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A Virtuous Woman

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About A Virtuous Woman

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    Member

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location:
    United States
  • Denomination
    Independent Fundamental Baptist
  • IFB?
    Yes

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  1. Thank you for not only the warm welcome, but the advice! I will try to keep that in mind. I may revisit the topic of how to speak and share things with my pastor later on. It is something that is very important to me and I want to make decisions on real issues, not misunderstandings. I appreciate that reminder. :)
  2. Thank you so much! I'll be sure to do that and I'm looking forward to hearing others here offer advice! :)
  3. Thanks for posting your introduction! I wasn't sure how and where to do the same for myself. :)
  4. Okay, so I'm seeing that new members are to introduce themselves. I apologize for being tardy in this respect; I wasn't sure where and how to do this. Hello, everyone! I'm obviously new here and its nice to meet all of you. I'm a concerned loved one and while searching for answers on possible new safety protocols being put into place in IFB churches, I stumbled across this forum. I was saved in an Independent Fundamental Baptist church when I was seven. My parents, good people, served years as deacon and Sunday School teachers. I'm from a small, rural town church in the Southeast part of the US.(Is it required I give my state here? I will if need be, but don't necessarily feel comfortable doing so.) My life has been all about the church and serving in some way or fashion there, something that I'm thankful for. I found this forum and thought it could maybe be a helpful place to ask a couple safety questions I had about my family since asking their church has gotten us nowhere. If this is not the place for that sort of discussion, then please, by all means, let me know. Any pointers on any particular direction I should go are greatly welcomed. Again, my apologies for a late intro. I appreciate all the helpful feedback I did receive. Blessings to each and everyone here.
  5. Yes, and yes. Sexual assault is about power and control, not sexual attraction or if the victim is appealing to the perpetrator. The only things a perpetrator finds appealing is the fact he feels he has power over another and can control that same person. It's not really about sex, it's that they have the ability to hurt another. Sex is just the weapon they use to accomplish that.
  6. Fair enough. My question: Do you think most current IFB churches have similar protocols in place such as your church? I ask this, because it's a legitimate concern when I'm not aware of any abuse prevention curriculum or courses IFB institutions offer future pastors, so if the Bible is truly their only real rulebook, I'm not sure the likelihood of this being the case without the proper education.
  7. I wouldn't say referencing modesty offends me. No, it concerns me. Why? Because, respectfully, there is literally NO data to suggest clothing of any kind plays an active role in sexual assault. I'm not referencing shaming a female victim, although that is a very common practice in society as a whole. No, why it raises a "red flag", so to speak, is that to even mention "modesty" or clothing in response to what was asked tells me that the person speaking is not educated on sexual assault. Clothing doesn't play a factor, at all. Those with sexual abuse and trauma response training would know this. It's the basics. The only time clothing should ever be mentioned is for an ongoing case of sexual assault to either help identify a perpetrator in some situations, or because certain articles of clothing are being gathered for evidence during a rape kit by professionals responding to a crime. The mere mention of "modesty" is disheartening, because it could suggest no training or knowledge on the subject. Does that make sense?
  8. Okay, I hear you on that. I think we will have to agree to disagree on the "independent" part, although I do understand why members of one church may not be aware of a situation in another. I personally view things slightly on the subject, because that wasn't and isn't my experience with the IFB churches my family and I were part of. I can travel out of state, visit a church my pastor isn't familiar with and still be with my group if I wanted too. I mean, I would share that with my pastor, since he always prefered to know such things, but still...if an IFB church is what I'm looking for, I can find one. It would be my denomination, officially or not. If I fill out legal documents, I would be writing Independent, Fundamental, Baptist in the empty blank requesting my religious or denomination belief. But again, I don't want to repeat that. However, I would like to say thank you for answering what protocols your church has in place to handle abuse. I appreciate you answering that with details. Is it possible to ask one final question that your reply prompted?
  9. The fact that "modesty" is referenced while talking about sexual assault is disturbing to me. I know and understand "standards", to each his own. But again, some of these victims are children. CHILDREN. If that's the view Independent Fundamental Baptists have embraced...well, frankly no words. I thought it was bad when I was young! One last thing...how again does Potiphar's wife play a roll in all this? I'm fairly familiar with that story and she was the one that "tempted" Joseph, not the other way around. I'm not trying to read into your first comment, but if I'm correct at what my gut is saying, you're suggesting that victims--at least those mentioned in the Star-Telegram series--were not victims at all. Am I correct on assuming that? And again, I want to know protocols to prevent abuse? My family has the right to know if they are in fact worshipping with predators. Is that too much to ask?
  10. Some are allegations, yes. I do think it's important to include the word "credible" here, too, because they have been investigated. But even if we were to set aside those, there are still many, many criminal cases that have also been investigated by law enforcement, charged, gone to trial, convicted and sentenced. Those cases are reported on, printed in the perpetrators' local newspapers and published online for the public to see. So, relying solely on "allegations" isn't what has happened here at all. The Star-Telegram series was clear about how these cases each came about. As to all of your questions, I would ask this one in return...what if these allegations are true? Should you side on the possibility of the what ifs when minors are involved? You're not being asked to be judge, jury and sentencer. No, it's be the adult. Please, if you have any doubts on a person's character, do the safe thing, the RIGHT thing, and do not put children at risk. Surely, no one would be put at fault for protecting a child?
  11. I can only speak for myself, so I'm going to return to my original questions: Is my family, like many others, safe in their IFB church? Also, does your church understand the reality of sexual abuse and how trauma presents itself in victims, especially those that are the most vulnerable such as children? So far, I've been told a "Bible-believing" church is safer than a bowling alley. Do you understand how that answer is not really an answer at all?
  12. I'm sorry right now I'm not more convinced my family would be safer in their church. Not without the evidence to prove that. And the one thing public school systems have that churches don't...abuse trauma education. A pastor may be trained in "spiritual" aspects of his calling, but I have not seen where Independent Fundamental Baptist institutions dedicated to training them educate them on how to not only spot abuse, but how to properly respond. If these pastors are not getting the proper training than how can I know that they are prepared to handle these situations? I don't personally feel that the media is directly zoning in on churches per se. Has there been more awareness on the topic of sexual abuse in religious settings, especially churches? Well, yes. I don't believe this is in a way to get in the way of "God's work". If anything, in this particular situation, Independent Baptists may just be getting in their own way by not getting ahead of the situation in the first place. Maybe it's time to consider doing a little soul searching at what the causes may be behind this? 400 allegations of abuse is sadly going to repeat itself again, over and over, if the church as a whole does not 1) validate victims by admitting they play a part in the problem; 2) admit that they may just not have all the answers and ASK for help. If this could ensure my family's safety, along with other families just like mine, than you would think now would be the opportunity IFB pastors and their churches would take to prevent even more hurt. I don't believe with the proper education and holding themselves to a higher standard of accountability, that Independent Baptists would be responding the way they have, including not responding at all. This tells me two things: their church reputation comes before victims--past and future--and reputation is the ultimate goal at preserving. So much for young girls and boys innocents?
  13. I hear that. But there is a shared set of standards, practices, and way of going about things that are unique to Independent Baptist churches that connects them more than a fellowship or name ever could. The Star-Telegram series pointed out where that was sadly translated to abuse of many, many victims. So, back to my original question...would my family be safe in their IFB church? The responses I'm seeing don't answer that question. If this report doesn't reflect the vast majority of Independent Baptists, then why aren't they boldly proclaiming that by putting protocols in place to prevent them from being a statistic? If I ask a pastor about that will they be able to reassure me they will? The standard operating procedure for IFB churches doesn't seem to suggest that. IFB claims to be independent, but this problem is within this community. Sexual abuse isn't a unique crisis, however, IFB's response is. It's not about the Catholic abuse scandal, it's about a sexual abuse crisis in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches. It's time pastors answer these tough questions. Too many families depend on their church being a safe place.
  14. Independent Baptists are not an organized group? I don't know about that. Every Independent Fundamental Baptist church I have been in are very proud of the fact, but all got along real well. You just know when you walked into a Independent Baptist church you were a part of a big, extended "family" or a community of sorts. Seldom do I recall ever getting up and leaving a church that had 'Independent, Fundamental, Baptist' on their sign because they're not part of the same group. When's the last time you had to walk out of an IFB church because they weren't apart of your group, you know, if you were visiting or something? Never happened here. If it was on the sign, my family was right at home. Just my thoughts.
  15. I have been in many of these churches over the years. I never asked the pastors if their church had policies in place to respond properly if abuse does take place in their congregations. These kind of reports make me wish I had. I would love if this question could be answered now seeing how my family and I have many strong connections to Independent Baptist churches. There's a real family-oriented atmosphere there, will my family be safe if they continue to attend their church?

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