Should confessed abusers not even be allowed to attend services?

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Bert Perry's picture

...known offenders ought to be required to comply with not only the terms of their sentences, but also with restrictions on their behavior in the church that are appropriate to the crime.  One thing that comes to mind regarding this is that the apostle Paul had some restrictions as he came to Christ, as the friends and relatives of those he'd helped to arrest were justifiably wary of him.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew R.'s picture

My immediate reaction was, "A judge doesn't have the authority to do that." Then I read the article, and saw the clause, “until and unless there is a signed waiver of this provision … by the governing authority of the said Church”--which makes all the difference.

This sounds like a case of the judge performing de facto church discipline because the church leaders did not. True repentance would include full and public confession, restitution (where possible), and enough humility and contrition to willingly accept some pretty restrictive conditions on his interaction with others. But for the stubbornly unrepentant--"Expel the wicked man from among you!"

Bert Perry's picture

Andrew, agreed that it could reasonably be seen as clickbait, but you'd be surprised what kind of restrictions you can find.  Given that some of the judge's victims were at the church (or had been), I can see that restriction being quite logical.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

 Paul had some restrictions as he came to Christ, as the friends and relatives of those he'd helped to arrest were justifiably wary of him.  

No restrictions were placed on Paul. The consequences of his past were natural, but the behavior of the early Christians toward him in the early days was actually unchristian.

Jay's picture

I am glad the judge stepped in for this particular situation.  I have no objection to taking him the Lord’s supper or even him coming under close supervision, but there is no way I would let him attend and act like a regular member.

It also speaks volumes to the fact that the church didn’t do anything about this, and none of that is good.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells