Local Preachers Forbid Attending Sexual Abuse Conference

Matthew 23:4-13

King James Version (KJV, with my thoughts interspersed)

4 (Corrupt leaders) bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (They will not practice what they preach, condemning you for one thing, while they do something as bad or worse.) 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men (…. to create a name or an image for themselves, and make people look up to them, to idolize them) 6 And love the (places of honour)… 13 But woe unto you… hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

***

I stepped away from my phone for a few hours earlier today. Yes, even on Sunday, like most everyone else, my phone is seldom far away. That’s the thing with this cell phone age.

I’ve learned to set boundaries with it, including that I have it turned off almost 24/7, so that I am not constantly interrupted and bombarded with emails, texts, phone calls and various other messages. It is my way of being the master of my phone, and keeping myself ‘in the present’ as much as possible. Still, I try to respond to all messages, in order of priority, when I have the time.

Every now and then, I simply put my phone away, and completely disregard it, so I don’t even get tempted to check it. That was what I did this afternoon for a while, and again this evening.

Sundays are especially quiet anyway. Seldom a text. Only the occasional Facebook message, or email, usually. And I only respond to crises or fun stuff. ‘Business’ waits.

So I was quite surprised to pick up my phone and see nearly a dozen, if not more than a dozen different notifications. There were phone calls, emails, texts and various other social media messages. I opened them in order, curious what all the ‘buzz’ was about.

The first message said, “You wouldn’t believe what got read over the church pulpit today”. So I wrote back and asked what it was.

Another message asked if I had heard what announcement was made at one of the Conservative Mennonite churches this morning. By the time I read the other messages, all my questions were answered before I ever heard back from the first one.

When I read that first message, the fleeting thought went through my mind that maybe the leaders had encouraged their people to attend the conference in November. Maybe they had finally seen the evidence that I was, indeed, helping sexual abuse victims overcome their addictions, break free from demonic attacks, overcome suicidal struggles. One of their ministers had personally thanked me and acknowledged he can see who I work with before anyone tells him.

Maybe, just maybe…

But even as that thought slipped through my mind, I knew that wouldn’t be it. Like distant thunder, warning of an impending storm, I had heard the rumblings and waited, knowing that sooner or later the winds of resistance would pick up force. I even said to a few of my friends, “You watch, it won’t be long now and they will begin to make announcements in the conservative churches, trying to control their congregations by telling them they are not to attend our conferences.” I knew the day would come, likely sooner than later. And it did. There had been subtle hints made over the pulpit in the past, but now it has become blatant announcements.

No doubt they would discourage under the guise of concern over worldly influences by this ‘apostate woman’, as one Bishop calls me. But they haven’t a leg to stand on with that ‘worldly influence’ accusation. Their people tend to stay in their churches, when I work with them. So far everyone who was plugged into a church, has stayed there while under my influence, because I have no need to pull them out. If God has something better for them, a place where they will heal and be encouraged in a way they are not now, He can lead them. The biggest change clients go through is that they suddenly see God as a Heavenly Papa, and find hope in Jesus, as they break free from the bondage of the past. While they continue to practice cultural rules and regulations, their hope is no longer found in that idol, but in Jesus Christ, and Him alone.

However, the one thing that must be most terrifying to those leaders who need ‘control’, is that most of these people are suddenly not afraid of their controls, nor are they afraid of the truth. They recognize that the prevalence of abuse is a problem, and they begin to stand firm on this, questioning the silence and cover ups. This is a problem. They begin to question other injustices and inconsistencies in preaching, like when I leader condemns only those ‘sports and entertainments’ that he personally doesn’t engage in. (For example, snowmobiles may be condemned, but four-wheelers not condemned, if that leader owns one. Or four-wheelers may be condemned if he doesn’t use or own one, but boats are not condemned if that is something he or his family does.)

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Above all, I have good cause to believe that at least some of the leaders are concerned because of what all I know about hidden abuse…

I know what sin lies buried in many a church and many a family. I know how one preacher’s brother–who is also a preacher–abused him and another young man. And I know how another minister’s daughter abused a young girl. And another minister’s son abused a little boy, and that son was first abused by his older cousin. And most of these were never dealt with appropriately or reported. To my knowledge only one was. The sin was simply left like a rotting carcass under the church’s mat, while ordering victims to ‘forgive, forget and move on’, or in some cases making the victims confess to immorality.

Some of the leaders involved in these cases are ‘concerned’ about my influence, I presume as a distraction from the hideous reality, and definitely in the guise of protecting ‘the flock’ from my ‘deception’. In reality, I think they fear that the truth is too near being exposed, and if people trust me, they will believe that truth when it comes out. And I will be shocked if it does not come out. Victims are gaining courage, and that is the other thing they fear. I lead them to Jesus, and when they meet Jesus, courage rises up in them and they can no longer be held down. And they have plenty of ‘dark truth’ to fear.

One family that has several ordained church leaders has, at minimum, four perpetrators and several victims who are covering for each other, as well as victims outside the family. And one of the sons, who is a minister, is one of the guilty party, as well as several grandsons and a granddaughter. But they are well-respected by most–everyone but the few who know the truth, from what I know–and cover it with perfect religious image. I have known this for a long time and choose silence rather than exposing it, because I believe God is working and it will be revealed at the right time.

And still they deny it happens, and claim I make it seem more prevalent than it is. No my friends, I don’t need to fudge any numbers to make it as ugly and wicked as it is. And the cover up just makes it more wicked and gets blood on the hands of more leaders who silence victims. I fear for them on that day when they stand before God and give account for what happened to those little ones… The little ones that the church judged and punished when they grew up and hated God, and turned their lives over to sin. How can we stand vindicated before God, if we choose this?

And, because of silence and cover up, the chain just never seems to break. No. That chain lies buried deep under Achan’s tent, bringing more death, hell and damnation as innocent and unsuspecting people–especially children–fall prey to it. But in this story Achan isn’t sitting in his tent protecting the chain, he’s pretending to be Joshua, standing up behind the pulpit and proclaiming ‘as for me and my house’ and pretending like he has a better way to offer. That’s how he protects the thing he stole, and hid. But the corruption drowns out the noble proclamation, as the stench of hidden-and-smoothed-over sins rise up.

If only they could understand that I have no desire to destroy them. I know enough names and stories to do a lot of damage, and yet I don’t do it. Is that not enough to show that I am not out to destroy them? God has more than enough grace for the repentant sinner… if only they could grasp this! Instead they bury their sin and live in fear of being exposed, or tell themselves it isn’t there, it never happened, it wasn’t that bad, or it was mutual consent.

I cannot help but wonder what happens to the heart of God, as ‘worship, prayer and preaching’ rise up to heaven from that place, intermingled with the careless victimization of children and that crime covered up. And it makes my heart break. The hopeless eyes… The darkness of the demons they fight… The longing for death…

And I wonder, “How long, O Lord, how long before judgement will fall on Your people again because we have laid our children on the alters of Molech, to be used for sexual gratification?” I can hardly bear it.

But I know this, that God has not forgotten those who have a true heart. Not one has escaped His eye, and not one has escaped His compassion and redemption. Everyone who reaches beyond the confining grip of religious controls, and reaches for healing through Jesus, will find it, if they seek Him with all that they are and have. Everyone who is willing to follow God, and not man, will be brought to that place of freedom. He has promised it, and I believe it.

It is Jesus who heals and gives light and life. It is Jesus I present to these hurting hearts. And if one person, claiming to know Him at all, will deny that He is the answer and that in Him they will be made whole, then they deny Christ altogether. He is all I have to offer the people who come to be mentored. He is all we lift high and offer at conferences. Anyone who dares speak against His healing power, denies Him.

Still, I will offer Jesus with passion and purpose, with never an apology or regret. And any resistance we face I count as an honour, for the sake of the One who died for me, and made me whole…

….My beautiful Saviour, Jesus. “For You, my Friend, I will lay down my very life to bring just one soul to You for healing… Because I trust You and your promises with all that I am and have.”

NOTE: Special Offer

Anyone wishing to attend the Shattering the Silence Conference, November 22-23 at Woodside Bible Fellowship in Elmira, who reads this blog, may register at the Early Bird rate of $35. Simply send a cheque, with a note that says: “I saw a special offer on your blog” and make it out to Generations Unleashed 15 Coral Gables Crescent Elmira Ontario, N3B 3P4. I will accept registrations at that rate until November 13, 2013. Or call me at 519-590-4907 to register. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

©TrudyMetzger

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28 thoughts on “Local Preachers Forbid Attending Sexual Abuse Conference

  1. Kimberley October 28, 2013 / 10:23 am

    God will protect and honour what you are doing my friend and sister in the Lord. You are doing the victims a great service by helping find Jesus and truly become free of the guilt and shame.

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 4:23 pm

      Psalm 91 has been on my mind today. God is my shield and my buckler–had to look that word up again–and as long as I put my trust in him, though a thousand and ten thousand fall around me, I will be safe. I am so thankful for this promise! If anything all of this has inspired and encouraged me, as I have watched God take this and make it a powerful impact for good. I have received many private messages as well as new friends/connections. I am completely amazed by God! Thank you for your kind encouragement!

  2. Regina October 28, 2013 / 10:24 am

    Those who learn to know Jesus for themselves, rise up with courage .” Stay with God’s heart. He is pursuing those who long for the breaking of the door of their heart , so they can be FREE. This is HIS time and HE WILL be faithful to HIS purposes. God BE WITH YOU and keep you in HIS care. Praying for the CMCO churches. My heart has not forgotten them.

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 4:30 pm

      Regina, I am with you! And I think I will always have a heart for CMCO people. There is such sincerity in many people there. I find it hard to reconcile the inconsistency of some, and feel so badly for the victims, and for those who are sincere and wish to stay and make a difference. Nothing is beyond God’s reach, however, He is a gentleman and never forces anyone into relationship! Thank you for standing with me in prayer!

  3. Rosey October 28, 2013 / 10:28 am

    Oh Trudy-bless you for speaking out and standing strong in the face of this great opposition!!! May you and your family forever be protected from the onslaught of the evil one who is sure to try and silence you. May you be given grace to forgive the unkind and untruthful words spoken against you, yet divine power to know when/how to stand in the gap of those you fight for!

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you Rosey for the encouragement! God has had our back, always, and I know he will in every situation. Like I said in a response to a previous comment, the promises I cling to come from Psalm 91. God put those verses in my heart today, reminding me of His promises and His faithfulness. We are so thankful for that! Blessings to you as well!

  4. Philip October 28, 2013 / 11:25 am

    They say it’s from the diary of John Wesley:

    Sunday, A.M., May 5
    Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.

    Sunday, P.M., May 5
    Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.”

    Sunday, A.M., May 12
    Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.

    Sunday, A.M., May 19
    Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.

    Sunday, P.M., May 19
    Preached on street. Kicked off street.

    Sunday, A.M., May 26
    Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.

    Sunday, A.M., June 2
    Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.

    Sunday, P.M., June 2
    Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 8:51 pm

      Thank you Phil! I haven’t heard any of this for many years and had completely forgotten! When I first read this, probably in my teens, I was so proud of Mr. Wesley! What a great reminder to ‘press on’! Blessings to you!

  5. Kelita Haverland October 28, 2013 / 12:07 pm

    Trudy – thank you for writing this. You are doing an amazing work for God for “such a time as this”. It breaks my heart to know and read about these precious people who are being controlled by their so called Pastors. You have been chosen by the Lord to help lead them to the truth and when they tap into that – there is no going back. They can’t. I am praying for you as the battle is heats up. You are a brave woman of God. THANK YOU for your love and dedication in giving the voiceless their long overdue VOICE!

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you Kelita! I know you understand my passion, given what you do. And while the dynamics are different, it’s the same evil at work and the same enemy behind it. Bless you as you continue in your battle against sex trafficking! I look forward to the day we join forces on stage!

      • Kelita Haverland October 29, 2013 / 12:10 pm

        Just wanted to let you know a bit more about my ministry Trudy.

        For years before Facebook when I just had my website – I heard from many, some disclosing for the first time. In fact, I know because of me sharing my ‘truth” about my own childhood sexual abuse, two men, from my elementary school days opened up about their own experiences with the same. I continue to mentor behind the scenes, to those currently in sexually abusive situations and those who are healing. Facebook has been an amazing place to be able to do that.
        People need people like yourself and conferences where they can learn they are NOT alone. Where they can begin to take the steps of change. Can’t wait to team up. God is blowing the doors off. It’s time!! Thanks again Trudy!

  6. kate martin October 28, 2013 / 12:21 pm

    You are beautiful Trudy….your heart is gold. I see God all over your site! Bless, bless , bless you for all your help to people! you ARE making a difference. the battle is real but we can fight against it in Jesus name! Love your heart!

    “Still, I will offer Jesus with passion and purpose, with never an apology or regret. And any resistance we face I count as an honour, for the sake of the One who died for me, and made me whole”…..this is so obvious! Go in the power of GOD!!!!

    • Trudy Metzger October 29, 2013 / 12:03 am

      Thank you Kate! I appreciate the encouragement! And a hearty ‘Amen’ to the power we have to fight the battle, in the name of Jesus! We will prevail!

  7. Tim W Callaway October 28, 2013 / 1:05 pm

    I don’t recall any of the Old Testament prophets being awarded any popularity awards either, Trudy. God bless and strengthen you and your efforts.

  8. Rosetta Troyer October 28, 2013 / 1:24 pm

    Just. Keep. On.! God bless you!

    • Trudy Metzger October 29, 2013 / 12:05 am

      I will! That’s a commitment! 🙂

  9. Sonia Berana October 28, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    How i wish i could meet you personally. Sexual abuse is so prevalent here in the philippines also.

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 8:41 pm

      Sonia, I would be delighted to meet you also! Tragically sexual abuse seems prevalent everywhere, and more prevalent in some areas. Blessings to you!

  10. whispersfrommyheart October 28, 2013 / 7:32 pm

    One thing is for sure, Trudy. Once you expose the hornets nest, all the attacker hornets rush out.

    I have always thought if I’m being attacked for the good I am doing, then I must be ticking off the “right” one. You keep fighting to good fight, Trudy! God will expose the truth!!!

    • Trudy Metzger October 28, 2013 / 8:43 pm

      Good analogy on the attacker hornets. Attacks must come, if we are poking the devil in the eye. While not pleasant, it is a necessary thing. My heart goes out most to those who desire freedom, and are being held back. That is offensive to me!

      • whispersfrommyheart October 29, 2013 / 12:09 am

        You are commencing an all out war against the kingdom of hell itself. It’s bound to get a little rough. BUT, Jesus Christ has already overcome! God is making the breakthroughs needed. Keep preaching!!!

      • Trudy Metzger October 29, 2013 / 9:40 am

        Thank you for the encouragement. Yes, it is war!

  11. Marilyn Martin October 28, 2013 / 11:04 pm

    To give a voice to the silent, strength to the fearful, healing for the bruised… takes strength beyond your own. As you speak truth, I pray for both the victim and the abuser, for strength to seek help. Psalm 34. You ARE protected, the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him… The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open unto their cry… seek peace and pursue it! God IS with you Trudy! Praying for strength for this journey.

  12. pauline October 29, 2013 / 9:27 am

    I LOVE what is happening here! I don’t know you or your ministry but I love the way you speak the truth and commend you for it! I always feel my defenses rising when I hear people speak against the conservative churches, since that is where I grew up and still am. I have lived long enough and experienced enough to see and realize that even in churches where there is “freedom” from standards and norms, there is still unrest, friction, pride, rebellion and relationship struggles. Having said all that, however, it seems there is, in the conservative churches, a more for-real place to hide the yuck and stench of sin. For that, I am just sick with “our” churches. For that reason, I am just loving what is going on here! Thank you for your way of handling these things! Thank you for your way of staying humble and allowing GOD to do His thing! I especially love how you expressed yourself in the 3rd to last paragraph and encourage you to KEEP IT UP!! Allow God to do HIS great things, lifting up His Son Jesus!!

    • Trudy Metzger October 29, 2013 / 6:04 pm

      Pauline, you have said it well. Yes, all of our churches have ‘stuff’ because we have humans. And there are plenty of churches that choose not to get actively involved in breaking the silence. Most churches, in fact. But not all cover for the criminals and punish the victims or try to control who goes for help, and where. (Though that is not limited to Mennonite cultures either. It just seems to be more prevalent there.) Things are changing though. I get calls from people in all kinds of Mennonite churches, and they are taking a stand against the silence and reaching desperately for God and truth. God is moving and healing.

  13. Trudy Metzger October 29, 2013 / 9:44 am

    Yes, we must never forget that God and His angels go before us in battle. We are protected for all that He has called us to do.

    And I have a heart for victims and perpetrators–both need help, and someone to walk them through to freedom. We talk more about victims, because that is our primary mandate as a ministry, but certainly work with perpetrators as well. They need practical help in learning to take ownership, and they need to be forgiven by God for their own freedom, by victims for the healing of the victims, and by society in general. (And wisdom/discretion must be used for the rest of their lives, to protect them and the children around them. I know situations that do this very well!)

    Thank you for sharing. Be blessed!

  14. the kings daughter November 1, 2013 / 1:01 am

    Amen

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