Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pull up a chair...

It's been an interesting past couple of weeks. My grandparents are all going through some pretty big things, and they are regularly on my heart and in my prayers. But things are good in our home... kids are growing like weeds, and we're loving having such a loud and chaotic life. The house purchase seems to be moving in a positive direction, my pregnancy is progressing along into the not as miserable stage, and everything looks dandy... until the ghost of Capitol Ministries comes for a visit.

Ralph Drollinger, who used to avoid the media at all costs, evidently has had a change of heart; he contacted Capitol Weekly to initiate a news story aimed at smearing the reputations of his former employees and ministry colleagues. Seems that Ralph is looking for sympathy again. Thankfully, the article ended up being relatively balanced and most folks here in Sacramento seem to see through his lies nowadays.

Ralph Drollinger's wild accusations are nothing new to the more than 20 people who have sadly, but voluntarily left his employment over the last few years after watching him spiral into a self-serving world of drama. At one point, he even claimed that he had the FBI investigating his charges that former employees were wire-tapping his phone calls. He makes assertions in his Bible studies that former employees are lawless hackers. He says that elders, board members, and pastors are complicit in covering up the illegal ordeal. He's also made accusations that former employees have stolen medical records and sermons that he wrote, with greedy intentions of copywriting them and charging royalties for their use!

For the record, no laws were broken or crimes committed by the former staff against Ralph. Ralph did not like the way it all played out, but that, thankfully, does not mean that they were wrong. He also seems to have forgotten the old adage, "Innocent until proven guilty." If he truly believes crimes were committed, wouldn't a jury and judge be a more appropriate place for that determination to be made than the secular media? Or would he rather continue spreading his slander than have a court tell him he's wrong?

If Ralph Drollinger was delusional, at least that would give him an excuse for his outlandish distortions, lies, and attacks. Sadly, these attacks are aimed at those who used to call him a friend and continue to fervently and regularly pray that he would repent and be reconciled to the God he claims to serve. Ralph has hurt these people in many ways, yet they continue to pray for him with compassion and concern.

At, he claims Capitol Commission stole its name from his previous use of the phrase during the years prior to its start. This is ludicrous, as those who were most closely involved in the ministry for all those years never heard him use that phrase, and he didn't bother to make this claim until the beginning of this year. Capitol Commission chose their name wisely and with good counsel, and made every effort to choose a name that would not be confused with Capitol Ministries. Capitol Commission has asked Ralph to use a Christian arbitrator to help settle this matter, but he refuses, denies that he has done so, and plays the victim card instead.

The fact remains that, in addition to the more than 20 employees that sadly had to walk away from their jobs due to Ralph's stubborn foolishness, all of his former board of directors, minus his father-in-law and himself, resigned their positions after failing to be able to sway him from his destructive path. More than 30 elders at his former home church also disassociated with him after being unable to support him in his current character, and being unable to convince him that he might be wrong.

Ralph continues to wag his finger at all of them, convinced that they were all in some crazy criminal conspiracy to remove him from his throne. He then hand-picked a group of men to replace his board of directors and "investigate" the charges that had been made against him. According to him, they found him innocent, but they never talked to anyone but Ralph about the issues that had caused the more than 50 people described above to question his integrity. "The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes to examine him." (Proverbs 18:17).

Sadly, Ralph continues to use the donations of well-meaning people who think he is doing the Lord's work to continue to advance his own delusions instead.

I spent Tuesday morning crying, after a weekend of continued jabs and attacks from Ralph and a day of flagging comments from Ralph and his henchmen of slander and attempts to drag elected officials and pastors into the fray. (They've currently taken over the comment stream, flagging and removing anything they don't like while still twisting and attacking it afterward, even projecting statements that were not originally there.) I cried because I was upset that he was continuing the drama and continuing to hurt people who have had to deal with so much. But then I also cried for him, because it is simply sad that he claims Christ but submits to nothing other than his own whims and delusions. He clearly does not know the joy of walking in repentance and serving a God who died and rose again for us, though he professes to do so.

But after I cried for those reasons, I wept. I wept out of sheer gratitude for the grace of God. The grace that has exposed our sin to us and led us to repentance and joy. The grace that has strengthened us and helped us to endure the fiery darts of the evil one. The grace that has exposed the truth of Ralph's lies, protecting hundreds of His sheep from Ralph's deception. The grace that assures me that God will continue to guard His sheep and will not allow the darkness to snuff out His light. The grace that reminds me that what Ralph has meant for harm, God has meant for good. The grace that has given us such deep love and appreciation for those who are in this battle with us.

I was so relieved to leave the year 2009 behind, but I have to admit that it changed me for the better. 2009 deepened my faith in new ways. 2009 gave me a huge warning as to how ugly it gets when a professing believer allows himself to spiral into uncontrolled and unrepentant sin. It caused me to examine my own heart much more closely and carefully, and to entrust the findings quickly to the cross. 2009 showed me a personification of the fool in Proverbs and the false teacher so poignantly warned against in the New Testament. But 2009 also made it clear to me that God is so much bigger than fools and false teachers, and that His purposes will not be thwarted.

2009 gave me an incredible understanding of the burden that our teachers and shepherds carry for us, and the vital importance of praying for them, that they would continue in righteousness and not be swayed away from God, but also that they would be overwhelmed by God's grace, and God's love, and God's richest blessings. Our shepherds are a precious gift from the Lord. I know this better because of 2009.

We could write a book about all the details of how Ralph continues to claw viciously for his throne. But this post is long enough already. I might have to write another post, some day, about the amazing contrast between the humility of John Piper and C.J. Mahaney this past year compared with Ralph's pride. How I read their stories and crave that Ralph would humble himself in the way these godly men have done in dealing with their sin and public ministries. What a delight it would be if he could glorify the God who sacrificed Himself in such a way!

In the meantime, I write this post with the hope and prayer that God might use it, in some way, to protect His sheep from deception and to proclaim His glory to the world.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Seeing the ugliness of pride on display is sure motivational to examining my own heart.

Happy to pull up a chair next to you any time.