Pastor Watch! Protestant share of liars, thieves, fornicators and adulterers — PinoyExchange

Pastor Watch! Protestant share of liars, thieves, fornicators and adulterers

Just some updates from the other side of the fence.

In the great words of the Apostle Paul

When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (I Corinthians 5:1-5; RSV)
An Indianapolis pastor charged this week with ripping off money intended for Indiana's poor is under investigation for receiving disability payments for which he may not have been eligible.

Rochell Johnson reportedly received more than $20,000 a year in benefits while holding two jobs -- as pastor of Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church and bus driver for Lawrence Township Schools.

According to court records, he received the money based on conditions including sickle cell anemia and congestive heart failure.

Roger Rayl, a spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor's office, confirmed that Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has been told the Social Security Administration is investigating Johnson's eligibility. Rayl said no results of the inquiry have been received.
The pastor of an Elgin IL church has been charged with battery after it was alleged that he repeatedly used a piece of wood to discipline a 12-year-old girl.

Police said the girl's mother took her to the pastor because she doubted the girl's claim that she was being sexually abused by another man.

Elgin police said Thursday they believe the girl's original allegations are true. On Wednesday they charged Daryl Bujak, 30, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, with misdemeanor battery. He was released after posting $500 bail. He has a June 16 court appearance in the Elgin branch of Kane County Circuit Court, said police Lt. Mike Turner.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "It's a sad case for this girl."

Matthew E. Resh, 33, of Ingleside, was charged this week by police in far north suburban Richmond with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. The girl was sexually abused between September 2003 and March 2005, according to a complaint filed in McHenry County Circuit Court.
As part of a plea deal reached by the State of Alabama and the victims of convicted sex offenders, Ralph Randall Melton and his wife, Cathy G. Melton, were sentenced to spend slightly more than three months is prison followed by 36 months probation.

Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds delivered the sentence yesterday morning after making sure the victims fully understood that what was about to be delivered was light considering the charges.

"Are you sure you want to do this," he asked family members gathered at the bench. "As far as the (plea) deal, I'd like nothing more than to put them away for the rest of their lives."

The couple plead guilty last month to raping and sodomizing their two children over a period of 18 years. The pair's daughter, Catherine Smith, said she and her brother, Andy Melton, agreed to the deal to expedite the legal process and put the whole situation behind them.
SPRINGFIELD —The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday that a Baptist minister was arrested April 21 and booked with a sexual battery count involving a 16-year-old juvenile.

Brian Bravo, 46, former pastor of Soverent Grace Baptist Church near Springfield, Louisiana, was released April 24 after posting $75,000 bail.

“I’m not guilty of the charge. I was falsely accused,” Bravo said Wednesday.

Laura Covington, the Sheriff’s Office public information officer who issued a news release Wednesday about Bravo’s arrest, said she didn’t learn about the case until Tuesday because of a paperwork oversight.

The Sheriff’s Office said Bravo admitted to sexual misconduct with the juvenile. The juvenile, the Sheriff’s Office said, is a member of the church where Bravo formerly conducted services.

Covington said Bravo reportedly told investigators that the incident was consensual but the juvenile said it wasn’t.
FORT ATKINSON WI - William J. Smith sparked the curiosity of his neighbors almost from the day he moved to Jefferson County last fall.

It had been years since anyone had tried to start a church in Fort Atkinson, and Smith's effort was particularly unusual.

He installed an altar in his apartment and invited people for daily morning Mass and evening prayers, calling his undertaking "A Vatican-Free Monastic Community."

There would be more surprises for neighbors.

Smith, 55, was convicted in 1989 of two counts of second- degree sexual assault in Door County for having sex with a 15-year-old boy. Smith was pastor of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Sturgeon Bay at the time. The victim was an altar boy with a learning disability.

For the rest of his life, Smith must notify the state of his whereabouts and activities so he can be listed on Wisconsin's sex offender registry ( State officials say Smith failed to do so, and it is this allegation that now finds Smith back in legal trouble and at odds with some of his neighbors.
Former Pastor Lewis Lee met Elizabeth Thomsen when she was just 12-years old. Cops say that as a true predator, Lee singled her out from the beginning.

Elizabeth was the third of six children who worked on the family's dairy farm in Chenango County, in New York. The work load was demanding, so the Thomsen kids were home-schooled by their parents. Marsha and Michael Thomsen also wanted to instill Christian values in their children. So they looked to the Christian Baptist Church for spiritual guidance.

Lee was the leader of the small congregation of about 50 members for three years. He conducted the Sunday services with amazing charisma. Lee developed a reputation as a smooth talker, and was known for his dynamic personality, especially with women.

He provided spiritual guidance to the community and the members deeply trusted him. Cops say that no one would have guessed that he would eventually lead one their most beloved astray.

Cops say Lee manipulated Elizabeth by convincing her that her family was against her and that she had potential to be a famous singer.
Gaining Trust, Growing Discontent
In a charged hearing, Russell Roelke, a 45-year-old former West Bend youth ministry director originally charged with four counts of child sex crimes, was sentenced Monday to a 14-year prison term by Washington County Circuit Judge Annette Ziegler.

Under sentencing guidelines, Roelke will serve three years in the state prison system and the remainder under extended supervision.

After the sentence was passed, with audible moans emanating from the large contingent of his supporters, Roelke’s mother collapsed inside the courtroom and was attended to by West Bend paramedics. She was able to walk out of the courtroom later with assistance.

Roelke had earlier entered guilty pleas to two counts, one of use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime and one of possession of child pornography. A former youth ministry director at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church in West Bend, Roelke had also been charged with child enticement and exposing a child to harmful material, but Washington County Assistant District Attorney Holly Bunch had agreed to dismiss those charges as part of a plea agreement.
Noblesville IN -- A former Noblesville minister has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Bradley Storer, 37, the former youth pastor at Faith Community Church, must serve a two-year prison term imposed by Hamilton Superior Court Judge William Hughes.

Under terms of a court order signed Tuesday, Hughes also sentenced Storer to six years of probation and four years of work-release supervision by Hamilton County Community Corrections.
Lonnie Latham, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention executive committee and pastor of a large Tulsa, Oklahoma, church, resigned from both positions in January after police arrested him for allegedly attempting to solicit a male undercover officer for oral sex. Earl Paulk, pastor of an Atlanta-area mega-church, has dodged allegations of sexual impropriety for years. But in August 2005, a female employee sued him, alleging he arranged for his brother and visiting pastors to have sex with her. The International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC)—an association Paulk developed—forced him to resign as archbishop in October.

...stories abound of pastors snared by sexual transgression. The problems transcend theology and ecclesiology. A pervasive culture of sensuality and disregard for communal accountability guarantees that some pastors will struggle with all sorts of sexual temptation. Toss into this mix the Internet's availability and anonymity, which have spread the reach of pornography and clandestine sexual encounters. The challenge to help our pastors resist temptation demands a wise church response. First, we must enact clear and enforceable standards that will guard against temptation. Then, our churches must implement plans for discipline and restoration when possible.

Leadership reports that up to 12 percent of pastors have admitted to "inappropriate physical involvement outside marriage." And 38 percent of pastors said Internet pornography tempts them.*****.html
Hixson TN—The pastor of Middle Valley Methodist Church has been charged with three counts of statutory ***** and three counts of sexual battery by an authority figure.

Authorities said Rev. Gregory Stanley Dempsey was interviewed at the County Jail and admitted to the allegations.

Bond was set at $75,000 by General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon for Dempsey, 42. He made the bond.

County Det. Jimmy Clift said the alleged incidents involve a Soddy-Daisy male, who is now 19.

The youth said the incidents started when Rev. Dempsey was minister of music at the Oak Street Baptist Church. He had taken that position in early 2002.

The youth said he was in the minister's office at the Oak Street Baptist Church on July 12, 2003. He said the minister "confided he had a homosexual relationship when he was 16 years old."

He said the minister began to discuss sexual matters with him and showed him a book on sexual positions.

He said the minister placed a blindfold on him, removed his shorts and performed a sex act.


  • Thanks for the info, blue ice.
  • micketymoc
    micketymoc Oversized Member
    Somewhat on-topic: I checked out this Christian bookstore. Apparently, there's this whole corporal punishment-spanking fetish meme going around in Born-Again circles that I find a bit disturbing.


    I think the fetishization of punishment like this ^ is just a small step away from the atrocities listed in the first post.
  • ayane
    ayane Member
    ^ seen that before. i find it so weird.

    the articles remind of a quote i heard before:

    "do as i say, not as i do"
  • Oneiros
    Oneiros Slacker
    As my Zen Master used to say: if you can't discipline them, beat them.
  • decoy47
    decoy47 Arm the Mob
    Someone explain the No True Scotsman fallacy again please. Before the apologists drop-by.
  • here's another one from our mormon brothers this time.
    HILDALE, Utah - Prophet. Religious zealot. Dangerous extremist.

    These are some of the words used to describe Warren Jeffs since the 50-year-old leader of a polygamous sect was put on the
    FBI's Ten Most Wanted list recently alongside such figures as
    Osama bin Laden.

    Jeffs, head of a renegade Mormon splinter group called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is accused of arranging marriages between underage girls and older men. He is charged with child sexual abuse in Arizona and being an accomplice to statutory ***** in Utah.
  • wow, god-bashing cockroaches posing as moralists this time.

    our heart bleeds at the heartache you guys endure while collating and reviewing these materials.
  • micketymoc
    micketymoc Oversized Member
    Well, somebody has to assume the moral position... considering you Christians do a pretty bad job at it.

    From this article:

    "Christians endorse a high standard of conduct for others, and then largely excuse themselves from a serious pursuit of such a life. Jesus is the most admired person in history, but evangelicals are far more likely to devise ways for Jesus to be like us than for us to be like Jesus.

    "If it hasn't struck you lately that you do the very thing you condemn others for doing, (Romans 2:1) urge others to do what you don't do or excuse in yourself what you require in others, then you probably don't get this article at all.

    "Did it irritate you when your dad said 'Do as I say, not as I do'? Then you get the picture."
  • Frank_Mackey
    Frank_Mackey Banned by Admin
    Christians are some of the BIGGEST HYPOCRITES (along with Marxists-Communists) around, but I'd still take that over that other religion which breeds raving lunatics any day... ;)

    In recent years there has been a tremendous rise in public awareness of clergy misconduct, primarily sexual. The scandals involving the Catholic clergy are perhaps the best known because of the media exposure. Indeed, with the media focusing almost exclusively the aforementioned scandals to the point of nausea, an obvious question comes to mind; does this problem affect any Protestant denominations?

    To many readers the answer is fairly obvious. Since the webmaster focuses almost exclusively on Protestant faiths when posting news items, we might conclude that problems involving clergy misconduct occur quite as often among Protestants –perhaps more so –than among Catholics. But apparently, some True Christian™ readers object believing the problem as solely belonging to “those Catholic fruitcakes,” while others question whether posting these news items serves any purpose.

    In order to better inform readers and address these objections, this article is submitted for review and discussion. Due to the number of possible cases and a lack of information in some areas this article will be limited to a very general survey of sexual misconduct by Protestant clergy.

    It is important to note that there is no evidence that believers, including clergy, are any more likely to engage in this type of behavior than non-believers. As with last year's controversial study discussing religion and society by Gregory S. Paul, correlation does not imply causation. Therefore, no attempt is made to link religiosity to sexual behavior.

    Objection #1: This is a Catholic problem.

    Very little actual research exists concerning clergy sexual misconduct. While there have been studies conducted, much work remains to be done. Partly this is because much of the so-called research is relatively informal and non-scientific. Internal surveys, unpublished doctoral theses, polls, and anecdotal evidence is common.

    Further complicating matters is that the existing research suffers from several problems. Among the problems research in this area suffers from is the difficulty inherent in studying sexual misconduct in general. Acts of this kind are by their very nature hidden, and the fact that victims don’t always report it complicates matters. This is true whether studying the clergy or the general populace. Other problems include potential underreporting, self-reporting, lack of coherent (or even faulty) methodology, and not surprisingly bias among other issues.

    Some relevant research and findings include:

    1. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This study found that roughly 4% of Catholic priests from 1950 –2002 were sexual abusers.

    2. Pedophiles and Priests : Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis by Dr. Philip Jenkins. Dr. Jenkins estimates that approximately 2% of priests are sexually abusive. Also addresses the problem in other denominations.

    3. Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis by A.W. Richard Sipe. Mr. Sipes focuses on the controversy from the aspect of the Catholic doctrine of celibacy and how it affects men in the priesthood. He estimates that up to 50% of allegedly celibate priests are sexually active, and 8% to 10% of priests may well be an accurate count of those who are sexually abusive.

    4. Clergy Misconduct: Sexual Abuse in the Ministerial Relationship, 1991 by a group from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Only available offline as part of a collection located in the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library. This survey of primarily Protestant ministers found that 10% of them had been sexually active with a parishioner (as cited here).

    5. How Common is Pastoral Indiscretion? In 1988, the research department of Christianity Today, Inc. conducted a poll of nearly 1000 pastors, 30% of whom responded. In response to the question, ‘Since you've been in local church ministry, have you ever done anything with someone (not your spouse) that you feel was sexually inappropriate’ 23% of pastors answered affirmatively. In response to the question, ‘Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse since you've been in local church ministry’ 12% of pastors answered affirmatively.

    6. Research published in a winter 1993 edition of the Journal of Pastoral Care found that 6.1% of Southern Baptist pastors admitted to having sexual contact with current or former congregants. In addition, 70% of respondents claimed to know other pastors who had engaged in similar activities with congregants (as cited here).

    7. Nearly 42% of respondents to a 1990 study conducted by the United Methodist Church reported unwanted sexual behavior by a colleague or pastor, while 17% reported having been harassed by their own pastor (as cited here).

    8. In 1999, researchers Professor Nancy Ammerman and the Rev. Dr. Terry Schmitt from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. gathered information from 11 focus groups in 4 cities on the topic of clergy abuse of trust. They found that the majority of incidents were non-sexual (149 non-sex-related vs. 122 sex related). However, with regard to sex-related incidents ‘Episcopalians and Southern Baptists are as likely to have had a sexual breach of trust as are Methodists and Catholics.’ Citing sample size and non-randomness as inhibitors, they indicated that there is ‘…no way to know how often pedophilia also occurs among Protestants –there is every reason to believe, however, that it does.’

    The scandals of a couple years ago prompted a large number of articles to be written and research unearthed (much of it suffers similar problems as above) to determine the extent of the problem in the Protestant church. For more information, see the additional references below.

    Just with the material above, we can conclude that the problem of clergy sexual misconduct is not confined to the Catholic faith. Abuse of trust by ministers is a problem that knows no denominational boundaries. The majority of resources consulted for this article agree with this idea. Furthermore, based on items #4 - #7 alone, we find that an average of just over 20% of Protestant pastors may be involved in some sort of sexually inappropriate behavior.

    Could it be that Protestants are actually more likely to engage in this type of activity?

    The reality is that we really don't know. Is it reasonable to assume that Protestant clergy are just as likely to engage in sexually inappropriate behavior as Catholics? The information we have, even with its weaknesses, seems to answer that question - yes.

    But this is not the end of the questioning. In reading about this subject, I came across several articles that also raised several questions. For example, how does sexual misconduct by clergy compare with that of the laity or even the general population? This wasn't explored since it seemed beyond the necessary scope of this article. Another missing component is, how does the clergy stack up against other professions? Unfortunately, no relevant data exists to do the comparison. Finally, I did not explore the power dynamic between priest and parishioner and how that might influence sexual relationships within the church.

    In the end the latter factor is possibly most important. As Rose Marie Berger astutely observed in her article (link below), "...the true scandal is not about priests. It's about manipulation of power to abuse the weak."

    Objection #2: Posting articles about misconduct serves no purpose.

    Many of our True Christian™ visitors affirm the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. While there are many ways to respond, these articles serve to illustrate that this alleged transformation does not happen to all believers, or if it does it is not proof against temptation. A Christian may respond to this by saying that this transformation does not subvert free will; this argument does not address the weakness of the transformation itself. If the alleged transformation results in no substantial change in behavior, it has no value.

    The Christian doctrine of the atonement and salvation by faith not by works may also influence the clergy in a way that enables their misconduct. It seems there are always Christians willing to stand up and defend these fallen ministers. Comments such as "who are we to judge," or "he did so many good things" are quite common in the threads. Christians seem to be quite willing to overlook these crimes or even blame the victim for leading him or her astray. Such moral lassitude cannot go unanswered.

    A related argument sometimes put forth is that ‘Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.’ By that logic, each of those pastors featured in the posted news items have no accountability before their God. Jesus has paid the price for their sin. It is doubtful that even our True Christian™ visitors would find this prospect very palatable. It is an inherently unjust proposition and flies in the face of the notion of a just God.

    Some worry about the possibility of stigmatizing or stereotyping ministers. It’s true that the majority of clergy do not abuse their congregants. However, most Christians look to their ministers as righteous servants of God. Furthermore, clergy are in the Top 10 professions rated for honesty and ethics (see here). If there is a stereotype, it is that the clergy is trustworthy.

    The mainstream media seems content with sticking to the ongoing Catholic scandals. Exposing this problem here as it relates to Protestants is not likely to create a new stereotype or stigmatize the profession. People will continue to trust those in ministry, and we will continue to see articles posted here detailing how some were deceived or injured by a clergy member.

    In summary, I feel that posting these items helps promote critical discussion of the problems of organized Christianity and the church in general. It also promotes the notion that faith changes nothing, or perhaps even enables misconduct. Finally, it destroys the stereotype of the righteous servant of God. To me, this is an important public service.

    Additional References (apologies if some were already linked):

    1. Sexual Abuse by Protestant Ministers

    2. Soul Betrayal (1996) by Anne A. Simpkinson.

    3. A Quick Question: How Common is Clergy Sexual Misconduct? (2002) from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

    4. A Wider Circle of Clergy Abuse (2002) by Jane Lampman.

    5. Commentary: Catholic Scandal, Ecumenical Solution (2002) by Rose Marie Berger.

    6. Clergy Sexual Abuse (1996) by Frances Park.

    7. Misconduct of Spiritual Leaders (2003) by Google Answers

    8. How the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal Affects Evangelical Churches (2002) by Ted Olsen and Todd Hertz

    9. Sexual Abuse in Social Context: Catholic Clergy and Other Professionals (2004) by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. (NOTE: Contains some info on other denominations.)

    10. Clergy Abuse Problem Plaguing Many Denominations (2002) by Kelley Quinn

    11. The Forbidden Zone: The Nature and Prevalence of Clergy Sexual Abuse (2000) Unknown Author.
  • So let me get this straight. Born Again people do crimes. Catholics do crimes. Protestants do crimes. So what can we derive from this, pendejos y pendejas?


    Do I have to call Captain Obvious for this one?
  • Yeah. it matters. When you are supposed to be the shepherd of your flock, to guide the other christians towards christ. Were these pastors and priests saved in the first place? How did God work in their lives?
  • This the difference between Christians and other people who adhere to viewpoitns whether religious or not. Christians are told not to look at the pastor or other religious leaders. Why?

    "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)

    Just like any human being, these guys are just like you and me, capable of sinning and falling. If that person fails asahan mo babagsak ka din! Yes respect them but when they are at the pulpit, listen to their message, discern if they are biblical or not. That is why Christians at church should always have the Bible with them to verify for themselves what the pastor or teacher is saying.

    Christians keep their focus on Jesus since they know that if they do this God will never fail them.

    "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed." (Malachi 3:6)

    "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

    Other groups always look to people and tie them up to their ideals. That is why if the person makes a mistake, everything falls apart. This is the way of the world. But for the Christian only Christ is the way and we should keep or focus on Him.
  • hatesfourier
    hatesfourier Banned by Admin
    blue[]ce wrote:
    Yeah. it matters. When you are supposed to be the shepherd of your flock, to guide the other christians towards christ. Were these pastors and priests saved in the first place? How did God work in their lives?

    First, the pastors and priests are still human. They can and will commit
    sins. Of course, the "sin" we are talking about here are those taught
    by the church that should be avoided. There are no such thing as perfect
    human being as perfection is GOD's quality alone.

    Of course, these pastors and priests will be judged by GOD (if He truly
    exists) with higher standards than that of the members of the church.
    They carry a BIG responsibility indeed.

    Also, the members of the church should be wise enough not to emulate
    actions of their leaders which they think are sinful and unlawful.

    Second, mistakes of some leaders of the church do not represent the
    whole, for the church teach against those immoral and unlawful acts.
    However, the church has a command responsibility. It has to discipline
    its members.

    It doesn't follow that if my boss is immoral, I am immoral too unless I
    do the immoral things that he do. Also, it doesn't follow that the
    company that I am working with condones such immoral acts.
  • Yes pastors and priests are still human. no arguments about that. I posted the stuff above for two reasons. 1. To show that catholic priests do not have a monopoly on sex, lies and thievery. The pastors do it as well. 2. I posted it because it shows God's love and his security for us(sarcasm).

    Which verse was that again? Put on the armor of God(Ephesians 6:10-18). You can also include the statement of Paul that God would provide us with the strength to finish the race(2 Timothy 4:7-8). God is faithful, God will provide, God is stronger than the prince of the Air. For the protestants, these pastors who studied the Bible for years weren't actually saved at all in the first place, so much for OSAS. For the catholics, well, this is mortal sin right?

    If pastors and priests who spend so much time with God can be so easily tempted to sex or sexual abuse, what more the ordinary christian? But then, that can't happen right? God is faithful. He will give you the strength to overcome. Unfortunately, God chose not to give that strength to these sinner pastors, only to unique special you.
  • la_flash
    la_flash Banned by Admin
    ^^ The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

    We are still humans... we need to be faithful to overcome such
    wordly desires (sins). ---> of course, this is true within the context
    of the teachings of the church.

    GOD will provide us strength to finish the race. Meaning there is a
    definite goal and His promise is that we are going to get it. But GOD
    never said that we are not going to stumble along the way.

    I think that you think that upon believing that GOD is GOD, you will now
    become superhuman, with super strength that nobody will defeat you;
    with super will that you should not be tempted to sin; with super power
    that you are going to exterminate all your enemies... That won't work
  • Yeah, like bearing the cross of suffering and such. But being the one able to cause suffering to others, the exact opposite of christian love, that is not something we like people to know about. You can be saved now, you will have peace with christ. But beware, deep inside you is still the potential to become a killer, pedophile and rapist. But its ok now, you are saved. Just don't do it again aight? Though you pray to God and he listens to you, he thinks your prayer is better than your victim who is also praying to him at the same time. God is allowing you to ***** and abuse another because it suits his purpose.
  • la_flash
    la_flash Banned by Admin
    blue[]ce wrote:
    Yeah, like bearing the cross of suffering and such. But being the one able to cause suffering to others, the exact opposite of christian love, that is not something we like people to know about. You can be saved now, you will have peace with christ. But beware, deep inside you is still the potential to become a killer, pedophile and rapist. But its ok now, you are saved. Just don't do it again aight? Though you pray to God and he listens to you, he thinks your prayer is better than your victim who is also praying to him at the same time. God is allowing you to ***** and abuse another because it suits his purpose.

    You have a very shallow concept of who can be saved or not. Not all
    who says, "Jesus, Jesus, I praised your name, I helped the poor, I did all
    good deeds, I exorcised demons in your name, etc, etc, etc."
    , can be

    If GOD is GOD and if HE truly exists, He knows what's inside your hearts.
    He knows if you are HIS.

    You are asking whose prayer GOD hears? Both... but remember He despises
    those who prays for the sake of praying only. The killer, the pedophile, the
    rapist might have prayed only as a front for others to see that they have
    totally changed, but GOD knows better.

    However, if you, a former criminal, have repented, have accepted that
    you have sinned, and willing to face the consequence of your actions,
    and you asked for forgiveness of your victims and of GOD, who knows,
    He might hear you and take you in heaven.

    In the same token, the victim who has been totally consumed with anger,
    who lusts for blood and for revenge... and who continuously refused to
    forgive... he/she will surely be judged in his/her own measure.

    It is quite a complicated thing than what you currently understand.
  • I think Blue_ice that everything comes down to this... you cannot fool God.

    Even if a person goes at the top of the roof of his house and shouts that he accepts Jesus and doesn't genuinely do so then what is that? The Bible even says that the believer has the following fruits:

    "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," (Galatians 5:22)
  • "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," (Galatians 5:22)

    "I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves." (Galatians 5:12; RSV)

    For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment, in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:2-5 RSV)
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