Dealing with Idealism and Sex Offenders in the Church

Peter Leithart briefly points us Bonhoffer's thoughts on the dangers of idealism in Christian community.  It's true, I've seen it happen.

Apparently there's quite a dust up in Moscow, Idaho, where a repentant child molester has attended Pastor Doug Wilson's church for about 10 years.  There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking from a distance going on, on the internet apparently.  All I know about this situation is the letter from Wilson explaining his view of it all.  I found it very instructive, as a positive example of pastoral wisdom, on a number of points:
  1. How to handle this sin in the church, especially relating to the state, when the offender expresses repentance,
  2. That being gracious with people instead of absolutely judgmental can get you in trouble, if it's the wrong sin.
  3. How to be gracious with people you know still "struggle" with temptations they have confessed as wrong.  Are they under a cloud, and you warn people away from them?  Or do you make them welcome, while also protecting?  Do you assert that the offender has been "delivered" to deal with this, or face the harder and longer path of a lifetime of repentance and grace?
  4. How to avoid being hostile to the state's involvement when it is warranted.
  5. On the church not forbidding weddings, which it cannot do.
  6. The centrality of the Gospel of forgiveness and sin dealt with.
Tim Bayly gives an interesting response that doesn't castigate but also disagrees with Wilson's pastoral approach.  If you were the pastor, would you handle this a la Wilson or Bayly, or something else?  Under which leadership would you feel safer?  Is that the right question?  Under which leadership would you be most shepherded in Christ's path?

No comments:

Post a Comment