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Church At A Crossroads Revisited
May 13th, 2007 by Mike

In all of the Internet, I could find only one more article on the Pilgrim United Church of Christ decision on whether or not to allow a convicted sex offender membership in their congregation previously featured in MMM.

The article appears in the San Diego Union-Tribune online site SignOnSandDiego and written by Logan Jenkins whose expressed opinion is entirely pragmatic as opposed to spiritual.

I don’t hold out much hope of the media letting us in on the final decision. Either way, it probably won’t be as “newsworthy” as the congressional investigation into the firing of the seven U.S. Attorneys who serve at the pleasure of the President, anyway. Or as “important” as gas prices. Or as “sexy” as O.J. Simpson being asked to leave Ruby’s Steakhouse. The decision, nonetheless is an important one.

A bouquet “ the What Jesus Would Do award “ to the Pilgrim United Church of Christ for taking a giant, yet judicious, step toward welcoming a sex offender into its flock.

In approving a safe-church policy, this inspiring Pilgrim progressed from initial shock and dismay to the majority’s acceptance of a counter-intuitive paradox:

A church’s children are safer in a culture that embraces repentant sex offenders.

Those church members who were abused as children might might never agree “ some of them left Pilgrim United “ but it’s true.

Naturally, controls must be in place. If he’s to be allowed to join the congregation, convicted child molester Mark Pliska will never enjoy absolute freedom of movement. He’s a marked man, if you will, a Cain-like status he appears to accept.

Much more worrisome than Pliska, however, are the sex offenders who have not been convicted but are nevertheless religious. Their guilt can draw them to churches where they’re exposed to potential victims, completing a vicious circle.

In the long run, a church that publicly acknowledges sex criminals within its midst is better equipped to protect its children from pious predators.


3 Responses  
  • Karen writes:
    May 13th, 200721:01at

    I found myself at a crossroad reading these postings. I first saw in my mom hat, with thoughts of how could I protect my children. And then I thought, is it the sex offender who has come forward and asked for forgiveness who is willing to walk around with the mark, or the one who hides and watches that we should be afraid of? And then I put on my saint hat. (For is that not what we ALL are when we have accepted Christ?) Is one sin worse then another? I believe not but some are more noticeable to others, to our human eye! My prayer is that everyone involved in this situation remembers that we were all sinners, and with Christ saved by grace, saints. Not to be confused with doormats. I don’t think that people should not protect their children but should remember the sin no more. “Their sin and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Heb 10:17) Any discipline we receive is aways to teach us and protect us in our present and our future, never to condemn our past. I have said too much all ready but I wonder what our churches would have done if we had been made to list all of our sins publicly before becoming members ❓

  • bb writes:
    May 14th, 200709:33at

    I am more concerned about church’s like mine that don’t have safety in mind or in place. The stick your head in the sand mentality.

  • Mike writes:
    May 14th, 200709:37at

    Karen, so true. I can’t picture myself listing my sins before the congregation. It’s not that I don’t need to confess them: I do confess the ones I know about before God. But to tell everyone in the congregation what I’ve done or thought…I just don’t trust everyone as much as I trust God.


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