A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

15. Chris Moles endorses Peacemakers Ministry, which has no policy on domestic abuse.

Another indicator that Chris Moles cannot rightly divide the word of truth is that he highly commended Peacemakers Ministry. When talking to Calvary Baptist Church about domestic abuse, he spent more than ten minutes praising and teaching from the Peacemakers ‘Slippery Slope’ diagram. (L 26:45–37:47)*

Here is the diagram: 

Chris Moles enthusiastically endorsing the Slippery Slope Wheel

The Slippery Slope diagram from Peacemakers portrays fleeing from the abuser as a very bad response.

According to the diagram, there are some responses to conflict which are okay, and some responses which are not okay. Choosing to flee is only slightly less bad than choosing suicide as a way out. Taking the abuser to court is only slightly less bad than murdering the abuser! 

So the Peacemakers Ministry damns victims of abuse both ways. Victims are condemned for fleeing from abusers. And they are condemned for instigating litigation against abusers (e.g. applying for protection orders, divorce proceedings).

Chris Moles does not seem to be aware that the Peacemakers Ministry has no policy on domestic abuse.

Warning: Peacemakers Ministry has a new arm called Crossroads Resolution Group. See this twitter thread by Wade Mullen where he documents the links between Crossroads Resolution Group and Peacemakers Ministry.

Crossroads Resolution Group is the body which the elders of Willow Creek Community Church initially said they would appoint to investigate allegations that Bill Hybels had sexually harassed and abused a number of women who had leadership positions at Willow Creek. Those elders at Willow Creek have now resigned after immense pressure from within and without the WCC church community. But beware — you may hear of Crossroads Resolution Group again; they may be called in to investigate another scandal in another church. My advice is: do not trust Crossroads Resolution Group: they will have the same attitude to victims of abuse as Peacemakers Ministry has.

***

*Citations in this post are shown in grey, with each item designated by a capital letter.
The Chris Moles Digest gives a link to each item cited by a capital letter.

 

12 Comments

  1. Krikit

    And just what does Moles and others do with (1 Cor 5:11) instruction not to even eat (much less live in relationship with) with those who claim brotherhood Christianity, of certain namable evil characteristics — one of those being reviler (abusive speech)?

    But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler — not even to eat with such a one.

    And there are other scriptures where God names specific sinful behaviors reflective of evil hearts of those who profess His name, as being worthy of His contempt, His wrath, His judgement, His dispsement. And the fearful consequences of such evil-doing, He outlines as holy and righteous to levy against them.

  2. Peacemaking responses? You cannot make peace with an abuser, and everything else on the wheel is presumably an inappropriate response. The truly sad part in all this is that I’m not the least bit surprised.

  3. Helovesme

    More and more I’m blown away by how much stress and pressure is put on the victims of abuse, and not on the abusers themselves.

    This slippery slope diagram made me want to laugh and cry at the same time (the laughter part not out of humor, but out of shock that this wasn’t a joke)

    When confronted with something as horrendous as abuse (WHEN and IF the victim realizes it’s abuse)—how is a victim supposed to react?

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been criticized, re-victimized or given the impression that I was reacting in all the wrong ways—–when I’ve even dared to react to my being abused.

    What they really wanted from me was no reaction at all—-at least, not one that would make any waves, or cause any trouble, or even hint at accountability for the abuser. They just wanted me to act like nothing had happened—-well, nothing that showed that abuse had changed me. No one wanted to deal with that.

    “Overlooking” is NOT a peaceful response, IMO. it’s another form of denial. Overlooking sin is NOT Biblical.

    And you cannot “negotiate” with an abuser. You don’t make deals with sin, to stop a person from sinning. You don’t negotiate like: okay, I’ll stop nagging you if you promise to stop abusing me.

    Abusers do NOT respond to accountability. That is one the key areas in which they will not admit they need. It’s unfair to keep stringing a victim along, claiming that the abuser will be held accountable, so there’s no need to be afraid.

    Mediation, arbitration and reconciliation are ALL very different things. You shouldn’t lump them into one category. I’ve been to so-called mediations (not legal ones) and they were a bust. All it did was give a chance for the abusive person to let me have it even more. And NONE of them led to any real reconciliations.

    The escape and attack responses just made me want to cry. I have attempted suicide as a means of escape. I have also wanted to (and attempted) flight from my abuser as well. I have also spent years in denial of the real impact of my abuse, as a means of trying to move forward without admitting how damaged I really was.

    I don’t say that those were the proper ways of dealing with abuse (except for the flight response). But I was a minor child, and fleeing abuse when you are so young is dicey.

    Even more dicey for a victim who may or may not have anyone to flee TO for safety, and if you have children with you—-that too adds another layer of difficulty.

    But to put them all in the “escape” category comes across like we are called “cowards” for actually wanting to get away from being abused!

    The “attack” area was simply horrible. I am not a fan of hitting or hurting anyone physically. But self-defense (is that what they meant by assault?) is not a crime, by no means! Again, if a victim fights back to preserve his or her life (or the lives of the children), how can they be seen as the ones to blame?

    Litigation is also not a sinful response at all! It’s a means of taking real action to protect yourself and your family.

    • cindy burrell

      Helovesme, what you shared here is an excellent exposé in itself. It really is tragic how the church coddles the wicked and condemns and victimizes victims. The apostle Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:14,

      Admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men…

      yet the church gets it completely backwards, admonishing the fainthearted and the weak while encouraging and helping the unruly. And even patience should impose limits, if we are to allow wicked people to reap what they have sown.

    • Krikit

      Bingo! Righteous response.

      • Helovesme

        Cindy, what a wonderful verse to share! That is spot on!

        I’m in Luke right now but dang, now I really want to start getting into those shorter epistles and soak up what they have to offer, too.

        I’ve suffered terribly since 2015 with multiple traumas (emotionally, but they’ve affected me in every area). As a result, endurance in reading the Word (plus the much needed ability to focus when I read) has been very hard on me.

        My memory has suffered, too, so retaining a good memory of verses isn’t the easiest.

        I am sticking with it, of course, but it’s hard. So when verses are shared like this, it is especially a blessing to, so thank you!

    • leaningonhope

      Hi Helovesme,

      I can SO much relate to your comment. Ditto! And ditto!

      “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been criticized, re-victimized or given the impression that I was reacting in all the wrong ways—–when I’ve even dared to react to my being abused.”

      This happened to me just yesterday. I have a small group leader who has only talked with me twice before about my situation of many years. After an hour of conversation, she stopped me and proceeded to tell me how wrong I was, etc, etc…how I’m not looking at my own sin, how I’m reacting poorly, how I’m “not getting my head smashed into a wall”, how I need to trust and follow my husband because it’s the same as trusting and following God. Or I haven’t trusted long enough. Or I haven’t waited patiently long enough. How it’s a sin to take steps to protect myself. How I really need to go to the church for counsel instead of this “secular-who-knows-where-his-education-is-from” marriage counselor. Blah blah blah.

      I stopped her. I told her, trusting God is NOT the same as trusting my husband. (I fully trust God!) Trust needs to be rebuilt BY MY HUSBAND, it is not granted unconditionally.
      I told her, God’s Word is FULL of examples of how He has unconditional love for us, but NOT “unconditional relationship”. I can love, forgive, have grace, come alongside, suffer long, etc. but there ARE conditions in relationship. One example in scripture:

      John 3:16 God so loved the world (unconditional)….that whosoever believes in Him (conditional)….

      (Plus the verses already sited here in the comments)

      I also told her, DV is more than physical abuse. You can point to holes in the walls. You can point to bruises. But you can’t put your finger on emotional, verbal, mental, sexual, or financial abuses. That those abuses are just as harmful (or maybe more) because they are hidden from everyone else.
      I also told her, I can’t come to the church for marriage counseling. Tried that. Wasn’t heard. Wasn’t allowed to speak. Wasn’t safe to speak. So I choose to keep church and counseling separate.

      And yes, of course I “look like” I’m in the wrong. That’s exactly what my husband wants it to look like. He paints his picture to look like his reasons for what he does are valid. I tell her this. I’m not sure where it will go from there. But, frankly, I don’t care.

      (It’s safe for me to share these details.)

      Thank you so much for these articles and this ministry, and thank you to all the commenters, too. This has all been helping me to grow stronger, become more courageous, and stand. So much appreciated.

      • Good for you, leaningonhope. You stood up for yourself spendidly!

      • Helovesme

        Leaningonhope what an amazing story; thank you SO much for sharing it.

        And ditto to what Barbara said: you did a great job at standing up for yourself. You did a wonderful job in challenging her, and making sure she knew she was NOT in the right.

        I hope to get better and better at it myself, and you’ve encouraged me to keep plowing ahead. That took real courage from the Lord, and it’s a sign that He IS able to help us overcome fear or insecurity when confronted with such intense tearing down.

        I was flabbergasted at your small group leader’s way of speaking to you. How cold and rude she was being towards you.

        And extremely aggressive, arrogant and not showing one ounce of compassion, not to mention concern for your personal safety.

        For me personally, it’s very hard when someone gets in your face like that, so convinced they are in the right—-that the ends justifies the means. They end up doing so much damage.

        Sometimes I wish I would have been asked more questions, versus being TOLD what to think, how to feel or what to do.

        Questions like: how do you feel about (insert abuser’s name)? Do you still love him or her? How afraid are you of him (or her)? Do you feel safe? Do you need practical advice, or just a listening ear? How can I (or we) help?

        “John 3:16 God so loved the world (unconditional)….that whosoever believes in Him (conditional)….” Oh my goodness, right on. The Lord goes on to say that whoever doesn’t believe in His is condemned (John 3:18). That’s a big deal.

        I couldn’t agree with you more about the forms of abuse (“But you can’t put your finger on emotional, verbal, mental, sexual, or financial abuses.”) They truly are often hidden.

        Even sexual abuse does not always leave physical evidence behind. I had no idea until I listened and learned, that rape is not always a violent act when it’s committed. So many victims do not get the justice and vindication they deserve, because there is so little education in these areas.

        The one thing I would add concerning physical abuse, is that it too is often hidden. I was hit many times by my dad, but he never left any marks on me. Even if there are bruises, they are also not always visible. They may take great pains to cover them up so no one can see them.

        For those that simply don’t want to take any real action towards abuse, it seems it has to escalate (on and on) before they’ll take the abuse seriously. Well, there are no bruises. Well, there are bruises, but only a few. Well, he went even further, but he didn’t kill you.

        So nothing is ever “enough” in their eyes, until it is too late? And lives are lost? Not acceptable.

        “And yes, of course I “look like” I’m in the wrong. That’s exactly what my husband wants it to look like. He paints his picture to look like his reasons for what he does are valid. I tell her this. I’m not sure where it will go from there. But, frankly, I don’t care.”

        Bravo, and double bravo! I too have adopted something of the “I don’t care” attitude (when appropriate). Go on—gossip, speculate and whine all you want about my life—-nothing of which you really know about, anyway.

        For me, it too looks like I’m in the wrong—and like you: I don’t care! At least, that is my goal. I still struggle and stumble but I hope to be improving, one day at a time.

        Keeping you in prayer—as you figure out what to do next. Praying He leads, guides, and walks beside you every step of the way.

  4. Finding Answers

    I read through the all linked articles on Wade Mullen’s twitter feed, with the exception of the 44 page Protecting Your Ministry” document. (My bunny-trail tendency has limits. 😊 )

    The picture painted is seriously ugly. I can foresee incredibly wide implications, some of which are already taking place. The arbitration clauses people are – whether knowingly or unknowingly – signing remind me of the statement along the lines of yes is only meaningful if you have the option to say no. (My apologies. I can’t remember the exact phrase .I know it’s been used elsewhere on the ACFJ blog.)

    I appreciated Wade Mullen’s C. M. Leon’s Emails, a well-crafted (fictional) piece. Reminiscent of C. S. Lewis Screwtape Letters.

    Christianity faces the possibility of severe backlash, and not solely within the church / ‘c’hurch.

  5. Caroline

    Thank you for your ministry. Pastor Crippen’s book Crying out for Justice did so much for Christian (women especially) who are being abused.

    Recently our pastor has been preaching about the view outsiders have of Christians. He said that we are known for what we stand against rather than what we stand for. I believe your heart is in the right place with these blogs, saying what other pastors or ministries do not do for the cause of DV. However, I for one would like to read about people who ARE helping the cause..rather than pointing out what these people are doing wrong or not good enough.

    Bless you and your ministry. Caroline

    • Hi Caroline,
      First, let me say that I know full well how long this series of posts about Chris Moles is and I can understand that some readers are finding it somewhat over-long! The series will be winding up soon.

      You said you would like to read about people who ARE helping the cause, rather than reading posts that point out what people are doing wrong or not good enough.

      I hope you acknowledge that my Chris Moles series has two posts about what Chris is doing well. Here they are:

      Chris Moles is teaching some things about domestic abuse well

      Chris Moles gets the gender issues right in domestic abuse & Christianity

      You never commented on those two posts where I praised Chris Moles. In fact, this is your first comment at the blog. But I know you’ve been looking at our blog for years because way back in 2012 you emailed us praising the blog and making some good suggestions about how we could improve the navigation on the blog.

      I understand your desire that we post more posts about what people are doing well, but we don’t actually know many people who we would recommend for their work on DV in the christian community.

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