Be careful who you give platforms to

Although Donald Trump had already amassed his billions and was famous when it happened, his celebrity status took off when he became the star of The Apprentice. This gave him an incredible media platform. Were we uncomfortable with his brashness, his crudeness and aggression? Yes we were. Did a number of other businessmen and womenContinue reading “Be careful who you give platforms to”

Developing Robust Safeguarding policies

In a recent article, I wrote in defence of safeguarding policies and officers. Here I want to put forward some suggestions for how to have good, robust policies in place. First of all, I believe it is important to start from a Biblical basis.  Elders have a responsibility to provide good spiritual food for theContinue reading “Developing Robust Safeguarding policies”

In defence of safeguarding

In this month’s Evangelicals Now, John Benton, comparing Safeguarding policies to the controversy over VAR in football writes: Safeguarding in churches is of immense importance, both for the sake of children and adults. There have been too many people deeply damaged, not only by the more serious and criminal forms of abuse, but by mistreatmentContinue reading “In defence of safeguarding”

What drives false teachers, bullies and abusers?

False teachers also tend to be bullies and abusers. The reverse is also true, abusers and bullies tend to be false teachers if they happen to be involved in church life and leadership. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, false teaching is itself a form of spiritual abuse, secondly falseContinue reading “What drives false teachers, bullies and abusers?”

#ChurchToo – Pastoring the accused

What are our responsibilities towards someone who has been accused of abuse or bullying within the church? It is important to remember at this stage that being accused and being found guilty are not the same things. So, our first responsibility both to the accused and the accuser is to seek truth and justice. Secondly,Continue reading “#ChurchToo – Pastoring the accused”

How do we handle #ChurchToo allegations? Supporting the victim

It is perhaps helpful when thinking about how we would handle a complaint from an adult about abuse within the church to remember that we have some starting points. Much of what we should do is covered in the policies we tend to have for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. I think the key thingsContinue reading “How do we handle #ChurchToo allegations? Supporting the victim”

“The process itself was the punishment”

Yesterday I wrote about the accusations against an unnamed Conservative MP. Steve Kneale has written an excellent article today helping us to take our thinking further for church life. I would encourage you to read both articles and if you are part of a church leadership (or leadership of a local or national network orContinue reading ““The process itself was the punishment””

An MP, a rape accusation and #churchtoo

In the news this weekend, an as yet unnamed Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape. There have been calls for him to have the Conservative whip suspended, for example, Jess Phillips, the shadow Domestic violence minister has expressed shock that this has not happened yet.[1]Her argument is that naming him is necessaryContinue reading “An MP, a rape accusation and #churchtoo”

Leaders set the tone – sometimes it is about us

In a previous article I said that we set the tone by recognising that things are not always about us. However, sometimes they are.  One of the things that concerned me about early comments during coronavirus was the speed with which some church leaders and prominent speakers and writers were quick to suggest that theContinue reading “Leaders set the tone – sometimes it is about us”

Love is not an excuse to tolerate and cover up abuse

Yesterday, I wrote about what love is not. This is because sometimes people use the concept of love to manipulate victims to continue living with abuse and without justice. I want to explore that a bit further today because one of the arguments used is that this is part of a wife’s responsibility to submitContinue reading “Love is not an excuse to tolerate and cover up abuse”