Not too long ago, I learned that a Me Too movement was trending on Twitter (via an article); on Saturday, I learned that a Church Too movement had also been started. I’m not one to get involved in the online trends and debates (however true/factual they may be); nevertheless, this latest movement really saddened and bothered me, and I felt that I should speak (briefly) on it.
Let me start by saying that I can relate to both the Me Too and Church Too hashtags. However, that doesn’t make the Church Too hashtag any less bothersome for me.
You may be wondering why that is. Well, the Church Too tag saddens me because it, as it is probably intended to do, casts a dark shadow on the church of Christ (even though many speaking out aren’t of the true church of Christ), as well as defames the name of Christ. And that, honestly, shouldn’t be. What many people fail to realize (and many don’t realize it because they aren’t [or never were] true followers of Christ) is that satan and his minions are alive and active… especially in the church.
Paul tells us (combating evil workers himself), in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, that satan and his workers disguise themselves as light. To spell the verses out fully, they read: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”
So as we see, Paul, as well as Jesus and the other apostles, encountered false apostles and deceitful workmen… how much more will we today?
My first encounter with one of these false apostles occurred years ago in my youth. Yes, the person who made me a part of the Church Too movement, molesting (and talking filthily to) me for years, was a pastor, loved and worshiped by his flock. However, I knew, even as a child (as I’d come to know God and some of His attributes early on), that that person was not of God, but of satan. God tells us, in 1 Corinthians 14:33, that He is not the author of confusion. And therefore, He’s not the author of rape and molestation, either.
Following each instance I faced, the molestation during my childhood by the (very familiar) pastor, and the rape I endured at the hands of a stranger (in adulthood), it was God who was there. He wasn’t there applauding and hi-fiving my perpetrators’ sin, either, but engulfing me in His peace which surpasses all understanding. I’ve been told by others, who learned of my story down the line, that they admired my strength, my ability to still go on following all of that. But as I told them, without a doubt, it is not my strength that I’m resting in, but almighty God’s, who’s never left me alone.
God, contrary to what many will try to convince you of, is nothing like man. I don’t care if it was a pastor who molested you, a deacon who raped you, an usher who attempted to assault you, whatever the case may be… God—the God of Heaven—did not condone it (nor does His Word). And one day, He will right the wrong done to you (if you’ll release everything to Him).
Ladies, refuse to let man’s sin turn you against God and His church (as we can’t truly love one without loving the other, cf. 1 John 5:1-2). No matter what it feels or seems like, we must trust God through it all, and wholeheartedly believe that He will cause it all to work together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (cf. Romans 8:28).
Sure, you may not be able to see in this moment how it all will work out, but if you trust Him, it will work out. In my life alone, I’ve seen how God has used those hardships to build me, both mentally and spiritually. Without the trials and hardships, and seeing the indescribable love, grace, and mercy of God alive and well in my life, I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t be able to trust God the way that I do, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you that everything we go through has a greater purpose, which will ultimately be revealed to those who trust in and live for Christ, at the last day.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:2-4
Disclaimer: This post isn’t intended to shush anyone about their experience(s), nor is it intended to deter anyone from contacting the authorities with their allegations, nor is it to keep anyone from publically sharing their painful church experience(s). This post is intended to make each of us, who belong to the church of Christ, aware of satan’s schemes, and how he will use every opportunity given him to cast a darkness over God’s church. In knowing this, we must be wise with our efforts to communicate our experiences (as everyone’s intent isn’t good, even if yours is), being led by the Spirit of God for the right time, place, and avenue to shed light on the unfortunate injustices going on within our sanctuaries.