Pastor Ryan Budde from Croswell Wesleyan Church in Michigan has a small problem on his hands. A member of his church has recently been arrested for hosting a cancer fundraising benefit to help pay her medical bills. Problem is… she doesn’t have cancer.
The 38 year-old woman is facing eight charges in a couple different investigations (in 2001, the woman said a man raped her in a Meijer parking lot and that she received a sexually transmitted disease from the rape. That, she said, is what caused her cancer). And last September, she claimed she was sexually assaulted again. The police report says she had some signs of bruising, but that that ‘bruising’ was later determined to be make up.
Here is the response of her pastor:
“We always want her to know we love her, and if we could help her in any way, we would… Whatever may come from this, we’re not going to turn our back on her, we want to help her. As Americans and as a church, we want to stay with innocent until proven guilty.”
I do appreciate that stand that the church is being supporting and wanting to not turn their back on the gal. But there’s something about the last sentence that I’m not quite sure about.
The mixing of the Americans/church and staying with the innocent until proven guilty seems like an odd stance for a church.
Most churches would, quite frankly, distance themselves from the lady.
Few would stand by her as this church is doing… offering support, and, as it sounds, believing her until she is found guilty.
What would YOU do in this situation?
Have you had a situation like this where a member is arrested and held for a very public crime?
How far would you publicly support an imprisoned church member?