The Catholic Church has had a major sexual abuse scandal, but there is an even bigger one looming. According to Billy Graham’s grandson, who runs a ministry dedicated to fighting sexual abuse in churches, he says that sexual abuse in Protestant congregations is a bigger problem and a bigger secret than among Catholics in a recent report:
Boz Tchividjian, grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham and an activist who speaks out against sexual abuse in churches, has opened up about some of the horror stories victims have shared with him.
“My focus is on the church because that’s where I grew up, that’s where I’ve seen some of the horrors. That’s where I’ve encountered survivors who, in tears, tell me that they can’t pray to God because the man who abused them was praying when he abused them, or reading Scripture while he was raping them,” Tchividjian told Vice.com in a recent interview.
Tchividjian leads the Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment organization, which investigates sexual abuse in Christian circles.
A common thread in much of his research is that many churches do not have policies to deal with accusations of abuse, and often times the abuser, and not the victim, gets protected.
He pointed to data from insurance providers that shows that sexual abuse goes on in Protestant churches just as much, if not more so, as in Roman Catholic ones.
A major problem, he said, is that too many pastors still don’t want to talk about and ignore issues related to abuse.
“We have to educate our church leaders about this issue so we can try and eliminate victim blaming when disclosures are made. Telling the victim it was their fault because of how they were dressed or were acting, or forcing them to forgive the offender, just compounds the shame they are already going through,” Tchividjian said.
He said that males get abused as well, but often times they are silent because of shame.
“I’ve had male survivors tell me they didn’t want anyone in the church to know because they thought that they would be labeled a future offender and everyone would keep their kids away, or they would be accused of being gay,” he revealed.
The GRACE founder noted that delving into the reality of sexual abuse sometimes presents very tough challenges for believers.
“When you grow up as an evangelical Christian you have this nice neat view of God and the world. And when you start doing this work, that all gets shattered. Because how do you answer when someone asks you, ‘Where was God when my dad was coming into my room every night and molesting me? Was he watching? Why didn’t he stop him?’ Those are questions I don’t have answers to. All I can do is grieve with them and maybe get a little angry,” he stated.
“But studying who Jesus was while He lived on this Earth has given me a greater appreciation for who He was in relation to this issue. There was no greater defender of children than Jesus.”
Tchividjian told The Christian Post in an interview back in 2015 that churches must do better in their response to sex abuse.
“[Churches] should be the place where children and survivors feel most safe and most loved,” Tchividjian told CP at the time.
“My prayer is that one day churches will be the place offenders feel the least safe knowing that the church is vigilantly watching over its children and won’t hesitate to report suspected abuse to the God-ordained authorities. I think Jesus requires nothing less of us. (source)
Make no mistake, sexual abuse is evil no matter who does it or what position that person holds. Evil is defined by the nature of the act, not who commits the act.
Likewise, nobody denies there is a problem with primarily the abuse of young men at the hands of homosexual priests, which as it has been shown constitute fully 80% of all abuse cases. We at Shoebat.com have been on the forefront of attempting to fight against these pervert priests in our ranks, for we have direct experience. It was the reason why we have kept ongoing Operation Whip, which is our promise that if you have information about a priest, bishop, or other member of the clergy who is engaged in sexual abuse, we ask you to come forward so we can confront the perpetrator and expose his deeds for the Church and world to see, for it is everybody’s responsibility to clean out the dirt in our own house when it is discovered. For as we wrote:
If your pastor says anything in favor for Islam and homosexuality, confront him, and do so with aggression. If you attend a Christian school or university, and they have events in favor for homosexuality or Islam, go in there and confront the entire event, and do so with aggression.
If our Lord entered the Temple with a whip, the least we can do is confront these devils, and do so with aggression, and film them. Instill fear into their hearts, and horrify them into submission.
It is my aspiration that this video will begin an international movement I call Operation Whip. We must confront the deviant and heretical ministers, and not only that, we must film them and post the videos on the internet. Its time to apply the whip (peer pressure) on them.
This will break their will and put us, the zealous, in the position of power and advantage over them, and make them submit to God and not to money and mammon.
The time for weakness and sycophancy is over, there must be a movement of zealots who will take up cameras, confront these wicked ministers, and make them tremble.
For decades righteous Christians have been being mistreated and ignored by church leaders, and this is because so many Christians have, innocently, placed themselves under the authority of the hirelings with the impression that they are doing the right thing by being submissive, even when they are promoting evil and depravity.
St. Thomas Aquinas calls this indiscriminate obedience, which recklessly obeys all things regardless of how destructive they may be. (Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, 104, article 5). All tyrannies thrive on indiscriminate obedience, for without those who think that submission to them is righteous, all of their power crumbles.
It is the same with cults and corrupt ministers. The reason why we have them is because of all the people who support them, and agree with them. But even in churches where the minister is corrupt, you have righteous congregants who do want to learn truth, but instead get nothing but the rubbish that springs from the superficial love of mammon.
This is what Operation Whip is about, confronting pastors and teachers when they preach heresy and evil, get it on film, expose them.
I ask you, confront any wicked pastor or teacher you know, film it, post it online, and send it over to shoebat.com with proof of his evils, and we will make sure that its seen. We have to shift the battle against them.
If we can all do this, then we can clean out the Church in a matter of months. (source)
Msgr. Michael Yarbrough. A supporter of homosexuality, he was involved in the homosexual abuse of at least one young man and attempted to make advances towards Ted- you can read about his story here. There is a desperate need for people of good will to stand up to the evils in society and our churches. If you have evidence, you need to email us or contact us through Facebook so we can investigate.
It is imperative for the good of the Church that people who do evil deeds and refuse to repent, but choose to persist in evil actions and then make excuses for them or thwart the efforts of people to stop their deeds, then they need to be exposed so that if the congregation will not stop them, the local authorities will intervene. This is not out of vengeance, but for the good of the most innocent, since they will be the ones most likely to be affected.
What makes this story such a relief is that finally major Protestant voices are admitting through their own media outlets that they have the same problems the Catholics do, and that as we have known for years, the problem is actually worse and that some people are making a public effort to confront the issue.
When the Catholic sexual abuse scandal was first revealed by the Hartford Courant and Boston Globe in 2002, I remember the wave of anger, shock, and rage that many people exhibited, and rightly so, for what started then is part of a crisis that has continued to unfold worldwide over the last 15 years showing a pattern among enough members of the clergy that there was systematic and primarily homosexual abuse of minors. However, the sexual abuse crisis also brought to public attention something which only people who were deeply involved in Church affairs or who were deep in “rad-trad” (radical traditionalist, such as SSPX, SSPV, or different types of sedevacantist groups) would discuss existing, which was the presence of a “gay mafia” in the Vatican that was both complicit in the abuse and was covering up cases of abuse on behalf of fellow sodomite perpetrators. While there are still problems, if the sexual abuse crisis did anything was to fully open up the divisions of the Church to public scrutiny, and while this has been an embarassing period, it has also allowed people to clearly show, to use a term that homosexuals like to use, “true colors” to the world by exposing the word and deeds of church members for better or for worse. Indeed, it was the beginning of a process of separating the “wheat from the chaff” because people who did not care either left the Church or if they stayed in the ranks they have persisted in perpetuating their evil ideas in a public manner, while those who genuinely care have stayed and become more active, many times returning to traditional practices such as devotionals, attending mass in Latin, as well as attempting to live a more holy lifestyle. The Church as become smaller, but the divisions that were once hidden are now much clearer and easier to perceive, and its people care more than those of generations of the recent past.
Cardinal Coccopalmerio, in whose apartment recently took place a gay sex orgy with various priests and bishops. We documented this incident. It is critical that the homosexual mafia inside the Vatican and all their hideous deeds be exposed for the good of the faithful. While sexual abuse can be found in any Church, the fact that 80% of it in the Catholic Church is of a homosexual nature means that the Church does NOT have a sexual abuse problem- it has a homosexual problem because they are the ones overwhelmingly doing the abuse.
The same cannot be said about the Protestant Churches, especially in the United States, and I focus specifically there because Protestant Christianity has come to its full fruition in the lands of the Reformation five centuries ago, as the majority of people are either secular or their “Christianity” is simply ethnonationalism with a Christian flavor solely for the purpose of evoking their conception of history for their followers. Protestantism is for all purposes dead in Europe, and it is dying the same death in America, but simply at a longer timeline. The mainline Protestant denominations are filled with elderly and like people in hospice care are waiting for death- the Episcopalians survive only because of an accumulation of wealth, and much can be said about the Presybtarians, Congregationalists, and Methodists. The Baptists, Pentecostals, and their sister variants in the “evangelical” Christian churches that number the American landscape like crumbs on a plate are the strongest, but even they have admitted that they are in decline too:
There’s no denying the decline of America’s largest Protestant denomination any longer. The SBC lost almost 78,000 members in the past year, according to the Annual Church Profile (ACP) released ahead of its upcoming annual meeting. Southern Baptists have now lost a million members since their peak of 16.3 million in 2003.
The denomination is down to its “lowest baptisms since 1946; lowest membership since 1990; lowest worship attendance since 1996,” according to historical analysis from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“The true bad news is that when you put last year in the context of all previous years, it indicates the SBC is in the midst of a decline that shows no signs of either slowing down or turning around,” said Chuck Kelly, the seminary’s president.
The only measure where Southern Baptists are growing is their number of churches, adding 479 churches last year for a total of more than 47,000. But leaders are concerned that they have fewer people to fill those churches. Congregations reported an overall drop in Sunday service attendance (down 7%) and fewer new believers being added through baptism (down 5%).
Denominational leaders blame the downward trajectory on their struggle for effective evangelism.
“It’s clear that evangelism and discipleship are waning,” Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, an SBC affiliate which produces the ACP report, told BP. “I don’t believe it is due to the lack of opportunities, though. Instead, there is a lack of engagement.”
For years, evangelicals watched their fellow Protestants in mainline denominations undergo widespread and much-talked-about decline, while hoping their more conservative theology would sustain them. Yet, as Ed Stetzer noted a year ago, “Southern Baptists are shrinking faster than United Methodists.” (source)
Christianity in America, regardless of the church or type, is strongest among foreign immigrants, which for the most part are the peoples of Central and South America since they constitute the single largest immigrant bloc still arriving to the USA today. However, it is a known fact that religious practice among them declines the further a family integrates into American society, and by the time the third or fourth generation is born, they are as American and indifferent towards religion as everybody else who has been here for the same period or longer. In this sense, they are in a similar situation with the Catholics.
When one adds to the natural decline that Protestantism is facing with the sexual abuse that happens, this only becomes more serious. However, unlike in the case of the Catholic Church were there is a defined hierarchy that one can point to- say to use an example, “Fr. Murphy” molested a child and “Bishop O’Donnell” is not doing anything to stop it, we have to try to petition the Archbishop or Rome- through which a chain of accountability can be traced. This is very good an important because if there is a problem, even a systematic one, somebody can clearly identify the source and trace the steps to get it resolved or to expose to the public where a blockage has been erected to prevent the problem from being resolved.
The same cannot be said about the Protestant Churches. Given that they are all smaller than the Catholic Church and believe that they can act as independent authorities on that of Christ outside of his apostles- in spite of the fact that Christ clearly passed His authority to His apostles and His authority comes from the succession of the Apostles- so it makes it far easier to hide illegal or immoral activity in one of these smaller congregations. Just as these small Churches will all call themselves “Christians” but often times share no common understanding of basic theology and will embrace heresies condemned since the days of antiquity such as the Antinominian heresy, which is pervasive in American Evangelicalism. The lack of authority leads to spiritual anarchy, and opens up a vacuum which not just heretics, but also people with evil intentions can move in and begin to cause chaos before moving onto the next church.
It is well established that up to but no higher than 2% of Catholic clergy are involved in the sexual abuse of minprs with no higher than 4% involved in sexual misconduct in general, of which 80% of said misconduct involved homosexual activity. However, the numbers for Protestants, when released, tell a far more grim story, with a rate of at least 10% of abuse across all denominations. Jews are even worse, with possibly as high as 30% of rabbis being involved in sexual misconduct, mostly involving incest:
According to a 2000 report to the Baptist General Convention in Texas, “The incidence of sexual abuse by clergy has reached ‘horrific proportions.’” It noted that in studies done in the 1980s, 12 percent of ministers had “engaged in sexual intercourse with members” and nearly 40 percent had “acknowledged sexually inappropriate behavior.” The report concluded that “The disturbing aspect of all research is that the rate of incidence for clergy exceeds the client-professional rate for physicians and psychologists.”[xix] Regarding pornography and sexual addiction, a national survey disclosed that about 20 percent of all ministers are involved in the behavior.[xx]
In the spring of 2002, when the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was receiving unprecedented attention, the Christian Science Monitor reported on the results of national surveys by Christian Ministry Resources. The conclusion: “Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.
Finally, in the authoritative work by Penn State professor Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests, it was determined that between .2 and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles. The figure among the Protestant clergy ranges between 2 and 3 percent.[xxii]
Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice president of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly, reports that 30 percent of rabbis who changed positions in 2000 did so involuntarily, and that sexual abuse was a factor in many instances.[xxiv] The Awareness Center devotes an entire website to “Clergy Abuse: Rabbis, Cantors & Other Trusted Officials.” It is a detailed and frank look at the problem of sexual abuse by rabbis.[xxv]
The problem of sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses is evident among church elders but most of the abuse comes from congregation members. “The victims who have stepped forward are mostly girls and young women,” writes Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times, “and many accusations involve incest.” There is a victims support group available, “silentlambs,” that has collected more than 5,000 Witnesses contending that the church mishandled child sexual abuse.[xxvi] (source)
But this is really nothing new for us. We’ve been on this trend, as Ted wrote in 2014 in an article from Prospect:
For years, Protestants have assumed they were immune to the abuses perpetrated by celibate Catholic priests. But Tchividjian believes that Protestant churches, groups, and schools have been worse than Catholics in their response. Mission fields, he says, are “magnets” for would-be molesters; ministries and schools do not understand the dynamics of abuse; and “good ol’ boy” networks routinely cover up victims’ stories to protect their reputations. He fears it is only a matter of time before it all blows up in their faces and threatens the survival of powerful Protestant institutions.
In the past couple of years, Tchividjian has begun to look prophetic. Reports and allegations of sex abuse, rape, and harassment—and a culture that has badly mishandled them—have become more and more frequent. In fall 2012, former members of Sovereign Grace Ministries, a “family” of about 80 conservative churches from various theological traditions, filed a class-action lawsuit against the ministry for failing to report allegations of sex abuse in the 1980s and 1990s—including abuse perpetrated by church leaders’ immediate family members—and discouraging victims and their families from going to law enforcement. (The lawsuit was dismissed last year because of expired statutes of limitations and jurisdictional questions, but an appeal and criminal investigations are under way.) This spring, an exposé in The New Republicrevealed that Patrick Henry, the college of choice for evangelical homeschoolers, has covered up alleged campus rape and sexual assault, thanks largely to its victim-blaming emphasis on women’s purity. Allegations of similar practices soon surfaced against other Christian colleges, including Pensacola Christian College in Florida and Cedarville University in Ohio. A documentary released in February, No Place to Call Home, recounts the systematic sexual abuse of children in the 1980s at Jesus People USA, an evangelical commune in Chicago. The empire of Bill Gothard, founder of the fundamentalist Institute in Basic Life Principles, crumbled earlier this year after bloggers revealed dozens of sexual-harassment and molestation claims against him.
Common threads run through the stories: authoritarian settings where rule-following and obedience reign supreme; counseling techniques that emphasize victims’ own culpability; male leaders with few checks on their power; and, in the eyes of many Christians including Tchividjian, a perversion of the Bible to justify all three. “When you have this motley group of many denominations, this independent environment, and then this distortion of scripture, that’s an environment where abuse can flourish,” Tchividjian says. “But we’ve never been forced to deal with it on a Protestant-wide basis.”
This will be a challenge. The Protestant world includes tens of thousands of denominations, plus thousands more nondenominational churches, ministries, mission boards, and subcultures. Unlike the Catholic Church, there is no Vatican, no shared leadership connecting, say, Calvary Chapel’s 1,600 churches with the Southern Baptist Convention’s 46,000. No common standards apply but the authority of scripture, which is interpreted differently from church to church, school to school, mission to mission.
Even with its tightly controlled hierarchy, the Catholic Church has responded abysmally to sex abuse. “The Catholics have been forced through three decades of lawsuits to address this issue,” Tchividjian says. “The first decade, they gave it lip service, but after three decades, hundreds of millions of dollars lost, and publicity that devastated the Church, they were forced to begin addressing it. It’s my prayer that we’ll deal with it without being forced to.” (source, source)
Shoebat.com makes very clear our position on Christianity- we are Catholic because the Bible leaves no other option for a man who wants to be a Christian and follow Christ perfectly, as Walid has noted. That said, our mission at Rescue Christians is to help all Christians who are being persecuted and whose lives are in danger. That means saving Christians from persecution by Muslims and Pagans, but it also means confronting the evils in our own congregations that threaten to destroy the faith of good men, women, and children for satisfying the perverse impulses of sick, evil people.
It is very good to see that Protestants are acknowledging the problems in their ranks as Catholics have, but this is just the beginning, because as the studies show, there is a scandal larger than that of the Catholic Church that nobody wants to acknowledge.
If you know somebody in your church who is participating or concealing sexual abuse, homosexual activity, or other heinous sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, please contact us through email or Facebook so we can investigate. To refuse to report such abuse is to actively condone it the same way that it was hidden for decades, and given the growing persecution of Christians, if we do not clean house then it will be cleaned for us, and it will be ugly.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.
“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. -Matthew 18:3-10