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From the Pastor

From the Pastor

On Wednesday night I will speak to the George Pell conviction. Some have asked me why I have not addressed this earlier. I have tried. It is complex.

For today I wish to make three points:

Firstly, it happened, and it happens. George Pell’s conviction may yet be overturned, but Priests have abused minors. This is wrong, damaging, regretful and not the way of Jesus.

On Wednesday night I will talk more about why it happens in churches. Beyond churches it happened in other institutions, within families and within minor to minor friendships.

Secondly, this says something about human nature. The desire for power, the use of violence and aggression are part of our make-up. We are not born innocent. These vices are not solely modelled or learned. Some are more predisposed to these particular flaws than other people are. Everyone has their own temptations, their own struggles. As Lord of the Flies reveals, given the wrong circumstances we are all capable of terrible things.

Thirdly, we ought to do our best to stop it. We need to be proactive, intentional. Part of the social function of organised religion is to promote public good and restrain evil. Put another way following Jesus does not make you better than someone else but it ought to make you better than what you would otherwise be. The track record of Christianity is strong. Historically we see cultures become safer and more just, the more Christianised they become.

On Wednesday night I will share my own reflections on why this stuff happens and how we make sense of our recent history. If you have been unsettled by this topic for personal reasons, Jenny Bennett, our counsellor is available by appointment.

David Rietveld

Senior Pastor