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Redeem the Silence
An Unintended Journey

Within our faith communities today there is a centuries old silence that is killing us.  It extinguishes the life between us, and within each person it dwells   It stifles and betrays the very purpose God has given each of us, and all of us.  We wish it would simply slink away, and if we pretend it’s not there, perhaps it will go away by itself.  Instead we aimlessly circle around the proverbial ‘elephant’ sitting in our congregations, prolonging the death; anything but confront it.  Tragically, we collectively stand quietly convicted for keeping the Code of Silence in our communities around rape and sexual violence.

Yet Jesus confronts this silence.  Jesus breaks the silence, and calls us to a different way of being.  Jesus can’t keep quiet about the things that create death and dying.  He showed us how to heal and reconcile these eternal gaps.  He brought us to, and delegated  the Ministry of Reconciliation.  However, This silent killer that we have allowed in our midst is destroying  the possibilities that His example of being brings to us.  We permit individuals, families, children, and ultimately the whole spiritual body to suffer, and slowly die!  Why do we permit this?  Who will stand up?  Where is our leadership?

Our silence is enclosed within false beliefs.  We are so influenced by our post modern western culture, we say we believe there will be suffering in this world, yet we behave as though the victims of suffering are to blame.  We affirm the calling to love our neighbors as ourselves, but silently are grateful that the disaster happens to others.  We echo God’s call for justice and righteousness, and remain strangely unaware and uninvolved with the very people who are experiencing that injustice today.

The pervasive effects of sexual violence reach deep and wide within our faith communities.  We often can’t visually see them, but we see the results.  We see the fear and depression.  We see the fractured relationships.  We see the agonizing ongoing unresolved emotional and spiritual effects that often betray the presence of the silence.  And when we feel them, in our collective selective ignorance, we  aggravate them and make them worse. Will this ever change?

The good news is still the good news.  We can be changed.  As part of the process of transformation into Christ-likeness, we can be different towards victims of sexual violence.  We can learn how to challenge the cultural thinking handed down to us for generations upon generations, beliefs that have kept us from expressing the compassion of Christ for many among us.! We can learn how Postmodern Thought has affected how we react to sexual violence and its courageous survivors.  And perhaps, as Christ’s Bride, we can be a cultural force for education, personal change and compassion that will woo  believing and unbelieving survivors to come into a closer relationship with our Lord.  The harvest is plentiful.  Millions within the church and millions outside the church are impacted by sexual violence, and most of them are being obedient to the Code of Silence.  The time is now to break the code and start the healing.  We can change, you can change, we can change it together.