So, I have a practical question for you today. Lately the news has been filled with, among all of the important information about ISIS, the Syrian civil war, Refugee crises in Europe, and the Presidential Campaigns, an awful lot of news about Josh Duggar and his television savvy family. Further, a few years ago a remarkably similar scandal broke in Sovereign Grace Ministries, particularly in the Covenant Life Church. It came to light that the pastoral leaders of the church had ignored and/or covered up multiple reports that the church’s youth pastor was engaged in inappropriate activities with some of the boys in the church’s ministries. If you want more information about either situation, it won’t be hard to find online, but I’m not interested in getting into the details of these specific events here. What I do want to do is present you with a thought experiment: One day Sam, the pastor of a large church with around 1000 members, was approached by a young man that he recognized as being active in the youth program of the church. The young man, Leo, seems clearly uncomfortable, and he confides in Sam that he’s thinking about leaving the youth ministry at the church. His parents love the church, but he just doesn’t want to stay with the youth any longer, and he’s not sure what to do, since he’s not old enough to drive. When Sam asks Leo why he wants to leave the youth ministry, the boy becomes evasive, but it seems clear to Sam that it has something to do with their youth pastor, Lonny. Sam asks if Leo would be willing to sit down with himself and Lonny to talk out whatever is bothering him, but the boy refuses, and withdraws into himself, unwilling to say more. The next day Sam asks Lonny about this, and Lonny tells Sam that he had discovered Leo looking at pornography on one of the youth programs community computers. The computers have strong filters on them, and Lonny isn’t sure how Leo bypassed them, but he confronted Leo about it and told Leo that he wouldn’t be allowed to use the computers for a time, and also informed the boys parents, who asked him to let them handle the situation from there. Sam consider this to be a realistic explanation for the boys behavior, and accepts Lonny’s word for it, but a week later Leo approaches him again. This time Leo seems even more depressed, and he simply asks Sam if God will send him to hell for something that some one else has done to him. This question seems out of character for the story that Lonny presented, and so Sam asks Leo gently what someone has been doing to him. Leo tells him that Lonny has been driving him home after youth group on Wednesday nights for the past few weeks, and that when he does, he talks about very explicit sexual matters with Leo, and has asked him if it would be alright if Lonny touched him in certain ways to ‘teach’ him about ‘Godly sexuality.’ At this point, Sam isn’t sure who to believe. Lonny has been their youth pastor for two years, and this is the first time anyone has complained about him. The parents love him, and all the kids seem to get along with him very well. He wonders if Leo might be making up a story to get Lonny in trouble, but if Leo isn’t the implications are enormous. In this situation, what should Sam do? If he calls the police and such accusations become public, they could have a drastic impact on Lonny’s life, even if they aren’t true. But if they are true, Leo is a victim of a predator that Sam himself has brought into their midst.
As always, write a 1000 word story that presents and defends your solution to Sam’s situation.