Everybody’s all for “ekklesia” (the Greek word in the New Testament often translated to mean a local “church”).
Folks blog about it, post on Facebook about it, create online groups about it, and write books about it.
Yup. They all love “ekklesia”….
Except when a particular “ekklesia” follows Biblical procedure and issues a pubic warning under the mandate of 1 Tim. 5:19-21 against some leader the “ekklesia” boosters have placed on an untouchable pedestal – but who had been part of that church, only to then immediately leave and refuse to be accountable when it tried to address his issues of abuse and exploitation.
Then, all of a sudden, the “ekklesia” boosters want to substitute their own standards, their own sensibilities, their own private determinations, or some de-facto “statute of limitations” in lieu of what real “ekklesia” did.
This is what’s happening now in reaction to the public warnings of abuse and sexual exploitation by Christian author Frank Viola, which his former church issued and recently were restored by Nathan’s Voice after having been silenced through legal threats.
This is not unique with Frank Viola. I see it all the time as Nathan’s Voice (which I helped found several years ago and is a ministry of some churches I’m affiliated with here in Virginia) works to help victims and stop abusive church leaders.
Often, with such “leaders”, there has been past disciplinary action taken and warnings issued against them by a former church – but they have succeeded in staying one step ahead of exposure as they continue to cover up their disqualifying abuse of those under their care, while continuing to publicly promote themselves and their ministry.
When the warnings of a former church are then brought forward, supporters go into high gear as they attack, dismiss, or otherwise deny the legitimacy of that church’s proper disciplinary actions against their beloved “leader”.
So be it. But a least the facts are out, their protestations notwithstanding.
Despite all the sound and fury, I have yet to hear such deniers explain away the clear, unambiguous mandate of scripture:
Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. Those guilty of sin must be rebuked before all, as a warning to the rest. Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind. 1 Tim. 5:19-21 (NET)
Eventually, as real ekklesia prevails, the edifice of lies, cover up and deception comes crashing down.
Eventually, through real ekklesia acting as God intended, truth prevails.
~ Jim Wright
- Sexual Predation by Christian Author Frank Viola (crossroadjunction.com)
- Predatory Grooming in Our Churches (crossroadjunction.com)
- Sexual Exploitation by Church Leaders – How Do We Respond? (crossroadjunction.com)