In this mornings Star Press, there was a follow-up story concerning the local pastor charged with sex crimes against minors. The story surrounds his initial hearing where he entered a plea of “not guilty.”
It is my hope and prayer that he truly is “not guilty.” Regardless of the outcome of the trial, much damage has been done. It will be difficult for the victims to trust Christian leaders. It will be difficult for some in the church to trust current and future pastors. It will be difficult for people in the community to trust Christian leaders. It will be difficult for this pastor. If he is “not guilty” many who have already presumed guilty until proven innocent will still cast out their judgment on him. It’s a messy situation.
The human side of me definitely struggles to believe his plea. The police ran a three-year investigation that led to his arrest. Of course, at this point, most of the information is the testimony of the victims (which can be a he said/she said). We do live in a society in which people present false accusations in order to “get back” at someone who has hurt them.
I’ll be interested to see how all of this plays out. I urge us all to pray for the victims, this pastor, and this church.