The growing problem of domestic violence has come under profound scrutiny in recent months because the problem has surfaced quite often in the world of professional sports. Sports Illustrated, which has a great knack for solid journalism and good writing, has done some remarkably insightful reporting on the problem in several recent issues.
In the April 13, 2015, issue of Sports Illustrated, in a column called “Say What?,” the magazine reports that Dallas radio broadcaster Tim Cowlishaw asked female Dallas Cowboys fans to call into his program to complain about the team’s signing of defensive end Greg Hardy. Hardy, a talented and needed defender, recently had charges of domestic violence against him dropped. Cowlishaw writes that, “We got
Before you castigate sports in general, or even Dallas in particular, think about this again. Wide-scale cultural shifts are not created by sports but they are reflected within it because s[ports puts issues on the center stage of life as we know it in our broader society. The fact that a solid football player’s signing trumps domestic violence is not shocking to me once you realize that domestic violence is not alarming to most people. From what I have seen this includes many Christians who are offended by other sins that are easier to criticize and single out but take a pass on domestic abuse. I am quite certain that significant numbers of the perpetrators of domestic violence are present within our churches. Thus I would also guess many pastors and leaders are loathe to take a strong stand against this serious issue and many fail to deal with it aggressively when this response is called for in specific instances. (I know some great exceptions and have encouraged pastors in this work.) Sadly, I know churches that counsel women to put up with violence rather than abandon their abusive husband. Something is terribly wrong with this picture. Are we reflecting culture or shaping it?
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Is this in fact a growing problem? Certainly bringing focus is appropriate.
It is a huge problem and yes it is growing rapidly.
John, My father was in leadership in the Wheaton Bible Church.
There were a number of times when he was violent with each of us 3 children. His discipline was distructive. He simply lost control.
He never struck my mother.
This was never reported to anyone in the Church.
My father was viewed with admiration in the church.
I have very mixed feelings. Dad was very bright and creative. I learned a lot from him.
As a child, I determined that I would be different to my children. I have tried to look at both the positive and negative of my father.
Perhaps you are in a better position to know about the growing problem. Certainly there is a growing awareness. There are also times when athorities impose judgment on parental authority that is not in fact appropriate.
You and I both know of an accused pastor who has been dodging this issue for nearly 25 years. His church elders have been some of our community’s leaders. The leadership of his churches affiliation refuses to get involved. It’s all in court now because of pride and stubbornness. I’d say it’s a huge problem.
The one positive is that it is a more discussed problem than it was years ago. I remember as a kid the talk of those who were accident prone when that was a euphemism and others thought it not their place to interfere with another couple’s relationship.
John, I’ve written an in-depth Bible study on this topic. If anyone would like a copy, just let me know and I can private message it to you.
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