I have hesitated to post this here. I have been praying and even fasting, looking for the "answers" in how to handle this - and in the meantime, the situation has grown worse. I will spare the nitty-gritty details and just lay the framework out here: A family joins a local church. The family has plugged in and is active. The wife, who is several years younger than the husband, and still pretty immature spiritually has been growing. They have three small children (all boys). We (the church) has known all along that the husband spent time in prison (was released about 6 years ago). This man has shared many of his prison experiences as parts of his testimony. His background was in law enforcement, as well as had pastored prior to his conviction. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when a phone call to the pastor of this church - the call being from this man's daughter (adult) who was the victim of his crime - he had molested her over the course of 2 years, culminating in his rape conviction and sentencing 20 years ago. She has obvious issues with pain (though she is engaged in ministry in another state). She said that her reason for calling this pastor was to let him and his congregation know the danger posed. This pastor calls his deacons together to discuss the issue. They want to refer it back to the previous church who granted the letter for this family. It just so happens that the pastor of that previous church is the brother of this man in question. That pastor's view is that what this man did in the past, he paid for by serving his time, getting counseling and participating in a program specifically for his crime. In the 6 years the man in question has been out of prison, he has been a contributing member of society, has kept his nose clean, and has given absolutely zero reason for concern. He has not been around children at the church, other than his own. He has intentionally kept himself out of any questionable circumstances. This man then visits with the deacons and admits his crime (thought he still holds his ex-wife at least partially to blame...), explains that he has repented, that he has sought and received the forgiveness of the church he was a member of at the time of the crime (and who granted him a letter to his recent former church). That he has been doing all he can to start over, to provide a stable and Godly foundation for his wife and children. The decons' response - they essentially want this man's former pastor and brother to talk him into quietly leave the current church (which of course his brother found offensive). His current pastor is torn between fulfilling his unquestionable responsibility to minister to this family, and the now heavy burden of this man's past crime and the certain fallout as word spreads through the congregation. This church is a small church, and pretty fragile, but seeing positive signs. The deacons are worried that the presence of a pedophile/sex offender will scare off young couples visiting and looking for a church. The pastor is concerned that failure to minister to this couple, along with quite unscriptural attempts to "put off" this man and his family, though he has done no crime in or to the church (outside the possible "crime" of failure to disclose his past crime) will bring condemnation from God. The church has policies in place from prior to the current pastor's beginning service, that include background checks for children's workers/volunteers, as well as policies that preclude an adult from being completely alone with any child other than their own - but the policies have not been fully implemented (and this being an object lesson in why they SHOULD be in place!). My own leaning is that this man should speak to the assembled church (minus children), admitting his crime, but also explaining his rational for not being open with this from the beginning, and what He has done to get beyond this (counseling/etc.). There are legitimate concerns that this could destroy this small congregation. The question begs - what would Jesus do?