Sunday, December 28, 2008

For church sex abuse survivors who avoid church

I've blogged about this subject before, about this terrible blight of priest or other religious sex abuse in the Catholic Church. I understand the trauma (and have discussed my credentials for why I understand on all levels) and have given counsel, both secular and spiritual, about how to heal and recover one's balance in life, even though the past can never be erased.

Having said that, I need to have an urgent word with those of you who avoid your Catholic devotions, such as going to church and the sacraments, and who may even have stopped believing in God.

There is no reincarnation, and there is no guarantee of "later" in anyone's life. All one needs to do is watch the news and see how suddenly there can be no "tomorrow" for someone. One must be in a constant state of being "alright with God."

If you think that deciding whether to believe in God again or to observe the sacraments and worship him is something that "can wait until you are ready, after you have healed," that is an attitude that is incorrect, and not the attitude that believers of all faiths have had throughout history as they have endured abuse, slavery and even genocide in their lives. It is a survival trait of humans and a reality that they separate belief in God from human induced horror and abuse in their lives, whether the abuse is by a religious or by a secular. If humans abandoned belief in God whenever they were traumatized there would be no religions at all today, and no human society either.

No matter how broken you may feel, refusing to believe in God is simply not a rational option.

As regular readers know, I am not being unfeeling on this subject. It is because I care that I will always be honest with you for your own good, just as I've had to be brutally honest about the physical reality of hell with many who have refused to believe and who have acted accordingly.

It is essential that no matter how one has been abused or harmed that one continue to believe in God and find a relationship with him because you have no guarantee of "tomorrow," because that is the reality of life, where death is unpredictable and certain for all.

Children, those of you who can no longer enter a Catholic church and worship God because you have been sexually abused, I have to wonder if perhaps Christianity is not for you.

(Yes, I hear the thump of good priests fainting or perhaps screaming as they reach this part of my message...)

But I am serious. If you have been sexually abused and can no longer enter a Catholic Church and have lost your faith in God, then I am not sure that you ever really believed, or perhaps were robbed of the chance, to understand Jesus Christ, who was tormented and crucified despite being of total perfection, sent by God, to heal and save, and who committed no crime or fault of his own.

When Jesus resurrected and returned, did he say, "I no longer believe in humanity because they unjustly tormented and killed me? And therefore I will no longer save you?"

Therefore, when humans abuse other humans, why would they then turn to God and say, "I no longer believe in you."

If you in your pain and focus on your own counsel and healing cannot understand that Jesus Christ resurrected and returned for forty days, undaunted, to save humanity and provide the path to God, then I wonder if perhaps Christianity in general just does not resonate with you.

This is a very serious problem, then, because whether you believe or not, God is still there, and will be faced at some point when your life ends, and of course, God wishes to be with you throughout your life.

I therefore wonder if perhaps those of you who can no longer "stand to be in a Church," and question your faith should consider studying Islam.

I would rather see someone who is so wounded and lacking in structured belief in God as a result of their trauma of sexual abuse consider converting to Islam than live a godless life. A godless life is a lie because there is a God, whether you believe or not, whether you are too wounded to believe or not.

Think about it. If you cannot see the truth of what I say, that the entire premise of Christianity is that Jesus loved and saved despite how he was scorned, tormented and killed most unfairly, worse because of his existence only being for the benefit of humanity, then I wonder if Christianity just is not for you.

I am certainly not turning you away. I am talking to those who are keeping themselves away.

Rather than stay in the lie of no longer believing, serving and worshipping the one God who continues to most assuredly exist, even if no human exists at all, perhaps you should consider Islam.

I hope that you have found this something that you will give careful thought to. God cares about each individual and desires their return. But God also continues on in eternity for all time, regardless of what one human believes or not. It is more important that you re-establish your relationship with God than continue to try to make a point about your woundedness. There is nothing that a human can teach Jesus Christ about being unfairly wronged. If that is not your understanding of Christianity, then you need to connect to God nonetheless, and perhaps Islam will be your way.

And who knows, if you realize that you have exiled yourself from the Church in your woundedness, and spend some time looking at Islam, you might miss home after all. But that is not my objective, for you to comparison shop. I am addressing those of you who have unwisely severed your understanding of God due to the trauma of your abuse. I think that you most certainly can reconnect with God through Islam, if you remain immovable regarding your home Church.