Where is the Church?


Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, an organization committed to Christian faith and social justice says, “Violence against women is the most prevalent and the most hidden injustice in our world today. From rape as a weapon of war, to human trafficking, to the attack of a young girl seeking an education, the treatment of women and girls across the globe is in a state of crisis.”

Even in our own countries, and even in our own churches, statistics about the percentage of women who have experienced violence is staggering. Though violence against men is also a serious problem that deserves to be addressed, attitudes toward women add a different dynamic, an additional layer of gender discrimination and oppression play into the experience.

If you don’t believe that this is true, I would challenge you to listen more carefully to the voices of your sisters. Or, look at the number of men who die each day at the hands of women and compare that to the number of women who die each day at the hands of men. Or read the book Half the Sky, which shows hope amid the tragedy.

Jim Wallis adds, “The first step to addressing this crisis is acknowledging it exists, even within our church walls. The next is to do something about it.” Speaking about it from the pulpit is one recommendation.

Resources are available for churches who want to do something about it. Some can be found on the Safe Church website www.crcna.org/safechurch under resources for abuse awareness.

Each February I try to do something, not a big thing, just something. For example, taking a group of my Christian friends to see the “monologues” and organizing a discussion afterward, arranging to provide valentine gifts to women at the local Domestic Violence Shelter, learning the dance and participating in local One Billion Rising events.

One billion is for the one in three women who have been beaten or raped.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” So, in the face of “the most prevalent and the most hidden injustice in our world today,” where is the church? We must not stay silent.

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Bonnie, bless your heart for being bold and brave and bringing this into the light!!

I see part of the problem directly connected to pornography (objectification of women)...  so am working on exposing what is hidden in darkness there and there is a huge connection between porn and violence... For me every level of porn is horrific, but especially disturbing/sickening is the fact that the porn industry fuels/feeds the human trafficking and abuse of children in the sex trade - child porn/prostitution... it has been an unbelievable battle...  several things i am coming to a conclusion regarding this battle and i think it's relevant for domestic violence, and other abuses of women/children as well:

1) silence contributes to the problem... be warned though, that when you speak Truth about things the enemy does not want exposed, the enemy will use those in church to try to silence you in various ways... ie discredit you, the enemy will use others to call you unstable, emotionally unhealthy, heretical, divisive, a gossip, slanderer, they will threaten, intimidate, manipulate, abuse, ostracize, shame and shun you to mention a few behaviors typical of silencing in order to cover up the "deed"...  you will quite likely lose friends...  sometimes even your job...

but don't let that stop you!!!  Go on in the Name of God... (*** See quote below)

2) secrecy... when things need to be kept secret, that's not a good sign...  God says expose what is hidden in darkness, and warns that the enemy will do everything he can to keep it in darkness (John 3:19-21)  Truth will want the light..

3) cover up...  beside trying to silence those who speak (see #1), manipulation, deception/lies, fraud, tampering of evidence, are a few more ways the enemy will try to keep the "evil" from coming out into the light.

so far in the situations I'm familiar with, it seems that those in leadership are protecting those in power at the expense of the victim.  Sadly, disturbingly so, I have not witnessed justice from the church leadership involved in these situations, and instead the women are treated as expendable, much like the woman caught in adultery (John 8).

*** here's an encouraging quote from a 1791 letter from John Wesley to Willliam Wilberforce:

Unless the divine power has raised you us to be as Athanasius contra mundum (Athanasius against the world), I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! ***Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.




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Thank you for your comments Bev. I agree that silence is no solution. So I will keep talking. We are called to be light in a world that is sometimes very dark - and it's not easy. I recall a line from a book I read recently, which went something like those who speak truth to power will suffer for it. We've seen that in civil rights movements. It's so hard not to respond in kind when we've been treated badly, or victimized by injustice and abuse. Yet we are called to always reflect the love of our Father to all people, including those who have wronged us. The enemy is prowling, we must not give him an opportunity to sidetrack or distract us from our Lord. That could dim the light that we are called to be, as His church. This sentiment that you also expressed seems a good a prayer - let us not grow weary but be strong in God's power. Amen.


thx Bonnie, please keep talking!!

it seems some of the confusion comes from what is the loving thing to do? is exposing what is going on in darkness the loving thing to do, or is the loving thing not confronting it, and letting those in power continue to cover up wrong doing, so that the leaders (and the church's) reputation can be protected?   Hebrews 12 gives us the answer to that I think...  He disciplines those He loves... so that after the discipline, we will walk in the peacable fruit of righteousness... that can't happen until we first repent and own up to what is our fault, where we have dropped the ball of what He has called us to do. 

Every single revival was marked by open repentance...  and at this point there still seems to be denial of any wrongdoing and much resistance to genuine repentance.  so let's keep praying and speaking as the Spirit leads...