The Mistake Christians Made in Defending Bill O’Reilly

Mr. Metaxas wrote a biography of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, so he is surely familiar with his teaching on cheap grace — “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.” Cheap grace wrongly separates absolution of sin from acknowledgment of that sin. In Christian teaching, God forgives people before they confess wrongdoing. But among individuals, groups and nations, there can be no forgiveness when wrongdoing isn’t named.

.. In churches, a quick forgiveness for perpetrators often dovetails with strict standards of purity for women. From a young age, many Christian women are taught to dress modestly so as not to cause men to “stumble.” John Piper, a prominent pastor and theologian, has said that “a lot of Christian women are oblivious to the fact that they have some measure of responsibility” in managing men’s lust. The moralizing about dress and behavior can be a setup for victim-blaming wrapped in a spiritual veneer.

Perhaps churches have been slow to address sex crimes out of a belief that such offenses couldn’t happen among their own. It’s assumed that the culture of harassment at a place like Fox News would never come to infect a community serving God. This thinking is both naïve and theologically irresponsible: Christians, of all people, acknowledge the depths of human depravity