Ex-Wife of Pedophile Shares Update about Court Sentencing and Her New Reality

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Ex-wife of pedophile shares how she and her family are dealing with their new reality after his conviction and sentencing.

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One of our own, Brenda, had a difficult week last week.  You may recall, months ago, while searching the topic “wives of pedophiles” on the internet, Brenda found the article, Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles. Her ex-husband was arrested for possession of child porn and last week, was sentenced.

Brenda has done more than just participating on the blog.  As other wives (or former wives) of pedophiles have found that particular article, I have been able to connect them with both Brenda and Anon 3 (the author of the article) on the SSB forum.  What a blessing it has been to use the SSB platform to connect these precious ladies, who may have been carrying their difficult burden alone.

I have to ask – when was the last time you heard the topic of child pornography or pedophilia coming from the pulpit?   I haven’t ever heard it.  Well, it’s real.  This topic happens to hit close to home for me in my extended family, and I wouldn’t doubt that most of us have rubbed shoulders with someone affected by a pedophile, perhaps without even knowing it.  Brenda’s ex-husband was a respected leader in a Christian organization.  His arrest came as a shock to his colleagues, friends, and family.

When Brenda mentioned she had posted a new article on her blog about the sentencing of her husband, I asked if I could share it here.  We can learn so much from personal stories.  I think part of being the hands and feet of Christ is meeting people right where they are and I wanted you to see Brenda’s story, what she’s going through right now in her process.  Please pray for Brenda and her family as they walk this difficult path.

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A Sentence

by Brenda

Two years ago today the front door of the home I shared with my husband of 32 years, and our young adult daughter, was broken down by the police executing a search warrant. The day after the raid, the police returned and arrested my husband. He spent 34 days in jail and bonded out with the aid of his sister, much to our surprise.

For two years he has wrangled with the criminal justice system. For two years he has evaded, blamed, denied, minimized, rationalized, deceived and manipulated. He has sought pity, pseudo-forgiveness, and has acted as the victim in this horrible situation that he brought on himself, his family, his friends and his employer. For two years–two very long years. But this week, time ran out on his delaying strategies. This week, he stood before the judge and was sentenced to prison.

In English Grammar, I learned that a correctly constructed sentence must have a noun, a verb, maybe some adverbs and adjectives with some prepositions and conjunctions thrown in just to make things interesting. Every sentence must end with appropriate punctuation. I know what type of punctuation belongs at the end of this sentence, but what goes at the end of the sentence handed down in the courtroom this week?

A period indicates the end of a statement; an exclamation point adds an umph for emphasis and a question mark lets the reader know that the writer is asking a question. I guess all three forms of punctuation belong at the end of the judge’s sentence.

Certainly his sentence ends the statement of my ex’s guilt. He admitted guilt in a sweet plea deal; in exchange, the Prosecutor dropped six other charges. So the statement of his guilt has been concluded. And he was sentenced! He did not get a slap on the wrist, as he expected. He is facing a very difficult time in a maximum security prison. He was facing 49 years had he been convicted on all 7 charges and he would have been required to serve the sentences consecutively rather than concurrently. 42 months is nothing compared to 49 years, but it is a sentence and is deserving of an exclamation point!

But the judge’s sentence also begs a question mark as the appropriate punctuation. A sentence? Really?? How can 42 months possibly be enough time for the depth of degradation he had reached? And now that he is imprisoned, what next? This sentence does not mean that our family tragedy has ended; it has simply begun a new phase. And we do not know how this phase will end either. Lots of questions with no firm answers, and questions demand a question mark, right?

“When you look at the defendant, you would be completely justified in asking how someone like him ended up here,” the Prosecutor said. “Apparently, very few people knew the real Joe Smith.” As his wife, I spent 406 months married to Joe Smith and most of that time, I knew nothing about his secret. So I would argue that no one knew the real Mr. Smith, absolutely no one. 406 vs. 42–not a real fair arrangement, is it? Another question.

And what about the children he sexually offended, both actively through molestation and passively by using pictures of the worst day of their life for his own sexual gratification? How much time is sufficient to wipe away the lifetime of pain to which his actions sentenced them? Does enough time even exist to accomplish this?

So, we have ended the Sentence with a period, an exclamation point and questions marks. If it sounds confusing, welcome to our world. Somehow we will go on. Somehow we will continue rebuilding, healing and growing. Because his Sentence is not ours; the end of his criminal case is not the end of my story or that of my sweet little family. His Sentence belongs to him and he alone will serve it.

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Brenda blogs at A Solitary Journey.  Her link is also in my sidebar.  If you would like to connect and share with others who have walked this difficult path, please contact me at:  spiritualsbforum@ gmail dot com ~ja

 

 

86 comments on “Ex-Wife of Pedophile Shares Update about Court Sentencing and Her New Reality

  1. Brenda, someone in my fellowship asked a very elderly believer how he would comfort another believer in a (hypothetical) worst case scenario. He thought for quite a long time and then said, “I suppose I would weep with him.” My heart hurts as I read your story, and also what is between the lines. I am weeping with you, my sister, and I am pleading on your, and your family’s, behalf today. May the God of peace be with you.

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  2. I had a similar thing happen in my close friendship circle. A man whom we knew for several years, married to a beautiful young woman, with a child of the marriage still in diapers, groomed and had sex with a 16 yo girl in his home while his wife was out of town. Now serving a multi-decade sentence.

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  3. When I read the comment from Lillian the other day I was so grateful women like Brenda are here to offer support. Don’t get me wrong– I wish none of these women ever had their lives upended in this way. We read the comments and the stories others share here, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface lies very real issues dealing with a broken heart, financial struggles, trying to normalize life for children, and figuring out how to move forward. Two years can feel like an eternity.

    My prayers for the brave, resilient women who find themselves forced to walk this path. I read your stories, and think THIS is why women should be encouraged to pursue education or vocational training. THIS is why women should have at least the ability to support themselves when needed. THIS is why the comp/patrio world is such a fantasy bubble. Maybe, in a perfect world, we could all have Stepford families. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. Jesus knew that. I believe He walks with “the least of these.”

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  4. BeenThere, I KNOW He does!

    Brenda, I also weep for you. And I weep for the children who will never be the same.

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  5. So, in following links from this blog post, I ended up on the one which told the sordid details of the ongoing abuse of children at SGM. I can’t understand why the entire lawsuit was thrown out. I think the lawyers presented a very compelling case for ongoing conspiracy up to the present day. I read the entire thing, and saved the .pdf to my hard drive. If this much horror, over so long a period of time, cannot bring justice–well, I was just in despair. It makes you wonder if your kids are safe anywhere.

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  6. If I’m correctly recalling the approximate timeline, it was a year and a half to get to trial, there was a last minute, extraordinarily favorable plea bargain, and then it was another six months to get to sentencing. A compromise sentence that doesn’t seem to take into account all that is known (which is maybe legally appropriate and necessary if the judge was limited to considering the circumstance surrounding the one count to which there was a guilty plea). In the state in which I practice law, there would still be strategies available (appeals, appeal bonds, maybe other possibilities I do not recognize since I have never practiced criminal defense law) that could possibly stay (delay) the execution of the sentence, in whole or in part. Uncertainty whether a 42 month sentence really means 42 months. Probably not. Not much closure. And yet the system worked and is working about as well as we have come to expect. The system did something. The system will, it can be hoped, impose some modicum of continuing accountability. It isn’t nothing.

    Compared to the Christian organization by which the Brenda’s ex-husband was employed, the system did quite well. The Christian organization seems primarily to have taken action to wash it’s hands of the whole situation. If I am correctly recalling what I read on Brenda’s blog, and maybe on other threads here, it seems the Christian organization made no effort to reach out to Brenda and her family in their time of need. Do I recall that there were people in the Christian organization who continued to be there for a now-confessed pedophile, maybe even attending hearings with him? Brenda, please tell us that I am wrong in recalling that this Christian organization never, ever reached out to you and your family in your time of need. Please, please tell me that I am wrong to understand that people in this Christian organization reached out to your now-convicted ex-husband, but left you and your family entirely in the lurch. Please, please, tell us that I am mistaken to perceive that this Christian organization chose to treat you and your family as though you didn’t even exist.

    If we as Christians have no heart for victims, choosing rather to minister to, nay, cater to, even perpetrators of the most vile offenses, how can we not blush?

    I grieve.

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  7. It happens like that all the time, Gary. I never got any justice at all. Nothing. Instead, I’m the one who was treated like a criminal, while those who did so much damage to me and my family were treated like kings for their abuses.

    I still suffer lasting affects by way of PTSD and cyclical depression. I find it extremely impossible to ever move on and only God can heal me. He has started that healing, but it’s a long, ongoing, painful process. I ache in my heart for Brenda’s and the children’s pain.

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  8. Jesus’ parable assumes that it is just understood that a shepherd will leave the 99 sheep and seek out the one that is lost. So often it seems Christians abandon the lost sheep to seek out the wolf that would devour the entire flock.

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  9. Gary W,
    Your memory is correct. Julie Anne has the link below this post marked “Related,” but here is the link where Brenda tells about her struggle to survive after her husband was arrested: https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/09/08/financial-ramifications-of-abuse-whats-a-church-to-do/?relatedposts_exclude=7624

    It was Brenda’s gay, Buddhist brother (and his partner) who helped meet many of her practical needs. It does put the “church” to shame, doesn’t it?

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  10. In most jurisdictions, a child molester or child porn provider will serve essentially all of their sentence, and then be on a mandatory sex offender registry, with limitations on where they can live and work, and a requirement to keep the local PD notified of the places they live and work. I do not practice criminal law either, but as a social activist involved in things like neighborhood revitalization, I have studied the registration laws and their impact. My big complaint is the 17-19 yo young man who had sex with a 16-17 yo young woman, and gets tagged for stat rape and must register. Does not matter if she had a fake ID, told people and looked like she was a 20 yo college student, etc. Not allowed to introduce that evidence in court, all that matters is her age.

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  11. Gary W,

    I’m not familiar with this case at all, but I agree with what I have read of your comment. Since I am new to this whole arena of abuse, let me ask the following question. At what point should an accused abuser no longer be supported? Obviously those who have been abused and the family of the accused abuser (if they are not one and the same) need ongoing support.

    But what about someone who has been accused but not (yet) convicted of abuse? If the trial process takes years, should they still be supported until the guilty verdict is declared? What about situations where there is alleged abuse going on for years without any trial or other government involvement (eg. the case of Bill Gothard)? Surely support should not be denied simply because someone is accused of abuse, but it seems that the wheels of justice grind very slowly. To wait for a guilty verdict could entail supporting an abuser for years. Obviously those closer to the situation will come to their own conclusions long before the courts.

    I guess the kind of situation I’m thinking of would be when someone is falsely accused of abuse. In such a case, the alleged abuser is actually the victim. But how do you know that until everything is sorted out? I suspect that false accusations of abuse are much less common than abuse being unreported, so maybe I’m not even asking the right questions.

    Anyway, any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  12. As usual, the main problem in all of this is not that people do such things; thaqt will always happen. The real problem is that so-called Christians respond by denial and cover-up. These “Christian leaders” don’t go on like this for years without anyone knowing. They’re protected.

    We see this all the time with school districts, who enable all kinds of abuse and make it their business to keep looking good and avoiding legal liability. This is not completely unexpected in the world. But so long as it is routine among those who profess to know God, the words of Jesus to his disciples hold true: “If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

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  13. TIA,

    You are absolutely asking good questions. This is something of a cop out, but each situation will be different. Withing the context of Christian fellowship, discernment is called for. Also humility. Discernment because it is not always clear who is the perpetrator and who is the victim. Humility because very few churches or other Christian organizations are equipped to handle things like pedophilia, or even threaten/shout/slap kinds of domestic violence. Sometimes a pastor, etc. just need to know when they are in over their heads and call in the experts. If crimes are alleged, call law enforcement.

    But never, ever, abandon the victim unless and until, maybe, it is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that the allegations are false.

    Plus, ministers aren’t bound to either act or wait based on the status of judicial proceedings. Here again, discernment is called for.

    Plus, plus, don’t overlook indirect victims, as in Brenda’s case. She and her family didn’t qualify as victims of her ex’s criminal conduct, but they certainly were affected. Her husband’s employer seems to have completely overlooked how Brenda and her children were being affected by all of this, or maybe they just didn’t care.

    My apologies for not responding more directly. If time allows, perhaps this evening, maybe I can take a stab at being a bit more helpful.

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  14. “I guess the kind of situation I’m thinking of would be when someone is falsely accused of abuse. In such a case, the alleged abuser is actually the victim. But how do you know that until everything is sorted out? I suspect that false accusations of abuse are much less common than abuse being unreported, so maybe I’m not even asking the right questions.”

    You are absolutely right that false accusations are rare— but usually get the most publicity.

    The other issue is that the abuser often has more resources, a higher position or credibility than the abused. (Abusers are not stupid) You see this all the time in churches, families, etc. The abuser is actually the one who is usually believed.

    On the other hand, if convicted, the abuser usually has the support of a church. They will pack the courtroom talking about all redemption, grace, etc. They think this makes them look pious and humble. All of this even if the abuser was a professing believer while abusing. it is very strange. Cheap grace is what I think it is.

    I have an old college chum who is now a judge and an agnostic. He once asked me about this knowing I was a believer. he asked me why Christians from churches around the city would pack a courtroom during zoning hearings on porn shops but then the same ones come to support a convicted pedophile– who is not all of a sudden repentant—asking for a lighter sentence.

    To him it made no sense. I had to agree with him.

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  15. Gary,

    Thanks for your reply. It is very helpful. I completely understand your “copping out.” I think your comment about discernment is very important. No one-size-fits-all solution will work. Although there may be patterns, we need wisdom to deal with each individual situation. And supporting victims needs to be uppermost.

    Yes, I think being “in over their heads” is quite common. We are currently trying to help a family with an abusive/alcoholic father and drug addict mother. The children have been living with their grandmother for almost a year. They had a great summer last year, but things have gone downhill since school started in the fall. Over the past few months, the father has been in court, demanding custody. He has succeeded in getting weekly visits, which wrecks havoc in the childrens’ lives. The system is so messed up. We don’t know what to do other than pray for them and encourage them when we see them. We try to make sure they have the food and clothes they need, but sometimes our gifts are rejected. We try celebrating birthdays with them too–anything to have a bit of a “normal” life. Anyway, we definitely feel we are in “over our heads”, but don’t know what else to do. It has really taken a toll on the grandmother’s health and well being.

    Thank you as well for your gracious reply despite what no doubt came across as antagonistic comments on a previous thread. Please understand that they came out of ignorance on my part. I am trying to learn more to be a help to others, so please bear with me as I ask what may seem like dumb or ignorant questions (because they no doubt are dumb and ignorant, and I just need someone to point that out to me lovingly).

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  16. Lydia, yes hypocrisy is rampant.

    What can/should be done so that justice is served? The outcome of a case shouldn’t be dependent on the resources of the accused or the accuser.

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  17. “What can/should be done so that justice is served? The outcome of a case shouldn’t be dependent on the resources of the accused or the accuser.”

    Gee TIA, you don’t ask hard questions, do you? Ha!

    After reading your experience in the comment above, how would justice be served there? Courts tend to swing dramatically with the times, I think. A big push is now fathers rights no matter what. And a lot of lecturing to divorcing parents on “alienation” issues to scare them to death. All a non custodial parent has to do is scream alienation with a decent lawyer and they have the moms over a barrel.. Now, if the abuser was an emotional/mental abuser, the non abusive parent has NO rights at all to protect that child from such. Courts don’t really recognize narcissism or sociopathy. You have a better case if there is physical abuse. They might lower the boom on that one depending on the judge if the child was abused or the the spouse abused IN FRONT of the child.

    It absolutely amazes me what CPS and the courts are willing to overlook. But then they see the worst of the worst. If the abuser wants to see his children then the court tends to think of him as a good father because so many dads don’t go to any trouble on visitation or child support. If the abusive father pays child support and insists on visitation, it can often be worse for the child who is abused. How is that justice? But that is how the courts see it.

    The other problem we have here is that many family court judges are alcoholics themselves. I know one mom who kept having court dates cancelled because the judge was “drying out”. Of course, she only knew this because of some contacts at the courthouse.

    If you elect judges, start paying attention. Another thing to pay attention to is the reporting of abuse laws of your state. Not to mention the statutes of limitations. Some states do not require pastors to report suspected abuse. And the statute of limitations is what kept SGM out of court over the child molestations there years back. It can take people a long time to come to grips and get the courage to speak up after being molested as children. In the case of SGM most of the victims had NO idea there were other victims until many years later and blogs. That was on purpose by SGM.

    Even the pedophile can have supervised visits. We can argue the problems with that all day long but many will argue for their “rights”. To me, they gave them up the minute they used children in that way.

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  18. TIA, false accusations are rare. If you look at the history of false accusations in the light of how experts now conduct investigations, red flags are glaringly evident. In some of the ‘hysteria’ cases where and more people were accused, imvestigators made assumptions that where there was one pedophile, there had to be more. As shown on videotapes, the children of friends, neighbors, fellow church members, etc were all questioned about their own parents and asked dozens of times about molestation and their denials were not believed. It was clear from the videos that the investigator wasn’t going to leave the child alone until the child agreed that he was molested. Threats or inducements were made, i.e., “just tell me and then you can go home.”

    Some false cases came from mentally troubled people being hypnotized and then questioned about being molested as children. They had no such memories before hypnosis. There was such a case on Dr. Phil recently. When a private detective checked out the ‘memories’ that could be checked out, they didn’t. For ex., the woman thought that her parents had killed her sister’s childhood friend, but the friend was alive.

    Child victims need to be questioned by experts who will let the child talk without asking leading questions. Details need to be nailed down. If something supposedly happened during a Satanic ritual in a neighbor’s basement, does the neighbor actually have a basement? Has any Satanic paraphernalia been found? If family pets were killed in the backyard, are those pets actually still alive? Go dig up the backyard!

    Investigators are doing a better job these days and if they don’t, defense attorneys know what to look for. That is not to say that false accusations never, ever happen but even where a vengeful parent in a divorce case has tried to coach a child to lie, the stories often don’t hold up when the child is questioned apart from the parent.

    And keep in mind, even though someone’s guilt might remain to be proved in court, sometimes the evidence is so overwhelming, that it makes no sense to react as if it might not true. Surveillance tape, eyewitnesses who know the perpetrator, DNA evidence. A pastor was recently convicted of indecently exposing himself to a fifteen year old girl in a department store. The tape was very clear. If I were on the board of deacons, I sure wouldn’t have waited for the trial to take action.

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  19. “If I were on the board of deacons, I sure wouldn’t have waited for the trial to take action.”

    But it is becoming very common for them to not only wait for a conviction of guilty by a court but they will come out in support of him because he said “sorry” and they believe in grace. And after all, us Christians are just sinner saved by grace, right?. They might even want to restore him to ministry. This is happening more than I can stand these days. And it is moral chaos.

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  20. “Gee TIA, you don’t ask hard questions, do you? Ha!”

    I try not to 😉

    In the particular case we’re trying to help out with, I believe the father lost any “rights” he had long ago. He physically abused his wife in front of the children (if I remember correctly, I believe she even had to get medical treatment on occasion), deserted them for a year and a half, and then all of sudden comes back to claim custody of his children. What a jerk! I still can’t comprehend how in the world he gets visitation rights (and was recently awarded an overnight visit every week!). I mean, this guy has a thick police file from multiple incidents with the mother, not to mention bar fights, etc. Something is seriously wrong with the system.

    Of course, the situation isn’t helped by the fact that the mother is a drug addict (thanks to her husband). She knows she needs help, but is worried that if she goes for rehab, she’ll never see her kids again, when in reality the only way she is going to get to see her kids again in a normal way is if she goes to rehab and gets the help she needs. She also missed a number of court dates because of threats from her husband.

    What would be best for the children is if the father were barred from seeing them (we don’t know for sure, but suspect the only, or least main, reason he’s interested in them is to “get back” at his wife–and yes, as far as I know they are still married, although divorce was in the works a couple years ago). He gave the kids expensive Christmas presents (eg. iPhone for a 10 year old), so of course they like that. Also, he’s fun, because he doesn’t have all the “rules” like Grandma. What a mess!

    Anyway, sorry I’m getting all worked up and rambling on about this. Normally I’m pretty calm and rational, but sometimes you just want to scream and pull your hair out!

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  21. TIA, It is amazing how many custody issues are about revenge. You hang in there. They need to know a different normal. That seems to be the biggest problem…they grow up seeing all the chaos as normal.

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  22. Thanks Marsha and Lydia.

    Okay, here’s another one of those “easy” questions…

    I am in agreement that guilty abusers should never be in a position of authority/leadership again regardless of whether or not they repent. But for those who are genuinely repentant, how can they get back to as “normal” of a life as possible?

    Okay, on another related/unrelated note, let me tell a funny/sad/bizarre true story. A relative of mine was working in a remote village a few years ago. In that village, a woman came home to find her husband sleeping with another woman (I think it may have been her sister, but I can’t recall that detail for sure). She beat him up badly with a baseball bat. The wife was charged with assault, but since she was the only nurse in that remote village, she was put on probation and allowed/required to go to work. She also had a restraining order so that she couldn’t go near her husband. She took care of the kids when she was at home, but someone had to watch them while she was at work. So…her husband would wait around the corner, and after she had left for work, he would come and watch the kids and then leave again just before she got home. How’s that for frontier justice?

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  23. “am in agreement that guilty abusers should never be in a position of authority/leadership again regardless of whether or not they repent. But for those who are genuinely repentant, how can they get back to as “normal” of a life as possible?”

    My guess is that a truly repentant child molester would not want to go back into ministry if he was in ministry while molesting.

    In any event some consequences are forever on earth even though the sin is forgiven because of true repentance. We seem to understand this principal when it comes to repentant embezzlers. (wink)

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  24. ” How’s that for frontier justice?”

    Hee Hee. But then he seems to have had the time on his hands for sleeping around and taking care of the kids while she worked.

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  25. TIA,

    You indicate you aren’t familiar with Brenda’s situation. Brenda tells her story on her blog, which can be found at http://brendafindingelysium.blogspot.com/. I highly recommend reading her blog articles. I believe I have read every word of every article. With much grace, and with an amazing absence of bitterness, Brenda shines the light of understanding and wisdom on much that is hidden in darkness. Sometimes, it seems to me, it is the darkness of mere ignorance or thoughtlessness; but sometimes it is the darkness of hidden evil–or so I assess her writings. Sometimes she addresses darkness in Christendom. Sometimes she addresses darkness in my own profession as a lawyer. To tell the truth, she has caused me to see things about my profession I had not previously discerned, or even thought to wonder about.

    So, I suggest, start at the very beginning of Brenda’s blog. You may or may not respond the way I did and still do. Just be forewarned. It is entirely possible that once you begin, it will be difficult to walk away. You may even find yourself participating vicariously, to some lesser or greater extent, in Brenda’s experience. Then again, maybe the only reason I was/am drawn in is that she occasionally speaks to very real failings I had not observed in my own profession–but I don’t really think that’s the case.

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  26. In our neighborhood there was a man who was a registered sex abuser. His wife and teenage daughter lived with him. When a new family with girls moved in next door, some of us warned them. The mother became angry and told us he had served his time and was forgiven.

    Months later the new family suddenly moved. From what he can gather now, it looks like the daughter of the abuser befriended the girls next door and this opened the door of the abuser to come in contact with them. One of the new girls was eventually abused by him. So sad.

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  27. TIA, Lydia,

    ** TRIGGER WARNING **

    As an ex-wife of a Christian child molester, it was a shock to me to discover that professional clinicians know that:

    There is nothing in the literature that supports the notion that pedophilia ever goes away.

    Why isn’t this commonly known in public? Why isn’t it known in our churches?

    Why is anyone talking about restoring repentant child molesters? The only kind of restoration they can have is far far away from children … forever. And they can never be in any position of power over anyone. It’s too bad there are so many poorly educated pastors and counselors out there who get suckered by these master manipulators.

    There is no failsafe treatment for pedophilia. My ex-husband went to the top court-appointed sex offender program in his county for more than 6 years and was eventually declared a treatment failure. (Oh, did I mention that my ex-husband had his Masters in Family and Marriage Therapy from a Christian university?)

    He continued to have “cognitive distortion”: He had been driving by and parking near schools and masturbating. Later he was still driving by schools, and when asked why, said that he felt he was improving because he could drive by without masturbating.

    These people are sick, self-deluded, and really cunning. They’ll tell you anything you want to hear.

    I know. I had to divorce one.

    I am happy to be free from him. My life and my kids’ lives are good now. It took some time to heal, but we are doing great!

    Here’s my story: https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/05/15/being-married-to-a-pedophile-a-wife-speaks-out-and-offers-hope-to-other-wives-of-pedophiles/

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  28. What about situations where there is alleged abuse going on for years without any trial or other government involvement (eg. the case of Bill Gothard)? Surely support should not be denied simply because someone is accused of abuse, but it seems that the wheels of justice grind very slowly.

    This reminds me a bit of SGM and also Doug Phillips, too, because in all of these cases, there is a strong possibility that they will get off legally. In the Gothard case, he very likely did not commit any legal crimes; however, having 34 personal testimonies of grooming-type behavior against him should be more than enough in a Christian setting for the IBLP board to get rid of the dude for breach of moral character and blatant hypocrisy. Good riddance.

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  29. Thank you, Anon3, for sharing more of your personal story. What a gift you and Brenda are to so many hurting wives. I’m so glad our paths crossed here.

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  30. Thank you, Julie Anne, for giving us the opportunity. (And thanks, Brenda, for sharing your story publicly.)

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  31. Julie Anne, the statutes of limitations have run out on the posted stories, but what Charlotte describes is sexual assault and someone commenting on a recent post writes about being locked in a closet and deprived of food for ‘defrauding’ young men by the way her skirt draped over her hips. That is unlawful imprisonment. If he has repeated these behaviors recently, he could be prosecuted.

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  32. Marsha – I was not aware of that story – haven’t read them all. Well, if that’s the case, I hope they find a good attorney who specializes in sex abuse cases and they go get him.

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  33. I am grateful for the discussion we have shared today. While distasteful, these kind of discussions are informative. I am always aware that there are partners of pedophiles who may be reading over our shoulders. The compassion (or lack thereof) that they see in our conversation may be a deciding factor in whether or not they break silence, that is, if they know what is going on in their homes.

    Several points of clarification: in the state in which he was convicted and sentenced, my ex will be required to serve at least 50 percent of his sentence, minus time served (34 days). So he has just over a year and a half to serve, provided the judge does not reconsider the sentence.

    Pastors from two separate churches as well as a co-worker from his place of employment (Christian organization) provided character references for him during his sentencing. It is worth noting that the defense attorney would not allow the character witnesses to be present in the courtroom during the Forensic Psychologist’s testimony. I wonder how many of the character witnesses would have been as eager to provide glowing testimonies on my ex’s behalf had they heard that report.

    Former co-workers continue to “minister” to him on a regular basis. Maybe their desire to help him is rooted in genuine love and compassion stemming from the heart of God. For his sake, I am glad. However, I fear their eagerness is the result of a severe naivete. We cannot afford such naivete when the well-being and safety of children is at stake. There is no such thing as a “little porn problem,” especially when that porn depicts child rape and perversion.

    And no, neither my daughter nor I have received regular inquiries as to our well-being, ministry to our broken hearts or counsel from the pastors, former co-workers or employer, much less financial assistance. I’ve been thinking of the account of Hagar recently when Abraham sent her and their son away, due to Sarah’s anger and jealously. The “God Who Sees” provided for her after such unjust treatment. I am grateful to “The One Who Sees” me and has cared for me–had I relied on organized religion, I would have starved in the wilderness a long time ago.

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  34. Thanks, Dave. I skimmed the article. Did you notice all the excerpts from Reconstructionist Rushdoony and Morecraft and also Calvin? No quotes from Bible that I saw in my quick skim.

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  35. Brenda,

    “The God Who Sees” made sure I went through it before you did, so I could extend a lifeline to you and to others.

    I’m grateful to you too because now I have someone to talk with. I had to go through it for nearly 20 years without telling people or knowing another woman in my shoes.

    I hope other wives of pedophiles will find hope through our conversations. Life is good on the other side.

    -Anon3

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  36. Brenda,

    You wrote:

    Pastors from two separate churches as well as a co-worker from his place of employment (Christian organization) provided character references for him during his sentencing.

    Some of my ex-husband’s naive well-meaning friends did the same for him. Years later one did the right thing and came to me and apologized.

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  37. TIA,

    I have been trying to think how I might more directly answer your question “At what point should an accused abuser no longer be supported?” Maybe in most cases, and certainly in the situation Brenda has described at such length, the better question would be “At what point should an accused abuser begin to receive support.” Brenda and Anon3 are no doubt more qualified than I am to answer my rephrased question, but I suggest that as a minimum, there must be actual, heartfelt confession plus repentance evidenced by the rendering of restitution in whatever form is reasonably required by the victim. If support is to be provided to an abuser by a minister or organization that owes moral duties of support to the victim or victims, such support should be given only with the consent of the victim(s). I believe that Brenda’s ex-husband’s employer owes moral duties of support to Brenda and at least one of her children. The employer has not even acknowledged Brenda’s need, much less attended to it. Therefore, it is wholly inappropriate for anybody associated with the former employer, a Christian organization, to be supporting their pedophile friend–even were there the requisite heartfelt confession and meaningful restitution.

    Unfortunately, what is too often apt to happen in evangelical Christianity is that real abusers get supported, excused and coddled, while real victims get accused, blamed, guilt tripped, shamed, marginalized and worse. Which is just another way of saying that men are supported, excused and coddled, while women are accused, blamed, guilt tripped, shamed, marginalized and worse.

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  38. Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir and commented:
    It is incredibly difficult to come to terms with the knowledge that the person you thought you were married to never existed. It’s all been a lie.

    Like

  39. Dave AA –

    That article made me ill. I guess the writer has it all figured out as well knowing the reasons (motives) that families sent their children to work at ATI headquarters. Utterly disgusted with the way he put all the weight of what happens on the moms and suggested the dads need gentle, consistent encouragement to be leaders. He seems to be well trained in the evil of women. I NEED TO SCREAM after reading that. And the temptations put on the leader are the fault of families who send their kids??? SCREAMING . . . .

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  40. TIA and Gary W,

    You asked, “At what point should the accused abuser no longer be supported?”

    The real question is: “If I knew that this person would never be safe around children, no matter how repentant and remorseful he/she seems today, how would I care for him and pray for him?”

    Please understand that pedophilia never goes away. These people are not safe…ever.

    I am often asked for advice from Christians who want to visit those incarcerated for child sexual abuse. I warn them that they will hear a familiar pattern of excuses, lies, blame, discrediting the witnesses, blaming the judge, faulting their legal counsel, and accusing the victims. It’s what all pedophiles do. Their pattern is so predictable everyone comes back from their prison visit saying, “Wow. He said exactly what you said he would.”

    When you visit a friend in prison, you need to do it because Jesus calls you to do it. Jesus called us to visit all people in prison, not just the innocent people. Your visit will be a good message of God’s love to other inmates and to the guards themselves.

    You will not make a difference in the life of the pedophile. You need to accept this. They will be happy for the attention, happy to see you. But they will not change. Do not wish for them to get out.

    Christians are so amazingly naive and often trust pedophiles around children when they are released. You cannot do this. If you do it, the guilt and blame lies squarely on your shoulders.

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  41. Part 2:

    So what should a Christian do if you know someone who has been convicted of child molesting?

    1. Pray for their victims, that they will be believed and that they will get years of treatment with a counselor who specializes in childhood sexual abuse.

    2. Pray for their spouse and children, that they would get love and support. They were betrayed by the person who should have brought honor to the family, rather than shame, financial hardship, and selfishness.

    3. Pray for their safety in prison. Pray they will find at least one friend.

    4. Pray that they will find some meaningful purpose or occupation in prison. Pray they will use their time to benefit society and make up for the massive damage they’ve done.

    5. Pray for their walk with Lord. Many pedophiles are Christians. Simply having a born again experience or regular church attendance or remorseful tears does nothing to stop their obsessive drive to molest kids. Pedophiles will not find healing in this life; they will find healing only on the other side of heaven.

    6. Pray they never harm anyone ever again. Pray for good monitoring by the State once they get out. Pray they get a sharp strong parole officer who cannot be manipulated or charmed into looking away. Pray they will never be put in positions of power over anyone.

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  42. God Talk ≠ True Change

    Pedophiles are wonderful at God-Talk. They will convince you of their new awakening, their fresh insights into Scripture, their change of heart.

    They will talk about how much they like the prison chaplain and how often they read good Christian books. They quote verses. They have favorite Bible passages.

    They will be like sponges, reading more Christian books in a week than you did all last year. (Remember, they are probably in a high-security unit, protected from seeing other inmates 23 hours a day, and have nothing else to do.)

    But you will notice that they do not admit that they are pedophiles. They will blame others for their incarceration: a bad judge, a missed deadline, a misunderstanding with their attorney, lost paperwork, a mentally ill witness, a pot-smoking victim… Yada yada yada.

    (Of course the child they molested has grown up to have problems and “issues.” They caused those problems in the first place!)

    So take all the “God-talk” with a grain of salt.

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  43. My brother is a prison guard and he says the pedophiles are the best inmates. He says they are just biding their time until they get out because most don’t think they have done anything wrong. Sadly, there are groups out there that are becoming more and more vocal and insisting that sex with children is an “alternative lifestyle” and lobbying for the age of consent to be significantly lowered.

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  44. Anon3,

    Thank you for your detailed observations, and especially for the reminder that pedophilia never goes away. Distressingly, I am aware that the trial court judges (felony level) in my state are being told that, yes, pedophilia can be successfully treated. My suspicion is that somebody with an economic stake in providing “treatment” has gotten the attention of the state judiciary. I have limited ability to counter these claims, but can you (or Brenda or anybody) suggest resources to which I might be able to refer a trial judge. Maybe a link to a website? I doubt if any judge is going to take the time to read an entire book, at least not until they are convinced there is a real issue.

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  45. “5. Pray for their walk with Lord. Many pedophiles are Christians. Simply having a born again experience or regular church attendance or remorseful tears does nothing to stop their obsessive drive to molest kids. Pedophiles will not find healing in this life; they will find healing only on the other side of heaven.”

    Do you honestly believe that pedophiles who would molest children if they could but cannot only because they are incarcerated, are saved? This is part of the moral chaos that has become Christianity that I do not understand. What they do is evil/darkness that ruins innocent. What other evils can we want to do (and do) and be assured of our salvation? This is what SGM taught. It is a lie that makes the Cross/resurrection into nothing. And pretending they can be saved and molest children only hurts the victims worse. And yes they do the God talk well. Most deceivers do.

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  46. To Brenda and Anon3,

    Thank for your courage in sharing your stories, and your fortitude in carrying on with your lives, and supporting each other.

    I actually know someone who’s going through a very similar nightmare. The man she married had lied to her for years, and now she’s dealing with the heartbreak, the financial chaos and (recently) divorce proceedings. Physical distance keeps me from really feeling the pain of it, but hearing her family talk about it is agonizing enough. I hope and pray that she meets amazing women like you who’ve gone through it, and that those who know her, and who ought to support her, will be there for her through the months and years ahead.

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  47. Brenda,

    I’m am so sorry for what happened to you. Thank you for being willing to share your experience to help others.

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  48. Lydia,

    I cannot know how God sees them.

    Does he see them as mentally ill due to the horrible treatment they received as children (as in my ex-husband’s case)?

    I don’t know the mind of God. But I would hope that mentally ill people, whether having an organic illness or caused by trauma, need only a mustard seed of faith to be saved.

    I leave that to a loving God to figure out.

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  49. Gary W.,

    The quote I’ve been using was from the Dr. Wesley Maram, head of Orange Psychological Services, Orange County (California) court-approved sex offender program.

    He said, “There is nothing in the literature that supports the notion that pedophilia ever goes away.”

    See his website. I don’t see that quote here (I didn’t look on every page), but he’s an expert witness and his quote is verbatim from forensic court documents.

    http://www.orangepsych.com/vitae.htm

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  50. I love reading Anon3’s comments. What you are witnessing in her comments is someone who is many years passed the height of her crisis. You can see this is a woman who offers hope to others, yet does not minimize what happened to her or her children. She also does not minimize the reality that pedophiles do not change.

    Thank you, Anon3, for helping us to understand more about what you and so many have gone through and also sharing important information on recidivism. This is one area where Christians can get confused. In fact, this might be an important post to discuss. Let’s talk about that privately.

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  51. Bridget: ” the fault of families who send their kids??? SCREAMING . . . .”
    Me too! The article is a virtual textbook in how to excuse abusers.
    Written by someone personally trained (well) by Phillips.
    My cynical summary follows for those who can’t bear to read it:
    1: No abuse happened.
    2: If Any Abuse Happened, Which It Didn’t, it was long, long ago.
    3: IAAHWID, it didn’t happen to only a very few (34+) out of many hundreds.
    4: IAAHWID, the alleged victims who weren’t abused should just sit down and shut up. (Unless each one can produce 2-3 witnesses who caught the perp in the act)
    5: IAAHWID, any mention of the alleged abuse by anyone else is gossip and slander.
    6: IAAHWID, the abuse which didn’t happen was only inappropriate fatherly affection.
    7: IAAHWID, it’s all fault of the non-victim’s dads, who abdicate their leaderly authority, and their moms, who usurp It.

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  52. “I cannot know how God sees them.

    Does he see them as mentally ill due to the horrible treatment they received as children (as in my ex-husband’s case)?

    I don’t know the mind of God. But I would hope that mentally ill people, whether having an organic illness or caused by trauma, need only a mustard seed of faith to be saved.

    I leave that to a loving God to figure out.”

    Thanks Anon 3. That is a step in a better direction at least from this:

    “Many pedophiles are Christians. Simply having a born again experience or regular church attendance or remorseful tears does nothing to stop their obsessive drive to molest kids. Pedophiles will not find healing in this life; they will find healing only on the other side of heaven.”

    That comment was assuming they ARE Born Again believers who just happen to molest kids and watch kids being raped. That gives NO meaning to being Born Again.

    If anyone thinks I am “mean” or judgmental just think of the victims who had to endure the molestation. And keep in mind there are those who were horribly molested over and over as children who do not turn into pedophiles/child predators. I would certainly not expect someone who was horribly molested as a child to believe that their molester (who had to get caught before they had sorrow for their horrible crime against an innocent) to be sharing the new heaven and earth with them in eternity. I think that is unfair and another form of abuse. Best to not even mention it. Let us focus on the victims healing.

    I know a girl (now in college) whose father raped her when she was 12. She told her mother who did nothing. But then she was so overcome with shame and fear, her church family knew something was wrong and reached out to her and she told them. They called the authorities and he was convicted but the charge reduced so only spent time served and then left the country. her mother who, attends the same church, keeps telling people that he is a believer and it was only because he had too much to drink. Can you imagine the confusion for that young woman when it comes to Christ? Christianity means nothing to her anymore.

    Millstones.

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  53. Lydia,

    I agree with most of your comments, but disagree with part of the 2nd to last paragraph.

    All of us are sinners. Those of us who belong to Christ will be surrounded by people we hurt very badly…and people who hurt us very badly.

    All of us cleansed and forgiven. All of our addictions, hurts, and hangups gone forever, along with the damage we did. All tears wiped away. No more mourning or sorrow, only dancing.

    -Anon3

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  54. Lydia and Anon3,

    Regarding heaven, C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Great Divorce” gives an interesting perspective. He paints wonderful word pictures conveying how even our thinking about concepts like “heaven”, “hell”, “love”, “beauty”, “sin”, even “manipulation”, and “abuse” (although he may not use that specific word) will be changed.

    Notice Paul’s description in the following passage of wicked sinners who will be in heaven because they have been “made right” by the Lord.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    There won’t be sin in heaven, but there will be sinners (who have been saved and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb).

    Revelation 21:27
    Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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  55. “All of us are sinners. Those of us who belong to Christ will be surrounded by people we hurt very badly…and people who hurt us very badly.”

    Anon 3,I am not sure I understand you because of your previous comments. Are you saying that people who are Born Again, New Creatures in Christ can continue to badly hurt people, even molest children?

    TIA, I agree with “washed clean”. But I also believe in what scripture terms as “metanoia” which is a “from…..to” change. The change is real. I am not understanding this Christianity which says that one can molest children and be saved.Keep in mind, I am speaking of a professing believer. If that is not a clue they are not saved then what would be your clue?

    What I am hearing here is that people are saved —but not really changed. I appreciate your passages and agree but think you are not reading them correctly. Paul is not suggesting they continue in sin. In fact, in chapter 5 he tells the church to hand over one fake convert who is horribly immoral to satan so he can be saved.

    And what would you do with say, Hebrews 10 (And ALL of 1 John)? Both are more explicit about continuing in sin after claiming to be saved? (Remember, I do not believe in total depravity nor that our very existence is sin nor that Adam’s guilt is imputed to us. I believe we are personally responsible/accountable for the sins we knowingly commit.)

    I sometimes think sanctification verses are taught as justification verses which is why so many people tend to think we can live like reprobates and be Born Again. What would the difference be between Christianity and the world?

    Thanks for the convo. This is one area that really bothers me. This idea that we can claim to be new creatures in Christ and continue to do such vile things or try to do them if we can. I just don’t get it or the point of the Cross/resurrection with such thinking. I know that many think that is sinless perfection but that to me is a false dichotomy. It is not sinless perfection OR totally depraved and evil. The categories are growing in holiness and pure of heart OR not.

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  56. “Revelation 21:27
    Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

    Just one more thing. So many erroneously think that we can live reprobate here and because we “believe” in Jesus (the demons do, too, btw) we will magically be made pure and enter into the new heaven/earth.

    I think that is very dangerous teaching. And it goes along with the syllabus Jesus that is taught from creeds. Rarely do people stop and think that “kingdom living” starts here and now. Jesus prayed “on EARTH as it is in Heaven”. We are to be growing in Holiness and purity of heart here and now.

    We have spent so much time being taught that it is all evil here (including believers which is why they are so evil) and we will have to wait for justice, mercy, etc. When the truth is WE are to be/do those things here and now.

    And yes, it is frustrating. Jesus Christ overcame evil on the Cross. He defeated Satan with the resurrection. We believe He is God in the Flesh. But the great commission was not go and make people “saved”. It was go and make “disciples”. People who become like Jesus.

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  57. Lydia,

    I agree with you regarding repentance. It is a real change. If there’s no change, that means there was no repentance.

    The relevant phrase in the passage in 1 Cor. is “that is what some of you *were*.” They *were* at one time sexually immoral, but *are* no longer. They have since been washed, sanctified, justified. All of this is not to say that a child molester who “was a Christian” will necessarily be in heaven. But it is possible for a child molester to become a new creation in Christ. After all, the apostle Paul was a “Christian killer” before he was converted.

    I’m with you about sinless perfection as well. The word translated as “perfect” in the NT really means “mature” or “complete”. The point is that there is a difference between children and adults. Christians should be mature, not childish. That doesn’t mean they never sin, but there should be growth and progress.

    I’m with you too about the Great Commission. We can’t save people anyway, only God can do that. But we can (and should) make disciples. Just imagine if all the people who have been made disciples of Bill Gothard over the years would have been made disciples of Jesus Christ instead.

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  58. And again, I would highly recommend C.S. Lewis’ book “The Great Divorce.” You can get a used copy on Amazon for just a couple bucks. It will really give you a whole new perspective on heaven.

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  59. “And again, I would highly recommend C.S. Lewis’ book “The Great Divorce.”

    I would highly recommend C.S. Lewis, period. I won’t be surprised if we come to discover that he is assigned a place in the New Earth right alongside the early church fathers. Probably I would be going too far in suggesting that Lewis belongs alongside Paul, but I am tempted.

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  60. Lydia, I have thought about the issue you raise for years and I don’t have an answer. I agree that an unrepentant child molester cannot be saved. If someone commits these heinous offenses and plots to commit more or would if only he could be successful in his efforts to con his way out of imprisonment, he is clearly not listening to the Holy Spirit. Having done both professional consulting and volunteer work in prisons, I am well aware of the excuses and weasel words such people will say.

    I also agree that we have no clue on how to treat pedophilia. A minor who is acting out something that was done to him can be treated, but not someone for whom children are a fixed sexual target. I remember when an experienced prison therapist designed a group therapy program for sex offenders modeled on group drug treatment. She was shocked to find that recidivism actually increased for those who went through the program; this was because instead of calling each other on their wrong behavior, the men in the program reinforced each other.

    Most people who are molested as children do NOT become molesters. A small number will ‘identify with the aggressor’ but most do not and would never hurt a child. Generally we don’t know what causes people to see children as sexual targets. It’s hard to believe that anyone would choose to be this way. I suspect that the brains of these people are just wired wrong in some way. Can someone with that orientation be saved? As a Christian, I just cannot believe that there is anyone who cannot be saved if they repent and seek Jesus. What I don’t think is that being saved heals the orientation any more than I think that being saved heals someone’s cancer. Since no one talks about this, we don’t know how many people are oriented towards children, suffer in silence, and never act on their desires, but I think they are out there. Choosing to molest children is evil.

    Here is what I don’t know, Lydia. Are there pedophiles who are out of control and are saved in prison who cannot be released because they cannot get control of themselves? (And I have related questions, are there people who cannot control their anger and propensity to violence even if they desperately want to? Can they be saved?) If there are, then they would certainly not be trying to appeal or get their sentences reduced and they aren’t using weasel words or making excuses.

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  61. “I won’t be surprised if we come to discover that he is assigned a place in the New Earth right alongside the early church fathers.”

    Actually, going by what Lewis himself writes in “The Great Divorce”, you would more likely find a single mom who sacrificially raised her kids for the Lord despite overwhelming opposition and difficult circumstances to be sitting at Christ’s right hand.

    Having said that, yes, Lewis is a great writer (and thinker), very helpful.

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  62. Lewis, via TIA says, “you would more likely find a single mom who sacrificially raised her kids for the Lord despite overwhelming opposition and difficult circumstances to be sitting at Christ’s right hand.”

    Well, who am I to argue with either TIA or Lewis on such matters. Then again, I didn’t specify to which circle of Il Paradiso the fathers are likely to be assigned, albeit it was by sheer luck that I did not do so.

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  63. Lydia,

    How much sanctification do you require to be saved?

    -Anon3

    There are a few “lists” in the NT scripture you might find helpful that give some ideas of those who will not inherit eternal life if they are continuing in such things after claiming salvation. People are offended by the terminology of a “list” but it gives us some indication of what “Christians” should at some point not be doing anymore if they are growing in Holiness (which is sanctification)

    They are specifically written to those who profess as believers because they are written to the “churches” and that is the context for the lists.

    In fact, Paul tells us in 1 Corin 5 not to judge the “world” because we have to live in it. . But, He also says we must make judgements inside the Body. Many folks do not realize that and I am NOT talking about the fake church discipline so many are throwing out today.

    Some of these are found in 1 Corin 5 I mentioned above:

    ” I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[ but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”

    That is pretty explicit. No wonder so many professing believers seek to hide their sexual deviance for so long.

    Here is one from Galatians 5

    16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    There is another list in Revelation 21 of who will not inherit the kingdom.

    1 Corin 6 has already been mentioned and of course there is much more that deal with what some call sanctification.

    I hate copying passages and do not mean to offend but I think this is pretty serious business not only for the criminal but for the victim as well. And I am NOT saying there can be NO salavtion ever for the criminal. Please understand that. What I am saying is that we are all too often assuming things that are not so.

    And one of the things assumed by so many is we can continue to be reprobate and be saved at the same time. (And there is a difference between being tempted and with the help of the Holy Spirit NOT acting on such things and being tempted and ACTING on them if one can. )

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  64. Gary,

    Yes, I did have to put some words in your mouth in my last comment, although I thought they were implied by your comment (don’t worry, your secret is safe with me). Of course neither I (nor Lewis) knows exactly what heaven will be like. My point was that one of the interesting encounters in TGD has to do with that very issue of fame and recognition (of course even my giving the example I did makes me guilty of the same thing, agh!). Jesus’ disciples argued over it, and He called them out for it. Here we are two thousand years later, and we are still trying to “get it” (both in the sense of trying to get fame and recognition and trying to understand that we should not seek fame and recognition). I think Lewis “got it” much better than me. I’m still learning.

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  65. “As a Christian, I just cannot believe that there is anyone who cannot be saved if they repent and seek Jesus. What I don’t think is that being saved heals the orientation any more than I think that being saved heals someone’s cancer. Since no one talks about this, we don’t know how many people are oriented towards children, suffer in silence, and never act on their desires, but I think they are out there. Choosing to molest children is evil.”

    I agree with this. Does it really boil down to “acting” on our temptations. And if one must gouge out the eye, cut off the hand (metaphorically) then scriptures says– do it. I think scripture is saying to take drastic measures not to continue in such sin.

    The thing that bothers me is that people say that is not fair because temptations are everywhere. That thinking just makes humans not responsible for their actions so we tend to redo doctrine to fit that thinking. If it was computer porn stuff, then get rid of computer. If your own precious kids are tempting you, move out. Be honest. If neighbors are tempting you, move away. YOU be the one who is put out. Not other people. That is just an inkling of how I think a serious believer who has that particular temptation that so violates the totally innocent would respond. It is like the reformed alcoholic that stays away from it. I hope no one is saying that the life of a believer has no temptations or would be easy. It is a daily battle with the flesh with the help of the Holy Spirit our Advocate and Counselor.

    I was once part of a team that went into a prison to interview pedophiles. I was stictly there as a board member who was going to write an article on it. I was stunned. I had no idea that most peds had so many victims before they are caught. And even then most were convicted on one count. That was many years ago and it struck me how long these people operated before even the first reporting took place.

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  66. Anon3 and Lydia,

    I think Lydia’s point is that “no sanctification” = “no salvation”. All sin is an offense against God and deserves judgment, but not all sin is equal. Some sins are worse than others. The “lists” that Lydia mentions highlight sinful *lifestyles* that are not appropriate for someone who is saved. As an example, a disciple of Jesus Christ can get drunk, but a disciple of Jesus Christ cannot be a drunkard.

    Personally, I know that at times I am tempted, convicted by the Holy Spirit, yet still go ahead and sin anyway. Is there anyone who would claim they never succumb to temptation? The very fact that I am convicted about it and acknowledge that it is sin is an indication of spiritual life. What shows a lack of being born again is when someone denies having done anything wrong. A child molester who doesn’t admit they have done anything wrong has clearly not repented.

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  67. “The “lists” that Lydia mentions highlight sinful *lifestyles* that are not appropriate for someone who is saved. As an example, a disciple of Jesus Christ can get drunk, but a disciple of Jesus Christ cannot be a drunkard.”

    TIA, This is a great example and what John was communicating in 1 John 1 about “walking in the light” and “walking in darkness”. Sometimes it is 2 steps forward, one step back. But we are running the race for the prize.

    And thank you for stating that all sins are not the same. In fact, that is a whole other confusing matter because some Christians think our very existence is sin so no matter what we do, say…it is sin. So it helps to be on the same page when discussing these things.

    One of the things SGM did was to tell them that the molester and victim were both sinners as if they were on the same sin level. This is moral chaos. But it comes from the belief that our very existence is a sin (total depravity, imputed guilt, etc) and all sin the same to God so getting drunk that one time and molesting kids are on the same sin level. It just does not work that way nor can one decipher that as how God worked with people in the OT, either. . But many believe it does work that way. It scares me because it teaches moral chaos, no standard right or wrong to our children—especially for Christians! Which is weird..

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  68. This discussion is a great example of how valuable this blog is. When we have different perspectives – or seem to – we don’t get angry or judgmental with one another, we talk them out and learn from each other. I am so glad to be here.

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  69. Brenda,

    My heart broke reading your post. I am crying with you. So much for law enforcement protecting victims of pedophilia.

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  70. Brenda, you have such grace, eloquence and beauty in the words, way and love you have put these articles together.

    I had just read a recent article on the the sexual pedophile from North Carolina whom took his victims to hotels drugged, video taped or photographed himself/victims.

    A day does not go by where there is not an article or report similar to this. The so called Christian magazines owe it to the family of God, Jesus, Allah …. to educate, show compassion to those who were or who have been abused within the house(s) of the Holy One.
    You Brenda are/were the voice for those too weak, or yet unable yet to put into words what has happened to them.

    I praise you for your strength and profound ways of writing for those whom are unable to.

    Blessings, prayers for you and yours,
    Traci Lyman
    Bend, Oregon

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  71. I am a 43 yo mother of an amazing 10 year old daughter. My husband of 14 years was just arrested 3 weeks ago for communicating on skype with an 11 and 12 year old in our neighborhood. He also had physical contact with one of the girls. I had no idea this was going on. I feel betrayed, heartbroken disgusted, sad, devastated. I am now a single mom, filing for divorce and trying to figure out how to make ends meet. I still love my husband. I forgive him. But I can no longer be married to him. How could he do something like this? He was a caring, compassionate, loving husband and father (he did not abuse my daughter). He was the kind of man that would help anyone, anytime. His friends could count on him to be there for help moving, fixing things, etc. I can’t reconcile the man I knew with the child molester that he is going to go to jail as. I am trying to trust in God. I’m sure he must have a reason for inflicting this pain.

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  72. Anonymous, my heart breaks for you. You are dealing with ultimate betrayal. I think you are doing the right thing by divorcing your husband – as painful as it is.

    If you would like to be connected with other wives who have gone through what you are going through, please send me a note at spiritualsb@gmail.com. It is a private forum. You may use a pseudonym. I think you will be encouraged there. I’m so, so sorry 😦

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  73. Dear Anonymous,

    I am so sorry–so very sorry. I know the bewilderment, anger and grief that you feel. I understand the hatred and love for this man you married. I know well the terror, shame and confusion. Unless you have been in your shoes, and in mine, you cannot begin to fathom how deep this goes to the core of the partner. When I entered therapy after my own world exploded, my therapist commended me on my strength. I responded that I had no choice but to be strong and she quickly reminded me that many, many people end up in a psych ward when things this difficult happen to them.

    So you are strong, resilient and resourceful. And God is the God who sees–He sees you and your sweet daughter. He knows and let me just say emphatically that I do not believe He inflicted this pain. He knew it was coming but He did not cause it. This is part of the curse of living in a fallen world. Your husband chose this–he inflicted this on all who love and know him–not God. Where is God in all of this? Holding you and weeping with you, collecting your tears in His bottle, singing songs of comfort and deliverance over you, and loving you with a ferocious and protective love.

    You are not alone in this–there are many of us who have walked this road and while we cannot be there to surround you in person, we are surrounding you in prayer, love and strength, knowing that the God of the Universe is sticking closer than any of us ever could.

    Hugs,
    Brenda

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  74. Dear Anonymous, ( May 4, 2016 @ 4:28 PM)

    Your story is so much like mine. Many years ago, prior to the divorce, we looked like the perfect Christian couple, highly involved in organizing church activities, and very well liked, the center of church socials and Bible studies. But my husband, like yours, had a dark side that involved befriending children and adolescents and molesting them.

    I understand the financial fears, and wondering what will happen. I also understand your mixed feelings toward your husband. It’s okay. You’ll go back and forth about your feelings over the next year. Read through this comment thread and you will find a lot of good information on that topic.

    God watches out for single moms in incredible ways. You may not see his provision right now, but if you take one day at a time, you’ll be amazed that he provides what you need, when you need it. I too was financially unprepared, but God paid one bill at a time. If you need to turn to public assistance, that’s fine too.

    What is God’s purpose for this pain?
    Well, I can’t speak for God, but in my life, I grew tremendously through my divorce. It stripped away the mask and forced me to my knees in prayer. I learned that God was there in my fears, loneliness, and pain. He never left me; he always supported me, even when I could not feel his presence. I look back and see how shallow I was as a Christian before that time.

    At the time, I thought I would never be happy again, but today I have a wonderful life full of joy and purpose. The black cloud is gone; the fears that I am a “loser” are gone; the fear of “having missed God’s Plan A” is gone. God has used me and my story to help others — far more than if I’d been a perfect Pollyanna wife in a perfect Christian marriage.

    I would recommend that you focus your attention on your children. Give them a lot of your time and encouragement. Don’t coddle them or try to “make up for” a dysfunctional father. Your job is to raise them into good citizens, good neighbors, and good co-workers. Create a balance between discipline and affection.

    Your other job is to protect them from their dad, even though it doesn’t appear he has been attracted to them. “Monitored supervision” is a good thing to pursue in the court system because it allows the children to have positive interactions with their dad in a safe environment. We did this for 12 years. My children were kept safe, but also got to enjoy whatever love their dad could give.

    Today, my children are happy functional adults with good educations and jobs. My daughter told me, “We don’t feel any different from our friends from married families.” That’s the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit in their life.

    I hope your husband takes the initiative to find an expert who handles sex offenders. Treatment cannot be done by normal therapists — it’s way out of their league.

    But in the end, he is no longer your responsibility. He needs to fall on his face and hit bottom. Mine went to specialized sex offender therapy but ended up being a “treatment failure.” I have no doubt he is still an active pedophile, but the authorities know about him and so he is not my problem anymore.

    It’s good to be free from a man who can destroy you and your children’s reputations. And it is good to pray that God will bless him, because God knows best how to deal with him.

    -Anon3

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  75. My heart really goes out to you Brenda. My soon to be ex-husband was convicted of the same crime (for the second time ) July 15, 2015. It had been going on off and on for all of 12 years that we were married, and I never knew. I felt like a criminal too for not knowing. I was sitting at home on a Sunday evening when he was first arrested. There was a knock at the door and he went outside to talk to whoever it was. when he didn’t come back in I went outside to see who it was, and I saw him in handcuffs and at the time I had no idea what was going on. . I bailed him out of jail about a week later, and he explained some things to me his version of it anyway. he said that he had went to the library over a year ago and connected with some other pedophiles online and they exchanged pictures, and a detective that come to our home while I was at work over a year ago and he knew he was going to be arrested, it was just a matter of when. He knew this for year and never said anything to me. I stood by him this time as he got probation and went through a treatment program for sex offenders. He hated every minute of it and always had something negative to say. I got cursed out by the neighbors, told I needed to f’in move, and of course one of the neighbors circulated his picture all over the neighborhood and one went door-to-door telling everybody about it their version at least.His picture was posted and reposted several times every time it got taken down someone put up a new one. That went on for about 6 months till things quieted down. all the time I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown, my whole world was shattered. We got through it and for a while things seemed okay. He had me convinced that he was trying to be a better husband and work at getting better. Even agreed to go to marriage counseling something he never wanted to do before. On July 16th 2015 I got a phone call when I was on my lunch break, it was him telling me he been arrested and he wouldn’t be home. his probation officer had done a vehicle inspection while he was at his group meeting and they found a smartphone which she wasn’t supposed to have because he had committed an internet crime and it had child pronography on it. He was sentenced to a total of 7 years I haven’t seen him since that day I don’t visit him in prison I do talk to him occasionally. I ended up getting fired from my job because I miss so much work but it was a blessing in disguise I took money out of my 401k and now I can pay for my divorce.

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  76. Julie, thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have turned the page and you will start fresh. I’m sorry that you had to go through such a painful experience, though. I am certain that your story will benefit someone who reads here. Thanks again!

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