BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Podcast #6: The Secret Sick Sin of Child Molestation in the Church, Why Pastor Grace Greenleaf Needs to Sit Herself Down Too, and Keith David Deserves an Emmy or Some Kind of Award for Best Lead Actor on TV
By the way, allow me to say this before I continue, if Keith David who plays Senior Pastor Greenleaf does not win an Emmy or something for best actor, I will eat my laptop.
In this brief, weekly podcast, we are examining some of the themes of Oprah Winfrey’s new drama set in a large black church that deals with issues that all churches face. Today we are looking at the secret sick sin of child molestation in the church.
But, first, we want to address an issue that we raised in Episode #4, titled “Sit Down Somewhere, Pastor! — In Fact, Take Several Seats.” We talked about the issue of pastors who have sinned against God in such a way that they are no longer above reproach, yet they do not choose to step down out of respect for God, the ministry, and the people, nor are not made to step down from their position of leadership as Rev. Greenleaf sat down his son after he found out that he had committed adultery with his secretary in the church. Well, what about Pastor Grace Greenleaf, who masterfully slow-walked down the good church boy, and got him to break his celibacy vow with her, that he didn’t break with his fiance, and broke up their wedding at least temporarily.
Here’s the deal beloved: Whorish, adulterous, fornicating female preachers and women in the church ought to sit down as well when they have sinned in such a way. When dealing with these issues, especially in the church, the man is often made out to be the bad person while the woman is presented as a victim. Well in many cases, the woman is just as responsible as the man. Case in point — pastor Grace Greenleaf. Churches often tolerate whorish, Jezebel women who prowl for leaders in the church and who claim to be Christians even though they are setting a bad example before the younger women as their Monday thru Saturday life does not match the ‘praise and worship’ coming out of their mouths on Sundays.
Writing to the church at Thyatira in the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ said, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”
Pastors, church leaders, and church members must not allow Jezebels to undermine the faithful witness of the church of Christ. If these women refuse to sit down on their own, the church must take the steps necessary to remove them from positions of influence.
Now, on to our main topic for today…
Child molestation is one of the most under-discussed issues in the church. Grace Greenleaf, the prodigal daughter who returns to her family’s megachurch ministry upon the death of her sister, discovers that her Uncle Mac has sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a church camp. Even though the girl made a taped confession, somehow it was swept under the rug and Mac, who serves as the general counsel for the church, was never charged or prosecuted. It has been suggested that Faith, the sister who died, committed suicide possibly in the aftermath of being one of Mac’s victims.
We are all familiar with the tragic stories of boys and girls being abused by Catholic priests which have come out in recent years. But, child molestation in Protestant churches is just as bad, and some believe it is worse. According to Boz Tchividjian [CHA-VI-JUN], who happens to be the grandson of Billy Graham, and the founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment),‘The Protestant world is teetering on the edge of a sex-abuse scandal similar to the one that has rocked the Catholic Church. Mission fields are “magnets” for would-be molesters; ministries and schools do not understand the dynamics of abuse; and “good ol’ boy” networks routinely cover up victims’ stories to protect their reputations. It is only a matter of time before it all blows up in their faces and threatens the survival of powerful Protestant institutions.”
Tchividjian [CHA-VI-JUN], a former sex crimes prosecutor said, all too often, a pastor would come to court in a supportive role, almost always sitting on the perpetrator’s side of the aisle, not the victim’s. He added, “I encountered survivors who were absolutely eviscerated as a result of disclosing abuse in the Protestant church, and the long-term damage is sometimes more from how the church responded, or failed to respond, than the abuse itself.”
Now, for some interesting statistics — sad statistics, shameful statistics.
- 1 in 4 U.S. women have been sexually abused before the age of 18
- 1 in 6 U.S. men have been sexually abused before the age of 18
- One study has found that 93 percent of admitted sex offenders describe themselves as religious.
- Offenders who report strong church ties abuse more often, and with younger victims.
- In her book, “Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders,” clinical psychologist Anna Salter said one convicted sex abuser told her that “church people” — always looking to see the best in people, to welcome new converts, and to save sinful souls — are “easy to fool.”
If the general statistics above apply, this means that 20% of the people in any given church have been sexually abused at some point in their life.
This is an epidemic that can no longer be ignored. Jesus said, “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” Unfortunately, we have seen that pastors, church leaders, Sunday School teachers, youth pastors, etc., who have committed these (and other) heinous acts are often unwilling to step down from their positions of leadership. Yes, they can be forgiven, but they cannot be trusted to teach the Word of God, to set a good, Christian example, or to be a part of the lives of children and young people in the church. And churches ought not to allow them to be their pastors. They have abused their office. They are no longer true ministers of God, but have shown themselves to be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Here is what Jesus said about those who harm children who believe in Him: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” The people of God must rise up collectively and say, ‘We will no longer tolerate child molestation in the church.’ We must refuse to continue shielding and supporting those who have so obviously lost the right to call themselves ministers, pastors, and leaders. We must no longer look the other way when a victim comes forward. We should demand that church leaders, Sunday school teachers, youth pastors, and church-school teachers be held to the same standard as the world. Abusers in the church should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If we want to repair the image of the church in the world and in the minds of young people and old people for that matter, the church must begin to side with truth and justice no matter how “bad” it might make the church look. By the way, I’m with pastor Greenleaf — It’s time for somebody to get a gun to protect our children from these Judases in the church.
In closing, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can be forgiven of your sins and begin a relationship with God today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Now that is bad news, but here is the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you, and I hope that you will join us next time for The Gospel According to Greenleaf.