A Week of Blah (Health Update)
I have been feeling under the weather (sick) for most of the week. I went to the doctor just to make sure that I did not have the flue (or Coronavirus), and the test was negative. I just had a bad case of an acute stomach virus or food poisoning. That was good news, especially considering I was determined to speak at a funeral service on Thursday.
However, for the rest of the week I have been wiped out – no energy, thirsty, little appetite, and no desire for coffee (yeah, something’s really wrong). Every time I get up to do anything, I feel like I need to sit back down. It’s been miserable.
But then I read a news story that injected some adrenalin into my veins and animated my limbs (at least my fingers). I knew I had to say something, the sooner the better. Anger overcame lethargy.
Florida Church Hires a Wolf
The headline of the story read like this: “Florida church members split after ‘registered sex offender’ returns to preach“.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? What kind of idiots would do such a thing? Are they stupid? Crazy?
No, actually, they are probably like so many other Christians who believe the right thing to do is forgive, and they’ve likely never experienced the fangs of a predator within their flock. Or, maybe they’re just the stick-a-fork-in-a-socket kind of dumb.
A Must Read – Seriously!
Dear friends, wherever you are, I beg of you…I plead with you!.. order this book by Dr. Anna C Salter. My wife and I were given a copy several years ago by a family counselor who was tasked with helping us heal from the wounds of a sexual predator. As we read it, we both became physically ill, not simply from the content, but how we had been duped by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The reason why I became so angry when I read the story of how Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Jacksonville hired a convicted sex offender is that they evidently don’t know what they are dealing with! They’ve never read a book like this! If they had, this guy’s name would have never been considered, not even for an outside gutter sweeper!
Tell Me, Why?
I don’t know what they used for justification, but those who suggested
Rev. Darrell Gilyard as a candidate for pastor should be tarred and feathered for furthering the endangerment of children and women. His name should have never even been considered!
So, why is it that he was picked? Why did anyone vote him in? I can only guess, and here are a few that come to mind:
- He’s a great, powerful preacher; he’s gonna have his weaknesses.
- He never really did any of the things he was accused of or found guilty of. All were simply misunderstandings.
- He did commit a horrible sin, but that was in 2009, and he has paid his debt to society. Are we to still treat him like he’s a criminal?
- God is the God of second chances.
- If Jesus Christ forgave him for his sin, then who are we to hold it over him?
- He may have done those things in the past, but he is a changed man, now.
But let me tell you how it really is and should be (If you’re the soft-hearted type that can’t stand the sight of blood, look away; it’s going to get brutal.)
Sex offenders, rapists, pedophiles, and child molesters are predators. They do not change. They are never reformed. They will always have a taste for prey.
Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. You are shocked that a good-ole Baptist preacher like me would claim anyone is beyond the saving grace and changing power of the blood of Jesus Christ, right? Well, that’s not what I’m saying.
God can change anyone. Period. If the Word of God is true (and I believe it is), if anyone repents and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, he will become a new creature: a born-again individual with a new nature that seeks to please God, not the flesh (2 Cor. 5:17).
But how do you typically know when people have been changed by God, saved by His grace, given a new heart, etc.? Their testimony.
In other words, by their words and their works they testify to the change that has taken place. And who doesn’t love a good testimony story, amen?
The only problem is that every predator that infiltrates a church usually does it with a GREAT testimony. Then, before long, he/she is put in a place of authority with access to all the victims he wants, even if he has to groom them a little while before he feasts.
In the news video from Chanel 4 in Jacksonville, one of the pastor’s supporters (James Andrews) said something very telling. He said, “I forgave him.”
Stop and think about that for just a moment, would you? What did this man have to forgive him for? What did Darrell Gilyard do to him? What does his forgiveness have to do with anything, really?
The first news story I read referenced another in which Gilyard was asked if he thought he’d changed.
“Of course I believe I have changed. But time will tell everyone if I have changed,” Gilyard told First Coast News in 2014. “I’m a believer in when you do something wrong, you pay the price. But do you pay the price forever?”
What the Hades?!! Is he really that ignorant? He evidently thinks we are.
- The predator doesn’t tell the prey he is dangerous.
- Time is not a luxury any church can afford when it comes to this.
- Anna Salter interviewed a young deacon (only in his 20’s) who had been convicted of sexually molesting a young boy in his youth group. Before he was arrested for that, he was accused of other things, but he cleverly picked children with histories of lying, so no one believed them. By the time he was put away, he voluntarily confessed to 95 other victims. What did time tell?
- Yes, for some things you DO pay the price forever. The girls you molested certainly will. And have you ever heard of Hell?
- For the safety of your children, you can NEVER, EVER trust a convicted sex offender. Never. No second chances. None.
So, what would I do if I were in the shoes of the folk there at Mt. Ararat Baptist? First, I would immediately fire Mr. Gilyand. I would not even allow him to preach a good-bye sermon. He had no business – NONE – even being behind the pulpit according to the books of Timothy and Titus.
After getting rid of Mr. Gilyand, the congregation of Mt. Ararat needs to re-evaluate what it was that made them approve of hiring a wolf to lead them, then repent and ask forgiveness from God. After that, never let the same people serve on any search committee again.
For everyone else, especially if you are a church leader, order Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, & Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children, by Anna C Salter, Ph.D.
Be sober. Be vigilant. – 1 Peter 5:8
If you would like for us to share our personal experiences dealing with a sexual predator within our (former) flock, my wife and I would love to talk with you. Comment below or email me at PastorACBaker@yahoo.com.