Anna Salter, Assault, Kalina discussed on Theology Gals
Scripture And in many ways we understand That how we define that has a lot of implications for example if someone needs heart surgery they don't usually interview their heart surgeon to see if they hold the doctrines of Sola scripture. They rely on. That heart surgeons medical expertise to be able to treat that particular element But we don't approach abuse that way. Even though abuse and trauma requires outside expertise even though abuse and trauma has physical injury to the victims to their neurologic system to their hormones in their chemical system. And so the way we apply the doctrine of Sola scripture in these cases is often in a way that leaves us without any support or any knowledge in in how we approach and handle abuse and abusive dynamics. I and we have to understand that that when we say that and we express concern that does not mean that we're taking scripture lightly or that were saying scripture is not sufficient it is recognizing the common grace that God has given all of us. It's recognizing the importance of the body of Christ and it's recognizing how we interpret that doctrine the way we apply to everything else including our own medical care and so those are a lot of the things that we need to really look at so that we can be better equipped to understand an approach abuse since The Alta Gal started a few years ago. I have been contacted by a lot of people telling me their stories. And it's I think probably the most surprising as some of the similarities in in the stories at least on how churches responded to abuse. How do churches and church leaders tend to respond? I think there are several key mistakes. And you're right. There are consistent threads across the board when it comes to an institutional church response to abuse One of the ones that you typically see is that churches often don't even recognize abuse or abusive dynamics whether that's domestic abuse or sexual abuse We do a very poor job recognizing grooming signs warning signs understanding domestic and sexual abuse and even being able to identify it Answer one thing that I do see quite commonly particularly in domestic abuse cases As you see pastors who don't even realize that domestic abuse is taking place and so by the time they reported if they even get that far the damage that has been done is so extreme to the wife and the children. I saw her ability to recognize. Abuse is very often greatly hindered our ability to understand how to handle a direct of abuse. If you actually get a specific disclosure of sexual abuse Oftentimes pastors very ill equipped to know how to handle it. They don't know how to report that to authorities. They don't know what steps should be taken. it is not uncommon. In fact it's very common for churches to want to vet that claim themselves And again in. This comes from misguided theology particularly if it's a pastor or leader that's been accused the verse that talks about not entertaining a charge against an elder except on the testimony of two or three witnesses is often grossly misapplied in a way that leads leaders do not even report the allegations of abuse And to rely on the god-given civil authorities to vet that claim oftentimes in the counseling. We see very consistent and damaging threads. There's a great lack of understanding for trauma and trauma responses and so church is council in a way that it's deeply damaging to the survivor. Often there is a great lack of understanding for the dynamics of abuse and how abusers work pastors are very easily fooled into mistaken into mistaking at tears for genuine repentance into giving abusers continual access to victims in an effort to reunify or store. Oftentimes the counseling ideology. That's employed does not take into account any understanding of abuser of dynamics or trauma. Oftentimes the counseling. That's employed views. Reunification and unity as the ultimate Biblical goal rather than the glory of. God I and sometimes God is most glorified by Justice and sometimes unity is not possible because someone is not walking in true repentance and the ability of most pastors to really recognize that is greatly hampered by their lack of training and education with abuse abusive dynamics and those are threads that you consistently see running through the church. In addition it is very common for abusers to be able to hop from church to church particularly if they're in leadership to continually take new pastor at positions when what they have done becomes known. Oftentimes this is done under a mistaken. Understanding of grace and forgiveness and rather than holding the biblical standards of what an elders required to be and do and holding to the biblical standard of publicly rebuking. Elder who was found in sin so that it is a warning to everyone instead. Elders are almost given a free past and they're allowed to continue hopping from church to Church and continue abusing. And when you put all those dynamics and threads together what more often than not that results in is hundreds at times of victims left in the wake of these pastors in these churches and just incredible damage. That's been done to the sheep that these men were supposed to be protecting the dislike. Kalina said through my own writing and through my own Interaction with a particular with women online. I've heard many stories and there are a lot of similarities. You said between the the accounts Tendency to handle things in house desire to like you said and then a misunderstanding of the dynamics of abuse what to look for other things that I have read and have have have seemed discussed us to do with how churches are unwittingly welcoming to To abusive people right. That makes sense that they're that they are safe. Places a lot of ways that they draw and attract people who who want to be abusive with others who tend to be abusive in their treatment of others What do you think is going on? As far as the dynamics in a church and how the church has failed in protecting and assisting abuse survivors. I think. Ultimately you see a lot of the dynamics that we've already discussed in terms of the misplaced Biaggi And how that leads. Churches to council in a way that's deeply damaging to urge reunification in a way that allows victims to continue being victimized and keeps abusers in power. I it allows abusers to Even finding new victims reach new victims. Because it'd be left in positions of power Inserted damaged is just incredible in the way. Churches are often at more often than not handle the use. And you're right. Abusers do actually seek out churches One of the most prominent psychologists in the area of abuse in particular sexual abuse is a woman named Anna Salter. And she has done soon. Nominal work In understanding what is going on in the mind of a profile anyhow pedophile operate how they think are able to groom the society around them and wanted to think she discovered as she was working with these sex offenders as they admitted intentionally targeting faith communities these pedophile intentionally targeted communities for the exact dynamics that we've already discussed because they're miss their misplaced ideologies and convictions regarding forgiveness and grace may churches some of the safest places for abuse victims are for abusers rather and some of the most dangerous places for an abuse victim to speak up And in addition to that while the church should be the greatest refuge were the victim the victims also identify that churches are one of the worst places to go for help in fact there was a study done just a couple of years ago where a wide number of sexual assault victims were asked. Who did you think was going to be the most helpful when you disclosed and hands down? And then they were given a list of options of who they thought would be the most helpful when they disclosed abuse and of course option to write in their their own perspective and these victims hands down identified church as what they anticipated being the most helpful. And the reason for that is because of what we preach and teach you a victim sees a pastor preaching about holiness and righteousness.