The last few days I’ve been following the story of Shaun King, an Atlanta church planter and friend of YS, who recently discovered his former boss & pastor has admittedly molested and raped some children.* After doing some further research Shaun learned that other church leaders were aware of the situation but remained silent.
Not Shaun. He took to Twitter to expose the problem. Here’s how he kicked things off:
Bishop Johnathan Alvarado of Total Grace Christian Center is a child molester. In the name of Jesus I declare this must end RIGHT NOW. @shaunking – March 13th, 2011
Here is the crux of his demand:
I have heard the worst, learned of his admission of guilt, yet he continues to serve and preach. Kids get the raw end of this deal. No more. @shaunking – March 13th, 2011
And he didn’t back down from there. He has continued to press on. Laying out his case and defending it with more evidence. Even if you don’t like Twitter, please take a few minutes to read through Shaun’s tweets from the past few days.
You will see righteous anger in action. As he says, “I will STAND FOR KIDS 100 out of 100 times.”
It is the embodiment of Ephesians 5:11-13:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
I know many are offended by Shaun, his tactics, and think that he is somehow giving the church a bad name. Are you kidding me? If these allegations are true, (and it seems the pastor admitted to them) young men were raped, families paid off, and the pastor went right on preaching? That’s a disgrace and we need to applaud Shaun for speaking out! To be silent, to deal with that in private, is disturbing. If you’ll protect a rapist… who wouldn’t you protect?
This morning I’m asking for 3 things:
- Pray for Shaun, Rai, and his kids. Pray for the victims and their families. Many in church circles are denouncing Shaun for speaking out. And sadly other people have sent him death threats. Pray that God protects Shaun as he stands in the gap for children in his community. Pray that justice prevails, not in the court of public opinion, but in a court of law.
- Reflect on the types of things worth fighting for in your life. What are things that you, as a child of God, would cause you to stand up and fight for, putting your reputation on the line for, even to the point of receiving death threats as you expose light to darkness?
- Act, act, act. I believe there are countless stories like this hidden in the confines of the church today. Expose them. Today. There is a devil-inspired lie that “true believers” settle things without the courts involvement. I’ve even heard people say that it’s a sin to sue a church. That is a lie. Examine 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 yourself. Rape is not trivial. Breaking the law is not trivial. Extortion is not trivial. On and on. Examine the context and reason Paul wrote those words. But yet this untruth has lead to countless victims and the continued victimization by people originally called to represent Jesus. Expose them. Do not take refuge in the reality that God will judge them. It is your responsibility as a believer to bring light to dark places. Search your heart, discover what is worth fighting for, and act. Today.
*I’ll admit in sharing this story that I’m confused on some of the details. I don’t know how a person can rape children and settle that in court without criminal charges against the accused. I firmly believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty. If someone could help me understand Shaun’s statements that the person has admitted guilt and not received a criminal complaint, please enlighten me. Is this a statute of limitations thing?