But, Ellen, you told!

Posted: April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized, When Church Hurts
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David Hayward, aka nakedpastor, graciously allowed me to share his cartoon here.  Most of what you see in this picture has been said to me – either overtly or subtly.  Probably the most overt messages I received were from a woman who sat down with me only a few days after we were tossed out of the church.  She kept repeating, “But, Ellen, you told!”  As though telling was worse than anything that had been done to me by the church leadership over the previous decade-plus.  

Telling, in her mind (and I am sure she is not alone), negated all of the years of being ignored, avoided, ostracised, shunned, silenced, judged, condemned, persecuted, and, ultimately, tossed out.  I have read on her blog that there are two sides to every story – as if to say that even though my story may have some relevance, the other side is better able to justify the way that they treated me.  

As she sat there in the coffee shop, worrying that she would be in trouble for being seen with me, I realized that right and wrong don’t matter to most Christians.  Standing up for what’s right is rare.  Though many wanna-be Christians believe that they long and hope for a life in which they are the next Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in reality, they simply want to be part of the “in” crowd.  So, they stand up for the one whose name they can bandy about, whose shoulders they can rub against, and whom they can get to endorse their next book.  

And they spout accusations like those in Hayward’s cartoon to make themselves feel better.  

  1. Sister Ellen,

    You are exactly right.

    A lot of American Church has been a place for “Social Establishments” and “Institutions for programs” that are made slick and pleasing to the eye, instead of a Community for Believers. People don’t want to know the truth if it “upsets” their pleasant perception of their self made world. Hence the hurting among us rarely sees Christ’s hand working through what they thought was their brother or sister in Christ.

    In an abusive church, they don’t really care about each other and an abusive leadership doesn’t want us to care about each other. The abusive leader wants the focus totally on them. They immediately have this mindset that the focus of their little world is this “leader” or “leadership group” making them the god of their world instead of Jesus. The heart of James Chapter 2 is rarely grasped.
    When their brother and sister is abused, they immediately either look the other way or blame the beaten sheep who they are commanded to come along side of if they are indeed follow Christ. How many times did Christ rail against abusive religious leaders? He did it more than any other iniquity. And Christ did it publically. It is the greatest of sins with the exception of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

    My sin in what I went through in the abuse is that I didn’t speak out loud and early in the abuse. I regret that my family suffered more because I remained silent as long as I did. Where we as Christians are called to suffer from the “hands of the world”, we are not called to suffer from the hands of Evil from within the Body of Christ. Just the opposite! We are to call out publically False Leaders if privately we cannot get them to turn. We are commanded to.

    Ephesians 5:11-13 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (NASB)

    And that the Church Socialites will never get, because their world is worshipping men as god and not Jesus as God. The truth is not within them.

    Another good post Miss Ellen. Bless you dear saint.

    Recovering Pentecostal
    Sheepville, NY

    • Exactly. Telling the truth about the evil things the pastor does is worse than the evil things he did. The institution is more important than the truth. There is a particularly egregious case discussed elsewhere on the net in which a young girl was evidently molested by her pastor and when she blew the whistle, her immediate family, who were important people in the church, shunned her rather than leaving the church, she was being punished for going public and “damaging the ministry”.

      It is as if they never read the Bible or cared for a word in it, as the Bible is one long and sustained airing of the dirty laundry of God’s people, nothing hidden there. Jesus spoke of the words spoken in the inner rooms being shouted from rooftops, He spoke of greater judgment for leaders, spoke of leaders being the least and last, servants of all, the Bible tells us leaders are to lead by example alone, never, ever by compulsion. And yet, “in the name of God”, people shun you because you shouted from rooftops and pointed out nothing more or less than what the Bible says.

      I used to wonder how Christians could turn the Bible on its head and stab friends in the back and show less honor than the average mafioso. And then it started to dawn on me that the Lord warned us about the last days when people would project themselves like angels of light, just like their father, and that in the end we’d know people by their fruits. You’re the true Church, no wonder the false one persecuted you.

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