It’s long past time for the NeoCals–Mahaney, Mohler, Piper, Keller, Dever, et al.–to get their heads out of their nether regions and start confronting the institutional paradigm that foments the coverup of abuses in their churches.
Every sector of America is going to have predators. It’s not just churches. It happens in liberal circles, conservative circles, educational institutions, government agencies, corporations, the news and entertainment industries. Hollywood has a longstanding problem with pedophiles in their midst; on the other side of the pond, BBC covered up the rapes by Jerry Savile for decades. As I write this, legendary singer Cliff Richard–an outspoken Christian no less–is under investigation for multiple cases of sexual abuse. (I hope the allegations are false, but–we need to be honest here–the cynic in me would rule nothing out.)
But the NeoCals have a problem. It is not so much that an occasional predator will surface; that’s going to happen in every circle sooner or later. If you’re in that line of work long enough, you will encounter a predator. It may be a teen; it may be an older adult. But you will encounter them.
The issue is what you do when these things happen.
It’s not Ramey’s fault that “Joey” assaulted “Billy”. His RESPONSE to the matter is what is troubling.
If it were just Ramey, it would be bad enough. But this, and other horrid responses, have been common across the board at NeoCal institutions.
This whole “we have to keep it in-house” mentality is poison. We have a justice process for a reason. It may not be perfect, but it’s what we have.
When these kinds of things happen in your church, people–even otherwise good, Christian folks–are going to have potentially-cloudy judgment due to their association with the potential abuser. You need a third party. And when the situation involves felonies, one of those third parties needs to be the police.
And if you have someone who is a victim and wishes to leave the church, then you need to let them go with no strings attached. This isn’t necessarily personal; if I had a child in that situation, I’d be getting them the hell out of Dodge. A fresh start would be within the best interests of everyone.
If a spouse on the receiving end wants to end the marriage, then don’t let your inner douchebag attempt to control and manipulate the one who is wronged, as what happened at TVC. To their credit, they apologized; still, this should have been a teachable moment across the NeoCal world.