SSB Sunday Gathering – October 26, 2014

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

 

 

spiritual sounding board

 

 

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One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples.

He said to them, “Let the children come to me.

Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.

I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.  Mark 10:13-14

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

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photo credit: JA, fall in the desert of Eastern WA state 

33 comments on “SSB Sunday Gathering – October 26, 2014

  1. Good Morning JA and anyone else reading this morning. The Lord got a couple of more tears this morning listening to that beautiful song and knowing that he is always with me. I was feeling a little low when I woke up this morning. I am having doubts about remaining in the church I attend. Having a pastor who is bent on not wanting to be bothered with thinking about the impact that abuse of any kind can have on believers. Pray for me as I make decisions that would be pleasing to God and to overcome the confusion that I feel right now. I know that I belong in a church, but I am not sure about this one right now.

    Julie Anne, I haven’t been able to see the pictures in the blog the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure if that is your end or mine.

    Like

  2. Good Morning Brenda R

    Sorry to hear about the doubts and confusion. Just having to think about this challenge, to have to go through this junk, stinketh.

    I’ve been there. It’s NOT fun.

    Look Up. Keep Looking Up. Jesus is with you where ever you are.

    Lu 21:28
    And when these things begin to come to pass,
    then LQQK UP, and lift UP your heads;
    for YOUR redemption draweth nigh.

    John 14:18
    I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    Heb 13:5
    …for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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  3. Hi Julie Anne

    NO – I can NOT see the picture.
    There is a small blue box in the middle with a question mark. – ?
    In the upper left hand corner it says – Displaying photo. JPG

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  4. Brenda, I think I would have a hard time going to a church if I sensed the pastor did not show empathy about spiritual abuse. That seems off to me. What I so appreciate about the Good Shepherd, Jesus in scripture, is his heart towards those who were hurting.

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  5. Weird – well, I used the newer drop and drag feature on Word Press. I guess I’ll go back to using the browse button to find the pics. Can someone please click “like” on this comment if you see the picture? Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Picture is back and beautiful. These pictures always show God’s goodness in his creation. Peace!

    JA I did have a hard time going to church this morning. The message was good, but when I entered the sanctuary pastor was speaking to some people with a cheery smile. I know that he saw me coming in and he moved quickly to the front. I send him information on many forms of abuse and question things that are said in sermon. He doesn’t want to get it. I want my life to reflect Christ and to God be the glory, but not all is fairy dust and sweet kittens. Bad things happen in this world and I believe we have to tackle them head on.

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  7. Julie Anne

    Interesting picture. What is it? Where is it?

    When I double clicked on it – It Got really big – And close up.

    Seemed like a whole field of scrawny dried out weeds. 😉

    But – they are beautiful.

    Like

  8. Amos, I drive 1-1/2 hours east to go see a really good physical therapist (he really is worth the drive) and I pulled over to take this shot. It’s probably within an hour of the Idaho border. This is desert and so what you are seeing is sagebrush and that kind of thing.

    The first time I drove to our area after living in very green Portland area, I thought this was kind of ugly. I love it now. There were noticeable changes in the plants from 2 wks ago. This picture shows how some things changed to a darker brown. The hills are beautiful. I enjoy looking at the colors that God puts together – colors that I probably wouldn’t consider as complementary. I am amazed at God’s creation. This drive always gives me time to reflect on that beauty and I find it very relaxing.

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  9. Brenda R, Just a thot, reflecting on my propensity. I tend to be drawn, subconsciously, to abusive men. This became evident as I slowly realized that my ex was abusive and then began observing my pattern of relating in other areas. This perhaps was developed from severe sexual abuse beginning when I was four. It is a deep familiarity.

    Could it be that your pastor would fall into that category of men your feel comfortable with upon first meeting. And now you are looking deeper for him to be who you wish him to be. We can’t make people be who we want them to be, a sad fact.

    This may not be relevant to your situation. Over the time that I have been reading your comments, I notice that your pastor is an important person to you. As we move into the Holiday season, we are offered a good opportunity to visit other churches according to the music offerings. I now give myself permission to attend as much beautiful music as possible this time of year.

    The pastor takes a back seat to the music.

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  10. Celeste, my experience with abusive men began at age 2, sexual and otherwise. I do believe that made me the target for abusive men. Abusive men are very good at disguising who they really are until they have you in their web and then the spider comes out to devour you.

    No, I didn’t feel comfortable with my pastor from the beginning. The X gave me 3 choices when I decided that I wasn’t going to allow him to keep me from attending any longer. This was the best of the 3. I didn’t like his response when I told him that I was in an abusive marriage, he showed little compassion and let me know that we just needed to get him saved and all would be ok, but I kept quiet for another 3 years before I felt that it was time to leave the marriage whether pastor liked it or not. He minimizes abuse and holds the institution or marriage above the people in it. I have tried to put information in his hands that might soften his heart, but he isn’t having any of it. One of his daughters is getting married soon. I have wondered what would happen if her intended husband turned into a monster once she says, “I do”.

    There are pastors out there that do get it, believe that people come first and “vows” that are taken without meaning what you are saying does not a covenant make. I believe that X did not mean his vows and states that he didn’t take any. I believe that God did not see my marriage as a true covenant and IF I found someone that was a Christian and would honor his vows that I could remarry Biblically. Not likely as I am completely gun shy and would prefer to help others that are going through now, what I did then. The abuse in the marriage ends up becoming spiritual abuse by the church. I feel that is what happened in my case.

    I do soooo agree about the music.

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  11. He minimizes abuse and holds the institution or marriage above the people in it.

    I see this a lot. It really saddens me because it’s basically saying it’s better for you to be abused than destroy the institution of marriage by divorcing, so suck it up and deal with your response to the abuse and make sure it’s a Biblical response because that is more of a witness to Christ.

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  12. I see this a lot. It really saddens me because it’s basically saying it’s better for you to be abused than destroy the institution of marriage by divorcing, so suck it up and deal with your response to the abuse and make sure it’s a Biblical response because that is more of a witness to Christ.

    JA, I see it a lot as well. I thought by putting information out there, it might stop the next person who comes looking for help, to actually get help. I don’t believe that the name of Jesus is glorified by telling people to suck it up, love/respect your spouse more and you will win them to Christ. That is a best case scenario with a spouse who loves/respect you, but has not found Christ yet, not an abuser.

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  13. Brenda R, I have found even at my age, I need external validation. Because my experiences were not validated in my childhood home, sometimes I have trouble assessing if I am too sensitive or not. It is helpful to have people to validate your experiences with this pastor. Whether or not you find it, please trust your emotions and know your experience is valid and personal. Your pastor may not be a bad man, but he is obviously clueless. Many people, including pastors would rather live in their fantasy world then see what is standing right in front of them.

    My husband went to a Southern Baptist church growing up in Alabama in the ’60s and ’70s. His pastor taught divorce is ALWAYS wrong and he would never officiate a wedding where one of the participants was divorced. Fast forward 20 years. Both his daughters are–wait for it–DIVORCED. Guess what? He changed his tune really fast!

    Brenda, you are still obviously hurting and getting support is not a bad thing. Maybe a different church would have a focus on Jesus’ love for survivors. I know JA has suffered traumatic abuse at her former church and one of the women at Wartburg Watch tried (unsuccessfully) to call out child sexual abuse at her church. (Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C.) Sometimes it is better to move on!

    I admit, I am not the best person for advise for this subject, as I have washed my hands of church for the time being. (And I attended from my birth until around 50yrs). I do empathize with your struggle and pray you find a safe and healing community. Hope your week goes well! Ann

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  14. Ann,
    I am also a “my-ager”. We have a mixed set of beliefs in the church re: abuse, marriage, divorce, remarriage etc., as I am sure there are in many churches. You are right, pastor is not a bad man, but he is strong minded where it comes to these issues and is clueless. He describes his wife as “a walking beauty” and I have seen tears in her eyes at the thought of him ever leaving her, which is very unlikely. They have a good thing going on.

    I need support, indeed, I still have triggers, but more importantly, there will be others that need support. I don’t want them to wind up in the same situation or worse.

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  15. I’m sorry that you’re going through this, Brenda. Its really strange to me and unfortunate when people create dogmatic “processes” by which they think abused people ought to take. For example, the idea that if you’re in an abusive relationship/marriage that separating isn’t an option. Even if you believe that divorce is always wrong [as I do] there are so many nuances and ways that you can support the men and women who need to leave that situation. Ie, If I were a pastor or elder, and someone was being abused, I believe it would be my responsibility as her Church family to first get her the hell away from the person abusing her, but also if she does not have the means- to support her financially and put her up in a hotel/apartment/house until this is all figured out and help her work towards financial independence. The Church is to care for widows and orphans, and in many ways abused men and women are put in the exact same position as widows, and they need to be cared for and tended to in real, practical, sacrificial ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bravo, Dustin. And I have to say when you said “get her the hell away,” it told me you understand the seriousness of abuse. Refreshing to read. I’m so tired of complacency in the church.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Well yeah. Even if the abuse is “minor” such as “mild” verbal abuse, a very loud, clear, message needs to be sent that that’s not ok. Of course there are certain nuanced situations where that may not necessarily be warranted, But as a rule- do it. Not only for the welfare of the abused and children [if any] but it sends a loud and clear message to the rest of the Church that abuse is not ok, and that they will support any person in a similar situation. Often people [usually women] trapped in abusive situations may not recognize it for what it is, and this message can help them ask questions and help them get some clarity “ie, the husband/boyfriend only called her worthless a few times….and they did all this for THAT?”… and etc

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  18. Dustin, When I did leave there was a deaconess who did ask if I had any needs. For whatever reason she thought I worked part time and couldn’t support myself. I had been working full time for sometime and didn’t need support. When I first went to my pastor I was very confused and if he had offered to help me find a safe place to go, I would have accepted the offer. Instead I stayed for 3 more years. Financial abuse is a problem for many women and their children. Even when the woman is working she feels trapped or doesn’t have resources to care for them the way she knows is best because the H has control of all of the assets. We don’t agree on Biblical divorce. I believe that divorce is acceptable for abuse, disertion and adultery. Although, not being what God sees as the best, neither is the idol or marriage.

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  19. Julie Anne,

    I’m so tired of complacency in the church.

    Me, too. Some days I think it is futile and want to give up. Then, like yesterday, I got enough encouragement to keep going. I may not be able to change pastor’s way of thinking, but I can be a thorn in his side. If I move on, the complacency will continue. Jesus came to save lost sinners. On that journey he also healed the sick. Abuse creates an illness that needs healing. In following Jesus, I need to be there to help another in their healing in anyway I can.

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  20. Dustin,
    the husband/boyfriend only called her worthless a few times….and they did all this for THAT?”

    YES!! If the church would take a stand and say this is not acceptable in the beginning, maybe, just maybe marriages could be saved and the problem would not become multi-generational. Targets of abuse would not hide behind a false smile on Sunday morning while holding back the tears. Although, I believe being called worthless even once by someone who is suppose to love you is one too many. There is no “minor” or “mild” abuse. But, you do get it. If the church doesn’t take a stand on these things, they probably aren’t taking a stand on much of anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Yah. When I say minor abuse, I mean that there is a certain gradation to it- even as it’s all wrong and sinful. Even couples in mutually-loving, committed relationships can say abusive things to each other at times. Its definitely one time too many, but it would warrant a different reaction then let’s say…forced marital rape.

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  22. Dustin,
    Oh yes, all couples are going to have disagreements and say wrong things. Being a Christian means to me that asking forgiveness and repenting shouldn’t take long or allowed to fester. You wouldn’t allow divorce for forced marital rape? Just asking, not judging.

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  23. Well, first I would say that I wouldn’t hold it dogmatically. I can understand and appreciate those who have a different opinion on the matter, and wouldn’t look down upon someone for divorcing because of adultery, abandonment, etc.

    As far as forced rape- what a horrible, evil thing to happen. And unfortunately many women are caught in this situation, even in the Church, and because there is no teaching from the pulpit or light being shone on this practice, they think it’s ok, or that it’s part of the “submissive” part of marriage that they must adhere to. It sucks because so many Churches teach sex-sermons, or teach on sex and marriage, and never touch upon these abusive aspects. I think if you’re gonna do a 4 week sex and marriage series, one of those weeks should cover these topics.

    But anyway, in the case of marital rape- ahch, gotta go. i’ll reply tonight!

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  24. And then there is the equally destructive emotional/spiritual abuse – – the silent abuses that are treated as nonexistent in some circles, yet studies show these abuses can be just as harmful, if not more harmful, than physical abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Julie Anne,
    All abuse is destructive. All of it is harmful whether the scars are on the outside or inside. Some that experience other kinds of abuse rather than physical are so emotionally and mentally distraught they choose to end their own lives. You can’t get anymore harmful than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’ve been a part of churches where the pastor understood the significance of abuse, and some where I’m pretty sure they would not get it. The churches I’ve seen range from mainline (UMC) liberal to evangelical to fundamental, and it was interesting how the dividing line between who would deal well with it, and who would not, was not the pastor’s alma mater, stand on God’s sovereignty (Calvinist/Arminian, etc..), or denomination. It was whether the pastor did his own theological thinking, or whether he was simply running someone else’s “church growth system”. If the latter, watch out.

    A corollary; you can often tell how well a pastor will do in counseling hurting and abused people by how he thinks on his feet regarding other challenges. How does he think on his feet, because hey–is anything more needful of thinking on your feet than good counsel?

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  27. This is a lovely picture, Julie Anne. I want to encourage you to keep taking photographs of the beauty of our LORD’S creation for there is none like Him in creating this breathtaking beauty.

    Personally, my soul always dreaded the winter season coming upon us as the hues of green are replaced with shades of brown. To me, this represented a slow death with the harsh cold yet to reign in…..with the ants busily gathering food for storage in weathering the long winter ahead.

    Then my husband and I were invited to stay with one of his extended relatives in Nebraska. We rented their farmland and they actively pursued an interest in our family and loved on us with a genuine Christ-like love. As they were showing us the rolling hills of their state in the late, brisk fall of the year, I happened to comment on how ” the browns” are just so boring and depressing to me. And the retired Home Economics teacher said to me, “Oh, how I love the fall season! Look at the various shades of browns and the different textures of the plants. You can really appreciate the shapes and textures this time of year!”

    Wow! I truly appreciated her opening up my eyes to a fresh perspective in appreciating what our LORD can show us with the change of each season. To fathom that our Great and Glorious LORD created this earth in six, 24 hour days, is absolutely mind boggling and amazing all at the same time.

    Shades of brown are truly fascinating to me now. Oh, what a Savior!

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