UN-accountable: Case Study in Systems Analysis and Ministerial Accountability

I am a blogging team member at Spiritual Sounding Board. We are posting there a five-part case study that I developed in late 2017. (All segments will be posted on Spiritual Sounding Board, only my introduction will be on this futuristguy blog.) The series covers concepts about systems, systemic abuse, repentance/damage repair, and accountability. I used Tullian Tchividjian’s documented situation of clergy sexual misconduct and spiritual abuses of his role as pastor and speaker to illustrate the concepts.

The introduction and Note from Julie Anne Smith explain some of the providential reasons for publishing this material now, when it was finished almost two full years ago. An outline of the series, plus links to its posts and other key resources, follows the introduction.
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For Such A Time As This–Rally Against Abuse at SBC 2019 Annual Meeting

If you’re going to the SBC Annual Meeting in Birmingham, please consider attending this rally. It highlights crucial issues about abuse, to help the SBC become safer and more sustainable. I see this as especially needed in light of cultural and congregational #MeToo movements of recent years. Here are the goals for this year’s Rally. Continue reading

A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7B3: Researching Key Concerns About Major Christian Investigation/Resolution Agencies

 

PART 7B3

Researching Key Concerns About

Major Christian Investigation/Resolution Agencies.

As I near completion of this series, I want to share some things about why I began it in the first place. Two main observations were driving it.

First, I noticed that some individuals within the wider Christian #MeToo circles had significant issues with MinistrySafe – a Christian investigation/conciliation agency run by lawyers.

Second, it was clear from the range of responses/opinions about MinistrySafe that there were multiple subgroups or layers within this Christian wing of the #MeToo movement, beyond just different denominational ties.

So, I wanted to provide some observations about this, and offer links for those who want to research more on their own.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7B2: Examples of What Survivor Communities Have Actually Been Up Against

PART 7B2

Examples of What Survivor Communities

Have Actually Been Up Against.

This post serves as a “reader’s guide” to what has become a quintessential litmus-test case in the kinds of abuse, cover-up, and deflection that survivors and their communities have had to endure.

In this case of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM; more recently renamed Sovereign Grace Churches) and their celebrity leader, CJ Mahaney, that state of unresolved trauma and ongoing triggering for many victims of child abuse and reported spiritual abuse, has gone on for decades.

I chose this case study because it came into existence long before any form of the #MeToo movement got going, and it has resurfaced annually since then. A protective shell of other well-known evangelical individuals and institutions keep surrounding SGM and CJ Mahaney. This adds to the frustration of survivors, their loved ones, and their advocates who seek justice but have been met with silencing.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7B1: Understand Community Values for Insights Into Response Patterns

In recent years, we’ve seen an increased number of abuse survivors refuse offers of involvement in investigations or negotiations with reportedly abusive individuals and institutions. Typically, these processes have required private, partial, or internal investigations; and/or arbitration, conciliation, mediation services as a gateway to “reconciliation.” How do we evaluate whether they are trustworthy and the process is just?

Part 7A lays out frameworks for evaluating the inputs and impact of these various approaches to “making things right.” It lists questions to use for analyzing: (1) the ethical environment in which proposed resolutions are offered, (2) the infrastructures for interaction, and (3) resolution arrangements.

Part 7B applies these three frameworks (ethics, infrastructures, and resolutions), plus resonance with core values of abuse survivor communities, to major Christian agencies involved in victim situations. 

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7A: Frameworks for Evaluating Christian Agencies for Investigation, Public Relations, Crisis Management, Legal Aid, Arbitration, Conciliation, and/or Mediation

PART 7A

Evaluating Christian Agencies for Investigation,

Public Relations, Crisis Management, Legal Aid,

Arbitration, Conciliation, and/or Mediation

In recent years, we’ve seen an increased number of abuse survivors refuse offers of involvement in investigations or negotiations with reportedly abusive individuals and institutions. Typically, these processes have required private, partial, or internal investigations; and/or arbitration, conciliation, mediation services as a gateway to “reconciliation.” How do we evaluate whether they are trustworthy and the process is just?

Part 7A lays out frameworks for evaluating the inputs and impact of these various approaches to “making things right.” It lists questions to use for analyzing: (1) the ethical environment in which proposed resolutions are offered, (2) the infrastructures for interaction, and (3) resolution arrangements. Part 7B applies these three frameworks (ethics, infrastructures, and resolutions), plus resonance with core values of abuse survivor communities, to major Christian agencies involved in victim situations.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 6F: Why is “Restorative Justice” a Better Way Out of Systemic Abuse and Historical Oppression Than are Retaliation or Misused Alternative Dispute Resolution?

PART 6F

Why is “Restorative Justice” a Better Way Out of

Systemic Abuse and Historical Oppression Than

are Retaliation or Misused Alternative Dispute Resolution?

 

Part 6F. In this final segment for Part 6, we look at the better way of resolution to situations involving systemic abuse and historical/societal oppression, through truth-finding before reconciliation. This last element sets up the basis for Part 7, comparing and contrasting agencies that promote independent investigations and restorative justice versus those that promote internal or partial investigations and dispute resolution processes that fail to dismantle systemic abuse.

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