Statement on Abuse in the Church

I only break my social media silence for very important things. With the spotlight on the SBC and abuses of all kinds, I can’t stay silent. People within the church and within the SBC have sexually and emotionally abused me and many I love. The cover-ups by the church and the SBC specifically further perpetuate this abuse.

If you have been abused by anyone, report it to authorities in law enforcement. Do NOT go to your church to report abuse in an effort to “keep the peace.” Go to the authorities. It is not the church’s job to investigate and penalize criminals. It is not man’s duty to protect the church. God can do that just fine on his own. He has his work cut out for him and it could only take God to bring good out of the egocentric tarnishing that continues to happen as people use his name for their own advances and to cover up their fears of being found out for what we all are—human—and for what some are—criminal. Being human is not a mistake.

Being a criminal is and criminals need to be held accountable for their crimes.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, hateful or rude. Let's be grown ups here!

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4 thoughts on “Statement on Abuse in the Church

  1. Thank you, Anne! I’m not sure if you recall the extent of my experience with abuse and the church? I am not going to go into it here, either. I will say I am grateful to you for giving me the gift of going second. The ability to have the courage to use my voice and to say “NO”, I will not stand for this anymore!

  2. Hello, I read of your story on the Wartburg Watch, and join with those in support of you during your ongoing challenges as you step forward.

    In line with your call to go to the civil authorities in cases such as yours, I want to post a recent look at Biblical support for that. In so doing, I’m enclosing a clip from Paige Patterson — who has a different take on the subject — and will then address his claims:

    [NEW AUDIO] Paige Patterson to Victims: Don’t Take It To Court Or To The Press, Settle It In The Church

    Yeah, if you want to talk about authoritarian cherry-picking at its most troubling, this certainly reeks of it.

    Patterson: “Lord, may we make up our minds that we won’t take our troubles to the press. We won’t take our troubles to the government. We won’t take our troubles anywhere except to the people of God and beyond that to the Lord Jesus.”

    Here’s a reading of relevant Scripture (Patterson appears to mainly cite Matthew 18 and 1 Cor. 6) that comes to a divergent conclusion from Patterson. The initial scenario describes both a relative equality of participants (brother to brother), and something in which an internal matter between two Christian siblings as it were had occurred. (For contrast, the Greek addition ‘eis se’ is widely translated “against you”). What is written in 1 Cor. 6 also corrrsponds to internal confrontation of a personal dispute or matter (Gr. pragma). In this case, the result of not going to an earthly authority appears to at worst represent someone being wronged (Gr. adikeisthe) or defrauded/cheated (Gr. apostereisthe).

    Context seems to strongly indicate the discussion of personal tort matters between siblings as it were. Also adding perspective is the goal in Matthew 18 of being heard and gaining a brother, implying this is in large measure a matter of fellowship rather than uniform dispute settling of criminal matters. Again, looking at the end result, the penalty as it were in this case is a loss of fellowship (being treated as a heathen or tax collector). Does that sound like the way a criminal situation involving sexual assault would be settled?

    If you’re going to use Bibical counseling as it were, use the whole counsel. Throw in Romans 13 for the place of civil authority and being subject to those who do not bear the sword in vain. As pointed out, the law of the land in all 50 states is clear. The brother vs. brother matters in Matthew 18 and 1 Cor. 6 do not negate the reality of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and submitting unto authorities. Whether people are members of a church or not, they’re members of a civil society and are subject to its laws and regulations. Another bonus is that most churches subject their entities to governmental authority, like their tax-filing status and so forth. So you’re going to do that in one instance, but act like you’re a Christian tribunal justice dispensary excising other acknowledged authority in another?

    Simply put, you can’t cherry-pick per your interpretation of Scripture as an excuse to evade the administration of justice by applicable authority. This circles back to the issues with those suggesting that problems such as abuse are in-house church matters. Per what was shared at the Wartburg Watch, those given the opportunity to deal with a church leader who was reportedly anything but above reproach per Biblical proscription apparently failed to exercise their authority wisely. Latitude is too often given for authority can be whatever one personally interprets chosen verses to be, which of course can lead to spiritual abuse.