| Re: |
I too, have pondered this question: how the state does not recognize the possibility of repentance. Actually, the issue is a thorny one. How can one be certain the perpetrator is truly repentant and will no longer pose a risk to females? If the state would allow the pastors to make that call, it would put them in a precarious position because what if they are wrong and the fellow pursues it again? There are people who will say anything what they perceive you want to hear. And they are good at persuading you how "genuine" they are. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, allowing the state to make this call will take pastors off the hook as well?
We have a sister, now married with children, in our church who was molested by her adoptive father. Presently he is incarcerated and will be until the youngest in this family is 18 YO. He says he did no wrong. Opps! Regardless how he considers his sin, the damage he inflicted upon this woman was so severe she says that unless Christ had intervened in their marriage it would have broken up. (In a moment of utter despair the Lord Jesus appeared to her hanging on the cross...He said something but I forgot the exact words.)
In my opinion we are dealing with an issue that is just as bad as murder. The victim is still living with damaged emotions, bad memories; relationships impaired. It is a situation where Jesus says it would have been better if a millstone were tied to his neck and cast into the middle of the sea. Rough? Jesus said it...as the Creator, he knows well the problems inherent in the offence of young children.
This is a serious issue...and I think we are all aware of it and this is gratifying.
| 2012/5/29 6:54||Profile|
| Re: Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement.|
"Mercy Triumphs over Judgement"
"Forgive and you will be forgiven."
Measure for measure, As we measure others, so will we be measured on judgment day.
I believe this man, Hernandez, suffered everyday of his life over what he did, the murder this boy. Even as he embraced Jesus Christ as his saviour, he grieved continously over what he did.
Against the advice of the inner circle of those Christians who knew him and what he did, he gave himself up to our earthly authorities.
I greived and prayed for Ethan Patz when he was kidnapped. It was extremely sad that someone kidnapped the boy.
I now rejoice that the boys' murderer, Mr. Hernandez, will be in heaven because he repented and put himself under God's mercy through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. I rejoice, because this is precisely what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.
| 2012/5/29 11:25||Profile|
| Re: |
Of course God can save a child molester. I dont know the man, but I would venture to say that this man needs (or needed to) be saved. It is one thing for a believer to fall into occasional sin. For someone to live a lifestyle of sin, particularly something as evil and deviant as what this man did... I find it hard to believe he was walking with the Lord. I do not believe for a second that his life during that period of time was washed and bathed with the Word and prayer.
But I dont know.
Here's what I do know: Christian adults will willingly sacrifice children.
You say "What do you mean? We would never do that!" Oh yes they do, and I see it all the time. Christians want to believe the best about people, and they certainly dont want to be labeled as unloving or unforgiving.
I've watched Christian parents sit by and let coaches verbally (and sometimes physically) abuse their children... even on Christian sports teams... and not say one word about it. I've seen Christian adults use cuss words in front of children at church events and other such things... and parents not say a word about it.
Why? Well because! Didnt you know? One of the commandments is "Thou shalt not rock the boat"!
Someone mentioned earlier in this thread that it always seems people will say after the fact, "Ya know, I always had a gut feeling about that guy..."
If you had a gut feeling about the guy why didnt you do something about it? There are ways of checking your gut feeling without making a public accusation against the guy. But instead, we dont want to seem like we're gossiping or "rocking the boat".... so we do nothing while evil is being perpetrated on a child.
When we allow that happen it is WE who failed those children!!
Whenever I see a pastor or "youth minister" (a phrase never used in the Bible) being arrested on the news for this type I thing... I always blame the adults in the church because measures can be taken to help ensure those type of things never happen.
Thats my rant... I'm gone.
| 2012/5/29 12:59|
| Re: |
this happened approximately 10 years ago the abuse against his daughters (all happened under the age of 12), so this happened for a long time...
I am not aware of any reconciliation with his daughters but he confessed to his wife and the senior pastor and his wife backed up his repentance (so he could still be an elder...) since his daughters now are in their early 20's/ late teens today.
The girls had enough hiding it from their family and others and confessed it to their older brothers and one brother called the police immediately on his dad.
| 2012/5/29 21:21||Profile|
| Re: |
What is very disappointing in churches like this is that no one had "discernment". That no one got a word of knowledge, as we see in the book of Acts. That none of the other elders nor the pastor nor any mature Christian was in a position to discern through the Spirit that something was going on with this man.
Many times we hear people say After the fact - "I had an uncomfortable feeling around him." and the such - but the churches haven't been taught on how to use this discernment in a helpful way. It doesn't help these girls to say afterward that some had a "creepy feeling inside", and the other elders and pastors would be or should have been used of GOD, if this had been a Church that knew His voice or 'gifts' and would know how and what to do about the discernment given.
Was GOD not able to expose before all of this happened? I believe He is always faithful - but He needs an open vessel 'in' the church and the church needs to stop fearing that true discernment is 'judging' or unloving.
The fault was not GOD's.
I say AMEN AMEN AMEN.
| 2012/5/30 6:06|
| Re: |
I must disagree with you evangis.
It would be horrible to have Christians take the Law in their hands to severely punish or ostracize the imagined wicked people as determined by someone's alleged spiritual gift of "creepy feelings inside". This would be vigilante-ism.
What you are asking is to revive the Salem Witch Trials.
| 2012/5/30 8:16||Profile|
| Re: |
There is Biblical church discipline, but it should NEVER be carried out based on someone's "word of knowledge".
Like in a court of law there has to be sufficient evidence that prooves sin has taken place. No where in the Bible do you see church discipline taking place without evidence.
In Act when Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied to Peter, and thus to God... there was obviously some proof that could back up what took place. Obviously Peter was being led by the Spirit and knew they were lying because of that... but what happened next? They both died.
The Holy Spirit punished them, not Peter. Peter did not kill them, God did.
If there is evidence, then the church needs to exercise church discipline as described in scripture. If we were to deal with sin the way it was done in Acts with Ananias and Sapphira then why did Paul spend so much time explaining how to exercise church discipline?
My goodness, can you imagine the chaos in the church if we just went on everyone's whim about someone else? We would all become accusers of the brethren... and the poor pastors would be bogged down in all of that and not able to minister and preach.
Follow scripture. Wise church discipline done Biblically is what is needed. Not kooky "I got a feeling about that guy" type of stuff.
By the way... church discipline without sufficient evidence opens churches up to civil liabilities as well. Christians are not to sue one another, but if some church disciplined me falsly based upon some kook's gut feeling about me... the temptation would be there.
| 2012/5/30 10:53|
| Re: |
What I don't see here and perhaps I missed it somewhere is that repentant or not, there are certain qualifications in the bible for being in any kind of leadership in a church!
This is the word of God, and if we follow it, we can leave out the guess work.
1 Timothy 3
"It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons IF THEY ARE BEYOND REPROACH. 11 Women (their wives) must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus."
| 2012/5/30 11:41||Profile|
| Re: |
Repenting from a sin is not the same as mastering a sin. and not allowing a person to be in leadership because of a sin they have not mastered or because they have not obtained a high standing among the flock is not the same as not forgiving them.
Allowing this person to go on as an elder was not biblical even if he was repentant. Those who accepted his repentance should have given him a seat with the rest of the congregation- and that would have been a display of love and forgiveness.
| 2012/5/30 11:51||Profile|
| Re: |
onemite... I agree. Forgiveness does not equal restoration.
The Bible is clear what the qualifications for leadership in the Lord's church is. Once that has been broken the person has to step back. Depending on the sin there can be restoration, but moral sins in particular... no.
Especially child molestation or other deviant sexual sins. I personally throw adultry into that category as well.
| 2012/5/30 12:01|