Crucifixion Illustration for Youth ‘went too far,’ Church Admits

ChurchLeaders | 4/18/2019 | Staff
jolanjolan (Posted by) Level 3
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To demonstrate the suffering Jesus endured on Good Friday, an Ohio youth pastor encouraged students to hit him, spit in his face, and even cut him with a knife. After kids posted video of the incident to social media, parents were outraged.

During Monday’s after-school event, a shirtless Jaddeaus Dempsey, part-time associate pastor at Impact City Church in Pataskala, invited kids to hurt him “without any repercussions.” Although some students refused to participate, one asked if he could spit in Dempsey’s face a second time.

Experience - Attendee

The whole experience was “weird and awkward,” according to a 12-year-old attendee.

Complaints began as soon as parents saw the clips. “It was disturbing,” says Mandy, a mom whose son was handed the knife. After a friend informed her what was happening at the church, Mandy and her husband, Josh, rushed to pick up their son. The boy was upset and thought he was in trouble, so Josh assured him what the youth leader did “wasn’t okay.”

Parent - Amanda - Quick - Decision - Kids

Another parent, Amanda Quick, says it was a poor decision to urge kids to hurt someone. Pastors “are supposed to be role models,” she says. “They are supposed to be people our children can look up to.”

One mom says, “I feel like there’s plenty of different ways [the pastor] could’ve gone about this.”

Writer - Readiness - Children - Violence - Signal

A writer says the illustration-gone-awry “became a parable about the readiness of children to perpetrate violence, sending a disquieting signal of how quickly some young people descend into the...
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