Open discussion~When abuse takes place:
1. Is it ever the victims fault?
2. Should the victim forgive, or should the abuser be held accountable even if it exposes the church?
Cult minded churches blame the victims of physiological, physical, and sexual abuse. To justify that blame, leadership will cite consent, aggression, rebellion, disobedience to the pastor, etc. Victims are told to forgive their abuser regardless of the offense. The leadership “picks and chooses” which abuser is held “accountable” based on their status in the church. Accountability can range from secret counseling to public confession. Tragically, the proper authorities are rarely notified even in the most severe cases where there should be legal consequences such as incest, molestation, and physical abuse. When authorities do get involved, the church leadership sometimes works with the abuser to help cover up the truth.
Please leave your thoughts below.
Both forgiveness and accountability. Forgiveness gives the wronged party the ability to have an element of control over a situation where they many times didn’t have one. It is what God calls for us to do, and it makes it possible for the victim to begin to heal. Accountability because God is a God of order and consequence. Though His grace covers sin it does not absolve the consequences. And because people who are predatory rarely only prey upon one person. There are always others they have or are going to do it to. Accountability helps protect future victims and helps give additional victims courage to hold their attackers accountable.
I agree 100% with this. It’s not either/or, but both. Unfortunately, in many churches, accountability is considered revenge and should be left up to God or the churches discretion. Thank you for commenting.
Forgiveness is not about the abuser-ever. Forgiveness is about freeing the victim and giving them the power to move on.
The victim must forgive , but that has nothing to do with what happens to the abuser. The abuser MUST be held accountable!! This is for the sake of the abuser him/herself, every person who may be vulnerable to them, and the victim and their family.
I love that- forgiveness is not about the abuser. Do you believe that forgiveness is vital to healing? Can someone heal without forgiving?
I believe that you have to forgive for yourself to have a happy contented life. I also think that the victim is never at fault and that the abuser must face consequences. If they get away with the abuse they will abuse others.
The abuser MUST be held accountable. How can the victim move forward and forgive if they are not listened to. These things you speak of are crimes!! These people in higher places in church settings seem to think they are above the law.
You are right. Unfortunately many churches take the law into their own hands and they need to be exposed!
Thank you for commenting! I agree- it is never the victims fault and they must face consequences!
The abused person is never obligated to have anything to do with the abuser but to forgive them! They aren’t obligated to like them or love them! The abuse shatters you into a thousand pieces and it takes years for the Lord to put back all those pieces in place! I’m still having pieces put into place and it’s been 12yrs. since I started dealing with my abuse! The Lord is good and faithful and He’s always gracious and loving towards me!!
Thank you for this, Pris Johnson. I’m so glad that you are experiencing God’s grace and love!
It is never the victim’s fault. Predator’s choose to be vile, horrific people, and are called predators because they prey on those who are weaker than themselves. They are the most disgusting of humanity and should be exposed, face their judgement and accept the consequences for their actions. If the church is exposed than so be it. Chances are, if there is one predator in your midst than there is another, because they have deemed your church a viable victim source and don’t intend on leaving their stash. If one predator is lurking that means others can sense the same weakness and infiltrate. In my opinion this is often because those in authority in churches don’t properly handle abuse because they want to let the “Lord handle it.” and any other nonsense excuses to absolve themselves of any responsibility. Also, many times in churches, those in authority are the predators, using their “God given authority” to perpetrate heinous crimes. Abuse of any kind, is solely the fault of the individual that chose to commit such acts.
you may have an awesome weblog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?