What is Our Mission in Light of the MacArthur, Piper, Sproul Errors About Abuse?
I am not a politician – I am a pastor. A controlling, power-seeking man once told me years ago that if I did not become a better politician, I would never make it as a pastor. I blew him off. And I still do. He was right in a sense. Our church has grown small. A politician would have kept them happy and the crowd would have stayed. But that is not the Christian pastor’s calling. In fact, one reason abuse victims are receiving so much injustice in our churches is because leaders are playing the politics game.
But I’m not a politician. Sometimes I don’t have the smarts to anticipate how my statements are going to affect the people who hear or read them. Many of you are wiser in these things than I am. Maybe you would tell me that I shouldn’t say what I am about to say, and you might be right. But, this is what is on my mind, so here it is. I can always delete it, right?
I believe that our primary mission right now, in light of the horrible ignorance of abuse in our own conservative churches and in light of the terrible injustices regularly being meted out to victims who seek help from their pastors, that our mission is to address this very problem. I am not sure how yet. Writing books and blogs and networking is certainly a pretty good start. We need to sound the alarm, loud and clear, about what is going on. We need to expose and oppose and correct the nonsense that the “big” leaders, like MacArthur, Piper, and Sproul (these are just 3 of many examples) have been feeding our churches for a long, long time – largely unopposed. We need to issue a cry for justice and expose to as many Christians as we can just how wickedly abuse victims are being treated. And how the evil abusers are being enabled and protected. You know the story. For many of you, it is your own story.
Now, here is the issue I that bring up to you with fear and trembling. I do not think it is wise for us to allow ourselves to get all caught up in the complementarian/egalitarian debate, at least in regard to this specific mission. Anyone who really “gets it” in regard to abuse and especially if they are truly Christians, has a burning desire for justice and for the correction of this evil, be they complementarian or egalitarian in their views of the headship/submission doctrine of Scripture. I have my views in regard to this particular debate – most of you probably can guess what my position is. (By the way, whichever side you might imagine I am on, I can tell you that I fully agree that the truly biblical concept of headship/submission has not very often been taught to us or by us).
But, can you see the danger? I don’t know if there will be conferences planned or seminars or strategy planning meetings, but I do suspect that abusers would love nothing better than to see our efforts dissolve into a mass of argumentation and division over some secondary debate. What I see our mission to be (help me out on this if it needs to be tweaked) is to expose what is going on, how these victims are being treated, how the evil abuser is duping us all, and how pastors and church leaders and church members are rendering terrible injustice to the weak and oppressed. For right now, I don’t care about arguing over the specifics of headship/submission, husband/wife roles, and so on. I have my views on those issues! (I am right, he,he,he, as Anna would say). You all have your views on those issues, and you are sure you are right. But I really think we need to leave that discussion for another time. I KNOW it is not a totally unimportant subject, NOR am I saying that it has nothing to do with the injustices we want to expose. I also don’t mind if any readers of this blog want to discuss those issues here. But wouldn’t it be a shame to be divided by what I would call a secondary issue, and once again the abuser would win?
Whew! There. I hope you all understand and I hope I haven’t politically shot myself in the foot. I don’t have that many toes left 🙂