Today, I really would like to be funny. I like being funny. I mean, I’m funny! It’s what I do! But God’s not giving me anything funny to write about. All I keep thinking about are sex offenders. Yeah, you read that right. Sex offenders.
In hearing some feedback on my blog, You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks, https://chhappens.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/you-can-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks-im-living-proof/, which was also printed in our church newsletter, it seems that, by saying there could be sex offenders in our church, it’s gotten some people a little freaked out. I can understand that. When one hears they’re in the presence of a sex offender, I suppose it would throw up a few red flags to say the least. However, if that’s all you got out of that blog; you missed the point.
I make no apologies for saying there could be sex offenders in our church, or ANY church for that matter. The unfortunate fact is, there are sex offenders everywhere! No matter where you are, whether it be Walmart, the city park, the corner store, or at a neighbor or relatives house, there could be a sex offender. Churches are no different. I did a little research. Here’s some information I found.
Who Are Sex Offenders?
There is no such thing as a “typical” sex offender. Sex offenders can:
be male or female; be young or old;
have different levels of education;
be married or single; have strong ties to their families and communities, or have weak ties; and/or have no record of prior criminal involvement or have a record either for sexual or non-sexual offenses. http://www.childluresprevention.com/research/profile.asp
As many as 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.
Most perpetrators are acquaintances, but as many as 47% are family or extended family.
In as many as 93% of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows the person that commits the abuse.
Approximately 30% of cases are reported to authorities.
Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault.
33% of sexual assaults occur when the victim is between the ages of 12 and 17. 5
82% of all juvenile victims are female.
69% of the teen sexual assaults reported to law enforcement occurred in the residence of the victim, the offender, or another individual.
Teens 16 to 19 years of age were 3 1/2 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
Approximately 1 in 7 (13%) youth Internet users received unwanted sexual solicitations.
4% of youth Internet users received aggressive solicitations, in which solicitors made or attempted to make offline contact with youth.
9% of youth Internet users had been exposed to distressing sexual material while online.
9.2% of cases of maltreatment of children in 2010 were classified as sexual abuse.
Over 63,000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in 2010. http://www.nsopw.gov/en-US/Education/FactsMythsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Mark 10:16 says “Pay attention, now! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves. No matter where you are, you have to use common sense. Sin is sin. And sin, and sinners, are everywhere. I realize that, in human eyes, as far as sin goes, sexually based offenses are especially heinous. (Insert Law And Order SVU sound…DUN DAH!) However, God can, and does, deliver people from that sin just like He does any other sin! And being a victim of sexual abuse doesn’t make you damaged goods! God heals and restores! As Steve said the other day, after hearing a sermon from a lady with a history of being abused, “Abused = Abba-used”! Get it? That’s good stuff! God uses the circumstances in our lives, that satan intended for harm, to help us help heal others!
Anyway, the point is, sex offenders are, most likely, in every church. I hate to burst your bubble if you’re one who happened to think that a sex offender wouldn’t go to church. And if you happen to be a church who caters to the “least of these” in society; (as ALL churches should) we’re called to love ALL people, not just the ones we want to love. Not to mention, we’re all sinners saved by grace! And there’s no sin, habit, or lifestyle that God can’t deliver a person from! Not one! Not even sex offenders! That doesn’t mean you let a known sex offender work with children. Let’s not be silly! That’d be like handing a drug addict a needle!And no matter how fancy the building, or what type people attend a church, we should ALWAYS take precautions with our children!
Surely the Lord’s power is enough to save you. He can hear you when you ask him for help. Isaiah 59:1