I’m disgusted and outraged as I write this and for multiple reasons. The “Times Up” movement has been going on for a bit now and we (the Church) is just now jumping on the bandwagon. I’m disgusted by this in so many ways. We should have been leading this movement, not part of the problem. Over the past week a series of events have occurred that has put the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) in a place where they are going to have to make a decision. So let’s start at the beginning…. ok, not exactly the beginning, but farther back than a week ago.
In 2014, at the Awakening Conference Dr. Paige Patterson (who his the president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) referred to a 16 year-old-girl as being “fine” “built”. Also, as of the writing of this blog, he has not denied that he would counsel women to stay in abusive relationships.
I’m outraged and apparently are another 200 women from North Carolina who have written an open letter to the SWBTS Board of trustees regarding taking action against this. How can we be the representation of Jesus and allow abuse to take place, let alone individuals in leadership. WE SHOULD BE LEADING THE TIMES UP MOVEMENT! NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM!
Instead, we have to write open letters to openly ask a board of trustees to remove a misogynistic individual who encourages women to stay in abusive situations. THIS IS NOT WHAT JESUS IS ABOUT. NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND! Jesus called us to love others and help the least of these, not prey on them, abuse them or stay silent because its easier. And Jesus got absolutely outraged times when He saw things that were blatantly wrong! The time for turning our heads and ignoring the problem is over.
For years abuse has been perpetrated from individuals within the church and within leadership. How do I know this? I experienced it. And if you’re involved in a church then you probably know someone who has too. Throw a stone and you’ll hit someone. I know people personally who were molested by youth pastors, were told by their pastor to stay with their abusive spouse. I can say from personal experience that I told my senior pastor’s wife about my verbal abuse that my mother did to me. I didn’t even mention the physical abuse, that was too embarrassing. But I knew she saw how my mom spoke about me and to me. She did nothing. She empathized, but did nothing. When I was in college I could not longer take my mother’s emotional and verbal abuse (the physical abuse had ended at this point because of an event where I fought back – but that story is for another day). I called a meeting with our pastor and my parents. My pastor said he only wished he could still argue with his son, but he had died the previous year. He too did nothing.
I told family members for years about the physical and emotional abuse, but no one did a thing. Each person I reached out to claimed to be a follower of Jesus. Abuse exists, within the church, within it’s volunteers and leaders. “The Church” has either chosen to close a blind eye or be the perpetrators.
Friends, let us rise up! Let us stand hand in hand with these 200 women. When we see abuse, let us address it! Even if we suspect, let us ask questions and look out for one another. We are not to hide it under the rug. The blog Crying Out For Justice wrote a beautiful article explaining the SBC situation in better detail as well as Beth Moore’s blog explaining why she hasn’t addressed the issue sooner. She also explains why she can no longer sit by and watch what happens.
Friends, let’s create a movement of #thechurchsaysnomore. We can do this. We can do better, and we can start today. Have we screwed up in the past? Yes, but let’s start taking action now!
The Outraged Inappropriate Pastor’s Wife