The key takeaway is this: anytime an abuser is given a platform, that space will never feel safe for survivors.
. . we can't change the culture of an abusive church, because while an abusive leader is in power, there is a system of abuse involved. We cannot change an abusive system. But what we survivors can do is provide a safe place where personal stories are told, heard, believed.
Let me be blunt: I believe Douglas Wilson has given the green light for all “Christian” men to sexually violate or rape their wives. Men penetrate, conquer, colonize, plant; women must receive, surrender, and accept.
My blog broke the story on two high-profile cases of clergy sexual misconduct. These are very difficult stories to report on, especially as I get to know the survivors and the ongoing emotional and spiritual trauma they endured with these highly influential church leaders. One common misconception I see repeatedly debated in comments on news… Continue reading Clergy Sexual Misconduct: Why Victims Should Not be Blamed
There should be no place in Christian evangelicalism for Mark Gungor's behavior which devalues, disrespects, and demoralizes women. If Gungor is allowed to continue having platforms, then it is a clear picture that Christian evangelicalism is not, and probably has never been, a safe place for women.
This power-over structure is harmful, demeaning, and depersonalizes women who were made in the Image of God.
Today is my birthday. This morning I woke up happy, smiling, and very excited to be alive and well with a great home, a great job, and great family and friends. But I’d like to give you a window into what it was like this time last year. I was not well.
"This performance is so sincere and heartfelt, shows a high level of skill, and may be the very one you love best of all. I think it is just awful, the perfect expression of a particular culture that I used to think was just distasteful and now believe to be rotten to the core."
The SBC has been getting push back about selecting "designated survivors" to speak. Was he doing damage control by mentioning the names of the survivors/advocates they chose not to speak? Were the ones chosen to speak selected so that the SBC can control the narrative?
Part 5 focuses on the other side of Mr Tchividjian's misuse of his platform as a Christian celebrity minister, speaker, and writer – his accountability system victims: superiors, peers, and subordinates.
What courage must it have taken to publicly post a call for Tullian Tchividjian to repent? To apologize for having amplified his impact? To resign from the board of his newly resurrected non-profit? To remove from their ministry website various resources he'd produced? To cancel contracts that would extend his influence?
What did it cost those who were close to him in terms of ministry – especially those who held authority to oversee his recovery plans, and those who'd been his platform peers?
These are the kinds of questions we should consider as we read this final piece in the case study of Tullian Tchividjian and the details of his abuse of systems, ministry, and accountability ...
It’s not the job of any supervisor, peer, or subordinate to prevent Tullian Tchividjian from sinning, whether he does so mildly or spectacularly. It wasn’t the role of his non-profit board, church sessions, publishing house legal departments, counselors, friends, etc. It’s not even possible. He himself is responsible for his own choices and their impact.
... there were over 150 individuals in at least 10 institutions who had direct connections with Tullian Tchividjian as his superiors, peers, or subordinates. And yet, it seems nobody could keep him from his two extramarital sexual involvements he has already admitted to (after they were discovered or disclosed), or from his reported predatory/seductive behavior patterns, or from his reported multiple failures to tell the full truth.
What does real-world remediation / repentance look like? How can we see what it takes in both attitudes and actions to accomplish damage repair? This post gives three examples of remediation (repair work) — one dealing with a product, one with a denominational organization, one with a social system. Each is notable for seeking to engage in a constructive way parties who were directly involved, and in some cases those who were indirectly affected.
Systemic abuse always includes a degree of relational manipulation to get/keep people hooked in, as well as deception in order to hide the truth.
SBC has failed miserably with sex abuse cover-ups. This a conference where YOU have to pay to attend hear people discuss issues in which THEY (SBC) have failed. This is messed up. It should be free. #SBC #churchtoo Quote Tweet
I can't imagine the level of psychological trauma, pain & horror as Joshua (and Shannon) began to discover a lot of their framework for their life was built on religion & false fears & manipulated, pseudo acts of "love."
"Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now."
But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?
Spiritual Abuse, Jonathan Hollingsworth This is the sixth and final blog post referencing an article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church. The article resonated with a lot of people, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements one by one here,… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse: Is This Worth Dividing the Church Over?
The spiritual abuse I experienced will only be a blip in my life's story, and it doesn't define who I am, just as Notre Dame's 2019 fire does not define it. Abuse is part of my story and has shaped me, and has produced life-changing fruit.