Church Controversy with Domestic Abuse: an annotated bibliography
Australian Christian circles have been abuzz with the topic of domestic abuse in the church since the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) published about it in mid July 2017.
The controversy in a nutshell: Church leaders profess to abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates and victims say the church is not only failing to sufficiently address domestic abuse, it is enabling and concealing domestic abuse and telling women to endure domestic abuse in the name of God.
Before presenting my annotated bibliography of this debate, I want to make a few observations.
Features of the debate
1. The question of Male Headship
- Many people have tried to frame the debate as if the doctrine of Male Headship is the problem. This has predictably bogged some of the debate down in the well-worn trenches of Comp versus Egal (Complementarian versus Egalitarian). Each side seems to think their particular view about gender roles will fix the problem of domestic abuse.
- Some people have pointed to more widespread and complex systemic problems: doctrinal problems that go wider than Comp vv Egal, and attitudinal problems which are systemic in the non-Christian society as well.
- Personally, I am convinced that the issue of domestic abuse in the church is FAR more complex than the Comp vv Egal debate. I think that complementarianism in the way it is typically taught is one contributor to the problem, but I don’t believe it is the core of the problem. I believe that complementarianism needs to rethink some of its presuppositions. (See here and here.)
- I think that if men in the church had been servant-leading the church well, this controversy over domestic abuse in the church would not have arisen.
2. Defensive pushback
- When child sexual abuse was exposed in Christian organisations, many organisations went into defensive mode, protecting the institution rather than supporting the abuse survivors. Some people are urging the church to learn from that experience and not repeat that defensive stance on the issue of domestic abuse in the church.
- Some people have responded to the ABC stories by focusing on and quibbling with the statistics in the small amount of research which has been done on domestic abuse in the church.
- The predictable cry “What about male victims” has been voiced. Raising this cry is a red herring. No-one denies that some men are victims of domestic abuse. We have some of their stories here. In the stories I’ve heard from male victims, the church more usually believed and supported the man when he disclosed his plight. But in the hundreds of stories I’ve heard from women, the church typically mistreated the woman when she disclosed.
- Some have decried the ABC’s stories as anti-Christian. It is true that the ABC is one of mainstream secular media sources in Australia. But when the church has been wittingly or unwittingly enabling abusers to flourish in the church and failing to help many victims, and the secular media blows the whistle, the church leaders only have themselves to blame.
- Some folk have responded to the ABC’s stories by pointing out the supposedly good things churches have been doing to address domestic abuse.
3. Prioritising the victims
- Some people have focused on victims’ stories and the failure of many churches to believe and support victims when they sought help.
- It is clear from the victims’ stories that some abusers are ordained clergy: priests and pastors, and some abusers hold leadership positions in churches but are not ordained. Scripture speaks to this: Micah 3; Ezekiel 34; Jeremiah 22–23:2-2, Matthew 23:14; 1 Cor 5:11-13; 2 Tim 3:1-5; Ps 10; Rom 1:28-31.
- Victims have not universally been reporting bad experiences in churches. Some are reporting that they had good experiences when they disclosed their plight to church leaders.
- Some church leaders seem to have become more responsive to victims as a result of the discussion, more willing to listen to victims and ‘hear’ them.
4. Geographical distinctives
Australia is in many ways better placed to debate this topic than America is. Australian churches seldom treat their pastors as celebrities, but many American churches do. In Australia you would seldom or never see the kind of adulation of the senior pastor as you see in this video where Capitol Hill Baptist Church celebrates 15 years with Mark Dever.
And the American Christian community contains more extreme examples of legalistic gender stereotyping than the Australian Christian community does. Australian Christians do read a lot of resources from American Christianity, but we haven’t have had the kinds of big-shot hyper-patriarchal types which America has had (Doug Wilson, Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips, Mark Driscoll).
CBMW heavyweights like John Piper and Ligon Duncan have only visited Australia occasionally; they don’t live on Aussie soil or teach in Aussie seminaries. For all these reasons, Australia is a bit more moderate across the spectrum of its evangelical Christianity than America is. Hence, it’s a bit easier to have this kind of discussion in Australia.
Having said that, I hope that the church in America and other parts of the world will become engaged in this discussion and maybe even learn from it. I pray it will inspire similar discussions in other countries.
The bibliography is in reverse chronological order, with the most recent item at the top. I will keep adding items as they come out.
The bibliography has been compiled by me, but I haven’t put in only items I approve of. If you know of an item which is not on this list and you believe it ought to be, please send me a link to the item. My email address is email@example.com The final decision as to whether to include an item rests with me as leader of this blog.
I have annotated the list; annotations are in italics. I’ve indicated which items I recommended with the annotation Highly Recommended. For a few of the items, I’ve quoted a short portion of the item and I show that with quotation marks.
This bibliography is intended to be an ongoing resource for Christians who are interested in the visible church’s responses to domestic abuse. So some items in the list come from the kinds of churches and organizations which we wouldn’t usually link to on this blog or recommend to our readers.
Abused clergy wife’s message to the church: I’m still struggling to survive – ABC News
Domestic abuse survivors within Anglican Church to receive financial assistance in possible ‘world first’ —by Hayley Gleeson & Julia Baird
Degree of Reckoning — by Julie Perrin
Churches Can No Longer Hide Domestic Violence — by Julia Baird
Is Don Burke like the church and domestic violence? (You might need to scroll part way down the linked page to reach the article. Editors.] — Phil Lowe
‘We have a serious problem’: Baptist Church Apologizes to domestic violence victims — Haley Gleeson
Safer – a resource to help churches understand, identify and respond to domestic and family violence — Common Grace
#ChurchToo: Christian victims of abuse join social media outpouring — Hayley Gleeson
Domestic abuse and the church…Take 2 — Anglican Minister Daryl McCullough
New resources to help churches respond to domestic violence — Kaley Payne
She left an abusive marriage for the sake of her children — Anne Lim
Anglican victims of domestic violence speak out — Julia Baird
How can the church do better by domestic violence victims? — Michael Jensen
Dealing with abusive clergy — Rev Sandy Grant
Raped, tracked, humiliated: Clergy wives speak out about domestic violence — Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson
The Sydney Anglican Synod is finally listening to victims of domestic violence — Julia Baird, ABC News
Anglican Diocese of Sydney makes apology to victims of domestic violence — Hayley Gleeson and Julia Baird, ABC News
Sydney Anglican Diocese—Provisional Policy on Responding to Domestic Abuse — click on the link and scroll down to page number 436 to find the policy.
Sydney Anglican Church confesses to domestic abuse in its ranks, plans to reform with new policy — Hayley Gleeson, ABC News
The voices of women who’ve suffered abuse have been heard — ABC The Drum Tweeter Video Clip
Credit where due: Australian Anglicans apologise for domestic violence — Luke Arms
Time to Listen — two videos of the public event held in North Sydney on Sept 6, 2017.
Part 1 [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] — Julia Baird, ABC journalist, and Graeme Anderson, Senior Ps of Northside Baptist Church, Crows Nest, talk about the public attention given to domestic abuse in the church in the last few years in Australia.
Part 2 [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] —Julia Baird leads a panel discussion of what is being done and what people can do next. Panel: Erica Hamence, Bruce Chang, Michael Jensen and Liz Mackinlay.
The verdict on domestic violence data and the Church: Believe the women — Naomi Priest and Nicholas Biddle, ABC News. “The research doesn’t show that men who go to church more often are less likely to abuse their wives.”
Walking Through It: A Family Violence Survivor’s Reflection — by Anonymous, at The Gospel Coalition Australia. This is the same Anonymous who wrote Things I wish you understood: An open letter to ministers from a family violence survivor.
Shattering the silence: Australians tell their stories of surviving domestic violence in the church — as told to Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson. ABC News. Highly Recommended. Stories from 18 women and 2 men.
Spousal Abuse, Pastoral Theology, and Pastoral Practice, The First Step. — Dr Mark A Garcia, The Lydia Centre, Greystone Theological Institute. The mission of the Lydia Centre is to advancing reformed scholarship in the areas of gender, marital, and family ethics. See Mark Garcia’s credentials here. Quotable quote:
In my first encounter with a form of domestic violence, I failed. Badly. And it has haunted me with alarming regularity ever since. … I suggest that others learn from my mistake and consider the possibility that returning back to the site of the disaster, if there is one for you as there is for me, may be the most fitting first step in our quest for greater faithfulness in attending to these issues properly. … Instead of moving directly to the books and the important theoretical questions, perhaps we should first return to those human beings, those we may have already failed on this front, and telling them so, humbly and apologetically, assuring them that their suffering is bearing fruit through us to serve and protect others–and may our God make this so.
Letter To My Friend—A Domestic Abuse Survivor — by Bronwen Speedie, CBE International.
Domestic violence in church communities: the male clergy who are ready to listen – Julia Baird, Sydney Morning Herald. “This is no attack on Christianity; this is Christianity – responding to need, working to overcome ignorance, misunderstandings, blindness that might cause suffering, as well as modelling hope and compassion and love.”
Domestic violence ‘first priority’ — Russell Powell
Churches ‘should unite’ to fight domestic abuse — Anne Lim
Anglican Church offers formal apology to victims of domestic violence — Hayley Gleeson
Her Story of Domestic Violence — at Fixing Her Eyes, a site for women who want to learn what it means to follow Jesus, by Australian Christian women. Highly Recommended. Ten Christian women and one Christian man tell their stories of being abused and how the church responded.
Chinese whispers at the ABC — Dr Mark Durie, Anglican pastor, academic, human rights activist. Claims that the ABC stories distorted the research findings.
Note: one of our New Zealand readers (a survivor of abuse) has commented:
That “New Zealand study” which keeps coming up was published over 30 years ago from data collected 40 years ago. It was based on reports of physical assault. Incidentally the author, a respected although now retired academic, has more recently expressed the view that intimate partner violence is perpetrated equally by both partners.
In any case, New Zealand was a very, very different society 40 years ago. If that study was ever relevant to any discussions on abuse within the church, it certainly isn’t relevant now. The people who insist on using this particular study to justify their position seem to be grasping at straws.
A response to the ABC Report on domestic violence in churches — Graeme Cann, pastor in the Church of Christ, Clinical Counsellor. Graeme has been actively involved in raising awareness of domestic violence for more than a decade. Says that much of the ABC report was a reasonably fair appraisal of the situation. Suggests what churches and Christians can to effect significant changes in attitude and behaviour.
Graham Baly, a seasoned police officer, commented at Graeme Cann’s post:
Having experienced first hand more than six domestic violence murders over two decades of police service, I am appalled at the churches’ reluctance to assist people, mainly women, when they report DV.
Reports made on the ABC should be looked at with a view to learn from rather than pulling down the shutters on the issue and retreating back into our holy huddles.
There is much for the church to learn and enormous help needed in our communities.
Faith, family, violence and the ABC’s smears — Mark Powell, Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield, NSW, Australia. NOTE: I have asked Mark Powell to please not use the “Red Pill, Blue Pill” metaphor because it is used in evil ways on the Manosphere — the many sites on internet where abusive men urge each other on in their hyper-misogynist ideologies. Mark has not responded to my request.
Facts go missing in ABC report on ‘violent Christians’ (article is behind a paywall at The Australian) — W Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and senior fellow of the Institute for Family Studies
Pastoral Statement on Domestic Violence [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] — David Burke, Moderator of the General Assembly of New South Wales, Presbyterian Church of Australia, July 2017. The statement is also on the Gospel, Society and Culture Facebook page. If I were a victim sitting in the pews next to my abusive husband and that statement were read, it wouldn’t give me much confidence that the church really would respond warmly and compassionately to me. And the statement makes the dangerous assumption that church leaders can help abusers change their ways. In my observation, leaders who make that assumption usually end up compounding the plight and prolonging the suffering of victims.
Sermon on Domestic Violence — Liam Miller, Uniting Church Chaplain at Macquarie University.
It is time to stop equivocating about domestic violence — Sean Lau, Eureka Street. Sean is a Rhodes Scholar researching for a DPhil in Theology at Trinity College, Oxford. Argues that regardless of whether the doctrine of headship does increase the prevalence of domestic violence, that violence is not just an individual problem, but a communal one. Suggests questions which the Christian community needs to start asking itself.
Domestic violence in the Australian church — Persis Lorenti, an American woman who blogs at TriedWithFire
How to navigate the research on domestic violence and Christian churches: A few frequently asked questions — ABC News, Julia Baird & Hayley Gleeson.
Asking Christians to do better by domestic violence victims is not an attack on Christianity — Steven Tracy, Professor, Theology and Ethics at Phoenix Seminary; co-founder of Mending the Soul. Tracy’s research was quoted in the ABC 7:30 Report and in Julia Baird’s initial essay on this topic at ABC News.
Who’s in charge? How the church ought to speak about headship — David Ould, Anglican minister, Sydney Diocese. Argues that respondents to the ABC’s stories who are focusing on statistics or focusing on what the church is doing well, are spinning the story away from the major point which is the victims’ experiences. Pushes back against George Browning’s article.
Is it anti-Christian to admit the church sometimes fails abuse victims? Is it anti-Christian to admit that abusers often misuse the Bible? — Steven R. Tracy, Professor of Theology and Ethics at Phoenix Seminary, co-founder of Mending The Soul.
Australian church leaders call for urgent response to domestic violence — ABC News, Julia Baird & Hayley Gleeson.
How Churches Enable Domestic Violence — Joanna Cruickshank, ABC Religion & Ethics. This article is useful to present to Christians who are responding defensively.
A tale of two tables: Public Christianity, common conversations, and our place at the table — Nathan Campbell, Presbyterian pastor, Brisbane.
Protesting too much: Christian Leaders on “alleged” abuse — Luke Arms. “Women deserve better than this. We must insist on it.”
Male headship and the modern world — George Browning, former Anglican Bishop, The Melbourne Anglican. Argues against male headship.
What’s a hurting wife to do? — Barry York, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Dean of Faculty at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh; General Editor of Reformed Presbyterian Theological Journal. Barry York describes Julia Baird’s essay on domestic abuse in the church as a “hit piece”. York’s post is typical of how church leaders BADLY advise women whose husbands are abusive and/or indulging in porn. I submitted two comments on York’s post and in case my comments get scrubbed, I saved the entire thing on the WebArchive here.
How the domestic violence research can help the church: Lets get beyond the culture war — John Sandeman, Editor in Chief, Eternity News.
Domestic violence and Australian churches: why the current data have limitations — Naomi Priest, Mandy Truong, Nicholas Biddle, The Conversation.
Church & Domestic Violence. Love your statistics, sorry, neighbour as yourself — Philippa Lowe
Sins of the father Part 1 & Sins of the Father Part 2 — 60 Minutes, Channel 9 television, Australia. Trigger warning for women who have suffered marital rape and other forms of domestic abuse. Highly Recommended. Joy Harris was married to a ‘c’hristian pastor (Larry Harris) who repeatedly raped and abused her. Larry is now serving time in jail for raping Joy. Joy bravely tells her story. Kevin Harris, one of Joy’s adult sons, is also a pastor and he is siding with his father the rapist. Top marks to the superb interviewer from 60 Minutes who holds the feet of Kevin Harris to the fire. This program shows how much better the police are at addressing domestic violence than many so-called Christians are.
Women are secondary citizens in the Independent Baptist movement — 60 Minutes Extra speaks to Mel Thornton, who used to be in the Independent Baptist movement. Describes how controlling the movement is and the policies in the church which help keep abuse covered up.
The risk Joy Harris took in speaking out against her Independent Baptist church — 60 Minutes Extra speaks to Amanda Lee-Ross.
An apology to victims of domestic violence in the church — Graham Hill, Baptist minister and Provost of Morling College Sydney.
Churches hit back at ‘selective’ ABC show (article is behind a paywall at The Australian) — Ean Higgins, The Australian.
Churches Abhor Family Violence — Editorial behind a paywall at The Australian. Criticises the ABC for being biased against Christianity. Quibbles with the statistics given in Julia Baird’s essay and the 7:30 Report. Criticises the ABC for not showing any footage of Kara Hartley in the 7:30 Report and for ignoring information provided by Brisbane’s Catholic Archbishop.
Part 1: We all unwittingly partner in the violence — Erica Hamence, Common Grace.
What victims of domestic abuse really need to hear — Eternity News, Barbara Roberts.
Light, Darkness & Domestic Violence — Bronwen Speedie.
The Drum [Internet Archive link] — ABC TV panel discussion: Julia Baird, ABC reporter; David Ould, Anglican Minister Sydney Diocese; Phillip Frier, Anglican Archbishop Australia; Josie McSkimming clinical social worker; Georgina Dent ABC reporter. Highly recommended. Includes footage of Kara Hartley the Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry in the Sydney Anglican Diocese, and excerpts from Mike Paget’s excellent sermon on domestic abuse. Fair discussion about both the statistical findings and the reports from the victims. A transcription of some of what Julia Baird said on The Drum can be found in this article by Nathan Campbell.
Domestic violence in the name of God [Internet Archive link] — Rt Rev Dr Matt Brain, Assistant Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn. Proclaims that his diocese has “attempted to address some of the right concerns raised by Baird and Gleeson.” Urges that pastors reflect on their practices and know the limits of their competence in helping the abused.
Does Christianity cause domestic violence? — Akos Balogh. Tells churches what to do. Critiques Julia Baird’s essay for leaving out some of the research findings.
Christianity and the Credibility of Women’s Testimony — Geoff Broughton, Anglican minister in the Sydney Diocese; research scholar for the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre; lecturer in Practical Theology at St Mark’s National Theological Centre. Highly recommended quote from this article:
The Church has a credibility problem due to its past failures to believe victims of sexual abuse and take the necessary action to protect vulnerable people. … The Churches’ credibility is further eroded when women victims of domestic violence are not believed. Overwhelmingly it is women’s testimony that is not believed. The lack of credibility within the Church is a consistent testimony of DV survivors and this must change. The credibility issues for the Church are inextricably tied together. Only as the Church’s culture changes so that a woman’s testimony is considered equal to a man’s can the church regain its public credibility.
Part 2: The characteristics of spiritual abuse — Erica Hamence, Common Grace, Sydney.
Bradford Wilcox’s series of tweets [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] (21 July 2017) in response to Julia Baird’s long essay. I have transcribed Bradford’s series of tweets and put them in one paragraph for the convenience of my readers. Bradford said:
My research on religion & domestic violence has been picked up in Australia but article doesn’t fully convey 2 key pts: (a) It’s conservative men with nominal ties to religion who seem most likely to abuse. https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Patriarchs-New-Men-Christianity/dp/0226897095 …. Perhaps because they use religion to legitimate their own dominance. But men who r engaged in religious community *less* likely to abuse. (b) But not sure U.S. findings generalize to Australia. Better to see if Aussie analyses come up w similar pattern, @bairdjulia, cause High rates of domestic violence among nominal conservative Protestants in U.S. might also be tied to class & culture (Scotch Irish).
Once more on the domestic violence in church thing: answering some common objections to the ABC’s coverage — Nathan Campbell, Presbyterian pastor, Queensland. Pushes back against those who are missing the point and raising objections and red herrings.
Enough is Enough — Rev Paul Perini, Vice President of CBE Sydney. Argues the standard egalitarian line against male headship.
Archbishop Geoff’s Response to ABC Report on Domestic Violence [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] – Geoffrey Smith, Anglican Archbishop, Adelaide Diocese.
Domestic Violence, the ABC, and the spirit of the Reformation — Nathan Campbell, Presbyterian minister, Brisbane. Quotable quote:
I get that people feel horrified by the idea that we blokes in leadership might be complicit in this problem (or that it might be as bad as the article suggests). I feel horrified. I get anger and denial as responses; that’s part of the grief cycle. It’s just important we don’t stay there, or we’ll repeat the mistakes of the ‘establishment’ in reformation history… we’ll try to shoot the messenger and that’ll only bolster the message (that churches led by blokes are more likely to be hostile and abusive to women).
We need Julia Bairds like we needed Martin Luther. We need to listen to the stories she is telling from real women in our churches about how our real theology has been used to create bad practice, but also to see how it is clear from her piece that bad practice ultimately comes (from the perpetrators) from wolves who twist the words of God to create their own bad theology to justify their insidious practice. Her point is that if we aren’t clear about our theology and practice we provide cover for wolves — ‘false teachers’ — the kinds of people the Bible warns us we should be looking out for.
Baird’s piece is certainly a result of her egalitarian convictions but it doesn’t require egalitarian convictions to agree with her in her observations of the problems, or to listen to the stories she tells and ponder how we might reform from within before a reformation movement happens without us.
What if we’d used this to clean our laundry rather than accusing Julia Baird of either airing the dirty laundry or throwing mud at our clean clothes?
Christian women told to endure domestic abuse — 7:30 Report, ABC TV. Julia Baird interviews Louise & Tabitha (survivors of domestic abuse abuse), Barbara Roberts (A Cry For Justice), Rev Andrew Sempell & Archbishop Glenn Davies (Anglicans in the Sydney Diocese). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED VIEWING. Explores whether headship / submission teaching can fuel domestic abuse. Some of the abusers are pastors and priests. Marital rape as part of domestic abuse. Ways in which Christian women are particularly vulnerable.
Pastoral Issues and Responses to Domestic Violence within the Church — Tim Harris, Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide. Highly Recommended. Tim quotes many things from this blog A Cry For Justice.
I was raped and controlled by my husband for decades. He was a priest — ABC News, Anonymous
Domestic Violence and the Church: Our position; Jesus’ position — Creek Road Presbyterian Church, Brisbane.
Domestic Abuse and the Church — Daryl McCullough, Anglican Priest. “As a priest in the Church of God, I am truly and deeply sorry if you or anyone you love has been the victim of abuse and found the church complicit in making that abuse worse.”
Evangelical Christians the most and least likely to abuse partners — Michael Jensen (Anglican Priest Sydney Diocese) and Julia Baird, ABC TV. Highly Recommended viewing.
Church enabling and concealing domestic violence — Julia Baird & Kylie Pidgeon, ABC Radio. Kylie is a psychologist who works with Christian survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence.
A properly Christian response to Julia Baird’s article on domestic violence — Tamie Davis
‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God — 18 July 2017. Julia Baird, ABC news. ESSENTIAL READING. This is the 7000 word essay which was set alight the 2017 controversy about DV in the church.
Domestic Violence: A starting point for answers — Kara Hartley, Australian Church Record.
Report on Domestic Violence — Presbyterian Church of Queensland’s Ad Hoc Committee on Domestic Violence. Quotable quote:
a further consideration as we seek to protect the vulnerable is that the Presbyterian Church of Queensland consider adoption of the position that domestic violence can be a form of the ‘desertion’ envisaged by the Westminster Confession of Faith 24.VI, even while a married couple live together, and thus might be considered legitimate grounds for separation and divorce.
A graphically expressed third way on gender stuff in a messed up world: Complementarian? Egalitarian? Or the Cross? — Nathan Campbell, Presbyterian pastor, Brisbane. Uses graphics and expounds on scripture to compare and contrast Chauvinism, Patriarchy, Egalitarianism (equality), Complementarianism (‘equal but different’), and a new model (‘different and equal’). This new model acknowledges gender differences and the curse. In marriage or church it would look like this: the powerful (mostly men) utterly renouncing the use of strength and power for personal gain or comfort, and instead using it to enable the flourishing of others (women, children and the family of God). Husbands and church leaders raising others up, by lowering themselves. Without men first addressing inequality by cancelling it out (giving up power that is not really theirs to grasp) they actually double the ‘service burden’ on women.
Reflecting on complementarianism and domestic violence — Erica Hamence, Common Grace
I didn’t leave my husband; I made the decision not to allow sin to take root in my home — by Anonymous, published at Fixing Her Eyes. A Christian wife shares the wisdom she’s learnt from living under abuse and finally getting free.
Three other ways the church can counteract abuse by following Jesus — Nathan Campbell, Presbyterian Pastor, Brisbane. Argues that gender equality alone won’t solve our problems. A properly ‘sacrificial’ relationship (husband to wife, church leader to congregation) involves a power differentiation; but that differentiation falls in favour of the powerless, not the powerful. Quotable quote:
Equality is certainly better than abuse. But equality isn’t the opposite of abuse. It’s the absence of abuse. It’s the middle; the ‘mean’ between two extreme approaches to power. It’s certainly better than evil, but it’s not necessarily good. The most loving use of power is not simply to give excessive power that you’ve accumulated to others as an act of creating equality (which is important), but also to use whatever power you have left for the sake of others.
Abuse inside my marriage: a true story — Tess Holgate
The Church and Family and Domestic Violence – St Barnabas Anglican Church, Sydney. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SERMON
Domestic violence reported every two minutes, and the church is not immune. — Tess Holgate
So, what does the Australian Christian Lobby say about domestic violence? — Lyle Shelton, Australian Christian Lobby.
Complementarianism and Family Violence: The shared dynamics of Power and Control — Kylie Pidgeon’s response to Rev John McLean’s article Does Complementarianism promote Domestic and Family Violence?
The Pulse, March / April 2016 [Internet Archive link] — a magazine by the New South Wales Presbyterian Church (NSWPC). It includes a Karen Forman’s explanation of the NSWPC’s domestic abuse policy, Rev John McLean on the question “Does complementarianism promote domestic and family violence?”, and a case study of domestic abuse.
Domestic and Family Violence — A Statement from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in New South Wales. A quote from this statement:
When a minister, elder or church leader is aware of domestic and family violence within a church family they should follow the guidelines in Section 11 & 12 of Breaking the Silence. The Conduct Protocol Unit is able to be contacted for advice and support.
When I tried to find Section 11 & 12 of Breaking the Silence, it was very difficult. I eventually found this [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] and from there downloaded this PDF — but there is no Section 11 or 12 in that PDF! The PDF says “Each pastoral charge has a copy of the document or you can obtain one from the Conduct Protocol Unit.” So it appears that the Breaking The Silence document which includes Section 11 & 12 is not online. In my view, that is not helpful for victims of abuse and their advocates who might not trust their local church or the Conduct Protocol Unit. And in my experience of dealing with Presbyterian churches, this is TYPICAL of the rabbit warren that Presbyterians send victims down. Why don’t they make it easier for victims and their advocates?
Responding to Domestic Violence — Mark Conner
The church must confront domestic abuse — Natasha Moore and John Dickson, Centre for Public Christianity (CPX).
Abuse inside christian marriages a personal story — Isabella Young (her pseudonym)
Jesus does not abuse his bride: there is no place for domestic violence in the church — Nathan Campbell, Presbyterian pastor, Brisbane.
Doctrine of Headship a distortion of the gospel message of mutual love and respect — Julia Baird, Sydney Morning Herald.
Submission is a fraught mixed message for the church — Julia Baird, Sydney Morning Herald.
Domestic Abuse: An Imago Dei Issue — Persis Lorenti
Collateral damage and credibility — Persis Lorenti
Concepts of Gender and the Global Abuse of Women — Steven Tracy.
Calling the Evangelical Church to Truth: Domestic Violence and the Gospel – Steven Tracy.
Angela Ruth Strong interviews Barbara Roberts — Gives background on Barbara’s personal story and how she came to write her book “Not Under Bondage”. Make sure you also read this comment on the interview where Barbara gives an update about her personal situation since she did the interview with Angela.
A Biblical Response to the Abused Wife — Renee M. Malina. Published: Phoenix Seminary, T 506, Contemporary Moral Issues, Spring 2010
What Does “Submit In Everything” Really Mean? The Nature and Scope of Marital Submission — Steven Tracy.
The Culture Wars Over “Family Values”: Are Evangelicals Fighting the Wrong Battles in the Wrong Way and Losing? — Steven Tracy.
Patriarchy and Domestic Violence: Challenging Common Misconceptions — Steven Tracy.
Clergy Responses to Domestic Violence — Steven Tracy.
Domestic Violence in the Church and Redemptive Suffering in 1 Peter — Steven Tracy.
Understanding Domestic Violence — Steven Tracy. This article has no date so I’ve just guessed and put in 2006.
- Posted in: Christianity
- Tagged: church response to abuse, leadership, pastors
Thank you for assembling the bibliography, Barb. I have bookmarked the page – this project will take time to read and digest. 🙂