One of the challenges that all groups face is the problem of sex abuse. My files are full of letters and notes from people from every religion and philosophy including atheism giving personal testimony of sex abuse.
In 2016 we made a series of videos with Jimmy Hinton titled: Sexual Warfare: Safeguarding Churches from Child Predators. It has been interesting to see the response to this series as church leaders have watched it and said, “But we don’t have that problem in our Church.” In reality, all congregations of any size at all in all denominations have a problem that for the most part has gone unrecognized. Our Catholic friends have gotten most of the attention on this issue, but now our Baptist friends are facing the same publicity.
On February 10, 2019, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published articles exposing 380 Southern Baptist church workers who have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 20 years. The 380 include ministers, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, and church volunteers. Of that number, 220 have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens more are still in court. More than 700 victims are involved, and leaders at the Southern Baptist Convention are accused of concealing or mishandling victims’ allegations. We want to emphasize that this is a universal problem. Three women have accused atheist/agnostic celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson of sex abuse, so the atheist community also struggles with this issue. Of course, the same can be said of politicians.
The latest government figures reported by the Pregnancy Care Center tell us that every second 28,258 people in the United States are viewing pornography on the internet and that 40 million Americans regularity visit porn sites. This has resulted in 200,000 Americans who are addicted to pornography. The Pregnancy Care Center says “Pornography is extremely damaging to the individual, the family, and the community. It undermines the value of human life and leaves its victim with a sense of emptiness and hopelessness.” It also encourages child predators.
As people have left God and His teachings, they find themselves in a frustrating search for peace, satisfaction, and hope. As we all know, church leaders in all religions and denominations have had personal struggles with these issues, and very little is being done on a practical level to address this problem.
One of the areas where our ministry has tried to help churches and individuals in the area of sexual misconduct and all that it involves. We can best carry out the Church’s role in defending all people from the destructive effects of pornography by studying what the Bible says and learning from the experience of one who has “been there.”
We offer a DVD series from Jimmy Hinton titled Spiritual Warfare: Safeguarding Churches from Child Predators. Jimmy discovered that his father, who was a career preacher, was also among the hidden world of child predators. He has prepared this material to try to help stop this cancer which is undetected and unaddressed in virtually all congregations.
The lead article in the March 2018 issue of The Christian Chronicle is titled “Sexual Abuse Victims ‘Fed Up’ with Silence,” written by Bobby Ross. It tells the story of Jimmy Hinton whose father was a gospel preacher who was a sexual child predator at the same time that he was working for congregations of the Church of Christ.
When Jimmy discovered his father’s behavior, he reported it to authorities and his father is now in prison. Jimmy has taken his tragic experience and formed a ministry to help churches protect themselves from sexual child predators, and help victims recover from the abuse they have suffered.
Several years ago the “Does God Exist?” ministry became acquainted with Jimmy’s work because we encountered people who had been sexually abused by a person claiming to be religious. We saw how vital Jimmy’s work was, and we worked with him to make a DVD series for churches to use. The DVD series is titled “Spiritual Warfare: Safeguarding Churches from Child Predators.” There are five sessions, and we included a teacher’s guide with the series.