Thursday, March 19, 2009

Misunderstood Mission

Walk this one through with me for a second.

A Pastor in New Hampshire, Rev. David Pinckney of River of Grace Church, has given refuge in his home to one of society's outcasts. On the surface, that's admirable. My thoughts? No way in--well, you know where.

The person he has taken in is Raymond Guay. Let's look at Mr. Guay's history.

In 1973, Raymond Guay picked up a 12-year old boy, who was walking home from school. During the ride, for some reason, the boy saw fit to try to flee. Guay went after him and shot him in the face. The body of the boy was found wearing nothing but his underwear and socks. Guay was sentenced to 18-25 years in prison. While in prison, he was given an additional 10 years for assaulting an inmate.

As to be expected, no one wanted him when he was released. He eventually wound up living in Rev. Pinckney's home, at the Pastor's invitation.

Oh, more fact I forgot to mention. Rev. Pinckney has a family. To be exact, he is married and has five children. Four of those children (ages 13-18) still live in the home. The same home that now hosts Raymond Guay.

Look, let's get some (irrelevant) facts out of the way. Guay says he has changed his life because he became a Christian 15 years ago. He has served his time and paid his debt to society. That's admirable, but it doesn't change a thing.

Now, I do not believe the government ought to punish people for what society thinks they might do. Moreover, I do believe in the forgiveness of sins through confession and repentance. However, that does not mean he gets complete trust from me.

I have to question where this Pastor's heart truly is. Whatever the mission of your church, whatever the burden of your ministry, why sacrifice your family? I would NEVER host anyone in my home if I had any inkling that they could harm my children. Hey, I'm glad Guay has taken steps to turn his life around. If I were the Pastor, I would offer whatever help I could, but I would draw the line at taking him into my home. Even if I was 100% sure that he would not re-offend (and no one is that sure), I'm not going to ask my wife or children to carry the risk of future crime. I mean, how much is their peace of mind worth?

Even if the Pastor and his wife have decided to bear that risk, what nightmares go through the minds of children when they know they share a house with a child killer. What do they think when a floorboard creaks at night? It's bad enough when the danger is "out there," but when it is under your roof, at the invitation of your dad, how do you feel then?

My first mission, my first ministry, is to my family, not to a stranger. I will not jeopardize my family's safety in order to shelter someone, anyone. Especially someone with a history of violent crime. That, to me, is a betrayal of the trust my family has placed in me.

Yes, I believe in the forgiveness of sins. However, forgiven sin still has consequences. Part of that is having to earn my trust again. Even then, as much trust as you earn, there are some places you will never be allowed to go. That's just the way it is.


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