By Thomas and Joy White

The #MeToo movement has shaken the ground beneath the feet of modern American culture. We now find ourselves trying to regain our equilibrium as cracks have emerged in the foundation of virtually every institution. Some contend that Biblical distinction of gender roles is the problem. In contrast, we contend that genuine Biblical manhood and womanhood show the way forward.

Biblical ignorance has rotted the pillars that support the way forward, leaving us on the precipice of disaster. Think about the needed balance. We must defend and respect the abused while not treating the accused as guilty before proven innocent, because not all accusations are true. Recognizing the emotional turmoil of coming forward, we must maintain an “innocent until proven guilty” mentality without creating a chilling effect on those harmed through abuse. We must remain faithful to the Bible while ridding ourselves of unhelpful cultural traditions mislabeled as Biblical principles that in reality love neither God nor our neighbor well. There are no easy, short answers. To love God well, we must remain faithful to His Word. To love our neighbor well, we must seek to resolve these complicated issues with wisdom.

#MeToo is a phrase, known as a hashtag, added to stories shared through social media that allows others to search by phrase, grouping similar stories together. Users add the #MeToo phrase to stories of sexual abuse or harassment to show the pervasiveness of exploitation and calling for it to stop. The stories reveal a variety of abusers, including producers in media, politicians in government, teachers at every level, sports doctors and coaches, and unfortunately, leaders of religious organizations as well. Within religious organizations abusive behavior has occurred across theological affiliations, proving the problem is not theological conviction but the sinful nature of humanity. So we turn to Genesis, the book that reveals the origin of sin, to begin a conversation about how to fight against abuse until Jesus, the ultimate solution, returns to make all things new.