The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Poll tackles sex offenders in church debate

September 5, 2010

8 in 10 Church Members Think Sex Offenders Belong in Church
— New survey reveals attitudes and practices relating to released sex offenders at church

Nearly 80 percent of the more than 2,500 respondents to the “Sex Offenders in the Church” survey, conducted by Christianity Today International (CTI), say they believe sex offenders belong in the church under appropriate supervision. At the same time, three-fourths of respondents’ churches do not provide sex addiction ministries.

These and many more findings surfaced in this first-ever survey of its kind. The intent of the survey, conducted in early 2010, was to explore the attitudes and beliefs of pastors, church staff, lay leaders and other active Christians regarding whether to allow sex offenders to participate in faith communities. In addition, the survey explored what practices churches use to keep their congregations safe when sex offenders are present.

So how does the church view sex offenders? Approximately 62 percent of survey respondents say they either are not sure or do not believe a sex offender can be rehabilitated to the point where they no longer pose a threat to others. Eighty-two percent say they look to a repentant attitude as the number one determining factor in deciding whether or not a sex offender should be welcomed in the church.

The full executive report 2010 Sex Offenders in the Church Survey is available to download for free. Additional coverage on the survey is available in the September/October 2010 issue of Church Law & Tax Report as well as the September 2010 issue of Christianity Today magazine.

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Discuss this article

Kay September 5, 2010

Having had a past experience of the potential release of a convicted sex offender into our communities, and been put into the position of researching their rate of reoffending and their addmitted inability to stop their behavior…all I can say is…I pray that none of these parents who naively and I must say ignorantly voted that sex offenders be released into their church environments have children. Their just the naive bunch who will be then exposing their children to the violence that is sure to be released among them.

hapypacy September 5, 2010

There is truly a place for sex offenders and it isn’t neighborhoods, it’s a place called hell. They need help to stay away from children because it is known they can’t be helped to change their inclinations. Releasing them into a community of children is certainly not helping them refrain from their addictions. Helping them means helping them stay away from children…that is the only way that the children can be safe.

1withGOD September 6, 2010

So you don’t think sex offenders have the right to be in YOUR church? Well I’m not surprised YOU feel this way. As I recall, GOD say’s not to pass judgement, love thy neighbor, forgive etc. CHRISTIAN means CHRIST LIKE. Perhaps YOU need to attend church more often and ask for forgiveness for YOUR sins. Do you turn your backs on drug dealers? Murders? What about speeders? Domestic abusers? How about people with DUI convictions? What if someone didn’t pay their taxes? These are all criminals! Who are you to pass judgement? What exactly is it that your learning in church?? Sounds to me like you might not be paying attention. What about you?? What law have you broken?? Did you ever get a parking ticket? Breaking the law is breaking the law no matter how you define it. Also, let us not forget we are all sinners.

Justin December 23, 2010

You also need to remember that not all sex-offenders are created equal. Most people when they hear the term “sex-offender” their brain goes strait to “pedophile”. Does anyone stop to think that many sex-offenders are labeled with that stigma when their only crime is having had sex with their 17 year-old girlfriend when they were 19. Some of those cases they even grew up to marry their “victim” and yet are afflicted with the label of sex-offender. There are so many “crimes” out there that if pushed the “right” way there is not a man in the America who has never done something in his life that had someone pushed it they would be sex-offenders. For instance, anybody who has ever had a consensual drunken one-night stand. If she regrets it in the morning, the law is written that an intoxicated person can’t give informed consent. If you are in the woods and pee on a tree and someone gets offended, public urination is considered a sex crime because of the public exposure of genitalia. I personally know people who are registered sex-offenders for the above reasons. So the bottom line is, yes, registered sex-offenders should be allowed to go to church. It is unconsititutional and wrong to prohibit them from it.

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