Pastors who have sexually abused children.

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Permanently Saved, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Permanently Saved

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    According to the Word of God a man who desires the office of a Elder or Bishop, must have a good report.

    If a pastor is found to have sexually abused a child does this violate the principle outlined in Scripture.
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    Uh, I'd say yes.
     
  3. HankD

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    Yuk! I don't even want to go there.
     
  4. John3v36

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    :mad: Put me down for a YES!!!

    P.S. Wecome aboard "Permanently Saved" :D

    [ August 04, 2002, 12:25 AM: Message edited by: John3v36 ]
     
  5. onevoice

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    yes. . unlike the Catholic Church, God does not tolerate molesters in the pulpit.
     
  6. Abiyah

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    I knew one, intimately, who retained the pulpit;
    knew another entirely too well who did the same
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    I knew a lady who was molested by her pastor, and she stated he was a well respected man in the community, even by her parents. She was afraid to tell because she felt no one would believe her.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    Not only should they not be a leader in a church, they should be in prison. (If it were my kid, the pastor would be looking at the business end of a shotgun if I had anything to do about it...)
     
  9. Abiyah

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    Exactly!

    I never told my first husband (married 8.5 years),
    and it took months for me to tell my second
    husband. We kept it to ourselves, then I finally
    told the man's pastor years after he had retired.
    By that time, the incident was thirty years
    earlier.

    When a pastor does something like this, it
    shakes the victim, usually very young, to the
    core. There is something about the reality of
    the act which will not mesh, will not calculate,
    cannot surface to a level of belief, even though
    the act was done and hurts the victim so
    deeply.

    In deeply religious homes (whether or not that
    religiosity is real), there is a huge level of
    respect taught. Pastors are greeted with high
    titles (Brother, Reverend, Doctor, etc.) and they
    are supposedly the mouthpieces of our God
    Himself. When they are invited over, everything
    must be perfect, the children must act more
    properly, they are given the best as a guest.
    They speak from the pulpit, high and lifted up.
    . . . . So when they do the unthinkable, the child
    CANNOT tell!

    The parents will believe him when he says,
    "How long have I been your pastor? Have I
    ever anything even remotely like that? If I had
    tendencies that way, don't you think you
    would have known? Is your god so weak that
    he would have given you a pastor who hurts
    children? Don't you think your spirit would
    have felt that something was wrong, if you pray
    as you say you do? Her little imagination
    just got away with her. Give her a little spank-
    ing and forget about it."

    So I finaly told when I was in my late forties. I
    told his pastor where he had retired and the
    church superintendant. Then, wanting to know
    if he had done it to my sister, too, I asked her,
    and she went into a rage, saying he never did
    such a thing. This is what little children face by
    telling, only a little child is more devasted by
    such actions as my sister's. It hurt to have her
    say that and claim I was a liar, but what she
    thinks is of little consequence to me at my age.

    For a little child, however, to receive this kind
    of response, to be punished for telling the
    truth, to be shamed by having to see that pas-
    tor Sunday after Sunday, watching him retain
    his high and mighty place while the child is
    treated as evil and their last shred of human
    dignity trampled--well, they just won't tell.
    In other words, this leaves them totally vul-
    nerable for continued attacks.

    [ August 10, 2002, 08:12 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    You were probably just one, Abiyah.

    I would not be surprised if your sister was involved, too, but isn't ready to deal with it.

    It is a tough long road to walk.

    [ August 10, 2002, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: SaggyWoman ]
     
  11. Abiyah

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    I think the worst of that "tough, long road" is
    the constant questioning:
    * If I had told anyway, as a child, how many
    young girls would no6t have gone through this?
    * Well, if I had told at 20 . . .
    * If I had told at 30 . . .
    * If I had told at 40 . . .

    The fact is that I was one of the lucky ones--
    he lost access to me, so it was only once, and
    no rape occurred. Were the others as fortunate?
    And he died an old man without ever dealing
    with it. If I had done what I swhould have, he
    may not have had to stand before our God with
    it on his conscience.

    The other one never touched me; it was my
    oldest sister. She was blamed, beaten twice,
    and shamed for the rest of her life.
     
  12. David Cooke Jr

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    Abiyah,
    don't blame yourself for not telling. He shoulders the blame, not you. That's why he should have gone to prison, not you. One of the reasons child molestation is a crime (and is severely punished) is that it has lasting affects on the victim such as guilt and shame. Many victims become drug addicts, prostitutes, strippers, or victims of domestic violence. They start to believe they are trash, so they act like it. I can tell right now that some of the victims in my cases are headed to a pitiful life of drugs and crime. Unfortunately, I've already been proven right over and over and have seen many of them arrested for prostituion, violent crime, DUI, cocaine, etc. And many of these victims were honor students before they were abused.
    Any pastor who does this kind of crime should not be treated like everybody else-he should be punished MORE. He knows better, and has abused his position of authority (And many times became a pastor for that very purpose).
     
  13. Permanently Saved

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    I know of a pastor who is currently pastoring who did this, and it bothers me so much! I did not find out about this until after he was recommended by our pulpit committee, of which I was a part. Had I known I would never in a million years have recommended him. Now I believe I am suffering from guilt! Then to top it off - one of the members of the committee knew this and did not inform the other members. I am praying that this doesn't happen to another child, under his pastoralship. But as I said before, we pick and choose what priniciples we as Christians will adhere to, and those we overlook.
     
  14. David Cooke Jr

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    Child molesters only stop when they are incarcerated or die. Get over the guilt. Its time to do something. If he has access to victims,he is victimizing. You can do something to stop it. Will you?
     
  15. Abiyah

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    Thank you, David. I am still remembering to
    pray for you in your work and for your personal
    health and well-being. I appreciate beyond
    measure what you are doing.

    To all:
    The reason it is dangerous to leave a pastor
    who abuses in place is because the victims
    truly cannot tell. As a child, I knew I would be
    beaten and permanently shamed for telling,
    and my parents would he never allowed me to
    forget what had happened or my accusation.

    But even if this problem was not there, for a
    child to speak out against such a powerful
    figure in her/his life is more than s/he can
    emotionaly handle. This is a person who is
    trusted by the parents, often loved by them,
    and highly respected. To speak against them
    is to go against our God Himself in the child's
    mind! --And not only our God but also to go
    against the people the child is totally depend-
    ant upon for shelted, clothing, and food. Such
    a task is absolutely formidable for a child.

    So the child says nothing. Saying nothing
    gives the abuser freedom to not only continue
    the abuse but to gather more victims, because
    if the first did not tell, nether will the 2nd, 3rd,
    4th, 5th. . . .

    Many abusers also threaten the stronger, more-
    likely-to-tell-child into silence. "If you tell, I
    will do this to your sister." "If you tell, do you
    really think they would believe you over me?"
    "Your folks know what we do. In fact, they told
    me I should. Saying anything will make them
    mad, and they'll never trust you again."

    Why is it that it is so much easier to protect
    the abuser than it is to protect the child?
    Why must the status quo be protected while
    the children suffer? And when abuse is
    discovered, why are the children submitted to
    shame, embarrassment, and banishment?
     
  16. stubbornkelly

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    Abiyah: I think one other reason it's hard for kids to tell, and easy for them to believe the threats of their abuser, is because their parents don't tell them that they can come and tell them anything. A lot of parents, it seems, want to pretend that molestation doesn't happen. They turn a blind eye even before it happens, and their kid ends up believing the abuser, because they've never been told any different by their parents. Children are taught to respect their elders, which is a fine things to teach, but along with that should be teaching about when it is okay to disobey an elder. I know that gets into some issues many people don't want to face (why teach your kid it's okay to ever disobey?), but it's imperative.

    If a child doesn't know that they can tell without reproach or punishment, they're not likely to tell. If they have the least bit of fear that they won't be believed, they won't tell. Thus, parents must teach their children that their feelings are valid. That means listening to children and even giving them a say in certain household matters (or at least personal matters, like what they wear to school) - it lets them know that they and their thoughts are valued.

    Kids learn early whether or not adults will listen to them, and if they learn that they will not be listened to even about the little things, they won't tell about the big things.

    I'm not saying that parents need to scare their kids with tales of abuse and abduction and molestation - we want to inform kids, not paralyze them - but whatever happened to "stranger danger" and "good touch/bad touch?"
     
  17. David Cooke Jr

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    StubbornKelly,
    What you tell your kids is the standard "good touch/bad touch" speech PLUS something like this:
    "If anyone ever touches you like this, I want you to tell me. Even if they say they will hurt you, or hurt me or (pet's name here), tell me anyway. I'll make sure that they can't hurt you or me or anyone we love. Just tell me and I'll take care of it. Daddy knows how to fix it."
    Lots of kids know good touch bad touch, but so do the molesters, so they tell the kid not to tell or they will burn down the house, or kill their parents, or kill the kid's pet. Kids need to know that their parents are more powerful than the child molester so that they will disclose even when threatened.
    Oh, and Permanently saved: My co-worker will be trying a pastor for molesting a number of kids in his congregation next week. Don't keep what you know a secret, otherwise the list of victims will continually grow...
     
  18. stubbornkelly

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    Exactly - that's what I thougt I was saying didn't happen enough and needed to happen more often. All I was trying to say is that it seems that we either do neither "good touch/bad touch" nor "tell me anything, even if you think it's bad, or if you think someone will hurt you for telling," but even if the former was done, the latter tends to be glossed over. It's either that parents think it's implied in their relationship with the kids ("of course my kids would tell me anything!") or are playing the "not my kid!" game.

    I'm just saying that it needs to be emphasized that kids can tell their parents anything, and that the parents will act, and it needs to be reiterated from time to time, and constantly emphasized just in the parent/child relationship.

    I also think some parents give their kids mixed messages - you know, the ones who tell their kids not to tattle, or things like that. Sure, some things children can and should work out on their own (like if another kid took their swing on the playground - work it out yourselves), but when dealing with a person who has some sort of power, or with anyone who is truly harming them, they need intervention.

    My mother works in foster care with abused children, and it's scary some of the TV-like things that actually happen. You know, the step-parent molesting the child, and the parent knows but won't leave the new spouse . . . . and of course the parents who molest and otherwise abuse their own children. All of it's so much more common than many people like to think.

    I know that with recent kidnappings, more parents realize that no kid is immune, and it is my hope that parents will get a smack in the head and arm their children with good tools, rather than just trying to physically protect them. A parent can't be around 24/7, as we all know.

    As far as a pastor molesting children goes - I don't know how anyone could not report something like that. And I certainly don't see how molestation could be ignored as part of a pastor's "record." That's why I didn't respond to this thread until now - I didn't (and still don't) understand why that question would even have to be asked.

    [ August 13, 2002, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: stubbornkelly ]
     
  19. Abiyah

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    Excellent, David Cooke, Jr. and Stubbornkelly.
    Amein to everything.

    One of the problems for a child is when the
    child has been reprimanded or even punished
    in the past for telling a truth which was treated,
    by the parent, as a lie. I do not think I am clear
    with what I am saying, so, for example, the
    parent asks, "Did you break the lamp?" The
    child answers truthfully, "No!" But the parent
    has all the apparent physical evidence that
    the child is lying and punishes the child as a
    liar.

    Lessons like this are unforgettable to a child;
    they take this into their psyche, and there it
    stays. Then, when they need to tell the parent
    something they know the parent will not want
    to hear--like church-worker-molestation--
    they may not tell because of past experience.

    Another problem that may prevent telling is
    when the child has experienced punishment
    for voluntary admissions of fault. Example:
    the child has actually broken the lamp.
    The parent does not know it is broken. The
    child admits to the parent that s/he broke the
    lamp, and the parent punishes the child. Even
    if the parent praises the child for the admis-
    sion, the punishment is what the child remem-
    bers, and it is the punishment that can deter
    the child from telling about molestation.

    Such a dangerous world, so much to think
    about.

    [ August 13, 2002, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  20. SAVED4LIFE

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    I think Abiyah makes a good point by pointing out that sometimes the parents are part of the problem, not the solution.

    It's hard for me to imagine one of my children coming to me and telling me someone had hurt them or molested them, but it's even harder for me to imagine me turning my back on them or even punishing them for telling. Unfortuntely, there are parents out there that show more reverence and love toward their pastors than they do thier own children.

    I agree with StubbornKelly that we need to talk to our kids about what "can" happen, and make SURE they KNOW they can tell us anything and that they are safe with mommy and daddy and that we love them no matter what.

    If one of my children comes to me with something they did wrong, I don't punish them. I praise them for being honest. I don't need to punish them, they knew it was wrong already, and the fact that I tell them how proud I am of them for telling the truth makes them feel so good,they don't want to repeat what they did wrong.

    I get so darn mad when I hear about child-molestation and creepy, evil, not-caring parents that I could scream!!!! We have got to pray for all these children consistently.

    Permanently Saved,

    If you don't tell about this pastor, you are just as bad as he. That might sound harsh, but it's the truth.
     

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