Doing Justice…Reporting Child Abuse

“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

   – Amos 5:21-24

Oh that anyone would care more about saving face than doing justice.  Did we some how forget that before we gather to worship, what God wants of his people is the practice of justice/righteousness?  “…And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” exclaims the prophet (Mic 6:8).

By now you know all about the sexually abusive acts committed by Jerry Sandusky against children along with the failure of other Penn State leaders to stop Jerry Sandusky when they knew that he was a child predator.  The Penn State leaders, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno and then-university President Graham Spanier, failed to stop Sandusky because they were more worried about the reputation of their school and football program.

But enough about Penn State.  I want to talk about churches because we all know that churches, both at the denominational level and at the local level, have covered up the acts of pedophiles for the same reasons as Penn State.  THIS MUST STOP!!!

Just as churches should be concerned about justice for the hungry, the homeless, etc…  Churches should and must have an equal concern about justice for children.  Thus, should a church receive any allegation of child abuse (physical, sexual, etc…), it must be disclosed to the proper authorities (The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline number is 1.800.422.4453).  If there is reason to believe any child is in immanent danger of being harmed in any way, contact the local police immediately.

While there will always be shame and scorn when someone abuses a child, the truth will come out…eventually…one way or the other.  However, by reporting child abuse when it is first encountered churches not only protect the victim(s) from further harm but also prevent further children from becoming a victim.

So churches, do the right thing and report child abuse when you encounter it!

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