Thursday, June 19, 2008

Of course they support the pastor

James "Jay" Virtue Robinson IV, pastor of Southwood Baptist Church, stands accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl. He surrendered to police on June 18. The key characteristics of this case are consistent with abuse cases from other Baptist churches. Robinson is a charismatic leader. He runs the church like a business. His followers show unequivocal support for the pastor. And, his followers assume the girl is "stirring up trouble".

"Everybody is supporting the pastor," said a man who answered the phone at the church Wednesday night, where services went on as usual although led by an associate pastor. "The church does not believe the allegations."

The man, who declined to give his name but described himself as a longtime member of the church, said that despite the arrest, he believes Robinson will remain pastor of the church.

"He will be unless he’s somehow convicted," the man said. "He is our pastor."

"I think that active members of the church will support the pastor. "There are people out there making allegations every day against people who are innocent."

Source: Fort Worth pastor arrested on child sex charge | Religion | Star-Telegram.com

The father of the abused girl tried to handle the situation within the church. His efforts failed.

"The co-chair said in this case, we’re going to err on the side of the pastor, so we cannot ask for his removal," Linde said.

Instead, the council voted to give Robinson a written reprimand and one year of probation, and order him to have counseling. Linde, however, voted against that.

"If they felt there was enough evidence to reprimand him according to the scripture, there’s enough evidence to remove him — to ask for his resignation," Linde said. "I was not willing to settle for a written reprimand. It did no good. It was going to sit in his file folder where nobody would see it, nobody would hold him accountable."

The father took the case to the police. The pastor was arrested, and then the church closed ranks.

The father was also unhappy with the vote, so he met with a group of men at the church to tell them about his accusation and give them copies of the phone records.

When the council found out, the father said, the council decided not to issue any disciplinary action against Robinson at all.

"They called it an illegal meeting of church members," the father said. "They were threatening people after that — anyone who is caught talking to us or communicating and talking about the issue at church will be removed."

Armed guards now remove people from church, or prevent them from entering if they are thought to have spoken out against Pastor Robinson. People are actually prevent from entering the church by a man with a gun. What country is this? Or, should I ask, what state is this? Texas of course.

Robinson thinks it is all a move to wrest power from the leadership of the church. This is a common tactic. When a leader is accused of raping a child, what better way to move people away from the crime than to say they are in fact attacking gods work?

Robinson said the accusing family was being used by others "who desire to wrest the leadership of this church from the pastor and the council" and would stop at nothing.

"Those who choose to follow the lead of these by gossiping, slandering, causing division and discord, or by holding or participating in sectional meetings, will face church discipline," Robinson wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Star-Telegram.

"Anyone who attempts to disrupt any service will be removed and be subject to church discipline. It is our desire and prayer that all would repent and be restored, but until that time, those who cause discord in the Church are to be shunned according to Scripture. Anyone else who causes discord and division or gossip should be avoided."

I'll get hate mail from this post. Members of the church will claim I am attacking a man of God. they will tell me that I will burn in hell or worse. I know it is a farce perpetrated on the ignorant by the nefarious whose only goal is to protect their way of life. In the end, it will all come crashing down.

Do you know why I know it will end in ruin? Because a brave father sought to protect his abused daughter. He is a hero. He stood up and said "hell no" to an entrenched leadership. I bet he knew taking it to the police would get him kicked out of his church too. He is a brave man. Pastor Robinson is a coward.

13 comments:

Christa Brown said...

Great posting, Mojoey! I imagine some people will read this and shrug it off as fringe-weirdos. But, as you know, this sort of Baptist-abuse-and-bullying saga is far from an isolated case.

I'll try to save you a good seat in hell... some people seem to think that's where I'm gonna wind up too. But hey... I'm from Texas... I'm already used to hotter-than-hell hot sauce.

Anonymous said...

do you really believe everything you read in a newspaper. . .talk about ignorant. You dont even know the whole story. There are two sides to every story.

Mojoey said...

Anonymous - I choose to report the victims side. You can hang with the perpetrator all you want.

Anonymous said...

How do u know he isn't the victim....

Mojoey said...

statistics

Anonymous said...

I've known Jay since he was in Jr high. i dont know the whole story but i dont think i'd call him a predator. a good man once said there is no sin so great that given the right circumstances any of us wouldn't commit.

Mojoey said...

Anonymous a good man once said there is no sin so great that given the right circumstances any of us wouldn't commit. are you serious? No sin? molesting a child is not in me. Nor is it in most of the people I know. In fact most of the people I know would give our lives to protect our children. Your line of reasoning is bullshit - it give Robinson an excuse "I was weak".

Sorry man - I don't care if this guy is your are brother, he fits the profile of a Baptist sexual predator. Do your homework.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of blame to go around here.

1. The parents of the girl should have had more awareness of what was going on in her life. Sure teenagers lie, but did they ever once say "who is she talking to at 10pm every night" when they saw their cell phone bill?
2. The girl is a bit of a wild child and was looking for trouble.
3. The pastor -- Jay was in a position of authority. Church members were trusting him with the spiritual education of their children. Even if the girl was the aggressor he is the adult had should have picked up the phone and called the parents. He didn't and ultimately he committed a crime by having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old child. Whether he was looking for it or not.. whether or not he claims temporary weakness is irrelevant. A crime has been committed and he will have to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

The last comment made said that he commited a crime, which isn't true, only him, the victim, and God know if he has commited a crime.

Anonymous said...

Ok I have been going to Southwood Baptist Church since i was six years old and i know for a fact that if there was a slight chance Jay was a "predator" Pastor Lloyd Taylor would have never let him stay. Like I said Ive been going awhile so i know both people well and if you dont know both sides of this story you should shut your face and stop beleiving everything you read in the star telegram!! And if this was true (its not) does forgiveness stop at the pulpit?

Anonymous said...

Ok I have been going to Southwood Baptist Church since i was six years old and i know for a fact that if there was a slight chance Jay was a "predator" Pastor Lloyd Taylor would have never let him stay. Like I said Ive been going awhile so i know both people well and if you dont know both sides of this story you should shut your face and stop beleiving everything you read in the star telegram!! And if this was true (its not) does forgiveness stop at the pulpit?

Anonymous said...

He surrendered in response to an arrest warrant, not because he was confessing. People are so wrapped up in who is guilty, and totally forgetting about what it is doing to Southwood. I'm not saying he is or isn't innocent, and my opinion will remain confidential because it's not needed information. The needed information is that our church needs healing, and I know that God will bring us back up. Pray for Southwood

Anonymous said...

Just an update....he has confessed to the crime...trying to make a plea deal as well. Has resigned.... and even with all of this our wonderful church family is still striking out at the girl and her family for coming forward.