This pledge closed over 1 year ago
Churches are extremely important when it comes to fighting abuse in our culture
1. because abuse happens within the church, just as it does everywhere else.
2. because we are called to reach people for God and to as closely mirror Christ in our lives as possible.
3. because the majority of Americans claim Christianity.
For many people, churches serve as a connection between them and God, as well as an important means of fellowship for them with their families and others in their community. I've met too many people who can't bring themselves to believe in God because, from their perspective, God saw and heard everything that happened to them and refused to intervene. For some, this view came about because the church chose the "tread lightly" approach—"What you do in your own house (or life) is your choice, but I feel obligated to share my disapproval with you…" This approach refrains from calling the abuser's behavior for what it is—abusive and, therefore, wrong. For others, it was because the church blamed the victims for "inviting" it through some actual or perceived indiscretion and/or shunned them just for having been abused. Still other churches choose the "judge not" approach, which is to say they don't address it at all.
It's commonly touted by left-wingers that churches support domestic/sexual violence, particularly against women. Granted, some churches do, whether by personal beliefs or by ignorance of God's word, but much more common I believe is the church that simply doesn't speak about it because they have not looked for it in the Bible and have not asked God for His view. It's not that they support it, but rather that they choose not to see it because they do not know whether or not God is against it. He is. I have always known this, but what the Bible actually says became more important to me after a Bible study this past Fall in which the minister summarized Isaiah 10: 1-9 as: "The abused person can find comfort in the theological truth in these verses: God can sovereignly use evil people to work good within His plan. It is a comfort to know that God will hold our abusers accountable (so we can release our hatred) and that He can even use their evil actions for our ultimate good." In the actual verses, this is shown through God's promise to send destruction against an abusive nation and/or government, as most would agree is beneficial to an oppressed nation. In my own life, this was shown by my decision to speak out against abuse and, through God, my ability to convey His condemnation of abuse. Months before I was in this Bible study, I spoke with God while writing Maybe Today because I wanted to portray Him as He is. I didn't want to have my depiction of God saying things that God would not actually say. Near the end of the book, Lauren hears God say "I would have spared you everything, but the evils that were done can still be used for the good if you only walk with me."
If you want an in-depth explanation of the Bible's stance on abuse, just look me up. Here though, let me summarize by saying it's there. In Genesis 34, Deuteronomy 22-28, 2 Samuel 11-13, in Isaiah 10: 1-9, Colossians 3: 19 and in Zechariah. God's stance against abuse is in every passage in which someone is punished for abusing someone, every passage in which He counsels us to treat others with respect and love, and every passage that counsels us against hate, judgment, etc. It's in the passages on honoring, cherishing, leading, serving, respecting, etc. our spouses, in Malachi 2: 13-16 and in the way Christ conducted Himself while on Earth.
Please join me in getting the Church involved in stopping all kinds of abuse. Though "the Church" refers to Christians, you do not have to be Christian to participate in this pledge. You can be of any religion or none. All that matters is that you are willing to speak to your religious group, school, advocacy group and/or community center about speaking out against abuse.