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Voice of the Martyrs’ Tom White’s Death a Sad and Lonely End

Jesus and the woman taken in adultery, miniatu...

Jesus and the woman taken in adultery, miniature, Hitda-Codex, Darmstadt, Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek, cod. 1640, fol. 171 References: Anna Maria Cetto: Mittelalterliche Miniaturen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tom White, Executive Director of the Christian Organization, Voice of the Martyrs, was accused of allegedly molesting a 10 year old girl and recently died of apparent suicide.

What a tragic end to the life of a man who had spent his years bringing attention to the poor, the abused, the neglected. We sorrow for the family, the child, the legacy.

“Who among you dares to cast the first stone?” That’s the question Jesus asked when the Pharisees were so eager to condemn a woman caught in adultery.

Here’s the situation quoted directly from our Holy Book: King James Version

“And early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them

“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the Law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?”

“This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.”

“But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.”

“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

“When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?”

“She said, No man, Lord.”

“And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:2-11)

It is a horrible thing to molest and abuse a child, of course. I think Jesus would call it a sin.

A sin is anything that separates us from God.

But, Christians tend to feel squeamish talking to each other about their sins. It’s hard enough to admit wrong, and say we’re sorry, let alone own up to “sins”.

We also tend to put people on pedestals: Political figures, Popular media stars, Pastors…Leaders of Christian organizations…failing to demand accountability from them.

If we identify as Christians then we align ourselves with a set of standards which are clear but never perfectly observed. Ironically,  though, anyone watching us from “outside” the Church can and often will, quickly point out when we deviate from these standards, it is rather uncool to do this within the Church. It should be just the opposite.

This shouldn’t be such a huge deal, because we have something in our lives called “Grace”, but it is often difficult to give to others.

Sometimes the Christian Community makes it difficult to be honest about our weaknesses. So we deal with our them in a number of ways. Two extremes might be…

We give up trying to live a life of faith…or act as if we are fine on the surface, while painfully struggling with problems desperately working to hide them with good works.

Because a small child helplessly suffers molestation by a grown-up, we see this type of abuse as worse than some others.

But, we may abuse and ruin people’s lives by the words we speak, the policies we embrace, the choices we make in our daily lives.

If Tom White was guilty, I hope he shared his mess with someone. Jesus makes it clear that we have company in our mess.  No one is “without sin” and we can open ourselves to Jesus who does not condemn us.  I’m sad that Tom White felt that the only way through his pain was suicide. What a lonely end.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Tom White’s Death an Apparent Suicide Following Molestation Investigation | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

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