Trauma, grief and response to abuse

Over the past few years, I’ve written and spoken quite a bit about the problem of abusive cultures particularly in the context of church life. First of all, my concern is to see us doing better in letting what we believe affect how we live so that doctrines of grace lead to cultures of grace.Continue reading “Trauma, grief and response to abuse”

The (church) body keeps the score

I recently referred to the book “The body keeps the score” which talks about how mental health issues and in particular trauma related health is not just in the mind. The physical brain, nervous system and the body are affected by trauma, respond to it and keep score of the damage inflicted. So, I’ve begunContinue reading “The (church) body keeps the score”

The Guilt Driven Church or the Grace Saturated Church?

Over the next few days we’ve something a little different on #TheDailyDose . I’m taking a break from working through a book in order to look at a mini topical series.  Over the past few months, we’ve been challenged following the Fletcher, Smyth and Timmis scandals to look at our church culture. What kind ofContinue reading “The Guilt Driven Church or the Grace Saturated Church?”

Scandalised

One of the really sad things about recent abuse scandals in the church is the way they mirror some of the horrific things we see in the world around us.  We should be able to respond and to offer something that is beautifully counter cultural.  Yet instead, we are seen to ape some of theContinue reading “Scandalised”

Responding to the abuse reports -what next?

We’ve been hit hard by a series of reports and investigations into abuse and bullying over the past few month including Acts29 and Steve Timmis, RZIM, John Smyth and Jonathan Fletcher.  The response has been intense and emotional.  It’s included a lot of good, helpful and right things Deep probing questioning as people have wantedContinue reading “Responding to the abuse reports -what next?”

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”

Little leopards …

The reports have come out on the Jonathan Fletcher case and they make for sober reading. Fletcher was the pastor of a church in London and over the past few yers, in an alarming similarity to the accusations against John Smyth, it emerged that he had introduced an abusive regime of punishment beatings with vulnerableContinue reading “Little leopards …”

Confronting abuse in the church – reforming towards a culture of grace

I’ve written from time to time about the issues of bullying and abuse within the church. That is because recent serious scandals relating to high profile leaders that include sexual, emotional and physical abuse, and sadly the accompanying failure of the church to deal with such issues over many years raise challenges about church culture. Continue reading “Confronting abuse in the church – reforming towards a culture of grace”