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Controversy on Christianity Today's website

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  • Controversy on Christianity Today's website

    Christianity Today's website published an article from the perspective of a former youth minister who had been arrested for having an affair with one of the youths under his leadership. This sparked an online uproar because the article implied consent (which is not legally possible between minors and adults, and certainly should not be presumed given the power differential here.) Another controversial aspect of the article was that it focused on the guilt/effects on the offender and did not go into the effects this sort of thing has on the victim.

    After the backlash, CT ended up taking down the article and published a written apology (which does contain a link to an archived copy of the original article).

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/....html#comments
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    The retards at Christianity Today deleted the article, so unless someone can find a full copy (wayback machine doesn't have anything past the first page as far as I can tell) there's not much to discuss. What was the age of the girl?
    Last edited by Darth Executor; 06-14-2014, 02:26 AM.
    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

    Comment


    • #3
      No idea on the age
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        The idea that teenagers can't consent to sex is stupid.

        Comment


        • #5
          I read the whole thing earlier, but all I can find now (besides that first page on Wayback Machine) are these two screenshots.






          Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
          The idea that teenagers can't consent to sex is stupid.
          She was his student. The ex-pastor not only committed adultery, but also severely abused his position of power. To complain about the age of consent is to utterly miss the point.
          Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

          I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
            The idea that teenagers can't consent to sex is stupid.
            Sure. Many states, including my own, allow teenagers to have sex with each other. The issue isn't whether they can consent to sex, but sex with an adult who is furthermore in a position of authority over them. This is a concern even for adults. People tend to have crushes on doctors and teachers. The feeling is that this isn't free consent, but that the situation is tending to push them into something they're likely to regret. Further, with people who have authority, there is the issue of whether they really feel free to say no.

            We trust adults to sort these issues out in most situations, though boss / employee sex can be a legal problem, and many professions have ethical codes. But between a teenager and an adult, the feeling is that kids may not yet be able to say no, and it's better to protect them from it. I agree with that.

            There have been some ill-considered prosecutions involving kids. But a youth pastor with a person under the age of consent isn't something I'd defend.
            Last edited by hedrick; 06-14-2014, 10:09 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by hedrick View Post
              Sure. Many states, including my own, allow teenagers to have sex with each other. The issue isn't whether they can consent to sex, but sex with an adult who is furthermore in a position of authority over them. This is a concern even for adults. People tend to have crushes on doctors and teachers. The feeling is that this isn't free consent, but that the situation is tending to push them into something they're likely to regret. Further, with people who have authority, there is the issue of whether they really feel free to say no.

              We trust adults to sort these issues out in most situations, though boss / employee sex can be a legal problem, and many professions have ethical codes. But between a teenager and an adult, the feeling is that kids may not yet be able to say no, and it's better to protect them from it. I agree with that.

              There have been some ill-considered prosecutions involving kids. But a youth pastor with a person under the age of consent isn't something I'd defend.
              Yeah, that. And because the ex-pastor's article was so one-sided in its perspective (AKA: entirely on himself), we don't know what the girl herself has undergone after that--there are so many stories of youths in these cases experiencing severe psychological trauma and confusion and depression. The ex-pastor made her seem more like an object of temptation than a person who he was supposed to spiritually instruct and protect.
              Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

              I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by square_peg View Post
                She was his student. The ex-pastor not only committed adultery, but also severely abused his position of power. To complain about the age of consent is to utterly miss the point.
                Not really. Most commentators are complaining about pedophilia and rape. Some have explicitly minimized the adultery part in favor of the "sexual abuse" and "pedophilia" angle.

                we don't know what the girl herself has undergone after that--there are so many stories of youths in these cases experiencing severe psychological trauma and confusion and depression.
                In the Old Testament they'd have both been executed. Confusion and depression is getting off pretty easy.
                "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                  Not really. Most commentators are complaining about pedophilia and rape. Some have explicitly minimized the adultery part in favor of the "sexual abuse" and "pedophilia" angle.

                  In the Old Testament they'd have both been executed. Confusion and depression is getting off pretty easy.
                  But you do not believe that they should be executed today, right? If I remember correctly, you disagree with Obsidian that convicted homosexuals should be stoned to death and that adulterers should also be killed, 'though I'm not sure of his preferred method of execution for adulterers.
                  Last edited by robrecht; 06-14-2014, 11:34 AM.
                  βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                  ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                  אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Interesting --- the "Editorial Note" has a link to the archive, which appears to be SIX PAGES, but the hyperlink at the bottom of "Page 1 of 6" -- the ONLY page -- takes you to the comments, which have been closed til Monday.

                    Meanwhile, in case it disappears, here's "page 1 of 6":
                    Source: Christianity Today

                    Seven years ago I was hired by my church to be the new youth minister. The youth group was on life support at the time, with only a few students involved. My wife and I, newly married, already had good relationships with the students and their parents and, with my college ministry experience, I seemed to be the perfect fit for the position.

                    The ministry grew steadily. Within a few years the group that once struggled to fill a minivan was taking over 40 students to camp every summer. Teens were involved in every area of our church. The students were participating in local, regional, and international missions, and were inviting their friends to our activities. The gospel was being taught, and students were accepting Christ, getting baptized, and serving.

                    Other youth ministers, wanting to experience the same growth in their groups, would ask me for tips on how to reach and connect with students. The growth of the youth group was so significant that our church was pursuing the purchase of a bus and considering plans to expand the facility and build a gym. We had outgrown our own building. I had no doubt that God had called me to the position and that he had even greater things in store for the ministry and for me.

                    © Copyright Original Source



                    Also, in the "Editorial Note" is this comment:
                    Source: Editorial Note

                    First, the intent of this article was to serve as a cautionary story for church leaders and to prevent future abuse. According to Richard Hammar, a leading expert specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy, sexual abuse is the number one reason churches end up in court. Cases involving youth leaders abusing students are particularly common and this piece was meant to draw attention to this tragic problem. We simply can't deny the pervasiveness of this problem or the deep and lasting wounds instances of abuse leave on the lives of victims.

                    © Copyright Original Source



                    The "Youth Pastor" starts by pretty much bragging that he built a large youth ministry from a very small one -- pride.

                    The BIG QUESTION I have is --- where was this guy's PASTOR?!?!?! There seemed to be no accountability. Both when I was youth pastor, and when I became senior pastor and I HIRE youth pastors - a HUGE factor is accountability, because it STANDS TO REASON that there will be temptations and opportunities for crisis.

                    The CHURCH LEADERSHIP also failed by not properly supervising this guy.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do think that pride and lust tend to go together for some reason, but you cannot prove pride just from that quote.

                      Also, we don't have any reason to think that he was unsupervised.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
                        I do think that pride and lust tend to go together for some reason, but you cannot prove pride just from that quote.
                        I think it's pretty obvious.

                        Also, we don't have any reason to think that he was unsupervised.
                        Yeah, we do.
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
                          I do think that pride and lust tend to go together for some reason, but you cannot prove pride just from that quote.

                          Also, we don't have any reason to think that he was unsupervised.
                          What youth minister would attempt an illegal affair with an underage girl in full view of others?
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                            What youth minister would attempt an illegal affair with an underage girl in full view of others?
                            Yeah, there's the accountability factor -- and the buck stops at the top. The Pastor is ultimately responsible for the training and conduct of his staff.
                            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                              I think it's pretty obvious.
                              I don't. It's not pride to say you built a large and successful youth ministry when... you did build a large youth ministry. Particularly since the article appears to be a cautionary tale on how someone who was successful and doing everything right still ends up failing. Some of the shrieks in the comments complained that the guy apparently compared himself to King David, and I think King David is a pretty good example of this.
                              "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                              There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                              Comment

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