I’ve just had one of those light-bulb moments, when I work something out, that is really bothering me.
So many church people minimize abuse. In my short 4 years of being a Christian, I have seen it all too often. I’ve endured spiritual abuse. I’ve endured excuse making, victim shaming, denial of abuse…… I could on.
The reason for many, as to why they choose to minimize abuse, is because it is so much easier to do your Christian duty, when you minimize the vileness of the abuse – down from the vile, abhorrent reality of it…. down to ‘funny thinking’ or making excuses for the abuser, or even denying parts of it.
I’m imagining this big huge bulging cloud of dark heaving trauma & suffering (called abuse) and then a series of clouds reducing down in size, reducing in intensity, reducing in darkness, reducing in pain and suffering, down to a little grey cloud, that is far less heavy, far less bulging with suffering, just has a little pain contained ………. and an arrow pointing at that little grey cloud and the words underneath – as a church person “I forgive the ‘mistakes’ that person made. We are all sinners. All sin is equal. I show that person who caused that ‘incident’ (abuse) the grace and mercy and compassion God tells us to. And another little thought bubble underneath with “see I am a good Christian, I do what God wants. I show grace, mercy, forgiveness and compassion for that person ‘accused’ of abuse.”.
Sure it’s easier to be a ‘good Christian; when you minimize abuse, when you minimize intentionality, when you minimize responsibility, when you shame shift, victim shame etc.
It’s far easier to do your Christians duty with regard to a 1/10 trauma/suffering…. than the realty of it being a 10/10 trauma/suffering.
It’s far easier to deal with a little trauma/pain (grey cloud) you can easily manage, than the crushing weight of trauma and abuse (huge dark heaving cloud).
My counsellor minimized spiritual abuse where church people call those with mental illness – demonic. She termed it as ‘funny thinking’. I got really annoyed and said it’s abuse. And she reluctantly and begrudgingly admitted – yes it is abuse. But, she had to be pushed into giving it the real terminology. It was then I realised, she is a typical church person who minimizes abuse in her head, to deal with it.
It’s way easier to do your Christian duty, by not dealing with the magnitude of the trauma and instead minimize the depth of the suffering caused.
It’s way easier to do your Christian duty, when you fail to deal with truth, reality and fail to have the courage and empathy for the victim they deserve.
It’s way easier to deal with anything, when you don’t deal with the truth.
Truth and reality……… is not a path many choose. It’s a much harder road.