? I don't buy a lot of esoteric psychological mumbo jumbo attempting to explain that action.

Is the case airtight that Pipim violated moral strictures? I see no holes in it since he obviously has already confessed as to what essentially happened. Should he be made to suffer the consequences of moral fall? Definitely.

Should liberals pile on since he has been a vocal supporter of Scripture? You decide!

Joe Erwin
2012-06-12 2:49 PM

Hasn't there been about enough piling on? If there have been crimes, as seems to be the case, why is there not legal prosecution?

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-12 4:33 PM

Since the first case was purported to have occurred in Botswana, only those courts  have prosecutorial authority.  The U.S. has none unless he visited there again or those courts ordered his deportation.  But whether that is possible is unanswered.

The site of the newly discovered second case has not been given, so prosecution is dependent on where it occurred.  Pipim is smart enough to have been in other countries where their laws are quite different and women's equality before the law may not at all be comparable to the U.S. laws.

George Tichy
2012-06-12 11:49 PM

Well, lets just wait. We don't know what the second case was, or where it happened. If it happend in the US and was something similar to what happened in Botswana, things can seriously complicate for Pipim at any time. I am confident that sooner or later the good journalists at our preferred blogs will find out. Then we go from there.

What a surprise it must have been for Pipim that "What happens in Botswana does not stay in  Botswana"....

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-13 3:06 AM

1 Corinthians 5:9-12

New International Version (NIV)

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-13 3:18 AM

I didn't read that text in Pipim's 21,000 'majestic silence' defence.

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-13 5:22 AM

He would know from this text that as long as he is not a church member the church has no right to judge him. Is there any limit to how many times he could save his neck by leaving and then being re-baptized?

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-13 6:01 AM

In my ministry of 50 years I have nver re-baptized someone who has sinned or left the church. I have admitted a number of people on confession of faith and re-dedication of their lives to Christ, including former Baptists and Penticostals.


Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-13 7:00 AM

But isn't that part of the problem.  I think all 'sides' of the issue would agree Dr Pipim is not an 'ordinary man' but rather a Sevey Celibrity.

Kevin Riley
2012-06-13 7:34 AM

But he is an ordinary man.  We all are, not matter what our egos or the flattery of others may say.  Perhaps that is the lesson Dr Pipim should learn before he rejoins the church.  God does not need any of us to build His kingdom, but he welcomes any contribution we are willing to make towards building His Kingdom.  We cannot build ours and His at the same time.  I hope the time will come when we can welcome Dr Pipim back without reservations - or at least no more than before.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-13 9:43 AM

Yes I agree.  My point is he is indeed an ordinary man, but he does get treated differently because he is a Sevey Celebrity.  We wouldn't be discussing him now if he was just an 'ordinary' pastor.  I am not saying that is good, I am just saying that is reality.  It comes off John's comment that in 50 years of ministry he has never heard a someone being re-baptized after leaving the Church (and disfellowshipped to boot).

Kevin Riley
2012-06-13 7:30 AM

So there is at least one person who has considered what "one faith, one baptism" might mean in practice.  That almost redeems what other bloggers have said today :)

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-13 10:00 AM

What is the meaning of washing the feet before the communion service? Isn't that washing the dust which has gathered since our baptism and the last washingof the feet? I am happy we have retained that ordinance from our Lord.

Howard Flynn
2012-06-14 3:36 PM

"She was there willingly. We still don't know if she took the money. If she did, why? He apparently came on to her the first time but she did not "understand" what happened. So she goes to his room later and he forces himself on her. After forcing himself on her, she is STILL in the hotel room when he forces himself on her the next morning. Why didn't she leave right away."

Are these statements factually true?

Howard Flynn
2012-06-14 5:36 PM

1 Timothy 3:11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.
Whatever does this have to do with this discussion? She is a maiden, not a wife.
Let's not get into this now.

Johann Thorvaldsson
2012-06-15 7:57 AM

Have been reading Batchelor who leans on Darmsteegt, and Darmsteegt refers to Pipim as a source. When I compare the writings of these great men among us, and also the latest from Pipim, then it seem to me like their combined works conclude that:

Ordaining a woman is a much greater sin than having illicit sex with, or even raping the woman. There are no great possibilities of redemption in case a woman is ordained, while the other offences ere explainable and easily forgiveable in case you get caught.

Is this the policy we want for our church? Could the ordination of some women be like a shield of protection to prevent men from downgrading womanhood?

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-15 12:57 PM

It is extremely rare for a woman to rape another person:  man or woman. More women on the various committees would be a voice that is presently missing from all the church politics. 

This has proved repeatedly:  in business in legislative bodies and even with women in top positions (there have been many female prime ministers of nations as well as queens).  It is extremely doubtful that women would have gone to war as quickly as men. 

This is the reason that women should be seen a equals in all church positions, no exceptions. 

Howard Flynn
2012-06-15 2:14 PM

I found a couple of websites that are worth reading. If nothing else, it should motivate us to be careful with what we say. Make sure it is fact and not fiction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial#Initial_allegations
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse#Court_cases
 

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-15 5:28 PM


Hasn't all the information received come directly from official church sources:  Michigan conference? 

I well remember the McMartin case but this is not even similar:  it was about children at a day-care center, and this is about a preacher-perpetrator.  Maybe, compare it to Sandusky?  Or the Catholic priests?  In all three cases, it is a powerful, father figure taking sexual advantage of a vulnerable victim.

Seminary student
2012-06-15 7:09 PM

Next step for Pipim , make a film about his life . It will be a replica of the film " not in my church " 

Howard Flynn
2012-06-15 9:24 PM

I agree, but that wasn't my point. I was referring to the hysteria that caused a man to be in jail for 5 years for something he didn't do. Everyone swore that he was guilty until the showdown when he won and walked a man. What I was focusing on was the attitude of the people. I could say the same thing about the Salem Witches, Lindsy Chamberlain, et. al.

Here we have a situation regarding the sexual scandal of  Dr. Pipim. I have no desire to defend him, but fair is fair. He is being condemned for things that we don't have any evidence. Just read through the thread and see  for yourself. I have yet to hear a straight, honest answer to the factual questions raised.
He is now a serial rapist against whom another victim has arisen. We don't know what happened, when or where it happened. It doesn't matter: we are so sure of his guilt that we don't need to wait for the story or the "evidence."

He talks about piety and high standards. Fine, except the minute he gets to Africa he bangs a young lady half his age. When he gets back to the States he says nothing for a half of a year until (like the Watergate tapes) he is in a corner, then we see the pious tears on his cheek. How touching!

 Now he has had a change of heart. He has produced a web site, book, etc. to prove that he is not guilty of the things he told us he did! That is the oxymoron of the day.

He leaves behind an amazing legacy. He has lost his credentials, discredited his ministry and possibility destroyed the life of a young lady. I wonder what he preached the day he took the girl to his bed. Moral perfection? Seal of God? Remnant church?  How about extinct church.

You see, I am not defending this man, to the contrary, I just want us to be fair. Why open a drawer when we have a hamper full of dirty clothes. How many bullets does it take to dispatch someone?

Meanwhile we need to come up with something concrete to help this young lady get back on her feet. Let's not talk about her in a bedroom; let's focus on what she is in Christ.

As for Dr. Pipin let's give to him the same mercy that we want for ourselves. Remember, he is our brother, but we are all nothing without Jesus Christ. Christ is the God who commands and the man who obeys while Satan is the one who accuses.

If the truth be told, we are no better than our fallen brother; it's just that our sins are different. Let's put his failures and ours where they belong, under the blood of Jesus.

Have a good Sabbath, Elaine. I really enjoy your comments and the work you do on this forum. Keep up the good work.


Elaine Nelson
2012-06-15 11:16 PM

Repentance does no erase the need for justice, and his own confessions have convicted him.  This was not only a sin, but a crime.

Howard Flynn
2012-06-16 1:41 AM

I wish I could disagree with you, but I can't

Darrell Corbel
2012-06-18 10:58 AM

From Howard Flynn "He is being condemned for things that we don't have any evidence. Just read through the thread and see  for yourself. I have yet to hear a straight, honest answer to the factual questions raised.
He is now a serial rapist against whom another victim has arisen. We don't know what happened, when or where it happened. It doesn't matter: we are so sure of his guilt that we don't need to wait for the story or the "evidence."

"He has lost his credentials, discredited his ministry and possibility destroyed the life of a young lady. ...
Meanwhile we need to come up with something concrete to help this young lady get back on her feet."

Hold on here Howard. You are contradicting yourself here. The reason why so many are here condemning Pipim as a predator and rapist (other than his own lying behavior), is that this woman came forward and accused him. You can't have it both ways. Either what she is saying is true and we are justified in saying so, or she is a conniving liar spreading false stories about Pipim because she felt guilty about having a consensual sexual affair with him. You seem to be hedging your bets here. Making her to be both a victim and a perpetrator.

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-18 2:13 PM

What about Pipim's confession?  Was that under duress?  When someone pleads "guilty" to a crime, that is the end of defense.  He has indicted himself.

Jason Wells
2012-06-20 11:57 PM

I remember standing on the floor of the GC Session in Utrech in 1995 listening to Dr. Pipim rail on against women's ordination. As president of the Adventist Intercollegiate Association, I was there carrying a 140-0 vote from the student leaders of our 14 Adventist colleges and universities. It was a sad day for our church listening to him condem females in leadership.

I need to find an online dictionary and see if there is a new definition for the word "irony"...

Elaine Nelson
2012-06-21 12:00 AM

How about schadenfreude?

Jason Wells
2012-06-21 12:13 AM

Not pleasure Elaine. Actually very sad for her and all the lives that haven't been touch by the spiritual leadership of women since he has continued to hold back the "full" ministry in North America.

Howard Flynn
2012-06-24 6:34 PM

"Hold on here Howard. You are contradicting yourself here. The reason why so many are here condemning Pipim as a predator and rapist (other than his own lying behavior), is that this woman came forward and accused him. You can't have it both ways. Either what she is saying is true and we are justified in saying so, or she is a conniving liar spreading false stories about Pipim because she felt guilty about having a consensual sexual affair with him. You seem to be hedging your bets here. Making her to be both a victim and a perpetrator."

I am not hedging anything because I am not betting. I am asking questions

<<She was there willingly. We still don't know if she took the money. If she did, why? He apparently came on to her the first time but she did not "understand" what happened. So she goes to his room later and he forces himself on her. After forcing himself on her, she is STILL in the hotel room when he forces himself on her the next morning. Why didn't she leave right away.">>

Why would a woman who has been hit on, go home in the evening and return the next day, have sex, spend the night, and have sex the next morning? How can this be rape?

This is horrible, unthinkable. But let's call sin by its right name.

All I want is an answer to this question. I am not hedging anything. I am merely asking the question. Please answer it for me. Thanks

LMcCabe
2012-06-25 9:54 AM

Howard, I understand your confusion. There are a lot of things in life that don't add up. A wife who not only stays with a husband who is beating her, but turns on the cops when a neighbor calls them. A child who keeps quiet even though they are being molested by a family member. A wife who gives her daughter to her husband to pacify him. A woman who leaves one alcoholic and marries another, and another. But they all have this in common---abuse of any kind, when perpetrated on children and youth, warps and twists them at their very foundation. And unless they get help and work to grow past it, they will continue to recreate the insanity in their relationships and interactions as adults--either as a victim or as a perpetrator themself--or both.

If you want to learn the answers to your questions, spend some time educating yourself on why someone who has already been abused or raped is more likely to be re-abused again. Talk to people who work at women's shelters. Read stories of individuals who have overcome abuse. If you can't find resources, several of us here can help you.

That said, we don't have any way of knowing for sure what happened that night. All we can go on is their stories and their actions since then. And those of us who have experience both with victims and perpetrators can tell you that her actions during and since are absolutely congruent with a woman whose "no" was taken from her long before she went to the hotel room that night. And that his actions since are congruent with a man who repented because he was caught, but otherwise would have continued to live his life as if it never happened. She could be lying, he could be innocent. God knows and will not be mocked and the reaping is sure. (Gal 6:7)

For me, it is not so important that we figure out who is innocent--since you and I have no power here anyway--but that the entire discussion will give everyone more understanding of the issues involved. That pastors will not be idiots and counsel young girls in their rooms--to protect themselves AND the girl. That those around them will be empowered to hold them accountable if they insist on doing it. That young girls who believe men on pedastals can solve all their problems will have second thoughts. That all the pedastals will be dismantled. That "average" people will be educated enough in these issues to stand up, speak up, do something to help victims and perpetrators both, to keep things like this from happening. Abuse that stays in secret tends to keep happening.




Howard Flynn
2012-06-25 7:57 PM

“That said, we don't have any way of knowing for sure what happened that night. . . .  For me, it is not so important that we figure out who is innocent.” Wow! Now in the light of what you have just written, shouldn’t we be saying “the alleged rapist?”

LMcCabe
2012-06-25 11:13 PM

I can't speak for "we" but I have not said he is a rapist. I may have an opinion based on my life experiences as to the high probability of her story being closer to the truth than his, but like I said, my desire is that we use a very sad story where there are no winners as a learning experience. Those who have the power in this situation have to decide what to call what he did.

I know the discussion, especially using an emotionally charged word like rape, has caused a lot of sparks, but I still believe that openness is the only way to fight the darkness that is abuse in all its forms. And if someone learns from it, at least something will have been gained from the tragedy.

Howard Flynn
2012-06-26 2:41 PM

ME: "How can this be rape?"
YOU: "spend some time educating yourself on why someone who has already been abused or raped is more likely to be re-abused again."

Sorry for the misnomer


Mthabisi Dube
2012-06-28 9:30 AM

If Christ was here today, how much energy will He spend on such a blog? For who's glory is this blog? Who is being saved? Please Adventist lets put energies where appropriate.

Stephen Ferguson
2012-06-28 10:03 AM

Christ may well be writing the article for this blog itself if we felt that a young female victim had been largely fortgotten, and in some cases even attacked herself, when the purported celebrity Holy man perpetrator writes a 21,000 'Majestic Silence' defence excusing his actions.

I believe there is even a well-known story in the Gospels that give us a very good idea exactly how Jesus might react.  Except instead of writing with His finger in dirt, He may well have written with His fingers on a keyboard.

Howard Flynn
2012-06-28 12:14 PM

Somebody made this comment to me.

"We are not to judge. We are a denomination of Christians that are to help and strengthen each other. God is the judge."

Not a bad idea.

Ervin Taylor
2012-06-28 8:17 PM

There was a posting asking "If Christ was here today, how much energy will He spend on such a blog?"  I would suggest that he would be expending much energy being actively involved in making sure his followers' first priority is to comfort the afflicted and hurting and afflict the comfortable and willingly ignorant. 

Howard Flynn
2012-06-29 11:43 AM

Erv: That's not bad. I like it. The problem with this thread is that good, honest people have taken what is basically a valid point and run it into the ground. This thing is a real meltdown. I think that people need to back off and calm down.

Anonymous


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