I invite church leaders to consider their own story of sexual brokenness as I vulnerably share my own. The time has long since come to reject the contempt culture of shame that has kept many sexually wounded people, both in the pulpit and the pew, in shame, contempt and hiding. How many more of us must self-destruct publicly in the ministry? The oversimplified understanding of sexual sin purveyed by the evangelical church must be problematize because it masks the complexity of human sexuality. Reductionist and quick-fix pastoral prescriptions alongside jocular exhortations about the glory and priority of sex have done significant damage to people already deeply wounded; what is more, such commonplace approaches to the issue of sexuality in evangelical churches have isolated boys and girls and men and women, laity and pastors alike, from the safe place of vulnerability, truth and grief—the only path toward healing. It is time to tear down the illusionary idol of sexuality not outside, but inside the church. We must acknowledge that childhood sexual trauma, which is far more widespread than we realize, warps adult sexuality. I plead for the cultivation of church cultures of vulnerability, kindness and patience for those struggling with sin and particularly with sexual bentness.
For more, watch my live stream presentation on Facebook during the CPT theology conference Oct 24-26. More info to follow.