In my last post, I talked about what it means to be a trauma survivor and how difficult trauma can be to heal. Today, I’m going to enumerate the ways in which the Church can respond to trauma survivors to help them find healing.
Before I delve in, let me be clear: This is a common problem. Most pastors would be absolutely gobsmacked to know how many trauma survivors fill their churches every Sunday. Current estimates put the incidence of child molestation at 1 in 3 for girls and 1 in 10 for boys. That means in a congregation of 100 people, 5 men and 17 women are likely child sex abuse survivors. And that figure doesn’t begin to include survivors of other types of trauma, such as rape, assault, mental and emotional abuse, neglect, war, abandonment and accident.
If the Church wants to get serious about helping survivors, this is what is needed: Continue reading →
Because of a sexual predator’s recent article in Christianity Today‘s Leadership Journal (which has since been removed, hallelujah!), an important conversation has been taking place online about trauma survivors and the Church’s poor response to them. Some bloggers have suggested that church leaders should be educated on what survivors experience and compassionate ways in which they can reach out to help them. To this end, being a survivor myself, I’m going to share what I’ve learned. Because it’s really important. Continue reading →
Once upon a time…for a long time…I hated the Psalms. Their only purpose seemed to reinforce the idea that suffering was quick and trivial; with a little effort, one could scrounge up some joy by simply believing that God would eventually sweep in and solve all your problems. For someone who, at the time, was considering suicide, the Psalms only served to worsen my guilt over my inability to “get over” my pain.
It seems I can’t go anywhere these days (especially Facebook) without hearing about the latest attack on Christianity. People won’t keep Christ in Christmas. Government officials are removing prayers from their meetings and nativity scenes from public property. A & E just suspended Phil Robertson, the star of the popular show Duck Dynasty, for saying homosexuality is a sin during an interview. It seems everywhere you look, the secularists are increasing in both number and volume. They are pushing back against those who claim to follow Christ and sticking it in our craw with all their fine rules and regulations designed to keep us in line.
“I can’t believe they hired a woman to preach there. What a shame.”
My family and I were driving past the church that my dad had previously pastored. I was nine years old at the time, a firm believer in Christ, and the statement struck me as odd.
“What’s wrong with a woman preaching?” I asked.
“The Bible says women aren’t allowed to preach or pastor churches. That’s only for men.”
A terrible grief pierced my heart. Really, God? I wondered. You would save me from my sins, teach me your Word, fill me with your Spirit, cause me to love you with my whole heart, then say I can’t minister in your church because…I have a vagina?? I just couldn’t believe it. Continue reading →