Tag Archives: always believe the children

Many churches continue to fail victims and the innocent by giving child abusers, molesters, and pedophiles the benefit of the doubt. Pedophilic offenders are a segment of the population who will never reverse their desires and will not stop acting upon those desires of their own free will.

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Spiritual Sounding Board

Pastor Doug Wilson and Ed Iverson encourage marriage of Pedophile Steven Sitler, Christ Church


Sins are like grapes; they come in bunches. ~Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson, Steven Sitler, Pedophile

I read a disturbing article yesterday that sent me reeling. I think we always want to hope for the best in people, but after having seen this pattern taken place so many times, those who were familiar with the story could see the inevitable train wreck before it took place. Our fears were in fact confirmed this week, and I am heartbroken.

Many times when we hear of breaking scandalous stories, the focus is on the perpetrator and those who enabled the abuse. The background to this story can be broken down into several important topics, and I hope other bloggers will cover some of the other aspects to this story. (A little bird told me that The Wartburg Watch will also be covering part of…

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A Grand Deception: The Successful Response of Sex Offenders

Liar liar pants on fire

Religion News Service

By Boz Tchividjian

“I’m ready to be put this all behind me and to continue reaching for my dreams of filmmaking and in music.”

Those were the recent words of Brandon Milburn, a former youth minister, as he pleaded with a judge for a lenient sentence after being convicted of seven counts of child sexual abuse involving two eleven year old boys.   His pleas were echoed by supporters who came to court to proclaim his innocence. One even remarked, “I do not believe he is a predator. I love Brandon; my children love Brandon. If Brandon was released today, he would be welcome to come and live in my home.”

Ultimately, the judge decided that Brandon Milburn should spend the next 25 years reaching for his dreams inside the walls of a prison.

Sexual offenders have perfected a grand deception that sadly seems to work all too well inside faith communities. This deception twists truth, minimizes abuse, and exploits guilt in order to create a fictional narrative that paints the offender as the victim and those who accuse and confront as perpetrators of injustice. Unfortunately, too many fail to realize that this deceptive narrative is fiction.

Finish reading 4 steps offenders use as narrative when caught: A Grand Deception: The Successful Response of Sex Offenders

Please take some time to read this powerful and devastating account of abuse, allegations of cover-up, brave souls stepping forward, and a pastor suing a former member to keep quiet. These tragic dynamics are all too familiar in churches around the globe.

CLICK HERE: A Youth Minister’s Downfall Is Tearing First Christian Church of Florissant Apart

P R A Y E R acronym

Toxic Tuesday: Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders Part 3

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

Can God’s word be applied to the issue of supporting alleged sexual abusers of children?

Does it take more faith to support an accused sex offender or to allow the law to do its job?

Do you give blind trust to someone just because you knew them in college, or know them through ministry avenues? Or do you think about how your leadership position in the church might influence the faith of a little child?

Do you support a family on the grounds they are long-standing members in your church or do you acknowledge you have no idea what may have taken place in their home, in their family, or in their family member’s life and decide to error on the side of safety for the children’s sake?

These are not easy questions to answer when placed in the position, by a friend or church member, of being asked for representation in a court of law.

I believe church staff and church leadership need to ask these questions and have policy in place before the situation arises.

Evangelical Christians are quickly gaining a status resembling that of Catholic dioceses which have earned reputations for ignoring, denying and hiding allegations of abuse; as well as, defending priests accused of sexually abusing children. If you doubt the seriousness of this statement look no further than Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment’s Facebook page: G.R.A.C.E. They have investigated and reported on numerous cases.

My thoughts on this subject have been all over the place so I will inform you that the rest of this post is a compilation of random thoughts.

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all he is the greatest.” Luke 9:46-48

Children should never be placed in the position of sacrifice for the sake of the church or the accused in the name of protecting Christ’s reputation. Souls are at stake! Jesus came to sacrifice Himself for us so don’t place a child where only Christ can reside. Protect the children; don’t blame them. Over the years I have read that children’s false claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Christian clergy remains between 1.5% and 2 %. It is rare for young children to lie about sexual abuse.

In Matthew 18:15-18 Jesus teaches us how to deal with sin issues among believers.

  1. Go in private to the person and point out the sin/error/offense.
  2. If they do not listen take two witnesses to help confront them.
  3. If still they do not listen take the issue before the church.
  4. If none of these steps work the unrepentant person is no longer allowed fellowship in the church

This is done in love for the purpose of leading the person to repentance and providing reconciliation in the relationship. These verses DO NOT APPLY to sexual offenders or people accused of breaking local, state or federal laws. All allegations must be immediately reported to the local authorities. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Pastors, church leadership, church members, family and friends cannot be objective mediators or investigators in these cases. Sexual abuse of children is criminal in all 50 states and is NOT a private matter. It is a public/civil felony to be professionally investigated. Pastors and church leadership are not professionally trained to handle such issues; no matter how well-intentioned they are.

We find a prime example in scripture of a family member who attempts to keep sexual abuse quiet. Admitting such evil exists in the world has been difficult since the beginning of time.

In 2 Samuel 13, Absalom told Tamar when he realized she had been raped by her brother Amnon, “Keep silent my sister, he is your brother, do not take this matter to heart.”  Not much can make sexual abuse worse than silence from biological family or church family.  It is hurtful and it is dangerous; moreover, it isn’t the end to the consequences of the sexual abuse. Until justice is served there is potential for further disunity, additional sin and destruction. Continue reading 2 Samuel 13-18 to see how silencing the sexually abused for the sake of peace ended.

Romans 13:1-7 teaches us that the civil government is part of God’s design for His people and that we are subject to the authorities.  Since we are commanded to respect the government/authorities placed over us  we also need to respect their investigations of alleged child victimizers. With the aforementioned random thoughts in mind; we need to stay quietly and respectfully in the background until the process if finished.

Background checks are necessary but not always beneficial. Why? Background checks processed through law enforcement computers only catch criminals who have been charged; not molesters or pedophilic offenders who have never been caught or reported or are too smart to get caught.

In a 1992 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, sex researchers K. Freud and R. I. Watson found that the average pedophile victimizes between 20 and 150 boys before being arrested.[i]

Dr. Anna Salter in her best-selling book, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children reports the same statistics.

This is an alarming number and it tells us churches may have pedophilic offenders working or volunteering in children’s and/or youth ministries who have not YET been caught. This is one more reason to protect the children by making sure they are never alone in a room, hallway or bathroom with one person. There should always be two adults present; not two teens, and not an adult and a child—two adults.

If you or your church has supported a sexual offender through an investigation or trial have you expressed repentance or regret for declining to protect or believe the children?

Did you ever ask straight forward questions or request names and phone numbers of previous family members and former employers to consider their side of the story compared to the accused? Did you ever, with your own eyes, see medical records/diagnosis’s? Did you seek guidance from specialists in the field of child sexual abuse such as Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment?

If you didn’t seek information; why didn’t you?

Are you teachable in this area that plagues the church? If you are instructable I urge you to contact G.R.A.C.E. for help in training your church to protect the little children from the evil that roams in this world; harmful hurtful perpetrators.

Un-teachable churches are nothing more than shelters for victimizers who have the free reign to abuse children on church property, in their vehicle, during church outings, at summer youth camps, or on overseas mission trips.

Are we moved by past friendship, loyalty, sympathy and fear for the accused or by the distress, pain and heartache of the children? Make certain your compassion is properly placed and driven by love of truth and justice for sweet innocent children.

Current news articles paint the Christian community at large as turning their backs on the victims while supporting the adult standing accused. This is tragic but what I find even more disturbing is the church calling the children liars.

Matthew 19:13-14

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Sexual abusers are found in every walk of life: Every gender although mostly the male gender, every sexual orientation, every religion, every race, every color, every country, every socioeconomic class, any profession, or any size of town.

Sexual offenders have no identifiable markings, speech or body language to alert us to their true character or motives. This is one more reason pastors are not qualified, nor are they legally authorized, to investigate felony crimes.

If you or your church has mishandled past abuse disclosures or erred on the wrong side of a sexual abuse case involving an investigation or trial I strongly recommend you contact Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. They exist to help the body of Christ protect children and minister to abuse survivors. You will find resources for the church and for individuals on their website; Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment @netgrace.org.

 Matthew 18:10

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Read also:

Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders Part 1

Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders Part 2

[i] K. Freund & R.I. Watson. “The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study.” 18 34, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 34-43 (1992).

Toxic Tuesday: Justice Served Super-Sized for Children’s Sake

toxic-people-warning-keep-calm

Dear readers,

This is real life and reality isn’t always pretty with bright sunny days, snuggly soft puppy dogs and beautifully spoken words. Sometimes life is unbearable and the content of today’s post qualifies for the later. I’m warning you in advance that some of the content is heavy and ugly.

Remember all the past posts where we prayed for justice in the lives of little children who had been sexually victimized by predators.

Good news: One down—more to go.

Prayer matters and the prayers and scriptures you prayed with me will make an eternal difference in the lives of precious little children who attend church every week with their families and who will never find the ill fortune of becoming the victim of one specific predator.

I’ll never tire of thanking God for this answered prayer.

This offender received a life sentence under Jessica’s Law with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

Jessica’s law requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years old. The statute also requires that if an offender is sentenced to a term of years, he or she must be given lifetime probation following the imprisonment. This law is to keep offenders who seek employment in places of authority and with access to children; such as coaches, teachers and clergy members from regaining access to victims.

The sad and frustrating side to this ruling is about the wife and her family, along with some church members, who each believe with all their heart that this man is innocent. I can only imagine how their heart’s break. If only they could understand the truth of the man’s history; that predates their relationship with him. Then they could walk away, pick up their lives, and seek understanding and healing for the deep blindness and betrayal with which Satan has oppressed them.

We may not have the ability to change the world by eliminating pornography and locking up all the molesters and pedophilic offenders, but we can make the church a better place by praying offenders into prison one by one. Keep praying!

Here are a few of the facts and testimonies from court: I refuse to post certain words on my blog; therefore, I replaced the words with blanks.

-Facts: Physical evidence was presented to the jury.
-Testimony of child: He touched my _____and _____while in the classroom during a Wednesday night children’s class.
-Testimony of Ginger Hill, outpatient therapist at Four County Mental Health Center: The defendant described to child what Jesus would do and say when he returned. And acted out Jesus touching people upon his return; touching the boy on his _____and ______.
-Two women employed by the Child Advocacy Center, Vicki Speer and Erika Rider, both testified they did forensic interviews,“The defendent touched them in areas that were inappropriate.”
-Victim told the jury the defendant ___________________ during a 2009 Wednesday night children’s class. The child said the incident took place in the bathroom while he was a part of a Wednesday night children’s class. The child identified the defendant, “He was the preacher at our church. He taught a class. He touched my ___________. He put his ___________________in the bathroom at the church.” He said he was off the stool at the time it happened.
-The mother of the child testified her child told her when,“We were at home, lying down and he said,‘I love momma, I love daddy, I love ______’” She questioned,“You love _____?”
“Yes,” the child replied,“But tell him to quit ______________________because it hurts.” That was in late February 2010.
-It was on Nov. 11, 2009  when the defendant stopped teaching the adult class. He then started teaching the children’s class that contained children from age 2 – age 5 alone. [i]
-Two separate children’s testimonies, who did not know each other, corroborated what happened to them at separate times by the same man.

I must stop and ask; what man wants to be alone with little children and have to take care of changing dirty diapers? And what man with a history of sexual abuse allegations against children would ever put himself in such a situation? A man who had lost his own parental rights to his only child. And what church would allow it?

But that’s not all.

He was alone in a classroom which had no windows and according to court records he locked the door while the children were in the class. He was also alone with one of the victims in the boys’ bathroom.[ii]

He was alone doing unthinkable things while describing to the children what Jesus would do and say when he returned while acting out what would happen. He (Jesus), “Would touch people upon his return.”[iii]

The mother of one of the victims discovered an “awfully quiet” classroom one Wednesday night. “She went to the door of the classroom and it was locked.” “I knocked three times on the door. It took the defendant several minutes to come to the door and he would only open it enough that I could see him. He said the children were working on a craft and it was a surprise for the parents.” “I never saw any crafts that were being worked on,” she told the court.[iv]

Read the Topeka Capital Journal: Former Kansan Sentenced to Life in Prison Under Jessica’s Law

Other links: 

We believe S is 100% innocent of the charge that has been
made against him.  Page 2  Page 2 White Fields Evangelism

http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article1276724.html

Steven Paul Butler KSN.com

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

Topix Forum

[i] Allen Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”,Independence Daily Reporter, June 3, 2014

[ii] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

[iii] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

[iv] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

Toxic Tuesday: The Supernatural

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

Last week provided opportunity for me to sit down with my children and use our prayer tool box. I take this prayer box out when I want to spend lengthy concentrated prayer on an issue or need.

Last week such a need was upon us. There was a possibility of seeing a long-awaited prayer request answered concerning a toxic person from our past. This toxic person had wreaked havoc in four innocent children’s lives that we knew of and possibly, according to investigators, in hundreds of other children’s lives. After sixteen years of praying for children’s safety I could possibly see God’s hand provide permanent protection. I believed I had received the answer to the prayerrequest over two years previous but felt the pressing duty to pray it into being.

Please understand I was not fighting against a person. I fought for the safety of children from childhood victimization but more than that; I fought for their heart, soul, mind and strength. Because perhaps nothing can mess with a child’s heart, soul mind and strength more than being victimized in the name of Jesus while being told how special they are, how loved they are, and that God is going to use them in great ways for His work. ENOUGH! There are things worth fighting for, through the power of prayer, and this was one of them.

By products would be the vengeance of the Lord, vindication from my past for the hundreds of people who never knew the truth of why I left this relationship, and a reminder to those who knew but refused to do anything about it that God knows all, sees all, and will hold them accountable for the harm that came to the children.

I was in desperate need to see God’s final answer of justice, in this case, on this side of heaven, “Please Lord?”

“A hostile world! I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!” Psalm 18:6 (The Message)

Ah yes, that is how I feel every time I take out our prayer tool box; in His presence—a private audience!

Here are two of the prayer cards we filled out during our time praying for justice in this court case.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Write your own Psalm 100 by filling in the blanks—

 

Know that the Lord is powerful and in charge

It is He who brought this child abuser to trial

And we are His prayer warriors praying for justice

Enter His arms little children with assurance of rest and healing,

Give praise to Him and trust and glorify His name.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Describe how you are asking God to work in this circumstance:

A mazingly swift

B elieve the children (jury)

C omfort the children

D eliver defendant to prison

E mpower prosecutor & team

F inish the trail this week

G uilty verdict

H elp children to remember

I ntercessor for the witnesses

J udicious

K indness toward children from the defense

L ove the children tenderly

M ighty to save

N ever forget what happened

O verwhelm the jury with truth

P eace while giving testimony

Q uiet the court room

R emember the victims

S ave the children from fear

T welve guilty verdicts

U understand defendant’s history & character (jury)

V indicate the children

W onderful counselor

X tremely wise jury

Y ielding professional testimony

Z ealous for the children; the apples of Jesus’ eyes

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We were extremely bold in our asking; after all, the book of Psalms sets the precedence for asking boldly for victory against our foes.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Two days later I was present in court to hear the verdict with my own ears: Guilty.

See previous post: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin

We need to wake up, pray up and speak up. Sin, specifically childhood victimization, wants to shut us down and shut us up but God has so much more for us.  God wants us to join Him where ever we see Him working; including protecting children. Jesus left His believers supernatural power to get the work done. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

So I will boldly speak out. God’s church has often been quiet about childhood victimization sometimes treating the victims as the problem. Why? Because it is an uncomfortable ugly topic and it is next to impossible for many people to believe abusers, molesters and pedophiles exist.  They would rather not talk about it and if they must; please leave the shocking terminology out of the conversation. Smooth it over, soften it, make it nicer. No one should have to hear about such things.

I strongly disagree. Many Christians need to wake up, know the facts and do everything they can to protect the children; at the very least, believe the children and pray for them.

We must participate in God’s cause, battle and victory against the forces of darkness. Bad things happen in real life. You can’t hush it, soften it, rewrite it or ignore it. Be real! Childhood victimization is real! If we will not intercede for the children, who will? If we will not bring to light the sin hidden in darkness no one will.

Do you know of a toxic person who needs brought to justice? Join God and fight for the children. Pray.

Here are two links to help you with prayer tools as you take on remembering to effectively pray.

DSCN1898Prayer Tool Box: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/?s=prayer+tool+box

Prayer boardPrayer Board: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/?s=prayer+board

 

Here are three links with helpful scriptures to pray over abused children and the abusers.

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/p-r-a-y-e-r-for-innocent-children/

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/pedophile-or-molester-content-warning/

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/mene-mene-tekel-parsin/

 

P R A Y E R acronym

 

word filled linkup

Michael Reagan’s Childhood Sexual Abuse

Michael Reagan: a bearer of light amidst the darkness of child sexual abuse

Son of President Ronald Reagan tells about his childhood victimization. He acknowledges child sexual abuse picks apart the self-esteem of its victims but shines the light on authentic hope for the many who have suffered from the ravages of this horrific offense.

 See more at: http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/03/08/michael-reagan-hero-amidst-pain-child-sexual-abuse/#sthash.wI3lllzu.dpuf

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