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Registered sex offender chosen head pastor at a church in Texas

Claude Gilliland III, new head of

Claude Gilliland III, new head of the New Heart Family Worship Center

DEFENDING a decision to appoint Claude Gilliland III, 54, to the post of senior pastor at the New Heart Family Worship Center in Cleburne, Texas, the retiring head of the church, Carl Roye, pointed out great men of God in the Bible who had sinned too.

David was an adulterer and a murderer, Roye said.

He added:

Paul the apostle, he was a murderer and God forgave them and used them in a great way. I think He loves Claude Gilliland just like He loves Carl Roye and just like He loves you or whoever.

Though the church board knew about Gilliland’s past, the congregation didn’t find out Gilliland was a registered sex offender until after the vote.

Gilliland was convicted in 1993 of sexual assault.

Roye explained:

He was going through a nasty divorce. His wife claimed he raped her. He said he never raped her  … He ultimately spent four years in prison.

Pastor Roye, ailing and retiring, introduced Gilliland to the church he started. Roye said Gilliland was upfront with him from the beginning.

About two weeks ago, I told him it would be a good idea to tell the church about it. He wasn’t as forthcoming as I hoped he would. He just said he had a dark past. He’d be glad to talk to anyone about it if they wanted to talk to him. He never had anyone come to him.

Roye said he is standing behind Gilliland based on a principal in the Bible.

The whole thing about the church is forgiveness. The Bible states if we can’t forgive our brother, then God can’t forgive us of our sins.

According to this report, Texas Department of Public Safety records show that Gilliland was convicted of sexual assault on a 35-year-old woman. He is required to annually re-register with the state. PublicData.com records show Gilliand was also convicted of theft and driving while intoxicated.

Cleburne Deputy Police Chief Amy Knoll said there are no laws, at least locally, that govern how Gilliland chooses to live or work. And because his offence was against an adult, there would have been no laws about his interaction with children.

He was, however, listed among all sex offenders residing in Johnson County in an October Times-Review story that warned parents about trick-or-treating at offenders’ homes.

If he’s not on probation or parole, there are not any rules about whether he can be around children. There is nothing about where he can work that we [the police department] would deal with.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

 

118 Responses to “Registered sex offender chosen head pastor at a church in Texas”

  1. Ken says:

    Daz, Broga – the atheist worldview is that God does not exist, therefore the bible is a human invention and miracles are not possible.

    If, however, God does exists, then the bible could be his self-revelation and miracles could be possible.

    I haven’t really stated much more than that. ROAS thinks the miraculous in the bible is self-evident nonsense, but then he would given his atheism.

    I have good reasons to believe the biblical God exists, therefore when the bible describes supernatural occurrances, I don’t have any problem acknowledging their reality. To you, of course, this is all folly (a reaction the bible itself expects!), but that is in part because of your presuppositions.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    “God does not exist, therefore the bible is a human invention and miracles are not possible.”

    What a pity Ken didn’t leave it there.

  3. Daz says:

    Ken

    If, however, God does exists, then the bible could be his self-revelation and miracles could be possible.

    Ken, do you gamble this much in other areas of your life?

  4. Ken says:

    Daz – I never gamble!

  5. Daz says:

    Ken, Ken, Ken…

    Come hither, childe, and I shall tutor thee.

    “If” and “could” are “either/or” statements. “Either there is a god or there isn’t.” “Either the Bible is that god’s received word or it isn’t.”

    “Either/or” is a statement of probability.

    If you’re basing your view of life, morals etc on probabilities, then you are gambling.

  6. Ken says:

    Daz – “Either/or” is a statement of probability.

    No, it’s a statement that either one thing is true or the other, either there is or there is not a God. The probability comes in when trying to asses which alternative is true, and as I said I have to my mind good reasons for believing in the biblical God.

    If you remember the atheist bus ads compaign “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” then atheists too are gambling on there not being a God.

    I’ve often wondered why believing in God should be considered on occasion for worry, and why it would prevent you from enjoying life. It’s not exactly the atheists finest hour when it comes to reason and logic!

    But I thank thee for thy tutoring.

  7. Daz says:

    Ken

    “Either/or” implies that a probability would have to be assessed. All you did was paraphrase what I said, whilst claiming to negate it.

    I’ve often wondered why believing in God should be considered on occasion for worry, and why it would prevent you from enjoying life.

    Read this: http://theedixieflatline.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/blaise-pascal-has-a-lot-to-answer-for/

    You can skip the beginning if you like. Just read from the paragraph which begins “Try to imagine, Dear Believer…”.

  8. remigius says:

    Er, Ken. You surname isn’t Ham is it?

    Your ignorance, and your refusal to accept the obvious, seem oddly familiar.

  9. Ken says:

    Daz – thanks for the links, which I have read. I’d comment as briefly as possible as follows:

    Pascal’s wager is not a reason to believe in God, but is a reason to take the issue seriously. Perhaps you might agree with that.

    Your other points – since sin is essentially engaging in acts that are harmful, loving self rather than your neighbour, not sinning can only be good. Sin is the breakdown in the relationship with God and fellow man. And I don’t think many Christians spend their lives going around feeling guilty or worrying. In any event guilt is objectively real, not something you feel. You have missed the central point of the gospel, which is that sin and guilt can be dealt with, liberating the ‘sinner’ from these things. It’s good news.

    The gay suicide. Several things about this:

    I’m getting too long in the tooth to be taken in by the emotional blackmail of this, and the concept of blame-shifting bothers me.

    Given the premise of atheism, where does a moral obligation to accept homosexuality come from? Why does it matter if someone dies early? From the point of view of the deceased, they have ceased to exist, but the family continues to live and to grieve for the person they have lost. Under Christianity, their son has died without God and without hope as well. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (so yes, take the wager seriously).

    It’s also hypocritical to complain of the lost potential for life (which is as I understand it is significantly reduced in the case of homosexuals) and simultaneously argue for abortion, where the unborn lose ‘their one and only chance at existence’. Are you saying that because we are all going to die, we would have been better of as it were never to have been born in the first place?

    You also repeat the old chestnut that faith is believing something for which there is no evidence.

    Finally, Whilst religion can be used or abused to do others harm, what about the good that it engenders? Isn’t there a credit side as well? Why ignore that? Conversely, the atheist who rejects the biblical God lets themselves off the hook when it comes to all the commandments on how to live and treat your neighbour.

    I take your point that if atheism is true this needs to be faced, but it is hardly good news and certainly not liberating. The Christian who dies having believed what you consider a comforting illusion will never know it, whereas the atheist lives in the shadow of a pitiless universe in which they will die and cease to exist.

    If I’m wrong, Dear Reader, what the hell!!

    (As an aside, I remember Pearl and Dean only too well!)

  10. RabbitOnAStick says:

    Ken it isn’t possible to debate with you because you are an utter imbecile.
    “Camels – you can soon check if they were domesticated earlier than Abraham of Genesis fame.”
    I am asking you about archeological facts and science not some web sites. Challenge the facts.
    “The length of life of the anti-dilluvians – life was different pre-flood and God deliberately shortened life afterwards as a way of curtailing evil. “
    Is this an answer. No. It’s yet one more in a long line of fatuous childish statements of incredible banality. Do you know any one who has lived to be 900?.
    “There is plenty of conservative Christian literature on the flood and feasibiliy of the arc and so on if you care to read it – and it’s not something I have gone into in any great detail.”
    The last statement is perhaps the most apt. You haven’t gone into any detail for any thing. You simply make things up. And rely on what is known as puerile lies, make believe and utter rubbish. Written by people who would have thought the wheelbarrow the most advanced piece of technology available.
    “Talking serpent and donkey – literal events having symbolic meaning. ‘
    This is just moronic.
    “There is a play on the Hebrew words used, and the original audience would have picked up on the occult connections here.”
    And this is moronic too.
    “Jonah – was not alive in the ‘whale’, but rather dead and resurrected. Again not possible if there is no God, but possible if there is.”
    Even more moronic than the other moronic comments you made. And what about him being murdered by fellow passenger as a supposed human sacrifice in the first place. You cretin.
    “There isn’t any moral obligation to answer questions posed here, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, often depending on time,”
    It is because you cannot.
    “Atheists are so often wrong about the OT law, slavery, rape and adultery, so why should I have any confidence based on that track record when they state the bible couldn’t possible reveal God or is full of contradictions ”
    This is the crux of your problem as a person. You believe it has no contradictions because your mind is shut which is exactly what ALL religions need. But moreover because you are imprisoned in something that is so utterly puerile.
    “ROAS thinks the miraculous in the bible is self-evident nonsense, but then he would given his atheism.”
    So Ken. Are dragons real? Babble says they are.
    I never once mentioned what I am.

    “I have good reasons to believe the biblical God exists, therefore when the bible describes supernatural occurrances, I don’t have any problem acknowledging their reality. “

    You are very sad and need help ken. How can they be real.

  11. Ken says:

    ROAS – I enjoyed your post.

    OK, go to the libary and check up on camels and domestication.

    You accuse me of not going into detail over the flood, but I reckon it is a racing certainty you have never read any conservative Christian literature on this either (and I have read a little). And I think you overestimate the stupidity of the ancients, and are too proud of modern knowledge.

    You avoided commenting on my assertion that atheists are wrong about OT law,slavery, rape and adultery.

    Your accusation about my comments being ‘moronic’ are simply an assertion minus any argument. The supernatural isn’t possible if there is no God, but your dismissal of it begs the question. And since when was Jonah a human sacrifice?

    The best bit is about dragons. Yes, this is mentioned in Revelation 12, and is given an explanation of what the symbolism stands for. You surely don’t think Christians see a literal dragon, with seven heads and ten horns do you?

  12. Daz says:

    Ken

    Yeah, we seem to agree re Pascal’s silly wager, which is why I said you could skip that part. The major point I made in the linked article was that believers should, if they’re being at all honest with themselves, be asking the same question they constantly level at atheists. “What if I’m wrong?”

    My contention is that they promote lots of things which are hardships in this life as being worth the sacrifice because they’ll get you a better afterlife. Well, they should be asking “What if there is no afterlife?” Because if that’s true, then any hardship promoted purely on the basis that it’s God’s wish, as opposed to negating a harm to other people, would then be immoral, yes? (Which means, by the way, that I’m not “blame-shifting” as you call it, when I mention gay suicides. I’m pointing out a sadly much too common occurrence of that very situation.)

    That’s why I offered you that link in response to your query about “why believing in God should be considered [an] occasion for worry.”

    It’s also hypocritical to complain of the lost potential for life (which is as I understand it is significantly reduced in the case of homosexuals [citation please]) and simultaneously argue for abortion

    Why so? This only applies if we see the foetus as a person in the first place.

    Finally, Whilst religion can be used or abused to do others harm, what about the good that it engenders? Isn’t there a credit side as well? Why ignore that?

    I don’t. I simply contend that good people will be, for instance, charitable with or without religion, whereas fostering the delusion that a person or organisation is ultimately responsible to an unseen being whose apparent wishes are very much open to interpretation gives bad people one hell of an excuse to do bad things based merely on the idea that their invisible friend likes those bad things.

    And on the subject of sin, I’ve never put it better than this, so I’m gonna quote myself:

    You see, if I have a concept of sin, it is based on what is moral and what is not. And what is moral or immoral is defined by how much good or harm it does to others, not by some arbitrary list consisting of “Stuff I Don’t Like.” Using that definition, I am also intolerant of “sin.” I just have a way more adult understanding of what sin is than your god appears to have.

  13. RabbitOnAStick says:

    In the beginning there was debate. And the people were happy. They called themselves free. They thought about many things.
    They thought then talked and talked about these things. Ones they saw, and ones they didn’t see. The talked of reason and logic and understanding. They had questions. But they didn’t have all the answers.

    Some of the free people lived in the chosen lands. And some in the unchosen lands. But they all had electricity and running water. And they had children and families, but not all of them. Lo some of them lived as one and others did not. But none of them hurt the others because of how they lived or who they lived with or what they did in their bedrooms.

    They could see the birds and the beasts and the fishes of the seas. And that these creatures had once been the same as them, or that they had once been the same as the creatures. But there weren’t any dinosaurs living with the free people. And never had been.

    Then Ken came along to the free people and Lo he made the free people afraid. The Ken was very knowledgeable about the things the free people talked about. And more. Things the free people knew nothing about. And he wrote many times to the free people. Ken was superior. Ken was clever. Ken didn’t like the free people. The free people were dangerous to themselves and to others. They caused Ken much vexation and he needed to correct their ways. And the free people were full of sin. Ken told them so.

    But it was clear that Ken was much freer than the free people. Ken the Free-er they called him. Ken talked more than the free people and informed them they were wrong in what they talked and being free and their lives were bad.

    Ken made them very afraid and said unto the free people : ‘There is a gawd. Ken knows this. Free people must listen to Ken and to gawd. There are miracles. Gawd is everything and everywhere and he is even in your bedrooms, with or without candles for him to see you : naked. There are dragons and talking snakes and donkeys. This is true. You free people should know this too’.

    And verily more Ken said ‘gawd, he watcheth over you and knows everything that you do and you are all bad and you must stop being bad. Don’t be naked around other free people. You must believe in gawd. And gawd will make you more free than you are. You are sinful. Stop being sinful and you will be free. I am Ken the Free-er’.

    This much troubled the free people. They thought Ken is a magical wizard. A messiah. A prophet. He knows so much. So the free people pressed Ken for answers to this wonderful ‘gawd’ and these talking animals and fantastical stories only Ken knew. And the free people worried how Ken knew so much and they did not. So the free people asked Ken more and more questions.

    But Ken did not have reason or logic or understanding. And he never gave any answers. And the people grew restless and they asked more questions of the one true Ken, but the Ken refused to answer any of their questions. He made up stories and he told many. So some of the free people wanted to hurt the Ken. They made bad words against him. They thought how can the Ken know so much but not provide any answers. He must be an incredible being. And they were astonished. But the gawd never showed up to the debate. gawd was on the side lines. But Ken said gawd was there. Ready with a metaphor, an adjective, a noun, a sign, as a story, and that he will arrive in Times New Roman or Calibri. And gawd was all these fonts of the fonts.

    And life went on but still the Ken would not answer and the free people thought ‘Are we foolish. Are we really free? Ken is everywhere. Is Ken gawd?’

    And then the people wailed and beat their chests and shouted ‘ Is Ken real’. Had Ken ‘ever been.’ They became worried that Ken was a story character made up by some people who wanted to enslave the free people to make them like Ken, they wanted the free people to believe there was a Ken, but they didn’t want to show Ken, but they wanted the free people to believe what the Ken had said.

    And then the free people realised what had happened. The people who made up Ken wanted the free people to ask questions, be bad, to be full of sin, to believe in Ken, so that they could make them what they always wanted, what to them was so important, they wanted the free people to be less free than they really were or ever had been, AND that there never would be any answers.

  14. Daz says:

    ROAS

    Bravo! Thee shall have a Gold Star on thy term report!

  15. Ken says:

    Daz – an interesting reply.

    I would question biblical Christianity imposing hardship on others. You need to be a bit more specific. I think Christians are more questioning than you think, and do ask whether what they believe is true at times. This must be true in the face of persecution, for example, the treatment meeted out in the old communist countries, and which still occurs in many countries today. They must be very convinced of the truth of their faith.

    The reduced life expectancy for homosexuals came from some American ministry (yes, I know), who had tried to eliminate bias by looking at gay studies of gays. The result was an average age of death with AIDS of 39 and without of 42 iirc. This was some time ago, and I’m not sure I could find it again.

    The difference on abortion is bound to occur, as biblically the unborn as viewed as people, not a collection of cells or an impersonal foetus.

    Going to the final section of your post, you define sin as something that does harm to others. Since the OT moral law can be summed up in the phrase ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself’, there is an area of agreement here if you define love as putting the welfare of others first. If you take the commandments that deal with basic behaviour towards others, you shall not murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness or covet/indulge greed and that carry over into the NT, you would surely agree that breaking them does harm to others. It’s not arbitrarily forbidding something for the sake of it, it’s separating what is good from what is bad. A man who commits adultery for instance may say he now ‘loves’ another woman, but it is not loving for the wife he has betrayed, and perhaps dumped with children to look after in straightened economic circumstances. If the rest of the biblical sex ethic were obeyed, this would stop the spread of disease and early death, something that has occurred on an unprecedented scale even in my lifetime. This ethic makes sense to me, but is rejected as an unwarranted infringement of personal autonomy. The very nature of sin, though, it that we all by nature don’t put others first, despite the fact this creates unhappiness.

    So my argument would be Christianity imposes an ethic designed to prevent us from doing harm to others, so what you have to give up is worth the cost. It’s living it out that’s the problem!

  16. Daz says:

    Ken

    I would question biblical Christianity imposing hardship on others.

    Ken, any sacrifice, no matter how small or large, which is based on obedience to god, rather than humanistic reasoning, is a needless hardship to some degree, if we postulate that there is no afterlife where punishment and reward will be awarded. I can remember one kid of Catholic parentage, for example, who attended my school, who wasn’t allowed to play on Sundays. See what I mean?

    Keeping with the homosexual example, what would you say to a homosexual Christian who, because of teachings which you have promoted, had spent his life longing for a loving relationship with another man but denying himself that “sinful” life, if you suddenly realised that you had been wrong; that there was no afterlife and that his self-denial had been for nought?

    The result was an average age of death with AIDS of 39 and without of 42 iirc.

    With bullshit figures like that, Ken, I beg to suggest that the “study” was bogus anyway. Just another Liar for Jebus.

    The difference on abortion is bound to occur, as biblically the unborn as viewed as people, not a collection of cells or an impersonal foetus.

    First of all, citation needed. Where, in the Bible, does it refer to the personhood of a foetus? But really, you just made my point for me. Your view of the subject is, you allege, dictated by your religion. Others like you—or you yourself for all I know—are influencing political policy toward abortion, based on the unproven, religiously based idea, that a foetus is a person. In short, if you’re wrong, your religious views have affected the lives of other people to no good purpose.

    Ken, I am not merely talking about the 10 commandments. Nor are strictures relating to murder, theft, and so on unique to the Bible, or even to religion. Same for the Golden Rule.

    So my argument would be Christianity imposes an ethic designed to prevent us from doing harm to others, so what you have to give up is worth the cost.

    You know what, Ken, I agree. If we stipulate that those hardships in this life do indeed lead to us avoiding much worse ones in an afterlife. The problem is, Ken, I don’t believe in your fucking afterlife. Which means that all that “preventative harm” in this, or only, life is needless.

    If I’m wrong, Ken, I and I alone will suffer the consequences.

    If you’re wrong, Ken—and I see not a single jot of evidence to persuade me that you’re not—then you and those like you have put an awful lot of people through an awful lot of shit, in the only chance at a decent, happy, fun life that they’ll ever have.

    So, Ken, to go back to your original query about “why believing in God should be considered on occasion for worry,” I think you should worry one hell of a fucking lot, Ken. Because, from where I’m sitting, you and yours appear to be making one fuck-ton of lives a whole lot worse, without being able to show a single piece of evidence that your base-assumptions are even likely to be correct.

    Ken, you seem to think this is some sort of game; a debating club or something like. It isn’t.

  17. Stephen Mynett says:

    I certainly do not believe those figures on the live-expectancy of gays, with or without HIV. Even the difference seems bogus as modern drugs increase the life expectancy of an HIV sufferer by much more than three years.

    But it was from an American ministry, so what can we expect.

    Being in a high-rish group for HIV and HCV, I was obviously so wrong to take advice from doctors and specialists when I could have got Ken to chat to one of his chums for me.

  18. Ken says:

    But anyone who believes in a god is a moron.