Yes, you read that right. I wanted to share with you an article I read on Saturday, because it really struck a chord with me. Do you remember that guy who converted to paganism to try to hide the fact that he was a brutal murderer? Yeah. This dude is way worse.
So the summary is this. In 1981, this dude got probation for strangling and beating a woman. In 1995, he began a 12 year sentence for manslaughter of another young woman.
He was released from jail, he found Jesus, and he was made a pastor at a small church in Michigan.
He starts getting friendly with a parishioner, and they get engaged. He starts fantasizing about her daughter.
Here’s where things get a little… less than stellar. He opts to kill the daughter, strip her naked. He may or may not have had sex with her dead body – he doesn’t recall – and then he takes her body out to the woods to hide his wrong doing. Then he goes back to her place, dresses her son (who is 3) up in a halloween costume, and takes him to his (the son’s) father for his turn at custody.
Everything’s fine until the mom doesn’t come to pick the boy up.
The pastor confesses after the police suggest that the body will decompose soon because of the cold and wet.
Now, this is a horrendous incident, and my heart goes out to the family and friends that got fooled by this man’s seemingly drastic life change. Honestly. I wish a thousand times over that this hadn’t happened to these people.
But what I found interesting was the shifting of blame from the pastor to Satan, in the last paragraph. See:
“He was absolutely contrite,” Houghton, 76, said. “All kinds of people turn around and meet the Lord and they are a different person. He was doing a lot of good in the community. … He was doing a lot of good and Satan did not want him doing good and Satan got to him.”
He was doing a lot of good. He was doing a lot of good.
These first two sentences, this parishioner assigns the “good doing” directly to this murderer. And then, in the latter half of this statement, the parishioner assigns the bad directly to Satan. Satan did not want him doing good, so Satan got to him.
Unsaid? Satan made him do it.
This old woman blames Satan, not the pastor, for his wrongdoings. And sure, we can take “Satan” to be the metaphorical name for his inexplicable and overwhelming urges to take a life. But regardless, she is taking responsibility away from him, and I think it is wrong.
He is the one that strangled this young woman. Not Satan. If his parishioners can’t hold him responsible, although surely a jury will, how can that community move forward?
How would you like to be the now ex-fiancee, the mother of the victim, hearing this parishioner assign blame to Satan instead of the man who did the strangling?
I would be furious.
To see your offspring die well before you do… that is one of the greatest sorrows a person can endure.