Many parts of the church are sick because so often it does not follow its Lord. How do we come to terms with abuse and misuse of power within the body of Christ?
In this episode, Jo and Peter are joined by Dr Diane Langberg for a timely conversation on power, balancing justice and forgiveness, and honouring the stories of the oppressed.
Dr Langberg is globally recognised for her 52 years of clinical work with trauma victims from war-survivors to church leaders. She has trained caregivers on six continents in responding to trauma and to the abuse of power, and now she is invited to speak and train all over the world. Her newest book, Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church, brings her decades of experience into light.
To discover more about Dr Langberg’s work and read her latest books, head to dianelangberg.com
As followers of Jesus, we all have a responsibility to bring darkness into the light. If you are affected by anything in this episode and wish to seek further help, we do recommend checking out the resources of Christian safeguarding charity thirtyone:eight.
Part one (00:00)
00:45 – From meeting with Vietnam war veterans to hearing women’s stories of sexual abuse – Dr Langberg’s journey to investigating the church as a place of abuse.
05:40 – As someone who has been the listening ear to stories of suffering for decades, what has kept you on the path with Jesus?
06:39 – If power is part of being made in the image of God, why does the church have such a complicated relationship with it? What can good and holy power look like?
12:35 – Beginning to dismantle a system-protection mindset: holding leaders in respect, without making them untouchable.
Part two (15:16)
15:29 – How we engage with a seemingly growing and fruitful church, while remembering that what is happening on the surface doesn’t always indicate a good and pure heart.
20:40 – How do we navigate the church as a place of justice for the abused, but also a place of forgiveness and grace? We can look to the cross where the cost of forgiveness was truly shown.
24:55 — Humility and restoration doesn’t necessarily mean a return to positions of authority and power. How can leaders steward power well?
29:00 – Looking towards the life of Jesus and His relationship with the temple – keeping our faith in Jesus strong while dealing with stories of church abuse in the right way.
32:00 – For anyone listening today who has suffered in the church, some words of comfort, hope, and resilience from Dr Langberg.