Sexual abuse by a Church Minister, Priest, Counselor, Teacher or other church Leader...on this page we will explore questions, issues and Biblical principles of Godly caring for the abuser and the abused.
Criminal Sexual Assault
by Clergy, Minister, Priest, Counselor Teacher,
and other Church Leaders and Workers
Work in progress...last update 11/2004
Key Biblical Terms and Definitions
1. Sexual abuse by a Minister / Church leaders: Go back
Here's a to common scenario...a Minister/ Leader sexually abuses person(s) in his care--should he report himself to the civil authorities in light of Romans 13? Yes or No? Do you know the law and practice in your area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter? Do you know the District's / Region's policies and practices in these principles? Do you know the denomination's / association's policies and practices in this matter?
If the Clergy / Church Leader (ANY SEXUAL ABUSER) IS NOT WILLING TO TURN SELF IN TO CIVIL AUTHORITIES AND MAKE A FULL AND HONEST STATEMENT OF THEIR ACTS then PeaceMakers can not spiritually help him/her since they have no heart toward righteousness-only protecting themselves-I don't care what they say, what they look like, how they "change", how successful their ministry was/is/will be, etc.-it's all a lie and more deceit! PeaceMakers is willing to care for a Biblical & Godly sorrowing sexual abuser. By God's grace a sexual offender can change-but their sin has disqualified them from most ministry and certainly from unrestricted, and unsupervised ministry.
Not being an Attorney my use of the law needs verification: Having said that-it seems to me the Civil Authorities have divided the law into at least two categories: Criminal and Civil. I'm often amused when Church leaders rebuke Christians for not exercising their civic responsibilities by not voting or writing to their civic leaders-yet when it comes time to report a criminal sexual assault or other criminal acts they mostly remain silent. 1 Corinthians 6 is often mis-used: it's not about never going to court or never going to the authorities! see http://www.christiancourt.org/1co61-11.htm
I've often heard that reporting the sexual abuse to the civil authorities
will further harm the victim(s)-I think not so, it seems
to me the abuser can give himself up without having to name his victims. Do you know the law and practice in your area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter? Do you know the District's / Region's policies and practices in these principles? Do you know the denomination's / association's policies and practices in this matter?
Protecting the criminally sexually assaulted's identity (especially a minor) is a key foundation principle when at all possibly legal. Records are sealed and only can be open by a court order within certain guidelines protection of the sexual abused is very important. When the criminal sexual abuser fails Godly sorrow they demand the sexually abused openly accuse them and peruse them hoping the public attention and the brutal cross examination will deter the abused from pressing for righteousness. I have seen those in leadership investigate a victim's story and life in such a manner that resembled more interrogation than love, care, gentleness and support. Do you know the law and practice in your area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter? Do you know the District's / Region's policies and practices in these principles? Do you know the denomination's / association's policies and practices in this matter?
Can the filing of his crime report, and his allocution (admitting the crime before a judge) and sentencing be done in a manner to protect the abused? I think yes-Do you know the law and practice in your area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter? Do you know the District's / Region's policies and practices in these principles? Do you know the denomination's / association's policies and practices in this matter?
What do you think of the criminal's "sorrow and confession" if he waits to be caught and makes his victims prove his abuse--like Clinton and the blue dress? What do you think if the criminal willingly, openly, confesses on his own? If the sexual abuser does confess on his own should he still tell the civil authorities? Should everybody keep quiet? Do you know the law and practice in your area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter? Do you know the District's / Region's policies and practices in these principles? Do you know the denomination's / association's policies and practices in this matter?
How does the time from the commission of his sexual crime to the time of his being confronted impact his "confession"? 1 year or less-later? 5 years-later? 10 years-later? 15 years-later? 20 years-later? 30 years or more? Do you know the law and practice in your area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter? Do you know the District's / regional's policies and practices in these principles? Do you know the denomination's / association's policies and practices in this matter?
There seems to several definitions of statues of limitations across
the country in sexual abuse crimes-how would the criminal's hiding and
silence impact his "confession" if the statues of limitations had not expired?
If the statues of limitations had expired? Does the statues of limitations
have any bearing? Do you know the law and practice in your
area? Do you know your church's policy and practice in this matter?
Do you know the District's / regional's policies and practices in these
principles? Do you know the denomination's/association's policies and practices
in this matter?
LOVE means obeying God's WORD toward Him, self and others.
BELIEVE / FAITH... living as though all that Jesus Christ taught is true. Making choices based upon the True God being God of all things.
BEING PERFECTED... life in PROCESS of faith being completed through the continual releasing of God's Holy Spirit in thoughts, values, and behavior. Living self's will is thinking you know better than God.
ORIGINAL SIN... Lucifer's rebellion against God (I know best) passed to Adam and Eve through disobedience (we know best) to all born into the world (I know best). Now, we each have the fallen nature of what we think we know is truth, and not being in right relationship with God to know HE KNOWS BEST.
SIN...means to miss the mark, to err, offend, trespass, to side step, lapse or deviate, unintentional error, willful transgression, fall, fault, offense, sin, trespass.
OFFENSE... means, some, any, partly any, whatsoever, whomsoever. Therefore the offense is anything that comes between two brothers.
GODLY SORROW... means the deep mourning that comes from recognizing the gravity of ones sin, the consequences of that sin, and anger at the sin, that does not regret giving up the sin. It's being fully resolved to make it right to God and to those who have been harmed by ones sin. And the commitment to God to surrender, as is humanly possible, to His Holy Spirit and not sin this way again.
HEAR / LISTEN... means to hear, give audience, be noised, reported, understand, Plus in the negative means to fail to hear, disobey, take no heed, neglect to hear. Therefore hearing that leads to repentance.
CONFESSION... Agreeing with God about the nature of our sin, our attitudes and actions. Telling them to God in the witness of other Christians. Sharing our Hope in Jesus Christ with others.
REPENT... means to think differently, or afterwards, do differently, reconsider, feel compunction, repent, to change ones mind involving both turning from sin and turning to God.
FORGIVENESS... Asking: State specifically the wrong, identify the Biblical principles violated, share Godly sorrow, ask forgiveness, and repent. Giving: Recognize your sins are greater than any sin against you, and that you have been forgiven by God and thereby forgive those who ask Biblically and pledge not hold their wrongs to their account.
RECONCILED... means to effect an alteration, in cases of mutual hostility yielding to mutual concession, to change (someone's mind) to reconcile. Therefore make it right between brothers.
SHOW / REBUKE / REPROVE... means to confute, admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, censure or admonish, forbid, & charge.
HEALING / RESTORE... means to complete thoroughly, repair, mend, make perfect with patience and perseverance.
REJOICE... means to rejoice in the Lord (Jesus Christ, Jehovah) at all
times, in all situations, because He will overcome evil with good for those
who love Him.
Matthew Henry: Matthew 3:
VII. The rite, or ceremony, by
which he admitted disciples, v. 6. Those
who received his doctrine, and submitted to his discipline, were baptized
of him in Jordan, thereby professing their repentance, and their belief that
the kingdom of the Messiah was at hand.
1. They testified their repentance
by confessing their sins; a general
confession, it is probable, they made to John that they were sinners, that
they were polluted by sin, and needed cleansing; but to God they made a
confession of particular sins, for he is the party offended. The Jews had
been taught to justify themselves; but John teaches them to accuse
themselves, and not to rest, as they used to do, in the general confession of
sin made for all Israel, once a year, upon the day of atonement; but to
make a particular acknowledgment, every one, of the plague of his own
heart. Note, A penitent confession of sin is required in order to peace and
pardon; and those only are ready to receive Jesus Christ as their
Righteousness, who are brought with sorrow and shame to their own guilt,
Adam Clarke Matthew 7
Confessing their sins.— exomologoumenoi,
earnestly acknowledging that
their sins were their own. And thus taking the whole blame upon
themselves, and laying nothing to the charge of GOD or man. This is
essential to true repentance; and, till a man take the whole blame on
himself, he cannot feel the absolute need he has of casting his soul on the
mercy of God, that he may be saved.
Godbey on True repentance:
Matthew 3:8-10, andLuke 3:8-10. O the withering denunciations which leaped from the eloquent lips of John, like lightning from the skirts of the clouds! “Ye generations of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance; and do not think to say among yourselves, We have father Abraham: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Already, indeed, the ax is lying
at the root of the trees; therefore every tree, not producing good fruit,
is hewn down and cast into the fire.” The rank and the of fallen Judaism
at that day, like the Moslem millions now, as well as the unbelieving Jews,
were depending upon their Abrahamic lineage to save them, pursuant to the
infallible promises of Cod to that patriarch and his seed, constituting
the Abrahamic Covenant. This is all a fond delusion of the devil, a greased
plank, over which he has slidden countless millions into hell. Under the
Mohammedan priesthood the barbaric children of Abraham, through Ishmael
and Esau, this day expect heaven pursuant to the Abrahamic Covenant. Really
there is no Abrahamic Covenant, but it is simply the Covenant of Redemption,
which God made with His Son, before Abel died, to save all the faithful
in Christ. This
identical covenant God reiterated and established with Abraham.
(Galatians 3:16.) Hence the Abrahamic paternity is not carnal, but spiritual, including all the saved in Christ. (Galatians 3:7.) The viper of the Old World is the congener of the rattlesnake in this country. The serpent is the progeny of Satan, having been subsidized by him in the abduction of humanity, and anathematized by the Almighty (Genesis 3:14) in his transformation into the groveling, obnoxious, poisonous progeny of the archenemy. Stones here symbolize the flinty hearts of Satan-ridden reprobates, which the Holy Ghost is abundantly competent to transform into the sanctified children of heaven, thus making them the spiritual children of Abraham. The ax symbolizes Divine retribution; the tree, every human being. The whole human race are under a dispensation of grace, whether they have ever heard the gospel trumpet sound a solitary note. A momentous crisis came to the Jews with the ministry of John and his introduction of Jesus. Hitherto they could be saved by the Excarnate Christ, under the ministry of the law and the prophets. Now that He has come in human flesh, they must receive Him, or grieve away the Holy Spirit and take the fatal plunge into reprobacy and damnation. O what a flood-tide, led by those proud Church-rulers, to whom John was preaching this awfully plain truth, did reject Christ and take the horrific plunge into irretrievable woe!
GENUINE FRUITS OF REPENTANCE
Luke 3:10-14. “The multitudes continued to ask him, saying, What then shall we do? Responding, he says to them: Let the one having two coats give to him having none; and let the one having food do likewise.” John was no shoddy preacher, daubing with untempered mortar. He preached a gospel which will stand the judgment fires. “Repentance unto remission of sins” was his constant theme. A Methodist circuit rider, on his first round, preached on repentance; on his second round, gave them repentance again; and so on till the year is half gone. The people, tired and bored, asked him: “Brother, can you not give us a new subject? We are tired of the old one.” “O yes; but I am just waiting on you to repent, and can’t change my subject till you do.” He was right. All religion is shoddy and spurious without a true evangelical repentance, which is the only foundation.
(Hebrews 6:1.) Now true repentance always makes people philanthropic — doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. When man repents, God always forgives, witnesses to it by His Spirit, and fills the heart with that love which will always do good to others. John’s doctrine is safe: “Repentance unto remission of sins,” R.V.; i.e., you are to repent until you are forgiven, the Holy Spirit bearing witness. “And the publicans came to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which has been appointed unto you.” The publicans — i.e., the Roman officers collecting the revenue — had general notoriety for fraudulent exactions of more than their due, and rascality in their dealings with the people. John knew that a true repentance would settle all this crooked business, and settle it forever, which is true. O how we all ought to thank God for honest sheriffs, as I believe they generally are in this country! In the Old World, especially Asia and Africa, public fraud prevails to an appalling extent; e.g., in the corrupt Turkish Government, in the Holy Land this day, I am reliably informed that the sheriffry is sold to the highest bidder, the incumbent, instead of receiving remuneration from the Government, actually paying the Government for the privilege of serving in the office, and of course depending on theft and robbery for his entire remuneration. This is a simple item in the awful desolation which afflicts that land. Come, Lord, come quickly! Deliver Thy patrimony and a dying world from Satan’s power! “And the soldiers continue to ask him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Oppress no one, defraud no one, and be content with your wages.” Military despotisms have been the scourge of the world in all ages, but the true grace of God, superinducing repentance unto remission, transforms the panoplied soldier into a messenger of mercy. Captain Webb, of the British army, was the first Methodist preacher in America. William Penn, an officer in the British army, became one of the sweetest preachers, whose lovely character ever adorned the Friends’ Church.
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