I couldn’t write the post I had planned. I just couldn’t do it.
Yesterday afternoon my husband arrived home from work, expecting to do a baby pass-off, and I would head out the door to write. He found me in bed with a pile of books for me and for Little One. I knew I looked terrible, and I know he noticed. Eventually, I did pass off baby boy to him, but I didn’t get dressed and pack up my stuff. I rolled over and tucked the chocolate brown quilt around me.
To be honest, I’ve been fighting some demons lately. That day in the coffee shop hurled me into places I didn’t expect, and it has been hard. It has been hell. And yesterday, I just gave up the fight for a day. I needed a reprieve. Resting and avoiding potential stressors can be helpful for a time. At least this is what I told myself.
Then, I began to read the horrors of the Second Amended Lawsuit Against Sovereign Grace Ministries. I find it difficult to describe how it felt, and how I still feel about it, but I’ll give it a try.
My heart broke for the alleged victims, but it didn’t break in my chest or sink into my stomach. I felt my heart fall to my feet, and I watched it break. And tears stung my eyes, and I fantasized about walking into a room full of men and women who make up The Gospel Coalition assembly. I would read this section from their Theological Vision for Ministry:
“We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that way. The gospel replaces superiority toward the poor with mercy and compassion. Christian churches must work for justice and peace in their neighborhoods through service even as they call individuals to conversion and the new birth. We must work for the eternal and common good and show our neighbors we love them sacrificially whether they believe as we do or not. Indifference to the poor and disadvantaged means there has not been a true grasp of our salvation by sheer grace.”
After that, I envisioned tearing up their Confessional Statement before their faces, along with their Theological Vision for Ministry. I would hold the face of every person in the room and I would say two words:
And maybe when I arrived at certain faces I would add another word or two, if it felt right. And then I would gesture to the shredded bits of The Gospel Coalition constitution that was on the floor, and I would say that all of this means nothing if you do not love. You have not publically acknowledged what is happening to your very own! The flocks you’ve spent your life shepherding? They’re in trouble. They are wounded, and whether or not the allegations prove true, they deserve the compassion of a response. Then, I would walk out the door, and before I shut it, I would look back at them and say:
Your silence doesn’t control the volume of Truth.
I know what it is like to face great betrayal and abuse, and have people I loved and trusted never acknowledge my suffering. Once I sought an attorney for the dissolution of my first marriage, my in-laws never spoke to me again . When the court ruled in my favor, they still said nothing. My father in-law called me a liar, and declined to see copies of all the accumulated evidence that proved his son was leading a double life. He said nothing, did nothing, and I’m still not sure why. My father-in-law had said he loved me, that I was like a daughter to him. Yet, he sided with his son, and I still don’t know why.
The counselors my husband was seeing didn’t believe me when I said he was lying. I practically had to force myself into a private meeting with them, and show them what had been discovered. This same meeting had to be repeated with a pastor. Twice shocked were they when there was no grand story or tears or Bible devotions that could cover up the truth of what my husband had done.
My betrayer was just that good.
I have no idea the terror the alleged victims in the SGM lawsuit have endured. I don’t claim to know the abuse another has suffered. However, I know well what it feels like to have people who are supposed to love you and care for you turn a blind eye and walk away. I do know what it feels like to second guess your feelings and experiences because their silence can be so damn loud. I know what it feels like to be abandoned and kicked to the past while still living in the pain of the present.
The silence of my once-upon-a-time family has never been loud enough to drown out the truth.
So tonight, I stand with the victims of abuse. Always. I stand because Truth is loud. And if you’re being silent, it is time to speak up whenever and wherever you can.
For more details on the lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries you may visit these pages. Please feel free to add others in the comment section.
Also, I would like to add that one blogger for TGC, Jared Wilson, broke silence today and sent out this tweet:
“The allegations in the newly amended SGM lawsuit are horrific. Let’s remember the state does not wield the sword in vain.”
I hope more men and women within The Gospel Coalition begin to break their long held silence.