I am a parent of a sexual abuse survivor. I’m also an SBC pastor. I can’t really say more because after years the case is going to trial in the days ahead. Our kiddo is an “on her own” adult now. We’ve been through a lot over the years. I have thoughts in light of #SBC #SBCtoo and the debate regarding the sufficiency of Scripture and trauma therapy.
The impact of sexual abuse/assault is hellish. Its worst impact is on the survivor but it is wrecking to everyone who loves the survivor.
The trauma has so many ripple effects. My wife and I often found ourselves in the fetal position, weeping, and at a total loss for what to do and how to help.
I found the Scripture to be sufficient. Personally in all of it the Psalms ministered deeply to me. For all that she went through our daughter held and holds tightly to the Scripture. Many times through the years, I got up early and she was already sitting at the table with a cup of coffee, Bible open, and feverishly writing in her journal. God met her and us regularly in the wilderness of sexual trauma.
It’s been war honestly. As we prayed God led us to people who could help. We needed all kinds of help. Legal help. The legal battle is real. Spiritual help. The spiritual warfare around sexual trauma is intense. We needed mental health help. We met a trauma informed LPC who loved Jesus, applied the Scriptures and incorporated intercessory prayer in her practice. She is also professionally trained using techniques like EMDR and cognitive behavioral therapy to help. She helped us know when medicine would be appropriate. This is the common grace given by our Creator.
I am my daughter’s father but as I said I’m also a pastor. Our church has a vibrant Biblical counseling ministry run by highly trained biblical counselors. We are today seeing upwards of 70 “clients” through that ministry.
Our church is also starting a counseling center in our community run by LPC’s using an integrated approach which will launch in the 4th quarter of 2022. All of our LPC’s will believe Jesus is enough and the Scripture is sufficient. They also will have been highly trained to bring healing to trauma using practical approaches based in psychology and theology, in Jesus name.
For all those in the SBC screaming “Scripture is sufficient” for treating sexual trauma, you are right and wrong. Right in the sense that foundationally, everything we need is in the Scripture. Wrong in that the Scripture doesn’t prohibit common graces like medical care, mental health care, legal assistance, etc.
Pushing against Christian based trauma therapy for traumatized people in the name of “the sufficiency of Scripture” is in fact infuriating from my chair as a pastor who upholds the inerrancy of Scripture and the sufficiency of Scripture and as a parent of a daughter who is a sexual abuse survivor.
Hold up the Scriptures. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Rely on the Holy Spirit. Yes, yes, yes. But please, don’t deny people the common grace of informed trauma therapy as a pathway for healing.