For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
On the 24th, this blog will be six months old. Typically what you read is what I’ve had stewing in my head for perhaps days. Over the past several days I dealt with a reader/commenter who I felt was disruptive not only on the blog, but also in my e-mail box. This person attempted to suck my time and emotional energy. Finally, late last night when I saw the pattern was not going to stop any time soon, I deleted most of her comments. She had her warning more than once. Folks, I do not want to give time and space on my blog to people who sympathize with abusers.
I try to understand where people are coming from, can agree to disagree, but if that is not respected, I get a little grumpy. My finger managed to find the delete button and ZAP, their comments were gone in an instant. There was an immediate sense of relief – that their words had no place here and needed to be removed. Don’t get me wrong – I value people and love a good debate – and we have sure had our share of them here, but I simply cannot have this place as a “safe” place with someone who is sympathizing with abusers, sending me many e-mails, demanding someone’s private e-mail. No, I don’t think so.
So, after that little episode, I surfed to another one of my favorite blogs – The Wartburg Watch, and read a current post. The same kind of thing was going on over there. Someone was sympathizing with an abuser. Ack. Here you can see blogger Dee’s words with Mark, a commenter who seems to feel that it’s wrong to expose a pedophile.
Enough of that. So I moseyed over (does one burn calories traveling from blog to blog? I hope so . . ) to Paul’s Passing Thoughts blog. Guess what? Paul, too, was being targeted by a troll to such an extent that Paul contacted his attorney who advised him to post the following comment on all of the posts containing the troll’s comments:
Paul Dohse’s blog, Paul’s Passing Thoughts, deals with Neo-Calvinists and the “spiritual tyranny” going on among churches around the world because of hyper-calvinism. The story I featured on “Paul” really struck a nerve with blogger Paul Dohse because he, too, has gone through a divorce as a result of spiritual abuse. Paul Dohse studies churches like my former church (and now “Paul’s” former church) to see if it our abuse story and church structure fits the pattern of this type of Neo-Calvinism. (Last week he interviewed “Paul” and is airing the interview in four parts on his blog.)
I think this is a great verse for spiritual abuse bloggers (fingers for battle on the keyboard – haha!!!):
Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war
and my fingers for battle;
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
Are you counting? That is 3 out of 3 blogs with recent troll attacks. Burning even more of those imaginary calories, I headed over to FBCJaxWatchdog blog. (BTW, if you haven’t read Tom’s current story about my case, be sure to check it out. This is one of my favorite articles on our court victory.) Tom is another blogger who has personally dealt with spiritual abuse and had legal battles with his former church. He continues to blog on church abuse – bad teachings, ways that pastors control their congregants inappropriately, use church money to fund lavish homes and lifestyles, etc.
Tom had two lawsuits – one with the government (regarding police officers who illegally obtained information to disclose Tom’s identity) and a lawsuit against his former pastor. He won the case against the government and settled on the case against the church which required his former pastor to issue a public apology. Tom also won his last case several months ago, but the trolls still visit and create mayhem. Look at the comment I found on his current blog post:
That makes 4 out of 4. The common thread in all of these blogs is that there seems to be a constant flow of trolls on blogs dealing with abuse in the church. Most reasonable people agree that the church is no place for abuse. Yet, why would they have trolls causing this sort of disruption? I believe it is a spiritual attack, plain and simple.
Paul Dohse seems to agree, too, as his response to me on his blog suggests:
But wait . . . . there’s more . . . . . let me fill you in on one more story of a blogger being hassled for exposing spiritual abuse. On a much larger scale, some pastors clearly don’t like to be criticized as you know, and some will take drastic measures to shut down people who expose abuse. I have recently been in contact with Kevin Oliver (NYTN – Not Your Typical Negro on YouTube) who has a unique way of exposing spiritual abuse. We had a lengthy phone conversation last week and this brother completely understands spiritual abuse. I will be referring to some of his material in future posts. He exposes spiritual abuse cases on YouTube like a reporter. Kevin, too, has had his share of legal woes. In fact, in one of his legal cases, YouTube took down his YouTube channel – this channel is used to expose spiritual abuse and big name celebrity pastors who abuse their flocks! Say WHAT?!!! He had to sue YouTube and he won!! Yea for Free Speech!! Check out his amazing story here on FBCJaxWatchdog blog and also Kevin’s version here.
I was a little slow. I wasn’t thinking of it in terms of the bigger picture that Satan does not like the fact that us bloggers are exposing the darkness.
I think we (or at least I do in case you’ve been way ahead of me) need to acknowledge a new “normal” here. I need to expect these attacks. Because of this, I need to be very careful that I am firmly rooted in the Word. A while back, I asked Pastor Ken Garrett what he would recommend for me to read for devotions considering my situation. He had a number of recommendations, and included this in his e-mail:
vs 6 Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked.
vs 9 The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
vs 13 Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
vs 14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
vs 15 Good sense wins favor,
but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.
vs 16 In everything the prudent acts with knowledge,
but a fool flaunts his folly.
vs 17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.
vs 18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
vs 19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
vs 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
vs 21 Disaster pursues sinners,
but the righteous are rewarded with good.
vs 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
vs 25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
Isn’t that good?
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2: 6-7