For nearly the last 7 years I have chased the implementation of a solid and strong Victim's Advocacy policy within the Church Of God In Christ, of which I am a member. Consistently, I have been discouraged by the inaction, passivity and excuses that the corporate church has taken in approach towards the issue.
|Full Text Of This Proposal HERE|
|Bishop L. Wooten|
|Bishop B. Porter|
I have personally placed a copy of my most recent victim's advocacy policy outline in the Presiding Bishop's hands when he was in Joliet, IL. in 2013. I have personally looked General Board Member Brandon Porter in the face asking him to remind the Presiding Bishop of my presence and proposal at the Holy Convocation in Nov. of 2013, even delivering a copy to him for his personal review and asking him to consider all of those who have been affected by the sexual sins of abuse encountered at the hands of perverted and godless individuals claiming to be fellow clergy and overseers of the souls of the people. To which Bishop Porter responded, "Now you tryin' to give ME a job to do." I have sent facebook messages directly to folk like Evangelist Shane Perry, who loves the sensation of crowd appeal at the expense of deeper truths, and General Board Member Lawrence Wooten, reminding him of the terrible injustices that our people are facing without any assistance from the powers that be within this church.
Needless to say, Shane Perry, quickly deleted my messages (after which I deleted him as a contact) while my response from Wooten was to DE-FRIEND me on Facebook as soon as he was elected to the General Board...Thanks Bishop...I didn't vote for you anyway!
Even more, as I have documented on this blog, I have tracked down Al "Keepin' It Real" Sharpton, speaking to him and his assistants and various other top ranking COGIC officials on live open air radio (found HERE) only to experience REAL AVOIDANCE and obfuscation of truth as it pertains to how we are conducting ourselves towards victims of sexual abuse...
With all of those unresponded to efforts, (and I do have our Presiding Bishop's cell phone on me as I speak but I WILL NOT become or be perceived as a stalker), I am utterly amazed to find that the 2014 COGIC theme is as follows:
"We Are Called To Minister To And Witness To A Deeply Distressed And Troubled World"
(Remember Me? I'm Still Saying...)
Are You Kidding Me???
The 2014 COGIC 2 For One "Blue Light" Report Special
It goes like this...With all the efforts that I said went unresponnded to, well, there was kind of a response...The response was to implement a background screening process for COGIC Clergy. The background screening process was to include a 100% "Zero Tolerance" Policy against sexual abuse and sexual harassment, that the Presiding Bishop was to implement along with the approval of the General Board and that was to filter down to both mean and women who desire to take up a microphone within this church. ...I said, well that's good news...not exactly victim's advocacy...but a good start....a way to self regulate...
Yes, you read that right...For 2014, and for all those elders, ministers, Saints and friends who failed to pay their 2013 reports, for ONE TIME and supposedly ONE TIME ONLY (Yea right!) the criminal background checks will be SUSPENDED...This means that anyone paying both the current and last year's report this year, will not have their credentials subject to background and criminal history screening....
I know, as I have said before, whatever ministry I had in the rank and file, (just gotta follow my leader at all cost, no matter how ridiculous things may sound church) is over with...to which I say...You weren't having me or this ministry at your church anyway...So I haven't lost a thing!!!
But my heart is certainly burdened to know that SOMEBODY, evidently with little to NO spiritual insight and or concern for those hurting at low levels (and some at higher levels) in this church, either don't care about them that are hurt or are like Eli, devoid of any spiritual discernment, yet with title.
To allow potential crooks and pedophiles and even potential rapists to embrace our pulpits without accountability all because of the ability to "catch up" on money that they may owe, is without any resemblance of the Spirit of God. Has anyone considered that the reason that some of these folk are not paying their reports, is because they KNOW they can't pass a criminal background check?
Has ANYONE stopped to think, that perhaps those who try to avoid the criminal background check, may have a criminal history, and many of them may still and yet be engaged in criminal activity? Then there is this:
Yes, though swept under the rug and tried to hide, COGIC continues to settle cases of sexual abuse with gag orders and special arrangements to make sure that those who have been victimized will not speak openly about their cases or the arrangements under which they were settled. Such settlements include those like the recent case of Donald Barrett, former Administrative Assistant in Illinois 3rd Jurisdiction, who was accused of wanton sexual acts with at least 2 women, admitting in his own words to inappropriate activity and actions with the women. Although his former ministry and church settled openly for $300,000, (insurance policy limits) COGIC and Southern California 2nd (General Board Member McKinney) who were also parties to the lawsuit, after some time, settled in an undisclosed manner with a gag order on the claimants to not disclose anything. The door is open for Barrett to now come back, pay his money and proceed as if nothing had ever happened!
Yes, the door is open to folk who either sleep with women (and in some cases men), and commit criminal acts to continue in their criminal enterprise.
The door is open for those who have been exposed by molesting the vulnerable to come right in, pay your report, and continue in a position of authority all without question and or concern...
The door is open, for those fiscal charlatans who steal from the church, mishandle and misappropriate funds, and have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, to simply CONTINUE their sins and unlawful enterprises, under the name Church Of God In Christ, Supt. Elder, Bishop, Evangelist, and or Missionary all with the approval of inept and disassociated policy and exceptions approved at the highest levels within this church.
This is to our SHAME and to the utter disgust of those of us who know that this church deserves a much better standing and position in this world than what we are seeing and experiencing.
COGIC, WE are deeply distressed and troubled by these actions and this lack of insight from those promoting policy!
COGIC WE are troubled by this lack of concern for those who have been truly victimized and suffered at the hands of charlatans!
COGIC WE need to be ministered to if we think that promoting protections for clergy who have defiled themselves with the rudiments of this world and who make sport of manipulating the minds of the people, are anything that God is pleased with and that can be used by HIM in this last day!
Matthew 7:5 ~ Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Larry Stockstill was introduced to an auditorium of nearly 5,000 COGIC clergy at the 2013 Holy Convocation for a singular purpose. That purpose was to promote the message of his book, "The Remnant, Restoring The Call To Personal Integrity" and to reach COGIC clergy calling them to greater integrity and accountability. On pg. 15 of his book he says:
"The world looks upon the church's abuse of authority and the lack of accountability as the ultimate hypocrisy."
We know that nobody and no organization upon the Earth is perfect. We and they all suffer from some malady. However, those of us who know Christ and claim to be HIS, have an obligation to Jesus to protect the flock of God, care for souls above all other things and to live what we preach. We MUST do much better than what we have done. We have no excuse for this mess, what we have allowed and what we are promoting now!
To allow, the potential that the ungodly will sneak in or continue to abide by their ungodliness, and stand in our name and pulpits with some sort of credibility is without conscious. It is the highest impiety possible to open the door to the fold, placing wolves in the middle of the flock and then closing the door, saying that "this is good for the sheep!"
Those are not the actions of the caring or those commissioned to Christ. Those are the actions of men who love their own bellies and are full of the fat of their sins!
May the Lord have mercy upon HIS people and the Remnant of this church!