Christian church culture is notoriously careless about protecting victims of child abuse, and this week, I was appalled to discover that Christianity Today‘s imprint publication, Leadership Journal, ran a first-person piece where a child sex offender/former pastor narrated his internal thought process as he went from youth pastor to felon.
A few years into my marriage and ministry I began to believe a lie. The realities of parenthood and marriage were sinking in, and I felt unappreciated at home. From my perspective, I was excelling at work and at home — and this perceived lack of appreciation led me to believe I deserved more.
The first big problem (besides the part where he essentially says it was his wife who drove him to this, which is next door to saying he didn’t have a choice in the matter) is that he never really seems to get that what he did to this minor was rape. Instead, he swaddles the entire story in Christianese, using it to distance himself from his actions and make the whole situation sound… normal. As if it were, at worst, an affair. Just look at the very next paragraph: