A couple of years ago I was at a dinner with 9 other pastors and church leaders. The subject of my book and our ministry came up. So I took 3 or 4 minutes to talk about childhood sexual abuse. I mentioned a few statistics about the extent of abuse. I also mentioned how devastating abuse is to children and emphasized the need to hold offenders accountable. Then I set back and listened for the response. It was typical, sad to say. These were literally the first three responses. The most senior pastor was first, “We have to be careful that we are not on a witch hunt”. The another leader spoke up and said “We have to be careful not to judge”. And then the third was “We have to be loving”. I wasn’t surprised but very disappointed. When I had time to think about it on the drive home I was furious. Not one of these pastors or church leaders had expressed any compassion or concern for the children being raped and molested but they all instinctively spoke out against holding offenders accountable. This is outrageous and inexcusable and yet I believe it is the normal response from most pastors and church leaders. There are exceptions of course. I also believe that these same leaders are no different than the evil shepherds of Ezekiel 34:1-10 “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and [a]cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”
Will the church ever wake up? When many non believers are appalled at what is happening to children and the church just winks at it like it is no big deal, something is terribly wrong.