Here are some interesting articles that have been making the rounds:
If you have not seen Spotlight, I urge you to see it. It is about “Spotlight” a specific group of investigative reporters from the Boston Globe who uncovered the systemic sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. This movie is very well done. The acting was superb. I left the movie absolutely fired up about doing what we do here: spotlighting systemic abuse in churches and Christian institutions. It is powerful, and for me, very motivating.
In Boz Tchividjian’s recent article, “Spotlight”: It’s not just a Catholic problem, he urges Protestants to look inward at what’s going among their own as far as abuse is concerned:
Silence is not just limited to leaders. Just like in the Catholic Church, too many within Protestant congregations prefer to remain ignorant on the prevalence of child abuse within our churches, organizations, and mission fields. We consume ourselves with evangelism programs, pro-life activities, and other good causes, all the while ignoring the blatant reality that children and adult survivors are suffering in our midst. We convince ourselves that being ignorant gives us the excuse to be silent. Such toxic silence makes us complicit in this wickedness by placing children at risk, re-traumatizing survivors, and emboldening offenders. It’s not just a Catholic problem.
Speaking of institutional abuse, The Truth About Moscow blog released a letter from Trinity Reformed Church (Pastor Doug Wilson’s sister church in which convicted sex offender, Jamin Wight, attended). This letter, written to the congregation about Jamin Wight in prison, reveals much about how church leaders quickly try to make light of an horrific crime against a child.
Jamin Wight: Update from North Idaho Correctional Institution to TRC
A Corruption of Justice Primer
Jamin says it’s a beautiful location. They occasionally play softball on Saturdays among other opportunities for recreation. There is plenty of time for reading, but the selection is limited.
In his article, A Call for American Evangelical Leaders to Confront Evangelicalism’s Lunatic Fringe, Roger Olson discusses two lunatic fringe groups:
- Word Faith, Prosperity Gospel, Health and Wealth (think Benny Hinn,
- Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, Theonomists (Doug Wilson would fit in this group.)
Roger doesn’t name names like I do, but kudos to Roger for calling leaders to start speaking out against these harmful groups and leaders.
What should be done about these evangelical extremists? First, evangelical “movers and shakers” need to publically distance themselves from them, even reject them as what Luther called “false brethren.” They are not “us.”
Death of Vic Eliason
There’s a follow-up to the article I wrote last year: VCY America Founder, Vic Eliason, Sends Letter Threatening Legal Action to His Daughter, Ingrid Schlueter.
On December 5, Vic Eliason passed away after a long illness. While Vic Eliason had a well-known Christian radio empire for many years (VCY America), surprisingly, the only place where I found an announcement of his death with any detail was at Vic Eliason’s own website.
In my article last year, I made reference to Pastor Bob Grenier who is currently suing his son, Alex Grenier. I noticed on Bob Grenier’s “About Pastor Bob” page, that he only referred to his wife, Gayle, but didn’t mention his own children or grandchildren.
Coincidentally, on Vic Eliason’s tribute, there is no mention of children or grandchildren, only the generic word, “family.” I guess children are only a heritage from the Lord if you are not suing them?
It probably comes as no to surprise to many of my readers that celebrity Christian leaders can sometimes portray a public facade, hiding a different, and ugly side that only their family can see.
Vic Eliason’s daughter, Ingrid, recently left a comment on last year’s blog article, addressing an earlier comment. I think it’s important to “listen” to Ingrid’s voice. I was deeply moved with sadness at the user name Ingrid chose for her comment: DeletedDaughter. What does that mean? Let that sink in a bit. DeletedDaughter!! She was Vic Eliason’s daughter, but someone made the choice to “delete” her. That is some heavy rejection. That’s like a stab in the heart. 😦
(In this comment, Ingrid aka DeletedDaughter is addressing another commenter by the name of “Milwaukee Class of 1970.” )
After reading that, I’m angry and so sad for the family. This seems to be what the Bible refers to as a hardened heart.
And finally, an encouraging article about Elizabeth Smart: Elizabeth Smart says becoming a mom has been ‘the best thing ever’
Elizabeth is now a young mother and speaks out about what she has learned from her kidnapping and ongoing rape during the 9 months she was held in captivity. I find Elizabeth to be such an inspiration to survivors. She has a lot wisdom and has some very helpful ways of dealing with her pain.
“With that being said, I just have to say that no one can ever take away your worth, no matter what they do to you. You are always special. Nothing can change that.
“There’s only one of you in the entire history of the world, and there will only ever be one of you. Nothing can change that, and you don’t have to allow those events to control the rest of your life. It’s terrible and it’s miserable and nobody deserves it — but we can move on.”
Milwaukee Class of 1970, the public can comment on the public people who work in ministry. They cannot speak with any knowledge about family matters. The fact that Vic refused any and all reconciliation as recently as this past Monday night and then lied about his two daughters who came in peace as soon as they left the room is something you are not qualified to weigh in on. People seem unable and unwilling to wrap their heads around the fact that public figures in ministry can and often do maintain one image while the substance behind that image is far different. Take away lesson from this is that ministry idolatry and workaholism ruins families. It ruins lives. You cannot create a family and then neglect their needs spiritually and discard them when they no longer contribute to your Great Cause. Yes, celebrate and remember the public figure whose ministry helped you so much. And then please respect the fact that a public figure’s family may have an altogether different and tragic reality they must grieve over.