February 04, 2006

Protecting the innocents

Daily Journal

2/4/2006 7:52:10 AM
Daily Journal

Daily Journal

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second of a two-part series on security issues in worship congregations. Last Saturday's article covered protection from accidents, fires, fiscal misconduct and related topics.

Sexual abuse happens. When it happens in a church setting, it can turn a haven into a hell.

"There are few relationships more damaging than someone violating the naivete and innocence of a child," said Dr. Mike Marecle, a biblical counselor with Hope Family Ministries in Tupelo.

"When you portray God as male and you have had a male authority figure violate your innocence, it takes a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit not to transpose that person's betrayal onto your relationship with God."

Everybody's problem

Too many people believe sexual misconduct is someone else's problem, said Bill Wright, senior loss control specialist for churches with GuideOne Insurance.

"Years ago I was in a Baptist church in Georgia asking preliminary questions - What kind of background checks, what kind of prevention programs do you have?'" he said. "The person just leaned back and said, Aren't you glad we don't have that kind of problem in our denomination?'"

Posted by kshaw at February 4, 2006 08:03 AM