Opinions on faith and life

A Closet Full of Skeletons

2009-10-09

This is no celebration of the approaching “day of the dead” (aka Halloween) to be observed at the end of this month in the US, but it is about great evil nonetheless. I speak of hidden sins, of aiding and abetting, of turning a blind eye to evil being done by professing Christians. I wrote about it in more general terms before, but if we never name names, it will go on.

We are all familiar with the exposure in recent years of Roman Catholic priests committing heinous crimes against children, but other “Christian” organizations are most hypocritical in denouncing such things, because they either commit identical crimes or cover for those who do. They only admit guilt when caught, but make excuses instead of repenting in bitter tears. Somehow they have convinced themselves (and the sycophants that defend them) that “grace” is to be extended to these monsters, while they either ignore the victims or dump all the blame on them.

Such despicable behavior is to be expected of the lost, but even unbelievers know a monster when they see one, and they press for justice. Not so the “Christians”! There is no love, no compassion or mercy, for the hapless victim who dares to sully the reputation of their “leaders” by accusing them of horrible crimes against women and children. It’s all well and good to “cast the first stone” toward the heathen, but when it’s their turn, the mantra is “touch not God’s anointed”.

For example, in this article from one victim we see how a high-profile Southern Baptist ethics official rightly denounces the evil being perpetrated in Hollywood, but remains silent about identical abuses going on in his own denomination— abuses of which he is hardly ignorant. Grace abounds for the guilty, but as can be seen in the comments there as well, not the slightest pity is extended to the innocent victims. We expect whistle-blowers to take heat in the political realm, but can’t we expect better from professing believers?

We can and we should; in fact, we must (1 Tim. 5:20-21), or we too will have the blood of the victims on our hands. Not getting involved is a sign of weak character, not holiness! All of us, from the entitled to the unknown, must raise a cry before God and humanity to publicly expose and expel these criminals and their enablers. If the political right can finally get off their sofas and raise public protests, so can Christians get off their pews and “expel the wicked one from among” us (1 Cor. 5:12-13). We need to clean out our own closets before pointing fingers at the world.

Others have said these things before, and more will say them later, but it can’t be broadcast enough. We must not stop screaming about this until these skeletons are gone— every last one of them.

7 Comments

lydia

The last two threads at This Blog are discussing this very thing.

If there is one reason that blogging is valuable it is to see how many of our pastors think.

When I asked questions such as why didn’t Land use his media platform as Ethics for the SBC to speak out against those who protect molesters on SBC church staffs or pedophile ministers, I was chided by some pastors for daring to ask such a question. Who am I to ask such a thing of such a great man?

The responses by pastors is illuminating. Such as ’you are just mad he did not speak on your pet topic’ or ’who do you think you are to say what he must speak out on’. Or my favorite: I do not like Land. Huh? Other responses included changing the subject and asking what I was doing about it even rebuking me for not asking Land privately! (Never mind this was a public message)

Last I checked, I am not living off the offerings of others with a title of Ethics for the SBC. I thought that was Land’s job. And he has the media platform. If his title is ETHICS, I suppose that only includes the outside...not the SBC?

You know, it is funny. They want the big power, position and titles but if you question what they are doing and why,then it becomes,"what are YOU doing about it". But they certainly have no problem taking our money for their huge salaries as long as we do not question them

But note the lack of discussing the actual issue. Our leaders want to fight a culture war and tell Hollywood how depraved they are YET, we have the exact same problem within the SBC! We are doing the exact same thing! And the leadership is mute. (They DO write brochures on it but when it comes to actual pastors protecting pedophile of sexual perversion in the pulpit, they do not say a word. They never rebuke this ignoring of scripture publicly)

And we have disfellowshipped churches for allowing gay members (rightly so) and women preachers. But, a well known preacher (Steve Gaines of BBC) who protected a pedophile staff minister of prayer was awarded speaking engagements within the SBC right after his scandal of protecting the pedophile minister of prayer for 6 mos until it became public. (The pedophile was in charge of the safety of children at BBC)

In other words, there are many examples of the SBC leadership actually looking the other way and even rewarding those they like. Yet, they have the nerve to critisize Hollywood for supporting Pulanski?

So, in the end, the person who asks the hard questions is the real sinner. And those who support and protect sexual predators in our pulpits and on staff...are just given a pass and even rewarded if their church is big enough. Somehow when they do it, it is not as bad as when Hollywood does it.

It is good for folks to see how illogical some of our pastors are. The more they write, the more it becomes obvious they are hirlings.

Paula Fether

Hi Lydia, I took the liberty of changing your link to the latest of the two posts, for when people might read this after more posts have been made.

And of course you’re right about the hirelings. They, and those who defend them, only seem to care about image and prestige. Of course they howl and whine when we say such things, but their very silence about abuse, or defense of those who could speak out but don’t, is all the proof we need that they have no sense of either justice or compassion. They are quick to blame the victim when the perp is someone they like, and attack the whistleblowers as shrews or malcontents.

But what kind of Christian shouldn’t be a malcontent when it comes to injustice? Can we call people who abuse, or cover it up, or defend those who do, anything but traitors to our Savior?

I just wish those of us who still care about victims had a quick way to bring this monster down and free the prisoners. Where are the media? Are they bought-off even by "Christian" leaders now?

lydia

"But what kind of Christian shouldn’t be a malcontent when it comes to injustice? Can we call people who abuse, or cover it up, or defend those who do, anything but traitors to our Savior?"

Funny you should mention this. Look at the lastest comment from a pastor on this subject:

"Dr. Land has spoken, and why does he need to give Christina Brown and audience. She has no more right to speak to him then me! He has every right to say---I don’t have time to speak to Jeff Thomas.

I can appreciate Christina Brown’s ministry and passion but IMHO she comes across to strong sometimes---by expecting people to exhibit their passion the way she exhibits her passion. This is one thing I appreciate about Wade he has time to dialogue, and even make phone calls to other people.

Jeff"

Note the type of thinking in this post. Why should Land give Christa Brown an audience? What happened is that Christa Brown went up to shake his hand and introduce herself and he walked away.

You see, even this pastor agrees that Land is a very important man and should not be expected to give peons the time of day. (Never mind he makes his living off peons) This is a pastor who does not understand the basics of scripture and it’s message to believers about who we are IF we are saved. Has he read Matt 5 which describes believers? He believes in classes of professional Christians.

Oh and I love the second excuse. If Christa Brown were not strong, folks might listen to her. I wonder what his definition of strong is? This is always my favorite excuse: If you ask the way I think you should ask, I will listen. It is a never ending cycle because one can never ask they way they want because they do not want to answer the hard questions in the first place.

So the moral is: We have VERY important people who should not be expected to acknowledge the peasants if he does not want to.And we are ridiculous for expecting the great man to give us the time of day.

Even though he makes his living off the peasants and his job is to represent those same peasants in ETHICS to the world.

The illogic of our pastors is astounding. Not to mention their lack of understanding of very basic biblical doctrine of: being a servant and humility. And of protecting children, the least of these. CAn you say "millstone"?

Yes,we should be malcontents. We should love justice for the least of these.

All I can think of in these instances is Micah 6:8.

Oh, btw: One of the pastors found a link where Land speaks of abuse in the Baptist Press. They all do this but when it comes to rebuking publicly one of their friends/colleagues for protecting a pedophile minister, they are silent. They only speak out against the heathen in Hollywood for supporting a sexual pervert. Strangely enough, not those who claim the Name of Christ. For them, I guess it is ok to coddle perverts and even be perverts if you claim the Name of Christ.

Frank Page, past president of the SBC wrote that the victims of abuse in the SBC by ministers and those who protect them are just Evil Opportunists.

http://stopbaptistpredators.blogspot.com/2009/10/no-christian-ethics-for-me-please.html

A friend of mine who was reading the thread sent me this in an email about these pastors:

"Some guys seem to demonstrate pretty much every wrong attitude and mindset in pastors today -- authoritarian, institutional, self-righteous, arrogant -- white-washed sepulchers, vipers, hirelings, having an external form of godliness without the inner power of the Spirit, ravenous wolves, clouds without water ... "

This person is right on. And it is why our churches are dead. Having an external form of godliness without the inner power of the Holy Spirit. It simply amazes me that these pastors and leaders do not hate what God hates: Sexual molestation of kids and teens in what is called the Body of Christ. It is chilling. They are too busy protecting their titles and positions. Do they not fear they are receiving their reward NOW? Matthew 6.

Paula Fether

Jeff is effectively arguing thus:

P1 - Brown is too lowly to talk to Land P2 - Brown is not too lowly to talk to God C ∴ God is less important than Land

Jeff displays a pride rivaling the Pharisees, and a cold-bloodedness that is not even common among the lost. I completely agree with you Lydia, and the commenter you mentioned. This is just sickening.

lydia

Just this past week in our city, a HS principal was caught in his office viewing some porn. Because he worked in the school system so long, he was immediately retired. No investigation. He was gone the next day. Charges are being sought against him. But he is gone out of his position.

The heathens get it. SBC leaders don’t care, look the other way and get angry if you dare question their lack of response to the same thing in the SBC. In some cases, they promote those who protect the perverts like Patterson, Gaines and Page.

They would care about the innocent victims if it affected their pocketbooks. But the law protects them from such things. Every state should have laws that are clear that pastors and church staff must report accusations of sexual perversion. Let the pro’s investigate the charges.

Paula Fether

Yep. When the church thinks it has a license to sin (well, the privileged within the church), it’s judgment time.