There is more. More to read. More to learn. More revelations. More articles. More responses. More, more, more…
These thoughts are just a few of the thoughts that should be expressed after reading Part 1 of Houston Chronicle's investigation into sexual abuse in the SBC. There is more to be said after this short post.
My premise is that sexually abusing another human being is not the sin that one normally begins with. I cannot think of an example of a person who went to bed harmless and woke up ready to exploit another living human being.
Within our Conservative American Christian cultures what has become normative are the sins that lead to the perpetuating and covering up of sexual exploitation of other human beings created in the image of God. The seeds of this stuff is in us. It won't take root in all, or even most, of us. But the seeds are here. We're infected, and in humility we need Christ to cleanse us because the stench of our sins has made us offensive to even the world.
I think our sin, this seed, is that we see humans primarily in how they can serve us. We see the people around us through the lens of selfishness, asking, “How can they bring me pleasure?” Yet each person was made primarily for the pleasure of God.
Pastors take pleasure in the reputation they have with others. They take pleasure in more people listening to their sermons and having bigger attendance. Church members take pleasure in going to a good church where nobody hears about scandals. Parents take pleasure in having wholesome families with no troublesome victims. And predators take pleasure in having sexual power over others.
We are in competition with God, using people for our pleasure, when we were all created for His pleasure. Because of His character, He is very good, our Father does not exploit those whom He created. He takes pleasure in our good. He loves to see us grow, heal, build and grab hold of the infinite joy that is found in Him. When we use others for our pleasure, it is seen more openly in smaller things, for this is the root of gossip, cliques and manipulation…
Gossip, cliques and manipulation are all things that are common in churches. Is it a surprise that these already sinful things would grow into more damaging sins? We have sown the wind and are reaping a tornado. Our reasonable sins have curated a culture within which predators thrive.
God have mercy, we are really sacrificing our children to our idols.