If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Friday, August 14, 2009

How, Then

I believe there should be a place in the body of Christ for everyone. In saying that, I am not saying everyone should have the same freedom in the body of Christ.

A pedophile, Christian or not, should be willing to be identified as a sexual deviant in the body if their reasons for attending a church are pure. The priority of the leadership should be the protection of innocence in the church. Not the protection of one individual's right to hide their sexual deviant behaviors. I do not see hiding someone's dangerous behaviors from vulnerable people as loving or Christ-like.

If the church wants to get real about the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse, then the body of believers and their leadership need to start talking about it more openly. Where is the right place for a sexual predator to fellowship? How should their identity be accessible? The church also needs to be realistic about the long-term monitoring that a sexual predator needs.

A pedophile in particular should not be around children. Pedophiles should seek out Christian fellowship in adult-only groups. Even in an adult-only group, the pedophile should be transparent about their deviant behavior so each person can choose if they want to fellowship with the individual.

As far as how to have knowledge if a sexual offender is in a particular church, I have had the idea of having a book that identifies known sex offenders available in the church office. Something similar to the sex offender registry online. If a known sex offender attends, then the offender should willingly allow a profile of their crime and charges to be posted in the book for other church attendees to view. This would be a way to not publicly humiliate the offender, yet would still give the general church population the choice to view the book and decide if it would be appropriate for them to fellowship with the individual. The church leadership would also need to monitor the relationships of the predator to make sure no inappropriate relationships develop.

There is no way to really know with certainty if a sexual predator is "healed." It would be a heinous crime to take the risk and expose an innocent child to a pedophile to test if they were healed. The predator in our case WAS in church. He clearly was not healed, as our child became his victim number six.

Separation from children is a burden the sexual predator must bear for life.

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