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So Much for my Ability to Read People

December 4th, 2017

Surprising News from Miami

This can’t be right. I got bored and Googled a few people I know in Miami, and it looks like a former pastor of mine has been arrested for child molestation. Eight counts.

The mugshot is on the web, and it sure looks like him. The name is correct. The age is different from the age on a people-finder site, but it’s off by less than a year.

He used to have a Facebook page with his wife. Now she has her own, and his doesn’t come up. The church’s website is down for “maintenance.”

This is a guy who was not good to me. He ran a cult, and he and his wife broke up friendships. He would not listen to anyone. He was too proud. Not my favorite person on earth. But this news is very upsetting. I would not wish this on anyone.

I have to wonder if it’s true. He is in jail in Miami. The judge denied bond for some of the counts. The inmate search page has domestic violence notes. If he got into it with his wife, maybe she accused him falsely. Women do things like that.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong to suggest she would do it.

For the record, I never saw the slightest hint that he was capable of this. It does not ring true. Maybe it is true, but it doesn’t sound right. I’ve known people who seemed creepy and perverted, and he is not one of them. I never heard him say anything libidinous. I never saw him put a hand on anyone. I never saw him stare at a child. He didn’t seem particularly involved with kids at the church. Many molesters become teachers, youth pastors, scoutmasters, and so on, so they can get close to kids. I never saw any of that.

The clerk’s site doesn’t mention child pornography. It would be odd for a pedophile in 2017 to lack pornography.

Sometimes when something bad happens to someone who is out of line, it’s hard not to feel satisfaction. Not this time. If he gets convicted, his life is over. Everyone on the outside will hate him, and so will all of the prison inmates he lives with.

Am I wrong to feel sympathy for the accused and nothing for the victim? I don’t know who he is alleged to have molested or what he is alleged to have done. I don’t know the first thing about it. If there are victims, those are the people I should feel bad for.

Maybe I feel sorry for him simply because I know him.

If there really is a victim, I may know that person, too.

This is staggering. I did not like the things he did, but I don’t want to see this happen to him. I suppose it didn’t “happen to him,” though. If he’s guilty, he himself made it happen, intentionally.

After I left the church, I used to ask God if I should pray for him and his wife, and I kept feeling that God was telling me not to, because they could not be corrected. Maybe I was right about that.

It may sound funny to say I didn’t pray for someone who mistreated me (and others), but I’ve found that effective prayer takes time, and you have to try not to waste that time on the wrong people. Some people who harm you can be changed. Others can’t, and the time you waste praying for them could be spent on people who would be improved by it. You can’t pray all day. Your prayer time and energy are limited. You have to choose your battles. More accurately, you need to get God to choose them for you.

America is going to go down the toilet, and a lot of people are going to waste their time praying for God to fix it. That’s a great example of misguided prayer. You can’t pray against prophecy. When my sister ruined her life, I felt that God didn’t want me to pray for her any more. There was no way to penetrate her self-righteousness and utter lack of honesty. I try to get God to help me pray for people who can change, so my time here on earth amounts to something.

Man, this is bad. And one of my best friends was counting on that church to provide a career. There were kids who went to that church without their useless parents, because they wanted to know God. People depended on that church.

I reserve judgment. I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not. Most arrestees are guilty of at least what they’re charged with, but you never know.

I reserve judgment. I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not. Most arrestees are guilty of at least what they’re charged with, but you never know.

Be careful whom you worship with, and don’t let your desire to see the best in people lead you to associate with the wrong individuals.

I’m glad God got me out of that place. At first, I thought the pastors were wonderful, but they kept hitting me over the head with their faults, and then they did something stupid that made it too awkward for me to continue attending.

I was a deacon. I’m glad I won’t be known as a deacon of a church with the molestation scandal.

A friend just confirmed it. He molested his niece. The niece told her mom. Her mom put it all over Facebook. He apologized to the church and stepped down. Terrible.

For a while after he left, my friend pastored the church. I guess that fell apart.

Confessing in front of the church was the right thing to do, I suppose, but it will all but guarantee a conviction.

Hope this is the most disturbing news I get this week.

3 Responses to “So Much for my Ability to Read People”

  1. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Wow.

  2. Ruth H Says:

    Sorry, this is a sordid world. The poor niece. She is the one to pray for.

  3. Heather P Says:

    Whoa! That’s really upsetting!

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