The church often uses terms that speak of forgiveness whenever someone has transgressed and they do not know how to truthfully handle the transgression. In congregations and leadership all over the world we have been taught that we must “walk in love” and “forgive” however those instructions, often misguided are not in alignment with what God says about both walking in love and forgiveness.
At the end of this article there will be an explanation of the above statement and a call-to-action. Make sure that you join us to Make Child Sexual Abuse Grooming A Felony.
In Chuck Adair’s untitled, unpublished manuscript he names Robin Kintz as a real friend and confirmed they had a sibling-like relationship. Robin was his neighbor and he served as her youth minister in the church that they grew up in called, Skillman.
She was the only one to testify on his behalf during his sexual assault trial to which he was convicted and served 9.5 out of ten years. Now that she is older and has four children of her own, she is reviewing some of the alarms that are going off now, and remembering things that should have alarmed her and others, that did not awaken her during her teenage years.
Many people who have friends and family who act out-of-character say, “Well, that is how so-and-so is.” I have a family member’s friend who I find disgusting. He molests everyone with his open-mouth wet kisses. The kisses are on your neck, the middle of your forehead, it does not matter but they make you feel violated. When I complained about this behavior in front of my mother she said, “That is just how he is.”
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My mouth was open and I wanted to respond but I think I was in shock. There are many people who believe this also which explains why when Chuck Adair was a Youth Minister at Skillman Church he would feel comfortable laying his head in the laps of the young teenage girls who attended the church at that time.
He nicknamed Kintz’s breasts as “Bip and Bop”. He even gave her an inappropriate birthday card for her seventeenth birthday. It was a large congregation of 1200 back then. According to Kintz there are very few members left since Adair took office. This also explains why they do not preach in the actual sanctuary. The lights never get turned on. They have service in the gymnasium according to Kintz.
I was contacted by Robin Kintz because she found that Chuck Adair’s story had little to do with redemption, instead it was full of distortions and full fabrications. After going over her evidence I found these main reasons that would warrant my immediate action:
- He refers to the little girl who was only 13 when he started a relationship with her as a “woman”. A child is not a woman, period.
- He counts his pedophilia attraction and relationship to Berryhill as an extra-marital affair instead of pedophilia. He is minimizing his actions.
- He tells the media and others outside of the church that he is not around children however the church has an active day care and he is the Senior Pastor, this puts them on the property together at the same time allowing access to children.
- After reading his manuscript, watching his video, making other observations I find that Chuck Adair has never really admitted that what he did was wrong. ( I will explain this later)
- He has children there on Wednesday nights when other sexual offenders are present including himself. He also attended an Egg Hunt where children were present. http://vimeo.com/39948412
- He claimed that he does not go on mission trips (children are often around freely on trips either with missionaries or at the place where the mission take place.) http://www.skillmanchurch.com/video/joplin-mission-trip/ He was in charge of this mission trip.
- Chuck Adair refers to his relationship with Kristen Berryhill as mutual. He says that he started an “emotional relationship” with her when she was 13 but it didn’t get physical until 16. His definition of emotional relationship needs a bit of clarification. He was child sexual abuse grooming her.
As a quick recap, Chuck Adair started as a youth minister at Skillman church where Kintz also attended. He attended several churches in various states like Darrell Gilyard, to involve himself with other women and eventually those affairs would shatter his credibility. However, the America’s Most Wanted alert made him someone at the top of the FBI list. One of the affairs was with an eighteen year old girl (barely legal).
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After prison he married a woman who has the same name as his second wife (and victim). Chuck shares in his biography on his website that he is married with children. Kintz feels strongly that this information on his biography made available on the website is misleading because he has fathered no children. He married his current wife who already had two children. Additionally Chuck Adair did not raise them.
One month ago, when I checked the church website, it looked completely different. On the home page of the website there was a video of Adair, and the misleading video was all about Adair’s redemption, not the church at all. I also saw his biography on the front page which also did not highlight the church. It might as well have been chuckadair.com.
While some people may perceive his efforts to remove doubt about his redemption, I see it as an attempt to be seen, and to bring people to his ministry who may be intrigued by their own curiosity about a preaching predator or his supposed change.
Now, although he is the senior pastor the entire website has been changed around and there is a black man listed as the first person on staff titled as the “preaching minister” when in fact Chuck Adair is the senior pastor of the church. And again the previous website highlighted Adair. Now he is hard to find.
Chuck has the ability to hire and fire individuals. He is showing a pattern of manipulation and confusion that has nothing to do with redemption or ministry rather that he is a sexual predator. His ability to hire and fire offers him more responsibility and power than someone who has demonstrated that they prey on others while in leadership should be given.
He can choose not to hire a minister who will see through his manipulation. According to Kintz there was an interim preacher that was great who would replace the former head pastor. At the time Adair was put in charge, ultimately he did not hire another minister, he hired himself.
Chuck was not chosen by the Dallas Morning News because of his “good work”. He was chosen because Robin Kintz contacted them on multiple occasions as with other media outlets to see if someone would write a story that would warn the public about his actions and start a process to evict him from leadership.
Ten entries later, and some public arguments among followers and protesters of Adair, Kintz found me who had written about another pastor who is a registered sexual offender and thought I could help.
The truth is we do have religious and spiritual liberties. We as clergy do not have to report certain confessions according to the law however, the reason that I am so insistent upon sharing what child sexual abuse grooming is, is to help leaders understand how to handle cases that include abuse in church. But it is hard to protect a congregation from the leader himself because the congregation is often groomed to follow him at all costs.
Far too long women have been told to stay with violent men, and predators. For too many years we have used terms that are not outdated but they are misguided. If we are going to subscribe to a belief we need to actually do what we believe God says we should do instead of listening to the cliche’s about what others think we should do.
Chuck Adair’s leadership at the church has run most of the members away. Many people are alienated and while he has a very small number of supporters they are committed to him like their life depends on it.
Adair continues to lie and tell his church workers to lie on his behalf citing that he is not near children when in fact he was in a picture and videos of an Easter Egg Hunt where he was around children. Adair as the senior pastor is also in charge of mission trips. You see him in the picture below during a Celebrate Recovery (Wednesday Night Service) meal.
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Robin Kintz’s parents were members of Skillman for many years and her husband was a deacon until the disenfranchisement led them to another ministry. Still, she yearns for the place of worship that she calls home, and would return if Adair was removed from the office of the pastor.
His lies put children at risk. They are present for Wednesday nights when sexual offenders are there to eat dinner and have service. There are no guidelines, nothing in place that would prevent a pedophile from molesting a child.
One of the statements that I challenge made by a Skillman commenter on a Dallas News article is that Adair is around children with hundreds of other people! To the person who believes that the more people a child and molester are around, the less likely something will happen I say that you have been grossly misinformed by your assumptions. Pedophiles thrive in this kind of environment.
This church has a history of allowing this type of “forgiveness”. A member of leadership at Skillman Church of Christ, was allowed to resign and return after the birth of his baby, fathered with his mistress. Billy Faye Curtis has a lot of money says Kintz, and is intimidating people who fear crossing her.
Of all his redemption, there is one man who clearly made Adair feel uncomfortable. A psychologist who attended Skillman had a sudden death of his own son at 43 years old. He needed to have a funeral, and Skillman was the family church. Kintz believes that Adair will not be in the presence of anyone that he feels can read his manipulation.
To support her position take note that this psychologist specializes in working with perpetrators and identifying them. Adair stood him up for the funeral. Can you imagine attending a funeral and the pastor not call or show to preach at the funeral?
Sarah Tofte of the Human Rights Watch says 25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years. This means that of the 700,000 registered sex offenders, there are some who are not counted because they have not been caught, and others who are not registered altogether. But we know that for people in Chuck Adair’s position, they can re-offend within 15 years.
According to Bracha Goetz in the article, “Things You Need To Know About Child Molesters” she says “An average child molester will offend 200–400 times before being caught, if ever.”
She also says in the article, “Rather than appearing to be “monsters,” perpetrators usually try to be very charming and friendly. After gaining widespread trust, over time, some eventually even head nonprofit organizations of various kinds dealing with youth, giving the molesters not only easy access but also free rein.”
The part of this story that is most alarming to me is that he called the little girl a woman. I have read his manuscript. I have watched the church video and all I hear is a lot of narcissistic self-talk sprinkled with “because Jesus said so”.
Adair also admitted throughout the entire book that his relationship with God has been a vocation. He also admits that he knows how to do nothing else but ministry. The problem is his, not ours. Ministry was never meant to be a job skill, it was always reserved for the call of God on one’s life, and even in ministry we go through seasons that require us to learn things that we never thought we’d learn.
“Early in my life, I really felt a leading from the Lord to do ministry. I resisted that call and went to college with the intention of learning as much as I could about business and accounting and then going out into the world to make my fortune. My Fundamentals of Accounting class stopped that dream dead in its tracks. Not only didn’t I enjoy business, accounting and the like…I was HORRIBLE at it.”
– Chuck Adair pg. 16 (from his untitled manuscript)
What this means is that he can fake it. We are not judging his relationship with God but we also do not need to be naive to the fact that our relationship with God is personal and that we should not judge or assume that someone’s relationship is intact, ever.
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Kristen Berryhill was thirteen years old when the relationship started. Kim Smith said this in her article,
“Charles Adair III, 35, was sentenced by a Midland jury Tuesday to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting Kristen Berryhill and to a concurrent one-year jail sentence on a charge of harboring a runaway. Adair also was assessed $14,000 in fines
Jamie Berryhill said his family first learned of a problem between his daughter and Adair in 1993 and had asked the minister to stay away from the girl.
“We continued to hope that he would respect our wishes, … his position and her youth,” Berryhill said.
Jamie Berryhill is the father of the victim. At the time of this article the victim was traumatized by previous journalists who heard her story and did not print it properly. I believe that any minister who has used spiritual abuse to groom his/her victims should be removed from any leadership position including the pulpit because the perpetrator has demonstrated that damage can come from allowing him/her to have access to influence over the lives of others.
I vote YES, remove Chuck Adair immediately from senior pastor. In his manuscript, there were many points where I was uncomfortable with the material. Apparently he has been shopping the manuscript to see if anyone has interest in his memoir.
I can save you some time, don’t invest. He admits that even as a pastor his relationship with God was a vocation; a job. He admits a lot about his character but many of the statements often follow a pity party or a phrase that would manipulate you into accepting his behavior.
It sounds something like this, “I know that I really screwed up and that I have some character work to do, this really sucks!” The part where he implies pity like, “This really sucks” is a manipulation tactic to soften what he said at first. This seemed to be the theme throughout the book.
What I found striking about the girl is that he will admit that what he did was biblically wrong, and he will admit that what he did was a crime but there is no heart message, no evidence of accountability where he actually feels that what he did was wrong, just like a predator! He maintains that they were in mutual love. Kristen Berryhill now about the age Adair was when he did this to her feels very different about the experience.
He doesn’t offer a public apology to her, and he doesn’t say that he feels that what he did was wrong. He also doesn’t say that it was out of character, in fact his book says the opposite. He mentions in various chapters how horrible his character is.
“I remember thinking to myself as my marriage was coming to an end, “I knew you wouldn’t like me once you got to know me completely”.” – Chuck Adair, (untitled, unpublished manuscript)
Are you skilled enough to know whether Chuck Adair has secret relationships with teenage girls now? How do you know that he is rehabilitated? Is it because he told you this? Why wouldn’t he tell you that he is rehabilitated and that God has healed him?
And why is being a sexual predator so different from healing from any other addiction? Why is the assumption that because he has been redeemed by God he must be redeemed by you and that he should be given access to children?
Let me explain something about sexual predators, grooming children is a part of the process and it often takes years. Predators do not mind the wait, that is what makes them predators and not attackers.
They are not driven to impulsively attack people on the street. 90% ( and climbing) of sexual predators do not randomly attack people on the street. They are Jerry Sandusky (a coach and head of a non-profit organization that gives him access to children), and they are Darrell Gilyard (who is also a senior pastor and registered sexual offender in Florida).
Oprah said of the investigation into Tiny Virginia Makopo, who was accused but acquitted of molesting nine girls in her South African school for girls, “I wanted to hire an independent team because my experience with child predators is that no one ever, ever abuses just one child.”
Forgiveness and Walking In love
I am reading a book by Gary Chapman (the author of the Five Love Languages), and Jennifer Thomas, called The Five Languages of Apology. The book explores people’s languages of apology in an effort to help us all to develop and maintain healthy relationships within our marriages and as we encounter situations with people we want to be connected to in life.
As Christians we are required to love. We are not required to forgive without a request as a result of repentance. If you listen to Chuck Adair, he has no problem with confession however he has not repented for his actions. I am not suggesting that he should repent to us as if we are God however, the definition of repentance is the turn away from. This means that he has not only confessed his sin but is committed to turn away from it.
If he had done this, I would not be able to write an article about all the lies and manipulation that he is currently engaged in behind pedophilia. There is nothing to continue to cover up, and it really would not have to be a topic of continued discussion because his actions would absolutely speak louder than words. He would create his own personal boundaries even if they have not been set for him.
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In the book The Five Languages of Apology it says this: “Genuine forgiveness and reconciliation are two-person transactions that are enabled by apologies. Some, particularly within the Christian worldview, have taught forgiveness without an apology. They often quote the words of Jesus, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses.”
Thus, they say to the wife whose husband has been unfaithful and continues in his adulterous affair, “You must forgive him, or God will not forgive you.” Such an interpretation of Jesus’ teachings fails to reckon with the rest of the scriptural teachings on forgiveness. The Christian is instructed to forgive others in the same manner that God forgives us. How does God forgive us?
The Scriptures say that is we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins. Nothing in the Old or New Testaments indicates that God forgives the sins of people who do not confess and repent of their sins.”
I have personally had to meditate on this concept. In a family counseling session I was asked to say, “I forgive you.” I could not do it. I could not say, “I forgive you.” I do not think this will improve my family relationships because I could not understand how I would forgive someone for something that they aren’t sorry for. And then, as a gift this book shows up in the mail the next day.
I am not telling people to disbelieve Chuck Adair’s sincerity or to decide that you suddenly do not forgive him. I am however saying that we are required to love. And in so loving we walk in that love spiritually as God would, but even God is not ignorant. We need to be responsible with our choices and follow God, not man. Chuck Adair is not showing himself to be an honest person, and as a leader he still puts children at risk.
The problem with people is that we look at punishing people for their crimes. When we feel that they have received adequate punishment we are satisfied. But I invite you to hear the truth.
Punishment is for you. It is not for the other person, it is for you. In this case, I would like you to understand that sexual predators often have chosen this as a lifestyle. They will even go through the necessary process to become free from the system if they are ever caught but the punishment is not for them.
They do not believe that liking little girls or boys, forcing a woman or man into rape is wrong. It is not a torment to many sexual predators it is a part of their belief system that we simply do not understand them.
Predators believe that they are misunderstood, and they do often use spiritual abuse to manipulate and employ followers only giving them more access to potential victims. Many child sexual abusers can be rehabilitated (as children) but in their adulthood their actions have become a choice.
Do not stop at this article. I have written articles that are here to help you understand why following a predator in leadership can be dangerous. In order for predators to groom children they must also groom the parents. If you are in a congregation with a sexual predator as your leader you are likely being groomed.
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Although punishment may make you feel better about the predators confession and redemption like Chuck Adair, it is important that you become educated about tactics that may lead to future abuse.
As a larger issue for the state of Texas, it does not seem that Adair is violating any laws with working in a church that has a day care or by having freedom to spend community or personal time with children who may become victims.
Additionally I found an article by the Associated Press on Fox News which says that Texas refuses to participate in the National Sexual Offender Registry citing cost concerns. The article is here.
I found additional documents from the Texas State Senate that requires sexual offenders to register if they are going to work at a school, but it does not prohibit them. I have also included the document here.
From a ministerial perspective, living for God can be achieved without being in church leadership. Chuck can take personal initiative to create his own programs like Celebrate Recovery in a different location. He can continue prison ministry which do not involve children but I am concerned that this church is so defiantly supportive of a man that has been manipulating them for so long.
This is the kind of church that I would love to support in healing from these events and to restore their congregation to their thriving 1200. Without understanding the mind of a predator I am concerned that the church will continue making leadership decisions that put their community at risk.
To remove Chuck Adair from the pulpit, it is really easy. Stop attending his church! You are afraid of change but I would be afraid to stay. There is no absence of love by moving on. As ministers, no one can take away the calling on our lives and the gift does come without repentance. This means that the gift is perfect, not the person.
My last tip to the community of Midland is to strip yourself of what you think you know, and ask God. Your relationship with God can not be contrived or a vocation, it must be intimate and he will reveal to you what next steps will deliver your community from the stain of this long-term event that has left your neighbors’ faith damaged.
Ressurrection Graves is an author, speaker and relationship mentor. She is available for speaking engagements on topics surrounding healing, prevention and awareness of child sexual abuse. Contact Ressurrection at: 202.717.7377 orressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com.
From the standpoint of one who has lived through sexual abuse, the one thing I have found is that sometimes, forgiveness can be issued from the heart of the one offended without ever talking to the one who offended. Sometimes the one who caused the pain dies, or, as in my case the victim and family move hundreds of miles from where the abuser lives. Over the years names, addresses, etc., can be forgotten. Abusers also move and do not leave a forwarding address. Abusers very rarely offer an apology.
I argued with God for months because he was instructing me to “forgive” the men who had caused me so much emotional harm. Men who had stripped me of a childhood I cannot remember (except for bits and pieces). I thought, “Why should I, the one in pain, forgive them for what they have done? They do not deserve my forgiveness. I don’t want to let them ‘off the hook’ for what they’ve done. I want them to pay! I want them to SUFFER!”
What I failed to understand is this: Forgiveness isn’t about “Them” and what “They” did. It’s about ME and MY heart and how unforgiveness kept ME locked away from God.
Forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with the one who has perpetrated a sin against the one who is victimized. It does not let the bad guy off the hook. It doesn’t mean you have to bake them a cake to prove your forgiveness. It doesn’t mean you have to even enter the same room they are in. The abuser is still responsible and God will still hold the abuser accountable for his or her actions.
There is one former abuser, who happens to be related to me, that I do occasionally see. One day, I did get that apology. He stood before me, ashamed of what he had done. God had already saved his soul, but required him to make restitution to me. You would expect that I heard a choir of angels singing, or fireworks going off. How many years have I longed to hear, “I’m sorry for hurting you”? But you know what? Nothing. Nada. Not even a warm gushy feeling in my heart. Forgiveness had already been settled years ago. I no longer hated this man. My heart was free from the encumbrances unforgiveness places on it. I was free to accept him as a new brother in Christ.
Had I not have forgiven this man year prior to his confession, how would that scenario played out?
I probably would have told him how sad and pathetic he was. I would have told him how he didn’t deserve my forgiveness and that as long as I had breath I would never forgive him.
Would I have the “right” to do that? By the worlds standard, yes. But, because I was able to tell him I had already forgiven him, I can say I did not put a stumbling block between him and God.
Just a thought when it comes to forgiveness.
Hello, first of all I’m so happy that you have forgiven and found healing. I used to think exactly like this as does so many others. I think what Gary Chapman said was clear about the expectations that God has for us. From my perspective, if our standard is love we will reconcile any ill feelings that we have toward whomever may have harmed us in the past and forgiveness is reserved for the individual who confesses and repents. In other words we’ve been taught that forgiveness is what harbors the pain and I am presenting that love is what covers the multitude of sin, not forgiveness. Perpetrators should still be held accountable for their actions. You can love them as Christ loves us, yes and that will dissolve your bitterness and unresolved pains if you will, but forgiveness itself should be reserved for the person honest and man or woman enough to acknowledge what they have done and repent.
I don’t want this view to be a divide. I think it is important that we forgive others, and heal from the things that hurt us and impact our lives.
Thank you so much for your comment.
I don’t think the two can be separated, though. If you hate (do no love) someone, you cannot forgive them, but in forgiveness, love abides. I think it was Gary Smalley, who, about ten years ago, was the one that actually talked about forgiveness not being about the one you hold unforgiveness against (Could be wrong tho…).
However, it might depend upon how you view forgiveness.
I look at it this way.
What did my inability to forgive do toward the men who raped & molested me? Did it cause them problems? Did it make them think about what they did to me? Did it cause them to be held in the past? Did it keep them depressed, angry, harboring hatred in their heart? Did it cause them to cry in the night? Make them afraid? Debilitate their physical and spiritual life?
Well, of course, the answer is no.
My inability to forgive them (irregardless of their ability to apologize to me) did not affect their lives at all. As far as I knew, they slept like a baby at night even though I spent a lot of sleepless nights wishing they couldn’t sleep from guilt. They probably went through their day without giving me much thought… but not me. My thoughts were always on “What they did & how it affected my entire life.” I was the one trapped by unforgiveness, not them.
My ability to forgive is what set me free from that cycle (well, that and counseling and tears and lots of arguing with God). Do I “love” the men who abused me? I can’t really answer that question. I love the one who is related to me, but only after I forgave him. Prior to that, I ‘tolerated’ him when there were functions that put us in the same room together. I can’t answer the love question toward the other 7 men who raped/molested me because I haven’t seen them in over 40 years.
There aren’t many abusers who will repent, much less personally acknowledge what they did to you. By saying our forgiveness depends upon their willingness to apologize and repent may leave the abused locked in the past. How can you love someone you harbor unforgiveness against? I don’t see how that is possible–just how my mind works.
I do kind of look at this like Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie (her and her family were imprisoned during Hitlers Natzi reign). After the war was over and she had been released, she would speak of forgiving those who caused her family great harm and then, one day, one of the German officers, who had caused her and her sister great physical and emotional pain, even having her sister killed, came to a meeting she was speaking at. This former officer sat and listened to Corrie speak of God causing her to forgive. After the meeting he introduced himself to her. She remembered who he was and immediately she cried out to God in her spirit. To make a long story short, Corrie chose to extend the words of forgiveness to this former Officer, and then, her heart was filled with a love that she could not explain.
What I am talking about isn’t something that is done with anyone but God. And, maybe that is where I am misunderstanding what you mean.
I believe the perpetrator has a moral and legal obligation to pay for abusing someone. My forgiving my abusers does not negate their responsibility, both legally and morally.
Does that mean we agree or disagree?
Thanks for commenting. I’m hoping that the topic of forgiveness doesn’t drown out the point of the article which is to make sure that a sexual predator is not in a leadership position that would leave children or even adults vulnerable to child sexual abuse grooming.
and then, maybe I’m not making myself clear either (I just re-read what I posted).
I want to stress the fact that forgiving those who harm you is not done to the perpetrator but to God and it is solely done to free myself from the pain that kept me bound. The men who raped/molested me don’t even have a clue I forgave them (unless, somehow, they are reading this and they know I’m “Whispersfrommyheart.” (LOL)
When God dealt with me about forgiveness it was for my spiritual benefit. No one else.
Does that make sense?
Absolutely! Absolutely. I advocate that people do heal from abuse and for many it is walking in total forgiveness. In this case forgiveness is for you!
This mindset of forgiveness might only add more guilt to the victim’s fragile emotional state. Not being able to forgive the pedophile/rapist is forgivable. Forgiving oneself for being victimized is more important than following a prescribed set of rules set by clerics to free the perpetrator of any moral or legal accountability.
Hello, thank you for commenting but I am a little confused by your comment. I certainly did not say that anyone should walk in shame (unforgiveness of themselves) and I am certainly not saying that you should not forgive someone at all. I am providing a biblical perspective to forgiveness as this is relevant to the topic today. And, I certainly am not freeing any perpetrator of any accountability including moral or legal. In fact what I am saying is that people should be more clear about their choice to NOT hold perpetrators accountable. Thank you again for commenting!
I was completely agreeing with you that clerics do more harm than good preaching forgiveness for the vile acts of the perpetrator.
Ah ha! I apologize. For some reason I did not get it. Please forgive me lol. Have a beautiful day!
Muchos Gracias for your article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.