Youth Pastor Troy Deal stands accused of some serious crimes.
Deal now faces 11 counts of using a computer to solicit a minor for sex and accosting a child for immoral purposes. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
In what I now recognize as a symptom of the problem, Deal's church is standing behind him when they should be skeptical.
"Through all of this, I hope everybody gets a chance to see the good Troy has done," said church member and friend Thomas Reed, 34, whose wife worked with Deal in the youth ministry. "My daughter attended a trip with him recently, and I'd let her do it again."
The normal presumption of innocence is expected in a criminal case. Troy Deal might be innocent. The government makes mistakes. I can all end as suddenly as it started - or not. Deal could spend 20 years of his life in prison. What should his church do? Why they should be skeptical of course. They should examine every aspect of their relationship with Deal to determine if the charges represent the Troy Deal they know. They should do the same with the evidence of his guilt. They may or may not come to a conclusion they like, but that is what being skeptical is all about. What they should not do is stand by their pastor with the assumption of his innocence. It smells like hypocrisy and minimized the serious nature of the crimes he is alleged to have committed.
I have a question. If a pastor like Troy Deal is charged with a crime against children and is found guilty, will his church think less of him for failing to admit his crime and accepting responsibility for his actions?
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