A plea for sobriety

This has been a hard week for a lot of folks I know…men and women who have been assaulted, bullied, ridiculed, and mocked know that pain – the pain of being outcast, unclean, unwanted. Ben Sasse summed up the dynamics of sexual assault perfectly this week. But there have been so many that have suffered.

This past week, I have heard from many, many of these people.

They told me that when they heard the president mock Dr. Ford, they didn’t see him. They saw their classmates, their peers, their abusers.

They told me that when they saw the pastors laughing and joking, they didn’t hear those pastors. They heard their rapists laughing at them and mocking them.

When their Christian friends ridiculed the accuser, mocking her as a liar unheard and rashly, they didn’t hear their friends. They heard their teachers and parents refusing to believe them all over again. They heard their pastors mocking victims from the pulpit all over again…

One survivor told me that when she heard the crowds laughing and cheering the president on, it sounded like the Romans at the arena. She wondered about compassion, sobriety, respect, at such a serious subject.

I wondered if so many of my Christian friends realize what they lost this week.

In our partisan rush to support all things conservative, we told the whole world, “Don’t come to us with your sexual assault stories. We don’t want to hear them. We don’t care.”

We really did. We supported the mockers. We ridiculed a woman that we never met, never spoke to, never had any first hand knowledge about, before a hearing even took place.

It didn’t matter what the truth was. We didn’t say, “Let this play out. If he did it, then he is unfit.” No. We said immediately that she was lying, that he couldn’t do such a thing. And if he did, he was only 17.

We mocked her for being ugly in High School, for being at the wrong place, for drinking too much…We posted the ugly, hateful memes, we rebuked our friends, and unfriended anyone who differed with us – all to support someone we never met and don’t know at all, before any hearing happened.

And what did we gain?

But we told every survivor in our community not to come to us for help. That we don’t care. We won’t listen.

I hope it was worth it. We traded the witness of the gospel for a seat on the Supreme Court. That seems like a lose/lose to me, no matter what happens from here.

By the way, I have never met Kavanaugh, nor have I met Ford. I am not the one doing the job interview, and no one listens to my opinion at all. So my concern is not at all who is or is not on the Supreme Court. I have nothing to do with that.

But I am held accountable for my love, my witness, and how clearly I present the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am judged by God for the ninth commandment, bearing false witness. I am judged for my words and my actions. Am I so absolutely sure of the truth of this situation that I can ridicule, mock and slander the other party, no matter which side they are on or which political views they subscribe to?

I am posting this because I love the church of Jesus Christ, I love my Lord, and I love the truth of the gospel.

I am posting this because calling your own people to account is not an act of disloyalty, hatred, or blasphemy. It is an act of love.

If you have not partaken in these sins against our brothers and sisters, then scroll past. I’m not speaking to you.

But for the rest, I can’t remain silent anymore. I will not by my silence be a partaker of these sins.

If you wish to unfriend me, there is nothing in scripture that says we must be friends on social media. If you love the Lord Jesus Christ then you also are my brother, whether we are friends on Facebook or not.

I am posting this for all of those – men and women – who have been abused, bullied, mocked, and ridiculed and still bear the marks. There are those who care, who are concerned, who will listen.

21 Then they said to one another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” (Gen. 42:21 NKJ)

13 Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted. (Isa. 49:13 NKJ)

5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. (Prov. 17:5 NKJ)

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11 Comments

Filed under Abuse, assault, Words

11 responses to “A plea for sobriety

  1. Thank you for this, Sam. I’ve shared it. I made a similar plea today on my own blog.

  2. Bunkababy

    I used to frequent a blog by a pastor who he himself was mocked by peers for defending women in the SBC against one of their misogynist leaders.

    I went there thinking he was a defender of women who had some clout.
    His post was about proving a negative. Liking Kavanaugh to the Salem witch trials.
    I tried to defend all victims , giving stats and personal experience. It became apparent that previous sympathy they had given to me immediatly turned to mockery, accusations, and anger.

    I was wrong to trust these people and expose myself previously. I expected more. I expected Christian’s to behave like Christ.

    It was a devastating week. It’s not even my country or my government. But victims of assault are my sisters and brothers. We share a terrible bond, and borders cannot differeniate.
    I worked so hard to use my voice to no avail. It doesn’t matter that you know what it is like. You are deemed without value. Your voice and feelings get trampled by “christians”.
    The only thing that matters is politics.

    I added a new category to my criteria of who is a christian and who isn’t.
    These people did not make the cut.

  3. Janet

    Thanks again, Sam. I’m so sorry, Bunkababy, for what you suffered at the hands of Christians. It boggles my mind when I read the attacks against Dr. Ford, and like you, I am not an American and the politics aren’t all that important to me. I just cannot believe how so many professing Christian people forget that there is a God in heaven Who is intimately acquainted with all of their words and thoughts and deeds. I shudder to think about the day when they will give an account for what they have said. Put a watch, O Lord, over my mouth. Keep the door of my lips.

  4. Fellow woman who supports Dr. Ford and all other victimized women

    Kavanaugh is a creep, as is Trump. I don’t understand why any Christian would ever back either one.

    Entitled, privileged, lecherous, men. Belligerent drunks are just showing their true colors.

    Thank goodness for this post, Pastor Powell. I don’t want anything to do with
    most conservatives for exactly this kind of victim-blaming, woman-hating. It’s everywhere and was simply showcased yet again this week.

    That rally, where Trump is mocking Dr. Ford, complete with all these pink ‘Women for Trump’ signs, and then the whole ‘men are victims, think of your father, think of your poor sons’ garbage, watching women in the background cheer and laugh and then be all concerned with their poor sons….

    Newsflash: Women are human beings. Men are not victims. They just aren’t. Men are not an endangered species, nor are they oppressed. This is a man’s world. Misogyny is trained into nearly everyone from birth and gets carried out in all sorts of ways.

    It’s hard enough dealing with men, as so many are such predators, woman abusers, creeps, etc. but it’s even more heartbreaking dealing with women who mock, victim-blame, and smear another woman (a victimized woman).

    And you’re right. Just with any other abuser, attacker, rapist, sexual predator, the creeps use the same lines, the bystanders, abuser apologists, and the ignorant all side with the creep and partake in the creeps efforts to further obliterate their target and victim……..and those of us women who have had these things done to them, watch it play out, all over again, just like it was done to them, it’s being done to another victimized woman.

    Thanks for speaking against it, Sam.

  5. anonymous

    There is a Sept. 28, 2018, post at Pastor Crippen’s blog titled “Mocking – A Devilish and Common Tactic of Evil” that was so aptly described. It’s what I see done again and again.

    And then reading your post, Pastor Crippen, was like further balm to my soul. Some rare ones get it. Two men seem to get it, pastors, too. 🙂

  6. I am one that has been falsely accused…. I’ve been sexually abused… And both came from those I loved and trusted. Have grieved and prayed for Kavanaugh and Ford. It has affected me and my sobriety….. just lost the closest person to me, the one that listened and got it…. been talking to God 24/7….. still want to throw up mentally, emotionally, physically…but there is One that gives me hope…read your words… you get what is most important. Gonna try to sleep tonight…

  7. Amen to that. Red and blue aside, a little humanity and compassion in the ways of Jesus would make the world a better place.

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