I wanted to say something more on the issue of unchecked abuse within the Church community. What I mean by ‘unchecked’ is that the controls, of accountability, of church discipline, and of commonplace monitoring are not in place.
I have for more than a few years now, been quite mournful about the fact that I cannot trust the churches I go to to be safe places. I am not talking about particular denominations, this is across the board. I would not even try to choose a church looking for that attribute: safety. For my children, for my own interactions, everything is “caveat”.
I have often wondered what has exacerbated this condition in our churches; that there were always dangers from predatory men, wolves, is obvious from the warnings. But there were warnings that the places of safety and refuge might be kept intact. In evil times the wise hide themselves, and it seems that even within our church communities we have to hide and test, and beware. Yet, there are things which can be done to deter evil. We only need some inner fortitude, some faith in following God’s outlines, and leaving off fear of men’s disapprovals. We can create refuge, and we need to. We can make safe places of peace and wholeness. It takes scruple and discernment, judgements on our part. Not who can partake, but how we all ought to partake of the precious life and fellowship that is entrusted to us. Vouchsafing the trust that others have for this. There are things we can do, but we have to have the heart and mind to do them.