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How Churches are called to handle sex abuse



How Churches are called to handle sex abuse

2018 has renewed many problems within the Catholic Church and their handling of pedophile priest, along with other sex abusers. Many Catholics so boldly deflect the issue of sexual abuse within the Church as a problem within God’s universal church, not specifically their denomination. Matt Walsh, a notoriously devoted Catholic wrote this in defense, practically accusing non-Catholics of being in the wrong on the issue.

As I have been writing about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal over the past week, I have received many emails, and read many comments, that can only be described as boastful. It appears that many Christians from other denominations believe sex abuse is a uniquely Catholic problem or at least that the Catholic Church has a uniquely bad case of it. Indeed, I have been informed numerous times this week that the best way to escape the sex predator problem is to join another church. These Christians remind me of the Pharisee in Christ’s parable: “Thank you, Lord, that I am not like them.”

Walsh’s article goes on to explain that sexual abuse is not unique to the Catholic Church for it is present in Hollywood, Capitol Hill, universities, and everywhere else in society, including other religions and denominations. But should we be surprised that the pagans, Buddhists, and Muslims all have sexual abuse in their confines as Walsh suggests? By no means! It is the result of an active and ongoing rebellion against God. How can we expect those who reject Jesus to follow God’s word on sexuality? Yet the Church is called to higher standards, sanctification. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. And whilst our sin prior to our relationships with Jesus can show people the depths of God’s love and mercy, the Church’s mishandling of sin is a powerful tool of Satan to undermine the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

What does the Bible say on sexual immorality in the Church?

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
The Bible is rather clear that those committing such atrocities within the Church directly undermine the mission of God (verse 1). As Christians we should be heartbroken if these kinds of events happen within the Church (verse 2). Indeed, God is forgiving, but the Church ought not associate with those who perform evil within her (verse 11). Lastly we must purge these offenders from our congregation (verse 13).

Does the Catholic Church follow God’s Word on handling sex scandals?

The short answer is “no.” The issue at-hand has been going on for decades, if not centuries. The Catholic Church has, famously, been inactive on the matter for at least two Popes now. Pope Francis has been accused of covering up and even elevating notorious offenders. The stain on the Catholic Church’s reputation has not gone away, rather it undermines the credibility of the Vatican and its congregation. The Catholic Church has hardly been heartbroken over these scandals as little action has been taken against offenders, historically. Furthermore, they have even stolen from tithes to pay for the defense of the accused. The National Catholic Reporter found that US Catholic Churches have incurred a cost of at least $3.99 billion during the priest sex abuse scandal over the last 65 years (from 2015). Now, not all of this money was stolen, as large portions went towards therapy costs, but all signs, in the report signaled that this was a low estimate.

“As a way of illustrating the magnitude of the costs to the U.S. church, if that amount were divided evenly among the nation’s 197 dioceses, each would receive nearly $20 million.” – NCR

Do non-Catholic churches really compare?

Sex and Power, an unmistakable connection

In a multitude of the articles pondered on the renewed Catholic sex scandal, many brought about comparisons to Hollywood and education. This necessitates confrontation with an unavoidable part of fallen nature. With power comes sex. Having power enables the doctor to molest the patient. Why? Because he can. “Because he can” is the only explanation as to why people sexually abuse, rape, or assault people. In institutions, giving uncheckable power to people, leads to sexual abuse. In the protestant church, many are given more “celebrity” status than one should humbly hold for the position. This minute amount of power in the grand scheme of things is enough. People let their guard down out of endowing these people this trivial celebrity status.

How prevalent is it?

Data cited by Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, shows that in the United States, more insurance claims for sexual abuse are brought against protestant churches. Tchividjian writes:

In reality, the likelihood is that more children are sexually abused in Protestant churches than in Catholic churches. Regardless, the abuse of one child is one child too many. Instead of pointing fingers, we should be learning from each other and working together to bring an end to this epidemic that permeates all of Christendom.

Do Protestant Churches follow God’s Word?

As Boz Tchividjian describes,

I couldn’t help but recall the countless cases I have encountered in Protestant circles where offending pastors, missionaries, and other leaders have been reassigned or allowed to quietly resign all in an effort to insulate the institution. The youth pastor who rapes a child and is transferred to a new church and given a going away party; the pedophile missionary physician who is quietly sent home from the mission field; the church volunteer who admits to sexually abusing a child and is simply directed by the church leadership to move quietly to another state. The list could go on and on. It’s not just a Catholic problem.

Non-Catholic churches may not need the Pope’s assistance for a cover-up, but church leaders certainly seek to mitigate the damages to the church itself. Silent dismissals and transfers occur. They want to avoid the heartbreak that a church should endure when faced with its leaders acting inappropriately in accordance with scripture. They may also want to avoid losing members, credibility towards witnessing, and money. These utilitarian calculations are sinful. But these calculations are flawed like the philosophy from which they came. God is good. There is no evil we can perform to increase the goodness of God.

What is the way?

Sexual abuse, requires severe action and swift response. The Catholic Church has notoriously performed neither, becoming known as a fraternity for pedophilia. Non-catholic churches, suffer the same fundamental premise in human nature, therefore encounter the same issues. In both instances, these organizations have performed similarly. Both have had clergy sexually abuse, both have covered it up, and both have silenced victims and bystanders. The only reason to relish in non-Catholicism is that a non-Catholic church is more likely to have responded to sexual abuse within the congregation in the correct and biblical way, due to a more autonomous power structure.

The Bible is most clear on what action is to be taken to these evildoers who would use the Bride of Christ for Satan’s doing. Paul’s instructions to the Corinthian church are clear. They should be removed from ministry, removed from payroll, and sent to a police station to answer for their crimes. This is not to say that the church shouldn’t exercise due process. By no means should the church ignore the possibility of Satan using lies to attack a devoted follower of God, much like the false teachers who attempted to discredit Paul. The church needs to seek the truth in this matter because the Bible’s instructions are so severe. These issues cannot be left as suspicions, in the air between guilty and innocent. Either no action should be taken because the accused is innocent or severe action is to be taken in light of their guilt. A middle ground has contributed to how we got to this point in the first place and will only undermine our ministries. The church must do everything it her capabilities to seek the truth in the matter, unafraid of involving law enforcement.  A church is to inform the congregation and police when they know one among them is guilty. Anything short of the severe action called for in 1 Corinthians 5:13 is rebellion towards God.

Originally published on Startup Christ.

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Culture and Religion

First they came for the gun owners….




First they came for the gun owners

…but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t own a gun.

One of the more infuriating aspects of the Left’s game of denying reality with their little ‘That wasn’t really socialism’ is that there are distinct parallels between their agenda and that of other socialist nations, past and present. They all have a similar process of imposing socialistic slavery with a specific national agenda. A key part being the deprivation of the means of self-defense to their citizens and those who posses these means.

Denying the right of self-defense is a fundamental aspect of socialism

It is a fact of history that gun confiscation is an integral part of implementing of a socialist national agenda. The USSR required the people to turn in their guns, as did the German national socialist worker’s party. As was Fidel Castro’s response in the question of whether the people should have guns as or the United Socialist Party of Venezuela confiscating guns from the people for their own safety, of course.

These have all taken place at the onset of socialistic slavery, but somehow the new version isn’t the same because reasons. Leftists aren’t really trying to set up a governmental monopoly on the use of force, they are just trying to protect the children* [ *unborn and under 9 months old excluded ]. Even though it has been proven time and again that their repression of Liberty does not work as advertised.

The liberty grabber left is now celebrating the destruction of basic civil liberties

Where this subject not so deadly serious, it would be comical to still witness leftists parroting the ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’ or a variant thereof. Meanwhile they can scarcely contain themselves in the glee over New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seizing on their ‘serious crisis’ to confiscate guns with tweets looking to replicate the destruction of a basic human right in the states.

It is more than a coincidence that the tempo of the drum beat for liberty control has increased while the ideological fraud of socialism is being forced on the people. After a long winded piece gloating about leftist victories over liberty, an opinion piece in Bloomberg has even suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts seize on the serious crisis in New Zealand, using it to destroy this basic civil liberty.

Citizens turned into subjects with a change in the relationship between the people and the government

The genius of the founding fathers is that they recognized that down through history, people have had varying relationships with government. In most cases it was one of the government having a monopoly on the use of force. On occasion the people would challenge this monopoly and change the government, but only after an ensuing orgy of carnage and death.

The founders set forth a new paradigm, that of government by the consent of the people with a semblance of parity via a distributed ability to use force. The nation’s Socialist-Left would like to change or ‘reform’ that paradigm back to the old-fashioned version of the government being the sole purveyor of force. Please note that we are dispensing with the tired old line of the left that this is not what they want. They have made this quite clear over the past few years to the point that anyone that is informed of the issue recognizes that this is just another lie on their part.

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression.” – Thomas Paine

Relegating gun owners to 2nd class citizenship

Those of us who haven’t traded, sold or lost all of our guns in a boating accident are a persecuted class these days. The situation is much akin to a baseball pitching machine throwing fastballs over and over again without let-up. With all kinds of new laws being proposed at state and federal levels that range from invasive Intergalactic Background Checks, liability insurance requirements, gun registration and of course, gun confiscation SWATing legislation.

The destruction of basic civil liberties will only begin with gun owners

Every citizen of the nation is protected with basic Constitutional principles and civil rights including due process, the presumption of innocence and the right to face one’s accuser.

The gun owner has been excluded from these basic civil liberties in some states, and if the liberty grabbers had their way, such would be the case nationwide. With just the flimsiest insinuation of being ‘dangerous’ a gun owner [or those who are merely accused of being a gun owner] will be subjected to gun confiscation raid from the authorities.

This will be just the beginning of the ordeal – if they survive the SWAT team coming at 5:00 AM without warning. Our 2nd class citizen will have to prove they aren’t ‘dangerous’ after they have effectively found guilty in a star chamber. It will only be after spending thousands of dollars in legal fees that they may get their property back in less than stellar condition. The trend is to set gun owners below the legal status of accused criminals in the eyes of the justice system.

We’re just starting on the slippery slope

Fresh from their moves against the basic human right of self-preservation, the chief censor of the government of New Zealand has arbitrarily decided that certain ideas are beyond the pale, sparking a debate over free speech as reported by the Associated Press. This of course is another ongoing controversy in the states over the issue of political correctness and ‘Hate speech’. This shows that isn’t just about ‘military style assault weapons’ or whatever is the phrase at the moment, this is a question of liberty, something the people who use a similar sounding label used to pretend to support.

Make no mistake, the legislative mechanisms and regulations used to deprive gun owners of their commonsense human and civil rights will be used on others if they are allowed to stand. A civil liberties group in California made the point that one doesn’t have to be a gun owner to be subjected to gun confiscation SWATing. If they can go after the property of a gun owner in one instance, because they don’t like their attitude, what’s to stop them from going after a journalist or other type of activist? These orders only have to allege someone is dangerous with little evidence, much less proof that they own a gun. What’s to stop them from deciding free-speech is dangerous or ‘offensive’ necessitating that their computers or cell phones should be seized – at gunpoint no less?

The Takeaway

The whole point of the ‘first they came for’ series is that authoritarians rarely go after everyone at once. They are very careful in picking their targets for their oppression with the tactic of divide and conquer. Today it’s the people who own guns, tomorrow it will be those who don’t conform to the precepts of ‘political correctness’.

This is why President John F. Kennedy stated that: “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

This is why everyone should be concerned at the headlong rush to denigrate the right of self-defense. And why everyone should be horrified that the government could even consider jettisoning the basic civil liberty of due process and the presumption of innocence. The loss of basic civil rights for some will mean the loss for everyone.

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Culture and Religion

Speculation about ancient human skull in Israel points to unscientific method of modern science



Speculation about ancient human skull in Israel points to unscientific method of modern science

What does an ancient human skull found in a cave in Israel tell us about the past? It all depends on which perspective you take and whether you want to follow sound scientific practices or manipulated conclusions from circular reasoning.

Modern science can give us a tremendous view of the past. With nearly every discovery, we can see God’s work at play in molding the planets and the stars, the oceans and the lands, the people and the other wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, scientists often distort the findings to fit in with their secular worldview. A clear case of this comes to us from a study published four years ago in the scientific journal, Nature, titled Levantine cranium from Manot Cave (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans, that is still being erroneously taught today.

First, watch the way that it is being reported. Then, let’s discuss the conclusions.

This is an important discovery, one that clearly points to a Biblical worldview of the roots of man from the garden of Eden working its way from what is now Africa into what is now the Middle East. It jibes with the story of the great flood, stories from the life of Adam through Joshua, and a centralized end point of ancient man in the region along the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa up through modern day Turkey.

Of course, that’s not what the scientists doing the research concluded.

“The is the first evidence that shows that, indeed, there was a large wave of African migrants coming out of East Africa and inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean region,” said Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University.

One of the biggest problems with modern science is that our society blindly accepts their conclusions. They know, right?

Proper scientific method that we all learn in high school tells us the conclusions of the research are completely unscientific. We know a few things that are truly observable:

  • Humans very likely started in Africa and Neanderthals were in the Middle East.
  • Humans and Neanderthals interbred to form the basis for Europeans. Today, everyone other than purely African people have at least a little Neanderthal DNA.
  • A human skull fragment was found in Israel.

Given this information, it is obtuse to draw the conclusion that this represents a large wave of African migrants inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean region. One skull fragment does not tell us that there was a large migration. One skull fragment does not tell us that it was a migration at all. Modern science must establish hypotheses based upon observable facts, but it almost always extrapolates too much.

This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it extrapolated based upon the Bible. We are told the general story of everything that happened from creation through the rise of the Greeks within the Old Testament. Every scientific and archaeological discovery in the region supports this general story, but a culture that utilizes far more distant time frames to explain the discoveries has generated the faulty conclusions that scientists present to us today.

The evidence tells two different stories depending on the observer’s worldview. It’s unfortunate that most have pushed aside the obvious and verifiable conclusions in order to perpetuate the paradigm of secularism.

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Culture and Religion

Seriously, ‘eat mor chikin’ at Chick-fil-A



Seriously eat mor chikin at Chick-fil-A

A month doesn’t pass without some organization protesting Chick-fil-A to exclude them from participating in some program or even open restaurants in certain locations. This month’s version of Chick-fil-A hate was the last straw for Senator Ted Cruz (and me) as San Antonio’s city council has voted to prevent the fast food chain from operating at the airport.

Let’s call this what it is. Any individual, organization, or company that supports a Biblical worldview or donates to Judeo-Christian causes are considered to be anti-LGBTQ. The only ones who are not labeled as such are those who go out of their way to embrace the LGBTQ community and who promote such things as gay marriage. Faith-based institutions that prioritize modern day’s version of “tolerance” over the Bible’s teachings are often considered to be A-OK to the leaders of the LGBTQ community (as compared to the actual members of the community, most of whom are not involved in pushing the leadership’s agenda beyond believing marriage is not only between a man and a woman).

Chick-fil-A has done nothing to attack the LGBTQ community. They’ve always been stalwart defenders of equal rights and do not deserve the type of treatment they get from people like the six who voted against them in San Antonio’s city council. Yes, they donate to Christian causes. Yes, they let their employees off on Sunday except in those rare circumstances when they’re presence on Sunday is a blessing. Yes, ownership expresses a Biblical worldview. But such things shouldn’t earn them a place on the blacklist.

Nevertheless, they are, and it’s time for patriotic Americans to commit to a sustained campaign in support of this company which has become a symbol as a primary victim of the left’s contempt and discrimination.

Starting tomorrow (can’t start today since it’s Sunday), it’s time to eat out at Chick-fil-A whenever it makes sense. But don’t just do it once. Make it a regular thing. Thinking of other fast food joints for lunch? Whenever possible, don’t. We need to let them and everyone else know that if the left is going to continue to denigrate and block Chick-fil-A, that we’re going to counter their maneuvers by supporting them with our business.

It can’t stop there. We also need to let those who act against Chick-fil-A know, such as those discriminating against religious freedom at the San Antonio city council, that it’s unacceptable. Notice that I’m referring specifically to those who act against Chick-fil-A and not average citizens who protest Chick-fil-A. Protests are protected by the 1st Amendment, so anything beyond respectful discourse should be avoided with the people who have a conscientious difference of opinion. But those who act against Chick-fil-A, especially if they’re part of the government, must be dealt with at the ballot box. A strongly worded letter wouldn’t hurt, either.

Chick-fil-A doesn’t need our help. They’re doing just fine. But that doesn’t mean we can’t expand our support for them anyway. The best way to show or deny support is with our business. Give it to them. Withhold it from those who oppose American freedom.

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