Sep 272012
 

One link only:

 

http://jimromenesko.com/2012/09/27/bryan-college-student-editor-shouldnt-have-written-about-professors-arrest/

The story of the professor himself is sad and horrible and separate from the reason I posted this link, though you are to discuss it as you wish.

What led me to post the link was the response of the student who is being quoted.

Any key phrases sound familiar?

Is this what evangelicalism, of whatever variety, is coming to?

 Posted by at 4:26 pm

  35 Responses to “Linkathon 9/26 part 2”

  1. Brian, I took the liberty of making your link a link.

    As to the article, appalling. Lots of familiar lines in there. Could have been preached from a pulpit.

  2. Should not be shocking, yet it is…

  3. read the linked article briefly and came away with a question … when does the public right to know trump discretion? it seems to me that it kicks in when those in positions of authority don’t do their job – happens a lot – so do whispers of half truths and embroidered ones

  4. I don’t shed a tear for the reporting of an arrest for child molestation. (READ THAT AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED TO LET IT SINK IN)

    But at the same time the press can (and has) destroyed people many times over. Sometimes innocent people. Sometimes guilty people that pay far more in life than their crime warranted. Since this is a Christian editor of a Christian paper, one would hope that someone is teaching him the difference between the world’s media standards and Christ’s.

    The arguments against publishing are weak, but the arguments in favor of publishing seem to miss the mark too.

    Another question is if the rules apply the same in church as they do a Christian school? Is the church under obligation to report every arrest that might happen among its flock?

  5. I’d be tempted to use grandpa’s gun if I encountered a child molester.

    I’m sure I would’ve hit Sandusky with a fire extinguisher if I was in that locker room….

    But a close family member recently made the claim that ministers accused of sexual impropriety are always eventually found out to be guilty, and a minister MUST answer to those allegations.

    I said that scriptural standards (and our American system of justice) state we should treat ministers otherwise.

    After 17 years of ministry and 11+ years of marriage, I’m not too concerned about falling sexually. But suddenly I’m very concerned that if I was ever falsely accused, life will become very difficult in my family.

  6. When an accusation of sexual abuse is made it must be considered very seriously and thoroughly, as well as publicly. But the way it was handled in the OT, was the accuser would receive the punishment intended for the accused, if the accusation was not able to be backed up in a reasonable manner. (I don’t know what exactly was expected, but you get the idea.)

    If things are hushed because it’s not proven yet in court, then it’s kept in the dark and others are unable to connect the dots and give their part of the story (they may not have realized their experience or knowledge was important … or that it would be believed. Serious accusations need to be dealt with in the light, both the guilt established as well as the innocence made clear.

    It only takes one false accusation to ruin the accuser’s word for life.

    Hiding the accusation, just in case the accused is innocent, can cause more harm by making it harder for the truth to be discovered, as well as for the innocent to be fully cleared.

  7. “I don’t shed a tear for the reporting of an arrest for child molestation. (READ THAT AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED TO LET IT SINK IN)

    But at the same time the press can (and has) destroyed people many times over. Sometimes innocent people. Sometimes guilty people that pay far more in life than their crime warranted. Since this is a Christian editor of a Christian paper, one would hope that someone is teaching him the difference between the world’s media standards and Christ’s.

    The arguments against publishing are weak, but the arguments in favor of publishing seem to miss the mark too.

    Another question is if the rules apply the same in church as they do a Christian school? Is the church under obligation to report every arrest that might happen among its flock?”

    Ephesians 5:11-“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

  8. AV,

    It’s attitudes like yours that allow this type of crap to go on in the Institutional churches unchecked. Protect the Brand and the Wolfs over the sheep, pathetic. Your either part of the soultion or part of the problem. When good men do nothing evil wins

  9. Thanks Solomon. Obviously you are one of those needing to read my comment about sexual predators at least one more time to let it sink in….

    But to be clear. If your child someday should decide to attend our church, and he be arrested for a DUI one night, my duty is to make sure I announce to the congregation what has happened to him. I assume I should include his picture in the announcement since a church our size, no doubt most will not know of whom I am even speaking.

    And since people often miss a given Sunday, I assume I should announce it multiple weeks so all are sure to get the word. Or just stick it on a board in the lobby – sort of like the post office. Mug shots of all those in the fellowship who have been arrested.

    To do otherwise is a violation of Scripture and encourages drunken driving.

  10. Sexual predators are known for having victims, and they often keep the secrets. Predators have power over others and exploit children and powerless people. As long as what they have done is kept in the dark then the behaviour can be covered and repeated. This is a public safety issue.

    If someone is accused but it’s kept as hushed as possible, it will still leak to some degree. The accused still needs his name cleared if he is truly innocent. It’s in his best interest to deal with this openly. It’s also in the best interest of the community to know who is making false accusations; which is also why repentance should be as public as the sin.

    If my child is accused of driving drunk, then I need to revoke his driving license even if he doesn’t get caught and have it removed by the law. If he is stopped from being able to continue to drive drunk then there is no need to find out if there are other victims, and no need to know to keep your children away from him as a driver since he won’t be able to drive.

    However, if my son has not been caught by the law and we, as his parents, are sinfully allowing our son to continue driving -without, at least, physical oversight- then it is the business of the community to know and to keep their kids out of my son’s car. It’s in the interest of public safety. (This would also include people who pay top dollar to lawyers to get their kids off of their DUI charges. I know one who got off 3 times, and still drives drunk. I warn others, it’s the loving thing to do.)

    It should go without saying that anyone in a position of trust should ALWAYS be removed immediately from that position until the accusation can be confirmed or denied. A hassel? Yes. Necessary? Even more so. Safety first. Protect potential victims first. If they are lying, then deal with them later.

  11. The culture of cover-up “in case one might be innocent” disregards common sense and the need to help the powerless.

  12. Okay, can’t help but post one more, please allow me this …

    I know someone whose son was falsely accused of threatening to murder a pastor’s daughter. They were 11.

    The boy’s name was smeared publicly. But when it was discovered that the liar was actually the pastor’s daughter, then they covered it up to protect her and her complicit mother, as well as the pastor who handled it very poorly.

    The parents of the boy understood the serious nature of the accusation and that public safety was an issue, so they knew they had to accept the public nature of the situation. But the pastor, his wife and their daughter should not have been protected and graced over; instead, they should have publicly repented … as publicly as they smeared the boy’s name. They should have vindicated the boy publicly.

    (note: the cover-up was initiated by CC pastor Gino Geraci, based on two witnesses.)
    (note: Gino Geraci advocated silencing the leadership of CC Castle Rock in order to protect fallen CC pastor Brian D. Abeyta, based on one witness.)
    (note: Gino Geraci was a board member of Skip Heitzigs, childhood friend, led him to Christ, and enabled Skip to do what he did, based on public knowledge.)

  13. Chile, I want to make sure my comments are not confused for multiple issues are at stake here. And I am probably an idiot for even attempting to have a reasonable dialog on this topic at this website (though I trust not with you, Chile) – but Brian posted it and I’m giving it one shot.

    But to be clear…Surely you are not happy with what happened with Richard Jewell?

    Your comments though would seem to support and thus seem to suggest the media did nothing wrong in destroying that man’s reputation – a man who it turned out was actually a hero. Terrorism is about as serious as it gets too.

    It is the Richard Jewells of the world I was thinking of…

    Now, as to your son’s DUI example, taken from my question earlier – just because you have taken his license away does not mean he won’t drive. In fact, if my kids are friends with him and I know he is licensed, but don’t know he got in trouble, why would I not let him drive my kids somewhere. That’s the point in all this.

    What is the privacy boundary as to the church and the people. Maybe someone is a cleptomaniac. There are endless examples.

  14. Ray Donovan – “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?” (indicted but acquitted on all charges related to fraud and larceny)

  15. Unrepentant sin that has public safety issues is a public matter.

    Unrepentant sin that has spiritual ramifications within the church are a public church matter. (one example: A woman is a witch, pretending to be a good Christian.) That one actually happened.

  16. In the Old Testament, the false accuser then received the punishment that would have been for the party they accused had they been found guilty. That solved that problem.

  17. Chile, the issue is not unrepentant sin. The issue is someone at the church getting in trouble OFF SITE and unrelated to the church in any way. Specifically I have spoken of an arrest. The person just isn’t around anymore. Maybe someone (maybe not even in leadership) knows why – but is there an obligation to tell the church?

  18. The falsely accused boy did lost his reputation in part of the community. He has to live with it to this day. Thankfully, God gave him the ability to look past that damage and God repeatedly gave him encouragement and public acknowledgement of his good character. He was even on front page of the paper for receiving a very special Christian character award just as he was leaving town.

    Whereas, the pastor’s daughter continued reap what she sowed and her reputation has gotten worse and worse, along with her mother’s and her pastor father’s. Though Gino thought that by no one talking about it it would go away, he failed to realize the mother had already made it very public, very ugly, and to this day people still ask if any of the three ever repented? To this day, people refuse to go to that church based on that story that still circulates to this day. (Circulates by non-Christians and Christians who heard the public denouncing the mother gave.)

    This is just one example and does not make a case that it will work out for everyone. But God tells us that if we do right, God will bless us.

    I think the onus is on the people who have to deal with the situation to make valiant attempts to restore the falsely accused’ reputation. Punishing the false accuser is a good start.

  19. There is always an obligation to tell the church if there was any potential for other victims. Note: Sandusky & Catholic priests

    If my son can still drive drunk, then tell the kids to beware. Absolutely.

    Unrepentant sin is critical. It indicates a willingness to do it again.

    Where public safety is a matter, then it doesn’t matter if they repented or not. Warn others.

  20. Again..the question I am asking is about arrests. Arrests unrelated to the people or the ministry of the church.

  21. Example:

    A pastor steals money.
    Gets caught.

    Whether he repents or not, he should never have control of the money in position of trust again.
    I don’t think he can pastor as an example again.
    I don’t think people should have a vote of confidence in him again.

    It’s a consequence, which is greater when one is a spiritual leader/example and in a position of trust.

    BUT, the now former pastor can be restored to full fellowship in the Body, he just can’t be the leader anymore.

    The information should be as public as the sin.

  22. A lighthearted example. MLD and I are arguing over infant baptism at coffee one morning and he punches me in the nose. He gets hauled off to the joint due to CA’s no tolerance policy and has to spend 5 days in jail. That means he misses a Board meeting and a Sunday service.

    MLD calls his pastor and tells him why he is missing the meeting and what happened.

    I can imagine a certain argument that could be made that MLD is now a threat. If he punched one guy in the nose, maybe he will do it to a church member. People are going to ask “Where’s MLD?” when we have the meeting and when church meets that Sunday. They are owed the truth and actually it is for their own safety that they are told the truth.

    That is a silly example on purpose, but it speaks to my larger question – again, a question unrelated to child sex predators – which is its own world.

    And these are arrests. What about accusations only – like from one spouse against another in the middle of a messy divorce….

  23. I don’t follow the significance of arrests.

    Whether arrested or not, there is an accusation that must be proved or disproved. If there are potential victims they must be protected. If there is a false accuser, he must receive serious consequences.

    The law is just to keep peace in the land. It’s not always accurate, the church has a higher calling and is held responsible by God to deal with matters with integrity and as a much truth as you can discover.

    The church is not to sit by idly and just hope the courts catch the bad guy in our midst. We are required to judge our own. ( I am talking about serious issues, especially one’s with potential victims and public safety.)

    Know a guy who was working the single women trying to get their money. It took several of us to talk to put all the pieces together. It was not gossip, it was real concern with potential victims. Had he not been guilty, we would have had to clear his name as far as our conversation went, which was a handful of people. He was removed from the church and the single women were informed.

    PLUS, risky behaviours don’t come in ones. So what you can see merely informs you to keep hunting for more. If there are victims and public safety issues, then it’s our responsibility to protect the sheep, the vulnerable, the powerless, and to love our neighbour.

  24. I responded with a long post and it’s gone! Poof!

    Sorry, but I’ve got to get to a football game.

    One comment: I can’t even begin to deal with divorce. The worms are crawling all over the place! If there is a needed application to the point you are making with that, I will consider it, but can’t right now.

    I will be with falsely accused football players tonight. They have held their head high. The false accusers were not held accountable for the destruction they caused. Though the issue was not one of public safety, or one with victims, it was still a public matter. It’s not done yet, but they will be exonerated by next year, I think.

  25. Last try, my comments are not going through now.

  26. Testing …

  27. Sorry Chile, I only just caught the spam mess. Feel free to e-mail me if that happens in the future. I had not really been around the blog today, and it might take me quite a while to catch things.

  28. Chile and I are talking past each other. It’s just one of those things that happens online. The real question I am dealing with is just not getting through…

    No big deal. And I am sympathetic to losing long, thought-out posts.

    Plus I like football! 🙂

  29. Thanks, Reuben.

    AV, I’m not sure it was “talking past one another” but I don’t have the time to post now.

    Good night, all!

  30. Chile,

    Let me try one final attempt at clarity. The reason I said we are talking past each other is your examples like a pastor stealing from the church. That’s not even on the radar of what I am talking about. Likewise, the continued reference to church members being somehow at risk. Again, not even close to the issue.

    It deals with this word, gossip. Gossip has become like racism. It is so easily tossed around by people who refuse to deal with substantive arguments that as a result often people forget their really is a sin known as gossip (and racism).

    Surely you know that I don’t play the “gossip” card in an attempt to shut up legitimate knowledge for the protection and safety of others. If you don’t you should know that.

    I don’t know though how to ask again the same points I have been making. A pastor has a duty of confidentiality that has only a few legitimate exceptions. However, ALL Christians have (or should have) a duty to live according to the teachings of Scripture and confidentiality is part of that as well. Maybe not to the full LEGAL extent a pastor might, but before the Lord there is that expectation. If a brother or sister is told something in confidence about another brother or sister, there should be caution in telling that to a 3rd person and certainly before telling it to the ‘world’ in the sense of media.

  31. I’m just now getting a minute to respond a little …

    AV @ 17 said,

    “Chile, the issue is not unrepentant sin. The issue is someone at the church getting in trouble OFF SITE and unrelated to the church in any way. Specifically I have spoken of an arrest. The person just isn’t around anymore. Maybe someone (maybe not even in leadership) knows why – but is there an obligation to tell the church?”

    AV, I often just respond to the over arching theme and not to your specifics, because I think it serves the topic at hand better. Sometimes I get the impression that your specifics are leading me down a rabbit trail. No offense intended, but thought it may help you to understand that I’m often not necessarily responding to you personally.

    To lay my cards out on the table about this thread’s topic:

    I think the school newspaper reporter did the right thing in reporting the arrest of the recently removed/resigned professor. The arrest alone is newsworthy. The fact that it was an attempted sexual molestation is very significant. That is a sin issue that is considered “risky behaviour.” Risky behaviours do not come solo, they come in packs. Sexual acting out, especially when it’s to the point of breaking the law, is never a one time event. By the time one is so far out of control that they are getting caught, there are statistically other victims.

    When a person has worked in a position of trust, even before they get caught, it is the duty of the media and especially the place where the person was in a position of trust (be it job, school, or ministry,) to let their public know the person was arrested, so they can then come forward. It’s about public safety … even in churches. (I’m sure Catholics would say, “Especially in churches.”)

    If there is enough info to arrest a person, there is clearly enough info to make it public. If the person is found innocent then the false accusers and the police need to be held accountable and the man’s name needs to be cleared, just as publicly. Again, if there is enough info to actually arrest a man, then he must go through this.

    There is not a different standard for the church. The standard for the church would actually be higher … not in protecting the one arrested, but protecting the public, the sheep, who may have been victims. This is NOT gossip.

    Gossip is purposefully telling things that don’t need to be told in order to bring someone down. When a person in a position of trust has been caught acting in a victimizing manner, then it becomes a public issue and a safety issue. That is NOT gossip.

    The continual trend to protect the one being caught victimizing, to keep things quiet to protect schools, churches, or brands, is wrong. That is sin, but that is NOT gossip.

    (Full disclosure: I worked for a news agency, I’ve been on NPR, I’ve been involved with school newspapers, I’ve spent time at Bryan College, I’ve had it up to here with the misuse of the word gossip.)

  32. Chile, I agree with every word of your 31. As does probably everyone but the Managing Editor of that school paper and the student who wrote the complaint linked here. It is what I said from the very beginning, and why I take STRONG issue with the nonsense Solomon through at me – but I expect little else from him.

    If my initial post is read again, it will be clear I was trying to BROADEN the discussion point. Because frankly, there otherwise isn’t much to discuss. Who around here thinks the guy’s arrest is not newsworthy to the school? Nobody. There are now 32 posts and almost all of them are you and me talking past each other.

    Not a “rabbit trail” my friend. Not some plot to arrive at a “gotcha” moment. I asked a ton of questions (hypothetical and otherwise) for clarity and to broaden the discussion. I don’t think a one was answered.

    But it’s an old thread, an old point, I’m exhausted, and obviously nobody is interested in broadening the discussion – to what is actually a very significant issue IMO and may possibly affect everyone here (or a family member) at their local church one day, if, God forbid, someone got in some sort of trouble (NOT CHILD MOLESTATION) outside the church.

    That’s cool. No sense scratching where there is no community “itch”

  33. AV, I have a different perspective than you do. I read in your posts a support for churches to protect the person whose been arrested, because you say they are gone, even though they used to attend the church; while I believe the people in the positions of trust (especially churches) have a responsibility to make this public to see if there are any victims.

    Again, I don’t see us talking past one another. I was staying the the overarching theme.

    I do appreciate this forum to discuss things, and do appreciate having different perspectives brought to the table. But in the future, I’d also appreciate it if when addressing me that you do not dis other contributors unnecessarily. Sol Rod’s words can stand or fall on their own when I read them.

  34. Wow…

  35. some of the most interesting reading here is when 2 good people are making good points, but somehow don’t hear each other … rest assured the rest of us probably get what you’re both saying 🙂 IMHO

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