Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Could It Happen?

Sexual abuse is a magnitude 7 earthquake that destroys lives. Dial that up to a 10 when it happens inside a church. The Arizona Republic reports on the case of a former pastor who made a plea deal in a sex abuse case and is getting up to 4 years in prison. His victims and their families say it's not enough. The details of the case against this former pastor are complicated, and prosecutors say many of the accusations against him lack enough evidence for a conviction.

But moreover, the women who say they were victimized can't understand how it could've happened in the first place:
"I don't know what to believe. I grew up knowing that there was a God and seeing that there really was one, and then this whole thing happened and I don't see how God can let things like that happen to His kids," [a woman who says she was attacked] said. "Why, if you're God, why didn't you put an end to it? Because if you're God, you have the power to do that."
GOD does indeed have that power. But you have also have to remember 1 John 5:19: "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." Don't miss the second half of that verse. It concisely explains why bad things happen to good people, even with a loving GOD watching over us -- even in church. When sin entered the world, the spiritual battle began, and you can't forget about the collateral damage. GOD is fighting for us, but that damage still happens.

It helps to focus on the flip side: this former pastor is going to prison. Justice is being done, and GOD's justice will ultimately be done in the end. Another woman who says she was victimized offers this perspective:
"I'm a Christian and I hate that man. And I know I'm not supposed to hate that man and I do because I see what he's done to my family," she said. "How could somebody do that in the name of God? That's exactly what turns people against God. It's not God; it's people. It's people."

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