Government gets it right while churches get it wrong...

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Amidst a very sad set of articles on adoptions that have gone bad, and what happens to those children, came the following quote:

By 2002, Calvin Eason and a pregnant Nicole had moved to South Carolina. That March, Nicole gave birth to a boy.

Massachusetts child protection officials learned of the move and told South Carolina authorities about the Easons' history. They explained that Nicole's daughter was already in the foster care system. "The allegations," a report by South Carolina authorities recounted, "are abuse and neglect." (The couple's parental rights to the girl were subsequently terminated.)

Although the Kickery boy's death had been ruled an accident, Massachusetts authorities also brought Nicole's involvement in the matter to the attention of South Carolina officials. An incident report, dated Feb. 28, 2002 and prepared by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina, notes that a "child died in Subject's care."

About a week after Nicole's son was born, the state executed an emergency removal of the newborn from the Eason home in Summerville, South Carolina, sheriff's records show. Authorities cited the neglect investigation of the Easons in Massachusetts and the conditions in the couple's South Carolina home.

Today, few church officers are willing to do what these state officials did—call each other up and inquire concerning the past history of those souls who just left their prior church for ours...

Thinking of the church as "spiritual," we avoid investigating prior crimes and physical harm committed by souls transferring into our churches. After all, crimes and physical sins are the civil magistrate's domain. The church is just "spiritual," so we cover our ears and close our eyes.

Beyond crimes and physical sins, though, even prior spiritual harm done by souls transferring into our churches is left alone. "After all, we're all Christians, here, and everyone deserves a fresh start." "What we don't know about our congregation's newcomers can't hurt us, because..."

"Oh my, we didn't know. We had no idea!"

The new pastor picking up one tithing family unit has no idea Fred Jones beat his wife and molested children while he was a member of his previous church. And if the pastor of the previous church tries to warn the lucky pastor picking up the tithing unit, that new pastor responds to the information, saying: "I don't know why you're calling me and telling me this stuff. You must not have forgiven him. Don't you know about grace? Good grief, you're spiteful. Don't you know that God says, 'Vengeance is mine. I will repay?'"

Oh, that church officers were as conscientious in the care for the souls under their authority as these civil magistrates of Massachusetts and South Carolina! May the Lord raise up more like them.

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have five children, Tate, Eliza Jane, Moses, Fiona and Annabel. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. He is currently planting Christ Church in Cincinnati with several other families.