Face to Face

This week I was once again reminded that our world is shattered and radically corrupted. I was reminded because our systems that are designed to protect the most vulnerable fail. I was reminded because once again violence, which we glorify, metastasized in real life causing real pain and real suffering. I was reminded again that our culture doesn’t value the lives of women and children.

No, we live in a time when people have become objects. We have largely the sense of the image of God within each one of us. This means that we go through life with an “I-It” view as opposed to seeing the world as, “I-thou.”

Every day we hear of women and children being abused. Every day there are more stories of a man who kills his family. Every day we are face to face to with evil that exists not “out there” but next door. Every day we turn our faces away from the ugliness as opposed to getting involved.

I wish I could say that things are different in the Church. Sadly, we whitewash things as, “Men are the head of the household.” The abuse, violence, and evil continues covered in spiritual terms that normalize it.

There is no room within a congregation for this kind of statement. Any pastor who stands by an abuser is a false teacher. There is no nuance or context that allows for men to beat their wives or children. Leave the congregation immediately. Take your family and as many other families with you as possible.

The head of the household is to love like Jesus loved, completely, and totally self-sacrificially.

Fellow pastors, if you know you have an abuser in your congregation, turn them into the police. Pastors, if you have knowingly defended an abuser, repent, for you are complicit in their abuse.

If we claim to be a people who are about “life” then we must stand and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. Often this is women and children.

What will we do?