Wednesday, May 25, 2016

More on Fixing the Culture of Abuse in ABWE and the Church

In order for abuse to happen, there needs to be at least 2 participants: the abuser and the victim. How each ends up in their roles is not a mystery. Abusers seek victims and intentionally look for specific weaknesses they perceive in people. The overwhelming majority of victims are women and children, but that's not to say men are never victims. Men are surely abuse victims as well.

For the purpose of this blog post, I'm going to focus on male abusers since it was a man who abused so many in ABWE. He chose the weak ones.....the children....and he weakened their potential advocates, the women. This was not an accident. This was intentional.

Because patriarchy within Baptist circles exalts men and minimizes women, it was easy for Donn Ketcham to carry out his abuse. It was easy to carry was easy to carry was easy to was easy to keep hidden.

It's easy to hide abuse while in a room filled with men who call themselves godly and exalt themselves above the rest of the population. I see pictures of these men sitting in these rooms all the time.....they make rules for the women and they dominate the children. They often use phrases like, "I will not sacrifice godliness," or "We must be sure we honor the Lord," or "We cannot sacrifice righteousness." Trouble is, they have no idea what godliness, honor and righteousness look like because they are simply looking in mirrors while giving those labels to their own selves.

Newsflash: Men who call themselves godly are not godly.
Newsflash: Men who name a "ministry" after themselves are not godly.

Get this.
Understand this.

I have met many men who tell me they are godly. They do this in an attempt to humble me in some way so that I will submit to them. They exalt their opinions above mine, cite Scripture out of context to "prove" their point and often interrupt, twist and minimize anything I might have to say. This is a very common practice among Baptists. I see right through men like that. Poor little men.

Women, we do not have to submit to these men. This will stop abuse within the church and within the mission boards and other agencies related to and working with the church. Stop submitting to men.

What about our husbands? Submission has to be defined as the Bible presents it, not as western culture presents it.

1. Submission does not mean we compromise our pursuit of Christ. If your husband doesn't pursue Christ as strongly as you, leave him in the dust and pursue without him. Let no one get in the way of your pursuit of Christ. This really says it all. Go after Jesus....alone.

2. Submission does not mean obedience. We are grown women; we do not have to obey a husband like we had to obey our fathers at home. Your husband is not your boss. He is your partner. He has equal say, not final say.

3. Submission does not mean self-effacing. We are Daughters of Abraham. It is not becoming to minimize ourselves so that some man looks more important. That is not becoming to a Daughter of Abraham.

4. Submission is not just for women. God told Abraham to submit to Sarah. King David submitted to Abigail. The list goes on.

Girls, I truly believe it's women who will lead the fight on abuse within the church. Take a stand. Do not attend a church that tolerates abuse. Confront men who minimize you. Do not compromise your walk with Christ. Look to Jesus, not your husband, for your faith and courage. Do not allow submission to be put over you like a blanket while some man calls it "godly." It is not.

Pursue Christ alone.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I was compelled to comment on this post since I attempted to engage Sallie in my comment on your other post. Sadly, I can probably imagine what Sallie must have said regarding your post and why you removed it. Let me just say, as a man, I agree with your understanding of theology on the issue of submission. It is unfortunate we cannot carry on a respectful dialog with Sallie even if we find we might differ. How can we grow and encourage one another? If we find we are on opposite sides of a topic, are we to get angry?

    I grew up in a very Fundamentalist background, but I still love those dear people. Many I know who have become angry and even rejected their faith because of the often critical and discouraging, I will use your term here, "culture of abuse". It does not seem you have turned your back on them either Tricia and for that I commend your for your strength and wisdom. It would be easier to just trash the whole thing but you have chosen the more difficult path and desire to enter into a dialog with respect.

    Carry on the good work!

    1. Thanks for your comments. Note: I did not remove Sallie's post; she removed it herself. I have no idea why as she did not communicate with me about it.

      I don't know why some people get so worked up about this issue. I know what you mean about loving the ones who hold to this. Most of them were raised in it and have had no exposure to our line of thinking. There's a real danger in valuing tradition over Truth and I hope to turn people into the Word so they can revisit the traditional teachings and see what the Bible actually says about these things.

      It's a blessing to me that I did not grow up in the church. I heard the gospel for the first time at age 18, so I came to the Bible with no pre-conceived ideas, no SS lessons to lean on and no speculation. It was all new to me and my pastor told me about the Bereans and told me not to even take his word for what the Bible says but to look it up for myself. I was astounded that I could do that! He was/is wise to teach that.

      Thanks for your kind words. Gotta keep on keeping on!