A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

People who want to ride the fence

This is a grass roots movement — bottom up. The higher up levels in ministries and denominations will never listen unless there is a ground swell from lowly Christians. I dont see us dialoguing with the power brokers because they would only be trying to trick us into believing that they really do care about justice. Historically that is always how it goes down.

Here is a quote from Roland Bainton’s biography of Martin Luther. There is a lesson here for us about people who claim to be our friends but want to ride the fence so they don’t suffer any loss. They say things like: “Surely it is fine to point out error and to criticize certain things, but you must not go too far. If you will just not cross ‘the line’ then we can all work together and you won’t alienate people from you and….” on it goes. Anyway, here is what Bainton wrote:

Glapion had previously approached Frederick the Wise with a very engaging argument. Luther’s earlier works, he claimed, had warmed his heart. He thoroughly agreed with the attack on indulgences and saw in The Freedom of the Christian Man a wonderful Christian spirit.

But when he had read The Babylonian Captivity, he was simply aghast. He could not believe that Luther would acknowledge the book. It was not in his usual style. If he had written it, he must have done so in a fit of passion. In that case he should be ready to have it interpreted in the sense of the Church. If he would comply, he would have many supporters. The matter should be settled in private, else the Devil would stir up contention, war, and insurrection. No good could come of public controversy, and only the Devil would profit from Luther’s appearance at Worms.

Bainton, Roland H. (2013-08-06). Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Kindle Locations 2480-2486). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

Hmmmm . . . .no good can come of public controversy? Let’s just keep our little negotiations in the back rooms and put on a show of unity for the good of Christ, you know. That’s how this thing goes.

The fact is that we are going to tick people off in this ministry. We bring things out into the light because these denominations and ministry leaders and so on won’t listen unless the heat and light gets put on them. We all know this. This “keep it secret, keep it safe” business is what abuse victims run up against all the time.

18 Comments

  1. Great points, Jeff. I keep praying for and thinking of ways that we can work together to make a difference.

  2. IamMyBeloved's

    Exactly! The claim is that “we don’t want the lost to see the Church warring amongst themselves”. My response is “no, you would rather the lost see how abusive some leaders can be and decide they never want to be in the Church because of fear of encountering those abusive leaders!” Instead of standing for Christ’s truth, and working hard for it to prevail, they would rather be able to blame God’s providence and sovereignty for the Church being weak, unsteady and unable to perform Her task. The truth always needs to be told, and abusive and false teachers always need to be exposed and removed from their position they appointed themselves to. This is exactly what Luther did – and look how much good God used it for. One man who stood for truth and against evil. Imagine what the true Church would look like, if we all stood for the truth and against the evils that are pervading Her. There is much danger in remaining silent.

  3. joepote01

    Good post, Jeff.

    As a fellow Tolkien enthusiast, I recognized your quote of Gandalf’s words to Frodo, in regard to the ring. Like the ring, sin can only be kept secret for a relatively brief period. Evil always grows until it becomes impossible to hide.

    Keep shining the light of God’s truth!

    • Ruth

      I am gently trying to help a friend see this truth about sin and evil always growing and becoming more powerful. As intensely as the Hobbit and LOTR illustrate this I don’t think she is a fan 😉
      Would you please direct me to scripture that explains this truth?
      Thanks

      • Jeff Crippen

        Ruth- I suppose that the best biblical illustration would be in regard to the antichrist. Right now there are many antichrists (2 John 1;7; 1 Jn 2:18), but it does appear that Scripture teaches us Satan and his antichrist will grow more evident as time goes along. But in some ways the more important aspect is in relation to a person’s individual life. The longer a person hears God’s truth and rejects it, the harder their heart becomes and the more evil they grow. I think for example of Hebrews 6:4-6, and then you have the example of Esau who ultimately came to a point of being completely apostate and repentance was impossible for him.

      • joepote01

        Lots of scriptures illustrate this concept. Isaiah 28:15-18 is one passage that uses powerful imagery.

      • joepote01

        Ruth – Matthew 10:26 is another reference: “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”

      • Ruth

        Thank you Joe and Jeff for your help.

  4. Ang

    IamMyBeloved’s… That needs repeating:
    Imagine what the true Church would look like, if we all stood for the truth and against the evils that are pervading Her. There is much danger in remaining silent.

  5. As I See It Only

    LOVE this post. What a call to stand firm in the truth! When the whispers come–and they will–that we do not love the church unless . . . (you fill in the blank) we must have an answer ready. You are preparing an army of little truth-speakers (squeakers?). God has promised to judge the world, but He will start by cleaning His own House first. Here it comes.

  6. Yes, an army of little truth-speakers (squeakers?) — whistle blowers

  7. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog and commented:
    If we remain silent, nothing will change.

  8. Brenda R

    “keep it secret, keep it safe”

    This is what many would like to believe. But in reality, keeping it secret, makes many unsafe.

  9. Not Too Late

    I don’t see us dialoguing with the power brokers because they would only be trying to trick us into believing that they really do care about justice.

    Right on! One foot on each side of the fence. Pretending to care about justice while being too cowardly to commit to standing up for the victim and keeping the perpetrator accountable. I mean, what if they lose people in their pews? What if the perpetrator has important associations? No, it’s all too hard…much safer to ride the fence.

    Not to worry, folks, that’s never stopped the groundswell. Lowly Christians – yeah, the same people the early church was full of – they will rise up, undaunted and unstoppable. We will not be silenced.

    • the groundswell will rise up, undaunted and unstoppable. We will not be silenced.

      On that note, it may be worth mentioning The Cry For Justice Chorus which some of our newer readers may not have seen. 🙂

  10. Vicki

    Hello TWBTC!

    The links at the top to New Users, Our Beliefs, and Tags are not working and I wanted to let you know. (I want to send my pastors to your site, and I was noodling around the site with my “outsider eyes” on to put myself in the shoes of a first-time reader.)

    Thanks for this very, very valuable resource!

    Oh… one other thought. Is it fairly simple to add a clickable link to the front pages? I noodled around on your site a really long time before I discovered the “TWBTC” email to tell you about the broken links. But I’ve seen on a lot of sites you just scroll down to the very bottom of the front page and click a small-print word like “Webmaster” or something. Easy and everyone knows where to find it.

    Just a thought that might make things easier.

    Again… grateful thanks for keeping the ACFJ site tidy and nice!

    Vicki

    • Hi Vicki, I’ll let TWBTC reply to you in more detail, but I think you might find that the tabs for New Users, Our Beliefs, and Tabs are in fact meant to operate that way. When you click on those tabs they don’t have their own URLs, they just reveal drop-down menus. If you click on any of the items in one of those drop-down menus it will take you to a page that has its own URL. Hope this makes sense. It is the only way to set up drop-down menus in Tabs in WordPress. I know it can be annoying but that’s how WordPress does it.

      If a tab does not have a drop-down menu, it will have its own URL. But if it has a drop-down menu, it won’t.

    • TWBTC

      Hi Vicki,
      As Barb explained the New Users, Our Beliefs, and Tags pages contain drop-down menus that need to be individually selected to obtain access. I just checked each page, and the drop-down menus were working for me. I hope you find them working for you now.
      I’m sorry you had a hard time finding my email. I’ll review our current layout. Unfortunately, while wordpress.com makes setting up a website free and easy, it also sets parameters that we have to work within unlike a website that is built from scratch.

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