By Sharon Merhalski
Our organization gets phone calls…..e-mails…..we keep up with the legal accounts of pedophile pastors and church workers and we stay outraged for the children! We also stay very saddened about the apathy of far too many Christians.
As the mother of a child molested by a pastor, and a director who faces this pastor/pedophile situation on a weekly basis, I have one question for Christians everywhere, especially those sitting in the pews of churches involved in a child abuse case: WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE FOR THE CHILDRENS’ PAIN?!!!
I believe child abuse has become such a frequent occurrence that we have become desensitized to the horror and injustice of a person abusing a child…but God hasn’t! Children have a special place in God’s heart:
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD
Heritage defined by the Strong’s Concordance: something inherited, possession
Wesley: Psalm 127:3 – Children – The chief of these blessings. Heritage – Only from God’s blessing, even as an inheritance is not the fruit of a man’s own labour, but the gift of God.
Recently I read a document written by a Christian who was talking about a well-known pastor’s wife in Florida. He stated that she is a great lady even though she knew of the abuse her husband was using on children. Great lady?! Should it be said of any Christian that they are “great” or a good person who ho-hums and keeps quiet about a child being abused—offended? God has a plan for those who offend children and I believe it includes those who stand by and silently let it happen! Remember, God says it is better that those who offend children have a weight put around their neck and thrown into the water to drown. (Mark 9:442) God was outraged for the children…why aren’t we?!!!
It absolutely sickens me when I hear of Christians who do not obey God and turn people accused of child molestation over to the law for investigation and justice. God’s teaching on this is very clear…we are to abide by and live under the laws of our land (words in parenthesis from the Strong’s Concordance):
I Peter chapter 2.
13. “Submit yourselves (be obedient) to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king (foundation of power–judge, law of the land), as supreme;
14. Or unto governors (a leader), as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment (vindication, retribution, punishment) of evildoers (criminal–one committing a crime which is the breaking of a law of the land), and for the praise of them that do well.
15. For so is the will (purpose, desire) of God, that with well doing (duty) ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish (ignorant, stupid, morally unbelieving) men:”
When we don’t report people accused of sexual misconduct to the police so they can investigate the allegations, if there is another child molested, aren’t we, by our silence, also responsible? The Bible says a pastor is to be without blame. Yes, anyone can be blamed for anything. People do lie about others. However, until the blame is found not to be true I believe this verse tells us he should step back from his duties as a pastor, “A bishop then must be blameless,….” I Timothy 3:2
The following is written by Danni Moss and posted on her blog at:
Jer. 23:14 “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.”
First of all, just in case anyone might think this verse doesn’t apply to the modern-day church, we have to remember that God has not changed. This is an issue of His nature as a righteous God, especially dealing with those who are His representatives. This passage was directed specifically to the prophets in Jerusalem, but God’s attitude toward those who proport to speak for Him has never changed and never will change.
The prophets described in this verse look painfully like many clergy today.
· They commit adultery. Sound familiar? Adultery includes (but is not limited to) a sexual liaison with another adult to whom one is not married. It also includes any sexual relationship or impropriety with a minor of either sex. It also includes use of pornography which is an epidemic problem among clergy.
· They walk in lies. Hmmm. Denial of known abuse is lying. Even more broadly, walking in lies would also mean walking in untruth or deception. Lying includes more than speaking a deliberate, bare-faced untruth. It also includes deception in all its forms. Failing to speak truth in such a way that conceals falsehood or perpetrates falsehood, even without actually speaking a direct lie, is still lying. So, when clergy know of abuse but fail to report it to authorities, to their church body, and to other churches they are walking in deception – lies.
· They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so evildoers do not return from their wickedness. Wow! Reinforcing evil behavior by refusing to enforce consequences, and in fact, shielding wrong-doers from consequences, is clearly strengthening the hands of evildoers. This behavior by church leaders communicates to abusers that their actions are not only beyond reproach but are protected. So evil grows and expands and more lives are destroyed.
So what is God’s perspective? …they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Any questions? Is there the slightest ambiguity here? God isn’t the slightest bit “grey” on the subject and there are no extenuating circumstances given for which He might waffle from His views.
This raises the question – how can we tolerate actions and attitudes that are anything less than God’s own? How can we excuse what He is adamantly against? And how can we think there will not be serious consequences to the church for this gross violation of God’s righteous nature? –Danni
It’s past time to stand up and be OUTRAGED for abused children—God’s heritage!!!