Due to the timing of my open letter to Thabiti Anyabwile, I decided it would be best to put out a Saturday edition this week. I typed it up and scheduled it to post at midnight. I even double checked it to make sure it was all up and working properly. I then went to bed, only to wake up this morning to an empty post. So, blogging pro tip #1: Back up everything! For those who opened a blank post, I apologize. It wasn’t some late, ill-conceived attempt at an April Fool’s joke.
That being said, I particularly enjoyed this week’s line up of posts. I hope my readers will also.
- Ed Cyzewski wrote an excellent post for April Fool’s. This parody/satire post is an absolutely hilarious take on the current state of Christian fiction.
- My personal friend, who writes under the nom de plume of Christian Janeway, has written an excellent post discussing what she would say to Thabiti Anyabwile if she were to ever sit down with him for coffee.
- Kelly Ladd Bishop has written an excellent post critiquing Owen Strachan’s assertion that complementarity is the answer to Christian marriage. In his post, Strachan juxtaposed complementarity and compatibility. Kelly rightfully refocuses the reader onto Jesus instead. My first thoughts after reading this post: “Mic drop.”
- Allison Wilkerson, a film critic for Christianity today, has written a scathing critique of the Christian film industry. She takes a look at the stereotypes and empty tropes dragged out for many-faith based films and decides she rather devote her time to sharing pictures of sloths in fedoras on social media. Like so many, she takes issue with both the way other religions are depicted, and how Christian faith is depicted, in these films.
- Yet another sex scandal has erupted around Sovereign Grace Ministries and Covenant Life Church. Larry Ellis Caffrey has been arrested on multiple charges of child sex abuse which took place over the course of 11 years. Caffrey published a book in 2005 which contained the statement that he feared molesting his own child and didn’t want to have daughters. Despite the fact that at least one person on CLC leadership read the book and offered advice, no one took action on Caffrey words. Instead, he was allowed full access as a volunteer in the children’s ministry. Further, despite Caffrey’s confession, no one in leadership bothered to ensure his daughter was safe.
- The above leads into a conversation which arose out of my open letter to Thabiti. I was discussing the CLC/SGM sex abuse scandal with a person follower of Thabiti (we’ll call him SG) who was quite adamant that I was misrepresenting data. When pushed for his own knowledge, SG confessed he knew very little of the situation, so I encouraged him to read some resources and get a grasp of the established facts before mounting his all-out defense of their character. Instead, I received this Tweet.
I found this dismaying. It is this attitude, that it is not the business of outsiders how abuse is handled within a particular church or organization which is so strongly contributing to the systematic enabling of abusive persons within the Evangelical church. We see these tragic incidents as “internal issues” instead of criminal activity and devastating abuse, and thus we minimize when they are covered-up by pastors and staff with no formal training on how to respond. This must stop.
- Lastly, I want to take a moment to appeal to my readers to take a stand and call for Together for the Gospel and Sovereign Grace Ministries to hold CJ Mahaney accountable for the cover-up and lies he has perpetuated. Mahaney has been enabled consistently by men who resort to willful blindness and the intentional silencing of victims. The Church must be a safe place where victims come for healing, but men like Mahaney have created industrial machine which churns out victims as a “necessary byproduct” of preaching the “gospel.”
With this in mind, I want to close with a couple tweets from Thabiti Anyabwile which are sadly ironic considering his support of Mahaney, but nonetheless an important challenge to those of us who take victim advocacy seriously.