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Black Collar Crime: Christian Bible Study Leader Michael Wilson Accused of Rape

michael wilson

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Michael Wilson, a Bible study teacher in Wenatchee, Washington, stands accused of rape and sexual molestation.

NCW Life Channel reported three weeks ago:

Police arrested a 69-year-old Wenatchee man on suspicion of rape Tuesday after two other men accused him of sexually molesting them while they were asleep or otherwise unable to consent.

Michael E. Wilson was identified in a Wenatchee police court affidavit as the leader of a Bible study group that met at his Sunnyslope home. The alleged victims were members of the study group, both men in their 20s.

In Chelan County Superior Court on Wednesday, deputy prosecutor Julia Hartnell told Judge Travis Brandt that Wilson cultivated and victimized young men “using the cover of the church.” She said her office is considering charges of second- and third-degree rape, as well as second-degree attempted rape.

….

Both alleged victims told police the incidents took place between 2020 and 2022. One man said in separate instances, Wilson fondled him while he was sleeping, and touched him inappropriately while giving massages. The other said Wilson initiated unwanted sexual contact in July 2022, while the alleged victim was drunk and unconscious.

Police said in an interview Tuesday with a Wenatchee detective, Wilson admitted to sexual contact with both men, but said the contact was consensual or inadvertent.

Wilson previously worked as a youth pastor in Wenatchee and in Pendleton, Oregon. Wenatchee School District records and his LinkedIn account also show he worked at Wenatchee High School as an academic intervention specialist from 2001 to 2013, when he became a service specialist with the Wenatchee Learns personalized education program. Communications director Diana Haglund said Wilson’s employment with the school district ended in 2019.

Since 2020 Wilson has conducted a faith-based self-help podcast series with Myke Merrill, a Rochester, New York Christian counselor.

Wilson has since been charged with seven felony sex offenses — second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree attempted rape, third-degree rape, indecent liberties, second-degree assault, and first-degree voyeurism — and two counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, a gross misdemeanor. Wilson posted a $750,000 bond.

Wilson’s bio states he is:

a Social Scientist and working professional in education for almost 20 years, along with 25 years in professional religious work. In both areas he was actively training, speaking, counseling, crisis counseling, leader and leadership development. He traveled around to places around the world including, Israel, Haiti, Central Mexico. He is a Father of 5 grown children. 

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Update: Black Collar Crime: IFB Sunday School Teacher Jonathan Young Guilty of Rape, Sentenced to 87 Years in Prison

jonathan young

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2018, Jonathan Young, a Sunday school teacher at Firstborn Baptist Church — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation — in Benson, North Carolina was accused of raping several church girls.  WRAL-5 reported that Young had been charged with “six charges of first-degree rape of a child, three charges of statutory rape, two charges of first-degree sexual offense, and two charges of indecent liberties with a child.” The charges against Young covered alleged crimes committed between 2004 and 2014.

Several former church members alleged church leaders knew about Young’s crimes and covered them up. The church denied doing so. Durwood “Kemp” Young, pastor of Firstborn Baptist, had this to say:

I’m heartbroken by it all because it’s unbelievable. I hate if anyone is hurt on either side but the young man is ruined now. I hate it and I don’t know what else to say about it.

What’s unbelievable is that Pastor Young’s first statement is about being concerned for the “young man” whose life has been “ruined.”  The victims aren’t even mentioned outside of Young “hating [the] hurt on either side.” What is this, a sporting event where you have two opposing teams?

Both the pastor and the perpetrator have the same last name. A reader with intimate knowledge of this church and the parties involved has told me that Durwood Young is Jonathan Young’s great-uncle. This reader also told me that other people in the church have, in the past, been accused of sexual improprieties.

In August 2022, a jury found Young guilty. Young was sentenced to a minimum of eighty-seven years in prison.

WITN reported:

WRAL reports that a jury found Jonathan Young, 38, of Benson, guilty on multiple counts of rape, sexual offense, and indecent liberties with children.

According to the district attorney’s office, the crimes involved three children, and most took place at Firstborn Baptist Church in Benson. The incidents occurred between 2003 and 2014, and the youngest victim was 7 years old when she was molested, investigators said.

At Young’s trial, the jury heard testimony from two additional witnesses who were sexually abused as young children.

Girls who grew up at the church alleged years of sexual abuse by Young, misconduct that some former church members say church leaders knew about but did nothing to stop.

Church leaders told WRAL News in 2018 there was no coverup.

“I’m heartbroken by it all because it’s unbelievable,” said Pastor Durwood Young. “I hate it and I don’t know what else to say about it.”

“The investigation was dropped as far as I know,” Durwood Young said. “That’s the way I understand it.”

The church leader described Jonathan Young as a “model employee.”

“I think you could go out here in the community and find people who were absolutely devastated,” Durwood Young said.

Durwood Young said he first heard about the allegations in 2014 from the sheriff’s office, but no charges were filed at that time

WRAL added:

One of his victims, who is now an adult, shared her story. WRAL News usually does not identify sexual assault victims, but Brianna Holland wanted to share her story publicly to help others.

Holland went to Firstborn Baptist Church in Benson every Sunday growing up – and for two years, starting with she was just 9 years old – a man she looked up to was inappropriately touching her. She kept the secret for years.

“I was confused and very scared,” she says.

Church and Sunday School should have been a safe haven for Holland – and two other children who were abused between 2003 and 2014. The youngest victim was just 7 years old when she was molested, investigators said.

“On the Sunday School bus, he would just initially rub my leg on bus,” she says.

The abuse grew worse with time.

“It was kissing, rubbing, grinding, things like that in the basement,” she says. “He had made multiple threats. ‘If you tell anyone, I will hurt you. I will hurt your family.'”

Four years after the abuse occurred, she got the courage to speak up. That was in 2017. One year later, Young was arrested and charged with sex crimes against three girls at the church, including Brianna Holland’s sister.

“It was hard and traumatizing,” she says. “I haven’t seen him since he was first arrested.”

During the trial Holland sat across from Young for two weeks, testifying in the case. His sentence of 87 years is long enough that he should never experience life outside of prison again.

“I was very happy, very content with what he got,” she says.

Please see Is Firstborn Baptist Church a Cult?

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Why Do Evangelical Pastors Defend and Support Criminals?

god of second chances

As I wade through the neck-deep filth in the Evangelical gutter gathering information for the Black Collar Crime series, one common event shows up in story after story: when these criminals are on trial or they are being sentenced for their crimes, their pastors are on hand to let everyone know that the predator pastor was a good person who did a bad thing. Often, these testifying pastors tell judges and juries that the criminal’s good works outweigh any bad that he might have done; that molesting and raping children or sexually assaulting church members is somehow atoned for by the church member’s or ex-pastor’s good works. These so-called men of God even go so far as to ask the courts to grant the convicted offender probation, promising that the child molester/rapist has turned over a new leaf and has crossed-his-heart-hope-to-die promised that he will never, ever rape, molest, look at child porn, or take sexual advantage of a woman. Why do pastors seem so willing to be character references for criminals?

First, when a church member or colleague in the ministry is accused and convicted of a sex crime, it makes the church and pastor look bad. Churches and their pastors supposedly set the moral standard for their communities. Yet, here’s a fine, upstanding congregant or pastor behaving in ways that make a mockery of Christian morality. So the testifying pastor, by putting a good word in for the criminal, hopes to remediate his church’s reputation. Unfortunately, by testifying, what he really says to the community is that he believes there should be a separate standard of punishment for Christian church members and pastors.

Second, many pastors believe “sinning” church members and pastors deserve a second chance. If Jesus forgave them, shouldn’t everyone else? Think of all the good Child Molester Bob or Rapist Jack could do in the community if they were given probation. Why, they could travel from church to church telling how God delivered them from sexual deviancy. Isn’t God wonderful? Bob says. I stand before you today as a humbled man forgiven by God. I am so grateful that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave me another opportunity to serve him! Later that night, Bob slips into his car and drives the streets looking for another child to molest. God will forgive him, he thinks. Isn’t God awesome?

Testifying pastors seem to forget that our justice system is expected to mete out punishment to those convicted of crimes. Why all the pleas for understanding and forgiveness? These same pastors will preach thundering sermons about God’s judgment of sinners and their impending doom in Hell, yet when it comes to criminal church members and pastors, it is expected that they be treated as if their crimes were insignificant or worthy of special treatment.

Forgiveness is up to the victims and not the courts. Courts are supposed to weigh facts and evidence and render appropriate judgment. Testifying pastors are callous and tone-deaf when they ask courts to grant convicted congregants and pastors probation or community service. Should not the victims be their primary concern? Yet, in case after case, pastors re-victimize victims with their unwavering love, compassion, and support for rapists, child molesters, and those who use their positions of power to take advantage of others.

Third, some testifying pastors don’t believe the crime was as bad as prosecutors made it out to be. Yes, Youth Pastor Jim was thirty and in a position of authority, but come on, the girl was sixteen, Why, she was a-l-m-o-s-t an adult. I wonder if pastors who think this way would do so if it were THEIR daughter Youth Pastor Jim had sex with in his church office? I doubt it.

Fourth, some testifying pastors simply refuse to live in the real world. Surely, there must be some other explanation for Suzie accusing Deacon Joe of molesting her. Deacon Joe is a fine family man, the pastor says. I’ve known his family for forty years. I assure you that Deacon Bob could never, ever — I mean NEVER — molest his daughter. (Deep down he believes Suzie is possessed by a demon.) Even after the judge says GUILTY! some pastors refuse to believe the truth staring them in the face; that they didn’t know this or that pastor or church member as well as they thought they did.

Child molesters and sexual abusers can hide their behavior for decades. It is often only when children become adults that they have the courage to speak about what their father, pastor, youth pastor, deacon, teacher, or Sunday school teacher did to them. Testifying pastors wonder, why didn’t they come forward sooner? It sure looks like they did so for the money.  Evidently, such pastors expect children to act like adults, refusing to see that when an authority figure has power over someone, a victim often becomes incapacitated by fear or loss of love from family and church. It’s not that they don’t want to report what has happened to them — they can’t. And often, when victims DO speak up, what happens? They aren’t believed or they are accused of being culpable for what happened to them. This is especially the case with churches on the right-wing fringe of Evangelicalism. More than one girl has been forced to stand before her church and “confess” her sins.  Imagine being raped by a church leader, only to be forced to apologize for being such an easy target for the rapist.

I have some advice I would like to give to testifying pastors. SHUT THE HELL UP! Don’t testify. Don’t be a character reference. Don’t talk up the abuser’s good works and family. Instead, support the victims and their families. Help them find professional care for their psychological scars. Let the criminal face the just consequences of his behavior. Surely you have not forgotten that the Bible says that a man reaps what he sows. There will be plenty of time for you to minister to your convicted church member or colleague in the ministry. In open court is not the time or place.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Gregory Adams Accused of Multiple Sex Crimes

pastor gregory adams

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Gregory Adams, pastor and prophet of Life Song Ministries in Citronelle, Alabama, stands charged with two counts of rape in the first degree, two counts of rape in the second degree, three counts of sodomy in the first degree, and two counts of sexual abuse. 

WDHN reports:

A Citronelle pastor was indicted on nine charges of sex abuse, with some of the alleged victims being as young as 12 years old. 

Gregory Renee Adams was indicted on five counts of rape, two counts of sodomy and two counts of sexual abuse by force. The sexual abuse spanned decades and state lines, according to court testimony. 

Investigators with Mobile Police believed Adams used his position as a pastor to meet his victims and force them into sex. Investigators said Adams would frequently travel to churches in Citronelle, Ala. and Waynesboro, Miss. There, he would meet his victims, according to investigators.

Four people came forward claiming that Adams sexually assaulted them. Two of the victims said the abuse started when they were 12 years old. 

Adams told his victims that he would decide if they went to heaven or hell and used “holy oil” as a lubricant to sexually abuse some of his victims, according to court testimony.  

WKRG adds:

The sexual abuse and assault would allegedly take place in his home as well as in the victim’s home.

Another one of his possible victims, who was also 12, said she was staying the night at Adams house before a missionary trip to Arkansas when the first sexual assault occurred.

A third possible victim alleges she was a parishioner at Adams church and met him during her adult years. She claims Adams is the father of her child and had unwanted sexual intercourse with him.

A fourth possible victim alleges she was friend’s with Adam’s children and was raped at his home.

The investigator testified that Adams used his power as a pastor to make his victims fear him.

According to testimony, Adams told one of his victims if she didn’t have sex with him, God would strike her down with lightning.

Adams allegedly told his victims he chooses who goes to heaven or hell.

Testimony alleged Adams used “holy oil” as lubricant to sexually assault some of his victims.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Dr. David Tee Says Abortion is Wrong, Even for a Pregnant Ten-Year-Old

dr david tee


There is no other answer. Abortion is not for young girls or older women. Rape and incest are sins of the father or mother or both not a sin of the unborn child. They should not be punished for sins they have not committed even if the mother is as young as 5.

— Derrick Thomas Thiessen (AKA Dr. David Tee)

Christian Fundamentalism robs its adherents of the ability to think and reason. When a literalistic interpretation of a book that is believed to be inspired, inerrant, and infallible is the driving force of one’s life, out goes love, kindness, and common sense when it conflicts with “thus saith the Lord.”

One such person is Fake Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen. Tee is known for defending rapists, child molesters, and other miscreants. In the past few years, he has defended Bill Cosby, Ravi Zacharias, Bill Gothard, Bill Hybels, and other Evangelical degenerates. I have yet to read a post where Tee resolutely stands with victims of clergy sexual misconduct. I have long believed he defends such men because of his own scandalous past. Tee hides behind the “grace” of God, the “forgiveness” of Jesus, and the “sanctifying” power of the Holy Ghost.

Just when I think I have heard it all from Tee, he swims farther and deeper into the shit-filled cesspool of Bible literalism. Recently, the news reported a story about a pregnant ten-year-old child. (How she got pregnant remains unknown at this time.) Unable to get an abortion in Ohio, the girl planned to travel to Indiana to have her pregnancy terminated. Tee, of course, is outraged over this girl “murdering” her “baby.” Tee, a forced birther, makes no exceptions, even for rape or incest. Once the egg is fertilized by sperm, it is a human life that must be carried to term regardless of how it was conceived or what harm it may cause to its mother. I found myself saying, what kind of man is so loveless and heartless, that a zygote is more important than the life of a child? A Fundamentalist Christian who values his literalistic interpretation of the Bible more than the life and welfare of a young girl, that’s who.

Here’s what Tee had to say:

We are expanding on a conversation we have been having at the Christian Post under the article- What the Church Must Do Post Roe— The topic is not Dr. brown’s content but about a 10-year-old girl getting pregnant. This discussion is related to the content found in this Fox news article that was published earlier in the week or last week- Gov. Kristi Noem asked if South Dakota will force a 10-year-old to have a baby on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’

For some people, this is a real dilemma and also a good excuse to continue abortion practices.

….

This may sock you and this is where the supposed moral dilemma comes in for some people. This is also where those who are pro-abortion use this scenario to promote the idea that abortion needs to be available and legal.

Should young girls who are raped or had sex at this young age be allowed to have abortions? We already know that most unbelievers will disagree with what we will say here but our view is that age is not permission to kill.

The Bible is very clear when it says thou shalt not kill. There is no age limit on that command and no exceptions are made for children. They are not allowed to kill and their parents cannot make that decision for them.

No matter how old the woman or girl is, abortion is wrong and sin.

….

We are and God is in our right minds as biblical instruction is very clear. The problem doe snot come from the age of the child but the sinful behavior of the adults around her.

….

Whether these young girls are ready or not to handle the changes their bodies and lives are going through is also due to the fact of the behavior of their parents.

….

It is also immaterial to the discussion. Why, as crimes and other events happen when people are unprepared for them in all aspects of life. This one does not make it special but may be used to draw more sympathy from the readers of that article. The failure of the family and relatives is exposed in these situations.

This is something that needs Christ and Christians to get involved and change. But that is not part of the moral dilemma. What is part of the moral dilemma is should these child mothers carry to term or have an abortion.

….

The lustful actions of the father, the rape they committed, and other things they did to have sex with the child are what make the father guilty and he should be punished. The child should not. Since people already know the risks of a childhood pregnancy, they also know how to care for the expectant mother and the unborn child.

Abortion is not part of that care. It is the easy out for most people and one they can sweep it under the rug and forget about. But the mother will not forget about the rape nor will they forget about the loss of their child.

This will take years for them to get over the trauma which is much worse than any so-called trauma of carrying the baby to term. With the right help, this ‘trauma’ is not really trauma. But rape and abortion are real trauma with the addition of the guilt or other feelings that they committed sin.

That is something no one in their right mind should put a young child through. The comment we got in response to our point about going after the father was not only that trauma issue but the prospects of death for both the mother and the fetus. Their exact words were “the fetus you seem to worship.”

For the first part, death from pregnancy or birth has been a part of this life since the beginning of time. It is a fact of life that even 20 to 40-year-old women must face. It is not a monopoly held by young girls. Death happens and we must be prepared for it.It is the line that we quoted that bothers us as we and every pro-life person are not worshipping the fetus. Trying to protect them and let them be born is not an act of worship but an act to stop people from sinning and killing innocent children.

But that is how unbelievers or believers in abortion will phrase their arguments. It is a moot point that distracts from the topic. The same person came back with the line ‘spoils her childhood’.

We have run into that term n South Korea as one person we disagreed with through newspaper articles, said he wanted his child to ‘a have a childhood.’ Whatever that means. There is no such thing as a childhood as children are born into different circumstances.

Plus, this concept of ‘having a childhood’ is very subjective and defined by people in different ways. There is a hint of hypocrisy to that attitude. These same people only care about ‘a childhood’ when their preferred method of taking care of a bad situation is excluded.

They do not apply that concept to the children of Bangladesh, Africa, or other countries who lost their childhood due to hunger and a lack of food; war, crimes, and so on. it is only selfishly applied by those who want the child to have an abortion.

There is no thought for the child that has yet to be born. Why are they not allowed a childhood? The reason people have a moral dilemma is that their morals are not rooted in God’s word but in their own concept of morality.

We have run into that many times as atheists, unbelievers and nominal Christians think they are greater than God when it comes to moral thinking. Or they think that dying is a punishment robbing them of life. They dismiss heaven and God’s salvation so they have no reward to look forward to.

Thus aborting an unborn child is not a problem for them as long as those women who are alive get to live a little longer or even pursue the accepted goals those people groups have decided are okay.

Having a 10-year-old carry a pregnancy to term is not wrong nor is it sinful. Nor is it a moral dilemma as technology has made so many advances that the care of these child brides is done properly and protects the life of both the mother and the child (forgoing any complications).

The unbelievers believe in technology and medical advances, they should be applying that belief to this subject as well. Instead of heaping lots of trauma on a little girl by forcing them to have an abortion and having them sin.

What Christians and unbelievers should be doing is going after those fathers and their sinful decisions that put the young girl in this position in the first place. That is the cause of all the problems and it is those men or boys who should be punished not the innocent unborn child.

The Bible supports that last point. To solve this problem we do not commit more sins, we fight to get rid of those sins and let Christ redeem those men and lead them to better moral behavior.

There is no other answer. Abortion is not for young girls or older women. Rape and incest are sins of the father or mother or both not a sin of the unborn child. They should not be punished for sins they have not committed even if the mother is as young as 5.

My friend from over the pond, Ben Berwick, took Tee to task for his forced-birth position for children regardless of how conception took place. Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve refrained from commenting directly on a certain conservative Christian’s posts, however their latest post, on the subject of abortion, more or less demands a response.

David’s post relates to this article from Fox News, which discusses the case of a 10-year-old girl from Ohio, who was raped, and fell pregnant as a result. She cannot get an abortion in Ohio (under draconian new laws), and so is hoping to travel to Indiana, where the law would still currently permit her to get an abortion.

David has quite a few things to say on this subject:

Should young girls who are raped or had sex at this young age be allowed to have abortions? We already know that most unbelievers will disagree with what we will say here but our view is that age is not permission to kill.

The Bible is very clear when it says thou shalt not kill. There is no age limit on that command and no exceptions are made for children. They are not allowed to kill and their parents cannot make that decision for them.

Hang on, is David suggesting what I think he is suggesting? Is there absolutely no room in his heart to consider the impact of a rape-derived pregnancy on a child?

Whether these young girls are ready or not to handle the changes their bodies and lives are going through is also due to the fact of the behavior of their parents.

Wait, what?! The behaviour of their parents won’t magically make it safe for a 10-year-old to carry a baby to term! Pregnancy and childbirth kill adults on a regular basis, much less a child’s body, and there is no level of parental preparation that can physically ready a child for all the physical and hormonal chaos of pregnancy. Even assuming that a child is physically capable of birthing a baby, how does a parent prepare their child for the psychological impact of having a baby, especially one born out of rape and abuse?! There seems to be absolutely zero empathy or sympathy in David’s position for children, which is incredibly ironic for a supposed champion of life. It’s very clear that David cares only about forcing birth, not about quality of life (indeed, some recent allegations lend weight to this attitude of his, if they are true).

David quotes from elsewhere:

The trauma of what has happened to these girls, many too young to understand what was happening to them and some who had never heard of contraception, is etched on the faces of the mothers (Ibid)
In response, he has this to say:

It is also immaterial to the discussion. Why, as crimes and other events happen when people are unprepared for them in all aspects of life. This one does not make it special but may be used to draw more sympathy from the readers of that article. The failure of the family and relatives is exposed in these situations.


See what I mean? David has no room in his heart for kindness, even to victims of serious, horrific crimes. The young girls in these situations appear to be irrelevant to him; their pain, their suffering… it’s as though he’s shrugged his shoulders and said ‘oh well, bad things happen, now get over it, you’re not the real victim here’.

Our next point in our conversation was the person who should be gone after and dealt with is NOT the unborn child but the person who created this problem in the first place. We are not blaming the pregnant child here.

The lustful actions of the father, the rape they committed, and other things they did to have sex with the child are what make the father guilty and he should be punished. The child should not. Since people already know the risks of a childhood pregnancy, they also know how to care for the expectant mother and the unborn child.

Abortion is not part of that care. It is the easy out for most people and one they can sweep it under the rug and forget about. But the mother will not forget about the rape nor will they forget about the loss of their child.

This will take years for them to get over the trauma which is much worse than any so-called trauma of carrying the baby to term. With the right help, this ‘trauma’ is not really trauma. But rape and abortion are real trauma with the addition of the guilt or other feelings that they committed sin.

How can David possibly believe that forcing a child to proceed with a pregnancy they did not want (and that will physically and emotionally destroy them) is less traumatic than getting an abortion? Children — and this might sound shocking to David — should have a childhood. The child in this situation is a victim and already subjected to more anguish than any child should have to go through, but he would inflict more upon her, because her life matters less than the embryo inside her. David says he’s not blaming the child, and that the child should not be punished, but forcing them to go through with the pregnancy (I wonder if David is aware that globally, the leading killers of girls under 17 are pregnancy and childbirth) would be a punishment. David cannot begin to understand what it would be like, he is not a parent (well, allegations notwithstanding, though if they are true, he abandoned those responsibilities long ago), and he cannot get pregnant, so he will never be at risk from all the complications pregnancy can bring, especially for a child. His lack of any form of compassion for the victim of sexual assault is horrifying, and stands at odds with all his claims of being a good Christian.

There is no other answer. Abortion is not for young girls or older women. Rape and incest are sins of the father or mother or both not a sin of the unborn child. They should not be punished for sins they have not committed even if the mother is as young as 5.

I didn’t include this paragraph in my earlier version of this post, as I did not read to the end (why would I?). Upon further reading, I came across this horrific finale to David’s post. To put it bluntly, fuck the notion of sin. It is used to justify inflicting horrible pain on children, and David is so consumed by how important sin is, that he is no longer capable of any expression of sympathy or empathy, even with victims of abuse.

Updated 9th July: David left a comment here (I have no inclination to share his comments anymore), advising he’d left a response on his post. Here is his response in its entirety:

We did a lot of thinking before approving this comment. MM’s post shows zero empathy and sympathy for the unborn child so he has no moral or responsible argument. His words are moot. It also shows that MM believes 2 wrongs make a right

David is a hypocrite. He cares nothing for the ten-year-old. In a hypothetical scenario, where she stood in front of him, frightened, in pain, already traumatised from the assault against her, what would he say? He’s already hinted at this, earlier in his post. ‘Why, as crimes and other events happen when people are unprepared for them in all aspects of life. This one does not make it special but may be used to draw more sympathy from the readers of that article.’

Emphasis mine. Would he say something like that to the scared child if she were stood in front of him? Why does her life not matter?

— end of Ben’s post —

Tee responded to Ben’s article with a post titled Is it a Moral Dilemma? — Part Two.

Ben wrote another response to Tee’s post, forcing Tee, under the direction of the Holy Spirit and his warped sense of “morality” to respond thusly:

They Do Not Choose Right.

Or they just use bad logic. MM made a short response to our last post and underneath it was this comment:

“After thousands of years, the unbelieving way has not produced any solutions to the problems of this world.” – Yet we’re living in the same world, so that would mean the “believing” way hasn’t produced any solutions either.”

The unbeliever does not see the forest for the trees. Yes, we live in the same world but that does not mean we believers do not have solutions. It means that the unbelieving world, like unbelieving scientists, do not want God a part of their world.

They exercise their free choice and choose wrong.. We know this as they want government to be secular. not Christian. There was a recent article where unbelievers were complaining that some of the Supreme Court justices were praying with other Christians.

The unbelieving world does not want God or Christians bringing the solutions that trouble the world. Instead, they rather follow deceived, lost people and complain about the world’s state and create more laws impeding people’s rights.

They continue to choose the wrong paths because they think they are better and know more than God. We can point, as another example, to how unbelievers try to thwart Christian adoption agencies, universities hamper Christian groups, or how different atheist organizations continue to interfere with Christians being a part of government, or using schools for Christian activities.

If anything, the unbeliever gets in the way of Christians implementing the answers the world needs today. They are too arrogant, stubborn, deceived, and blind to see they are the ones responsible for the way the world is as well as too proud to admit they are wrong and ask God humbly for help.

True Christians have been teaching the answers for millennia and the thanks they get is martyrdom, persecution, (See recent stories about Justice Kavanaugh, the Roe v. Wade protests, threats made against pro-life people, and so on), loss of employment, (see the cases against the different bakers, florists, the coach praying at midfield, and more).

Do not blame the Christian blame the unbelieving for the state of the world.

I commend Ben for trying to thoughtfully respond to Tee. Not that there’s any hope of changing Tee’s mind. He believes God lives inside of him; that he has the mind of Christ; that his words are the same as God’s. When someone has a God complex, there’s not much you can do to reach him. While both Ben and I have refrained from responding to Tee’s nonsense since the start of the year, his words in this instance were so egregious that they required a response.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: The Slippery Slope of Our Oversexualized Culture — Porn Leads to Rape

Because of the culture being oversexualized, porn’s not a big deal. And if porn’s not a big deal, sexting’s not a big deal. If sexting’s not a big deal, sexual assault’s not a big deal. If sexual assault’s not a big deal, rape’s not a big deal, and all of a sudden we build a culture around the lie that sex is just this thing that happens between two people when they get together.

— Joshua Boone, Elizabeth Johnston, Joshua Boone on His Journey From the Porn Industry to the Kingdom of God, May 14, 2022

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bob Sexually Assaulted Three Generations of Women, Yet He Went to Heaven When He Died

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My mom, Barbara Tieken, 1940s

Men have been sexually preying on women for as long as anyone can remember. Millions of women have been sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped. Worse yet, many of these crimes are never reported, let alone prosecuted. Some women feel shame after being assaulted and don’t want anyone to know what happened. Others fear retribution, job loss, or family ostracization. Still others fear they will not be believed. One such woman was my mother.

Mom was sexually molested as a child by her father. (Please read Barbara.) I know this because she told me. As an adult, Mom tried one day to confront her father over his “sins.” His response? Without ever acknowledging what he had done, he told Mom that his past sins had been forgiven by God, and if God had forgiven him, so should she. Mom’s lack of forgiveness became an issue when Grandpa’s wife, using Bill Gothard’s Basic Life Principles, decided to “confront” Mom’s bitterness. She let it be known that Mom’s bitterness was due to her unwillingness to forgive. Needless to say, the discussion turned into an angry shouting match. (Please read Dear Ann.)

In the late 1960s, we lived west of Farmer, Ohio in a rented farmhouse owned by my Dad’s sister, Mary. I attended fifth and sixth grade at Farmer Elementary School. One day, I was home sick from school. Unbeknownst to me, my uncle, whom I will call Bob out of respect for his wife and son, unexpectedly came to our home. Bob only stayed for a short while, but what he did during that time left a lasting impression on a mother and her twelve-year-old son.

I learned as an adult that Bob was known for sexually harassing and assaulting women, including teen girls. Many of the women in my family have stories to tell about Bob inappropriately touching them or coming on to them. Everyone knew about Bob. Oh, that’s just how Bob was, one close family member told me. As far as I know, no one has ever publicly accused Bob of sexually assaulting them; except for my mom, that is.

Whether Bob stopped at our house on a whim or knew that Mom would be home alone and wanted to use that opportunity to take sexual advantage of her, I’ll never know, but one thing is for certain: Bob raped my mother. I know, because she told me he did. After Bob left, Mom had me run down to the neighbor’s house to use their phone to call someone. For the life of me, I can’t remember whom she had me call. I do know that no one believed her. She was Crazy Barb, the woman with mental problems.

Is it any wonder Mom had mental health problems? Born into a family where both parents were violent alcoholics, she suffered significant trauma, including being sexually molested by her father. At age seventeen, she had an unplanned pregnancy, and by age eighteen she was married and had a redheaded baby boy — yours truly. Mom married a young Hungarian man, but he was not my father. Two years ago, I learned that my father was a married truck driver from Chicago. He met my teen mom at the truck stop where she worked in Bryan. (Please see What an Ancestry DNA Test Revealed About Me.)

A few years ago, Bob died. His funeral was held at First Baptist Church in Bryan, Ohio — the family church. Bob’s parents, Mom and Pop Daugherty, were instrumental in starting First Baptist, and they were lifelong members, as were several of their children. Bob didn’t attend First Baptist. As far as I know, he didn’t attend any church and hadn’t been to First Baptist in decades. The church is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church, pastored by John MacFarlane, a man who was a boy in the church when I was a teenager. This boy, now a college-educated man of God, conducted Bob’s funeral.

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Barbara Gerencser, 1957, age 18. Holding her newborn son Bruce (Butch)

Having attended numerous IFB funerals, I knew what to expect: preaching and an invitation to accept Jesus as my Savior. I endured this nonsense for the sake of my family. During the service, the pastor spoke glowingly of Bob’s life. I began to feel anger rise up in me, knowing that the pastor was painting faux gold on a piece of shit. Even worse, the pastor shared a story about Bob coming to the church altar as a teenager and asking Jesus to save him. And glory to God in the highest, God saved Bob and he is, thanks to Jesus, in Heaven today, said the pastor, or something to that effect. I’m sure hearing that Bob was in Heaven brought great joy and peace to his elderly mother. But what about my mother — who at age fifty-four, turned a Ruger .357 magnum towards her heart and pulled the trigger, killing herself instantly? What about all the girls, who are now grownups, and their mothers, who endured the indignity of Bob groping and sexually harassing them (and who knows what else he might have done, secrets never spoken of)? How is it that everyone who took sexual advantage of my mother died and went to Heaven — all praise be to the one who overlooks the sexually predatory ways of his followers — yet my mother is burning in Hell because she committed the one “sin” that can never be forgiven — self-murder?

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Barbara Gerencser, 1956, age 17

Mom is buried at Fountain Grove Cemetery in Bryan, Ohio. From time to time, I will stop by the cemetery and ponder what life might have been like for my mom had it not been for the men in her life. She certainly had her faults, but I wonder how much of the carnage that became her life can be traced back to her being sexually molested as a child and being raped as a young woman. Mom would divorce my father three years after Bob raped her. She would go on to marry three more times, always thinking that she needed a man in her life to survive. Such were the times, I suppose, but I know this for sure: I miss my mother and curse those who harmed her and caused her so much anguish and suffering.

As for Bob, he is where all people — good and bad — end up when they die: the grave. There is no Heaven or Hell, except for that which we experience in this life. While Mom had moments where she experienced the joys of Heaven, sadly much of her life was Hell. I so wish for her that she could have a second run at this thing we call life, but alas there are no re-dos. All I can do now is tell her story and work to make sure that the Bobs of the world don’t have a chance to harm others. And when they do sexually harm others, I want to be a voice calling for their arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment. Perhaps then, those who sexually assault and rape young girls, teens, and adult women will experience a bit of the hell they so richly deserve — Jesus and his forgiveness be damned.

And for the preacher who preached Bob into Heaven? Fuck you, John. Your theology has turned you into a bad person.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: God is Behind Every Murder and Rape

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Hello, Pastor John [Piper], and thank you for APJ! I write because last year someone very close to me was assaulted and murdered. At the time of the tragedy, I had not devoted my life to Christ. The pastor at the funeral service said, ‘I don’t think it was God’s plan for this to happen.’ I remember feeling so lost and angry. I gave my life to Christ a few months later. But I still don’t understand why my loved one would be murdered if God is omnipotent. Does God allow sin to roam unchecked? Does the Bible say anything about God allowing such awful sin to happen, and why? I am a new Christian with a lot to learn.

It’s difficult for me to know what the pastor at your friend’s funeral meant when he said, “I don’t think it was God’s plan for this to happen.” Maybe all he meant was that God never does anything wrong and never sins against anyone. But it’s one thing to say that God never does wrong, and it’s a very different thing to say that God does not govern or oversee or direct or control the wrong that happens in this world. If that’s what the pastor meant — that God doesn’t do that — I think he’s mistaken, because the Bible teaches from cover to cover that God does, in fact, govern all the details of the world, including the bad things that happen to us and to our friends.

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So God’s counsel, God’s wisdom, God’s purpose always comes to pass. That’s what it means to be God. Not the devil, not nature, not fate, not chance, not sinful man — nobody and nothing can thwart the plan of God.

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In other words, from the tiniest, most insignificant happening, to the largest global happenings, God governs all things.

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So, when you feel that you can’t understand why God does what he does, let your heart rest here: the worst suffering and the deepest sovereignty meet at the point of greatest love — the cross of Christ. So rest there.

— John Piper, Desiring God, Is Violent Crime Under God’s Providence? November 19, 2021

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Kendal Kippen Accused of Child Rape

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Kendal Kippen, a youth pastor at Jake’s House Church in Arlington, Washington, stands accused of raping of a church teenager. Kippen’s father is the pastor of the church.

The Herald reports:

Kendal Kippen, 26, of Stanwood, worked at Jake’s House Church in 2017 and 2018, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. His father was the pastor.

Kippen, then 22, began “grooming” a 15-year-old girl who attended the church, the sheriff’s office reported. He would drive her home and talk to her via social media, according to a news release sent out Wednesday by the sheriff’s office.

“On multiple occasions, the suspect convinced the 15-year-old victim to sneak out of her residence, and the suspect picked her up and drove the victim to his residence in Stanwood,” the news release reads.

The youth pastor was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Snohomish County Jail in Everett. Hours later, he posted $30,000 bond.

Another young woman told The Daily Herald she was also a victim of Kippen’s abuse beginning in 2016. She said she also knew the youth pastor through Jake’s House. She was 17.

According to her, Kippen began talking with her on social media. At first, they were friends. But as time passed, Kippen started sending her sexually explicit messages. He sent her nude photos, too, she said.

The youth pastor touched the girl inappropriately at a church-sanctioned summer camp, she said. He did it again at church and at her home, she told The Daily Herald. She estimated it happened five times.

“He would always find ways to get me alone,” she said.

“He was my youth pastor, so I realized it was not OK,” she said. “We were learning about all this stuff at church — about purity, saving yourself for marriage. The person who was saying that at the pulpit was not doing it behind closed doors.”

The young woman said she was afraid to come forward about the abuse. Her dream at the time was to work at the church, she said, and Kippen told her she would never get to work there if anybody found out.

She believes other victims are out there — as do two other congregation members who spoke with The Herald on condition of anonymity.

“I would say I still believe in God,” the young woman said. “But there is a big part of me that doesn’t want to be a part of a church at all. I don’t want to be a part of something that’s hypocritical or hurts people.”

The youth pastor’s parents, Keith and Karmen Kippen, are lead pastors at Jake’s House.

One man, a former member of the church leadership, told The Herald that church elders formed a committee when they found out one of the victims was allegedly a child. The group made a plan, he said, to tell police about the allegations.

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In November 2020, church leadership sent out an email to congregation members announcing Kendal Kippen had been “removed” from his position as youth pastor, as of August that year. He later resigned entirely from the church staff, according to the email.

“It had come to light that he was involved in sexual impropriety over the course of several years with multiple young women, both inside and outside the church,” the email read. “We referred this to law enforcement, which is now conducting an investigation, and have pledged our full cooperation. With that being said, we ask that you understand the necessity for confidentiality in the details of this matter.”

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But in August 2021, the church’s lead pastor made plans to return at the end of the month. The unexpected turn prompted the entire apostolic team of church elders to step down: The resignation was announced at a worship service Aug. 1, 2021. Jake’s House reportedly lost over half of its congregation in the weeks that followed.

Keith Kippen did not return a Herald employee’s phone call Wednesday. Internet archives showed he and his wife were listed as lead pastors on the church’s website under a section titled “Leadership.” But that section was removed from the website sometime Wednesday.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser