An Open Letter to The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) Regarding Abuse

By Jennifer Michelle Greenberg:

For 21 years I waited. Hopefully, patiently, submissively; I lived under the terror of my dad’s violent, apathetic, and sexual abuse. That was what I believed God wanted. That’s what I was taught good submissive girls did. We were quiet. We didn’t complain. We didn’t gossip. We honored our fathers and mothers, by never talking about their sin. I prayed God would change him. I clung desperately to the hope that he’d learn to love his daughter more than his sin. When I was 16 years old, I told Adam York, our pastor at Providence OPC in Kingwood, Texas, that my dad had thrown an iron at my head. I told him I thought my dad could have killed me. Adam did nothing. I told him my dad sometimes wove recklessly in and out of traffic to make me fear for my life. Adam did nothing.

I’m 35 now, so that was 20 years ago. For 20 years, I have waited. I’ve stayed publicly silent about the OPC’s knowledge of my dad’s abuse, and other abuses in various congregations. I’ve worked against the Hard Complementarian and Biblical Patriarchy theologies that were leveraged to perpetuate and cover up my abuse and the abuse of others, hoping the OPC would change. I have worked behind the scenes, informing those I hoped would listen, encouraging pastors who I thought could be brave. I dearly love my denomination. I have been and remain to be a faithful proponent of Reformed theology. However, while I trust OPC pastors to preach academic sermons, I have learned not to trust them to be faithful shepherds. I have been betrayed again, and again, and again.

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