Falsely accused - need prayer and advice!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Sportster, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Sportster

    Sportster
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greetings Brothers and Sisters on BaptistBoard.com:

    It has been a while since my last visit, but then my life has become complicated since then. As it is, I am coveting your advice and fervent prayers. Let me share the Reader’s Digest version of my situation with you.

    Six weeks ago my pastor and two of the deacons came to my home to advise me that an allegation of “improper touching” of a small girl had been made. It goes without saying, but this deeply distressed me, especially since it came from an individual who was not a church member. Everything concerning this was ambiguous at best. Furthermore, the allegation came from a very troubled individual.

    Nevertheless, the allegation had been made and the pastor initiated an investigation even though the alleged incident did not happen on church property. In fact, nothing related to this had anything to do with the church. The only church connection was that I am a member and that the woman and her family had been attending. Nevertheless, he contacted Social Services upon the advice of the Christian Law Association. They in turn also advised him to seize my church keys and that I was to be escorted everywhere whenever I was on church property. Bear in mind that I am not a teacher, but rather serve as an usher and handle most of the “behind-the-scenes” tasks. Because of this course of action, I have been unable to serve.

    Anyway, over the course of a few weeks the accuser back-peddled and told the pastor she did not want to press charges. In fact, to others she alluded to my innocence. In the mean time, Social Services interviewed the girl for an hour and a half and learned nothing. When they contacted me, I contacted an attorney since they stated I would have to speak to a police detective. Up to that point the leaders said “I didn’t need a lawyer since I was not guilty.” Consequently, I did not speak with them (the police and Social Services) upon the advisement of my attorney.

    Now here’s where things get even stranger. The woman moved away yesterday. I have yet to be charged with anything, nor have I heard anything more from the police or Social Services. The pastor and those involved (he has been keeping it secret from the church) have speculated that she was going to attempt extortion, but the plan went awry when she was forced to contact Social Services. We have also speculated that the woman is just seriously disturbed and fabricated the whole affair in her mind. By the way, but the woman and her family have been investigated by Social Services here once already (unrelated to this). As for elsewhere, no one knows since no one knows from where they came. Whatever the case she is gone and I am left holding the bag even though I have done nothing wrong.

    This is where you come in. I have asked the pastor to “reinstate” me so I can resume serving and return as I was before this nonsense happened. He became very defensive and is adamant about my position since “The Christian Law Association and other godly men have advised him.” So, considering the facts, what should I do? Should I:

    1) abide by his edict and attend as a member even though I am limited and treated as though guilty?

    2) return everything, resign my membership, but continue to attend as a nonmember?

    3) save myself and the church grief by resigning and finding another church even though I’m not guilty?

    Your advice and/or opinions will be greatly appreciated. I cannot consult those at church since the pastor has kept the matter a secret. In fact, he has told me in no uncertain terms that I am not to discuss the matter with others. Furthermore, I have been unable to attend because the woman and her children have been there throughout the ordeal.

    In addition to your advice and/or opinions, I covet your prayers. Pray for the woman and her family since it’s obvious they have serious problems. Pray for the church and its leaders since they haven’t a clue on how they should handle this. And pray for me that I will come through this with a renewed spirit, not bitter, and much wiser than before. Also, pray that the Lord will reveal to me as to what I should do concerning my relationship with the church.

    Thanks and Lord bless,

    Sportster
     
  2. charles_creech78

    charles_creech78
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sound like the work of the devil. Just trust in God about it. Pray to him about what he wants you to do. Let him work and you watch. He will give you a lead you to what you need. And God bless you
     
  3. bubba jimmy

    bubba jimmy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    There could be no better advice. Put this in the hands of God and trust Him to do everything necessary. Read Matthew 5:11. Have our Lord's peace knowing that He will call you to serve when your service is needed, and He will give you rest when it is not. Praying for all concerned.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Based on what you have said here, this is an unfortunate situation. Keeping in mind that I do not know anything other than what has been said here by you (not knowing any of the other parties involved), I would recommend attending as a member and staying faithful.

    It seems wise to act as the pastor has until this blows over and is completely gone. Resigning membership is not a NT option. You may transfer your membership to another church, but in that case you would need to tell them why you are transferring membership. As it stands, you appear to have no biblical reason to leave your church. Use this as a time to experience God's grace in your life.

    I would caution you on this however: It seems inaccurate and unwise to say that the church has no clue as to how to handle this. It seems that they have consulted lawyers and have acted very wisely. When such an accusation has been made, it has to be taken very seriously and the church must respond as it did. You may well be completely innocent, but the church cannot presume that for a number of reasons including liability and protection of other children. The advice the CLA gave them sounds like good advice and it should be followed.
     
  5. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,723
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are more ways than shooting someone in order to kill him. As a minister and Pastor, I am always on the guard for such accusations. I do not visit the widows without someone with me. Just one accusation will murder a Christian, whether its true or not, especially a Pastor/Moderator.
    My advice is to give the keys to the Pastor, take your seat and be as humble as you can. What you have been accused of is a hard thing for people to forget, so trust God to deliver you out of the lion's den. In time, maybe they will trust you again as before and if so, always be careful around children or women. There has been so much of that type of thing happening in churches across the nation, you can hardly blame your Pastor for protecting the church. To him, even though he must believe its not true or he would ask you to leave the church, yet he is afraid of the talk itself, even though it is false. So, trust your Pastor to help you through this thing and he is taking the best course for now as I see it, for those who know are certainly watching you, the Pastor and all. God Bless and Pray,

    BBob,
     
  6. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would also add that keeping this from the church body is helpful to you as well as it is to the situation as a whole. Some folks just never get past these kinds of unfounded accusations. Wait on the Pastor and wait on God.
     
  7. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,666
    Likes Received:
    225
    I think the church acted wisely in seeking legal advice and contacting social services, but I think the secrecy is ill-advised. If I were accused of such a thing and were innocent, I would shout these things from the house tops, and I would name names!

    These things will come to light eventually, and all this sneaking around makes one look guilty. Best to get it all out into the public right now. Then when it's dealt with it's dealt with. Nothing to come back and haunt you in the future.
     
  8. JerryL

    JerryL
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    0
    QUOTE
    You may transfer your membership to another church, but in that case you would need to tell them why you are transferring membership. As it stands, you appear to have no biblical reason to leave your church.
    UNQUOTE
    I might have to disagree with you here. Why can't he attend another Church? We must remember "the Church" isn't a building, and the NT doesn't specify where we have to go to fellowship with fellow believers. We are free to worship and fellowship anywhere sound Biblical doctrine is taught. I haven't saw anywhere in the NT where we are obligated to stay at one building. I would suggest if you don't feel comfortable fellowshipping there, go to another place to fellowship. I don't see anywhere that says he has to give them a reason for leaving. As with the poster above, I agree with what the Church did also. They have to think about the best interest of the Church. Whether they believe you or not, until it gets settled it would be better to err on the side of caution. I will definitely be praying for you and your Church.
     
    #8 JerryL, Sep 30, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2007
  9. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have prayed for you as well.
     
  10. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will be praying for you. This is indeed an attack of the devil, but what man mean for evil god means for good.

    I know it would be hard to stay in the church, but I would trust the Pastor and stay in the church. If you leave, it wqill be seen as guilt. And if you do attend another church you will need to tell the pastor because one way or another it will get back to him.

    Trust the Lord to turn this to His glory. Trust the Pastor to do what is right and good. Speaking as a Pastor, he did what I would have done also.
     
  11. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for sharing and it is really unfortunate what happened, but take courage, for God works all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I'll say a prayer on your behalf and the lady and her family, that things would work out for them and they'll find refuge in God.
     
  12. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,666
    Likes Received:
    225
    I reread your post more carefully, and I am more convinced than before that this advice is not for your own good. It appears to me that he's looking out for himself, and trying not to deal with the issues.

    Looking out for the church? Maybe. But this attack on you will do more to you than ruin your service in that one body, this will follow you in EVERY walk of life. This has the potential of destroying you socially.

    Yes, making these things public may have disasterous consequences as far as the "peace" of that church is concerned, but you have to remember that it wasn't you that upset the status quo at the church, it was your accuser. And the church will just have to deal with it. I think putting it upon you to carry this burden secretly was an unjust and ultimately selfish imposition on the part of your pastor.

    I'm assuming, of course, you really are innocent.

    That's my opinion. You must do what you think is right, of course.
     
  13. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    I heard the Lord say;

    yes, do nothing except trust and enjoy the rest from service. Seek refuge in Him. You are accused which is a serious matter in the Church even if false. God will bring light to this situation and the truth will be revealed. The Church still needs ya and there is more work in your future. Storms make us better and smarter on the other side.

    will keep you lifted in prayer...
     
  14. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    Several pastors have responded here. I am somewhat troubled by their statements that they would have acted as the pastor has in this situation.

    I think it was improper for the pastor to take it upon himself to tell Sportster when he did and did not need legal help.
    Sounds like the pastor was busy consulting the CLA, all the while telling Sportster he did not need legal help. I think that was not so good advice.
     
  15. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not entirely sure what I think, but I do think that Aaron has brought out some things that have to be examined very carefully.
     
  16. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    No one said the Pastor was perfect, we just know his position and realize he did the best he could with a very bad situation. He's not a lawyer or he'd be making a lot more money...

    You highlighted one bad thing, why didn't you point out the many good things he did? that's what I mean by, "we know his position".
     
  17. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,723
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pastor must of been informed by the authorities that the matter would not be persued any farther, is why he told him he would not need a lawyer. No one can stop you from getting a lawyer, if thats what you want. This does bring out a Pastor's job though. We are talking about a couple members here. Can you imagine how a Pastor has to walk like walking on eggs, for each and every member, for each one have their own take on how the matter should be solved.

    BBob,
     
  18. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I were not a Christian, the accuser would be facing a serious law suit. There is nothing harder to regain than a reputation, because there is always someone with the thought in the back of their mind.

    There is absolutely no room in a local congregation for games of this type to be played. It is unfair to the pastor, and unfair to the member accused.

    Anyway, my prayers are with you, and may God grant you peace.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    It has nothing to do with a building. It is about the body. If there have been accusations of sexual impropriety against someone, it is irresponsible to send him or allow him to go to another church without that churhc being fully informed. I think people need legitimate reasons to leave one church and go to another, and when such transfers are done, all matters at the previous church should be cleared up.

    We are not "free to worship anywhere." The Bible makes a case for local church membership and involvement, not hopping from church to church. Too many people are leaving churches for sinful reasons, and the spiritual immaturity hurts his local church, himself, and the local church he goes to.

    If someone came to my church with such an accusation and did not tell me, and then I later found out, I would not be happy at all. Of course, if someone came to my church from another church, I would be talking to the person to find out why they were coming here. And if it were another good church he were coming from, I would be calling the pastor himself to make sure. In Baptist circles, the notion of a church letter for transfer of membership has unfortunately fallen on hard times and some churches have really been burned by not checking on a person's membership status.

    I didn't understand him to say the pastor told him he didn't need legal counsel. As a pastor, I would never tell someone that.

    As for keeping it quiet, I see no reason to make it public or to shout it from the housetops. If it becomes known, then deal with it, and have the pastor and the legal evidence at hand to show. Don't let it become about your pride and self-protection.
     
    #19 Pastor Larry, Sep 30, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2007
  20. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,723
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also missed the part his Pastor told him not to seek legal advice. The Pastor would have no control over that at all.
     

Share This Page

Loading...