Sunday, August 10, 2014

How we respond to the fall of a spiritual abuser - David Hayward

This cartoon depicts the danger of surrendering our dignity and rights to a spiritual abuser.

I read Adrian Warnock’s thoughts on Mark Driscoll and the Acts 29 story. Warnock’s thoughts can be summed up with the following:

  1. Accept it. We shouldn’t be alarmed by what’s happening with Driscoll. No church is perfect. No pastor is perfect. These things happen. Paul and Barnabas are an example of disputes within the church.

  2. Back off. Warnock blames the internet for a lot of the problem because everything gets reported by everybody for everyone to see. We don’t really know what happened. Most of the criticisms now seem to have more to do with the past than the present. There are elders around Driscoll that know him best and we should leave them alone and trust them to handle this.

  3. Restore him. Warnock says that we should accept Driscoll’s apologies and trust the elders who say that he’s changed. Driscoll has been a great voice for the gospel and he should be restored to his bold preaching ministry.

When Warnock’s asks the question, how should we all respond as Christians?, he immediately set the tone for his article. I suggest that telling us how we should respond in such situations actually inhibits true critique and true healing. Warnock means well for the church, including Driscoll, but I fear he underestimates the importance and impact of the story that is unfolding for the countless people who have suffered or are suffering from spiritual abuse.

Let’s consider Warnock’s advice through the questions of a victim of spiritual abuse.

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