A brief blog post on the importance of being consistent when it comes to discussing sexual abuse. There are many evangelicals and those in general who find ways to excuse abuse because they desire something that the abuser can give. The only way we can deal with this topic of sexual abuse is to be honest, admit our biases and be consistent. If we play favorites then all the writing being done is wasted in the end.
“Young men, hear an old man to whom old men hearkened when he was young. “
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 NLT
Overlooking Washington, D.C. from Arlington National Cemetery
Recently someone told me of a situation that bothered me. There is an internet personality who is known for writing about domestic abuse. This person also has a history in law enforcement if I heard this correctly. He likes to write about supporting abuse victims in the evangelical church. When the Supreme Court seat with Brett Kavanaugh was up and allegations of assault came forward from Christine Blasy Ford this writer did something that upset a number of people. He didn’t believe the victim and actually believed that Kavanaugh should go after the victim and sue her for defamation. I heard about this long after the Supreme Court battle and it troubled me deeply. Believe the victim?
Only if the victim comes from Sovereign Grace Fairfax…
Only if the victim comes from a Roman Catholic church….
Only if the victim comes from a Southern Baptist Church in Texas…
In other words you believe the victim when its not inconvenient. When it comes to your favorite political candidate, sports figure, or more then you find ways to excuse the perpetrator. There are some evangelicals who say believe the victim and then support, excuse and defend Donald Trumps’ abuse. I started to write about evangelicals and Trump around 2016 because if I am going to write about these topics then I need to deal with the facts before me. But the ability of some Christians who speak about abuse and then dismiss credible allegations of sexual assault because you want a Supreme Court seat is troubling. Or you dismiss other allegations for a number of reasons.
Importance of Being Honest
I can’t write a blog like this and not subscribe to the facts. If you are going to write a blog like this you need to be honest. That honesty is both for yourself and for the sake of the people who read you. One can’t have hidden agendas when they write as that is not good in the end. I want to see blogging be like professional journalism and strive to do the best I can. Its hard because its a deep challenge. But honesty is also important because of how the internet operates. There is enough false news and narcissists that have agendas out there. My goal in writing is to support the establishment of some of these places that I write about and to trigger conversations in the process. But you can’t have agendas when it comes to the Roman Catholic church, atheism, The Gospel Coalition, the Evangelical Free Church of America, or Acts 29. At the very end you need to be honest as that will carry your blog and give you credibility when it comes to writing about these stories or issues as they occur.
Consistency vs. Opportunist
But there is another factor and its this point. If you are not consistent about writing about your topic then really what you are is being an opportunist. What you are doing is to engage in empire building. I can’t do that as I can’t face myself in the mirror by doing such flip flops. So what does it mean to be against abuse? It means this…
You are against abuse by Harvey Weinsten.
You are against abuse by Bill Clinton.
You are against abuse by Donald Trump
You are against abuse by Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax
By being consistent to truth and not playing to a tribe. As people talk about the abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention I want to raise this issue. As people talk about it we need to have an honest discussion on abuse. Because here is the fact of the matter. If we are not going to be consistent then all we are doing is spinning our wheels. We are wasting time and not working at resolving the problem. You can’t play favorites when it comes to abuse just because you like a sport player, politician, actor, or preacher or church movement. Its also important to be fair which is what I think a person should be known by. To live in a dark and cruel world and known for being fair is good. That is one of the many ways in how I want to be remembered.
Why I am Not an Advocate
I want to use this post to also explain that I am a researcher and writer. I am not an advocate nor ever plan to be. Why? Quite simple its because I am not trained as one. Its important that a person know their limits and that is a part of mine. I am not trained as an advocate and it would be very dishonest of me to say I am one. What I do bring to the game is something very different. I bring academic analysis and research skills from years in grad school. With some research being primary source based. Not a lot of writers in the blogsphere have advanced history degrees in the grad level. You have individuals like Kevin Kruse from Princeton and John Fea from Messiah. They bring a lot to the table and I support them and try and follow them. Even if I pale in their shadow. They educate, inform and teach through twitter or blogging and show what is capable with education. Now having said that I will write about difficult things and pursue them and I will dive into hairy situations. Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis, Community Evangelical Free in Elverson, Pennsylvania or Harvest Bible Chapel is proof of that belief. So I will write and go forward but I can’t promise any guarantees and again I would hate to disappoint as I am not an advocate. This is a post that I needed to do tonight.