Earlier this month, police in North Carolina arrested 34-year-old Jonathan David Young on 13 charges included three involving statutory rape and two involving sexual assault of girls under the age of 13. The alleged assaults took place inside Firstborn Baptist Church, where Young was a Sunday school teacher.
What’s scary is that the arrest only opened the floodgates. More victims are speaking out about that church… and the worst part about it? Many of the complaints have nothing to do with the guy who was arrested.
The place was more like a cult.
“They would put me in the closet with a light out and I would just sit there all day,” [Beka] Foust said. “I was allowed to eat once.”
“There was a lot of physical and emotional abuse that went way beyond spanking,” [Cherith] Roberson said. “From spanking, to beating, there was a huge paddle in the church school that I attended.”They say church members were publicly humiliated from the pulpit and children were beaten so others could hear their screams.
Roberson said that when she left the church at age 18, her family was “encouraged to cut off all access to me.” It wasn’t until the family left, too, when everyone was reunited.
“If you look up the definition of cult in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure the picture of this church would be right beside of it,” Roberson said. “It’s definitely a cult.”
Other church leaders have also been accused of molestation, though no charges have been filed just yet.
The whole story just shows what we’ve been seeing for some time: When abuse occurs in a church, there’s rarely just one guilty party. There’s the abuser, the ones who haven’t been caught, and the people who knew something about it but tried to sweep everything under the rug. All of them contribute to a culture of abuse in churches like these, and all of them should be kicked out for their complicity even if their actions weren’t technically illegal.
(Thanks to @lanepierce1 for the link)