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Hard Conversations in Evangelicalism: Abuse, Harassment, and Sexual Violence in the Church


Thoughts on sexual violence, our lack of response, and how to get things right.

Jesus wept.

Those words capture my heart every time I read them. There are few stories in scripture more cherished than that found in John 11 in which the very heart of Jesus breaks as he watches his beloved Mary mourn the loss of her brother. God himself stepped into the world of brokenness to identify with us.

His tears were a gesture of love that still speaks to us today.

We know one day all will be made right. We know one day God will make all things new. We know God has the power to heal and bring the dead things back to life, to create beauty out of the ashes of our lives.

But what love does is that it firmly implants itself in the here and now. It looks each person in the eye in this moment and speaks of the one thing that can make all things new: Jesus.

Getting it right

The upcoming Reflections: A GC2 Summit on Responding to Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Violence conference is one of the more challenging (and important) events we’ve helped to organize. There are so many issues to consider, and we don’t believe that we can address everything in one day, but we do think that we can help start some conversations that need to continue.

But as we’ve been planning, one thing, perhaps more than any, has risen to the top of our hearts, and it’s this:

We want to be a people, and this a conference, that in everything honors God.

Members of our team here at the Billy Graham Center are survivors. Many of our speakers are survivors (and some will share that). And one thing that has been deeply implanted in our hearts as we prepare for this event is the gravity of this issue.

We are not simply hosting a conference. We are asking God to change us—to make us better.

We want churches to get this right. This is …

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Honest Charity Deserves Good Reward

It is good to be good! When we act in good faith, people are blessed, and God is glorified.

No doubt that God sees our charity efforts. He is surely keeping the record, and he will reward them in due time.

God and his angels rejoice when someone goes out of his way to bless his fellow human being, but not only are heavenly hosts celebrating the good deed, but God keeps the record; he will hands down his good reward for the effort.

Since an act of charity is honorable in the sight of the Lord, Christians are encouraged to engage in it.

Charity Worker, Check Your Motive

Not all charity works are visible to others, but some can’t really be kept secret from the public eyes. In such a situation, people may acknowledge and shower praises on the worker. However, the charity worker must take caution and not get carried away with the praises he receives.

A person who does a thing to receive human praise has gotten all he deserves. He may not necessarily receive God’s reward afterward since he’s all out seeking human’s approval and praises.

Seek God’s Endorsement, not a human endorsement! #endorse

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As children of God, our efforts must not focus on receiving human’s praises but must focus on glorifying God.

When selfishness is not the driving motive, the result of our efforts will be so praise-worthy in the presence of God.

Meanwhile, besides any human’s praises and acknowledgment, God knows how best to reward our righteous services that focus on helping humanity and glorifying the name of God.

God will reciprocate our true efforts with riches and glory in his kingdom. He will also bless us on earth.

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you; they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6:2-4).

God’s Reward Awaits Your True Services

God is an honest deity; he also respects people who share the same attribute. True worshipers score a high mark with God, but people’s pleasers won’t go far!

As a child of God, you should evaluate your motive in any matter.

Ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing: Am I doing it to receive human’s praises, or I’m doing it to receive God’s praises?”

Self-seeking praise may go well with humans, but it doesn’t go well with God. Let your efforts be motivated by love; let your action glorify God! 

Allow God to Guide Your Actions Human flesh is in enmity with God – Flesh will encourage you to go in the way of human satisfaction, which means you will have to seek human praises to meet the demand. The flesh will motivate you to parade your charity, but the Holy Spirit of God can help you overcome that challenge. Those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God! Ask God to give you the strength and power not to be selfish nor seek

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