"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christa Brown: Pontius Pilate Washing His Hands - Lesson for Baptist Leaders

"Pilate had the power to release Jesus. But instead he washed his hands, and then he handed Jesus over for crucifixion...So Pilate evaded responsibility and passed the guilt for Jesus’ crucifixion on to others. He made a big show of it. He had a wash basin brought out, and he stood before the crowd washing his hands....Southern Baptist leaders make a big show as well....Rather than use their power for the protection of innocent kids -- a power they have surely shown when other issues troubled them -- Baptist leaders choose to do nothing. They wash their hands of clergy sex abuse and leave the problem up to the crowd." Excerpt from Christa Brown's article "Pontius Pilot holds lesson on clergy sex abuse", 4/18/11.
-----------------------------
One of my modern-day Christian heroes is Christa Brown. She has stood up for clergy sex abuse victims for a long time, calling for Baptist churches and leaders to put resources into tracking predator pastors and paying for counseling and healing of victims....and she has done it all in the face of criticism from Southern Baptist leaders like Frank Page and Paige Patterson.

Christa herself is a victim of rape and sexual abuse as a teen at the hands of her baptist pastor who committed his deeds while quoting scripture. As she tells in her book This Little Light, when she finally came forward to tell her story she was shocked to find this pastor, Tommy Gilmore, still serving in the Southern Baptist Convention.

While the Southern Baptist Machine has no problem "disfellowshipping" churches who ordain woman pastors, they say they can't establish a database to track predator pastors citing the autonomy of SBC churches. No problem meeting and voting to kick out churches who hire female pastors, but they claim they are powerless to take action against churches who harbor pedophiles.

So while the SBC does not track them, Christa Brown does at her website "Stop Baptist Predators". Clergy sex abuse is not just a Roman Catholic Church problem, it is a huge problem amongst Baptists, and we should all be grateful for people like Christa Brown who will not let the issue go.

I know clergy sex abuse is not a beautiful thought for Easter weekend...but as we remember the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we should remember that Jesus Christ in his earthy ministry called for justice over the oppression of the innocent and powerless.

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to Christa for sharing her story and tracking the predators in ministry so we can all know.

I am constantly amazed that people think those who claim Christ and represent Him for a living can molest kids and be saved. What next? Murder?

Seriously, what is the point of the indwelling Holy Spirit and Being Born Again if molesting kids is no big deal for a paid pastor?

Anonymous said...

Yeah...Paul Williams the pedophile of BBC fame that Steve Gaines said was 'under the blood' is now working in church again. Gaines would have kept him on if it had not become public.

Those who protect and coddle pedophiles are just as bad. Who protects the sheep?

Thy Peace said...

This sexual abuse of lay people by the clergy and then further victimization and ostracizing of the victims of sexual abuse by the rest of the church is very tragic and so un-Christian. I do not understand why the rest of the church closes ranks and supports the clergy against the victims. After all we are ALL Christians. We are ALL co-heirs with Christ. There is no hierarchy of the clergy being superior or head of lay people. Why is it so hard to support the victims and hear their cries for justice. Christa Brown is a hero in my eyes. So is Tiffany Thigpen Croft.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - I totally agree. Tiffany Croft is also a hero when it comes to standing up against sexually abusive pastors. Here is my post from several years ago, after Gilyard went to the slammer.

Anonymous said...

they wash their hands and look the other way because they can't stand the truth. but Jesus said the truth will make you free.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog:

I brought two-(2) visitors to FBCJ this morning for the Easter Sunday Service. I was really excited knowing that they would hear the Gospel and how Jesus arose from the tomb as our Savior!

I was amazed that Pastor Brunson used this service to announce that yet ANOTHER Special offering was going to be taken on Mother's Day and that we should ALL begin to increase our giving by 1% to good old FBCJ.

The service then began by showing an astronaut stepping out of the Lunar module and comparing that to Jesus stepping out of the tomb. It was so stupid I could not believe he actually tried to tie them together!

We were then told all about the Kennedy's and how Robert Kennedy always took up for his brother, our President, John Kennedy. Somehow this was used as an example of how Jesus is there for us!

Again I thought it was a pretty strange comparison!

After this we were told about Eisenhower and Patton and I never did figure out why they were brought up to begin with, but, I did think it was very untimely to hear about them in an Easter morning service!

Then came the closing of the sermon and we got to hear about the Czar of Russia, (Nicholas I) and some other man in service under him. We were told how this man stole money from the Czar and planned on committing suicide because he could not re-pay the money. This story was just before the invitation!

Again, I thought that this was pretty unrelated to our celebration of Jesus rising from the dead, on the third day, that we now refer to as Easter, but, this was given as an example of why we should come to Jesus today......because of this bizarre story!

What ever happened to preaching from the BIBLE? Yes, he did mention Jesus a few times, but, I felt like it was a history lesson gone bad instead of an Easter Morning Service about our Savior!

My guests were also rather taken by the service. One comment..."That was probably the worst Easter Service I have ever been to."

Teachers with itching ears!

FBC Choir Member said...

"My guests were also rather taken by the service. One comment...'That was probably the worst Easter Service I have ever been to.'"

I disagree. I thought Pastor Brunson did a decent job with the sermon. I had never heard an Easter sermon out of Job before.

For the music, the choir stuck to timeless classics that always warm the hearts of listeners. We had worked on "Worthy is the Lamb" from Handel's Messiah for months in preparation for today.

Ev said...

I had to comment on this post. Thank you for continuing to bring awareness to this particularly ugly side of the church. Women and children are still second class citizens. There is still the tendency to blame victims of sexual abuse. Jesus was a champion for women and children, it's unfortunate that our religious leaders are not. They only show support the "high-class, well-bred, well-dressed" women. Women who would never "get" themselves raped. How about the perpetrators? I don't care how inappropriately dressed anyone is, that doesn't justify any rape or other kind of assault, especially when one is ordained in a position of power. These pastors who harm and rob the innocence of children and defile women should be more harshly judged than a criminal who does the same thing. These pastors are held to a higher standard. I believe that those who continue to let them stalk more prey are just as culpable as the perpetrator in the eyes of God.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:08 said:

I was amazed that Pastor Brunson used this service to announce that yet ANOTHER Special offering was going to be taken on Mother's Day and that we should ALL begin to increase our giving by 1% to good old FBCJ."
==============================
No surprise as Brunson is always focused on money. And a preacher making a 6 figure paycheck should be able to present a more than a decent sermon. His illustrations today were way off the mark, altho he did look cute in his little bow tie.

The choir & Sunday School teachers are the only thing holding that church together - it certainly isn't Brunson.

Anna A said...

Anonymous, 3:08pm.

I can agree with you about bad Easter sermons. When I was a regular at an Evangelical Free Church, I heard the "Sign of Jonah" twice on Easter. (I was in the choir, and we sang both services). I thought it would have been a good pre-Easter sermon, but not Easter.

Right now, I am still celebrating because at my church, we had 5 adult baptisms last night.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the trolls are staying away from this topic. And rightfully so.

Garlando

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Looks like the trolls are staying away from this topic. And rightfully so.

Garlando"


That's because the Dog won't let them in.

Thy Peace said...

Comment moderation has been turned off for a long time on this blog. Hence WD can not be blocking comments.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Nice outfit you're sporting in your new profile photo, Watchdog. Did you get it for Easter? Is that... seersucker?

Nice tan, too!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - very true, for over 3 months, no moderation. However, blogger has a built in spam blocker and it is not very good. It seems to throw random posts into a spam folder, and if I don't check it frequently valid posts get blocked until I release them. This happens multiple times a day.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

NewBBC...thanks for noticing, yes it is my new "seersucker" outfit for Easter. Seersucker coat, monogrammed cuffs and cufflinks, and my pretty bow tie. The left cuff is covering my Rolex.

I've been reading the Friday is for Fashion posts on Maurilio's blog. :)

confused said...

I hope this is received with the same heart that it is typed. Maybe someone here can explain this to me, without getting over emotionalized about the topic.

I understand exposing sexual crimes. I understand prosecuting to the full extent of the law. I understand exercising church discipline. I understand that accountability is VERY lacking in the church as well as true restorative church discipline. I understand that action against certain things like "women pastors" and such, seems to take precedence over more..."serious" issues.

However, this idea of "lets track them for life on a registry" seems a bit out of place. If pursued through law, they will always be on one through the government anyway (another's whose list I question the merit of). If we are upset that certain sins get overlooked in one direction, why not the reverse.

Should the church start lists of transgressors? Should the church track offenses big and small, proven and unproven? Maybe a list of those who have committed theft, punched their wife or husband (no matter the circumstance), cheated, or even thought about cheating, a liars list, a drunkards list, a divorce list.

I am not trying to play down the seriousness of molestation...please do not think that. What I am saying is that I have encountered people who have been saved since their transgressions, truly repented, truly have bore evidence of that change in their lives for a decade, sometimes a lot more, or in one case an 18 year old who fell from the graces of his 17 year old girlfriends parents now walks his life on a list, constantly being barred from participating in the good parts of society. But more importantly, everywhere they go they are labeled, shuffled to the side, cast away, and treated like dirt, more so by those who say they are Christian than by the lost world.

Finding these people out...sure....prosecuting them to the full extent of the law....sure....letting the government "list" them for public tracking and banning....debatable.....using the church as a labeling, tracking, and banning device.....

I have not visited her site yet so right now I am going to speak out of presumption....It sounds like she has a lot of understandable hurt and damage. But don't we serve a God who is good at healing hurt and curing damage? We say He is and does week after week, do we believe it? Do we believe that God is capable of restoration?

She may claim somewhere that she has forgiven the man but I haven't seen a forgiveness that includes permanently posting pictures and names and lists of their crimes to millions of people and reliving the issue over and over, and celebrating the victories of punishing the person or even making questioning accusations against others....if that is forgiveness, if lists are forgiveness, if perpetual pursuit is forgiveness, ....then well...I'm in big trouble when the bible tells me that God forgives.

And if the church joins in the escapade of lists and tracking and such...well, then I don't think we can say we are forgiving...The government does not make that claim. they post lists and are proud of it. They will punish you for life, that is their claim. At least they are being honest about what it is.

So, maybe someone can direct me somewhere to verses that pertain to the churches duty to track, label, accuse, and list transgressors in perpetuity, and maybe some verses about what sins should and should not be included on that list, should we start one.

I am not advocating silence, but I am also not advocating dealing with them in the same way the prideful, vengeful, corrupt world deals with them. I feel for her, pray for her, and certainly can understand her position (as much as possible anyway), and she should address it but the internet is not going to cure it and neither is the church when and if it starts its lists.

Josh from FL said...

Interesting thought:
I have witnessed church folk put into question a person's salvation based on sinful actions they do. Example being when a couple lives together before they're married and being unrepentant about it.
At what point should we question the salvation of predator pastors AND the people who cover up for them?

New BBC Open Forum said...

I have not visited her site yet....

Maybe you should. After you've educated yourself about the nature of child molestation, pick any one of those men profiled on Christa's site and ask yourself (assuming you were already acquainted with him) if you'd let him babysit your children. Or in the case of those who have sexually harrassed, abused, or raped women, if you (if you're a woman) or your wife (if you're a man) would want to be around him alone.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I am not advocating silence, but I am also not advocating dealing with them in the same way the prideful, vengeful, corrupt world deals with them.

How would you deal with them then? Since the "church" seems to be failing to do so.

New BBC Open Forum said...

... it is my new "seersucker" outfit for Easter. Seersucker coat, monogrammed cuffs and cufflinks, and my pretty bow tie. The left cuff is covering my Rolex.

About the only things you're missing are a natty straw hat and the rest of your shirt. Oh, and pants.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Your Easter outfit looks a lot like Mac's. Do you shop at the same stores?

Mac's seersucker suit

Don't they know small stripes strobe on camera?

Thy Peace said...

This issue reveals that Churches are lacking in the following:

1. Lack of proper teaching of The Gospel and The Word of God.

2. Lack of mature Christians in the body of the Church.

3. The Church does not know the meaning of the word "love", in NOT disciplining the perpetrator and pretending the problem does not exit and passing along the problem to other Churches for more victims to be sexually abused.

4. The Church does not know what Church Discipline is.

I submit this problem lies with the Body of Christ (clergy and laity).

Arce said...

Some of the lists are a bit harsh, especially when it is essentially a consensual relationship between a boy and a girl, and not between a much older man and a child.

What we need to worry about are predators, those who target, groom, and abuse multiple children or adults, for their own gratification (power more than sex!). Too many pastors are power hungry, and one way to satisfy that power is sexual conquest, whether of an adult or a child. Covering it up is abetting, and should also be punished by the law and by the church.

Arce said...

I have recently learned that “Easter” is a word derived from the name of the German goddess of the Dawn, and came to be associated with the month of April, sort of a celebration of spring and fertility. There is some evidence that the German name for the goddess has its roots in Astaroth, the fertility goddess of the ancient Babylonians and other Middle Eastern peoples, and referenced in the Old Testament.

Perhaps we should rename the Christian celebration. Perhaps Resurrection.

Anonymous said...

Most churches use "discipline" to get rid of people who believe in the priesthood of all believers, and thus in true congregational governance of the church, with the pastor as a servant, not the head, of the church. BTW pastors who take the position that they are the head of the church are engaged in blasphemy -- Jesus is the head of the church universal and each and every embodiment of it. I was once "disciplined" by a church because as a member of the budget committee I opposed overruling the mission committee on where their budgeted funds would go, and instead send them to the pastor's favorite agency.

confused said...

BBC ,

I did finally have a chance to visit her site. What my original post was talking about was not the idea of whether I or anyone else would or should arbitrarily leave children with them. I merely sought out whether or not labeling, tracking, and listing is what the church should be doing.

As for how to deal with them….I am not exactly sure. My conscience is in confliction over the matter if I am to be honest. On one hand I understand the hurt, the pain, and the anger, of the victims, on the other hand I cannot help but pity the heart and soul of the perpetrator. They need Christ just as much as the lost, man eating, tribe of the amazon does. The only difference is we glamorize ministry to one, while reducing the other to the helpless refuse of society that is neither “comfortable” or “safe” to be around. The world is not a safe place. Christianity is about laying a life down, not protecting it from all of the ill willed. I have been in a ministry capacity with those society deemed “dangerous”. I have served in a capacity surrounded by gang members, drug addicts, abusers, those with serious criminal records, and those who have committed crimes not yet discovered. If I told you I was not concerned, I would be a liar, but it really wasn’t about me, now was it? What is my safety? What is my comfort? What is my life?

I did not come here to declare exactly what should be done with them, as if I had all the answers to every issue known to mankind. I know that there are a lot of instigative posts here that are only put on to inflame, so I will give you benefit of the doubt in how you returned an answer to me. If you recall, I asked for clarity on the issue of where in scripture can be found anything about the church being responsible for labeling, listing, tracking, pursuing, publishing, etc…the crime of molestation and stopping only at molestation. I sought out where in in the Bible and in forgiveness, is this type of behavior, because it does not seem restorative and if it can be drawn from the model of Christ, then I suppose we are all in a heap of trouble.

As far as I know, the Bible contains restorative function when it comes to church discipline, and if they refuse, then let them go, but nothing about print up their picture, list their crime, track their whereabouts and publish it in a directory accessible to the church and world at large. And then, remind them of it frequently.

It is a hard issue. She is right, the church is failing in it in its silence. The church has gone lax on discipleship and disciplining, but swinging the pendulum over to the other side doesn’t seem the right thing to do and as far as I know, not the Biblical thing to do either. That is where my comment came in about the government, at least they outright call their list what it is, a punitive measure, utilized with full malice, to deter that particular activity from occurring again. Last I checked though, their list was only getting bigger. I was hoping that iron would help sharpen a little iron and maybe point out something I am missing (not just assume that I am uneducated when it comes to molestation) preferably from scripture.

Confused said...

BBC, (this will come in two parts, I think it didn't post cause it was too long)

I did finally have a chance to visit her site. What my original post was talking about was not the idea of whether I or anyone else would or should arbitrarily leave children with them. I merely sought out whether or not labeling, tracking, and listing is what the church should be doing.

As for how to deal with them….I am not exactly sure. My conscience is in confliction over the matter if I am to be honest. On one hand I understand the hurt, the pain, and the anger, of the victims, on the other hand I cannot help but pity the heart and soul of the perpetrator. They need Christ just as much as the lost, man eating, tribe of the amazon does. The only difference is we glamorize ministry to one, while reducing the other to the helpless refuse of society that is neither “comfortable” or “safe” to be around. The world is not a safe place. Christianity is about laying a life down, not protecting it from all of the ill willed. I have been in a ministry capacity with those society deemed “dangerous”. I have served in a capacity surrounded by gang members, drug addicts, abusers, those with serious criminal records, and those who have committed crimes not yet discovered. If I told you I was not concerned, I would be a liar, but it really wasn’t about me, now was it? What is my safety? What is my comfort? What is my life?

Confused said...

BBC (part 2)

I did not come here to declare exactly what should be done with them, as if I had all the answers to every issue known to mankind. I know that there are a lot of instigative posts here that are only put on to inflame, so I will give you benefit of the doubt in how you returned an answer to me. If you recall, I asked for clarity on the issue of where in scripture can be found anything about the church being responsible for labeling, listing, tracking, pursuing, publishing, etc…the crime of molestation and stopping only at molestation. I sought out where in in the Bible and in forgiveness, is this type of behavior, because it does not seem restorative and if it can be drawn from the model of Christ, then I suppose we are all in a heap of trouble.

As far as I know, the Bible contains restorative function when it comes to church discipline, and if they refuse, then let them go, but nothing about print up their picture, list their crime, track their whereabouts and publish it in a directory accessible to the church and world at large. And then, remind them of it frequently.

It is a hard issue. She is right, the church is failing in it in its silence. The church has gone lax on discipleship and disciplining, but swinging the pendulum over to the other side doesn’t seem the right thing to do and as far as I know, not the Biblical thing to do either. That is where my comment came in about the government, at least they outright call their list what it is, a punitive measure, utilized with full malice, to deter that particular activity from occurring again. Last I checked though, their list was only getting bigger. I was hoping that iron would help sharpen a little iron and maybe point out something I am missing (not just assume that I am uneducated when it comes to molestation) preferably from scripture.

Confused said...

BBC, (ok maybe three parts, part 2 didn't post either)

I did not come here to declare exactly what should be done with them, as if I had all the answers to every issue known to mankind. I know that there are a lot of instigative posts here that are only put on to inflame, so I will give you benefit of the doubt in how you returned an answer to me. If you recall, I asked for clarity on the issue of where in scripture can be found anything about the church being responsible for labeling, listing, tracking, pursuing, publishing, etc…the crime of molestation and stopping only at molestation. I sought out where in in the Bible and in forgiveness, is this type of behavior, because it does not seem restorative and if it can be drawn from the model of Christ, then I suppose we are all in a heap of trouble.

As far as I know, the Bible contains restorative function when it comes to church discipline, and if they refuse, then let them go, but nothing about print up their picture, list their crime, track their whereabouts and publish it in a directory accessible to the church and world at large. And then, remind them of it frequently.

Confused said...

BBC 2 (ok maybe three parts)
I did not come here to declare exactly what should be done with them, as if I had all the answers to every issue known to mankind. I know that there are a lot of instigative posts here that are only put on to inflame, so I will give you benefit of the doubt in how you returned an answer to me. If you recall, I asked for clarity on the issue of where in scripture can be found anything about the church being responsible for labeling, listing, tracking, pursuing, publishing, etc…the crime of molestation and stopping only at molestation. I sought out where in in the Bible and in forgiveness, is this type of behavior, because it does not seem restorative and if it can be drawn from the model of Christ, then I suppose we are all in a heap of trouble.
As far as I know, the Bible contains restorative function when it comes to church discipline, and if they refuse, then let them go, but nothing about print up their picture, list their crime, track their whereabouts and publish it in a directory accessible to the church and world at large. And then, remind them of it frequently.

confused said...

BBC 2 (ok maybe three parts? nothing is posting)
I did not come here to declare exactly what should be done with them, as if I had all the answers to every issue known to mankind. I know that there are a lot of instigative posts here that are only put on to inflame, so I will give you benefit of the doubt in how you returned an answer to me. If you recall, I asked for clarity on the issue of where in scripture can be found anything about the church being responsible for labeling, listing, tracking, pursuing, publishing, etc…the crime of molestation and stopping only at molestation. I sought out where in in the Bible and in forgiveness, is this type of behavior, because it does not seem restorative and if it can be drawn from the model of Christ, then I suppose we are all in a heap of trouble.

confused said...

BBC 3
As far as I know, the Bible contains restorative function when it comes to church discipline, and if they refuse, then let them go, but nothing about print up their picture, list their crime, track their whereabouts and publish it in a directory accessible to the church and world at large. And then, remind them of it frequently.
It is a hard issue. She is right, the church is failing in it in its silence. The church has gone lax on discipleship and disciplining, but swinging the pendulum over to the other side doesn’t seem the right thing to do and as far as I know, not the Biblical thing to do either. That is where my comment came in about the government, at least they outright call their list what it is, a punitive measure, utilized with full malice, to deter that particular activity from occurring again. Last I checked though, their list was only getting bigger. I was hoping that iron would help sharpen a little iron and maybe point out something I am missing (not just assume that I am uneducated when it comes to molestation) preferably from scripture.

elastigirl said...

Confused,

"The world is not a safe place. Christianity is about laying a life down, not protecting it from all of the ill willed."

Including the lives of our children??

confused said...

Elastigirl,
“Including the lives of our children?? “

I suppose so. Now if you are suggesting that I am saying to hand over a child to an unrepentant and convicted sex offender, don’t be silly. I don’t let my children play in traffic, and that would be somewhat of the same thing. I would hope that when it comes to reaching out to sex offenders for restoration and forgiveness, we are not sending the children.
We are to train our children ,though, aren’t we?
They have been bought with a price haven’t they?
So whom do they belong to?
What is their purpose?
Christianity is dangerous and risky and takes sacrifice. If I train my kids right, I will expose them to risk in a healthy way and train them how to deal with it, and how to view it from a Biblical perspective.
I cannot protect my children from all the ill willed, but Lord willing, I can train them how to live in an ill willed world for the Glory of God.

Teaching them that the way to live out Christ is count the sins of their neighbor, put it on a list, publish their photo, and track them for the rest of their lives is not exactly accomplishing that, now is it?
Once again, if someone would just show me in scripture where this model (lists etc) of restoration and forgiveness is, or where this type of “ministry” is advised to be practiced, I would gladly change my position. I don’t know it all, but I do try to increase what I know.

elastigirl said...

Hello, Confused.

"Christianity is dangerous and risky and takes sacrifice. If I train my kids right, I will expose them to risk in a healthy way and train them how to deal with it, and how to view it from a Biblical perspective."

With the way things are, seems to me it's risk for the sake of risk. When ministers who are predators can simply rotate churches for new jobs in SBC land, children are put in harm's way. To put it mildly.

And here's the clincher: it could have been prevented.

We're not talking about hurt feelings, being treated unfairly, being bullied, or even being punched in the nose. We are talking about the ultimate violation -- one that will distort and haunt a life forever. Will handicap all future peace, happiness, and relationships for the rest of one's life.

....and it could have been prevented.

Thy Peace said...

New BBC Open Forum > Paul Williams Update

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dog your new photo should include sun glasses.

Thy Peace said...

I have read this earlier. Maybe someone who is more knowledgeable about SBC matters can clarify this.

If a person is divorced, he or she can not enroll in any of the SBC seminaries.

So here SBC is penalizing people who are divorced from practicing a seminary profession.

BUT if you are a sexual predator, you get a clean pass from SBC to move around from church to church to practice their vile.

As the Church Lady says "How con-VEEN-ient!"

Anonymous said...

It used to include being married to a person who was divorced prior to the relationship with the prospective student, but I do not know if that is still the case.

Cindy said...

Confused said:

Finding these people out...sure....prosecuting them to the full extent of the law....sure....letting the government "list" them for public tracking and banning....debatable.....using the church as a labeling, tracking, and banning device.....

I don't believe that anyone is interested in using the church as a “tracking and banning device.”

If the church leadership and networks of churches took the responsibility with which the Apostle Paul charged them in Romans 16:17-18, there would be no need for the world to publicize these things. But it is made public because the church, for the large part, has not only covered and ignored the abuse, they've made the victims out to be godless aggressors for tipping the apple cart with their wounds and trauma. The one place in the world where wounded lambs can go should be the church, and the church often wounds them in ways that are far more painful than their original pains.


Paul named names and held people accountable for the wrongs that they did, particularly those people who made their behavior seem legitimate through their positions in the church. Those who legitimized their behavior through their power were considered wolves by Peter. And Jesus abandoned the 99 sheep to go after the lost one that He loved.

People like Christa try to work within the church to prevent abuse. Jocelyn Andersen, Waneta Dawn, and Kate Johnson have their own work to address domestic abuse within the church. Susan Grotte who I just interviewed works to stop the abuse at Hephzibah House so that others do not need to suffer the same kinds of pain that they did.

About a week ago, <a href="http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jocelynandersen/2011/04/18/helplessnes-bounded-choice-life-at-hephzibah-house”> I did a radio show</a> talking about how the factors involved with telling a parent about something hidden and terrible can be difficult, and it is all the more difficult when these things involve sexual abuse. I guess more still needs to be said.

Cindy said...

I have no idea why that didn't post correctly.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jocelynandersen/2011/04/18/helplessnes-bounded-choice-life-at-hephzibah-house

Thy Peace said...

Helplessnes, Bounded Choice & Life at Hephzibah House by jocelyn andersen in Religion

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thy Peace,

I tried posting this once and Blogger ate it. Let me try again. I'm not sure what you need to be clarified. That is the policy at all the SB seminaries as well as at many, if not most seminaries that are SB but not supported by the SBC, such as MABTS. They may do a criminal background check, but people like Paul Williams would not show up in a criminal check. Hence, the need for a SBC database. This wouldn't catch them all, but it would be a start.

I'll give you an example of how ridiculous such a one-size-fits-all policy is. I know a lady who, with her husband, has been well-known for their ministry in the SBC since the '50s. In spite of her husband's adulterous activities for most of those years (she's told this story publicly many times, so some may recognize her), she was determined to honor her marriage vows and keep her marriage (such as it was) intact.

After several decades of marriage she had to travel out of town to care for a sick family member for several weeks. During this time she received a certified letter informing her that she was now divorced and (to add insult to injury) that her now-ex-husband had remarried the same week. She was shocked. She had no idea they lived in a no-fault divorce state.

Years later she married a widower. Adrian Rogers, knowing all about the situation, married them in a church ceremony. An incredibly talented musician, this woman would not be allowed to enroll at any SBC or SB-affiliated seminary because of her "sin" of divorce. And her dear husband would not be allowed to either, nor would he be allowed to serve as a deacon because of his "sin" of marrying a divorced woman.

What's wrong with this picture? This precious woman did nothing wrong. She was a victim of circumstances that were beyond her control. Yet she's the "sinner" in the eyes of the SBC.

I agree that in most cases someone who is divorced or marries someone who was divorced should not be in a leadership position in church. However, there are exceptions to the rule such as this one. Of course, with the rate of divorce as high as it is today (slightly higher among evangelical Christians than among the general population from what I've read), churches are going to quickly run out of "leadership" if they don't bend the rules. I'm not saying they should drop the rules, but they shouldn't be totally inflexible either. They should consider each case individually, not blanketly condemn people who are the victims of circumstances.

Divorcees need not apply, but perverts are welcome. I know more, but I'll stop there.

Cindy said...

In her book, "I Can't Hear God Anymore," Wendy Duncan(a social worker) talks about how she was permitted to attend SWBTS but was not permitted to serve in an SBC ministry.

http://www.dallascult.com/

There are plenty of other churches and places where people can go and work and be in ministry but are not permitted to be pastors if they are divorced. Other denominations will take well trained Baptists. So will cults, and in many cases, experience with manipulation and keeping secrets about abuse has these cast offs well prepared for getting sucked up into outright cults.

Yet we have ministers like Paige Patterson who tell women to take their beatings, all in worship of the idol that they have made of marriage. Women like New BBC Open Forum has mentioned are ridiculed while, in some cases, it seems like molesting a kid or covering up molestation in your church is a plus on your Baptist Minister resume.

What is wrong here? Where is Jesus in all of this?

Arce said...

It is fact that in almost every state today a person cannot prevent a divorce if the other party wants one. However, all states require that the attorney for the party wanting out must have the other party served with legal papers prior to the divorce and allow them time to respond to the petition and appear in court to get a fair hearing. What happened in the no-notice divorce was illegal.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Arce,

This lady immediately consulted a lawyer who looked over the papers and determined it was indeed all legal.

New BBC Open Forum said...

It was also over 20 years ago, so the laws may have changed.

Arce said...

I have had a similar situation. The papers were served at the residence, where the law allows them to be served on any person appearing to be at adult. They were probably served on her by giving them to her husband!!!! By the time she got the notice of the divorce, it was too late to do anything about it in most jurisdictions, unless you really want to pursue a fairly expensive route.

Anonymous said...

Confused,

Exactly how would you know if a child molester was truly repentent? Because they claim to be? I would let you test it by having them babysit your kids over a long period of time.

"On one hand I understand the hurt, the pain, and the anger, of the victims, on the other hand I cannot help but pity the heart and soul of the perpetrator. They need Christ just as much as the lost, man eating, tribe of the amazon does."


HELLOOOOO? Anyone home? We are talking about those WHO DO CONFESS CHRIST AND ARE OFTEN PAID MINISTERS! Did you miss that part in Christa's blog

Go read Hebrews 10:26-31 10x and remember it was written to those who profess Christ.

You sound like the typical pew sitter who is more concerned about the molester than you are a child victim! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

How much you guys want to bet confused is Paul Williams.

How typical they turn forgiveness into cheap grace.

We can practice forgiveness to them when they are behind bars and not a threat to innocent children.

Anonymous said...

"As far as I know, the Bible contains restorative function when it comes to church discipline, and if they refuse, then let them go, but nothing about print up their picture, list their crime, track their whereabouts and publish it in a directory accessible to the church and world at large. And then, remind them of it frequently. "

The Bible also says to obey the governing authorities. Molesting children is against the law. So, why isn't the pervert in jail where they belong? Because of people like you who care more about adult predators than protecting children.

Anonymous said...

"Christianity is dangerous and risky and takes sacrifice. If I train my kids right, I will expose them to risk in a healthy way and train them how to deal with it, and how to view it from a Biblical perspective."

It sure is with people like you in the pews. And you are right it is dangerous with people like minister Paul Williams who molested his own son! Pastor Darryl Gilyard who molested a lot of young women in his many churches and Tommmy Gilmore who molested Christa and went on the be a "minister" in Charles Stanley's church.

You are right. It is risky and dangerous to send our kids to church. Ironically, we would have to teach them to be more Biblical than the ministers!

Anonymous said...

"Once again, if someone would just show me in scripture where this model (lists etc) of restoration and forgiveness is, or where this type of “ministry” is advised to be practiced, I would gladly change my position. I don’t know it all, but I do try to increase what I know."

1 Corin 5. But I doubt you will recognize it. Paul did not send the guy to pastor another church or send him on his way. He counseled to kick the guy out---SO HE COULD BE SAVED.

Why? Because people who do these things are not saved. Paul did not say, hang around with him and try to disciple him. Paul knew it was more serious than that and the whole church was being affected by it.

But your biggest problem is that you are ignoring that it is against the law to molest kids. You want a sort of Christian law that says we instantly forgive and reconcile. But repentence means turning away from the sin and only time can tell. And that time can be in prison where they belong.

What is missing in your posts is the victims position. I suppose you expect a little girl who has had an adult male penis forced into her should just skip down the ailse and hug the person who violated her very being.

You are one sick puppy. And you need to spend time around some rape victims. You have a very hard heart. Your comments lead me to believe you have been a molester.

You are subtly trying to convince readers here that victims like Christa are unforgiving. Christa's MINITSER never publicly repented. He has stayed in ministry all these years supported by other ministers WHO KNEW but chose not to believe Christa. My guess is you would be the first one not to believe the victim which is why most never come forward. The typical molester has many victims before they are caught. But then, you probably know that.

As a parent, you BET I want to know who has EVER molested a kid.

Anonymous said...

Charles Stanley was divorced while a pastor. Still is a pastor and leader in the SBC. So, it is more about being a male celebrity in the SBC than anything else.

New BBC Open Forum said...

How much you guys want to bet confused is Paul Williams.

I seriously doubt it.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Charles Stanley was divorced while a pastor. Still is a pastor and leader in the SBC. So, it is more about being a male celebrity in the SBC than anything else.

Good point. Charles Stanley is not qualified for admission to any SB seminary. I rest my case.

By the way, Charles Stanley, whom I lost some respect for after learning of his role in the CR, his words at the infamous "airport meeting" with Joel Gregory, and being informed by someone who was there about some of the things that went on inside FBC Atlanta, not to mention the (mis)handling of the Tommy Gilmore situation, this weekend (maybe from last Easter?) presented one of the most clear and moving presentations of the gospel I've ever heard. You should be able to find it on intouch.org. I'm not sure if it's the April 24th message or from a previous week because I saw it Saturday, the 23rd. Sometimes they're a week off.

Dee said...

Firstly, thank you for this important post.

Secondly, I don't know if most people understand the problem of pedophilia. There is an incredibly high recidivism rathe, well over 80%. That means that, even with Christian intervention, these folks are highly likely to reoffend.

Would you let a person with an active, highly infective disease attend church in which people would have an 85% chance of contracting the disease? I think you would make other provisions.

Now, when the average pedophile is caught, they have offended approximately 140 times! Don't believe me? Go to the sites with pedophile stats or visit my site at TWW and click on pedophile. We have the stats there.

I think that there is very little empathy of the victims of pedophilia on the part of Christians who stick their heads firmly in the sand. So, I have a dare for you.

Read Bill Zeller's suicide note. This young man was abused as a child. The effects were so devastating, in spite of being at Princeton University and inventing the application of My Tunes, he could no longer live with the pain.

This is NOT a shameless plug for my site. I think this is one of the most devastating letters I have ever read.

I challenge everyone to read this and see how comfortable you feel with pedophiles running around your church.

May God have mercy on the church for its shameful failure in this area.

http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/04/05/bill-zeller%E2%80%99s-suicide-pedophiles-go-to-heaven-and-catholics-go-to-hell/

Thy Peace said...

The Wartburg Watch > Bell Zeller's Suicide: Pedophiles Go to Heaven and Catholics Go to Hell

Anonymous said...

A church which protects a pedophile who has abused a child is committing a crime. It is a crime under the law and a crime against humanity. Any who participate in the cover up cannot truly be said to be Christians, because by their actions they are compounding the sin against the child. Jesus sai, if you do anything that leads a child astray (and abuse does that, so does supporting the perp over the victim), it would be better to be drowned.

They are also guilty of the abuse of any subsequent victim, because that would not have occurred had they acted appropriately.

That is what I have against Paige Patterson. He had a chance to stop the abuse of young women by a protege and refused to accept the repeated complaints of multiple victims, causing additional people to be victimized. PAIGE PATTERSON IS GUILTY OF PROTECTING A PREDATOR AND ABETTING HIS LATER PREDATION OF ADDITION VICTIMS. As such, he does not belong as a religious leader anywhere, except in a confessional and in penance for his repeated sin.

The Butcher Priest said...

God saves all. Pedophiles and child malestors will be in heaven. Sexually abusive pastors will be in heaven. Rapists and fondlers and slave traffickers will be in heaven. Who will not be in heaven? Those who think they are doing God's will by managing blogs dedicated to overseeing the destructiveness of those struggling souls who have stumbled in their own ministry and committed great travesties; those who hold onto the cultish belief system that accountability and transparency leashes ought to be tied to the necks of every pastor; those who won't make it into heaven are those who are unwilling to sacrifice everything to God and instead live mediocre religious lifestyles no different from the demons who trought every land of this world.

The Butcher Priest said...

What kind of Christians are you? Instead of praying for those in ministry who have stumbled and failed to overcome the heavy temptations of this world, all you do is write about them and pour salt into the wounds. Fools! Pharisees! Whoremongers! God save us all!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Confused - a few of your posts were hung up in the spam filter, I just released them. Sorry about that, the spam filter does its own thing.

Butcher Priest - I don't believe you believe what you wrote. You're probably a troll trying to stir up trouble. Don't take the bait readers. Stick to the topic at hand of pedophile pastors and the failure of modern day church leaders to adequately address the problem.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Wade Burleson > A Suicide Letter that Reveals the Pain of Child Abuse

Anonymous said...

I know a pastor who walked into a situation similiar to this story. He came in to at the point of years later and the victim had confronted the abuser as an adult. They never pressed chargers because the vicitim wanted to remain unknown. One of the things we got to remind ourselves if that we need to keep an eye on the perp and know what they are up to. Also we have to be respectful to the victim if they are no longer a minor and follow their wishes. Sometimes full disclosure is not good for those who have been hurt. Not saying overlook or sweep it under the rug. It does not have to be everyone's buisness. That is up to the victim for that decission. Stand by them in Christ and do not forsake or tread on them. Now if they are a minor and you know something is not right then you are bound by law. As a pastor myself I tell people if you do something that gets you locked up then I can still be your while you are in jail.

Anonymous said...

..should be pastor after your.

Anonymous said...

"Butcher Priest - I don't believe you believe what you wrote. You're probably a troll trying to stir up trouble. Don't take the bait readers. Stick to the topic at hand of pedophile pastors and the failure of modern day church leaders to adequately address the problem."

Don't worry. Butcher priest contradicted himself so badly, I doubt any with more than a 6th grade reading comprehension level took it seriously.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Christianity is common sense. Christianity puts the victims first and the molester in the place of judgment.

Religion puts the victims in a place of judgment and the molester as the victim.

Christianity wants justice for the victim, compassion for the victim.

Religion wants to keep its reputation in tact.

Christianity is common sense. Use it. The molester uses religion to gain "forgiveness" and turn himself into a victim. They hide in churches, they know Christianese, they know people will believe them and not the victim. They are cunning and smart.

Use common sense. Molestation kills the soul of the victim for life. Nothing a child or teenager does or wears is an invitation to be molested. They are children for crying out loud!

Either the churches wake up or suffer the consequences of not doing anything. The victims are the wounded, not the molester, who is just sorry he got caught.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that we should look to those in the world sometimes. They at least eventually use common sense. We have laws that are harsh on the molester. They should be. The world saw African Americans and women as human beings long before the church did. They saw slavery as wrong, they saw discrimination as wrong. It's no longer the world that is wrong here and that should not be, but it is.

For the church to be separating from the world in which we as Christians now live in and to dismiss all they do and say because they are not the church is wrong. In these areas they are absolutely right, the church is wrong. What's wrong with that picture is that it should be the other way around.

WishIhadknown said...

I think in many ways the churches’ approach is more like “there but by the grace of God stand I.” It’s like in the days before MADD and the mandatory sentencing laws it was difficult to get drunk drivers punished for their crimes. Jurors were sympathetic to the defendant because so many of them had committed the same offenses and not gotten caught. Therefore the tendency was to go lightly on the offender. It took a ground roots effort on the part of MADD to push reform and make the legal system “see the light” as it were.

Cindy said...

Wishihadknown,

This is an excellent observation, I think. Not to say that churches have not done the right thing by their wounded lambs, but the leadership in the SBC and among leaders in the IFB have failed to create a tone that allows victims to feel safe in their churches. In some ways, it seems oxymoronic, but it is a whole new territory in a sense. Any of the leaders (like an SBC president or a seminary leader who has a plan or consults someone like Christa to develop a plan) is breaking new ground.

But then, on the other hand, this is not an entirely true statement, depending on your perspective and your concerns.

A quick skimming of the sidebar of StopBaptistPredators.org demonstrates only a few of the climate created by leaders in the SBC, and we heard similar things from Jack Shaap in the IFB on 20/20 the other night. Rather than feeling threatened enough to have SWBTS set up the first model program for responding to victims, Paige Patterson calls cast-off victims and SNAP that is outside the SBC "evildoers." I guess it's the fault of discontent women who started all of this trouble by refusing to accept sexual abuse and physical abuse as a male privilege within society and within the church. Those evil, boisterous women! They should take it patiently. No one needed a registry when women just kept their mouths shut and soaked up the shame. They probably deserved it anyway, perhaps.

I think that these days we face have become a grand opportunity for the Baptist Church to choose to acknowledge and care for their wounded lambs. The road bifurcates ahead -- and the whole Evangelical Community (as many independents defer to the SBC)-- and the leaders have choices to make. I pray that God turns and softens their hearts so that they can make the best choice. To me, that is a choice that protects and binds the wounds of lambs, not one that both enables wolves and empowers abusive shepherds to continue in heinous acts. Because quite frankly, much of this stuff is outright heinous.

Cindy said...

Confused, your comment above has nagged me for a day or so, and I've decided to answer it. If someone else has made a similar statement, then I apologize. It continues to jump out at me as I scroll through all the comments here. You said above, I believe in response to the BBC Open Forum:

The world is not a safe place. Christianity is about laying a life down, not protecting it from all of the ill willed. I have been in a ministry capacity with those society deemed “dangerous”. I have served in a capacity surrounded by gang members, drug addicts, abusers, those with serious criminal records, and those who have committed crimes not yet discovered. If I told you I was not concerned, I would be a liar, but it really wasn’t about me, now was it? What is my safety? What is my comfort? What is my life?

If we were talking about a community of people who were not Christians and to come forward about abuse might threaten your life and the life of your family, perhaps, then this might be a consideration as a matter of survival.

Herein is the problem...

Christa is not talking about going through into communities of drug addicts and unbelievers in order to create some list of people to protect the world. Christa seeks to get Christian people and Christian leaders to care for their little ones. Baptists often believe that the are the true examples of what a Christian should be, even as an example to other Evangelicals who aren't Baptists. But it seems to me that these leaders and the system itself has washed their hands of their duty to minister to crushed ones in their day of agonia.

And then I have to laugh a bit, as levity helps, but it might also be an ironic reality for many.

We live in an age of aggression on behalf of religious leaders, and ecclesial courts "minister" to the flock in ways that I believe are spiritually abusive (per Watchman Fellowhship's monograph on the topic). In a way, this portion of your statement validates the environment wherein many wounded lambs find themselves. To speak about the crimes puts people at such risk, and many are told that they will even lose their eternal souls for exposing a predator. They are like the mafia thugs, and to speak against them is, in terms of one's religious life, like "going against the family." The Tina Andersons and the Jocelyn Zichtermans of this world lose their families, their jobs if they are employed by their religious group, and they are run out of their churches when they are most in need.

It is truly heartbreaking to me. but I pray that God turns and softens the hearts of those in a place to change the system to receive and minister to its lambs. May they rise up, change the system, and put the millstone makers out of eternal business!