C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Forgiveness, Yes – Responsible, No


I am a Baptist, therefore, I would really like to know what the persons of First Baptist Church of Romeoville were thinking when they asked “convicted child sex offender” Jeff Hannah to “step into the pulpit until a replacement was hired” and “served in that role for three years and ever since has been a fill-in preacher, teacher and music minister at the church.”

1. “In 1996, Jeff Hannah was sentenced to nine years in prison for having sexual relations with four underage girls -- ages 15 to 17 -- while a married youth minister at Crossroads Church in Libertyville.”

2. “The Rev. Steve Farish, pastor of Crossroads Church, which has relocated to Grayslake, said he considered Hannah so dangerous that he warned the Romeoville church and a regional Southern Baptist official.”: “"We thought he could still potentially be a danger to women and children," Farish said. "He was never repentant and never told the truth."”

3. “In talking to the Sun-Times last week, Hannah, 42, was unapologetic about his crimes, saying his first marriage had been troubled and he'd had "urges." "I honestly believe that had I been a college pastor, I'd slept with college girls," he said. "But I was a youth pastor. It was less about age and more about who I spent all my time with."”

Although they fault Hannah for not being “the pastor of one wife”, since he has been divorced [although there is much debate as to the full meaning of this passage], I believe the disqualifying point is, “A bishop then must be blameless” and “he must have a good report of them which are without”. His report was not very good from without.

We are indeed to forgive one another and we are indeed to allow the repentant brother or sister back into the local church, but to allow one as noted to be the shepherd, I scarcely find Biblical reason. If I am wrong, please show me the Scriptural evidence.

Can God still use persons that have sinned greatly outwardly whereas the world has seen it? Sure, but to what extent is surely smaller than it once was.

I do somewhat disagree with Christa Brown: "When Southern Baptists put perpetrators into positions of spiritual trust again, it sends the message that this denomination doesn't care about victims." For the Southern Baptist Denomination is not in control (as the Catholic Church is) of the local churches, whereby they are able to call and dismiss pastors by a vote of Convention or something else.

First Baptist Church of Romeoville seems to have displayed forgiveness, but forgot responsibility.

In my opinion of course.


Blog Guy said...

There comes a point to where you have to ask yourself how can this be. Maybe I am wrong but a sex offender that never repents or even speaks honestly about his actions is not one to be leading. I have more to say about this but I think I better wait until I am a little calmer.

Evelyn H. said...

Even if one were to completely ignore the spiritual complications this problems brings, one cannot ignore the secularly gained facts: the recidivism rate of sexual offenders, most specifically child sexual predators, is higher than 85%. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT. What in the world are these people thinking???

Sure, I believe in rehabilitation, but facts speak for themselves and this type of offender is not one that should be around people. Their anti-social disorders preclude any engagements in society as a whole, and especially in trusted positions while working directly with people's lives.

This screams disaster. I would think that church leadership would do all it could to protect the sheep of the flock - not let the wolves loose into the midst of them.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Exactly Evelyn.

Blog guy, this is why we need another revival within Christianity itself.

mb said...

But jesus forgave him.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

I accept that Jesus has/will forgive him if he/has repents, and Christ will also forgive you if you repent and trust in Him. He still does not meet the biblical qualifications of a pastor though.

Blog Guy said...

I agree completely. A revival is needed badly. It is time for us to raise up and say this is what the Word of God says and this is what we are going to do. There are strict guidelines set for the leaders of our church. We need leaders who can be faithful to them.
What is happening to the church? We are letting anyone lead us, we are not feeding the hungry, taking care of the elderly, sharing the gospel. We are failing and we have to go all the way back. For us to get on track we were instructed to be on means we elect leader who follow the Word of God and show us how to live holy . This is way too much. It is time for a change. We have to wake up to the fact that we are messing up badly. Repent and go forth.

BEAST said...

Blog guy:

Go all the way back.....to when? The stone age? the Crusades?

Just when civilization is getting better with less superstition and religious theocracy, you want to turn back the clock to the Dark Ages? Jeez!

Beware what you wish for. You might just get it.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.