Why Did a Journal for Christian Pastors Give a Platform to a Sexual Predator?

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:

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Turns Out Atheists and Christians Like Very Different Bible Verses…

A couple of days ago, Valerie Tarico posted an article online in which she compiled a (serious) list of several atheists’ favorite Bible verses.

Bible Gateway’s Andy Rau was surprised by what made the list:

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Australian News Program Looks Into Christian Indoctrination Taking Place in Public Schools

Australian public schools offer “special religious instruction” (SRI) which is something of a joke when you realize how badly that privilege is abused. In theory, it’s great because kids can learn about the beliefs of all different faiths. But in many schools, the religious education is primarily Christian and the education veers into heavy indoctrination. Volunteers — and they’re always Christian, it seems — often use the time with students to make converts instead of merely educating them about what they believe.

The last time I mentioned this problem, the group called Fairness In Religions In School (FIRIS) was raising awareness of the abuses within the SRI program in part because they said parents don’t really know what’s going on in their kids’ schools. To that end, they put up a billboard in Melbourne to show parents what their kids may be learning:


The leader of ACCESS Ministries — a Christian group that provides about 96% of SRI in the state, in 850 of the 1300 primary schools — was quick to denounce the billboard, not because it wrongly depicted humans and dinosaurs living at the same time, but because it was mocking Jesus. Which it wasn’t.

Yesterday, an Australian show called A Current Affair looked into ACCESS Ministries and exposed how the organization works:

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Faced with Threat of Atheists Speaking at Meetings, Troutman (NC) City Council Caps Invocations at Two Minutes

The Supreme Court decision to allow religious invocations has also opened the door to openly atheistic invocations at government meetings across the country.

In Troutman, North Carolina, Town Attorney Gary Thomas was explaining to the city council what the law now meant for them… and faced with the prospect of an atheist invocation, one alderwoman made a unique suggestion:

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Archdiocese of St. Louis Fights Back Against Accusations That a Priest Didn’t Know Child Rape Was a Crime

The other day, I posted about a deposition given by Bishop Robert J. Carlson (now an Archbishop) in which he told a prosecutor that he didn’t know, in the 1970s, that raping a child was a crime:

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