Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Church Proud of Youth Pastor Confessing Murder

Calvin InmanYou never want to see any pastor's mug shot running in a newspaper. But this story is one of an attempt at atonement. The Houston Chronicle carries the story Youth minister's admission breaks 1994 stabbing case of a recently ordained man who has confessed to murdering a store clerk in 1994. Leaders of the 800-member Elim Church were obviously surprised by the confession. But the pastor, Ron Niessen told reporters,
It was a situation that was on his conscience. He knows it's the right thing to do. His desire is to help other kids not make the same mistakes he did.
The youth minister, 29-year old Calvin Wayne Inman, confessed the murder to Niessen, the pastor of the Pentecostal church where he worked. Niessen encouraged him to tell the police. I would have done the same.

Part of seeking God's forgiveness is not to look for cheap grace, but to own up to your sins. This youth pastor did so. It was not easy for him as this admission will have serious consequences as the youth minister was married with two children. His confession will not undo the pain and suffering he has caused, but confession to the authorities and not just in private to God was the right thing to do. It will also allow the youth minister to move on with his life in a way not possible otherwise. That's my take on it. What do you think?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor


  • At 2/19/2008 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is right that he confessed his sin and even better that he will pay the price for his crime. Where I come from, there is always an act of pennance given after the confession to atone for the sin.

    My question is how did this story of the confession to the pastor get out? Is a Pentecostal confession done before the entire congregation? Maybe that part of the story came to surface when he confessed his crime to the authorities. Just curious.

  • At 2/19/2008 7:18 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    From what I have read, it seems that private confession led to turning himself into the police, which led tothe story going public.

  • At 2/19/2008 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree Father Frank, if you are not able to talk of your sin aloud it will eat you up inside. You will never be able to move on with your life in the way you are called to. Especially when it is being a youth minister, as well as being a father.

    But it is breaking that silence that is the hardest, after that it must be easier.

    Am I correct? Do you think it can be easier to talk after the silence has been broken?? Or is confessing your sin enough?

  • At 2/19/2008 9:02 AM, Anonymous kelly said…


    I agree that the hardest part is taking that first step to admit and confess the sin. It may not be easy at this point to follow the righteous path, but, no matter how difficult that path may be, it allows for the healing process and reconciliation with the Lord to begin. Looking ahead to a positive outcome and accepting the consequences for the sin makes the journey all the more worthwhile.

  • At 2/19/2008 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What if your sin was allowing this thing to happen, not that you had a choice but that you didn't trust that someone would listen and help. When you talk about it do you think it makes it easier for you to ask forgiveness??

  • At 2/19/2008 11:01 AM, Anonymous A Seeker said…

    Maybe he was afraid he would burn in Hell, isn't that what Pentecostals preach?

  • At 2/19/2008 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know of a few others who do also.

  • At 2/19/2008 11:37 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Does God forgive us our sins if we confess them out of fear of burning in hell? I believe the first step is truly being sorry for our sins and then confessing them to God. With that reconnection and the grace we receive from God's forgiveness we can begin to heal. For some, confession to God is all it takes to start the healing process. For others, more work may be involved, and maybe, taking those steps are easier after the initial confession. I believe it all depends on the individual and the gravity of the sin.

  • At 2/20/2008 12:51 AM, Anonymous A Seeker said…

    Isn't forgiveness God's decision? Who are we to make assumptions about matters that are His prerogative?

  • At 2/20/2008 10:29 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    A Seeker:

    I was not making assumptions about forgivenss from God, but merely posing a question in my mind brought up by your previous comment about the Pentecostals. That's a question that I would pose to all religions that preach the fear of hell.

    The rest of my comment was a reply to Anonymous above your first comment. I was stating how I believe the healing process begins with confession. Frankly,though, I don't think people who confess out of fear are being completely true to themselves and therefore may have a difficult time healing from within.

    Maybe I should ask some other questions. Do people who confess out of fear alone really want to be forgiven? Are they confessing just because their church says they should to stay out of hell? Would they still ask for forgiveness if they had no fear of hell? Only God knows...

    You're right about it being God's decision to forgive, for only He truly knows what's in a person's heart.

  • At 2/26/2008 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think it was the wrong thing to do. He's moved on with his life, doing better not only for him but his family too. Now, so that he can have a clear conscience, he's robbing his children of a father and his wife of a husband. Yeah, they can be proud of him for doing "the right thing", but the fact is he won't be there. We do get caught up in this God who will take revenge on us, when all God wants is us to be sorry we hurt Him, repent, and love Him. Calvin had done that, and that's all that is commanded of him.

  • At 2/26/2008 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Calvin may have done all that is commanded by God, but maybe he needed to do the pennance for himself. After all, he committed a crime and took the life of another human being. He probably needed to feel like justice has been served by paying the price and providing closure for everyone affected by the crime.

  • At 12/01/2011 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is coming late in the conversation but Calvin is a part of my congregation. I applaud the fact that he stood up and confessed. Not too many people would do that in the best of times much less in a situation like what he faced. Everyone making comments seemed to have forgotten that he was a 16 yr old at the time. Would any of you think the same way if it were your child? I am not saying that what he did was right or wrong, what I am saying is that we seem to be judging him and using God as the reason for that judgement. Everyone will meet Jesus at their appointed time and judgement is something we all need to leave in the capable hands of God.


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