1. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Apr '07 16:35
    For reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/us/10pilgrim.html

    The article describes how, generally, Christian churches profess that 'all are welcome' to worship at
    their houses, to experience the Word of God, to be 'saved,' or whatever. However, it is becoming
    apparent that all are not welcome in many churches, specifically sex offenders.

    The short version is: a child-molesting sex offender has served his time and, having 'found Jesus'
    wishes to worship. He informed the pastor and church immediately of his past, his desire to change,
    and his recognition that his very presence may cause discomfort and asked permission to remain
    in the congregation. He consented to avoid children and to always be 'escorted by another adult'
    where ever he goes.

    However, many congregants say they will leave if the church permits him to stay.

    I am a parent myself and understand what kind of can of worms this is. However, this individual is
    both upfront and honest about his past and is willing to concede to any requirements of the congregation.
    Certainly, a Christian would recognize that his joining a church could only stand to help him with his
    perversion (indeed, the State encourages criminals to join a religious community for support and
    guidance). It seems to me that, in order not to be a hypocritical Christian, you would have to
    admit him in your congregation and welcome him. So what say you?

    Nemesio
  2. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    10 Apr '07 16:45
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    For reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/us/10pilgrim.html

    The article describes how, generally, Christian churches profess that 'all are welcome' to worship at
    their houses, to experience the Word of God, to be 'saved,' or whatever. However, it is becoming
    apparent that all are not welcome in many churches, specifically sex offenders. ...[text shortened]... d have to
    admit him in your congregation and welcome him. So what say you?

    Nemesio
    Did this child molester used to be the priest? You'd think they'd have plenty of experience dealing with that sort of thing by now.
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    10 Apr '07 17:00
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    For reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/us/10pilgrim.html

    The article describes how, generally, Christian churches profess that 'all are welcome' to worship at
    their houses, to experience the Word of God, to be 'saved,' or whatever. However, it is becoming
    apparent that all are not welcome in many churches, specifically sex offenders. ...[text shortened]... d have to
    admit him in your congregation and welcome him. So what say you?

    Nemesio
    Just to add to the spin—

    An Episcopal priest I once knew had a similar situation in his congregation. I don’t know if anybody left, but the majority were in favor of welcoming the individual in question. After a short while, however, the individual began to violate the agreed-upon conditions, in ways that many thought presented a danger of reversion to old behavior.

    When confronted, the individual became angry and said that, if they had really “forgiven” him, and truly welcomed him, they wouldn’t impose conditions—and thus they were hypocrites.

    The priest’s response was: “This is no longer about forgiveness; you have been forgiven—it’s now about trust, and whether or not your refusal, in so short a time, to abide by the original agreement is a violation of that trust; and whether or not we can continue to trust you...”

    The individual stated his refusal to continue to abide by the conditions, and was expelled. Some congregants then sought the priest’s dismissal, but his position was upheld by the bishop.
  4. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Apr '07 17:141 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Just to add to the spin—

    An Episcopal priest I once knew had a similar situation in his congregation. I don’t know if anybody left, but the majority were in favor of welcoming the individual in question. After a short while, however, the individual began to violate the agreed-upon conditions, in ways that many thought presented a danger of reversion to ...[text shortened]... Some congregants then sought the priest’s dismissal, but his position was upheld by the bishop.
    I do not dispute that there is a difference between spiritual forgiveness and practical recollection.
    Simply because you have genuinely (and I mean genuinely!) forgiven someone does not necessarily
    entail that you forget their offense. If the guy were a rapist, I wouldn't suggesting leaving a
    20-year old daughter with him. If the guy were a thief, I wouldn't suggest letting him be on the
    finance committee. If the guy were a arsonist, I wouldn't let him be a candle-lighter or whatever.
    I'm not suggesting that people should simply let him lead children's Sunday school.

    If he is truly repentant, he will continue to abide by the rules he has set in place. Pedophilia is a
    life-long perversion, an illness not unlike alcoholism. You aren't 'cured,' so to speak. If he intends
    to stay on a path of proper sexual etiquette, then he should encourage the vigilance against his own
    self, and the congregation should insist upon it given his specific circumstances.

    My question is mostly focused on the 'all are welcome' aspect of Christianity. As the article mentions,
    many people will 'leave the church' if he is admitted. This seems to be a contradiction to fundamental
    Christian teaching, which is why I ask the many vocal Christians who read this forum for their input.

    Nemesio
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    10 Apr '07 17:16
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I do not dispute that there is a difference between spiritual forgiveness and practical recollection.
    Simply because you have genuinely (and I mean genuinely!) forgiven someone does not necessarily
    entail that you forget their offense. If the guy were a rapist, I wouldn't suggesting leaving a
    20-year old daughter with him. If the guy were a thie ...[text shortened]... why I ask the many vocal Christians who read this forum for their input.

    Nemesio
    I agree.
  6. Joined
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    10 Apr '07 17:19
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Just to add to the spin—

    An Episcopal priest I once knew had a similar situation in his congregation. I don’t know if anybody left, but the majority were in favor of welcoming the individual in question. After a short while, however, the individual began to violate the agreed-upon conditions, in ways that many thought presented a danger of reversion to ...[text shortened]... Some congregants then sought the priest’s dismissal, but his position was upheld by the bishop.
    I applaud the priest in question and I see it as the best way to handle the situation.
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    10 Apr '07 17:271 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I do not dispute that there is a difference between spiritual forgiveness and practical recollection.
    Simply because you have genuinely (and I mean genuinely!) forgiven someone does not necessarily
    entail that you forget their offense. If the guy were a rapist, I wouldn't suggesting leaving a
    20-year old daughter with him. If the guy were a thie why I ask the many vocal Christians who read this forum for their input.

    Nemesio
    So do all alcoholics always revert back to their lifestyles, must the pedephile do the same? I say we all have tendencies towards different types of sin. You just so happen to have picked perhaps the most abhorrent of them all. I say it shows how we familiarize ourselves with certain sins because we practice them. They, in effect, become apart of us and it then seems odd how we are then critisized for them at times. However, when we encounter people who have committed certain sins in which we are unaccustomed we then have a tendency to have an attitude of "holier than thou". For example, we are all liars, so to tell someone that it is a sin and they may die in their sins unless they are forgiven for it seems absurd to us. However, tell someone that the pediphile will burn in hell forever for his sins and the society at large will probably not only agree with you but applaud such a notion.
  8. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Apr '07 17:44
    Originally posted by whodey
    So do all alcoholics always revert back to their lifestyles, must the pedephile do the same? I say we all have tendencies towards different types of sin. You just so happen to have picked perhaps the most abhorrent of them all. I say it shows how we familiarize ourselves with certain sins because we practice them. They, in effect, become apart of us and i ...[text shortened]... ins and the society at large will probably not only agree with you but applaud such a notion.
    Are you illiterate? I never said that a pedophile will burn in hell and I never said that he will
    always abuse children. I said pedophilia is a life-long perversion, just like being addicted to alcohol
    will be a life-long condition. That doesn't mean that the pedophile will always act upon the perversion
    any more than the alcoholic will act upon the addiction.

    I think, in order to be a truly Christian congregation, they must admit him into their midst.
    That doesn't mean that they should ignore the fact that he has these urges and that he should be
    permitted to teach children's Sunday school. If he is sincere about his illness, then he will admit
    this himself. He will insist on abiding to the escorting arrangement mentioned in the article and
    to avoid children, as he is required to do.

    So, I am guessing that you would admit him into your congregation. I applaud you. What would
    you say to those in your church who would say 'if he stays, I leave?' Do they cease to be sincere
    Christians in your eyes?

    Nemesio
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    10 Apr '07 18:131 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Are you illiterate? I never said that a pedophile will burn in hell and I never said that he will
    always abuse children. I said pedophilia is a life-long perversion, just like being addicted to alcohol
    will be a life-long condition. That doesn't mean that the pedophile will always act upon the perversion
    any more than the alcoholic will act upon the ad y 'if he stays, I leave?' Do they cease to be sincere
    Christians in your eyes?

    Nemesio
    Do they stop being sincere Christians? Not necessarily. One can be sincerely wrong, however. This whole topic does bring to mind a verse, however, that is somewhat disturbing.

    Luke 17:1 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "It is impossible but that offenses will come, but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against you 7 times in a day, and 7 times a day turn again to you saying, 'I repent, you will forgive him"

    So what is Christ saying about those that offend the "little ones"? Is this offense to be treated differently than all others or should we forgive them if they repent like all other offenses? I will have to think on this a bit more.
  10. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Apr '07 18:22
    Originally posted by whodey
    I will have to think on this a bit more.
    I will say this: I do not think that the situation posed lends itself to easy answers.
  11. Joined
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    10 Apr '07 18:30
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I will say this: I do not think that the situation posed lends itself to easy answers.
    I think for once we agree. 😛
  12. Territories Unknown
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    10 Apr '07 21:59
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    For reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/us/10pilgrim.html

    The article describes how, generally, Christian churches profess that 'all are welcome' to worship at
    their houses, to experience the Word of God, to be 'saved,' or whatever. However, it is becoming
    apparent that all are not welcome in many churches, specifically sex offenders. ...[text shortened]... d have to
    admit him in your congregation and welcome him. So what say you?

    Nemesio
    Pedophile: creation of the modern-day leper. Last time I checked, 'all' meant 'all.' Anything less changes the adjective to and adverb.
  13. Standard memberNemesio
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    12 Apr '07 13:26
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    For reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/us/10pilgrim.html

    The article describes how, generally, Christian churches profess that 'all are welcome' to worship at
    their houses, to experience the Word of God, to be 'saved,' or whatever. However, it is becoming
    apparent that all are not welcome in many churches, specifically sex offenders. ...[text shortened]... d have to
    admit him in your congregation and welcome him. So what say you?

    Nemesio
    Freaky and Whodey are the only Christians with a position on this
    issue?

    Nemesio
  14. Territories Unknown
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    12 Apr '07 20:13
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Freaky and Whodey are the only Christians with a position on this
    issue?

    Nemesio
    Unforgiveness is a dirty little secret. God-forbid we appear as the Pharisees. Hard to believe, but despite being cleansed, we are worse than before in some regards. Heartbreaking, really.
  15. Standard memberwittywonka
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    12 Apr '07 20:582 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Freaky and Whodey are the only Christians with a position on this
    issue?

    Nemesio
    I think you summed up my position excellently in one of your earlier posts. I think open-hearted Christians would (and should!) accept child molestors just as complete strangers, but I also agree in the sense that it doesn't hurt to "forgive but not forget" and use common sense.
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