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Weighty Millstones

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Weighty Millstones

Last May I linked to a post written by Sarah Taras in which she was bemoaning the degradation of the gospel in the Evangelical church. As you know this is a topic which is near to my heart so I was thrilled when I came across her blog.  You can imagine my surprise when a reader emailed me a link to a post on another topic that is near to my heart only to see that it was co-written by the same author!

In The Stones Will Cry Out, Sarah Taras and Marci Preheim wrote a stinging rebuke against Evangelical leaders who are engaging in the grossly immoral sin of turning a blind eye to sexual predators in the church. In the post they tell of a heartbreaking situation in which a friend’s son was raped by a ‘friend’ from church.The church’s response is all too familiar,

Herein lies the problem. She turned to the only place she knew to find Jesus—the church. There, instead of protection, care and assistance, she was further abused, silenced, falsely accused, financially impoverished, and kicked to the curb. Instead of protecting her and her son, the church protected, nurtured, and cared for the rapist. They did not inform other parents of the danger that comes with having a rapist in the congregation, nor did they limit the perpetrator’s access to other children.

Pastors and church leaders have a natural inclination to fight for the sinner and minister to sinners. This is a good thing. . . but never (ever, ever, ever!) at the expense of the victim. The thing is, as pastors we are called to ‘protect, nurture, and care’ for the most depraved of sinners. In the case of a rapist, this can and should be done from behind bars. The gospel has been proclaimed in prisons since the beginning and we can still do that today. Taras and Preheim are right to frame this in the context of Matthew 18.6, “. . . But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me–it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea”. These pastors should repent– they must repent! If not, the judgement that awaits them is severe; and the millstones around their neck will be crying out against them. Head on over to sarahtaras.com and read The Stones Will Cry Out.

If you are interested in reading more on this topic check out the following books:

Protecting Children From Abuse in the Church

The Long Journey Home: Understanding and Ministering to the Sexually Abused

Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores

 

Last Modified on April 19, 2016
This entry was posted in abuse
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7 thoughts on “Weighty Millstones

  1. Lena

    Oh this is so right on!

  2. Thank you for this Aaron. This gets me fired up every time! Why in God’s name would a pastor not help the victims?

  3. This is such a good reminder. Like your recent post on abuse this one hits at the heart of the issue. I really liked the blog you linked to as well. The ladies wrote a very good post and you could tell that it was an issue they really care about. You all inspire me to bring this up as an issue with my own congregation. I feel a sermon starting to brew on this. It’s about time.

  4. Lenette

    She’s right you know. About the Evangelical vs Catholic Church that is. I spent many years there and was always broken when an abuse story broke. When I left Catholicism for grace I hoped it would be different. There is a lot more grace in Protestantism that I’m learning to love but the abuse thing is common to both.

    • Lenette I wish I could argue with that. You are correct though.

  5. Bill Zan

    This sounds good until a member of your church staff is falsely accused and then what? You ruin the reputation, marriage and ability to earn an income of a good man. These should be thoroughly handled by the church before going to the authorities. I trust the church over the government any day.

    • Bill, I understand. It’s scary to think that an innocent person’s reputation could be ruined. However, this is rarely the case and when it is, the truth comes out during the investigation. The victim must be believed, removed from any danger, and ministered to. Churches have demonstrated time and time again that they should not be the priary investigators for an abuse allegation. They need an objective third party investigating for them. I trust the Church more than the government with the word and sacraments. I trust the civil authorities more to wield the sword of God.

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