Concerning the open letter of the session of Christ Church, Moscow: a retraction...

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Two days ago, with my wife I posted a statement titled "Christ Church's open letter is pastorally wise..." in support of an open letter issued by the pastors and elders of Christ Church, Moscow, in connection with a member of their congregation named Steven Sitler. Since posting our statement, though, Mary Lee and I have learned more details which have led us to conclude our prior statement was precipitous and should not have been published. We apologize and have removed the statement from Baylyblog...

That said, we continue to have deep respect for Christ Church's pastors and elders Biblically, spiritually, and pastorally. Like many others around the country, we and our congregation have benefited greatly from their ministry and thank God for them and their work, as well as the congregation that loves and supports them. We do not want to cause them any pain, but in the particular instance of Steven Sitler, we are afraid our prior statement has rightly been interpreted as the endorsement of a particular approach in pastoral care of child sexual abusers that we do not, in fact, support. Thus this retraction and the posting (we anticipate in a little while) of another piece explaining some of the details of what we believe about the proper pastoral care of those who have given themselves to this terrible wickedness.

One additional note: unbelievers and cynics think retractions are always and only forced, but this is faithlessness. No one put any pressure on us to retract our previous post. We simply came to believe what we had written was wrong, so we apologized for it and pulled it off the web.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!