Thursday, February 3, 2011

Forgive and forget, you say?

Forgive and forget, you say?

What would you do with a Christian minister who was arrested, convicted, and jailed for multiple counts of sexual indecency with young boys in his church youth music program? Would you forgive and forget?

The man is now 58 years old, has been in prison for two years of a ten year sentence. Before that he served for almost three decades as a music minister for a prominent First Baptist Church in Arkansas. By all accounts he was very good at his job. He agreed to a guilty plea but insists that
"I did not engage in actual sexual contact (specifically oral sex, intercourse or masturbating another individual) with any person, nor do I believe that in recent conversation with legal counsel that I have violated criminal or civil law.”

With this as background, has he served enough time? Paid his penalty? Is it time to give him an opportunity outside of prison to rebuild his life?

Christians should certainly forgive - a sacred, and serious, Biblical requirement.

But is it time for his church, friends, even the victims and their family and friends and family, to let this man move on, to forget so to speak?

Before you decide, it might be helpful to read one victim’s words on the matter.

A ten year sentence, the entirety of it, is appropriate for the man’s crimes. Such may even be mild. Forgiveness should certainly be extended.

Recent parole hearings have been held. The man remains in prison, for now.

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