Tags: Religion | Child | Abuse | Children | Churches

Church Can Heal Child Abuse Survivors

Image: Church Can Heal Child Abuse Survivors
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Tuesday, 10 May 2016 09:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Atheists have a remarkable amount of faith in the church. It’s really almost touching.

They appear to believe that when someone enters a church he becomes superhuman, if not supernatural, and should be held to a much higher standard of conduct than mere secular people.

But we know better.

People inside churches are just as human as anyone else and sometimes more so.

We know we fall short and one of the most visible and damaging areas where churches and church members have fallen short recently is in the area of sexual abuse.

In too many instances the church has either failed to protect children, or possibly worse, failed to respond with mercy and understanding when abuse comes to light. That’s why a recent article in The Persistent Voice is full of valuable advice for churches and Christians.

It has 10 strong suggestions or commandments for churches and church members to follow, both in internal church policy and external example setting.

First, the church needs strong child protection policies based on guidelines like those endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control or the denomination to which the church belongs.

Second, the focus should include both abuse within the church building and it should look for signs of abuse in children that may be happening away from the church in homes, schools, or youth organizations.

Third, pastors and church staff need much more extensive training in recognizing, preventing and reporting child abuse.

Fourth, the church should provide personal safety education to children involved in church programs. That knowledge can help shield them when an adult attempts to lead them astray.

Fifth, build alliances with government child protection agencies so when needed, the church can step in and provide the care and understanding that government is ill–equipped to provide.

Sixth, the church should provide help for child abuse survivors. If the church doesn’t have the resources to provide counseling or group treatment, it can act as a clearinghouse for information and as a liaison with groups that do provide this type of help.

Seventh, directly face the spiritual impact of child abuse.

Don’t let the abuser drive the child away from Christ.

This is probably the most difficult of the tasks. Explaining how a loving God did not intervene to stop the abuse is a tough, tough question that cannot be answered with superficial Bible verse spouting.

This is a vital and crucial step for making the child or adult survivor whole again and should only be attempted by senior church leadership.

Eighth, discuss discipline and correction with new and existing parents.

Ninth, deliver a sermon or start a multiweek Bible study on child abuse.

And 10, the church and church members must listen to abuse survivors and surround them with love and leave the judgment to Judgment Day.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.




© Mike Reagan

   
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One of the most visible and damaging areas where churches and church members have fallen short is in the area of sexual abuse. The church and church members must listen to abuse survivors and surround them with love. Leave the judgment to Judgment Day.
Child, Abuse, Children, Churches
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2016-57-10
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 09:57 AM
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