Dr. Anthony Moore

Cedarville U Fires Professor With History of Admitted Sexual Abuse

By Julie Roys

Cedarville University yesterday fired professor, Dr. Anthony Moore, for sexual misconduct. The action comes three years after Cedarville learned that Moore had secretly videotaped a male youth pastor showering in Moore’s home on multiple occasions.

According to Cedarville President Dr. Thomas White, the college fired Moore now because it discovered a new detail concerning Moore’s past abuse. The abuse was discovered in January 2017, when Moore was a campus pastor at The Village Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Cedarville hired Moore in August 2017.

Anthony Moore at a Cedarville Chapel

Until yesterday, Moore served at Cedarville University as Special Advisor to the President for Kingdom Diversity and assistant professor of theology. He also volunteered as an assistant basketball coach at the Baptist school. And in February, Moore, accompanied by his family and another couple, chaperoned a group of Cedarville students on a service trip to Boston.

During an interview Wednesday, Dr. White told me that he knew that Moore had made multiple, secret videos of Moore’s former youth pastor when Cedarville hired Moore on a probationary basis. White added that Moore initially came on staff as a multicultural recruiter under a five-year, “restoration” plan.

However, White said he did not realize when he hired Moore that Moore had recorded the secret videos over a span of several months.

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“My understanding of what happened was it was not a habitual issue,” White told me. “It was a struggle that arose from previous abuse and curiosity and then it was repented for.”

However, White said that after his discussion with me Wednesday, he spoke with Moore’s victim about Moore’s abuse for the first time. White said the victim confirmed that the recordings had been made over multiple months.

“When we learned that information, we took the action we needed to take,” White said.

Moore’s Abuse Exposed

Moore’s firing caps more than a week of intense scrutiny that began when Todd Wilhelm began publishing information about Moore’s past on his blog, Thou Art the Man.

As Wilhelm recounted in a post last week, Moore was fired in January 2017 from his position as the campus pastor at The Village Church (TVC) Fort Worth. At that time, TVC Lead Pastor Matt Chandler announced on all TVC’s campuses that Moore had been fired for a “sin issue.” Chandler did not offer specifics, but said Moore was fired for “grievous immoral actions against another adult member that disqualify him as an elder and staff member.”

On Monday, I obtained a report that Moore’s former youth pastor had filed with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office in October 2018, alleging that Moore had videotaped his youth pastor showering several times.

The youth pastor never pressed charges. However, the alleged crime, known as “invasive visual recording,” is a “state jail felony” in Texas, punishable by up to two years in jail and $10,000 in fines.

On Tuesday, I interviewed the youth pastor, who told me that in January 2017, he discovered Moore’s cell phone in a window well above a shower in Moore’s home. The youth pastor said the phone was wrapped in a towel with the camera lens sticking out.

The youth pastor said he then searched Moore’s phone and found four other videos of himself showering, which the youth pastor then forwarded to his own phone.

Both the youth pastor and Jeff Jamison, an elder at TVC Fort Worth since 2015, said that Moore confessed what he had done when confronted by the youth pastor and elders. The youth pastor said Moore also told him that he struggled with same-sex attraction.

In an email yesterday, Moore seemed to confirm the youth pastor and elder’s account. “While I never had, or even attempted to have, any inappropriate physical contact with anyone,” Moore wrote, “I did use technology in a grievously wrong way.”

The elders at TVC Fort Worth said in a statement to me this week that they “thoroughly informed Dr. White and Cedarville University about the details of Anthony’s dismissal and our belief that Anthony was not fit for ministry of any kind.”

Elder Jeff Jamison said that the elders told Dr. White that Moore had made multiple videos.

Jamison added that the video evidence showed that Moore’s abuse spanned at least six months. Jamison did not comment on whether the elders had told White that fact in 2017.

A Friendship Betrayed

According to Moore’s victim, Moore’s abuse of him involved more than merely videotaping the victim in the shower. It also involved “emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse” that spanned nearly 10 years.

The victim said he and Moore became close friends when they both were at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, from around 2009—2014. Moore was working as director of Southwestern’s Recreation and Aerobics Center (RAC) when the two first met. And the victim was working at the RAC under Moore, and studying at Southwestern’s college.

Dr. White was also working at Southwestern at the time. White was the vice president of communications and student life at Southwestern and Moore’s direct supervisor. White described his relationship with Moore as close. White added that he knew the victim, but not well.

The victim said Moore quickly became a spiritual authority in his life and began exercising “considerable emotional and spiritual manipulation.” For example, the victim said Moore would misuse spiritual precepts to pressure the victim into sharing deep aspects of sin issues or details of his personal life.

The victim added that Moore also tried to control most aspects of his life. And whenever the victim didn’t acquiesce, Moore would threaten to end both the friendship and the working relationship.

The victim said some of the most intense control and manipulation happened when Moore moved to D.C. to intern for Capitol Hill Baptist Church under Pastor Mark Dever.

The victim said Moore suffered from depression during that time, and on a couple occasions threatened to kill himself if the victim didn’t call him. The victim said that multiple times during his relationship with Moore, the victim wanted to end the relationship, but “I just didn’t see a way out.”

The victim said that multiple times during his relationship with Moore, the victim wanted to end the relationship, but “I just didn’t see a way out.”

In 2014, Moore became campus pastor at TVC Fort Worth and hired the victim to be the youth pastor. The victim said he began to suspect that Moore was inappropriately dependent on him. But he said he never imagined that Moore, a husband and father of three, struggled with same-sex attraction.

When the victim discovered the videos on Moore’s phone, he said he was stunned and called the experience “surreal.” Three days later, the victim reported to his elders what Moore had done and they promptly fired Moore.

The victim said he met with Moore twice in the months after Moore was fired, but the two never reconciled. He added that during those months, attendance at the church shrunk dramatically—from around 1,000 to about 500.

The victim said when he learned that Cedarville had hired Moore, he went through “all the stages of anger, frustration, doubt, and discouragement.” He added that he was disappointed that Dr. White didn’t reach out to him until this week, especially since the two knew each other from Southwestern.

Dr. White said he didn’t contact the victim earlier because he was following the lead of TVC Fort Worth, and under the impression that the victim didn’t want to talk about the experience.

I reached out to Moore with specific questions about the victim’s story, but he did not respond. Prior to that, however, Moore told me that issues related to his alleged controlling and manipulative behavior were never raised in the discipline process Moore went through at The Village Church.

How Dr. Moore Came to Cedarville

Dr. White said his decision to bring Moore to Cedarville was motivated by his desire to “restore a brother in Christ,” while also protecting the Cedarville community. This is documented in a detailed statement released this week.

White said Moore called him soon after the videos were discovered and was “repentant, sobbing, and crushed.” About five months later, in June 2017, White said he developed a plan of restoration for Moore in cooperation with the elders at TVC and trustees at Cedarville.

Dr. Thomas White

At that time, one of Cedarville’s trustees was Paige Patterson, then-president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and according to White, a good friend of Dr. Moore’s. (Patterson resigned from the Cedarville board in 2018, soon after he was fired from Southwestern over his alleged mishandling of rape investigations and advice to women to stay in abusive marriages.)

In the first year of Moore’s restoration, Cedarville required Moore to undergo counseling with a pastor; join a local church; attend chapel five days a week; maintain “close accountability” with Jason Lee, dean of the School of Biblical and Theological Studies; and live in a very public house on campus.

White added that Moore was permitted to meet with students only in a public place and in groups. Moore also was not allowed to accompany the basketball team on overnight trips and was allowed in the locker room only when accompanied by “other coaches who knew his story.”

White said he informed the faculty that Moore had stepped down as a pastor from TVC Fort Worth because he had “sinned,” but did not give details. Later that year, Moore reportedly shared his full story with the Bible and theology faculty.

White said the student body was not informed of Moore’s past.

I asked White about a story I had heard involving Moore inviting a student to go on a camping trip. White disclosed that a parent had called him and asked about Moore because the father believed Moore had invited his student to go hunting with him.

However, White said that Moore told White that he hadn’t extended an actual invitation, but simply made a “generic mention that maybe we should go hunting sometime.”

White said he and the trustees were satisfied with Moore’s progress during Moore’s first year at Cedarville. So in 2018, the school made Moore a professor. In 2019, White appointed Moore as a special advisor.

Expert on Sexual Abuse Offers Analysis

White said he did not consult a professional counselor about Moore at any point, nor did Moore receive counseling from a professional counselor.

However, I spoke with Diane Langberg, a globally recognized expert on sexual abuse and board member with G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment).

Langberg said what Moore did was “extremely calculated” and not a “one-off deal or mistake.”

Diane Langberg

“This is not something that just happens spontaneously,” Langberg said. “Anytime someone abuses others sexually or otherwise, you have somebody who has first of all, spent a good amount of energy deceiving themselves. And then . . . you have deception of the other because this young man had no idea he was in an unsafe place with an unsafe person.”

Langberg said someone like Moore should be removed from any position that gives him access to young men, even with excellent controls. “The fact that you’re hiring somebody in a circumstance that requires external controls to be okay shows that control isn’t coming from the inside, which is where it needs to happen,” she said.

Langberg said removing abusers from the people they’re likely to abuse does not show lack of forgiveness but love. “You’re taking poison away from somebody because you love them.”

Moore’s victim said he decided to speak out now because when people don’t have all the facts, a person like Moore can get away with abusing again. “The way manipulators work in uncertainty and confusion just develops a deep fog,” he said. “And it’s not until you’re removed from the fog that you can see.”

Update: I just became aware that Anthony Moore taught a class at Cedarville on “Counseling and Mentoring Men” during the spring 2020 semester.

Dr. White’s Statement on Anthony Moore (This is also posted on Dr. White’s Blog):

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Update: At 3:16 p.m. CT on Saturday April 25, Cedarville sent the following letter to alumni.

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93 thoughts on “Cedarville U Fires Professor With History of Admitted Sexual Abuse”

  1. Anthony Moore’s past would never have gotten him in into a church, a Boy Scout leadership position, with Little League (if proper vetting was done), but a Christian college decides it’s okay to hire him and allow him to coach men’s basketball (I don’t care if he was supervised-supervisors often start trusting the people with whom they are entrusted and the offender re-offends). If I were a Cedarville parent, I would be done with the school.

    A number of years ago I was support staff at a faith-based drub rehab. One of the night supervisors had other activities that she wanted to do, so she “appointed” one of the clients to be in charge while she went to spend time with friends. Things happened, and they were not good things. People with addiction problems, be they sex or substance, need proper supervision, and they shouldn’t be in an environment where they can continue to use.

    My other question, if Moore is married with three children, why on earth does he need a roommate? This guy has problems that have yet to be resolved.

    1. There is probably much more to this situation that runs back years and to other organizations where he worked. A thorough investigation needs to be conducted and leaders who knew and covered it up need to be held accountable. It’s amazing that Christian leaders seem to lack a basic understanding of the profile and patterns of sexual abusers and how to deal with them.

  2. It is good to attempt ministry to a professedly repentant sinner. It is naive or worse to think that it is helpful to place that repentant sinner in a position of ministry whereby access and influence over others is granted. That is all the more true when the sin is of a sexual nature. Some sins permanently disqualify from certain kingdom labors.

  3. misterjesperson

    Kudos for Todd for bringing this out into the light and getting the ball rolling. Had the scriptures been actually followed at TVC, publicly naming Moore’s sin and rebuking him before all, this would not have happened. The only reason this man was fired was because the details became public this week. White, Patterson and the rest of the lot are not Godly, not by a long shot. Had the homosexual aspect of this been made public as the Bible instructs, he would have been finished in the conservative wing of the church. Now that it has, he is. Had it been a woman that he was recording, some other white-washed septic tank would pop up in order “to restore him” to ministry, again. People do need to be restored to Jesus, and not ministry. This is the crux where our leaders go so very wrong.

    Perhaps Moore would have made a comeback in a liberal church that does not care who he is attracted to or rather or not he is faithful to his own wife. This may still be in his future because the man is obviously good at selling religious products to consumers. For guys like Patterson, that is obviously the only qualification needed for “ministry.” Sell people what they want to hear. Conservatives want leaders that speak out openly against homosexuality. Liberals want the opposite and to coddle that which God clearly hates. There are many white-washed septic tanks in both camps that are just looking for good salesmen. Who cares about anything else other than that? CS Lewis called this kind of religion “mercenary” and he is right. Many are the narcissists looking to be the center of attention and looking for some people to abuse…

    1. Serving Kids in Japan

      Had the homosexual aspect of this been made public as the Bible instructs, he would have been finished in the conservative wing of the church.

      I’m not so convinced of that. Moore still knew all the “right people”, and it’s possible someone might have tried to cover for him. After all, they’ve covered for pedophiles before now.

      And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Paul Pressler still a darling of the Southern Baptists?

  4. This is a hard case, if all the facts are now at hand. Moore sinned, and was fired as a youth pastor at the Village Church, which publicly said he was fired for sin, but did not give details. Moore was repentant. He was hired as a staffer by Cedarville by a President who knew of his sin, and made him “undergo counseling with a pastor; join a local church; attend chapel five days a week; maintain “close accountability” with Jason Lee, dean of the School of Biblical and Theological Studies; and live in a very public house on campus… permitted to meet with students only in a public place and in groups. … not allowed to accompany the basketball team on overnight trips and was allowed in the locker room only when accompanied by “other coaches who knew his story.”” Then he was promoted to professor and given a permanent position. Now he is fired because Cedarville says it didn’t know all the details of his sin, although the bathroom video seems to be his only serious sin (Yes, the man he took video of says he was manipulative, etc., but that doesn’t add up to much).

    The Village Church did well in telling all its member very publicly that White was fired because of sin. We commonly hear of churches just quietly firing sinful pastors or elders. Should the Village Church have given details? I think not, since he was repentant and was punished heavily— remember, this is a pastor with wife and children who after being fired publicly for this reason is going to have a hard time getting another job. Church leadership should be careful about publicizing the sin of members who are disciplined, sometimes telling all the gory details, sometimes not even telling anyone about the sin. It all depends. Details should be disclosed on a “need to know” basis, to avoid gossip but to let everyone know details that will be helpful in interacting with the person and in shaming the person to the precise degree appropriate.

    Should Cedarville have hired Moore as a recruiter? It sounds like they did the right thing there too— they hired him, but imposed strict conditions. He wasn’t hired as a pastor, just a staffer. Should he have been promoted to professor? I don’t think one past crime plus homosexual urges disqualifies him, even at a Christian college— and I have gotten in big trouble for discussing exactly what kind of jobs are appropriate for homosexuals, so I’m no softy. Should he be fired now? That’s where I think it’s most clear there’s been a wrong decision. Cedarville decided it was worth hiring him despite his past. Now they say they didn’t know just how bad it was, but how can we believe that? Rather, it looks to me as if the story was going to come out anyway somehow, and they thought they’d look bad for giving him a second chance, so they threw him under the bus.

    1. I completely agree with your response and I have a student son at Cedarville. Thank you for shedding a different light on a difficult situation.

    2. 1. Moore was a Campus Pastor at TVC FW, and the person he (criminally) abused was the youth pastor under his authority
      2. What Moore did was a CRIME, and had the victim chosen to pursue the case, Moore would have most certainly been convicted and now be a registered sex offender.
      3. Many boundaries crossed & deceptions took place for Moore to perpetuate a crime of this magnitude. It was planned and calculated. He exhibited a pattern of control & manipulation, which is indicative of sexual offenders.
      4. To minimize what Moore did is an affront to his victim, who had to watch Moore get a slap on the wrist and land a ministry job a mere 8 months after he was fired from TVC. He has spent these last 3 years worried that Moore has continued to offend. He probably has, given the access he was afforded.
      5.God does not have a shortage of qualified leaders. The effort that was made to ‘restore’ Moore is questionable at best. He was disqualified & should seek another career.
      6. Sex offenders are remarkably compliant and often seek out jobs in the helping professions. It allows them unfettered access to victims. Giving Moore a list of ‘do’s and dont’s’ was very agreeable to him, because all he has to do is follow the rules and get more privileges, which is exactly what happened.
      7.I suggest you read the book ‘Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists and Other Sex Offenders’ by Anna Salter. The average church-goer is woefully ignorant concerning sexual offenders.
      8. I believe in forgiveness & grace, but also consequences and accountability. The consequence of videotaping a male friend in the shower w/o his consent is a crime in the state of Texas and I believe Anthony Moore should have been prosecuted in a court of law. It would have been the most loving thing for him.

      And lastly….what if Moore had done this to YOU or someone you know? Would you feel the same way?

    3. I disagree with your statement that they are now throwing Moore under the bus. I believe Dr. White was seeking to wisely “restore” someone to ministry. Dr. White states that he was not given full information from TVC. From my perspective of trying to read both sides of the story, I hold Moore guilty of not being totally transparent. In other words, Dr. White heard a “different story” than what he had been hearing from Moore over the past years while at Cedarvile. This means Dr. White is now operating off of new information previously withheld by Moore, himself. Dr. White and others who invested time in helping restore Moore are personally grieved, but willing to drop this personal goal and involvement with an individual to protect the students. They have seen that Moore is not as “honest and repentant” as they had thought. This is a heart breaking situation for many involved.

      1. Melissa Faulkner

        I personally have two colleagues from Cedarville who White fired for similar offenses. No argument here… they should have been fired and even they would probably say that. The only difference here is they weren’t offered one of White’s “five year plans” because they weren’t his pets.

      2. Are you serious? Yes, he’s been less than truthful. Why would White choose to believe him in the first place? He was CAUGHT. He didn’t come forward and confess his sin. Furthermore, the difference between two videos and five videos is irrelevant. Dr White put students at risk and abused the trust of parents. If Dr White wanted to help restore this man on his own time, he could have invited him to his church and worked with him. He had no right to drag along an entire campus community without their consent.

    4. Do you know anything about paraphilias? This problem is not just a sin that needs repentance. This man is in desperate need of professional counseling if what has been reported is true The decision to hire him shows a lack of understanding about such matters.

    5. Serving Kids in Japan

      (Yes, the man he took video of says he was manipulative, etc., but that doesn’t add up to much).

      Why not?

      Should the Village Church have given details? I think not, since he was repentant and was punished heavily…

      First, how care you be sure that he was repentant? He didn’t confess his crimes until he got caught and reported.

      Second, his only punishment was losing his job. For a crime like his, Moore could have gone to jail and been fined 10 grand. As far as I can see, he got off easy.

    6. Melissa Faulkner

      I have to speak here. As a chairperson, I was once disallowed from hiring an adjunct because she had written about using some form of dance therapy to communicate with her nonverbal adopted child. Academic Vice President, Tom Mach, found that to be Eastern mysticism, even though Dr. Thomas White, our president, had owned some kind of karate studios, which definitely has roots in Eastern mysticism. Don’t confuse my point — I find both interpretive dance and martial arts to be awesome. I find hiring an admitted male abuser to be full-time fac/staff while refusing to hire a female adjunct mom using dance to communicate with her own child to be beyond sick.

    7. Melissa Faulkner

      Homosexual urges in no way disqualifies an individual from teaching at a Christian university. Committing a felony act of video taping someone without their knowledge AT LEAST FIVE TIMES OVER MANY MONTHS does, however.

  5. I think all reading here should also take a look at Dr. White’s response to this. Ms. Roys claims to be about “restoring the church by restoring truth” but fails to see that men like Dr. Moore ARE the CHURCH (as are we all) and restoration begins with the body. I will let Dr. White outline the details better than I, but I pray that Ms. Roy will be compelled to take a deeper look at how she has spun this information to classify and marry this incident to the larger issues that the SBC/Church as a whole has suffered. No argument there have been egregious sins that sought to cover up sin with reckless decisions. THIS (the hiring of Dr. Moore with a hope to his restoration based on the information of his sin at the time) IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

    https://www.drthomaswhite.com/2020/04/24/my-journey-with-james-519-a-gospel-of-grace-and-anthony-moore/

    Proverbs 18:13
    If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

    Wisdom says to HEAR both sides. Take the time to listen to both before you make a judgement. If TRUTH & RESTORATION is the ultimate goal, then wisdom requires a deeper look than the information presented here.

    1. “Spun the information”? I posted Dr. White’s complete statement that he sent me at the end of my article, which is essentially what Dr. White posted at his blog. And I worked hard to include Cedarville’s explanation of the facts throughout.

      As for the larger issues in the SBC/Church . . . I reported the pertinent facts. Dr. Moore would never have been hired at Cedarville had it not been for his friends within the SBC. Also, I think it’s noteworthy that almost all the players in this story (Moore, White, Patterson, and the victim) initially connected at Southwestern, a school rocked by allegations that its former president, Paige Patterson, mishandled rape cases. I would be a poor reporter if I did not report these pertinent facts.

    2. Amy,
      You are wrong to blame Julie Roys in her reporting. If there is any blame, it should be address to Dr. White.
      First, Dr. Moore has sin and there is no need to elaborate on this issue as numerous blogs have attest to this.
      Second, Dr. Patterson has the MIDASs touch (pun intended) and anything he says or touches turns into fool’s gold. He is a detriment to the SBC and all it’s related entities.
      Third, I wish for you to see the error in Dr. White’s haste restoration of Dr. Moore without careful thought and consequences.
      A. Dr. White may have good intentions, but did not fully understand the gravity of this situation. (As substantiated in Dr. Moore’s dismissal three years later)
      B. Within six months of Dr. Moore’s dismissal, he contacted Dr. White and initiated HIS plan of restoration at CU.
      C. Dr. Moore’s six months rehabilitation period was too short and did not allow time for self-reflection and evaluation. If convicted, he would have spent two years in a Texas prison.
      D. Dr. White has a Ph.D in Systematic Theology and not a psychiatrist (M.D.) or psychologist (Psy.D) to offer professional counseling on this type of behavior.
      E. Dr. White did not do his full due diligence and contact the victim directly but assumed that he did not want to be contacted.
      F. Dr. White knew that Dr. Moore had made a total of five videos w/ a hidden camera. Dr. White did not realize the secret videos were recorded over a span of several months. You would assume that a Ph.D president would have some basic arithmetic skills. Either the victim took five showers in one day or five showers over any period and length of time.
      G. If Dr. Moore has confessed, changed, showed progress and truly repented after three years, is he not forgiven and why bring up this past sin from three years ago again?
      H. If Dr. Moore was compliant for these three years with continue support and approval by Dr. White, Dr. Lee and the CU trustees, what is this new evidence that reverse Dr. White’s decision from Day One to dismissal after three years?
      I. With two years left in the five year restoration program, why not allow this program to blossom to its full fruition?
      J. Was the dismissal to “save face” with a six pages letter to protect Dr. White and CU from Todd Wilhem’s expose?

      1. Melissa Faulkner

        Is Dr. white dumb or is he not, that seems to be the question I see being debated here. Heads up, Dr. white, I don’t think you were dumb.

      2. 2 years left for plan to reach its full fruition? Appears no experts were consulted or this would not have been called a plan

  6. Erasmus Moore was the Campus Pastor had an over decade psychologically and spiritually abusive relationship in addition to the calculated sexual abuse a criminal act! Others could have been explored harmed and victimized and everyone jere was irresponsible and Moore shouldn’t have been given a job near other men that he had authority over period.

  7. Dr. Moore has sinned and repented. I can’t even imagine what he and his family is going through right now. Truly sad as I know many students loved this professor. He was always compassionate and helpful to all. I believe he truly wanted to change. But the devil holds onto whatever he can grab. Please do not use this time to condemn him, but rather pray for him. Pray for the leaders that they will handle this in the best way possibly. Dr. White should not be held accountable for he was led to believe another story. When he realized the truth he correctly adjusted the situation. It is over now so instead of trying to condemn leaders for trying to help correct a sin issue, PRAY that this help will still come! Just not in a position of ministry and leadership. Everyone has sin issues and we must pray that they can fight them. Only God can judge these actions. MATTHEW 7 (read it).

    1. Is anyone held accountable in your “weak as water book”? Seriously, Dr. White shouldn’t have hired Dr. Moore based on the information he was given. No one is condemning Moore to hell, but frankly I’m tired of people like you who use “prayer” as a cover/cloak to do nothing.
      Most leaders are unequipped to deal with abuse either because just don’t know or worse don’t want to know.

    2. I do have compassion for Dr. Moore and his family, as I can imagine this has been a difficult journey. But, I have even MORE compassion for his victim, who had to watch as his abuser was hired by a Christian institution less than a year after his abuse occurred, and where he was eventually given access to vulnerable young men. I can’t imagine the pain that he must be going through as people defend leaders like Dr. White and others at Cedarville who enabled his abuser.

    3. Melissa Faulkner

      I can’t even with your response. Drs Moore and White put everyone at risk. If you don’t have a young adult son (or daughter, it’s all the same
      anymore) please think of those that do. If you had a son, would you want him to go camping with Dr. moore?

    1. Megan Benninger

      Thank you for your brave statement, Lee. You did the absolute right thing. A pattern I’m beginning to see is the purposeful ignorance of these men in leadership. They consciously choose not to ask deeper questions about a given situation so that when the spotlight is on them, they claim they didn’t know the full extent. Although in this case, there seems to be a contradicting testimony that White was indeed told the complete story. Infuriating either way.

      1. “they claim they didn’t know the full extent. Although in this case, there seems to be a contradicting testimony that White was indeed told the complete story.”

        Christian leaders embroider the truth, and flat out lie. They have too much to lose not to.

        Their standards of living are dependent on their paycheck, and their training and skills do not translate well to other industries.

  8. What is wrong with these people? With countless numbers of capable, qualified candidates, why return to the poisoned well? What are people who are supposed to be exhibiting responsible leadership gaining from these warped decisions?

  9. Even beyond the sexual abuse, what is truly disturbing here is the pattern of emotional abuse and manipulation that is characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder. These people feed off of the energy and attention they pull from others and will continue to manipulate, lie, gaslight, and abuse to get what they need. It is not a matter of “removing” them from situations where they could “stumble.” They will repeat. They will continue to abuse and manipulate others emotionally and verbally, if not physically and sexually. Unfortunately, too many in the church are completely unaware of this disorder and the warning signs. If Dr. White and leaders at TVC had known of these patterns and recognized the signs, they would have known instantly to steer well away from offering this guy any semblance of an authority position. And the decision on Dr. White’s part to only hear the testimony of the known abuser is just naive, blind, and irresponsible. Church leaders have a sacred responsibility to protect the sheep under their care. Grace, forgiveness, and restoration are good, but you have to be discerning of who is truly repentant and likely to be restored. People may not like it, but unfortunately sometimes that means becoming a rabid junkyard dog to protect the flock and not allow any wolves nearby — no matter if they wear sheep’s clothing, cry and sob, make excuses, and promise better “next time.”

    1. Serving Kids in Japan

      Why is this being talked about now?

      Moore’s crimes against his co-worker at The Village Church were public knowledge in 2017. It wasn’t until this past week that a few bloggers became aware of the fact that Moore was quietly hired by Cedarville U.

      1. Sorry, but I have to refute the notion that a “few bloggers” became aware of this issue. I am not simply a “blogger.” I am a scholarship award winning graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary that has known about this since the beginning and personally know both Dr. White and Dr. Moore and brought this to Dr. White’s attention last year.

        1. Lee, this is hilarious. I’ve been seeing the way you’ve engaged in this conversation on different mediums. You seem like a pretty big deal in your small world.

        2. Serving Kids in Japan

          Sorry, but I have to refute the notion that a “few bloggers” became aware of this issue.

          Thank you for taking the time to reply, Lee. I’m sorry if I made it sound as though the bloggers found this info on their own. The articles by Todd Wilhelm (who gave you full credit, though not by name) and Dee Parsons were the first I learned about Moore’s hiring at Cedarville. I’m not aware of anyone else who revealed this information publicly. If you did so before bringing it to Todd’s attention, then I missed it.

          I’m grateful for your vigilance in this situation.

        3. Seems arrogant to me. And it comes across that way I’m other posts and other comments. It’s just a perception I have, and maybe others have it too. Take it for what it’s worth.

      2. “Moore’s crimes against his co-worker at The Village Church were public knowledge in 2017. It wasn’t until this past week that a few bloggers became aware of the fact that Moore was quietly hired by Cedarville U”.

        Speaking as someone who lives in the immediate area who also has friends and family who attended TVC during this time period, this statement is not wholly accurate.

        While top level TVC staff and Elders may have known about the felony sex crimes against a male subordinate, the members and attendees at the other campuses were only told that Moore had some sort of moral failing.

        Those attending the Ft Worth campus were told, off the record, that Moore had a consensual affair with someone he was counseling. Moore was known to be quite charming, bordering on slightly flirtatious with the ladeez. So whether attendees inferred the counselee was a female or they were told it was a female, they no longer recall. The inference, at best, was never corrected by anyone at TVC. At no point in time did TVC ever disclose to the people who pay for that church and attend it that Moore had committed no fewer than 5 felony sex crimes against a male whom he held spiritual and financial authority over.

        For many, this was a stunning and painful revelation. It is proof of more coverups of sex crimes at TVC.

        1. Thank you, Amy Moore. It’s bad that the Village Church leadership would lie to people, saying it was a consensual affair with someone he was counselling. What is worse is that very likely they thought that wasn’t as bad as what he really did do: take secret videos of a man in a shower. Both are porneia, sexual uncleanliness, but adultery is worse biblically, consensual or not, and if it was with someone you are counselling, that compounds the offense. In the eyes of the World, though, adultery not so bad, and his true offense extremely humiliating.

          1. I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, who counsels from a Christian perspective. No relationship between a counselor and counselee is ‘consensual.’ There is an imbalance of power and influence. When this happens, there are rules and laws that result in a loss of license, and usually loss of potential job and ability to work in the therapy field. That this is not recognized in the ‘Christian’ world is unconscionable. That abuse of power, position, and influence could be described as an ‘indiscretion’ is ridiculous. The Bible is clear that those who teach and lead will be held to a higher standard. The purpose of biblical reconciliation is to bring the sinner to God and to the body of believers, NOT back to his/her previous ‘ministry’ or position. Thank you, Ms.Roy, for your work on this and for speaking with Diane Langberg, another hero of mine, about a truly biblical way of handling this situation. As a Christian therapist, the creativity and self-deception employed by ‘spiritual leaders’ is A theme repeated often in my office.

    2. “Why is this being talked about now? Since this has been out of the news for a few years now…”

      the issue at the moment is the double standard these christian leaders have. Leaders who sin egregiously are promoted. The same leaders apply harsh discipline for arbitrarily for the pew peons.

      This situation is representative of a larger situation in evangeliworld where leaders are not held accountable. Their fans give them a pass. Their peers give them a pass.

      Christianity, in particular Evangelicalism, has a horrible reputation. It is rightly deserved.

      If it can’t police itself, if it can’t hold its leader accountable, then others will do it for them. Especially since christian leaders live and conduct business at tax payer expense.

  10. Hi Lee,

    When reading your statement, I was confused by why you said Moore engaged in “surveillance activities?”

    Had I not been privy to other information surrounding this situation, your statement would have led me to believe Moore was spying on another man for informational purposes.

    IMHO, this choice of wording minimizes the offense Moore actually committed; which was a sexual offense & is called voyeurism.

    I thought I’d share this with you as it appears you care greatly about what is occurring at this time.

    1. Hi Kiki-Kristen,

      You are probably right and I could have used stronger and more accurate language to convey what Moore did. I know both Dr. Moore and Dr. White very well and have known both of these gentlemen for over twelve years, it was profoundly difficult for me to come forward with the information I had and used the least confrontational language I could to communicate that a reprehensible series of actions took place. I took no pleasure whatsoever in speaking with Mr Wilhelm since I knew the unparalleled devastation my revelations would ultimately bring.

  11. Wow. I’m grieved at this. I attended the Village Church Fort Worth during this time and only knew of “sexual sin” being the reason for Moore’s removal. But now hearing the full details makes me grieve for the victim and entire church body at the time because we trusted so much in Moore’s leadership. As sad as it is, I’m glad this is further in the light.

  12. justicecollective

    Dr. White made several potentially misleading statements in his blog worth pointing out here in response to some comments above:

    1. White claims that TVC didn’t tell him all the details–that he knew about two videos but not five and that he’d thought the period of time during which the crimes took place was shorter. Yet, TVC clearly states that they “thoroughly informed Dr. White and Cedarville University about the details of Anthony’s dismissal and [their] belief that Anthony was not fit for ministry of any kind.” Thus, there is a serious disconnect here.

    The burden of proof here falls squarely on White’s shoulders, and his blog is insufficient in explaining his reasoning. White did not do due diligence; he neither talked to the victim at the time nor conferred with experts on voyeurism/paraphilia, sexual assault, and the law. TVC told White that Moore was “unfit for ministry of ANY KIND,” yet, he hired Moore anyway. At best, therefore, it’s a grievous case of incompetence and negligence on White’s part.

    2. White says he “clearly communicated” to faculty and staff Moore’s situation in the beginning, then posts what he actually told them later on.

    His address was not at all clear. It used euphemistic language to downplay the severity of Moore’s actions, which were criminal, and sought to manipulate his audience by abusing the concepts of grace and forgiveness. Restoring Moore could and should have happened yes, in community, but not by granting Moore another position of authority and power over potential unwitting victims. This was an egregious act on White’s part.

    3. White says that Anthony Moore shared his story with the Bible faculty. This, too, is misleading because White implies all Bible faculty were then privy to the details. That is untrue.

    4. White says that Moore was not allowed to teach his first year at CU, that Moore simply worked as a staff member. The Religious News Service now reports Moore was working in admissions, a job requiring much interaction with prospective students and parents. Even more stunning is that many employees and alumni can attest to the fact the Moore was covering classes for other Bible professors, preaching at a CU-hosted conference, and teaching at least one course online his first year. Thus, White’s blog is misleading on this note, too.

    5. Finally, the “restorative” guidelines White shares in his blog all focus on outward behavior. Nowhere is there any information about required psychiatric treatment or psychological therapy. Therefore, White seeks to mislead the readers with his numbered list, making it look like Moore was in an intensive restoration program. But he wasn’t. He simply had to follow a list of rules. And apparently the pastoral counseling focused on same-sex attraction, not the real problem. He wasn’t being treated for his apparent disorder.

    Our petition demanding Dr. White be fired now has 481 signatures and now includes several troubling comments about Title IX cover-ups at the University. Whether the Board of Trustees fires Dr. White or not remains to be seen; however, these other stories now emerging are quite disturbing, if true. Knowing Thomas White has often boasted about being Paige Patterson’s protege, and knowing as well that Patterson covered up sexual abuse cases, suggests that White was following similar protocol at CU.

    http://chng.it/BbXNpJZT

    1. Why I am Not Signing the Petition Calling for Dr. White to be Fired at Cedarville University

      “For by grace we have been saved through faith and not that of ourselves, it is the gift of God and not of ourselves lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

      By Lee Enochs

      The last 48 hours have been absolutely devastating for me. The massive weight over the realization that it was the information I shared with Todd Wilhelm about there being a police report and that Anthony Moore used surveillance technology in a reprehensible way to vouyeristically spy on another individual, ultimately and probably led to much of this media firestorm.

      As I read all the statements against Dr. Thomas White on this Change.org petition site, I am profoundly grieved and heartbroken. I tried as hard as I possibly could with all of might to warn Dr. White about Dr. Moore’s activities at the Village Church but was not successful in deterring Dr. White from trying to restore Anthony Moore in just a public way at Cedarville University.

      As I scroll over hundreds of comments against Dr. White. I am profoundly grieved because I personally believe White hired Anthony Moore because he believes in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to forgive and restore a broken and sinful man.

      As I look at the life of many of the most famous men in the Bible, I see people like King David who was involved in incomprehensible moral failure in his sin with Bathsheba, yet God forgave David.

      I know Dr. Thomas White to be a decent and upright man. I do not believe for a second that he hired Anthony Moore out of bad intentions.

      No, I will not sign your petition today. No, I am not calling for the termination and destruction of Thomas White.

      I know the “dogs of war” have been released now and many critics are coming out of the woodwork to criticize and destroy Thomas White, but I won’t be part of them.

      As a conservative who believes in your first amendment right to protest, I commend you for expressing yourselves, but instead of protesting, I would rather be like some of Job’s friends who sat with him side by side without speaking for several days after Job lost everything.

      I believe in the power of forgiveness, I believe in the God of all grace who sent His only Son to die for us and forgive us if we look to the cross.

      No, I will not sign your petition to fire Thomas White but I will pray for him and his family that they will find grace in the eyes of the Lord.

      Sincerely in Jesus Christ,
      Lee Enochs

      1. Lee, your attempts to reach out to Dr. White were rebuffed. Had he truly tried to understand what was at stake then he would have done more due diligence, either personally or through Institutional legal counsel. There are some decisions that we simply cannot overcome. If this had been someone else’s decision then Dr. White would be clearly in the right to “lose confidence”in that person’s leadership. The trustees must honestly consider what else has not been divulged and terminate for cause. Now, I don’t know if Dr. White is covering or not but a loss of confidence will certainly be enough minds to hurt the CU community. Forgiveness and continued leadership are not the same thing.

      2. Brent Thompson

        I’m tired of Christian leaders whose faith is so shallow and naive that the best they can do is construct castles in the sky and put everyone under their leadership at risk by extolling some variation of “the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to forgive and restore a broken and sinful man.”

        Here’s the thing: Sexual predation is a recidivist condition. That’s basic and age-old wisdom among trained, experienced intervenors ranging from psychologists in private practice to prosecutors and judges in the criminal justice system. Any ministry leader in 21st Century America such as Thomas White is committing professional and spiritual malpractice by ignoring that proven wisdom. That wisdom has been “out there” for decades.

        Hopefully, with a lot of licensed psychological therapy, Anthony Moore can learn to manage his worst impulses toward sexual predation. And, perhaps, the “power of the Gospel” will play a role in the remission of those impulses. But no recovery “plan” should have ever put Anthony Moore into a position of offending again. Not with all we know these days. Anthony Moore can be restored to freedom in Jesus Christ, but it was the height of arrogance to have ever put him into a ministry position after his expulsion from TVC.

        Thomas White’s immaturity and shallowness (cockiness?) put the entire Cedarville University community at risk. A university president has to be better than that; he or she has to be at minimum teachable, mature, sober-minded, cautious, and discerning. In my opinion, if Thomas White didn’t know better than to implement his cockamamie plan to “restore” a sexual predator back to tending to the flock, then he isn’t qualified to be the president of any university, let alone a Christian one.

        Maybe the CU trustees will give Thomas White a pass on a “mistake” of this magnitude. But if they do, then every parent of a prospective (or current) CU student should think long and hard about paying for their child to be under the watchcare of such a foolish leader.

  13. Regardless of WHO the perpetrator of the crime is, what saddens me in all of this is that there are still Christians who believe that “vocational, paid Christian leadership” positions should be treated like just another job. These same Christians view vocational leadership positions as things every sincere Christian has a “right” to or sense of obligation to. In contrast, the Bible states that Christian leadership positions require character. Not every Christian should apply for vocational leadership position.

    If you don’t have the pre-requisites of character, then you should not get the job. And actions have life-long consequences.

    Dr Moore may have repented and is forgiven, but that does Not mean he should be in vocational Christian leadership position. Same with Bill Hybels. Same with James Macdonald.

    Find a NON – Ministry job. Learn a trade or skill that is outside of church or Christian institution.

  14. Marsha McCulley

    I am shocked at Dr. White’s irresponsibility and negligence. He should be fired as well as Mr. Moore.

  15. Absolutely! Fire, Fire, Fire! Damn them all! And why did Jesus forgive and restore Peter? He denied him THREE times! He should have left him FISHING…ALL night, EVERY night, but never catching another fish…a perfect NON-ministry job for a pathological liar. He needed a psychiatrist, not Jesus’ forgiveness! After all, “grace, forgiveness and restoration are good, but”…we don’t need it till we die! I LOVE swimming in the septic tank of self-righteousness…it brings more pleasure than voyeurism and there is no jail time! Except…except that Jesus did say he is returning to judge those that offered no grace to others. And there was something else about a log in the eye, but that couldn’t possibly apply to us because…we’re perfect. “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the LOVE of many will GROW COLD.”

    1. The Biblical requirements for moral and spiritual character are communicated to the Church in the Pastoral epistles, which is a period of time many years AFTER the thrice denial by Apostle Peter. So Steve’s point above is not valid.

      Your point about “log in the eye” is not valid either.

      We are commanded to hold those accountable who are in Christian leadership/ministry positions.

      For any one who refuses accountability, I repeat again that it is better for them to leave ministry now and learn a Skill or a Trade.

      Get a non-ministry job.

      1. Peter was actually an apostle and as such was one of the people who made up the church’s foundation (Eph 4). He trained and appointed pastors.

        Steve’s point about self-righteousness and hypocrisy is absolutely valid and very relevant. Just because you’ve not struggled with the same sins that someone else has does not mean that your sin isn’t present in the way you respond to another’s sin. It could be pride, it could be ignorance, it could just be a misuse of the text… from my impression I would say all 3 at least (and you’re far from the only one on here so don’t take it personally). Reading your bible better should help.

        It’s one thing to say someone is unqualified for ministry due to their sin. It is a completely different thing to say that they are unqualified forever. You falsely equate “accountability” with making sure that someone never takes a ministry role again. Despite the fact that you can’t make that argument biblically I would just say…. I promise you don’t want that to be true. You won’t stand under the weight of it if it is.

        1. Serving Kids in Japan

          Just because you’ve not struggled with the same sins that someone else has does not mean that your sin isn’t present in the way you respond to another’s sin. It could be pride, it could be ignorance, it could just be a misuse of the text…

          Point of order — those sins are not felonies. They are not comparable to Moore’s crimes against that youth pastor, or the manipulation that led up to them.

          It’s one thing to say someone is unqualified for ministry due to their sin. It is a completely different thing to say that they are unqualified forever.

          I’m an English teacher, Harrison. If I had committed Moore’s crimes against one of my students, or to a colleague, I would be banned from teaching or from any position of trust over students for the rest of my life. That’s what happens in the real world when you abuse trust in a professional setting.

          Are you suggesting that the standards for church ministers (being “above reproach”, as Paul says) should be lower than that of the secular workplace?

          1. Harrison James

            No. The standards are much higher and remain much higher than the ones for your teaching job. If an individual who has disqualified himself from ministry for any reason is restored to a position of qualification in every measurement and that is affirmed by his church and others involved, why is he still unfit? What are you reading that I’m not? Or, are you making arguments grounded in something other than the Bible? Like, say, the “real world” you live in… whatever that is.

            What’s the difference under this line of thinking between an individual who commits grievous sins before they’re ever qualified for ministry and then grows into being fit for ministry? Is it different if they weren’t qualified before their sin? So the disqualification itself makes it permanent?

          2. “being “above reproach”, as Paul says” – you mean the apostle Paul, the MURDERER? (Murder is a felony.)

            I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: in today’s “we claim to forgive, but only when WE think you are sorry, and even then, we will NEVER forget” church, we’d reject Paul for his crimes against other believers and would make sure he was banned permanently from the fellowship, much less ministry. Our Lord knew what He was doing in selecting Paul in his time. “The church” would eat him alive now. I say the same for David. Or Moses. (We can keep going through the Bible listing men who committed felonies but had repentant hearts.) I can only imagine how we’d drag each and every one of them through a living hell on earth today.

            I stand with Steve, because I do think there are times that we as the church ungraciously treat many modern day Peters (or David, Moses, et al) as if they are modern day Judases. And that is on us. We will all face the Lord for that one day. So while we are not to excuse sin, let’s be careful. Many of the comments on this thread overreach into all-knowing judgment of another man’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual condition. Are you ready to stand before God and tell Him how you know EVERYTHING about Drs Moore and White’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual conditions and you know how they should be dealt with? In other words, are you ready to stand before God and tell Him that YOU know how to do His job? If not, I’d be careful in making statements about the condition of Drs Moore and White’s hearts and whether or not they “deserve” to be in ministry. Ministry is a calling….and that call is made by God, NOT anyone on this thread.

            And yes, prayer is powerful. It is not “a cloak or cover while doing nothing” (I was mortified at reading such an attitude in the thread of a Christian site). It is surrendering this to God, humbling admitting we DON’T know everything and trusting that HE does and knows how to handle it better than we ever could.

    2. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

      Jesus seems to have a very different opinion. He takes very seriously those who intentionally misuse their positions of trust and authority within the church to abuse, manipulate, and take advantage of those in their care. He will not hold guiltless those who violate His Bride for their own selfish and sinful purposes. Serving as an undershepherd is a sacred trust and those who violate it should not be allowed to assume a similar position without extreme scrutiny. Forgiveness and restoration does not mean allowing these people to continue abusing and tormenting their victims. All too often in the church, “grace” is used as a golden ticket to allow abusers and sociopaths to continue wreaking havoc among God’s people with no consequences.

      1. Again, you don’t want your interpretation to be true. Have you not caused another believer to stumble because of your own sin? Surely you’re not going to make a statement like that. And if your argument is that your sin isn’t as bad, what’s the line? And where are you getting that from the Bible? The same is true of your last sentence. Even if I grant you the language of “Grace” being the “golden ticket” by which someone continues to “wreak havoc” among Gods people… the same is true of you brother. You assume a lot and you somehow think it doesn’t ultimately apply to you. As if this sin is too far but yours isn’t. That’s not the gospel and I repeat… you won’t be able to stand under your own assessment.

          1. Harrison James

            Sorry if I misled you to think that’s what I’m saying. To be clear, what I’m saying is you don’t understand what he’s saying.

  16. I want to clarify a major point here, since it is obvious that many people do not understand the underlying issues.

    While Anthony Moore may have engaged in sinful behavior, what he was fired for at both TVC and Cedarville University wasn’t “just” sin. It was for committing no fewer than five felony sex crimes. Five. Felony. Sex. Crimes. Minimum. If he had merely had some lustful same-sex attraction thoughts, he’d still be on staff at TVC and no one would be the wiser.

    Video Voyeurism isn’t some impulse crime or laughable high-jinx. It is a form of paraphilia, similar to pedophila, meaning Moore seeks to sate his arousal via the actual act of voyeurism. His arousal is primarily based on concealment; the thrill of sneaking around without others’ knowledge OR CONSENT. This is followed by stalking activities, the highly detailed planning and preparation, the power differential, the humiliation of the victim and the final criminal act. Like all forms of paraphilias, it is not curable. Not even chemical or physical castration will end his urge to secretly stalk and prey in this manner.

    FBI crime studies have shown that two-thirds of all voyeurs will escalate to violent rape. Also, virtually all violent rapists start out as voyeurs. This is a serious sexual crime. Texas doesn’t have as strong of laws as other states (likely because so many publicized voyeurs turn out to be pastors). But it is a very serious sex crime and most states impose far greater penalties for this reason.

    Video voyeurism is also one of the most premeditated forms of criminal behavior. Anthony did not do this on a whim. It involves a lot of preparation. Most voyeurs use professional spycams. Many of the predators have to devise elaborate schemes in order to trick victims into having a reason to take off their clothes. One youth pastor here in Houston did Fear Factor youth camps where he would pour honey all over kids’ hair and bodies so they would have to get fully naked and take prolonged showers in order to clean off the sticky mess. Many of the pastor voyeurs set up the cameras in private bathrooms or baptismal changing rooms. They devise various sporting events, pool parties or messy activities to ensure showers or clothing changes must take place. Most voyeurs confess to having hundreds of such videos.

    These same videos are uploaded on pervert websites for cash and trade. Victims are messed up for life by these actions, living in constant fear that people have seen their voyeur videos, taken without their consent during some of their most intimate moments.

    TVC has a moral obligation to encourage their youth pastor to file criminal charges to stop this pervert from harming more innocents. Had they done so immediately, when the victim first reported this, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office could have served a search warrant which may have uncovered dozens of more victims and possibly even minor victims had they checked every hard drive in the home. Facing a $1M sex crime coverup lawsuit, one has to wonder if that didn’t factor into TVC’s little “let’s deal with this among ourselves” decision. I hope this comes out during the Bragg v TVC trial. This was so irresponsible.

    In the criminal justice world, the vernacular term for video voyeurism is “Video Rape”. It’s repellent to hear church leaders speak of this so casually referring to video rape using euphemisms such as “sin” or those “actions” or my new least favorite term, “surveillance activities”, like it’s a part of a SNL skit.

    If you read Dr Thomas White’s 5 page excuse letter, you will notice he never uses the term “crime”. He only uses the term “victim” once, and that is only after noting his decision to fire Moore. All of this despite him knowing the victim personally. The word “criminal” only shows up once as well, and that is to denote that a criminal background check showed nothing.

    Which brings us to the next point. TVC Elders need to file that police report. Now. It’s not too late! How many other men like Dr Thomas White will be able to state that they hired the highly charismatic and charming Anthony Moore because a criminal background check came back clean? Because an initial report was filed, there is still time to complete the report. The police already have the videos on file, so it would not take anything more than the victim’s consent to proceed. The Elders need to encourage their Youth Pastor to do the right thing and finish filing the complaint. Because these were non-violent first offenses, Moore is not likely to serve any time. However, he would have to register as a Sex Offender for the next ten years. That can help keep a lot of other students safe.

    Dr Thomas White described Pastor Anthony Moore as a “6’3″ chiseled athlete who fears little in life.”
    White seems oblivious to the fact that his blind support and shameless fangirling over this sex criminal may have a lot to do with why Moore feels that he can lie and manipulate his way out of any bad actions. That’s why there needs to be an official record of these crimes, that will surface during a background check. I pray the Youth Pastor victim does the right thing here.

    For those not thinking this is a big deal, please check out these videos of LifeWay Youth Camp Centrifuge (yes, THAT LifeWay) and Gateway Youth Pastor Sammy Nuckolls, who is currently serving a 10 year sentence for his many acts of video voyeurism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpZlW5C-2kw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOPoN3_ie8A

      1. Exhibit A as to why this CRIME needs to be prosecuted. Attitudes like this ensure that Anthony Moore will continue to find enablers who will aid him in returning to a position of spiritual authority. His status as a Registered Sexual Offender may be the only thing that slows him down. Please finalize this criminal complaint TVC. You have a moral and societal obligation to do so.

        1. You’re right. If only we had more people as clean as you! We’d certainly not be having these issues then. One can dream

  17. Lee, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way . . . I appreciate whistleblowing and I’m a big fan of exposing the bad stuff that takes place in evangelicalism yesterday, today, and every day forward. But just keep in mind that the world of a whistleblower is a lonely place. Maybe it was worth it. … this event and the Muslim student controversy. But maybe not.

    Regarding the letter you wrote in support of Cedarville’s president, just curious, why blow the whistle if you don’t support calls for him to be removed from office? What’s the change you hoped to cause by blowing the whistle if not the removal of someone from leadership on account of the decisions they made and actions they took?

    Sincerely.

    “Incident of 57th Street”

      1. So, what did you want to happen when you began to blow the whistle? For example, in the case of the Muslim student attending SWBTS, I assume it was to make sure a Muslim student was no longer a student (possibly more). Are you saying in this case that all you wanted was the removal of the Moore?

  18. misterjesperson

    I am a regular here since Julie first started reporting on church scandals, and there have been a lot to report on! What I am starting to find, honestly, more disturbing than the scandals themselves is some of the comments left here by people supporting the leaders behind the scandals. On this post there are a number of them by people like “Steve” and “Harrison James” abusing the sacrament of forgiveness in such a way to suggest that leaders can do, quite literally, whatever the hell they want to and yet should face no lasting consequences for it. This is not a biblical idea. This is a heresy that the Apostle Paul preached against. Go preach this crap to King David who had to run from his own child who wanted to kill him. Sin has consequences. Forgiveness is a sacrament to keep us from destroying ourselves with bitter torment of wanting to take revenge. It is not a get out of jail free card with no consequences. These commenters are abusing the Word of God. Makes me wonder what they try to get away with in their own personal lives?

    Beyond that Jesus had no sympathy, and no forgiveness for the Pharisees who were the religious right abusing their authority in order to “steal widows houses” according to Jesus. What these commenters are doing is playing the “why don’t you have sympathy for the Devil” card. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to have sympathy for those who ruthlessly abuse power and commit crimes. We are told to have sympathy for the “least of these” by Jesus. These are people who have no authority and no leverage at all. These are the victims, not the perps.

    Patterson, White and Moore are all white-washed septic tanks just like the Pharisees. These are the wolves and to show them sympathy is just both foolish and purely evil. The comments here left suggesting we do that just sound Machiavellian to me. It is the voice of the Devil shaming us with “why don’t you have sympathy for me?” Instead, how about obeying the scriptures in Timothy and Titus for qualifications for leadership and all of Jesus’ and Paul’s warnings about wolves among us? The wolves need to be kept far away from the sheep at all times. We are not instructed to have sympathy for them!

    In all this, I wonder how many of these defenders of evil authority are just trolls trying to wind us up who do not actually believe what they are saying, how many are employed by the wolves and are defending them only in exchange for Mammon and how many of these people are just foolish enough to come here and sing the “sympathy for the Devil” song? “It is no big deal, it is only five felonies that have been committed!” “Who cares? It was not me or my children that got recorded?” “Who cares? Those guys can preach and that is all that matters!” “I gotta defend my paycheck, no matter what the @#%! these guys did?” “Who cares? Jesus never said what was actually right!” I personally find the defending of the indefensible highly offensive not only to me, but also to the Holy Spirit whom we are instructed never to offend…

    1. MisterJesperson:

      Excellent points.

      It was Julie Roys who first pointed me to the existence of the “Celebrity Pastor Industrial Complex” (CPIC) machine and also how that same wicked and unbiblical institution includes Christians who would actually go out of their way to defend and excuse and rationalize and “look the other way” at the wrong behavior of their very own disgraced pastors.

      Sadly, I think the CPIC has grown to the point that it is impossible for many to even think any paid, vocational Christian leader could or should even be fired or lose their job.

      CPIC adherents would just point to “forgiveness” and say all is supposed to be forgotten since the person said, “well, I asked Jesus to forgive me.”

      I picked up John H Armstrong’s book, THE STAIN THAT STAYS, and I have found it to be very helpful on this topic.

      Leaders are called to not only be “justified before God ( on sole basis of Christ alone ), but they are also supposed to be “justified in the sight of men”, through their imperfect commitment to being “above reproach” and striving to be ethical and moral and upstanding.

      Churches and Christian institutions are called to walk alongside these imperfect individuals by encouraging a culture of openness, transparency, and accountability.

      Thank you for your earlier comment

    2. Harrison James

      Jesus doesn’t forgive those who don’t repent. Paul was a Pharisee… Pharisee of Pharisees in his own words… he was ruthless. He took advantage of his authority and did horrible things with it. He became the most influential piece of God’s work in the first century other than Jesus himself. Again, there’s a huge difference between excusing someone’s sin and believing they’re not outside the realm of God’s grace and forgiveness. None of what I’m saying excuses the sin of leaders or the covering of it up that’s taken place in this community, nor is it to suggest that these issues aren’t complex or that these men should automatically be given a “get out of jail free card.” The notion that a persons fame gets them right back into ministry isn’t right. It takes careful laboring with people and evaluating where they’re at over a long period of time. But nonetheless your response of doing all you can to make sure they are never given another opportunity by means of the state certainly isn’t helpful or biblical.

      1. Harrison, you are aware that you are comparing different things? Paul before Christ versus after his Divine encounter with the living Lord? Paul spoke clearly about being disqualified which you obviously missed in your extensive research. There was clearly a cover-up and it was all to protect everyone except for the victim. I, too have a family member that was pressured not to press charges for the good of the Christian Enterprise. If that has never happened to you then you cant possibly understand the long term implications and consequences.

        1. Harrison James

          David, I was responding to the statement that Jesus had no sympathy for Pharisees. But since you bring it up, while Paul does talk about being disqualified he doesn’t say anything about permanent disqualification. I’m sorry for what’s happened to your family member and to any victims of things like this.

          1. What does the term disqualified mean to you? 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Perhaps there is some alternate universe where being disqualified from anything means anything other than being disqualified.

      2. Serving Kids in Japan

        Paul was a Pharisee… Pharisee of Pharisees in his own words… he was ruthless. He took advantage of his authority and did horrible things with it. He became the most influential piece of God’s work in the first century other than Jesus himself.

        But Paul also explains why he was allowed a place of trust in the church: it was because he “acted in ignorance and unbelief”. I don’t see how that applies to Moore. His actions against that youth pastor were deliberate and calculated. He knew they were harmful and criminal, and he knew he wasn’t telling White the whole truth.

        Again, there’s a huge difference between excusing someone’s sin and believing they’re not outside the realm of God’s grace and forgiveness.

        For myself, I’m not saying Moore can’t be forgiven, or attend church. I’m saying he shouldn’t be trusted with anything like a ministry position ever again. He’s proven himself unworthy of trust.

  19. Harrison James

    Yeah. Well David if you read what I’m saying you’d see that I’m not actually saying disqualified doesn’t mean disqualified. I can see how that’d be confusing though. The issue is permanent disqualification. Proud of you for trying to use a Bible verse though.

    1. Harrison, I’m not sure if you are protecting White, Moore, or both but perhaps you needed to pay more attention to defending an argument. First, you need to understand proper terminology.

      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disqualify

      There is no need to place the word permanent next to the word “disqualified.” You are trying to add a concept that clearly the Bible does not teach for those in leadership. If you don’t think five felonies, plus whatever else is unknown doesn’t add up to permanent disqualification then I certainly hope you aren’t making any leadership decisions regarding the safety of others.

  20. @Lee Nichols – I believe you did what was necessary in trying to prevent further abuse that could take place in another situation. I commend you for that. The “ball” is now in someone else’s court. I can’t find the post here that said that Thomas White told folks at CU not to ask questions, etc. I don’t know if that is true or not. If it is that is somewhere between ignorant and arrogant. You want people around you who will challenge you on decisions and give you a different perspective. Especially if someone says “don’t ask questions.” That’s a pretty good indicator that something is not right if it needs to be hidden.

    Certainly God’s grace is able to redeem an individual. But we also need to be very careful about our placement of individuals in ministry. A young man that I know and was close to was rising very fast in a financial institution. Unfortunately he got addicted to online gambling and “borrowed” some money from an account at his institution which he “intended to pay back.” They called him in and asked him to explain — because they couldn’t believe he would have taken it. He came clean. He got probation before judgment but he is barred from working in a financial institution for the rest of his life. He went back to school and got a degree in management and is now doing very well in a different business. I think Moore can be restored to something – but probably not working with young people and young men. Even if he didn’t do anything in the future, he is going to be a suspect.

    I don’t know where the “discrepancy” lies, but there is a problem with the stories from TVC and Thomas White in regards to the process and what was known when. If Thomas White would admit to a bad decision, I think people are more willing to forgive than when one digs in and continues to push back. We all have made bad decisions – some more significant than others. John Ortberg was suspended from preaching in his church for a number of months because of a similar poor decision. It was a bad decision.

    Lots of lessons that need to be learned. The CU board needs to look at the decision making process and put some guardrails in it. Anthony Moore needs some significant, long term Christian counseling and both he and his family need Christians to walk with them through this journey. Thomas White needs to place some individuals around him who can/will challenge him on significant issues and ones he will listen to (not nit picky people). We all can learn some valuable lessons from this as well. May God grant us His grace to walk wisely in the world.

    1. You have said correctly Don, “Thomas White needs to place some individuals around him who can/will challenge him on significant issues….”
      Yet the most recent post over at Wartburg Watch (http://thewartburgwatch.com/2020/04/27/the-justice-collective-documents-allegations-that-cedarville-university-violated-the-higher-learning-commission-mandate/ ) suggests Mr. White and the CU board who back him have put in place a system of fear, intimidation and lack of academic freedom which make such challenges difficult. If not impossible.

  21. I wonder if church leaders withhold pertinent information about people they fire in order to continue to make sure the line between those in charge and those who aren’t is upheld, ie the leaders have the information, but the followers don’t have the information and don’t need it to make decisions. If this is true, it keeps the separation between clergy and lay people intact and takes away the ability for the congregation to think critically by withholding information. I think this is a problem in churches; some clergy don’t make it apparent that we are all in this together as Christ’s church, but the separation between clergy and congregation make it seem as if the only people “in the ring” are the clergy.

  22. Amy, David, & Mr. Jesperson, thank you for your comments. I did not hear an ounce of concern for the victim of the crime from Harrison, only for the alleged perpetrator and those doing a “got caught with my pants down” dance (have to say alleged cause it hasn’t been determined in a court of law although TVC, White and Moore have all admitted crimes happened). Obviously, Harrison nor his children have been victims of sexual crimes.

  23. I wonder if there is a middle ground between “Dr. White put students at risk due to SBC cronyism” and “this was a perfect and wise plan to live the gospel of grace?” Someone needs to address the subtleties of this situation – there was no physical abuse, and with all the controls in place and with Moore’s entire surrounding community knowing everything about the situation, including now his wife- the students logically were not in any danger.
    Was it wise of Dr. White? No, but it was hopeful.
    I bet If “Thou Art The Man” blog had taken the side of Moore had things gone differently “Legalistic southern Baptists won’t let a guy have a second chance when his sins were all in his head” – then some of these same people railing against White for grace would be railing on the opposite side. White made a mistake but he didn’t do it in secret – he bent over backwards to make sure students and faculty were”safe” by bringing the sins to the light -and he did it with godly (if naive) intent: that should count for something.

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