Sometimes we have commenters here who like to challenge us. Sometimes the language and tone used seem familiar to what we experienced in our abusive churches. Commenter “gracealone1” has been engaging SSB readers on the comments in this article, JD Hall of Pulpit and Pen Launches Voice in the Wilderness Radio, and one of his comments in particular set off alarms for me. Most likely others had the same reaction. If you did, let’s talk.
The comment begins below and I added more paragraph breaks for easier reading.
There is a great danger in how the after effects of spiritual abuse is handled. It takes no effort at all to let your emotions fester, to let anger rule your every word (something that seems to be the favorite accusation of those here who do not know the Biblical way to deal with abuse), to let bitterness swell to the point of hatred (some here are getting close), and to turn a deaf ear to the simple commands of the Lord Jesus. Some have fought their way throw this by the means detailed in the Scriptures and others continue their ill-gotten diatribes against those who would point them in the right direction.
There are many Biblical commands (there’s that pesky word again that few like) that lead in the proper way to deal with, get past and actually forgive those that have been abusers.
1) Thank God for the whole experience, no matter how long the duration or how severe the trauma you were treated to.
2) Did you seriously think that you as a Christian would escape such persecutions as these when your brothers and sisters have suffered far, far worse than we, now and throughout the centuries past? Why should YOU escape?
Heads are being removed even today for the testimony of the Savior, but somehow we feel it our right to bemoan our situation to the point of disgusting self pity, meanwhile sucking the life out of those we call upon to feel the same pity as we. Shame on you! Christ suffered the ultimate humiliation, His death on the cross, but yet we seek to justify our complaining of our “situation” rather than praise Him for being counted worthy to suffer for His Name’s sake.
Enter the “Warm & Fuzzy” crowd. Warm and fuzzy is completely useless here. In fact, it only does good for the one doling it out and accomplishes zero for the one who has been assaulted. Showing sympathy/empathy is not enough. Feeling sorry for another’s plight helps them how? It would be far more helpful to point such a person to the Scriptures, remind them of the promises of God for His beloved children, get them to seek their Lord and Savior until relief is realized.
If your description of the love of God does not go far, far beyond this blasphemous definition of “warm and fuzzy” it is highly likely that that person knows nothing of the love of God found only in Jesus Christ. [the question must be asked here for those in disagreement: did you ever repent of your sins? or was you ‘repentance’ bound up in the words “I repent”? For those who have known what it is to repent the answer is easy: it was probably the most emotional and gut-wrenching thing in their entire life. For those who have gone the deceitful way of easy-believeism it’s usually only a few words said in passing with the perceived or claimed ‘sincerity’ being immaterial].
3) Ask God for wisdom as to how to handle each persecution. If you walk with Him on a daily basis this will become a no-brainer (did you take up your cross today? if you did, then you should naturally expect to be crucified on it.) There are specific Scriptures that apply to all that I’ve said here and will be happy to cite them if you wish. There is more, but enough for now.
To allow the bitterness and ensuing hatred that is common to the natural man to control a person means that their persecutor has won the war, they are virtually useless in the service and obedience to the Savior, and things will likely only get worse over time. It results in constant attacks, especially toward those with whom they differ, skewed views of Scripture that accommodate their own specialized heresy, and an unteachable mindset (not unteachable by other men, but by the Holy Spirit). They refuse to humble themselves before the Lord and will get to the point where humility is only for the other guy, they have somehow (in their own mind) grown past the need to be humble before the Creator.
BTDT, if you had only read a little further you would have seen the real reason for my welcomed dismissal from SBCVoices was the fact that ALL of the commenters (by default, the moderator, too) had ganged up on man from Tennessee. They dog-piled this guy mercilessly over and over again simply because he asked a question that they did not feel was worthy of their consideration. So yes, I jumped in and fired at will. And guess what? I’d do the same for you in a similar situation.
To set the record straight, I am not a Calvinist (how many definitions are there now?) But I am a firm believer in the Scriptures that came centuries before John Calvin. Also, Calvin was right 100% when it comes to T U L I P. There are hundreds of verses that speak of predestination, election, being chosen, etc. etc. but those of the Arminian heresy dismiss them all in favor of man’s “free-will”. Something that has no part in a man’s salvation whatsoever. “You are saved BY GRACE through FAITH and that NOT OF YOURSELVES it is THE GIFT OF GOD. To state otherwise is to make the Word of God a lie and remembering that JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD OF GOD one should take great care before they call Him a liar. If a man wants to believe the lie that by an act of his will he will gain salvation, then that man has no need of grace, and if grace is not how you were “saved” then you are still lost.