July 27, 2013

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ (G.R.A.C.E.) PLEASE sign.

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ
Through the media we have been confronted with perpetual reports of grievous sexual abuse and its cover-up. Institutions ranging from the Catholic Church, various Protestant churches and missionary organizations, Penn State, Yeshiva University High School, the Boy Scouts, and all branches of our military have been rocked by allegations of abuse and of complicity in silencing the victims. And while many evangelical leaders have eagerly responded with outrage to those public scandals, we must now acknowledge long-silenced victims who are speaking out about sexual abuse in evangelical Christian institutions: schools, mission fields and churches, large and small. And we must confess we have done far too little to hear and help them.

Holocaust survivor and author, Elie Weisel, once said, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim…silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” When we choose willful ignorance, inaction or neutrality in the face of evil, we participate in the survival of that evil. When clergy, school administrations, boards of directors, or military commanders have been silent or have covered up abuse, they have joined with those who perpetrate crimes against the “little ones” – often children, but also others who are on the underside of power because of size, age, position or authority.
read more at NetGRACE.org

Please also give a listen to a short second interview of Basyle ("Boz") Tchividjian being interviewed on Janet Mefferd's show [The "hurtful" statements to which he refers repeatedly were issued by Together for the Gospel and The Gospel Coalition.

(t4G first deleted their facebook post after it got about 100 or so comments reflecting respectful disappointment in their statement.    Then they quietly changed their statement, removing "No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals" because they realized that was not true.  Then later they quietly removed their support without issuing any mea culpa. The original can be read here: http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/05/24/just-like-that-t4g-statement-of-support-for-mahaney-is-removed/)

The Gospel Coalition post can be read here.  I don't know if it has changed at all, but at least it condemns Mahaney and company's behavior in a rather oblique way, by saying what a pastor should do when learning of sexual abuse... those very things that Mahaney and company did NOT do, and Mahaney and company know it.  However, they do not say what a horrible sin it is to neglect those protective duties to the church.  And after they issue this almost-correct paragraph, they go back to being cautious timid leaders, displaying their ignorance of the matters they've finally decided to comment on, and just getting things plain old wrong, including the same thing T4G got wrong.  But hey, at least they haven't removed those things and tried to brush them under the rug. ]

It is unimaginable why any true Christian leader, liberal or conservative, would not sign this G.R.A.C.E. statement regarding sex abuse, or at least issue a similar one of their own.  It's been ten days that it has been up, and I don't see Boz and Emmanuel's brother's name on there either.  :-(  Ignoring this statement and/or saying nothing about the criminal negligence of one's fellow Christians is tantamount to saying "I don't care.  It's not my problem."   A real friend of that negligent Christian would not do that.  A real friend speaks the truth, even when it is painful and brings backlash upon oneself.
"...To all who have been abused, broken, deceived and ignored, we have failed you and our God. We repent for looking nothing like our Lord when we have silenced you, ignored you or moved away from you and then acted as if you were the problem. You are not the problem; you are the voice of our God calling his church to repentance and humility. Thank you for having the courage to speak truth. May God have mercy on us all and oh may the day come when his church reflects the indescribable love and compassion of Jesus, even to the point of laying down our lives for his precious sheep."
(First interview with Boz and Janet Mefferd was here on June 6)

Brent Detwiler and the Sovereign Grace Lawsuit on Janet Mefferd's show

The Reformed Traveler: Boz Tchividjian / Thad Norvell / Shepherding Movement and the circling the wagons phenomenon

MD- Prominent ministers back accused wrongdoer (SGM scandal)