This post is not likely going to be the one that makes me famous. At least not with many. I’ve decided to air my unpopular thoughts, to get them out in the open and leave no one second-guessing where I stand on some basic views of sexuality… and the church.
The popular views of society are offensive to me. I don’t embrace them. In general, society has taken the path of ‘anything goes’, where no one needs to take personal ownership or responsibility. This, to such an extreme that even perpetrators who molest children are given an ‘orientation’ title, rather than calling it what it is: brutality, evil and violence against children. No, we have to protect the perpetrator. Heaven forbid that we would say they are perverted, selfish and—that word we don’t use anymore—‘evil’ and sinful. We might hurt their feelings and scar their identity, lowering their self-esteem. God forbid! Now they are ‘oriented’ with a ‘preference for children’. Seriously? Never mind that every child impacted by their ‘orientation’ will struggle through life, brutally scarred. (Read ‘Common Characteristics of Individuals with Pedophilia’. For more information google it–there’s lots to read on it.)
Since when do we need to babysit the feelings of adults, and avoid the truth because it might hurt the perpetrator, at the expense of little children? Is there not something wrong with that picture? Yes, perpetrators need help, they need someone to work through that stuff–I have a heart for perps–but to justify and polish it will not help them, nor demand accountability. All the while kids are losing their identities at the hands of evil men and women. Has the whole world gone mad?
I probably am not going to be too popular in some conservative Christian circles, either. I’m okay with that too, because, frankly, I’m a bit embarrassed on both fronts—society and the church. While society has erred on one extreme, the church has done so on several fronts.
On the one hand the church–and I know I am generalizing–has judged harshly and quickly, anyone who is caught in sexual sin, whether premarital sex, extramarital affairs or homosexuality. On the other hand, some have softened the truth to make it more palatable for those who wish to pursue these lifestyles, or sins, as they are unpopularly called in the Bible. Yet, regardless which way a church’s pendulum swings on this, all of these situations are the result of free will and personal choices made by consenting adults, out of a God-given right to choose. What appals me most is that we pay so much attention to adult behaviour—and I’m not saying we should disregard it—while we all but turn a blind eye to the plight of children in the church. That is offensive to me.
In self-righteous arrogance I have heard people say of child abuse, “That does not happen in my church!” or “That is very rare in our culture, almost unheard of.” And in the next breath the very person making the declaration, when I ask a direct question, confesses to either being a victim or a perpetrator.
Do we really believe it does not exist, or is it that we are terrified to admit that what was done to us was quite possibly done to a large percentage of the church population? Or, perhaps, we are afraid there are many more perpetrators who have hidden their sins against children, and we really cannot trust people around us. We are terrified of what it would mean, if we were to discover that our system is not working, and we have missed the mark. Maybe we are afraid that the things we were party to as children, maybe even instigators of, in our innocence, has been carried on by our peers, our friends and our relatives in adulthood. We fear the cost of freedom.
The consequence is that our children are left spiritually and sexually vulnerable. The sins of the fathers, that have not been exposed and repented of in the past, are carried on, from generation to generation. We could break the chains, with truth, but our prides stands in the way.
We gasp and shake our heads when we hear of child sacrifices through Satanic Ritual Abuse and other evil cults, yet we lay our children on the altar of sexual perversion, and allow their spirits to be ‘slaughtered’ by abuse and violence. When someone points it out, we frown, and look bewildered. “Not in our world… we’re Christians… no one would do that.” We assume that somehow we are beyond such things…. More holy and righteous than that.
Little do we realize that, through silence and denial, we’ve set our children up for potentially disastrous and traumatic lives. And we wonder why many rebel and others turn their backs entirely on God, faith and family.
….To Be Continued….
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Return to 1st post in Sexual Abuse Series
So if an adult vehemently denies having abused a child and the leader of the church feels it isn’t in his place to get a confession what are the parents of that child to do?? Currently there is a protection order in place for the child and it’s sibling so the ‘world professionals’ believe it happened but the church leader is taking a neutral stand?!?
The child is always right. In particular, if the child shows symptoms–wetting the bed, wetting him/herself in presence of the accused, nightmares, and a whole host of symptoms. No matter what, the child always speaks truth, presumably. It is not a common thing for a young child to make up something. Most don’t have the life experience to draw from to create certain scenarios, especially in the area of sexuality. Because sexuality is almost never taught, it is experience, and what we see or hear, that becomes the teacher. How will a young child describe a sex scene, without experience? Always err on the side of the child, never the adult. The child has to be protected.
Have the professionals met with the church leader(s) and the accused together? (Not saying they should… what’s the church going to do to help, at the end of the day?) It’s a difficult situation for sure, with no easy answers.
Yes, one professional has met with one church leader, the partener of the offender and the parents of the child.
It sounds like all the right things are being done. In that situation, the parents need to continually believe, love and protect the child. And pray. God can work where humans see no hope. It is a spiritual battle and the best gift to give the victim is ‘I believe you’. The most destructive thing is for the adult to not believe the child.
We believe our child, always have. But we are deeply concerned about the ‘offenders’ spiritual well being. We will continue to pray and wait on the Lord.
You have given your child the best gift possible, by being a safe place. God will work on the offender, but the offender must be ready to come clean.