Letting go of the past and moving forward is a splendid suggestion. I’m just wondering how ministers and pastors will entice people to return to church. We saw how easily evil infiltrated our faith. Now we need to see how it is routed.
How can a community of believers maintain that strength if the truth is buried for the sake of power, if the Gospel plays second fiddle to money, and if appearances matter more than the spiritual condition of those coming through the door?
Throughout history, women overwhelmingly have been silenced when they’ve had a truth to tell, so much so that it felt detrimental to speak up. A waste of words. Yet Jesus, who came to make all things right, who came to overthrow power structures that demean and oppress, gave women a voice when others didn’t.
The epidemic of clergy misconduct is not only the abuse itself, but the Silence that enables the abuse to continue to exponentially harm people. While perpetrators will always exist, the damage they do can be diminished and halted with a way to break through the Silence that protects power.
With all due respect to the literal house of worship that stands at the center of the lower 48, we should not be working to preserve a chapel founded on denigrating “the Chinese” as godless, Black Americans as criminal, or Indigenous Americans as non-existent. We should be tearing down that figurative chapel instead, sundering flag from cross once and for all.
Jose Chicas, a native of El Salvador who has been living in church sanctuary for more than three years, [moved] out Friday (Jan. 22) after President Joe Biden signed an executive order temporarily halting the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Our country is aching to see the strength it takes to accept responsibility for more than our own individual acts. To be wrong, and admit it. To be the first to apologize. To accept the hard truth that we’ve sown bitterness and are reaping violence. Violence doesn’t start in our fists, it is born in our hearts.
We must still raise our voices to denounce Christian pursuit of power and boldly denounce cycles of violence perpetuated in the name of Jesus. We also seek that justice be given to those involved in last week’s events. Nevertheless, we can still own and apologize to a watching world the sins that our fellow siblings have committed.