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It is important for any church leader and congregation to know that when a person is charged with sexual abuse of a minor, or convicted of a sexual offence against a minor, in each instance that alleged offender, or convicted offender is “Release on their Own Recognizance” to make sure that at no time are they to be alone or even physically near any child under the age of 18yrs. or 16yrs depending on the age of the victim.

This means that just because the church doesn’t think it is necessary to supervise a known sex offender in their midst, the offender is still breaking his “Condition of Release” and, if discovered by the police, the offender will be arrested.

In other words, just because a church leader or a congregation does not see the need to supervise a known convicted sex offender or an alleged offender waiting for a trial date, does not let the convicted offender or alleged offender off the hook. They will still be arrested if discovered to be “Breaching their condition of release.”

Some may say that a person is innocent until proven guilty, therefore this person should not have to comply with such a “condition” until or if they are convicted.

This is not wise thinking in the case of a sexual crime. This “condition” that is put on a person awaiting trial should be viewed as much as protection for the alleged offender as for the alleged victim.

(a) because if it is a false allegation then the offender is protected against any further false allegations and

(b) if the offender is guilty, then it prevents he or she from having the opportunity to approach the victim and intimidate them into withdrawing the charges. (The Police say that churches are commonly negligent in this respect and victims are revictimised and often run out of the congregation by a guilty perpetrator.)

So if you have this situation in your church and the leadership is not seeing the need to put protective boundaries in place for the sake of the children, you do have the option of phoning the police. They will check their computer to confirm the “Condition of Release” for this offender, and, if it is seen to be the case, they will come straight to your church and arrest the unsupervised person then and there, right in the middle of the worship service.

Even if the police do not find out about any breach of “Condition of Release,” If another offence occurs, the victim and their family have legal course to sue not only the church, but the church leader personally. It is important that we enlighten our church leaders to the danger of potential litigation. It is important that we enlighten our church leaders to the legal requirements of offenders. It is important that we support our church leaders when they are doing the very difficult task of implementing Child Abuse Prevention Strategies.

Protect the children!

Pastor Marion



by wanda on October 8, 2010

For a printable, one-page illustrated version of this article, click on: SPIRITUAL_ABUSE_HANDOUT_


Too often, Pastors who lack knowledge of the dynamics of abuse, utilise Scripture in a simplistic, condemning way, that disempowers the woman and leaves her in even more danger than before she went for help in her situation of domestic violence. The Pastor, in effect, becomes a criminal accomplice to the crime of abuse.

Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

Too many Pastors still don’t take a woman seriously when she tells him she is being abused. Pastors are still found to tell a woman that all she needs to do is to be more submissive, (subject) to her husband and he will feel more respected and will stop losing his temper.

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

If we look at the Scripture verse before this we read that husbands and wives are to submit (be subjective) to each other.  To ‘submit’ or to ‘be subjective’ in Biblical Greek, is to ‘respect and honour’ each other. Do you feel respected and honoured?

“Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct (1Peter 3:1)

Too often, pastors use this Scripture to tell wives to go back to their husbands and be a better example of a Christian wife so that they will win their husband over for Christ and then the abuse will automatically stop.

This Scripture is a great text for a wife or husband to use when they have an unbelieving spouse in an otherwise reasonable marriage. But it is DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS to utilise this Scripture in an abusive setting.

To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;  in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. (Genesis 3:16) Some churches teach that God is telling us through this Scripture that men are to “rule over” their wives. This is not true and is an heretical teaching. God is telling us through this Scripture that men will now have a tendency to behave sinfully by trying to rule over women. True Christian men will treat their wives with “respect and honour” (Ephesians 5:21) as we should all treat each other.  There is no excuse for abuse. It is a crime and against the law of the land and against the law of God.

A Pastor who tells you that to separate and divorce is to go against the will of God, isn’t even thinking what it is like for the children. God is very angry with those who put little children in danger and will hold the abuser and the pastor accountable. You, on the other hand, are being a good mother by trying to get yourself and your children to safety.     ‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew18:6)

To “Forgive” in Biblical Greek, is to “Let go.” If we are to ‘let go’ then we need time, sometimes years,  to discover the depth of pain that we are letting go of. Jesus is the “Mighty Counsellor, so he understands this.

Also, the word “forgive” in Greek includes a “turning away;” turning  her children away from the sin of abuse and giving them safety and to no longer facilitate her husband’s abusive behaviour.

Pastors and churches too often use  Matthew 6:12 to tell an abused woman that unless she forgives her abuser and goes back, then she will not be forgiven by God for her sins. This is cruel and wrong to tell an abused woman. By suppressing her pain and trying to forgive straight away without even discovering how much harm she has experienced is to put herself at great risk for Post Traumatic Stress. The Pastor’s job is to hold the abuser accountable and to provide safety for the woman as Jesus did in John 8:3-11.

The offender is responsible for his own repentance. This is Judicial forgiveness of sin which is granted only by God (Psalm 32:5).It is not the victim’s responsibility to go back and “save” her abuser. Her responsibility is to herself and her children.



October 8, 2010

Note: for a printable, illustrated version of this article, click here: Scriptures for women experiencing domestic violence COLOSSIANS 3:19 – “Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” – This is an edict from God. 1 JOHN 2:4 – “Whoever says, ‘I have come to know him’, but does not obey his commandments, is […]

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On Forgiveness

October 8, 2010

FORGIVENESS BROCHURE AVAILABLE FROM COMPASSIONATE CUP MINISTRIES (PLEASE, FREELY CUT AND PASTE)   FORGIVENESS Part one   Let me state from the outset that I believe that for healing to take place in our lives, it is absolutely essential that forgiveness take place. forgiving The Scriptures instruct us to forgive for the sake of our […]

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