Can God Hear Our Prayers for Our Nation?

Waneta Dawn wrote an excellent post in answer to this question. Ironically, this is something the church in general is not thinking about. We call for prayer for our nation – but will God hear and answer? Does the church have issues that make our prayers unanswerable? There is a very clear answer in the Word to that question!

The Cost of Domestic Abuse

These numbers don’t lie! According to a long-term scientific study of over 3,000 women, women experiencing physical abuse from intimate partners spent 42 percent more on health care per year than non-abused women.

The study also revealed that the cost doesn’t end when the abuse does. The study showed that women who experienced abuse for five or more years, continued to spend 19% more on health care per year than women who were not abused.

Now remember — this study only encompassed physical abuse and didn’t even look into verbal and emotional abuse, which are just as deadly.

Even more important is to grasp that these numbers represent real women living in chronic illness and pain due to domestic abuse. These are lives damaged by an growing epidemic, which is just as real inside the church as outside it.

And to the physical pain of these women is added the financial strain. If they have gotten out of abuse, it is highly likely that their financial circumstances are constrained – and they are having all these medical costs on top of their financial strain and physical pain. The physical problems may also have a concrete impact on their ability to provide for their financial needs!

This is a large, complex problem which is daily reality for many women! It’s more than just an interesting statistic and an insurance issue.

Possible Link Between Interstitial Cystitis and Sex Abuse

This article is fascinating, offering a possible link between sex abuse and Interstitial Cystitis. Though it has certainly not be scientifically verified, it suggests – yet again – that the effects of abuse are far reaching and tangible.

Measuring the Molehill

There have been some great comments on yesterday’s post, that I think merit some space of their own.

BloggerT7165 said:

The last time I checked there was roughly 70 reported cases a week of clergy sexual abuse in Protestant churches. Those are just the reported cases.

Danni replied:

So, that would be 3,640 accusations per year. Some of those will turn out to be false allegations – generally 1-3% if I remember correctly. So at the outside, that would still leave 3,531 credible accusations of Protestant clergy sex abuse per year. Then consider that MOST clergy sex abuse is never reported. So what number should we multiple that 3,531 by???

Now multiple by what for domestic abuse? If my comparative ratios dealing with people personally are used as a general guide, you would have to multiple 3,531 by 10 to even start to get a glimmer of an idea. That would be at least 35,310 instances of domestic violence in Protestant homes per year. And each of those represents a family, not an individual, experiencing abuse; not just once, but as an ongoing way of life.

These numbers are obviously not exact or scientific. But I know they are fairly accurately representative. This is what I’m seeing as reality from the inside actually working with this issue rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.

Molehill anyone???

As Hannah said:

So [if] its a small number of people dealing with this … its okay NOT to deal with it?

That would be my point exactly. How small is it really? This isn’t small! And if it were small, does that entitle the church to ignore the problem? How small does it have to be to say it doesn’t matter?

That is why Jesus said the good shepherd would leave the 99 who are safe and go rescue the one! That is our mandate as the church!!!

As BloggerT7165 said:

And one person suffering abuse is one to many.

EXACTLY.

And to all believers said:

churches wake up, stop [tickling] the ears!

Amen.

Making a Molehill out of a Mountain

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

One of the accusations hurled at me regularly regarding this blog is that I am over-exaggerating the seriousness of the situation of abuse in the church. I am told that the problems of both clergy sex abuse and domestic violence in the church are rare and limited to strange, extreme, non-mainstream churches.

I have addressed the fallacy of this assumption elsewhere on my blog, but another thought occurred to me today. To give a little bit of a picture of how big this “molehill” really is, here are some facts.

Click on the link in the right sidebar for “Protestant Clergy Sex Abuse in the News.” See how many pastors and church workers appear there. Now, remember that my collection is quite incomplete — I don’t find every news story. Also, by far, most instances of clergy sex abuse are never reported. Almost all of the ones I know about personally have never been reported.

Now, looking at the number of news stories about clergy sex abuse, consider that I talk to many people experiencing domestic violence in the church to every one of those clergy abuse news stories. And again, I’m only talking to the tiniest fraction of women and men experiencing domestic abuse in the church.

And every one of those people I talk to, and every one of those news stories, literally affects many, many other lives — and the well-being of future generations.

Now, there’s one other important step to this exercise. What is God’s perspective?

For just a tiny peak, here are a couple statements by Jesus.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! — Matt. 18:6-7

The one who is giving offense is the church! Not all the church is giving offense, obviously. But it includes a large segment of mainstream Christianity, not a small set of fringe weirdos.

And God has more to say about what He thinks of this problem, in this same context…

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. — Matt. 18:10-14

So, does it matter? Am I over-exaggerating the seriousness with which God views this?

Rather than me making a mountain out of a molehill, the church is making a molehill out of a mountain. We are so busy picking the splinter out of the world’s eye, we have utterly neglected the beam blinding our own.

Quivering Daughters – Another Voice Speaks Out

God has raised up another voice in the growing army of those speaking out against abuse in Christian families. Quivering Daughters powerfully addresses abuse within the Quiverfull movement, and associated issues.

Hillary speaks with clarity and wisdom about the roots and fruit of the theological philosophies behind the Quiverfull movement. She writes from the perspective of someone who has experienced the movement first hand, and her authority and the truth she speaks are compelling.

I’m so grateful to God for raising up Hillary to this place!

Pastor Harry Benson Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

Minister Harry Benson was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of first-degree rape, 12 counts of unlawful sexual contact and one count of sexual solicitation of a child. Benson is a senior pastor at a United Methodist church in the Newark area of Pennsylvania.