Has something similar to this gone on in a church in your city or town? Probably, but since the advent of the Internet, Christians all over America, or for that matter, the world, have been able to connect the dots. Again, I thank God for various blogs that have exposed the previously “best kept secret” of the church….that of spiritual and sexual abuse. I know of one serious instance of sexual molestation of a very young teen boy by the “youth minister” in a church where I live, and in fact, that I used to be a member of. What did the church do? Nothing…. except cover it up. The boy was so traumatized by the molestation, he didn’t “tell” for a long time.
Although a crime/crimes had been committed the church covered it up and allowed the so-called youth minister to continue “ministering” to teen age children, oftentimes picking them up at home and taking them places without parental or church supervision.
Scripture says to remove a hypocrite from the church. The law says to report such crimes. This church played God and took the law in their own hands and did neither, “not wanting to ruin the reputation of the man, or the church”. The single parent was discouraged by church leadership of reporting the crime to the police saying it was a “spiritual issue”.
Although this should have been reported to the police, it wasn’t. So, what did they do for the child?…and make no mistake, a 13 yr old boy IS a child and at a very vulnerable stage of development in his life. No one from the church went to minister to, pray for, or counsel the boy. He was left to struggle with the aftermath of this abuse by himself. I found out about this after the fact, but I knew the boy personally, and know that he desperately needed counseling. He still has trust and other issues to this day because of this molestation.
Also, I am almost positive that another boy of the same age was molested by this same man several years later. I observed this myself when I went back several years later, that this boy was having serious emotional and spiritual issues….. that he acted very strange, as did the youth minister, but again, nothing was done. I asked the boy’s mother if she had questioned her son and asked her if she had asked her son if he had been sexually molested by this man, and she said yes, but that he denied it. However, denial by a victim is not all that unusual in some cases.
So, what happened to the molester? He died suddenly and prematurely. God has a way of taking care of situations where someone has harmed one of his little ones. As for the church…it is not doing well or prospering, not surprisingly, but continues to pretend “to do the work of the Lord” and inviting the unsuspecting into its fellowship.
About another church in the same general area…this is a bit of pretty accurate hearsay, but the church grapevine indicated a 9 month pentecostal “revival” conducted by a traveling evangelist abruptly ended due to a “sexual incident” with a 15 yr old girl. This was after he had been conducting “deliverance and casting out sessions” in the back room of the church. One young woman I knew to be a fine Christian suffered a nervous breakdown, and landed up in the psyche ward of a local hospital after a suicide attempt, and has now quit her job due to being unable to work, and is on medication. And apparently, the traveling evangelist traveled on to molest some girl, and/or, spiritually harm someone else in another church down the line.
I am a Christian but I can tell you that I am disgusted by the way many churches cover up incidents of spiritual and sexual abuse by church members or church leadership, and I will not be party to such spiritual or legal crimes by participating in such churches, or ministries, I don’t care whether they operate behind the closed doors of a church building or from behind their laptops on the Internet. And neither should anyone else. No church is above the law, and no church is above the law of God making themselves a law unto themselves. And neither is any so-called “online ministry”.
Although it’s illegal to issue a disclosure statement hiding facts about known issues in a real estate contract, churches have continued to cover up and abuse with impunity. The same can be said about many online ministries which operate in an entirely different realm than local church communities, and have become virtually untouchable, with very little or no accountability to anyone.
As for churches in general…
Meanwhile, people from these two churches I mentioned continue inviting people to “go to churrrrch” with them. I personally think they should hand out disclosure statements, ( similar to those that must be issued when one puts a house on the market for sale, listing all the potential problems and issues not apparent upon surface examination)… stating they allow molestation in their churches and commit spiritual abuse in general. When churches invite the unsaved or morally unregenerate into their churches, they’ve already gone against scripture. The Lord’s church is supposed to be the Body of Christ, not a haven for perverts and wicked people. If they want to do an outreach, then keep it separate from the church assembly and keep a close watch on the kids. The next child to be molested could be yours.
As for so-called “online ministries and fellowships”…...
What do you actually know about these people? Have you looked them in the eye, face to face? Would you enter into a serious business deal with someone you’ve never personally met, no matter how good the deal looked on the surface? And yet, they are asking money from you, by virtue of their PayPal or donation page?
I’ll say it again, as I have on other posts, preaching or teaching is a calling, not a business.
As for me………
I’ve experienced spiritual abuse and witnessed it damaging other people. I’m not out there with a “ministry”, teaching doctrine. I am what I am, not a perfect vessel, but willing to be made into what God desires me to be. I use this blog to warn people about things I consider to be very important. But one thing I do not do, and that’s put up a Pal Pal acct, or donation page asking money from people for what I do here that I have freely received from the LORD.
I’m just saying…the choices are up to each person, and not me, God, or anyone else is going to force anyone to do anything against their own will.