News: Rape Apologia at Christianity Today

AIf you Google “Youth Pastor Inappropriate” in images Google will bring up a page of hundreds of youth pastors that have been arrested for sexual crimes against youth. This is a problem that is apparently wide-spread but rarely spoken of.

Christianity Today has published an article written by a youth pastor who was caught, convicted and is now in jail for sexually molesting one of the girls in his youth group.  Christianity Today – My Easy Trip from Youth Minister 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.

Meanwhile, there was someone else in my life that appreciated me very much. Seeking approval and appreciation, I gravitated toward that person. She and I were always happy to see each other and looked forward to each other’s company. Before long, we were texting each other and interacting through social media. Nothing scandalous or questionable—a Facebook “like” or comment here, a friendly text there. Things friends do.

But I knew what appeared innocent was, in reality, wrong and very dangerous. Red flags kept popping up.Why was I not talking about this “friendship” with my wife? Why was I being secretive and sneaky about it? Why didn’t I, in the earliest stages, when I knew the “friendship” was rapidly escalating beyond what it should be, slam on the brakes?

The answer: I had failed to address the sin in my life. Sin that is not dealt with doesn’t fade away. It destroys us from the inside.

Consider King David’s adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. Well before Bathsheba’s pregnancy and David’s successful plot to have her husband Uriah killed, the King was already acting selfishly:

The problem with Christianity Today publishing this piece is that this is more rape apologia and self focused navel gazing.  As Esther Elizabeth and Libby Anne have pointed out this is all about the villain explaining away what he did without one word of how this might have affected his underage victim. The former youth pastor seems to have no self awareness of the depth of the damage he caused, the outward ripples. He was the adult in this situation and used his influence as the adult to get his own petty emotional needs met. This is heinous on so many levels, his refusal to take full responsibility his actions, disregarding his below the age of consent victim, using his position to feed his ego, violating the trust that parents and others at the church had in him and the list goes on and on. Christianity Today should never have given this guy a bully pulpit to speak from as it does nothing to move the conversation on Purity / Rape culture forward.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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