WHEN PEOPLE SAY NOT ME OR NOT ALL CHURCHES
A man is surrounded with “survivors” but wears a shirt saying “Not All Churches!”
I talk a lot about spiritual abuse because it’s a huge and serious problem in the Church.
The comments that they provoke prove I’m not wrong.
In fact, anyone who is alert to what’s happening at all in the Church should be aware of the pandemic of abuse… from spiritual abuse to sexual harassment and even assault.
So I’m always alarmed when someone comes along and says that this isn’t happening, or that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, or that they have no idea what I’m talking about because it’s never happened to them, or this doesn’t happen in their church.
I would always like to ask them:
Would you walk into an oncology ward and proclaim, “Thank God I don’t have cancer!”
Or into an AA meeting and say, “I can enjoy alcohol and it isn’t a problem for me!”
Or into a shelter for abused women and say, “I’ve never been raped! I doubt you have too!”
Or into a group of people sharing stories about their experience of abuse in the Church and say, “I can’t believe this. It’s never happened to me. And it doesn’t happen in my church!”
I always conclude, when someone says something like that, one of three things:
- They are in a healthy church that doesn’t abuse its people. If so, yay! Stay!
- They see abuse but don’t call it that because it’s normalized in their church.
- They wouldn’t recognize abuse if they saw it.
When people are sharing their stories, it’s basic human decency to let them share them without suspicion or interruption.