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.
Due to COVID concerns, these September, 2021 events have been moved online. I will be speaking on Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness.
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 …
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?
I’ve had the privilege of reading and recommending some truly excellent books. I don’t think I’ve ever read or recommended a more important book than this one: Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse, by my friend, Jennifer Michelle Greenberg.
If we will only listen to people in pain when they articulate clearly and calmly, then we will never listen at all. What happened to me repeatedly and agonizingly must never happen to another child of the OPC.
Originally, when I submitted this to New Horizons, I did not name names. However, I have since edited and updated the piece, because I believe that honesty is incredibly important at this time. A follow up article detailing further abuse and failures within the OPC will be posted shortly.
Yesterday, Pope Francis published a letter addressing a Grand Jury Report which catalogs horrifying cases of sexual abuse mismanaged or intentionally concealed by leaders within multiple Roman Catholic Dioceses.
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