Thursday, December 1, 2011

Light and Dark

When the news began to unfold in the Penn State child abuse scandal I have to say that at first, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.

It was far away from me, concerning people I didn't know and frankly I didn't want to think about.

Then as more and more details emerged, I could no longer hide my head in the sand.

What I read and heard angered, saddened and sickened me.

Who could do that for so many years?

Who could basically condone that by covering it up at worst and just ignoring it at best?

I wept. I yelled at the TV. I prayed for the children.


Then the news began coming out of Syracuse.

Not Again.

Not Again.

Of all the many thoughts running through my head, one that I kept coming back to is "Well, they don't have Jesus. The reaction of a Christian institution would be different."

This week I was made aware of story coming of the Christian University that I attended that has made me physically sick to my stomach.

I won't go into all the details-which are to numerous to list here. But the just of the story is that they are re instating to their board of directors a pastor, who back in the 90's when a young girl had come to him that was pregnant because of rape by a much older man who was also a church  member , made HER apologize in front the congregation.  He also had the man apologize for an 'affair' never mentioning to the congregation that this man was the father of the victims child.
Did not call the police. Did not turn this man in.
Years later the victim found the courage to step forward, and long story short the man is now in jail for the rape of a minor.

The Pastor insist he did nothing wrong. Has never apologized to the victim.

And yet a school that is EXTREMELY  focused on what Christians do on the outside: dress, music, movies, alcohol, has re appointed someone who helped a  rapist essentially cover up his crime.

I heard about this through facebook and a petition that is being propelled forward by current students.
They are planning a protest on Dec 12.
I applaud their courage. Make no doubt, it comes at great risk for them. This is an institution that does not like to be questioned and labels put upon those questioning are hard to shake off once applied.

But, all of that is not why I'm writing today.

Why I am writing is to tell you about the deep dark hole I found myself after reading the case.
Then realizing that people I genuinely care about  and have known most of my life, are still supporting this institution by not calling on them to do the right thing and remove this man from the Board.

I was sickened. sad. outraged.

Are we no better?!

No. In many cases we (I) are not.

I found myself in tears and praying for all involved. Sad just so very discouraged and sad.

When the Lord brought these verses to mind:

John 1:1-5

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.




The Light shines in the darkness. . .


Darkness has NOT overcome.


I have come back to those words throughout the week.


The Light is here-even when it seems dark. Jesus has not gone anywhere.


Even when we laud our standards and proclaim our righteousness, yet act no better than the world. . .
The Light is here.
Darkness will not overcome.


Maybe for different reasons than mine, you need to hear that today.


Whatever pain or turmoil you're find yourself in today, rest assured that Jesus, the Light of the World is here. People make mistakes. 
Jesus never does.
He was with God in the beginning, He is with Him now. He's never changed.
And He will overcome the darkness.


*I've tried to be very careful not to mention names of the University or people involved. Not out of respect for them, but for those reading who I care about still affiliated with the University and it's church supporters.
Know that this was not written out of any hate. I would urge you to pray about speaking out to those you know in a position to remove this man who covered up such a wrong. Let's show the world that we are a different-not just in words or superficial things but when it matters most.*

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well said.

Its So Very Cheri said...

Angie,

I know the Pastor has openly encouraged people to call him first before blasting him on the internet and has made his phone number available for people and said "not one person has done that"--which is the Biblical steps to take. I don't know if you have called him or not but from what I have read on both sides a lot of what is being put out on the internet is not accurate.

Hillbilly Tonya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie said...

I did not mention his name so cannot be accused of blasting him on the internet. And that statement about not one call is a lie. THAT I know for a fact. I have called the University and explained my concerns. To me they are the ones condoning the wrong at this point.
But, frankly that is not what this is about-at least not totally.
It's more about when the world is Dark place-Jesus The Light of the World is still there, He never left.

Its So Very Cheri said...

Angie if you can send me privately where you went to read the transcripts I would like to read them for myself. When I posted my comment I was not trying to say that you blasted him I was saying there are others that have done so without contacting the pastor.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

Angie, deleted my earlier comment...but I do want to leave that it saddens me that once again the Name of Christ has been tarnished. This post was hard for you...and the discussion on fb. I can tell you took measures to know the facts.

I wish Jesus would just come today. I grow very weary of this world. How much more so must our Heavenly Father when he sees this going on with His Church?

Hillbilly Tonya said...

I have to post one more thing because I cannot get the girl out of my head. The girl that I can relate so much too. The pain, the hurt, the rejection...I know too well. I think a very dear friend put my thoughts into words.(This is just a small excerpt)...

"But, she's got no voice
Not even when the man does his dirty deed
Even when Daddy doesn't believe.

Drifting through church but no one takes a second look
At the sad little girl who no longer twirls."

Angie said...

Since I've been reading this story you've been coming to mind. How is it no ones first thought is to stand up for the victim ? Jesus would've been the first one to tell her it's not her fault.

Marcia Bloom said...

Angie, About 20 years ago my daughter came to me and said her 5th grade teacher was touching her, After a weekend of questioning to make sure it was true and her giving me a list of girls she had seen him touch. I turned him into my principal who turned it over to the police. He had been touching 24 girls. The pre-trial investigation revealed that he had been a Baptist Pastor and was in 12 churches in 14 years and had molested women and girls in each church. No one, not one Christian had ever turned him in. I know I hesitated and almost chickened out about turning him in, but the Lord dealt with me that it was what I had to do regardless of any repercussions. He was teaching in the same building where I taught. I have never regretted it. He was going to be a principal the following year and had bragged during his internship that he would have a private office. I shudder to think of what might have been. He went to prison for a few years and now has no teaching license. We must do the right thing. God uses us to do what it right to protect the innocent.

Angie said...

Marcia,
Thank You for sharing your story and for your COURAGE to stand up for your daughter!
I appreciate you being so open and honest here.

Anonymous said...

I'm a student here at BJU. You have no idea the tension and undercurrent at the university right now.
Thank you for reminding me that Jesus never changes and that the light always wins.

Angie said...

Dear Student,
Praying for you.

Amy said...

Not surprised, unfortunately. Being in Christian education and church-schools for over ten years now, we've seen a lot of the stuff that gets pushed under the rug. We've heard even more from trusted mentors and colleagues. The Church is badly broken. We're in trouble. And the Bible says we'll be dealt with more harshly than those of the world.

Seriously, if people knew what unethical things went on at their Christian schools and churches...

Angie said...

My goal was certainly not to condemn Christian education (of which my children take part in). Although I'm certain many things go horribly wrong, since like every institution they are made up of sinful humans.

My ONLY goal was to point out that even in the darkest night, the Light of the World has come.

Anonymous said...

I was abused and no one seemed to care.
Jesus cared though and I just wanted to say thank you for reminding me and others about that.
And for standing up for vicitms I know that must have been hard.
I am familiar with the church you grew up in and the college you attended so I imagine you have been labeled and criticized for speaking out.

Angie said...

It doesn't matter what I've been called or labeled-it matters that you and every other victim out there knows that THEY are NOT the one that did anything wrong-not even 1%.
I'm so thankful that you know Jesus.
Keep following after Him-He will never let you down!
Blessings and Peace.

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