Thoughts on the conviction of a predator

16 But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes, And to take My covenant in your mouth?
17 “For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you.
18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, And you associate with adulterers.
19 “You let your mouth loose in evil, And your tongue frames deceit.
20 “You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son.
21 “These things you have done, and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you, and state the case in order before your eyes.
(Ps. 50:16-21)

The children told their parents about him. The parents spoke to the church officials.

The church officials accused the children of lying. The congregation watched him punch a child at a picnic. They rebuked him, and continued to send their children to him for “education.”

The church leaders protected him with a code of silence – veiled and open threats. Do not bear false witness. Do not read the blogs. We all know he is a good man. We know his father. These are good people. We can handle our own.

And the wreckage of the bodies and souls of the children is still being uncovered. The scars will be warn by all of them until Jesus comes again and makes all things new.

But he will come. He will “set it in order before their eyes.”

He will bring judgment and justice. It would be better that a millstone be hung around the necks of all who knew and did nothing. Those who caused the little ones to stumble.

To all who refused to press charges; to all who covered it up; to all who knew about it but “didn’t want to get involved”. To the leaders who threatened those who exposed it – He will reprove you.

It won’t be pretty. You cannot slander the innocent and consort with the adulterer and thief and have the favor of God.

He came with mercy the first time. The second time he comes in clouds of glory, his robes spattered in the blood of his enemies, with their carcasses left for the birds of the air.

Perhaps think about that next time you sacrifice mercy and truth on the altar of expediency, money and power.

You cannot mock God. Even the earthly courts are not fooled. How do you think you will fool God?

PS – this applies to every so-called church that has covered up, hidden and justified rape, murder, molestation, assault and attacks on our little ones.

But the organization that I am speaking of specifically is ARBCA and the evil man in question is Tom Chantry, convicted recently of four counts, with another trial to come. He had been known about and protected since at least 2002.

Imprecatory Psalms come to mind, and these are not contrary to love. Justice is not contrary to love.

15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev. 19:15-16)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Thank you that glimpses of justice are seen on this earth, and thank you for the perfect justice to come.


Filed under justice

11 responses to “Thoughts on the conviction of a predator

  1. emmellkaycee

    It is so s.l.i.m.y. what was done to these children, what was covered up, what was overlooked, what was lied about, etc… Despicable behavior for any human beings, but for those professing the name of Christ!? Sickening!

  2. Anonymous

    Dr. Judith Herman:

    “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.”

    “In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.”

    ― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

    I really like this post, Pastor Powell. In order for any victim to speak, it’s a leap of faith, for sure. For bystanders, there are many reasons beyond the above, like what you mentioned, image management, brainwashing by the church, unwillingness to recognize evil within the midst of the church.

    The ‘grace on steroids’ teachings are so widespread. There are so many forces for victims to overcome, I’m surprised anytime any perp is actually held accountable. I’m glad there’s some justice finally happening for the victims of this latest wolf-pastor (although I don’t know the details, I’ll assume it is long-coming and well merited).

    Justice is not contrary to love. That’s really important to say.

    I am calmed by knowing God hates the wicked and that hell exists and God will not spare the wicked evildoers. Might be nothing but injustice and tyranny until Judgment Day but on that day Jesus will not spare the wicked their eternal punishment. Wolves and other predators will be going into the pit.

  3. Well said, Sam!

    For those who want to read the in depth story of Tom Chantry and how ARBCA proteted him and covered up his crimes, go to Todd Wilhelm’s blog Thou Art The Man.

    Brent Detwiler also covers it at his blog.

  4. Bunkababy

    I often wonder what it will be like . In moments like today dealing with the memory and aftermath of being raped at 2 years old. What is justice? What does a millstone feel like? What about being sunk to the bottom of the sea? What is that like?

    50 yrs ago.
    A millstone is not enough.
    Until today I have carried this unspoken memory for 50 years. A millstone dragging one into the depth of the sea is too quick.

    I wish I knew what justice was.

    • Jesus said it would be better for them if a millstone were hung around their neck and they were dropped into the sea. That would be preferable to what awaits the unrepentant oppressor and predator. God’s justice is infinite, perfect, and holy. I don’t know what it looks like exactly, because we don’t see it exactly here on this Earth. But I know that God is good and holy and just and all-powerful. And he has promised that whatever idea we have about Justice, it pales in comparison to True Justice

      • Anu Riley

        “The ‘grace on steroids’ teachings are so widespread”
        “I wish I knew what justice was”

        Those two statements really stood out to me. I thought about the first one a lot, because victims are often given a lot of mixed messages in this area.

        First of all, grace isn’t cheap, so don’t treat it, give it out or receive it as though it is.

        We praise God (and rightly so) because He is so gracious,, and so generous with that grace.

        But never think of it as “disposable income,” as if God has so much of it to give out that He’ll do it randomly, capriciously, and never miss it. His “bank account” is so full that that is just a drop in the bucket fro Him.

        I think we treat the giving out of grace as though they are pennies. Most of us won’t miss a bunch of pennies if we throw them into a fountain for fun (most parents didn’t mind giving out pennies for a few minutes of fun for the kids).

        Likely (and rightly so)—-it’s a much different story if it was 100 dollar bills being thrown into that fountain!

        That is how I see grace. There is a lot of it at His disposal (and ours as a result), but it is not to be treated as disposable. The price at the cross was very high in order to ensure and seal salvation by grace. Don’t mock it.

        That is how victims are often fooled and deceived. And anyone who tries to demand or expect grace to be given to them, has tainted it with such an attitude. Grace, by its nature, is undeserved.

        Wishing and wanting to know what justice looks like rang with me, too.

        Pastor tends to be able to pull out just the right Scriptures to fit the need. It was very heartwarming to read those verses in relation to impending justice.

        I remember reading about God’s judgment against Israel in the Old Testament and being blown away by what I at first saw as “going overboard” when His impending justice was described. It was fairly intense.

        Then I recall that God never “goes overboard.” He is 100% fair and balanced in how He meters out His justice.

        He’s not like humanity, who might use extreme forms of punishment as a way to “send a message,” or “appear tough on crime,” or just for the delightful surge of power in doling out harsh but unwarranted punishments. Or, to win the approval of people, rather than focusing on what is rightful justice.

        However His people were sinning was so intense, that it required that level of justice. No more and no less.

        And as far as I could tell, His people were truly baffled at the Lord’s negative reactions to their doings. They didn’t see their sins as He did. They didn’t see the suffering that their sins were causing, both to themselves and those around them.

        It seemed they were in denial even until the very end, when judgement was finally enacted. The entire book of “Lamentations” is properly titled.

        Jeremiah, even though he knew what was to come and tried to warn everyone for decades, was horrified by what His judgement actually looked like in real life. Having a good picture in his mind couldn’t prepare him for what he actually saw with his own eyes.

        However, he knew God had been nothing but just (eventually he reached that conclusion.)

        Whatever His justice does or doesn’t look like, it will be perfect. That we can depend on.

    • Revelation 14:10-12 KJV
      The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without e mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. [12]

    • Dear Bunkababy, carrying that memory for 50 years, unspoken… my heart goes out to you. And I take my hat off to you. I cannot imagine the pain and fear you have suffered and the courage it has taken you to just survive.

      At the A Cry Justice blog there is a regular commenter who I think you may relate to a lot. She was sexually abused by her ‘father’ starting from the day she was born. And she is sharing her journey of recovery at ACFJ. Her story is sprinkled in comments like breadcrumb trails all over the blog. Her name is Finding Answers.

      By the way, ACFJ had to change its address a few months ago. It is now
      (it used to be .com)

      • Bunkababy

        Thanks Barbara. I thought I was done with therapy 22 years ago. It seems my coping skills were falling apart. And my therapist and I have gone back to the beginning. Stuff that was too hard to work on the first go around. I am beyond grateful my old therapist was still practicing. It has been an alarmingly difficult day. I will go have a look.

        Thanks Sam. Your words of scripture and clarity have always helped me.

  5. Anu Riley

    Thank you for this Pastor. I also really liked that quote from Dr. Judith Herman that a commentator posted.

    I had the honor of reading through Clara Hinton’s blog, describing what ti was like to be married to a former pastor, now convicted pedophile.

    She was approached by one of his victims, which got the ball rolling and exposed the entirety of his evil deeds.

    I am used to victims NOT being believed, or taken seriously at first, if at all. But she believed her right away and took action right away. No hesitation. She called her son Jimmy, knowing she could trust him, not to “consult” him on how to “handle our own.” (love that line)

    She told me, when I asked her how she chose to not be in denial as so many others do: why would she lie? She had no reason to lie.

    Perhaps that is the line of questioning, or response needed, when a victim dares to come forward: why would I lie? What reason would I have to lie? Is there no possibility that I might be telling the truth?

    If you say there IS a possibility that I’m not lying, then you must act on that.

    If you are 100% sure I am lying, then you have to tell me why you think so, and why you think I would lie about this.

    If your answer is based on what a “good man” he is, so he can’t be guilty—you’re basing guilt or innocence based on how “good” someone is, or appears. This is anti-Biblical language you are spouting. The Bible is clear that appearances can be deceiving, and that no one is good, not one.

    You’re also saying he is SO “good,” that I must be lying. You’ve assumed the best about him, and the worst about me. You don’t want to ruin his reputation for being a good man, but you are perfectly willing to throw me under the bus without a second thought.

    You want to handle this “in house,” because he is “one of your own?” Am I not “one of your own” as well? Or do you favor the ones who you’ve known longer and have a history with? In that case, the rest of us will never find any favor in your eyes. We can’t compete with the history you have with this man.

    I do have sympathy for those that are tempted to side with the perpetrator. The temptation is real, especially if he is “the last person” you thought would or could do something like this.

    But following through on those temptations is another matter.

    We tend to side with the one that is: more likable, related to us by blood, is a closer relation to us personally. If those don’t apply, then it’s usually the one who is grabbing the most attention, and has a bigger audience:

    Vehement denials, passionate rebuttals, playing the victim while painting the victim in the worst light, and quoting strong, powerful Scriptures to put the fear of God in anyone and everyone who dares to disagree with him—-or agree with the victim.

    So I think this is where this will fall into place: “All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain.”

    Is far easier, supposedly less consequential and frankly seems “safer” to do nothing. The perpetrator is not asking for anything that will burden you or requires any action from you. He might ask that you not Interfere as the process plays out, without it playing out in the “court of public opinion.” Sounds good, sounds healthy, and sounds Biblical, right?

    The victim is not trying to burden anyone in an unfair way, but it comes across like that. Asking for support, asking to believed, asking to be taken seriously “comes off” as burdensome. Why are you asking me to interfere? Why are you asking me to get involved? This has nothing to do with me—-and I don’t want to be a busybody, or a meddler.

    Well, the Bible disagrees with you there. Victims need support if they are to carry on and carry forward—whether the case heads to court or not. They aren’t asking for anything that the Bible does not command us to do.

    How FAR you can go may differ. They can offer prayer, or offer to be physically present, or just let you know that they believe you.

    The perpetrator may not need to ask for support; he is already supported by those who will not choose to support the victim. So he is strengthened in knowing that the victim is not strengthened.

    Bear in mind a victim is already traumatized by the abuse or attack. Layering on any additional trauma (lack of support IS traumatic) only reassures the perpetrator that it’s likely he will come out ahead. He is not traumatized by what he has done, so he again has the upper hand in weathering the storm that is ahead.

    Victimization is all about power. He already had the power to hurt the ones who were powerless. Now he has the power is making sure those victims remain powerless, and reminded that they will stay that way.

    Likely, such victims will retreat into silence: they were powerless to stop him from hurting them, and now they are powerless to see justice, and powerless to stop him from hurting others as well.

    Pastor’s message, however, about how God is not powerless, not silent and loves justice—is the one to take away from all of this. If the power wasn’t in your court to win your case in court—-all is not lost. They will pay when it comes to the court of the Lord, and no fancy lawyer talk or amount of favorable public opinion or a line of character witnesses will sway Him.

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