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How Churches are called to handle sex abuse

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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

William Barr nails the secular upheaval of Judeo-Christian morals

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William Barr nails the secular upheaval of Judeo-Christian morals

Humans have a moral compass. We’ve had it for over 2000 years. Before we had it, there were other parts that were already being formed so mankind would have a basis for morality and absolute truth that differs from postmodernism or its emerging despicable cousin, the post-truth society of false absolutes based on personal feelings.

This moral compass is the Bible, and our adherence to Judeo-Christian beliefs as a nation and in many places around the world has helped mankind keep evil at bay. Our flawed efforts through the millennia have fallen short, not because the Word wasn’t perfect but because we are not perfect. This has eroded to the point that modern society is experiencing a secular upheaval forcing cataclysmic decay of our morality.

We are flawed. Progressives are trying to use these flaws to pull us further away from the truth of our existence and the only truly moral compass we possess. They’re doing it through media, education, and entertainment. They’re attacking churches, synagogues, and adherents to the Bible with an anti-Biblical worldview that is growing increasingly militant.

Attorney General William Barr recognizes this and expressed as much during a speech at Notre Dame last week.

William Barr’s speech on religious freedom should resonate with everyone who recognizes the degradation of our values as a people and a nation. The further we diverge from the Biblical worldview, the worse the world becomes.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Should Church be the mission field?

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Should Church be the mission field

There is a growing prevalence of churches that want to draw people in to present the gospel. These churches, commonly referred to as “seeker friendly” churches have been one of the biggest trends in Christianity in the postmodern world. A comparison would be the analytics of Major League Baseball. Some people champion it; others loath it. For these seeker friendly churches are engaged in the advance usage of analytics and marketing. In the effort of not being dismissive in a traditionalist “get off my lawn” way, I want to examine, giving a fair shake, this prevalent trend in Christianity.

In the early church, it was inconceivable that churches would attract large audiences to present the gospel. During the time of persecution, Christians building coliseums for worship would have been lit as candles to light those coliseums while lions were fed to their brethren in an evening pagan spectacle. During the reign of the Papacy, this second phase of Christian history built cathedrals, however these architectural feats were never intended to be mission fields, rather home bases. The post-reformation segment of Christendom saw large gatherings and generational revivals but a large church does not equal a “seeker friendly” church. In American history, we have seen some readily obvious cycles of rebellion and repentance with the Great Awakenings. We aren’t in one of those periods of repentance as a society; we need to be, but I digress. If you build it and they will come is an entirely new phenomenon for physical churches.

I am unsure whether this phenomenon of seeker friendly is the result of the rebellion in our societies or a response to. However, many prominent proponents of seeker friendly churches have questionable theology such as Andy Stanley. Andy Stanley’s Deep and Wide is the bible for seeker friendly churches. There’s obvious problems with the seeker friendly church model that stem from belief systems that counter scripture, the Popularity Gospel as I have coined it.

But the original question was not contemplating the theological legitimacy of seeker friendly churches. Rather we are examining the use of church as the mission field which these famous megachurches’ methods have permeated into many bible believing churches. The origin comes from theologically void sources, however legitimate churches use much of these methods to increase the audience of the church, but I am wondering how these methods can increase the size of the church.

1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NASB

So if the church is to be the mission field why then is the church not interested in preaching the gospel every Sunday? Sermons on money don’t save. Sermons on not being “judgmental” don’t save. Not even sermons on loving your neighbor save. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 concisely articulates a saving message that Paul seems to have preached regularly during his time in Corinth.

Comfort

The Good News of Jesus Christ is a call to a painful death to self, daily. No work-around backdoor preaching in a way non-believers can agree with is a sufficient substitute. Using the physical building and programs as a mission field is an unprecedented means modern Christianity finds itself in. By no means, should we turn down innovative ways to baptize believers and make disciples. However, these means must do exactly that. If the church is to draw non-Christians, specifically church adverse people, in with music, atmosphere, and accommodations then the duty of the Church to Christ is to present the gospel daily.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Child abuse: CNN uses 9-year-olds as ‘transgender’ props at Equality Town Hall

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Child abuse CNN uses 9-year-olds as transgender props at Equality Town Hall

Two distinct sciences – biology and psychology – contradict claims of inherent gender dysphoria in children. It’s not that it never happens, but study after study shows parental bias, abuse, or both are more prominent causes for children to believe they are misgendered than being “born this way.” Undeterred, the radical progressive left continues to promote the concept that child transgenderism is common and totally not the results of activist, misguided, or abusive parents.

During CNN’s “Equality Town Hall,” two 9-year-old children have been brought to the podium to ask questions of candidates. One such child, Jacob, was accompanied by his mother, Mimi Lemay, who happens to be a member of the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council.

Conservatives on Twitter were quick to point out the spectacle CNN was trying to propagate in their question to stay “woke” and relevant at the same time.

What? Only three Tweets? Fortunately, most Americans were either watching football, shopping for Halloween candy, or doing literally anything other than watching CNN’s town hall. It was that bad… from what I hear.

Here’s the reality of the Democrats’ agenda. They feel like they must pander to secure not only the votes of those in the community but also the large number of radical progressives not in the community, but who wish they were. This is 100% for nomination purposes only. Once a Democrat emerges victorious, the LBGTQ community will be pushed to the bottom of the Democrats’ and CNN’s priority list. Why? Because they represent a secure voting block for Democrats.

This is what makes it so unfortunate that children like Jacob are used to promote an agenda. At 9-years-old, he isn’t old enough to understand the complexities of politics. He’s also not only enough to be definitively experiencing gender dysphoria from a clinical perspective. Even progressive doctors acknowledge post-puberty sexual awareness is a prerequisite for true gender dysphoria to arise. At 9-years-old, he’s still just confused at best and brainwashed at worst.

Parents participating in this type of brainwashing should be investigated for abuse. Shame on CNN for promoting this type of child exploitation for the sake of appeasing those who hold a radical political ideology.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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