Abuse in the Church

June 15, 2022
Good afternoon


Today’s blog is about pastoral sexual abuse. It can trigger some difficult memories for some. If you are triggered, you can reach out to counselors at Shalom Counseling at 519-886-9690 or contact me.


The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) last week released a report of pastoral sexual abuse. It was a 288 page report documenting over 500 abuse events by pastors. The denominational leaders had denied that such a report existed, but they were forced to release it. Since each congregation is responsible only for itself, they did not need to report the abuse. The congregations allowed the ministers to leave to go elsewhere, and the survivors were kept quiet. Although some ministers were convicted of crimes, the churches did not discipline them. 

The MeetingHouse groups of churches had been the darling of the BIC ( formerly Ontario Brethren in Christ Church ) for two decades. Their teaching pastor Bruxy Cavey was an internet sensation. He was an author of a few books that were read widely in the evangelical world. They had satellite churches all over Ontario meeting in movie theatres.  In December 2021, Mr. Cavey was asked to step down while the church investigated an affair with a woman. It was pastoral sexual abuse. Then there were two more women who came forward earlier this year. Then on June 7th at a congregational meeting, it was reported that 38 persons had come forward, and a toxic work atmosphere including pastoral sexual abuse and harassment were identified. The congregation must be reeling. Giving was down 30/40% this year, even before the June 7th report.

The MeetingHouse has raised millions of dollars for MCC. MCC had one development/fundraiser worker specifically for the Meetinghouse. While these funds were being donated, the leaders of the church were living these lies. I told many churches of the great work of this church. When Bruxy Cavey would come to the MCC offices, there was a sense of awe. What do we do with this knowledge of systemic abuse ?
As a pastor, it affects my self-confidence. When I first began as a minister, there were Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and Jimmy Swaggert. They were Christians leaders who lost their way too, through stealing money and having sexual abuse with women. These events  affect how I think about the church. Since being a pastor is my calling in my life, it affects the way I see myself in the world. Marlene Epp ( in the Canadian Mennonite ) wrote that she felt like a victim and a perpetrator , after her father’s affair became public. I feel the same way. 

Pray for the church. Pray for its pastors. Pray for redemption. AMEN

Fred
Chaos in the winds
Scattering my troubled thoughts
to land on soft clouds            Monika Pieper Landoni 2022