Church Allows Pedophile To Lead Bible Studies, Hails Pedo as a “Hero” – Meanwhile, Many Churches Refuse to Allow Celibate, Single Adults to Hold Any Sort of Leadership Positions
Because many flavors of American Christendom – everything from evangelical to Reformed to Baptist and everything else – continues to harbor this completely un-biblical and insulting perception that marriage and parenthood are necessary rites of adulthood, and because many Christians assume that married persons are above sexually sinning, they continue to prohibit single, celibate adults from holding leadership positions in church.
I have blogged before anecdotes by other celibate, single adults who express pain, shock, hurt, indignation or frustration because their church automatically limits them from doing things such as teaching Sunday school because singles are either regarded as immature or as more liable to sexually sin.
In this story, from the Watch Keep blog, we have an example of a mega-church, Steve Furtick’s “Elevation” church, that not only allows a known pedophile, a Norm Vigue, to lead a Bible study class at their church, the preacher, Furtick, refers to the pedophile as his “personal hero.”
You can read more about that in this post at the Watch Keep blog:
(Link): Steven Furtick and Elevation Church publicly support, celebrate, and elevate a convicted child sex offender before, during and after federal prison: registered sex offender Norman Vigue now leads Elevation Church Bible study (on the Watch Keep blog, by Amy Smith, in conjunction with Wartwatch Blog – a few excerpts, with commentary are farther below)
That is baffling, alarming, and shocking in and of itself, of course, but consider another point or two I’ve raised in my writing before:
- Churches are reluctant to utilize adults who are actually sexually pure as role models or as leaders or as teachers (they will not even permit adult celibate singles to teach other adult singles in church).
- Churches continue to buy into and promote the stereotype that all adult singles are sexually sinning
If you are a virgin over the age of 30, churches do not want you to speak about sexual purity; their preference is to hire or utilize known or self-professing fornicators as role models, teachers, or speakers.
On her Watch Keep blog, Amy Smith mentions how preacher Furtick has two or three blog posts on his blog describing the child molestor, Vigue, as his hero, and how Vigue will be available after some church service to sign autographs on a book he wrote.
While it is certainly true that God will forgive a repentant child molester, it is shocking that some Christians think the way to express this truth is to promote a child molester as a hero, or as some sort of teacher the rest of us can learn from.
And again, churches are double-minded and hypocritical in these issues two fold:
Point 1: in that they will not only heap praise on a convicted child molester or child rapist but refuse to utilize adult celibates or virgins as examples of sexual morality and God’s grace.
Point 2: pedophiles are permitted to teach and lead in churches, but not non-pedophile, virgin, celibate adults.
If you continue reading down the Watch Keep blog post about this, you can see that Furtick was using Vigue’s story to promote one of his past books, “Sun Stand Still.”
Not only did this Vigue guy (according to the post), accept and view child porn, get recognition and applauded by Furtick and the church, but, Furtick turns around and uses this entire sordid affair to market his book. So, greed is apparently another element going on here.
The WatchKeep blog also has documentation about the case where Vigue claims he got into child porn because he divorced his wife and became “lonely.”
This also somewhat invalidates the Christian view that married people – this guy was once married – are above sexual sin or more godly than singles. I’d also like to point out that loneliness can be an issue for never-married adults, but we do not molest children or view kiddie porn.
Here is the link again, with more commentary by me:
(Link): Steven Furtick and Elevation Church publicly support, celebrate, and elevate a convicted child sex offender before, during and after federal prison: registered sex offender Norman Vigue now leads Elevation Church Bible study (on the Watch Keep blog, by Amy Smith, in conjunction with Wartwatch Blog)
Here are a few excerpts from the Watch Keep blog (I encourage you to click the link above and read the entire post; Ms. Smith has provided screen captures from Elevation’s site of this):
- Norman Vigue, registered child sex offender, is currently leading an Elevation Church (Link): men’s bible study every Tuesday night from 7 pm to 9 pm.
Men’s Bible/Book Study eGroup: Foundations of Faith (Norman Vigue)
This eGroup exists to help us further understand God’s vision for us as men of purity. This is for men who are interested in growing in their faith, whether renewing a commitment or making a commitment for the first time. The life of Nehemiah is a perfect place to start. If you are seeking the freedom from sexual immorality, this group will provide Biblically-based topical discussion & regular accountability. We are meeting weekly, but rebuilding the walls daily.
I don’t know about Elevation church in particular, but in general terms, many church members and many married Christians are hesitant to permit NON-PEDOPHILE, adult, single, celibate Christians from leading or teaching classes in churches, because they assume all single adults are harlots, Jezebels, and fornicators, or that we single adults will seduce anyone within ten feet of us.
These same church members, preachers, or married couples, will, however, turn around and permit KNOWN CONVICTED PEDOPHILES to serve in a leadership capacity. This is beyond a double standard. It’s deviant and perverse.
From a previous post of mine, with some very pertinent observations by another author:
Number 6: There is a perception that single adults are morally loose.
If a person is not married by mid-twenties, there is something wrong, it is generally thought [by Christians].
A particular church was in the process of trying to hire a youth pastor. Since they could not find one for over a year, they held a congregational meeting to explain the progress they were making.
The elder in charge presented all kinds of reasons for the delay in locating the right person for the position. At the end of his explanation, I stopped up and asked, “Does the person you are looking for have to be married?”
You could have heard a pin drop on the carpet. People gasped. It was the unthinkable question. The elder hemmed, and he hawed, and he slithered all over the platform.
All I wanted was a yes or no. He was very obviously unnerved by my question. Finally some lady in the very back said, “What we need is a role model for the young girls. So I think he should be married.”
“You mean to tell me, in this entire congregation there is not one woman who’s a role model for the girls?” Silence.
“I tell you what I think the real reason is. You are afraid that a single pastor would be sexually frustrated and have sex with one of the teenage girls.”
“Out of all the pastors I have known personally, four have had affairs and left the ministry in disgrace. Each of them was married. Almost all the other pastors I have read about in magazines and books who have committed adultery were married.”
“True, married people do not have a corner on the market in becoming immoral. But you should not be prejudiced against a single adult simply because he is single.”
I tried to tell them that some of the best youth pastors in America are single. I wasn’t a very popular guy after that. The elders eventually hired a youth pastor. Yes, he was married.
Some churches won’t allow singles to teach Sunday school for fear these men and women will succumb to sexual temptation. That is unfounded fear. We all need the power of God to overcome temptation.
Don’t single out single people as the most likely to succumb. That is unfair and inaccurate.
Single adults want to be respected and trusted. Let them show by their faithfulness that they have a genuine relationship with God.
I also have a running list of news articles about married Christian men and women who admit to, or who get arrested for, sexual sins or for other types of crimes and sins.
Please see that list here, if you need another clue-by-four over the head that marriage does NOT make Christians less susceptible to sexual sin and sexual crime:
Steven Furtick has counseled single adults from his pulpit before – about abstaining from sexual behavior.
I do agree that the Bible prohibits sex prior to marriage, but I cannot listen to such a message coming from a man who also applauds a pedophile, and who puts a pedophile in a role of leadership and and power in his own church. -And a pedophile who leads a weekly church class about sexual purity, of all topics.
I have written of some of these topics before, as well as a post or two about Furtick’s comments on singleness, sexual sin, etc:
(Link): Jesus Christ was not afraid to meet alone with known Prostitutes / Steven Furtick and Elevation Church Perpetuating Anti Singles Bias – ie, Single Women are Supposedly Sexual Temptresses, All Males Can’t Control Their Sex Drives – (but this view conflicts with evangelical propaganda that married sex is great and frequent)
Another point I have belabored on my blog is how many churches have made an idol out of family and marriage.
How can these churches, which claim marriage and “the family,” and having children, is so very important, then turn around and be so lax towards known pedophiles, and continue to give these deviants easy access to future / possible victims?
I find it very hard to believe that evangelicals and other Christians are so very concerned about children when they keep white-washing, and diminishing child sex abuse as they do, and when they engage in actions such as permitting pedophiles to serve in leadership roles.
One of my other conclusions from all this, is the unbelievably insulting double standard held by Christians, which will find them championing convicted pedophiles, and allowing pedophiles to serve (and in leadership positions to boot), but they refuse virgin or celibate single (non pedophile) adults to serve in teaching positions, and they do not celebrate sexually pure adults.
The double standard is so glaring, and another reason why I am determined to live my life as I see fit now, and pay little to no heed to what Christians say about some topics.
Imagine that. We are living in a Christian culture that now celebrates and supports convicted pedophiles -people who prey on children! – but that continues to marginalize and to harbor negative, ugly stereotypes against non-pedophile, single, celibate adults.
I am disgusted by American Christendom (minus the minority of Christians who are fighting against all this, of course. They have my respect).
Additional Related Posts:
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified
(Link): Shocking Porn ‘Epidemic’ Stats Reveal Details About Christian Consumption (2014 Study) / Nearly Two-Thirds of Christian Men View Porn Monthly; They Are Watching It at Same Rate as Secular Men, Says Study – Christian Single Women: More Proof “Be Equally Yoked” Teachings Are Pointless
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
(Link): “You’re not a real man until you have children” by G. Proops – women should be able to relate to this too
(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother