Houston's Praise 92.1 Radio had an article by Noelle Sewell regarding the top 5 reasons the church doesn't address domestic abuse.
Should we try to add to the list or do you think the list is fine the way it is?
Number one reason is the pastor himself could be the abuser
They themselves maybe or have been perpetrators of domestic violence (Yes I went there). There are pastors who are perpetrators and their deacons, elders and ministry leaders know it but they are afraid to call them on it. Often times the church leaders don’t want to appear to be attacking the pastor, cause disruption in the congregation, being shunned by other members, being removed from their ministry position, being asked to leave the church. Now you should make sure that there is abuse before approaching the pastor. Pray about if you have any doubts because once you make the accusation and it not true it will be difficult to restore the person’s reputation. If you witness it you need to address it with the leadership so both parties involved can be offered assistance. Be prepared to be osterized or removed from a position and/or asked to leave the church if the leadership is not ready to address the issue with the pastor.
Number 2 reason is clergy may have witnessed abuse in the past, and have not dealt with it themselves
They may have experienced seeing a parent abused and not have dealt with it. People who have witnessed abuse of a parent/family member may suppress the experience as a coping skill. Some may feel guilty because they wish they would have and /or could have stopped it. In order to receive healing and peace sometimes we have visit painful experiences. In Jesus there is freedom, healing and deliverance. Enough said!!
Number 3 is that the church can't handling dealing with such a social ill
They are afraid of the reaction of congregation’s reaction. There are still some people who may feel that the church is not a place to address such (social issues). Now correct me if I am wrong didn’t the bible address social issues like rape, incest, adultery, homeless and hunger just to name a few. I guarantee you that at least one person in your congregation has either experienced or witnessed abuse. If the bible addressed such issues why shouldn’t we be able to discuss the same issues in the church? Make sure you are presenting it in a practical biblical way.Number 4 is money! They could lose some tithes over this. Yikes - that's a nasty though huh?
They are fearful of losing income (tithes and offering). Yes I went there again. I hope I don’t need to explain this. If I do please email me.Okay I should have said at least five.Number 5 is pure and simple ignorance as to the dynamics or forms of domestic violence of any kind.
They really don’t have a clear understanding of the definition of domestic violence and the forms it could take. I would suggest two wonderful websites; The Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute www.bcdi.org and the Faith Trust Institute www.faithtrustinstitute.org. Both organizations have a lot of resources to offer.If your pastor does not want to address the issue and you feel God is leading you to do that ministry then I suggest you contact the organizations listed above and local organizations in your area. Volunteering with an organization that deals with domestic violence is a good place to start. You may even find someone who can assist you with designing a presentation for your church. Talk to women who have been victims (and we all know someone).
I know beside the help the author mentioned I would like to add RAVE. Pastors can educate themselves online, and its a self paced education.
Can you add any reasons for the list that the church doesn't like about addressing domestic violence, emotional abuse, or maybe even verbal abuse? It could be you have another form in mind!
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