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:
Actual Numbers:
National News story:
Request for Help:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Where do we go from here?

What amazes me at this point are the sheer number of lives damaged here. How many people have really been damaged by these sins? How many lives have been changed and families broken? How many people this trickles down and has a negative effect on.

I am saddened that some people struggle with this in a way that makes them question whether they will ever attend church again. I am also saddened by the thought of the lost world saying "look at those church people, that's why I don't have anything to do with church."

I feel it is better if we allow the sin to be dealt with and exposed rather than covering it up, especially to the lost world. It also sends a better message that it will not be tolerated in the church. It lets the victims know that they do not stand alone and shouldn't just "deal with it" as they watch the perpetrator walk away to another church. That almost tells the victim they are not important and that no one cares about their pain.

But we do care! That is what prompted me to write this particular post. How do we show the people destroyed by this that they matter? That they have cheerleaders wanting them to recover and do more than "learn to live with the pain." Not just talk about the problem, but do something to make it better somehow. How do we tell the lost readers that this should not keep them from seeking God? That this is about the corruptness of man and his choices to sin against God? That most churches would not cover this sin up, and most churches would not call a man to Pastor that had a blemish on his charachter?

I posted recently asking you to encourage the victims and only one person posted. I know many of you are praying for them. Let's take a moment to tell them that we care about them and their recovery? Tell them how brave they are and how sorry we are that they have suffered. Let's show Christ like love to them.

They need encouragement right now as they wait. Let's do something to show them we care and help them begin to heal. This post isn't about Gilyard or the church or the scandal, this is about love in action.

Please note any negative comments or attacks on the victims under this post will be deleted.