A Difficult Primer on How Parents Must Protect Their Children and Teens in Church Because the Church Can’t or Won’t.

“Your children need your presence more than your presents.” Jesse Jackson


Next week, we will write about the DOJ, which has targeted Matt Queen from SWBTS.
We will also write about a church in North Carolina that has a convicted sex offender as its pastor. Apparently, not all the members know about this. We will inform them!


A recent post about The Falls Church Anglican, in which I said that it was time to wise up regarding predators, engendered the following comment:

In Solidarity with Survivors: I would be careful in your admonishment of parents. There is no need to inflict addition pain. Abusers groom church leadership as well as parents of children. There is alot of pain for family members who feel shame for not having recognized the red flags.

Fifteen years ago, I started this blog, trying to figure out how a church can ignore parents who reported behavior that we now would call obvious grooming. In this case, a charismatic Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student, Doug Goodrich, was discovered to have molested as many as 30 young teen boys at Providence Baptist Church. He had engendered such trust in families that some moms asked the judge to release him into their care to mentor him!!! I kid you not.  This was after knowing what this man did to the boys. Even after I left the church, in disgust, I had one mother say to me that she was “proud of her church.” I commented that there were a bunch of boys who weren’t.

This goes deeper. My son was at the age Goodrich began grooming a victim. However, he told me he didn’t want to attend his Bible studies because he “was weird.” Sadly, it was my son who needed to tell me that. You see, I used to be quite the Pollyanna about churches. I trusted the pastors and leaders even if I disagreed with them on various theological grounds. I did not investigate my kids’ teachers and leaders, assuming the church did so. Thankfully, my family dodged a bullet due to my son’s innate sense of something wrong. In this situation, that is an understatement.

Recently, a friend read Disobedient Women. They are a churchgoing family. She sat down with the teen son and discussed sexual abuse, which can happen in a church. That is precisely what I am trying to say. We are the ones responsible for our children. Sadly, I abdicated that to the church, and the results could have been disastrous for my son.

These are things parents must know and do to protect their kids in church.

  • As you read this, there is most likely a pedophile or child molester attending your church. They go where there are kids. They especially love churches since churchgoers tend to be trusting of church leaders.
  • Many churches do not protect the kids, no matter what they say. Youth programs are often chaotic, with many kids and few leaders. It’s an excellent place for molesters to take charge.
  • Much of what I say will increase your burden as a parent. You may have to spend more time supervising your kids during church activities.
  • I have been writing for 15 years. I am shocked about how many molesters have been found in positions of influence in the church. The Southern Baptist Convention has been rocked by exposure in this area. My experience with a molester was in a Baptist church. However, these abusers are in every church denomination or nondenomination in the country. Our kids are not safe.
  • The molester in your church may be married and have kids. They often use the family to appear like “good” people. Marriage does nothing to stop a molester. They molest due to a profound, lifelong psychiatric problem. They molest kids because that is who they prefer, sadly.
  • Every church worker should have their background checked. However, well over 90% of molesters have not made it onto the sex offender registry because they haven’t been caught. Have you asked if your teen’s leader has had a background check? If the church “forgets” to do this, it is probably lax in other safety areas as well.
  • A child should never be alone in a bathroom with just one teacher. There must be two people with eyes on children at all times. Is this too hard? Then, please do not put your child in the classroom unless you are there to protect them.
  • Are you assured there are cameras in the little kid’s classroom? Ask how often they are checked. One prominent church in South Carolina had the videos but never checked them, missing a young man who was molesting 4-year-old boys.
  • Listen to your minor child and be prepared to act on what they say. In that South Carolina church, it was a 4-year-old boy who told his mother about the man hurting him in the bathroom. That mom took action. If the church had someone reviewing the videos, they would have quickly discovered and stopped the pedophile. Instead, a number of little boys were harmed.
  • Molesters of children and teens are really good at what they do. They know how to appeal to the kids. They can teach well and make the kids laugh. To your teen, they may appear to be way cooler than any parents. Do not assume the predator is a creepy-looking man in a black trenchcoat hanging around in the park. They are charismatic, well put together, and extremely attractive to kids.
  • Here’s the part many parents won’t like: A trusted parent should be involved in every activity, including mission trips and campouts, Bible studies, putt-putt, etc.
  • The youth pastor/leader should never be alone with a student in a car or his apartment. This must be reported immediately to the senior pastor.
  • The youth pastor must discuss the topics he will present with the senior pastor and then alert the parents if the youth pastor discusses sexual issues. A trusted parent should always be present for such discussions in a large or small group. If the senior pastor doesn’t know what the youth leader is doing, he fails to shepherd appropriately and is dangerous in his leadership style.
  • A youth pastor should always allow and encourage parents to be present for all discussions. Never let him say, “No parents allowed.” Be there, especially then.
  • If the teen feels uncomfortable about anything, such as the discussions, activities, etc., this should be reported to the senior pastor and the youth pastor. I wish I had reported that my son felt Doug Goodrich was weird. Given my former church, they probably would have laughed it off.
  • Do not make the mistake of becoming friends with the youth pastor. Molesters often target victims. While beginning the grooming process with them, they will do the same with the parents. Doug Goodrich often lived with families and went on vacations with them. Parents were so glad he wanted to be friends with their sons that they forgot about being protectors of their teen.
  • If your child becomes one of the youth pastor’s ‘favorites,’ be smart. Molesters pick out their targets, attempting to make them feel special and part of a select group.
  • Be careful if your teen has a texting relationship with the youth leader. One young woman got frequent texts from the leader, commenting on her appearance, etc. Thankfully, the parents immediately went to the church with the evidence.
  • If the conversation was sexually inappropriate, parents should contact the police and then go to the church. Churches will often try to cover up the inappropriate behavior and try to convince the parents not to go to the police. Do so anyway.

If you follow some of these suggestions, your teen will be upset with you. That is when it is essential to be a parent and do the right thing, even if your teen is upset.

Teens who are sexually molested by a church leader will need intensive intervention. Often, they will turn to substance abuse to dull the pain of their betrayal. One student at TFCA died of alcoholism he attributed to the molestation by the youth leader.

What I have written is what I learned after my kids grew up. My son had a close call but was wise enough to say something to me. Instead, I started a Bible study for the kids on his soccer team. It went well. Some of those boys came to that instead of the one at the Baptist church.

Do not trust your church to protect your kids. Trust yourself.

I know I’ve missed some things, but I hope you understand this is written to protect the kids. I wish I had known this 25 years ago.


Comments

A Difficult Primer on How Parents Must Protect Their Children and Teens in Church Because the Church Can’t or Won’t. — 62 Comments

  1. Regarding the office of “Youth Pastor” … IMO, the American church really needs to reconsider its youth ministry model. Putting inexperienced youth pastors/volunteers over youth is an accident waiting to happen … the Houston Chronicle reported hundreds of accidents that have already happened in SBC churches, not to mention the secret list of sex offenders that SBC executives have hidden for years.

    You will not find youth pastors in the New Testament … what you will find, is sound instruction for senior saints to mentor young believers. I have spent the better part of a century doing church in America. I could count on one hand the youth pastors I have known that I thought were qualified for that role; most were simply baby-sitting with fun things to do, eating pizza, shallow Bible studies. Most didn’t have a spiritual bone in their bodies. I never understood why a fresh graduate out of seminary had to do his time first as a youth pastor or church planter, even though they were inexperienced in ministry (at least this is the Southern Baptist model). Yep, it’s time to take a serious look at the office of “Youth Pastor.”

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  2. “They molest due to a profound, lifelong psychiatric problem.”
    As a licensed professional counselor who has counseled abuse survivors for 10+ years, I humbly disagree. Ultimately, abusers abuse because they want to and they can. Most people with psychiatric diagnoses never choose to abuse. Actually, having a mental health disorder can be a risk factor for becoming a VICTIM of abuse.

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  3. I endorse Dee’s post.
    During by 7th grade, in 1972-73, at my fundamentalist, Baptist school, (in a suberb of San Francisco) my teacher groomed me. He was a YEC, and took me, “one-on-one” “hunting for fossils” on “fossile ridge” in our community. I do not know why it did not get worse, and it is to long ago to remember details (despite my trying).
    I know he was grooming me because two years later he was “perp walked” out of my school, never to be seen again.
    But, I looked him up, (Obtained court records) and 10-15 years later he was convicted (pled guilty), in San Diego County, to disgusting abuse of under age boys, and spend many years as a guest of the California prison system. Note, while in prison he “publsihed” an article in the “Institute of creation research” journal…

    Reflecting on him, he was definitly “eccentric”.. A women in my class, about 10 years ago, said she always thought he was “creepy”.. I showed Dee his “Megan Law” photo, and she said he looked “creepy”.
    So, we really do need to listen to our children, and at least consider their “instincts”…

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  4. Dragonlight,

    You and I will disagree on this. Does a sociopath have a psychiatric disorder? Of course. However, that person might enjoy harming people. A person with a normal view of sex would never say that having sex with a minor child is good. There are pedophiles who might.
    Let me refer you to this. paper from the NIH.
    “The Neurobiology and Psychology of Pedophilia: Recent Advances and Challenges”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478390/
    However, thank you for caring for abuse survivors.

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  5. Jeffrey J Chalmers: Note, while in prison he “publsihed” an article in the “Institute of creation research” journal…

    i.e. His Ideology was Pure and Correct.

    Reflecting on him, he was definitly “eccentric”.

    Important to remember that Eccentric does not mean Pedo.
    Otherwise you get “Beware Thou of the Mutant”, and I’ve both seen and experienced where that can lead.
    It’s not only chickens who peck any Defectives to death in the barnyard.

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  6. Max: I could count on one hand the youth pastors I have known that I thought were qualified for that role; most were simply baby-sitting with fun things to do, eating pizza, shallow Bible studies.

    i.e. They were high-ranking, titled Babysitters.
    Keeping the kids from “getting in trouble” (especially Pelvically) was what was truly Important.

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  7. Headless Unicorn Guy: i.e. They were high-ranking, titled Babysitters.
    Keeping the kids from “getting in trouble” (especially Pelvically) was what was truly Important.

    And then it’s these “Youth Pastors” who end up becoming “Assistant Pastors” or “Lead Pastor” at some point. I’m thinking *this* particular pattern of “mentoring” has issues. But since I have exactly zero experience within the Church Industrial Complex, I have no idea how to change it. Except to suggest that maybe pastors ought to work service jobs for a few years.

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  8. Muslin fka Dee Holmes: maybe pastors ought to work service jobs for a few years

    The Apostle Paul was a tentmaker … Peter was a fisherman … they held those jobs even after they went into the ministry. The 21st century model of doing church deviates from the first century example. Salaries, vacation leave, weekly golf games with the dudebros, retirement benefits, etc. were not part of the package for servants of God in the early church … they literally died for the cause of Christ.

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  9. Hundreds of accidents… my church youth group had mature leaders in their 40s, two married couples. It should have been a plus, except that one of the kids was selling drugs in the bathroom. Then, we had a summer outing to a river my mom wouldn’t let me attend. Something about supervision, she said. I was not happy. That night we got the call that one of the kids drowned in the river. He couldn’t swim, but the adults said it was okay for him to swing out on the rope and jump into the water. The current took him away and the local authorities had to dredge the river for his body. Unfortunately, That was the complete end of any youth group activity for me.

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  10. Max: The Apostle Paul was a tentmaker … Peter was a fisherman … they held those jobs even after they went into the ministry.The 21st century model of doing church deviates from the first century example.Salaries, vacation leave, weekly golf games with the dudebros, retirement benefits, etc. were not part of the package for servants of God in the early church … they literally died for the cause of Christ.

    Amen and Amen!

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  11. Eric Bonetti,

    Attended a church for a short period of time where the janitor seemed creepy and off. Then, he started calling single women from the church in the middle of the night, breathing heavily, and hanging up. Turned out he had mental health issues and was in the registry. I didn’t stay much longer after I found that out (the church had a bunch of other issues, too).

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  12. THANK YOU so much for this, Dee.

    It’s sad that these protective measures are even needed in church (but then again, that’s like saying it’s sad that we even live in a fallen world, and that the doctrine of total depravity applies to Christians as much as those “in the world”).

    What’s even more tragic is avoiding knowledge & implementation of these protective measures.

    Far more tragic that even that, is the retraumatization churches put survivors through, when their accounts aren’t believed, and worse, when the victims are painted as villains. This is taking the Lord’s name in vain, and it is vile.

    After leaving Park Street Church in September 2017, I tried to get the Council of a church I was visiting to be interested in going through GRACE’s Safety Certification program.

    I asked if they had abuse protection policies. They said, yeah somewhere, but we haven’t really referred to them in awhile. Then I mentioned one of the protective measures you list here as best current practices: 2 adults taking a young child to the bathroom, because you never know if one could be a molester.

    The Council stared at me like I was some kind of crazy alien. Then they told me they didn’t have the $ for GRACE’s Safety Certification because of their building renovation.

    I get it, church buildings need upkeep and maintenance. I’m a homeowner. But 1) they actually had the $ for GRACE Safety Certification and 2) I’ve given $ to building renovations at Christian institutions before, only to find out they were sloppy on abuse. And ultimately, where’s the real temple where the Holy Spirit abides??

    The only communication I received from that small church after I’d visited for a year and then left, was a letter asking me to donate to their building fund.

    Um, that would be a no.

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  13. “Even if you disagreed with them on various theological grounds.”

    Theology of the body is NOT good morality, It is the elite religion elite stealing young people’s pyjamas (why the Smyth clan and their forerunners and their successors got the idea).

    In their sick compromised and codependent bind, they are telling the secular authorities it’s alright to shine their spotlight glare on all children’s privates. No matter when or how you think it was normalised in your country or neighbourhood, that has NEVER been right and ALWAYS was and shall be wrong.

    Your blog is not about bad mannered churches. It is about the most evil and depraved of heresies, infinitely worse than any pagans, every single topic, because they blaspheme Holy Spirit in their “inferiors” in the sight of any wouldbe agnostics (in the interest of cultivating their “superiors” as main catchment).

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  14. Max: ministry model.

    There are NT models.

    Evangelism seems to be gender neutral.

    Discipleship seems to be older men discipling younger men, and older women discipling younger women. Gender specific. Titus.

    Fellowship or collaborative service together seems to be gender neutral with mature chaste men and women working together for a common project in a morally positive environment.

    In all cases, those serving would be mature, chaste, moral, and obedient to God. The vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience come to mind.

    Cute, cool, chic, and entertaining do not come to mind.

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  15. I don’t know anything about the psychology of abusers. But I do know that “the ministry” (of all denoms and doctrines) is often a magnet for men who desire to have a largely unaccountable career. A small amount of charisma and (as Max often says) a gift of gab and a willingness to publicly parrot well worn doctrinal paths is all that is required for most men to become “senior pastors”. In some cases, they are “overseen” by a group of volunteer, barely qualified “leaders” who are chosen by the very person they “oversee”. If mapped out structurally, the church is an embarassment of unaccountability. That large numbers of these unaccountable, unsupervised “ministers” end up to be abusers or molesters should not be a surprise.

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  16. Believer: If mapped out structurally, the church is an embarassment of unaccountability. That large numbers of these unaccountable, unsupervised “ministers” end up to be abusers or molesters should not be a surprise.

    Which is why I’ve always maintained that if your (generic your) child has been molested by one of these pieces-of-you-know-what, your first stop should be Law Enforcement, not the pastor, not the elders, not the deacons.

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  17. Believer: If mapped out structurally, the church is an embarassment of unaccountability. That large numbers of these unaccountable, unsupervised “ministers” end up to be abusers or molesters should not be a surprise.

    No matter what the official Church Tables of Organization say, the actual T.O. is one big circle on top called “Lead Pastor – Touch Not Mine Anointed!” with everything else issuing from it.

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  18. Michael in UK: Theology of the body is NOT good morality,

    I think we have different definitions for “Theology of the Body”.
    This is what I associate the term with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theology_of_the_Body

    To me (like Humanism when it began as a Christian movement against Docetism), it provides a pull back to restore balance from the tendency to become “So SPIRITUAL you Cease to be Real. God may live in the Real World, but that’s not Spiritual Enough for you.”

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  19. Elizabeth Klein: I get it, church buildings need upkeep and maintenance. I’m a homeowner. But 1) they actually had the $ for GRACE Safety Certification and 2) I’ve given $ to building renovations at Christian institutions before, only to find out they were sloppy on abuse.

    At east in the Middle Ages, such “building renovations at Christian institutions” gave you a Romanesque or Gothic Cathedral, an architectural landmark that would stand for a thousand years.

    NOT a Big-Box WalMart in a multi-hectare asphalt ocean parking lot with a cozy little country church facade and steeple pasted on over its main entrance and a Hearst Castle-sized Mc Mansion “Parsonage” on its own estate.

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  20. Muslin fka Dee Holmes: Except to suggest that maybe pastors ought to work service jobs for a few years.

    In my church (RCC) that is called “Second Vocation”.

    The Lead Pastor where I took RCIA catechism spent four years in the Navy during WW2 and a couple years as a civilian before entering seminary. The Permanent Deacon at that parish was a building contractor (“like Our Lord and St Joseph, except I’m Union and they weren’t”)

    A Parochial Vicar (temp Pastor) a couple years ago at my current parish came across the border from Mexico as a kid, got legalized during the Reagan years, and spent over 10 years in construction before he entered Seminary. Said that when he entered Seminary he knew maybe three dozen words in English — all of them cusswords. Blue collar all the way, and his English was better than our Vietnamese-language Assistant Pastor. (Trilingual parish — English, Spanish, and Viet.)

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  21. Dragonlight,

    “They molest due to a profound, lifelong psychiatric problem.”

    “As a licensed professional counselor who has counseled abuse survivors for 10+ years, I humbly disagree. Ultimately, abusers abuse because they want to and they can.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    abusing because they want to and they can sounds like a psychiatric problem.

    it’s certainly not normal.

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  22. Headless Unicorn Guy: In my church (RCC) that is called “Second Vocation”.

    In SBC life, it’s called “Bivocational” … there are many bivocational pastors at small and/or rural Southern Baptist churches across America … most SBC churches have less than 200 members and can’t support a full time pastor’s salary/benefits. It’s not uncommon for a pastor at those churches to work a full-time job in addition to his pastor’s position.

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  23. From the OP:

    Recently, a friend read Disobedient Women. They are a churchgoing family. She sat down with the teen son and discussed sexual abuse, which can happen in a church. That is precisely what I am trying to say. We are the ones responsible for our children. Sadly, I abdicated that to the church, and the results could have been disastrous for my son.

    No offence to you, Dee, nor anyone else reading my comment….I’m simply suggesting something to think about….

    Many parents, for some reason (culture, religion, because they themselves don’t know or weren’t taught, etc.), don’t discuss sex or the parts of the body relating to sex, etc., or don’t teach their children anything about sex.

    And schools (whether public or private) aren’t consistent in what they teach in sex education….if they teach sex education at all.

    Some parents home-school their children….some of these parents fall into the first category I mentioned, and some parents fall into the second category I mentioned.

    Question: If a child or children aren’t taught sex education and / or don’t learn the proper names for ALL the parts of the body, then how are they to understand and / or describe sexual abuse when it happens to them?

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  24. Dragonlight: As a licensed professional counselor who has counseled abuse survivors for 10+ years, I humbly disagree. Ultimately, abusers abuse because they want to and they can. Most people with psychiatric diagnoses never choose to abuse

    Psychiatric diagnoses vary quite a bit. Certain ones are associated with abusive behaviors; they aren’t used often because treatment isn’t very effective.

    I agree with you that most people with mental health diagnoses do not abuse others.

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  25. Micah,

    if relevant, my experiences on rapid transit are often amongst people having conversations with their own multiple personalities. sometimes verbally violent ones.

    my experience is that they leave me alone 100%.

    while the violent discourse is unnerving, these individuals keep to themselves and i don’t feel in danger.

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  26. researcher: Many parents, for some reason (culture, religion, because they themselves don’t know or weren’t taught, etc.), don’t discuss sex or the parts of the body relating to sex, etc., or don’t teach their children anything about sex.

    Ever heard of Christian Purity Culture?

    And schools (whether public or private) aren’t consistent in what they teach in sex education….if they teach sex education at all.

    Out of Fear of the Christians coming to get them — remember, Taking Back America starts at the local School Board level. “Give me your children for six years and I Will Make Them Mine; you will pass away, but they will remain Mine” works both ways.

    Some parents home-school their children….some of these parents fall into the first category I mentioned, and some parents fall into the second category I mentioned.

    Like I said above, “Give me your children…and they will remain Mine” works both ways.

    Question: If a child or children aren’t taught sex education and / or don’t learn the proper names for ALL the parts of the body, then how are they to understand and / or describe sexual abuse when it happens to them?

    Feature, not Bug.

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  27. My church recently came up with what I consider a robust approach to child abuse. It was in consultation with our local police department (for a large city) and a police chaplain who is a church member (and often summoned to accompany parents when an abuse report is taken). All volunteers are background checked and fingerprinted. We have hallway monitors to make sure that anyone in the children’s area has a church- given ID badge or a parent pickup ticket). If not , they are politely escorted out of the area. Children’s volunteer staff had two hours of training on identifying possible abuse and reporting procedures. There is also a section that known sexual offenders will always be accompanied if on the premises. (I realize most sex offenders have many crimes under their belts before they are caught, but it’s something). The training was as good as anything I’ve had in schools where I have worked, and I hope just having it will deter abuse.

    There is also a parent education piece that should be helpful, especially because we have a number if home-schooling families who naively think that all homeschooling teens/adults are “safe” to have around their children. How I wish it were true!

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  28. Max,

    Too much down time, alone time, me time, or coffeeshop time, perhaps?

    How many of these pastors stray into porn, and/or deviant evil fantasies, then eventually target those in their purview?

    “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.” Ancient Proverb

    “From its very inaction, idleness ultimately becomes the most active cause of evil; as a palsy is more to be dreaded than a fever. The Turks have a proverb which says that the devil tempts all other men, but that idle men tempt the devil.” Charles Caleb Colton

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  29. Dragonlight: Ultimately, abusers abuse because they want to and they can. Most people with psychiatric diagnoses never choose to abuse.

    Dragonlight, this is interesting. I think you’re saying that the driving force in molesters is power. You’re also saying that many who are attracted to children never choose to abuse. We had a bit of this discussion last week about Ortberg’s church.

    But certainly, if it were only about power, such a disorder might cause someone to seek an outlet for his disorder elsewhere, if he were not attracted to children. So perhaps there needs to be a component of both in an abuser.

    Only slightly off-topic, but I’ve wondered if psychopaths (those born with no conscience, simply put) can also remain hidden throughout life by not acting on a drive to power–because some of them may not in fact have a drive to power, and become accountants instead. Sociopaths might be for another discussion, because as I understand it, sociopaths may indeed have a conscience but have suppressed it, possibly as an act of will–so less “reliable” than psychopaths. I’m out of my depth here.

    But, back to child abusers: are you saying that there needs to be a drive to power as well as a sexual desire for children? These appear to be two different drives. Is weakness alone not enough, coupled with a sexual desire for children? Thanks.

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  30. Muff Potter,

    Nietzsche also said “the Superman is the meaning of the earth,” probably the same idea. Although he himself was no superman, rather quiet and polite, until he picked up a pen.

    I discovered long ago that the desire for power is bigger than the desire for wealth, although they are often related. Some of the worst petty tyrants are on the smallest non-profit boards or churches.

    I’m interested in the concept of a lust for power combined with whatever other desire one might have, such as attraction to children. Dragonlight’s comment “because they want to and they can” may help understand that.

    I saw your later comment after mine, a week ago. Thanks.

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  31. Believer: I don’t know anything about the psychology of abusers. But I do know that “the ministry” (of all denoms and doctrines) is often a magnet for men who desire to have a largely unaccountable career.

    For men who seek unaccountably, the “ministry” is quite the grift, or gig, or grift gig, eh?

    Regarding the psychology of abusers, there are REAL professionals with advanced degrees, years of experience, and quality research who DO KNOW a great deal about abusers. Roy Hazelwood comes to mind.

    “In 1980, Hazelwood developed the distinction between ‘organized’ and ‘disorganized’ murderers, a concept that is still used by law enforcement to help apprehend criminals. He also defined the six categories of rapists: power-reassurance, power assertive, anger retaliatory, anger excitation, opportunistic and gang. Of the six, anger excitation is by far the most dangerous and the hardest to capture.

    “Hazelwood offered the theory that there is no cure for pedophilia or sexual sadists. He has conducted numerous studies involving sex crimes, including cases of erotic asphyxiation. He did numerous studies involving the willing victims of sexual sadists (wives and girlfriends) and how sexual sadists appear in everyday life. In his career he found equivocal death crime as the most dubious and complex investigation to overcome.

    “Hazelwood co-authored two books with Stephen Michaud: ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Dark Dreams.’

    “Hazelwood gave lectures across North America about sexual sadism and autoerotic fatalities. His presentation was also heavily focused on Dennis Rader, the ‘B.T.K.’ serial killer AND the longtime member AND President of Christ Lutheran Church of Wichita, Kansas.

    “A fully endowed scholarship in memory of Roy Hazelwood is available for the master’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies (Applied Criminology Concentration) at California University of Pennsylvania.”

    Roy Hazelwood, in his private life, was a devout Presbyterian. He went to be with our Lord in 2016.

    He was a Christian, tops in his field, and endowed a grad level scholarship for progress in his field. Hazelwood got things done.

    Are the ministry people honoring Hazelwood’s work? Do they honor anyone’s real work? Except to collect the working folks’ wages to fund their grift gig?

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  32. Ava Aaronson: Too much down time, alone time, me time, or coffeeshop time, perhaps?

    A stop at any coffee shop in my area on a weekday and you’ll find a NeoCal “lead pastor” or two. They don’t have time to visit the sick or pray with folks in nursing homes, but they have plenty of time to tweet their lives away with the dudebros or borrow a sermon from the internet for next Sunday. Or perhaps their screen time is more sinister.

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  33. Max: They don’t have time to visit the sick or pray with folks in nursing homes, but they have plenty of time to tweet their lives away with the dudebros or borrow a sermon from the internet for next Sunday.

    This really galls me too.
    What’s even more galling is that the pew serfs still bankroll these jokers.

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  34. Ava Aaronson: Who is that guy that used to catch the pedophile pastors … Chris Hansen?

    Actually, Pedos in general.
    Only clergy type To Catch a Predator caught was a Rabbi, early in their run.
    Who achieved YouTube immortality by being the only one to physically attack the camera crew at the Big Reveal. (As well as previously copping an “I’m The One in Control, I Demand to know Who You Are” attitude.)

    As one of the YouTube videos put it, “You can just see this guy’s brain melting.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6gyd5HAvN0
    Just go to YouTube and search on “rabbi to catch a predator meltdown”. He’s the first four search hits.

    And there’s some other “Where are they now” followup videos. His congregation fired him as soon as the news got out — Unlike Spirit-filled Christians, they had a BIG problem with their Rabbi cruising for same-sex jail bait. TCAP turned their chat logs and video over to the cops, and the guy got 5-7 years. Also unlike Christians, he never held a clergy position again.

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  35. Believer: GREAT comment. Thank you for the education.

    You are welcome.

    Are there disturbed and/or evil people in churches? Yes.

    (In Jesus’ day, an evil king slaughtered a town’s entire population of children, for the sake of his ego. That same ego 33 years later, of the religious elite, then executed Jesus personally, directly, publicly, with the blessing of ordinary folk.)

    This same ego-maniac type frequents our churches, including leadership today.

    Is there professional info about such types available? Yes, for when we are willing to educate ourselves beyond speculation and water-cooler blog talk.

    I also believe that the Holy Spirit has wisdom available to Christians even beyond what the professionals tell us. Not woo-hoo pseudo science but wisdom and warnings from God. Perhaps situational wisdom and awareness?

    Anyway, we are the church but church is a challenging endeavor. Not for the timid, oblivious, heads-in-the-sand, or myth followers.

    Jesus warned us about tares among wheat, about a grand plant growing mega to house wild birds up to no good, about the wild vines choking out good growth. Realities of church.

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  36. researcher,

    Secular leaders (at one time) probably had a vague (fallback) idea of using children’s private affairs such as religion and sex lives for social agitation.

    But they had relatively little chance as long as prominent and influential christians kept faith with Holy Spirit evangelisation and living. And didn’t substitute material means (work of the flesh).

    Carl Henry and John Stott, looking for cheap point scoring, were sadly typical lynchpins in the swing.

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  37. Headless Unicorn Guy: Actually, Pedos in general.
    Only clergy type To Catch a Predator caught was a Rabbi, early in their run.
    Who achieved YouTube immortality by being the only one to physically attack the camera crew at the Big Reveal. (As well as previously copping an “I’m The One in Control, I Demand to know Who You Are” attitude.)

    As one of the YouTube videos put it, “You can just see this guy’s brain melting.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6gyd5HAvN0
    Just go to YouTube and search on “rabbi to catch a predator meltdown”. He’s the first four search hits.

    And there’s some other “Where are they now” followup videos. His congregation fired him as soon as the news got out — Unlike Spirit-filled Christians, they had a BIG problem with their Rabbi cruising for same-sex jail bait. TCAP turned their chat logs and video over to the cops, and the guy got 5-7 years. Also unlike Christians, he never held a clergy position again.

    Speaking of Chris Hansen, I am reminded of the ending of the South Park episode “Le Petit Tourette”.

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  38. dee,

    My original post attempted, perhaps poorly, to expand on Dee’s statement about a very complex question: Why do chIld sex abusers abuse?
    Simply having a “profound, lifelong psychiatric disorder” (Dee’s words) does not a child sex abuser make. First, it is important to specify what type of disorder(s), so as not to stigmatize all who have psychiatric disorders. Some psychiatric disorders make people more likely to be VICTIMS of sex abuse, not perpetrators.
    Secondly, a pedophilic disorder, and it’s attendant impulses, does not automatically result in child abuse behavior. The impulse must be accompanied by volition (choice to act) and opportunity (vulnerable target). (This is what I meant by “they want to and they can.”) As the article Dee referenced states, “Only about 50% of all individuals who do sexually abuse children are pedophilic, and not every pedophilic individual actually has abused children.” I applaud Dee for warning us about faith communities whose policies and procedures (or lack thereof) make our children into vulnerable targets for those who, ultimately, choose to abuse. It is possible to reduce children’s vulnerability, but it requires, among other things, a willingness to face reality and institute often counter-cultural safeguards. (Just ask me how popular I am for not allowing my kid to attend group sleepovers.)
    Ted,

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