Tom Messer is Florida’s Voice of Morality on Gay Adoption?

A Miami, FL, judge recently ruled against the Florida ban on gay couples adopting children. Understandably, this issue is quite a hotly debated one.

However, what jumped out at me in this story was the person who was highlighted as one of the primary vocal supporters of the ban on gay adoptions. Among several other things, Tom Messer was quoted in the article as saying, “Same-sex parents present a skewed picture of family.”

What Tom Messer is providing here is a vivid example of something I intend to write about more extensively, but will start right now with this post. When I saw this article I could not hold back the comments — even though there was not a soul around to hear me speak my mind.

Tom Messer is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Most of those reading this may be unaware of the pedigree of Tom Messer and Trinity Baptist Church. The former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Dr. Bob Gray, miraculously and “mysteriously” died in November of 2007 after being arrested for what was revealed to be a very long history of molesting children in his church. He vehemently denied the charges for months, but when it was finally revealed the charges were true he suddenly turned ill and died without explanation of cause, though he was elderly.

Tom Messer was on the pastoral staff of Trinity Baptist Church during the reign of Dr. Gray. After Dr. Gray’s passing there was an additional probe because as it turns out — Messer admitted on tape that he knew about Dr. Gray’s activities, but he did nothing. Messer committed a crime. He is a mandated reporter who knew about child sex abuse and did not report it. And folks, this man is still the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL.

Not only has his church turned a blind eye to his lack of morals, character, and Scriptural understanding, his lack of concern for their children’s safety (a theme I will return to in another post — there is more to say about that), and his legal culpability in aiding and abetting a pedophile, but this man has the nerve to put his name, his church, his God, and his opinion in the news media before the entire state of Florida regarding the issue of whether gays are capable of making good family role-models for children???

What kind of family role model is he providing? The model where sex is the perview of any authority figure strong enough to take it? One-flesh equals what? Certainly not one man, one woman until death do us part in Messer’s vocabulary — or only for everyone but pastors who want to molest the children of their church members. Because Messer’s actions have clearly stated that pastors can have sex with whatever children they want to take and that is not a violation of any Biblical family model — but he believes that “same-sex parents present a skewed picture of family.”

Does this man have any business saying anything about anyone else’s morality?


8 Responses

  1. isn’t it amazing how christians stand out and speak without ‘removing the plank’? we always assume a man of leadership is living according to God’s principles. another point is how evangelicals are ‘up in arms’ about rick warren praying at the inauguration of president elect obama, shouldn’t we be saying “praise God he chose a Christian pastor!” good work danni in keeping up the fight to keep Gods word alive!

  2. People like this that are hyprocites tend to make ‘scriptural’ excuses for themselves. WE are TOLD that we will be attacked for our BELIEFS.

    I think calling out Dr Gray, and getting attacked for that is more what scripture is calling for.

    Another example of pick and choose what we will stand firm against.

  3. it seems when problems arise ‘in our own backyard’ people tend to be silent and hope nobody notices and it will all go away in time. but when it happens and we can ‘make a stand for God’ in public, wow can we ever stand tall and speak out! thats why God tells us to settle our affairs amongst each other before offering sacrifice. in other words look in a mirror and make sure you yourself are blameless before attacking others

  4. This is one reason the “church” is losing credibility with Christians! There are simply hundreds of examples of this in varying venues.

    • EXACTLY. That is exactly my point. This is bad – but the real tragedy is that this is not even remotely an isolated incident. It is not unncommon. Worse yet, less-blatant forms of the same attitude are becoming common rather than an exception.

      — Danni

  5. And let’s not forget that Trinity had still another leader, Tony Denton, who was charged with multiple counts of child molestation and who finally pled guilty to those charges in North Carolina just last month. (Yes… he was allowed to move on from a N.C. church to Trinity in FL.)

    You can read a synopsis of the Trinity saga here, with embedded links to news articles:

    I applaud the band of people who saw the truth at Trinity, refused to play along as though it were all no big deal, and who ultimately left Trinity. For many, their whole lives had been built around that church. It was painful for them. But at least in their leaving (and some did so very vocally), they communicated a message of “we care” to the many abuse-victims. And they refused to be complicit with the terrible wrong.

    I will never understand how so many others can continue to sit in the pews of Trinity, with Tom Messer as pastor. What is it that makes the small band who left Trinity so different from the many who continue to sit in silent complicity in those pews?

    • Oh yes, the Tony Denton story has gotten one round here and has another pending in the next couple days because….drum roll, please…. he’s back at Trinity.

      I don’t understand why many people stay. This is a true mystery to me. It defies all reason. But I have close family who have done the exact same thing at a different Baptist church. How do you stay in the church where your child’s abuser remains on staff as principal of the Christian school, unaddressed after confrontation of church leadership, still with access to all those children (known physical battery over many years; plus someone unknown, possibly the same person, sexually abused him multiple times during school hours in the school building)? I do not get it.

      — Danni

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