SEXUAL PURITY PART ELEVEN

January 17, 2019

hand sign

Finally, we must understand that we are not fighting to win the battle against lust. The battle has already been won by Christ. We are trying to walk in the victory that Christ already accomplished. This is important to understand because one of Satan’s greatest tactics is lying. After a failure, he tells a believer many lies: it is impossible to be free from lust and that he or she will never be a man of God or woman of God.

By accepting lies, we get caught in Satan’s trap, and it’s easy to become discouraged, defeated, and bound. Jesus said this in John 8:34-36:

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Christ set us free from slavery to sin, and we must understand and appropriate this to walk in victory. Romans 6:6 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

On the cross, Christ did not just pay for our sins; He also broke the power of sin. He took our sin nature and crucified it so we no longer would be slaves to it. Yes, we can still submit to our sin nature, but we no longer have to because the power of sin has been broken. Like God delivering the Israelites, he not only took them out of Egypt but destroyed the power of Egypt in the Red Sea. Our deliverer, Christ, did no less. We are no longer slaves to sin. However, like Israel, we can still choose to return to Egypt.

How can we walk in this victory? In Romans 6:11, Paul says, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” The word “count” is an accounting term. This means the debt has been paid, and we are no longer responsible for it. In the same way, Paul says that we are no longer slaves of sin—including our lusts. We owe it no allegiance, and we don’t have to obey its cravings. However, we must mentally accept this reality instead of accepting the lies of the devil and our flesh.

Therefore, when Satan tempts us or makes us feel like we have to fall or that we can’t get back up after falling, we must recognize that it’s all a lie. It’s not true! Christ set us free from sin and now we are slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18). Our allegiance is now to God.

In my spiritual youth, I didn’t fully understand Christ’s work on the cross and the extent of what he had done for me. Therefore, I often fought without hope. But now, I fight because the victory has already been won—which gives me great confidence. Christ already defeated Satan and my lust (cf. Col 2:13-15). But, I must reckon this as true (Rom 6:11).

This theological reality is important for many reasons. (1) It means if we stumble, we can get back up. We don’t have to accept the lies and condemnation of the devil. Proverbs says the righteous falls seven times and gets back up (Prov 24:16). That’s what separates the righteous from the ungodly. They will not stay down. If you have failed in the past, if you failed today, you can start over now because you died to sin with Christ on the cross. Sin no longer identifies you—your identity is in Christ.

(2) But this doctrine is also essential in maintaining our victory. We are no longer slaves of sin but slaves to righteousness. My debt and allegiance is to God. So, I must strive to use the members of my body as instruments of righteousness leading to holiness (Rom 6:13, 19). First Corinthians 6:19-20 says it this way:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

We have been bought with a price and are now slaves of God. Therefore, we must faithfully serve God in purity and holiness.

We see the importance of this doctrine in Augustine’s walk with God after his conversion. Before Augustine became a Christian, he was very promiscuous. However, at his conversion, everything changed. One day, he ran into a former fling. When he saw her, he turned and ran in the other direction. The lady saw him and was confused. She yelled, “My love! My love! Where are you going? It is I!” He replied, “I know! But it is not I anymore!” and he continued to run away. Augustine recognized this reality—he was not the same. He had been crucified with Christ and he no longer lived—Christ lived within him (Gal 2:20). He was no longer a slave of sin but now a slave of righteousness.

We similarly must reckon this a reality if we are going to walk in victory over lust. We must declare our victory in Christ and walk in it.

Have you declared victory? Or have you declared failure—that you can’t win or be free from bondage to lust? If that is you, then you have believed Satan’s lie instead of Christ’s truth. He who the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). Christ has set you free. Declare your victory and fight to walk in it. Don’t give up until your life represents your position in Christ—free from bondage to sin to serve God.

Reflection

How did Christ break the power of sin over our lives? Why is understanding this reality—our new identity in Christ—so important to walking in victory?

In what ways have you experienced the lies and condemnation of Satan in regards to battling lust?

How should we count or reckon our death to lust and freedom from its slavery a reality as Paul teaches (Rom 6:11)?

What are the primary strategies from God’s Battle Plan for Purity that you feel pressed to implement in your life and/or in mentoring others?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise from Caliste Burt, the surgery went well, they are now waiting to see how she heals up and some swelling goes down.

Pray for Cindy K. just became a believer, living on and off the streets. A nice Christian family has taken her in. what’s remarkable is she said she knew her grandmother was always praying for her and it stopped her from crossing a line.

Bill Warneke, says thanks for praying, he’s still resisting counseling. Chronic pain and depression.

Carl I, going away for college soon. Young Christian, first time away from home, asks that he will stay the course.

Continue to pray for Steve H, and the church finding the right pastor.

This Ground

December 4, 2018

  “Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

  When we rely upon and cater to the old man, that ground produces “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19–21). But as we abide in the risen Lord Jesus, that new ground of our position, His life will be manifested in “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22, 23).

 God’s Word declares that we are ‘dead indeed unto sin,’ but nowhere does it say that we are dead in ourselves. We shall look in vain within to find death there. We have died to sin; not in ourselves, but ‘in Christ,’ and our death with Him is as sure as His death, and since we died with Him it is impossible for His death to be certain and ours uncertain.

 We were crucified with Him because we were in Him (Gal. 2:20). We are raised in Him (Eph. 2:6); we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10); we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him (Eph. 1:3); the entire work regarding us is not done in us but in the Lord Jesus—the Father has done all in His Son. If you stand on the ground of what the Lord Jesus is (abide), you will find in your growth that all that is true of Him is becoming true of you; but if you remain on the ground of what you are in yourself, you will find that all that is true of the old man is true of you in life and walk.

The purpose of Paul, in Romans Six, is to show how completely the believer is identified with the Lord Jesus when ‘He died unto sin.’ To enter fully into the meaning of that death is to see that He has emancipated us from any further dealings with our old master, sin. The believer is privileged thus to take his position in the risen Lord Jesus, who is now ‘alive unto God.’ From that ground he is henceforth to regard sin.

  “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We have a really long prayer list today

Pray Andrea and Todd, finances

Karey P, salvation

Olivia, lyme’s disease, this can be as bad as any cancer

Richard Perales, SR and Jr. salvation

Stan R, stomach cancer

Sherrie, our prodigal girl

Paul C our prodigal guy

Mel L, Parkinson

Charmaine, alcoholism

Randy H, finances

Terry K, sever arthritis

Larry D, dementia

Sally H, burn out, emotionally, mentally, everyway

Jeff H, newly married and found out he has an STD, wife is denying anything

Virginia Mc. Wants to go home to Jesus.

Matt W, severe upper respiratory infection

Whew. Forgive me if I forgot any one.

the school of law

November 4, 2018

Paul tells us sin is no longer our master “because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Ro 6:14). The truth that we’re no longer saved by the law, however, does not mean it is irrelevant to the Christian life. The reality is that the law is still needed, not least because it reveals much about Jesus. Here’s how:

  ➤ The holiness of the law points to Christ’s holiness—The Law created a people who were “holy,” set apart or unique in a way that is similar to the character of God. As the Law commands, “Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Lev 11:44). God’s Law is a reflection of God’s holiness that prefigures the holiness of Christ. Peter later quotes this passage in reminding us that we are to be holy in all that we do because Jesus is holy (see 1Pe 1:15–16).

 ➤ The ceremonial law points to the cross of Christ—The part of the Law that we often call “ceremonial” (e.g., regulations for feasts, festivals, sacrifices) expressed rules that applied directly to Israel’s circumstances and allowed them to atone for their sins. The ceremonial laws symbolize and foreshadow by means of temporary outward ceremonies the nature of Christ’s redemptive work. Because Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law, we no longer have to offer sacrifices in the temple.

 ➤ The moral law points to the righteousness of Christ—The moral laws set forth the permanent standard for human righteousness and show what human beings who serve God are expected to do.” Not only does the moral law show us the standard, but it shows us what we must do to please Jesus.

  We are kidding ourselves if we think of ourselves as having an intimate relationship with Christ, if we refuse to see our religious hypocrisy, our refusal to rest, our persistent coveting, our belittling of our parents, and our twisting the truth as an ongoing offense to him. Can you see that the way God intends for us to enjoy communion with him is by keeping his commands?

As the Apostle Paul says, “the law is like a school teacher” it is necessary until we discover ‘grace’ and the salvation Christ affords apart from the law.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Kennie, 8 years old and tipped a 3 wheel atv over on himself in the garage. So he’s in the hospital and Child Services have shown up. This is a family of ranchers with 6 kids. And 30 years in our church. There’s never been any bad reports. Wait till they find out the kid’s a crack shot with both a rifle and shotgun and helps skin his dad’s dear this year.

Heavenly Places

September 21, 2018

  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

  It is sad to have to say that the present-day Church is so earthy that it is of little earthly good. “Sir, we would see Jesus”! (John 12:21). The agony and the ugliness or the old rugged cross is now a golden bejeweled cross. There is no longer in most hymn books songs about the blood or phrases like; “such a worm as I.”

No, we sing praise songs about how great we are.

  The great failure of the Modern Church was in giving up the Apostle Paul. Many pulpits haven’t heard a sermon from the book of Romans in years. Or the second coming of the Lord and how it could be at any moment.

  It is essential that a believer have a clear understanding of his position before the Father—his place in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. This alone will give true peace of mind, joy and comfort of heart, strength for conflict and power for service. We will never be able to properly understand or fill our place for God on earth if we do not realize our God-given standing before Him in heaven.

  And never forget that our place before the Father is His gift, and a gift worthy of the Giver; not a gift according to the measure of our worth but a gift intended to display the exceeding riches of the grace of the Giver. The greatness of the Giver then is the measure of the blessings that are mine in the Lord Jesus Christ, not what I am or what I deserve.

 When you see and stand on your heavenly ground, you come to rest, just as the Father rests. You need not worry—only keep on that ground by your attitude of heart. If you are going to worry—if you must worry—worry lest you get down on earthly ground, for that is the ground of worry. Abide above! Heavenly things are in safe keeping—in the keeping of One who is ‘far above all.’.

  “For ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3, ASV.).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember to pray for Gwen and her economic struggles

Continue to pray for Maureen and her shingles.

Dave I, and his battle with prostate cancer.

PASSIVE NO MORE

July 30, 2018

boxing

  “For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11).

  The growing Christian is often accused of passivity by the doing Christian. The Lord Jesus was not passive; the Apostle Paul was not passive; nor is the believer passive who seeks to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Compulsive activity is not necessarily fruitful, as the “works of the flesh” attest.

   I have pressed upon many of my younger students, not to give up their secular employment until the work of the Lord so increased upon them that they must give up one or the other.”

 The one who knows best the Father’s love will be the best advocate of that love—the best qualified servant for the Father to send on a mission of interest to those who are ignorant of it. Abide in Him. ‘The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him’ (John 1:18).

  Under the Mosaic law-system, love for others was to be in the degree in which one loved himself; under grace it is to be in the degree in which the Lord Jesus has loved the believer and given His life for him (1 John 3:16).

  “Perversion of truth takes its rise from having the eye turned to man, and seeking to make the truth suit him, and not to conform man to the truth; so that the way to resolve this difference is by the simple question, Is it God-ward I am looking, or man-ward?” (GW)

  “If you only know the work of the Lord Jesus you are prepared to make sacrifices, but if you know Him as your life then you are ready to suffer for Him.”

  “So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Cor 4:12).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Bobbie G, she is cutting off all relations with every relative, and shutting her self off from all her friends, we are all very concerned for her

Pray for Jacob, a 30 year old, non verbal autistic man, who has been sexually abused by his father and is just now coming for counseling

Pray for Wanda, she has lost one child at 15 to cancer, one child to suicide at 18, and now her son 40, has just confessed to her that he has aids.

The Struggle

July 3, 2018

boxing

“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

  Hatred for others comes easy for some; but to fully hate one’s old man comes hard for all. The Lord Jesus loves us too much to allow us to go on loving ourselves.

The Christian’s victory is not over others, but over himself. His sword is drawn, not to slay his fellowman, but to slay himself. He wins by losing. He triumphs by being defeated. He lives by dying. His crown is a crown of thorns. His throne is a Cross. His weapon is not strength but weakness.

His victory is not found in establishing his own cause but in establishing that of his fellow-men; the poor, the sick, the disinherited, the brokenhearted, the wayward, the lost. This may be foolishness to men. But we must not forget that ‘the foolishness of God is stronger than men’ (1 Cor. 1:25).

How blessed it is to know, and at the same time how solemn to realize, that the sin of the child of God is against his Father, and that it is the love of relationship that is called into exercise about it—love which acts towards us ‘for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness’“ (Heb. 12:10).

It is impossible that He should treat it lightly; and it will be impossible in the end for any one of His own to treat it lightly either. Grace abides towards us; and because grace abides, sin cannot be permitted to have sway over the objects of it.

  “Let not sin, therefore, reign. . . “ (Rom. 6:12).

God bless from scumlikeschurch@gmail.com

Remember Bonnie C in your prayers, her dad has begun the struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Pray for Ray, heart problems, going in tomorrow for more tests

Pray for Charlie C, his family is concerned about his personality change

Pray for Ray S, liver problems

 

THE BRAVE SOUL

June 28, 2018

PROMISE ME YOU’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER; YOU’RE BRAVER THAN YOU BELIEVE, AND STRONGER THAN YOU SEEM, AND SMARTER THAT YOU THINK.

I didn’t guess who said this, and I was surprised. My first guess was Anne of Green Gables, but it turns out it was Christopher Robinson encouraging his best friend Winnie the Pooh.

Courage, determination, being brave. There have been some great books on the subject of bravery. And until it’s you that are facing an enemy or great danger, you will never know, or even guess how brave you may or may not be.

You can be scared spitless, but still be brave.

Our devotional page today is for all of you that are brave, especially battling some sort of disease. We had a dear friend visit us today, she has been suffering a cruel and damaging disease that probably won’t kill her, but my god how she suffers.

But the smile, the hugs, the laughter that defines her. She is brave.

So we want to remind you that we pray, and pray mightily for those of our scum like us church family.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SUPER POWERS

June 13, 2018

Enterprise_5_hr

  “Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world” (2 Pet. 1:4).

  We are to find out in Romans 6, through the gracious teaching of the Spirit of truth, all that happened to the Lord Jesus there on the Cross. Then we will know our own position and standing, since we were judicially in Him there.

Have you ever thought about God’s thought about you, that you are ‘to be conformed to the image of His Son’? ‘It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him’ (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2).

This cannot fail. The Lord Jesus presses on our hearts that He brings us into association with Himself. He ‘hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ (Eph. 1:3). He puts us in this position answering perfectly to His nature, and with a nature to enjoy it.

  “He imparts to us of Himself in order to qualify us for Himself.”

Not only is my blessing in heaven, but I need the Lord Jesus’ power to enable me to rise above the sense of my infirmity down here; for this world, instead of contributing to me, makes me feel my weakness and need, and that I must rise out of it to find and enjoy my blessing.

The very infirmity which this evil age makes me conscious of makes me draw upon the power of Christ, as the One outside it, passing into the heavens, so that I take pleasure in the very infirmity which is exposed here, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

  “God forbid that I should glory, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise from Anne, 42 days sober

Pray for Rachel, severe ear infection

Pray for Jay P, having knee surgery on Thursday

Cam, pray for this young mom and her battle with cancer.

Pray for Christina and Todd, spiritually curious, pray the right people come into their lives

Press ON

June 2, 2018

thinking over feeling

Press on

  “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).

  The difference between knowing the Lord Jesus as Savior and knowing Him as Life, is the better part of a lifetime; even for the hungriest of hearts. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

  “In receiving the Word of God by faith, there is first, light; then exercise of conscience; third, prayer—you are cast on God; fourth, the work of the Spirit to lead you into it.

  “Not one of us is beyond the work of the Spirit in us. Many think, because they have the light of a truth that they are in the power and reality of it. No! you may have all the Bible, have much light, but there is no growth beyond the measure of the Spirit’s work in us.”

  “Conception of a truth is one thing, and execution is quite another. Grace may have been furnished you with a true conception, but you must wait on the Lord to carry it out by His Spirit. The working out of a true conception is the real discipline.”

  “Do not be discouraged because you may not carry out your purpose at once; God will carry it out, but you must keep in the place where you will be preserved, in the circle of His interests.

  “Moses had to wait forty years to carry out his purpose, which was a right one, though in the first flush the flesh sought to carry it out; but in the Lord’s time, how fully every purpose of his heart was met—all the way to the Mount of Transfiguration!”

  “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Nam, he is in trouble with HR over unprofessional behavior.

Pray for Cathy C, no mom is supposed to out live her children, but she has. More to do with genetics than anything else, but still hard to deal with

Pray for Jody P, she’s always been close to her kids, but they both got promotions that come with moving

ADULT TOPIC, CAUTION, READ ONLY IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE TOPIC.

THERE ARE NO PICTURES OR GRAPHIC DETAILS.

WARNING ADULT SUBJECT

Memorial day,

Every 98 seconds, an American is being sexually assaulted.

A government watchdog suggested that Congress might want to prohibit the Defense Department from spending money on Afghan military units whose members sexually abuse children or commit other human rights violations including the sexual abuse of our own American Soldiers. But the Pentagon disagreed with that idea, saying such incidents must be weighed against U.S. national security interests. (REALLY!!!) That attitude will never help soldiers come forward to tell their story because it’s at odds with ‘national interests.’

While in military service 1.5% of men reported being raped by Allied Troops while in the showers in forward operating combat zones. The figure in reality is much higher. Custom knife makers have been making neck knives to especially be worn while showering. Both to defend but also to mark the offenders so they can be challenged in a military court or more practical, shot while out on the next patrol.

The instructions are to slash the face and hands, leave a tell-tale mark. Problem is 99% of the men attacked don’t report it, especially if they were raped.

Hey, I’m a man, I’m supposed to be a lean mean green fighting machine. It’s hard for a man to admit something like that happened. Don’t let anyone tell you keep it to yourself, or, time is a great healer.

40% of women in the military report some form of sexual abuse, from groping, hazing, lewd comments, to physical assault.  Another reason not to have women in the military (in combat areas especially) (my opinion only).

13% of all men have reported the same thing.

What happened to the few, the proud, the Marines.

When I was in the military I saw 1 female in uniform, she was a major, a psychiatrist. Never saw women in the ranks. Never had one driving a truck with me or toting a gun out in the jungle. Now granted we still rode horses and shot bolt action guns (kidding) but it was a very long time.

Different jungle for me, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Banana Republics. For me we were told if you end up in prison down there kill yourself immediately. We all carried several knives, two single shot pistols as well as the usual weapons. We never all slept at the same time, two up 5 down, hypervigilance. Our biggest problem was money. Living in a place where bribes were 3 times larger than your annual salary. There was no loyalty.

So on this Memorial day, I’m encouraging soldiers to step up, speak out, sell your story (repeat until someone listens). Find someone to help you tell it all. Lay aside the self-blame. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. You’re not less of a man for telling the truth about what happened. Women, the court experience can be worse than the event. You will be pictured as a slut, asking for it. I’m sorry, that’s all I can say, it’s not right. But hang tough. Take another beating, this time in court. But break the S.O.B. that did this to you.  As a soldier I apologize for what happened. A pastor might tell you vengeance is the Lord’s. well as a pastor, the court system is a part of God’s system. We won’t even go into the problems with the court. But it is what it is. By submitting to the law, you are submitting to God.

As our society further decays it is only going to get worse.

Changing the venue, sexual abuse here in the church, first thing, notice how high the numbers are that are being reported. It’s still to big a risk, to much shame in the military for men and woman to come forward. The stakes are higher while being in the military. You can lose your entire military career, or never be promoted, driven out silently.

In church, you just change churches. (I’m not making light of the situation) both are horrible events. But the problems are vastly different in the environment where the abuse happens. Because the systems are different, civilian world is an open system, whereas the military is a closed system.

Let’s turn to the church world

  • Evangelicals are initially more skeptical of media reports, even well-documented ones, than are members of the population at large—even when such reports come accompanied by significant evidence and documentation. It appears that we are more likely to go with the legal system’s “innocent until proven guilty” rule of thumb than the Bible’s “at the mouth of three witnesses let a thing be established” guideline. Nevertheless, when journalists continue to provide evidence, evangelicals are slowly persuaded.

  • That means often we believe the high-profile person who says “I didn’t do it” over the less powerful person saying, “You did this. And I have nothing to gain and everything to lose by bringing it up.”

  • When #MeToo initially went viral many Christians assumed the church was ahead of the culture in terms of morality. But it just took longer for the church stories to break. #ChurchToo followed with many stories about abuses of power beneath the steeple.

  • Some have suggested that a key problem with sexual harassment accusations is that the lines are gray, and people have misunderstood simple flirting—making a big deal out of nothing. But some solid Barna research contradicts such thinking. People, it turns out, are pretty clear about what constitutes crossing the line.

Hey, in my marriage it was simple, don’t look, don’t touch, don’t even think about it.

 Americans say that sexual harassment is most often about being touched or groped (women: 96%, men: 86%) or being forced to do something sexual (women: 91%, men: 83%). The list encompasses more than these extremes, however; it also includes someone touching themselves intentionally or masturbating in front of an unwilling witness (women: 89%, men: 76%); making sexual comments about someone’s looks or body (women: 86%, men: 70%); and sharing intimate photos or videos of someone without permission (women: 85%, men: 71%).

  • Christians who provide well-researched, investigated reports on allegations of sexual harassment and abuse are doing holy work, bringing darkness to light. Often public accountability is the only way to keep powerful people honest. Even church boards, seeking to reduce negative publicity, are often complicit in cover-ups.

  • There are a lot more people who get harassed and abused and finally come forward than there are who get falsely accused. So while we must take both seriously, we must also recognize our tendency to disbelieve the powerless.

  • If someone’s behavior is illegal (e.g., rape, child porn), the church has an obligation to more than deal with it internally; they must report it to the police. So those of us in leadership need to be familiar with our states’ laws. Many mental-health professionals believe that the power differential is so significant in minister with parishioner, physician with patient, and counselor with client relationships that there is no such thing as “consent.” That being the case, words such as “affair” have no room in our vocabulary for describing such situations.

  • When calling for an independent investigation, we need to look for ways that even a so-called independent investigation can leave the researcher beholden to the one(s) paying the bills. Such ties can create a conflict of interest—which can lead to accusations of cover-ups. So we must aim for fuller transparency and accountability.

  • When people confide in us their stories, we must avoid victim-blaming. One way to do so: ask super open-ended questions such as “What seemed the best course of action to you and why?” rather than “Why didn’t you call the police immediately?” Our questions can inflict more pain if we aren’t careful.

  • It is not enough to call for resignation when a leader has harmed a parishioner. And a verbal apology is not enough, either. Healing involves also making reparations such as taking full responsibility via rhetoric and paying for victims’ counseling. (When Zaccheus repented of ripping people off, he did more than apologize. He paid back his victims more than they had lost through his thievery. See Luke 19.)

Paul called on the Ephesians to expose the deeds of darkness Eph. 5:11). If you know of abuse happening—whether it’s like a David with a Bathsheba or a Potiphar’s wife with a Joseph—do something. Tell someone! The church of all places should be the best place in the world for victims and victimizers alike to encounter both mercy and justice.

Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. (Galations 6:9)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com