Suggestions Regarding Interpersonal Relationships in Christian Churches and Organizations

August 30, 2018
Dr. Samuel Logan

[Note: The item below expresses the views of the individuals named and does not necessarily reflect the position of the WRF as a whole.]

WRF Members Dr. Diane Langberg and Dr. Samuel Logan

Recent reports regarding both Protestant and Roman Catholic organizations and churches have been deeply disturbing.  The incidence of sexual misconduct and abuse and harassment in these environments seems to have been unimaginably high.  As with all other sins, the fundamental changes needed are in the hearts of men and women. But, also as with other behaviors, it is appropriate for Christian churches and organizations to consider adopting clear guidelines with respect to these kinds of matters. 

Many churches and organizations will likely sense that such problems could/would never occur in THEIR environments . . . which is likely the same sense that many of the above-mentioned church and organizations felt at one time.  We urge all Christian churches and organizations to take seriously the global prevalence of these problems and think now about ways to prevent and/or to handle them if they should arise. 

What is offered below is an attempt to suggest some general considerations and some specific guidelines which Christian churches and organizations might consider adopting, in whole or in part.

Let there be no mistake, however; guidelines are useful only if they are clearly understood within the communities for which they are designed and only to the extent that they are fully implemented.  And no guidelines can, by themselves, deal adequately with the hearts of those in those communities.  Regular reminders of all the truths of Scripture must characterize every church and organization which calls itself by Christ’s name. The suggestions below are simply one possible supplementary step which Christian churches and organizations might consider to make clear how the fundamental truths of Scripture should be lived out in the area of interpersonal relationships.   

Attached is a document which has been thoroughly reviewed by various Christian leaders, including Christian legal authorities.  

This document is offered as a set of SUGGESTIONS to Christian churches and organizations who are concerned to seek to prevent such misconduct, abuse, and harassment and to have clear procedures in place to deal with any accusations of such misconduct which might arise within those churches and organizations.  It is possible that churches and organizations which consider this material may adopt parts of it but not the entirety.  It is also possible that churches and organizations will simply use this material to help them create their own policies and procedures.  We simply urge all Christian churches and organizations to consider carefully the issues which this material raises.  In the document, reference is made to the ways in which it seeks to mirror "Safe Church Materials" in both general considerations and specific behavioral guidelines.  Also attached to this item is one example of these kinds of guidelines with respect to children and young people in churches and organizations.  These guidelines were written by Dr. David Haburchak, and member of the WRF Board of Directors and they are provided here with his permission.   

sexual misconduct abuse harassment churches organizations