A Human Challenge – Hiding and the need to be found

Abstract: When we are disobedient to either God or human authorities we frequently find ourselves going into “hiding”. With the onslaught of unethical, immoral, and damaging revelations by those who claim to be followers of Christ, and who have done great harm to those in their path (as well as to the Name of Christ) there is an urgent need to examine the important role of accountability for Christians. Through an investigation of a multitude of disciplines alongside of examination of Scripture, including social/psychological studies, and current studies of what has become known as the “toxic church” this critical issue will be addressed.
Close consideration of the Adam narrative of their hiding (Gen.3) and Nathan’s confrontation of David following his adulterous and murderous sin (2nd Sam.12) will serve as the starting point for the biblical witness concerning accountability though other important Scriptural portions (Psalms, Matthew, John, Acts Galatians, and Hebrews) will also be used. Drawing from the world of psychology (secular and Christian sources) work by Diane Langberg, Wade Mullen and others who minister to the abused, we will underscore the need for accountability. The most recent book A Church Called Tov by Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer will also add a voice in this vital area for the life of the Christian community. As a part of this discussion, use among Christian ministries of Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) will be considered. Finally, as example of what Christian accountability might look like, reflection from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability will help further in shaping our understanding of accountability and provide a template that can make this more than an academic exercise and give direction to “being found” for healing, wholeness and transparency.

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