Phil Johnson, Grace Community Church, Sex Abuse, Domestic Violence, Twitter
Blog reader, Christina, left an important comment on yesterday’s post regarding an insensitive and callous tweet Pastor Phil Johnson sent out regarding domestic violence. His tweet created quite an uproar on Twitter. Because Christina’s comment is addressed to Phil Johnson, I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle. It is excellent. Thank you, Christina for sharing. ~Julie Anne
Response to Phil Johnson
Dear Phil. I guess you are a teacher, not a pastor, maybe that accounts for your lack of compassion. Perhaps we expect too much of you since you work and speak for John MacArthur, and so many people hold you in high esteem I used to be one of those, even though I am not a Calvinist, I always respected your teaching. Lately however, I can’t bring myself to listen to you.
I guess you would simply call me a sinful woman, as one that has been wounded by sexual abuse in childhood, and who made bad life choices later in life as a result, even as a Christian. I could easily have been that woman you ridiculed for staying with her abusive boyfriend. I make no excuses for my sinful actions, but at the time, and I’m sure you’d roll your eyes, but I was still a slave to what I’d been taught as a child, and the behaviors I learned in order to survive and fill my hurting heart.
Just because one becomes saved, does not mean they automatically abandon bad habits and relearn good ones. And for those who don’t know Christ, all they know is they need to survive this cruel world somehow, but they don’t have the life skills to make healthy decisions. It’s a very hard mindset to grasp unless you’ve lived it, so I’ll cut you some slack there.
Looking back even now, I shake my head at some of my crazy thought patterns and behavior and I loathe myself for things I did, but I was not right in the head when I did them. I didn’t know better. I was brainwashed and needed to be re-taught how to act, how to love, how to not be selfish, how to not look for love from men who are destructive.
But know this: I’m blessed to have had a gentle shepherd, a Pastor who came into my life when I was a young mother unable to love my babies because I was so messed up on the inside. A gentle shepherd who, although he’d never been called upon to minister to someone like me before, still, had the compassion to learn about abuse in order to help me.
Eventually there was a breakthrough and I was able to understand that God was not like the older men who had used me terribly (a common misconception by those who suffer abuse), and with great patience this gentle shepherd led me out of the hell-hole of my own self-condemning, self-loathing mindset.
That my children are now healthy adults walking with the Lord and I love them like crazy, and my marriage has lasted 30 years and is healthy, is a testament to the Lord’s work through this patient Pastor.
Phil, what you appear to lack is compassion and the desire to understand, rather than be understood. I don’t know why I’ve just spilled my heart so open like this, when I can mentally imagine you at your computer rolling your eyes at me, and not caring the least bit. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I fear I’m right.
You may be a great teacher in Calvinistic circles, but you do not act like a shepherd. Had you or someone like you been my Pastor those years ago when I needed help, I’m afraid I’d still be messed up, and so would my children, and my husband wouldn’t even be in the picture.
Snark and sarcasm don’t help the hurting. And, I’ve noticed time and again, when victims try to explain that some of your comments on social media are hurtful your attitude says you simply don’t care, and that’s sad. You push away a lot of wounded sheep that way.
Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep. That means more than just being a great expositor. Maybe I’ve just wasted my time writing all of this out, I only hope it causes you to pause and think. Why not draw the wounded to Christ, rather than push them away?
I Corinthians 13:1-2 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.