God Cares about Safeguarding
Written by the Safeguarding Team
Please note that this article mentions issues of abuse and may be distressing for readers. This is the second in a series of articles about safeguarding against abuse – for the first article and more about the ministry, please visit the church website – https://www.zionbishan.org.sg/ministry/safeguarding/.
Whether it is high profile church abuse cases that you may have read of in Western Christian news or ‘low profile’ ones that go unreported, every instance of abuse causes immense harm.
Trust is broken. Lives are destroyed. Sometimes, the very faith of abuse victims are shattered. Often, the name of Jesus is also dragged through the mud before the eyes of the watching world.
Safeguarding against abuse matters because the wellbeing of the church – God’s precious saints – is at stake. As Christians, we believe in the worth and dignity of every individual. Our belief that all persons and their bodies matter is deeply bound in Scripture. Human life is sacred precisely because life is God-breathed as the Lord in the Genesis creation account declares: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26-27).
Therefore, when abuse happens, it is not simply that a person is harmed. More than that, the bodily image and likeness of God in that person is also marred. To abuse or sin against another image-bearer of God is in itself an act of offense against the Creator and His loving purposes.
Plus, we are created by our God as embodied souls or ensouled bodies (Gen 2:7; Dan 12:2; Rev 21:1-4). This is what makes us human. We are not just spirits in an unimportant body to be left behind when we go to heaven. The spiritual, psychological, physical and relational aspects of human life are interconnected.
This is why human-induced abuse is so traumatic – it affects a person in multiple ways. For example, physical or sexual abuse doesn’t just leave a bruise mark – it creates fear of the abuser and others related to them, even causing much social shame. Psychological abuse doesn’t just make you feel like you had a bad day – your body could react palpably with shaking trepidation.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, when we truly know our God and grasp the weight of His words in the Bible, we will understand why He cares so greatly about safeguarding each and every individual from abuse. So, if we are indeed God’s people, then it is our great responsibility to care as much as He does about safeguarding.