UPDATE: Leadership Journal has taken down the post. The CEO of Christianity Today, Int'l has apologized "unreservedly." You guys, we did it. I am crying SO HARD right now. So much relief. There was a time when women like myself would have been IGNORED forever. But no longer. I am weeping with gratitude and pain and exhaustion. This was a hard battle. Mama Warrior is tired. Thank you to everyone for your support and for making this happen. I love you. I'm with you. I'm going to go take a long nap now.
Today I read an article that made me tremble with anger. Written by an anonymous former youth minister now serving a prison sentence, the story details his predatory grooming and eventual rape of a child in his youth group.
Oh, but wait. That's not how HE tells the story. Oh, no. He tells it as a mournful I'm-sorry-for-my-sins warning about his "RELATIONSHIP" with a young girl who "adored me" (his words). Oh, he's very clear about taking 100% responsibility for his sins--except he never once admits that sex with a child is RAPE.
Instead, this sterling model of repentance urges his readers to repent if they are involved in similar situations and submit their lives to God. And make it known to "those who need to know." EXCEPT THE POLICE, OF COURSE.
Yes, confess that you raped a child to your accountability partner--BUT NEVERMIND SUBMITTING YOURSELF TO THE LAW for the CRIME you committed.
I'm APPALLED that Christianity Today even published this article. What a horrific lapse in judgment. What an irresponsible re-traumatization of the victim, her family and the wife and children involved. Christianity Today should have known better.
Can you imagine the OUTRAGE if a Catholic Priest was allowed to publish an article describing his "relationship" with an "adoring" altar server? And that outrage would be absolutely JUSTIFIED.
Because a predator loses the right to tell his side of the story right about the time he decides to PREY on a CHILD.
Because the ONLY story that should garner attention is the VICTIM'S story.
Because predators are usually quite good with words--which is exactly HOW they groomed their prey. A predator's weapon of choice is words. WHY would a Christian publication give him that kind of power again? WHILE HE'S IN JAIL, NO LESS!!!!
Here's the deal: once you use your freedom to abuse a child? You don't EVER get to win sympathy points in public--even via a repentant confession.
TRUE confession and amends-making should be done PRIVATELY with the victims. TRUE repentance isn't about page views via JUICY HEADLINES.
Publishing a post on Christianity Today does NOT make amends to the people damaged--it only brings FURTHER attention and adulation to the convicted sex offender.
Please join me in asking Christianity Today to take down the post. We are CHRISTIANS. We give voice to the abused child, NOT the predator.