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Old 04-06-11, 02:17 PM
Susan Susan is offline
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Default Abusive Churches

This is an article about alleged abuse in certain churches. I'd be interested in some feedback from folks.

Religious Sub-Culture
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  #2  
Old 04-06-11, 03:50 PM
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Don't know what feedback I can offer. There certainly are churches that are abusive. Thee certainly are people who use religion as an excuse to do things I believe are wrong. There certainly are people who will falsely claim abuse. Thee certainly are also people who take any rebuke or discipline as abuse. The media certainly tends to sensationalize. What actually happened in this case I have no idea. I know a number of independent fundamentalist Baptists but they are independent not so fa as I know pat of a denominational group. I can not picture the majority - if any - of these people in abused or abuser roles but that is no guarantee that someone else somewhere else has not been. Which is a lot of words to use for no feedback.
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1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. ... Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:40 & 45

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Old 04-06-11, 09:21 PM
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Blessings and peace to all. Every church is different, but a good sign may be when the church leadership asks for prayer for their weaknesses and struggles about as often as they remind the congregation of theirs. The absence of this could be cause for concern.
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Old 04-09-11, 09:40 AM
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This is one case among a number of cases that are well-documented. It is not an aberration that happened in one place at one time. These stories rival the stories of similar abuse in the Roman Catholic church. That doesn't mean that all RCC or all IFB churches are hotbeds of immorality, but.

I've seen first-hand how the leaders in some of these churches choose to sweep things under the rug "for the sake of the reputation of Christ." (Personally, when this sort of thing happens, I suspect that it besmirches the reputation of Jesus more than honestly dealing with it.)

I have taken my concerns to leadership, and been told essentially that we don't report this stuff to the authorities. We deal with it "in house" so to speak.

In Tina Anderson's case, she was a 15-year-old girl who had been raped by a 39-year-old church member. The man was never disciplined. This young girl was forced to stand in front of the church and apologize to the congregation. She was then forced to write a letter to the wife of this church member and apologize. She was all but destroyed by "the system." Other leaders worked the damage control detail by trying to cover for the pastor of the church who claims that the police never contacted him with information. All of this is public record as is much more that I haven't related.

Why did no one interfere? There is a culture of fear and secrecy in these places, and retaliation comes swiftly for those who dare to break silence. If you are interested in reading more, do a google search for Tina Anderson.
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Old 04-09-11, 01:25 PM
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Barometer makes a good point.

In every state that I know of clergy are "mandated reporters" meaning that there is a legal obligation to report abuse (physical or sexual) or neglect that they know about or have reason to believe is happening or has happened. So if the pastor knew or simply was told that an adult church member (or total stranger) was sexually involved with an underage child he had a legal as well as moral obligation to report to child protection or law enforcement. BTW all such reports are confidential and while child protective services is far from perfect they generally do investigate, try to get the facts, and hold the adult accountable while offering some protection to the child. Legally the duty to report clearly outweighs clergy confidentiality tho that can be a sticky issue in conscious. The failure to report is a misdemeanor in 37 states and can be a felony in a couple of others. The moral duty to report (vs legal duty) rests not only with the pastor but with every adult who knows start8ing with the child's parent(s). It is not only the church that failed this child if this report is true but also the school system (whose personnel are also mandated reporters) and the community including her own family.

I realize that there are 14 and 15 yr olds who are clearly "asking for it", "giving it away", or "selling it". However just because a child wants something or offers something does not mean an adult has a moral or legal right to give it or to take it. I am on the board of a ministry that deals with that all day every day. I am not against a teen being asked to take responsibility for their part in something like this vs being taught that they are a perpetual victim if they have a part in causing it because that can lead to a greater degree of freedom and a smaller degree of repetition (tho there are far better ways that what is said to have happened here) however I am very much against what is said to have happened in this instance where the adult was not disciplined or reported. Noting that their part does not usually make them the main culprit but neither does it say it is OK for you to try to sell your body for drugs or whatever but not OK for someone to buy. Only when sin is recognized can redemption really be received and healing and wholeness in Christ. Experience in both child protection and ministry shows me that there is a huge difference between a preschooler or young school aged child who is abused and a teen who wile still a victim instigates or willingly participates others may disagree but that is my professional observation. I've seen the opposite side as well where "man" 18 yrs and 3 days has consenting relationship with "child" 17 yrs and 363 days and he is branded a sex offender for life.

(please see next post)
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1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. ... Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:40 & 45

www.caringhandsministries.com
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Old 04-09-11, 02:18 PM
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Abuse in a church setting is not confined to sexual context. There are other instances in which there is an abuse of power. Charles and I were once shunned by a fellowship because he dared to question something about a new leader the pastors brought in. People we had known for yrs before that group was even founded were forbidden to speak to us. Things we had lent the church to use were not returned. The Lord reminded us of Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; " Funny they are gone and we are still here. I have seen groups that demanded that members turn in their paychecks uncashed and they would tell them what to spend etc. generally seems to be a control issue oft stemming from someone's fear of loosing control and therefore using emotional blackmail and spiritual blackmail to maintain control sometimes honestly with the good intent of keeping people "safe" but still. However I have seen similar things in nonchurch groups.

note: one definition if witchcraft is using or trying to use spiritual power to control or get one's own way.
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1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. ... Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:40 & 45

www.caringhandsministries.com
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