Help me out here…
The Associated Press reports:
“A tiny Louisville church’s newest minister is a gifted music leader and popular among its three dozen members.
Mark Hourigan is also a sex offender. Almost a decade ago, long before he joined the flock at the City of Refuge Worship Center, he was convicted of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in central Kentucky. Hourigan served a five-year sentence and the 41-year-old was placed on Kentucky’s sex offender registry for the rest of his life.”
As one would expect, there is some controversy here among the members.
What do you think? I know we need to have the discussion here at P&P concerning “fallen” pastors with regard to adultery, but here is a discussion about restored sex offenders. Is there such a thing?
Does grace allow for such a restoration in society and the church?
I know that we have a convicted sex offender living about 1.5 miles away from our house. I have no idea of his spiritual condition, but, regardless, I have showed a picture to my kids and told them to run home and tell us if they ever see him in the neighborhood. If he was my pastor, I imagine my kids would not be allowed any interaction with him, most certainly in private.
I know that this is not an issue of salvation. I know that but for the grace of God, we may carry this shame. I am just not sure what grace looks like here. I am much more willing to allow a pastor in the seat of authority and influence who has committed adultery. This is just different.
Let me refine and rephrase the first question:
Is there ever a second chance for sex offenders in the Christian church and society? If so, what does that second chance look like? Would you ever go to a church that has a former sex offender as the pastor? (If you answer this, please tell us if you have kids—I think it makes a difference).