A bit funny how this perfect confluence formed in my life, kind of like the way three rivers converge, and by “funny” I don’t mean “ha,” I mean “what a peculiar and curious synchronicity.”
So first off, Vice wrote a bit of an expose on Pastor Wilson. Naturally he just calls it a, “hit piece.” Yeah well, at the very least what you have here are several fractured relationships and multiple wounded people you are continuing to dismiss, ignore, and attack. Near as I can tell that movement is just going to grow, and more power to them because as far as I’m concerned when you just try silence people who come to you in distress, you pretty much deserve whatever comes your way. By the way, this is not a “fluke,” this is just one of dozens of articles written about Wilson over the years. Are they all valid? Probably not, but when there is that much smoke, there is a fire somewhere.
Also, he still doesn’t care. The victims might as well be an inanimate object, a pot hole in his road to success. Think about that one, I care more about the collateral damage Christ church has strewn about than their pastors do.
The SBC, that would be the Southern Baptists, also this past week continued to show a certain kind of stubborn indifference or hard heartedness towards some actual victims of abuse, too. Same vibe, we don’t care. You don’t matter.
Which brings me to Danny Silk’s book “Unpunishable” which I bought and read, and although I like him very much and I think he hit on some good points, I was struck by the same feelings. If this were a game of Jeopardy, I’ll just take wrath for 200, Alex. It’s a good book, repentance, restoration and healing, at least for perpetrators, for the bad guys. Victims are hardly mentioned, they’re either the co-conspirators or the generic back up characters in our tale about who is really important. Right? Even on the jacket of his book it says, “living with humans is messy.”
Wow. “Messy” is leaving your socks on the floor or stuffing garbage under the sofa cushions. People in leadership engaging in predatory sexual behavior is not “messy.” It is not on the same level as missing the hamper when you toss your dirty clothes in a heap.
PTSD is messy, Danny. Eating disorders are messy, depression, suicide, self harm, addiction. A lifetime of grief and bad relationships, shame and confusion, abandonment issues and rejection. But hey, at least we can help offenders ditch that orphan mentality and step into their rightful inheritance, preserve their marriages, and not lose their leadership positions! Whew, glad we could mitigate that harm and protect what’s really important….
I was also not pleased with his analogy around the prodigal son. It reminded me very much of the saying, “boys will be boys.” So your prodigal, your predator repents and comes back, and now the son who stayed is the actual bad guy, the unrepentant victim who won’t just forgive and realize that all sins are equal? Nope, not working for me at all.
Was Ravi Zacharias just a “hot mess?” Did he kind of just have a run in his stocking and some smeared mascara? Because my heart was sure not prepared for the revelations about him and I was super not prepared for the support he received from Christians who pretty much just dismissed his, “little mess.” For those who don’t know, we aren’t talking about an illicit affair, but rather, running brothels and importing foreign sex workers.
Later in the week someone went and pleaded with me to, “just comply with the state so things can get back to normal.” I was very polite on the outside, but on the inside I was more like, Oh heck no, two years into this secular horror show, I better start seeing some indictments! You don’t destroy people’s jobs, businesses, lives, families, housing, healthcare, peace of mind, right to hold a funeral or say goodbye to a loved one and then try to make it all go away with promises of a, “return to normal.” Restoration.
I don’t want “normal” anymore, now I want justice, even vengeance. I want my safety back, I want security, I want these people held accountable and I want some assurance it will never be allowed to happen again.
Yeah well, and people in hell probably want ice water.
But that’s what victims want, too. They want their illusions back, they want a sense of safety and to believe that they matter, that they have worth and value. Yes well, if they “mattered” to people, bad things wouldn’t have happened to them in the first place. We don’t violate, abuse, silence, and dismiss those who we think have value.
Restoration is not about, how can we heal perpetrators, it is about, how can we restore what has been stolen from victims, how can we give you back what was lost and taken, ten fold over??? Go read the book of Job, God’s wrath was directed towards Job’s, “helpful Christian friends,” and His restoration was directed towards everything Job lost. God made sure Job was cared for and restored.
We’ve got it all backwards. The only consistent thing here is how wrong we are.