#Churchtoo

#churchtoo

This hashtag popped up on my twitter feed today.

I’d like to say this is an isolated incident.

I’d like to say that church leadership does the right thing most of the time.

But I can’t.

I have seen too many young women demonized for a less than pure history while young men, church going young men, frequent strip clubs and partake in one night stands with little or no consequence. And a blind eye is turned. “Boys will be boys,” after all. I’ve seen affairs and promiscuity remain unaddressed because no one wants to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Make no mistake, purity is not an option in the Christian life.

But, what REALLY makes me cry? What makes me throw back my head and wail?

When church leadership sweeps these “incidents,” such as the one in the article above, under the rug.

Let’s call it out, shall we? It’s sexual ASSAULT. And when the pastors, elders, and people of leadership hide the truth from their congregations because shining a light on it would soil the reputation of the church or “ruin” the future of the perpetrator?

I die a bit inside.

When protecting the image of a church or person in leadership becomes more important than protecting the victim?

I weep.

What are we here for anyway? We are supposed to be protecting the downtrodden. Defending the abused.

Instead victims are told they have unforgiving hearts. That the sin is theirs.

Sigh.

I have no more words.

I invite yours.

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2 thoughts on “#Churchtoo

  • Thanks for that, Sandra! As always, Appreciate your transparency and willingness to confront tough subjects.

    Interesting that God isn’t worried about his reputation as his people’s failures fill the bible for all to see. So much for standing for Truth and Justice.

    So glad you started the sacred mess-well written.

    Peace, Wanda

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  • I want to respond cautiously. In this internet and pro minority rights culture, a blog or even a coffee room with an opposing opinion could cost you a reputation and even your job. I am a woman, I have personal experience with molestation in a church youth group, I have been sexually harassed as an adult. I have intimate knowledge of what it means to be physically and emotionally abused. I want to first say, It is never OK for the church to turn their eyes from sinful behavior, whatever that might be, EVER! There were laws broken in this Texas church and people who should still be held accountable. In regards to this #ME TOO campaign, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, victims of sexual abuse (in this case, women) should not be ignored;.they should not be sidelined or unsupported. I have never hash tagged ME TOO on my Facebook page or in any other place, not because I don’t think we shouldn’t have a conversation about it (I DO) but because I don’t think the issue is as black and white as others do. The biggest reason for this, in my opinion, is it is unbalanced. I believe the campaign takes away the voice of everyone but the victim. Maybe that is ok, because that is what it is supposed to do but I think it is healthy to perhaps pause and give this some thought. Men are generally not allowed an opinion in this unless it is exactly the opinion being expressed and there is NO room for discussion. I don’t believe it is ok to take away someone’s voice just because we feel ours is being threatened.

    Women and men are called to live in purity together and I think that includes helping each other in that calling.. As a woman (and especially a Christian one), how do I dress, how do I talk, what kind of venues do I frequent and what is my thought life like…etc. Do I flirt, do I draw unhealthy attention to my own sexuality? All of this, in my opinion, is grey and dependant on subjective factors. What about women who lie and who are out to ruin the reputations and careers of others? What about women who say “yes” to advances and then later call foul? It isn’t OK for men to expect women to “put out” in order to “move up the ladder”….nor is it right for women to say they will, in order to do so (even if on the inside they don’t want to). Say what you mean, and do what you say. Sometimes, we need to run away…should we have to?…NO… but sometimes we simply must. That is what men all over the world are starting to do…run away; maybe not literally from the situation itself but they are running from the issues and frankly, I don’t blame them. They don’t want to talk about it; they have learned to only listen because they are afraid. It is not a good time in history to be a man, because for many, they are damned before they even get out of the gate. Community isn’t built like that.

    Restoration and forgiveness should be our goal in every situation. To build a community with no fear of one other, where we can presume innocence first instead of guilt, where we can allow discussion and repentance. It doesn’t mean we tolerate abuse, let’s call it what it is in EVERY situation (including when it involves women abusing men). Women are not innocent in this discussion…we are ALL sinners.
    Let’s not be victims and let’s work together to create communities where each of us …male and female, young and old; feels loved, respected and free to dream and live without regret. Let’s stand up to those who sin but let’s not forget that we are sinners too. The line isn’t as clear as what is being portrayed in the media, at least I don’t think it is. Let’s be brave together; let’s first look at ourselves and what we can personally do to make a positive change in our world. Let’s stand up for the weak but let’s believe the best is possible. It is a bit of a dichotomy and it will not be easy… but nothing worth doing is ever really easy… is it?

    Like

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