Can the Church Still Enact Justice When a Pastor Sues His Accusers?

"The PCA takes up the case of a church leader who responded to sexual harassment claims with a defamation lawsuit against his accusers." - C.Today

357 reads

There are 4 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture


It will eventually happen in SBC. I hope they'll be ready.

If you have a database of accused leaders and share that info, there's eventually going to be a) somebody who thinks he can win a defamation case, though he is guilty or b) somebody is actually innocent. With humans involved it's sure to happen. I'm not claiming to have a better idea, though. I guess what mitigates against that sort of lawsuit is that the database SBC envisions would not formally accuse--if I understand correctly. It would report that accusation has occurred. Still, this is damaging to the accused and litigation seems inevitable.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Craig Toliver's picture

If one concludes that ...

  • The accuser is NOT a believer then
  • The lawsuit does no violate 1 Cor 6


JD Miller's picture

Craig wrote:

If one concludes that ...

The accuser is NOT a believer then

The lawsuit does no violate 1 Cor 6

If we get to the point of treating them as a Gentile and a tax collector, then we should be able to treat them like a Jew in Jesus time would treat a Gentile or tax collector.  You would not bring a Gentile before the Sanhedren, nor would you bring a tax collector before them.  Instead you would appeal to Caesar.  Imagine if there were a dispute about one church member owing another money and the one who owed it refused to pay.  If it were brought before 2 or 3 others and then brought before the church and he still refused to pay and it was so obvious that he owed it that the church treated him like a tax collector and he still refused to pay, then there would be no restriction of the church member bringing them to small claims court.

Criminal assaults are a different matter.  The problem is that in too many cases of criminal behavior, the government was completely left out and churches tried to deal with criminal matters in house.   If something criminal has happened go to the police.  You do not need the permission of anyone else in the church.

Jay's picture

If one concludes that ...

  • The accuser is NOT a believer then
  • The lawsuit does no violate 1 Cor 6

Except you have pastor that is accused of abusing people also making the decision that they were never Christians in the first place, so there's a massive conflict of interest there.

Do you really think Herron is going to say the women accusing him are believers?  If so, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

At this point, with the number of women alleging improper behavior against Herron and the number of other Presbyteries asking for the CIP decision to be reviewed, I'm far more inclined to say Herron is the issue here.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin 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