Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Good News & The Bad News RE: COGIC 2009 Sexual Miscounduct Policy

And not a minute too soon...The long awaited and much anticipated COGIC sexual abuse information entitled, "The Church Of God In Christ's Continued Stand Against Sexual Misconduct" has arrived. In fact this was distributed during the 2009 Holy Convocation in Memphis Tn.

There is some good news and some bad news however and one can read for themselves and formulate their own opinions:

The Good News:
There will be Mandatory Background Screening for all officers, officials and employees of the National church.

The Bad News:
This policy is still however only SUGGESTED as a best practice for all local churches.

The Good News:
There will be Mandatory Education and Training for all individuals desiring to be an elder, minister, missionary, and evangelist within the church. For the national department leaders this will be required training.

The Bad News:
The jurisdiction will be able to select who does the training, when and where and are only "recommended" to do it once per year so in essence the training will not be uniform although the material may.

The Good News:
There will be an online training module so that staff and volunteers can receive the training.

The Bad News:
It's not online yet and hasn't been developed, the document states that the church "PLANS to develop"

The Good News:
A written Code Of Conduct will be established for the protection of our youth.

The Bad News:
It isn't written just yet.

The Good News:
There will be a special training for youth in crime prevention, aimed at helping the youth identify and report threats from sexual predators inside and outside the church. this will be required training at AIM for youth leaders.

The Bad News:
The materials aren't developed just yet.

The Good News:
There will be other proactive measures taken to minimize the risk of sexual misconduct.


The Bad News:
These materials will be presented to the General Assembly "at a later time"

One More Item:

That Zero tolerance policy will be promoted and enforced. up until recently it seems that it was only a sexual misconduct policy but it has become a Zero Tolerance policy. The bad news: everybody didn't get the reprint but it will soon be on the COGIC website for all to download.

The unfortunate part of this document is the last sentence which reads like this:


"We pray for the lives of individuals who have been impacted by these ungodly acts of terror and trust that God will bring them comfort and healing"
In other words NO VICTIMS ADVOCACY! Now that REALLY bad news to me...WOW!

Here's What I Just Summarized
I know not what else to say...

Blessed!

2 comments:

  1. Supt,

    Great post, as usual. One can say that this is no different than what the church has traditionally done. Some even talk about the COGIC manual and how "current" it is. If I'm not mistaken, it's easily 35 years old. Is it safe to say that the church could have updated it?

    The band-aid approach that the church generally takes on serious issues as such is going to continue to tear away at what was built by Bishop Mason and his bretheren. In spite of the fancy suits, the custom hats, the shouting, the dancing, the seed offerings, and other things that the church has placed emphasis on, these little horns will continue to grow into big ones and will contribute to more hemorrhaging.

    It is obvious that after 102 years, that the church is struggling to maintain any relevance. I would hope that the church would take more time to focus on getting things right, than worrying about planning for the next convention. The church does nothing but hold conventions every couple of months. Who can afford to go? The same people are recycled at these meetings and there is plenty of singing and dancing, but no real change.

    Sexual abuse is running rampant in the church, and it's not just COGIC. The difference between the Catholic church and COGIC is the response. The resources the Catholic church has to compensate victims is something COGIC does not have. So, for people to sue the national church, good luck with that. For starters, you have no idea as to how much money, if any, the national church has, because it is routinely pilfered by your national officials. Thus, the constant requests for more money at the conventions. It might make better sense to save some money and turn some of these conventions into biennial gatherings.

    That would afford the people ample time to save up and it would allow for more work to be done at the local level to root out these bad characters who do harm to the innocent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Supt, I reviewed this much ballyhooed "document" last evening and immediately the same good and bad news jumped out at me.

    The religious language is strong and the surface level sentiment noticeable, but this leaves so much to be desired.

    Its hard for me to call any of it progress because it lacks so much in terms of just basic rules of engagement.

    You did a good summary and for all practical intentions this document is dead in the water. I intend to add several more critical notations, which will be placed on reportcogicabuse.com.

    Moreover as you noted the most glaring deficiency is the open ended or rather nonexistent timeline for implementation.

    Sad that the greatest church would even allow such a poorly constructed document to surface.

    Also, I agree completely with anonymouse 437am comments. Very true. Lord, what will it take to save this denomination from implosion? I think I already know that answer.

    ReplyDelete

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