Abuse is Rampant in Our Churches — Quotes by Steven Tracy
The following two paragraphs are taken from Steven Tracy’s book, Mending the Soul [*Affiliate link]. I am re-reading that book now and was struck once again by these statements. Notice especially Tracy’s story of the pastor who was living in denial. This denial is sooooo typical:
“I [Steven Tracy], like many who were blessed to have grown up in a loving home, have had a very difficult time accepting the reality of abuse, particularly in Christian homes. Years ago, when I was a young pastor in a vibrant church, I was deeply offended when the women’s ministry invited a special speaker to address the topic of domestic violence. Little did I (or anyone else) realize that one of our elders had been beating his wife for years, having put her in the hospital several times, and that at that very time one of our ministers was about to be arrested for felony child abuse. I’ve come to realize that abuse is not the odd exception but is rampant both in the church and in secular society. The evidence for this tragic assertion is overwhelming.”
“It is exceedingly difficult for us to accept the fact that abuse is rampant. I have vivid memories of a pastor who was highly offended when I gave him a Christian book about sexual abuse. He dogmatically asserted that the book’s author (a noted evangelical authority on sexual abuse) didn’t know what he was talking about when he wrote that abuse is prevalent in the church. This pastor reasoned that he had been a shepherd in a large church for several years, and of the several thousand individuals in his congregation, he only knew of a couple individuals who had been sexually abused. Furthermore, he contended that the book’s discussion of sexual abuse put impure thoughts into people’s minds. It apparently hadn’t occurred to him that, given his mind-set, it was unlikely anyone would disclose sexual abuse to him. Ironically, my wife and I knew of several dozen individuals in his church who had been sexually abused.”
Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-19). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 169-218). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.