Is there a way to stop this craziness?
Does any of this make sense to anyone?
How do we protect our children? Is it possible?
These are questions that run through my mind and I pray about as the news continues to pour out.
I am silent (in response to reporters, to posted comments) because there is not one thing that I could say that would change any of this. I pray for wisdom, pray for solutions, and I hope.
I spoke with another woman today that was abused as a child, by someone she was supposed to be able to fully trust. A person that she should have been safe with. It has altered her life forever. She has trust issues, she will never be able to forget the memories, she will always know that something awful happened to her and that it will never, ever be erased from her memory. She is succesful, respected, to all appearances you'd never suspect. But there is a part of her that is awakened continually with thoughts of her abuser - the nightmare that is always just under the surface.
And yet...and I take a huge, deep sigh, here....and yet. We have a convicted, confessed, and known child/woman abuser. A man that used his position for 3 decades to manipulate his way into positions of trust and to ultimately become sexually perverse with girls and women. Not only did he seduce some, but let's not forget that he took (by rape) from those that said no. He twisted young girls into thinking he was the "only one" that could really love them, sending text messages, "counseling" with them behind closed doors, calling at odd hours...to young, innocent, naive, young teen girls. And he forever has altered the course of their lives...please do not underestimate the damage that has been done to hundreds (over 3 decades)...
...Now, these last few weeks, his latest church is sending a message to them that they should now look up to him and allow him an open door to lead them in a position of spiritual authority? To Pastor a church locally. Fresh out of prison.
As if that is not insulting enough, they remove the children because they are a violation of his probation, as he is not allowed to be around them. But, for goodness sake, let's not remove HIM, let's not tell him that it is not appropriate...let's remove the temptation from the abuser and make the poetential victims feel pushed aside, separated.
Are you kidding me? Have we all gone mad?
What parent would even want to be in this position or would go to a church that this is a requirement? Do the children matter to you? Do the children, teens even matter to you? What message are you sending them? Whom are you asking them to look up to? Why would you even want a spiritual leader that is unable to EVER be around your children. No children's musicals, no children's programs, no teen ministries, no Sunday school for them, no nursery programs...However, they tell us the children's activities "are all being held off site" but, they have a nice playground...I can just imagine explaining this to my children.
I am quite sure that Darrell is laughing at night. After all, he told several Southern Baptist leaders that he was "untouchable" after having being confronted about his crimes years ago. He thinks this is all a game. I was told by two leaders (separate occasions) that Darrell looked them right in the eye and mocked God. He told one, with a sneer and a smile, "You can't touch me". And to another, he said "I don't care if Gabriel the archangel came down from Heaven and said that I can't preach..."
See, you are all underestimating who you are dealing with.
Forgiveness - that's what you stand behind. Well, I forgive the terrorists of 9/11. But I wouldn't ask them to pilot an aircraft and map out a destination to my hometown....I forgive the man that sexually abused a friend of mine, but I would never ask him to babysit any of my children, or stay in my home. I would never ask him to work in my church nursery. I forgive someone who takes from me - recently some items were stolen from my storage unit, but I wouldn't ask them to please come again.
MY CHILDREN AND YOUR CHILDREN are far too precious to take chances with!
We have to stand up and say NO to predators in the church, in our schools, coaching our children, selling ice cream from trucks in our neighborhoods, canvassing our playgrounds, working in our youth programs...why is that so controversial within the church?
It's an abomination for a teacher to take advantage of a child in school. Remember Mary Kay Letourneau -we call her sick, make a Lifetime movie special about her. Shake our heads.
But a predator Pastor, a predator Priest, Predator youth worker...within the church? We "must forgive" and my favorite quote so far "Well, look at Paul...God used Paul, he was a terrible sinner..."
Darrell can do many things with his life...but he is not allowed, BY LAW, to be in a position of authority over children. Teaching, preaching, counseling, selling ice cream, coaching little league, NOTHING! There are no "special rules" for a preacher. No need to petition the courts for a special ruling. Read Article here.
It makes me wonder how much worse is it going to get in our society. Before you know it, we will have a "National Predator Day" parade and I guess we are just supposed to be on board. I guess, since Darrell is an "exceptional expository speaker", he will be at the head of the parade.
I do not hate Darrell - I do not lose sleep over him, nor does it run my life - BUT, I'm also not able to stomach the mockery that is being made over crimes to children. We let these predators out too soon, we have no proof of any rehabilitation, we are told to be unbiased and that they have rights too...well go to America's Most Wanted and see how many children are missing. Most met up with a child predator, and most will never be seen again. If you were to catch one of these predators in the act, would you ask them to come to your church and preach next Sunday?
Darrell Gilyard talks a good game - he preaches amazing sermons of words and uses Holy scriptures - these are your arguments as to why he should preach - that it would be a waste to lose these talents. There are a whole line up of victims behind every one of his sermons...if you are able to overlook this, then you might as well go back in time to the awful times in our history in which religious profiling cost hundreds of thousands their lives. Think about your reasoning - "but he's a great preacher of the Word", "lives are changed".
These horrible times in history things were seen by "religious" people as part of their cause and stood behind their religious reasoning and thought that God overlooked their crimes because they thought they were chosen people. And they were wrong, VERY wrong!