I am writing this to offer my personal experience with this situation.
We were called in May 2000 and told that RM was being put out of the work and sent home. We were told that he had raped children in the past. We were told that those with children were also being warned.
I called him personally and told him I knew why he was home and offered my help as a Christian brother. It was my hope and prayer that we might see a miracle...like that mentioned in I Corinthians 6:9-11 take place.
He was sent to our home for Sunday morning meeting. RM showed no sign of sorrow or repentance. His mother did not know why he was home and still has not been told, to my knowledge. If she had, she might have been able instrumental in his repentance. VM over-ruled all other counsel by saying that knowledge of the real truth would send her to her grave. That stopped all mouths.
I was asleep at the wheel, though. When we understood the reality of what he did to these children, there was an explosion in my house. Not only did we have our own four children, but we had a foster child at the time. My wife demanded that RM not be allowed back in our home. So I called Walter Pollock that night and told him RM could not come back. He didn't know if it could be accomplished so soon but I told him I had a legal problem - I couldn't allow a known child rapist to enter my home - my foster child would be removed. Further, I told him that I could not allow for the sake of my own children's safety. I believe at that point, RM was asked not to come to meeting at all. However, one man continued to allow him to come to the union meeting in his home.
The perverted acts that RM performed on his victims do not bear writing or verbalizing. They were horrific. It happened around the corner of the house, in the garage, in the back yard, in the bedroom on the other side of the wall where his companion was talking with the parents.... This was told us by a mother of one of the victims.
Since not every one knew of the situation, there was speculation and rumor in the area. Since it was not to be discussed, this speculation and rumor created division.
How should it be dealt with? Should he come to meeting? All kinds of questions arose, without resolution. But plenty of behind the scenes talking.
I found myself on the opposite end of the spectrum from many. I felt that RM should be publicly rebuked ( I Tim. 5:19-20). If an elder that sins is to be publicly rebuked, how much more a man who has pretended to be a apostle?? I felt that RM should publicly repent before the church, given the nature of his abuse of the trust given him. I felt that this should not be dealt with in silence. How can true Christian love be expressed or true help be offered when the situation is a forbidden subject?
My wife tried to talk with other women who were mothers of victims. She was publicly rebuked in a Sunday morning meeting. Not by name, of course. But someone came up to me after the meeting and said he knew who was being chastised. And the chastising message came down to this - that my wife was being cruel to RM by discussing the matter with others.
Several workers (RN in particular) expressed to me that no one knew what to do. That floored me! I asked to be able to attend a worker meeting that was being held to discuss the issue. No invitation.
I was also told that SP knew about RM's perverted activities in Mexico but allowed him to stay in the work, while bringing him home to CA. HH, EA, and DM must also have known at this time.
I requested of WP that the churches in the area be gathered together to discuss the matter and get everybody on the same page. Answer - We don't want a meeting where others would offer their opinion on what should be done.
I asked one man why we didn't follow the Matthew 18 instructions? Answer - HH said we didn't do that. I asked why we don't pray over him, or gather the elders to together to pray for him as commanded in James? Answer - We don't do that.
After about three years, things began to get worse. RM's mother attended our meeting. She spoke only Spanish. On union Sunday's, she attended the meeting where here son was still welcome. We went to another meeting. She began to speak out in her testimony that I was preventing R from attending or speaking in meeting. The poor woman who was translating hardly knew what to do or say.
One man who was in the meeting and understood Spanish contacted me and we began to correspond with the workers to try to get them to openly address the issue. Nothing could be done - utter gridlock. In fact, we found out that nothing could be done without word from the authority - HH, SP, EA, and DM.
In frustration, two other men and I determined to confront RM ourselves and proceeded to set it up. RM attended the meeting and brought his supporters. The upshot of that meeting was that RM refused to openly acknowledge his sin, would not tell his mother, etc., etc. His supporters made him out to be the victim and the victims out to be the criminals. It was a tense meeting.
After that, the workers finally stepped in and did something. They banned RM from attending any meetings. They also slapped our wrists for taking things into our own hands. "This is a worker matter). In our meeting with them it came out that HH, who never showed his face in our meeting once to find out what the concerns were, simply expressed being tired of the affair and wanted everyone to get a life!
Convention messages concentrated on forgiveness and restored fellowship, seeming to ignore the fact that the path to forgiveness and restored fellowship is the road of repentance and confession.
No, this situation is not the reason we left the fellowship. But it is just another disappointment that drove me to my knees for help. Those prayers were answered when we observed a "worldly church" in Texas lovingly and openly discipline and disfellowship a couple - the end of a careful Matthew 18 process. Not lashing out or calling the offenders unsaved, but simply warning them, calling on them for repentance, and earnestly praying for their restoration. What an astounding thing that was to observe. We heard the elders openly acknowledge their accountability to the people they served. And you know what? That church spent the entire Saturday previous openly discussing the situation and the need to take action with all the couples in the church.
Something mentioned in that church was this - one mark of a false church is the lack of biblical discipline.
Now...you can get tangled up with my story here or attack me personally. But the real issues are these:
How should a church body of believers in Jesus Christ address this situation?
What is the responsibility of the church of Jesus Christ to the world at large in this matter?
What is the responsibility of the church of Jesus Christ to the civil authorities?
The Scriptures do provide answers.
My understanding of RM's sentence is that he was convicted of crimes that happened after 2000...after he claimed to me in person that he had quit years prior. That is a sad and horrific commentary.
May God instill in every true shepherd an over-riding sense to protect the little lambs from such wolves. May parents elders rise up everywhere to refuse fellowship to such wolves. And may these wolves be rebuked and reproved and the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed to them, wherever they may be found. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and work His miraculous work of sanctification in their lives - to the glory of His grace. However, they may yet have to suffer the consequences of their actions in this life.
I am bumping this thread up for a worker that I have been corresponding with. Part of our correspondence was in how CSA has been covered up or marginalized in the past by senior workers, and the need for a standard procedure to be in place for dealling with abuse allegations, and to address concerns from the friends in regard to worker alleged misconduct.
In this post from Scott P, we can see how some of the California staff went about trying to keep the friends from having their concerns listened to.
Bolded words above from me to point out the need for standard instructions on how to deal with issues within the church (by following scripture)
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2011 8:49:05 GMT -5 by Scott Ross
I am bumping this thread up for a worker ... Scott
Is it of merit for anyone else? It's quite a long thread.
For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. (George Eliot)
I am bumping this thread up for a worker ... Scott
Is it of merit for anyone else? It's quite a long thread.
Probably for the 3 different workers that may be reading here and also dealing with an issue in their field.
Ruben's case has been discussed on several threads, but this one has the most info on it. I am only dealing directly with one of the workers, so if they read on the board this way they can find this thread easily.
Mainly, Ruben was a known abuser from when he was in Mexico, but allowed to remain in the work when he came he came back to California. No one appears to have even been warned about him, and he would abuse kids just one room away from other people, and while his companion was visiting with a family.
My point is to show the need for guidelines in how workers are to act when around families with children, and also to point out that you can't just assume that kids are going to be safe from a predator even when others are around.
I have corresponded a lot with one of Ruben's victims, and they were interviewed for Ruben's trial and statements used.
Anyhow, for those that DO read through this, it will give them a glimpse in to what happens when CSA issues are covered up and not dealt with by the overseers as they become aware of them. It is a really sad testimony of several workers refusing to either report to the authorities, or to deal with this man being around children at meetings and such.
It took 'regular' folks to bring this to the attention of the authorities, and as with many of these CSA issues that come up, the lack of caring for the church members on the part of senior workers ended up costing the church several members as they quit meetings due to uncaring and selfish senior workers.
If you don't read through this, just so you know, Ruben died in prison due to cancer.
There is a typical quirk in the 2x2 mindset that would make them feel they can evade responsibility for the enormous suffering that they have caused the volumes of 'down trodden' they have mishandled through the ages, just by evading the issue and pretending that it didn't happen.
Then they have the gall to condem the ongoing suffering of victims as a 'bad and bitter spirit'!!!
Time is NOT a cure for the smell and pain of infection!!!
One of the most marvelous things about the creation of God, is the wonderful capacity for healing -- Taking into consideration the enormously complex nature and makeup of life it is truly amazing that this wonderful capacity is built into us all -
The prerequisite of healing is often nothing more complicated that 'cleansing' -- but this cleansing IS essential.
The 2x2 philosophy for dealing with internal filth, of 'deny it', 'ignore it', 'conceal it' and 'time will make it better' is the perfect recipe for the smelly corruption that plagues the group. Is it strange that there are more 'exes' than active members??
benar: Perhaps you clicked on the Coronavirus thread...
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wally: you haven't asked me a question or anything or did i miss one?
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jetmech: Hello Dennis
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kip: Looking for meetings in Maine.
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wally: human nature...
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