Open Letter of Thanks To Jeff Crippen And Barbara Roberts
I realize this is kind of a strange kind of thing to post on this blog, but in the end, even though I write the occasional post, I am more of a recipient of this ministry than I am a driving force- that is still the job of Jeff and Barbara. So I feel it is reasonable to offer them thanks for what they do as a person who has been blessed by this ministry.
Recently the blog has called out popular teachers for teaching doctrine that is harmful to abuse victims, and this has caused some return fire (some seen, some unseen, especially since now the blog is more heavily moderated). I also know that this fire does not go unfelt. No one wants to be thought ill of, especially by those the Christian community most respects. It’s hard to take the stand Jeff and Barbara have. So this is my open letter, and I hope this speaks for more than just me – that it speaks for many who have had no voice until they found this blog.
Open Letter of Thanks To Jeff Crippen And Barbara Roberts,
Thank you for being a voice for me (and others like me), and thank you for crying loud enough that those who teach oppressive doctrine have no choice but to hear. They may not like to hear what you have to say, but I am glad they do hear it.
You see, no one had to deal with my cries of pain when I left my church. They happily hired someone else to lead the music and let me walk away. I was very replaceable.
No one had to deal with me when I was standing in the parking lot talking to an elder begging for mercy – just some understanding that my marriage was destroying me and how difficult it was to believe it all was God’s will. The elder didn’t deal with it. I sat on the ground crying in despair, and he said nothing.
When I was emailed by that same elder and asked to show respect to the movers by making sure all of my ex’s boxes were downstairs, he didn’t stop to deal with me or listen to my pain. When he told my ex to ask for more alimony, he didn’t have to deal with me. I was no threat to him, nor did my situation prick his conscience.
I was ignored, left as a causality of theology. That my life fell apart meant nothing. No one stood up for me and heralded my voice. The voice that rang the loudest? The voice of John Piper, who I was directed to so I could learn about true brokenness. The voice of John Piper, who could explain marriage to me (because after 12 years, clearly I did not understand marriage). The voice of John Piper, who offered me the explanation as to how my marriage was more important than I, and that God found it acceptable for me to be destroyed. John Piper had videos, books, and a web presence. I had . . . my tears and my knees as I curled into a ball on the ground.
And Jesus. Always Jesus.
And unknown to me, many other spiritual sisters and brothers across the world who have been in the same position with no voice.
But then I found this blog, and I was amazed. I found I was not alone. And not only was I not alone, but suddenly I had a voice. And while I know those who oppose the message may not linger on this blog, I’m certain many are aware of it. I know there are those who have had to take at least a few minutes to read and wrestle with the content. And for a few moments, those people became aware of my plight and had to deal with it. They had to consider and worry about what would happen if others start to listen. They had to consider and react to their sin of neglecting people like me, and they had a choice to make. And do we know that none of them have heard? That none of them repent (or may repent in the future after the words seep in)? We don’t know- we only know that the cry for justice exists and it is more and more being heard by those who do not want to hear it.
Those who respond in fear – who suppress rather than engage – they will have to account for how they handled the truth. They will have to explain to God why people like me had to suffer without a voice for so long because they helped stifle it.
There are those who welcome this truth, and it is largely for them that you (and sometimes I) write. I do not think we shake the dust off of our feet at those who reject our message just yet, but that time is coming. Those who have ears to hear, will hear.
Thank you for being my voice; there was a time I thought it would not be possible to be heard, but today I know I am. And with you know I too cry for justice.