Kari Benton Shares: Spiritual Recovery after a Lawsuit and Spiritual Abuse

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Some may recall the story of Titus and Kari Benton who were in a defamation lawsuit by their former pastor, Steve Wingfield, of First Christian Church of Florissant. The case was later dismissed, but when you are sued by your former employer and pastor, your long-term church home, and experience spiritual abuse, it takes a long while to recover.

Kari recently posted the following note on her Facebook page and gave me permission to share it. I wanted to share it here because many times we don’t get to see follow-ups to the posts, and also because Kari describes some of her recovery process. Maybe some will be able to relate with her story in some ways. ~Julie Anne

Related articles:

Florissant church, pastor dismiss defamation lawsuit
A Youth Minister’s Downfall Is Tearing First Christian Church of Florissant Apart
Is it Enough – blog detailing the cover up at First Christian Church of Florissant

 


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kari benton, First Christian Church of Florissant, Steve Wingfield, spiritual abuse, defamation lawsuit

Kari’s Facebook Cover Photo

Real Talk, by Kari Benton

I had no idea how much I wanted my husband to quit doing full time ministry until he did. The sense of relief and freedom I have felt since he made that decision has been liberating and surprising.
More real talk: being a pastor’s wife used to make me feel special. Like somehow this position I held by association made me a little bit closer to Jesus. Or at least made my membership in the church club a little more secure. A deep need of mine is to feel like I belong. And I never had to question my longing in the church as long as my husband’s name was on the door of one of the offices.

But over the last 7-8 years some things have been shifting and changing – and I have found myself questioning whether or not I wanted to be a part of this club called the church anymore.

Things started to change when I began reading the New Testament literally and feeling like Jesus was telling me to spend my life out side the church building walls and in the world – getting my hands dirty. Things continued to change as I noticed I had to read books and listen to podcasts or online sermons in order to learn more about how to do this because it wasn’t being taught to me on Sunday morning.

Things changed still when I went through some conflict with the leadership at a church we formerly attended. I spoke up about some things that concerned me and the elders of that church disagreed with me. – and the way that this disagreement was handled knocked me completely off my feet. An entire board of elders made the decision to shut me out, refuse to dialogue with me respectfully, and were even willing to take our disagreement to court.

That conflict is mostly in the past now – but I’ve been cut off from that community, I’ve been told I’m no longer welcome in that community, and I’m treated like I no longer exist by the leaders in that community. Nothing about that situation looks like Jesus to me.

 

Part of me longs for reconciliation in that situation – mostly because I think it’s the right thing to do.

 

It’s confusing to me why the leaders of that church don’t also desire reconciliation. That situation made me question everything I thought I believed about the church. I thought that the church was a safe place where disagreements would certainly happen – but they could be handled with grace and mercy and reconciliation would always be the goal whenever possible.

Things changed yet again when I shockingly watched as Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States. It wasn’t just that he won the election- it was that I kept hearing the statistic that 81% of evangelicals supported him or voted for him. I still cannot get that fact to compute in my brain. I know it’s a complex issue – I know that people have their reasons for voting for him that have nothing to do with him as a person. I know all of that. It’s hard to explain – but watching evangelicals support Donald Trump makes me feel lost. Makes me feel like maybe I don’t quite belong in this category of “evangelicals”. Which then makes me wonder where I do belong.

After Titus announced his resignation publicly, I felt free. I felt like I now had the freedom to choose whether or not I wanted to repair my relationship with the church. You see I believe that the church is important, not only in the world as a whole, but in my own personal life. I believe that she is the bride of Christ – and that she is to be cared for, respected, and not given up on. Up until now I have felt like I was being forced to work things out with her – frankly because she paid my husbands’ salary. But now I feel like I have the freedom to work things out with her because I want to. And I really do want to. But I want to do it in my own way and in my own time.

So for right now that looks like attending a Baptist church on Sunday mornings because they have a Sunday School class for couples in their 20s and 30s. I am attending this class each week and a mid-week bible study with the ladies from this class. I am practicing just being me, being comfortable in my own skin, and learning how to build some community with other people my own age. It is uncomfortable for me at times, it is taking longer to get to know people than I would like, and it is really stretching the introverted parts of me. But this is what I need to do right now.

For right now it also looks like attending a church in the city on either Saturday or Sunday nights. This church follows the liturgical calendar, participates in liturgical readings together, and has sermons that are intellectually stimulating in a way that I didn’t even realize I was longing for. Sermons include topics such as The Enneagram and book recommendations such as “Nonviolent Communication”. The worship is simple and mostly hymns. It is absolutely feeding my soul right now in such a nourishing way that it makes me want to cry every time I am there.

Every weekend we have to have the conversation about when and where we will go to church.

I know for many people this is a normal conversation to have – but for us it has always been decided for us, we have never had the freedom to choose where we went to church or what service we attended. It’s a little overwhelming honestly.

Barbara Brown Taylor talks in her book “Leaving Church” about how once she left her position as priest in the Episcopal church she was able to learn about being fully human. And I completely resonate with this. In all our years in ministry in the local church – there have been many times when I have not felt fully human or I felt like other people didn’t see me as fully human. People assumed that because my husband was a pastor on staff that I had it all together, that I always knew the right answer, or that I was closer to God. I often struggled how to be authentically me and let people know that I did not have hardly anything together, felt like I didn’t have any answers but only questions, and often felt very far and disconnected from God.

A quote from “Leaving Church” says :

I thought that being faithful was about becoming someone other than who I was. It was not until this project failed that I began to wonder if my human wholeness might be more useful to God than my exhausting goodness.

So for right now we are spending our weekends at places where we have no title, we have no expectations. We are just showing up and trying to be fully human and learning how we can be fully human while engaging with the bride of Christ. She and I are going to work things out. It will take as long as it takes – but I believe we will figure it out.

Trying Something New for SSB Gathering – July 23, 2017

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

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-by Kathi

Sunday mornings are changing a bit at the Gathering. I thought it might be nice to go through a book and see how our discussion goes. I’ll continue to add a verse and music.

Let’s start off with The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight. This is one of my favorite books on how to read the Bible and the silencing of women in the church. Let me know what you think of this change.

From Chapter 1, “The Book and I”

Throughout this process of conversion and reading the Bible, I made discoveries that created a question that disturbed me and still does. Many of my fine Christian friends, pastors, and teachers routinely made the claim that they were Bible-believing Christians, and they were committed to the whole Bible and that – and this was one of the favorite lines – ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me!’ They were saying two things and I add my response (which expresses my disturbance):

One: We believe everything the Bible says, therefore…

Two: We practice whatever the Bible says.

Three: Hogwash!

Why say “hogwash,” a tasty salty word I learned from my father? Because I was reading the same Bible they were reading, and I observed that, in fact – emphasize that word “fact” – whatever they were claiming was not in “fact” what they were doing. (Nor was I.) What I discovered is that we all pick and choose. I must confess this discovery did not discourage me as much as it disturbed me, and then it made me intensely curious (and it is why I wrote this book). The discoveries and disturbances converged onto one big question:

How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?

This question never has been and never will be adequately answered with: The Bible says it, and that settles it for me. Why? Because no one does everything the Bible says. Perhaps you expected this question: How, then, are we to apply the Bible today? That’s a good question, but I think the word ‘apply’ is a bit  clinical and not as dynamic as the phrase “live it.”

Have you encountered the mindset, “God says it, I believe it?” If so, how did you respond?

Have you seen any changes in your thought process of the Bible and God over your life? Where are you now?

Do you still find yourself trapped in toxic thoughts of “how God wants us to live” or have you found freedom from man-made rules?

What advice would you offer someone who struggles to break free from toxic ideology and is trying to find freedom in Christ?

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Psalm 7

Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me,or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands –  if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe – then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.

Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Let the assembled peoples gather around you, while you sit enthroned over them on high.

Let the Lord judge the peoples. Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,

according to my integrity, O Most High. Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure – you, the one who probes minds and hearts.

My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day. If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment. Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.

 

Proverbs 11: 7

For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.

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May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

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Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

 

Photo credit: Kathi – Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast

Lori Alexander Dishes Out Heartless Advice to Wife Who Was Sexually Abused

Admin note: This post is not part of Kathi’s ongoing series reviewing Lori Alexander’s book, The Transformed Wife, but is a “special report,” if you will. The following was brought to our attention, and Kathi and I feel strongly that this kind of “counseling” needs to be addressed publicly. This advise can cause great harm to women emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is cruel! Thank you, Kathi for putting this post together. ~Julie Anne


The Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Ken Alexander, Sexual Assault

-by Kathi

 

Previously we have discussed Lori Alexander’s damaging advice about depression and how her teachings may keep women in abusive marriages. As of this writing, Lori has over 27,000 followers on her Facebook page. Many of these new followers are giving Lori push back on her teachings. In response, Lori is deleting comments as fast as possible.

Lori recently wrote on her blog Rebellious Women Defraud Their Husbands and a young woman posted a comment on The Transformed Wife’s Facebook page. I watched in disgust as Lori and Ken offered heartless counsel to this woman.

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Claire indicates that she was sexually assaulted in her past and even though she is in a loving relationship, she is currently experiencing physical symptoms (vomiting, “body reacts”) when having sex. A quick glance at this suggests that this woman may be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. How does Lori suggest taking care of this problem? By listening to Michael Pearl’s teachings on Romans. Ugh.

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Ken then chimes in and offers very little comfort. Why is Ken commenting anyway? He needs to get off Lori’s “women’s only” blog and Facebook page and keep his comments to himself. He has no right giving women advice if Lori isn’t allowed to give men advice.

Ken starts off by letting Claire know that Lori really can’t help her because, “Lori’s brief post cannot address such rare cases.” So Claire’s “rare case” is of no concern except to continue to push their agenda (and Michael Pearl too). Ken also addresses Claire’s inability to physically enjoy sex by saying:

To have a relationship in marriage you must seek intimacy, and to seek intimacy requires vulnerability and trust. If you cannot learn to enjoy sex with your spouse you are defrauding him. One can give any number of excuses why they are justified in depriving a spouse, but such things are all self-centered and not loving towards their spouse.

He dares to say this to a woman who has experienced sexual trauma! He is telling Claire that she is making excuses for her inability to enjoy sex with her husband. Nice, Ken. By the way, Ken is a consultant to orthodontists and has no expertise in the area of trauma, so why does he think he has the right to counsel someone who is a victim of sexual assault? What he should be doing is offering to help her find sexual assault resources in her area so she can begin healing.

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Claire responds to Lori and Ken by saying she can “try harder.” My heart is breaking here for Claire and my mind is raging at Ken and Lori. Claire needs to seek professional help to deal with her trauma. “Trying harder” isn’t going to work if she hasn’t dealt with her past experiences.

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Then Josh (why is this dude chiming in on a women-only page?) has the gall to tell Claire that she should be able to differentiate between sex with her husband and her past sexual assaults. Which leads heartless Lori to state:

Claire (redacted) if you truly believed that you are dead and freed from you [sic] sin and your past and that you are now a new creature in Christ, you would have no problem being intimate with your husband.

“If you truly believed…you would have no problem.” Nice way to shame a victim of sexual assault, Lori. Lori truly does not care about helping other people. She only cares about pushing her agenda and hoping that one of her blog posts will go viral again.

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By the way, you won’t see any of these comments on The Transformed Wife’s Facebook page because she deleted the entire thread. Lori and Ken could have offered compassion and understanding and assistance and given resources in this woman’s area. They could have kept the thread up and offered hope to someone else who has experienced what this woman is going through. But this is Lori. If another woman’s issue doesn’t fit in a nice, neat, perfectly submissive package, Lori doesn’t know what to do with it except delete.

I will reiterate again what has been said on previous posts; if you are here reading from Lori Alexander’s page, please stop looking to her for advice. You will only find her standard answers to everything as she seems to lack the ability to think about another person’s unique situation.

If you are a victim of abuse and would like help in finding resources in your area, please send us an email noted in the contact section. If you feel comfortable commenting on the post, you will find kind and compassionate people here to support you. If you are not comfortable with reaching out to us but would like information on abuse resources, here are some good places to start:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

National Child Abuse Hotline: 800-422-4453

*Special thanks to Facebook page, Lori Alexander Undeleted for capturing a couple of the screenshots that I was not able to obtain.

Pastor Chuck O’Neal Continues to Pull the Wool over His Evangelist Friends’ Eyes

Chuck O’Neal, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Jeff Rose, Dr. Edward Delcour, Mike Gendron, Mike Stockwell, and Robert Gray, Evangelism Reformation Conference, Reformation Fire Conference

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I don’t have a problem with those tweets. On the surface, they are fine. But even false teachers get things right. The Bible tells us:

For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Jude 1:4

 

I haven’t done a post on my ex-pastor for quite a while, but I’ve been disturbed lately to see that he has found a niche with people who agree with him on evangelism, yet probably do not have a clue about his background.

I discovered after the fact that Chuck O’Neal had joined with Voddie Baucham, Scott Brown, Mark Spence, Dr. Jason Lisle,  Jeff Rose, Ben Seewald, Jeff Pollard at the Evangelism Reformation Conference in Texas in June 2017.

 

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This was the only tweet that I found from O’Neal on his Twitter timeline about the conference. He’s known to post many tweets to upcoming events, so it’s odd that he only did one tweet before the event.

 

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However, looking through his Twitter timeline, it appears that Chuck O’Neal and his church, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, is also sponsoring/hosting and speaking at a conference with speakers in August 2017.

 

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Why do I even care about what Chuck O’Neal does? Why don’t I just move on? Why does it matter to me?

 

lawsuits chuck O'neal beaverton grace bible church

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The $500,000 lawsuit he filed against me was dismissed about 5 years ago. It matters to me as much today as it did when I posted my first negative Google review about him many years ago. He portrays himself as a godly man, likable, committed Christian, etc, but beneath that facade, he is a fraud. More than that, he is a wolf who devours. Those were the words I used when he took me to court years ago. But nothing has changed.

I care because while he is finding his fairly new niche in the broader evangelism community by making friends on social media and then connecting, these people with whom he meets and speaks do not sit in his pews. They do not see his behavior on a weekly basis. They do not see how he treats people in his church and people who have left his church.

It’s easy to say, “Oh, yea, I know him, he’s a great guy” when you only know him based on evangelism or pro-life connections, but that is not who this man really is.

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I’m sure that most do not have any idea that while he is currently “evangelizing” and speaking on evangelizing, he has anti-evangelized for over a decade and people have been left bruised, battered, and some have even abandoned their faith due to his abusive leadership.

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To those who have worked with O’Neal in evangelism or pro-life efforts, please be advised that when you endorse this man, fellowship with him, speak with him, you are endorsing a false teacher and a wolf. If you recommend Chuck O’Neal to someone who is looking for a church in the Portland area, you are sending people into the arms of one who spiritually harms people.

I get it. You think I’m nuts because Chuck O’Neal is so nice, wouldn’t hurt a fly, has nothing but the love of God in him. I know how he presents himself. That’s what I thought when my family started attending his church. Some who read this will doubt me. I understand that. However, after reading this post, and looking at the links, you cannot deny that the behavior described is troubling. It’s not enough for you to ask Chuck O’Neal about my claims. Obviously a wolf is going to speak strongly against anyone who exposes him. He has a whole website against me to convince you that I’m the one who is wrong and he uses all sorts of “proof” that I am evil and not to be trusted. That is foolish.

 

If you care about the Gospel, care about families, care about the spiritual health of people, please do due diligence and do your homework on this man.

 

What’s disturbing to me is this man has been able to pull the wool over so many men’s eyes. Have they done due diligence in investigating O’Neal or his history? All it takes is a simple Google search to see that there are many issues with Chuck O’Neal that show up on the internet. Has any of the people he is teaming with chosen to reach out to his victims? No one has contacted me. My contact information is pretty easy to find on Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc. If you would like to speak/connect with people who have been harmed by Chuck O’Neal, I can give you references.

Do they realize that:

  • that numerous people, including pastors at John Mac Arthur’s Grace Community Church,  advised him to withdraw the lawsuit, but he refused.
  • his ministerial license was revoked by the same group who administered it (I can provide names and contact information of longtime godly pastors who licensed him years ago, and then revoked the license).
  • he purchased domain names similar to the name of an ex-congregant in order to “phish” traffic to your site he can spread gossip about ex-members he sued?  Chuck O’Neal
  • he has encouraged shunning for years. If you leave the church, he conveys to the congregation that you were in some sort of church discipline (completely ignoring the church bylaws on church discipline). Many people who left the church on their own were later found out that Chuck O’Neal had “excommunicated” them. He hadn’t informed them of this, but this is what congregants later told them. Congregants were told to never have any contact with those who had left, or they too would be put on the shun list (Mark and Avoid list). I have personal accounts of this “church discipline” shunning practice used as a spiritual weapon by Chuck O’Neal going back at least 15 years. Here is only one story. I know of many others. In Chuck O’Neal’s church, you cannot leave well unless you are moving out of the area for work, etc.

 


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Special note to Jeff Rose, Dr. Edward Delcour, Mike Gendron, Mike Stockwell, and Robert Gray, who are schedule to speak with Chuck O’Neal at his church, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, on August 18-22, 2017:

Gentlemen, I would like to reiterate that I am happy to provide contact information to back up anything I mention in this post. My sole purpose is to alert you that Chuck O’Neal should not be standing behind any pulpit preaching, teaching, or speaking. Why do I do this? Because I have seen the harm done in my personal family and many other families. It is devastating. Please, please, do your due diligence! And ironically, I urge you to please do what Chuck O’Neal suggests in the tweets at the beginning of this blog post.

Blog Series: Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery by Pastor Ken Garrett, Wk 4

Spiritual Abuse, Pastor Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse in the church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery


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This is an ongoing series on spiritual abuse using excerpts from Pastor Ken Garrett’s dissertation on spiritual abuse, Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery. We will use excerpts from Ken’s dissertation as a springboard for discussion. You can find all of the other posts in this series here

Ken begins his next section entitled, Cults in America, noting that in the past 50-60 years, an estimated 2,500,000 Americans have been a part of cult groups and how cultists are viewed.

The United States has a strange relationship to cults. A person’s religion can be seen as strange, abnormal, mysterious, or even downright creepy, but as long as that religion does not hurt anyone or break any laws, it is not just tolerated, but protected under law.

He then identifies a few celebrities in American culture who have joined movements and non-traditional groups:

The Beatles had a guru, folk musician John Denver attended and enthusiastically promoted EST (1) courses, Madonna observes Cabalism, and Tina Turner, a self- described Buddhist Baptist, practiced chanting. . .  . Actors, politicians, poets and musicians became Scientologists, espousing the religious creation of science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, seeking personal improvement and happiness through the exploration and study of the immortal, eternal spirit called a Thetan that presumably resides in the human mind and body.

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Ken sitting in front of the church he pastors, Grace Bible Church in Portland, Oregon (the 2nd oldest church in the city).

Apart from Tom Cruise’s involved in the well-known cult, Scientology, when I think of these specific artists that Ken mentioned, I found it interesting that I dismissed their involvement in non-traditional groups or movements in my mind. I have always loved the peaceful sing-along music of John Denver, and it was his musical talent that I focused on, not is spiritual beliefs or practices. Perhaps we as Americans are just tolerant of various practices and we look beyond them, focusing on whatever talent a person has to offer.

Although Americans have long held a benign tolerance for such avant-garde movements and groups, it was not long after their introduction into the religious scene of the nation that disturbing stories arose regarding their inner workings, including accounts of deception, manipulation, and abuse of members. Groups like the Children of God, the Unification Church, the Church of Scientology, the Church Universal and Triumphant, Twelve Tribes, Heaven’s Gate, The People’s Temple, etc., some of which were founded by men and women from Christian homes, experienced various (and v public) scandals and scrutiny. Some of them went on to become bywords of tragedy and death.

It’s important to note that the above-mentioned groups were started by “men and women from Christian homes.” How many people innocently connected and felt safe with the Christian aspect of what these folks were offering, but were then led down a harmful and destructive path? Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Shhhh…Be Very, Very Quiet, Part 2

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Submission


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-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1

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Chapter 8 – Part 2 – Win Him Without a Word

Due to the length and so much wrong happening, this chapter is broken into two parts. In Part 1 we looked at how Lori teaches wives that they are to be silent partners when it comes to their husband’s transgressions in order to win them to the Lord. Lori insists that a wife in a difficult marriage should continue to remain faithful, follow her husband’s lead, and win him over through her actions of love and service.

To the wife whose husband has had an affair, Lori states:

Now, I know many of you may say that a woman with a husband who is an adulterer has clear biblical reasons to divorce him, but what God has joined together, let no man tear asunder. If we are told to forgive someone seventy times seven and love our enemies, how much more should we forgive a disobedient husband, even it is it’s his seventh transgression?

If a wife continues to stay in this marriage because she believes Lori offers a biblical view,  she will continue to be devastated by her husband’s lack of personal self-control, lack of respect toward her, and disregard toward their marriage. Wives should not feel compelled to remain in a marriage in which she is not being honored and respected.

Surely Lori offers hope to a woman in an abusive marriage.

Some will accuse me of condoning abuse since, in their minds, a wife’s desire for submission always leads to abuse. On the contrary, a woman who is kind and gentle to her husband, seeking to please him, will more than likely draw him to herself instead of making him angry enough to abuse her…It takes a lot of strength to be a woman like this, and it is a weak woman who gives into her emotions and is led astray by her feelings.

I need to pause for a moment and let you all know that Snarky Kathi has stepped aside to allow room for Angry Kathi to show up.

In proper Lori fashion, she places blame toward the woman. If a woman is not kind, gentle, and led astray by her feelings then her husband may become angry enough to abuse her. I am inclined to think that Lori truly believes that it is a woman’s fault if she is abused by her husband. See why I am angry? Does Lori even understand the dynamics behind abusive relationships?

God does not ask a wife to submit to abuse, but too often the word abuse is used so frivolously that it does a disservice to those women who are truly abused. It’s the degree or method of control that determines whether behavior is truly abusive or simply bad behavior.

Is Lori going to inform her readers of what she considers “truly abusive” behavior? Of course not. And, here’s the deal, Lori doesn’t get to define what is “truly abusive!” We have laws and guidelines set in place to determine abuse. I wonder which of these laws and guidelines Lori considers “frivolous.” I sure hope that a woman who goes to Lori for counseling does not let her determine if she is “truly abused.”

Lori states that if a woman has been kind and gentle and yet her husband is overbearing and abusive she should seek counsel from a pastor, counselor, or the police. That all looks good written down, but in the end, Lori is going to tell a woman who seeks police intervention that she will need to remain faithfully married to her abuser. There is absolutely no room for divorce. What good does it do for her to give this advice?

Someone recently started a new Facebook page called Lori Alexander Undeleted. Here is the info about the page: 

This page is dedicated to exposing the dangerous teachings and heartlessness of Lori Alexander.
Coming soon: screenshots of callous statements and deleted comments that are intended to show she is not being bullied and only deletes to prevent respectful discussion.

The following screenshot is a comment that was deleted from Lori Alexander’s The Transformed Wife Facebook page.

 

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A recently deleted comment on The Transformed Wife’s Facebook page and captured by Lori Alexander Undeleted. Content: “First, a suicide hotline number was deleted and now this…I’d say this proves Lori really doesn’t want to help anyone.”

 

If any of Lori’s readers are here, please don’t go to her for advice if you are experiencing emotional, physical, sexual, or spiritual abuse from your husbands. Abuse in any form is never frivolous and should be taken seriously. When you are able, go to the police and a professional counselor for help. If you need help locating resources in your area, send us a message: SpiritualSB@gmail.com. We are more than happy to help you and support you.

There is more to this chapter, but why move on? It is filled with quotes from Michael Pearl and others who comment on her blog. Again, Lori fills almost half a chapter with other people’s words. I think it is more important to highlight the fact that while Lori gives lip service to seeking help for abuse, she is not concerned about helping women get out of abusive relationships.

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233. This is a 24/7 free hotline to call for help if you are in an intimate partner violent relationship. Questions regarding how to support a victim of domestic violence are welcome as well. Phone services support over 200 languages.

photo credit: Brian Tomlinson Quiet via photopin (license)

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Shhhh…Be Very, Very Quiet

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Submission


20167460176_d3e93a4c32

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7


Chapter 8 – Part 1 – Win Him Without a Word

Due to the length and so much wrong happening, this chapter will be broken into two parts. Remember how the last chapter ended questioning whether or not wives didn’t have any words because they were too busy having sex? Oh, there’s so much more to winning over your husband.

Lori (ever so humbly) reminds readers again that she helps women who come to her complaining about their husbands. Lori’s “prescription” to winning over a husband is:

You can win him without a word by your grace-filled, godly behavior because a woman’s most potent voice is not the words that she speaks but the life she lives in front of her husband and children. This approach is reminiscent of the saying, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words.’

Continue reading

Blog Series: Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery by Pastor Ken Garrett, Wk 3

Spiritual Abuse, Pastor Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse in the church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery


Okay, we’re back to our ongoing series on spiritual abuse using excerpts from Ken Garrett’s dissertation on spiritual abuse, Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery. We will use excerpts from Ken’s dissertation as a springboard for discussion.

Pastor Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery

Pastor Ken Garrett

In the Introduction, Ken offers helpful definitions. Here is Ken’s definition for cult:

Cult – While most of the terms and ideas that I introduce are simple and easy to grasp, it is apparent in the project that I struggle greatly with the term cult in describing a Christian church. I will better explain and seek resolution to the struggle in subsequent chapters. But for a basic, consistent definition of the word, cult denotes a small, religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.

While ideology and doctrine always have a role in the health or dysfunction of any religious group, increasingly a group’s status as a cult is derived solely from its actual treatment of its members, and not from its creeds, beliefs, and theology.

I agree with Ken’s definition and note that the treatment of members is key. When I looked at my church, the stories I read about Sovereign Grace Ministries, Doug Phillip’s church (Boerne Christian Assembly), Doug Wilson’s Christ Church, this is the pattern that has been explained to me. The people adopt a culture created by the cult leader, aka pastor. Not only do they adopt this culture, but they cultivate it, endorse it, enforce it, even to the extent that sometimes the pastor/cult leader doesn’t have to do all of the talking. He has raised his faithful devotees to model his expectations. Since all members are “on board” with this culture, any new person who comes to the group and questions it will be the odd man out.

spiritual abuse, Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery

Pic by Ken Garrett, taken on recent trip in Europe.

It does not feel good to swim against the tide, so there is pressure to join the group in their way of doing things. Next thing you know, that new person has become one of them and will also spread this culture and group think to additional new members, forgetting that at one time, they, too, had once questioned aspects of it. Continue reading

“Taking marriage seriously” – what does that mean for a Christian?

Christian Marriage, divorce, domestic violence, abuse, marital counseling, extramarital affairs


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-Taking marriage seriously- means taking the vows seriously and having real consequences for breaking them. The idealists and perfectionists who are trying to turn -marriage- into a protected space for all man.png

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My friend, Valerie Jacobsen posted this statement on her Facebook page and I asked permission to share it. I found it powerful, and yet, so contrary to the way marriage is handled in the church – especially when abuse is involved. I’m sick and tired of women being forced by their pastors/elders to bear the brunt of evil in their marriages by staying in their evil and harmful marriages.

I do not believe for a second that it is godly advice for pastors tell abused wives to remain married to their chronically evil and reviling spouses. If marriage is supposed to be representative of Christ and the church, an abusive marriage is a mockery to Christ. It seems that pastors would want to help rid the church of the blot of evil when there is an abuser clinging to his marriage and refusing to change his evil ways.

Women who leave their chronically cheating and/or abusive husbands are saying NO to evil. It is their husbands who abandoned the marriage long ago when they started their evil ways.

We need to stand beside these women and tell them they are free to go when pastors tell them otherwise. Pastors who give this bad advice are not living with this evil. And I’ll bet that they would not say this kind of thing if it were their daughter living with an abuser. Let’s stop this crazy business!

 

 

 

h/t Hannah Smith for image (taken in Hawaii)

 

 

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Wives Give Sex. All the Time.

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Sex in Marriage, Submission


Screenshot 2017-06-15 at 5.52.55 PM.png

Screenshot from The Transformed Wife Facebook Page – 6/15/17

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6

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Chapter 7 – This Thing Called Sex

Oh, goody…the sex chapter! Before I started reading this chapter I thought to myself: “Self, I wonder what wise words Lori will give women about sex? Let me guess…It will be about how husbands want sex all the time, and how wives are to give it to them anytime.”

Lori’s opening sentence:

Men like sex…a lot.

Oh, self, I am not disappointed in you. P.S. Lori, women like sex…a lot…too! Continue reading

John Piper, Sexy Stones and Political Stones? Help!!!

IMG_5856John Piper does it again. A recent tweet from John Piper has me scratching my head. I need an interpreter, please!

The Dangerous Teachings of Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife

Lori Alexander, Depression, Suicide

-by Julie Anne and Kathi

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Lori Alexander (Facebook photo)

Lori Alexander runs a blog and Facebook page called The Transformed Wife. Her Facebook page has over 21,000 followers! She models her ministry using the Titus 2 idea of older women teaching younger women. After 23 years of a difficult marriage, she claims her marriage improved after she applied God’s principles to her life; so she feels qualified to share with her followers how she learned to submit to her husband, and thus, have a happy marriage.

Lori appeals to women who want to be godly and obedient wives, serving their husbands. But as Kathi and I read her articles, we are alarmed by some of her teachings. Some of them put wives in harm’s way. Other teachings minimize serious mental health issues, or attempt to solve them by simply praying.

We are thankful to a reader on our Facebook page that brought to our attention Lori’s recent actions. Lori wrote a post this past week about depression and suicide among women and linked the post to her Facebook page.

We were sent this screenshot which shows a woman stating that she contemplated taking her own life. Lori’s response is to go to the Bible for strength. Thankfully, another reader responded with the advice to seek help immediately through the suicide hotline. Continue reading