Shining the Light of Jesus in the Darkness of #MeToo and #ChurchToo
With the #MeToo movement going on, I’ve come to a deeper and more poignant realization that women, since the beginning of time, have not been held in proper esteem and respect, and they have not been treated with dignity and value. There have been abuses, marginalization, degradation, etc., heaped upon women.
We can say that this problem lies in the secular world. But that would be a lie. Unfortunately, this type of mistreatment happens in the Church too. There’s even the hashtag #ChurchToo to encourage Christians to come forward and share about abuse and harassment they have experienced.
I believe it’s vitally important for the Church to be equipped in seeing, treating and valuing women as the Imago Dei (images of God) they are. Without a doubt, many in the Church also need to confess their own personal wrongdoings in this matter. It needs to be made absolutely clear that any type of inappropriate behavior and abuse is sin that needs to be confessed and repented and that paths to correction and healing are in order. And it’s not up to the entertainment industry or business organizations to lead the way—it has to be the Church.
Why? Because the Church has the only True solution and Savior who can bring hope and healing to the dark places of our world (and our hearts). But this doesn’t mean that the Church is the only authority figure who should be involved or have a say on how to rectify the wrongs. I appreciate how Beth Moore describes the two realities:
It is imperative that we learn to differentiate between sexual immorality and sexual criminality. Both are sin. Both call for repentance. Both require grace. Both can be forgiven, slates wiped clean, by our merciful God though the cross of Christ. Where church and ministry leaders are concerned, both also call for proper action. But one calls for a different proper action. It calls for the police. While all sexual sin is immoral, not all sexual sin is criminal. There is sexual sin in general. And there is sexual assault in particular. There must be a distinction drawn between the two.
I am humbled, honored and excited that Dr. Sandra Glahn, professor in the Media Arts & Worship and Pastoral Ministries departments at Dallas Theological Seminary, has accepted my invitation to preach at AABC this Sunday to share God’s Word with all of us and to help us see where our faith in Christ must absolutely intercept the problems of the world.
Following our worship service, we will be having a special hour where women in our church family and a special guest—author Mary DeMuth—will share about their own experiences of abuse and mistreatment, as well as how the Gospel has helped them through their struggles and pain. This sharing time will be followed by an opportunity to ask them and Dr. Glahn questions about ways to minister Christ’s love and Truth to all those affected.
I pray and long for the day when the only tears we cry are tears of joy, amazement and wonder as we recognize the depth and breadth of God’s love for us—and not from us continually hurting one another.