Learning to Love the Church Again

My trust was betrayed, but it's time to forgive.

One day nearly two decades ago, the senior pastor of my church stopped by my house unannounced. I had just had a baby, so I presumed his visit was pastorally motivated, although I was a little thrown off by his sudden appearance at my door. I invited him in, and we made small talk for a while. My baby began to fuss and it soon became apparent that he needed to nurse. My pastor didn't take his cue and offer to leave, so after several tense moments of trying to soothe my son without whipping out my breast to feed him, I told my pastor that we'd need to continue our conversation some other time. He finally left.

I didn't think too much of this incident—at least not until he showed up a second time uninvited.

I didn't think too much of this incident—at least not until he showed up a second time uninvited. Thankfully, I was running out the door, and I told him I couldn't visit right then. As I drove away from my house, I had a sick feeling in my stomach, like something wasn't quite right. We weren't that closely connected at church. Why would my pastor stop by my house to pay a visit? Don't people usually call first?

Thankfully, nothing materialized beyond these two incidents. For me, that is. Years after I moved away from this church, I learned that there were several women, some of them my friends, who brought forth allegations of sexual misconduct against this same pastor. One of these women remains estranged from the church and from God, largely because of the devastating effects of being victimized by this man. And to this day, I no longer trust pastors like I used to.

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Marian Liautaud

Marian V. Liautaud is director of marketing at Aspen Group. Follow her on Twitter @marianliautaud

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Betrayal; Church; Commitment; Fear; Forgiveness; Healing; Sexual Harassment; Wounds, Emotional
Today's Christian Woman, June Week 2, 2014
Posted June 11, 2014

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