How Do We Handle an Application Answer that Changes?
Q: A person applied two years ago to work with children but stated, in an answer to an application question, that he once had an addiction to pornography but had an accountability partner and was dealing with it. However, the committee still turned him down, even though the pastor was counseling with him and okayed him. That pastor has since left. The person recently applied again to work with children. The question on the application now does not ask whether he had an addiction in the past, but asks whether he currently has an addiction. He responded no. Can we accept him this time knowing that he still has an accountability partner and that the nature of the question has changed? We would also note on his application the previous reason for rejecting him if we okay him this time.
A: I would make several observations in response to this question:
It is imperative to know if the porn addiction involved child porn. If so, that is a lifelong disqualifier from any volunteer or paid position in the church involving access to minors. This must be determined. The use of child porn, understandably, is regarded as the best indication that someone is a pedophile. Pedophiles generally are persons who have a sexual preference for prepubescent or early pubescent children. According to an FBI profile, they are promiscuous, predatory, incurable, and have one of the highest recidivism rates of all crimes. They pose a toxic threat to churches.