Sunday, March 10, 2013

I Am My Brother's Keeper...Right Vision, Right Time!


I have spoken of our efforts to bring advocacy for victims of church related abuse and clergy sexual abuse to the forefront. With that, I was recently blessed to launch I Am My Brother's Keeper Christian Advocacy Council (IMBKCAC).

Almost 5 years in the making, IMBKCAC was created to address the needs of victims of church related abuse and clergy sexual abuse. As noted in our article on the John Jay College Report to the College of Bishops of the Catholic Church, the numbers say that within the Catholic Church there has been slightly over 6,100 priests responsible for the sexual defilement of slightly over 16,300 people since 1950. Although protestant churches have never been polled as a group, according to news reports and insurance company statistics, the numbers of individuals affected quickly add up to indicate that there is a moral value ethic lacking among Christian leadership and churches as it pertains to dealing with some of the more vulnerable persons associated with the church.

Ephesians 5:3 ~But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Biblically, the moral value ethic that the believer was supposed to embrace was clear. Abstinence from all evil was the standard and the expectation. A purity of lifestyle and conduct was what the church was to follow. However, as we can readily observe, we've come up short. The problem is not so much the "shortness" by itself. Even though that is bad enough, we can be forgiven. The problem is the criminal activity that has come along with it and the denial of dignity to victims who have suffered. In many cases it's simply just throw money at the problem and it will go away. These are ungodly sentiments and are not worthy of the saints and those that call themselves children of God. We must must do our best to reverse the trend. Some feel it may already be too late. Then others are not really convinced that there is a problem. However, the following is for certain:

Insurance Companies Don't Lie About Claims

One way to know and understand current trends is to look at insurance tracking reports. These reports can tell us what is happening. While insurance companies may try to get one not to file a claim, they certainly don't lie about the claims that they have paid or that have been filed. According to the IMBKCAC website from a 2007 insurance company report 
"Three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members."
Another company, Brotherhood Mutual, says that they have received in excess of 60 claims from churches per year for the last 15 years regarding clergy sexual abuse of minors. Many churches don't have insurance to cover the situation. Some churches are still seduced to live in the past, thinking that enough offering can be raised across the table to meet the needs if these sort of cases arise. 

Within COGIC there are some pastors and elders of some jurisdictions that must raise special reports to pay for the financial fallout from these atrocities of sexual abuse or misconduct. While these claims represent a small portion of the overall insurance company annual claims, to say that this is not a serious situation is to say that one is totally ignorant and inept to make any determination as it pertains to the issue. In other words, open your eyes, be quiet, listen, and learn (with all due respect)...

Then, What Of The Victims?

Part of the problem dealing with this issue in general, stems from the stereotype and preconceived notions that victims only want a monetary award. That is NOT necessarily the case. I would hold that there is nobody, not one victim, that has ever contacted my office that has ever wanted money as a primary method of relief or resolution regarding a sexual abuse issue. What people want is to be heard, taken seriously, and be assured that the church, whatever church, is addressing the issue at all levels. 

Let me be a little more personal, I can testify of assurity, that within COGIC, too many victims have been denied access  to confront their victimizer and have not been given any serious plan of restoration to help them reestablish their lives. Some have been given money, but all have had to endure a culture that caters, in many cases, to abusers who are situational generalists and in some cases pedophiles, as I have pointed out in this POST. The damaging part is that some of them have been allowed to continue, under the auspice of "forgiveness", "love" and "restoration" without any organizational correspondence with or plan of action delivered to those who have been victimized. In other words, the same "love" and enthusiasm for "restoration" has NOT been extended to victims by far and large. these dignities and courtesies have only been extended to them committing the ungodly acts and sins. In essence, there is some sort of twisted allegiance to some of those who have done wrong at the expense of those who have been victimized. These actions and attitudes are ATROCIOUS and indicate a culture that is in total disconnect with the needs of those who have been hurt within our own ranks. 

Special note: If you are an official of this church, (COGIC) as I know that certain monitor my efforts even if but discreetly, and you believe that a background check or a sexual harassment policy is a victims advocacy plan, then please follow the instructions in the last line 3 paragraphs previously. You have been misinformed.

IMBKCAC Is For All Churches & Ministries

Some erroneously have stated that we are fighting churches. That is the greatest LIE from hell that has been told regarding our efforts. Of course it is like the devil to not want the environment of the church to be a safe and wholesome one for ALL individuals. Independent ministries and churches or organizational or institutional churches and ministries, if your organization does not have a victim's advocacy plan, then you or your officials need to contact IMBKCAC. You simply cannot function without a plan to address the needs of victims and potential victims, should trouble arise. Your reputation, status in the community and sincerity in dealing with these issues in favor of the hurting, are all in question without an adequate plan. If you have a plan, I will personally review your current plan and make recommendations for improvement free of charge. 

If You've Been Hurt or Suffered, You Have An Ally
On a personal and individual level, if you have been victimized in any way by your church or other religious organization, or by anyone in or representing those churches, regardless of organizational affiliation or denomination, contact IMBKCAC for help and a personal plan of restoration. Suffering from church related abuse and sexual abuse is like suffering alone. Do not let title, position or fear of how others may perceive you stop you from gaining the valuable deliverance and help that you need and that is essential to your life and living....THE STORM IS OVER...come in out of the rain!!!!

How Can I Help?

First, you may wish to click the Paypal link and provide a donation for the support of this ministry. There is much that must be done to get this message out and as they say, "it takes money to buy land". In this case it will take resources from individuals willing to promote this message to make the message available to all. Secondly, IMBKCAC would like to establish a network of individuals and churches in all parts of the country who will help deliver this message of restoration to those who come forth in their community. Please contact me for details so that you can discover how you can personally be responsible for lifting those who have been abused in your area and turning the tide of disgrace away from an issue that has impacted the lives of millions of Americans and millions of individuals within the Christian church itself.



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