How Safe is Your Church?

 

* * *

Have you met Boz Tchividjian of GRACE – Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment? This would be a good video to post on Facebook or send to church leaders. Until churches have safe policies in place and survivors feel safe to share their trauma to others in the church, the church is not whole. We need to be proactive in minimizing the opportunity for sex abuse to occur and also to help those who have been harmed by sexual abuse.

 

21 comments on “How Safe is Your Church?

  1. just curious, when was this filmed? thanks that helps me so much to get a better picture/understanding of the timeframe of dealing with abuse in the Church… bless your heart…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Start the cleaning up process in the church, the purging, at the top. And preach the Biblical gospel and live out the changed life that being born-again brings. My rant stops here, Mark! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, I’ve met him, and counted it a privilege to do so. And I’m wholeheartedly behind this! I well remember the very first time I sat in a church of eight hundred people and looked around and thought, “Wow. TWO HUNDRED of these people have been sexually abused in some way.” It was mind blowing to me. Life changing, in fact, to come to grips with that reality.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Speakingtruthinlove's Blog

  5. We have a terrible example of Christ in this generation’s public version of “church”. Because of what I know, these statistics sound accurate. They may even be low. The more sexualized our society becomes and the more secret pornography viewing is covered up by guilty “church” pastors and lay leaders, the worse this will get and the more people (worse–children) will get hurt. Sexual addiction is at an all time high and, unfortunately, people act upon what they see. The Church at Large needs to take off its rose-colored glasses and realize that the church is sick–very sick–and can no longer be assumed to be the “safe” place it is purported to be. We cannot be passive when it comes to who is watching our children or who is giving us counsel. The enemy has moved in and most shepherds do not shepherd anymore–they roam seeking to feed upon the flock. We need to go back and heed the admonition of Jesus to be “wise as serpents” because the serpents are among us and they need to be identified and removed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Huldahsokay, you are so right! And that’s why I am a done and a supporter of home church (oh, not to be confused with cell groups/home groups/small groups/gossip groups; whatever one wants to call ’em).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In addition to the sad observations I posted above, there is also an unholy favoritism (a “respecter of persons” mentality) among all classes of ministry that impacts whether perverts and/or abusers of whatever degree are held accountable. I have seen para-church and online ministries decry the actions of a well known Charlatan only to turn around and explain away the sins of someone in their own camp as somehow being different.

    The Church at Large has a stench that is more pervasive than it is willing to see. It is hard to rebuke a leader who is a friend, but it’s not about their comfort. If it was–they should never, ever have become a pastor. If they have done harm to those for whom Christ died, thus doing harm to His Holy Name by misrepresenting Him, then they must be dealt with. If they are unrepentant, they must be rebuked and removed.

    Again, it’s about the Body of Christ and those for whom He died. A healthy fear of the Lord should make any leader mindful that ultimately they will answer to Him. I am with you, Boston Lady, I want a small group that I can get to know. My heart is to see the simple Gospel dispensed, healing to take place and for people humbly and lovingly held responsible for their actions. For those that do anything in error or innocence, they should be forgiven and helped. For those who are deliberate and unrepentant–remove them until they show fruits of repentance. It is not rocket science. Because of disobedience in this area, we are all suffering and the name of Christ is blasphemed among the people.

    Like

  8. For reference, I first heard the 1/4 of women and 1/6 of men statistic around 2000, with accompanying statistics that the average abuser of girls abuses eight victims, and the average abuser of males abuses something like 240. These stats can take on a life of their own, and not every stat is well-founded, but knowing that there are 843,000 people on Megan’s List, it seems plausible.

    One part of me says “I hope it’s not that many since so many in our church are 2nd and 3rd generation.” It would be a shame by that logic to be “average.” On the flip side, many are not 2nd generation, and hence….it would be a shame NOT to be a safe harbor to the abused. Ugly statistics can mean we’re doing our job, no?

    Pray for me, if y’all will, as I’ve recently been told a thing or two that indicates I need to “nudge” people to figure out if a particular case is legally actionable. Not sure why I get told these things occasionally, but for some reason I am.

    Like

  9. Pray for me, if y’all will, as I’ve recently been told a thing or two that indicates I need to “nudge” people to figure out if a particular case is legally actionable. Not sure why I get told these things occasionally, but for some reason I am.”

    Let me know if I can help, BB, this is a lot of what I do “behind the scenes” and I work with a network of people. Thank you for taking it seriously!

    Like

  10. I appreciated the comment about sacrificing victims for the “good” of the organization vs. sacrificing the offender for the sake of those, especially children, who are true worshipers of God. The current cultural sympathy for perpetrators concerns me. Yes, they need help, but they made their decisions. On the other hand, no one ever consulted the victims regarding their participation in their horrific abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. @Linn:

    I appreciated the comment about sacrificing victims for the “good” of the organization…

    From Fritz Lang’s 90-year-old SF classic:

    Like

  12. Boz Tchividjian puts his money where his mouth is as far as fighting sexual abuse in the church. He was an invaluable resource to my family when we discovered our precious family members had been sexually assaulted by a much loved and trusted church going young man. We lost most of our friends and left the church because we insisted he be reported and then prosecuted. The increased burden of evil “counsel” from church leaders and the young man’s family (also leaders in the church) was unbearable, but Boz’s wisdom through his writings and emails back and forth with me, were a lifeline. I will always be grateful for his assistance to my daughter and family. God bless him!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This message is so needed today. It’s amazing how the false legalistic gospel becomes so prevalent – the idea that Jesus only saves perfect people and that the people Jesus saves, if imperfect, become immediately perfect. There is no room for the real gospel of grace and restoration – of reaching out in this dark and fallen world to show people the love of God (amazing how cliche this sounds because the phrase is so tortured by the legalists!).

    I know people who came to the church with their stories. First, they were disbelieved. Then when the evidence was overwhelming, the church “disciplined” the abuser and instead of coming alongside the victim and helping the healing process, assumed that everything was okay now that they had received justice. Ultimately, the victims acted out their angst and got disciplined themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. @Mark:
    Boz T has stated several times over the years that in ALL his time as a prosecutor of such cases, he had NEVER seen a church come alongside the victim.
    ALWAYS “Rally Round the Pedo, Boyz! GOD SAITH!”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Unfortunately, the insipid cult of self-improvement pejoratively referred to as “biblical counseling” is probably the response many churches have to victims of sexual abuse today. By the same token, “biblical counseling” is also the response of those churches to the abusers.

    Imagine, if you will, a victim of sexual abuse being told by a “biblical counselor” that he/she will be given 13 weeks to attain to some nebulous standard of “spiritual transformation”, or face condemnation because “you haven’t confessed your sins”, or “you haven’t really accepted Christ as Lord of your life”.

    Given the increasing extent to which modern-day churches appear to be adopting the “biblical counseling” model, I wonder if “biblical counselors” are considered mandated reporters when they become aware of sexual abuse. Because the objective of those churches appears to be making anyone and everyone within their congregations a “biblical counselor”, I doubt it.

    Mandated reporting is only one way in which the secular psychologists and psychiatrists relentlessly condemned by practitioners and advocates of “biblical counseling” are more accountable than their detractors. It’s likely that victims of sexual abuse, and even sexual abusers, would receive a more compassionate response from “the world” than from the church.

    As a Christ-follower who is in church most every weekend, my experience has been that the failures of the modern-day church to address sexual abuse in a constructive and healing way are universal, and apply to many other life circumstances and problems most churches are equally unqualified to address.

    At what point do hurting people just need to accept that most churches are unable to provide any more than a few by-your-leave references to Scripture, an empty promise to lift them up in prayer, and perhaps a reference to the nearest “biblical counselor”, in response to their trauma?

    Like

  16. Sean, I can answer part of your note. In some states, any pastor or counselor is a mandatory counselor, and in others, not. I’ve lived in both, and at least one of my pastors who were not required to report would. I don’t know of cases where he’s reported, but he does believe strongly in the Romans 13 role of human government. (and a 5-pointer, too–not every Calvinist puts on blinders in this regard)

    Regarding “at what point do hurting people just need to accept that most churches are unable to provide any more…..”, true too often, but even a dumb engineer like myself can learn. Had some good pointers to netgrace.org courtesy of our hostess, and one word picture that comes to mind for me is that the victim is more or less in mourning of what she’s lost. (or what he’s lost)

    It’s not a perfect picture by any means, but give it a read, give it a listen, and see what you think. You may not be a qualified counselor (I’m not), but you might find you become a qualified comforter who knows just enough to help a bit. As you note, simply sitting there and looking bewildered while you might shed a tear or two about it is a huge “Baby Step” in the right direction, no?

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s