Church officers and fathers who cover up sexual crimes...
"Fathers need to know this: avoiding the potential shame by not providing justice for your daughter is a cowardly act that will be forever remembered..." - longtime PCA elder and father of little daughters just found to have been raped by a relative
Here's an e-mail we received responding to the post "With the souls of sodomites destroyed, children are next...". As you will see, the e-mail is filled with horrors--particularly the horror of Christians who refuse to recognize the horrors taking over our homes and churches and to respond to them Biblically.
Since posting this and the previous piece, it's become clear to me that readership of this post has been small. And I believe this means sexual sin and the rampant fornication and pornography that are its seedbed will live on in the church, gaining ground while church officers and household fathers abandon their flocks and talk exchange blog posts and comments about family-centered churches and post-millenialism.
The predators love this.
So please, look again at the pull-quote at the top and ask yourself if you and your church officers are beyond it? If you're such good fathers, pastors, elders, deacons, and Titus 2 women that you don't need to find out what it means or how to respond to this failure of fathers filling our churches with bitterness? I'm sure no one relishes reading such a rebuke, but then do we really think the Corinthians enjoyed the Apostle Paul's letters?
Note particulary the father's statement about the cowardice of fathers who try to cover up the crime rather than protecting their children. This is the reality of my pastoral experience, over and over again. Our session submits the criminal to the civil magistrate. Always. Immediately. And so must you.
Living in a university community, over many years, now, ClearNote Church has been blessed by God with a good number of opportunities to be servants of reconciliation in these tragic circumstances. We would be pleased to serve your church's officers by providing support and counsel when you need help with sexual abuse and crimes against our Lord's little ones. Please feel free to contact us.
Now, on to the account...Tim,
Thanks for the head’s up on the recent B4U-ACT symposium; unfortunately, I know more about this topic now than I ever wanted to.
Less than three weeks ago, we learned that an extended family member (whom I’ll call Michael) had molested two of my daughters. Within 36 hours of the initial discovery, he both admitted his offense and turned himself in to the police where he was arrested and indicted on two counts of rape and one gross sexual imposition; we are now in the midst of the excruciatingly slow march to a trial. As a result of this incident, I have witnessed four things in particular that I’d like to share with you.
First, as we have shared the story with friends and family, the number of women who have similar stories is simply astonishing...
Having consumed numerous articles on the topic in the last two weeks, I’ve seen numbers that say one in five women have been sexually molested. Prior to our own experience I would have dismissed this as feminist hype, but now I wonder if the number isn’t higher. Sadly, in addition to the simple destructiveness of the act itself, the vast majority of the women indicated that their families had tried to handle the problem on their own, sweeping it under the proverbial rug and never talking about it – usually because it involved a family member. As a result, there was a wellspring of resentment towards fathers over their lack of acting to protect or bring to justice these criminals – despite the fact that all of these women are married, have their own children, and lead what we all would observe to be normal lives. Fathers need to know this: avoiding the potential shame by not providing justice for your daughter is a cowardly act that will be forever remembered and would appear to cause as much resentment and psychological issues as the criminal acts themselves.
Second, while our friends, family and Church have been enormously supportive, there are so many evangelicals that simply will not draw connecting lines between pornography and deviant sexual behavior. Michael was discovered to have had a problem with pornography soon after he was married nearly 17 years ago, and his wife almost divorced him at that time. As it turned out, though he was raised in and was attending a fundamentalist (KJVers, all skirts all the time and beehives) Baptist church at the time, pornography was a systemic problem within the church (before the deluge of internet porn), where even his brother and sister-in-law were active porn users who supplied Michael with material and encouraged his wife to partake as well in order to “enhance” their marriage. (That brother was just informed by his eighteen-year-old daughter that she is a lesbian and is moving out to live with her girlfriend.) After the confrontation 16 years ago, Michael underwent evangelical-based counseling for his addiction to porn, but, as I recently discovered, at some point in the last decade, stopped going, and, we believe, returned to his addiction to material that fed his abhorrent, aberrant fantasies.
I think asserting that his addiction to porn fed his eventual attraction to pedophilia is a pretty easy connection to make, but much to my surprise several friends (evangelicals) want to insist on not drawing a straight line from porn to pedophilia. Not that I need a Venn diagram to demonstrate that pedos are a subset of the larger group “porn users”, but the immediate “whoa! That’s going too far” that my wife and I receive when we start asserting the link is remarkable – as if using heterosexual adult porn is innocuous in and of itself. When is the church going to wake up? (As an aside - Touchstone recently linked to Salvo’s description of the physical addiction that is created by porn use; if you haven’t read it, it’s very good.)
Third, the way the criminal justice system operates with regard to this crime is insane. We don’t have a death penalty for child rapists in my state, but, as the sheriff’s deputy at my house informed me, “he’ll get his when he gets to prison; they hate these kind of guys.” As if that’s comforting or, better yet, even justice. So Michael will go to prison for likely 20 years or more; his wife and her children will be forced to not only deal with his absence but also his reappearance someday, as will my family. And of course, after his 20 years of prison-style justice, he’ll likely be released as a broken, despicable creature who will have the same sexual appetite that put him in prison in the first place, and the odds are good that he’ll act out the desires on someone else’s children. So where’s the justice in this system? At least with execution we could all move on, and he could throw himself upon the mercy of God. As it is, we kick this most miserable can down the road, never quite losing the dread of what may come years from now. Strangely, several of my evangelical friends have engaged in a horrible schadenfreude with regard to the treatment he’ll receive in prison – treatment which I consider to be no different than torture for the next 20 years. How is it that our society – evangelicals included - regards frequent prison rapes as an acceptable form of justice?
Finally, the way the two evangelical churches involved (neither of them my own) have handled this event once they were notified has been perfectly abysmal. It’s evident that churches are not addressing sexual sin in any kind of regular or thorough fashion; both pastors were caught completely flat-footed and offered horrible advice and little to no wisdom. To one’s credit, he’s gotten himself – with the help of some of his elders – up to speed quickly and is now making amends for his initial mistakes. But again, the whole episode demonstrates that we, the Church, have become an ostrich people and we are being destroyed because of it.
I write this not to vent (or at least not primarily), dear brother, but simply as a way to say “keep pressing on.” Your efforts must continue until the church wakes up to the absolute tragedy that we’ve enabled and participated in with regard to unmooring ourselves from biblical sexual standards.
Pray for us and blessings on your work.