Printed in the Warsaw Times Union
October 15, 2018 under
Church Discipline Lacking
I really enjoyed Ken Locke's article "Churches Need Higher Standard in Age of Sexual Abuse"; (Sept 6, 2018 p 5A). I'm glad to see church leaders exhorting us to live up to the teachings of Jesus. Sadly, many churches are more interested in cover-up than clean-up. Next to its failure to witness, the church's failure to discipline its leaders and congregation is its biggest sin. The church's current problems all trace back to its disobedience.
Usually, the Roman Catholic Church gets targeted, but the problem of sexual abuse unfortunately is widespread (The Church's Abuse Problem: It's not just a Catholic thing 9-14-18Eric Metaxas Ann Morse christianheadlines.com). Rather than trying to really change things for the better, church leaders try to cover it up. The crooked preacher gets some counselling ("For God's sake, man. Next time be more discrete.') Then the crooked preacher announces "The Lord" is calling him elsewhere (using God's name in vain?). So he leaves town, usually just ahead of police or outraged victims. Church leaders believe they successfully covered up the sin, but usually the community already knew about it. Instead of being fooled, the community loses respect for the church.
Here are some resources: The web site answers.org/issues has a couple of helpful articles: "Public trust: Should Christians tell the truth?" and "Truth and consequences: Exposing sin in the church." Jay Adams wrote a couple of helpful books The Handbook of Church Discipline and Ready to Restore. Revive us again should be our prayer.
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