The Truth About #ChurchToo:My #MeToo Moment of Transparency
Growing up in a staunch Baptist community in #Omaha, Nebraska, it was common knowledge that some Pastors and “men of the cloth”, committed chronic adultery and sexual sin all the time.
Nevertheless, it was simply their “thorn”
As I grew up and came to really understand the TRUTH about what being a believer means, I learned that more than their thorn it was clearly a vice and sin before GOD that in my mind, shouldn’t be as widely accepted as the “norm”
Then, as I moved around from city to city as a TV NEWS ANCHOR reporter in my 20s, I realized that not only was this norm it appeared to be EPIDEMIC in black Baptist churches and unfortunately because most of these male charismatics could preach their butts off and keep the seats full, no one was willing to speak up about their violations NOR willing to hold these #Pastors or #Ministers accountable.
Fast-forward more than 20 years after the start of my BROADCAST JOURNALISM career to a recent situation where I had to objectively deal with a possible #MeToo situation in a church, due to my role in the Kingdom which includes resolving conflict.
During this time, I found myself offended and in disbelief as the male leader of the church seemed to berate and discredit the possible victim simply because in his opinion she had waited too long to come forward.
It was madness.
I remember as a young popular TV NEWS ANCHOR having finished a media consulting meeting with a local pastor of a thriving church in one of the cities I lived in, I was caught off guard.
At the end of the meeting when I went to shake his hand, he then hugged me and tried to stick his tongue in my mouth. Fortunately I was able to quickly move in another direction towards the door and I exited his office in disbelief.
I called one of the sisters of the church who I knew had been there a long time and told her about the situation.
She then relayed to me, that it was a common occurrence and that’s just how this particular pastor was. He had a problem with adultery and sexual sin.
At that moment, I felt there was nothing more I could do or should do, because at that point in my career it probably would do more harm than good. So I moved forward in life and acted like nothing happened.
I Swore my own self to secrecy and didn’t tell a soul, until 20 something years later, when I had a candid conversation with one of the Pastors of the church that had called on me to help research this possible “situation” in their ministry.
“Why didn’t she say it sooner then, if it really happened?” He asked with pious anger!
“For the same reason I didn’t 20 years ago when something similar happened to me!” I boldly stated.
Shocked by my answer, he seemed to be stunned into silence and reflection, now recognizing that maybe just maybe, he clearly didn’t understand.
Or maybe just maybe the possible victim deserved more empathy than he was willing to give.
The bottom line for #metoo is this has been happening at #churchtoo since it’s inception and until those with the silent screams and the increasing influence come forward and are encouraged to share their testimonies of triumph over sexual abuse, sexual misuse and yes, chronic adultery, this thing won't get better. Thank God for those who now have courage to say : #TimesUp
Do you have a #churchtoo moment?