‘Christian Chronicle Live’ panel tackles sexual abuse in Churches of Christ.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
SEARCY, Ark. — The predator repented. Or so he claimed.
He’d done his time and confessed his sins. He was a changed man. Or so he told the elders of a congregation willing to forgive.
He was welcomed into the fold. But to protect children, the leaders determined that they couldn’t be too careful.
Related: A perpetrator in the pews
They’d require a “buddy system” where the man wouldn’t be alone at church. Someone who knew his background would be by his side at all times.
However, they’d keep the predator’s past a secret. What purpose, after all, would it serve to put a scarlet “P” on his chest? Let him worship in peace.
“He was a model citizen at church,” said Steve Black, founder of the Ezekiel 33 Project, a ministry that raises awareness of the threats posed by predators. “But that didn’t prevent him from seeing children.”
The predator identified a certain little girl who liked softball. He saw her last name on the back of her jersey when she came into the auditorium. Then he combed local ballparks. He found the field where she played. He showed up at a game.
This column appears in the November print edition of The Christian Chronicle.