How to handle situations like Scot Carter?

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How to handle situations like Scot Carter
MartyBaker

When I read the announcement from Dr. Williams about Scot Carter … my heart went out for our General Overseer. Scot was his friend. They worked close together for several years. Scot fell into a trap of Satan and now has to pay for his choices. I know that it was very difficult for our leaders at HQ to work through this situation.

I had heard some chatter about this last year, but did not think anything of it. I was very surprised, like most of you, to receive the notice from headquarters.

At that point, I made a decision to reach out to Scot. I am not on his Facebook friend list, but Facebook allows you to send a message to anyone using their service. I sent Scot a message and he responded. He is remorseful and broken. He told me that he has lost it all … his family and his friends. At that point, he did not know his sentence and was waiting to find out. I could sense his sadness and I felt sorry for him. He thanked me for reaching out to him.

I am not a close friend, but I have worked with him and Dr. Williams on some projects in the past. I know that his situation had to break Mark’s heart.

So, should we forgive? Yes, we must. Should Scot have to go to prison? Yes … that’s the penalty that comes with the action that he admitted to. Should we forgive the debt? No, Scot should do what he can to repay the money that was wrongfully taken. When the penalty has been paid, should we welcome him back into the fellowship? Yes, we are called to restore our fallen brothers. Should we hire him to work at General Headquarters or should the church use his production company? No, trust has been broken and it is not prudent to recreate a situation where the relationship could potentially be compromised again. Practically saying, after his release which I would assume to be in 2020 (10 year sentence, 5 yrs for good behavior), Scot should find a position where he could work and live out a quiet, God-honoring life.

I told Scot … This is a season in your life. Don’t let this season define the rest of your life.

It will be very difficult for him to get through this, but it’s possible. With Christ, all things are possible.

May God bless Dr. Williams for handling this situation in a way that brought peace to the general church and at the same time re-affirming our confidence in his great leadership.

Sincerely,

Marty
MartyBaker@stevenscreekchurch.com
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Today at 8:25 am
diakoneo

Good post! You have answered some of the questions that I had. It seems that he had earned much trust in our denomination. I understand that and now that trust has been broken. It is a sad situation and I agree on the points you made regarding restoration. I think a public apology to the Church of God would be in order. Acts Enthusiast
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Today at 9:29 am

Great post is…
Brandon Bohannon

Great!

We should all pray for all involved.
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Today at 9:36 am

Nick Park

I have been tremendously impressed by how General Overseer Mark Williams has handled this situation. It is a horrible burden for a leader to carry.

I went through a similar scenario some years ago in our local church, not involving anything like such large amounts in terms of dollars and cents, but actually comprising a larger percentage of our budget.

The worst thing to deal with is the feelings of betrayal that someone you trusted and loved was working behind your back to steal from God’s people.

Then there are those who, with the wisdom that comes from hindsight, blame you for allowing the situation to happen. Even though you are a victim, you end up being lambasted as if you were the one who had committed a crime.

Others want to know every detail of what has happened, even while you are still investigating the matter, or where the authorities have specifically asked you not to divulge details so as not to interfere with their ongoing investigations. If you don’t satisfy their curiosity immediately they will be quick to accuse you of dishonesty or of operating a cover-up.

Despite all of this, you have to keep smiling, and to keep encouraging people to push forward with vision for a better future.
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Today at 11:17 am

Outstanding post Marty!!
Clint Wills

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Today at 11:34 am

Eddie Robbins

It’s Jesus. He is our leader and our example. Anything less than that is not the best we can do.
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Today at 12:31 pm

What a fantastic Christ-like action
Paul W. Nolan

Bro. Marty,

We met a few years ago in Chattanooga at City Church. I was impressed with you then, and more impressed with you now. I certainly have had my concerns over this situation, but wasn’t sure how to go about finding a way to do what you did.

When talking with one of my friends and the shock of the whole situation, it didn’t take long to see some of the “Actscelerate-ish” dialogue take place. It went well enough at first, but as too often happens, got lost in this person’s “firsthand” knowledge, and that one’s “God-given” understanding and direction.

I know what it is to be on the wrong end of the situation and read what was being said about myself a couple of years ago, when a church was closed at the state overseers request, and I took the verbal abuse of slander from the “faithful” members and non-members of that church on the television news services.

But, I guess what really hurt me more than the people who refused Biblical direction and insisted on doing as they saw fit in their own eyes, were the men who knew me but didn’t call me, but did call each other or called the overseer to ask about “what has he done?” Only one person called me to ask what it was all about, and I consider him to be a real friend.

I watched in disbelief as people made assumptions, declared how wrong all of this was, etc. And above all else, even those who had contacted the overseer didn’t bother to remark that I was just following the directive of the overseer as he had assured me he had told them as such. Well, that’s on them.

I know, I know, my situation and Scot’s are not identical, except in how they’ve been dealt with here, by some. I am impressed with how you, Marty, have handled this situation. I am glad you represent many others who believe in doing the Christ-like action and not fall as further victims of the devil by speaking out of turn and incorrectly.

I too will pray for Scot, I will forgive him, and I will do my best to never allow my flesh to lead me to speak out of lack of knowledge or grace. Hey, DOC
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Today at 4:07 pm

Re: What a fantastic Christ-like action
Nature Boy Florida

Paul W. Nolan wrote:

But, I guess what really hurt me more than the people who refused Biblical direction and insisted on doing as they saw fit in their own eyes, were the men who knew me but didn’t call me, but did call each other or called the overseer to ask about “what has he done?” Only one person called me to ask what it was all about, and I consider him to be a real friend.
Paul,
I sincerely hope Scot had a friend(s) in Cleveland after all these years. It would be sad if Marty, who is really not much more than an acquaintance, was the only one that reached out to Scot. I suspect he is not – and his closest friends that have reached out to him probably aren’t going to post it on this site – but you never know.

Scot is feeling pain – and it’s the worst kind – pain he caused himself – which is always the hardest pain to bear. I pray he looks up, sees himself clearly, and sees God clearly, and makes the change he needs to become the man he wants to be.
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Today at 5:07 pm

Old Time Country Preacher

Its a sad tragic thing, the ole boy lapsed an cant blame nobody but his own self. An I’m shore he regrets it bigtime. An yep, he committed a crime and must now pay the penalty. But ole Marty Mar’s post spot on. They aint a one of us what aint failed sommers (Lessen its at bunch what gits saved an everything they do till they die is forgiven, they don’t have to repent cause grace has done covered it. I think somebody said they was called hyper-grace folk.). Other than at crowd the rest of us has all failed sommers along the line. Thank God for forgiveness, an I pray Scot will be able to work through it all, make it right with God, an be used sommers down the road for the good Lord.
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Today at 5:21 pm

JLarry

I agree the man needs friends to reach out to him, but keep in mind.

He stole a BUNCH of money, not only stole the money but stole it from the church.
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Today at 5:33 pm

Nature Boy Florida

Agreed JLarry.

Malachi asks the question: Will a man rob God?

Sadly, yes.

And we ain’t even talking about tithes.
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Today at 5:59 pm

Old Time Country Preacher

Nature Boy Florida wrote:

And we ain’t even talking about tithes.
Where do ya think the COG money comes from, NBF? What other sources a income (other than missions, which sposed to go to missions) does the COG have than TOT? At million dollars had to come from sommers.
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Today at 7:14 pm

 

Carolyn Smith

Excellent post, Marty. Thank you for reaching out to a brother in need.

It has grieved me to see people so quick to throw our leadership under the bus or accuse them of not handling this situation correctly. I doubt we will ever have all the answers to our questions, but I am sure there are also details we don’t need to know.

It’s a tragic situation and painful lessons have been learned. Thanks for reminding us of another side of this story.

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