Responding to Abuse … A Part of the Gospel in the 21st Century

This is a heartbreaking story about someone with whom I went to SWBTS. He was funny. He was engaging. He made friends with everyone on every side of the theological spectrum. He was friends with Calvinists. He was friends with hardcore fundamentalists. He was friends with egalitarians and complementarians. No one at seminary did not like or did not know Dan.

Therefore, we were all shocked, bewildered, stunned, heartbroken, and hurt to the core when Dan was arrested for allegations of molestations of one, then two, then three young men in his churches. It was hard to believe but … it turned out to be true.

While I wish the funny, engaging and friendly Dan would have turned out to be the real Dan, it was not the truth. We were fooled. However, we were not the victims of Dan, the young men who were abused by him are. They were abused physically, emotionally, mentally and, most of all, spiritually.

And it is the abuse of individuals – spiritual, mental, emotional, and, physical – that we must address in Christian churches. It is not just in the Catholic Church that it happens. It is everywhere and it is destroying the faith of individuals. It is crippling their hope in the love and goodness of God. And this is part of sharing the Gospel message as well.

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