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I decided to write this blog, because it amazed me at the many men and women dealing with hurtful issues in the church. Whether it is rape, molestation, incest, adultery, or betrayal, these traumatic experiences will hinder your spiritual walk. Most insensitive people will say, “Get over it, that happened in the past.” But it’s easier said than done. When a person has been sexually and verbally abused, or even stalked in the church, the event is traumatic.There is no magic pill to relieve the hurt, shame, and stress that it causes.

As I speak out about overcoming adversities at women conferences, I began to see a large number of men sharing their stories of abuse in the church, as well. Victims of this nature will not come forward, for fear of being blamed for what happened to them. No woman, man, or child asked to be abused, hurt, and treated like trash. As women, we are the worst at pointing our fingers and blaming the victim for what happened. No one has the right to violate another person.

80% of rape victims know their rapist; only a small percentage is raped by strangers. Rape doesn’t just happen in our homes, schools, or place of business. Today, many are being violated in the very place we believe to be a safe haven— the church. The world is a cold and cruel place, if we're not protected at church, where can we go to feel safe?

I heard a radio personality say that pastors have no business counseling their congregation on such issues as marriage, incest, or rape. He went on to say, “They are not equipment to handle such in-depth issues. I agree with the radio personality to a certain degree. Unless you have a PH degree in psychology/sociology to know the warning signs of abuse, you are not qualified or equipped to council on such matters. There are many broken people sitting in our congregations Sunday after Sunday turning to their leaders for help, only to receive uneducated and unspiritual advice. I applaud those church leaders who have further their education on this subject, in order to better help their members.

How can victims overcome adversities such as these? Through prayer, seeking professional counseling, and know that what happened to you, is not your fault. In I Corinthian 5, God left rules and regulations to follow when dealing with a sexually perverted member of the congregation. Many pastors seemed to avoid this book. They make excuses and hide behind church protocol to keep from dealing with such hard hitting issues, but know that God will hold them accountable for not getting their parishioners the help they need.

To overcome adversities in the church, educate yourself, your spiritual healing depends on it. Most preachers are concerned with packing the church pews each Sunday morning, building bigger sanctuaries, and lining their pockets with money. Your feelings and interest are little or no importance to them. Get the help you need, even if it means moving to another church.

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