The Mistake Christians Made in Defending Bill O’Reilly →
Writing in the New York Times, Christianity Today editor, Katelyn Beaty points out the oft-recurring problem in conservative Christian culture of rushing to defend powerful men, and not taking sexual harassment claims seriously.
"Within the ranks of conservative church leadership, this default empathy for powerful men is coupled with tone deafness for victims. But the phenomenon is also a misapplication of the Christian teaching on forgiveness."
Beaty rightly points out that forgiveness doesn't come without change. When true forgiveness happens, it's coupled with repentance, and shouldn't be taken as a get-out-of-jail free card — at least not in the society as a whole. Yes, they are forgiven of their sins, God has taken on their eternal judgement, but here on Earth they should still be reprimanded for the crime they've committed.
As Christians, we should absolutely be quick to forgive, but we should also be quick to love. And oftentimes, our quick forgiveness ignores the person who the crime was committed against. Too often, we jump to the defense of the perpetrator, and completely forget about the victim.
As Beaty points out,
"If conservative Christians want to protect the faith — especially in a time when they fear loss of cultural power — they must show preferential care not for the powerful but for victims. They must be just as quick to extend empathy to women who have been harassed as they are to extend forgiveness to harassers."
The article is an important, and timely, read. You can check out the rest here.