In Which Ken Gaslights and Lori Thinks Women can Avoid Marrying Abusers

Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Domestic Violence

-by Kathi

Ken Alexander recently posted an article on The Transformed Wife in which he defends gaslights Lori’s teachings. This post isn’t really meant to focus on Ken, but Lori’s response to a Facebook comment associated with the blog post. We’ll take a quick look at Ken’s words before moving on.

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Ken attempts to inform readers that Lori simply gives a choice for how women should live their lives. He tries to soften the tone of Lori’s teachings by saying: “Lori is not trying to dictate every woman’s choice, but she does feel passionately about the things she sees in God’s Word that are regularly being violated by the Church,” and, “It’s okay if you are a working mom.  It’s okay if you want to go to college. It’s okay if you struggle at being submissive to your husband or even respecting him.”

I have to challenge this because he also says, “Join me in choosing the life God says is best for you and me. A life He promises will be a abundant and free as we walk in the Spirit of the life of Jesus flowing in and through us.” Also, “The moment Lori decided to believe God at His word and to trust that she is a new creature in Christ, dead to sin, and alive in Christ Jesus, it was then that the promises of Jesus for spiritual and relational healing began to come true for her.”

In other words, Ken believes the same way Lori does about women who work outside the home, women who go to college, and women who struggle to be submissive to their husbands. If he thought differently, there would be no reason for him to implore women to choose the life “God has planned for them,” and he wouldn’t use Lori as an example of following God’s word. Thanks, Ken, for the valiant attempt at trying to make us believe that Lori is only looking out for the good of women in the world. Her words have spoken volumes over the years and her intentions are pretty clear.

But, this is a discussion for another time. Let’s look at what Lori thinks about women avoiding abusive husbands.

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A commenter, Lisa, asks how a woman avoids the scenario of marrying an abuser, specifically when it involves financial abuse, who may leave her penniless and destitute. This is a really good question.

Lori’s response? Women need to rely on God, women should not marry an angry man, women must choose to live by faith and not by fear, and women need to be wise in who they marry.

Other readers add comments that women are to rely on their husbands like the church relies on Christ, and marriage is not about what “we” get out of it. 

There’s more to the conversation, but I’ll end here to regroup Lori’s thoughts about how to not marry an abuser. She says:

God is ultimately my provider. He commands young women to marry, bear children, and guide the home (1 Tim. 5:14) so if this is His will for me, I will obey Him and trust Him with everything else. 

It’s choosing to live a life by faith instead of by fear.

Women must be wise in who they marry and seek the Lord for wisdom in this area.

Yes, women should not marry angry men. It’s usually angry men that abuse women. 

Right. If only it were that easy. Lori could stand to learn about abusers before placing the onus of marrying one on a woman. Abusers don’t walk around with a capital “A” on their chest to make it obvious who they really are. Abusers can be charming and clever and are very smart in hiding their true nature. There is always something that attracts a woman to the partner she commits to.

Women don’t start out in a relationship with an abuser knowing that one day her life might be a living hell. If a woman knew going into the relationship that she was marrying an abuser do you think she would still go through with it? I can’t think of one person who’s said, “Hey, I think I’ll marry an abuser. This will make my life fun and fulfilling!”

Lori’s simple, “women must be wise in who they marry” rule doesn’t really work because often times women don’t know they’re marrying an abusive partner. The abuser may never show his true colors until they are married, or may normalize the behavior, making the victim feel like it just the way relationships work. Looking back on the relationship, a survivor may recognize some red flags at the beginning of a relationship. Abusers are clever at making victims feel like they can overlook the red flags.

This is yet another example of Lori’s lack of understanding of domestic abuse and abusers. Her lack of understanding lends to her lack of empathy for victims of domestic abuse. Her lack of empathy lends her to place responsibility on victims and spiritually abuse by saying they’re not trusting in God.

Note to Ken: Own up to the fact that you believe the same as Lori does when it comes to women’s place in the home, church, and society. If you really don’t believe that a woman’s role is God ordained, then please stop enabling Lori’s teachings.

Note to Lori: It is not a woman’s fault if she marries an abuser! Stop telling women to “trust God” and “with God all things are possible” when they are in an abusive relationship. This makes a victim doubt herself and question her relationship with God. In other words, this is victim shaming. Stop telling women that there is no room for divorce. Start telling women that the abuser is responsible for his actions. Start telling women that they should not feel like they need to stay in an abusive relationship. If you truly are “mentoring” women you would care more about their safety and well being than your teaching.

**If you or a loved one are in an abusive relationship there is hope. Please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 800-799-7233.

SSB Sunday Gathering – December 16, 2018

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

-by Kathi

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Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Advent – Readings for Year 1 and may be found here.

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn — shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Hebrews 12: 18 – 29

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 2to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”[d

John 3: 22 – 30

After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan — the one you testified about — look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”

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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: Pixabay

Spiritual Abuse: What Are Nonbelievers Going to Think?

Spiritual Abuse, Reputation
Jonathan Hollingsworth

Spiritual Abuse, Jonathan Hollingsworth, Gossip

This is the fourth blog post referring to an article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church. The article resonated with a lot of people, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements one by one here, and give people the opportunity to share their experiences.

I am working through all six of Hollingsworth’s statements/questions of what not to say to someone who has been hurt by spiritual abuse. The first post, we covered when people say, “No Church is Perfect.” The second post, we discussed was Spiritual Abuse: When People Ask You, “Are You Working Toward Reconciliation?” The third post dealt with gossip, Spiritual Abuse: It’s Not Gossip to Talk about Abuse.

Here is the fourth question on what not to say to someone harmed by spiritual abuse, followed by Jonathan Hollingsworth explaining why it is not helpful:

“What Are Nonbelievers Going to Think?”


Have you ever read a headline about a Christian going public against a church or ministry and thought to yourself, “Is this providing a good witness?” If you’re more concerned about the church’s reputation than you are about the abuse itself, you might have your priorities mixed up.


As Christians, we can get so preoccupied with how outsiders view the church that we put appearances before the truth. When we try to control the narrative, we substitute the reality of the church for our own ideal of the church. All we’re showing the world is that we prefer a false witness over a bad one.

Oh boy, can I relate with this one! I’ve lost Facebook friends after someone asked me this question and I wouldn’t budge. There have been a couple of times where I have posted about a church abuse case. In both situations, they private messaged me, reprimanding me for not being a good witness by posting so much negativity. They actually get pretty upset when they can sense that I won’t relent.

I don’t waste my time arguing anymore. I just thank them for their concern. 

Here is the reality: everyone knows there are problems in churches. Christians would get more respect by being honest and identifying problems instead of covering them up. 

Have you, too, experienced this kind of response? 

Caution: Children and Predestination

Predestination and Children

My friend, Ryan Stollar, posted this on his Facebook wall, and I was struck at how damaging Predestination can be to children, especially vulnerable children. Shoot, I think it could scare adults, too! Special thanks to Ryan for writing about this and giving me permission to share it.  ~ja

First off, what is predestination?

predestination

noun

  1. The act of predestining or the condition of being predestined.
  2. Theology
    a. The doctrine that God has foreordained all things, especially that God has elected certain souls to eternal salvation.
    b. The divine decree foreordaining all souls to either salvation or damnation.
    c. The act of God foreordaining all things gone before and to come.
  3. Destiny; fate. (Source)

John Piper is an advocate of predestination, but even he understands that it is a very difficult topic. I was surprised to read that he recommends that if you are getting hung up on a righteous and holy God who sends people to hell, then he encourages you to not believe in predestination (at least that is my interpretation from this article).


Predestination and Children

Maine, October 2018

Predestination does a number on you.

Growing up in a Reformed household, where I read Loraine Boettner’s “Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” in high school for “fun,” I believed that God elected some people for heaven and some people for hell. But here’s the thing: I was a messed up kid. I was abused. So I was depressed and acted out and did all the “sinful” things that traumatized kids tend to do. I was screaming for help but I didn’t know how to verbalize it.

This didn’t make me doubt God’s existence. Instead, it made me hate God. I believed with all my heart (because all the evidence pointed in this direction) that God had elected me to go to hell.

Do you know what that does to a kid? Do you have any idea how horrible it is to live with the realization that there’s literally nothing you can do to save yourself because God made you a vessel of wrath?

It destroyed me from the inside out.

I thought God elected my abuse and God elected my damnation. And I wanted nothing to do with that God. This of course became a self-fulfilling prophecy, as I chose to rebel harder and harder just to stick it to the God who damned me.

I can’t even count how many times I said “F@#$ you” to God in high school and college because of predestination.

I’m not sure if I’d say “Don’t teach your kids predestination,” but if you believe in predestination, you need to understand that it can create some serious secondary trauma. For me, it was like being abused all over again, but this time deep within my soul.

Don’t do that to kids. Please.  ~R. L. Stollar

Spam Alert

I was just informed that spam comments were posted on the blog. I get literally hundreds of these a day. I may have hit a wrong button when I was in the process of deleting spam earlier. Yikes. 

These are VERY BAD spam links. Trust me. Don’t click.  Just hit refresh and hopefully you won’t receive them!  I’m so sorry if you clicked on one of the links!  Oh boy, this is bad.  ~ja

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