Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reviling Religion

I have read, heard and witnessed far to many accounts of churches taking the side of abusers over victims.
Everything from shaming the victim for divorcing her abuser to calling victims liars and promoting said abuser within the church.
Church folk often FAIL to understand victim mentality. They judge based upon personal experience with the accused and not on the facts and truths of the victims. The problem is predators are GREAT at grooming. They are ALWAYS preparing for their next "fix". They even know how to look like a victim themselves, because they study their prey. Predators come off as trustworthy upstanding people... if they didn't their prey would never fall into their trap. They lure prey in, gather information and facts about their prey, and use it to manipulate them into thinking the abuse they suffer is their own fault. They are crafty and skilled. With each victim they get better at their game.
When churches side with them they become more defiant. I have seen leaders accused time and again of being sexual predators and claiming innocence and getting off free. The victims all had to leave the church and were called Jezebels.
I myself was called such. In my hometown a family pastor told other clergy that I was "to be watched" as I was a "Jezebel spirit".
Me! The girl who waited until she was 17 to even date! I didn't do myself any favors though. I never disputed the rumors against me. My abusers had done a great job of making me believe I was all the bad things people ever said about me, true or not. My home life was a wreck, my mind was overwhelmed and inundated with a war about who people said I was and who I really was. If the church people, the people I trusted for guidance and help believed me to be bad... was there hope for me to be anything else?

There is a danger in churches and doctrine. Good people, or as in my case.... kids that churches raised are being cast aside as duds while long time abusers are being allowed to stay and dominate more prey. This allows more abusers to rise up and more victims to be over taken.
Cult mindset kicks in and if the churches "virgins" can't sacrifice themselves in quiet for the leaders then they will be shunned.
Church, what's done in the dark will be brought to light. When that happens your failure to support a survivor will also come to light.

For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.                       
                                                                                                    Luke 8:17

What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops.

                                                                                                   Luke 12:3

This is not true of ALL churches or even every story where someone is accused of being a predator.
It is too common though. Church what does a predator look like?
What does a victim look like? How are we treating them? Are you chasing after them or hoping they keep their "mess" to on their end of the pew?
Beyond our two minute prayer for them (that's really for us), what actions are we taking to show love?
Why are we not getting involved in their recovery?
Why are we so hell bent in keeping up the churches appearance to the world?
Guess what? Your keeping up of appearances is FAILING. The world sees you as a joke more than a help. How are we going to change this?
Here's a thought. Believe victims. Why are we shunning those who need Jesus?

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