Soul Tied: Harmful Spiritual Conclusions about Sex Abuse, Purity Culture, and Sex Abuse Victims

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Christian leaders put their spiritual spin on sexual abuse and premarital sex and devalue young women in the process.

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The church has sometimes done a poor job on handling sex abuse and premarital sex and I was reminded once again this week.

But let me back up and give other examples of how Christian leaders put their spiritual spin on this issue how they devalue young women in the process.

You may recall the sex abuse allegations against Doug Phillips by Lourdes Torres-Manteufel. When news of this case came out, we heard from Doug Wilson. He did not want to call her a victim, but in his article, he expects a victim to behave a certain way in order for her to be validated as a victim, ie, she (Lourdes Torres) should have left Phillips’ house immediately. Further in the comments, we read from some who said that because Lourdes didn’t “cry out,” her story is suspect. This is one spiritual spin of sex abuse. There was no regard for the role Phillips played as her spiritual authority, her employer, long-time mentor, etc.

The Christian community and Mormon community have similar teachings on purity. Mormon kidnap and rape victim, Elizabeth Smart, described the purity culture she was taught:

Smart said she “felt so dirty and so filthy” after she was raped by her captor, and she understands why someone wouldn’t run “because of that alone.”

Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, saying she was raised in a religious household and recalled a school teacher who spoke once about abstinence and compared sex to chewing gum.

“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value,” Smart said. “Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.” (Source)

Samantha Field, blogger at Defeating the Dragons, was taught an object lesson by a Christian speaker to promote purity. She describe it as follows:

My sophomore year in college, another speaker shared a similar object lesson– ironically, in the exact same room, also filled exclusively with women. She got up to the podium carrying a single rose bud. At this point I was more familiar with sexual imagery, and I knew that the rose had frequently been treated as a symbol for the vagina in literature and poetry– so, again, I knew what was coming.

This speaker asked us to pass the rose around the room, and encouraged us to enjoy touching it. “Caress the petals,” she told us. “Feel the velvet.” By the time the rose came to me, it was destroyed. Most of the petals were gone, the ones that were still feebly clinging to the stem were bruised and torn. The leaves were missing, and someone had ripped away the thorns, leaving gash marks down the side.

Samantha echoes similar sentiments Elizabeth Smart that used regarding the internalized message young ladies might feel when hearing these teachings:

However, all of these object lessons contribute to one message: your identity and value as a woman is tied to your sexual purity. If you surrender your virginity, you are worthless. Disgusting. Repulsive. Broken. Unwanted.

I encourage you to read Samantha’s excellent article, roses– how the purity culture taught me to be abused.

That brings me to a picture I found on my friend, Ryan Stollar’s, Facebook page from a book he was reading by Lisa Cherry and her daughter Kalyn Cherry-Waller, entitled, Unmask the Predators: The Battle to Protect Your Child. Here is a summary of the book:

 

WARNING: THREATS TO YOUR CHILD AHEAD! Losing your child’s heart to the perverse world of a sexual predator is truly every parent’s nightmare. When an $800 cell phone bill revealed a secret relationship between our highachieving, Sunday School teaching 15 year old daughter, Kalyn, and a 46 year old man from our congregation, we were horrified. The aftermath of destruction, as it usually is with sexual abuse, was disastrous. Rebellion, depression, wrong relationships, eating disorders, and selfmutilation suddenly turned home into a war zone. In Kalyn’s mind we, her parents, were her enemies while the sexual perpetrator remained her hero. How could something so bizarre happen in a loving Christian home? (Source)

 

I was struck by Amazon’s “About the Author:”

Lisa Cherry and her daughter Kalyn Cherry-Waller have navigated the storm of extreme family crisis and spiritual warfare emerging as a victorious voice for others. Their ministry has placed them on the front lines speaking to tens of thousands of parents and teens each year. Their message acts as a beacon of light and hope to aid parents and teens with practical communication tools to avoid crisis such as child predators. Championing the cause of better family communication and spiritual growth, Lisa and her husband Doug are founders of Frontline Families Ministries which is dedicated to providing communication tools and practical resources for growing spiritual and healthy families. The Cherry’s are pastors and make their home in Carbondale, Illinois.

Ok, the key phrases in the above paragraph that struck me were “spiritual warfare” and “front lines speaking to tens of thousands of parents and teens each year.”  If they (Lisa and her daughter) are speaking to tens of thousands of parents and teens, that means they are fairly well-known and respected in their circles. I found out on Ms. Cherry’s website, that she has a whole ministry:

In the wake of the sexual abuse allegations among homeschoolers, Ms. Cherry has posted an article which she boasts has been read by nearly 30,000 people:

Something amazing happened here last week.

I published my  article An Open Letter to My Fellow Homeschool Parents: Sexual Predator Accusations Among Homeschoolers?   

NOW 29,708 have read it already. And the number is growing every day! (Source)

Ms. Cherry has a  website, ministry, sells books, and speaks on the topic of sex abuse in the hopes of helping parents with this sensitive topic, but what is her message?  I’m sure there are a lot of practical helps that are very good. I also appreciate that she is addressing this important topic that is sometimes taboo in church, especially after having experienced it in a personal way, but I am concerned about the message that is sent to parents and their children about survivors:

 

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Transcribed:

“I was never more keenly aware of this fact than during our struggle for Kalyn. We were fighting against powers much stronger than the emotions of a confused fifteen-year-old girl. The truth of Ephesians 6:12 became quite apparent: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Kalyn had been “soul tied” to a man steeped in the dark world of pornography and perversion. The battle for her life was a battle in the heavenlies. My busy bluster of motherly activity highlighted by my angry yells of correction did no good.”

Do you see it?  Do you see the problem I’m having with this?  Do you see any spiritual conclusions that make things confusing for a sex abuse survivor? Let’s talk.

 

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127 comments on “Soul Tied: Harmful Spiritual Conclusions about Sex Abuse, Purity Culture, and Sex Abuse Victims

  1. I see the problem, all right.

    Overspiritualizing, turning everything into Spiritual Warfare/Magick battles, never stopping for a natural explanation when you can go for a Supernatural one. Like DEMONS!! DEMONS!!!! DEMONS!!!!!! Just like all the Woo-Woo you get out here in the Weird Religion/New Age capital of the country, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!

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  2. Argh! I’ve seen this idea before, and didn’t really challenge it. I used to lead abortion-recovery groups with the local PRC. While it’s a wonderful, life-changing ministry, one of the exercises we did was one called “Breaking Soul Ties.” We would list out every sexual encounter we’d ever had (that we could remember), and then either burn, shred, or other wise destroy the list while praying about taking back the soul ties we’d lost.

    It wasn’t an exercise in shaming, but in liberation. My experience over about a dozen groups was that the women felt much freer seeing that they weren’t alone in feeling like they’d lost something precious, to too many people (whether their list included three or a hundred) – and that had been my feeling when I’d gone through the same group myself. But now I’m not sure about the theology of the whole soul-tie thing. I’ll have to give it some thought. At the very least, it sounds like there would probably be a better way to achieve the same feeling of liberation from feeling used. And I would definitely never want to talk to an adolescent or teen this way.

    Interesting…

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  3. I think the reasoning was the “two shall become one flesh,” and that this translates to soul (spiritual) ties, iirc. It’s been several years a since is last led a group.

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  4. I clearly remember teachings in a charismatic church in the 1990’s that a sexually abused person could very well be demonized. The place in the body where the abuse occurred leaves a nesting spot for demonic activity. And I was prayed over to get rid of that demon. I can’t figure out how the scripture could have been manipulated so that the innocent person is the one with the demon. This is a severe secondary abuse.

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  5. @ Persephone:

    We would list out every sexual encounter we’d ever had (that we could remember), and then either burn, shred, or other wise destroy the list while praying about taking back the soul ties we’d lost. It wasn’t an exercise in shaming, but in liberation.

    I can see why it could produce that effect, as something symbolic, and maybe it could be okay used just that way, but connecting it to a theology of “soul-tying” seems like it could be really damaging. Reminds me of the odd charismatic stuff where the demons have “strongholds” in your life or get their hooks into you via some sin on your part, which of course you then have to ferret out which then leads to psychological self-flagellation until you’re seeing demons behind every bush.

    The way Cherry is talking, it almost sounds like you can catch demons from sexual contact with a predator / pervert, the same way you would catch an STD. That’s…iffy, to put it mildly.

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  6. The etymology of this soul-tie belief actually originates in paganism and was drafted into early Catholic beliefs. Augustine (could hardly believe it when I read it) and Aquinas apparently wrote about it. I’m not sure if it is formally a part of Kaballah, but it is attached to original sin legends along those lines. I went to a conference on the medical use of hypnosis, and I heard more about this concept there than I have in Christian circles. People who practice “energy medicine techniques” along the lines of New Age or theosophy use this concept extensively.

    I don’t know how it infiltrated into systems like Cherry’s, but it may have something to do with the Word of Faith movement influence which traces its roots back to EW Kenyon. He took Mary Baker Eddy’s work and essentially “sanitized” it for Christians — and Eddy studied with a European style mesmerist named Phineas Quimby. There are also several Catholics who preach this, too. People into “deliverance ministry” (essentially exorcism) may have adopted this material from either source. There’s also the Inner Healing movement from the ’50s which was popularized again in the ’90s as “theophostic ministry” that is essentially more theosophy.

    I would chalk it up to “pagan Christianity,” but not along the same lines and etymology as the Viola book by that title.

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  7. Hester,

    According to this soul-tie school of thought in the deliverance movement, you can catch a demon from just about anything. It’s billed as spiritual warfare, and there’s a demon under every bush and behind every door, according to some. A friend in the IFB told me about her experience with a deliverance minister who said Donnie and Marie Osmond was a particularly potent source of soul attachments to evil. (They showed her a list of rock music titles/artists, and that was the only one she recognized, so they did a session to deliver her from these influences.)

    Again, in these circles of Unity/New Thought Christianity/Christian Science, you can bring on soul ties by your confession. Saying “You make me sick!” is believed to actually make you sick, and you can be well by confessing wellness. (This is the kind of thing that was adapted and accommodated within the Word of Faith movement.) Norman Cousins, Dale Carnage, and Norman Vincent Peale focused on this stuff in days gone by. Today, we have titles like this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Your-Body-Believes-Every-Word/dp/0883312190/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412800915&sr=1-1&keywords=your+body+believes+every+word+you+say

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  8. I clearly remember teachings in a charismatic church in the 1990’s that a sexually abused person could very well be demonized.

    Yes, I do, too.

    The place in the body where the abuse occurred leaves a nesting spot for demonic activity.

    Ok, now let’s think this strange idea through. So does that mean if someone is raped, then every pregnancy an unborn child is exposed to demon activity? ACKKKKKKK!!!

    And I was prayed over to get rid of that demon.

    Been there and done that, too.

    I can’t figure out how the scripture could have been manipulated so that the innocent person is the one with the demon.

    EXACTLY!!!

    This is a severe secondary abuse.

    That’s right it is.

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  9. Soul ties gives more credit to Satan for the sexual offense than the perpetrator gets. So, really, the book should be more about protecting our children from spiritual demons than real perpetrators.

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  10. I searched “soul tie/ties/tied” in my online parallel Bible and, surprise surprise, failed to find it. I did find one fine fellow whose “soul clave” to his victim: (I like the KJV here) “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.”
    And another was “vexed” and fell sick for his victim ahead of time:
    “And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.”
    So, you might make a scriptural case for PERPS being “soul tied” prior their untimely demise (accidents involving brothers’ swords) but not their victims.
    Notice also that neither account blames the devil.

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  11. Hmm, yes, as I’ve read the comments I do remember now that the woman who came up with the “Breaking Soul Ties” activity was definitely charismatic. I don’t know that she was all the way into WoF, though. She was the first person to start the post-abortion ministry in my city, in the early- or mid-90s. I haven’t worked with that ministry myself for 5-7 yrs, so I don’t know if they’re still using it.

    I should see if I can find the handout we used. I don’t remember it having demonic or spiritual warfare overtones, but there definitely was the idea that our our souls are tied to anyone we’ve had any kind of sexual activity with. Now that I think about it, that really is totally pagan, isn’t it? The idea that we are spiritually bound in some way to another person as a result of sexual activity – which was very loosely defined – sounds much more Wiccan to me than Christ-ian. I was actually quite interested in various forms of New Age spirituality until I was in my early-30s, so it’s weird to me that I didn’t recognize it.

    I think that teaching left me with a great deal of frustration in one respect: there is every indication that my sister and I experienced sexual abuse as children, except for clear memory. There are even memory holes around the time that some really gnarly things were happening, according to my mother. But no matter how much I have prayed and pleaded with God to be able to remember, I never have been able to. So although the abortion-recovery group leaders emphatically did not teach that my soul ties weren’t severed unless I could remember any details, I internalized it that way. It wasn’t the teachers, or the way the message was presented, but the unspoken logical conclusion. If I couldn’t remember what exactly to renounce, I didn’t see how I could actually be free.

    And I was in my 30s at that point. I really see Ms. Cherry’ possibly. well-meaning message as potentially very harmful, especially because it’s surrounding young people.

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  12. Julie Anne, I think you really hit the nail on the head re. giving Satan more responsibility than the perps. It’s so much less irksome to say, “The devil made me do it!” than to hold another “christian” responsible for inexcusable sin.

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  13. It strikes me that one big objection I have to the sentence our hostess quotes is that the mother of the victim appears to be yelling at her victimized daughter. Yelling suggests to the recipient that they are in the wrong. No matter what the theological errors–and I cannot find Scripture to justify the notion of being “soul tied”–Mom was sending a very mixed message.

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  14. The sad thing with all of these leaders is they are professing what they truly believe. Lourdes got no free pass because she didn’t cry out per Leviticus. It’s interesting that Wilson put far more responsibility on her than the perpetrator. We see this here with Cherry’s book in that the burden once again goes on the victim. This is so messed up.

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  15. It seems to me that SHAME is a central theme here and that girls are taught that pre-marital sex is always synonymous with shame, regardless of the circumstances. If girls are taught that any and all sex before marriage is sinful, how can they also be expected to differentiate loving, committed sex (which, by the way, can also be present in a non-marriage relationship) from predatory, opportunistic sex (which, by the way, can also be present within a marriage)? I believe that girls should be taught that ANY time they don’t welcome a touch, it is WRONG and they are being VIOLATED, no matter how old they are or in what kind of relationship — from a boyfriend to a pastor, to a husband. We need to provide young women with the tools and the language to confidently own their bodies, and the knowledge to understand that NO ONE ELSE EVER does — no matter what.

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  16. This might be a stretch, but are females at any age, told by the church that they own anything? In obedience, we are to give up everything to God. Shame on us if we withhold anything – full surrender. And then at the marriage ceremony, everyone is asked if there is any reason for this lady not to be given to this man. If she passes this one, the parents give her to this man. If she’s fortunate, she will have had a wise aunt or grandmother who set her straight that she owned her own self (mind, body, emotions, etc). But then that would have to be a secret between the two of them.

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  17. Well then, it seems to me that the SIN is in teaching females, from a very young age, that they own nothing (especially their own bodies) and are to be always obedient. Basically, they are being taught that their bodies belong to those who ask for it — except *before* marriage, of course; after marriage, always give him what he wants, never thinking of yourself. Doesn’t the SIN here lie with those who give girls that message? Not being beholden to any church or doctrine, we taught our girls that their body belongs to no one but them, EVER, and that they and *only they* can decide when, to whom, and in what circumstances to share it. When they understand that, they naturally know sinful touch (not welcome) from loving (welcome) touch.

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  18. Does it single out ladies in the marriage ceremony? I thought it was if anyone had any reason the 2 should not be married (implying either husband or wife). Anyone?

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  19. Julie Anne, think “Jane Eyre” where Mason notes that his sister, Bertha, is still married to Rochester and therefore he could not marry Jane. The “banns” being read were intended to make sure that both bride and groom were eligible for marriage.

    Along the same lines, 1 Corinthians 7 deeds the husband’s body to the wife. So in Christian marriage, it might be argued that there is mutuality in non-ownership of one’s own body, and it really only starts with marriage.

    Yeah, if you told me that a lot of “chastity” pledges and such start from an un-Biblical worldview, yup, I’d agree.

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  20. Where is accountability for perpetrators in their paradigm? By blaming Ephesians 6:12 “powers and principalities” for immoral behavior, it deflects blame away from abusers.

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  21. @ Cindy:

    Yeah, I figured WoF was probably involved here. It also reminded me of the NAR with their talk of national demons that need to be exorcized from entire continents and whatnot.

    As I read this thread, I’m feeling like I’ve heard about this kind of ceremony before, where you write something on a sheet of a paper and then burn it to “release” you from whatever was on the paper. I just can’t remember now if it was in real life or on TV. It well might have been something “Wiccans” (who knows if they were portrayed accurately or not) were shown doing on a crime show, or maybe even a silly thing on a sitcom (ala Friends), where the single women got together and burned the names of their ex-boyfriends. That being said, yeah, it definitely sounds like something that would go on in a pagan / New Age environment.

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  22. Satan doesn’t need to spend much time encouraging humans to sinful or unrighteous behavior – we certainly don’t need any help with that.

    Instead, Satan’s effort is primarily expended toward influencing institutionalized religion and motivating churches to be obsessed with personalities and numerous other other distractions such as chastity programs instead of focusing on bringing their flock to spiritual maturity in Christ.

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  23. Oh, Hester, I’ve done that at church camp. I was a teen in the “burn your records” era. Evil John Denver and his mind power of thought EST! They should have liked him, thinking of him in retrospect. The ideology wasn’t really that different. 😉 We tied them in a red ribbon before we threw them on the bonfire.

    There are probably some direct ties back into NAR that likely go right back to William Branham that are along these same lines, too. (For those who don’t realize, Branham who was the seed of the New Apostolic Reformation/Vineyard/Intl. House of Prayer/Kansas City Prophets used to have a being appear to him on the platform when he spoke, and the entity would allegedly tell him who to call out to heal. He was nothing more than a crazy person who was charismatic and billed everything as Christian.)

    He was patriarchal, too. I love Sierra’s writing and strongly identified with her, because the same weird stuff went on in the Kenyon branch of things, but sometimes for different reasons.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2010/02/%E2%80%9Chello-miss-dog-meat-%E2%80%9D/

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  24. My MIL is a Branhamite, and one SIL has done significant research debunking his toxic legacy. I’m not actually quite as ready to dismiss his “angel” as just craziness or street theater, from what I’ve read. I am NOT one who sees a demon behind every bad habit, a generational curse beneath every crappy life choice, or satanic “strongholds” infesting every hill and dale. But Branham? Was creepy as hell. I’m certain he was a con man, and extremely skilled at cold reading and the like, but I believe there was also some scary spiritual stuff going on with him.

    I was actually raised in various forms of New Age spirituality. Now that I’ve been thinking about this today, the notion of spiritual connection via sexuality is classic womyn’s spirituality, even Wiccan. From my experience anyway.

    It’s rermarkable how much messed up spirituality, from NA to freaky uber-charismatic heresy, has crept so far into what we consider the mainstream evangelical church.

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  25. This was a very helpful article I hope people read it and consider. Abuse victims should not be connected to the abuse as IE asking for it. No its all on the abuser, they are the cause not the victim.

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  26. Julie Anne can I ask we do something, I am well a bit off the historic Christian faith but you, Wartburg, phoenix preacher and calvary chapel abuse maybe start threads on an agreed date and just pray, offer encouragement, cyber hugs if you will to those that have been involved in spiritual abuse. No comments on political polity etc, but just prayer, fasting, sharing of scripture and a leaning on Christ to heal the land. I am almost an atheist in many ways but I still believe in the power of the family. No rhetoric, no agenda, just a community of folks across this nation even international that just says, we will pray for and support abuse victims in and out of the church. I think it could be powerful. Thanks for what you do. You guys saved my soul, I was on the edge, and all of the websites I listed, pulled be back from the abyss.

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  27. One other note, Dear Lord Jesus I have been far from you for so long, I have been afraid of you, angry, no red hot mad at you. I have mocked you in my heart and well, I am ashamed. Lord you have never done me wrong, ever. I am sorry, forgive me, restore me and above all, make sure I dont hurt others. This is my prayer, it always has been. I wish to do no harm. Amen

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  28. I do not believe that eventing two unmarried people have sex that that means a demon. I went through that soul tie breaking thing two but I never really bought it because I couldn’t find it in the scriptures. Having said that, I do believe it’s possible for demons to enter people today and I don’t believe to say that means lessening the guilt of the perp. If someone got a demon during an assault then I see the perp as even more responsible, just like a perp with aids is more responsible.

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  29. Sorry Brian, I didn’t mean to be insensitive, I didn’t see your posts until after your posts. I’m praying for you.

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  30. Brian, Thank you for sharing your sincere and gentle heart with us. You have offered a refreshing start to my day. My prayers are with you today.

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  31. @Hester:

    The way Cherry is talking, it almost sounds like you can catch demons from sexual contact with a predator / pervert, the same way you would catch an STD. That’s…iffy, to put it mildly.

    Well, if you can catch a DEMON!!! just by handing a D&D book or buying a fantasy print at an SF con…

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  32. @pattij553:

    Persephone, I studied Branham’s life quite a few years ago. I think he had a demon.

    We talking “Serpent Seed” Branham?

    I think the guy read Howard’s “King Kull” and didn’t realize the Serpent Men of Valusia were fiction. “KA NAMA KAA LAJERAMA!”

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  33. @Ahab:

    Where is accountability for perpetrators in their paradigm? By blaming Ephesians 6:12 “powers and principalities” for immoral behavior, it deflects blame away from abusers.

    “THE DEBBIL MADE ME DO IT!”
    — Flip Wilson’s Geraldine

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  34. I never understood the idea that Satan (a lowly angel) could possess in any way a child of an almighty God. It seems Satan is often used when blaming girls/woman for a man’s sexual misdeeds. Undue pressure is put on the victim to cast out her “uncleanness” after sexual abuse, but the perpetrator, not so much. Rather than lamenting a girl’s “stolen virginity” as if that were her total value, victims should be allowed to express their rage and anger towards the attacker. The young woman in question was groomed and seduced by a grown man. He should be the focus of her disgust. Rather than going off about satan, she would be better served in learning how preditors groom and emotionally ensnare their victims.
    Information is power. Righteous anger can help a former victim keep up healthy boundaries in the future. Rather than focusing on their vaginal purity, educators would serve girls better in educating them about their own emotions, sexual feelings and red flags to look for when someone wants to exploit their personhood. I hate all this teaching on obedience to authority. To a young girl, all adults are authority and therefore can easily mislead a young woman. These woman need to be taught to question and identify behaviors in others that may be harmful to them. We need to protect their hearts, Satan couldn’t care less about their vaginas.

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  35. “Soul ties gives more credit to Satan for the sexual offense than the perpetrator gets.”

    Bingo! And this does have its roots in paganism and Plato’s forms which infested Christianity centuries later. They take a verse in Ephesians and map it to the sinner being controlled by Satan so it is really Satan’s fault. The sinner cannot help it. That is what I get from it and have seen it everywhere in Protestantism. From the seekers to Calvinists to the WoF folks. “The devil made me do it” doctrine. Anything to keep from having abusers, predators take responsibility for their choices. And that is what it is: Choices.

    Satan is simply delighted to have such willing followers.

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  36. “I never understood the idea that Satan (a lowly angel) could possess in any way a child of an almighty God”

    Ann, there are tons of pastors out there who believe that one can be a Christian while they are molesting a child. It is insidious and blasphemes the Cross/Resurrection. Some of them might surprise you as they are quite popular.

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  37. “Rather than focusing on their vaginal purity, educators would serve girls better in educating them about their own emotions, sexual feelings and red flags to look for when someone wants to exploit their personhood. I hate all this teaching on obedience to authority. To a young girl, all adults are authority and therefore can easily mislead a young woman. These woman need to be taught to question and identify behaviors in others that may be harmful to them. We need to protect their hearts, Satan couldn’t care less about their vaginas.”

    Ann, totally agree. All children should be taught to question everything politely and civilly. It is how they learn. The last thing we want is to raise good little future Nazi’s who follow orders from an “authority”.

    Girls need to be taught their value as you outlined. When someone violates them they are not taking their value from them. That predator devaled themselves and the victim needs to know they are punished.

    Good/Evil, Right/wrong. Why is this so hard for Christians?

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  38. JA, now it is not doing it! It is on one comment that is in moderation and I cannot figure it out. It seems wordpress read me as being new or something for the first comment and I changed nothing on my end yet it quit doing it on second comment. Bizarre!

    it does not bother me but I do not want to cause confusion.

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  39. HUG, ya that guy, I’m just saying that there are some powerful experiences that people have and if those of us who have had them don’t test the spirits to see whether are of God because we just blindly trust that the devil can’t give us those experiences then we accept them as God. Both Branham and Hinn had some pretty wild things happen to them when they were young that they believed to be God. If we believe that some of the Hindu and new age powerful manifestations are caused by demons, and they are identical to stuff that Hinn, Todd Bentley, etc. promote, then why can’t those be demons, too? I believe they are. I don’t know about Branham, but I believe that Hinn is a true believer but also has a sidekick show that is demonic.

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  40. I learned something here. Because my first impression showed nothing terribly wrong in the mother’s words – “soul ties” sounded like “emotional ties” and the fact that in this teen’s mind, her parents were the enemies, keeping her away from someone who (in her mind) cared, and the guy who used her was her hero, sure sounded like emotional ties.

    It did not sound like blame, but like a fact. But explaining that soul ties don’t mean an emotional bond makes the difference.

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  41. Retha, It is often subtle like that. It is part of separating the spiritual world from the material world which causes huge problems in how we see truth. It is Plato in a Jesus mask.

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  42. Lydia, because I am already known as one that believes a Christian can be demonized, I want to make clear that I don’t believe that the demon can make the Christian do anything that the Christian does not want to do, and I believe that the demon can’t get farther than the flesh, the Holy Spirit is one with a Christians spirit. If the demonized person is truly a Christian, they have the Holy Spirit fruit of self control, they simply have refused to use it, they have zero excuse. if the demonized person is not a Christian, I still believe they are without excuse, it takes agreement with the devil that is tempting by using a lure that he made with the person’s own evil lusts. But sometimes, for people who are desirous of serving God, he will trick them with false God, even John at the end of 1John3 and the 1st part of 1John 4 says not to believe in every spirit that comes in the name of love.

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  43. @Cindy K., I read as far as your first comment, maybe your second, so maybe someone has talked about this further down. But this whole spiritual warfare angle reminds me of the Derek Prince (Pigs in the Parlor) teachings that became popular in the late 80s among my friends. I found it mystifying that they no longer wanted to do our weekly Chinese restaurant outing (because of “eating food offered to idols”), that they cleansed their houses of cute decorations and collections for fear of demons (I still don’t know how little ceramic pigs or roosters could offer danger); and frankly, they got weird. I thought for years I had done something to offend them, and spoiled the friendship, but now I wonder if some of the blame was on their side.

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  44. I want to correct something I said. I believe that a Christian would never WANT to molest A child. If they are demonized, they will be way too discusted with themselves for even having an evil thought like that pass through there minds. But it’s just that, if it’s passing through the person’s mind, the best thing to do is take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. If we know that what is in our heart is so foreign to what flashes through our heads, then we can suspect devilish influence somewhere, or maybe of course childhood trauma flashes through, whichever it is, I agree that a true born again believer will not commit the act.

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  45. I haven’t read the comments yet, but what strikes me is the lack of concern and attention given to the victim and her health and healing. Instead, the conversation is around the spiritual realm and satan. The conversation isn’t even around the perpetrator, turning him in and putting a stop to his abuse. The attention is on the wrong things.

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  46. Bridget, this is the pattern we see all over the place. It seems the last person to focus on is the victim. In SGM, the focus was reconciliation with perpetrator first, and also the focus was to cover it up and silence the issue. With Doug Wilson, Lourdes didn’t disclose the abuse the right way.

    Sex abuse is treated the same way as spiritual abuse and emotional abuse. If there was some way there could be a physical manifestation of the abuse easily seen by others to “prove” the crime, it would be easier, but we are left to her words and then can they be trusted? Unreal.

    Kalyn did act out, but it was labeled as rebellion rather than a response to abuse. It’s so sad.

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  47. “Lydia, because I am already known as one that believes a Christian can be demonized, I want to make clear that I don’t believe that the demon can make the Christian do anything that the Christian does not want to do, and I believe that the demon can’t get farther than the flesh, the Holy Spirit is one with a Christians spirit.”

    Patti, I am not familiar with this concept of “demonized Christians”… but only in the flesh. It sounds like an oxymoron to me and/or also dualistic.

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  48. Another hard thing about this thought pattern is that I think it makes it harder for an abuse victim to recover. No longer is it just sexual abuse, it’s now spiritual abuse as well. Don’t they have enough to deal with already? Jeez. It’s good I’m reading this on the internet, because if someone was talking to me about this to my face, I may not be able to resist the urge to throat-punch them.

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  49. Julie Anne,
    I may be slow, but I’m not getting how what Lisa Cherry said is blaming the victim. Not saying it isn’t there, just that I don’t understand how you came to that conclusion. Can you elaborate, please?

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  50. Persephone,

    I’m a Christian, and the Bible certainly teaches that people do get possessed, though the jury is out on oppression. I was so steeped in this superstitious stuff as a kid that I take a minimalist approach to the topic for my own sake. My mom used a great deal of wishful thinking, and for her, anything that she didn’t like tended to be demonic. One of my Sunday school teachers once approached her and said that she had me terrorized, believing that there was a demon everywhere and was terrified.

    I look at it this way. The spirit of man is enough with which to contend, and I don’t like the idea of ascribing any more sense of power to some of these wing nut people like Branham than is necessary. And for people who have come out of His system, I don’t want them to feel that he has any mysterious power over them. It steeps an added level of intimidation on their experience by making it a focus, so I just think of him as mentally ill. And if he was talking to demons, I don’t see how He could have had “the mind of Christ.” I just couch it in terms that give deference to people who have exited his system to give them a sense of confidence and to focus on what we do know in Scripture. All Believers are given power and authority over the enemy, and I like to focus on that as opposed to whatever whacked stuff Branham did.

    He was definitely practicing what classifies as divination, as do his progeny who interview an “angel” named Emma to get info for prophecies, but no one in the Kansas City Prophets finds that to be troubling. You have to be pretty far off center to see and do what he did and what he claimed. In everyday life, Protestants aren’t supposed to talk to anyone by God via prayer, and I don’t know that “commissioning your angels” to help you as is preached by some is found in Scripture. Focusing on critical thinking is healing in this respect when looking at belief systems, so I just emphasize that instead.

    I hope that makes good sense. Let me know if I’ve been vague.

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  51. Retha,

    About the meaning of “soul ties.” You’re right and are showing your analytical skill. “Soul” in Greek is “psuke” from which we get the Word “psychic.” The Reformed crowd, by and in large, believes that soul and spirit are one and the same, and dispensationalists generally believe that the soul is the mind, the will, and the emotions. So in the literal sense of the Greek (I don’t know about the Hebrew), a soul tie is something as an affection for someone or something.

    What is proffered in things like the Inner Healing movement and the deliverance circles is much more superstitious and literal — and as you point out– is a linguistic boobytrap/informal logical fallacy.

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  52. Refugee,

    My Sunday school teacher said that owls and frogs, snakes and other things opened up a home to demons. I once bought the coolest, clever snake thing at The Nature store in the mall, intending it as a cat toy. It was a strip of leather that sat vertically, and on either side were C-shaped slices of wood that were painted and glued to it. It moved like a snake, and the cat loved it. I was advised to destroy it, and I was chastised for naming a cat after a Wizard (Gandalf who was named in 1988). I did burn the snake because I was so flipped out with PTSD, and I was even told that was why my roof was leaking. (It had nothing to do with the fact that the roof was 22 years old?)

    Now, I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, and they have a lot of superstitions, as did my French grandmother. There were Hex signs on barns, and people talked about Pow Wows which had something of a religious flavor to them. I always attributed this stuff to both that French culture and the Amish/PA Dutch superstitions. Maybe they also came from the Derek Prince kind of belief system (Shepherding which is also very superstitious and preoccupied with cursings of people for disobedience).

    ??

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  53. “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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  54. Oh puh-leeeeze! Do people really believe the crap spewing from Robertson’s mouth? Do we have to now demonize articles of clothing bought at the Goodwill? Isn’t there already enough fear, guilt, and paranoia to go around? What happened to the Golden Rule? Why are so many people trying to tell everyone else what to believe and how to live?! Be a good person, live with grace and good will, love all you can, strive for understanding, and don’t judge others. Jesus would like that.

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  55. Cindy K, I argue that Wm. Branham never had the spirit of Christ. He vehemently denied some basic tenets of the faith (like the Trinity, for one).

    The people I’ve known who follow his teachings could absolutely enter into a real, living relationship with God. But aside from one SIL, they’re much more interested in proving why their dead, failed “prophet” was the real deal. “Thus Saith the Lord!”

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  56. Oh! And my MIL has always been pretty into someone tthe magical thinking being described here. The anti-intellectualism inherent in Branhamism and fundamentalism in general didn’t just gut a generation of True Believers, it effectively cut off the one thing that could lead them out of their superstitions: their God-given reason.

    “I know what I believe, but I can’t remember how to explain it, but you don’t get it, and NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME.” Followed by self-righteous anger. That’s my MIL’s reaction when anyone has tried reasoning with her from the Bible, using Branham’s own materials, or just with logic. I never tried, but I observed it happen with her kids.

    Curiously, I also have observed a strong tradition of victim blaming among the Branham followers I’ve known. My MIL blames me, for example, for breaking up the family because I decided to divorce my abusive husband. I’ve seen it in other areas too, but that’s the one at the forefront of my mind at the moment.

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  57. Pingback: Soul Tied: Harmful Spiritual Conclusions about Sexual Abuse, Purity Culture, and Abuse Survivors | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  58. “Cabbage patch dolls, if you obtained them as used items, could get you doubly demonized! ”

    Now they are collectors items. So if you have any demon possessed cabbage patch dolls send them to me. I will see them for you so you don’t have to have demons in your basement.

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  59. Oh, Lydia, precious Lydia…..THANK-YOU and a HUGE SHOUT out to you for the wonderful laugh….you don’t know how much I needed that gold nugget bit of humor this morning! God Bless you, my friend!

    To this audience, please let me know if John Deere tractors are demonized too, because there’s whole slough load in my home!

    I recently read another blog from a pastor and brother in Christ, whom I have never met personally, however, I have great respect for this man of God and will one day see him in heaven in the Glorious presence of our King, Jesus Christ. His teaching style lies in direct opposition to the pastors/preachers I have sat under in the church systems (the 501 c. 3’s) that I have attended in the surrounding area. This man preaches and teaches Jesus Christ, while my local pastors, as well as those who fill in on Sundays, like church board members/deacons and deaconesses, preach and teach themselves (the fine tuned stories about their lives, their families, their experiences, their great and glorious spirituality, their lofty “tithing” methods, the verbal praises and special favoring of those who “kiss up to his family with flattery”, basically, the “ministry of the selfish man/woman.” Very little Bible teaching and skim pickins concerning Jesus and the Cross in these churches of the western mindset, sad to say.

    In reading some of the responses here, as a born again Christian mother, I cannot help but grieve by some of the comments, for our Father in Heaven does care about the Bride of Christ, every aspect of the lives of His precious children. While the “soul tie” teaching is basically witchcraft/sorcery packaged in religious terminology (I came out of an abusive church system-Assembly of God/Toronto Blessing pastor), my heart grieves because I do believe God desires purity amongst His people and should we not strive to live holy lives?

    I love this Psalm 4: 1-3, for it sings God’s truth to souls, “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? But know that the LORD has set apart from Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him.”

    Since coming out of the churched system, I have learned through God’s Word, that my righteousness is not found in myself, but in God, through Jesus Christ. It is His righteousness that has paid for my sins on the cross, for any other righteousness is self righteousness, which is ant-Christ. And because I now love God, and am one of His children with a heart to obey and follow Him, I do desire that my sons and daughters remain pure until their marriage bed, for this is His will over our lives. Sexual purity is blessed by our LORD as I have witnessed in the lives of His true Body and I will continue to teach this in my home with humility and as a redeemed sinner.

    We treat sexuality in this country as if it were something cheap to be purchased at the dime store, of which I personally, bought into with my worthless dime. I was churched and my sphere of church influence was this: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, of which I will tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:20. I was a fornicator before I married my husband, and became pregnant before my marriage, having to relinquish some lifelong dreams and goals for my life due to my own sin. Yes, I sinned and there were consequences for my sin, and for a short period of time, even considered aborting/killing the flesh that was growing inside of me, my baby, another human being created in the very image of God……killing that life to pursue my own hopes, my own dreams, my own goals…..my own selfish desires. O what a wretched sinner was I.

    Please allow me to continue, Julie Anne, at your discretion……

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  60. Katy, I hope Julie Ann will allow you to continue because It seems that you stopped, uncertain if you should continue to say some things out loud. I listened to a lot of “out there” info on this particular blog and I’d like to hear your personal input. I’m sort of hungry for the personal human side of this conversation. I traveled a few time to services of the Toronto Blessing when it was a part of the Vineyard, in the 90’s. But that is a side comment just to you, that is not the subject that stopped your comment. I vote for you to continue on.

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  61. Persephone,

    I agree with you, and I think that some of this hinges on how people view the atonement. I embrace the “Christus Victor” view that teaches that the Atonement not only provided penal substitution for us so that we would not have to suffer death — the wage of sin — but that we are also given authority over evil in Jesus’ Name. He makes our enemies a footstool for our feet. We overcome evil by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. I see that woven throughout Scripture that we are given a whole lot more than a “get out of jail free” card.

    There was the “New Divinity” element that also limited what the Atonement did that mixed legalism and human effort into things that came about during the Second Great Awakening and was espoused by men like Charles Finney. In addition to penal substitution, there was a benefit bestowed on society. Jonathan Edwards was a part of this movement and view.

    Covenant Theology/ most people who follow a Reformed Theology often embrace a penal substitution only view of what the Atonement means. To some degree, this is why there is so much emphasis placed on how horrible man really is and why some of these notable pastors cry over what awful people they are.

    Anyway, if you take anything other than the Christus Victor view of the Atonement, I think that it argues that Christians are subject to demonic influence or are just impotent when it comes to evil. Or as in the very American tradition of the “New Divinity,” there is a great deal of freewillism woven into salvation, so man has more of a role in his own salvation process — which bleeds over into vulnerability to demons if man partly doing his own saving. I see the as arguing against the “power in the Blood” that gives way to legalism.

    The power of the Atonement under Christus Victor for the Believer comes through repentance and confession of sin, changing one’s mind (repentance is “metanoia” in Greek). If the Blood of Christ is effective over evil and demonic oppression, then all we need to do is repent contritely to have power over the enemy.

    I think that the deliverance business uses the Blood and the Name of Jesus like something of a talisman that is pulled out and actually argues that we need an intercessor to be whole in Christ. You need to repent and be baptized and… you need someone to intercede for you because the “higher life” is not really accessible without going through this extra process.

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  62. I desired instant gratification from this world….right now, instantly. Satanism’s mantra is “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” and I lived this lifestyle full to overflowing, believing that each individual should do whatever it takes in this world, to lead a happy, productive life, regardless of the circumstances. That is…..until I became pregnant out of wedlock……now, I reached a crossroads in my life, this butterfly was caught in a net and I had a decision to make, one that regarded the life of another instead of my own selfish self. Does this butterfly enter the killing jar filled with carbon tetrachloride and seek death, or do I humble myself and listen to the voices of godly wise counsel?

    Folks, you see, I was not a believer or follower of Jesus Christ when I fornicated and became pregnant. I grew up in the church, was baby baptized, went through confirmation classes and received my “certificate signed by the church board”, and went to church regularly carrying my “church membership card” instituted by man,but was not “born again” by the Spirit of God, exhibiting the fruits of hedonism. And yet, our merciful and gracious God poured out His love through loving and kind people of NO PARTICULAR DENOMINATION, to influence me with tender words of wisdom. Please forgive me here, for to this day, it gets pretty emotional, knowing and believing that God loved me so much that He would use other people in guiding me to make the right decision in not having an abortion, while I was still unsaved…..oh….how great of love it this! God’s love has no human measure. And because the Spirit of God was already at work in showing me my true condition of the heart, one of selfishness…..self righteousness, self gratification, self promotion, self aggrandizement, self, self, self, and more of myself…..I began to accept God’s discipline in His ways of humbling me, for our Father does discipline those He loves. I praise our Great and Glorious God for these wonderful, special people who did not cast disgusting, filthy and unclean self righteous judgment upon my soul, for I was already knowing the pangs of guilt in my heart from our Righteous Father, and He knew that I needed loving godly counsel.

    The decision had been made to let this life growing inside of my womb, to live. My choice clearly affected other people, and now other important decisions and actions were required of me…a continuation of the humbling process, for I know now that God was chiseling away at my pride. Yes folks, pride is a horrible character trait in the make-up of man and I cannot find a single Scripture to back up the common phrase amongst us, “I am so proud….” for God detests the proud. I know this, for my flesh at times bears the fruit of pride…..I got in my little Ford Horizon and drove for over two hours, with tears of sadness, tears of remorse, and tears of fear of the unknowing, and tears of joy for the new life growing inside of me, to the city where I had to give up a pageant crown….for you see, one of my desires was to become “Miss America” one day. I know, I know……many think the pageant system in this country is a farce, and worldly to be sure….but none the less…it surely was one of my childhood dreams. And for those who are judging in your hearts at this point, I will ask you, what idolatry lurks in the secret chambers of your being……be it sports, celebrity preachers, how much money you earn, how many “things” you have, how many degrees you have hanging on the walls of your office (heart), the craving of fame and fortune, and sound of human applause, etc., etc., etc.

    I gave up a crown made up of cheap metal with a shiny glaze and even cheaper sparkling cut glass…..dime store fodder. Oh, how shiny and pristine crowns can be when first placed on the “winner” and as time passes, the metal oxidizes into a molten gray and the shimmering stones fade with time, losing their temporary luster. I do not look back on my decision with remorse, nor any regrets, for the life inside of my womb, is our first born, a daughter…who knows Jesus as her own along with her wonderful husband, who is also a believer. And as parents, I/we (my wonderful husband) made the conscious choice to teach our daughter that purity is important to our Mighty God, for I, personally, did not desire the pain and hardships of my fornicating life to be a part of her life. I would not wish this on my worst of enemies for sexual impurity impacts every aspect of your life, you cannot separate the spirit, soul, and physical flesh of a man for they are one and work in unison with one another. The guilt and the shame it brings on one’s soul is grieving until you meet Jesus Christ, and all of your sin is cast upon Him and He remembers it no more. To fully understand the redemptive work of our LORD Jesus Christ has been so liberating in my life…..while the churched individuals around me, verbally remind me constantly of my sexual sins (I will save these stories for another time), to fully know that I am born again in and through Jesus Christ, has allowed this wretched sinner to minister to others in the areas of sexual impropriety with the brokenness, mercy, and grace that was once shown me during an uncertain time in my life. God, the Holy Spirit, is still moving and working in His people today, and will continue to do so until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Praise the precious Name of Jesus, our LORD and Savior.

    And I momentarily wonder to myself as I read, study, and meditate upon the Scriptures, God’s Word to us……what do His crowns look like?

    In prayer for all those precious souls who suffer from sexual sins of any kind.

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  63. I just watched part of that Paula White video. I have nothing against praying against evil and denouncing it’s power. It declares God’s power and it encourages me. If I’ve got a problem, I have no problem with a Psalm of ascent like David prayed that acknowledged where he was, what he faced, and the Power of God to deliver Him. But there is this weird assumption in this deliverance movement that if you don’t “cover” something like a sin (that is assumed to open up a door to demons) that you are bound up by divination. This mindset also talks about the “generational curse” idea that I argue is not Scriptural. It is the mindset that caused an anti-adoption movement in the early years of the quiverfull movement. Gothard used to teach that if you adopted a child from another family, you were binding yourself to that other foreign family’s besetting sins and demons and generational curses.

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  64. Thank-you dears saints for reading and prayerfully understanding. May all of you be blessed by our KING as we traverse this earth together, hopefully making an everlasting impact for the kingdom of God in heaven. And I praise God for true brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ on this blog…………you are welcome to ride in my John Deere tractor anytime.

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  65. God Bless you Celeste, may our LORD Jesus receive all of the glory He deserves. It is my hope that I did not offend any sister or brother here for I know all of us have a life story to share with hurts, trials and temptations, and yes, the greatest victory through our LORD.

    As I walk these dirty gravel roads here in rural America breathing in the fresh air of fall, we, who know Jesus true and true, have that inexplicable joy of knowing that our eternal destination is in His Holy Presence, of which no man in the flesh, here on earth, has experienced to the full.

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  66. I’m hung up on the fact that a family is making wild amounts of money publicizing their child’s sexual abuse by an adult.

    If Kalyn wants to talk about her life, more power to her.

    Having her mom write a book and preach on it, though, feels like an additional violation by an authority figure.

    Sexual abuse survivors I’ve known struggle enough with guilt. Instead of reaching out for real help – like finding a trained psychologist specializing in sexual abuse – they decided to treat the “soul-tie problem”.

    I’m not a therapist, but I’ve worked with a lot of hurting teens at my school. Being really angry is a natural reaction to trauma. Identifying with the perpetrator rather than the parents is a natural reaction especially if the parents are controlling……

    My heart is very heavy for Kalyn.

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  67. Katy, it is inevitable that if we speak truth to a large audience, we will offend someone. It is sometimes a true, but offensive comment that gets our attention. It challenges our thought process and challenges us to be more forward thinking, less small, legalistic thinking. Your intention, I am quite certain, was not to strike out and be offensive. So stand tall, smile and enjoy a nice fall walk on a country road. You have worked hard today, telling your life so as to make a difference.

    Today, I will take a walk in the country rehearsing a phrase that I am finally healthy and free enough to quote to myself and say out loud to others with no offense intended. I preface my sentence with the affirmation that I am a child of God who has confessed that I am a sinner and am saved through the love and cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. My sentence is: ‘God is the air I breath’. I acknowledge that God is true life to me, and as people have so often said to me to relax and take a breath, I am finally healed of sexual trash and destructive acts done to me so that I do breath freely. And I am finally able to allow God to actually get that close to me. God is the air I breath. God never violates me. God can move in and out of my being which is exactly what breath does. And God never, ever violates me. This is truth and freedom to me!

    When I tense up in fear and red flags. God, as breath, remains in me, waits for breath to move again as I relax and take another breath. ‘God is the air I breath’.

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  68. Another fantastic article Julie Anne, I hope it helps those injured AGAIN after sexual abuse by Christians operating in total ignorance. This topic needed to be focused on. We need to pray for these folks regardless of whether we know them or all the facts. Thank you

    In regard to the purity movement, I think it is another man made effort to deal with Sin that is ineffective and down right harmful. Sometimes you can focus too much on human sexuality when dealing with young people.

    I remember the whole demo possessed objects thing, weird beyond belief and horrid le for kids ! One year at church camp they had everyone bring their Smurf dolls and they had a big Bon-fire. I didn’t have a Smurf to burn so I just watched as adults helped 7-10 year olds tie Smurfs to sticks and stick them in the ground around the fire pit. There were also a few Cabbage patch dolls, Barbies, GIJoes and some others I don’t remember. We sang the regular songs and then the “child evangislist ” ( NUTJOB) read a few Bible verses and prayed. Now the fire was raging and kids were going up one at a time to torch their Doll or smurf that was staked around the fire pit. I remember some kid next to me saying, ” You know Scott this is really weird and I bet my parents aren’t going to spend $55 for me to come here next year”. That night the stories of people hearing voices and screams from the burning Smurfs were circulating and they just got more incrediable as the night went on. The counselors were kind of encouraging this bizzare form of “testimony”.

    When we got back home and the parents heard about what all happened there was a lot of discussion. Some crazy mom got up Sunday night sort of defending it, and told of burning her young sons’s Teddy Ruxpin ( popular stuffed bear) in the fire place. She claimed of hearing him say that he loves to ( nasty word for intercourse) her son. I remember my parents being off the wall angry that night and talking to / yelling at the pastor. Unfortunately that little boy never heard the end of it. His senior year at the church run christian school concluded with people wishing him and Teddy the best in signing his year book. This is exactly why I hate these off the wall christian tangents like purity balls, dating daddy events with daughters shaving him, and all the other crazy ideas people come up with. Why can’t we just stick to God’s Word, there is really a lot there when you sit down and actually give it a read.

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  69. In what sick world (or religion) would ANYONE think it’s even remotely OK to burn kids’ beloved toys and dolls on a stick, demonizing them? Is this a way to attempt to gain kids’ trust, in some sick, cruel, and twisted way? Does this sort of thing truly happen?

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  70. I’ve been having the same conclusion as you from this long blog. Crazy teachings that have nothing to do with the Truth of Scripture. Actually, most of it is down right harmful and ridiculous. Scripture is neither of these. Since the 80’s when my children were young, a knowledgeable family or friend would drop one of these teachings on me.(like we need to get rid of these brand new cabbage patch dolls that the little cousins play with, including their handmade backpacks, etc). I didn’t follow their scare tactic, but I did try to evaluate whether I was setting my children up for something bad. Just one example.

    So today, I determined that the best idea is to dump this junk superstition and live by the basics, like Micah 6:8 – God’s simple expectation: act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. An old, old teaching to ‘get on your knees beside your bed and confess your sins to God before you put your head on your pillow’ is about as far as I care to go with external instruction.

    I have suffered severe PTSD from the mouths of those who tout this superstition.

    I repeat your words – why can’t we just stick to God’s Word, there is really a lot there when you sit down and actually give it a read.

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  71. Someone said,

    Oh puh-leeeeze! Do people really believe the crap spewing from Robertson’s mouth?

    I posted the Robertson link strictly for comic relief. I’ve posted it before on this blog.

    I think most of the regulars on this blog know my personality well enough by now (I hope) to figure out when I’m posting something to be silly or when I’m being serious about it.

    I do think Robertson is frequently wrong about things and can be incredibly weird at other times. Every once in awhile, I do agree with him on some topics – even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    On the haunted sweater view in particular? No, I can’t say as though I believe demons inhabit sweaters from the Good Will or anywhere else.

    Unless you’re wearing a really horrid, tacky, holiday-themed sweater, I may joke it’s a Sweater From Hell knitted by Satan himself.

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  72. Persephone said,

    Curiously, I also have observed a strong tradition of victim blaming among the Branham followers I’ve known.

    I have a brother who is like this – well, so is my sister – but my brother seems to have picked up victim-blaming from AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), where-as my sister comes by this dreadful habit naturally.

    (I hesitate to mention AA because always, always, always, some AA person sees AA being criticized in a comment like mine here and will feel the need to jump in and say “but AA worked for me!! Don’t snark on AA, man.”

    That is wonderful it worked for you, but please google for ex-AA members and their blogs who explain the damage AA does to other people, including women who have been raped by “13 stepping” by AA members at or after AA meetings.)

    Anyway. Ever since my brother joined AA, if you try to tell him about some problem in life you are having, even if it’s something you did not start or cause, he will blame you for it. He will ask you, “What role did you play in that?”

    If, for example, you go surfing and a shark bites off your arm, he will ask,
    “What will did you play in that?”

    You: “Well, none, dude. I was just out in the ocean and the shark attacked. I have no idea why the shark thought I looked like a snack.”

    Him: “No, you have to analyze it to see what role you played. That is what my AA sponsor teaches me.”

    I learned not to share anything personal with my brother, because he will find a way to blame it on me in some manner. No sympathy from him.

    I got curious, did some googling, and this victim blaming habit is a problem with AA.

    One group of ex-AA members had a blog post with a link to an audio file on You Tube of an AA leader at an AA meeting ridiculing an 8 year old rape victim he saw on the nightly news:

    He was mocking her (his voice was mocking in tone) for crying and being upset for being raped by some adult. He said she was “blaming her attacker” (as though that was wrong of her) and “not accepting any responsibility for her role in the rape.”

    So, I’m not a fan of AA. If that is the kind of disdain and lack of compassion for victims that AA produces in its followers, no thank you. And I’ve learned not to air my personal business with AA members.

    Also not a fan of “biblical counseling,” either, as they are just as bad.

    Biblical counseling, a.k.a. nouthethic counseling, also plays the “blame the victim” game by asking participants who seek counseling “what role their personal sin played in” them being molested, getting depression, or whatever they are dealing with.

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  73. Missdaiseyflower: So if you walk up to your brother and say “hey how are things bro”, and then whip out a tazser and zap him he would find it normal for you to ask “what role did you play in that? ”

    Zap zap Zap Zap…… Hey bro why are you continuing in this role ? Zap Zap Zap

    So you just bought a new car, congratulations! I just bought a new sledge hammer, WHAT ROLE DID YOU PLAY IN THAT. Wham , bang boom…..

    I’m really sorry, I just burnt your house down. What role do you think YOU PLAYED IN THAT ? Maybe I can be your sponsor and help you figure it out”.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Thank-you missdaisyflower for the “pick me up” bouquet of delight this morning….what a sweet song….appreciate your link, that’s for sure and I will be thinking about you as I run the “Deere” this morning! There sure are some great people on this blog who “have each other’s back”…..so very thankful for Julie Anne as well and the community she has brought together in caring for people. God be with all of you.

    Interesting you should mention AA. My Word Like Fire blog addresses similar issues that you mention and more. The author does an excellent job of exposing the history behind the founders of AA and the unbiblical methods they utilize for their program. It has been very educational in knowing the true roots as several within my sphere of influence are participants in this program, but never seem to be liberated from the bondage of it all; it is almost like they still bear that burden on their shoulders not willing to allow Jesus to take that yoke. Not fully.

    Today is another great day to Praise our LORD. Psalm 150.

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  75. @ Scott
    😆 Yes, that’s pretty much the way my brother is – my sister too, though she just comes by it naturally, my brother was trained to start thinking that way.

    I suppose 12 step groups are trying to teach their followers to accept personal responsibility, because sometimes our own poor choices can cause trouble in our life. I understand that.
    But. There are times in your life when bad things are going to happen, and it’s not due to anything you did or did not do, or any poor choice you made.

    Even Jesus Christ made this concept clear in the Bible that people are not always to blame for what evil or calamity befall them in life, e.g., Jesus heals a blind man (John Ch 9),, Jesus discussing tower in Siloam (Luke 13:1-5),. Also: the entire book of Job in the Old Testament.

    I don’t talk to my brother that often. He’s caught up in his own melo-drama of a life, but on those rare occasions he does phone, I’ve learned not to discuss anything too personal with him, or I know it’s going to get me the victim blaming ‘what role did you play in that’ comment.

    In my family, if you got mugged and came home bloody and bruised, the typical reactions would likely be:
    1. Dad (largely disinterested, hinting at victim blaming): “So you were out alone at night when this mugging happened? Hmm.”
    ~ *returns attention to watching football on TV*
    2. Sister: “You deserved it. Of course you were going to be mugged, going out alone at that time of night like that, what did you expect, you idiot!?”
    3. Brother (under AA influence, I guess): “What role did you play in the mugging? Maybe if you hadn’t left the house, you wouldn’t have gotten mugged. Or, if you talked to the mugger nicely, he may have left you alone. My AA sponsor is always telling me blah blah blah…”
    4. Mom: “That is horrible! Are you okay? Let me give you a hug and cup of tea. Or, do you prefer hot soup? Do you need to see a doctor, I will drive you – When you’ve had some time, we are calling the police and reporting this! Let me give you another hug, I am so sorry this happened to you!”

    The only person in my family who gave pure, unconditional concern and compassion was Mom. (She passed a way a few years ago, leaving me with the first three characters.)

    Also, although my sister and brother love to victim blame other people, they deplore it if you do it to them, even remotely. They have phoned me over the years to complain for hours about their lives (spouses, jobs, etc), and I usually just listen and only say sympathetic things to them.

    If I ask questions to gain further understanding of their ordeal, if I need clarification to understand their situation, they may misconstrue it as me judging them (which I’m not), and they yell and scream at me for being judgmental, critical, etc.

    They are both the pot calling the kettle black, very much so. It kills me. They want unconditional support but refuse to give it to me or most other people.

    Some Christians are like that, too. When facing issues in my own life and looking for support, I’ve talked to extended family who are Christian, gone to local churches, and I’ve found that some Christians are just as judgmental, critical, etc, so I no longer feel safe opening up to people I meet in person or on the phone.

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  76. @ Katy
    You’re welcome, I am glad you enjoyed the song. I first heard it over ten years ago and found it very funny.

    You said,

    Interesting you should mention AA. My Word Like Fire blog addresses similar issues that you mention and more. The author does an excellent job of exposing the history behind the founders of AA and the unbiblical methods they utilize for their program.
    It has been very educational in knowing the true roots as several within my sphere of influence are participants in this program, but never seem to be liberated from the bondage of it all; it is almost like they still bear that burden on their shoulders not willing to allow Jesus to take that yoke. Not fully.

    Yes, I did some research into AA a few years ago, so I am a little bit familiar with some of this.

    When my brother (who was in AA for years, I’m not sure if he still attends AA meetings or not) started this odd behavior of victim blaming me for stuff that I was clearly not to blame for several years ago, I went on the internet and looked up information about AA.

    I read blogs and forums by ex AA members, and the history of the group. I’m not an expert on them, but I read enough to see they have a lot of problems. Their teachings are not wholly biblically-supported, and some of their beliefs are actually contrary to the Bible on some points, according to some sites I read.

    The AA environment fosters, and often covers up, the sexual abuse of children and women, usually by older, long time male members, etc. This is usually referred to as “13 Stepping.”

    (I also learned AA is not very effective at treating alcohol addiction, and there are other, newer, better, more effective groups and treatments.)

    One of the saddest things is that they might, in some cases, be able to wean a person off alcohol, but due to their teachings (that once an alcoholic, always one, and that they insist you must attend meetings regularly forever), they set people up to be addicted to Alcoholics Anonymous – this is according to the blogs and sites I’ve read by ex AA members or others who have researched them.

    There is, unfortunately, strains of the same thinking and problems in evangelical churches, apparently in some IFB churches, SBC, and Reformed, and in biblical counseling, where the hurting are blamed for problems they did not cause.

    Or, in the case of the original post here, rather than putting blame where it truly belongs (on the child molester or rapist), some Christians feel more comfortable pinning blame and responsibility on vague, fluffy, spiritual reasons, e.g., demonic influence, “soul ties,” or “spiritual warfare,” it’s like nailing Jell-o to a wall.

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  77. Julie, I’ve long heard you go after abuses in the “purity culture”, and a lot of the cultural things associated with it, but I don’t think I’ve seen you write a positive presentation of the importance of staying sexually pure and how that presentation would play out practically with a child, or how parents and the church should present the importance of staying sexually pure. Just looking to find out what you think the “solution” should be and how you’d like to see all this stuff play out? If you’ve written something about it in the past, I’d love to read it, as I can’t find it anywhere 🙂

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  78. MissDaisyFlower, your last sentence about not opening up to anyone broke my heart. I hope you won’t laugh at this, but have you ever talked to an atheist about your concerns? Not being beholden to any specific dogma or doctrine and generally just living by the Golden Rule, most atheists would probably be fairly objective and non-judgemental. Not all, of course; I personally know some who would “blame Christianity,” just as Christians might “blame Satan.” But for the most part, you might find a kind and sympathetic ear. Just a thought.

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  79. Dustin,
    My focus on the blog is on pointing out dangerous trends and opening it for discussion. Sometimes you will read good solutions or balanced responses from my readers in the comments. I don’t have all the answers, but I know when something is broken and causing harm.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. “Zap zap Zap Zap…… Hey bro why are you continuing in this role ? Zap Zap Zap

    So you just bought a new car, congratulations! I just bought a new sledge hammer, WHAT ROLE DID YOU PLAY IN THAT. Wham , bang boom…..

    I’m really sorry, I just burnt your house down. What role do you think YOU PLAYED IN THAT ? Maybe I can be your sponsor and help you figure it out”.

    Like, Like, Like, Like! This is priceless, Scott. Am stealing it!!!

    Like

  81. “Julie, I’ve long heard you go after abuses in the “purity culture”, and a lot of the cultural things associated with it, but I don’t think I’ve seen you write a positive presentation of the importance of staying sexually pure and how that presentation would play out practically with a child, or how parents and the church should present the importance of staying sexually pure. Just looking to find out what you think the “solution” should be and how you’d like to see all this stuff play out? If you’ve written something about it in the past, I’d love to read it, as I can’t find it anywhere”

    Dustin, That would be impossible for a Calvinist or someone with the deterministic “totally unable” paradigm to do. If you are a worm and totally unable to be righteous then what would be the point of teaching purity? It seems like an oxymoron. God would simply not allow all pre marital sex for His future elect. (wink)

    See, the purity culture only presents “value” to girls as in being a virgin. They do not present value as in being a human…period. When girls value themselves highly they tend to not ever want to be “used” by someone who has not made a serious commitment first. It is not about them being “pure”. It is about their value. If he wants her, he will have to wait. If he won’t then he is not worthy.

    The purity culture are patriarchs so they have the problem of girls being second class citizens with specific roles and expectations of their submission to male rule. You can’t teach their “value” or equality in that environment. So the message is: You had better never be raped or molested. no one will want you.

    It is very Islamic in nature.

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  82. Julie, I suppose it determines what constitutes a purity culture. I have not grown up in a culture that has a heavy emphasis on that, or rather I’ve little experience or interaction in denominations.groups that have very specific ideas of what purity culture entails. In my Church experience, “purity culture” was a yearly talk during youth group where the kids were split up and then given the talk. The idea of “purity balls” or “dating your daughter” and other such ideas are completely foreign. I’ve nothing against them PERSE, I just wouldn’t choose them for myself.

    When I consider how I will raise Z, I intend to teach her from a young age that her virginity is important- not in and of itself, but because waiting to have sex with your spouse demonstrates a heart that is seeking to be holy and sanctified through obedience and for a love for Christ, which is what I REALLY want to cultivate. I would also try to teach her that she can trust God when He tells us that following him and his ways will actually, truly, really bring you more pleasure and joy than following your own desires. I think this would lead me to be more graceful and understanding if she does have premarital sex and sexual activity. “Losing her virginity” prematurely is awful and important, but nowhere near important as understanding and working through the motivations of her heart that led to her to this in the first place.

    Thought of this way, I think this is a way that I can bring her up in a familial “culture” that promotes purity and virginity, without the rest of the nonsense and shenanigans. Based on your experience dealing with the nonsense, do you forseesee any pitfalls?

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  83. “So the message is: You had better never be raped or molested. no one will want you.

    It is very Islamic in nature.”

    According to the Qu’ran, there have to be 4 male eyewitnesses to a rape in order to prove it in an Islamic court. The burden of proof is made impossibly high at the outset, conveying the subtle message that even if it were met in some exceptional situation, the hurdle would suddenly be raised. The patriarchal ideals must not be threatened, even if a woman’s life is ruined.

    The other thought I had was, I wonder if it was ever found in one of these patriarchal churches that another Nate Morales or Jerry Sandusky had been preying on their boys, if the boys’ worth as future husbands would take a similar nosedive because of what happened to them. Maybe that’s just a problem for girls, or possibly, male victims would be seen as ‘tainted’ by the apparent homosexuality of the perpetrator and therefore a bigger risk to marry one’s patriarchal daughters off to. Then again, I could be completely off base.

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  84. Paperthinhymn said

    “her virginity is important- not in and of itself, but because waiting to have sex with your spouse demonstrates a heart that is seeking to be holy and sanctified through obedience and for a love for Christ, which is what I REALLY want to cultivate. I would also try to teach her that she can trust God when He tells us that following him and his ways will actually, truly, really bring you more pleasure and joy than following your own desires. ”

    Not sure why people want to spiritualize the sexual relationship so much – it can set a women up for spiritual abuse as well as other abuse. If we focus on Gods love, respect and value for self and others – that is what will breed Gods blessing in all areas of life. Here is a link that may give some pause before overdoing the whole program.

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/06/17/purity-culture-male-entitlement-womens-bodies/

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  85. Dustin:

    Here’s my beef with the purity culture. Why are they making such a big deal about virginity – especially female virginity? I know you talked about your daughter, but what about sons? Are they exempt from this? What about other sins? Why do they not have big teachings on anger? Or any other sin? I think we need to be focusing on the commandments of Jesus. If we are teaching our children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, and loving their neighbor, then virginity, sexual immorality, and anger, and every other sin will be a non-issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. I think that a good deal of the purity culture in homeschooling has some similarities to the Victorian ideal that sex was meant for a man’s pleasure, but women were expected to be seen as either maternal or chaste with no stops in between. It made quite a demand for prostitutes for the men and for the treatment of “hysteria” for women who had to go to physicians for sexual stimulation as a medical procedure. Women are made for a man’s use, and only the man’s needs are important. (That’s not the case in orthodox Judaism however. Sex was at the discretion and need of the woman, and if a man went out of town, he had a duty to perform, pre and post his absence.)

    I keep thinking of what I’ve heard from nurse practitioner midwives who have dealt with some cases involving quiverfull followers. This is not true of everyone, and it’s anecdotal. Suffice it to say that husbands in this subculture have an obsession with when their wives can safely have sex again, a reputation for violating the standard six weeks of abstinence post delivery (for the health of the mother, esp when there have been delivery complications), and concerns about how quickly their wife’s anatomy will recover its elasticity so as to provide them [the man] with adequate pleasure.

    Bottom line: The ideology gives men a sense of entitlement because women are items that are created primarily for their use and pleasure, and anything else is inconsequential.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. “Here’s my beef with the purity culture. Why are they making such a big deal about virginity – especially female virginity? I know you talked about your daughter, but what about sons? Are they exempt from this? What about other sins? Why do they not have big teachings on anger? Or any other sin? I think we need to be focusing on the commandments of Jesus. If we are teaching our children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, and loving their neighbor, then virginity, sexual immorality, and anger, and every other sin will be a non-issue.”

    See, i knew I could count on you to make me think! I would put the same emphasis on my sons as I would on my daughters. That being said, I guess i think I care would be more upset for my daughters sake if she lost her virginity, verses my son. Not at all for my sake- but for hers. I’m not sure why that is though. I’m not saying that it’s right that I feel that, I have honestly never really thought through my motivations for that. I don’t know yet if that’s something innate in me or some culturally learned mindset. I think I should treat and view both my sons and daughters exactly the same in this, but for some reason I don’t/ :/ Definitely something to consider.

    Though I think there is something different about sexual sins than other sins. 1 Corinthians 6:18 bears this out. They are in a different class that we ought to take into account. For that reason I think sexual issues do require a bit of special emphasis and teaching, especially because other sins aren’t being attacked by our culture and and minimized like these ones are.

    Don’t get me wrong though. I think when parents give an inordinate focus on their kids sinful expressions of sexuality, that this is problematic. And if any parent cares more about how their children’s sexual sins reflect on them, verses being empathetic on how these sins affect their children emotionally- that’s wrong, and needs to be changed.

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  88. So, these Christian parents believed a cell phone (and I would imagine, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) was important for a 15 year old child? Why? Have they not read about the depravity and dangers of the anonymous on-line world? Do the benefits really outweigh the risks? Let’s see: On the one hand you have OMG, LOL, what you ate for dinner, hours of the bread of idleness and on the other hand, rape. That’s a tough decision for a loving parent to make for their child?

    A 15 year old doesn’t drive yet and doesn’t work yet. A 15 year old child, male or female, is not yet able to defend themselves from evil by themselves. Why “hope for the best” and cast them on their own into a world that is dangerous, depraved and filled with sin? How did that work out in this case?

    I would hope that the majority of what these parents speak about is how they failed to protect their child and put their child, alone, into the world to fend for herself.

    The 15 year old child did nothing wrong. Jesus said her attacker would be better off drowning in the sea with a millstone hung about his neck than what awaits him in the afterlife. Jesus is clearly not calling someone who attacks/hurts a child a Christian. Who cares what the pedophile calls himself? Jesus says he’s going to hell.

    The child’s pain would be mitigated by swift and vigorous criminal prosecution of the pedophile, civil prosecution of the pedophile to destroy him financially and socially to lessen his ability to reoffend, constant reassurance that she did nothing wrong and expressed hatred of the actions of the pedophile by the parents.

    To go on a book tour and attempt to tell others how to protect their children, when they clearly didn’t, is like an active alcoholic lecturing on sobriety.
    I suspect this girl’s anger at her parents is only partially because they eventually intervened – a lot of it was her probably realizing her parents did not have safe boundaries in place to begin with to protect her (and it could have just as easily been a 15 year old boy victim).
    And this “soul tying” nonsense. So, should people have prayed over David because he got some of Goliath’s blood on him while killing him? Should a rape victim be warned about demons they may have now because of the crime committed against them? These parents are inferring this child’s molestation was partially her fault and that she acted with consent which the law says she is UNABLE to do.
    What loser parents — for lack of better words.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. “Though I think there is something different about sexual sins than other sins. 1 Corinthians 6:18 bears this out. They are in a different class that we ought to take into account. For that reason I think sexual issues do require a bit of special emphasis and teaching, especially because other sins aren’t being attacked by our culture and and minimized like these ones are.”

    Sexual sin goes to the heart of individual value. The problem with this issue is that way too many children have had sexual sin thrust upon them and it is impossible to discuss “purity” culture without addressing that issue first. Historically most sexual predators were men (although that is changing) and because women had few individual rights, this issue was swept under the rug for centuries. Children had no rights at all and in older cultures were often treated with great disrespect and as having little value until they could work.

    I am constantly blown away at how many children have been sexually molested in some form or another whether it was touching or worse. And now too many stories are coming out about the molestations (I include spanking naked and other obscene tactics that obviously arouse the abuser) IN the purity culture. The internet is making known what has been hidden. One such predator of his own sister now runs a popular “Christian Forum”.

    It is like the old cliché that what someone is obsessed with they usually have a problem with. The purity culture tends toward obsession on a girls virginity. How can a woman who was molested as a child be “pure” according to their definition? They do not seem to have qualms with male purity.

    Does no one read history? This thinking is ingrained without even realizing it. The woman is responsible even if she was raped or molested as a child. And what is even more confusing is the response to such things is usually the girl feeling worthless and becoming even more promiscuous because why bother? She can never be “pure”. It can send the wrong message without even realizing it. Why does the girl have to say no? Because the males (who are to rule) cannot control themselves and it is expected from them to try?

    A lot of this thinking comes from Augustine. He was cruel to his concubine that he claimed to love! He would not marry her because she was from the wrong class yet he bore a child with her and then sent her away never to see her own child again. Of course, being a lowly woman, she had no rights.

    He writes about the evils of sex and it is only for pro creation. He saw women as vile, lower class and to be ruled by men. His writings spread in Western Christianity and became somewhat ingrained in how women were viewed. Thank God, Jesus Christ is different and promotes the value of the individual. Because in Him there is no male/female, slave/free, Jew or Gentile.

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  90. Eliza, Great ARticle! I often heard the refrain, “boys will be boys” from Christians. I heard it at a private Christian school, at church and in para church organizations. There is a chuckle when said as if, ‘they just cannot help themselves”. Whether it is bad behavior, mistreating girls, etc.

    I am done with it. If that culture thinks maleswere born to lead because they have a penis then common sense says their behavior should be exemplary because they have a penis. I am not sure why they cannot see that logic. If we want to use the purity culture illogic then we have to go back to the Garden where Eve admitted she was deceived and was sorry for it. Adam BLAMED God and Eve. That is historical leadership material for the purity culture?

    That is why the whole idea of male rule, headship, etc is ridiculous and totally misunderstood from a biblical pov.

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  91. To go on a book tour and attempt to tell others how to protect their children, when they clearly didn’t, is like an active alcoholic lecturing on sobriety.
    I suspect this girl’s anger at her parents is only partially because they eventually intervened – a lot of it was her probably realizing her parents did not have safe boundaries in place to begin with to protect her (and it could have just as easily been a 15 year old boy victim).

    And this “soul tying” nonsense. So, should people have prayed over David because he got some of Goliath’s blood on him while killing him? Should a rape victim be warned about demons they may have now because of the crime committed against them? These parents are inferring this child’s molestation was partially her fault and that she acted with consent which the law says she is UNABLE to do.
    What loser parents — for lack of better words.

    This whole comment was excellent. Thanks, A Christian Father/Husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. The cell phone was not the problem. My daughter is in her thirties and we didn’t have cell phones back when she was 15 but if we had, I most certainly would have wanted her to carry one with her when she was not at home so she could call for help in an emergency and I could keep in touch with her.

    The problem was a middle aged predator in the church congregation! Perhaps it was the church that failed to protect the girl. I am sure I told this story before but when my own daughter was 15, she attended a youth event at the church. I planned to pick her up afterwards but one of the chaperones, a woman I had known for two decades, offered to bring her home since she lived nearby. Imagine my shock when she was taken home by a man I hadn’t met who had just started attending the church a week or two before! The woman chaperone had a family emergency come up and the man said not to worry, he would take my daughter home. Fortunately, he was not a predator; he had volunteered to help chaperone to get to know the woman organizing the event (they were both single). My point is that because he was a professing Christian, no one used common sense. (A cell phone for my daughter

    would have come in handy).

    Liked by 1 person

  93. i attended an abusive church for a few years. the pastor asked me and my current girlfriend at the time to meet with him. when we did, he wanted to know about our previous sexual experiences to see if there were any “soul ties” that needed to be broken, so that her and I could have a successful relationship. not knowing better we laid our our previous issues [no sex. but sexual stuff with previous exes]. He arranged for us the next week to go through a “fire tunnel” and the elders prayed over us, as well as a few deacons, and they proclaimed in front of the congregation, along with a few other couples “we break these soul ties in jesus name! they will not cling to and disrupt this couple” anymore. It was traumatic.

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  94. Dustin,

    That’s just plain creepy. I’ve gone thru the questioning part, but it was not that bad. But I’ve often wondered how many clergy are using these sexual inquisitions of their congregants as a sneaky way to avoid paying real $ for phone sex. I mean they can sure make it sound all spiritual, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

  95. It’s just more veiled perversion. I don’t think I’ve seen more sex scandals than within organized religion – the more devout and fundamental, seemingly the more perverted and bizarre the sexual behavior. Why is that?!

    Liked by 1 person

  96. Carol,

    Sex abuse has to do with control and I think that sadly churches/church groups provide a safe haven for sexual predators because the naive assumption that sexual predators certainly wouldn’t be at our safe churches. There is a huge false security. I’ve seen parents who would never allow their children to go to a public restroom by themselves allow their children to go unaccompanied at church with no problem. Knowing what I know now, I say it’s probably more dangerous for children to go unaccompanied at church! Sick, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

  97. “Soul ties” etc. are certainly familiar to me. I heard about them on the 700 Club–where I was also indoctrinated into the whole Charismatic “demons are everywhere” teaching. As an impressionable young teenager, I believed almost everything Pat Robertson said, and how it screwed up my college years! The wacky beliefs I had that all tied into this…..And, of course, the “soul ties,” so I felt I had to pray that those ties would be released, after my first fiance broke things off.

    Fortunately, in college Pat Robertson was exposed as a false prophet when he was wrong about Bush winning in 1992. And I also discovered that the 700 Club was NOT giving the full story on political issues, as they claimed. That led, little by little over the years, to moving away from this and all the magical thinking.

    The things which made perfect sense back then, and seemed right because they came from adults–such as, telling us in various ways how awful it would be to tarnish our gift of virginity–now seem so damaging. In fact, I believe this teaching led to some severe emotional battering from a Christian guy who used me, then tossed me aside, out of guilt for how far we went.

    As I recently evaluated the situation while working on my college memoirs, I saw how so much of what he said and did, related directly to how we’d been taught. Even though the sexual activity was always his idea to start, he kept treating me like a filthy temptress. He kept telling me everything he found wrong with me, from my personality to how I kissed. One moment he’d treat me like a prude for not doing everything he wanted, the next he’d scold me up and down for not stopping him. Then he broke off ties with me because he could not bear the memories.

    It all seems to relate to shaming women for giving away their virginity….

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  98. Pingback: Teaching youth about virginity and forgiveness via Todd Friel | Spiritual Sounding Board

  99. I wish I’d read this when the discussion was still in full swing, but I feel compelled to add my 2 cents wort anyway.

    Soul ties — I recently did some reading about the topic. The stuff I read did not mention a demonic element but rather a kind of almost mystical sounding bond caused by emotional or physical intimacy. Personally, I believe one of the purposes of sexual intercourse is to express and strengthen the marital bond. However, I don’t believe that — to be blunt — the act of sex causes one to excrete some sort of emotional/spiritual superglue that will keep your partner mysteriously bound to you until the bond is ceremoniously severed.

    I have no idea if the rest of this website is worthwhile, but I found this article on soul ties helpful: http://www.compellingtruth.org/soul-ties.html

    I believe that there rages around us a cosmic battle between good and evil. I believe in Satan and demons. I even believe that Satan attempts to use us as pawns in his ongoing hatred of God. I believe that there is a turf war being waged over my very heart and soul — not because I am so special or significant but because, like all humans, I bear the image of God Himself. I have seen this struggle in my own life, and in my own healing journey from rape and sexual abuse.

    At the same time, I find it misguided to see a demon behind every bush. There are real, valid psychological explanations for why a young girl, groomed and seduced by her sexual abuser, would not see the “relationship” for what it was, and would act like a love-smitten teenager forced by her cruel parents to break up with her Prince Charming. This doesn’t mean her abuser had some power over her — even if it looked and felt like he did. Part of recovery from sexual abuse is facing the truth about our abusers and realizing they no longer have any power over us — NOT giving them the supposed supernatural ability to tie our soul to theirs.

    Lisa Cherry — I recently heard a brief interview with her, during which she admitted to having made a lot of mistakes in how she handled her daughter’s trauma. However, I think it is outrageous to accuse her, as some have done in the comments, of making money off of her daughter’s trauma or writing a book without her consent. My understanding is that Kalyn was personally involved in the writing of their book. She is now and adult, and a wife and mother. If she and her mother choose to allow others to benefit from what they have learned from their experiences, let’s not criticize them for not giving away their books for free.

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  100. “soul tied” to a man

    I am very late coming to this, but in discussing a relationship issue with a friend, she mentioned worries about getting ‘soul tied’ to someone through sex. I was shocked at this and blew it off but was also puzzled where she got it, since it is a pretty vivid term and I doubted she made it up. So I was interested to run across this post and will be reading the comments as well!

    [I told her that I believed people are linked together through relationships, even if they turn out to be deeply unhealthy, not the physical act of sex.]

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