Tag Archives: church abuse

Happy Hour: Celebrating 20+ years following Beth as she follows Christ

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet.    It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

I want to encourage one of my closest friends; whom I’ve never met, Beth Moore. 

I advocate for women who are in, or are leaving, destructive marriages. What I’m seeing take place on the internet in recent months is nothing short of destructive theology and it’s targeted at women. It’s abuse. As I minister I tell the woman I’m meeting with and praying with, “You’re not crazy. You didn’t do anything to bring this on yourself.  You’re strong. You will survive this and come out stronger on the other side. I know you have moments when you feel like you can’t take any more but remember; Jesus lives to intercede for you so, don’t listen to or fear those who come against you. The distance makes no difference to Jesus; He is praying for you!”

“It is because of Jesus that anyone is set free. And remember, it is only in him that women gain true equality. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28.)” -Tim Fall

Twenty five years ago I had done the Bible studies Experiencing God by Blackaby and King and The Mind of Christ by Hunt and King. They left me hungry for more in-depth studies but I couldn’t find any.

Enter Beth Moore. For 20+ years she has been a godly influence in my life by encouraging me to read my Bible, pray God’s word, ask God questions while reading his word, spend time in praise and worship, disciple others, minister to others, be mission minded, pass on a spiritual heritage to my children, and be involved in my local church.Beth

I thank her for being real and transparent, being a humble servant, keeping her eyes focused completely on Jesus, not throwing in the towel when nay-sayers came against her, for knowing she isn’t perfect and sharing with her readers how God is growing her and working in her life, and for helping eager students dig into the word and find how God has carefully and purposefully woven a beautiful tapestry of His story throughout history while finding hidden treasures in His word.

I’ve followed Beth as she’s followed Christ. I’ve read and studied almost all of her books and studies. I checked for accuracy. I understand her heart for Jesus, and for women.  I feel like I know her and her family, and I’m a better woman because of it. I can’t imagine I would be as in love with Jesus had Beth not shown me the depth of relationship possible with God the Father, Jesus the son, and our comforter; the Holy Spirit.

I was so pleased, and changed, from spending time with God that I had a burning desire to pass on the love of studying the Bible to my children. My daughter had watched me do these studies for years and I often found her peeking over my shoulder to see what all the tears, laughter, and amazement were about, or to watch a video on-line with me when I was too sick from pregnancy to regularly attend a study at our church. By age 8, my daughter was asking when she could do the studies. If my memory serves me correctly, I lead 7 studies, written by Beth, during my daughter’s high school years. We hosted a mother-daughter study in our home and had between 14-18 moms and daughters every-other Wednesday night. It was some of the most beautiful treasure a mom’s heart could uncover. I’ll never regret the time, heart, tears, laughter, and ministry poured out during those studies. Everyone grew from participating in the studies!

Then my boys (currently ages 14 & 15) wanted to do the studies. I offered to take them to the bookstore to pick out something geared toward them, but they said, “No, we like Beth.” This week we finished our fourteenth in-depth study together; ten of which were written by Beth Moore, two by Lysa Terkeurst, one by Blackaby and King, one by Hunt and King, and the next two are by Priscilla Shirer.  After each study I give them the option to buy something written by a man but they have been pleased with their own personal growth in knowledge, prayer, relationship with the Lord, and zeal for the Lord that Beth’s studies offer.

Beth, you’ve made my life so much happier, joyful, purposeful, and loving as I’ve grown in love with Jesus through your hours of studying, praying, writing, and passing on your passion. I know Jesus loves you, delights in you, speaks to your heart, soul, mind and strength, and will continue to use you.

Happy weekend! Happy Hour!

Cheers! To Beth Moore and her contagious love for our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Headline: Abused women need to stay and pray

 An abuse victim needs to stay and pray for their abuser until the abuser changes.

Sadly, this is what many churches and counselors teach. I think they believe they are scriptural, but they are incorrectly applying scriptures from 1 Peter 3:1-6, while completely leaving out verse 7, and then tack on Malachi 2:16 as a one-size fits all verse.

Any abuse that a husband perpetrates against his wife is sin, not only against her, but against a holy God.

Any pastor who sends a wife home knowingly to an abusive husband sins against a holy God. 

In case you’ve missed the hoopla surrounding what some high-ranking Christian leaders believe and teach about marital abuse; I’ve attached 2 links at the end of this article so you can read for yourself the original wording.

Almost every day I read of yet another Christian leader who believes divorce is sin…period. I could blog full-time on this one issue; however,  my calling is to minister to abused women. But today, since this headline involves a leader high up in a denominational setting, who has leadership over hundreds of thousands of Christians (one report I read listed the membership at 15 million), I want to address this as a courtesy and protection to abused women. 

I want to validate what survivors are living through and affirm that they are strong; not emotionally unstable, loving; not going against scripture, setting healthy boundaries, not being hard-hearted,  caring for themselves and their children, not turning their back on the abuser out of vengeance, and correctly applying scripture; not sinning against God. 

This current headline refers to a leader who has for a decade received backlash from survivors of domestic abuse over his legalistic, uncaring counsel that has further kept victims in abusive relationships. He refused to believe 25 cases of sexual abuse against one man. He sided with and protected a serial abuser by mandating that any woman who wanted to bring charges against the man must have witnesses to verify the abuser’s behavior of her. The audacity of that is undefinable! He and others who have been known to teach that abused women need to stay and pray for their abuser until God changes his heart, or until the abuser changes, don’t understand the nature of abusers.

Fact 1: The Holy Spirit won’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do.

Fact 2: According to specialists in the field of domestic violence there is little to no proof that abusers will ever change. In fact, these abusers have been referred to as  Psychephiles and are ranked in the unhealable category as are pedophilic offenders.

That’s a hard dose of reality to add to a sick and lazy approach many church leaders take when ministering to abused spouses; an approach which cost some victims their lives. It’s easy to give lip service and do nothing. It’s difficult to helplessly listen to descriptions of abuse and even more difficult to offer intervention, a safe place to live, practical gifts of service and financial help to the oppressed.

The stay and pray slant is a popular instruction in many churches and institutions. If the subject were a normal marriage with two healthy people; going through a difficult time, disagreement, or fight then ‘stay and pray’ would be sound advice. In this case it’s dangerous instruction. The women I minister to testify how difficult this is for them and their children. Church leaders put them in an unbearable position and when the women sit down to talk to me they all relay similar thoughts of feeling crazy…depressed…confused. Remember, they have already been beaten down at home for years; if not decades by the time they muster up the courage to tell their story to their pastor or church leader. They are often expending their last ounce of strength so when they are told to ‘stay and pray’ they have no strength left to challenge their pastor. They are traumatized at home and retraumatized by the church.

 The above mentioned pastor sent a women back to kneel beside the bed and pray for her husband. His counsel resulted in the woman receiving two black eyes from her husband.

She came to church one morning with both eyes black.  And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter.  And she said, “I hope you’re happy.”  And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.”  And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”

This was abuse of authority. When the woman walked into church with two black eyes the pastor should have called the police and had the man arrested.

The woman later said that her husband was sorry for what he did and their marriage became better. This is perhaps the only time I’ve heard a success story. In most cases of domestic violence the abuse escalates with time; not diminishes

This Wade Burleson article, along with yesterday’s Spiritual Sounding Board article, provides a great summary of the issues at stake with Dr. Paige Patterson and the Southern Baptist Convention. Our distaste for divorce or love of the institution of marriage cannot – must not – surpass the safety of the abused. This is not just a Patterson issue, although Patterson cannot be ignored. It’s time to get this right. No one hates divorce more than someone who has experienced it, but it always has a moral context and it is not always wrong or to be avoided.” Cheryl Bowles Summers

 

“To these brothers who may have ears open enough to hear from a sister who has come to love you and see glimpses of hope in you that maybe you’ll be willing to grapple with the tension glaringly present in the New Testament regarding women, I say to you with respect: Fix this, in Jesus’ Name.” Beth Moore

 

Physical abuse is not the only type of domestic violence. Emotional, spiritual, financial, sexual, and verbal abuse are also real types of domestic violence. If you are in an unsafe situation, please know that more than God hates divorce, He hates that you are being abused. God approves of you leaving and finding safety. In the margin of this website you will find links to help you decide if you are or are not safe; as well as, links to help you leave safely, or stay safely in the relationship while keeping a sound mind and a healthy heart.

Next time I will continue with, For Your Consideration: A Woman’s Role…Biblically. Jesus had some radical teachings in response to the patriarchal system that had deeply rooted throughout history and continues to lend itself to marital, societal, and spiritual abuse. Thankfully, Jesus didn’t have an unbending view of marriage any more than He had a narrow view of the Sabbath. Jesus is about relationship and putting people first. Jesus wouldn’t leave a woman living in a personal hell; He would help her find freedom. He even helps the sinful woman find freedom. Doubt this? Read how He was counter-cultural in John 8:1-11.

Wade Burleson article

Spiritual Sounding Board

 

 

Many churches continue to fail victims and the innocent by giving child abusers, molesters, and pedophiles the benefit of the doubt. Pedophilic offenders are a segment of the population who will never reverse their desires and will not stop acting upon those desires of their own free will.

Companion text: CLICK HERE

Spiritual Sounding Board

Pastor Doug Wilson and Ed Iverson encourage marriage of Pedophile Steven Sitler, Christ Church


Sins are like grapes; they come in bunches. ~Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson, Steven Sitler, Pedophile

I read a disturbing article yesterday that sent me reeling. I think we always want to hope for the best in people, but after having seen this pattern taken place so many times, those who were familiar with the story could see the inevitable train wreck before it took place. Our fears were in fact confirmed this week, and I am heartbroken.

Many times when we hear of breaking scandalous stories, the focus is on the perpetrator and those who enabled the abuse. The background to this story can be broken down into several important topics, and I hope other bloggers will cover some of the other aspects to this story. (A little bird told me that The Wartburg Watch will also be covering part of…

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