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Sexual Offenders Groom Churches Too

How predatory behavior goes undetected in congregations.

Christianity Today

A man who had long sexually abused children sat in front of his pastor, wanting to confess his crimes. He began cautiously, mentioning that there had been accusations against him. He got no further, as his minister broke in, “Well, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of,” the minister said quickly. “You’re the last person I’d believe that of. End of conversation.”

This true account was shared in Anna C. Salter’s 1991 book, Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders. As a psychologist who has spent over 20 years working with and studying victims and sexual offenders, Salter says that “many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people.” Read More

When Our Ultrasound Revealed a Birth Defect, My Doctor Offered an Abortion

We’ve never regretted saying no, but his words still haunt me. 

Christianity Today

“I was a little over halfway through my pregnancy when my husband and I sat gripping each other’s hands while a specialist gesticulated as he described the options for our unborn baby. We could opt for life-saving surgeries, we could give her comfort care once born but allow her to die without intervention, or we could choose to abort.

The root of [the word] disaster means a star coming apart, and no image expresses better the look in a patient’s eyes when hearing a neurosurgeon’s diagnosis,” says the late Paul Kalanithi in When Breath Becomes Air. A star coming apart perfectly describes how it felt to be told that our daughter had a severe heart defect that would kill her soon after birth without medical intervention.”  Read more

Jesus Befriended Prostitutes. So This Victorian-Era Woman Did Too.

Josephine Butler’s faith prompted her to challenge the status quo of her day. 

Christianity Today

 With a glance toward her guide, she took the brave step forward. She would see padded rooms where prostitutes could be abused without the world hearing their screams. Her small form would pass rooms full of children used as prostitutes, and she would shudder to hear her guide proudly announce how wonderful it was that these children were under their care and off the streets. She wasn’t persuaded. She knew what she saw. “Hell hath opened her mouth,” she would write. “I stand in the near presence of the powers of evil. What I see and hear are the smoke of the pit.”

 A well-educated and cultured woman with a husband and children, her decision to not only enter brothels but to advocate for prostitutes was shocking to society. She viewed her war as a “consecrated rebellion.”

Who was this woman, and how can we understand her courage? Read More

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