Alan Stucky, as part of a conversation in the Facebook group sponsored and run by MennoNerds, responded to an article we had posted from Our Stories Untold a short time back. With some input from others and with much self searching, he wrote an article for The Dove’s Nest that is a very good response from a male Mennonite leader to the issues currently facing the denomination. With permission, we MennoNerds are sharing the link here to spread the word of the efforts being made. Here is an excerpt:
Last month my wife sent me the link for Marissa Buck’s article on Our Stories Untold. I poured through it, which then made me go finish reading Lauren’s original article. And before I say anything else I have to say, yes, I believe them; it is abuse, and it is heartbreaking. I really don’t have the words to describe my emotions to their stories.
The main question that I’ve been pondering is how so many church leaders start by trying to appropriately respond to an abusive situation, and yet eventually find themselves a part of what appears to be a cover-up of abuse. Yes, there are people who try to cover up abuse in a genuinely manipulative way. Those people certainly exist.
However, my sense is that the majority of pastors, leaders, and institutions find themselves making a series of small decisions that don’t seem inherently evil at first, yet wind up leading down a road from which it is very difficult to turn back. As a pastor, my personal reflection on Marissa’s article has revolved around understanding those small decisions.
How does one start down that road toward “keeping things quiet” rather than bravely bringing things to light? What’s the first small impulse that pushes one in that direction?
The lightbulb finally went off for me when I read one particular line repeated in Marissa’s story: “But I’ve seen them do so much good!”
The lightbulb finally went off for me when I read one particular line repeated in Marissa’s story: “But I’ve seen them do so much good!” That’s it. That right there is the crux of the whole impulse to keep the abuse quiet and unpublicized.
To read the rest, you can follow the link to When Abusers Have Done A lot of Good.