Pastor Ken Garrett is absolutely right when he says: "Our churches will never be safe places until they truly live by a no-tolerance policy towards all forms of physical abuse/violence. Until then, we can kiss goodbye to all the abused children and women in our communities that we would like to/hope to minister to with the love of Christ and the grace of the gospel--why would a loving God bring a hurting person into a church community in which there is a "one smack rule"? As the defender of "orphans and widows," he takes this kind of stuff very, very seriously. Again, despite what any religious leader says, we are all responsible to DO THE RIGHT THING, especially when people are being hurt."
"despite what any religious leader says, we are all responsible to DO THE RIGHT THING, especially when people are being hurt."
John Piper, C. J. Mahaney, Chuck Smith, John MacArthur - all have their followers and pastors that look to them. They all give Q & A's, have conferences and give their opinions. People have become accustomed to "ask the leader for the rules to follow" instead of people taking responsibility for doing the right thing.
I was reading some Middle East news today and happened to see this article (it brought to mind the blog post and discussion of Piper's video).
‘Husbands, beat your wives so they will mend their ways,’ Egyptian cleric advises
Abd Al-Rahman explains Islam’s rules for smacking one’s spouse, ‘as a last resort before divorce,’ citing practices of prophet Muhammad
"A good woman, even if beaten by her husband, puts her hand in his and says: 'I will not rest until you are pleased with me.' This is how the Prophet Muhammad taught his women to be, " Al-Rahman said in comment aired in August, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her," he said.
"I say to every husband: Do not rush to beat her whenever a problem arises, O servant of Allah, Allah said: 'Admonish those of them on whose part you fear disobedience, refuse to share their beds, and beat them. One should not beat out of anger."
Al-Rahman said that beating on's wife is a matter of discipline. He said that the Prophet Muhammed beat one of his wives, Aisha, in order to instill discipline, not because he enjoyed it.(JA note: the quote in red font screams Patriarchy which is prevalent in conservative Christian church teachings and especially in some groups in the homeschool movement.)
Thanks much to the reader who sent me the above. I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with televangelist and 700-Club host Pat Robertson's reputation for saying foolish things. In fact, after living within 30 minutes of Christian Broadcast Network's (CBN) headquarters in Virginia for six years I can safely predict that he will have some sort of statement to make about the "Frankenstorm" Hurricane Sandy which is projected to pound the Eastern seaboard tonight. (I am not the only one waiting for a comment from Pat - check out this Google search - lol.) After reading the words from the Egyptian cleric above, it reminded me of a video I had seen of Pat Robertson a few weeks ago which I found shocking. I don't give Pat Robertson a lot of credibility, but the problem is he has a huge audience who gives him credibility and respects his words regardless of how foolish they are. The video is less than two minutes. I feel so sorry for the female co-host, Terry Meeuwsen. If I were Terry, I probably would have had a few colorful words to say and then walked off the set while the tape was rolling . . . but that's just me.
I do not believe most pastors would condone wife beating, but the troubling pattern I am seeing is the mishandling of violent crimes by some church leaders. When a wife reports to her pastor that she is suffering from spousal abuse, one of the patterns we are seeing is that church leaders deal with the "sin" in a so-called biblical fashion, but fail their moral obligation to report the crime to civil authorities.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
(Romans 13:1-5 ESV)
The design of class action lawsuits allows for more victims to be added. Attorney Susan Burke who is representing the Sovereign Grace Ministries sex abuse victims has publicly stated she would like to hear from others who have been victims of abuse and so logically, it makes sense that this case could grow to include spousal abuse victims (read my post on SGM spousal abuse). If spousal abuse is not eventually included in this case, it is only a matter of time before a spousal abuse lawsuit against a church/church leaders occurs. I hope it does, as it would send a clear message to pastors that more must be done to protect against spousal abuse than merely dealing with the "sin" in-house. Crimes must be reported.
I will continue to say this on my blog: when pastors and church leaders fail to deal with abuse appropriately, they are spiritually failing the sheep in their care. I have heard countless stories of people affected by abuse of some kind and then the mishandling of abuse cases by church leaders which may result in the victims wanting nothing more to do with church and some having a crisis of faith. This is spiritual abuse. They are victimized by the original abuse and then by their own church leader. This is W.R.O.N.G!
My thoughts and prayers to East coast friends/readers. I remember all too well the anticipation, the collecting of essentials, the waiting, tracking the storm, the afterstorm mess. Stay safe, friends!!