"In anticipation of the Nov 8th release (note: it’s been bumped back a week!) of my new book, Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church, I am making my way through a 5-part blog series on misconceptions and misunderstandings of spiritual abuse. You can read prior installments here, here, here, and here...
"As I have engaged the topic of spiritual abuse over the last several years, I have observed a repeated sentiment that pops up again and again. It is basically the idea that while spiritual abuse might be a problem, the real problem is false accusations against pastors. The concern is not so much about protecting the victims of abuse, but protecting church leaders.
"Now, let me say that I understand this concern. False accusations do happen. People do lie. And churches need to take that possibility very, very seriously.
"The problem with this misconception, however, is the way it frames the issue. It is suggestive that our default position should be a posture of suspicion toward the victims—as if the norm is that people lie about their pastors and the accuser is probably yet another person who just hates the church."