Do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan? A traveler is attacked by thieves, stripped, beaten, and left for dead. As if things couldn’t get worse, what happens next is horrific: “Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.” (Luke 10:31-32)
The very ones who were supposed to represent God turned a blind eye, walked on the other side, and went about their day. While this seems unimaginable, it is sadly a good illustration of how the church has often responded to victims of abuse.
I recently preached a message at Threshold Church called The Church’s Response to Abuse. This is an area where the church has generally done a poor job. Time after time, I hear stories from women in abusive marriages who sought help from their church, only to be dismissed or further damaged. And there are plenty of examples of sexual abuse being covered up by churches rather than dealt with in an appropriate way. It seems that it is often more common for a church to be a safe-haven for predators and abusers than a refuge for victims of abuse. This must change!
In this sermon, I used the parable of the Good Samaritan to describe the nature of abuse and how the church should respond. I covered some reasons why the church has often done a poor job in this area, and how we must change our approach. This topic is on the heart of God in this hour, and I pray that we will respond like the Good Samaritan and be a place of safety, clarity, and healing for those who have been abused!
*You can listen to the sermon at this link: The Church’s Response to Abuse