A Cry For Justice

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

Christian Denominations in our Hall of Blind Guides

We are not making any personal aspersions or accusations against the character of any person or organization listed here. We are simply announcing that this list represents well known organisations, theologians, pastors, counselors and others who are in our opinion, not safe resources for abuse victims.

Christian Denominations

Abuse occurs in every Christian denomination. Baptists, Presbyterian, Independent, Lutheran, Reformed….all of them. Churches in some denominations, such as Baptist, are self-governing. Others, such as Presbyterian or Lutheran or Methodist (as just a few examples) have accountability of varying degrees to some governing body such as a Presbytery or Synod. We receive reports of abuse victims receiving injustice at the hands of their local church in all sorts of denominations. Therefore, we cannot wholly endorse a particular denomination as a whole as being a safe place for abuse victims.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has published material to help victims: LCMS Response to Abuse.  The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has published a position paper which states that physical abuse is grounds for divorce, but we also receive numerous reports of PCA churches dealing out injustice to victims and not following that position paper. The Christian Reformed Church (CRC), similarly, cannot be endorsed as “safe” for victims as a denomination, as we have received reports of grave injustices up to the synod level; but it is devoting some resources to educating its members about abuse.

The key then is to find a local church where the pastor and leaders understand abuse and are resolved to protect victims and expose abusers. We cannot label any denomination as guaranteed “safe.” There is often a big gap between rhetoric and reality.

Any denominations that we expressly name here in our Hall of Blind guides (such as some of the “micro” Presbyterian denominations), are so infected with radical patriarchy (patriocentrism) that we would deem any of their churches to be unsafe.

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Covenant Presbyterian Church (CPC)

This is another micro-presbyterian denomination consisting of less than 20 churches. Extreme patriarchy is characteristic. R.C. Sproul Jr. is affiliated with one of these churches.

Primitive Baptists

This fellowship of churches is marked by heavy legalism and the exercise of great injustice to abuse victims. Primitive Baptists believe they are the true church, preserved over the centuries. Most are located in the SE part of the United States. We can document a case of a victim and her family being ex-communicated by the PB church they were part of for many years.

Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States (RPCUS)

The flagship church in this small denomination is the Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, Joe Morecraft, Pastor.

 

4 Comments

  1. iwontbeluredback

    When I first reported my husband’s abuse to authorities, he was put on trial. I hadn’t fully grieved my marriage and hoped he would change. I also thought jail would be bad for him at that time and make him worse. The jury acquitted him, and I lost my no contact order against him. I refused to go back except certain terms (which I didn’t keep).

    We got counsel through a pastor affiliated with the MN Baptist Association. He would tell us that he is weighing things evenly between us, and that both of us had a skewed perspective of reality. He treated my abuser as a Christian, despite his refusal to change. My husband used this counseling to empower himself even more. We were also told we should never record one another because it does not encourage forgiveness.

    According to this pastor, I was not being submissive enough and that would provoke my husband to act. This is exactly what my abusive husband wanted him to say.

    This church I went through also has a seminary. I would suggest that the standpoints of the church and its seminary enables abusers and oppresses victims, and truly does not take abuse seriously. I would also suggest that any counselors who have trained at Central Seminary may also carry this skewed view of abuse in the home.

    • iwontbeluredback

      In the home that it is okay and/or normal. I’m not trying to say the ones who trained there are abusers themselves, but that they allow it in the homes of their members (should have proofread it)

  2. Bruised Reed

    I’m very surprised that “Independent Fundamental Baptist” is not on the list. It should be! While the IFB denomination does not have a governing board or one leading/famous personality, it has a well-documented legacy of fostering abuse and narcissism. Also, many of its “core doctrines” are no different than those of Bill Gothard’s ATI/IBLP.

  3. Traddy

    I wish you had a list of churches that were willing to endorse your work and thereby make it easier to find kindred souldiers.

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