Deb at TWW has this piece. If the allegations are true, then John Smyth needs a millstone around his neck and….
But that goes without saying.
But what to make of P.J.?
As I said in my last piece, he had better be telling the truth.
It is possible that he could have been in the dark about his father’s dark side. The cynic in me says he probably saw something at some point. But the question is when?
If he was an adult and saw abuses, then he should have had the maturity to report those. If he were a child–or a young teen at the time–that’s a different ballgame. I don’t expect a child or a teen to be held to the same standards as an adult in terms of ministerial ethics.
But if he’s not telling the truth, then there’s a larger problem.
He’d better be telling the truth!
I realize that parents ought to have wide latitude in disciplining their children. I endured corporal punishment that would likely have qualified as abuse at the time, but–even now, looking back–I think that if someone reported my parents, it would have done far more harm than good.
My life or health was never in danger, and while I will not do to our children what my stepmom did to me, I cannot say that she was bad. She had her issues–who doesn’t?–but she wasn’t evil either.
As for my dad, he did a fine job.
But in the case of the Smyths, if the allegations are true, then that exactly why we have Big Government: rampant iniquity.
If P.J. was a victim or even a witness, then it begs the question: how does he treat his own family today? It also begs the question as to whether he would report allegations of abuse to the authorities, as opposed to sitting on them?
Being a pastor isn’t simply about teaching sound doctrine–although that is very, very necessary. To be a pastor, you have to be trustworthy and faithful. You have to be a man of integrity.
When shit gets real, people need to be able to trust you to be the man with a pair who (a) rightly divides the word of truth, and (b) insists on being above-board, even when others want to bury the family jewels.
Can P.J. be trusted not to cover for a sexual abuser?
For the sake of what is left of CLC–and, more importantly, the sake of the Gospel–I sure hope that (a) P.J. can be trusted, and (b) that he is telling the truth.
Because if he isn’t, then he deserves a millstone around his neck.