Christian Domestic Discipline, Christian Marriage, Disturbing Trends, Divorce, Domestic Violence and Churches, Marriage, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Women and the Church

Wife Undermines Her Husband’s Authority in Front of Children, He Disciplines Her

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The Christian community has done a very poor job of treating women with respect.  Some husbands have resorted to treating their wives as objects and even practice “domestic discipline” or wife spanking.  This is wrong.

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Men treating women/wives as objects they own

I’ve been thinking about how many men  – men I don’t even know – have asked me who gave me permission to say what I do on Twitter or on my blog.    I even tweeted about this earlier:

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Where do some men get the idea that they get to own women and tell them what they can say, do, think, believe, etc?   Many of you have seen men ask me these questions.  In my former circles, I didn’t really question it much as it didn’t offend me.  It was normal for women to be subservient.  If men treated women poorly, we were taught to suck it up and pray for our husbands – that God would change his heart.   Their hearts might never change, but we were enduring hardship and that was noble for a godly women.  Nobody held the husbands accountable, but if wives complained about our husbands, we were told that we were in sin for complaining, not being respectful.

In March of 2012 I contacted Grace Community Church to seek their help on my abusive church situation in which I had become aware that my pastor was possibly going to sue me. Two of the pastors asked where my husband was – and why wasn’t I tending the home, etc?   I remember thinking, “where in the world did that comment come from?”  At the time, I really wasn’t looking at it as a slam to the value of womanhood, but a diversion tactic to avoid dealing with the issue of spiritual abuse.  Now I know better after seeing this similar pattern time and again in specific Christian circles.

Now, after observing patterns for the last 18 months,  I don’t believe the leaders at Grace Community Church would have ever done anything regarding the spiritual abuse at my former church because I, a woman, was speaking out about it.  In their minds, it was not my place to speak out.  If there was a problem in our church, my husband should have been the one doing the speaking.  I believe I was completely discredited by virtue of my sex:  being a woman.

This is one example of women not being respected and allowed to use her individual voice.  Not long after I published the above tweet, a shocking story came up on my Twitter feed, and it shows an even bigger problem of ownership and degradation of women:

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Husband beats wife with paddle for disrespecting him and not addressing him as “sir” in front of their kids

An Ephrata man was jailed Wednesday for beating his wife when she didn’t address him as “Sir” in front of their kids.

This barbarian treated his own beloved wife on a completely different level from parent.  She was an object, perhaps even “lower” than their children.

Source
Dan Kirby Kopp, Source

Dan Kirby Kopp, 49, routinely beat his wife with a wooden paddle or his hand as a way of disciplining her for not showing proper “respect,” according to investigators.

Right, because it’s his job to “discipline” his wife.  Who gets to discipline him when he gets out of line?

According to charging documents, Kopp would take his wife over his knee and spank her, so she would “learn a lesson.”

What respect is he showing his wife in spanking her?  Oh, I know, he thinks he is showing her respect because he loves her enough to discipline her – to show her “tough love.”   The article does not mention this couple’s religious background, but does give a clue further down about “demons,” so I suspect there is some sort of religious belief in the home.  Is it because he’s the spiritual head of the home and he feels he is responsible before God to make sure his family is in order that he behaves this way?  If so, I know these types.

Thank God this woman had the moxie to videotape this spanking episode or she would probably still be in this abusive hell hole.

The wife had enough by October 2012 and went to Ephrata police to report the abuse.

She told officers Kopp — who is 6-foot-5, 230 pounds — abused her as a “means of disciplining her for disobedience to him for undermining his parenting,” an affidavit shows.

The wife used an iPhone to videotape a Sept. 22, 2012 beating, which was shown to jurors.

The video shows Kopp beating the woman with a paddle for not addressing him with, “Yes, sir.”

Kopp also warned his wife that next time he would “cast demons out of her,” charging documents show.  (Lancaster Online:  Ephrata man convicted of beating wife with wooden paddle for refusing to call him “sir”)

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 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washingwith water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:25-30

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I haven’t written any articles on Christian domestic discipline before.   However, since the blog’s inception, I have read personal reports from abused wives, friends of abused wives, and have spoken on the phone with pastors who have confirmed that domestic discipline is common practice in some Christian circles.   Yes, I said common practice.  One pastor contacted me to share his growing concern and personal observations in his denomination. He told me that one rarely finds the practice of “domestic discipline” written in literature, but its practice is spread from pastors to other pastors and then to the men of the church in mens’ meetings.  This is despicable.  Women are not objects.  They are created in God’s image.

About a year ago, I had been researching this subject for hours over several weeks, but had to limit my time due to physical abuse triggers.  I think I am over that now.  Now I am at the angry stage.  I will be speaking out very loudly against it.  I am sick and tired of the “Christian” church allowing men to treat women as scum of the earth.

Whenever someone questions me again for speaking out and puts me or another woman on my blog down as trash, I will offer the man an opportunity to apologize and take it back.  If he doesn’t, I will make his comment more public so that all can see.  I am fed up with this atrocity.  This is not godly.  It is not loving. It is abuse of God’s creation.

If you are being spanked by your husband, your husband is abusing you.  Your husband has no right to inflict physical violence on your body.  If you are not consenting to the spanking, he is committing assault and battery and is demonstrating criminal behavior.  If you are not in a safe place, seek a domestic violence hotline and call for help.    Do NOT under any circumstance go to your church to report, as “domestic discipline” might be the normal practice there and your husband will likely be defended.  I have read countless stories of women being charged as the sinner for not submitting, not respecting, not loving their husbands by their pastor.  Some women have been put on church trials, placed in church discipline, or even been excommunicated for not remaining quiet and “submissive.”

God does not expect any wife to submit to abuse.  There are many people who are going through what you are going through.  You can get help and get free from your abusive situation.  Feel free to comment here using a pseudonym, contact me via e-mail (spiritualsb @ gmail.com) or ask to join the private forum if you like.  There are many here who would like to come alongside you and encourage you, some having personally experienced various forms of abuse in their own marriages.  A couple of our regular readers have ministry work with domestic violence survivors.    You don’t need to do this by yourself.

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PS – A special thanks to the true manly men who have made a point of calling out the misogynistic behavior I had been blinded to for so many years.

190 thoughts on “Wife Undermines Her Husband’s Authority in Front of Children, He Disciplines Her”

  1. I would be happy to have a legitimate discussion about this practice but I fully believe that would not happen in this venue. You believe is no correct answer for your question, that the head of household would not have to answer to anybody the you could not be farther from the truth. The head of household if he became abusive which rarely happens in the true domestic discipline home would be called out and would have to answer to his brothers within the community being very Protective of the lifestyle. Furthermore he would have to answer to God himself fully Understanding that he was not acting in the best interests of his family. I assure you more cases of abuse and violence against women happen in a so-called normal home than ever happened in a domestic discipline loving home. And I challenge you to find any evidence of the contrary.

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  2. Domestic discipline? What happened to the 2 shall become one? What happened to a helpmate? This is sick. This is wrong. Where is the love in this? Where is Jesus in all of this? No spouse, male or female should every strike the other. No excuses, and nothing is legitimate, loving, or godly about it. I can’t even believe this actually goes on in people’s homes. This is vile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shilo, I think Julie-Anne’s point in the article was that he was using the Bible as a way to force the lifestyle on his wife and family. His extreme religious beliefs and warped interpretation of the Bible is the core of the problem along with the some church’s teaching that women’s place is in the home and are inferior to the man of the household and can be ruled and subsequently punished as such. What you are talking about, and what I have mentioned several times in other articles, is a consensual decision to live in that lifestyle where despite the woman being spanked or lectured as a form of discipline, she is not any less human or inferior to her partner. I have been reading Julie-Anne’s blog for a couple of months and it never ceases to amaze me that this kind of abuse goes on inside the church and is promoted by a church or even a pastor. It doesn’t matter if he uses the Bible to justify his actions in beating his wife, it is still abuse and he will still answer to the courts and ultimately to God for the abuse as well as the twisting of God’s word.

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  4. I used to believe that everything I needed to know I learned from watching (and reading) Star Trek. Now, I have seen the light. .BUFFY the VAMPIRE SLAYER has answers never thought of by me in my youth. Season Seven Episode 5: ‘ has the answer to this problem – it’s brain washing. First, you say that GOD created men & women fundamentally different. Now, I can’t say for sure that this is true, but there’s quite a bit of evidence against it. Second, you say that men are more logical and women more emotional. Then you say that the “logical” person should be the head of the emotional one. Then you say that the emotional one should be PUNISHED for being the way a loving GOD created her!!!

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  5. Thank you for exposing this male patriarchy thing. It is not the first time I have heard domestic discipline leading to downright cruelty. It is true that many times the wife has instigated this but it can become a monster.

    I have nothing against consensual erotic spanking personally but introducing punishment and domination leads to trouble.

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  6. “BeenThereDoneThat; NOVEMBER 7, 2013 @ 7:20 AM

    “Does the wife get to …?”

    “Get to …” is not it. If I find that my child refuses to obey, and no reasonable amount of verbal cajoling will bring about a change of attitude, I don’t “get to” spank him. It’s a “have to.”

    No, the wife does not “get to” or “have to” strike her husband when he disobeys her. She has no business commanding him to do or not do anything unless there is an immediate danger to life and limb.

    The only valid reason for a man to strike his wife is in real self-defense, or to prevent her from harming someone else. And, just as in a case of defense against a stranger, only the minimum amount of force sufficient to resolve the danger is justified. Harm to her or to any attacker is not the object. Deterring further aggression is th eobject.

    If a wife has been tolerating her husband “disciplining” (means “making a disciple of”) her, an euphemism for spanking, switching, paddling her, he has a basic misunderstanding of the relationship of a husband and wife to one another and to God.

    Yes, she is to submit herself to her own husband (as always, subject to the laws of God). But that is her responsibility toward God, not to her husband. It is not for him to try to force her to obey him. He is just another fallible human being.

    If their fellowship brethren hear of the goings-on, it is likely that the matter will not be dealt with within the church but the pagan authorities will be notified in short order. CPS, police, sheriff, etc.

    Julie Anne:

    “And who corrects the head of the household when he needs correction or crosses the line into abuse?”

    If he is subject to the local fellowship leadership, to the church. If he is an unbeliever, to the “priests” and “deacons” of his “church,” the judges and police/sheriffs of the civil power.

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  7. Julie Anne,

    I am not surprised that John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in California was of no help to you in dealing with your spiritually abusive pastor. My (former) senior pastor was a graduate of MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary and has a low opinion of women, that women are to submit and to obey, basically that everybody around him is to submit and obey. He “lords” it over others and any legitimate questions are met with either “you’re bringing an accusation against an elder without cause” or the scripture that you’re being factious, are an unbeliever, and should be shunned.
    (This arrogance came back to bite John MacArthur in a rather strange way: My former senior pastor in Northern California kicked out one of John MacArthur’s long-time friends (a godly Christian doctor who has been married to his wife for 40+ years) and ordered that the good doctor be shunned! It was some trumped up charge.)

    The pastors/elders recently kicked me out on some trumped up charge and ordered me to be shunned by some 150+ members after I’d discovered, and met with them, about a convicted sex offender on Megan’s List. The pastors/elders defend the sex offender, think it’s ok he touches kids (whose parents have no idea he’s on Megan’s List), and the senior/pastor elder told me that if a father in a family decided that it was ok for this sex offender to touch his children that the father’s decision “was final” (and the mother had no say in the matter). I sat there and thought: IDIOT!! They closed the meeting with the Scripture warning me that I was factious, an unbeliever, should be shunned, etc. Had I known they were going to do THAT, I would have brought a copy of the California Penal Code and read them the part that they are legally mandated child abuse reporters as clergy and that they can be arrested, prosecuted, and be sent to jail for NOT reporting. I would have brought a copy of the California Criminal Jury Instructions on that. Ditto for civil that they can be sued for civil damages as individuals, including punitive damages for negligence and emotional distress, if a child gets hurt. (I will turn in any legally mandated child abuse reporter who I believe hasn’t reported.)

    I can guarantee that they didn’t tell the church’s insurance company that they were playing fast and loose with this convicted sex offender,

    Their hyper control at that church extends to controlling who you will be friends with, etc. These kinds of control issues/spiritual abuse are described in these books which I have found so helpful:
    1. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen
    2. Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue
    3. Churches That Abuse by Ronald M. Enroth
    4. Recovering from Churches That Abuse by Ronald Enroth
    5. Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton

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  8. This seems to be an American phenomenom as far as I can see. I have never heard of any connection with it in churches here in the UK. This is probably the same for Europe and Australasia etc.

    It is wrong and has more in common with Islam than anything else. Something has gone wrong somewhere.

    We are told that if we do not honour our wives our prayers will be hindered in 1 Pet 3:7

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  9. Thank-You Michaela for publicly posting all of those resources for those saints who are abused by their former church systems, whether emotionally, mentally, or spiritually speaking.

    All of these books were recommended to me by a faithful friend when I left a spiritually abusive church that caused so much pain and suffering in my life. Like your former church, where the standards for the pastor/leadership, are so much different that those they choose to lord over, it is often the average/lower/lesser believer (as defined by the leadership) that is often made the scape-sheep in their evil affairs. These goats preach and teach the mandates of the Scriptures, yet do not practice the preeminence of Jesus in their own lives, leaving destruction in their paths. So it is best to leave and having nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness that abide within their church systems, for I cannot imagine any parent desiring to have their children in the presence of a sex offender. Sex offenders can be healed through the power of Jesus Christ, but this is not usually the norm, for admission of sin and repentance must take place followed by a Godly system of Scriptural accountability. And so sad to say, this practice is rare within American Christianity.

    Blessings to you, Michaela!

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  10. Hi Katy,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging reply. By the way, how long ago did you leave your spiritually abusive church? What challenges did you face? How did you overcome them? How did you take care of yourself after leaving? How did you get better? Any tips you could share with me, I would appreciate. But…if you don’t feel like sharing that’s ok too.

    It has been very strange for me to be shunned by some 150+ people that have known for eight years as a church member. People that I love, fellowshipped with, had fun with, and hung out with are now ordered to shun me. It’s like the Salem Witch Trials. People who’ve known me for years and what a decent, kind person that I was (and I showed up in their lives to help them) have bought a bunch of lies about me…and refuse to have anything to do with me. So that church operates like a cult. No, let me change that: is a cult.

    On the other hand, I feel free. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. My sister (who is not a Christian) said that she’s seen in a change in me for the better since I got kicked out of this church/excommunicated/ordered to be shunned and that she had been worried about me for years (when I was in this church).

    Our former church secretary, married for some 30+ years, changed to another church and refuses to attend my former church; her husband still goes there.

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  11. Michaela,

    You’ve shared bits of your story, in several places on the blog. Would you like to compile it and I can share it as a post? A lot of people only read the blog posts and don’t read the comments and I think your story might benefit those who have gone through similar circumstances.

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  12. I think Michaela is right. It is like a cult. They do the same thing. In most normal churches if people leave because of differing views you don’t get that happening. The only time excommunication should happen is when people are in gross sin, like fornication or something and are unrepentant about it. And that is only until sincere repentance takes place. What’s happening here is not remotely on that level and is not sin at all in my view. I don’t think God asks us to be subject to wrong practices like that. Really the only hounorable thing to do is to leave. One door closes and another will surely open in God’s timing.

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  13. Exactly, Tony. Vote with your feet. You know, it was people voting with their feet – the high turnover rate with really decent families coming and going through BGBC that got me wondering what was going on. They didn’t bother calling people to tell people they were leaving, they left. However, later, when I saw them in town somewhere, they confirmed my suspicions when I asked why they left. Also, leaving quietly allowed them to not have to deal with the drama of shunning.

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  14. Hi Julie Anne,

    Sure I can compile my spiritually abusive church experience for you to post. It will take me a few weeks to write it, I think. I will send you an email to get the details from you. You can edit my story and make suggestions. Just a reminder, my experience just happened…and it wasn’t something that happened several years ago.

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  15. You are correct, Tony. But in spiritually abusive churches, like spiritually abusive families, there are “no talk rules”, no healthy boundaries, enmeshment, etc.

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  16. Hi Julie Anne,

    Thanks for your offer. I can actually knock out the story pretty quickly (I have a background working in law offices and type 90wpm.)

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  17. Hope it does some good on here to help others.

    We cannot always solve every evil but we can get to a safe place for ourselves and from there go as the Lord leads.

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  18. Amen Tony! I have my good days and my bad days (since I was recently kicked out of my church and ordered to be shunned by some 150+ people). Basically, anyone who asks any question is going to face getting kicked out of that church.

    Yesterday a coworker, from another team/company, at my workplace and I went to see The Nutcracker Ballet. She had never seen it. I was having a hard time, since Sunday for years has normally been my church day. But at the end I felt fine and I’m glad I went. I came home and went out on an evening walk. Got up early today…did 25 minutes of exercise, went to work. A coworker is a fantastic cook, as a hobby. He brought homemade gumbo to work for our entire team, rice, corn meal muffins. I didn’t have time to bake cupcakes for the event, due to being at the ballet. But another coworker was given an entire tray of cupcakes for free which she brought to work! God is good!!

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  19. That is good that you are keeping your head up Michaela. I do hope though that you find a good church eventually that doesn’t have this opressive attitude to women. We do need to meet together with other christians. I hope they have not damaged you to the point of you having no fellowship. There are no perfect churches but there are thousands which do not behave like your church has.

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  20. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for encouraging post. I am still a follower of Jesus. I just need to think…and pray…how did I get in to this spiritually abusive church? What signs did I miss? The books I’ve gotten – and I didn’t know about spiritual abuse and how (sadly) common it is – have been very helpful: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen; Healing From Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue; two books by Ronald Enroth – Churches That Abuse and Recovering From Churches That Abuse; and Toxic Faith by Stephen Arteburn and Jack Felton.

    Additionally, I didn’t understand the population of “The Dones” and “Church Exiters”, including faithful followers of Jesus (which also includes pastors and their wives) who were “done” with formalized church. I really didn’t understand them, how could anyone have any legitimate reasons for not going to church, and that there must be something wrong with these people.

    My experience (being ordered to be shunned after I discovered a convicted sex offender at our church who is defended by the pastors) has helped me listen more attentively to what made these people leave and refuse to come back. Previously, I was naïve and arrogant. The experience and pain I have gone through has helped me become much more acutely aware of the pain that others have gone through. I no longer think, “They can’t really be Christians” or “They must be lazy”, “have false idols” (sports programs, sleeping in on Sundays, etc). I think I had a lot of pat answers about this group. And I assumed those answers and constantly heard from pastors preaching about how believers were wrong to forsake meeting together; I never heard pastors honestly address how people got burned in churches, subjected to spiritual abuse, and refused to come back, and how we could minister to them. I never ONCE heard it.

    A coworker (a faithful, deep, Christian who loves Jesus), his wife, and children no longer go to church. And they haven’t gone for years. He finally told me his story after I was recently shunned at my church. One of his sons was sexually abused by a trusted and beloved youth pastor, someone they loved and admired. He walked in on it. The senior pastor ordered that their entire family NOT be spoken to by other members of the church, including long-time trusted friends that they needed love, support, and prayers from. That they needed to cry with. The result? Terribly burned and hurt, and damaged, they have never gone to a church again. They have gone to some events at churches, but won’t attend on a regular basis and won’t become members of a church. And I can’t blame them.

    Rev. Billy Graham’s grandson Boz is a Christian, a former child sex crimes prosecutor, a law school professor and the founder of G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in The Christian Environment). He says on his website that this is quite common – that church sexual abuse victims and their families never return to any church.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Godly-Response-to-Abuse-in-the-Christian-Environment-GRACE/102403896480483?v=wall

    http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2013-10/evangelicals-worse-catholics-sexual-abuse

    Thanks again for your support. I am just being quiet at this time, praying, and taking care of myself and asking the Lord to take care of me and to heal me. I tried one church. But it’s still too soon. And I’m tired. And I just need to rest…

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  21. ” I just need to think…and pray…how did I get in to this spiritually abusive church? What signs did I miss?”

    Join the club! I have spent the last 10 years dealing with all of it. What I believed. How I got caught up in it, etc. Those books are a good start! After that, I would recommend focusing on Jesus Christ. It is amazing some of the things we have believed about Him that are NOT TRUE. Jesus Christ is Truth. And He would never be OK with people hiding evil for any reason. And the reasons are usually using Him!

    ” I really didn’t understand them, how could anyone have any legitimate reasons for not going to church, and that there must be something wrong with these people.”

    Join the club! I had to really do some indepth study on “what is the Body of Christ”. What was it meant to be.

    “. Previously, I was naïve and arrogant.”

    join the club!

    “The experience and pain I have gone through has helped me become much more acutely aware of the pain that others have gone through. I no longer think, “They can’t really be Christians” or “They must be lazy”, “have false idols” (sports programs, sleeping in on Sundays, etc).”

    Hee Hee. Now I am the opposite which I have to guard against. People tell me where they attend church and because I am informed, I am thinking, what naïve and ignorant people they are! I no longer think Christian = church building attender.

    ” I think I had a lot of pat answers about this group. And I assumed those answers and constantly heard from pastors preaching about how believers were wrong to forsake meeting together;”

    Yes, they take a passage meant for those being persecuted (the persecution was ramping up) and apply it so they have loyal followers….for themselves.

    ” I never heard pastors honestly address how people got burned in churches, subjected to spiritual abuse, and refused to come back, and how we could minister to them. I never ONCE heard it.”

    We do not take into consideration that for pastors this is their livelihood. This is all they know how to do. They are indoctrinated at seminary, for the most part, and they measure success by butts in the pews and offerings.

    ” They have gone to some events at churches, but won’t attend on a regular basis and won’t become members of a church. And I can’t blame them. ”

    I will never be an official “member” of a institutional church again. It is unnecessary.

    “Thanks again for your support. I am just being quiet at this time, praying, and taking care of myself and asking the Lord to take care of me and to heal me. I tried one church. But it’s still too soon. And I’m tired. And I just need to rest…”

    Yes, I will affirm this choice! Good choice!!!. You need rest and to Abide in Christ. He is NOTHING like what you have experienced which should tell us something, right? I hate to say this but if you give yourself enough time and Abide in Christ, you will see the red flags almost immediately at most churches you try to attend later. The biggest problem is that people leave one abusive situation thinking they have to be in church and end up in the same place. I have been around long enough to see this happen over and over to folks. They don’t know how to be Christians without a church building to attend. I can relate with that but soon got over it. I now think it can actually be sinful to attend certain churches once we know. Why would a believer and follower of Christ ignore evil or wrong done in His Name?

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  22. Your eyes have been opened Michaela and Lydia. The church was never a building but the body of Christ, which is people. It doesn’t mean that everyone who meets in a church building is wrong but recognising that we are a body not a church building is a step forward.

    I think you need time now to be healed and find your way as you say. I believe God will use this experience for good as you abide in Jesus. You have developed a certain discernment which will stand you in good stead for the future. The danger is of course that you will seperate yourself from the body of Christ which would give the enemy the victory. I really pray that in the long run you would find a safe place to function and regain your confidence to function as God wants you to.

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  23. Thank you Lydia for the time you took for your kind and supportive reply. I really appreciated your post!

    Have a blessed day.

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  24. Hi Tony,

    Greetings from California to you, I believe you said before that you’re in the UK…so across The Pond (Atlantic Ocean).

    Here, here to recognizing that “the church” isn’t a building or denomination but other believers/body.

    Thanks for your prayers for healing. I feel like I’ve just been in a very bad car crash with this bad church experience/excommunication/shunning. But yes my discernment is certainly growing.

    The pastor of the church who rents space to my former church called me last night, because he heard about it from another church in his denomination. He was very nice and we talked for a long time, he invited me to their service, and may evict my former church for shunning members and for having a sex offender on their property (which can open them up to liability). He said that he and his wife would like to do whatever they can to help me, to give to me, to counsel me. He said he was calling to me to apologize on behalf of all Christians! And he extends the same help and invitation to the nice doctor at my former church who was also shunned and excommunicated when he brought up serious issues to the pastors/elders. (That godly doctor is a good man, faithful and loving husband to his wife for 40+ years,
    good father, and a wonderful contributor at my former church. It was terrible what the pastors/elders did to him. They took the name of this good man and his solid character and dragged it through the mud, over nothing. Just political. Beyond immature. Sinful.)

    The pastor who called me last night said that in 30 years of pastoring, he has NEVER shunned anyone and he can’t imagine it.

    So that was a blessing. I have prayed to the Lord every day to give me new mercies and to help me.

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  25. That is good Michaela that the pastor who rents space now recognises the problem. That is encouraging.

    Part of your healing will be forgiving them of course. It doesn’t make them right. It just releases you and safeguards you from any bitterness creeping in. I know it’s not easy but you don’t want to be wounded forever.

    I assume that your husband is with you on this and that he has left also?

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  26. Hi Tony,

    The pastor who rents space to my former church seemed like a very solid, sane, man. He started the conversation off by apologizing on behalf of “Christians every where” for what I had been through at my church, including being shunned and excommunicated. What a good man!

    Yes, I will be required to forgive them. It’s just…hard. They cost me long-time friendships with lots of friends I’ve had for 7+ years, people who shun me and no longer have anything to do with me. The pastors/elders stood before everyone…and lied about me. And that’s hard to forgive. (They have done the same to others.)

    Julie Anne has written eloquently about this patriarchy movement in American evangelical churches. I didn’t realize that my former church subscribed to those beliefs. They seemed biblically solid. But indeed they subscribe to all of this “submit” and “obey” stuff.

    I am single. So I didn’t have a husband to discuss this with. My unbelieving sister is glad that I’m out of that church and as an outsider she saw lots wrong with it…and she’s glad I finally “saw the light” and wouldn’t bow to these abusive pastors/elders (over the subject of this sex offender in our midst and their failure to properly protect the children and inform the adults).

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Michaela I didn’t know you were single. Kind of assumed you were married because of the nature of the thread.

    Was it all about speaking out about this sex offender? I suppose if he had repented and changed Jesus would have forgiven him. I don’t really know the full story. What I was against was domestic discipline and a wrong domination of the wives. Have I spoken out without knowing the full picture? Please enlighten me.

    Like

  28. Hi Tony,

    I commented on the thread because of the whole subject of patriarchy, which I learned that my former church pastors/elders believe in (which they hadn’t been candid about). The privileges these men claim in the home/marriage/family they also claim at church, and that explains why they are so insufferable, domineering, disrespectful and, yes, abusive.

    (Here’s a thoughtful article written by the Rev. Billy Graham’s grandson Boz, a former sex crimes prosecutor, on the mistakes that churches make in handling sex offenders. http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/06/27/4-lessons-learn-church-just-doesnt-get/ There is an epidemic of sexual abuse in Protestant churches, one that is as bad or worse than the Catholic Church which has had to clean up their act because of 30+ years of arrests and litigation. Churches’ insurance companies – Church Mutual being the largest insurer of churches in the U.S. – report that there is an epidemic of sexual abuse because of the claims they get/litigation, etc. They have entire child safe policies on their web site.)

    Because they are so authoritarian and demand that other people “submit” and “obey”, they will throw out anyone who doesn’t, including a doctor at our church, married for 40+ year, faithful and loving husband, strong marriage, loving father, bold evangelist, who knows The Bible and who questioned the pastors/elders about how they were running the church because it wasn’t in accordance with The Bible.
    They threatened him numerous times in meetings as “being factious”, an “unbeliever”, “deceived” and destined for Hell. They read him out of the church for same, stripped him of his membership, and ordered 150+ people and their families to shun him! I sat there in shock. I knew it wasn’t true. He’s a good man. A good Christian. Thoughtful. Respectful. But he’s not stupid!

    Next they went after me because I inadvertently discovered the sex offender at church while doing research for a former prosecutor. The pastors/elders met with me and screamed and yelled at me, defended him (he’s an old friend of theirs), said it wasn’t a problem. They repeatedly threatened me. They told me that “he said he was coming off Megan’s List” of sex offenders which is “why we permitted him to become a member.” OK, since when do you take a registered sex offender at “his word” instead of taking “the word” of his supervising law enforcement agency?
    The Sheriff’s sex offenders task force called the pastors/elders claims to me “a total lie” and said this sex offender is NOT coming off Megan’s List of sex offenders (a lifetime registry).

    The Sheriff was so concerned by what the pastors/elders told me that they contacted The California Attorney General’s Office (the highest law enforcement agency in my state and the state’s attorney) which runs my state’s Megan’s List of sex offenders. The Attorney General’s Office also confirmed it “was a total lie” and that this sex offender is NOT coming off Megan’s List.

    My pastors/elders repeatedly threatened me, told me I was to never contact law enforcement again (The Sheriff or the Attorney General), that I was to never reveal the name of the church I was a member of, and I wasn’t to reveal the names of the pastors/elders to law enforcement. My pastors/elders told me that I was to “obey” and “submit” to them. I told the chairman of the elder board, “sure” in order to get them to leave me alone and to think I was compliant. I didn’t mean a word. I would NEVER risk the safety of children.

    The sex offender has repeatedly run his hands through the hair of young children, boys as young as 2 years old, whose parents have no idea this man is a convicted sex offender on Megan’s List. The pastors/elders said that’s fine. OK, in the language of sex crimes there’s a word for it and it’s called “grooming”. It’s not fine.

    The sex offender manipulated my entire Bible study, run by a man, about all of the “bad people in prisons”. He had the entire room whipped into a frenzy of negative emotion and they were agreeing with him. He smugly smiled. He had successfully manipulated them, never revealed he was a felon, never revealed he’d been in prison, and never revealed he was a convicted sex offender on Megan’s List.
    I went home and documented that for the California Attorney General and The Sheriff’s. My pastors/elders were enraged. (They are in such deep denial, they’ve even invited this sex offender to volunteer with children at our children’s summer sports camp!)

    There are certain protocols that churches who want to evangelize sex offenders need to put in place, and the big insurance companies have documented those procedures. (Church Mutual is requiring that churches have meetings with all adults about sex offenders in their midst, requiring they have child safety policies, or refusing to insure churches who won’t comply because of the huge legal liability that these cases pose to insurance companies.)

    My church and my pastors/elders, as individuals, can be sued for negligence and for emotional distress if a child or another person becomes a victim of a sex crime. The pastors/elders had a “legal duty of care” which a “reasonable person” would have done and their failure to do that also means that punitive damages can be awarded by a jury. Additionally, the property owner (in this case another church and denomination that rents to my church) can also be enjoined in a lawsuit for negligence.

    It is an incredibly serious issue.

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  29. Looks like they should have taken advice from you Michaela to safeguard themselves. They need to obey the law where it is not opposed to God’s word. I read that this morning in Rom 13 I think.

    I’ve never come across that type of church personally. We have women who preach and sometimes lead the meeting. One needs a lot of wisdom to figure out what God is saying and what he is not saying on the subject.

    My wife makes herself subject to me as it’s her faith. It’s nothing I do. I am told to love and understand her which I try to do.

    You just need time to recover Michaela and when you have forgiven you will be able to expose these practices as you are doing on here. If your motivation is also for the children then that is good as well.

    Like

  30. Hi Tony,

    Yes, my former pastors/elders should obey the civil laws. I think, however, the problem of their arrogance and being so full of pride has made them disrespectful of everyone: church members (and questions of concern), parents, children, law enforcement agencies, other denominations and a religious school that are impacted. (The Sheriff’s sex offenders task force demanded to know from me, “What kind of church do you go to Michaela that threatens you in to silence and has pastors/elders that refuse to meet with this sex offender’s supervising law enforcement agency [The Sheriff’s]?” My response: “That’s a very good question. I ask myself that question all of the time now, ‘Exactly what kind of church do I go to?'”)

    According to the pastors/elders I have nothing to offer on this topic, nor does law enforcement or anybody else with experience, because the pastors/elders claim to know everything (and dismiss or threaten anyone that challenges them).

    At my former church women aren’t permitted to preach or teach (except to instruct children or have women’s only Bible studies). Women aren’t even permitted to head the clean-up crews after the church’s lunch (i.e. doing dishes and tidying up).

    Even our former church secretary (married for 35+ years) refuses to go to that church anymore (her husband still goes) and she goes to a Presbyterian Church now.

    Yes, I need time to recover.

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  31. Half the confusion with these toxic churches Michaela is that there is usually mixture within them. They will have strengths and weaknesses. Their strengths can cover their weaknesses and confuse people. That’s why it is difficult to find your way out of it. Rather like getting out of a cult. It is hard to see it while you are in it. In a way having a problem there was a blessing in disguis as it opened your eyes to what was happening. Finding a good church will help you a lot I feel and will be a strength to you. The scripture they quote about not forsaking the assembly of yourslves together is a good one but if the church is toxic then it should be somewhere else. That is not a legalistic scripture. Forsaking meeting with each other means that you don’t meet together any more which isn’t God’s will for us.

    The expression of Christ is male and female. We can hinder that fullness by not allowing the female side it’s God given expression. I brought a prophecy about that once before I knew that we had a woman giving the message that day, so I know that this is part of God’s heart. Obviously your ex church has become very unbalanced on these things and is acting more like a cult.

    Like

  32. Hi Tony,

    I had a lovely Sunday lunch yesterday and afternoon with a new friend, an elderly Russian woman.

    I had prayed to the Lord to give me some good, close friends and told him I was too tired to make friends right now after my bad church experience and shunning. I met her the next night at a store as she looked for some bedding for her grandson. I directed her to another store that had the items and gave her discount cards I had to save money on her purchases.

    We hit it off and she asked me to come to lunch some time. We had a feast of Russian foods (meat pastries, cabbage, chicken, salad, soup, etc). Her sister, an American woman and Jewish daughter-in-law came. Her d-i-l raised the topic of community and diversity, how important it is and shared a story of people of different faiths in their town coming together for a Thanksgiving meal, including her synagogue.

    I shared that I no longer had a community and had been shunned from my church. The other American woman it turns out is a Christian who was shunned from her church too! So we talked about it. Independent churches, rogue pastors, controlling, authoritarian, legalistic, rigid, no accountability to a higher church authority.

    The Jewish d-i-l, who is a nurse, said I did a very brave thing to protect children and the Lord would honor me. She then said a blessing over me in Hebrew!

    She prayed to the Lord in Hebrew that He would put the other Christian woman and me in safe churches. We all cried! It was very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. It’s important to have safe people to share with Michaela. That little meeting was encouraging to you which I am sure was of God. I am sure God will answer the d-i-l prayer that both of you may find a safe church. Accountability is the key, not so much an independent church, as there are a lot of good ones as well that willingly make them self accountable by relationship to other groups. This saves excesses as sometimes a visiting man of God might see things which those in the church don’t see. We are all one body in reality and to be independent in the wrong way is bad news.

    Like

  34. Hi Tony,

    Yes the lunch gathering was edifying.

    I am skeptical of independent churches
    in the US after this experience, all of the
    research I’ve done, and the number of
    indies that have these issues of spiritual abuse.

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  35. Hi Julie Anne,

    Yes 10 years at 2 indie churches.
    Most recent smallish church, an indie,
    8 years. Large mega church before that
    (also an indie) 2 years.

    Like

  36. I dont know statistics on church abuse, buy i have seen horrific abuse in both independent and denominational churches. I have heard of church court processes where a wife of domestic violence was treated horrifically by the denomination leaders. Ok more denomination stories are coming to mind as I’m typing. There is no way to walk in any church and know if it is abusive or not, sadly.

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  37. Hi Julie Anne,

    True enough about spiritual abuse taking place in any type of religious structure.

    My former grossly incompetent pastors/elders told me that if a father at our church permitted the Megan’s List sex offdender at church to touch the father’s children that his “word was final (and his wife had no say!)”.

    If a husband is an idiot and can’t protect the kids from abuse the Mom is supposed to be an idiot? She’s supposed to endanger the kids, get them subject to felony crimes, and get prosecuted and land in prison? Does this lunancy sound like it’s from the Lord?

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  38. They are not entreating their members but laying down the law that the husband’s word is final. It is nothing to do with them to be honest. These things are worked out freewill within the marriage. If one asks for advice that is different but saying to a husband your word is law and that is final is encouraging the husband to dominate the wife which the scripture does not enjoin. I would never say to my wife the bible says you have to be subject to me any more than she would say to me the bible says you have to love me. If it has to be law it is not worth anything.

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  39. Hi Julie Anne,

    My former pastors/elders are idiots!
    If a mother’s, at my former church’s, inaction gets her child abused (submitting to the authority of her hubby to let a sex offender near the kids) she can be arrested, prosecuted, charged with felony child abuse, and go to prison!

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  40. @Tony,
    You are correct. But the former pastors/elders at my abusive church use exactly this language: That at wife will obey and submit. They are arrogant, it is a situation that permits abuse of the wife (and children), and it is ultimately un-Biblical.

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  41. We agree that the behaviour is wrong Michaela but it’s best to let it go now unless you can do something constructive about it. They might do idiotic things but they are still our brothers in Christ presumably. Pray that others see the light and leave.

    Over here in Ireland the Catholic church (a denomination) was guilty of a huge epidemic of child abuse to the most vulnerable children that they never ever sorted internally. What brought it out in the end was civil actions of one sort or the other, so the state has it’s role although the state can also be the instrument of persecution.

    In your churches case there doesn’t appear to be any child abuse although that could happen. Your charge against them is partiarchy which really is a theological error and not an actual crime against the state. So all you can do is leave it as you have done, forgive so that you are released, heal up which can take time and eventually find yourself a good fellowship.

    Like

  42. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your wise counsel.
    (Those pastors/elders are idiots at my former church and any mother who heeds them will face the law if harm comes to her child because she decided to do nothing.)

    Like

  43. There have been many mothers who did nothing whilst their children were abused Michaela. I speak to a woman in our church who was abused by her father for years whilst the mother who knew about it did nothing. Same as the girl I work with. Her mother did nothing.

    The first girl is a christian but still cannot forgive which is the first step to healing. The other is not a christian. At least not yet.

    I hope it never comes to that in your ex church. As you say they will be breaking the law if they just stood by because of elder pressure.

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  44. @Tony,

    It’s very sad when mothers don’t protect their children from harm, including the two cases you know of in your country.

    Healing from any kind of abuse is a process, which is why I never push people “to forgive”. I don’t see forgiveness as being the first step toward healing. I think emotions like anger are the first step toward healing. I think there are many losses that are caused by abuse and a person feeling the wide range of them is fine, good and healthy. Jesus is big enough to handle people in pain, in anger, and grief.
    (There are plenty of good Christian and secular resources to deal with abuse.)

    As for the elders at my ex-church, I have never seen four more arrogant, irresponsible men. (And their aberrant conduct has raised many red flags, including people questioning what they are doing behind closed doors.)

    Liked by 2 people

  45. There have been many mothers who did nothing whilst their children were abused Michaela. I speak to a woman in our church who was abused by her father for years whilst the mother who knew about it did nothing. Same as the girl I work with. Her mother did nothing.

    Part of my most difficult recovery work was the realization that my mom, whom I loved dearly, did nothing when I was physically abused by my new father. The real heart-felt discovery came when my daughter was the same age as me when I was abused. I couldn’t fathom letting anything happen to my daughter, yet my mom allowed me to be beaten. I had to distance myself from her for over a year with absolutely no contact and it took several years before we could really work through this. Our relationship is restored now and is beautiful, but wow – that was hard work.

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  46. Thanks for sharing your story, Julie Anne, about your journey of healing from childhood physical abuse and your relationship with your mother, who stood by and did nothing.

    Tony, I see peoples’ recovery from abuse as being like a person’s recovery from a bad car wreck. It takes time. We wouldn’t expect a car crash victim to get up and walk (or run); we know that’s an end-product of a lot of healing. Abuse survivors getting to a place of forgiveness is the same.

    Somewhere I read that a Christian abuse victim was told something very healing:
    “What that [abuser] did to you is so serious that Jesus had to die on the cross for it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Yes I agree that one doesn’t expect one to walk away from injury just like that. The wounds take time to heal but with regard to the girl in the church she is still wounded although the abuse happened many years ago. I still believe that unforgiveness can hinder progress at a certain point in the healing process to the point where you can move no further forward.

    Julie Anne thank you for your sharing. You would know better than anyone what the healing process involves. I have been sexually abused by a man in an orphanage I was in. Suposed to be our house father. Some father. I don’t think I was very scarred for some reason although my friend has struggled with homosexual leanings since, which I can only imagine came from that experience.

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  48. I am sorry to hear Tony that you and your friend (and no doubt others) were sexually abused in an orphanage. I am glad that you have healed from the experience. (Many people I know, like your friend, who are gay/lesbian/bisexual were also sexually abused as children and have told me heart-breaking stories of sexual abuse.)

    As to the woman at your church who was abused years ago and hasn’t healed from it, she could probably benefit from specialized counseling to help her on the road to recovery. We have specialized counseling here in the U.S., and where I live in California. I hope you have it in Ireland as well. If she can’t afford to go, perhaps the church’s pastors could arrange funds to help her go (part of the “help one anothers”).

    I know many people stuck in their abuse, even though they say it happened years ago. Those people have a variety of coping methods: passive aggressive lashing out at others (or outright aggression), compulsive eating, compulsive doing, drinking/drugs, inability to empathize with others (because to do so would trigger what they haven’t resolved), being religious addicts, and a long list of other problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. I am in England actually. I mentioned Ireland over here because of the Catholic abuse problem there.

    With regard to the lady in our church there is ample help around but one cannot force it on her. When I mentioned the word forgiveness of her parents she rose up in anger and walked away. I have seen much worse than her healed but she does have a blockage on forgiveness, yet she comes to the church every week. I am a great believer in God’s healing but it must be according to His precepts and always done in love. This lady has a bank of psychiatrists on hand but no progress seems to be made. For my part I will have to find another avenue.

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  50. Hi Tony,

    I will pray for the woman in your church and for her healing from past abuse.

    Have a Merry Christmas in England. (One summer I worked for Yorkshire Cricket and got to travel with them, a job a relative secured for me. Lovely country, lovely people.)

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  51. @Tony,

    Another idea came to mind. Perhaps this woman could be gently referred to a 12-Step group (Al-Anon, Debtors Anonymous come to mind or an equivalent 12-Step program, Christian or secular). There other people coming to terms with losses, boundaries, anger, unforgiveness, acting out, addictive behaviors. It’s free.
    People also learn how to let go of really deep, painful stuff. There is also a recommendation to pray for your enemies for 30-days. It’s hard to hate people when you are praying for them! Prayer dissolves hate.

    Even the lovely Christian Corrie Ten Boom (“The Hiding Place”) struggled to forgive Nazi guards who harmed her family in the concentration camps. But the Lord helped her and gave her supernatural help.

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  52. “When I mentioned the word forgiveness of her parents she rose up in anger and walked away.”

    Then hopefully everyone will drop the issue and leave her alone about it.

    Not every Christian agrees on what forgiveness is, whether or not it is necessary in every case for healing from abuse, or even if it is always the best or right choice when the abuser is unrepentant.

    It is entirely possible that she is like many, many other abused people in this world who will never fully and completely heal in every way in this life, through absolutely no fault of their own. For some people, healing is a more complicated, lifelong process. There are some who know that the best they can do is to learn to live with permanent damage.

    I hope she can move forward at her own pace, without feeling demonized or blamed by anyone for not healing quickly enough for them, or for her chosen stance on forgiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. I don’t think we have any 12 step programmes around here Michaela but there is talk of them being started up.

    I know forgiveness cannot be forced. I felt it was right to say it when I prayed for her. The response was eerie. She stood up and let out a big Noooo! There was something more than logic behind it so obviously I cannot touch it again but it was an eye opener at where she is at. One cannot do a thing if the counselee doesn’t want it.

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  54. Hi Tony,

    12-step meetings: sorry there aren’t in person meetings; there are phone in meetings for most of them and some Skype meetings.

    I will pray for her too.

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  55. There’s benefits in both ways Michaela. God uses lots of ways to heal. Sometimes nobody else is involved. My one to one was on an informal relationship basis. If it got serious then there would be others involved if needed. I am on a healing teaching course once a month for a weekend away. I am still learning. Because all my healing came gradually through the word and through Holy Spirit meetings I never experienced counseling but I know that people do experience healing through prayer counseling. I have spoken to many who testify to this. Some of them had horrific backgrounds. Much worse than mine which is saying something, so I am eager to learn. The world is full of broken people.

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  56. Forgiving a sicko abuser isn’t always a magic bullet.

    I tried to be a good little Christian with forgiving a few people in my family. On my knees, with prayers, telling Jesus I forgive them. I Fasted. Gave them gifts. Got church counseling. Went to professional therapists. Begged God to release me from the hurt & resentment I felt so deeply inside.

    I made promise to be loving when I was with them, and ended up, saying things I regretted. IT TOOK YEARS. I was so confused, some were saying I wasn’t a Christian because I wasn’t full of love, it was perplexing, I desperately wanted to feel the forgiveness and it didn’t happen for YEARS.

    When it did, it was the most glorious freeing gift our Lord had ever given me, outside of saving me. I don’t have any idea why it took so long, so, give our Lord plenty of space & time to heal people, as the good book says, He has made everything beautiful In Its Time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Gail nobody is saying that forgiveness is the magic bullet. Over emphasising that could be as bad as not mentioning it. In your case you was totally aware of it and maybe was trying to get more out of it than you were meant to. I don’t know. There are others who are not even aware of it and it needs to be mentioned in that case. Appropriating forgiveness from the Father is all part of healing but we are told that if we do not forgive then neither will our heavenly Father forgive us.

    Also forgiveness does not always restore relationship as the other party is involved as well. What it does is release us from bitterness and all that goes with it. You obviously had a bad experience and I would ask your forgiveness if it seemed that I over emphasised something that you were hurt by in the past. We all need to get balance but not at the expense of dumping parts of the word of God. I know it is not always easy. I am glad that you got there in the end.

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  58. Way to go, Tony…let’s threaten the victim with eternal damnation for not forgiving.

    I would say to stay away from hounding anyone from forgiving anyone for anything and let nature take it’s course. Then I would advise to learn about the words “BIND AND LOOSE”. That is a God given right that the victim does NOT have to forgive if they don’t want to.

    Ed

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  59. Tony said:
    “This lady has a bank of psychiatrists on hand but no progress seems to be made.”

    My response:
    It’s not your job to monitor her progress. And, I agree with Michaela that forgiveness is the last step, not the first step, and not a step in between. I also agree with Oasis, in that she should be left alone. No one should get involved unless she approaches someone. And, definitely, no one should ever threaten her with eternal damnation for not forgiving. Yes, I know that is in the Bible, however, since victims have the God given right to Bind or Loose, then one needs to re-study that section of the Bible that states that God will not forgive someone who does not forgive. We know that the bible does not contradict itself.

    Bind and Loose is in the section discussing forgiveness, and it isn’t a sin to bind, nor is it a threat of eternal damnation to the victim if the victim chooses to bind.

    So, I think it’s time to revisit the “God will not forgive if you don’t forgive” section.

    Ed

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  60. “What it does is release us from bitterness and all that goes with it. ”

    Actually, this is often code for” “Expecting justice is “bitterness”” . There are very wrong beliefs floating around out there in evangelicalism about justice here and now. These wrong ideas actually perpetuate evil for many reasons. Often for the sake of fake piety. but that does not help future victims of the evil, either.

    Lots of wrong understanding/teaching on the concept of forgiveness in the NT. It turns out to be an excuse for evil.

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  61. Ed, often people are accused of not forgiving and “bitterness” if they tell their own story of what happened to them. Negative truths are often seen as unforgiveness and bitterness. If you dare mention an evil perpetuated by another professing believer then you are unforgiving and bitter. Truth has no place in that world.

    And the evil continues because these types use false teaching about Jesus Christ as cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. ” We all need to get balance but not at the expense of dumping parts of the word of God. ”

    The “Word of God” is the indwelling Savior. Many interpret scriptures differently so what do we do with that? Those differing interpretations have brought us thousands of denominations. So, who has the perfect inerrant interpretation since God did not see fit to preserve any originals? You?

    Here is a question for you. Could you possibly know Jesus Christ if you had no access to scriptures? (Because many did not throughout history)

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  63. “Gail nobody is saying that forgiveness is the magic bullet. Over emphasising that could be as bad as not mentioning it. In your case you was totally aware of it and maybe was trying to get more out of it than you were meant to. I don’t know.”
    ^
    Tony, I am not sure what you mean here^

    I only have a minute right now, so I am going to paste Ed’s words to you.
    Ed said: It’s not your job to monitor her progress. And, I agree with Michaela that forgiveness is the last step, not the first step, and not a step in between. I also agree with Oasis, in that she should be left alone. No one should get involved unless she approaches someone. And, definitely, no one should ever threaten her with eternal damnation for not forgiving.”

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  64. Lydia,

    You had said:
    “The “Word of God” is the indwelling Savior.”

    My response:
    That is so profound. I think that we would all profit from that if we would meditate upon that one for a long while.

    How did the early “GENTILE” Christians survive without a book store to sell them a Bible?

    Ed

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  65. Hi Tony,

    Just a note that I value your contributions here as we all sort out various topics, including abuse and forgiveness. I have found you to be wise, thoughtful, open-minded, kind, empathetic, caring and transparent.

    I wish you and your wife a Merry Christmas across The Pond.

    Best wishes from California,

    Michaela

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  66. Hi Gail,

    I think Tony was referring, in the quote from his previous post that you mentioned, that you were aware of the concept of forgiveness and struggled with the entire thing for a long time in your journey of healing. But others may have never heard of it and therefore it should be mentioned at some point.

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  67. Before suggesting that someone check out alanon and the like..do a little investigating. Example codependent no more..often further blaming the victim for the addicted person’s behaviors/choices/actions.

    I find this site fascinating. I’m glad voices are being heard in regards to Fundamentalist Christian Churches and their continued treatment of women and children as chattle.

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  68. Julie Anne – This is an old problem and a stinky one. Did you know that the expression “rule of thumb” was supposed by some to come from a law or custom that a man wasn’t supposed to beat his wife with a switch larger than his thumb? Although modern research has proven this was probably not an actual English law, it was taken seriously by some important lawmakers in U.S. history. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thumb#Thumb_used_for_abuse)

    The first time I ran across “domestic discipline” in recent years the people practicing it didn’t seem to be Christian in belief, and my take on it was that it was some kind of BDSM since the women writing about it seemed to get some sexual pleasure out of it. This brings up a disconcerting question as to the men in Christendom who are practicing this. Are they in fact doing this for some kind of perverse pleasure? And, if so, it’s even more despicable than the usual type because the women don’t have a choice and must “play along” even if they hate it. The ramifications of that make me too angry to speak about with sanctified speech! It turns my stomach. Even worse, it makes me wonder about a lot of the other abuse that goes on and why it really happens. Satan is surely having a hay day in the church turning every beautiful thing of God upside down and convincing men to call it “good”.

    Isaiah 5:20-24 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    I’m not suggesting we should “keep the law”. I’m just pointing out that God doesn’t look lightly on this kind of hypocrisy and lies, and that ultimately these abusers **hate God**.

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  69. “Domestic discipline” is a sexual paraphilia. If you wish to engage in that sort of sex play as two consenting and equal adults, that is one thing (but I’d advise against letting the kids see or hear it! And DON’T spank your kids; their bottoms are the only erogenous zones they know and aside from this being child sexual abuse it merely teaches them to avoid the punishment, e.g., by lying — not to avoid doing whatever you’re trying to teach them not to do). Such sexualization of the infliction of pain and humiliation, and the power-tripping it represents, is unworthy of a Christian or, for that matter, a conscientious Jew, Hindu, Muslim, or even an atheist. Anyone who tells you otherwise is one of those frauds of whom Jesus is quoted as saying that not everyone who calls ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is rather just another form of punitive orthodoxy, which so far from being righteous is a pathological mindset, than which the Devil himself could not have designed a better tool for damning the befuddled.

    To be sure, there is a whole subculture of gender-egalitarian BDSM practitioners whose watchword is “safe, sane, and consensual.” But that demi-monde has no more to do with Christianity per se than an iguana has with an iceberg.

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  70. Women can be abusive as well. My wife verbally attacks me every time I don’t go along with everything she has to say and do.

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  71. Why is it considered acceptable to spank children when they get out of line or show no respect to the parent. If done properly it’s not abuse though now days it probably is..anyway and so why not the wife we can’t have the family going about disrespecting each other, and trust me there are many women who could use a good spanking, I think in those christian circles that practice that domestic discipline I think you stated earlier the idea again like you said that God would or is supposed to be felt with by God…so if no discipline is to be used and no one has any fear how do you control an unruly family and don’t tell me through prayer…

    I grew up in a household where respect wasn’t optional, yea it was stick but like every family there are choirs to be done and why should my father half to do them after a hard day of construction why should he half to come home to a messy house no dinner made stc..? That’s not fair. There has to be order to the house or there will be chaos….it would be nice if everyone just fell in line and helped out where needed but that’s not reality is it. I don’t think your really helping the situation yes I do think there is fine line between discipline ,and a Abuse ….so tell me how does one control a house/family that’s starting to go astray or chaos what would you do to get respect and control before it all collapsed in on it’s self.

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  72. so if no discipline is to be used and no one has any fear how do you control an unruly family and don’t tell me through prayer…

    Fear rather than love as a motivator is very Machiavelli.
    Who ‘controls’ the father when out of line?
    Women aren’t children. Adults should treat each other as such.

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  73. I hope you arent a hypocrite and are against children being spanked too, if its abuse for one it is for the other, esp since no child wants to be hit.

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