Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church

Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church

The following article needs to be read in full, because, among other things, one learns that the church staff of the church discussed victim-blamed a teen-aged girl for wearing shorts as the reason as to why a male hired by the church sexually assaulted her.

What I wanted to focus on in this article, however, were the comments the single women made about this church.

Remember as you are reading this, that many Christians will advise you, if you are a single woman who’d like to marry, to try finding “husband material” at your local church.

Also remember as you read this, that a lot of Christians still push the spinster-making teaching of “be equally yoked” in regards to dating or marriage. (It’s a Christian view that holds that a Christian single should not date or marry any Non-Christians.)

(Link): Women Came to Hope Community Church Looking for Fellowship and Healing. Disrespectful Behavior from Church Leaders Drove Them to Leave.

Excerpts:

Feb 10, 2021
by Katie Jane Fernelius

…As members of Hope Community Church streamed in for services, the protesters held signs confronting Hope’s leadership on its record of handling sexual abuse and assault.

Over the last few months, the INDY has worked to vet these allegations and the church’s response to them.

Unfortunately, church leaders, including founder and lead pastor Mike Lee, have not responded to multiple inquiries, effectively stonewalling the INDY’s reporting around a fraught topic.

Sara Dye, who joined the megachurch looking for healing after she was raped by a stranger and went through a divorce, says she was assaulted by a member of the church’s worship team.

Continue reading “Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church”

Class Action Lawsuit Claims RZIM (Ravi Zacharias Ministry) Donations Misused, Funneled to Pay off Sex Abuse Survivors

Class Action Lawsuit Claims RZIM (Ravi Zacharias Ministry) Donations Misused, Funneled to Pay off Sex Abuse Survivors

(Link): Class-action lawsuit claims RZIM misled donors, covered up Ravi Zacharias’ abuse

(Link): Class-Action Lawsuit Claims RZIM Misled Donors, Covered Up Ravi Zacharias’ Abuse

(Link): ClassAction Lawsuit Claims RZIM Donations Misused, Funneled to Pay off Sex Abuse Survivors

By Anugrah Kumar
August 2021

Donors to Ravi Zacharias International Ministries have filed a lawsuit against the late Christian apologist’s organization, alleging their funds were funneled to women subjected to its founder’s sexual misconduct as he gave money and expensive gifts to survivors, including $40,000 toward on woman’s culinary schooling.

“Defendants bilked tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars from well-meaning donors who believed RZIM and Zacharias to be faith-filled Christian leaders,” claims the lawsuit filed in the federal court for the North District of Georgia. “In fact, Zacharias was a prolific sexual predator who used his ministry and RZIM funds to perpetrate sexual and spiritual abuse against women.”

Continue reading “Class Action Lawsuit Claims RZIM (Ravi Zacharias Ministry) Donations Misused, Funneled to Pay off Sex Abuse Survivors”

‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge by L. Blair

‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge by L. Blair

I am fairly sure I blogged about at least one of these guys a few years ago. Yep, I sure did.

(Link): ‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge

Excerpts:

by L. Blair
July 2021

Joe Burress, the 71-year-old founding pastor of Victory Church in Rochester, New York, also known as the “Fight Church,” has pled guilty to one of two second-degree sexual abuse charges against him three years after his son Paul Burress pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse.

Court documents cited in a recent WHAM report say two teenagers accused Joe Burress of sexually abusing them in separate incidents while they were under the age of 14.

…In March 2018, Paul Burress, who was previously charged with four counts of forcible touching after allegedly groping three women in his Henrietta, New York, home, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.

Continue reading “‘Fight Church’ Founding Pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse 3 Years After Son Owned Abuse Charge by L. Blair”

Preacher Accused of Using His Phone to Record Men Using Bathroom in His Church

Preacher Accused of Using His Phone to Record Men Using Bathroom in His Church

(Link): Preacher accused of recording men in bathroom

(Link): Preacher at Morgantown church charged after allegedly setting up recording device in men’s bathroom 

May 25, 2021
by WBOY News Staff

The phone, which was recovered from the men’s restroom at the church, was released to deputies and belonged to a preacher, William Page, 59, of Morgantown, deputies said.

On the phone, deputies found “videos of two males using the restroom,” as well as “several short videos of [Page] setting up the device,” according to the complaint.

(Link): West Virginia Preacher Accused Of Putting Phone In Bathroom And Recording Videos

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A preacher at a West Virginia church has been charged with invasion of privacy after he allegedly placed a phone in a men’s bathroom, recording videos of two victims.

Continue reading “Preacher Accused of Using His Phone to Record Men Using Bathroom in His Church”

The Mark Gungor and Sheila Gregoire Dust Up, vis a vis SSB Blog – I’ve blogged about Gungor for Years

The Mark Gungor and Sheila Gregoire Dust Up, vis a vis SSB Blog – I’ve blogged about Gungor for Years

Back when I was still on Twitter, I had to un-Follow Gregorie, because she sometimes “likes” anti-Republican type comments, which I got tired of seeing after months – her anti-conservative etc tweets that she “liked” would appear in my feed. I got tired of seeing them (I’m a conservative). 

I’ve blogged about Gungor before, going back years, on this blog. Here are some of my posts about the guy:

(Link): Kind of Bad Analogy by Christian Marriage Guru Mark Gungor

(Link): The Right One – Do Unmarried Christians Only Need Jesus in Common to Marry ?

(Link): Mark Gungor on Sexuality and Singles on Jan. 2013 TBN Guest Appearance

Gungor, as I’ve noted before on older posts at this blog (going back years) is a Christian marital advice person. He used to host marriage advice television shows on Christian network TBN.

And most of what I saw of his work had Gungor trading in secular, sexist stereotypes about women, and also promoting gendered stereotypes about men.

Continue reading “The Mark Gungor and Sheila Gregoire Dust Up, vis a vis SSB Blog – I’ve blogged about Gungor for Years”

Married Hillsong Church Administrator Sexually Assaulted Philadelphia Pastor’s Daughter: Report

Married Hillsong Church Administrator Sexually Assaulted Philadelphia Pastor’s Daughter: Report

Another example of how being married doesn’t make a person more godly, mature, ethical, responsible, or loving than remaining single.

Who, you may ask, teaches that marriage makes a person more loving, godly, etc, than being single (if you have to ask, you are probably married, because single adults already know)?

Why, a lot of conservative think tanks, Christian preachers, and other Christian talking heads, that’s who, such as but not limited to, “National Marriage Project,” Brad Wilcox, Al Mohler, Focus On The Family, and others. None of these marriage- idolating bozos care that the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7 that it is better to remain single, or that Jesus of Nazareth was a single and childless adult.

(Link): Hillsong Church Sure Sounds Like an Abuse-Laden, Power-Obsessed Environment

….Anna Crenshaw, a student at Hillsong College who says she was once abused by a church leader as a child, was allegedly assaulted by Jason Mays, son of the Australian church’s human resources head, in front of multiple witnesses, one of which told her not to tell anyone about it.

Mays denied the incident, but because the other witnesses were able to verify Crenshaw’s account, Mays was placed on paid leave.

He is now in an administrative role with the church. “Reporting what happened was the issue, not what happened to me,” Crenshaw said.

(Link): Married Hillsong Church Administrator Sexually Assaulted Philadelphia Pastor’s Daughter: Reporter

Excerpts:

by Leonardo Blair
Feb. 12, 2021

Around the time they received complaints about inappropriate sexual relations between staff and volunteers at Hillsong NYC, the embattled Australia-based Hillsong Church was in the throes of investigating the sexual assault of a Philadelphia pastor’s daughter at its headquarters, a new report reveals.

Continue reading “Married Hillsong Church Administrator Sexually Assaulted Philadelphia Pastor’s Daughter: Report”

Hillsong Church Rife with ‘Inappropriate’ Sex, Members Claimed

Hillsong Church Rife with ‘Inappropriate’ Sex, Members Claimed

As someone who is not totally opposed to the idea of churches setting up social functions so that single adults may meet other single people (in the quest to get married), I’ve never promoted, nor do I defend, any church that actually devolves into a seedy sex racket, where members are going about willy nilly sleeping with each other, and I sure do not approve of sexual harassment.

But I don’t want to see Christians or churches out there pointing to garbage like this news story at Hillsong (Link): to excuse NOT LIFTING A FINGER  to help single adults get married – at least the ones who’d like and appreciate the help.

But what is reported here is not acceptable – and it makes you really question that “be equally yoked” rule so many Christians cram down the throats of singles: if so many of the (usually MARRIED) Christian men at these churches are sexual predators, why do some Christians tell single Christian women that the best, safest place to “husband hunt” is at their local church?

(Link): Hillsong church was a ‘breeding ground’ for inappropriate sex and leaders ‘sent nudes to female volunteers while sleeping around’, claim whistleblowers after disgraced leader’s multiple affairs were exposed

(Link): Hillsong Church Rife with ‘Inappropriate’ Sex, Members Claimed

by Mara Siegler and O. Coleman
December 17, 2020

Hillsong staffers used the church like a seedy dating service, “sleeping around” with volunteers and asking them to send nude pictures — according to a group of volunteers who allegedly complained about the situation. Continue reading “Hillsong Church Rife with ‘Inappropriate’ Sex, Members Claimed”

Mega Church Preacher Bill Hybels in Trouble Again For More Sexual Harassment

Mega Church Preacher Bill Hybels in Trouble Again For More Sexual Harassment (2018)

I don’t think I ever blogged about this Hybels guy before.

He was first in the news many months ago for sexually harassing several different women in his church years before, who had worked as church staff.

His church first denied that this was true, and they attempted to say the women who stepped forward to discuss their harassment or abuse by this guy were lying.

There are so many of these pervy pastors it’s hard to keep up with them all. If all I ever did was blogged about perverted pastors, it would be a full time job, and I’d never have a break from this blog!

I’m pretty sure that Hybels is a married guy, too. Christians keep teaching that marriage is necessary to make a person a godly, responsible adult, and to keep them out of sexual sin, but as we see (yet once again!) marriage does not necessarily instill character into anyone, nor does it keep anyone from sexual sin or from sexually abusing others.

Let this story also go to show that a person does NOT have to become perfect, godly, or sinless to “earn” a spouse from God.

Yes, there are some Christians out there who teach that if you are single and want to get married, God will with-hold your spouse from you unless you become more godly, mature, or whatever quality. As  you can see from news reports such as this one, that is total bunk.

God did not withhold a spouse from Hybels (again, I’m fairly certain he has a wife), even though God had to know what a pervert the man is.

(Link): He’s a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly.

Excerpts:

Bill Hybels built an iconic evangelical church outside Chicago. A former assistant says that in the 1980s, he sexually harassed her.

SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. — After the pain of watching her marriage fall apart, Pat Baranowski felt that God was suddenly showering her with blessings.

She had a new job at her Chicago-area megachurch, led by a dynamic young pastor named the Rev. Bill Hybels, who in the 1980s was becoming one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country.

Continue reading “Mega Church Preacher Bill Hybels in Trouble Again For More Sexual Harassment”

Megachurch Pastor Les Hughey Admits ‘Sinning’ After 4 Women Accuse Him of Back Rubs, Sex

Megachurch Pastor Les Hughey Admits ‘Sinning’ After 4 Women Accuse Him of Back Rubs, Sex

Let us once more, for the millionth time on this blog, point out what Christian – and sometimes secular – conservatives get wrong (I am speaking here as a conservative myself, one who at times disagrees with other conservatives), in lieu of news stories like the one I am copying below:

-Marriage does not make people more godly, responsible, mature, or ethical

-God does not require a single adult who desires marriage to become pure, holy, godly, or perfect before he sends them a spouse

-The Christian “Equally Yoked” rule is unnecessary and too limiting for Christian women who’d like to marry, since there are not enough Christian single men for Christian single women to marry.
Furthermore, many Christian men turn out to be adulterers, pedophiles, wife abusers, and god only knows what else they are guilty of (see (Link): this list for examples), so that Christian single women are better off selecting a man to marry based on his actions and character, rather than his stated religious beliefs.

(Link): Megachurch Pastor Les Hughey Admits ‘Sinning’ After 4 Women Accuse Him of Back Rubs, Sex

Les Hughey, the founder of Highlands Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, has been placed on leave as the megachurch investigates accusations recently made by four women who say that he took sexual advantage of them when they were teenagers.

Hughey responded to the accusations, published in The Modesto Bee, on Saturday by admitting that inappropriate relationships did take place in the past, but insisted that they were of a consensual nature.

Continue reading “Megachurch Pastor Les Hughey Admits ‘Sinning’ After 4 Women Accuse Him of Back Rubs, Sex”

Larry Nassar’s Accuser Rachael Denhollander: ‘Few’ Victims of Sexual Assault Find ‘True Help’ From Church

This sounds about accurate.

Not only do many Christians of many churches usually fail to help sexual abuse victims, but they’re pretty bad about helping all sorts of categories of people – domestic abuse victims, people with depression, people undergoing grief, etc and so on.

(Link): Larry Nassar’s Accuser Rachael Denhollander: ‘Few’ Victims of Sexual Assault Find ‘True Help’ From Church

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexually abusing her as a teenager, has encouraged survivors of sexual abuse to put their trust entirely in Christ, as “very few” victims have found “true help” from the Church.

The former gymnast, who was a 15-year-old homeschooler when Nassar started abusing her nearly two decades ago, recently opened up about her experience during a conversation with Nancy Hill, Charles Bigelow professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, hosted by the Veritas Forum.

Continue reading “Larry Nassar’s Accuser Rachael Denhollander: ‘Few’ Victims of Sexual Assault Find ‘True Help’ From Church”

Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry

Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry

The “equally yoked” rule really makes no sense for single adult Christians, especially Christian women who’d like to marry, since (Link): so many self professing Christian men – even ones who read their Bibles daily or attend church weekly or work as pastors – are sexual deviants, wife abusers, or adulterers.

My parents taught me to seek out good mate material at local churches, because they felt the quality of people would be better at a church, as opposed to going to a bar to get dates with men.

However, I’ve seen far too many news stories of self professed Christian men who beat their wives, molest kids, or have been arrested for soliciting sex with animals, to think that Christian men are any more quality or safer than Non-Christian men. I also fail to see how churches are any safer to meet dates than a bar.

The whole post by Deborah Brunt is very good, but I only wanted to quote from part of it in my post:

(Link): Be wary of churches breaking the silence by Deborah Brunt

Excerpts:

[How churches and typical Christian preachers deal with sexual abuse in their churches]

Pastor-Man offers simple solutions for sexual abuse.

He calls men to be pure. He makes no distinction between the temptation to sexual sin, which both genders face, and the lifestyle of strong deception, sexual domination and violence that male abusers deliberately adopt.

Continue reading “Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry”

California Pastor Used Church to ‘Satisfy His Fetish’ For Explicit Photos – and His Wife Helped: Lawsuit

California Pastor Used Church to ‘Satisfy His Fetish’ For Explicit Photos – and His Wife Helped: Lawsuit

Here we go yet again. Conservatives, both Christian and secular, believe and promote untruths and falsehoods that marriage will make people more mature and empathetic and that marriage is so much better for society than people remaining single.

I have been a conservative going back to my teen years, and I heard all the pro-Family Values rhetoric all the time, rhetoric which generally includes bashing singleness or insulting single adults for being single.

Frequently, conservatives will blame liberals or feminism for “ruining” society and they will prescribe marriage and having children as “the cure”, but I sure as heck do not see traditional values, church, Christianity, The Nuclear Family, Family Values, or marriage or parenthood making society any better.

Married people are not more sexually pure than single adults. Many times, conservatives incorrectly assume that being married will cause a decrease in a person sexually sinning, and that all to most single adults are “horn dogs” who lack sexual self control.

Christians will sometimes teach that if you are a single adult who’d like to marry that you, the single, must meet some kind of spiritual standard or else God will not allow you to marry, that God will not “reward you with” a spouse.

Christians will teach singles that it is sinful to marry outside the Christian faith. They often based this on a verse or two that mentions being equally yoked, and the assumption seems to be that a Christian who marries a Non-Christian will “veer off course” and become a non-believer too or live a life of sin.

Here we have a news story of two Christians married to each other, one worked as a church pastor no less, but they are both a couple of perverts.

Being married did not keep this couple from sexually sinning. Being married did not make this couple more mature, responsible, godly, and God apparently did not mind rewarding both of these deviants with a spouse, because he permitted them to marry each other.

Lastly, I would rather marry an atheist who is not a pervert than be “equally yoked” to a self professing Christian man like the pastor in this story who sexually preyed on women congregants.

(Link): California Pastor Used Church to ‘Satisfy His Fetish’ For Explicit Photos – and His Wife Helped: Lawsuit

Jan 19, 2018

by Travis Gettys

A former parishioner sued a California church and its former pastors — who she accused of sexual assault, battery and harassment.

The woman, a mother of two in her 30s, sued former Church for Life pastors Robert Litzinger and Cindy Litzinger seeking compensatory and punitive damages, reported the (Link): Santa Maria Times.

Continue reading “California Pastor Used Church to ‘Satisfy His Fetish’ For Explicit Photos – and His Wife Helped: Lawsuit”