Should a predator be allowed in the church?
It would be great if we could come up with a yes or no answer to this, but the truth is it will depend on the assembly that you belong to. There are some assemblies that would make it impossible to ensure safety and monitoring, but other assemblies can afford the oversight needed. I will write some things in the recap, but be sure to listen to get a fuller explanation of the ideas represented.
One thing should be known, God has called us to reach the lost, but never at the cost of the innocent. There should never be opportunity for someone to hurt the innocent under the banner of reaching the lost. That being said, if there can be a safe environment then we should reach out to the lost. The issue is that the offense of a child predator is so disgusting that it is hard to deal with the person. However, if we reject someone because the sin that they committed is disgusting then we put ourselves in the place of God. God does not give us the permission to avoid certain people because of distaste for their behavior.
One of the problems with those with a predatory past is that it is not easy to tell when someone is delivered. This is what makes it so dangerous. If you are to accept someone with this past into your assembly then there has to be continuous monitoring for the rest of the time they are in attendance. There has to be boundaries set to watch them, for their sake and for the innocent’s sake. Some of the best people to watch the situation is the parents of young people.
First of all boundaries is obvious; they should not be allowed to function with the youth of the church. Next they shouldn’t be allowed leadership in the church. See leadership brings authority, whether implied or understood, and that gives place for opportunity. The boundaries will include the fact that the one with the past is never to be out of eye sight of those monitoring them. In a building like ours with single stall bathrooms we can easily monitor and notice when someone is where they shouldn’t be. However, if your campus has hidden spaces where someone can be drawn into and you decide to allow those with a past into your gathering then they should have a chaperone. Your first priority is to protect the innocent.
These things may seem restrictive, offensive, and harsh, but someone that is looking to be free will submit themselves to accountability that will keep them from sin and others safe. A person that wants to be free from sin will not allow themselves to be put in a place where they have access to sin. If someone will not accept boundaries from leadership, then they don’t want to be free, and if they are allowed to assemble without boundaries, then the chances are good they will offend again.
Please listen to the podcast on this subject. I address this in more details and I feel it will help you to first of all know if you should allow someone with a past in, or not, and if so it will help you set up safeguards in place.
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