A few people were kind enough to ask me about the recent SBC Guidepost Report as well as the “Secret List” maintained by former Executive Committee members. I thought it might be helpful to compile my thoughts and advice here.
The following is an essay I wrote over a year ago for Christianity Today. It was declined, but as I was going through some old files today, I came across it again. I’ve healed a lot since writing this, but I feel it captures a window into the grief resultant from abuse in the church. I hope you find it comforting.
later abused, oppressed, and forsaken by those who should have loved him, I can think of no better time to be pondering how we can prevent and reduce abuse in His church.
Some contend that abuse in the church – particularly spiritual abuse – is not so prevalent as to constitute a crisis. “It’s just a few bad apples,” they say of corrupt leaders and child abusers. “Just a few bad apples we can easily avoid.” But here’s the thing about bad apples: they spread their rot to other apples. Their bent …
When The Good Samaritan saw the beaten up man on the side of the road, he stepped into the ditch. He stepped into the filth, mud, and danger with that man. The Samaritan was a prosperous man. He had a fair amount of money with him, as well as soothing oils and wine. It would have been easy for him …
In my work with church leaders and abuse victims, I’ve noted patterns of sin that precede almost every crisis. Had someone repented sooner, nipped sin in the bud, or held colleagues accountable, most abusive situations could be handled responsibly in a God-honoring way, rather than escalated or exacerbated.
I’m excited to announce the launch of three new support groups. These groups are not only for victims and survivors of physical abuse, but also psychological abuse and neglect, as well as for spouses, family members, pastors, and counsellors who want to support victims and survivors better.
Below is a letter from Pastor Bill Shishko and the Session of The Haven OPC Church in Long Island, New York, to update you on our situation following my Open Letter to the OPC: Regarding Abuse in the Church. First though, I’d like to update you on some other responses and results from it. Following investigations in both the OPC …
What do we do when a convicted child abuser comes to church? If we know someone has harmed children in the past, how can we safely minister to them? Should we allow a repentant sexual predator to attend corporate worship? Are there dangers here we are missing because we don’t think like predators?
Not Forsaken: A Shepherd’s Guide is a practical how-to study and theological resource for seminaries, pastors, counselors, and ministry leaders who seek to minister to abuse victims and survivors with compassion and biblical wisdom.
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