Most church leaders are sincere and have no malicious intent to hurt people. They are ordinary, good and sincere people who desire to serve their churches well. I love the church and I love those who try to serve the people who compose it.
The problem is the power of systemic forces. In every hurtful situation I’ve experienced in the church, even the severest, I believe that the perpetrators of harm meant well. But they were so overwhelmed by the needs of the system they were serving that they were blind to their actions and their effects.
This is why I can honestly say I totally understand why they did what they did. I can see things from their perspective. I understand not only because I have served the system and hurt people, but also because I’ve studied and endeavoured to discern the spirits of systemic power. The human perpetrators are guilty of hurting others. But I forgive them because they didn’t realize what they were doing. Even if they did know, I forgive them anyway. Why hold on to that garbage?
I am convinced that it is possible to be a pastor and a community free of systemic evil. I am persuaded that it is completely possible and even necessary that people can conjoin without a trace of abuse, coercion or manipulation, and that people can care for one another’s spiritual needs without even a hint of power and authority.
This is still my passion and still my life goal. This is the kind of pastor I endeavour to be and the kind of community I believe exists, if only we will allow it to be made manifest among us.
Read my book that deals with this topic in depth, Without A Vision My People Prosper.