Whose Job is it? Taking Responsibility to Act in Behalf of Abuse Victims
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
It is our job, given to us by Christ, to protect the defenseless. The civil authorities are appointed by Christ to strike fear into the evildoer (Romans 13), but there is another institution appointed by Christ that also bears the responsibility and that is the Church. Us. Christians. If we are to obey Christ then we must acknowledge and shoulder this responsibility. But in many cases, we are not doing so. In previous articles, we exposed the many devices used by churches, pastors and individual Christians to “pass the buck.” Ultimately, we cannot pass it. The job of defending and protecting the defenseless is given to us, and the buck stops here.
In his history of the Second World War, Volume I, Winston Churchill documents how denial, a dangerous naiveté about “peace in our time,” and other foolish ideas resulted in the near destruction of Britain at the hands of Hitler. There were years and years before the war when many warnings were given that Germany was re-arming in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Buck was passed. Black and white was denied. No action was taken. And eventually the slaughter began. Churchill said that in those years, he was reminded of some lines he read in a cartoon book when he was only a child. And this is how they read –
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
The axles creak and the couplings strain,
And the pace is hot, and the points are near,
And Sleep has deadened the driver’s ear;
And the signals flash through the night in vain,
For Death is in charge of the clattering train.
That is what the evil of abuse is like so often in the setting of the church. It is a train running out of control, or rather, under the control of Death. The signals are flashing their warnings – but to no avail. The rest of the church sleeps. And the train rumbles on until…it is too late.
It is our job – the job of every single Christian and every single local church – to take back the train controls. A local church, united in support of an abuse victim, knowledgeable of the evil mentality and tactics of this wicked sin called abuse, is a powerful and really unstoppable force against evil. We can give the victim the means to get free. We can provide her with necessities – food, clothing, shelter, protection. We can vindicate her by rejecting her abuser’s accusations. We can refuse to permit the abuser to continue to practice his hypocrisy in our church. We can do all of this and so much more. The Christian church has the potential to be the greatest single institution on earth to aid and rescue victims of abuse–far greater than the civil authorities all combined.
If you are a genuine Christian and not one in name only, the time comes when you simply cannot continue to sleep the sleep of denial. We must wake up, hear the warning signals, and wrest control of the train back from Death.