Monday, September 26, 2011

Yet More Background

At the end of the 7th grade there was a "retreat" for new incoming youth choir members.  It was great!  We hung out with the older kids (most of them officers in the youth choir), we sang (sometimes as a group, sometimes in a room alone with him).  Looking back, its so obvious now (as are so many other things) that this was the beginning.  This was where he picked his "special guys".  See, men like David Pierce are many things.  Sick, twisted, perverse, evil?  Yup.  Ignorant?  No. 

Remember, the actions of these "men of God" were not to be called into question, especially when they had a viable Biblical explanation for what would, outside of the church, be such suspect behavior.  Want to spend tons of time alone with young boys?  Simple solution: just call it Christ-like behavior.  Tell the world you are following the same example of discipleship Christ followed.  Luckily for David, while Christ had 12 disciples, He also always had 3 He was closer with.  3 He invested more of Himself into.  So, like Christ, David always had 3 he was closer with.  Unlike Christ, David's 3 just always happened to be 13-18 year old boys. 

I often think about what it was that made David identify me as an easy target.  After thinking about it for years, I don't have a good answer.  Looking back at the other victims, there are some common traits and themes.  All were devout Christians.  Most had some musical ability.  Most (oddly enough) did not come from single parent households.  Many of us, at one point or another at First Baptist, would commit ourselves to enter the ministry.  These are the young boys that would worry about impressing someone like David Pierce.  Looking at many of these same young boys as men now, you see the exact opposite trends.  Broken marriages, drug and alcohol abuse, atheism, etc.  The wake that is left by a predator of this nature is one of destruction, desolation, and despair.  Am I an alcoholic?  No.  But I certainly have my addictions.  My marriage is still intact (some days more than others).  I am not an atheist, although I would hesitate to call myself a Christian (or a man of faith).  I am, however, a completely different person than anyone, myself included, thought I would be. 

In high school, by all outward appearances, I was that guy.  Never cussed, never ever drank.  Kind, caring, joyful.  President of the Fellowship of Christian Students both my junior and senior years.  Obviously, the time I spent with David had quite a bit to do with the way others perceived me.  Anyone that spends that much time in "discipleship" with such a great man of God must truly have a great relationship with Christ, right?  I surrendered to the ministry the summer after my sophomore year of high school.  Initially, I wanted to go into music ministry, just like my mentor.  Slowly, the more I was able to detach myself from David, the more that changed, until now I am not even a church goer, let alone a minister.  That's touching on the end of my story though.  The beginning is back at that 7th grade youth choir retreat.  David's personal meat market.


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