Warning to pastors: you could face court for not dealing with domestic abuse properly.
At last, a Catholic priest has been found guilty of “child endangerment” for turning a blind eye to all the pedophile priests under his watch and moving them from parish to parish where they could prey on new victims. But why is this relevant to the issue of domestic abuse in the evangelical church?
I would love to see the evangelical church wake up and deal properly with domestic abuse. I don’t want the failures of pastors and elders to lead to them being charged for crimes of complicity with domestic violence. And this need not happen, if church leaders start behaving more Biblically in the way they deal with domestic abuse.
But I fear that one day some church leaders will be taken to court for “complicity before the fact” in a crime of domestic murder. Let the fate of this Catholic priest be a warning to evangelical leaders who continue to mishandle the issue of domestic abuse. Ministers who are mandated to report crimes should take especial warning. If you are mandated to report sexual crimes, this includes Marital Rape–which happens often in domestic abuse. And if you are mandated to report Child Endangerment then you need to know that exposure to domestic violence endangers children – and exposure can be as simple as hearing it from another room.