In response to news this week that two of its pastors were arrested and charged for sexual offences, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church said on Friday that it will not condone sin or wrongdoing but appealed to the public not to rush to judgment.
Executive Secretary of the Saint Lucia Mission of Seventh Day Adventists, Pastor Roger Stephen, made the statement on behalf of the SDA at a press conference held at the Maranatha SDA Church at Lanse Road, Castries this morning.
Stephen did not accept any questions from the press due to what he called so many “untrue reports” about the case in which two pastors have been charged with indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection.
“As a Church, we do not, and will not, condone sin or wrongdoing in any form or fashion. Whether it be from the members from the pew, to leaders, or to pastors.
“Following Christ’s example, however, we cannot rush to judgment, and we seek to reach out to all who are hurting,” Stephen said. “We, therefore, appeal to all, to allow the course of justice to take effect in this matter and don’t rush to judgment.”
Below is the full statement delivered by Pastor Stephen:
“The Seventh Day Adventist Church has been a well-respected denomination in Saint Lucia and has served this nation for over one hundred years.
“As a church we have made a significant contribution to the development and growth of this nation, especially in the areas of education, youth and pathfinders, welfare, family life, End it Now which is a program that is geared towards stopping violence, and domestic violence against women, just to name a few.
“However, it is unfortunate that at this juncture that the church is now faced with allegations involving two of our employees which have resulted in hurting families, and much negative publicity.
“Whereas we as a Church try to uphold righteousness and purity as God’s ideal, however like all other churches we are not immune to human imperfections and other fallibility.
“Heaven is a perfect place, but mysteriously, sin was found in the heart of a perfect angel, Lucifer, in a perfect environment.
“As a Church we do not, and will not, condone sin or wrongdoing in any form or fashion. Whether it be from the members from the pew, to leaders, or to pastors.
“Following Christ’s example, however, we cannot rush to judgment, and we seek to reach out to all who are hurting.
“We therefore appeal to all, to allow the course of justice to take effect in this matter and don’t rush to judgment. As a Church we remain confident with all faith and assurance that the Lord will carry his Church through this difficult moment as he has done in such a mighty way in the past.
“Meanwhile, we continue to pray for all who have been so adversely affected, as well as all of our members and the nation, on a whole.
“Thank you very much.”