Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hypocrisy and Domestic Violence Seminars

I recently posted an article in which I related the experience of a young mother who was asked to leave her church because her abusive, estranged husband appeared on church property during a church function and caused a disturbance.

This church is part of a large denomination which is very aggressive in promoting an image of being supportive to battered women, and less than one year after booting this poor woman and her children out of their fellowship..., this church is hosting a seminar on domestic violence!

While I rejoice that the congregation at large may be exposed to some good things during this seminar and possibly become better equipped to minister to battered/abused women, am I the only one to find this "seminar" to be the epitome of hypocrisy? Because unless it originated from an attitude of repentance for their shameful behavior when they were given a perfect opportunity to demonstrate compassion and did not, "hypocrite" is the only word that is applicable to each and every person supporting this event who did not support one of their very own when she needed them.

What's caught is more important than what's taught. And this church can hold all the domestic violence seminars they care to hold, but the fact is the ruling members know they are safe from having to deal up close and personally with the unpleasant reality of domestic violence. They are fairly certain they will not be called upon to actually help bear the burdens of abused and battered wives.

The experience of a young mother and her small children being kicked out of their church, at the request of a few--and the silence of the many--is proof enough of that.

That is why I have created The Dorcas Network. The Dorcas Network is not simply a function sponsored by a politically correct church leadership. It is a grassroots effort carried out by those who sincerely care.

Am I being uncomfortably blunt for some? I hope so. And I also hope and pray at least a few hearts have been moved and challenged to stand up and be counted.

In the very beginning of the movement to bring relief to battered wives, before the first shelter was ever built, it was the women themselves working together to form a network of safe houses for battered women. It was a grassroots effort then—just as bringing awareness and engendering compassion within the Christian Community needs to be a grassroots effort now.

Depending on our leadership to take the lead, in too many instances, has proven to be a bad decision. This is no time to drop the ball. This is not the time for complacency. The number of Domestic Violence deaths is steadily increasing. And the Christian community is obviously not yet equipped to deal with those who turn to them for help and support.

I exhort Pastors, Christian leaders and lay-people to get involved in this worthy effort. I exhort Pastors, Christian leaders and lay-people to refuse to tolerate politically correct hypocrisy.

If we are not an active part of the solution--we are part of the problem. Become part of the solution. Join the Network!

Jocelyn Andersen