Friday, April 29, 2016

Joyce Meyer, Forgiveness, and the Ungodly Way that Too Many Christians Deal With Sex Abuse

I usually try not to comment about controversial things in social media environments. It usually is fruitless and it ends up just being a stressful, frustrating waste of time.

But sometimes, people hit a nerve and cross a line with me. 

In the linked article on, we are told about Joyce Meyer opening up about her father raping her when she was younger. Many comments I could relate to. But some I found outrageous. And they weren't outrageous in the normal social media way. No one was telling her that she probably wanted it or was making outlandish and blasphemous statements about human sexuality that incorporated religious imagery. There weren't even any Christians chiming in that she's a heretic, which surprised me.

No, the comments that really made me mad were comments that were in some way really trying to be godly and biblical. That probably is what made me detest them the most.

While it is no secret that the Roman Catholic Church has rightfully gained a reputation for being shockingly bad at dealing with sexual abuse, the rest of Christendom doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation to boast about either...

I left a lengthy comment, and with the background info I just gave, I think the comment I left does a good job of saying what I needed to say:

My Thoughts on the Joyce Meyer Comments

I see numerous people saying that Joyce Meyers shouldn't have brought this up because she apparently had forgiven her abuser in the past.

You people make me feel ashamed to be a Christian.

I'm not exaggerating. You really do. You do because you play into the stereotype that Christians don’t care about sexual abuse victims. Instead, we only care about pretending that it never happened, and we blame the victim for making that more difficult to do.

You aren't stupid. You know full well that even God, who is the ultimate forgiver of sins, does not literally forget sins or completely pretend that they did not happen. If He did, how would we know about King David sleeping with (and possibly even raping) the married Bathsheba and then murdering her husband Uriah? If God truly forgot sins and made like they never happened at all, how would we know that Peter denied Jesus three times? Or how would we know that Moses sinned against God and was not allowed to enter the promised land? Or how would we know that Paul murdered God’s children for their faith (in intent if not in completed action)? How do we know all these things? We know them because God recorded the events in His word. Despite all these and many other named sinners surely being forgiven and given eternal life, God has told millions and millions of people about what they did.

Forgiveness does not mean never mentioning that a sin happened, even if there is good reason to. God surely had good reasons to include the sins of many saints in the Bible! True, in our daily lives, many sins that a person commits do not need to be brought up again if the person has repented. But surely a young girl who was raped by the man who was supposed to be her father has all sorts of reasons to want to bring it up, even decades later.

And it’s not like she’s doing it to rub it in the face of her sperm donor (which is a more appropriate title than “dad” or “father”) and make him feel bad. He’s long since died. He isn’t here to hear about it now. If he really did repent and was saved, as some have indicated, then great. We are all saved sinners and so we should be glad when another sinner is saved. But that’s not the point. 

She is telling the story probably for many reasons, and at least some of them are surely valid. It is valid to tell of these things to encourage other survivors and let them know they are not alone. It is perfectly reasonable to speak of these things because it highlights the power of God to heal those in need. And really, it is totally valid for a victim to speak of that happened simply because  the scars still remain and telling a sympathetic ear makes them feel batter. This can of course be twisted and used for malicious purposes, but the fact that she forgave her abuser does mean that she must necessarily be silent.

This isn’t about forgiveness. Come on now, really think about it. Is that really what this is about? I certainly wouldn’t say that God has failed to properly forgive Peter, would you? So then, why are people jumping down Joyce Meyer’s throat for daring to speak out about something that happened in her past? Seriously, why are you? Maybe because I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, or because I didn't go to the right kind of church, I don’t understand this subconscious need to sweep this stuff under the rug , this subconscious need  for the person who mentioned it to be the one in the wrong, this subconscious need that would have led me to remember a brief phrase in the Psalms and at the same time forget the rest of the Bible.

But stop it. Just stop it. Stop looking for reasons to minimize sexual abuse and find fault with the victims.

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