Friday, July 12, 2013


There have been those enquiring whether Ralph Rutledge is ready to be restored to any kind of ministry.  What is the best answer to that based on the information to date?

I cannot do due diligence for everyone.  That is your responsibility.

I cannot know everything about the state of Ralph Rutledge to state any conclusion with full and complete confidence.

As I survey the quest, the enquiry into the reports, allegations and information provided by individuals I can make general statements based on the present state of the information:

  1. The information that has come to me by phone, interview and reading material has not lead to doubt about the allegations, the problems and various issues that initially disbarred Rutledge from ministry in the POAC (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada).
  2. Stated alternately the information tends to accumulate and confirm the concerns that resulted in the initial decision by the PAOC.
  3. The concerns that resulted in the PAOC decisions were serious.  That can be affirmed in spite of Rutledge's attempts to deny, downplay and minimize the seriousness of his behaviour.  I am familiar with reports from that time and since that time that prevent me from giving these pleas and denials credibility.
  4. Rutledge, to the best of my information did pursue attempts at therapy since the incidents.  
  5. His behaviour since that time seems to have continued to be unprofessional in several ways especially if we take the reports, minutes, letters and a book written about his attitude and behaviour at a church he pastored after the incidents.  Those reports strongly suggest that the initial problems did not change significantly since the action taken by the PAOC.
  6. To the best of my knowledge, Rutledge was not willing to undertake the full requirements of restoration which would include cease and desist predatory sexual behaviours, cooperation with an accountability mechanism.
There may be those closer to the man than I am who can report signs of hope or a change of heart that I am not aware of. I am not the most up to date source or close to the situation at this point. 

I pray that the Kingdom of God be manifested in this situation so that the gospel may be upheld, restoration and healing achieved and the wounds of many healed.

George Hartwell

Monday, December 17, 2012

Me and Ralph - a disclosure of motivation

This blog is focused on a beloved man of God - Ralph Rutledge.  A man who fell from grace because he manifested a dark side while also appearing as an 'angel of light.'

As information comes to light over the last year, the central concerns about Rutledge remain in place.  No information has come to light to relieve us of the concerns expressed in this blog.

The behaviour that has concerned the board of a church where Rutledge served is some form of predatory sexual behaviour while serving as a minister of God.  It is not an issue of whether this was homosexual advances or heterosexual advances.  Neither are acceptable for a man of God.  A minister of the gospel must not speak one way in the pulpit and act another way in his office or the home of a family exploring the claims of Christ.

Another behaviour that has come to light is the consolidation, use and abuse of power from the position of  head pastor for financial gain.  Again the church Board of the church where Rutledge worked had difficulty confronting him about this because of his skilled consolidation of power.

I am not angry at Ralph.  I am not motivated to get revenge.  He has not personally hurt me.  Generally we have been on good speaking terms.  He officiated at the wedding of  my sister Martha and my brother in law Denis.  My brother-in-law, Denis Bourget, was a teacher at the Queensway school.  I. too, taught at the Queensway School of Ministry and enjoyed learning  from various classes during the times of the Rutledge ministry.  My mother was a group leader and a friend of Mrs. Rutledge.

I also consider Rutledge to be gifted in many ways as a pastor.  He is a great performer but, as the men who worked close to him (Ken Gill, for example) found out, he was very difficult to get to know.  He was hard to get close to.  He was not one to be accountable to others.  It seems that everything was 'performance.'  He does not allow accountability.

Each of us need to face our own inner darkness, our own sinful nature and participate in the process of confession of sins and life transformation that life in Christ offers.  That includes me and you (reader).

The unexamined life is a nest for sin.  The one who is morally superior and denies any possibility of personal sin is dangerous.  We all need to be prepared to enter into mutual accountability relationships with fellow Christians who care.  We need to be able to ask and answer the tough questions about our behaviour.

I am no different than any other man.  I do not claim moral superiority.  I have not got it all figured out.  I am not as clear and certain as to right and wrong as I was when younger.

In my journey I have had to shed people pleasing.  I have sought to serve Christ free of religion.  I know the Bible well and am learning to follow the principles that Jesus showed us in Biblical interpretation.  I am not prepared to be legalistic in defining sin.  I have a Saviour and that is all that matters.

Nor, by the way, am I either homophobic and campaigning against the marriage of faithful homosexual partners.  So I am changing and growing as I seek to walk in the light of Christ.

Brothers and sisters, walk in the light.  Shed anger and judgments against others and live love.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Blood is on Your Hands

Here is a recent news item:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, the first time in the 25-year history of the church’s sex abuse scandals that the leader of an American diocese has been held criminally liable for the behavior of a priest he supervised.

Notice that an overseer was considered responsible to report and deal with suspected child or sexual abuse.  

Why is it that we understand this responsibility when it does not touch us.  We are not talking about our beloved head pastor, minister.  

Our loyalty to our beloved leader interferes with our considering any report of financial or sexual abuse.  The loyal congregation, often the loyal elders, close ranks against anyone who raises the issue.  We also close our spiritual eyes of discernment and do not catch the Spirit's warning.

At Alderwood United Church there were several reports suggesting that the pastor at the time, Rev Harold Moddle, was involved sexually with young men staying at the manse.  When the Eldership Team was approached with the suggestion that it was their responsibility to either clear his name or deal with his sin, they dropped the ball.

The right thing to do would be to gather the information from the witnesses.  Investigate the reports.  After that the elder could clear his name because there was no confirming evidence.  Alternatively, they could ask Rev. Moddle to step down from his position because the evidence of professional misconduct was too strong.

They took another approach.  They talked to Rev. Harold Moddle and received a denial.  They chose not to investigate the reports but to believe his denial.  But, if he was an abuser would he not be expected to deny these reports.

Scripture does not say that facts can be established by asking one party.  Courts do not just hear from one side of a legal dispute.  Scientists cannot refuse the evidence that confirms or denies their theories.  Every dispute has two sides and the elders at Alderwood acted in an irresponsible manner when they did not do due diligence.

Jesus said the a wolf in Sheep's clothing can be detected by his public persona but by his fruits.  This means actual investigation of his behaviour and reports from independent witnesses.

When a bishop is held responsible for not dealing with the information that he had, it is clear that we are all responsible to bring truth to light, to expose evil, but to do so in a fair and balanced way.  There is a process to follow to deal with abuse, allegations of abuse and this allows us to proceed in a fair and balanced way.

The bishop is held responsible for not acting on the information he had.  Church boards can be held responsible for not confronting an issue brought to their attention.  Ralph Rutledge's boards had, and have, the responsibility to investigate the information that is brought to light.  

In God's eyes, they clear their name when they do their best to investigate the matter, to discover the facts and then to act on those facts.  Blood is on their hands if they do not.

I have tried to be fair and balanced in bringing the information about Ralph Rutledge to light.  I continue to apply journalistic guidelines and standards in all that I report.  I have attempted to confirm reports and investigate sources.

There are supporters of Rutledge who support by attacking me.  However, if you care about Ralph Rutledge and want to defend him, then join me in seeking facts not attacking people.  

 The facts are, unfortunately, often not out in the light.  We are talking about actions taken in private and behind closed doors.  The way to the truth is to respect and listen to a variety of reports and sources and take fairly seriously the first hand reports of those whose lives have been touched by Ralph Rutledge in an sinful defiling way.

Please be patient with me.  This process needs to be loving and careful; respectful of both Ralph Rutledge and of the Body of Christ.  The way I choose is to carefully deal with evil is by exposing it to light, to truth, to truth spoken in love.  It takes great love, courage and wisdom to confront in a godly way.  I have done that as God's servant and in God's way.

"have no fellowship with the unfruiful works of darkness, but rather expose them."  Ephesians 5:11.

"A fact is established in the mouth of two or three witnesses."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Current developments -

Just to stay up to date on Ralph Rutledge, I do not believe there has been any change in his status.

All the factual reports that I receive simply confirm the allegations of this blog and lead to the conclusion that he is NOT ready to restore to ministry.

This means that He should not be put in the position of Christian ministry to groups or individuals until his status changes.  I am told that he has sought renewed status within the PAOC but was not willing to enter into full accountabiity.

At the moment he has not renounced his sexual sin patterns, has not dealt with the root issues and has not entered into accountability relationships to keep him on a straight and narrow path.

I still believe it is not wise to use laying of of hands prayer for him or receive it from him.  There is a danger of transference of spirits by laying on of hands.  The predator in him may use close contact through prayer to make inappropriate advances toward men.

He still looks like the 'Golden Boy' on the outside.  My fear is that there is a wolf in sheep clothing on the inside.

We need to pray that the situation come to light.  That victims receive an apology and that the abuser become contrite.  God is at work in us in in Christ Jesus exposing evil and bring everything to light.

Shine Jesus Shine.

February 2013:  No change in status and reports continue to confirm the allegations and suspicions in this blog.  Second hand report from former secretary of Good Samaritan Church apparently said that it is all true but that those reporting the facts may be subject to legal action from Ralph Rutledge.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Predator Spirit in the Wolf in Sheep clothing

I have come to understand how strong is what I call the "Predator spirit" in a person.  This spirit is completely in the background while the good Christian is in the foreground.  But when there is an opportunity to devour a sheep and get away with it, then is when the Predator emerges.

Choosing the right victim:

1.  Too weak to Resist

The wounded and vulnerable sheep is selected so that they will not bring the matter to light in the future.  They lack the confidence to speak up or resist.

2.  Easily Intimidated to Keep quiet

The wounded and vulnerable sheep is easily intimidated and can be brought into submission if they try to bring these matters to light.  There are reports that Ralph Rutledge will phone anyone, young Christian men,  who begins to talk about sexual encounters with him.  He does not suffer exposure easily.

3.  So wounded that they Lack Credibility

The wounded and vulnerable sheep may be someone who is not credible, so that, if they try to bring matters to light, they can be easily discounted.

4.  Wolf can Manipulate them with their own Guilt

A christian young man will feel very guilty about the sexual sin that the pastor/wolf has lead them into.  The guilt and confusion will keep them quiet.

5.  Deep Shame wounding will block attempts to expose the Pastor/Wolf:

Shame takes away our voice - our ability and right to speak up and confront injustice.  Family upbringing of shame means that one's right to be alive is weak.  There is no way that one has the strength to confront an abuser.

There may be different types of predators.  We are mainly talking about sexual predators, about crossing people's boundaries in ways that leave the other further wounded and confused.

I cannot give you any clues, signs or signals as to who this person might be.  Of course, they themselves were abused in this way when they were vulnerable, but you do not know that.

My own evidence that Ralph Rutledge will phone someone happened when he phoned me after I began publishing about the sex scandal involving Ralph Rutledge and Queensway Cathedral.  I prefer if someone has factual information to add to this investigation that they do so in writing.  I expect the same of Ralph Rutledge not a flash phone call.

I have reported this phone call elsewhere.  My point here is that it is part of a pattern of intimidation and was not to present documented facts.  His phone call was unsuccessful in part because I know too much to believe any of his attempts to dismiss the significance of his ongoing sin.

Rutherford, the fictional representation of Rutledge in "Demons in the Sanctuary" by Mariam Bellamy, was constant in the use of intimidation.

A 'Prayerful' Seductive Approach

Some of the allegations as to how a respected pastor seduces victims is in a time of prayer.  One report alleged that Rutledge becomes uncomfortably close and a 'space invader  once you kneel down to pray.  He 'confesses' to the other and then invites them to pray for him.  What can happen at that point has been called 'Transference of spirits.'

Miriam Bellamy was warned not to pray for Ralph Rutledge by laying of of hands.  A spiritually wise woman said that she would be taking on responsibility for his behaviour if she prayed with laying of of hands.

My fear of prayer with laying of of hands is the transference of a spirit.  If, for example, there is a demonic force behind the predator behaviour - and it is very likely that this is the case - then that spirit may transfer into the victim and make them more willing to participate in a homosexual encounter that would otherwise be foreign to them.

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Detecting a “Wolf in Sheep Clothing” or False Shepherd

Do you know how to detect a “Wolf in Sheep Clothing?”

Are you sure?  Be careful.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Most Spirit-filled Christians do not understand how to detect a wolf in sheep clothing.  They are confused when the Holy Spirit does not just reveal it to them.

We are so used to the gifts of the Spirit used in ministry.  We assume that the Holy Spirit will reveal everything we need to know.  We stop being careful.  We neglect due diligence.  We become too heavenly minded to think clearly on this important issue.

Decisions are made about who gets in the position of power and privilege of pastor, minister or director of a ministry.  Because these positions are very strategic in terms of allowing or shutting down God’s work, Satan is interested.  His men are interested.  His men with good resumes, good looks and smooth talk are interested in that position of power.  They achieve them undetected with ease.

That is why, Body of Christ, I don’t want you deluded about your choice.  You need to get beyond the education, the position and the appearance and know the heart of the man you are putting in place.  There is no easy way to do this.  Due diligence means work is needed.  Failure to do your homework means that a Wolf in Sheep Clothing can get by you.

But we are lazy.  We want the Holy Spirit to reveal things to us that the dark side wants kept secret.  What if the Holy Spirit is not going to tell secrets and expects you to do the discernment required?  If you do not do your part and you hire an enemy agent, then you will have a battle on your hands!  Undoing your mistake will not be easy.

The final section of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount tells us to beware of false prophets.  Take this to mean false pastors, false directors, false men of God.  They are false because they are up to no good.  They are false because the false shepherd “does not care about the sheep.” John 10:13.

If the Holy Spirit gifts do not help and the surface appearance does not help.  We are used to the Holy Spirit doing the discerning for us.  It does not always work that way.

Surface appearance - education, appearance, resume - does not reveal the Wolf in Sheep Clothing.  How do you get under the surface?

Think about this.  What does it mean “by their fruits you will know them?”

Jesus says that good fruit is born on good trees.  Good fruit is found in the quality of a man’s intimate relationships, in the slip of his tongue, in his sense of humor, in his sense of fair play in sports, in good fruit in his interactions requiring love, wisdom and healing.  One can discern good fruit by marriages staying together, people being healthy and less contention and dissatisfaction in the congregation.

Knowing the fruit takes patience and wisdom.  Judgmental criteria may not work.  What is needed is real knowing of the person’s heart for God and for worship; a real taste of their capacity for loving service, for building up others, for living within healthy boundaries.  Such character is only discerned over time.  It is only discerned by those who are involved in the issues of power, love and money with this person.  In a church this means the person’s board and his staff.  At home it means his family and loved ones.

In Demons in the Sanctuary it is the board who worked with Rutherford (Rutledge) and the staff of the Good Shepherd Church (Good Samaritan Church) that got to know him.  Their eyes opened over a period of months of trying unsuccessfully to deal with boundary issues around finances and other decisions around the church.

Those who only know a pastor in his "public" role do not know what is going on behind the scenes.  Sometimes only a man's wife and children know who the real person is.  Everyone else may see the pastor  as the perfect angel.  In fact, a congregation will have a strong inbuilt tendency to see the best and ignore or discount any problems with their pastor.

One always needs good confirmation when discerning the wolf in sheep's clothing.  When the board of the Good Samaritan Church dealt with Ralph Rutledge, the church archives provided that strong confirmation and introduced new concerns.  Previous boards had issues with Rutledge over financial issues.  Only then did this board discover there were also boundary issues around sexual boundaries and that these were allegations of homosexual encounters.

A male associate pastor was on record in the church archives as requesting better sexual boundaries from Rutledge.  The board interactions around these allegations is documented.

This documentation strengthened the boards resolve to deal with Ralph Rutledge.  Now, they were less likely to bow under his guilt, shame and browbeating tactics.

Jesus told us that "a bad tree that bears bad fruit," (Matthew 7:18).   If other boards found the same issues; if the same  bad fruit appeared throughout Rutledge's history at the Good Samaritan Church, then it was now  clearer that this was an example of a bad tree.  And Jesus said that "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Matthew 7:19

The church board is exposed to the dirty laundry. The congregation is spared the stress and disappointment of being on the inside.  Congregation members need to trust their boards because board members have inside information.  They have the inside experience of dealing with the pastor.  They will be the first ones to discern the health of the tree.

In summary remember that detecting a wolf in sheep clothing takes time (maybe years).  Only those close to the man know the real character issues he is dealing with.  Those on the church boards are the one who deal with the church's 'dirty laundry.'  They get a chance to know the man.  (Though often his family knows best.)

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not always helpful.  Jesus wants us to look and see and taste the fruit of ministry.

Do not trust an interview and a resume.  Dig for real first hand data that reveal the character of the man (or woman).   The business term is "due diligence."  Failure to do due diligence has created much distress for Christian organizations and some have been destroyed.

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Power Consolidation and Cover Up

There is a lot of potential for control in the position of head pastor or minister of a church.  The clergy can   consolidate power in many ways.

In the early church it was not one man rules.  There was much more equality and collegiality.  The mutual submission in a team provided accountability.  Accountability is missing when “one man rules” the church.

The church was birthed at Pentecost when 120 were in one accord.  The Holy Spirit was sent to a united group.  God likes real community.  Even 2 or 3 gathered together in Jesus name can be graced with His presence, with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Community which invites the Holy Spirit is missing in the "one man rules" church.

This consolidation of power in one man makes it very difficult for that person to be held accountable.  A person with a lot of power is dangerous to confront.  They can do damage by blocking your participation in the community.  They can do damage to you and you will not be able to damage them.  They may damage you and you may not even want to damage them (love).

Also a minister with consolidated power is very difficult to dislodge when their conduct is immoral and unethical.  There is little contrition when sin has become a life style.  Humility is missing.  Even the board with responsibility to do so may find it difficult to confront or dislodge such a man.

The board of Good Samaritan Church found Rutledge as impossible to dislodge as it was to get him to take responsibility for his actions.   They tried to confront issues.  He always avoided.  He tried to get rid of members of the Board and played games with power to block accountability.

Pastor Rutledge was liked; even idolized.  He was persuasive and smooth of speech.  He gained great influence over many people.  He was effective in using the consolidated power of his position to maintain control of his church.  Having that power seemed to be very important to him.  A detailed account of how one pastor - said to be a good representation of Rutledge - is found in the book: Demons in the Sanctuary.

From the start of the story (Demons in the Sanctuary) is was said that Pastor Rutherford was a liar.  Dan had even been "enraged on several occasions, accusing Pastor Rafe of being untruthful and dishonest in his dealings."  Remember in this fictional account there is based on accurate accounts and records of the board of Good Samaritan Church as they tried to deal with Rutledge.

Anyone who lies without flinching is very difficult to confront.  With their lies they will turn any accusation back against the accuser.  (This is similar to what people observe of the Jezebel Spirit.)

Right up to the end of the book, Rutherford in Demons in the Sanctuary does not stop his use of lies.  By the end Mira and the men on the board cannot deny it any longer.   The man is a liar.

Some plots involve character change.  In the book, Rutherford does not change.  He has a character issue.  Sin has become habitual - life style.  Habitual sin takes over one's identity.  It can no longer be said "Such were some of you."  The old nature, the old nature is not dead.  The new nature is no longer alive.  'Christian' no longer applies if sin becomes your identity.  As such you cannot enter the presence of God.

His consolidation of power is heightened by his total willingness to distort the truth on any occasion when it is to his advantage.  He is in constant “Cover Up” mode.  He is in constant power and control mode.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth so anyone who lies easily and consistently is not closely associated with the Biblical Holy Spirit.  The Christ within us does not lie.  "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5.

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.