Power, sex, abuse and the local church

On Sunday I stated that the church should not be a place where people are made vulnerable because of harassment and abuse from others (often though not exclusively men) who use power to manipulate and control for their own personal gratification. Continue reading

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Sex and power

What is power?[1]

Q asked at 21 CD youthclub last week

-Power = strength, might, force, dynamic. It’s to do with authority. It’s often linked to money.

-Power at play – Westminster, Hollywood

-Sin and power – who is in control …what kind of authority?

“God’s power is very different” – place your life within his power, authority and care.

Why? Continue reading

Power Play

Power has been unavoidably on my mind over the past few weeks. Not, I hasten to add because I’m in the middle of a power struggle but because this word seems to sum up a lot about what is happening in the wider world and because it is a key theme running through our Bible teaching Continue reading

Shame and Offence – Reflections on 2 Samuel 10 in the light of Westminster and Hollywood scandals

One thing about the recent sexual harassment scandals in Westminster and Hollywood that should horrify us is the way, not only that powerful men see sexual encounters as available for their enjoyment but their willingness to cause shame and offence to women.

A woman goes into a room filled with powerful men and one of them makes a joke based on double entendre. All the talk in the world about how she should toughen up and learn to play them at their game does not get us away from the fact that male politicians in this country have enjoyed the title “honourable gentleman” and I was brought up with the assumption that a gentleman would not want a lady to feel awkward, vulnerable, frightened or embarrassed in his company. Continue reading

Politicians, Power, sex and scandal (2 Samuel and the current crisis)

We’re about to teach through a section of 2 Samuel that includes

–          The humiliation of David’s ambassadors by foreign ruler

–          David’s affair with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah

–          David’s son Amnon raping his half-sister Tamar

–          Absalom’s coup and public taking of his father’s concubines to have sex with

A common theme throughout this story of men exercising their power through sex, controlling and harming others for their own satisfaction.  They do that with the knowledge and implicit support of others who use this knowledge for their own gain.[1]

This series has been planned for a long time, so God’s timing is perfect. Here we are with sex scandals in Hollywood and Westminster, with men standing accused of using power to exercise control over others, tales of harassment and sexual violence whilst people in the know kept their mouths shut.  Particularly in Westminster, the suspicion is that party whips, journalists and rival politicians may be tempted when scandal comes to their attention to stay silent and use the knowledge for their own advantage. Continue reading