Or Sunday School Teacher Bob? Or Bus Worker Bob? Or Youth Worker Bob? Or Grandpa Bob? Or just plain old Bob?
Every Church has one.
They are a hugger. They love to get up and close to people, especially young girls and women.
They are considered the “friendly” type.
Over the years I have pastored a few Bob’s and I have observed numerous others in churches I visited.
Are these Bob’s just kind, overtly friendly men, harmless, and anyone who suggests otherwise has a dirty mind?
I am quite the cynic these days. That’s what happens when you hear story after story about Bob’s, wonderful, love Jesus Bob’s, who are suspected of or caught abusing a young girl or woman.
Church members are quite naïve. Surely Deacon Bob would NEVER do anything inappropriate. Sunday School Bob has taught the Junior class for 25 years. Bus Worker Bob spends hours every Saturday visiting the kids on his bus route. He LOVES his kids. Youth Worker Bob has been helping with the Youth for, well, it seems like forever. Grandpa Bob has grandkids. Surely, any man with grandkids can be trusted, right?
Perhaps a hug is just a hug. But, perhaps it is not. How can you tell the difference? Must we stand around and watch the Bob’s carefully to see if they are sexually aroused? What if they have learned to control their arousal in public?
All I am saying is this….when a man in the church, who is not the person’s blood relative, starts hugging on them and acting overtly friendly, at the very least, someone should be paying attention. Misplaced trust can have tragic consequences.
Personally, I think a handshake greeting among people who are not related is quite enough. In times of sorrow and grief I suppose hugging might be in order. Granted, I am not a big hugger. Outside of my family and a few close friends, I don’t do much hugging and I don’t like to be hugged, so I am well aware of the danger of projecting my personal preference on this post.
How about you? Have you had any experience with a hugging Bob? Or maybe a hugging Sally? (a much rarer species)