Law­suit does not mean pas­tor is guilty

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Mike Phillips, La Plata The writer is a min­is­ter and mem­ber of the Po­tomac Bap­tist As­so­ci­a­tion.

I am ap­palled that the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent con­sid­ers the ar­ti­cle of July 8 “South­ern Mary­land Bap­tist Preacher faces law­suit” news, much less “break­ing news” as in­di­cated. Why is it when a preacher finds him­self ac­cused, the press wants to make some­thing of it? A bet­ter ques­tion might be: why didn’t Mr. [An­drew] Richard­son, the ar­ti­cle’s au­thor, give the name of the “Plain­tiff?” I’m sure it was in the in­for­ma­tion slipped to the Indy ei­ther by the plain­tiff or was sim­ply a lawyers trick to grab the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion to hope­fully sway a judge. In my per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence as a Charles County min­is­ter of 13 years, I know it doesn’t take much in this area for peo­ple to threaten or fol­low through with law­suits on min­is­ters, hav­ing per­son­ally been dragged into court or threat­ened to be by dis­pleased or op­por­tunis­tic parish­ioners. 1 Peter 3:16 warns us that peo­ple will ac­cuse us falsely.

I’ve known Keith Cor­rick and his son Brian (also a for­mer pas­tor in Charles County) for a num­ber of years. Both of these men have an ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion in the com­mu­nity, are loved by their churches and I have been per­son­ally blessed by the Rev. Keith Cor­rick nu­mer­ous times. They are givers by rep­u­ta­tion, not tak­ers. I do not know the gen­tle­man fil­ing charges against the Cor­ricks. He ob­vi­ously prefers to re­main in the shad­ows as the name­less “plain­tiff.” What steps have been taken to re­solve their dif­fer­ences? If name­less “plain­tiff” is a Chris­tian (as is im­plied by his be­ing a mem­ber of Cor­rick’s for­mer con­gre­ga­tion), the Bi­ble is clear: ac­cord­ing to 1 Corinthi­ans 6, we are not to take our brothers to court. The lo­cal church and her au­thor­i­ties are bet­ter equipped to deal with these is­sues.

Pas­tor Keith is a gra­cious man, a pa­tient leader and a man of deep faith, as is his son Pas­tor Brian Cor­rick. May this “news” not place a black eye on a good fam­ily with an im­pec­ca­ble rep­u­ta­tion, nor may it slight the church as a whole. Any good at­tor­ney will tell you that an ac­cu­sa­tion is not a sign of guilt — so if any as­sump­tions are to be made, let us look first at the name­less Chris­tian plain­tiff who is not fol­low­ing the scrip­ture he claims to be­lieve in.

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