“Just the Facts, Ma’am”

Posted: February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized, When Church Hurts
Tags: , , , ,

Every once in a while, someone will say to me, “Well, there are two sides to every story.”

Yes, that’s true. And that’s why in my series, “21 Days to Healing,” day 6 encourages people to write down “just the facts” of their story.

Facts are difficult to dispute. They aren’t cluttered with emotion, nor do they bring with them the discoloration of perspective. They are simply facts. In my day 6 post, I listed the following facts about what happened to me in my former church (not an exhaustive list):

1) I was told that I could not attend, serve, or participate.
2) I was never told the reason for being ostracized despite repeated requests.
3) I was told that the reason could not be revealed or there could be “legal ramifications.”
4) I was treated harshly by the personnel committee.
5) My requests for help from the senior pastor were ignored and avoided.
6) My requests for meetings were ignored or cancelled.
7) The people who delivered the messages that I was unworthy had no relationship with me.
8) Denominational and church protocol for handling church discipline were not followed (I was never told I was under church discipline, but I was treated that way.)
9) I was told that I could not share what had happened or how I was being treated with anyone – not even my husband.

Now, if you were to sit down with the senior pastor or his brother (the one who told us not to come back), and read off each of these items, and they were to dispute these facts, they would be liars.

I was told repeatedly that I could not attend, serve, or participate. I have documentation to prove it.

I was never told the reason. I have myriad emails asking the senior pastor for this information with no response forthcoming. They would have to provide documentation that refutes this claim.

My requests for help and meetings are well-documented, as well, as are the cancelled meetings. I have the emails making the requests. The pastor would not be able to provide responses to those specific requests. I also have emails indicating cancellations of meetings.

The lack of relationship was and is still true. Were you to ask any of the message-bearers to list pertinent instances in which they communicated with me beyond a “hello” in the hallway, they could not provide an answer.

If denominational and church protocol for handling church discipline had been followed, there would have been formal meetings and written documentation presented to me. It doesn’t exist.

I realize the other things on this list probably fall into a “he said/she said” catagory, but I don’t even need those points to shore up the facts as they stand. And, as I said earlier, this is not an exhaustive list. But it is enough to justify my claim that I was spiritually abused.

So, the next time someone, whether hinting or blatantly stating, tells you that “there are two sides to every story,” make sure you have your facts ready. Challenge them to ask for evidence that what you are saying is in error or discolored or just a product of your emotionalism.

To any of my detractors, go ahead. Ask the senior pastor or his brother for documentation of the ways that my requests for help were answered. Or documentation of their appropriate handling of church discipline through formal meetings and written documents that were presented to me. Ask them for the documentation of the meetings they set up and mediated with those who had grievances against me and the steps that were taken to reach a resolution.

And when they can’t provide the evidence or the documentation, ask them why they didn’t do those things. Because that has nothing to do with our conflicting stories and everything to do with the facts of what actually took place.

Or, just keep quiet so that you don’t risk your own position of power like you have done all of these months so far. Just another fact.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s