The allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are being discussed constantly this week, and they bring up important conversations about justice, due process, and empathy.
While modern culture may respond in any different way, often times picking a side without knowing all the facts, Christians are not at liberty to react how we wish. Instead, in our reactions to allegations of sexual assault, we must represent the cross well.
In Micah 6:8, God walks through how His people are to respond to Him: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
While all Scripture must be kept in proper context, I think that this verse gives us a very good outline of how to respond to allegations of sexual assault.
Our God is a just God, and we should be a people striving for justice as well. This means that we do not have the privilege of simply picking whichever side seems to have a better story or that fits with our paradigm the most.
Seeking justice means that we must be dedicated to finding out the truth. All facts and stories and testimony must be weighed and considered. If we want to be just people, we must be people who refuse to jump to conclusions.
As Christians, we are to be merciful people. That means that no matter where the evidence points, we should have compassion and empathy for those involved. Mercy is what will drive us to come alongside survivors of sexual assault in kindness, and it is also what will drive us to desire God’s grace and salvation for those guilty of committing such crimes.
However justice is served, our reactions should be marked with mercy, seeking the grace of God for all people and desiring healing for all who are broken.
Even when we think we have made the right decision, we can be wrong. We must be humble people, acknowledging that God is all-knowing and perfectly just while we certainly are not. Humility requires us to believe that our opinion is not the most important, and that our decisions are not the most permanent. This type of attitude allows us to respond with people who disagree, or to be presented with differing information with thoughtfulness, kindness, and a hunger for the truth.
Sexual assault is an evil, horrible thing that seeks to diminish the value of a human being made in the image of God. For that very reason, we should handle all allegations with the desire for the absolute truth to be found out and justice to be served well.