Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Misusing Scripture

There is a long, shameful, inglorious history of people misusing scripture to justify evil. The American antebellum south had its share of slavery proponents who misused scripture to provide a "moral" scaffolding for slavery.  While it would be tempting to claim that they were mostly unbelievers who were just co-opting Christianity for their own economic benefit or garden variety racism (or both), we have to admit that some were true believers who drank the racist kool-aid.

We see the same practice when it comes to domestic abuse. Cases where wives who don't do their husband's bidding and are being told to do what the husband-abuser (and the church) tells them that the bible instructs: shut up and submit. Verses taken out of context, out of time, and simply misinterpreted are used to justify and excuse physical, sexual, and mental abuse.

See the post on Tried By Fire, which links to this post on A Cry for Justice. Both reference an Australian investigation into the Church's response to domestic violence.

This is not a denial (by me) of complementarianism. This is an acknowledgement that abuse occurs, and the church often inexplicably sides with the abuser in a misapplication of scripture and complementarianism. See, for example, this article. The take-away point: evangelical men who attend church sporadically are the most likely to commit abuse.

I am not saying that research is guaranteed accurate, but the point is true regardless: Christian women should feel safe in church, safe in their homes with a believing spouse, and confident that the church will protect them if abuse arises. No shaming, no hiding, no placing them at further risk, and no victim-blaming.

I don't know how many churches are guilty, but I hope exposure of the problem will greatly reduce the occurance.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the link.

    Slavery/racism and abuse should be no-brainers because of the 2nd greatest commandment. But idolatry is insidious. It's probably fair to say that what/who we are willing to throw under the bus reveals what we really worship.