My letter to Leadership Journal, Christianity Today & #TakeThatPostDown:
On June 9th, Leadership Journal (part of Christianity Today) published a piece - several pages long - by a youth pastor convicted of sexual abuse of a child. I will not link to it: it is horrific in its justifications, appalling it it's narrative. Needless to say one section of the internet at least has already exploded in fury.
There are several excellent responses to this (links to which are at the bottom) which have spoken far more eloquently than I could about how purity culture in the church can allow this vile apologia to occur. Dianna Anderson, amongst many, has written a great deal on it and I would recommend you check out her blog.
This was my email to Leadership Journal - you can email them on LJEditor@christianitytoday.com to add your voice to getting the post removed.
To whom it may concern
I know that you will have received many of these emails from many far more eloquent than myself as to why you should remove the long form article from the convicted child abuser and rapist.
So this will be a very short email, because the excellent reasons as to way that article needs to be removed have undoubtedly already been made far more clearly than I could make them.
I will therefore simply ask you to remove it because it is not a warning to anyone: all it is a knife in the heart to those who have already been hurt and damaged by abusers and rapists. That article is acid on the wounds of those wounded by such behaviour, whilst at the very same time a balm to the hearts of those who perpetuate that damage.
You might not see it that way, but take it from those who actually genuinely know about these things.
Please take down that post - and then please go and learn about abuse, about rape and rape culture, about how those who abuse and rape think: there are many great leaders in the church who recognise the mistakes that we have made as Christ's church in how we have dealt with this previously.
Please take down that post - it is a weight that suffocates those who have already struggled to breathe through it the first time. The language of the man who wrote this reflects no understanding, no remorse: only excuses, justifications and rationalizations. And no, the postscript added since the furore began does not alter that truth one iota.
Matthew 18:6 -
"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."
Please. Take that post down.
http://diannaeanderson.tumblr.com/post/88420545678/on-how-the-church-discusses-abuse-denying-the - Dianna Anderson 'On How the Church Discusses Abuse'.
http://www.elizabethesther.com/2014/06/an-open-letter-to-christianity-today-take-down-the-rape-post-its-not-an-extramarital-relationship-its-rape-ctmagazine.html - An Open Letter to Christianity Today by Elizabeth Esther
http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/leadership-journal-christianity-today-and-takedownthatpost/ - Leadership Journal, Christianity Today and #TakeDownThatPost by Samantha Field.