Spiritual abusers can sometimes be excellent speakers. They can use that “gift” to abuse.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:13
I’m nearing the end of my first year of college and in the next couple of weeks will be really busy working on the final project in my statistics class which is worth a lot of points. We have separated into groups and each group has to create two separate “live” newscasts discussing homicide rates and gun ownership. We were given a sheet of paper with a listing of countries, including data on how many guns per 100 residents and the number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Each group will then split into two groups: one of the groups is to take the data and use it in a way to intentionally lie to the audience about the message they want to present about gun ownership and homicides. The second group is to explain why the first group lied using statistics to back up their claims. The second group must convince the audience that the first group intentionally lied to sway their thinking.
I love this project because it’s teaching us to not blindly follow what we see/hear in the news regarding statistical information. At the end of this term, I hopefully will have gained the tools to be able to say, “um, nope, that’s not a good statistic, your sample is bogus, I’m not buying it.”
Let’s face it some people intentionally lie and manipulate us to support them and their agenda. My spiritual abuser did that.
Was your spiritual abuser a good speaker? Mine was. Chuck O’Neal could own any stage in front of a sanctuary. He knows how to capture an audience. He tells cat jokes. He hates cats. Even if you owned and loved cats, you would probably laugh at his cat jokes. He loves food, and especially desserts. The church audience always connected with his stories on desserts. I mean, really, who doesn’t like desserts?
His voice commanded attention, he shared jokes and personal stories to draw us in. He had good voice inflection and diction. The gestures he used with his hands backed up what he was saying. He was convincing. He was compelling. He was believable.
We felt at odds if we didn’t believe him and had to recheck ourselves, and many times were swayed to his ways of thinking because his words and tone and emphatic stance caused us to second guess ourselves. Well, he is the pastor, right? He’s called by God to lead and guide us, right? He wouldn’t do us any harm. He must be right. I must be wrong. Do you see how this works?
Here’s the deal, you may now have a good pastor who knows how to speak well. Good speaking techniques can sell and manipulate, but they can also be used to bless, encourage, and shepherd. We have to be discerning and not let a good speaker’s talents lure us in to their ideologies based on their talent.
Take a look at this video. If you have sat in church pews listening to someone who can speak well, this video might show you how we got suckered into a situation in which someone used their words, speech, poise, confidence, and position of spiritual authority to reel us in emotionally. It is excellent.
Did your spiritual abuser employ similar methods?