Ruth Everhart has undertaken the difficult task of calling the church to account for its complicity in hiding, minimizing, and/or ignoring sexual abuse and harassment within its walls. The #MeToo Reckoning offers churches, leadership, and perpetrators a come-to-Jesus moment for their assumptions and roles in what has been a monumental coverup.
Everhart is author of Ruined: A Memoir, which records her assault and rape as a college student and the struggles she faced as a survivor. She’s also a pastor, both of which make her a good choice for this tough topic.
“I will not be bullied by blowback or made callous to the plight of my sister survivors and brothers as well. It is time for a reckoning,” she writes in the book.
Stories taken from real life—from Everhart’s assault by a pastor to a young man's sexual assaults by a youth leader—are juxtaposed with biblical stories that highlight principles and examples that can help church leaders navigate the muddy waters of abuse and assault. Many of the examples—biblical and contemporary—are awful, painting pictures of coverups, ignorance, misplaced trust, and too-easy forgiveness. Some are beautiful pictures of healthy honesty and accountability.
While the book doesn’t specifically address the #ChurchToo movement (perhaps timing was an issue), it does speak directly to the church, its leaders, and its people about complicity in hiding abuse. This book is a call to courage and openness, to listening to victims, to holding perpetrators accountable. It’s a necessary, hard book that will open doors to a new understanding of abuse, accountability, and the church’s roles in both. It is a call to action. (IVP)