“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! Matthew 18:5-7
This twitter thread is a poignant example of what happens when a “church” abandons their primary obligation to follow Christ in all things and chooses self-protection over the care of the sheep they claim to shepherd. As Scripture teaches us, such people will give Him an account of actions.
I’ve conversed with some multi-generational Lutherans who invested in CEF or DIL. Like the woman in this twitter thread some have since left the church – partly because of this scandal, partly because of how their trust was violated by an institution for whom such duplicity was unthinkable, and partly because of the mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the institution and their fellow members.
Now that the LCC – ASC Settlement has been finalized and its contents public knowledge, there is more than enough evidence to support barring anyone involved in the CEF, DIL and Shepherd’s Village Ministry fiasco from serving in any Synodical office. For clergy members removal from the pastoral office should also be on the table.
For those who would say “but what about grace? And forgiveness?” Yes there is grace in the right-hand kingdom for those who repent of their sins, that doesn’t wipe away the temporal consequences that need to happen in the left-hand kingdom. When Christ told the thief on the cross “today you will be with Me in paradise” the thief’s temporal punishment was not taken away – he experienced it in full (and rightly so!). It was his eternal punishment that was covered by Christ’s suffering and death – which is why he joined Christ in paradise for all eternity.
I did two presentations of research on clergy nonsexual misconduct in Protestant at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s national conference in Toronto last week. One on the effects of such misconduct and the other on the complicity of churches themselves. Fascinating but very sad.
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