Rachael Denhollander was interviewed by Christianity Today in the aftermath of her statement to the Court in the Nassar sentencing. (If you have not yet read “No True Grace Without Real Judgment” and her statement, please do that now.)
She talks bluntly about the tendency — which she feels is universal — for church leadership to protect the “the perceived reputation of the gospel of Christ” rather than the victims of sexual abuse, when the abuse occurs in the church. It is an uncomfortable indictment.
Here is her conclusion:
“[T]he gospel of Jesus Christ does not need your protection. It defies the gospel of Christ when we do not call out abuse and enable abuse in our own church. Jesus Christ does not need your protection; he needs your obedience. Obedience means that you pursue justice and you stand up for the oppressed and you stand up for the victimized, and you tell the truth about the evil of sexual assault and the evil of covering it up.
[And] that obedience costs. It means that you will have to speak out against your own community. It will cost to stand up for the oppressed, and it should. If we’re not speaking out when it costs, then it doesn’t matter to us enough.
As usual, I urge you to read the whole interview. Morgan Lee, “Interview with Rachael Denhollander,”* Christianity Today (Jan. 31, 2018) [link].
Ms. Denhollander has thought deeply, theologically, and prayerfully about these things.
*The actual title is “My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.”
Three stimulating articles, without any obvious common theme except the most common of all — a fallen world with fallen people in it:
“Ultimately, God is still good. And he is still enough.” Bekah Mason, “Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman,” Christianity Today (June 2017) [link].
“I am capable of any sin. And God loves me in spite of my sinful nature.” Sanya Richards-Ross, “My Abortion Broke Me, God Redeemed Me,” Christianity Today (June 2017) [link].
“What explains a person or a group of people doing things that seem at odds with who they are or what they think is right?” Malcolm Gladwell, “Thresholds of Violence,” gladwell.com (October 19, 2015) [link].
But still, there is always the offer of God’s grace.
This is pretty overwhelming, so don’t watch it when you feel you are going to need your composure intact. Mike is an attorney I have had the pleasure to work with on several occasions. [Mike & Sheila’s Story] This was a video tribute played at Chet’s Creek Church last week.
Four thoughts on the United Flight 3411 incident:
- What a mess!
- Almost everyone involved can (probably) see a point at which they should have chosen differently, and (almost certainly) wishes they had.
- On the whole, if you were one of Dr. Dao’s fellow passengers, filming the event on your cellphone was a better choice than trying to physically intervene.
- It appears that an even better choice for almost anyone on the plane would have been to stand up and say “This man appears to really need to get home, I will give up my seat.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers . . . .”
“You can’t conceive, my child, nor can I or anyone else the . . . appalling . . . strangeness of the mercy of God.”
Graham Greene, Brighton Rock 297 (Everyman’s 1993, orig. 1938).
“Betwixt the stirrup and the ground,
Mercy I ask’d; mercy I found.”
attributed to William Camden (1551-1623).