#MeTooMen #ChurchToo

… on my Twitter feed the other day, there were many stories about a ‘pastor’ of a mega-church, Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN, who confessed to a ‘sexual incident’ that involved a teenager that he abused when he was a youth pastor many years ago.  the girl was 17 yrs old at the time.

… as i am very concerned for the condition of the universal church and body of Christ, i was curious to find out what this particular ‘church’ was saying.  i looked up their Facebook account and started reading the feeds.

… what i read shocked me.

…  people were writing that they were driving hours and hours to come to this weeks service in support of Andy, the man who admitted that he had sexually assaulted a 17 yr old girl 20 yrs earlier.

.. i read comments like; “she’s lying, Andy is a good guy.” and “she’s just looking for attention.”

.. i responded that maybe she was looking for the attention she should have received when she was abused 20 years ago.  and i posted a scripture.

Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness light, and light darkness; who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter. Woe to them that are wise in their own conceit, and knowing in their own sight.
Isaiah 5:20–21

… when i went back i found that they had blocked me.  i find it interesting that the church would block me for posting words from the Bible that they claim they follow, but it is not the first time, and i doubt it will be the last.

… the thing is …

“i believe her.”

… and why shouldn’t i?  Mr. Andy only gave a public apology in front of the ”whole’ church’ AFTER she had made a public post as part of the #MeToo movement against the sexual abuse by people in power.  it was only AFTER Mr. Andy had posted on his social media in support of Matt Lauer, another sexual abusing man who also said he was sorry, (but i didn’t do that).

… and you see, i am a 52 yr old man, and i have a story from when i was a 15 yr old freshman in high school myself.  i already hear the screams ‘get over it.’ and i have, but just because 37 years have gone by, doesn’t mean i have forgotten, or that it hasn’t played an effect on different decisions i have made throughout my entire life..

… in 1979 i was a freshman in high school, attending a private boarding school called St. Paul’s College High, in Concordia, MO.  when i was in 7th grade, i had an encounter with the LORD that dramatically changed the course of my life.  i was only 12, but i was happy and content, and i loved people.  i spent a lot of my spare time reading my Bible, and although my mother and step father took us to our Missouri Synod Lutheran Church every Sunday, they weren’t happy with my new found happiness. 🙂

… so they took me to our pastor so that he would straighten me out.  the pastor had suggested that i was called into the ministry, and he suggested that i look into this High School that also had a two year College on the same campus whose entire focus was pre-ministerial.

… due to a law suit where my father didn’t pay my mother any child support for like 7 years, he agreed to pay for my 4 years of private boarding school education and she agreed to not pursue the entire debt.  i enrolled and started classes – wonderful classes in Old Testament studies, Greek studies, Hebrew studies, New Testament, Geometry,  – anyways, i though i was close to heaven.  remember, i’m just 15 at the time.

… i found out that the majority of High School students were rich kids who were trouble makers, whose parents sent them to this school so that the school would deal with them.  the High School was supposed to be geared towards the ministry, but it seemed that only the college students were actually serious about the things of God.

… there were some extra-curricular activities of praise and worship, Bible studies, etc. that some of the college students were leading and i and one other HS student got permission to hang out with the college group.  the college group had plans to travel to Chicago, IL around Christmas time and attend a conference called Evangelism Explosion.  we were going to spend a day of ‘door to door’ evangelism, and spend some time at O’Hare International Airport, busiest in the world at that time, doing ‘evangelism.’

… the plan was that the students would all break up into two’s and be assigned to different host houses from the church we would be visiting for the seminars.  me being the youngest person in the group (5 years younger than most) i was assigned to a big house that had enough room to house 4 people, 2 rooms with bunk-beds.  and it just so happened that i was assigned with the 3 male college sophomore leaders of the entire group from St. Paul’s.

… when we broke into rooms, i was in a room with the assistant to the assistant.  he took the bottom bunk and we went to bed.  as i remember it was cold, it was Chicago in December, and he asked me if i wanted to get into bed with him as we could stay warmer.  my 15 year old self thought this college man made sense so i did.  today, in 2018, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but back in 1979 Mid-Western America, to even consider that something was wrong – was just wrong.

… i’m not going to go into details, but lets just say that after numerous attempts to say no (not verbally as i recall, just no consent) i ended up doing things i did not want to, and when he went to the restroom to clean himself up, i got dressed and ran to the room of the two head leaders and told them what had happened.

… they told me i was wrong, that the guy who just abused me was engaged to be married, and i must have misunderstood the whole thing.  they sent me back to the room, where i got back into the top bunk and waited for my abuser to come back to the room.

… of course i’ve never mentioned this before.  why would i?  but 37 years later, i can think of thousands of things in my life that were forever changed on that night, mostly because people with authority over me, abused me twice.  once physically, the second time mentally – by victim blaming.  the shame, “how dare you say something so evil against such a good person!”

… and so i will loudly now say, that

I believe Jules Woodson. STOP the victim blaming.  SHAME on you who call yourself the Church of Jesus the Man called Christ.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 3:12–13

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Author: orland

.. i was born into an average family in the mid-west of the United States of America. my parents were divorced when i was young. ... i have been fortunate to have experienced many things that only the rich get to see. i once stayed in the Presidential Suite of the Lai Lai Sheraton Hotel, in Taipei, Taiwan. this suite composed the top two floors of the Lai Lai, where my private room overlooked the city of Taipai. ... and i have spent time in the Federal Prison System of this country as well. ... i had a construction company on the road to 'success and prosperity' and fell pray to the lures of the American Christianity Syndrome. but thank the good LORD, He allowed it all to crash around me. ... now i am quite happy to be poor, relying only on Him ....