Trampling the Abused for Self-Vindication or, Stop Making It About You

Internecine squabbles are blood sport. It appears some care little about collateral damage in the process. I recently wrote a piece wherein I found it incredulous that a campaign is waged to discredit one person by casting suspicion on the realities of another’s personal struggle and abuse.

I realize in my little part of the interwebs I do not illicit the sort of traffic these would be enquirers claim for themselves. To me this means they are either read too widely or sycophants bloat page views. At some point I find it at least therapeutic to process by writing in such a way some may read and find there are some who claim Jesus that refuse to take up arms against another by relegating experiences of human struggles to anecdotal fodder.

Reading the latest assaults on Ed Stetzer left me longing for the writer of Too Dazed to take up the keyboard again. Fancy that, years later one writer writes about ethics whose strident refusal to admit a mistake against a brother required the threat of legal action to stand down and offer a retraction. It was a case of slander, pure and simple. That his Deacons would receive a certified letter outlining the matter brought about repentance, er uh, a change of, well, I am not sure what happened.

Here is what I wrote in the first piece that captured my interest and intent,

Our experience in pastoral ministry, of one form or another, brought to mind those times where we have walked down the lonely, tortuous road with those whose lives have been beset by abuse of many forms. We could not imagine how anyone could possibly diminish one person’s experience to call another to account.

Attention recently turned to the case of a pastor committing adultery with a young girl, reportedly a 16-year old. This is like suggesting what King David did with Bathsheba is a simple case of adultery. Nope. A more accurate interpretation of the facts is that a king used his position of power to take another man’s wife. Commentaries written prior to the exposure of this sort of abuse of power imply Bathsheba was a willing participant since she did not scream, or protest in some way. Fortunately current commentators point up the realities that were once ignored when women were merely the property of their husbands. They had no voice then and some do not hear them now.

One female, I do not know her age and it does not matter, appealed to he who piles on not to flaunt abuse. She was summarily dismissed as having not read well. Must we replay this again? When in the course of living in the aftermath of abuse, the antennae seem ever sensitive to occasions where abuse is minimized in favor of another agenda, we should not be surprised. Those receptors should be alert. When abuse is thereby cheapened as to be an illustration to call out another person, entity, or institution, the abused suffers again.

We must stop this sort of blood letting. The wounds are deep and the scars pronounced. I care not that you have had the experience of exposing abuse and seeing it addressed. I do care that in your sanctimony you abuse the abused again. I will reiterate the point from another post; too many suffer this sort in our Christian churches. These insensitivities arise from our need to vindicate ourselves or continue to stand tall for a truth held more valuable than another human being.

The incident that I reference, and that I care little to link to, is inadvertently exacerbated when lines are drawn and sides chosen over the chronology of events. It seems clear we would as soon continue straining that gnat when the camel of insensitivity is swallowed unchallenged. I do not think this deliberate. Instead, I believe it is the nature of internecine squabbles. The sort that mean there will always be blood.

Dear Commenter, mentioned above:

Should you happen by here know that I am not a lone voice nor the only one among God’s people interested that you not be abused again. There are plenty of us. Many are unaware of those who exploit your experience for their gain and in support of their agenda. We will continue to champion the cause of those marginalized by such behavior and markedly un-Christian habits. I hope others may register their support for you and others here. Maybe the preponderance of such a witness will drown out the din of those caring more about themselves than you.

Peace.

Todd

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About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.