Tuesday, January 22, 2008

See no Evil, Speak no Evil, Hear no Evil? Or is it Denial?

Many people feel that this is a private church matter that should not be talked about, and feel that speaking out is wrong. Some of you feel that it is really sinful and slanderous. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion and needs to listen to their own convictions. I also struggled with this years ago when I found out Darrell Gilyard had moved back to Jacksonville to Pastor Shiloh. I was shocked that he had been allowed to simply move on right after he not only was caught, but also made admissions. Not to mention his long history of the same. I wanted to speak out, I wanted to warn the church, I wanted to confront him directly. I did not know if it was the right thing to do, if it would help, if anyone would listen, then the question of maybe he had gotten help (I doubted this, but there was a possibility). So, I kept quiet. I would think about it occasionally, see him on TV, someone mention his church, someone mention the past, or just a trigger memory of that horrible time. Then a couple of years ago, I heard that he had more victims that were remaining quiet or had been paid off to keep quiet. I heard he had been confronted along with the some of the Deacons and even that many people were notified of his behavior with women and girls. No one seemed interested in dealing with the problem, and this was current stuff, mine was "old news". Coming out publicly is very scary. You get attacked and few believe you, most accuse you of lying or being vindictive, and you have to relive it all again also. But, I also figured if all of these people have not listened all of these years and he was not kept from pastoring again with everything that happened, how is my one small voice going to change anything?
Well, it took one "small voice" of the current victim's to give me the courage and opportunity to speak and now many others are gaining the same strength little by little. One voice does make a difference! It is painful and hurtful, but it is worth it if it saves even a few from being hurt by him.
I would like to pass along some information that I was not even aware of until all of this happened. I did not know how huge this problem is until now. I never would have guessed that this is more of an epidemic than a rare problem. I am speaking of sick men being allowed to do horrible things to women/girls in their ministry while they are wearing the disguise of Pastor. Then after a victim gets the courage to stand up and tell someone in the church (or confront the perpetrator directly) and they are told "we will handle it" and they watch the Pastor leave the church and move on. No real accountability for him, wouldn't want to embarrass anyone or cause a "bad light" on the church, tell the victim to keep quiet, then offer no counsel or help to the victim. Next thing you know, Pastor is at another church and usually victimizes again. Ditto all over again, then another church and more victims, only given more power now because he has been allowed to get away before. Then when people finally rise up and say "when is it enough? Nothings being done, let's expose this and stop him" then people are outraged that you are speaking against a Pastor, you are the sinful one who is shaming God. The silence is the problem, it is what gives them power! We are not talking about a Pastor who has made a bad decision and has fallen in some way, we are talking about exposing repeat offenders.
Please look at the problem from a real world view as I have recently done. See the following links. See how you feel about silence after you really see the full spectrum of the problem. I personally do not feel God would tell us to turn our heads to this problem.
Survivor Stories:
http://stopbaptistpredators.org/survivor_stories.html
Actual Numbers:
http://stopbaptistpredators.org/alarmingnumbers.html
National News story:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17265721/
Request for Help:
http://www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=9469

9 comments:

Voice_of_Reason said...

Tiffany - I respect your request not to bring comparisons to other pastors into the discussion unless they deal with sexual sins. I will honor that request.

However, I will just add that the identical attacks you have faced were also faced by those trying to get Mac Brunson's activities into the public eye. They were put under pressure to stop blogging, were threatened, were called lost, and were accused of being liars and slanderers. The SAME defenses used for Mac's financial abuses now seem to be aimed at you for sexual abuse discussion.

It really is frightening how gullible and quick to defend abusers in the pulpit our churches have become. Maybe that is why we are so ripe for financial fleecing and for sexual abuse.

Anonymous said...

Let's see. You start off by saying you will "honor that request." Then you proceed to go back on what you just said!

Which is it? Are you going to honor Tiffany's request or continue to spew your venom towards Mac Brunson all over the Internet?

Stay on topic or stop commenting. No one here cares about your discontent and bitterness.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Thank you for honoring and understanding my request. I do understand your point about being silenced however and I do believe it is wrong. I agree that especially in the matter of sexual sins in the church, they do expect everyone to "keep a secret" and it leads to nothing but destruction. I also believe that if they choose to be in the pulpit they should be accountable to the people and answer tough questions gracefully.
Just as they would expect of us if we were to feel led to work in the church in any capacity, they would hold us accountable in our personal lives. That is the way to keep everyone in check and accountable.
Thank you for your post.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Note, I am not stating this in regard to Mac Brunson. I am not a member of that church and can not respond to anything regarding that.

Pastor Rod H. said...

I don't know much about Mac Brunson and what's going on at First Baptist,but one thing that he has done that truly concerned me was when he hosted the day of faith at his church.This was an ecumenical affair which would include any beliefs or a lack of belief to an institution that supposedly represents the only way of salvation and that Jesus Christ.I'm sure that the great prophet Elijah when he was on Mount Carmel considered having a day of prayer with the prophets of Baal so that the people would know that there is no difference between the God of Israel and the false god Baal.I'AM THE WAY,THE TRUTH,AND THE LIFE:NO MAN COMES UNTO THE FATHER,BUT BY ME.(John 14:6)Neither is there salvation in any other:for there is none other name under heaven given among men,whereby we must be saved(Acts 4:12)For there is one God,and one mediator between God and men,the Man CHRIST JESUS;who gave Himself a ransom for all(1Tim.2:5-6a).Maybe Dr.Mac can explain that decision.

Ms. J said...

Pastor Rod H, you made some good points. Thank you for sharing!

Pastor Rod H. said...

Thanks Ms J. I love the Lord and though I am a frail human and detest seeing the Lord's reputation stained by theses's opportunist who are in ministry for their personal profit at the expense of God's children.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Pastor Rod H:
We have all enjoyed your Biblically based comments. Please continue to comment here!

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