Is There a Silver Lining to the Abuse-Aware Church Trend?

So, as I have been thinking about this issue of the new trend among churches and Christian ministries to be “aware” of abuse, it has occurred to me that there may well be a good side to this situation. Right now, as I mentioned in my last post, what is happening is actually more hurtful than ignorance.

However, it could well be that this is a first step that will lead to further steps — moving subsequently into a better direction. I have to remember that these are people and organizations which, until very recently, were not even acknowledging domestic abuse as a real issue in the church and in Christian marriages. Now, with the increasing outcry of those of us who have experienced it, they are seeing there is a problem.

The first, and simplest response, is to say, “Oh yes, there’s a problem. We understand and care. But our theology hasn’t changed so we’ll see how we can wrap this up with a nice bow on top and stuff it into our existing theology with a minimum of effort.” Even though, for now, that’s disasterous, it is a step. It is motion instead of inertia.

It is my hope that, as the outcry continues and the error of this “new” philosophy is exposed, they will look deeper and make further changes. This really does take time. Nobody goes from 0 to 100 in one instant. When a quick and easy bandaid doesn’t staunch the gushing wound that is Christian domestic abuse, those who genuinely do care and are seeking God will look deeper to find out why the bandaid isn’t working.

The next step may be only another small one. But a series of small steps will get the job done eventually. And, that’s what we need. I have to remember that, even though I was in it with the problem very present in my own face, it took me 13 years to “get there” – after seven years of complete blindness and incomprehension. Why do I think it will be easier for those who don’t have a living and present reminder in their living room every day?

2 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more–it will take time and grassroots efforts.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the church insisted that alcoholics just needed to pray more to stop drinking, and that women’s only worth came from being barefoot and pregnant. It took movements that came from the secular world; i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous and the women’s rights movement, to finally make the church see the error of their ways. And these are just two examples. I think domestic abuse will be the same.

    I don’t know, maybe when God needs to correct aggregious errors in society and in His church He has to start the movement among secular society, because His church is too wrapped up in their legalism to listen to Him.

  2. Thanks for reminding me not to despise the day of small things!

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