ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 04, 2020, 09:34:03 AM

Title: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 04, 2020, 09:34:03 AM

As the former Chair of the LCMS Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Task Force, I thought I would share the resources on child abuse that were assembled by that group.  Please see this link (https://www.lcms.org/social-issues/child-abuse).

Particularly helpful may be this piece (http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=3223) which addresses, in part, how to address the needs of perpetrators should you ever find yourself in that situation.  God continues to offer His love and forgiveness to all, no matter how grave we may judge a sin to be.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on July 04, 2020, 10:13:43 AM
Thanks Kim. Always timely.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Keith Falk on July 04, 2020, 12:02:56 PM
The links Kim posted from her Task Force work are also important.  When I arrived at my first call, about two weeks after - I wasn't even ordained yet, due to bishop scheduling issues - the president of the congregation and one of the call committee members sat down and to tell me "all the stuff that we didn't say" during the call process.  One of those things was that a member of the congregation, who had been convicted of sexual crimes against children, would be released from prison soon and would want to come back to the community and the congregation.  When he did, he and I had to have some serious conversations.  He struggled with forgiveness and protection - his point/perspective was that if he was freely and fully forgiven, shouldn't he be accepted and welcomed back into the community of faith just as before, with no change and no restrictions?  I - all of 26 years old and a called pastor for all of 3 or 4 months and the father of an almost one year old boy - had the task of navigating theological realities and protections - both for the man and the children and families of the congregation.  I noted that all it would take would be one kid getting mad at him for some reason and one accusation and he would be excoriated, that the reality is that he would always be considered guilty until proven innocent.  To protect him - and, yes, to protect the children of the congregation - we had to put restrictions on where and when he could be in the building.


I do not envy anyone in any role in this type of situation.  It is incredibly challenging and heart rending.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 04, 2020, 12:11:56 PM
The links Kim posted from her Task Force work are also important.  When I arrived at my first call, about two weeks after - I wasn't even ordained yet, due to bishop scheduling issues - the president of the congregation and one of the call committee members sat down and to tell me "all the stuff that we didn't say" during the call process.  One of those things was that a member of the congregation, who had been convicted of sexual crimes against children, would be released from prison soon and would want to come back to the community and the congregation.  When he did, he and I had to have some serious conversations.  He struggled with forgiveness and protection - his point/perspective was that if he was freely and fully forgiven, shouldn't he be accepted and welcomed back into the community of faith just as before, with no change and no restrictions?  I - all of 26 years old and a called pastor for all of 3 or 4 months and the father of an almost one year old boy - had the task of navigating theological realities and protections - both for the man and the children and families of the congregation.  I noted that all it would take would be one kid getting mad at him for some reason and one accusation and he would be excoriated, that the reality is that he would always be considered guilty until proven innocent.  To protect him - and, yes, to protect the children of the congregation - we had to put restrictions on where and when he could be in the building.


I do not envy anyone in any role in this type of situation.  It is incredibly challenging and heart rending.

Thank you for sharing this.  These situations occur more frequently than we would like to think within the church.  The more open we can be about discussing them and sharing resources, the better chance we have of not only protecting the vulnerable among us, but assisting those who struggle with such unholy desires.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 05, 2020, 07:08:36 AM

I was an after-pastor to a church in California and almost twenty years after that individual had been removed, the resultant distrust of the office of pastor was still a living reality. In our current era of declining mainlines I wonder how much reseliancy is left to weather these storms today.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Coach-Rev on July 05, 2020, 08:03:50 AM
Would not this whole thread be a violation of moderator Johnson's request that this discussion not be had?  I see an awful lot of discussing going on and would pray that such comments be stricken by the moderators.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 05, 2020, 08:14:11 AM

   One of the first things we did when I arrived at my last church in Maryland was to have windows installed on all the doors in the building except the bathrooms and a robust child protection policy implemented. Anyone who worked with or around children went through a fingerprint background check, no child shall be alone with just one adult, anyone who wanted to work with children had to go through the training (including short term volunteers like at VBS, etc). Every new member's class we went over some of the details so the parents would also know what we were about.  That started in 2002.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 05, 2020, 09:38:50 AM

  Perhaps then I misinterpreted the thread.  I responded from the position of a presenting issue raised the more fundamental one: protecting children.  To that end I commented about the lasting impact on trust in a congregation that I experienced.


And it is appreciated that you did so.  Shutting down conversation about this topic just pushes it into the dark and makes it less likely that innocent children are protected and that those who struggle with such proclivities seek the help they need.  The church has already done this for far too long as witnessed by the situation in the Catholic church (and, of course, those situations described here).
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 05, 2020, 10:32:38 AM
  Over the course of my time in that congregation three young men stopped in and asked about what happened to Pastor "Y." I told them that after leaving the congregation it was my understanding he had become a chaplain for a retirement community and had since passed away. We're talking the mid 90s so the events were sometime in the 70s. I also had something to do with the McMartin Preschool mess becoming public and going forward to arrests in Manhattan Beach, CA but that's another story.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 05, 2020, 02:09:31 PM
Would not this whole thread be a violation of moderator Johnson's request that this discussion not be had?  I see an awful lot of discussing going on and would pray that such comments be stricken by the moderators.

I agree. I've deleted all references to the particular situation that provoked this discussion. The more general comments about childhood sexual abuse remain, for it is an important issue. But please restrict yourself to the issue, not to the individual case.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 05, 2020, 02:37:01 PM

  One of the challenges (among the many) of protecting children is the broken trust and betrayal that happens across the spectrum when things go off the rails: children, congregations, judicatory leaders and friends.  Whether it's a thin line of  continuum or maybe a full blown paradox (more my interpreration), justice and mercy are tricky things to navigate when these instances are revealed.

Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Rob Morris on July 06, 2020, 10:32:57 AM
Can I just register a concern with the approach that says, "One of our active participants is accused of a sex crime and now everyone is forbidden from speaking of it?"

I get not wanting that discussion to devolve into the all-too-common sniping and stance-making, but, "We don't speak of those things here," seems wrong as well.

And if Pastor T. logs in or reads as a guest and sees this, please know that you have my prayers and that anything I can do to help support you during whatever the present and the future may hold, I would do so in any way I can. Feel free to reach out.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Dan Fienen on July 06, 2020, 10:39:27 AM
The particular case that occasioned this discussion should be forbidden. That is being dealt with by those whose responsibility it is to deal with it. That emphatically does not include any of us so far as I know. Enquiring minds who want to know can just remain unsatisfied. The broader topic of protecting our children should remain.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Rob Morris on July 06, 2020, 10:54:44 AM
The particular case that occasioned this discussion should be forbidden. That is being dealt with by those whose responsibility it is to deal with it. That emphatically does not include any of us so far as I know. Enquiring minds who want to know can just remain unsatisfied. The broader topic of protecting our children should remain.

Respectfully, there is a center ground between "das ist verboten" and "Enquiring minds want to know". Someone who was a valued participant is now accused of a crime and publicly connected with sinful behavior. To state that there shall be no discussion, no reference to it, is concerning to me. That's not how I would handle it at the congregation level and it's not how I would recommend handling it here.

The church has a long and inglorious history of how criminal accusations are and aren't discussed, especially around sex crimes. To make one statement of fact and say no one may speak ever again of this is troubling to me.

I'm not a moderator or in any position of authority, but the binary view you put forward is not the only choice - in a church or even on this Forum.

What's more, this Forum was, in it's own way, part of Pr. T's community. If even discussing him is verboten, is his participation likewise verboten? Is he to be shunned from our midst? If I were him, I would definitely be thinking that's the logical conclusion. Is it the right one?

Meanwhile, we can talk about the problem of the abuse of children, but when that accusation is leveled against one in our midst, that shall receive no treatment, no reflection - not even expressions of concern and hope that he be receiving proper pastoral care?

I'll not post on it any further, but I think the concern should be registered and should be taken more seriously than your response indicated.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on July 06, 2020, 11:15:10 AM
Meanwhile, we can talk about the problem of the abuse of children, but when that accusation is leveled against one in our midst, that shall receive no treatment, no reflection - not even expressions of concern and hope that he be receiving proper pastoral care?

That was the entirety of my posts hereon, Pastor Morris, the concern of receiving proper pastoral care. I was assured that it's being done. It seemed important.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 06, 2020, 11:24:16 AM
A woman of my acquaintance suggests that not to discuss a specific case of child pornography and potential child abuse or contributing to child abuse is an abomination.
The Roman Catholic Church lost most of its moral authority by the way it did not discuss the problem that many knew was raging throughout the church.
One of our number is seriously charged. To express a sentiment that will not be widely shared here, I feel that I have more sympathy for the those who were or might in the future be victims of what he did then for the one of our fellowship who now quite rightly faces civil justice.
I don’t control God’s grace. I don’t assess someone’s words of repentance, but there are times when we must look fervently at the hard reality of an evil that has been done.
We dare not let a sentimental concern for the person override the evil that has been done Or moderate our response to the evil.
 
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: NCLutheran2 on July 06, 2020, 11:25:23 AM
I would like to second the opinion expressed by Pastor Morris*. I had been debating whether to post my thoughts, send them as a PM to Pastor Johnson, or keep to myself. But I am distraught both by the sheer shock of the news but also by the inability to discuss it on this forum.

I understand the necessity of reasonable limits on discussion - while I believe everyone has an instinctive need to hear more details, there are several news articles that are describe those, and gory discussion of those, speculation on charges or the legal process, and so on would obviously be inappropriate, regardless if the person in question was a member here or not.

What I do find bothersome is that discussion is not being allowed at all. For one, I myself am dealing with a legitimate sense of grief over the news. He was someone I (formerly) admired for his insight and opinions, and as someone in the same church body, I found his willingness to remain within it despite major disagreements to be a source of comfort in my own struggles with the institutional church. What does it mean for us who ostensibly believed and felt similarly to see a once-respected figure and ally commit such evil? And I wasn't anyone who knew him personally, I can't imagine the grief of those who did and shared ministry with him. Inasmuch as the ALPB is a community, should we not be provided with at least the opportunity to express our feelings and receive consolation from each other?

Secondly, I echo the sentiment that muting even mentions of the situation is worrisome. While sex scandals have fortunately not hit Lutheranism like they have the Roman Catholic church, all churches and Christian groups are affected by not only the abuses themselves, but the conspiracy to cover up the crimes and hide the evil that was perpetrated. I would hope the ALPB would value complete honesty and transparency on his involvement in our community, but I fear that when even mentions of the incident are immediately deleted it gives the appearance that a similar effort to cover up criminal wrongdoing is underway. Is that an accusation we even want to risk being made? And further, if what's happened can never be mentioned, how can we legitimately call for justice or even begin to either aid victims or work to end the system of exploitation that caused this to occur?

Again, to be clear, I understand and agree with the need for the ALPB Forum to not foster and spread unsubstantiated gossip and rumor and for the legal process to be respected. But I respectfully ask that the moderation policy in effect be seriously reviewed and reconsidered to allow forum members the chance to process our emotions and avoid any allegations of complicity.

Rob

*Edit: And Pastor Austin, whose comments were added while I was typing my response.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: David Garner on July 06, 2020, 12:17:40 PM
For what my opinion is worth, I share the concerns of Mr. Austin, Pastor Austin and Pastor Morris.  I just put 2+2 together today, previously being blissfully unaware of the matter, and I am shocked by the news.  And while I fully agree with the need to moderate discussion to avoid slander and unsubstantiated rumor, etc., it seems to me the importance of this ought not be overlooked, and more important, that ALPB not be seen as somehow sweeping it under the proverbial rug.

If the accused is guilty, he does not represent the people here and we ought not be shy in saying so.  If he is not, we ought to defend and support him once that is made reasonably clear.  But until we know, I think a limited, but proper discussion of the matter ought be allowed.  I don't recall interacting with him much, but I also get the feeling he was generally well respected here.  Imagine someone from the outside looking in at this site and seeing that after the accusation, the matter was hush-hushed by the moderators.  What does that say of the forum?  And if we as participants maintain that silence, what does it say about us, regardless of the outcome?  It seems to me enforced silence is worse than nearly any other alternative.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 06, 2020, 12:50:01 PM
A woman of my acquaintance suggests that not to discuss a specific case of child pornography and potential child abuse or contributing to child abuse is an abomination.
The Roman Catholic Church lost most of its moral authority by the way it did not discuss the problem that many knew was raging throughout the church.
One of our number is seriously charged. To express a sentiment that will not be widely shared here, I feel that I have more sympathy for the those who were or might in the future be victims of what he did then for the one of our fellowship who now quite rightly faces civil justice.
I don’t control God’s grace. I don’t assess someone’s words of repentance, but there are times when we must look fervently at the hard reality of an evil that has been done.
We dare not let a sentimental concern for the person override the evil that has been done Or moderate our response to the evil.

 I agree with Charles. Justice and Mercy are always the twin dynamics of civil righteousness and it is up to the courts to discern how those may be weighed out.  We in the church must at least say, 'This was wrong" as a statement of protecting children, current and future. We may play our Christian ethics cards with the Naked and Unashamed adults and debate whether there is any way they may hold a winning hand, but children ...

Innocence Lost comes upon everyone, but may it never be at the hands of someone ordained.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on July 06, 2020, 01:17:46 PM
I am glad that Kim raised the topic. Earlier this year I was in a 3-day court trial representing a man who was civilly committed as a sex offender. The only undisputed evidence was that he viewed child pornography, I simply couldn't reason with the guy because he felt that he was not victimizing anyone, that he did not create any pornography of any sort, and that it was a private situation of viewing what he found on the internet and sometimes sharing it within a sick community. Minnesota case law was against him, but he would not reason and ended up threatening me. It was by far the toughest case I've handled, and I've defended one who was accused of 2nd degree murder. I imagine it was worse because of the subject matter. I don't think I'll ever get over the grief of the Darwin Schauer matter.

This excerpt explains it quite well.

"Because the term 'child pornography' is used in federal statutes, it is also commonly used by lawmakers, prosecutors, investigators, and the public to describe this form of sexual exploitation of children.  However, this term fails to describe the true horror that is faced by countless children every year.  The production of child pornography creates a permanent record of a child’s sexual abuse.  When these images are placed on the Internet and disseminated online, the victimization of the children continues in perpetuity. Experts and victims agree that victims depicted in child pornography often suffer a lifetime of re-victimization by knowing the images of their sexual abuse are on the Internet forever.  The children exploited in these images must live with the permanency, longevity, and circulation of such a record of their sexual victimiza­tion. This often creates lasting psychological damage to the child, including disruptions in sexual development, self-image, and developing trusting relationships with others in the future.

The expansion of the Internet and advanced digital technology lies parallel to the explosion of the child pornography market. Child pornography images are readily available through virtually every Internet technology, including social networking websites, file-sharing sites, photo-sharing sites, gaming devices, and even mobile apps.  Child pornography offenders can also connect on Internet forums and networks to share their interests, desires, and experiences abusing children, in addition to selling, sharing, and trading images.

These online communities have promoted communication and collaboration between child pornography offenders, thereby fostering a larger relationship premised on a shared sexual interest in children. This has the effect of eroding the shame that typically would accompany this behavior, as well as desensitizing those involved to the physical and psychological damage caused to the child victims. For this reason, online communities attract and encourage new individuals to join them in the sexual exploitation of children."

https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/child-pornography
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 06, 2020, 02:14:56 PM
A woman of my acquaintance suggests that not to discuss a specific case of child pornography and potential child abuse or contributing to child abuse is an abomination.
The Roman Catholic Church lost most of its moral authority by the way it did not discuss the problem that many knew was raging throughout the church.
One of our number is seriously charged. To express a sentiment that will not be widely shared here, I feel that I have more sympathy for the those who were or might in the future be victims of what he did then for the one of our fellowship who now quite rightly faces civil justice.
I don’t control God’s grace. I don’t assess someone’s words of repentance, but there are times when we must look fervently at the hard reality of an evil that has been done.
We dare not let a sentimental concern for the person override the evil that has been done Or moderate our response to the evil.

 I agree with Charles. Justice and Mercy are always the twin dynamics of civil righteousness and it is up to the courts to discern how those may be weighed out.  We in the church must at least say, 'This was wrong" as a statement of protecting children, current and future. We may play our Christian ethics cards with the Naked and Unashamed adults and debate whether there is any way they may hold a winning hand, but children ...

Innocence Lost comes upon everyone, but may it never be at the hands of someone ordained.

This expresses well the issue that we face as moderators. In no way do we want to squelch conversation about the issue, which is real and obviously wrong. At the same time, we want to show compassion to the accused, whom many of us know, both via this Forum and in other contexts. This Forum has demonstrated in the past that gossip about and harsh, condemnatory language for fellow Christians is not universally eschewed. Our intent is to prevent that kind of behavior. There are other arenas in which the specific case can and will be discussed; we do not need to do that here. Declining to do so is not "sweeping anything under the rug."

It was appropriate to express concern and inquire about pastoral care, and assurances given that Pastor T. is receiving pastoral care. It is appropriate to offer prayers for all involved, and many of us are doing that. Those prayers don't need to be announced here. Should Pastor T. wish to participate here in the future, he is more that welcome to do so, and I will see that he is assured of our prayers and our care. You are certainly welcome to reach out personally to him, and that is actually a more appropriate way to express your concern and care.

It is fine with me if you want to disagree with this decision about how to handle this discussion, but this is the way it is. Continued discussion about that decision really does no one any good, so I respectfully ask that you stop it. If you need a pastoral ear to process your own shock at this situation, feel free to contact me.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 06, 2020, 02:30:03 PM

 I appreciate your response Richard and have no burning need to continue the conversation. Caring for everyone involved is warranted.  It just sucks that it's someone we know. 
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 06, 2020, 02:32:01 PM
It is fine with me if you want to disagree with this decision about how to handle this discussion, but this is the way it is.
  (Emphasis mine.)

Quote
If you need a pastoral ear to process your own shock at this situation, feel free to contact me.

Somehow I doubt that will occur given the above, but that's just my read on this.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 06, 2020, 02:42:04 PM
I appreciate and am thankful for the thoughts that were put forth above about the decision not to discuss the specific situation, and I agree with them.  I felt everybody on this thread had been very careful in how they worded their comments.  I know we have lurkers, and it could be construed that we aren't open to talking about such matters.

I do hope the resources and stories that have been shared will be of some help to those reading.  While cases in the Lutheran church are not as widely publicized as those in the Catholic church, they are present in greater numbers than one might think.  And the saddest part about perpetrators of child sexual abuse is that they often move from place to place unchecked because the church simply can't believe anyone would be capable of this behavior or refuse to ruin the reputation of an "upstanding" church member. 

Thank you to those of you who understand this dynamic and are vigilant to prevent it as well as to those of you who provide pastoral care to those perpetrating these crimes.  Our children are protected and blessed as a result.

Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 06, 2020, 03:09:23 PM
One of our number is seriously charged. To express a sentiment that will not be widely shared here, I feel that I have more sympathy for the those who were or might in the future be victims of what he did then for the one of our fellowship who now quite rightly faces civil justice.


He is the second, as far as I know, person who has posted in the forum to be arrested for child pornography. The other pastor didn't post as often.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on July 06, 2020, 10:31:07 PM
Due to this one of the most used (and linked to) Lutheran websites on the tubes is going to expire this Thursday on 2020-07-09 01:39:23 UTC. Are you planning on taking it under your wing, or will it be gone for good?
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on July 06, 2020, 10:37:35 PM
To be more on topic; after a pastor tried to groom me as his romantic target it caused me to not trust pastoral authority so much, especially with children. It is easy
 for a carnal minded person to feign interest in churchly matters and discerning who is doing this is tricky. Years later I learned some ways to spot them though, but I am afraid to discuss them here because I expect it would anger people.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 06, 2020, 11:26:31 PM
Someone writes:
Years later I learned some ways to spot them though, but I am afraid to discuss them here because I expect it would anger people.

I comment:
Do not post them, because since we do not know who you are, we have no means of evaluating what you might have to say on such a serious matter. Your views might be valid and helpful, or they might come from some teenager’s basement in a faraway part of the world.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on July 07, 2020, 12:03:47 AM
the problem I was thinking of is that the methods I use identify the predatory types but are also sure to include false positives
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: NCLutheran2 on July 07, 2020, 08:37:45 AM
Someone writes:
Years later I learned some ways to spot them though, but I am afraid to discuss them here because I expect it would anger people.

I comment:
Do not post them, because since we do not know who you are, we have no means of evaluating what you might have to say on such a serious matter. Your views might be valid and helpful, or they might come from some teenager’s basement in a faraway part of the world.

I disagree, Charles. I think a discussion on how to identify predatory behaviors in individuals who may be in our midst would be worthwhile. What are the common signs or "tells" that should make pastors and parents wary, or that we should be teaching kids - and vulnerable adults, too - to watch out for and avoid? And what should a proper response be when those are noticed?

Of course such a discussion should be grounded in legitimate evidence, but I don't think personal experience can be discounted so easily, either.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 07, 2020, 08:47:07 AM
  What began as a homeless ministry in Baltimore, RoadChurch quickly evolved to an outreach along The Block; literally a block of strip clubs just up the street from the Inner Harbor. We partnered with another ministry called Awaken Aurora. That is a group of older women who have an outreach to the dancers. We guys stay outside the clubs and reach the doorman, pimps, and gang members. One of my team is a former special forces interrogator who is gifted at this mission. In his words, "I know how to go into hostile environments and put people at ease so they'll talk to me, now I do it for Jesus."   The worship service we launched in a strip club on Sunday morning was a result of those combined efforts. What does this have to do with this thread?

  Many of the dancers live in abandoned row houses in Baltimore. As you can imagine they have stories that led to being essentially homeless. They are close to moving from being inside on a stage to standing on the corner: both demonstrate they have run out of anything else to sell.  Exploitation requires victims and those who are willing to pay to view.

The Deaconess has helped us keep our focus on the rest of the story as has Charles. I encourage us to do the same because everyone involved in the business of The Block started out as an innocent child.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 07, 2020, 09:38:32 AM
NC Lutheram2 writes:
 I think a discussion on how to identify predatory behaviors in individuals who may be in our midst would be worthwhile.
I comment:
Yes, but not with information from an anonymous source whose credentials or experience we cannot evaluate.
And who has admitted that his/her “method” is unreliable.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 07, 2020, 10:13:57 AM
I think a discussion on how to identify predatory behaviors in individuals who may be in our midst would be worthwhile. What are the common signs or "tells" that should make pastors and parents wary, or that we should be teaching kids - and vulnerable adults, too - to watch out for and avoid? And what should a proper response be when those are noticed?

Some resources on this topic:

Hiding in Plain Sight: How to Spot a Child Predator (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-bad-looks-good/201910/hiding-in-plain-sight-how-spot-child-predator)

Suffer the Children:  Developing Effective Church Policies on Child Maltreatment (http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=3224)

Important Steps to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse (https://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=4184)

Often times, perpetrators of child sexual abuse target churches because we are generally considered "unsuspecting" and willing to easily forgive in the event that discovery of an offense is made.  The more churches and schools make it clear that they have policies and procedures in place to guard against such behavior, the safer they will be, as perpetrators will move on to what is perceived to be easier targets.  And as an added caution, background checks don't always uncover past activity that occurred in other states.  Be sure to pay the extra cost to have a federal background check conducted.  And also keep in mind that many perpetrators aren't even on the radar of law enforcement.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: James S. Rustad on July 07, 2020, 04:09:19 PM
Yes, but not with information from an anonymous source whose credentials or experience we cannot evaluate.

Well, what are a few things that I know about you:

How can I tell if any of that is true?

I welcome discussion from anonymous as well as pseudonymous posters.  I'll evaluate what they have to say the same way I evaluate your statements.  I will grant that someone who has been posting under a pseudonym for a while gains more trust than one who just started posting -- but the same is true of those using their "real" identity.

You, on the other hand, would have us ignore many anonymous/pseudonymous authors and activists of great renown, such as Aristides, Brutus, Cato, Centinel, the Federal Farmer, Kwame Ture, Mother Jones, Publius, Silence Dogood, or even "A Senior Trump Administration Official".  Anonymity/pseudonymity has an honored history.


Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Matt Hummel on July 07, 2020, 04:18:32 PM
Interestingly enough, the Executive Director for a statewide affiliate of a National non-profit that has childcare, after school care, youth league sports, and lessons for children in swimming, gymnastics, etc., told me that they added a layer in the hiring practice: you had to have a letter of recommendation from a family member. He said people would not write flat out, "Uncle Chuck is a pedophile," but they would inquire as to whether Uncle Chuck was going to ever be unsupervised with children, or something similar. "Is he your top candidate?," etc. He found that there were instances that cleared a background check, but they had been waved off by family. They always sided with family in those instances.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Buckeye Deaconess on July 07, 2020, 05:00:29 PM
Interestingly enough, the Executive Director for a statewide affiliate of a National non-profit that has childcare, after school care, youth league sports, and lessons for children in swimming, gymnastics, etc., told me that they added a layer in the hiring practice: you had to have a letter of recommendation from a family member. He said people would not write flat out, "Uncle Chuck is a pedophile," but they would inquire as to whether Uncle Chuck was going to ever be unsupervised with children, or something similar. "Is he your top candidate?," etc. He found that there were instances that cleared a background check, but they had been waved off by family. They always sided with family in those instances.

This is an excellent idea.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 07, 2020, 05:08:55 PM
Mr. Rustad:
Well, what are a few things that I know about you:
You claim to live in Minnesota.
You claim you used to live in New York.
You claim your name is Charles Austin.
You claim to be ordained.
You claim to be married.
How can I tell if any of that is true?
Me:
All those things can be easily verified because you have a real name to start with. Then there’s the simple matter that at least five or six people on this modest forum know me, and have met me personally.

Mr. Rustad:
I welcome discussion from anonymous as well as pseudonymous posters.  I'll evaluate what they have to say the same way I evaluate your statements.
Me:
You say you will, but actually you can’t. Because you do not know who those anonymous posters are.

Mr. Rustad:
I will grant that someone who has been posting under a pseudonym for a while gains more trust than one who just started posting -- but the same is true of those using their "real" identity.
Me:
Good grief, man! You would be such an easy mark for a teenager in a basement in Kabul,or Haifa who is clever with words!

Mr. Rustad:
You, on the other hand, would have us ignore many anonymous/pseudonymous authors and activists of great renown, such as Aristides, Brutus, Cato, Centinel, the Federal Farmer, Kwame Ture, Mother Jones, Publius, Silence Dogood, or even "A Senior Trump Administration Official".  Anonymity/pseudonymity has an honored history.
Me:
No. Yes. Maybe, in some situations. But not in the current situation.
Anonymity in some of those situations serves a real purpose. I ask for the 10,000th time, what purpose does anonymity here serve?
We are supposed to be a fellowship of mostly Christian brothers and sisters sharing our concerns, and in some cases, our very lives and deepest thoughts. You tell me why someone should come here and join this allegedly Christian fellowship and not reveal theor real name.
And Mine will remain a minority opinion, sad to say.
But PS, related to the topic: I would certainly, under no circumstances, accept any advice on how to recognize a child abuser from someone who will not tell me how they obtained that information or let me know what standing they have to offer that information.
But, as usual, we digress.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on July 07, 2020, 05:32:03 PM
Mr. Rustad:
I welcome discussion from anonymous as well as pseudonymous posters.  I'll evaluate what they have to say the same way I evaluate your statements.
Me:
You say you will, but actually you can’t. Because you do not know who those anonymous posters are.

Actually, he can because he evaluates what they have to say by the clarity of their thinking.  You are correct that any appeals to personal experience by pseudonymous posters are useless.  However, I also think that you overrate the effect of your occasional appeal to authority due to your past as a journalist.  Most of us don't care especially since you show so much bias in your political and social analysis.

Mr. Rustad:
I will grant that someone who has been posting under a pseudonym for a while gains more trust than one who just started posting -- but the same is true of those using their "real" identity.
Me:
Good grief, man! You would be such an easy mark for a teenager in a basement in Kabul,or Haifa who is clever with words!

Uh, why? If the teenager in a basement in Kabul or Haifa who is clever with words has edifying ideas, then what is the loss?  While some here may exchange DMs or personal e-mails, this is not exactly a social-meeting site.

Mr. Rustad:
You, on the other hand, would have us ignore many anonymous/pseudonymous authors and activists of great renown, such as Aristides, Brutus, Cato, Centinel, the Federal Farmer, Kwame Ture, Mother Jones, Publius, Silence Dogood, or even "A Senior Trump Administration Official".  Anonymity/pseudonymity has an honored history.
Me:
No. Yes. Maybe, in some situations. But not in the current situation.
Anonymity in some of those situations serves a real purpose. I ask for the 10,000th time, what purpose does anonymity here serve?

You've shown what purpose in the past by stalking people and threatening to contact their superiors.

But PS, related to the topic: I would certainly, under no circumstances, accept any advice on how to recognize a child abuser from someone who will not tell me how they obtained that information or let me know what standing they have to offer that information.

On this we agree.  I can benefit from the thoughts of anonymous posters, but I will not take personal advice from them.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: readselerttoo on July 07, 2020, 05:57:02 PM
Yes, but not with information from an anonymous source whose credentials or experience we cannot evaluate.

Well, what are a few things that I know about you:
  • You claim to live in Minnesota.
  • You claim you used to live in New York.
  • You claim your name is Charles Austin.
  • You claim to be ordained.
  • You claim to be married.

How can I tell if any of that is true?

I welcome discussion from anonymous as well as pseudonymous posters.  I'll evaluate what they have to say the same way I evaluate your statements.  I will grant that someone who has been posting under a pseudonym for a while gains more trust than one who just started posting -- but the same is true of those using their "real" identity.

You, on the other hand, would have us ignore many anonymous/pseudonymous authors and activists of great renown, such as Aristides, Brutus, Cato, Centinel, the Federal Farmer, Kwame Ture, Mother Jones, Publius, Silence Dogood, or even "A Senior Trump Administration Official".  Anonymity/pseudonymity has an honored history.

I don’t quite understand why Pr. Austin has to make a differentiation between “known” and unknown posters.  I weigh my posts based on what I read and not on some projection I have formed about a certain poster.  I certainly do not know anyone on this forum in the sense displayed.  Why can’t people form their response based on common sense in terms of playing off the words in the posts?  Rather than post off of some preconceived notion of who the audience is.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 07, 2020, 05:58:19 PM
Mr Gehlhausen:
Uh, why? If the teenager in a basement in Kabul or Haifa who is clever with words has edifying ideas, then what is the loss?  While some here may exchange DMs or personal e-mails, this is not exactly a social-meeting site.

Me:
Oh for heaven sake! You can’t be that naïve. I mean that teenager in some distance place could be setting you or the rest of us up for some scam, And because the poster is subtle with words or “sounds like a good idea”… Well, I hope you see what I mean.
I reject the idea that my desire to find out who is posting here is stalking, or that I have seriously threatened to go to anyone’s superior.
(I do remember casually pondering why one extremely high level executive in a very prominent church body was spending so much time posting here during the hours when normally one in a high-level very responsible position would be working at that high-level very responsible position. And I did read elsewhere that .... well, never mind.)
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 07, 2020, 06:00:59 PM
Mr. Rahn writes:
Why can’t people form their response based on common sense in terms of playing off the words in the posts.
I comment:
Because words have sources, and contexts, and may change their meaning or significance depending upon who says  them.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: readselerttoo on July 07, 2020, 06:05:55 PM
Mr. Rahn writes:
Why can’t people form their response based on common sense in terms of playing off the words in the posts.
I comment:
Because words have sources, and contexts, and may change their meaning or significance depending upon who says  them.

So?
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: readselerttoo on July 07, 2020, 06:08:02 PM
My point is that I don’t need to police what others are saying/responding to on this forum.  I am just responsible for what I express.  No one has jurisdiction over that.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 07, 2020, 06:45:42 PM
What a waste of time it is reading arguments back and forth about anonymity. I was going to delete that whole string, but I've already wasted enough time. Can't you all just act like grown ups?
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 07, 2020, 07:15:22 PM
Mr. Rahn writes:
Why can’t people form their response based on common sense in terms of playing off the words in the posts.
I comment:
Because words have sources, and contexts, and may change their meaning or significance depending upon who says  them.

So?


It is of the utmost importance when I see posts on Facebook to know where they came from. A huge number are inaccurate. It becomes doubly difficult when the inaccurate posters believe that the "fact-finding" sites are all liberal propaganda and can't be trusted. I wonder why they believe the sites they are so fond of quoting.


The source of information is quite important for determining the trust-worthiness of the information.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 07, 2020, 07:16:23 PM
Sorry, Richard.
I shall try to be done with the topic again.
But it is an additional problem when I think I know who the anonymous one is. And why he will not show himself here.
Perhaps I shall write a massive treatise to send to the ALPB to show why they should not allow anonymous posters
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Dan Fienen on July 07, 2020, 07:19:34 PM
I still have trouble understanding why it matters so much to Pr. Austin whether or not posters are anonymous because he doesn't pay that much attention to who posts when they are clearly identified. He sometimes directs his response to whoever occurs to him rather the who actually posted.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 07, 2020, 07:26:10 PM
A meme of a poster on Facebook that I thought was interesting and perhaps applicable to this discussion. As I remember it (can't find it now):

Most women know someone who has been raped.
Most men don't know a rapist.


I can't say that I know a rapist, but I do know four pastors who have been addicted to porn. Two have been arrested (child porn) the other two are in therapy.


Perhaps "protecting our children (and women)" might include no longer protecting the villains.

Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 07, 2020, 07:29:34 PM
I still have trouble understanding why it matters so much to Pr. Austin whether or not posters are anonymous because he doesn't pay that much attention to who posts when they are clearly identified. He sometimes directs his response to whoever occurs to him rather the who actually posted.


Perhaps for the same reason that Pr. Austin's posts about this and that he occasionally gets the name of a poster wrong seem to matter so much to you.


ἀφίημι besides being translated, "to forgive," could also mean, "let it go."
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 07, 2020, 09:52:19 PM
I still have trouble understanding why it matters so much to Pr. Austin whether or not posters are anonymous because he doesn't pay that much attention to who posts when they are clearly identified.

I still have trouble understanding why you can't follow my VERY STRONG request that you all stop talking about this? I think this has the potential of being a valuable thread, but I'm on the verge of locking it because nobody seems able to follow the rules.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 08, 2020, 07:22:39 AM
I still have trouble understanding why it matters so much to Pr. Austin whether or not posters are anonymous because he doesn't pay that much attention to who posts when they are clearly identified.

I still have trouble understanding why you can't follow my VERY STRONG request that you all stop talking about this? I think this has the potential of being a valuable thread, but I'm on the verge of locking it because nobody seems able to follow the rules.

The sexual abuse of children by church leaders is horrendous to contemplate. Easier to triangulate in irrelevant topics. Changing the subject may be part of why churches are such easy targets for this bad behavior.

Keeping secrets, moving on is another.  Willow Creek Church, for example, may not survive the internal efforts of their board to deny Bill Hyle's long term abuse of the women on his staff. Sexual abuse is an icky topic to discuss openly.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on July 08, 2020, 06:16:30 PM
I was once told that some Catholics who studied why pedophiles want to become priests and they found it wasn't because that is where the children were. Actually they felt guilty about their pedophilic tenancies and wanted to make up for it by becoming a priest. After becoming priests they slip up.

Although Lutherans aren't saddled with a system of indulgences and merits, I remember one Lutheran pastor discussing the degrees of glory in much the same way and how churchworkers would be rewarded with a higher degree of glory because of the sacrifices made to serve in the ministry. This is rarely talked about directly. It is more reflected in little things here and there.

If we got rid of degrees of glory and took away some of the specialness when talking about churchly things and especially when advertising for seminaries maybe the pedophiles wouldn't feel like ministry is a good way to make up for it.

Still another problem is that with reporting increasing in recent years it is possible to lose sight of what is "really" abuse. In some communities the number of CPS reports are so high now that the number of in-home visits and investigations by social workers are around or even slightly higher than the total number of children divided by 18. So "every" child is abused or neglected--and this breeds contempt for the law. When CPS becomes the common enemy that "every" parent is worried about, then the taboo against reporting someone close becomes a factor. Anyone who reports becomes an enemy to all. I don't have a good answer for this, but it may be part of the problem in some places.

Related to the above issue is that many children taken from their parents like for a 72 hour hold or for longer end up being placed with a mixed group of other detained children and a decent percentage of them end up abused by the other children in the system. This makes people see CPS as an enabler of pedophilia rather than the solution to it.

Another factor is mobbing. Because mobbing is unregulated and not transparent it is a good way to get rid of someone raising questions about their openly sexually deviant behavior. I have witnessed this directly. Plus the US Department of Justice says that attacking is one of the five common defenses pedophiles use--https://www.abusewatch.net/pedophiles.pdf (https://www.abusewatch.net/pedophiles.pdf)

The whole shameless approach from Bolz-Weber and other trendy people is exceedingly dangerous. Part of how some predators work is that they test the waters to see how people respond. They tell off-color jokes and see who laughs or to see if no one objects. The taboo against small things must be retained so that we will all see and notice when something is wrong and not be calloused.

Another more distant factor similar to having strong boundaries about off-color behavior is alcohol. A certain percentage of pedophiles are on alcohol when doing their abusing or have habitual problems with it or other substances and I suspect the same is true of clerical pedophiles. People laugh stuff off that occurs under the influence when they shouldn't be condoning it.

Also some of the different denominations don't talk to each other enough when pastors that get kicked out of one denomination try to join another one. The pastor who groomed me lied about how he had been forced out of the ministry in his previous denomination. Had I known it was for I would have never decided to be alone with him.

Also sometimes children are motivated by getting people to feel guilty when they haven't done anything wrong. Then the youth make up for it by doing wrong things. This makes it easy for them to transgress with the abuser; it is from stereotype threat. In general people can watch for this pattern in preaching or elsewhere so it does not become commonplace and accepted. Related to this is too much talking about circumcision; especially advocating that is is a good thing to do today or that children not circumcised should be. I know it sounds strange for gentiles to do this but some people are strange about it.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 08, 2020, 07:12:39 PM

The whole shameless approach from Bolz-Weber and other trendy people is exceedingly dangerous. Part of how some predators work is that they test the waters to see how people respond. They tell off-color jokes and see who laughs or to see if no one objects. The taboo against small things must be retained so that we will all see and notice when something is wrong and not be calloused
.

^^^^ This.

 A group of seminarians are being released on the church who have clearly stated they have no intention of abiding by the constraints of marriage. Their champion is continually put onto main stages as their hero. This will not end well and I see a plethora of lawsuits hitting the denomination in the next decade, because, as you note, it creates an environment where abuse may flourish. 
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Matt Hummel on July 08, 2020, 07:37:11 PM
Something anyone interested in this topic should read is this: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

It is the “John Jay” report instigated by the USCCB to determine the nature of what happened and what could be done to prevent it.

The best description of the problem comes from an older, wiser priest who was one of my direct reports when I ran the Respect Life shop for a diocese. He said the issue is that at least one person in the room has to be a grown-up. For a number of reasons, human formation failed at that in too many instances. But of note is the truth that dare not speak its name hiding in plain sight in the data.

The real issue is not “pedophile priests.” It is ephebophile priests.

The other issue is that the finial organization of the Catholic Church makes it easier to get at “deep pockets.” I am not saying that to lesson the evil. Trust  me, I have insight into this that none of you do. But simply as the warning that a Catholic Diocese makes an easier target, so there are victims in your denominations, but no attorneys to go after the money. Sad, but true. Another good source is a book, not sure if it is in print, Healers, Wounded and Wounding (?). Written by a Lutheran pastoral counselor warning about the dangers in the vocation process in Mainline denominations.

Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on July 08, 2020, 11:05:28 PM
Some priests transgress because they feel guilty and want to get caught. One Catholic I know speculated it has to do with hearing all those confessions.

They get all this guilt from their parishioners, and it needs to go to Jesus. But when this fails or maybe just takes awhile the priest wants to be punished so that everything feels right. So they transgress somehow; for those with a particular inclination it takes that form.

I am one of those people who has difficulty with being too open and too honest. Because of this I tend to be on the receiving end of manipulation; especially when people want to make me feel guilty when I haven't done anything wrong. It is like I am a Catholic priest receiving confessions, but not able to give the guilt to Jesus; or not able to do it well. I can tell when this happens because my vision goes awkward and I feel discombobulated or yucky even when I've done nothing wrong to make me feel that way. At times I am able to give the guilt to Jesus but not often enough.

Recently when feeling awkward and discombobulated I had a very strong desire to post something to ALPB that was ridiculous and got deleted right way, but not before one person commented on it with the word "sigh"--and nothing else. All at once I felt great again and my discombobulation was gone--not at the initial posting, but when I learned it was deleted a short time afterwards. I quickly realized that I must have needed to make a symbolic transgression to deal with the guilt I had (which was not my own to begin with). I understood to myself that this was not the best choice because it was one of those pointless mind games I was better off not playing. But I felt so much better! But I fear my guilt left me and went into someone who then wanted to transgress.

When I interact with an accepting pastor I can feel good again; all at once. But on two occasions that I can think of after interacting with me the pastor went and viewed or distributed something illegal afterwards and I learned about it on the news. Strange because that isn't my "thing". As I understand it the guilt didn't just go away; it left me and went into the pastor, and the illegal actions must have been their coping mechanisms. (My coping mechanisms are to read, write, and sing hymns. I tend to reduce connecting with the people close to me during these times because I want to protect them from the guilt.)

On occasions I interact with darker personalitied people and they start to act erratic in a way that they do not when interacting with other people. I can think of a variety of cases. Empathically the strong part in me connects with the weak part in them and brings it out which destabilizes them. My weaknesses are like Jesus' human nature but the strength in me is like the fishhook of the divine nature. God uses it for good; that I can tell. Whatever the mechanism is I speculate that it is identical to the one where my guilt goes into pastors.

There must be a better way to get the guilt to Jesus without interacting with pastors. Repenting works great, but only if it was my guilt. How to get rid of others' guilt?
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Matt Hummel on July 08, 2020, 11:32:56 PM
Commencement writes:

Some priests transgress because they feel guilty and want to get caught. One Catholic I know speculated it has to do with hearing all those confessions.

They get all this guilt from their parishioners, and it needs to go to Jesus. But when this fails or maybe just takes awhile the priest wants to be punished so that everything feels right. So they transgress somehow; for those with a particular inclination it takes that form.

Father Hummel responds, paraphrasing Wolfgang Pauli: That theology is not even wrong. Your N of 1 has no validity. Talk to actual priests, and you find one of their greatest joys is in hearing confessions. This is on par with the stupidity that asserts that celibacy is at the root of the issue (ignoring all the denominations with married clergy who act out at the same rates and levels).
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Charles Austin on July 09, 2020, 12:05:46 AM
I’m with Fr. Hummel here. Nothing of the penitent flies into the confessor and becomes his guilt. That’s nonsense. If true, all helping professions - therapists, psychologists, etc. - would need protection.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Rob Morris on July 09, 2020, 08:22:26 AM
I’m with Fr. Hummel here. Nothing of the penitent flies into the confessor and becomes his guilt. That’s nonsense. If true, all helping professions - therapists, psychologists, etc. - would need protection.

But secondary trauma and compassion fatigue are real things and well-documented, as are destructive behavior patterns among helping professions.

My tweak would be to the idea that this is a free-floating guilt, which would put it in the realm of the human condition before God. But change the word guilt to stress or trauma, and there is much that is true in the idea that hearing or helping brings it's own, sometimes destructive cost.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: B Hughes on July 09, 2020, 08:35:20 AM

But secondary trauma and compassion fatigue are real things and well-documented, as are destructive behavior patterns among helping professions.


 To the opening post of this thread, that fatigue can also arise from warning about the potential dysfunction being promulgated by the larger church with little to no impact. How many lay people and church leaders have we lost as a result?
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on July 09, 2020, 07:57:02 PM
Quote
That theology is not even wrong. Your N of 1 has no validity.

In secular psychological literature, there are a variety of references to guilt being felt in counter-transference. Subjective counter-transference would not count as a transmission of guilt because it was already inside the confessor figure, but objective counter-transference in the confessor figure originates from the penitent. There was also a lot of literature on "countertransference acting out"--with https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-3762-5_15 (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-3762-5_15) stating "Overall I suggest that the analyst's personal integrity and secondarily the threat of malpractice are the major deterrents to countertransference acting-out."

I didn't find any arguments against counter-transference, although https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16544199/ (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16544199/) says that some think it is better not to look at objective counter-transference apart from other factors. It seems plausible this could be studied. You'd need to have a confessional with two brain scanning devices and look for mirror neurons.

Quote
Talk to actual priests, and you find one of their greatest joys is in hearing confessions.

So you and your peers are doing better at it.

People on the internet say:

"Actually, I have heard some priests say that hearing confessions is hard on them."
https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-be-at-the-receiving-end-at-the-confession-booth-and-listen-to-all-the-salacious-and-juicy-details-of-all-your-penitents%E2%80%99-sins# (https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-be-at-the-receiving-end-at-the-confession-booth-and-listen-to-all-the-salacious-and-juicy-details-of-all-your-penitents%E2%80%99-sins#)

"Indeed, most priests will tell you that hearing confessions is hard work."
https://catholicexchange.com/shock-and-awe (https://catholicexchange.com/shock-and-awe)

The section of https://www.hprweb.com/2017/12/my-side-of-the-confessional/ (https://www.hprweb.com/2017/12/my-side-of-the-confessional/) entitled "People who Interact with the Scrupulous" says it is hard to hear confessions from scrupulous people. The woman writing it mentions "Such advisors also risk a kind of “hypnosis” by the arguments of raging anxiety" which is probably something she personally observed.

But it is a big internet and just because I found three examples doesn't mean your experience is not the predominate one. Yet it only takes a small percentage of priests to ruin it for everyone.

Quote
This is on par with the stupidity that asserts that celibacy is at the root of the issue

Celibacy actually should have an advantage against pedophiles because the criminologist literature reports a decent percentage of pedophiles as being married with kids. The encouragement of celibacy as a discipline against acting out sexual impulses should also apply to pedophiles.

On the other hand, celibacy makes priests more sensitive to others and should help facilitate spiritual connections. I have felt it myself on multiple occasions after having talked with Catholic priests. To study this you would need to see if celibate people exhibit more objective counter-transference than non-celibates.

It seems that some religious leaders have the ability to induce scrupulosity in otherwise healthy people: https://books.google.com/books?id=CxJ4ebpYcwkC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=%22Milieu-influenced+scruples+(Type+II)%22&source=bl&ots=ZiaUI9xC49&sig=ACfU3U2vFE7VhpEKj0g1UeEuVgq2DShZDQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiAzMSYvMDqAhXQK80KHSgGBLoQ6AEwAHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Milieu-influenced%20scruples%20(Type%20II)%22&f=false

If it works one way, then it could in theory go the other way, too. Lutherans' belief that contrition properly speaking is what is also called perfect contrition and that concerns about imperfect contrition provoke unnecessary doubts sounds like a reasonable reaction to priests being fatigued from imperfectly contrite penitents, especially of the scrupulous sort. My theory is that they got rid of imperfect contrition partly because the objective counter-transference was too much of a bear.

There is another way to deal with it. On page 187 of that large paper you linked to, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf
 (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf) it notes that in one study of 25 clergy sexual offenders one of their characteristics was that they "had insufficient training in the issue of transference/counter transference". Thank you for that paper; it got me thinking about this.

So short of getting rid of imperfect contrition that sounds like one thing that could be done to help solve it.

Ezekiel 33, putting the hands on the head of sacrifices, scapegoats, Pilate and the Jews, and Jesus are examples of transferring guilt. We can be empathetic with animals, so the person receiving the benefit of the animal sacrifice would have had an emotional connection with the animal as it dies. The person would felt the animal's innocence and the animal would felt the person's guilt. Turtledoves seem less effective for this, but they were only a substitute.

The excommunication of lawless heretics and the impenitent were practical steps to keep the guilt from spreading to the the whole church. Could the seal of the confessional help keep people safe from the guilt leaving the priest? We also seal tombs, landfills, and septic systems.

The counter-transference literature says to look for it in yourself and to expect it to crop up. You are supposed to talk it out with others when you need to. But if I do that is spreads to others. I guess I need to find someone strong enough to quash it for good. Right now I'm wondering if objective justification could somehow be leveraged do deal with feeling other people's guilt. I am starting to experiment with it and hopefully it will work.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Matt Hummel on July 09, 2020, 09:47:14 PM
Quote
That theology is not even wrong. Your N of 1 has no validity.

In secular psychological literature, there are a variety of references to guilt being felt in counter-transference. Subjective counter-transference would not count as a transmission of guilt because it was already inside the confessor figure, but objective counter-transference in the confessor figure originates from the penitent. There was also a lot of literature on "countertransference acting out"--with https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-3762-5_15 (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-3762-5_15) stating "Overall I suggest that the analyst's personal integrity and secondarily the threat of malpractice are the major deterrents to countertransference acting-out."

I didn't find any arguments against counter-transference, although https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16544199/ (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16544199/) says that some think it is better not to look at objective counter-transference apart from other factors. It seems plausible this could be studied. You'd need to have a confessional with two brain scanning devices and look for mirror neurons.

Quote
Talk to actual priests, and you find one of their greatest joys is in hearing confessions.

So you and your peers are doing better at it.

People on the internet say:

"Actually, I have heard some priests say that hearing confessions is hard on them."
https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-be-at-the-receiving-end-at-the-confession-booth-and-listen-to-all-the-salacious-and-juicy-details-of-all-your-penitents%E2%80%99-sins# (https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-be-at-the-receiving-end-at-the-confession-booth-and-listen-to-all-the-salacious-and-juicy-details-of-all-your-penitents%E2%80%99-sins#)

"Indeed, most priests will tell you that hearing confessions is hard work."
https://catholicexchange.com/shock-and-awe (https://catholicexchange.com/shock-and-awe)

The section of https://www.hprweb.com/2017/12/my-side-of-the-confessional/ (https://www.hprweb.com/2017/12/my-side-of-the-confessional/) entitled "People who Interact with the Scrupulous" says it is hard to hear confessions from scrupulous people. The woman writing it mentions "Such advisors also risk a kind of “hypnosis” by the arguments of raging anxiety" which is probably something she personally observed.

But it is a big internet and just because I found three examples doesn't mean your experience is not the predominate one. Yet it only takes a small percentage of priests to ruin it for everyone.

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This is on par with the stupidity that asserts that celibacy is at the root of the issue

Celibacy actually should have an advantage against pedophiles because the criminologist literature reports a decent percentage of pedophiles as being married with kids. The encouragement of celibacy as a discipline against acting out sexual impulses should also apply to pedophiles.

On the other hand, celibacy makes priests more sensitive to others and should help facilitate spiritual connections. I have felt it myself on multiple occasions after having talked with Catholic priests. To study this you would need to see if celibate people exhibit more objective counter-transference than non-celibates.

It seems that some religious leaders have the ability to induce scrupulosity in otherwise healthy people: https://books.google.com/books?id=CxJ4ebpYcwkC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=%22Milieu-influenced+scruples+(Type+II)%22&source=bl&ots=ZiaUI9xC49&sig=ACfU3U2vFE7VhpEKj0g1UeEuVgq2DShZDQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiAzMSYvMDqAhXQK80KHSgGBLoQ6AEwAHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Milieu-influenced%20scruples%20(Type%20II)%22&f=false

If it works one way, then it could in theory go the other way, too. Lutherans' belief that contrition properly speaking is what is also called perfect contrition and that concerns about imperfect contrition provoke unnecessary doubts sounds like a reasonable reaction to priests being fatigued from imperfectly contrite penitents, especially of the scrupulous sort. My theory is that they got rid of imperfect contrition partly because the objective counter-transference was too much of a bear.

There is another way to deal with it. On page 187 of that large paper you linked to, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf
 (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf) it notes that in one study of 25 clergy sexual offenders one of their characteristics was that they "had insufficient training in the issue of transference/counter transference". Thank you for that paper; it got me thinking about this.

So short of getting rid of imperfect contrition that sounds like one thing that could be done to help solve it.

Ezekiel 33, putting the hands on the head of sacrifices, scapegoats, Pilate and the Jews, and Jesus are examples of transferring guilt. We can be empathetic with animals, so the person receiving the benefit of the animal sacrifice would have had an emotional connection with the animal as it dies. The person would felt the animal's innocence and the animal would felt the person's guilt. Turtledoves seem less effective for this, but they were only a substitute.

The excommunication of lawless heretics and the impenitent were practical steps to keep the guilt from spreading to the the whole church. Could the seal of the confessional help keep people safe from the guilt leaving the priest? We also seal tombs, landfills, and septic systems.

The counter-transference literature says to look for it in yourself and to expect it to crop up. You are supposed to talk it out with others when you need to. But if I do that is spreads to others. I guess I need to find someone strong enough to quash it for good. Right now I'm wondering if objective justification could somehow be leveraged do deal with feeling other people's guilt. I am starting to experiment with it and hopefully it will work.

Wow. It's in Quora, so, yeah, it must be real. I am beginning to see the point that Pr. Austin makes. I lay my cards out on the table as does pretty much everyone else here. You want me to take your arguments seriously, don't lurk in the shadows.

Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on November 20, 2020, 07:16:14 PM
https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0419.htm#10

And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even; and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.

(& v. 21-22)
And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them; and he that sprinkleth the water of sprinkling shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until even. And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth him shall be unclean until even.

I've felt a similar effect after interacting with pastors. They forgive sins during the church service, but then become unclean afterwards. Interacting with them can make you unclean. Maybe unclean is not the right word, but it is an icky feeling I get. I don't get it from all pastors; I suppose that some of them are able to pass the guilt directly to Jesus instead.

How does the priest become unclean here? Is it like when the Legion demons went into the swine? The man became clean but the pigs received unclean spirits.

The general practice of keeping the stuff in the chancel separate & untouched by most people could reflect the spiritual risk of touching things touched by the pastor during the service. And when the altar guild argue about things or become overly controlling, that could be a transference of the unclean or icky feeling. I've felt it myself, too when touching things touched by an unclean pastor. And no, it is not scrupulosity; I was never taught that pastors touching things makes them unclean. It is more that I've handled various objects unthinkingly, and wondered why I feel icky. Now I think Numbers 19 could explain why.

I've been told many times that the ceremonial law was done away by the New Covenant and Jesus. Why then do I get a horrible feeling whenever the more theologically liberal/moderate types trot out the argument that "We should still be obeying the OT laws, and we aren't?" There must be something that still is operating mostly how the OT works, and whatever it is it gets way stronger when I hear or read this argument. Often I just shut down when I come to it because I'm like, "Oh no, I'm really in trouble if these things are going to be enforced, and they probably are."

In my opinion, the desire to separate the 613 commands into moral, civil, and ceremonial, is our human attempt to decide which laws (especially if they are the will of God) no longer apply to us. In other words, we look at the commands and decide, "This command makes sense to us now, so we'll call it 'a moral law'."

&

Does your wife cover her head when she goes out in public, or, especially in a worship service? When did that apostolic revelation cease to be a Christian lifestyle?

What if spiritually, some or even most are not completely updated to Covenant 2.0. Then you end up with unexpected transference of guilt; the very thing the OT cleanliness rules where designed to manage so it wouldn't get out of hand.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 20, 2020, 10:46:06 PM
https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0419.htm#10 (https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0419.htm#10)

And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even; and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.

(& v. 21-22)
And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them; and he that sprinkleth the water of sprinkling shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until even. And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth him shall be unclean until even.

I've felt a similar effect after interacting with pastors. They forgive sins during the church service, but then become unclean afterwards. Interacting with them can make you unclean. Maybe unclean is not the right word, but it is an icky feeling I get. I don't get it from all pastors; I suppose that some of them are able to pass the guilt directly to Jesus instead.

How does the priest become unclean here? Is it like when the Legion demons went into the swine? The man became clean but the pigs received unclean spirits.

The general practice of keeping the stuff in the chancel separate & untouched by most people could reflect the spiritual risk of touching things touched by the pastor during the service. And when the altar guild argue about things or become overly controlling, that could be a transference of the unclean or icky feeling. I've felt it myself, too when touching things touched by an unclean pastor. And no, it is not scrupulosity; I was never taught that pastors touching things makes them unclean. It is more that I've handled various objects unthinkingly, and wondered why I feel icky. Now I think Numbers 19 could explain why.

I've been told many times that the ceremonial law was done away by the New Covenant and Jesus. Why then do I get a horrible feeling whenever the more theologically liberal/moderate types trot out the argument that "We should still be obeying the OT laws, and we aren't?" There must be something that still is operating mostly how the OT works, and whatever it is it gets way stronger when I hear or read this argument. Often I just shut down when I come to it because I'm like, "Oh no, I'm really in trouble if these things are going to be enforced, and they probably are."

In my opinion, the desire to separate the 613 commands into moral, civil, and ceremonial, is our human attempt to decide which laws (especially if they are the will of God) no longer apply to us. In other words, we look at the commands and decide, "This command makes sense to us now, so we'll call it 'a moral law'."

&

Does your wife cover her head when she goes out in public, or, especially in a worship service? When did that apostolic revelation cease to be a Christian lifestyle?

What if spiritually, some or even most are not completely updated to Covenant 2.0. Then you end up with unexpected transference of guilt; the very thing the OT cleanliness rules where designed to manage so it wouldn't get out of hand.


Being "unclean" was not the same thing as "guilt." A woman shouldn't feel guilt because she gives birth, but she is unclean. (Same with her period.) A man who has a skin disease shouldn't feel guilt, but he is unclean.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on November 20, 2020, 11:52:30 PM
Since you separate the two I suppose you don't think Matthew 15:18 applies here. I'll grant that for now for the sake of discussing another factor which intertwines them:

Israelites followed the rules about being unclean, so they didn't feel guilt about it. We don't follow the rules; something within that is tricky to put your finger on exactly may interpret the ignoring of the rules as a sin, and the resultant needless spread of the uncleanness as evidence of guilt. Then those sensitive enough to perceive it feel the "something" as an icky feeling.

And wouldn't guilt flow more easily between two unclean persons, or from a clean to an unclean person (probably as the clean person shames the unclean person for some minutia)? The unnatural direction would be from an unclean person to a clean person, (who stays clean). Being clean & staying that way as much as possible helps to guard against others foisting their guilt on you.

Have you ever noticed that non-observant Jews of good character are way less spiritual or mystical-oriented than Christians? They are closer to atheists in their practice even if they still believe in God. The reason for this is that what they perceive as the Divine is unmanaged & treacherous. The quickest solution to this is to shut down the relationship rather completely because the ratio of curses to blessings is not going to be in their favor. So they don't even pray and are so rational they offend God or whatever it was that posed as God to them. In contrast, non-observant Christians of comparable good character are more likely to continue pursuing spiritual things, even if they don't attend church or confession, and even if they don't tithe. Their navigation of the spiritual surroundings is still riskier without a church community, but not as high-stakes as for non-practicing Jews. So they can maintain a relationship with God while not anticipating a deluge of bad things. (What I am getting at: Skepticism, for those who develop it, is equivalent to ghosting your relationships and otherwise trying to shut them down. It is a useful tactic if the relationship needs to end.)

The above paragraph explains how non-observant Jews handle the risk of guilt related to ignoring the rules. They are very cautious about abandoning their rational outlook; it keeps them safe. Yet moderate-to-liberal Christians are willing to open this massive can of worms just score a point in an argument over sexuality or some other topic. It doesn't seem right at all.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 21, 2020, 02:03:19 PM
Since you separate the two I suppose you don't think Matthew 15:18 applies here. I'll grant that for now for the sake of discussing another factor which intertwines them:


It certainly applies. The Greek verb in Matthew 15:11, 18, & 20 is κοινόω. The basic meaning of the whole word group κοιν- is "to be common." It is about sharing in community. Koinonia is an English word based on this Greek root meaning: "fellowship," "communion." What "defiles" (the way it is often translated in those verses) is acting just like "common" or "ordinary" people. God's people are to be "holy," which essentially means, "something 'set apart'," or "something different." That's what the Torah commands were meant to do: to distinguish God's people from the other peoples living around them.


Note: Non-Jews were not bound to the clean/unclean commands of the Torah. While everyone would have natural bodily discharges, and would need to deal with corpses, God's people had to follow a ritual afterwards to purify their uncleanness (commonness). Gentiles neither felt guilty nor ritually unclean by doing such things.


Jesus words, as I have interpreted them:


Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people were not to act like the people around them. They were to be different. So they didn’t work on the seventh day. They didn’t eat some foods. They didn’t worship the local gods and goddesses. They did some other things that might seem strange to the folks around them; but those differences are what made them special – the holy people of God – set apart from other people. They weren’t to be like the common or ordinary peoples in the area.
 
When Christians think and speak and act like everybody else, they become common and ordinary, which becomes defiled, contaminated, unclean – but certainly not beyond redemption by God.
 
Jesus indicates that such commonness begins from within, not from without. We will see that this woman’s "great faith" [the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28] comes from within. She had none of the outside trappings of piety or holiness – nothing that would set her apart from common pagans.
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Israelites followed the rules about being unclean, so they didn't feel guilt about it. We don't follow the rules; something within that is tricky to put your finger on exactly may interpret the ignoring of the rules as a sin, and the resultant needless spread of the uncleanness as evidence of guilt. Then those sensitive enough to perceive it feel the "something" as an icky feeling.


Gentiles did not follow the rules about being unclean and they didn't feel guilty about it. It could be that these unclean rules came about because people felt "icky" about blood from a woman, semen from a man, touching dead bodies, etc. These are necessary things about which one should not feel guilty - even if they feel a bit "icky."

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And wouldn't guilt flow more easily between two unclean persons, or from a clean to an unclean person (probably as the clean person shames the unclean person for some minutia)? The unnatural direction would be from an unclean person to a clean person, (who stays clean). Being clean & staying that way as much as possible helps to guard against others foisting their guilt on you.


Certainly. We have sayings, "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch" and "birds of a feather flock together."


When I worked at an alcoholic rehab hospital, clients were advised (even ordered) to get a new group of friends. If they continue socializing with their drinking buddies, they will bring them down. It even went so far that a friend's daughter in rehab for drug abuse was told that she had to leave her church youth group. She had to develop a new group of friends (mostly from the local NA group).


However, we are also told in the Old Testament, and what we see coming from Jesus, is that by touching or being touched by the holy thing, one becomes holy. Bread and wine touched by the holy Word of God becomes holy communion which touches our lives to make us holy.

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Have you ever noticed that non-observant Jews of good character are way less spiritual or mystical-oriented than Christians? They are closer to atheists in their practice even if they still believe in God. The reason for this is that what they perceive as the Divine is unmanaged & treacherous. The quickest solution to this is to shut down the relationship rather completely because the ratio of curses to blessings is not going to be in their favor. So they don't even pray and are so rational they offend God or whatever it was that posed as God to them. In contrast, non-observant Christians of comparable good character are more likely to continue pursuing spiritual things, even if they don't attend church or confession, and even if they don't tithe. Their navigation of the spiritual surroundings is still riskier without a church community, but not as high-stakes as for non-practicing Jews. So they can maintain a relationship with God while not anticipating a deluge of bad things. (What I am getting at: Skepticism, for those who develop it, is equivalent to ghosting your relationships and otherwise trying to shut them down. It is a useful tactic if the relationship needs to end.)


That's true if one believes that the relationship depends on what we do. Jews, regardless of their religious observances, are still the chosen people of God. God said so. It's like a misbehaving children: the parents may not like what they are doing, but they continue to be their children.

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The above paragraph explains how non-observant Jews handle the risk of guilt related to ignoring the rules. They are very cautious about abandoning their rational outlook; it keeps them safe. Yet moderate-to-liberal Christians are willing to open this massive can of worms just score a point in an argument over sexuality or some other topic. It doesn't seem right at all.


Many of my relatives and some good friends are non-observant Jews. I don't see them feeling guilt over ignoring the rules. We used to joke that one cousin could smell mom baking a ham from 200 miles away, and he'd show up for dinner. Another man said, "I like lobster." There is no guilt in disregarding Torah commands.


In terms of sexual sins and punishment, even orthodox Jews almost never follow Torah commands on this.


First of all, the Torah (Deuteronomy 17:6-7) requires at least two witnesses. They would have to see the adultery or a man lying with man as with a woman in order to bring charges against the person. Hearsay is not sufficient. Conjecture is not sufficient. There have been a couple of times I've spent the night at a female friend's house. We slept in separate rooms. When traveling in a Gospel team, I often slept in the same bed as another male team member. We did not break any commandments.


Secondly, those same verses require the witnesses to be the first ones to put the guilty to death. They would have to be the ones to cast the first stones.


If you want to follow the rules about sins, you must also be willing to follow the rules about punishments.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on November 21, 2020, 04:34:49 PM
Your comments on Matthew 15:18 and later about bad apples indicates you agree that ritual uncleanliness is at least sometimes intertwined with guilt.

"Gentiles neither felt guilty nor ritually unclean by doing such things."

Hindus have a great deal of ritual cleanliness rules and traditions. Buddhists less so, but for temple purposes ritual cleanliness is still important. Africans achieve ritual cleanliness with utakaso, adangme, or other rituals. For Chinese, they especially do ritual cleansing at the New Year. Eastern Orthodox Old Believers in Russia today still believe that evil spirits dance in food and water left out overnight. It becomes ritually unclean and is not consumed.

Your Jewish friends are protected by rationalism and skepticism. If you lay into them about how the ceremonial commands are still in effect, they would eventually either reject you or feel guilty. But you don't do that; please don't do it to Christians either.

Once I was cleaning up a park and one of the things I removed was a small Native American worship item, which included an offering of tobacco. As I removed it, I had an unnatural mild stinging sensation. Presumably whatever it was that it had been offered to was displeased with me removing its sacred offering. Yet that which was within me was stronger than it and the stinging went away shortly. (The alternative is that it could have continued for hours and become exceedingly, debilitatingly strong.) I had broken a taboo against disturbing a sacred item. But after that whatever it was that stung me conceded defeat--I was able to dispose of other sacred objects without any unnatural stinging at all. (There were no Indians in the park at the time, the ceremony was over and done with; it was not on a reservation and they were not coming back any time soon.)

So if Indian ceremonial laws have a risk of impacting non-Indians, it follows that the same is true for Jewish ceremonial laws. Think also of how the Ark of the Covenant did not go well for the Philistines.

When high transferred guilt builds up in pastors, they then distract themselves from the guilt by sinning boldly and doing certain things-- like sexual transgressions. Eventually they find a way to make sure that they get caught so that they will be punished. Then they feel much better now that punishment has been given. What if instead pastors are taught how to manage this? How to fight (or at least manage) spiritual forces who will play games they can't possibly win?
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 22, 2020, 02:07:01 AM
Your comments on Matthew 15:18 and later about bad apples indicates you agree that ritual uncleanliness is at least sometimes intertwined with guilt.



Nope. I do not feel guilty when I touch a corpse, even if by Jewish law, I've become "unclean." Most people want to be like other people. They don't feel guilty because they can "keep up with the Joneses," but that's what κοινόω implies in Matthew 15. It's thinking, speaking, and acting like everyone else. People don't feel guilty when they can buy the latest fashions, or go to the popular restaurants, or watch the latest movies.


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Your Jewish friends are protected by rationalism and skepticism. If you lay into them about how the ceremonial commands are still in effect, they would eventually either reject you or feel guilty. But you don't do that; please don't do it to Christians either.


Many ceremonial laws are no longer in effect. Sacrifices could only be made in the temple by the Levitical priesthood. There is no temple. Who knows who the Levites are anymore. There have been no sacrifices since AD 70. The whole sacrificial rules of the Torah have been on hold for over 2000 years.


The ones I've talked to about it consider the food laws stupid. One remembers going to camp and they couldn't eat a milk chocolate bar for at least an hour after eating meat. That's how the law was interpreted. What changed during that hour? They feel no guilt in breaking them. They feel no guilty in failing to go through the purity rituals when they have become unclean.

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When high transferred guilt builds up in pastors, they then distract themselves from the guilt by sinning boldly and doing certain things-- like sexual transgressions. Eventually they find a way to make sure that they get caught so that they will be punished. Then they feel much better now that punishment has been given. What if instead pastors are taught how to manage this? How to fight (or at least manage) spiritual forces who will play games they can't possibly win?


I'm not sure that misconducting pastors feel better after being caught and punished. I know of three pastors who were caught viewing internet porn. With two of them, it was child pornography and they had thousands of pictures. Last I knew, they were going to prison. I don't think that they are happy about that. All three were serving congregations and their arrests shocked the congregations.


Pastors are taught about self-care. One of the best ways is to regularly meet with other clergy, a little like AA, for strength, support, counseling, worship, and when needed, confession and absolution. To be responsible to a group of peers for one's behaviors. To be a recipient of worship and the Word rather than just a giver.
Title: Re: Protecting Our Children
Post by: Commencement2020 on November 23, 2020, 12:20:06 AM
Your rationalism protects you from guilt. Not all people have this attribute; please respect this and don't write things that guilt them into following ceremonial law. You wouldn't treat your Jewish friends like this; don't do it to Christians on APLB.

At one level they are not happy about it, at another level it is exactly what they (or whatever it is that is influencing and cooperating with them) intended. That is why they made sure to offend in such a way that they would get caught. There is a decent amount of psychological type literature which discusses why people want to get caught. One driver of this is unresolved, unpunished guilt. Even worse if the guilt wasn't your own to begin with, so you can't just repent of it to restore the relationship. Finding a way to get punished is an obvious way to mend the relationship.

You write about these regulations as if they are things people can choose about like Coke or Pepsi. It isn't that simple, because "whatever it is" within them must also be so convinced and that isn't going to happen on a dime. I can think of one Lutheran who despite converting from Mormonism, still couldn't drink coffee without feeling sinful well after converting.

A human sacrifice of sorts is exactly what guilt oriented people want. Jan Hus, Girolamo Savonarola, Martyn Neale, Charles Moore, and who's up next? Prison and disgrace is less fiery but it follows in a similar vein. (Hindus would think the incarcerated pastors were following the Left-Hand Path to salvation.)\

His congregation was shocked, but I wasn't. I had accepted guilt (but not punishment) from a pastor despite not having done wrong myself. I wrote about what I did with the discombobulated feeling from this last July:

Recently when feeling awkward and discombobulated I had a very strong desire to post something to ALPB that was ridiculous...

Some pastors enter into a inflated state of consciousness during the service and then fall into another, deflated one afterwards. It would be better for them not to do this, or if they must to go whole hog like the Kauffman Amish sleeping preachers so they don't fool themselves into thinking that is who they really are. Yet if neither options are possible it would still be preferable they keep track of small physical and behavioral changes so at least they know it is happening. From there they can develop the will and means to fight it tooth-nail-claw all the way. If you don't know what your self is, that is going to hamper your self-care.