This blog is not one that is or will be characterized by criticizing others. My intention is not to call people out in a public way or bash in any way. However, from time to time (right now being one of those times) I feel like I really have to share my heart and my concerns.
I feel like fundamentalism and really Christianity as a whole is really getting a wake up call from God telling them that the way they have handled sexual, and really any kind of abuse is NOT ok. Now would be the perfect time to re-train those in leadership how they should really respond when they find out that abuse has occurred. NOW is the time to bring in people from OUTSIDE to give a very different perspective. NOW is the time to talk to those who have been victimized within the church to gain a perspective on how they feel about what happened, and their ideas on how it could be changed. NOW is the time for complete change!
The mindset of "Our way is the ONLY Biblical way" is wrong, and quite frankly it's one thing that is holding back fundamentalism from true change. Just because someone listens to different music than you do, reads a different version of the Bible than you do, wears different clothes than you do, or interprets passages of Scripture differently than you do does NOT mean that they aren't a good Christian or that they don't love Jesus as much as you do. I can remember being taught (as do many others from where I grew up) that our church was the only one in town that really preached the Gospel. This simply wasn't true, and quite frankly this mindset really hurt the church in the eyes of the community.
All of this to get to my real point...Within fundamentalism there is an upcoming conference at one of their "hubs". While I think that it is a good thing that they are finally at least discussing the issue, from the line up of speakers it seems like it could be "business as usual" (I HOPE I'm proved wrong about this!!!). While I do not know every speaker it seems as though most (if not all) are or have been associated with the "University" where the conference is being held in some way. There are 2 HUGE things notably missing from their "line up" of seminars. First would be a seminar on how to go back and attempt to rectify the problems in the past and seek the forgiveness of those that have been hurt within these ministries. The second is something from someone who at one time was a victim, but has come out on the other side and can help them see through the "eyes of a victim" when dealing with these situations.
I'm not typically a cynical person, but on this issue I'm so passionate! Although I experienced horrible abuses throughout my life I have overcome with God's help and am able to live a normal, productive life. Because of what I endured my desire is to help others find the freedom and healing that I have experienced. I'm praying for this conference and those that attend it because I'm so afraid from what I see that it could potentially do more harm than good...