Conservative evangelical theology SHOULD mean there is no excuse for abuse

Predictably, one of the responses to two high profile cases of abuse has been for some to identify a specific problem with conservative evangelicalism and therefore with its underlying theology..  conservative evangelical, or more properly, “Reformed Theology” holds that. God is the great and glorious Lord, the Triune God who is love, holy and just. Continue reading “Conservative evangelical theology SHOULD mean there is no excuse for abuse”

The fear factor

One of the issues that emerged from the Jonathan Fletcher review was the prevalence of fear amongst those affected by the case.  The review comments: A further factor which is of great importance is fear. As has been explained, the level of fear some participants held was palpable in interviews and email correspondence. Repeated reassurancesContinue reading “The fear factor”

What not to take away from the Meghan and Harry interview

Well the Meghan and Harry interview has done its work in generating a lot of opinion and discussion. It seems to me that polarisation is likely to align along pre-established lines. Steve Kneale writes here about how it is likely to reflect culture with Meghan and Harry’s approach and therefore support reflecting a younger, newContinue reading “What not to take away from the Meghan and Harry interview”

What you don’t do is start a witch hunt

One of the standout claims from the Oprah Winfrey interview is the claim that a member of the royal household made racist comments about the potential skin tone of baby Archie.  The accusation is hard hitting in the context of current concerns about racism’s effect on our society and to be honest has that edgeContinue reading “What you don’t do is start a witch hunt”

When an elder is accused

It’s the thing that any church dreads, someone coming and bringing an accusation against a pastor or elder. In fact, it is something that elders and pastors dread too. Elders, sadly make enemies as they seek to confront and challenge sin, so the possibility is real that someone might seek to get back at youContinue reading “When an elder is accused”

The connection between faulty views of worship and abusive cultures

What has our view of corporate worship got to do with the problem of abuse in the church? Well, it struck me during a conversation on social media that it might have quite a bit. The discussion was about whether or not corporate worship is primarily horizontal or vertical.  I intend to engage in aContinue reading “The connection between faulty views of worship and abusive cultures”

One thing I ask (Psalm 27)

I love these words from Psalm 27 “One thing have I asked of the Lord,    that will I seek after:that I may dwell in the house of the Lord    all the days of my life,to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord    and to inquire[c] in his temple.”[1] They stick in my head but it is important to not miss the context.  David isContinue reading “One thing I ask (Psalm 27)”

When your pastor gets depressed -what might have caused it?

I recently wrote an article for the Grace in the Depths website outlining the common signs and common causes of depression.  I did so because one of the challenges we face when talking about church leaders and depression is identifying that someone has depression. The second and related challenge is that often the subject remainsContinue reading “When your pastor gets depressed -what might have caused it?”

Idolatry and Abuse

I am republishing this article from 2016 in the light of recent challenging news stories How can we be alert to the risk of abuse, manipulation and control in church life?  Sometime back, I  preached on 1 Corinthians 12:1-3. I talked about how the devil wants us to stop hearing God and instead turn toContinue reading “Idolatry and Abuse”