Friday, October 23, 2009

Statement Concerning Capitol Ministries and Ralph Drollinger

UPDATE: See this news article by Capitol Weekly

In the past we have encouraged your support of Capitol Ministries. Sadly, in light of recent developments, we are now compelled to do the opposite. The following is an abridged version of a statement issued by the elders of our church:
As most of you know, over the last few months there has been a difficult and grievous situation developing with Capitol Ministries and Ralph Drollinger, President of CM. Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA (John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher), where Ralph has been a member for many years and a sent-out missionary in his work with CM, recently issued a final statement regarding their relationship with Ralph and CM. With this final statement from GCC, and because of [our] long history and relationship with Ralph and CM, we believe it appropriate to pass this information on to you.

Our intent in sharing these things is three-fold:

1. To warn you, and encourage you to warn others, that Ralph Drollinger has been determined to be biblically disqualified for spiritual leadership by the elders of his home and sending church. Inasmuch as we agree with and support the determination of the GCC elders, we believe Ralph is not to be trusted or regarded as qualified to be in a place of spiritual leadership. Because Ralph is continuing in his role as President of CM, in spite of GCC’s determination, we believe he is a deceitful and divisive danger to the body of Christ (Rom. 16:17,18; Titus 1:10,11; 3:10,11). Therefore, neither Ralph nor any ministry endeavor he presently leads should be supported financially or otherwise.”

2. To encourage you to continue praying for God to be glorified in this situation, for God’s grace to be extended to Ralph in granting repentance, and for the Gospel to continue to go forward, particularly in capitols around the country and around the world. Likewise, please continue to pray for God’s sustaining grace to be provided for those directly and indirectly impacted by this situation...

3. To give you perspective and understanding regarding why Sean, Lynne, David, and Nora were compelled to resign from their full-time work with Capitol Ministries, why Pastor Greg resigned from the Board of Directors, and why we as a church no longer support or endorse Capitol Ministries.

GCC’s final statement follows some previous statements they had given concerning the situation. Here are GCC’s statements, which have been available to any who ask:

1. From July 17, 2009 –
“The elders of Grace Community Church have agreed to temporarily suspend our affirmation of Ralph Drollinger, pending the resolution of our inquiry into allegations made against him.”
2. From Sept. 24, 2009 –

“In the summer of 2009, five of the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors resigned. These men are well known to us and we have no reason to question their wisdom, discernment, or integrity. One of those former board members, John Anderson, is a respected member of our church in good standing; the other, John Bates, is one of our elders. It is the estimation of these men that Ralph Drollinger is not biblically qualified for spiritual leadership.

“We, the Grace Community Church elders, stand behind the assessment of these former members of the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors about Ralph’s disqualification from leadership in Christian ministry. The attacks Ralph has continued to make on the character and motives of these men, as well as our elders, regrettably affirms to us this determination.”

3. From Oct. 15, 2009 (this is GCC’s final statement) –
“After much observation of and interaction with Ralph Drollinger, we, the Grace Community Church Elders, maintain that he is not biblically qualified for Christian ministry. Consequently, we do not endorse Capitol Ministries under his leadership. Ralph Drollinger no longer has any relationship with Grace Community Church.”
These statements from GCC follow a lengthy process over the last 7 months which has resulted in the following within CM:
  • 4 full-time staff of the Headquarters Office in Sacramento have resigned;
  • 2 part-time staff of the Headquarters Office in Sacramento were effectively terminated;
  • 6 of 8 Board of Directors have resigned, leaving just Ralph and his father-in-law Dan Madison (Note: the 6 who resigned did not all do so at the same time, and 2 new members were added a few weeks ago);
  • 17 of 21 full-time State Directors have resigned.
We...are in agreement with the assessment of the Grace Community Church elders. Consequently, we likewise no longer endorse Capitol Ministries under Ralph’s leadership.


P.S. The majority of former CM State Directors who have resigned have formed a new organization called
The Capitol Commission, through which they purpose to continue their ministry in state capitols. If you have previously been financially supporting CM, we encourage you to direct your gifts to this new ministry.

The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell's new book titled The Housing Boom and Bust sheds light on the origins of the recent financial crisis. If you are open to considering that government intervention in the housing market may actually create more problems than it solves, this is the book for you.

Sowell begins his argument by showing that a variety of local land-use restrictions are at the root of high housing costs, which he points out aren't truly a national problem. Even so, those higher costs lead to calls for federal government intervention, ignoring the fact that often government policies (at a local level) were largely to blame for unaffordable housing in the first place.

Sowell then shows how the resulting federal affordable housing policies, championed by both Democrats and Republicans, pressured banks and other lending institutions to loosen their lending standards so more people could participate in the "dream of homeownership." Whether these people could reasonably afford to repay their loans was for the most part ignored as the resulting speculative housing bubble grew and grew.

A few excerpts to pique your interest:

The decade of the 1970s saw a rapid spread of laws and policies in California severely restricting the use of land. Often these laws and policies forbade the building of anything on vast areas of land, in the name of preserving “open space,” “saving farmland,” “protecting the environment,” “historical preservation” and other politically attractive slogans. Moreover, these restrictions were extended to more and more land over the years....

While California was different from most of the rest of the country in the extent and severity of its land use restrictions, it was not unique. The same kinds of land-use restrictions...spread through various other places around the country... But, in whatever years building restrictions were tightened in various localities, those were usually the same years in which housing prices skyrocketed....

When the political crusade for affordable housing took off and built up steam during the 1990s, the share of their incomes that Americans were spending on housing in 1998 was 17 percent, compared to 30 percent in the early 1980s. Even during the housing boom of 2005, the median home took just 22 percent of the median American income....

Statistical studies about disparities between blacks and whites in mortgage loan approval rates might be said to have “jump-started” the housing crusades that began in the 1990s. Politicians and the media led this crusade, with many community activists following in their wake, much like scavengers, able to extract large sums of money from banks and other institutions by raising claims of discrimination, whose power to delay government approval of bank mergers and other business decisions made pay-offs to these activists the only prudent course for those accused....

When you open the floodgates, you cannot tell the water where to go. Housing speculators — “flippers” — found the new and looser home mortgage rules a bonanza. So did many others. It is by no means clear that the poor or minorities came out ahead at all, after the housing boom turned to bust and many were left with mortgage payments they couldn’t meet on homes they couldn’t afford.

If you want to understand the recent housing bubble, Sowell's new book is definitely a worthy read. Still not convinced? Take a look at this recent review at

Note: I also recommend Irrational Exuberance by Robert Shiller, which I blogged about earlier this year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Danny!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Danny!

And just so your baby pic won't be confused as one of Mikey... or even Sammy...

You are a gift from God... we love your twinkly eyes and mischievous giggle. We love your joyful, exhuberant hugs and your love for cuddles. (And yes, I love that as our third child, you were three days early and so far, our smallest baby by three ounces!) We love you, Sweety!

Happy Birthday!