Do clergy have immunity to abuse their people?

Do clergy have immunity to abuse their people?

"Immunity to Abuse" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
Someone contacted me last week to alert me to what is going on recently with Sovereign Grace Ministries. There are those who claim the abuse that has occurred in the ministry is some of the worst ever documented. But on top of that, the following coverup by its leadership is just as disturbing, if not more so. I say 'if not more so' because it suggests that the abuse is not taken seriously and that there's no guarantee it won't happen again. The person who contacted me about it, of course, is very upset. Even shocked. Understandably. I'm no longer shocked by these stories. Whenever we hear of abuse within the church, or any organization for that matter, we also hear of attempts to minimize it, marginalize it, silence it, or even deny it. But always always always... without fail?... we hear of the organization's attempts to protect the abuser. In my experience and observation, the abuser is protected by the organization or the abuser is so independent that they are accountable to no one. The hypocrisy is what gets me. A pastor might go online and in a moment of pain, weakness, curiosity, or genuine interest, checks out certain questionable websites. No matter how gifted he is, he's dismissed immediately. Another pastor might have a long history of abuse, but every effort is made to keep him... precisely because of his giftedness! In the first case no one was hurt. In the second many are. Which tells me we care more about our ideas and our morality and our programs than we do the people. I've been spiritually abused. But I know many people who have far worse stories than I do. They know the futility of reporting the abuse because they are fully aware that the system will rally behind the abuser. Everyone seems to understand that. Including the abuser. ***************************************** --> I invite you to pull up a chair to The Lasting Supper. We will welcome you and help you feel at home.

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