Bethany Jenkins, vice president of forums at the Veritas Forum, which helped to organize the event, reported that Denhollander was asked about her view of the church responding to the issue of sexual abuse. When asked “how do you trust the church to point to justice and truth in these situations?” Denhollander responded “You don’t. You don’t trust the church, you trust Jesus.”
Some Christians are queasy at this statement. But if they are real Evangelicals and not the “corporate” kind, they shouldn’t be. One of the first lessons I learned in the years I worked for the Church of God is that I was doing this for God, not the church and that I, like Denhollander, needed to trust Jesus and not the church. That held me in good stead all the way until the church abolished my department and my position in 2010–and beyond.
Too many Christians practice churchianity rather than Christianity; they equate the church with God and, when the church lets them down, they bail on God. Forms like Christianity like Roman Catholicism, with their high view of the church, set themselves up for that kind of reaction. But those of us who do not have that view of the church have absolutely no business making that equivalence.
Although the #MeToo movement has given Denhollander a larger platform for her message, in many ways she’s swimming against the tide, both in and outside Christianity. But she’s a strong person; we need more like her.