How Church Leaders Cover Up Abuse
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
We have already discussed Romans 13 and the fact that the church does not have venue/jurisdiction in criminal cases. And yet, as numbers of current cases are showing, pastors and church leaders and church members often have a mentality that the state is the enemy of the church and that ALL matters are to be handled “in house” without the involvement of the civil authorities. And this is how the cover up of evil begins.
Recently a victim of severe, ongoing abuse was pressured by her pastor in the following manner. She was working with the civil authorities as they sought to build a criminal case against her abuser:
1. The pastor approached her and told her she needed to “pray” further before cooperating anymore with the civil authorities.
2. The pastor told her that the whole criminal process would come back and “bite her” and she would regret ever reporting the matter.
3. The pastor gave her a rather obscure example of how someone he knew had been wrongly accused by the justice system because someone had told lies about him.
In other words, this pastor was covertly allying himself with the abuser and working to convince the victim not to proceed in any further way with her accusations. Also, through his citing of the story of his friend, he was accusing the victim of lying about the whole thing. Needless to say this all sent her into a real cycle of confusion and false guilt.
This is evil. In fact, one wonders if the pastor’s actions do not approach the level of tampering with a witness or hindering prosecution?
Don’t ever listen to such a person no matter who they are. The church has no venue in criminal cases. Our job is to report the matter to the civil authorities and then let them handle it. Once a case has been proved then the church can perform its duty in regard to discipline. In the case of this particular pastor, his attitude is identical to that of pastors in churches in which it has been discovered that grievous cases of abuse, including the molestation of children, has been covered up.
To this man, I say – go find yourself another occupation and do Christ’s people a big favor.