A mother is suing her pastor for failing to protect her daughter from sexual abuse. From what I have read in this article
, I can see nothing that the pastor has done wrong. Rather it is the alleged victims and the mother suing the church who are in the wrong.
The premise of the lawsuit is that Pastor Apostle John Abercrombie should have alerted police as soon as he became aware of sexual-abuse allegations against his church’s music director. This is thoroughly unbiblical. Paul instructed the young pastor Timothy:
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses – 1 Tim 5:19
A pastor cannot take action against an office bearer just because one person accuses him of sin. If the sin in question is sexual abuse, then the pastor must wait for a second and – if he wants to be especially sure – a third person to come forward before taking any action. Which is exactly what Pastor Abercrombie did! Liberals would make it mandatory to go running to the police over the merest suspicion of abuse, but God gave this commandment so that the reputation of godly ministers could not be ruined on the say-so of just one person.
Furthermore, Pastor Abercrombie lovingly corrected the alleged victims when they failed to follow the procedure for conflict resolution set out in Matthew 18:15-18.
Instead of alerting police, Apostle John Abercrombie in three instances confronted the frightened girls in his church office with the music director present, according to interviews with the alleged victims and their families, as well as police reports and other government documents obtained by the Tribune.
The girls erred when they went straight to their mothers with their allegations. The Bible tells us that if someone sins against you, you go directly to them in private first.
Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
None of these girls had the backbone to do this. They tried to take the easy way out, so their pastor set up a meeting with the music director so that they could confront him directly. This proved to be unfruitful and the music director was eventually fired from the church.
But now, to make matters worse, the mother of one of the alleged victims is suing the pastor for following Scripture. This is a grievous error. The Bible tells us that believers must not sue one another.
1 Cor 6:1-9a
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9a Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
Why won’t this girl and her mother rather suffer wrong than sue their pastor and tarnish God’s name before unbelievers? Why are they defrauding their pastor for doing right?
So what should Pastor Abercrombie do now? The answer is clear:
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
He should confront the girl and her mother in private and show them 1 Corinthians 6:1-9. If they refuse to listen, he should take back two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, they should face the same fate as the music director; they should be put out of the church and shunned, treated like unbelievers, shut out of God’s heavenly kingdom.