Responding | Michael Bird

Michael Bird has some great advice for how the church should respond to the increasingly disturbing phenomenon of abuse and misconduct by supposedly Christian leaders. I don’t know about you, but this situation is really troubling me and I believe it is almost a follow-on of the desire to build huge churches and organizations. Lord, help us.

What is more, this happened – this keeps happening – because of (1) Evangelical celebrity culture; (2) Big platforms with big donors and a fear of it all disappearing; (3) A lack of oversight and accountability; and (4) A refusal to take women’s accusations seriously.

So what is to be done?

# 1. For men involved in ministry, don’t be a sleaze bag. Don’t become the very thing that you should have learned to fear becoming and despise when you encountered it. Remember, it is always easier to sin the second time. Whether that’s looking at porn on a computer screen or thinking about how to manipulate a vulnerable woman. Your sins will always find you out and the sin is never worth it. Oh, and read some 1 Corinthians 3 to put the fear of God into you!

# 2. Para-church ministries need independent boards not sycophants. What is more, boards need genuine gender balance and people from outside the circle of the leader’s influence.

# 3. The only place for a prima donna is the New York Ballet. Seriously, if your “star” speaker/pastor starts to get a god-complex, better to commit deicide now than stand in front of a camera later explaining why you never spoke up.

# 4. Take all allegations seriously, investigate all allegations independently, and release all findings publicly.

# 5. Do not allow your church, college, institute, ministry to become a place where predators feel safe and victims feel afraid to speak up. If anything, heed the exhortation of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8:

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2021/02/responding-to-the-ravi-zacharias-sexual-abuse-revelations/

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