Home Living Today Culture Wait Until Sexual Accusations Hit the Churches! by Dr. Don Boys

Wait Until Sexual Accusations Hit the Churches! by Dr. Don Boys

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Americans have seen a sea change recently with sexually abused women coming out of their closets and identifying unscrupulous men in entertainment, journalism, sports, and a small stirring among academia. Watch for much more in that area. What will really shock people is when it reaches the Protestant and Baptist churches.

Roman Catholics experienced a major scandal in recent years that is still reverberating even behind the Vatican walls. It is commendable that the media have been willing to deal thoroughly with that issue after years of delay. It is not honest or honorable if Protestant pastors come to the defense of an erring pastor while being critical of the massive Roman Catholic sex scandal. That is pure hypocrisy, but then hypocrites are found in all races, regions, ranks, and religions.

However, the giant in the room is the non-Catholic churches that range from Adventists to Zion Christians, especially the very visible megachurches. It is my opinion that there are thousands of pastors who take advantage of church members and staff. Alas, many of the victims are young girls–and boys! No doubt, the problem extends to the evangelical seminaries and universities.

Those pastors (like Roman Catholic priests) use their position, prestige, and power over members to sexually exploit them. Of course, adult women should have screamed to high heaven at the time of the sexual abuse; but later is better than never. The problem is the accused pastors have a right to defend themselves and it is difficult to prove a negative if they are innocent–as many are. The issue is compounded because the ministry demands and denotes such high standards that a false accusation can destroy a pastor. A false accusation is why the Bible demands that a rape victim must scream and fight at the attempted rape if she is to be believed. After all, women can deceive, dissimulate, defame, and debauch just as men can.

Church members are taught that the Bible requires them to forgive their perpetrator so it would be wrong to report them to lawful officials. They are then told that if they report an abusing pastor, they will be responsible for “tearing down the ministry.” Often, the sexually abused members have been in the church for years and have been deeply involved with its growth and often they have received much help from the ministry. How could they do anything to harm a church they love?

Independent Baptists have a problem that Roman Catholics and denominations with a hierarchical ruling system don’t have. Southern Baptists have a similar problem. With Baptists, there is no bishop or pope to move an erring pastor from one church to another to smother the scandal. When a priest goes bad, he is moved from Atlanta to Anchorage and often continues his lechery. Often, the Baptist pastor stays in town, denies everything, hunkers down, and stays in the same pulpit many years. And after a few months or years following the revelation of his sins, he is accepted by his peers as if he was only guilty of speeding! The acquiescing pastors must share some of the guilt when the predator pastor strikes again against an innocent one.

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