A New Labour advisor infamously described 911 as “a good day to bury bad news.” It highlighted the impression that Tony Blair’s government were more interested in PR and image than the truth. I thought again about that incident the other day when I read this tweet from Duncan Forbes
“Would love to see the same attention given to communion, given to abuse in the church! (BTW I’m not throwing shade at any individuals trying to work through their thoughts on communion – just the overall imbalance).”
There is a risk that as we go through a crisis like Coronavirus that this is seen as an opportunity to move attention away from the horrendous stories that broke at the back end of 2019 and in early 2020 about serious abuse by prominent church leaders.
We are in a crisis situation now, so this is no time to be bringing these things up. We can maybe come back to this later. We are so busy just trying to get through the pandemic, we haven’t got time for repentance and reconciliation.
Easy isn’t it to slip into the World’s ways of dealing with unpleasant business by sweeping it under the carpet and pretending it doesn’t exist. The Christian news feed moves on as quickly as the secular media and we are now talking about something different.
I have been reposting my articles on church abuse and here is why.
First of all because Coronavirus should not be used as an excuse to deny justice to the victims of terrible physical and sexual assault or to psychological bullying.
Secondly, because this is not just about individual cases. Rather, as Ray Ortlund has been speaking about for some time, there is a real need for us to ask the question “Does our culture reflect our doctrine and if not, why not?” We cannot preach about grace and then lead churches that are dominated by guilt, fear and legalism.
So, please don’t forget about the things we were talking about in January. This was not some fad or trend. Rather, there was a real heart cry for reformation and renewal. Let’s not lose that. Difficult things should never be buried or swept under the carpet.