learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. – Isaiah 1:17
In 2002, Protestants wagged their boney fingers at Catholics as the Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal broke. Here we are in 2022, 20 years later, and much to the shame of the Church in America, the largest Protestant Denomination in the U.S. has just released this scathing Abuse Report of the SBC.
All of this causes unbelievers to blaspheme the name of our Lord, even as men who bore the name of Christ blasphemed His Name by committing these heinous acts against image bearers while proclaiming His Name. God Help us.
Of course, the world is now wagging their boney fingers at Christians. However, it is important to remember, that #metoo didn’t become a cultural movement because of abuse in the Church, but due to sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood, in the Music Industry, in Sports, and in Corporate America. Sadly, Schools are no better.
I don’t highlight that to absolve Christian leaders, but to rightly identify the problem. The widespread issue of abuse in our country is a sin problem. And Christians are called to model a different way than the world, both in prioritizing the doing of the positive things required in the law but also in our response to the sinful things that have been done on our watch. In as much as Christians have committed abuse, covered up abuse, or created environments where abuse easily occurs, repentance is needed and proper action taken.
To that end, the Presbyterian Church in America just released the PCA Abuse Report. This was not a report on Abuse in the PCA, but guidance for PCA Churches toward understanding and dealing with abuse, both proactively and when it happens. As the report says,
The church should be a sanctuary for victims, a training ground to prevent assault, and a facilitator of emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. (PCA AIC DASA Report, p. 2402)