By Gregory R Reid D.D.
The year was 1989. Lauren Stratford's powerful "Satan's Underground" was literally ROCKING the satanic underworld. Along with a growing network of law enforcement and other professional people not just taking this matter of cult crimes seriously but actually DOING something about it, you better believe the other side was angry and ready to attack back. And attack they did.
In 1990, before the Cornerstone and Passantino slaughter of ministries and people helping victims and children, I was in a network of nearly 250 professionals sworn to this cause. And now? There are about ten of us left. Everyone else was fired, retired, burned out and quit, or leveled by the cruel character assassinations of these supposedly Christian ministries "defending the faith."
With the thwarting of my book Diary of a Devil Hunter, a very powerful and needed message was again silenced. Still, I will get the message out somehow, any way I can, one at a time if necessary. Because despite everything that has been done to convince believers that satanism and the occult is no longer a threat, it is stronger and more destructive than it has ever been, and we are doing absolutely nothing to address it as a church.
The issue for me is not just about satanism. It also includes the still not-addressed issue of sexual abuse of our children and teens inside the church. THAT is an issue that the church NEVER addresses, and if it has to, it is usually because a pastor or youth pastor or elder has been caught molesting kids. Better that it would have been addressed before; but still, better late than never, right? But I am sorry to tell you that in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE when these crimes have occurred where I have been called in or given a report, not only was it still never addressed before the people, but the very leadership and often the congregation sought to cover it up! Worse - and I am telling you the truth - in every instance, mercy and grace were extended to the perpetrator, to the extent that anyone who demanded criminal pursuit for the sake of the injured child was called UNLOVING and UNFORGIVING.
What in the world is the MATTER with us???
If a Christian leader is found to have homosexual inclinations, (even if he has not fallen to that sin) he is drawn and quartered and exiled from the Body of Christ. Denominations will forgive adultery, even divorce, before that. But what about predators of children? Suddenly the church discovers mercy and forgiveness it will not extend to other sins. Am I saying predators cannot be forgiven, restored? Not at all. But for the grace of God go I. But there's a third party here that I have patently seen the church treat as insignificant, non important in these matters; children. It is a demonic blindness of the worst kind. In this, we mirror how the world has treated these acts: A three time crack user can get life in prison. But what do we give "pedophiles"? Probation plus FREE therapy, and often they are put right back into the home in the belief that families must stay together at all costs.
The church, long a victim of family disintegration, also believes in keeping the family together no matter what. I understand why; but in the case of crimes against children, our thinking has become twisted. We absolutely, patently ignore the scripture where Jesus said it is better for a millstone to be tied around your neck than to cause a little one to stumble. I have NEVER heard this preached from the pulpit in defense of children. NEVER!
Several years ago, a man I knew in a local church had sexually involved his children. He felt guilty and confessed. He did go to jail. I bear him no ill will. You play, you pay. What absolutely infuriated me was learning that the sympathetic counselors at church said, "Well, the children seemed to enjoy it; they thought it was a game. We don't think it damaged them much." HELLLLOOOOOOOOO? Don't these people understand that predators MAKE it a game, so the children don't realize until their self-destructive lives fall apart in their teens and twenties, that their lives have been demolished by this "game"?
I know that sexual abuse of children is terrible to talk about, and even worse to face. Which is exactly why people in authority in the church have gotten away with it for years without getting caught, and too often, when they ARE caught, they are moved to another parish after a short time of "rehabilitation" and do the same thing somewhere else! And I know satanism and the occult is equally difficult for the church to deal with. It's unpleasant, it's nasty. Unfortunately, it's real. And no amount of denial is going to make it go away.
Back to 1987. That was the beginning, and for a while, the church heard the cry to battle against the occult, and publishers were willing to publish the books. That day is long, long gone. The name of the game is WHAT SELLS, not WHO WE CAN
Has there been one single book from a major Christian publisher (Except for Lauren Stratford's excellent Stripped Naked) on the occult and how it's destroying our children in the last eight years? NOT ONE. And yet - kids are being lost to it by the THOUSANDS even as I write this!
Has there been even ONE book from a Christian publisher that addresses sexual crimes against children in the church and church leadership and how to confront it? Just ONE? I do not know of such a book! AND YET - 90% of the sexual abuse against children and adolescents I have worked on have taken place, if not IN church settings, then with Christians who were in a position to do something and did nothing at all.
Folks, there has never been a time of greater crisis for our kids on both of these issues. And there has never been a time when there are less organized resources connected within the Body of Christ to respond to it with healing and power. Today, right today, I have seen two pictures, two events so different in nature and impact that they are hardly connected. One is Y2K. It has become the new end-time OBSESSION of the Body of Christ. At the feet of the bloody war for kids I am in, what I find as weapons for Christians in this last time are a bookstore full of best-selling books on the Y2K crisis - how to prepare - how to invest! Oh, yes, extraordinary money is being made even as I write this by quick books for Christians on a crisis that may in the end be much ado about nothing. And YET - THIS BLOODBATH OF OUR KIDS - This RAPING of our children - continues, while we panic, buy property and prepare to head for the hills! Do I believe the Y2K crisis will be serious, even cataclysmic? Possibly. But Jesus said "occupy till I come" and I am quite sure he didn't mean head for the hills in another display of Christian escapism I have seen repeated over and over again for the last 30 years of my Christian life. And so, crisis or no, the kids are still dying and the children are still being injured and I would rather turn my energy and resources and heart to THAT, even if Y2K wipes out the world. Because I want to die saying I TRIED, that at least I didn't turn away and invest in yet another thrill-filled Christian panic wave when our own little ones were crying out for our help.
The other picture is of a precious, frightened young man, who, because of his involvement in satanism, killed his own parents. He came to know Jesus in a powerful, genuine way. And Thursday, unless God intervenes, I will light a candle, and I will weep myself raw, and say goodbye from a distance to my little brother, my friend, Sean Sellers, as he is executed in the state of Oklahoma for his crimes. We are so, so out of touch my friends. And we are almost out of time.
May God grant us one more hour to wake up and do what His Word clearly tells us to. To be about our Father's business is to PREACH THE GOSPEL to those who need it most - to defend the innocent - to DO JUSTLY. We have a long, long way to go.
Gregory R Reid
Dedicated to the warriors that remain.... and to Sean...I will do all I can to finish the work you longed to continue...to save hurting kids. You will not be forgotten.
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