Another (4 part) sex abuse exposé. This one concerns Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches. Of course, everybody also knows about the scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Then there is the explosion of incestuous sexual abuse in conservative homeschooling reformed families.
Here’s what these situations have in common:
- Unaccountable leadership. This can happen in various ways. One way is through polity (IFB being an example). Another way is through a similarly corrupt authority structure (RCC being an example). A third way is through simple refusal to hold anybody accountable (PCA being an example). A final way is similar to the polity issue, but at the family level (conservative homeschool patriarchalism being an example). In each of these places, sexual abuse (incest in the last case) has been festering.
- Emphasis on a legalistic sort of sexual purity. Note first, that even if it isn’t legalistic, we should expect that when the law comes in, sin will increase. But especially if the emphasis on purity is legalistic, (No marriage, in the RCC. Skirts only type of stuff, in the IFB communities. No holding hands or dating in the homeschool scene.) we should expect to see it yielding perverse fruit. Because legalism says it doesn’t matter what the desires of your heart are as long as you don’t act on them. That’s a recipe for disaster. (As a side note, that’s also what is being taught to those being tempted by homosexuality today. It will end just as badly as this chapter has.)
- A focus on the sin “out there” rather than “in here.” Let judgment begin and let it begin in the household of faith.
- Taking place amidst a pornographic, free-love American culture. Lot was afflicted by the evil of Sodom, but his family did not escape unscathed from the sin of that place. Culture is powerful.