• John Blevins

The PCA's Study Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault




The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

And those who know your name put their trust in you for you, O LORD,

have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10



The 2022 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America received the Ad Interim Study Committee Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault, which the 2019 General Assembly of the PCA created. The committee's mission was to provide resources to God's people to help, prevent, and encourage them to respond well in cases of abuse in the church. In the days ahead, I will write more about this report and how we may use it to God's glory and the benefit of His people. The information below is from the report. Click HERE to read the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault report. Click HERE to visit the committee's website.




The Structure of the Ad Interim Study Committee Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault.


This report is divided into two main sections:

1. Biblical and theological foundations of understanding abuse (Section One), and

2. Practical pastoral aspects of abuse in the church (Sections Two through Five).


The biblical and theological foundations section articulates a rationale for this topic. This section may also serve as a reference for instances of judicial process. Relevant confessional material further provides an understanding of abuse from our denomination's shared theological commitments.


The practical pastoral sections that follow build on the theology of abuse, providing information for how to understand, prevent, and respond to various forms of abuse. There are sections discussing abuse perpetrated against adults, abuse perpetrated against children, and the misuse of spiritual leadership.




The Committee Members of the Ad Interim Study Committee Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault.


Rev. Dr. Timothy R. Lecroy [Chairman] is a teaching elder in Missouri Presbytery. He is a visiting instructor of historical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary and has served the General Assembly on various committees. Dr. LeCroy brings the perspective of an abuse survivor to the committee.


Dr. Kelly Dehnert [Secretary] is a ruling elder in Rocky Mountain Presbytery and Assistant to the Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lander, WY. He researches and teaches on abusive leadership in Christian organizations and is on the national board of Refuge Ministries.


Rev. Cal Boroughs is a retired teaching elder in Tennessee Valley Presbytery, formerly pastor of St. Elmo Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, TN. He has served as moderator for his presbytery and was part of the working group that brought to the Assembly the overture for a study committee on domestic abuse and sexual assault.


Bob Goudzwaard is a ruling elder in Central Carolina Presbytery and helped develop a domestic abuse online training video for the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship. He serves as director of Care Ministries at Christ Covenant Church in Charlotte, NC.


Dr. David Haburchak, is a ruling elder in Metro Atlanta Presbytery and a doctor of internal medicine with extensive experience in the effects of childhood abuse on adults. Dr. Haburchak is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He recently authored "Kingdom Work: Redeeming Child Sexual Abuse."


Rev. Dr. Lloyd Pierson is a teaching elder in Rocky Mountain Presbytery and works with abuse survivors and perpetrators through Refuge Ministries, a national domestic abuse ministry founded in Kalispell, MT. He is the senior pastor of Faith Covenant PCA in Kalispell.


Rev. Shane Waldron is a teaching elder in Rocky Mountain Presbytery and the lead pastor of Rocky Mountain PCA in Westminster, CO. He founded and serves on the national board of Refuge Ministries. He also developed the curriculum the ministry uses.




The Advisory Members of the Ad Interim Study Committee Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault.


Rachael Denhollander became known internationally in 2016 as the first woman to pursue criminal charges and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics' team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history. She is an attorney, author, advocate, and educator. Rachael is a member of the Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville, KY.


Ann Maree Goudzwaard is a member of Christ Covenant PCA in Matthews, NC and the Executive Director of Help[H]er. In addition, she trains counselors at RTS Charlotte, Eternity Bible College, and PeaceWorks University. Ann Maree is a biblical counselor with an M.Div. with a counseling emphasis and a D.Min. candidate.


Dr. Diane Lansberg is a member of Calvary PCA in Willow Grove, PA and is a psychologist with over 50 years of experience helping abuse victims. She is a well-known speaker and author of multiple books about abuse and trauma.


Dr. Barbara Shaffer is a member of Faith PCA in Wilmington, DE and a psychologist with nearly 40 years of experience, much of which involved working with survivors of sexual and domestic abuse.


Darby Strickland is a member of Cornerstone PCA in Center Valley, PA and on the faculty of Christian Counseling Educational Foundation. She teaches "Counseling Abusive Marriages" at WTS Philadelphia. She is the author of the book "Is It Abuse" and two booklets for churches and survivors of abuse.




The Table of Contents of the Ad Interim Study Committee Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault.


INTRODUCTION

1. THE STRUCTURE OF THE AD INTERIM STUDY COMMITTEE REPORT ON

DOMESTIC ABUSE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

2. HOW TO READ THIS REPORT

3. INTRODUCTION TO TERMINOLOGY

SECTION ONE: BIBLICAL AND CONFESSIONAL FOUNDATIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING ABUSE

1. Conclusion

SECTION TWO: DOMESTIC ABUSE

1. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF DOMESTIC ABUSE

2. EXPRESSING GOD'S HEART

3. RECOGNITION

4. RESPONDING

5. REPORTING

6. REDEMPTIVE SHEPHERDING

7. CASE STUDY

SECTION THREE: WOMEN WHO ABUSE

1. INTRODUCTION

2. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES

3. ABUSE? OR A RESPONSE TO ABUSE?

4. CASE STUDY

SECTION FOUR: ADULT SEXUAL ABUSE

1. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF SEXUAL ABUSE

2. EXPRESSING GOD'S HEART

3. RECOGNITION AND IMPACTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

4. RESPONDING TO AN ADULT SEXUAL ABUSE DISCLOSURE OR DISCOVERY

5. REPORTING

6. REDEMPTIVE SHEPHERDING

7. PREVENTION OF SEXUAL ABUSE

8. CASE STUDY

SECTION FIVE: CHILD ABUSE

1. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION - CHILD ABUSE

2. EXPRESSING GOD'S HEART

3. RECOGNITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

4. RESPONDING TO A CHILD ABUSE DISCLOSURE OR DISCOVERY

5. REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

6. REDEMPTIVE SHEPHERDING

7. CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION

8. CASE STUDIES

SECTION SIX: THE MISUSE OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

1. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF MISUSE OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

2. EXPRESSING GOD'S HEART

3. RECOGNITION OF THE MISUSE OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

4. RESPONDING TO REPORTS OF THE MISUSE OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

5. REPORTING

6. REDEMPTIVE SHEPHERDING

7. PREVENTION OF THE MISUSE OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

8. CASE STUDIES

ATTACHMENTS

ATTACHMENT 1: DEFINITIONS

ATTACHMENT 2: DSM DEFINITIONS

ATTACHMENT 3: CHILD ABUSE DEFINITIONS

ATTACHMENT 4: SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE

ATTACHMENT 5: CONSEQUENCES OF CHILD ABUSE

ATTACHMENT 6: COMPREHENSIVE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

ATTACHMENT 7: MYTHS ABOUT ABUSE

ATTACHMENT 8: SHEPHERDING THE WHISTLEBLOWER

ATTACHMENT 9: FORGIVENESS

ATTACHMENT 10: REPENTANCE

ATTACHMENT 11: DIVORCE AND DOMESTIC ABUSE

ATTACHMENT 12: COMMITTEE BIOS

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY






Instead of a comments section, we accept and encourage email "Letters to the Editor" here at Christ Church Presbyterian. We will do our best to respond to as many as possible and may even feature your letter in the Pastor's Blog. Please indicate the article you are commenting on when sending your email. If you want to write a "Letter to the Editor," you may do so by going to the website menu, then More, then Contact.






Christ Church Presbyterian

Knoxville, Tennessee

Our mission is to glorify and enjoy God as we gather, grow, and go.


Churches in Knoxville

Churches near me

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All