Andy Savage Sexual Abuse Resignation: A necessary decision

In case you missed earlier headlines about Andy Savage here is a recap.

Andy Savage was the teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN. A Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallstudent from his youth group twenty years ago came forward and publicly named him as having sexually assaulted her years ago. The assault took place when she attended the church where Andy Savage was on staff. Andy said it was, “A mutually organic experience.” She was an underage high school student. He was an adult on staff. These two facts can’t add up to a mutually organic experience. This was the first time I’ve heard an abuser use this terminology.

I wrote more about this back in January. Read: 14 points the church needs to hear in the wake of the Andy Savage sexual assault case.

 

Is Andy Savage’s resignation over due? Yes!

Has he acknowledged wrong doing and accepted full blame? Yes and no. He has admitted wrong, admitted he poorly handled telling his church, and admitted to making mistakes, but is still spinning some wording and phrasing.

Has he admitted that he committed a crime? No!

Has anything good come of this? Yes.

Highpoint Church had an independent investigation performed and although they didn’t say exactly what all the conclusions were, they did agree that Andy Savage’s resignation was the correct decision.

We can be sure at least one church will do a better job safeguarding their flock. Hopefully, many churches are learning from example, instead of having to take a field trip to learn the lesson first hand. I hope another lesson learned is that is it never appropriate to give a standing ovation after someone divulges sin, abuse, or a crime.

I’m thankful for the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements. I know it makes many people cringe, but abuse survivors are not among them. I understand that ignoring the abuse or taking the side of the abuser is easier. This requires that you do nothing; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Victims want you to share the burden of the pain they have experienced. They need validation. This will require action, engagement, and remembering.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” ― Augustine of Hippo

Jules Woodson, the victim, has received hate filled messages from some of Andy’s supporters. I hope they all write her a heart-felt apology. She had every right to come forward, but that is a whole other topic. She was brave and courageous, and victims of church abuse everywhere can be thankful she spoke, and thankful it led to Andy Savage’s resignation.

I did notice that Andy Savage said he is stepping away from ministry; not leaving the ministry. He needs to leave full-time Christian ministry where he would have leadership access in any capacity.

I understand that Andy Savage’s family will now suffer the consequences of choices he made and continued to make. It isn’t fair to them. This is why we must be purposeful raising our children while helping them understand that their sin never effects only them. It has immediate and lasting results and usually impacts those around them.

Most importantly, I pray the church is listening, remembering, and acting on allegations of abuse as soon as it’s reported. Regardless of what you think, know, believe, or feel the only correct course of action is to imediately call the authorities and allow them to investigate and sort it out. 

Statements are available here… READ: Investigation Conclusion, Update from Highpoint Church, and Update from Andy Savage

I’m in favor of changing state laws to take the statute of limitations away for sex crimes; and making the new law retro active.

netgrace

 

 

 

 

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Writer, wife, imperfect home schooling mom to 3 amazing humans. Writing about lessons learned from surviving 100% of my worst days. Educating the church about domestic violence & abuse in their midst. Advocating for abused women living in, or leaving destructive marriages. Living an A.I.P. life. St. Louis Cardinals fanatic! Football fan.

3 thoughts on “Andy Savage Sexual Abuse Resignation: A necessary decision

  1. He gave a humble apology. Good grief, at 22 he was a youth himself; hardly in a position of leadership at that age. Considering the closeness in age it would seem like they shared an inappropriate attraction. The problem is the church allowing someone that young to work with his peers. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    • At first I thought his apology had humble aspects and took responsibility, but after more reading I was picking up on word usage, or lack thereof. I don’t know if you’ve read or watched any of Jules Woodson’s interviews but she was not attracted to him and had no idea he was attracted to her until this moment . She knew as soon as he turned down a country road that something was wrong. It was traumatizing to her, but after it was over she thought…he must love me to have done that to me. The church knew and didn’t appropriately protect her, and they didn’t call the authorities on him. This is one more reason sexual abuse has spun out of control in the church; because it is rarely handled correctly. Did you watch the appalling video of the church being informed of what Andy Savage had done? It was sickening in every aspect! The New York times has some of it in the Jules Woodson interview. The church took it down because of public outcry. Andy Savage mentioned “many wrongs occurred. My inappropriate relationship with Jules…” It seemed to me, reading closely, that he still denied personal responsibility for the CRIME committed. Thanks for reading the article and commenting!

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