Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an excellent post on how the Penn State scandal should change the way that Christians and Christian organizations look at suspected child abuse.
Sometimes Christians are reluctant to report suspected sexual abuse because they do not feel that they know enough about the situation. They are afraid of making a false accusation. This is the wrong instinct. We do not have the ability to conduct the kind of investigation that is needed, nor is this assigned to the church. This is the function of government as instituted by God (Romans 13). Waiting for further information allows a predator to continue and puts children at risk. This is itself an immoral act that needs to be seen for what it is.
A Christian hearing a report of sexual abuse within a church, Christian organization, or Christian school, needs to act in exactly the same manner called for if the abuse is reported in any other context. The church and Christian organizations must not become safe places for abusers. These must be safe places for children, and for all. Any report of sexual abuse must lead immediately to action. That action cannot fall short of contacting law enforcement authorities. A clear lesson of the Penn State scandal is this: Internal reporting is simply not enough.
After law enforcement authorities have been notified, the church must conduct its own work of pastoral ministry, care, and church discipline. This is the church’s responsibility and charge. But these essential Christian ministries and responsibilities are not substitutes for the proper function of law enforcement authorities and the legal system. As Christians, we respect those authorities because we are commanded to do so.
We as Christians must remember that turning a blind eye to sin is itself a sin. And it is also part of the reason that I feel that we as Christians should take a proactive role in shaping the morality of the nation. While we may do this politically at times, we must do this as our natural way of living life.
Dr. Mohler's article is an excellent read.
See my previous post on Penn State: But what about the children?
Source: Justin Taylor