Wade Burleson: How To Care for Victims + Comment Policy + Readers’ Help Needed

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” Herbert Ward

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There is a reason that Wade Burleson is admired and respected by the two of us. Wade has a natural empathy for victims. His gut response in bad situations is to reach out to the most vulnerable. His instinct for those who are hurting is rooted in a deep understanding of the love and grace of Christ who spent much of His time amongst the poor and let down.

We have a prime directive at our blog. That means that all commenters must show concern for the victims in these stories. If they do not, we believe that these commenters exist to prop up either an idol or an ideology. On this blog we care about the forgotten victims. Most of these admired Christian leaders have throngs of admiring sycophants who strenuously defend them and uphold them throughout their ordeals.

Who stands for the little guy, the victim, and the not famous and admired? This blog does. Period. If you don’t like it, go to the blogs of all the admirers of the famous. There are many. Let us know if you need a referral because we read them to remind ourselves why we blog. We do not want to be like them.

Wade has taught us all an important lesson in caring for the hurt. He went out on a limb for this young victim and bravely called it as he saw it. On his blog, he received a horrendous comment by someone who said that the 10-year-old child might be a Bathsheba or a Tamar. Let me say this loud and clear. These comments are sick and such a person needs counseling.

A Letter to Emulate

It was Wade’s postletter to a victim, Here, that caused the father of this young girl to reach out to him. Through Wade’s compassion, he has been used by the Holy Spirit to bring healing to this situation. This is part of the posted letter he wrote. Please read the full letter to see how to effectively minister in such a situation.

“Your life is not defined by your abuse or your abuser's death.
Yes, it will be difficult to ever forget what has happened these past few months, but it is one thing to remember events, quite another thing to be defined by them. You are a child of God who has significance, value and worth because of Him. Your future is His. One of these days I believe that you will be able to help other people overcome the pain of abuse because God has granted to you the special grace of experiencing supernatural healing that only comes through enduring unnatural hurt. You have been abused, but you are not defined by that abuse. Your personhood is defined by your God, and He makes no mistakes. “

Why This Letter Was Important

Here is an excerpt from Wade’s later post which addresses the phone call that he received from the father.

 “Her father was now on the phone. I answered trepidatiously, not knowing what to expect. During the subsequent forty-five minutes I had one of the most moving phone conversations of my life. I cannot go into all the details of the conversation, particularly in regard to the abuse and the circumstances surrounding Tom White's death. These matters will remain confidential out of respect for the victim and her family, as well as the family of Tom White. What I can say is that there is no doubt the abuse occurred. In addition, there is no doubt the open letter helped this young girl's family.

Her father told me that he was at work and had Googled "Tom White" and on the third page he found my post "The Sin and Suicide of 'Voice of the Martyrs' Executive Director Tom White: An Open Letter to the Young Girl He Abused." He thought to himself, "What in the world is this about?" He read it at his desk and began to weep. He said that he a great deal of comfort and healing from the open letter and immediately printed off a copy of it to take home to read to his wife. He said they both cried as he read the letter again to his wife at their house. "The Holy Spirit brought such incredible comfort and healing to us both." The parents of the young girl have saved the letter and will at the appropriate time read it to their daughter.”

Wade is the right person to love, counsel and pray with this family. All of us should pray for him and for the family. God be praised for directing this embattled father to Enid! Can you imagine how hard it is for this family to read all the accolades for Tom and read very few expressions of concern for their daughter? Even worse, can you imagine the pain they would feel to read speculations that their daughter might have encouraged such an incident?

We all can learn a lesson from this experience. We must, first and foremost, always reach out to the victim. In some circumstances, it is often clear that something horrible happened. TWW was bombarded with emails and comments, seeking to defend the honor of Tom White. We got all manner of possible excuses such as “Maybe he committed suicide because he was on antidepressants.” The suicide and the molestation investigation were blown off as just plain coincidence.

We received comment after comment yelping about how little we used the word alleged even though it was used several times in the post. Of course, the molestation wasn’t 100% proved. I made that clear at the beginning of the post, saying White was under investigation.

The tenor of much of the defense was that Tom was a “good ”man who could not do such a thing. This shows a profound misunderstanding of the Bible, which demonstrates that man is capable of anything, including blind hero worship. Thankfully, there were many readers of this blog who stood for the victim. We are so grateful that so many have compassion for victims.

New comment policy

1. There will be no further comments allowed that blame a victim of child abuse or child molestation of encouraging or contributing to his/her abuse. TWW will fully stand by the victim and his/her family. We also expect “supporters” of the alleged molester/abuser to express concern for the victim. We will not debate this topic. It frankly amazes us that we must lecture Christians on this subject.

The following email is an example of such a comment. If this person is a schoolteacher, he/she needs to go back to get some education on pedophilia. This child was 10 years old, for crying out loud. And anyone who molests a 10 year old child is a pedophile. This is abnormal behavior and indicates a serious problem in the mind and actions of the molester.

This comment indicates an incredible lack of empathy for the victim and worries me. The caps are from the commenter, which means “shouting” in blog language. This comment has now been removed from the comment section.


2. We also reserve the right to disallow any commenter who uses a proxy server.

We have consistently found that comenters who use proxy servers have a higher rate of over the top comments. We allow many comments on this blog that most other Christian blogs would ban. Sometimes, though, we will debate about allowing a particular comment. If it is highly inflammatory, we will now err on the side of caution and disallow those that come in by proxy server. Many of these folks are trolls, anyway. If you disagree with the removal of your comment, contact us via email. 

We desperately need the help of our readers in monitoring comments and reminding us about emails.

Deb and I are trying to keep up with all of the comments and emails that we receive. It is becoming a full time job, something that we did not expect.

We deeply appreciate the folks who take their precious time and share their thoughts and lives with us. Just this past weekend, I teared up in church thinking of the comment of a man whose son had committed suicide. We care and care very deeply.

We get so many emails that, even though we always read all of them,  they get backed up in the queue of those that we need to answer. Sometimes we can have as many as 20 emails to answer. These emails are deeply touching, need thoughtful responses and we want to respond to them but there are just so many hours in the day.

The same goes for comments. We want to oversee each of them but we miss some in the course of the day.

So, we would like to enlist some help from out readers.

Please email us or leave a comment if you think a comment deserves a closer look. We have a very open blog and want to keep it as such. So, we might allow some comments with language issues or obnoxious observations. We believe that it is important for the Christian community to clearly hear the opinions of others, even ones with which we deeply disagree. We also think that we should see how some Christians respond to others to understand why, sometimes, Christians are not well liked by others.

We want to reiterate that this is not a blog aimed just at evangelical Christians. We welcome people from all faiths, creeds, beliefs or non-beliefs. It is our wish to present an honest and thoughtful discussion, along with a hand of friendship, to all who come here

So,  if we do not respond to your email, could you send us a reminder? If we have overlooked a comment that needs to be reviewed please email us or place a comment on the blog. We promise that we will not be offended with such a reminder.We would be grateful.

We have considered getting some help for the blog but that, too, is fraught with problems. We have a particular way that we view situations, the TWW way, and we talk things over regularly with one another, often speaking 5 or 6 times a day. We do not want this blog to lose our distinctive or the personal connection that we feel with so many of you who visit here. We view this as a community that we love very much and we want it to stay that way. So, we are going to try to muddle on.

If you have time in your day, could you pray for us? Thank you for bearing with us.

PS-We have misplaced an email from an ICOC or IFB family who sent us a story. If they are reading this, we are so sorry and could you please resend it. We can't even find a contact email. Aarghhh!


Wade Burleson: How To Care for Victims + Comment Policy + Readers’ Help Needed — 101 Comments

  1. SERIOUS QUESTION: It is one thing to have no empathy for a 10 year old girl who was sexually used by a 61 year old man.

    But it is another thing to have no empathy for a 21 or 22 year old college male who gets himself kicked out of a Christian college because of things he has done.

    Is that a fair assessment or are you going to demand the 21 year old college student get the same empathy as the 10 year old girl?

    It seems to me some discrimination should come into play but it’s your world; I just visit.

  2. Thank you so much for your stance on this. I will continue to pray for you both.

    I love the community around TWW, including its diversity. It is a rare and wonderful thing.

  3. Jimmy
    I was primarily thinking about a child’s molestation. However, if you don’t feel for a kid thrown out of college 11 days before graduation, after the school has sucked up all of dad’s money, you are a dead fish.

  4. But one other serious issue: satanic ritual abuse – wikipedia

    Satanic ritual abuse (SRA, sometimes known as ritual abuse, ritualistic abuse, organised abuse, sadistic ritual abuse and other variants) refers to a moral panic that originated in the United States in the 1980s, spreading throughout the country and eventually to many parts of the world, before subsiding in the late 1990s. Allegations of SRA involved reports of physical and sexual abuse of individuals in the context of occult or Satanic rituals. At its most extreme definition, SRA involved a worldwide conspiracy involving the wealthy and powerful of the world elite in which children were abducted or bred for sacrifices, pornography and prostitution.
    Nearly every aspect of SRA was controversial, including its definition, the source of the allegations and proof thereof, testimonials of alleged victims, and court cases involving the allegations and criminal investigations. The panic affected lawyers’, therapists’, and social workers’ handling of allegations of child sexual abuse. Allegations initially brought together widely dissimilar groups, including religious fundamentalists, police investigators, child advocates, therapists and clients in psychotherapy. The movement gradually secularized, dropping or deprecating the “satanic” aspects of the allegations in favor of names that were less overtly religious such as “sadistic” or simply “ritual abuse” and becoming more associated with dissociative identity disorder and government conspiracy theories.
    The panic was influenced to a large extent by testimony of children and adults that was obtained using therapeutic and interrogation techniques now considered discredited. Initial publicity generated was by the now-discredited autobiography Michelle Remembers (1980), and sustained and popularized throughout the decade by the McMartin preschool trial.”

    [Finally Are we expected to agree with every allegation or is their some room for “let’s see how this all plays out.?]

  5. How many of us got burned by believing all the satanic ritual abuse stories which were ultimately a lot of hooey.

    Empathy for true victims of serious abuse is Godly and appropriate. BUT, we’ve been burned before by all these stories that turned out to be lies; or at least heavily slanted.

  6. Jimmy
    You are supposedly educated. There is a vast difference in this situation than many others. Surely you see that.

  7. What’s so disturbing is how the person who wrote that comment thought there was anything “normal” about a man that age having a “friendship” with a 10 year old. In the context and tone that it was written, it reads almost as if a man and a woman were friends, and then dude made the move. To say they had some type of friendship and then he went too far reads weird in the context of a man 61 and a 10 year old. Like they were both on the same level.

    And the biggest tragedy out of this isn’t this child’s innocence destroyed and the resulting issues it will bring up in her life, but you’re MORE concerned about persecuted Christians in some third world country that you’ve never even met, don’t have a face to you, etc… But here is one child who’s very personal story has a face, a situation you know about immediately and you cannot have a greater compassion and sense of loss and tragedy over that?

    I’d think that if a government or religious group in another country took the little girls in a Christian faith in that country and raped or molested them, we could say that those kids are being persecuted for their faith. Then how do we look at that as something totally different because it happened here in the US. I don’t believe this child was “persecuted” for her faith. But it’s interesting how “Christians” love all things persecution. I think it’s a joke. And if you cared that damn much about persecuted Christians, why isn’t your butt over there helping them out–you know, since you care so much about THAT tragedy. Simple. People are stupid and have not the heart or mind of Christ. To such a person, more souls is better than the precious soul of this child.

    A child, in no way, can ever be responsible for igniting the sexual response of an adult. Simple. That adult is ALWAYS and will forever be the responsible party. You’re an adult, you know when a child is being inappropriate. If someone’s child touches a part of my body that is inappropriate or even tempts to have such a discussion, it gets cut off from the jump and the parents are immediately informed of this behavior.

    “A one time tragedy.” Um… wow. No words.
    “I love this man.” Well, I guess you do. That’s obvious.
    “Tom is no pedophile. I refuse to believe that.” Hmmm… Well, you’re probably stupid, so reason wouldn’t work well with you.

    I truly haven’t made the decision if this man did this to the child until there is a verdict. As someone mentioned before, children have been known in situations to lie about these things. I do think that a judgement is appropriate once facts and an investigation has been done. But either way, one cannot say that this man was no pedophile inasmuch as one cannot say that he was until those matters have been properly investigated.

    There is an unruly breed of heartless zombie “Christians” out here that are becoming so common to me that I find it severely frightening. From the lack of empathy and insight to understand and have compassion with all these different stories of abuse, it baffles me how discompassionate so-called Christians have become towards the brokenhearted and those in need who are right in their backyard. Yet, we always want o set our sights on Southeast Asia, Muslims etc… You can’t help them when you can’t bother the smaller assignments you’ve been given. You’ve got to learn to manage a little before you can manage a lot.

  8. I just read Wade’s newest post today about his phone call from the girl’s father. That was heartbreaking. I believe if the parents are confident that their child was sexually molested, then there is most likely physical evidence and information to prove that. Knowing their confidence, alone, makes me sad that a child had to experience whatever she was confronted with. I believe that if Mr. White’s family has the heart that I would assume they do, then I’m sure they are heartbroken at the details as well, and probably burdened beyond belief. Any decent person would be.

  9. Dee and Deb – I think having a blog like this is not unlike running a bar.

    When someone gets seriously unruly, you have to not only refuse to serve them, but escort them to the door.

    Sounds like you need some bouncers!


    Proxy servers: I use them fairly often (mainly due to serious concerns about hacking and theft, as I was hit by a hacker last fall and had a lot of information, etc. stolen). I try to remember to turn off the proxy before I come here and comment, but sometimes fail in that.

    At any rate, I *do* hear you about abusive comments and proxies, but want to say that a lot of us use proxies for entirely legit reasons.

    So I hope banning/comment approval aren’t based solely on a changing IP address…

  10. numo
    We have never had any cause to look up your IP. We only do it for the bizarros. Frankly, I rarely check an IP address because I believe in anonymity as much as possible, even with IPs. That policy will continue.

  11. “1. There will be no further comments allowed that blame a victim of child abuse or child molestation of encouraging or contributing to his/her abuse. TWW will fully stand by the victim and his/her family. We also expect “supporters” of the alleged molester/abuser to express concern for the victim. We will not debate this topic. It frankly amazes us that we must lecture Christians on this subject.”

    On the one hand, these kinds of comments are heartless, and particularly hard and painful to read. On the other, I wonder if they don’t serve a useful educational purpose; sometimes it is hard to believe that someone could possible take that stance in the face of a situation like this. But they do, and it is vital that we remember that.

  12. Eagle, didn’t think the question was particularly difficult; God hates pride. He has used ALL sorts of people to lead other to Himself. God surprised me all the time. BUT, He abides by His written word.

  13. you might want to think about switching your commenting over to another service, such as Disqus, that will allow comments to be flagged as inappropriate by readers, and then rather than needing to review every comment, you could check out the flagged ones, rather than having to wade through even more emails in your inbox.

  14. Trina said: “it reads almost as if a man and a woman were friends, and then dude made the move.”

    That’s what I thought, too. It just sounds so wrong.

    A lot of kids are sexually precocious, for various reasons. But you’d hope that any adult who saw a kid behaving inappropriately for their age would be concerned about their home life; would worry about how they know the things they know, about whether they are living in a sexualised environment, worry that they were being abused or were disturbed somehow – NOT reciprocate! It’s horrible that people who call themselves Christians are minimising the sickness inherent in child abuse.

  15. The comment about “putting all the blame on a 10-year-old child” reminds me of the remarks directed at Elizabeth Smart and Shawn Hornbeck. I heard plenty of comments about, “Why didn’t they try to get away?” “Why didn’t they tell someone?” Elizabeth’s case is pretty well-known; Shawn Hornbeck was abducted at age 11 and not found until he was 15.

    We do so much of the “blame the victim” mentality in our culture. When a woman is raped, how many of us have asked the question, “How was she dressed?” or “What was she doing out there in the first place?” rather than, “Why did he rape her?”

    To blame a 10-year-old child for abuse is unconscionable.

  16. aubrietta
    Thank you for your suggestion.We are technopeasants and will refer this suggestion onto the guy behind the curtain. Sounds great.

  17. Tina: The victim-blaming culture is the height of stupidity. I think the mentality behind it is that the predator, if the abuse is true, was some kind of mindless monster who would have raped anyone and it’s the victim’s fault for ‘attracting’ him to her, like a drop of blood in shark infested waters. Yet instead of putting away the mindless monster and keeping people safe, we claim that it’s the fault of the person who had more self-control. Poor rapist. He couldn’t help himself, it’s not his fault…aww diddums.

  18. If I was being charitable I might say that victim-blaming is a natural human reaction (not everything about human nature is good of course). Back in cave-dwelling times, we had to be able to say “Og ate the small red mushroom; Og died. So I won’t eat the small red mushrooms”. For our own preservation, we had to, and still have to, to be able to assign cause and effect.

    But we apply this thought process badly through fear to things we shouldn’t, like disability for example. People asked Jesus what sin the disabled had committed to end up disabled, probably because they were hoping to hear a sure-fire way to avoid the same fate. It’s a line of questioning that kills empathy and compassion.

  19. I understand the fear of disbility but I just wonder what fear grown men who blame a little girl for being molested might be hiding… probably best not to dwell on that, though.

  20. Pingback: Blaming the victim — again | Civil Commotion

  21. Sorry to get off subject, but I think a lot of readers here would like to read Michael Horton’s short article, “Muscular Christianity,” which does a good job of taking apart the pov of Piper, Driscoll, Wilson, and others on the topic of gender. This is a genuine Reformed believer writing about some of the suspect views of alleged Reformed believers.


  22. I really loved what Wade had to say…I’d love to hear the same from the mouth of the Pope one day. The most important people in these situations are the child victims, end of.

    I work professionally with older children & teenagers. I personally know many sexaully active 12 yr olds who dress like pole dancers off a hard night’s shift. I don’t care if an underage girl gets in your lap & says I want you, normal adults would say no, & remove themselves from the situation. Normal adults understand that oversexualised children are also victims (even if only of inappropriate levels of knowledge for their age)& we send them for treatment & help, rather than blaming them for this. Normal adults protect children, especially adults that carry the added moral burden of emulating the character of Christ. In these situations there are no excuses & I’m embarassed & infuriated by those who try to find them.
    And of course I’m sorry for those persecuted Christians who may feel devastated by this news, but let’s point our blame in the right direction: at the perpetrator, not the victim.

    Oh, & I know I’m new here, & it’s nothing personal Jimmy, but do you serve any loving purpose on this blog?

  23. Beakerj – and oversexualized children have often been (or are still) sexually abused themselves…

  24. JeffB,

    Thanks for letting us know about Michael Horton’s article. I will be reading it this evening. I am glad someone is finally speaking up!

  25. Somehow I think “those persecuted Christians”” would be (or will be) appalled at what was done to this little girl.

    As they should be.

  26. @numo: I meant to say that, thanks. Point being, the over sexualisation of a child is a sign that something’s wrong: it’s a problem, not permission.

  27. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of complaining in the Bible, about being persecuted. But there’s a stern warning about causing “one of these little ones to stumble”, along the lines of something worse than having a giant stone tied to your neck and being tossed into the ocean.

  28. Bob

    Well stated. To cause a little one to stumble…why is it that is ignored by many when children are molested by a Christian leader. Then “forgiveness”or “the devil made me do it” becomes the operating term.

  29. beakerj asked; ” do you serve any loving purpose on this blog?”

    Indeed I do; I combat tendencies towards group-think, I ask questions, I explore insinuations, I often, but not always, present a different viewpoint.
    I try to do it in a rational, calm manner; snarkless and without name calling.

  30. What I personally find frustrating is when a question is asked or insinuation made, and it seems there’s a different viewpoint behind it, but that viewpoint is not elaborated or defended. Sometimes I will agree in part with what I guess to be the viewpoint, but would appreciate a little more conversation or “unpacking” so I could at least say, for example, “We seem to agree on the need for x but disagree on the extent to which x should apply in case y” etc.
    In this particular post, I happily feel less frustrated than usual.

  31. Dee and Deb,

    Great post. I haven’t visited Wade’s blog very much, but I commend him for reaching out to the victim, God certainly was at work through him. Awesome to think the father found some healing in this situation..

    I know disagreements will pop up ever so often on here, but any victim in any situation certainly needs to be remembered, especially children involved in abuse cases such as this.

    The comment you posted above is concerning coming from a teacher. As a High-School male teacher myself, I can tell you there is NO EXCUSE for ANY teacher…Male/Female who participates in any kind of these things with child. To say that they just couldn’t “resist temptation” implies an innocence that just isn’t there with these situations…

    The truth is…These things don’t just “happen” on incident…as if in some act of passion a student “throws” themselves on the teacher and the teacher could not “resist temptation”…

    That is baloney!! It is true that kids will sometimes show behavior that is inappropriate towards teachers, whether they fully know it is inappropriate or not…

    For example–In my school district, we have had issues with students trying to “befriend” other teachers on Facebook. Now this may be entirely innocent on the child’s point of view, but adults should know NOT to cross that line to protect themselves and keep themselves out of situations that could occur later!

    In my opinion, a teacher has to cross many inappropriate lines before they even get to a point where they abuse a child sexually….It is not a single “mistake” where they lose some control in some moment…It is time after time of choices an Adult will make at an expense of the child…and this is far beyond “not being able to resist temptation”…This is a predator seeking prey..

    And I don’t care if a student initiates ANY kind of sexual behavior with a teacher…If the teacher proceeds…the Teacher is still an abuser and the student a victim..

  32. Brief reference to Chris P. and B.J.U. Billy Graham had his problems there.

    “In December of 1936, a depressed and dejected 18-year-old named Billy Graham sat chewing his fingernails in the office of his 56-year-old college president, Bob Jones Sr. The patriarch of fundamentalism had learned that Billy and a fellow classmate were planning to transfer from Bob Jones College (in Cleveland, Tennessee) to Florida Bible Institute (just outside of Tampa).

    Billy’s first semester had been marked by sickness, bad grades, and a ‘STACK OF DEMERITS’ for falling short of the school’s strict standards……..”

    B.J.U has a long history of strictness towards its students.

  33. “I got some good news. My family was contacted by Stanford and the MRI scan is good. The doctor thinks its a “psuedo tumor” which will disappear with the conclusion of the chemo and radiation. I’m optimistic…but my focus is to get through this and encourage my family through all this. But I’ll be happy to take this news!”


    I am rejoicing with you in this news! I know that is a relief that goes beyond reason!

    I will continue to pray for the treatments…but it looks like the news is turning out to be quite good! 🙂

  34. Eagle
    Thank you for the good news. Remember, we want to take him out to dinner near Duke when he is feeling better! You can come, too. 😉

  35. Dee,

    Speaking of dinner, my hubby and I just celebrated our anniversary at Saint Jacques. He had previously delivered a vase of red roses to the restaurant – two dozen for 24 years of marriage. I am so blessed!

  36. Dee & Deb,

    I like your new policy. We should all support and have compassion for the victims. I was a victim of abuse myself and I know it is VERY painful to be blamed on top of the humiliation suffered by the abused. Children suffer the most.

  37. “I can’t even imagine that someone would say that contact between a 10 year old and someone who is 60 is normal.”

    A pedophile would.

    I had a Christian pedophile father in law.
    I had a Christian pedophile close friend that molested my son.

    There was a time when I had no idea what a pedophile was.
    I used to think just as your comment.
    But no longer.

  38. RE: Jimmy on Tue, May 01 2012 at 05:12 pm:

    God is like the big judge in the sky, right? He presides over one BIG ASS courtroom right? Are you saying that he allows no latitude for the defense with regard to the interpretation of his word?

  39. I just pray that this poor little girl can learn to trust people appropriately again. There is no worse consequence, imo, to child sexual abuse than the loss of the ability to trust people. Wish it would never happen to anyone again.

  40. Dee and Deb,

    You get a standing ovation from all of us who have ever been victims. In these dark and terrible situations, where evil and perversity seem to triumph, God is revealed when His servants respond with tenderness, compassion, and the beauty of holy mercy. Kudos to Wade for doing the work of Jesus in this situation.

    It frightens me to think that this ‘teacher’ who sees little girls as sexual temptresses claims to know numerous teachers who have lost their jobs because of sexually inappropriate behaviour with the little ones in their care. If that allegation is true, it is a terrible indictment on the state of society!

    I am not sure how I can help you from half a world away (other than pray of course) but if there is ever any other kind of support I can offer, you know that you only have to ask. 🙂 God has raised you up for a time such as this.

  41. Jeff B,

    Thank you for the Horton essay. I am hoping that more and more reformed men and women will speak up against the neo calvinists. Horton is, the oldlife blog is, and Pr. Burleson is. Thank you all!!!

  42. “Eagle, didn’t think the question was particularly difficult; God hates pride. He has used ALL sorts of people to lead other to Himself. God surprised me all the time. BUT, He abides by His written word.”

    Eagle, See, Jimmy cannot answer your real question. It is so repugnant to him that a woman teach a man that he cannot say going to hell is worse. Note the code words: He abides by His written Word. That is code for women are not allowed to teach men according to God. We should ask Jimmy which translators God abides by. Perhaps God liked King James better than the Vulgate? :o)

  43. From what I’ve read, it’s common for pedophiles to portray themselves as being seduced by children. People who are sympathetic to that view, like that teacher, should not work around children.

    I appreciate the thanks for pointing out the Horton article. If you like it, I suggest that you write and tell him. He’ll probably be facing some backlash, from some alleged Reform people, for writing it.

  44. I see that comments are not enabled for Horton’s article. But there is a Contact page on the site.

  45. gotheart
    There are far too many people in the church who turn the eyes away from these situations. I am so sorry that you son was molested. How is he doing? Please know I will pray for him. How did you survive such a situation? I think I would have wanted to harm the molester if he had touched my child.

  46. Muff
    You know, you just gave voice to something I have been pondering for a long time. If God’s word is to be obeyed then He would have made what needs to be obeyed saliently clear. We have a gazillion denominations, many of which interpret minor points of the Bible differently and all of them thinking they are right. I believe in a wise and good God. If these things were meant to be practiced, without fail-such as gender roles, age of the east etc, then why did He not make it loud and clear like he did the Resurrection? Great comment which has set me to pondering even more.

  47. JeffB,

    I read Horton’s article, and I am most impressed! Perhaps we will feature a few excerpts in an upcoming post. I hope his defiance of masculine Christianity will encourage others to speak out against this ungodly teaching.

  48. Jrizzle
    I know that God will hear your prayers for this child. I wish more people in the church felt the way that you do.

  49. Off-topic (but not really since we are talking about how to care for victims):


    I just read your comment over at SGM Survivors:

    May 1st, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    In the “What Did I Expect?” category:

    Just got a generic reply from AOR in response to a sincere question having to do with their contention that they were not qualified to “adjudicate issues regarding the fitness of C.J. Mahaney for serving as president and/or chairman of the board.”

    “Thank you for taking the time to write. Ambassadors of Reconciliation has received your message regarding our Report to the Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries. We are receiving a number of reactions ranging from people expressing gratitude and complements [sic] to those expressing disappointment or significant criticism. Although the report concluded our work for Sovereign Grace Ministries under the Group Reconciliation Assistance agreement, we will continue to keep all those connected to Sovereign Grace in our prayers.

    ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’ (Romans 15:13 esv).”

    Absolutely incredible!

    The AoR folks really do need to work on their spelling… Obviously, they have ‘complementarian’ on the brain.

    If anyone is confused about the difference between ‘compliment’ and ‘complement’, here are how those terms are defined.

    com·pli·ment (kmpl-mnt)

    1. An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
    2. A formal act of civility, courtesy, or respect.

    com·ple·ment (kmpl-mnt)

    a. Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection.
    b. The quantity or number needed to make up a whole: shelves with a full complement of books.
    c. Either of two parts that complete the whole or mutually complete each other.

  50. Lynne Tait
    Thank you for your kind words. Child molestation is a major hot button issue for us. We were embroiled in a mess at a former church. I saw the devastating effects of the molestation on kids. I watched as cold leaders contributed to the pain of families. I believe that this is one of the forgotten issues of our day and that God is not allowing it to go away.Frankly, I have had it and it is time that people start acting like Wade Burleson when it comes to victims. We believe that this issue is a blot on today’s churches.

    There was an elder who spoke to one of the boys who was hurt and essentially blamed him for not reporting his abuse. Can you imagine how he heaped guilt on a wounded kid? It will take me years to get over this. Thank God I have this blog to go after similar issues and to educate others about the evils of pedophilia. A child led on a man-yeah right! It almost makes me sick and that is why we will no longer allow such statements on the blog. It is to protect me because I get so gosh darned angry that I can barely continue with my day.

  51. Deb & Dee,
    Thank you again for keeping the focus on the victims. I read Pastor Wade’s letter and was touched beyond words. As a mother of a child working through the nightmare of abuse, it was incredible to read his words of comfort to her. It reminded me of a time we spent a while back with a pastor (non-sgm) he listened to our story of what happened to our child and when we were done and he began to pray for our child, he immediately got choked up and could not even get her name out at first. My husband and I received wise counsel that day, prayer and comfort, but that display of true Godly sorrow from a genuine shepherd is what stuck with me. It was the complete antithesis of what we received from our former pastors. It really shouldn’t be all that difficult to tap into God’s heart for these victims and it’s unfathomable to think of what gets in the way of doing that. Thank you for all the good work here and for always remembering them.

    So glad to hear the news, keeping him in prayer!

  52. Deb –

    I was hoping that would be your reaction to Horton’s article. I think excerpts are a good idea. I wrote to thank him, and told him that, unfortunately, he should expect a backlash, which he probably already knew.

    It seems that AOR sent out all of their boilerplate responses on the same day. And, yeah, I thought it was funny, and, possibly, meaningful, that they spelled it “complement.”

    Another annoying misspelling/misuse: It’s not “tenant” of the faith, it’s “tenet.” Even if you’re living in the faith.

  53. Lets not be too hard on the man who is defending Tom White. Tom was his friend and in his mind its inconceivable that he could do such a heinous act. I understand his defensive attitude and perhaps denial of the abuse. I don’t agree with the man, but understand where he is coming from. I saw this first hand in a church in which I was an ordained officer. A very respected and loved minister was accused of subjecting college-aged students in his care to highly sexualized conversations. This included showing pornography. During this time I had a conversation with the man asking about ministry opportunities since he worked with college students and I was interested in the same. He tried to interest me in sexual things and of course I’m thinking the guy is gay. I didn’t say anything to anyone for a couple years, but after someone shared deeper more troubling incidents I went forward to senior leadership. At first the person I reported this to was concerned, but after finding out the perpetrator was still in ministry months later I went back and questioned the pastor on this church staff as to why he was still in a position of leadership. By that time his concern for the perpetrator had considerably waned. The senior pastor (whom he reported to)believed the man had done no wrong since there was no reported physical contact. They took no action and tried hard to suppress my questions. I was relentless in pursuing accountability, especially when I found out the senior pastor already knew of his behavior from more serious incidents years back. It had been reported that the pastor in question pushed his pants down exposing himself to a student in his office. Why did the senior pastor chose to ignore all this? Regardless of the reasons he chose to defend the perpetrator and completely ignore all victims. He already knew they were confused and so devastated that they didn’t want to attend services there any more. When I suggested that I set up a formal meeting with the elders of the church to tell them what had happened a senior elder told me to leave the church and take victims with me. Later after confronting the senior pastor in his office he admitted he didn’t want to take action years back because it would bring embarrassment to the man’s family and to the church. He didn’t care about victims, only about the reputation of his church, his career, the church’s image. I was so alarmed I took the matter all the way to the national offices and a senior spokesman for the church flew in to help me. This made me a lightning rod. I heard that staff was telling the church that I was sexually abused as a child and now blaming them for my personal problems. It was like a war. When I spoke up about accountability they turned on me. Others just ignored me. I never felt so isolated and persecuted as I was in that church. I just wanted to do what was right for victims and so badly wanted the leadership to reach out in concern and care. They refused reacting the same way in denial that anything was wrong or just minimized the whole situation. They just directed their energy to keep me quiet. I didn’t go away. I didn’t go away for two years. In the end the accused resigned and the senior pastor who hid everything stepped down as well. No one was happy about it, except me. The whole ordeal revealed more than an unloving uncaring attitude. It revealed a culture that was all show, all image, shiny on the outside but lifeless on the inside. Men were in ministry not to honor Christ, but to further their image and career. Keep the money coming in to support programs and do that by keeping up the facade, protecting facade with all diligence. Victims were sacrificed without a second thought. The whole thing was a sham. When people of good conscience (and supposedly of faith) were confronted with the facts they chose to defend their pastors. Why? For the same reason that man is defending Tom White, those who defend CJ Mahanney, Mark Driscoll and others. Their faith and security is in man. To question is to shake the core of what their faith is really in……man, not Christ. On one had I understand their defensiveness and anger. Perhaps in time they will come to their senses.

  54. Mike
    What an ordeal for you. Many of us have had similar circumstances which have shed light on sin in the pastorate. Thank you for standing up for the victims.That shows you are far more interested in following God than a man based religious construct.
    It is not the defense of White that is the focus of our critique.(Although, I am beginning to become irritated that people defend their fellow man as if it is impossible for certain people to commit heinous acts). It is the utter lack of regard for the child victim. That is the focus of this blog

  55. He abides by His written Word. That is code for women are not allowed to teach men according to God. We should ask Jimmy which translators God abides by. Perhaps God liked King James better than the Vulgate? 😮 ) — Anon1

    In my experience, “The Written Word” is code for “Ees Party Line, Comrade! Quote! Quote! Quote!”

    If these things were meant to be practiced, without fail-such as gender roles, age of the east etc, then why did He not make it loud and clear like he did the Resurrection? — Dee

    Maybe He thought the Resurrection was more important?

    A child led on a man-yeah right! — Dee

    And in an Islamic Republic, after he did her, he could cut her throat or inform her family (who would then cut her throat for him) or have her stoned to death for being such a Jezebel/whore to lead him on like that — “AL’LAH’U AKBAR!”

    (Come to think of it, both Calvinism and Islam are heavily into Predestination, to the point of God’s Omnipotence overwhelming any Benevolence. I would expect Hyper-Calvinistas and Wahabi/Talibani/Extreme Muslims to converge in attitudes and behaviors.)

  56. Mike said: ” For the same reason that man is defending Tom White, those who defend CJ Mahanney, Mark Driscoll and others.”

    I would object with lumping C.J., Driscoll and others with Tom White who used a 10 year old girl for his own sexual needs.

    Let us be just here.

  57. My question is why these incidents are not reported to law enforcement as well as appropriate persons within the church. Anyone know?

  58. Victorious

    Because some churches believe that it is sinful to go outside the church and air dirty laundry. I will be posting in an hour on a situation that might give you some insight.

  59. Jimmy
    Cut it out. They are talking about your record of defending the big dogs which you so with wild abandon.

  60. HUG
    You make my laugh and get sad at the same time. I really liked your comment-both on the Resurrection and the Islamic Republic.

  61. Deb,

    A simple rule. When you mean something that fits together or complete, remember that complete is spelled with an “e”. When you mean a word that relates to making some one feel good, as in stroking their ego, use the word that includes “i” as that is another term for ego.

  62. “Because some churches believe that it is sinful to go outside the church and air dirty laundry.”

    That makes it a perfect environment for predators. 🙁

  63. The most common errors (non-typos) on blogs:

    your vs. you’re (the latter includes a verb!)

    there, their, they’re

    to instead of too

    its vs. it’s (the first is possessive, the latter includes a verb!)

    BTW, in my HS senior English and at Ohio State (where I did not go), any of the above would have resulted in an F on the paper.

  64. Kind of off-topic (but not really): I so wish that people – in general – would stop identifying all Muslims with the behavior and views of extremists (both political and religious).

    It is just not so, although we have been led to equate them.

    To my mind, that’s like saying that Christians = KKK, Aryan Nations and similar groups. (And those folks *do* claim to be good Christians – make no mistake.)

    There are a number of fallacies operating here, and I am so very sorry that so many in the evangelical and charismatic worlds have fallen for this incredibly inaccurate and reductive view of a highly diverse religious tradition, not to mention the incredible cultural diversity that one can see in Muslim/predominantly Muslim countries.

    But… I guess this is one of the reasons that people think that folks like Paula Abdul (who is of Syrian Jewish descent) are Muslims. They hear or see an Arabic and/or “Muslim” name and make incorrect assumptions. (fwiw, lots of Arab Christians have “Muslim” names – i.e., Arabic renderings of Biblical names – just like many Jewish people who come from Muslim countries…)

    I’ll stop now – I could say plenty more, but it’s off-topic and probably would not be well-received anyway.

  65. Mariam = Mary (Miriam)

    Isa = Jesus

    Yayha = John

    Ibrahim = Abraham

    Suleiman = Solomon

    Daoud = David

    … and so on.

  66. “I so wish that people – in general – would stop identifying all Muslims with the behavior and views of extremists (both political and religious).”

    I’m with you on that, Numo.

  67. One of my clients was a Coptic Christian named Ibrahim. Basically devoted his entire available time to a ministry by posting web sites and sending emails and now texts to anyone he could identify in Egypt and other Arabic countries. Btw, Arab Christians pray to “Allah” which in their Bible is the word for “God”, just as Spanish speakers pray to El Senor (Lord).

  68. Part of loving people is taking the time to know them as they really are. (Said as the daughter of a Brahmin-caste Hindu who converted to Christianity.)

  69. Dee and Deb,

    The reason this is my favorite blog is because you’re always in the victim’s corner. I believe this is the work we must do – give victims credibility, validation, encouragement, understanding, compassion, and love. Thanks for keeping the victims our focus.

  70. Numo –

    It’s not really off topic and we all need to get out of our own little worlds and see that roses, tulips, dandelions, and thistle all grow in the same earth are watered with the same rain and convert sunlight into the same food 🙂

  71. René, Arce, Bridget2 – thanks so very much! (And René, when I lived in the D.C. area, I knew a few people who did what you did… they also came from – iirc – fairly high-caste backgrounds, though none were Brahmins, afaik.)

    When I lived in the D.C. area, I had English students from Egypt and Saudi Arabia – I got to know their kids, and they were warm, wonderful people. Add to that neighbors, business associates and friends who were from many parts of the (predominantly) Muslim world.

    I miss hearing spoken Arabic, to be honest.

    And I have to say that the Muslims, Christians and Jewish people that I met (who came from Muslim/predominantly Muslim countries) were more than a few degrees warmer – friendlier in general – than an awful lot of us N. Americans (including myself here!) Those who were not Christian were *not* hostile toward Christians or Christianity – in fact, many were genuinely curious about what I believed and were very open in talking about God and matters of faith in a way that most N. Americans are not.

    Belief is often a topic of conversation among people from the Middle East, and not necessarily in a tense or heated way. It just is, like other things in life.

    I don’t know if I’m doing a very good job of explaining this – maybe it’s something one needs to experience in person ? – but I hope these few words help.

    There are a *lot* of people out here who would like to understand their new country (US, Canada, wherever) better, and who would welcome “native” friends and neighbors.

    But someone has to make the 1st step – almost like breaking the ice at a party.

  72. numo,

    Preach it sister!!! I too get sick and tired of American Protestant sects who preach propaganda and claim that they have THE ONE & THE ONLY corner on Christianity.

    There were practicing Egyptian Christians & Arab Christians in the Levant when their forbears lived in turf huts and were sacrificing human children on Samhain.

  73. Muff – Christianity is really quite recent in northern Europe.

    I think reading some history (social as well as religious) really helps put some things into perspective.

    We are not “better” than other Christians in this world, and we certainly don’t have a corner on Christ and his message. The church in Ethiopia, the Middle East, South India (etc. etc.) has been going along for milennia [sp?] without Western influence and/or interference.

    Perhaps we need to take a hint…

  74. RE: dee on Wed, May 02 2012 at 08:24 am:

    For me anyway, I think Matthew chap. 23 puts it all into focus when Jesus lambasts the religious Jews and urges us all really, to distinguish (in Scripture) between grains of salt and granite blocks.

  75. Numo –

    I think many need more than a hint! I’m not sure what they need (maybe knocked off their donkey and landed on their backside, and blinded as well), but I’m just thinking more than a hint . . .

  76. dee: “I have often misspelled tenet!”

    Go thou and sin no more.

    Michael Horton wrote a response to my email:

    “Dear Jeff, thanks for the encouragement. It’s much appreciated! I left names out of the article, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who know what–and whom–I’m talking about there.

    In Christ,

    I think a lot of people reading this blog will know what and whom he’s talking about.

  77. JeffB,

    Thanks for sharing Michael Horton’s response. Oh yeah, we know all too well those of whom he speaks.

    I will be highlighting his excellent article in tomorrow’s post. 🙂

  78. Hmm….

    First, Dee and Deb, thank you for your stand for victims!!!!
    To be honest, some of the comments I have read here and at Wade’s blog and on a post over at Her.meneutics have stirred up a lot of anger and pain for me. For someone who has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, these comments can still cut like a knife right to the soul. Thank you for your unwavering stand.

    Second, Victorious said:

    “My question is why these incidents are not reported to law enforcement as well as appropriate persons within the church. Anyone know?”

    Dee responded:

    “Because some churches believe that it is sinful to go outside the church and air dirty laundry. I will be posting in an hour on a situation that might give you some insight.”

    Dee, you’re right. But I wonder how many of these pastors and church leaders realize that by law, they are considered ‘mandated court reporters?’ This may vary from state to state, but I also wonder if they even know what that means? I also wonder if the teacher that left comments understands what that means and that teachers are also ‘mandated court reporters.’ There are legal ramifications for not reporting suspected or known abuse of a minor of any kind….

  79. Jeannette

    Now, I know whereof I speak on the answer to this question. “But I wonder how many of these pastors and church leaders realize that by law, they are considered ‘mandated court reporters?” There are so many loopholes that some churches ignore the reporting and then claim, due to poorly written laws, that it does not apply to them even though the intent is loud and clear. I went down this path with a church.Many churches play a dangerous game in this area and kids get hurt (a lot of them in the instance in which I wash involved.). Nothing gets me hotter than this topic.

  80. I was stunned when reading this about Tom White. I had to go back and read what exactly happened in regards to the situation surrounding the Tom White case. I have been a big supporter of VOM for over 16 years when Richard Wurmbrandt was still living. I was a bit in shock over the situation. I wanted to believe initially the situation was somehow a set up but in reading several articles on the web over what happened I am convinced Tom White had a serious problem in which he thought his work and ministry would absolve somehow. It is sad indeed and my prayers are with the victim and family of the victim.