Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

Will there be more wagon circling or will this be a God-given opportunity for the church-at-large to repent?

While power and authority are not necessarily evil in themselves, they can become instruments of abuse when someone greater wields it over someone lesser to gain something that they could not get unless pressure was brought to bear. There are plenty of examples in the secular world like Harvey Weinstein. But how much worse is it when the gospel of Jesus Christ is used to silence victims and advocates? This is spiritual abuse.

 

Rachael Denhollander was interviewed by Christianity Today. This article is a bombshell because she gives the reason they lost their church – The Denhollanders were advocates of the abuse victims in Sovereign Grace Ministry churches. I had my suspicions when she alluded to this in her victim impact statement. This interview confirms it.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and something is rotten in reformed-ish circles.

While power and authority are not necessarily evil in themselves, they can become instruments of abuse when someone greater wields it over someone lesser to gain something that they could not get unless pressure was brought to bear. There are plenty of examples in the secular world like Harvey Weinstein. But how much worse is it when the gospel of Jesus Christ is used to silence victims and advocates? This is spiritual abuse.

I think it would be worth taking a hard look at how reformed-ish circles use and misuse authority. This misuse is not across the board, thank God. But something very unhealthy is brewing under the surface. Something is very wrong when –

– Abuse is not reported to the proper civil authorities. This is a crime because it violates mandatory reporting laws.- Victims and advocates are silenced by twisting Scripture.

– Granting forgiveness negates accountability or consequences for a crime.

– Male authority roles are above accountability. Example: Women are told that their job is to submit and that men are to lead. Therefore, if a man is abusing authority it is not a woman’s job to correct or even say anything. Just submit with due deference, and God will take care of it magically. In other words, just make sure everyone is in their proper place, and all will be well. This can be wielded by male church leaders over male church members, too. Hierarchy saves, so nothing to see here. Move along.

– Listening and learning from women is discouraged. Given that women are on the losing end of power differentials in Christian circles, this attitude is unhealthy at best; arrogant at worst. Also the assumption that women are usurpers by ontology creates a perfect storm of skepticism if not outright distrust. This tweet says it all: Think of how many women’s voices it took to be believed about Nassar’s abuse. What does that say to the wife who alone can bear testimony to the abuse in her home?

Will there be more wagon circling or will this be a God-given opportunity for the church-at-large to repent? I hope and pray it will be the latter.

Persis Lorenti is an ordinary Christian. You can find her at Tried With Fire and Out of the OrdinaryThis article appeared on her blog and is used with permission.