03-04-2007, 12:22 AM #1
Sex Offender Causes Stir at Nev. Church
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A Lutheran congregation is grappling with how to deal with a convicted sex offender who says his church attendance is an important step toward rehabilitation.
Clergy and members at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd say they're in a quandary over how to protect their children while following in Christ's footsteps and welcoming a stranger.
"Clearly, we are called to love," said the Rev. Rebecca Schlatter, associate pastor. "But is it safe to love this particular person up close?"
The church has offered a covenant of 17 conditions to Calvin Brugge, who says he will sign it. Among other restrictions, he can only attend the 7:30 a.m. Sunday service, and he's barred from using the restroom or attending church-sponsored functions that include children.
03-04-2007, 12:29 AM #2
Sorry, but I would change my membership over to another church, a really strict one.
03-04-2007, 05:40 PM #3
What an interesting dilemma. He says he is willing to sign the contract of 17 restrictions (boundaries) that the church has set up for him, so that's a good sign. But he is a 3rd-tier offender and they have high rates of recidivism, as do all pedophiles.
Christ himself hung around the worst of the worst and preached for their inclusion and salvation, so no true Christian church could model itself differently.
I personally would rather know the demon. (ie. if you know who the pedophile is, you can react accordingly and talk to your kids accordingly and make choices about whether or not you want to attend the church that allows them accordingly)
Chances are this church (and if not this one, then certainly other ones) have other pedophiles in the pews. At least this one tells you what he is...I'm doubting the ones who haven't been caught are so forthright.
Who is the Church for, if it's not for sinners?I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!
03-05-2007, 12:31 AM #4
The guy said that attending church is an important part of his rehabilitation. I didn't see any words saying that he is healed because he knows that it was evil and by calling it rehabilitation he is saying that it is some illness or addiction instead. A true Christian would never want to put other Christians in such distress and I think that pedophiles should not be allowed to be near any children even in church. They could join a home study group and have visits from the pastor.
03-05-2007, 11:48 AM #5Originally Posted by txsvicki
Christians put other Christians (and non-Christians) in distress daily - that's why we attend church - to presumably learn to not do that so regularly. It seems a dangerous precedent for a church to deny access to certain types of sinners. Who's next - alcoholics, adulterers, prostitutes, people who have premarital sex, people who envy their neighbors, people who take the Lords' name in vain, people who don't tithe? Where do we draw the line at the love and salvation offered to us all regardless of our sinful natures?
I think it says a great deal (all good) about the pastor of this church that he is willing to work with this man to have a spiritual community and still keep members of the congreration as safe as possible.
Last edited by southcitymom; 03-05-2007 at 05:45 PM.I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!
03-05-2007, 05:21 PM #6Searching for an Answer
Originally Posted by southcitymom
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
03-06-2007, 12:12 AM #7
Jesus said that it would be better for someone who hurts a little one to tie a millstone around his neck and fling himself into the sea. The Bible is very clear to preachers and congregations about putting those who continue in sin out of the congregation, for example the man who married his stepmother. I am concerned that this pedophile is one of the types who whines that he is ill and addicted by saying that his step towards rehabilitation requires church attendance. The word rehabilitation is usually used for drug or alcohol addictions or illness. I don't see how an early service would be a guarantee that no children would be around. I guess some people accept that pedophilia is some illness and don't mind having them around flaunting it, but that is why I am not a member of any liberal churches and look very closely at the wording used to describe things that have underlying meanings and goals.
Last edited by txsvicki; 03-06-2007 at 01:43 AM.
03-06-2007, 10:34 AM #8Originally Posted by txsvicki
Jesus was equally clear when Peter asked him about this : "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. "
If we put everyone who attends church but continues to sin out of church congregations, we would have no more church congregations. I miss the mark daily as does, I am sure, the pastor of my church. I've yet to meet a human being who was able to become perfect and without sin through church attendance. The road to salvation is a journey fraught with peril for us all!
There is no indication that this man is continuing to act out on his pedophiliac urges. I don't understand how this man being honest about his pedophelia consititutes him flaunting his pedophelia. As I said in an earlier post, I'd much rather know about the pedophile who might be sitting next to me in a pew than not know. By being honest about his pedophelia, this man is allowing people to make informed decisions.
Rehabilitation is a word often used in the study and treatment of pedophiles. As in "It is very very difficult to rehabilitate a pedophile." While there is some debate as regards the subject, pedophelia is currently considered a paraphelia and a mental illness per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). So the people that know the most about pedophelia and the people who treat pedophiles consider it to be an illness.I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!
03-06-2007, 12:42 PM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
I am all for forgiveness, but pedofiles tend to act when the opportunity arises and while his intentions may be good, it is hard for me to believe (given the recidivism statistics) that he is safe around families with children. He may believe that he will not act out again and he may truly wish to be "cured" but there are no guarantees.
I would not take the chance. I can be forgiving and loving, but NOT at the expense of the virtue and innocense of my children.
Would you want a recovering alcoholic driving your child's school bus? They may be going to AA, they may have paid their time for their DUIs, but would you risk the lives of your children and embrace this school bus driver with open arms because you are a Christian? You never know when that bus driver might have a rough day and go on a bender prior to picking your kids up from school. It is the same thing, IMO.
03-06-2007, 01:21 PM #10Mizz Undastood
Originally Posted by southcitymom
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
- Levittown, PA
Chalk up another "SCM took the words out of my post." What you said is amazing. One of the first things I thought of when I read this was, "Wait, Mary Magdalene was a hooker and Peter was a tax collector right? Weren't the rest of 'em sinners too?" *off to watch Jesus Christ Superstar again- my Lenten addiction*
03-06-2007, 03:15 PM #11Originally Posted by MelisindeI do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!
03-06-2007, 03:22 PM #12
Forwarned is forarmed. Chances are 100% that pedofiles and alcoholics ARE driving schoolbusses, attending churches and are even our bosses, co workers, FRIENDS and maybe family. Where do you think these people are, under rocks?
There are many recovering alcoholics I have met that I'd trust to drive my child around way before I'd trust a stranger. A stranger could be way worse.
Originally Posted by mrsjonnobFUN... is a renewable resource!
03-06-2007, 03:25 PM #13Originally Posted by txsvicki
Good thing there is a church for everyone, so we can all go where we are comfortable. :-)FUN... is a renewable resource!
03-06-2007, 04:58 PM #14Registered User
Originally Posted by GlitchWizard
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
There was registered sex offender who attended my church a few years ago (I saw his picture on the Megans Law, site) and while I do not know the reasons for his conviction, I was always leary of my kids even using the bathroom alone at church.
I know, I know, in a church with 350 members, it is likely there are a couple more pervs there and I am always reserved about my kids' safety, but if i know for a fact that one person has been a threat at some point, knowing how unlikely it is they can be rehabilitated, then you can bet the farm I am going to keep my kids close to me. That is my job as a parent.
Yes, I admire this person for coming to church, but I was blessed with children to protect and while I can't spare them every sad event life holds for them, if I know there is a predator nearby, I will certainly defend them.
03-06-2007, 05:10 PM #15Originally Posted by mrsjonnob
I was more interested in the church's response as a whole than individual members.
True story: when I was about 12, I attended the Baptist Church in our small southern town pretty regularly with my Mom. A series of rapes was taking place in this same small town. Finally - they caught the rapist. He turned out to be the husband of one of my Mom's good friends (who lived 2 houses away from us) and - yep, you guessed it - a deacon at the Baptist Church we attended.
When I was younger, I used to say (and believe) that I learned the meaning of the word hypocrite by attending church - where men (and women) with feet of clay inevitably failed to live up to the expectations of the Church or of a trusting and holier-than-thou young girl's mind. As I got older and learned that everyone (self included) had feet of clay, I realized that what I really learned in church was about the common threads which unite us all in this often messy business of humanity.I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!
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