[Originally posted 12/02/2008]
If you’re a Christian in trouble, who do you reach out to for help? Your church, of course.
Reporter Liz Hayes recently shared the story of “Elizabeth” who did just that after her husband attacked her, throwing her onto the bed so hard her head hit the wall and then proceeding to beat her with his fists. When she screamed for her daughter to call 911, her husband ran to the base and unplugged the phone. She persisted in contacting the authorities and her husband was arrested.
Do you think your church would have reached out to “Elizabeth” with help and encouragement?
Elizabeth’s church has asked her, “Are you sure he hit you?” (Well, let me think, maybe those weren’t his fists after all. Exactly how can one make a mistake about that?) They have, in fact, persisted in not believing her in spite of the fact that her husband has pleaded guilty to battery and been sentenced to one year of probation and counseling. They have persisted in their disbelief in spite of the fact that she has to have on-going physical therapy as a result of the severity of her injuries (are you sure he hit you?)
Elizabeth has lost her friends, her church and her position. Because she reached out to her church for help in her time of trouble. And because her husband – was a deacon.
Do you think your church would do better? It might be interesting to see if there is a way you can actually find out – for real, not by asking a transparently hypothetical question to which any pastor will give you the answer you want to hear.
Ironically, churches will have hearts of gold when they are focused on “the lost” or the poor and needy outside their doors, but when it comes to people they know inside their doors, they shut down if they have to see one of their own as a perpetrator. They just can’t make that leap, so they leave the poor and needy inside their doors wounded, battered and dying -passing by on the other side, leaving her half dead (Luke 10:30-32).