Tuesday, February 19, 2008

not sure what to do with this...

Here's a really interesting article about former youth minister, Calvin Wayne Inman, convicted for a robbery and death...that happened 14 years ago. He confessed this past December to a crime he committed in 1994, when he was 16 years old. The interesting part for me is the response of his congregation:
"He's a hero, really," said Kelley Graham, 24. "I don't know how many people would do what he did. The Bible says you just need to confess to God. Calvin took an extra step."
"The debt he's paying to our society is teaching our young people to do the right thing," said Cheryl Ellis, a member of the church's youth staff. "To lock him away someplace and say he owes it to society is robbing the next generation of a mentor."

I wonder about the balance between grace and truth in this kind of a situation. On one hand, the youth minister is a killer--he murdered someone and was never convicted until his recent confession. On the other hand, he has taken responsibility--thought belatedly--for his actions and is willingly serving his sentence. I think of Biblical examples of men in leadership who committed weighty sins that had societal implications, yet were greatly used by God (David and Paul, to name a few). Yet I am uncomfortable calling this man a "hero" or a "role model" for the emerging generation. Perhaps it is because he waited 14 years to confess. You have to wonder, what made him wait so long? And what inspired his confession now?

Read the article here. How would you respond as a member of his church community? As a parent? As a youth volunteer staff? As a student?

(thanks to Friendly Atheist for the link)

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