Exposure is coming to the Church.
By Johnny Enlow
The #metoo tsunami is now upon the Body of Christ and we are going to be exposed beyond anything we have previously experienced with past TV evangelist scandals. In preparation for that we need to be properly motivated towards a right response of agreement with what is ultimately a cleansing stream coming into the Body of Christ. The day of covering up for sexual abuse by clergy and other spiritual leaders is now over. The day for using the doctrines of forgiveness as a free pass for sexual abuse in the church are over. The days for multiple abuse reports against a spiritual leader being all chalked up to “warfare” or “lies” are over. This does not invite in a climate of rumor and accusation, but we do want to start properly facing real sexual abuse in the church and ministry.
The church is once again “under the curve” in the societal trend of justice. The #metoo phenomenon is removing significant powerful leaders in all of the 7 mountains of society, and the Body of Christ has to find a way to step out of being “the tail” in these processes and become “the head”. While we have all shaken our heads at the Harvey Weinsteins who have demanded sexual favors in order to have one’s career advanced, this very dynamic is way too common in prominent church and ministry circles, where promotions and demotions have been being made based on this very matter. Be alerted pastors, ministers and spiritual leaders in God’s House that a new day of accountability is here and what you were previously able to cover up before you will no longer be able to. While this new climate creates a risk for single false accusations against leaders to cause damage, that risk can no longer delay the cleansing stream from coming into the church. Billy Graham, was somehow able to implement enough safety precautions to ensure he never faced legitimate accusations over the course of many decades of visible ministry. It may not always be easy- but it is possible. Furthermore, with every level of increased “fame” another level of precaution has to be taken. That precaution is not to be the precaution of hiring vicious lawyers that many have chosen as their upgraded operation but rather the embracing of true Christian character.
Here are truths to embrace:
IF YOU ARE A PASTOR/SPIRITUAL LEADER/OTHERWISE “ANOINTED”
It is NEVER okay for you to engage in ANY extramarital sexual behavior PERIOD. Just because you can still feel “the anointing” after illicit sexual encounters does not mean God has an exception for you. Samson was deceived by this very reality. He still had physical strength, though he was sleeping with Delilah- and so it says he did not even know when the Spirit of God had left him- until it was way too late. The original gift from God will always be on your life, but at some point the erosion of your character will cause your gift to fall off as it were and no longer be accepted. Many of you are in the “sleeping with Delilah but still feeling anointed” stage but don’t be deceived by it. There is always a consequence for “sleeping with Delilah” even if people are still being healed, delivered, getting saved or otherwise ministered to.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF PASTOR/MINISTER SEXUAL ABUSE
Read the above statement for the pastors/ministers. It is NEVER okay. They are not excused because of some level of high anointing or importance. It is not okay in white churches. It is not okay in black churches. It is not okay in hispanic churches. It is not okay in African churches. It is not okay in South American churches (etc.etc.). If you are presently in a church setting where you are experiencing this abuse- LEAVE! You do not need to pray about it. THEN contact a ministry that can then help you. Presently, I would recommend a ministry named GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) that was founded by a grandson of Billy Graham named Boz Tchividjian. They will be friends and give you a path of recovery and perhaps even justice to chart.
IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A CHURCH WHERE YOUR LEADERS HAVE BEEN EXPOSED
Read the above statement for pastors/ministers. It is NEVER okay. GOD HAS NO EXTRAMARITAL EXCEPTIONS FOR “ANOINTED LEADERS”! It does not mean that there is no forgiveness for pastors for extramarital sexual sins, but the restoration process is only available for one truly walking in the light. Honesty, confession and a legitimate restoration process must take place. The larger the ministry the greater its PR/damage control engine and that with some understanding, as false abuse reports are critical . Be a lover of the truth and use your discernment. Understand that where the law has been violated, its consequences must be faced.
HOW DO I REPENT IF I AM OR HAVE BEEN INVOLVED?
There may be some of you who are either the ministers themselves or involved with the ministers in some way and you desire to come clean and repent but are not sure even what path to take. First of all, I applaud your resolve to come into the light and by doing so exposing yourself to a great grace of God. If there is not a clear path you know to pursue, I would still recommend you contacting the GRACE ministry I mentioned above and they will be able to help you chart your course. No matter what it does to your reputation your soul will be in better place. Furthermore, there is wisdom on how to protect innocent family members and those with experience can help navigate through that.
The church is already made up of an estimated 20% victims of some kind of sexual abuse. Let’s lead the way in making it the safest place possible by having the most advanced tools of transparency and a proper response to sexual abuse.
Johnny Enlow is a social reformer, international speaker, spiritual mentor, and author of The Seven Mountain Prophecy, The Seven Mountain Mantle, and Rainbow God. He and his wife Elizabeth are focused on awakening individuals to their call to provide practical solutions from the heart of God for every problem in society – until the real God of all of life is displayed in the seven primary areas of culture in all nations: Media, Arts and Entertainment, Government, Family, Religion, Economy, and Education.
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