Another Word about Derek Gillett Post

I just want to say, to all those who are being influenced by these present charges, first I apologize for my original comments, which I have edited.  I tend to view the issue from a global perspective, knowing that most allegations of clergy sex abuse are validated and that by far most actual events of clergy of sex abuse, particularly in Protestant churches, are never reported.  I’m passionate about this issue because I’ve seen the wreckage left by something that’s being ignored for the most part and seen many people turned away from God entirely by the experience.

But there’s another perspective too.  And that is the people who are in this particular community, for whom this is there own personal present story.  People are loyal to their pastor, which is entirely reasonable if there’s any doubt and charges are unsubstantiated.  My original comments were insensitive to this, and for that I sincerely apologize.  That would never be my intention and my hasty words were out of line.

I’m not writing this because of any specific person’s comments or private conversation.  But the comments received on my blog post and a review of what I wrote, looking at it from the perspective of those involved, made me realize I had overstepped.  Worse, I could cause harm or hurt to those involved – which I would never, ever want to do.  I write about this issue because I really care and making assumptive personal commentary on an unresolved and unproven allegation was way out of bounds. 

Derek Gillett Case

I just have to comment a minute on the case of Derek Gillett from Cornerstone Community Chapel in Alpharetta, GA.  A couple days ago a friend and I were driving by the school where that church meets and getting the URL since she is church shopping.  Tuesday while we were on the phone we pulled up the church website and discussed it. 

Wednesday I saw the news article about Derek Gillett.  I about fell out of my chair!  It is such a jolt when the things I know happen all the time, and which I address daily on my blog because I’m passionate about the issue, allegedly turn up on my doorstep.  This church, and Midway United Methodist, are just a couple miles from my house.  I know many people who attend Midway UMC and my children and I have been there for various functions.  As far as I know we’ve never crossed paths with Derek Gillett personally, so I certainly can make no personal judgments.

But when allegations of clergy sex abuse turn up in your own neighborhood it is a powerful reminder of just how much it matters to continue to address this issue.  People in my own town – my neighbors really – are having their lives torn apart right now because, again, a pastor has been accused of stooping to sexually assaulting children.  This is why it matters!  I hope this turns out to be one of those times when the allegations are proven false.  I’ll update the site when a verdict is reached.  I’d love to be able to do a lengthy story about how this one was wrong and how God used that in a positive way!