Lawsuit against McLean Bible Church over breach of its constitution advances. Second straight loss for David Platt and his shrinking MBC.
MBC member: ‘Illegally denying church members their right to vote, in an attempt to rig an election, is a clear breach of the church constitution.’
Lawyer Rick Boyer: ‘The Elders at MBC have repeatedly violated the church constitution, destroyed MBC members’ rights to a free and fair secret ballot, and illegally denied voting rights to members in good standing, when they couldn’t win a fair secret ballot.’
Friday afternoon a Virginia court ruled against McLean Bible Church its leadership including David Platt in a lawsuit filed against the church for allegedly denying church members voting rights.
Platt and his team of expensive lawyers wanted the case tossed from court. In December, they tried and failed to claim First Amendment immunity from answering for their alleged breach of the constitution. This time they filed a demurrer or a motion seeking dismissal on grounds the case is insufficient. It was rejected by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge John Tran. That means the breach of contract case moves forward.
“We thank God that the judge clearly saw that we have pleaded a strong case for a breach of contract due to the Elders’ repeated illegal violations of the MBC Constitution,” said plaintiff and MBC member Roland Smith. “We look forward to a final determination at trial protecting the rights of all MBC members to vote in selecting their leadership.”
The judge’s decision drew praise from conservatives involved in the suit because they believe the court could force Platt to follow the church constitution.
“We as members of McLean Bible Church are grateful that the judge denied the motion and let the case move to trial,” said Plaintiff and MBC member Steve Gaskins. “Illegally denying church members their right to vote, in an attempt to rig an election, is a clear breach of the church constitution. We are confident the jury will see the same thing at trial. This case is about truth and justice. We ask only that the church do what is right, follow its constitution, and protect the rights of its members.”
According to a press release from the attorney representing Steve Gaskins and four other longtime MBC members, that “Plaintiffs have pleaded facts sufficient to state a case that Defendants denied voting rights to members in violation of the MBC Constitution.”
“We are pleased by the Court’s clear ruling today. The Elders at MBC have repeatedly violated the church constitution, destroyed MBC members’ rights to a free and fair secret ballot, and illegally denied voting rights to members in good standing, when they couldn’t win a fair secret ballot,” said Rick Boyer of the Integrity Law Firm of Lynchburg and a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “Of all places where truth and transparency should be expected, the church is that place. We look forward to a transparent trial and the opportunity to defend the constitution of McLean Bible Church and the voting rights of its members.”
As the Capstone Report previously detailed, there are many allegations of irregularities in the MBC elder election. These alleged “attempts to rig” the elder election included the elimination of the secret ballot.
As you might remember, Platt and his team lost the first balloting during a controversial elder nomination process that saw longtime members organizing opposition to the Platt-approved slate of elders. Platt responded by telling lies and slandering conservative church members. In his July 4 sermon rant, Platt compared those members holding him responsible to white supremacists.
What will David Platt be forced to reveal at discovery and during trial?
Pause here a moment. Ponder what Boyer said.
“We look forward to a transparent trial and the opportunity to defend the constitution of McLean Bible Church,” Boyer said.
Transparent. And David Platt and his cronies in MBC leadership do not want transparency. Platt and MBC have hidden many things that should be published for the congregation’s review.
David Platt has hidden his salary. This and possibly many other unflattering things could come out during discovery and trial.
We will get to see just how “Radical” David Platt is. Does he get paid $200,000? $300,000? $400,000? $500,000? Or perhaps it is over $600,000?
What other perks does David Platt take from the church?
These are questions that MBC members should know without having to go to court.