Women Speak Up in #SilenceIsNotSpiritual Campaign

By Kate Shellnut, Christianity Today.

  Lisa Sharon Harper, founder and president of Freedom Road and co-creator of #SilenceIsNotSpiritual.  (Photo courtesy of Freedom Road.)

Lisa Sharon Harper, founder and president of Freedom Road and co-creator of #SilenceIsNotSpiritual. (Photo courtesy of Freedom Road.)

In 2017, many evangelical women joined the #MeToo and #ChurchToo campaigns to draw attention to the prevalence of abuse. Now they’re looking for churches to step up.

A new campaign called #SilenceIsNotSpiritual calls on evangelical congregations and leaders to speak up and act on behalf of victims of gender-based violence, who fear their stories will end up ignored or marginalized.

The campaign—organized by Belinda Bauman, One Million Thumbprints founder, and Lisa Sharon Harper, whose Freedom Road convened the recent Ruby Woo Pilgrimage—launched Wednesday morning with the backing of 140 prominent Christian women, including Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, Ann Voskamp, and Jen Hatmaker. Within hours, it gathered 1,000 signatures.

“This moment in history is ours to steward. We are calling churches, particularly those in our stream of the Christian faith [evangelical churches], to end the silence and stop all participation in violence against women,” the statement reads.

The assumption that inside the church these issues are not as prevalent as outside actually belies a mistaken view of the church, that the church is separate from the world,” says Lisa Sharon Harper. “It’s not. We are Jesus-followers who live in the world and come to church.

“We call our pastors, our elders, and our parishioners who have been silent to speak up and stand up for all who experience abuse. There is no institution with greater capacity to create protected spaces for healing and restoration for survivors, as well as confession, repentance and rehabilitation for perpetrators.”

“Count me in! Because there is no doubt in my mind on this matter that #SilenceIsNotSpiritual!” tweeted Bible teacher Beth Moore (who has shared that she suffered sexual abuse as a child).

Read the rest of the article here.