Until Death Do Us Part?
© 2013, Nancy Ford Duncan.
“In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love…But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists….There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society…By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch-defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are….If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.” Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963, excerpts—50 years ago).
NCI is an evil, just like the devastating social and moral evil referenced in the quote. It is a mangling corruption that continues in spite of the Swedish court case that ruled it to be a long-term gross fraud. It is something that has been promulgated internationally by more than just the one person sentenced in Sweden. And its destructive flames are fanned by the ongoing complicity, cover ups, and cowardice that continue to shame the church and mission community..
We thus call yet again upon the many “affected” mission organisations, churches, and their “leaders” to help. See the various blog entries on this site for their names (knowing that there are others as well that have not yet been named). We also call yet again upon the members, donors, supporters and partners related to these “affected” entities to join together to require the organisational and personal disclosures—with verified transparency and accountability—and independent reviews necessary to see the truth come fully into the light. This inconvenient evil will only “go away” when it is fully uncovered and justice is done.
So we ask: Who will follow the example of Martin Luther King Jr., as he vulnerably wrote from his Birmingham jail in order to confront the complacency and complicity of the church in his generation? Who will sacrifice and suffer as he did, along with the hosts of others throughout history whom we all admire, in order to end this evil-- until death do us part?