Is there a Fragmenting Bomb in Your Church Sanctuary?

Christa Brown, from Stop Baptist Predators, has written a fantastic article called Southern Babtoys Corporation about the defective game-toys lurking in many church sanctuaries.

You may want to read this product warning carefully and make sure your church is safe.

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Fruit from the Tree of Church Abuse

I received an e-mail early this morning which reveals in glowing colors some of the fruit from the poisonous tree of churches that teach abusive discipline and family roles that are out of godly order.

Since this e-mail includes no identifying information, I am copying it in its entirety.

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I went to a Christian school in the 1970s. The paddle for the high school boys was 30 inches long and the man who swung it was about 6’5″ tall. Even the boys on the football team cried after getting hit with that board. It sounds cruel but the punishment is over in seconds. the girls also got it, but I’m sure the paddle was of normal size and it was usually a woman who administered it, though not always.

What happened to the girls at HH [Hephzibah House] is different. This was every day, with no hope. They also didn’t feed the girls much, at least in 1980s. I hope you see the difference between a normal Christian school and one of these ultra abusive homes.

You will hate me for saying this, but I can actually see an occasion when a husband might spank his wife. Occasionally in every marriage, there is an argument in which one of the mates just sees white. That happened to me. I was talking to my wife and she was nagging me. I tried to be calm, but she just kept hitting the same nerve, so I remember I thought “that’s it” and I grabbed her and spanked her good and hard about 5 times with the palm of my hand through her skirt while she was standing. She did try to run away, but I caught her and administered discipline. What was funny, was she was just speechless afterwards. I don’t think I hurt her, but she was so surprised that almost nothing came out for a few minutes and then she said quietly “that is physical abuse”. I did feel bad, but I didn’t have much control. Later on it seemed funny to her that I reacted the way that I did.

No[t] all spanking is abusive.

Pastor Kenneth Wayne Huneycutt Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Pastor Kenneth Wayne Huneycutt of Ada, OK, has been charged with four counts of lewd molestation of a child under 12. According to the authorities, he has apparently already admitted his guilt.

One neighbor’s telling comment expresses why people in churches have such a hard time coming to grips with this reality when it happens — she cannot believe a man known for his good deeds would hurt a child. Yes, that sounds familiar.

What Happens When the Church Helps?

I’ve added a new section called Church Help?

This section is to expose the truth of what happens when abuse victims go to the church for help.

Jesus came to free the oppressed. That is a fundamental mission of the church. We cannot think we are on mission with God while the church is failing to correctly respond to the abused within its own doors.

Consequently, I think it is critical to shine the light on what is actually happening when people go to the church for help. Not every church responds to abuse wrong. Unfortunately, I believe the ones that respond correctly are in the minority, not the majority.

This is something that must change. The only way that can happen is to 1) expose what is happening to reveal the problem, and then 2) outline how to correct it. That is what I hope to accomplish.

Anne Klassen Speaks Out About Church Failure to Report Her Child Sex Abuse

Anne Klassen is breaking her decades of silence about the church’s complicity in her father’s sexual abuse of her throughout her childhood.

Anne’s earliest memories of her father’s sex abuse are from when she was four, but her mother tells her it began significantly earlier. It continued until she married in her early 20s, with the full knowledge of her mother and siblings. It was just assumed that her father had full access to her body and could do as he pleased with her.

But Anne went to her pastor for help. Isn’t that a logical thing to do?

Guess what she heard. Her pastor told her he knew about it. He already knew her father was involved in an ongoing incestuous relationship with his daughter.

Then he told her she needed to forgive her father and forgive her family for their complicity.

Her pastor did not report her abuse. Granted this was years before mandated reporting – but incest has been a crime for a long time. And it has certainly been against Biblical law for longer.

Her pastor did not take this man’s sexual sin before the church for church discipline. That would have been a Biblical response.

Her pastor did not make any attempt to help her find healing – which could only have occurred after he helped her get to a place of physical safety by helping get her father the legal and Scriptural consequences required by God and country.

Her pastor did not stand up for the afflicted and needy within his own doors, thereby defying the commission of Jesus under the New Covenant.

Her pastor abetted her abuser, thereby calling evil good.

Interestingly, the current church claims they would do differently today. But I noticed that their words still want to put the problem back on the family and shake off any responsibility by the church.

That is a common problem when abuse victims reach out to the church. It is far easier if the church can turn the problem back onto the family so they don’t have to get their hands dirty and messy dealing with it. That would be icky and hard work! People might get mad at them! How not nice would that be?!

So church leaders do fancy little pious-sounding dances to worm their way out of being responsible to do what Jesus gave us a mandate to do – stand up for the afflicted, hold people accountable, expose sin, put unrepentant sinners out of the church, obey the law of the land by reporting illegal activity, etc.

Now Anne’s family is angry with her, but this merely indicates they are locked in their own dysfunction still. Kudos to her for speaking out! I wish her the best.

To read more about Anne Klassen and her situation, visit her website at mennonitecoverup.ca.

Refining the Vision — Freedom from Abuse in Christianity

What is the purpose of this blog? Is it just to revel in smut? Is it to vent anger about the church? Is it a bitter tirade about grievances?

No, these are all things this blog is not about. I weighed long and hard before starting this blog a year ago, because the world doesn’t need another bitter gripe fest. I don’t have time for it and no one needs to waste time reading it.

But God was pushing me to start writing. I always knew this was coming. Throughout all the years of suffering I knew the day would come when He would want me to write and talk about it. The time was coming when He was going to have me start to tell what He taught me during the years in “bondage” like Joseph (ironically, my marriage was legally 21 years long, too).

During the past several weeks I have been grappling with God again. I feel it is time for another step in the process. But what exactly is the step? A lot has been accomplished in the past year. But there are more depths that have not even been touched. Whole worlds of truth haven’t been tapped. I have pages and pages and pages of notes of things to write about. There is so much more He wants to say.

Two primary issues have been nagging at me.

One, the nature of this subject can tend to seem like it is all negative all the time. And that is not the point. Awareness requires revealing what is really going on. People cannot, and will not, ever stand up to the abuses that are happening within the church if no one ever lets them know what is going on in the shadows.

Darkness is Satan’s best tool to keep people in bondage – the light of exposure is the first step to change. But there has to be more to this than just the negative, even though the negative cannot be avoided.

The second is that exposure alone doesn’t bring freedom to anyone. And without freedom no one is really helped. Awareness is great. But I know my life didn’t change just by knowing I was living in abuse. Big deal. I needed to know how to change my life – not just know how to label what I was living with.

God has given me freedom. Freedom is what He spent 13 years teaching me while I was on my face with Him in my marriage. I spent 13 years asking Him to change me and that is exactly what He did. At the end of that 13 years I finally understood I could also walk free of my abusive marriage.

I don’t know if I’m a slow learner or if that was His timing. But this I do know — God is a God of freedom. None of this blog is worth anything if it doesn’t share that freedom.

In the early, early hours of this morning God woke me up and told me that. THAT is the point of this blog – empowering people to find freedom from abuse in the church. This is what He taught me during 13 years. He is a God of freedom. Abuse is not of Him. He has clear and direct answers. And He wants His people to walk in freedom from abuse — especially in His church of all places.

You may notice that the blog has a little different organization today than it did yesterday. This reflects some changes in preparation for implementing this vision more fully. I’m limited in the number of tabs at the top of the page so I’ve had to do a little rearranging. Hopefully, the new arrangement actually makes clear sense and will be easy to navigate. All the same content is still here. Articles are under their appropriate subject tabs rather than under their own tab. More changes will appear over time.

Peace on Christmas

What a novel feeling – to have peace on Christmas. I’m still pinching myself. This is my fourth peaceful Christmas and it still feels soooooo awesome! I think only people who have lived in abuse can have any idea what it’s like to have holidays that you want to celebrate but dread instead.

This is the first year I am completely alone on Christmas. All the kids are gone. My oldest is married now and has other obligations today – such is the nature of things and that is perfectly fine. The other two are with their father this year by court order.

But I knew this day would come soon and I prepared for it in my own way. So I’m happy. I’m having a very peaceful day, just me and God — and the computer and you when you get a chance to stop by here. God already started the day out in the wee hours of the morning sharing something really awesome with me in answer to a wrestling and grappling prayer I’ve been going around and around with Him about for weeks. So that, in itself, was a wonderful Christmas present for me.

I wish you a peaceful Christmas. If you are not in a peaceful place, I wish that gift for you this year.