We have put the fox in charge of the henhouse

Oh well. Ho Hum.  Another pastor is getting his jollies through a hidden camera in the women’s bathroom. “He’s a good man,” the church leaders said.  He is currently on leave from his church – with or without pay is not known – but the damage he has done to all Christianity cannot take a leave.

Two women and a young girl were shown on the tape as they used the bathroom in the Sunrise Christian Reformed Church in Lafayette, Indiana. This pervert had put small cameras in the air fresheners located inside the stalls. I am not sure what kind of air fresheners the church will have to use to get rid of the odor of this soiled pastor.

Have you ever read a story of a female pastor putting hidden cameras in bathrooms to spy on men, or young boys? Have you ever read of a story of a woman pastor molesting young boys?

Yet women cannot be put in authority over a man. 

The Sunrise Christian Reformed Church has taken down its website, and I am sure the majority of those people are as upset as I am about this disrespect of the congregation’s women. What will they do?  Will they write the headquarters of their denomination to express their outrage?  Who in the church will censure this person?

My guess is – nobody.  There is nobody among Baptists who would, or did, censure their own Sammy Nuckolls ,the Southern Baptist evangelist, former camp pastor at Life Way FUGE summer camps who had a great following, and who put a tiny camera in a fake writing pen and left it in the bathroom before the woman of the house went in to take a shower.  Update on story. “Every time I was with him at a camp, every time I heard him speak, his message was right,” Adam Fisher told WMC-TV. But his heart was rotten because as we read in the story “One of the women prepared to testify against Nuckolls in Mississippi told WMC-TV in Memphis that she was shocked to discover that Nuckolls, whom she and her husband considered a close friend, had been secretly filming her since the very first time she visited his home five-and-a-half years earlier.”  Betrayal.

We have put the fox in charge of the henhouse.

What do you think should be done to censure this pastor?  Should there be some kind of oversight group within denominations, or should this be a civil case only?  What should women do when a pastor, any pastor, abuses the trust placed in them, and photographs women in the bathroom?


About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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11 Responses to We have put the fox in charge of the henhouse

  1. Temperance says:

    He should be turned over to the authorities just like anyone else who would commit such a heinous act.


  2. jeff says:

    He was arrested, charged and is on trial for multiple counts of this behavior. He faces years in prison, and everyone removed him without pay from his positions and future opportunities. Unlike many denominations, Baptists, in his case Southern Baptists, are autonomous. In other words, each church, each entity, is self-governed. So, there is no sweeping action that would be taken. The proper actions took place. No one knew, including his wife, that this was going on in his ministry. Just because one man sins, it doesn’t disqualify all men.

    As far as women pastors doing these things, is it right to compare the genders and their level of sin in order to promote one over the other? Is one better than the other? No. Trying to gain support for your view on women in ministry doesn’t have to throw the other gender “under the bus” based on the actions of one member of that gender. If that was the case, you should have used David from the old testament or maybe Sampson. Those guys really blew it. They give all men a bad name.


    • Jeff, Welcome! Thank you for your comments. You make valid points. However, as you know, many priests have been accused of prosecutorial behavior against little boys and the larger church body of Catholics and non-Catholics has to speak up against this abuse against our children. The behavior cannot be accepted by the church body, in addition to the civil courts. Churches have accepted this behavior far too long as being an “in house” problem. It can affect all denominations. Is it possible that this abuse against women is part and parcel of the derrogatory thinking about women in our churches?

      You also ask if it is right to compare genders and their level of sin. As you probably know, Southern Baptists teach through words and actions, that if a woman feels called to preach, she is probably a homosexual woman. They do this in their wording “role of women homosexuality” in the same breath. They always link women with homosexuality. Even Jimmy Carter did at the last Baptist New Covenent meeting. He, of all people should know better, but it is ingrained in our thinking. My question is still: Would a woman pastor have put a camera in the men’s restroom to peek at men in their most private moments?

      My view on women in ministry is simply this: Equal – no buts.

      Thank you, again. for adding to our discussion.


    • Mara says:

      But Jeff, women are routinely accused of being ‘disqualified’ to lead because of their perceived ‘sins’ of being emotional or gossips or easily deceived. Men do this to women all the time to reserve the positions of leadership for themselves. I’m not saying that you do this. But it is a very, very common tactic.

      And while I agree with you that it is wrong to try to disqualify or judge all men on the behavior of a few, sometimes it is good turn it around, like Shirley did, so that men can see what it is like to be on the receiving end of, “You are disqualified because of…” in this case gender specific (at least on a persception level) sins.

      Besides being wrong, it doesn’t feel very good to be on the receiving end of what women have deal with all the time. Every once in a while it does a man good to experience what he dishes out without thought of who he is hurting.


  3. krwordgazer says:

    Jeff, the point is, why do these churches insist that women are not qualified to lead? Why do these churches insist that only men are qualified to lead? Men like these show clearly that there is no inherent virtue in men that make them more qualified to lead than women. In fact, the fact that this man got away with what he did for so long shows that there was not enough accountability, not enough co-leaders who could have checked and balanced this man’s power. Why are church leaders given so much power? Would not a plurality of leadership be less open to corruption? Would not a plurality of leadership with true complementarity, including both male and female leadership strengths, have been even better?


  4. Mabel says:

    No-one is promoting one gender above the other. What is being questioned is : what makes the church thinks that only men can lead? only men are spiritual leaders? only they have spiritual authority? and a host of other ideologies that just are plain misguided. THis is one area of masculinity we don’t need.


  5. Temperance says:

    I would think temperament more than gender would qualify a person. Someone who is a good listener and sensitive to the needs of others. Sometimes people who seem charismatic and bold may seem like a good choice for leadership, but they lack the depth and insight needed to make wise decisions or sound counsel for the good of others.


    • We always seem to defend allowing women to preach. But the majority of women don’t want to preach. All we really want to be is equal. When we walk in the church door, we want to feel that we are on a level field, and what we can do in the church depends upon our calling, our gifts, not our gender.


      • krwordgazer says:

        True, I don’t want to preach. But I want my sisters who feel God’s call to be able to obey Him rather than men.


  6. Mabel says:

    “what we can do in the church depends upon our calling, our gifts, not our gender”
    why is that so hard to understand?
    Every church, denomination, organization, that does not allow woman to serve in her calling and giftedness, works for the Great Deceiver.


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