SEXUAL SIN SERIES
Digging Up Dirt
Addressing Sexual Scandal In The Messianic Movement - Part 1
1985 is the year I was born. It’s also the year that allegations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy really came out in the open. Those allegations - once rumors perhaps, but now turned facts through the process of substantiation - persisted for nearly 2 decades. They persisted until priests finally started feeling the weight of the convictions they should have felt decades ago, and they continue persisting today.
Some question the necessity of this dirt ever having been dug up. They question whether these scandals were brought to light through solid facts or simply scared and confused witnesses. Was it common laymen with concerned intuition or just a radical left running a rumor mill to remove religious leaders from positions they coveted? There will always be those who cannot bring themselves to concede the inner moral depravity of man manifesting itself from outwardly pious religious individuals.
That unfortunate reality aside, cases numbering in the thousands ultimately surfaced (Alex Wilhelm, The Long Scandal: A History of Abuse, May 5, 2010 Huffington Post), and continue surfacing on a daily basis. News agencies are still printing headlines across the nation like "500+ Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Still Kept Secret By RCC" (Chigago Tribune), "Illinois AG Says Diocese Failed To Disclose Allegations Against Priests and Clergy" (CNN), and "Church Faces New Sex Abuse Scandals in Michigan, Oregeon, Alaska" (Esquire).
The crux of the question is ultimately not whether sexual scandals exist because we know they do. The testimony of the witnesses is beyond alarming. What we need to come to grips with is the proper steps to take in exterminating this scourge which is overtaking institutions and home fellowships alike which are supposed to be presenting the world with a holy and righteous witness. That is something that requires exterminatation if we are going to remain true to the tenants which the Scriptures teach.
Should allegations of sexual abuse truly be kept silent, or should the subjects of the allegations be called to account for their actions? Is it justice when not only the media, but the legal system of checks and balances is kept in the dark under the guise of “love covers a multitude of sins”? Can laymen and the general public honestly expect that secrets about sexual sin will be adequately resolved by means of internal investigations carried out by the very organizations culpable for facilitating an environment in which the abuses flourished in the first place? Maybe even by the very leaders responsible for engaging in the scandals? Would not such a thing be the epitome of practicing partiality in judgement, which the Torah explicitly cautions against?
Psalm 10:2 says "In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the lusts of his heart;
he blesses covetousness and reviles Yahweh.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for Elohim.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all who oppose him.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “Elohim will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Yahweh! Lift up your hand, O Elohim.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile Elohim?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, Elohim, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of those who have no one to defend them.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.