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Food for thought on the advice given by some Church officials on abuse

I had such a good discussion with my children today, they’re very wise young women.  I was raised in the bible belt as were they, under strict (religious), teaching.  Notice that I parenthesized RELIGIOUS, because, I know there is a difference in a relationship with the one and only true God and the duties of a religion.  In saying that, since I have a grandbaby on the way, we were discussing topics that concern us on raising this child without conflict.

So my youngest and I told my daughter that we would always try to not contradict what she teaches her little girl, with our own opinions or beliefs.  The discussion brought up, my mother and the child molester she is married to.  My oldest, of course, does not want any of us, rightfully so, to stop and talk to either of them when this little grandchild of mine has been brought into the world.  My exact wishes of course, it should be common sense after my mother was given a choice to leave this man or she wouldn’t see the baby, yet, she chose to stay with who I will call, “That Man.”  Her choice, right?  Now here is where I do not understand the confusion with “religious” people, now I remind you, I am a Christ believer, with a personal relationship with God.  DIFFERENCE, religion, is:  A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe.  Do you see the difference?

My daughter explained to her other Grandmother and Grandfather that they were not to stop and talk to my mother and “That man,” while with the grandchild.  Their reaction was, “I”M NOT GOING TO BE RUDE,”  Really?  My daughter expressed a wish for the protection of her child and you are worried about being rude to a woman that let her own child continue to be victimized for years, even after she knew if had and was happening.  It shouldn’t even be a question.  A child molester and his wife!  The worst thing, is that it was no secret that it had happened to anyone, not even them.  I believe the problem is religion and the interpretation there with.  My book covers this, Forgiveness IS NOT Permission.  Forgiveness is for the person that needs to forgive, to be able to let go and heal, not because it is a duty.  Here is Wikipedia’s definition of Forgiveness: 

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.[1][2][3] Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).[1] In certain contexts, forgiveness is a legal term for absolving or giving up all claims on account of debt, loan, obligation or other claims.[4][5]  Now, do you see the difference.  I truly believe that most leaders of churches have taught members and people being counseled, the wrong idea about forgiveness.  When my pastor, and church, knew that I had been sexually abused, I should have been told, that it was ok to not have an active relationship with my mother or “That man,”  instead it was treated as if it were marriage counseling and the family had to work out this issue.  It wasn’t an issue, it was an illegal act against a child that had horrendous effects on my life.  Had I been given the proper advice to leave the relationship, my life might be very different.  So many effects come from sexual abuse, depression, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, severe anxiety disorder, etc……  Why would a church, pastor, or any official of a church or organization encourage a relationship with a child molester, yet, they do.  Why?  Forgiveness, and their interpretation there of.  Christ like, Christ forgave anyone and everyone, and so we should, but he was also the Son of God that died for our sins.  Even the sins of a child molester, if they so chose to except Christ, total other subject though.  Let’s put it this way.  If I went to my pastor and I said, ” Mom just killed my daughter, I’m so upset and confused, I don’t know what to do!”  I would hope they wouldn’t say, “well you have to forgive because you are commanded to by the bible. And because this is your mother, you must forgive her, and then continue to love and cherish the relationship with your mother.”  It would be ignorant, wouldn’t it?  Yet in many abusive situations, I have seen just this type of advice.  When I told people, that were involved in church, or are so called Christians that I had told my mother I couldn’t have a relationship with her, because she was still married to the man that she allowed to hurt me, you would have thought I was the lowest of lows.  Wake up people, that was the most mature, healthy decision I’ve ever made and I just wish I had been told earlier it was ok for me to make that decision.  Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you, Christian or otherwise, if you are abused, were abused whatever, it’s all right to sever ties with the people that have hurt you or are.  YOU ARE NOT GOING TO HELL BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR MAMA!!!!  FORGIVE, (LET GO), THEN MOVE ON, AWAY FROM THE SITUATION, IT’S NOT SAFE FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY TO STAY WITH OR AROUND AN ABUSER.   MOLESTERS OR PEDOPHILES DO NOT REFORM, LOOK AT STUDIES.  WAKE UP PASTORS, CHURCH GOERS AND CHRISTIANS. PLEASE!!!  The continuous exposure to a child molester, and the advice that you’re giving could ruin a family completely and allow a molester to victimize someone else.  Oh, and if you know a crime is currently being committed, YOU ARE BOUND BY LAW TO REPORT!!!!!  A church or religious organization is not exempt from the law.

I am very touchy on this subject, because people are given very wrong advice sometimes by churches, and of course they follow the advice thinking that, because it’s church, it’s the right advice.  Pastors and church leaders really should be more educated about abuse, in all aspects before they give the advice to FORGIVE.  Educate yourselves, and make sure the advice you give is right, or you could ruin a lot of lives.  Is this harsh?  Am I right?  Is this biblical.  Did God not give His people common sense, did He have to put everything in black and white before we can make decisions?  You can Like what I’ve said above or not, I don’t care, I have lived it.  I went through all of it, and I know that a life cannot flourish in Christ or outside of Christ if it’s living in the past or in abuse. 

Long story short, I am so glad the discussion came about.  I know where my daughters stand, I know they are behind me, and I know without a doubt my decision, and their decision to not see my mother every again, is RIGHT!!!  Respect our wishes, put yourself in our shoes.  If you think we should still see my mom and her husband, well, you give it a try first.  Let my mom baby sit your child or grandchildren with “That man,” in the house, and then tell me that you felt comfortable, safe and at total ease with either of them alone with your precious children.  Then we’ll talk, although, your opinion wouldn’t matter to me unless it was right.   😉