Former Music Minister Tim Mann Sentenced for Child Sex Abuse

Former Music Minister Timothy Mann was sentenced to 13 years in prison, with 6 years suspended, after pleading guilty to charges of sexually abusing a child in his care over the span of four years beginning in 1992.

The last line of the linked article is particularly interesting to me. The article notes that Mann had apologized to his family for his behavior and undergone three years of professional therapy for what he had done prior to his arrest. At the time of his arrest, he was serving as a music minister in a church. The article closes with the statement by his attorney, David Martella, “We’re concerned that [his sentence] sends a message that if you make a mistake like this, and it certainly is a very serious one, you won’t get very much credit for trying to get better.”

Well, we can put a lovely gold sticker on his chart. But, I am far more concerned that people think it is OK to heal a would like this lightly. When a predator (let’s call it what it is – it’s not a “mistake”; a mistake is forgetting to put out the trash can on trash day) violates a victim, that victim is violated forever. The scars last a lifetime and they are devastating. The word “devastating” can’t do them justice. They do not ever go away. But the predator somehow thinks because the “incident” is in the past in his mind, it can just be made to go away. An apology is not enough. Getting therapy is not enough, even though these things are far more than most ever do.

Here is the simple truth. There are consequences for actions. It is called the law of sowing and reaping. It is a law of nature. It works in crops. It works in science. It works in justice. It just is, period. When someone breaks the law, he must pay the price. He cannot just think it will be OK to be good from now on and that will be good enough. And obviously, there was a very serious misunderstanding of qualifications for church leadership – which seems to occur with appalling frequency – because a person with an issue of sexual predation in their history is utterly unqualified for church leadership and had no business serving as a minister of music either.

In fact, I will say, if Tim Mann was genuinely repentant and his heart was right toward God in this matter, God Himself orchestrated in these events to expose him because that is the heart of God on this matter. God loves justice and mercy. Even in this sentence we see both. God allowed maximum mercy while honoring His requirement for justice as well. THIS is right. And God will use it for His good in Tim Mann’s life if Mann is genuinely repentant.

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Former Pastor Peter Pilger Pleads Guilty to Rape & Other Charges

Former pastor Peter Pilger, of Warren, OH, pleaded guilty this week to one count of rape, one count of kidnapping, three counts of attempted rape and one count of gross sexual imposition. According to the linked article, Pilger served from 1999-2003 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Martins Ferry. He was installed April 6 as the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Massillon, Ohio, after serving from 2003-2008 at a New Albany, Ohio, church.