Day 4 - Abuse of Power in the Church
“Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.” -Psalm 10:12
AREAS TO CONSIDER
- Abuse in the Church has come to be
dominantly associated with the Catholic church, due to a series of cover
ups and accusations of church leaders molesting children; however, recent cases and accusations suggest that the problem may actually be even worse in the Evangelical church. (1)
- Boz Tchividijian, executive director of GRACE, an
organization that investigates abuse allegations, says the Protestant
culture has been one of independence; there is a willingness to sacrifice souls in order to protect institutions. (1)
- Aside from sexual abuse, church leaders can become guilty of spiritual abuse - wielding their authority and manipulating Scripture as a means to control and influence people towards certain actions or decisions. (2)
Lord, in understanding that You have commanded me to love and honor others, I ask that You would forgive me for any way I have abused or manipulated people for my own gain. Help me to walk in love and humility towards others and treat them how I would want to be treated.
Father God, we repent on behalf of our nation’s churches for any way we have abused individuals and families. Forgive us for even doing these things in Your Name at times. We ask that You would expose any kind of abuse in our churches and strengthen our church leaders to love as You love and treat people with the utmost care and respect.
- Pray for new depths of humility and
repentance in the body of Christ; pray especially that leaders would
deal with areas of sin rather than covering them up. (Proverbs 11:2)
- Pray for
church leaders to implement effective systems of accountability and not
exempt themselves because of their positions. (Psalm 119:26)
- Pray for victims of all kinds of abuse to have courage to speak up and begin the process of healing (Psalm 147:3)
- Pray for the Church to rebuild a
reputation in our culture for protecting and fighting for those who are
vulnerable, rather than manipulating or controlling them. (Matthew 9:36)
- Evaluate your own life and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal
areas where you have mistreated others. If there are any individuals you
need to ask forgiveness from, it is important to take the steps to
repair those relational rifts in your life.
- Commit to praying daily or weekly for leadership in your church.
- Bailey, Sarah Pulliam. “Evangelical Sex Abuse Record ‘Worse’
Than Catholic, Says Billy Graham’s Grandson Boz Tchividijian.”
Huffington Post. 1 October 2013. http://www.
huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/ protestantsexabuseboztchividij ian_n_4019347.html
- Von Buseck, Craig. “Beware of ‘Spiritual Abuse’.” Christian Broadcasting Network. http://www.cbn.com/
spirituallife/ BibleStudyAndTheology/ Discipleship/vonBuseck_ SpiritualAbuse.aspx