Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whats Your Take Two

Its 3.15am
And hot hot hot.
So I'm doing my middle of the night pottering around thing.

Before I go on, I want to thank those of you who took time out to ponder on the question in my last post.
Your comments make fascinating reading: grace seems to be the keynote, and rightly so.

Just a couple of things before I move on:

# Please dont think I was targetting the Catholic church in particular. In fact, it is not my intention to criticise any church.
Simply to try to understand how things work.

# Without labouring the point, I get that fellow "congregants" should accept each other and extend grace (Lord knows, we all need it!) but my puzzlement is really about how leadership should handle known damaging stuff thats going down in the own churches.

Let me give you another example - also true, also from years ago:
It became known that a highly regarded family man, who was in the second row every Sunday with his wife and 5 children, all of the family very much involved in church life, was sexually abusing his teenage daughter.
And had been for years.

What then was the role of the leadership?
What about a case where a wife has to cover her bruises each time she goes to church because of an abusive husband?
Where there is a kind of life style or behaviour pattern that is destructive
Should the leadership take action?
If so, what action?

My sympathy for pastors is huge
Whatever course of action they take, there are bound to be people who will be outraged.

Anyway, its a "hot potato" topic so I think I will move right along.

PS: @ M - yes, great idea.
I'd love to have a good long look at that topic soon
@ Elizabeth - I'm glad to hear things are so different these days. Unfortunately its too late for my friend who died a couple of years ago.
@ Family - love what you had to say. The huge factor in the prodigal's story is his repentance though. That is not always the case, and therein lies the rub!


Terry said...

OK! YES the church should take action against anything that is contrary to sound doctrine. No way should the church allow abuse in any form. No where in the Bible does it say that a man can abuse his wife or children. The husband is suppose to love his wife as Christ loved the church and protect them. It really upsets me when any man sexually or any other way abuses his children or his wife. I could go on, but you get the idea. Trouble is, sometimes it's hard for the wife to break away from an abusive man. If a man is abusing his family, he needs to go straight to jail!
Sorry Allie for going on about this, but it is absolutely uncalled for and should be address by the Law as well as the Church. OK! I'm done.

allie. said...

@ Terry - I see you feel very strongly about this, understandably.
Perhaps my examples were a bit graphic.
I realise both of them are actually illegal but the issue I am trying to get to grips with, is to what extent is it ok for church leadership to 'intervene', 'interfere', 'get involved to help' - whatever.

Is 'extending grace' what is called for from them in these situations?

MelB said...

This one is black and white because these are criminal acts. And so should be treated as such. Here, the *church* could only be expected to support the victim.

It is the more grey areas that are tricky.

allie. said...

@ Melb - exactly!

Lynette said...

You know me Allie and you know that I am very much part of church our years of ministry we have noticed a sad tendency. The leadership in church are totally out of touch with reality and what is really happening "on the ground". I see that in our monthly "full ministry meetings" when we share what we deal with on a daily is as if their eyes glaze over and sometimes it feels(to me) that they don't really want to know. That way they stay in a safe little bubble...blissfully unaware. (please don't think I judge them...I know the Lord gave us His heart when it comes to the unloveable ones:)

allie. said...

Gosh Lynette - you may just have put your finger on something really important here!

Maybe the when and how of grace versus "intervention" is just too knotty a problem for them too so its just easier for them to 'glaze over'?

Who knows?!

I feel for you though - you guys are right on the pointy end of this dilemma.
Sterkte sussie! XX