We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis

We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis

by Mary E. DeMuth, J.D. Greear

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"Timely and necessary...This book is not only a warning. It is an opportunity. An opportunity to live out the gospel we so passionately proclaim. And it starts with listening."—J.D. Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention 

Time’s Up: Addressing the Unspoken Crisis in the Church

We like to think the church is a haven for the hurting. But what happens when it’s not?

Author and advocate Mary DeMuth urges the church she loves to rise up and face the evil of sexual abuse and harassment with candor and empathy. Based on research and survivors’ stories, along with fierce fidelity to Scripture, DeMuth unpacks the church’s response to sexual violence and provides a healthy framework for the church to become a haven of healing instead of an institution of judgment.

In the throes of the #MeToo movement, our response as Christians is vital. God beckons us to be good Samaritans to those facing trauma and brokenness in the aftermath of abuse and provide safe spaces to heal. DeMuth advocates for a culture of honesty and listening and calls on the church to enter the places where people are hurting. In the circle of that kind of empathetic #WeToo community, the church must become what it’s meant to be—a place of justice and healing for everyone.   

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736979191
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: 08/13/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 649,807
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Mary DeMuth is a writer and speaker who loves to help people live re-storied lives. Author of more than 30 Christian living books. Mary speaks around the country and the world and is the host of the popular daily podcast Pray Every Day, where she prays for you every day of the year. She is the wife of Patrick and the mom of three adult children, currently living in Texas. MaryDeMuth.com

Mary DeMuth is a writer and speaker who loves to help people live re-storied lives. Author of more than 30 Christian living books. Mary speaks around the country and the world and is the host of the popular daily podcast Pray Every Day, where she prays for you every day of the year. She is the wife of Patrick and the mom of three adult children, currently living in Texas. MaryDeMuth.com

J.D. Greear, PhD, is lead pastor of a large and growing church in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina and is deeply committed to international church planting. He lived and worked for two years among Muslims in Southeast Asia before studying Christian and Islamic theology. J.D. lives with his family in North Carolina. Breaking the Islam Code is his first book for Harvest House.

Table of Contents

Foreword J.D. Greear 11

Dear Reader 15

FIRST: The Exam Room, the Back Door, and the Dance Floor 17

Part 1 Understanding Our Roots

1 Rape: The Biblical Conundrum 31

2 The Revolutionary Responder: Jesus 45

3 Abuse and the Church 59

Part 2 Interpreting the Present

4 The Power of Secrets 71

5 The Persuasiveness of Bad Theology 81

6 The Pervasiveness of Porn 97

7 The Problem of Predators 109

8 The Passivity of the Church 125

Part 3 Shaping What's Next

9 A Necessary Education 143

10 A Nuanced Cultural Shift: From How-To to #MeToo 159

11 A New Pathway Forward 167

12 A Prophetic Imagination 195

LAST: The Lingering 205

Appendix: We Too Manifesto 209

Notes 215

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We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely coming out in a most needed time. With so much sexual abuse being brought to the forefront of conversations (finally) and even in the church, this book is a necessary book to help both the victims of this horrific stuff as well as those that love them. This book is not an easy, happy read, but why should it be? There is a lot of honesty and realness in this book from the author. What she has endured was not easy or happy. This isn't the kind of stuff you wrap in a pretty bow and pat someone on the head and say - "there, there." This is real gut-wrenching honesty. BUT, the author does take us to a place that shows healing can come as well as how it can. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been a victim of someone else's abuse or even for the people who love someone who has. It will become a book, hard as it is to read, to refer to over and over again for help, healing and strength. Disclaimer: I have received a digital copy for advanced reader with no expectations in return. The opinions above are my own.
CarolAL More than 1 year ago
Talking about the pink elephant in Church This book by Mary is long overdue! She addresses the crisis of sexual abuse being covered up in churches today and how the church needs to step up to the plate and become a haven of healing and restoration for those who have been deeply harmed - both by their abuser and by the neglect of the body of Christ. Mary shares her own story of sexual abuse along with other’s stories who were treated as outcasts in the church instead of comforted and cared for. She shows the reader what is necessary to bring about change in the church for the treatment of victims of sexual abuse. Anyone who wants our churches to become safe havens needs to read this timely and well written book. I read a pre-published copy.
Morgan_Sugg More than 1 year ago
This is a must-read though it may be uncomfortable. The book shed's light on the truth with love and grace. It is raw, honest, and convicting. Whether you have suffered abuse or not it is a must-read. If you are in church leadership pick it up now!
EmilyBoyMom More than 1 year ago
"We Too" by Mary DeMuth is a difficult, but necessary read for those seeking to address the very real problem of sexual abuse, both outside and inside the church. A survivor herself, DeMuth opens up the difficult parts of her story, deconstructing her experience: who helped her, who did not, and how speaking out can help change the abuse narratives that are firmly in place in society. She offers other survivors' stories, both of how churches helped and how churches hurt. What are we to do to change how survivors AND abusers are treated within the church's walls? While there are no easy answers, DeMuth gives concrete examples as to how abuse should be handled in the church. There are awful stories of survivors being excluded and hurt further by the extending of "cheap grace" (a term coined by Bonhoeffer) to the perpetrators of said abuse, but also encouraging stories of other churches who stood up and exposed abuse, refusing to let it linger. I wish I had enough words to explain what a gift this book is to those in church leadership...no place is safe from abuse, sadly, so we should be ready to confront it when we see it. If we have no tolerance for sexual abuse, it strengthens the resolve to eliminate it from our midst, even at a high cost. DeMuth does a wonderful job of taking to task all the imaginable issues in place...the book is very specific and detailed in its complexity. This not a fluffy read, so pray and prepare prior to reading. It will get emotional, if you're anything like me. Don't rush with this one. There were issues brought up that I may have never experienced personally, but others I could relate to. DeMuth continues to approach subjects that many are afraid to, and this book continues to remind me why I appreciate her involvement in supporting abuse survivors and speaking so openly about how trauma and abuse has affected her life. I cannot recommend this book more. It is a much needed, honest, unflinching look at where we are as a society in regards to the way we process/help/prevent sexual abuse. The church must do better, and we must do more. Anyone in leadership or those that work with survivors could benefit from this book. Even if you are not in church, the connection between how church should deal with sexual abuse is very applicable to those who are seeking spiritual support after abuse. Please, do not miss out on this book. This would pair well with her previous work, "Not Marked:Finding Hope and Healing After Being Sexually Abused." I was able to read a PDF version of the book early, thanks to Harvest House, and chose to leave a review. I also pre-oredered a hard copy for myself. Don't miss this one. It's that important, folks.
beaconofhope More than 1 year ago
In the light of the Me too movement where do the victims go for support and help? Some hold in their story for years, carrying with it a list of varying emotions including shame and humiliation. They have dealt with betrayal; they struggle to trust and if they do share their story, they risk being made a victim over and over. Society continues to make the victim feel badly and almost put the predator on a pedestal. The church which should be a place of safety is most often not, especially when the abuse has occurred in the church. Something needs to change and We Too may be the beginning of that shift. Mary DeMuth’s new book is raw, enlightening and sometimes hard to read, but within its pages it offers hope and ultimately healing with the Word of God at its foundation. It is about protecting the victims of these crimes, healing the scars that they will carry forever and bring justice for them. This book is for men and women, parents who need to be educated about what they can do to help their children, church and ministry leaders, teachers, counselors and more. I believe every church should encourage their staff and volunteers to read this book and create training programs to help the victims and create that safe space. We can no longer close our eyes to this or stick our heads in the sand and ignore it. The time for action is now and this book is a great place to start. The book includes Mary’s own story of being raped as a 5-yr. old girl by a group of teenage age boys as well as others who were brave enough to share their stories. The book includes many statistics and offers a plan for churches to get onboard to change the future for victims of sexual crimes, their predators and to begin to stop this awful cycle. It is a breath of fresh air and the change that is needed. The thing I loved most is the companion website that offers resources including a 21-day healing journey for victims, ministries and counseling resources, conferences, books and media and so much more. The call has been issued, will you part of the solution? Will you choose to step up and be part of #WETOO.
Anxious_Librarian More than 1 year ago
I can't remember the last time I read a book that made me want to circle, underline, and highlight whole sections to show people. This book is everything I want to say to the church and more, written with compassion, strength, conviction, and a deep love for Jesus and the people He loves. Mary is unflinching in her exploration of trauma, its aftermath, and the devastating harm that the church is doing to victims through ignorance and callousness. There is no grey area, no couching her remarks in niceties - Mary is emphatic that the church is failing to protect the very people Jesus lifted up. But in Mary's zeal, there is no despair or vitriol. Mary doesn't throw up her hands and renounce hope. Instead, she offers wisdom, data, and guidelines to empower churches. "We Too" is a lament, a battle cry, and a roadmap all in one. This book should be standard policy in any organization that is serious about protecting people (adults and children alike) from sexual violence.
JEMorris More than 1 year ago
Bravo to Mary DeMuth for her courage and her passion to keep this difficult but crucial social crisis at the forefront of her writing career. Coming from a place of love for Christ and His church, she oh-so-honestly (and sometimes painfully) calls each one of us to action--to be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus and to "change people's minds about how we can respond to the sexual abuse crisis redemptively...." WE TOO is a must-read/must-heed book for every faith-filled person, every church leader, and every wounded and too-long neglected survivor of abuse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rarely review books for adults, but I can’t resist sharing about this powerful book for adults. We Too by Mary DeMuth is about sexual abuse. The author experienced this herself as a child, and has written this book in hopes that it will help the many other women who have experienced that kind of trauma. Our culture tends to hide things like that, but by sharing the information in this book DeMuth will probably help hundreds -or possibly thousands - of people deal with their own traumatic experiences. And, by making the rest of us aware of the problem, hopefully the book will help our society as a whole find ways to prevent others from becoming victims in the future. This book is not for the squeamish, but it can make huge difference in the lives of people who have experienced this kind of abuse and those who want to help them. I admire the author for having the courage to share everything in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over a decade before the #metoo movement, a friend helped me solve the mystery behind why memories of someone I went to for help triggered feelings of shame. She told me that I was the third woman to tell her stories about this man. I hadn’t done anything to be ashamed of; I’d experienced abuse. I am one of those fortunate women whose pastor believed my story and admitted to ignoring red flags. When I started falling apart emotionally, friends supported me even though most didn’t know the reason. But the pressure to limit who I told (this person was banned from working at our church before I talked to the pastor, but only a few knew the truth behind “Why he isn’t here anymore”) perpetuated my fears and self-doubt. It wasn’t until years later, after a decade of trying to “forgive as Jesus commands us to,” “put that in the past,” ask God’s forgiveness for “my part” (being needy, continuing to go to him, whatever else I could think of…), wondering if I’d made a big deal out of nothing, and feeling guilty whenever the story slipped out (I’d promised to limit who I told), that I dealt with the full magnitude of what had happened. The abuse of power, control, and manipulations; the spiritual abuse that messed with my view of God and authority figures in the church. I wish those involved in this situation, and even friends who tried to support me later, had had a book like Mary DeMuth’s We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis. We Too should be required reading for all pastors, Sunday school teachers, and ministry leaders. If you are someone who wants to know how to care for an abuse survivor in a Christ-like way, I urge you to read Mary’s book as well. It is raw, honest, and filled with Scripture that supports the truth that Jesus welcomed the wounded and marginalized. This is not a rant against how the Church is blowing it; it is a valuable resource for how to do better. It is a reminder that the Church should be a haven for those who’ve been violated, not a source of more hurt. That it is time to protect victims, not reputations and comfort levels, and definitely not abusers. Sexual abuse is an uncomfortable topic. But it is real, and those who’ve experienced it, whether in the church or outside of it, need to be embraced with compassion. Mary’s book has the power to equip countless churches, leaders, and caring friends to do just that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for every Christian Pastor, counselor and lay leader. We Too, is field guide to equip the faith community to respond to issues surrounding sexual violence and abuse in a redemptive manor. Mary DeMuth imparts insight and challenges the Church community to respond with empathy, compassion, and patience to victims of sexual violence and abuse. She calls the Body of Christ to view the heinous acts of sexual abusers, batters and human traffickers as both an egregious sin and criminal act. To take on a biblical role of justice and no longer sweep these crimes under the carpet and ensure abusive people are held accountable for their actions. We Too gives practical applications to help victims step on the long road to recovery and healing from the violent acts they have experienced that have robbed their souls of dignity and respect. It encourages those willing to walk beside them to allow them to grieve share their stories and point them towards redemption.
Anonymous 12 months ago
We Too by Mary DeMuth is a manifesto that should be in every counseling office in every church anywhere. I will make sure that my own church has at least one copy. Following the “Me Too” movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault that revealed so many victims, scandals within the evangelical church made headlines. It turns out that the church has long been guilty of the same kinds of abuse and the same cover-ups that allowed predators to re-offend. Mary made it her holy unction to address how the church, as good shepherds of the flock, should be handling this issue. Mary’s book is not a rebuke, because she loves the church, but it is an open and honest look at what has happened. After taking a careful look at the roots of the problem, she makes important observations about what is happening around this issue in our churches today. Finally, she outlines carefully researched and Biblically-based instructions that can be used as a field guide to any church wanting to be where the church is called to be in these matters. She says that the evangelical church has not done a good job of loving those broken by sexual assault, discrimination, and harassment. As a survivor myself, I would have to agree. Even in churches where predators are carefully screened out and where there has been no cover-up when abuse has occurred, victims are left feeling “utterly alone in their stories because so few abuse stories are even hinted at on Sunday mornings.” Mary urges the church not to let the messiness of caring for victims deter it from truly shepherding them. She even argues that these are the very people “who can teach us to love the world for which Jesus died. The abused are our tutors, but we’ve expelled them.” Even when church leadership understands, the folks in the pews want a recovery narrative that makes it all look quick and easy. She encourages us to make space to pray for survivors, to wash the feet of those who struggle, and to love rather than lecture. She wants us to understand that “behavioral reactions to trauma are normal and designed into our brains by the Creator. These normal reactions may make the survivor appear unstable, but that instability is due to trauma and should be met with loving care and not suspicion.” While no church is a “place of perfection,” Mary says that, “it is and should be a haven of protection.” I highly recommend this book for anyone else who loves the church and wants to be part of truly understanding how to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admire the stamina of Mary, and her collective research on an international problem in the church- sexual abuse. I further thank God for Mary's strong witness of Faith, God, and her support for the church she wholeheartedly loves through and by her wisdom shared from childhood experiences of such abuse! She brings to the forefront an answer to a worldwide crisis that has never been championed in quite the way she approaches it, in my opinion. Your church, civic group, organization, community, state, nation, and HOME needs several copies of this resource as a tool to address the needs of sexual abuse in our world. today! Please invest in healing for everyone in your life by picking up your copy of We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis today! Connect with Mary and follow her journey at #wetoo @marydemuth www. WETOO.org. You will be very blessed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the MOUNTAINS of sexual abuse uncovered (in both the church and elsewhere) in recent years, this could not have come at a better time. Churches tend to cover up any sexual abuse that happens within the church because they don't want the scandal or because the abusers are in positions of power. Also, most people don't want to believe that it was happening right under their noses so they tend to believe the abuser over the victim. This is not the way we heal. Bringing these abuses to the light and telling the stories is the only way to truly move forward. Mary DeMuth poignantly describes her own abuse and how she was able to overcome. By realizing that the way the church tends to deal with these issues is NOT the way God and Jesus teach us to handle them. *I received an ARC of this book but that in no way influenced my opinion*
Michelle-V More than 1 year ago
We Too truly provides so much wisdom and insight to help the church understand the trauma of sexual abuse and to respond appropriately. All pastors, leaders, survivors, friends of survivors and really everyone should read this book for awareness and prevention. Mary bravely shares her story and her healing journey throughout the book and inspires us all to share our stories. This book will change you, your family, your church and your community and empower you to make a difference!
dSouthernGal More than 1 year ago
We Too is a book that should be read by everyone in the ministry field, especially Ministers. While sexual harassment to sex trafficking is rampantly being discussed in the news, it's not a subject that is specifically preached about in a sermon. It's usually implied under scripture for premarital advice and adultery, but rarely is it dedicated to sexual abuse alone. Rarely is sexual abuse discussed in details, out in the open at churches, in order to counteract the hush, hush effect it produces in society. In We Too, Mary E. Demuth addresses (in depth) the response, we need our churches and fellow Christians to take. Whether sexual abuse happened to you or you know someone, this book brings it to the forefront and it may be a hard read, but it's one that needs to be read.
AFerri More than 1 year ago
This is a subject people don't want to talk about, but it must be brought to light. There are so many predators out there just waiting to make their move. I can't image the pain and the shame the victims go through. The church needs to be a safe place for victims of any type of abuse, not a place where people judge them. Thank you Harvest House Publishers via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Linda_Br More than 1 year ago
After so many years of church coverups, SA survivors having their experiences minimized or dismissed and being subjected to spiritual abuse compounding the trauma, #Wetoo equips those who desire to create a healthy, safe church environment gain understanding of how to support the wounded, confront the perpetrators head-on, and bring this issue into the light of God’s redemption. Mary Demuth elucidates the experiences of the SA survivor in such a way that their loved ones and church leaders can begin to understand what they have not themselves experienced. She offers hope and healing to the wounded soul traumatized by abuse and empowers those who tend to them to respond the way Jesus would, not minimizing the effects of abuse, but understanding the depth of the wounding and restoring hope and dignity. She also challenges leaders to confront the abusers, bringing their deeds to light and holding them to account. This book will equip church leaders to respond courageously, with a greater understanding of the unique and complex nature of this issue, knowing how to effectively serve those who are hurting, not offering cheap grace and forced forgiveness as a solution, but understanding the process of redemption and restoration.