Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"president" of his church

Don't know if you guys saw this. The BTK Killer was apprehended recently and today was charged with 10 murders. He was, by the way, caught after emerging from years of hiding to taunt police with his eluding them for so long. Be sure your sins will (someday) find you out.
"He was trusted as a Cub Scout leader, respected as a churchgoing family man and accepted as a regular guy with a secure marriage, a steady job and all the other trappings of middle-class success.

He was also, according to police, an insatiable murderer who tortured and killed strangers over 17 years, boasting about his crimes in taunting, gruesome letters and poems that he mailed to police and the news media."

I read this yesterday:
"He recently became president of his Lutheran church council....'When we found out, all we could say was that it's impossible, it couldn't be,' said Freyja Carlsted who attends church with Rader and has known him for 30 years. She said Rader's wife, Paula, is 'wonderful.'

Clark, the pastor, said Rader has always seemed like a 'family man.' Clark said he has seen nothing 'that would even tend to lead to these accusations.' He said he is in touch with the family, which is in seclusion. Rader became president of Christ Lutheran Church in Park City in January, and under the church's rules he will remain president, Clark said."

I think that last sentence is the most shocking. I guess they are complying with 'innocent until proven guilty.' But still.

What is the 'president' of a church anyway? Betcha don't have a scripture for that one...


Holly said...

Betcha someone, somewhere, WILL have a scripture for that. :(

Coffee and a Muffin said...

Creepy. Just so creepy.

Kristen said...

Yeeaaahhh...I hope that comment didn't sound too sarcastic. I truly don't think there is scripture for such a thing. It just seems weird to me.

It just boggles the mind that someone like this could fool almost everyone he knows. Except his neighbors, who say they could kind of read his personality. So the people at "church" were fooled, but not the neighbors.

Evan said...

I checked out the web site of Christ Lutheran Church. All the links display the same message concerning Dennis Rader instead of actual information about the church. Since I'm assuming that the church had no involvement or knowledge of his alleged killings, I wonder why their web site could imply that they have something to hide.

I don't know how big the church is, but based on personal experience, it is easy to put on a "church-face" in a big church, especially when I am involved in numerous activities. Several times at my own church, people have asked me how I'm doing but have not stayed around for me to tell them anything other than "fine." One can easily hide sin from others (not from God) under a full schedule of church activities and a lack of authentic biblical fellowship and intimacy with others.

How he hid his alleged deeds from his family is a mystery to me, but I could see how he could explain any absences from home under the guise of church or community activities. Then again, even Mr. Schiavo fooled Terri at some point.

Kristen said...

Thanks for the link and comments, Evan. You're absolutely right about how easy it is to either get lost or not be known in a big church. It's heartbreaking.

I am not a fan of very big churches. IMO, the house church is the most closely aligned with anything I see in the Bible.

Regarding Rader's church's site: I would think that they removed the content for the sake of privacy of the congregation (?) since everyone will be researching this and looking at that website. Just a thought.

and then Life happened said...


I guess the kicker here is that within ALL flesh lies the potential for what eventually came to light in this persons life.
The trouble is with all of us, we love to catagorize. In this instance, it is the difference between sinful flesh vs. religious flesh. Bottom line - it's all flesh.

Amber Lynn said...


Rachel said...

We attended a house church for three years and I absolutely loved it. It was such a great environment for worshiping and learning. It eventually dissolved for a lot of reasons, none of which were very good. So now we meet with a standard non-denominational congregation in an ordinary chapel, and we're growing and worshiping and everything, but I still miss the home church.

Regarding "the president of the church": T and I always look at each other any time we hear the phrase "senior pastor" and say something along the lines of, "Oh, so they have a PERSON for chief shepherd? I thought that was Jesus' job."

Rachel said...

I say "so now..." in my previous comment -- we've been in our current congregation for, yikes, five years now. Time flies.

I was sharing this thread with T (that's my husband for those of you reading this who are totally lost, sorry) and he pointed out that the only time the Bible EVER mentions a congregation "calling" a leader -- choosing, hiring, etc. -- it's the people with "itching ears" who bring people near to say what they want to hear. Other leaders in the church just came up because God called them, and they began doing His work wherever He put them.

Kristen said...

Rachel--hehe. I worked for a church that had a "Rev. Dr. so-and-so" as the Senior Pastor. That cracked me up every time.

1 Cor 1:19-21For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Acts 4:13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Kristen said...

Rach--we are posting at the same time. :)

I like your husband's comment! Quite discerning of him, I daresay!

Evan said...

Thought well taken, Kristen. I guess I don't know what I would do if I were the webmaster of a church with a member recently charged for multiple murders, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

The house church does seem to be the most biblical, but it's hard for my mind to fathom since I have not experienced it firsthand. It almost seems too good to be true. On the other hand, our Senior Pastor Dr. so-and-so has an audience with the mayor of Kansas City, MO. If that's anything like the audience that evangelical leaders have with President Bush, however, I'm doubtful that this will lead to any significant change in our area. I really want to get Dave Black's upcoming book into the hands of our pastoral staff in the slim hope that the inertia of 2,700 people might be redirected more effectively.

Evan said...

Bringing the discussion full-circle to my original comment, I found this quote in an article on house churches:

Intimacy, accountability and church discipline are inseparable concepts. The three go hand in hand. There can be no church discipline without accountability, and there can be no accountability without intimacy.

To demonstrate that this is true, one need go no further than today's church. It is no secret that church discipline is virtually non-existent in the church today. Is this because today's church is so morally pure? Hardly. Rather it is because there is no accountability. One could conceivably (and many in fact do) attend the same church week after week, hiding himself in the back row, partaking of all that the church meeting has to offer, and, for the rest of the week, live as immorally as he desires without anyone being the wiser. To take the problem one step further, the reason that there is no accountability is because there is no intimacy. The same person described above could mingle freely with others in the church and be in absolutely no danger of being found out. What permits this? What permits this is the incredibly low level of intimacy (or, more accurately, lack of intimacy) in most churches. A half-hearted attempt at intimacy is usually made every church meeting, but this rarely amounts to little more than a handshake and a smile accompanied by how is everything?, usually in an aloof, alienating (albeit polite) tone of voice that makes it exceedingly clear to the recipient that what is really expected is no response at all.

Kristen said...

Evan, thanks for those wonderful comments. That last quote is spot-on.

Joanna said...

This is my first time commenting here. Whenever someone begins to mention house churches I always hold my breath becuz the comments are just about always negative. I think I can breath here. :)
My family attends a house church. It began last November. We absolutely love it and I can't see us ever attending a traditional church again. I'd be happy to talk more about it if you're interested.

Kristen said...

Hey, Joanna. You can breathe here...I am a huge homechurching fan. How can anyone knock what the first century Christians did?

Actually, we've never been a part of a fully functioning homechurch. We just got a taste of what it might be like when we met in home groups affiliated with the church where we met (this was five years ago). We really saw the Lord moving in those groups, despite our youth, inexperience, and lack of knowledge. :)

I'd love to hear more about your experiences.

UM, how did a thread on the BTK killer get here? (I'd MUCH rather talk about THIS, anyway!)

Wes said...

Back to the BTK killer discussion...

Not everyone that calls himself a Christian is a Christian. The Bible speaks of false converts, those who call Him "Lord, Lord" but do not do the things He says. It's sad that someone can become a leader in their church and not truly be a Christian. I guess it just shows how many true converts are really left and how many are actually being created through the modern man-centered gospel that is preached (the one that leaves out the Law, sin, Judgment Day, repentance, and replaces them with Jesus will give you everlasting happiness and joy).

If any of you are interested, there's a good message (probably the most important message besides the Gospel itself) located here:


This is probably where most of the modern Church's problems come from. There is a lack of discipline in the Church because there is a lack of true Christians in the Church.

Wes said...

Well I wish I had browsed your links sooner before my last post! I see that you have a link describing what the Gospel truly is. I'm so glad that this message is getting out and we're no longer ignoring the purpose of God's Law!

Kristen said...

Wow, Wes...we are definitely cut from the same cloth. Ryan and I love Ray Comfort and the "Hell's Best Kept Secret" sermon that you linked to. That is one of the best messages we've ever heard.

Hope you don't mind if I link to your blog. :)

Joanna said...


Kristen, I hope this link works. It's my favorite house church blog. I believe you'll enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

Kristen said...

Thanks, Joanna--I'll check it out. :)

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