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A. Introduction to CSA Articles

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Revised January 25, 2010

Child Sexual Molestation...

A. Introduction to Recommended Procedures


NOTE:  Permission is given to link to and photocopy this document.
It is NOT to be copied and included within any publication or website, without written permission.


INTRODUCTION:

These recommendations are the result of a study undertaken to determine the Biblical method of handling incidents of Child Sexual Molestation (CSA). When there are Biblical instructions, commands and/or precedents, they have been used in the recommended procedures that follow. Where the Bible is silent, methods using Biblical principles have been presented. The following collection of articles is believed to be scriptural and/or work in harmony with the scripture.

The manner in which a CSA occurrence is handled is not up to the discretion of the Victim, the Abuser, the church or the workers. It doesn't depend on whether or not the Victim or the Abuser profess. The Standard for What is Right is to obey the (1) Laws of the Land and (2) the Laws of God. The church professes to honor Scripture by honoring ordinances of men, which are the Laws of the Land.

The CSA victim is the primary concern, as well as justice, healing, restoration, restitution, etc. for them.  The actions recommended in these articles are considered to be the minimum acceptable response. These actions represent a just and fair procedure that will encourage healing for the Victim and enable them to recover emotionally from the atrocity they experienced.

An extremely important part in the healing process for a CSA victim is to receive a meaningful apology. In this connection, several articles are included about the fundamental value of apologies, an explanation of the five basic aspects of apology, as well as a basic Apology Model. Also included is a Confession Model.

It is very important that workers strongly encourage the Offender to apologize and make a written Confession. The Offender should be publicly disciplined by the church, and offer a verbal confession and apology to the congregation. Guidelines for The Responsibility as a Church are included here.

The workers can facilitate the Apology and Confession by providing the Offender with a copy of the Victim’s Account of the CSA, and an article on the Fundamentals of a Genuine Apology. Failure of the Offender to make a meaningful apology should result in the Offender’s excommunication from the church. However, if a meaningful apology is written and submitted, along with the public confession and apology, the Offender may remain within the church, with certain restrictions applying. A suggested list of Restrictions for Offenders is included here.

It is the Workers’ Responsibility to hold a meeting with any adult Victim (or their representative) and any other individuals the Victim desires to be present. A worker should present (1) an Apology from the Offender (if one is submitted) and (2) an Apology from the ministry/church. If the Victim is unable to understand the apology, their caretaker will hold the written apology in safe keeping until such time as they are able to comprehend it. Included here is a suggested outline for the order of this Meeting, titled Guide for Workers.

The church members (friends and workers) have a right to be notified by the workers of any incidents of CSA by workers, elders or friends. The proper time for notification is when the person has pled guilty; or has been formally charged, or a warrant for their arrest has been issued. A sample Notification Letter is also included here.

To better understand the nature of a pedophile, this article is included:  "What is a Pedophile?"


Biblical Principles to be followed in CSA incidents:

1. The Christian goal is to do God's will
2. The Bible is the standard for God's will
3. The Bible directs Christians to:

Peter wrote : Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 1 Pet 2:13-14

Paul wrote: … not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator...with such an one, no not to eat...Therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 1 Cor 5:11-13

Four things the Council of Jerusalem retained from the Old Covenant in Acts 15:20: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

“Whosoever offends one of these little ones, it would be better to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths Of the sea.”
Matthew 18:6