A space to discuss Jesus Redeems Our Deepest Hurts:
Your article resonates with my soul. I too have been betrayed by a very close friend in ministry. He chose the path of protecting and defending a registered sex offender who was escalating in behavior. I recently began to reread some of the docs detailing the abuse. It was painful.
My friend, an Elder, defied all attempts to bring forth testimony and documents for a firm and merciful resolution. Instead he opposed me personally with threats and intense outbursts of anger. My family and close friends were victims of denied hope. Christ is slowly walking us thru healing.
Your article with reference to Psalms stirred my heart again. Deep emotion welled up in my heart. It’s been 5 years and my heartbeat is to stay focused on Jesus in my final years. We pray for Gods presence as we walk this path. The wounds are visible in the lives of out friends and family.
Thank you for this incredible presentation. I am greatly encouraged.
@dale1, I’m very moved by your response. It shocks the conscience that an elder of God’s church would angrily defend a registered sex offender rather than protect the vulnerable from abuse. In your willingness to courageously resist injustice, you have identified with the way of Jesus and the prophetic plumb line of the Scriptures.
At one point, I thought Matthew 5:10 was about how the church resisted persecution from those outside the church. I now see this was naive. These words could address that situation or apply to how God’s people might experience hostility from those garbed in the appearance of religious authority. Jesus told us, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”
In the pain and confusion, I believe that Jesus is with us, wanting to strengthen us to courageously - and somehow, lovingly - advocate for what is right. My confidence comes from places like Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I hope you continue to find in both this space and with local friends the support you need as you walk through a difficult season.
Thank you for yet another honest, vulnerable reflection, @Carson. Will be praying for your time in Chicago next week, both as you speak from the lectern and as you meet with others. May it be a space for all to experience a measure of restoration and renewal!
Thank you for your response. It was not expected. In my due diligence, I researched History, Historic Christianity, Insurance Protocols, State Protocols, NIH, GRACE Protocols, Multiple pastoral friends, written testimony, affirmation of spoken testimony, written communiques, massive text docs - all for presentation. Offenses were reported to Authorities by public school counselor and other required reporters. And Elder Notes with summary of events were approved and never edited-no further attention given with exception of anger, shouting and intimidation. Eventually, the father of a young woman took her for a report to Authorities.
I amassed 100’s of pages. None were allowed, nor testimony, on the table for merciful, strong resolution. We followed with Matt 18 and a charge vs Elders was already on the table.
The draining of emotional energy was complete. Energy and vitality has slowly returned. God has been so very gracious in guiding our path. Christ the Shepherd used His “crook” to get us through this dangerous path to avoid spiritual death.
Write on, bro, I am greatly encouraged by your writing.
Grace upon grace in Christ.
Hi @Carson, thank you for sharing about your own journey of healing for the betrayal you experienced. Thank you for allowing yourselves to revisit the past to help another survivor. It offers hope, wisdom, and words to process the matrix of tangled emotions that we can find ourselves in after betrayal.
Betrayal is something that none of us as believers in Christ plan for or expect, especially among our own, those we call brothers and sisters in Christ, as these are relationships that are supposed to last into eternity. In our excitement to serve the Lord, to add value to the lives of those we love, we may not see our blind spots. Our guard may be lowered when someone is popular, speaks articulately, hangs out with those with good credentials, and has no former complaints that we are aware of. It’s sad to see ourselves caught off guard and to bear the brunt of something we never imagined.
I hope not one more person will have to go through betrayal at any level, but the experience you have shared helps us to understand how betrayal begins and feels in the end. It is helpful in putting words to our own betrayal journey, and to help another.
- And you feel significant, part of an unprecedented movement.
- You have given up everything. Without Jesus, and other disciples, you’d have nothing.
- A space that was holy and secure feels tainted and unsafe.
- Religious betrayal lets us know that those leaders are empty frauds. They use the language of truth and goodness to hide lies and bully anyone who dissented.
- We rightly feel isolated when someone targets us, lures us into a trap to prey upon us.
- After religious leaders violate our trust, pious prayers seem cheap and fake.
- We can’t help but cry for justice and yearn for security.
Standing up against a leader is difficult as a victim, and that too alone. It inevitably leads to opposition and isolation form others whose trust is still in the failed leader. When Christians respond to the betrayed, with pat answers to just forgive, with blaming and shaming of the victim or isolate the betrayed because they are just too much work, or because they are not in powerful positions, the healing process takes much longer.
As a committed believer, even when betrayed, we know we are to forgive, and have a desire to forgive but grief and anger take time to subside. A little help goes a long way with the hurting who are willing to change for the better. Appreciate your sharing that we do not have to veil our disillusionment when betrayed and that God himself entered our story as the victim, betrayed and forsaken. As Christians, we can then follow the example of Jesus in coming alongside the betrayed, to understand the victim’s story, and being willing to be forsaken too, if it comes to that, in our efforts to comfort the betrayed. It will all be worth it! When each of us can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received, slowly the story of betrayal becomes a story of restoration. Thank you again for sharing your journey. Will be praying for the conference.
Our hurts can run deep. Hard to release, easy to keep. Jesus knows what we go through. He knows what is true. He has redeemed those that believe. He gives grace to those that will receive. He opens our eyes to see. In Christ Jesus we are free!
Hi. Dale again. Thank you for your testimony at TRR. It gave me an even deeper understanding of my own dilemma and recovery. My event took place May of 18-Dec of 18. There has been 3 connections with the Elder, one of which was a 4 Page document addressing the rebellion of the Elder: the bullying, the obfuscation, the maligning of integrity and bringing evil into the “assembly”.
The outfall from this time has been brutal in it’s impact on the folks involved.
But I must say, Gos has worked His grace in our lives. We have experienced Hesed and Agape. I pray fir the restoration of those marooned in their faith
Thank you for your clarity and depth.
Your “stuff” is good. Having made an early decision in 1967 to never exalt what God did to my mind, I give you only the letters which mark His ownership.
Dale: ThM, DD
Pastor-Teacher: Eph. 4
Reaching Men Ministries - RMM