who is systemic now?

As a follow-up to the ‘systemic?’ post, I ran across another site discussing a church and abuse. I was researching a different topic and hit on this site due to one of the search terms I was using. The current top post is one that addresses a very similar story to those we have been faced with in the recent controversies involving ‘IFB’ churches. Here is a sample paragraph:

Here is a brief description of how _______________ has in the past typically handled sex abuse issues in their church.   This depiction can be affirmed by numerous former members who have had similar experiences.   The perpetrator of a sex crime and his family were brought under the care of a pastor.   This would involve counseling, accountability sessions and possible minor restrictions regarding movement in the church during services.   People “at risk” were not notified.   The victim and victim’s family however were usually confronted with opposition from leadership by minimizing and/or invalidating particular aspects of the victim’s story.

Sound familiar? Sound systemic?

Now… before you click on the ‘more’ tag and see the links, a few caveats.

  1. This is just one side of the story – the side of the victims. I can’t say everything in this side of the story is true.
  2. This story appears on a ‘____ survivors’ site: in other words, the people who write here have an axe to grind against _____. Everything posted here is from a disgruntled perspective.
  3. I don’t think the basic facts in this post are just invented or made up by someone who is merely disgruntled. According to the post, someone confessed to a felony in the case. However, clearly there is a lot of bad blood between those telling the story and the ones they are telling the story against. A lot of facts are left out and there is no independent verification. It is possible that some of the things complained about are the sins of the complainant, not the sins of the ones being complained against. However, some facts in this story appear to be true.

I should note that this is a fairly current story as you will see from some of the links I post below the jump.

[Read more…]


The dictionary defines systemic as:

“of, relating to, or common to a system”

“systemic” in Frederick C. Mish, ed., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

The discussion on the fundamentalist blogosphere lately has been very heated over stories of scandal and sexual abuse in or connected with ministries widely viewed as fundamentalist. (I phrase it that way because some may dispute the fundie credentials of some of these ministries.)

I really don’t want to get into a “fact-finding-fault-finding” scream-a-thon here. But Bob Bixby brings the word ‘systemic’ to the discussion and others have said similar things. By systemic, Bob says he means

I think it is right to say that she was wrongly treated because of a systemic abuse of victims in fundamentalist circles. I insist on the word “systemic” because I do not think that IFB people consciously scheme about how to make people suffer.

I do agree that abuse is systemic in the culture of IFB. It is systemic because of the general IFB understanding of church, discipline, sin, authority, and the Bible.

So… systemic… “of, relating to, or common to a system”

(Now, before we go on, let’s note that Bob is broadening the topic from sexual abuse to ‘abuse of victims’ and that this issue is ‘systemic’ because of the IFB “understanding of church, discipline, sin, authority, and the Bible.” Bob is painting with a very broad brush and using the current scandal to attack his favorite whipping boy, independent Baptist Fundamentalism.)

But is ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘child abuse’ systemic to Christian fundamentalism?

A friend of mine sent me a few links tonight about another very very tragic and disgusting story about another independent Baptist and another scandal. I’m not going to include any links, its just a completely disgusting story. In this case, it appears there is a serious sin issue, this time on the part of a pastor. That’s all the details I’ll give.

But the story gave me pause. Not another one! And then again, this question came to mind: is ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘child abuse’ systemic to Christian fundamentalism?

Because if it is, every right thinking fundamentalist needs to GET OUT, fast.

[Read more…]