A new statement from the church of Sye Ten Bruggencate reveals that the Canadian apologist, who recently announced his permanent departure from ministry for “moral failure,” had committed sexual sin with a “vulnerable woman.”
The church also revealed in a phone conversation with The Roys Report that Bruggencate’s confession last week happened after someone threatened to make Bruggencate’s sin public.
On the blog of Faith Presbyterian Church in Tillsonburg, Ontario, Pastor Steve Richardson and Elder Aaron Koning wrote Wednesday that Bruggencate had committed fornication with a “vulnerable woman.” They added that “following a formal complaint (with evidence) by the woman . . . the Session has begun a full and thorough investigation.” (A session is the body of elders governing a local church in the Presbyterian Church.)
The statement added that the church has suspended Bruggencate from all privileges during the church judicial process.
On March 3, Bruggencate announced on Facebook that he was leaving ministry after notifying his church of a disqualifying sin. At the time, Bruggencate did not specify what he had done.
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Today, Pastor Richardson told The Roys Report that Bruggencate’s confession happened after someone had threatened to make Bruggencate’s sin public. Richardson said this person was not the alleged victim, but someone who knew about the situation.
According to Richardson, the church received more evidence about Bruggencate’s wrongdoing from the alleged victim this past Tuesday. The woman also reportedly brought forward wrongdoing that Bruggencate’s original confession did not mention.
The pastor said that Bruggencate has admitted to a sexual relationship with the woman. He also has confirmed some of the woman’s accusations, but not all, Richardson said.
Richardson added that “the concerns from the woman are more serious than simply a broad moral failure,” but did not elaborate on what those concerns are.
Richardson said he does not see anything that suggests that what happened was against the law. Even so, he said he has suggested that the woman go to the authorities for help.
“Sye has confessed to moral failure, and that is a fairly broad category,” Richardson said. “We want to do the right thing, first of all for the complainant, and also for Sye. If we need help from outside, we will be seeking it,” he said.
Bruggencate’s apologetics Facebook page has nearly 7,000 followers. He has been a full-time apologist since 2008. In his career, he preferred “presuppositional apologetics,” which argues that without presupposing God’s existence, people can’t appeal to logic, experience, or feelings.
The Roys Report reached out to Bruggencate for comment but did not receive a response.
Jackson Elliott is a Christian journalist trained at Northwestern University. He has worked at The Daily Signal, The Inlander, and The Christian Post, covering topics ranging from D.C. politics to prison ministry. His interests include the Bible, philosophy, theology, Russian literature, and Irish music.