„Perhaps the most effective silencing technique in Christian culture is telling those who challenge abusive or bullying behavior among church leaders that their objections are “gossip” and “slander” contributing to “disunity in the Church.” I’ve spoken with many, many victims of sexual abuse who say this was the very language church leaders used to urge them not to report their abuse in a church environment to the authorities. “You don’t want to damage Christ’s reputation in the world, do you?” they were asked. And indeed, the public response to the Sovereign Grace Ministries child abuse scandal revealed that far too many Christian leaders seem more concerned with protecting the reputations of their denominations, ministries, and pastors than with protecting victims of abuse.
“The greatest failure of the church/Christian organizations when it comes to responding to abuse is institutional self-protection. Too often Christian institutions have been willing to sacrifice the individual human soul in exchange for the protection of their own reputation. What makes such responses even more heinous is that they are often justified in the name of ‘protecting the name of Christ.’ Such a justification is nothing but a pious attempt at self-protection. It may come as a surprise to some but Jesus does not need us to protect His name! In fact, it was Jesus who sacrificed Himself for the soul of the individual. Tragically, in all of its attempts at self-protection, the Church too often completely misses this beautiful truth. As a result, many abuse survivors in the Church are pushed away from the arms of Jesus and prevented from experiencing glorious Gospel love.”
If we are to change the culture that far too often prioritizes the reputation of the bully/abuser over the health and safety of the bullied/abused, we have to stop shaming victims who come forward with their stories as “gossips” and dismissing Christians who call for accountability as “divisive.” We also have to ensure that our churches are prepared to respond to bullying and abuse when it happens. (For more on that, please check out G.R.A.C.E. and the list of resources from our “Into the Light” series.)…” Read more>>
Source : Rachel Held Evans
Note : I have to mention that I do not agree with in all opinions of this author.