Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pastoral Abuse and Harassment... Crazy Happenings of Late

I had the weirdest thing happen about a week and a half ago which is why I hadn't posted for a bit. I mean, it's so odd that I don't know how to say it without making you scratch your head.

There is a church I have my kids play sports at. Sometimes we even go to fun events that they host for families. I had recently thought about paying for my kids to attend AWANA there as well each week. Until recently.

I had set up a guy with my friend that I met while my kids were playing sports. He's in a ministry position. A lady said to me that she had no idea why he was single. He owned his own company, was in his 30's, nice guy, good Christian. Bing! I instantly thought about a single friend of mine. Well, stupid me didn't know anything about this guy and just trusted the word of someone else that knew him. Or thought they knew him.

My friend and the guy went on a few dates. It didn't turn out like my friend hoped because the guy wasn't the same Christian type of guy that he portrayed on church grounds. In fact, he was pretty aggressive in his manner in general. I quickly regretted the set up. I was actually alarmed by some things since twice a week he prayed and did devotions with kids. With MY kid. Knowing there are probably church standards I took the matter to his pastor and set up a meeting. I explained AND showed him proof from my phone that someone gave me that he is not the guy he was portraying and I was worried about him teaching my kid. The pastor said he was truly surprised since they were accountability partners. He said he would definitely look into it. Come to find out later, they are not accountability partners, the pastor and this guy are best friends. They are both young and often hang out. I didn't know what the pastor would do with the info. I just figured he could do what he wanted with it. I wasn't gonna go blast it to everyone. It was private and I wanted to keep it private.

We'll, because I brought the matter to this guy's best friend, the pastor, both were angry. The pastor immediately demanded that the girl have a meeting with the guy I set up with her. Little did she know she was just being set up to be recorded. After he was done with her, the pastor told me I then have to meet them at Starbucks. Well, I'm not comfortable meeting two guys I barely know at a Starbucks far from the church location. He was very, very demanding I meet and also demanded my pastor's number. What?  This was extremely strange behavior and the pastor even accused me of defamation of character. I looked up the definition of that. It's where you spread false info of someone to hurt their reputation. Well, I went to the privacy of a pastor's office and I absolutely told no one else. I won't even tell you here because of that very reason. It's private.

After I started to feel some serious harassment I decided to call my pastor for advice. I told him the information from start to finish. He was confused as to why a pastor would be angry since I went to him in private about something so serious. Especially when I had proof of the offense. I explained that I wasn't trying to hurt the guy. Just hoped that their could be repentance and restoration. Importantly, he was ministering to my kids. My pastor said it was beginning to sound like harassment and I didn't need to give him any info.

The texting to my phone from both guys continued on my phone for a few days. The pastor again demanded I give him my pastor's number. I followed my pastors advice and did not give it. This angered the pastor so he did some Internet digging on me. He found my blog and supposedly my former pastor's number. He texted info he found to my friend about me. He also said he spoke with my former pastor and quoted some pretty harsh things to her. My friend asked to verify the info herself and asked for the name of my former pastor. He refused to give it. I'm not sure how truthful this is since we've been catching the pastor in several lies. He would text one thing to my friend and say it completely opposite to me. Also, I'm not sure how he spoke to my former pastor since he was out of town and does not give out his cell.

I've had to seek help because of the harassment. This whole thing has me scratching my head. I mean, it breaks my heart. I absolutely believe this church has amazing people in leadership for children. They just have no idea who their leader is. I know for a fact that if anyone else tries to go to him about the same issue, they will regret they did. He's even mocked me to my friend via texting for trying to alert the board of elders about the harassment.  Laughing how nothing will be done because he is executive pastor. The behavior of the pastor is more bizarre than the original issue I brought to him. He's only been a pastor of the mega church for 5 years and he's quite young. I'm still scratching my head. I really would still love for my kids to play sports there and attend AWANA but I don't know. If the standards of people are not upheld, then who will be teaching my kids? I'm in children's ministry myself and I have standards as well. I have to live by then in order to stay in that leadership position.

Even sadder about all this is my friend who was set up has serious medical issues. She will be going in for surgery to remove a tumor in her brain. The harassment she was receiving is finally dying down but the damage is done. I profusely apologized to her for setting up for this guy. I will never do that again unless I truly know someone. I'm sad they were insensitive to her and trying to get her to keep talking and meeting them when she's in constant pain.

(shaking my head...)

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