Dear Friends in Christ,
In my message in the recent regional meetings, I indicated that David did not build the first temple to honor God because he was a warrior and because of his “indiscretion.” One of our clergy colleagues shared that David’s act was hardly an indiscretion; it was rape.
I was wrong. It was not an indiscretion; it was a use of privilege and power as King to have a man killed and commit the severest of sexual misconduct. I apologize.
To minimize what actually took place does harm and continues harm. The use of privilege and power to manipulate others and all sexual misconduct are sins. It does harm to people and does harm to the church of Jesus Christ as it leads to the mistrust of the church and its leaders.
I call all of us to continue to be vigilant for the use of privilege and power over others and sexual misconduct in the church. I call us to take these sins seriously and not to minimize them by using words like indiscretion.
I am also grateful when people call things like this to my attention as it helps me to continue to learn and grow in my leadership.
John Schol, Bishop
United Methodists of Greater New Jersey