I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Comments from Heather

Heather wrote this after reading about the two men who were registered sex offenders.

I love your blog, Shattering the Silence, and a few posts have raised some questions in my mind, the posts where former abusers wonder at their reception in churches. I have been praying over this because I realize there are some unresolved issues in me that need work. I am going to put out some of the thoughts I've had since reading their posts so you can get an idea of what I have been thinking.

I do agree that a person can ask God for forgiveness, He forgives them and they are forgiven…

I also realize that those who are abused can end up being abusers, that the abuser is often a victim. My father, my abuser, had a tough childhood, and his rage underscored that.

If a thief comes to church and repents, they are forgiven. But a wise person doesn't leave an open, unattended basket of money near a thief. That would be tempting them before they could form enough spiritual muscles to be able to resist temptation.

If there was a known child molester in my church, I'm not going to put my teenage daughter alone in a room with him. While I would forgive the person, I also have to act with wisdom. As time goes by and behavior is proven, then things might change, but for the time being I would be nice, but careful.

My husband is faithful, but if he had been caught up in adultery, I would forgive him, but it would take time to rebuild trust. When trust is broken, it takes time to restore.

I am wondering what your thoughts are regarding what those men said regarding forgiven sexual abusers in the church.

I responded with these words:

Of course you have to be prudent and use common sense.

But if we accept others, it shows in the way we treat them; it also shows if we don't accept them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My church had a member who did molest/sexually abuse a minor. This came out into the open many years into his time as a member of this church. One Sunday, our pastor had all of hte children escorted out of the building and into Sunday school clases and then he told the congregation something about the situation.

As a protection to the children of our congregation, he was no longer allowed in the other building where the Sunday school clases were located unless an elder was with him. Also, an elder was nearby to where ever he was. His wife was a Sun school teacher, but he could not accompany her to her class. Ever.

I think the elders sighed in relief when he moved to another state a few years later because it was a big responsibility on their shoulders and a tiring one.

This is how my church handled it. This person was a high profile person in our church as he'd been the worship leader (oh yes, and that ended as soon as the elder board heard about the situation). Had he not been in a position of authority, they may have handled it differently.