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Posts Tagged ‘cult-like churches’

Freedom 4 Captives is taking a new turn…

I’m in the middle of launching my own business, and so I do not have much time and energy for this. But more importantly, I feel that I’ve been obedient to the Lord in speaking out the truth about that which was presented to me regarding apparent church/spiritual abuse at Mars Hill, mostly at the hands of the lead pastor, Mark Driscoll. I was responsible for the information given to me. I have made that known to you here on this blog. For me to go further would entail my policing Driscoll–which I’m really not interested in doing.

Driscoll will continue to be Driscoll, meaning, he will continue to be the Driscoll who–until I am informed otherwise–appears to be abusing God’s flock and setting up a system over which he can rule as supreme. That is my take. Based on my perceptions of Driscoll’s behaviors, his words and apparent attitudes toward women and people in general, until Driscoll falls on his knees, weeping and repenting before the throne of grace, and until he allows  (the biblical) Jesus, our only true healer of our broken hearts, to reach down and do a deep healing within him, he will continue to act out of his own pain, his own suppressed and repressed traumas. I pray for that day! I pray for Mark.

Dan. 12:10 reads, “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”

When we are ruling over a church in the spirit of those false shepherds whom God condemned in Ez 34, we are not pleasing God, we are not evidencing Christ nor His Spirit in our lives, we are not leading as Jesus leads and instructs us to lead, but rather we have become like the gentiles, lording it over one another, seating ourselves in “Moses’ seat.” This kind of dictatorship, similar to that which I perceive in Driscoll and in Mars Hill, is flat out condemned by God in Scripture over and over again! My point is that there are many Driscolls in the world as well as many of those who are on the polar opposite of Driscoll’s legalism, preaching liberal heresies– and all of these will continue doing what they’re doing… but those who submit to the Lord and to His Word, living by His Spirit, must continue doing so, following and obeying the Lord in true holiness despite what others are choosing to do.

2 Tim 3:13-14 “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of…”

I invite any of you who happen upon or who have been tracking this site to please keep me informed if you know of any new important issues or spiritual/church abuse or false teaching at Mars Hill. Make a comment here or anywhere else in this blog, and please cite the source of your information. I’d like to keep this blog up to date so people can be informed, but I no longer feel the call nor the need for me personally to keep track on Mark. This blog, as it stands, is enough I would hope for the wise and wary to do their own research and think twice about committing themselves to what looks to be a very controlling and cult-like church system led by what seems to be a spiritually immature despot (compare Driscoll to 1 Tim 3, and, well, to Jesus!).

Rev 22:11-12 “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

In Christ and in His Glorious Truth and Love!

FREEDOM!!!

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Steve Martin has written a fascinating book, The Heresy of Mind Control, for those in the helping fields and for all of us who have been or are being traumatized and enslaved by an abusive person (pastor, therapist, priest, husband, boyfriend, doctor, lawyer, employer, etc…) or an abusive system/group (totalitarian government, terrorists, church, employment…). Eventually I will post on this when I have my notes completed. For now though, here is Steve’s outline he sent me. You may purchase his book at his website: www.recognizeheresy.com

Freedom

PS. There seems to be a problem with the formatting from the document Steve sent me to transferring it into this post. Please understand Steve had logical formatting and will tend to this little quirk when he has time. In the meantime, the info is there and one can learn more about his book by going to his site and better yet, by ordering it…

………………..

THE  HERESY

of

MIND  CONTROL

Recognizing Con Artists, Tyrants, and Spiritual Abusers

in Leadership

by

Stephen Martin

________________________________________________________________________
Introduction

Just Suppose

Taken in Unawares

What is a Cult?

Terrorist Groups, Cults, and Abusive Relationships

In Unexpected Places

The Meeting Ground of Psychology, Sociology, and Theology

The Focus of this book: characteristics, not certain groups

Format: summary and paraphrase of criteria, various examples, Scripture passages that address and oppose these cultic practices.

Chapter 1

Thinking Inside the Box

(Milieu Control)

The Need for Outside Input – Overcoming Hindrances

Cunning Disregard

Have Nothing to Do With Them

“Don’t Listen”

Overcome Closed-Mindedness

 

 

Chapter 2

Illusion to Disillusion
(Mystical Manipulation)

Visions and Revelations

Stories

Euphoria-inducing Techniques

Power and the sense of Higher Purpose

Misguided Devotion

Submitting to Abuse

Submitting to Exploitation

Chapter 3

Getting Nowhere Fast

(The Demand for Purity)

Amount of Work and Commitment

Amount of your Ability – Works vs. Grace

Attributing Sin

“Reach Maturity Now”

Man-Made Rules for Escaping Impurity

Chapter 4

Vocal Self-Degradation

(The Cult of Confession)

A Misused Bible Verse

“Everyone Else is Doing It”

No-win Situations

No  Privacy

No Restoration

No Encouragement

Demon Labels

Misplaced  Accountability

Restoring Self-Esteem

Chapter 5

Thou Shalt Not Question
(The “Sacred Science”)

The Fear to Disagree and to Criticize

The Power of Charisma

Freedom to Doubt

Consequences of Differing

Fear to Speak Out

The Slant on Slander

Dealing with the Wrongs of Leaders

What about Obedience and Respect?

Why Question and Doubt?

Chapter 6

The Language of Nonthought

(Loading the Language)

Shut out the Truth & Alienate from Outsiders

Create Guilt to Suppress Thought

Create Guilt to produce Dependence

Emphasize Agreement & Unity more than Truth

Control of Behavior

To Label, Hurt, Judge and Condemn

Manipulating the Bible

The Remaining Wounds from Loaded Language

Chapter 7

Fitting the Rigid Mold

(Doctrine Over Person)

Freedom to Be Ourselves

The Remolding Process

Your Feelings

Your History

Your Health

Your Experiences and Circumstances

Predictions that Fail

Denial and Suppression

Narrowing the Playing Field

Different Needs, Different Treatments

Leading by Gentleness

The Priority of Human Well-Being

Chapter 8

The Elitists

(The Dispensing of Existence)

What About Christianity Itself?

We vs. They

Is Salvation Found in a Group?

The Same Claims of the “Only Ones”

Epilogue

From Control to Freedom

 

 

APPENDIX 1

Comments on Visions

 

 

Appendix 2

Therapeutic Confessions

 

Appendix 3

Pros and Cons of an Accountability Partner

Pros

Cons

Other comments:

Appendix 4

What Is Faith?

 

 

Appendix 5

How will God deal with those who have never heard about Jesus?

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I received the following comment under #43. My response became quite involved so I wanted to create a new post covering some of “Mr Nater’s” challenges and opinions. His comment is in italics. My response follows.

A lot of beef seems to be over Marks complimentarianism and your (apparent) egalitarianism…

Isn’t there room for humility over such a difficult issue? Do we really need to fight dirty over the complimentarian vs. egalitarian debate?…Reality is that each side is deeply emotionally intrenched on the issue. And so are you.

I say this because this article is very much antithesis. You do a thoughogh job at Marks statements but you do not substantiate your own perspective. Your perspective is only painfully obvious to people to those who already believe what you do. In this case you are not changing anyones mind, you are just flaming the fires of hate between disciples of Jesus .

Sure i understand criticism is ok, but when it is everything then its slavery. Why don’t you build a case for egalitarianism. Why not treat the discussion fairly and intelligently. Why don’t you build a case for your view instead of polarizing, bullying and fear mongering… ironically becoming what you accuse Mark of being right?

Sure you can get a lot of web traffic by tearing down a popular church… but its no better than those awful youtube conspiracy video’s.

God has used both egalitarian and complimentarian churches to advance his kingdom. By all means we have a right to this important internal debate. But if it consumes us, and consumes this website, what do you have? Disciples fighting disciples.

Mr. Nater,

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be suggesting that I, and others like me, need to have “Humility over a difficult issue.” By “humility,” in this context, I am wondering if you might mean something like being quiet and gentle, non-assertive, non-challenging, non-confronting…This, along with other things you have written, informs me that you are perhaps a bit confused as to the “issue” here. We are talking about what looks like very serious abuse at Mars Hill Church, abuse of God’s people (see Post #14 Cult-Like Spiritual Abuse Issues & By Laws In a Nutshell, and #30 Driscoll’s Questionable Words & Behaviors, and #34 Is Mark Driscoll Verbally and Emotionally Abusive?)

…and abuse of God’s precious daughters especially… Have you not read, Mr. Nater, the crude, derogatory and disdainful things Driscoll has said about women which I’ve posted here on this blog? See post #8 Christian Taliban & Christian Women Donning Berkas: Spiritual Warfare Series, wherein Driscoll states that “women are the weaker vessel” and are therefore “the more easily deceived” that women are “busybodies and gossipers,” that ministry goal-oriented women are “manipulators” “controlling” and “drama queens” and that they are influenced by Satan if they want to marry a pastor and that women’s ministries are “cesspools” of gossip. Also, see Post #37 Mark Driscoll: Is He Qualified to Lead? Wherein he is quoted, “Most people thought [Mary, mother of Jesus] concocted the crazy story [of her pregnancy] to cover the fact she was knocking boots with some guy in the back seat of a car at the prom,” and “…a naked lady is good to look at, so get a job, get a wife, ask her to get naked, and look at her instead,” and Driscoll described a young man in his church as “a chronic masturbator, a porn addict, banging weak-willed girls like a screen door in a stiff breeze.”

Am I to have “humility” about this while thousands of young twenties are being deceived, demeaned, and held in bondage? Driscoll does not keep his apparent abuse directed at the women in his congregation only, he lashes out at the men “under his care” as well (see # 33. Driscoll Rants at Abusers… Abusively?) In my opinion Driscoll is behaving like an immature dictator. The more I learn of what he is up to, the more disgusted I become. There is no other word for it. Disgusted. Well, and deeply grieved. Driscoll has taken on a role never assigned to anyone in the New Testament, and he is abusing God’s children in that man-made role.

“Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt 20:25-28). Even Paul said he only wanted Christ’s disciples to follow him AS he followed and modeled Christ. Where Christian leaders fail to model Christ, we are under absolutely no obligation to follow their lead.

But it appears to me that Driscoll on the other hand, and contrary to this passage, has become a ruler of his own little kingdom, a despot with dangerous levels of power… and no one in a power position is confronting him on his abuse… go figure. They’re in those same high-powered man-designed, pride-catering positions themselves. If they rock Mark’s world, they have to rock their own little worlds. It’s the good ol’ boys club on a grand scale, and pathetically, supposedly in the Christian world.

This blog is not about gender per se, but about spiritual/church abuse. It might be helpful for you to read testimonies of those who allege abuse by Driscoll through his teaching and by his MH system. See posts #17, #20, #24, #25. Read Molly Warthen’s New York Times article, posted here in #21. To the extent that Driscoll’s prescribed treatment and beliefs about women are abusive and within the context of his being their “spiritual authority,” that too comprises spiritual/church abuse. Since there is so much of what appears to be abuse of women at MH as seen in their oppressing, demeaning, domineering over, and placing legalistic constraints upon women, gender inequality will continue to be a major issue I have with MH and will continue to be a major aspect of that system’s abusive tendencies and/or characteristics.

You write that I have not substantiated my opinions in post #43. You might want to look at #42 and other posts for the vast amount of substantiation I have provided. Based on Scriptural qualifications (1 Tim 3, Tit 1, see #42 Is Driscoll Really Qualified to Pastor?) Driscoll does NOT qualify to be a pastor nor even any kind of church leader when one carefully weighs his character, his actions, and his words. Also see #15 The Characteristics of a Controlling Personality—in my opinion heaps more of these descriptors fit Driscoll than the character qualities of a leader listed in Scripture! It appears, Mr. Nater, that you have misunderstood “the issue” on freedom4captives to be solely about Driscoll’s oppression of women. This is a weighty and grave part of the issue, but not all of it. Apparently you have missed much of what has been written here. I repeat, this is about spiritual abuse. This is about church abuse. This is about gross power abuse in the role of “Elder” in Scripture (which we now call pastor). Driscoll has apparently repeatedly lied to his congregation, he robs them of the freedom Christ died to give them, and he seeks to rule over them autocratically. See #13 Shocking Sections of MHC By-Laws, with Neilson’s Notes and #41 Should A Pastor Rule Over You?

Matt 23 comes to mind:

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2″The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. …they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them…8 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ [my Great One, Teacher] for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to…16″Woe to you, blind guides! … 23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness… 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel… 29″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! … 33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

As to the effects my blog might have on others, I  do not think that you, Mr. Nater, are in a position to read every reader’s mind and to prognosticate what conclusions they will or will not come to having read parts of this blog.

If any “fires of hate” are being flamed about on this end, it is the fire of hate we as Christians are called to: namely, we are called to hate oppression and injustice, to hate hypocrisy, to hate false authority and those who in the name of God seek to “lord it over” GOD’s flock… We are told to “HATE evil, love good” (Amos 5:15) and to “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good,” (Ro 12:9) and that “To fear the LORD is to hate evil,” (Pr 8:13)… Also, See #9. Christians Criticizing Christians Can It Be Biblical?

By stating facts and quoting Driscoll and comparing that to Scripture, how is this “polarizing, bullying and fear mongering” on my part? This seems to me that you have resorted to a pseudo polite form of name calling, rather than dealing with the issues at hand. You are not dealing with any of the issues I call Driscoll on in post #42 or #43, or anywhere else in this blog actually. You are participating in the logical fallacy ad hominem (“argument against the person”– an argument which links the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of a person advocating the premise.” Wikepedia.).

You charge me with “ironically becoming what you accuse Mark of being.” I find this rather amusing (and disturbing at the same time) in that I am not in a position of abusing thousands of people by laying down legalistic rules and “laws” which Scripture never even commands–in fact, laying down “laws” which Scripture commands against. I am not blaspheming my Lord by inferring that I love him but not in a way that I would want to perform oral sex on him when I get to heaven! Yes! Driscoll said this, see # 35 Driscoll: “Your husbands appreciate oral sex…So serve them well…” I am not claiming the first seat for myself as the Pharisees loved to do, etc.

If you think “web traffic” is what I’m after, you have 1) not read much of anything in this blog, and 2) know nothing of what it means to be abused by those in power, especially those claiming “God’s authority” as their right to having power over you. These types of abusers are usually men, and they are those who have not the heart of God and therefore abuse any authority he may have given. I think it comes down to your throwing accusations without anything to substantiate them.

The primary issue here is not gender equality, however I freely admit that gender equality has become a passion of mine, more so now than ever since running into Driscoll’s cult-like system (yes, in my opinion cult-LIKE). Gal 3:28 states, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Certain men–who seem to me to be quite insecure in themselves–are the only people so desperately concerned with coercing women to “obey” the few Scriptures which seem to imply total subjection to husbands (which contradicts 1 Cor 7 and Eph 5:21) and seem to imply women can never teach men or speak in church (which contradicts the Holy Spirit’s giving all gifts to all people, male and female, in the body of Christ, such as speaking words of knowledge and wisdom, speaking in tongues, and prophesying IN CHURCH among men! There are also the gifts of preaching and teaching, given by the Holy Spirit, to all who call on the name of the Lord, male or female, it does not matter to God… Acts 2, 1 Cor 12; 1 Cor 14).

I was reading several of the articles on cultwatch.com , such as, Church Authoritarianism; Church Leadership; and How Do Cults Work. This material contained some very helpful analysis of the original Greek word meanings and usage in the NT. Of interest is that the Greek words used for “submission” between husbands and wives and between elders and Christians are words indicating the choice of the one who might do the submitting. It is never about the other forcing the one into submission and condemning her to hell if she does not submit. This would be tantamount to women making a big hoopla about men not obeying a certain aspect of Scripture.

When Peter became overly concerned with John’s walk with Jesus and whether or not he would remain alive until the Lord’s return, Jesus told Peter to never mind about John, “you follow me.” Why is it that certain anxious men must so vehemently demand that women submit to them? Why don’t they leave that “command,” if it is such, up to the women to fulfill or not, just as we are all called to choose whether or not to obey the Lord on many various issues. This is harmful enough when male laity behave in such a manner, but it is exceptionally abusive when men use their church positions (and usually false authority) to coerce women into obedience to their desire to rule and reign (all in the guise of obeying Scripture, of course).

I find it awfully suspicious that some “Christian” men are so extremely invested in ensuring that women “obey” a few cherry picked Scriptures! This is very cult like. This is what cults do. That is why MH’s stance on women and the testimonies of those harmed by this caught my attention, along with other aspects which match up with VanVonderen’s and Dr. Enroths descriptions of church abuse. Cults use various Scriptures out of context also in order to control the cult members. Driscoll, and others like him, use Scripture passages which are difficult to translate, to understand and to apply correctly partly due to one glaring reason: they seem to contradict the gender equality Jesus teaches, Paul teaches and Gen 1-3 teaches and which many other Bible passages exemplify. Conversely, you do not find women in an uproar about husbands not loving their wives properly and not giving their lives up for them, now do you? You don’t find women teaching on this and making bogus principals out of this (like the men’s “headship principle” and “prophet, priest & king of the home principle”) and hounding the men with this every chance they get, now do you?

If you would like or need more scholarly information about Christian Biblical Equality see my posts #29 and #28 and/or go directly to Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) at  http://www.cbeinternational.org/  .

As much of  a passion as gender equality in the Body of Christ has now become to me, still that is not primarily what this site is about, although at times it will take the pre-eminence because of the spiritually violent aspects of Driscoll’s false theology and spiritual abuse which violates women.

Freedom4Captives is about analyzing and highlighting what appears to be CHURCH ABUSE at Mars Hill. The more I read of mind control, aberrational “Christian” churches and of cults, the more I see similarities in Driscoll’s style of “leadership” (control) and the Mars Hill system. I urge you, Mr. Nater, to go do some research on the issues at hand, to spend some time studying what Driscoll is actually preaching, writing and how he is behaving, and then feel free to come back and address the complexity of the issues here if you’d like.

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I’ve been busy with some other projects, but continue to think about what is going on with Driscoll and MH… I have folders of “stuff” I want to post here to perhaps shed some light on what I consider to be a big oppressive mess over there.

The other day I came across a site that I found very interesting. It is: http://www.truthguard.com . I have only read some of Howey’s posts, but the ones I have seen, I like.  The following is one of his article/posts which I just could not pass up and wanted to post it sooner than later. There are many churches, megas usually, that fit the description below, as well as fit chapter 34 of Ezekiel (portions of which I printed below Howey’s article). But right now, I am focusing on how this might fit MH and MD.

Should a Pastor Rule Over You?

Authoritarianism in the church is one of the most serious problems that Christian churches face today. Authoritarian regimes and political machines within Christian churches are not only totally unbiblical, but they empower men to take a church anywhere they wish, bypassing the normal checks and balances found in the Bible. A church that has given control to a single man (often called a Senior Pastor) or to a small group of men (often called a board of elders) is helplessly tossed about in very dangerous waves.

Suddenly churches are turned on a dime according to the whims and agendas of men. If a dictatorial pastor wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and decides to take the whole church off a cliff doctrinally, most congregations just blindly follow, thinking they are helpless to do anything about it, if they even notice or care at all. Christians have been bombarded with the lie that certain men are appointed by God to rule and reign over His people. No, the Bible forbids such things and gives us the solution.

The popular yet monumental misunderstanding of authority in the church is probably the biggest problem driving the false church system. The main problem is with the people that the Bible calls “Nicolaitans”, those who Christians allow to conquer and suppress them. (From the Greek, the word “nico” means “suppression or conquering of” and “laos” is where we get the word laity which means people). In Revelation 2:6 and 2:15, Jesus said that He hates the practices and teachings of the Nicolaitans.

Not surprisingly, most Nicolaitans refuse to acknowledge and admit that they are Nicolaitans. They make the false claim that no one can really know what a Nicolaitan is or is not. Most just quote a popular fairytale that the word means a follower of the mythical heretic Niclaus. Not so. The truth is we know quite clearly exactly what the word means and exactly who these people are. Plus, it doesn’t make any sense that Jesus would mention something that He hates and then never let us know what exactly that He was talking about.

Today there is no shortage of those who want a counterfeit Saul to be king over them and there is no shortage of Nicolaitans who want to be that king in the place of Christ. (By the way, the definition of antichrist is one who opposes Christ and/or stands in His place). At least God told Samuel to appoint Saul as king. Even though God was displeased with the fact that Israel wanted a man as king instead of Him, he still authorized Saul’s appointment. Today’s multitude of counterfeit “Sauls” have no such authorization from God. They are self-appointed and people powered. Here’s why we know that they are counterfeit leaders (they may be real Christians but they are false pastors):

  • All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Matt 28:18).
  • Jesus alone is the Head of the church (John 5:26-27, Eph 1:22-23, Col 1:18).
  • God does not permit Christians to have controlling authority over other Christians in the church (see Matt 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, Luke 22:24-27, 1Pet 5:3, Matt 23:8-12, etc.).
  • We do not have multiple special high priests over us. There is only One High Priest, Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 3:1, 4:14).
  • We have One Master Christ and we are all brothers (see Matt 23: 8-12).
  • You cannot obey two masters; you will love the one and hate the other (Matt 6:24, Luke 6:13). You simply cannot obey Jesus as master and a pastor as master at the same time.

There is a big difference between genuine behind-the-scenes loving elders who stand firmly for sound doctrine and admonish the Body of Christ to obey the Bible compared to a Nicolaitan one-man show who teaches his own agenda and draws men away to himself through manmade teachings and traditions. While the Bible makes it clear that we are supposed to submit to governmental authorities such as to the police and obey the laws of our land (pay taxes, obey traffic laws, live peacealby, etc.), we are also commanded to not set up authoritarian systems or regimes within Christian churches.

For there to be any hope for any church to navigate through the ever worsening apostasy that is upon us, now more than ever, Jesus alone must be recognized as the One solely in charge and His Word the Bible must reign supreme. That is how it was always supposed to be, at all points in church history, but that is not how it has been, and that is certainly not how it is today.

More on this subject can be found in the Articles section.

This article was also recently titled “The Authoritarian Disaster”. A portion of this article is an updated excerpt of my article “When A Church Becomes A Business”.

By Paul Howey

http://www.truthguard.com/should-a-pastor-rule-over-you-a5.html

pulled 8/10/09

Ez 34

1Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,

2“Son of man, prophesy against the (A)shepherds of Israel Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been (B)feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds (C)feed the flock?

3“You (D)eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you (E)slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.

4“Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, (F)the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you (G)sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.

… 7Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:

8“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock has become a (M)prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;

9therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:

10‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am (N)against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them (O)cease from feeding sheep So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will (P)deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”‘”

… 15“I will (Y)feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.

16“I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the (Z)fat and the strong I will destroy I will (AA)feed them with judgment.

17“As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will (AB)judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats.

18‘Is it too (AC)slight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must foul the rest with your feet?

19‘As for My flock, they must eat what you tread down with your feet and drink what you foul with your feet!'”

20Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

21“Because you push with side and with shoulder, and (AD)thrust at all the weak with your horns until you have scattered them abroad,

22therefore, I will (AE)deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.

27… Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have (AQ)broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

28…they will (AR)live securely, and no one will make them afraid.

… 31“As for you, My (AW)sheep, the (AX)sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord GOD.

Cross references:

  1. Ezekiel 34:2 : Jer 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10
  2. Ezekiel 34:2 : Jer 23:1; Ezek 22:25; 34:8-10; Mic 3:1-3, 11
  3. Ezekiel 34:2 : Ps 78:71, 72; Is 40:11; Ezek 34:14, 15; John 10:11; 21:15-17
  4. Ezekiel 34:3 : Zech 11:16
  5. Ezekiel 34:3 : Ezek 22:25, 27
  6. Ezekiel 34:4 : Zech 11:16
  7. Ezekiel 34:4 : Matt 9:36; 10:6; 18:12, 13; Luke 15:4
  8. Ezekiel 34:5 : Num 27:17; 2 Chr 18:16; Jer 10:21; 23:2; 50:6, 7; Matt 9:36; Mark 6:34
  9. Ezekiel 34:5 : Ezek 34:8, 28
  10. Ezekiel 34:6 : Jer 40:11, 12; Ezek 7:16; 1 Pet 2:25
  11. Ezekiel 34:6 : John 10:16
  12. Ezekiel 34:6 : Ps 142:4
  13. Ezekiel 34:8 : Acts 20:29
  14. Ezekiel 34:10 : Jer 21:13; Ezek 5:8; 13:8; 34:2; Zech 10:3
  15. Ezekiel 34:10 : 1 Sam 2:29, 30; Jer 52:24-27
  16. Ezekiel 34:10 : Ps 72:12-14; Ezek 13:23
  17. Ezekiel 34:11 : Ezek 11:17; 20:41
  18. Ezekiel 34:12 : Jer 31:10
  19. Ezekiel 34:12 : Is 40:11; 56:8; Jer 23:3; 31:8; Luke 19:10; John 10:16
  20. Ezekiel 34:12 : Jer 13:16; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:2
  21. Ezekiel 34:13 : Ezek 34:23; 36:29, 30; Mic 7:14
  22. Ezekiel 34:13 : Is 30:25
  23. Ezekiel 34:14 : Ps 23:2; Jer 31:12-14, 25; John 10:9
  24. Ezekiel 34:14 : Ezek 28:25, 26; 36:29, 30
  25. Ezekiel 34:15 : Ps 23:1, 2; Ezek 34:23
  26. Ezekiel 34:16 : Is 10:16
  27. Ezekiel 34:16 : Is 49:26
  28. Ezekiel 34:17 : Ezek 20:38; 34:20-22; Mal 4:1; Matt 25:32
  29. Ezekiel 34:18 : Num 16:9, 13; 2 Sam 7:19; Is 7:13
  30. Ezekiel 34:21 : Deut 33:17; Dan 8:4; Luke 13:14-16
  31. Ezekiel 34:22 : Ps 72:12-14; Jer 23:3; Ezek 34:10
  32. Ezekiel 34:23 : Rev 7:17
  33. Ezekiel 34:23 : Is 40:11; John 10:11
  34. Ezekiel 34:23 : Jer 30:9; Ezek 37:24
  35. Ezekiel 34:24 : Is 55:3; Jer 30:9; Ezek 37:24, 25; Hos 3:5
  36. Ezekiel 34:25 : Ezek 16:60; 20:37; 37:26
  37. Ezekiel 34:25 : Job 5:22, 23; Is 11:6-9
  38. Ezekiel 34:25 : Jer 33:16; Ezek 28:26; 34:27, 28
  39. Ezekiel 34:26 : Gen 12:2; Ezek 34:14
  40. Ezekiel 34:26 : Deut 11:13-15; 28:12
  41. Ezekiel 34:26 : Lev 25:21; Is 44:3
  42. Ezekiel 34:27 : Ezek 38:8, 11
  43. Ezekiel 34:27 : Lev 26:13; Is 52:2, 3; Jer 30:8
  44. Ezekiel 34:28 : Jer 30:10; Ezek 39:26
  45. Ezekiel 34:29 : Is 4:2; 60:21; 61:3
  46. Ezekiel 34:29 : Ezek 34:26, 27; 36:29
  47. Ezekiel 34:29 : Ezek 36:6, 15
  48. Ezekiel 34:30 : Ps 46:7, 11; Ezek 14:11; 36:28
  49. Ezekiel 34:31 : Ps 78:52; 80:1; Ezek 36:38
  50. Ezekiel 34:31 : Ps 100:3; Jer 23:1

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I receive John Eldredge’s daily devotional electronically each morning from www. ransomedheart.com . Since freedom4captives tends to be a heavy due to the subject matter and because what I read this morning seemed to apply to the overall message here, I wanted to share some encouragement…

Those who want to be in a true love relationship with Jesus, and to pass this on to others, fight along side Christ against legalism and oppression because love can only be expressed in freedom. It is the Holy Spirit who fills us with “love, joy, peace…” and “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” Any system that feels oppressive, that kills the human spirit, any system devoid of freedom, is one where the Spirit of the Lord is not present… at least not in His fullness. Without freedom, we quench His Spirit. Without freedom, we cannot choose to love. But this does not mean we live in license to sin…

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me… if you do not love me, you will not obey me.” Obedience to Jesus and His Word comes from a heart of love, not the heavy handed control of any religious system or church leader—not from mandated giving of your time and money, not from a list of do’s and don’t’s, not from signing membership contracts, not from having every aspect of your life scrutinized and controlled, not from being yelled at from the pulpit nor being watched through one’s “community group,” not from any external control… but rather obedience to Jesus and His Word comes from His work within you and the resultant heart of love overflowing from and to Him. “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

One cannot legislate love, therefore one cannot legislate obedience. If legalism had worked, Jesus would not have come down so hard on the Pharisees. They had pride, control, oppression, legalism, and hard-heartedness nailed down like no one else… and Jesus blasted them consistently…

Counting on Our Vanity and Blindness
08/01/2009


The core of Satan’s plan for each of us is not found in tempting us with obvious sins like shoplifting or illicit sex. These things he uses more as maintenance strategies. His grand tactic in separating us from our heart is to sneak in as the Storyteller through our fears and the wounds we have received from life’s Arrows. He weaves a story that becomes our particular “Message of the Arrows.” Counting on our vanity and blindness, he seduces us to try to control life by living in the smaller stories we all construct to one degree or another. He accuses God to us and us to God. He accuses us through the words of parents and friends and God himself. He calls good evil and evil good and always helps us question whether God has anything good in mind in his plans for us. He steals our innocence as children and replaces it with a blind naïveté or cynicism as adults.

At the same time Satan is at work reinterpreting our own individual stories in order to make God our enemy, he is also at work dismantling the Sacred Romance—the Larger Story God is telling—so that there is nothing visible to take our breath away. He replaces the love affair with a religious system of dos and don’ts that parches our hearts and replaces our worship and communion services with entertainment. Our experience of life deteriorates from the passion of a grand love affair, in the midst of a life-and-death battle, to an endless series of chores and errands, a busyness that separates us from God, each other, and even from our own thirstiness.

Part of Satan’s grand strategy of separating us from our heart, once Jesus has drawn us to an awareness of being his sons and daughters through believing faith, is to convince us that our heart’s desires are at core illegitimate.

c. John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance , 107–9


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It appears to me that Driscoll exhibits many of these manipulation and control characteristics in his words and behaviors (see list below). If this is, as CD Host claims in the comments under

14. Cult-Like Spiritual Abuse Issues & By Laws In a Nutshell

merely a reflection of  Driscoll’s Reformed Theology and that all my issues with Driscoll amount to my issues with Reformed Theology (didn’t know I had the latter), then one can expect to receive much, if not all, of the abuse described in this blog as well as in the following list of manipulative tactics from those who are reformed theologians, pastors, believers… That is not my opinion, that is reflecting CD Host’s opinion (so please respond to him on that, not me). Not only that, but everything in this blog as to what I consider the abusive nature of Driscoll’s words and behavior can be attributed to his reformed theology, and hence, according to CD Host, of reformed believers, pastors, churches. I can imagine that many of you would highly disagree with those conclusions… but then again, for those of you who have found yourself in a legalistic setting which happened to be a group of reformers, one might heartily agree with CD Host.

Regardless, you might want to take this list with you–and others provided in this blog regarding traits of abusive churches and pastors and symptoms of spiritual abuse– and compare these with what you see and hear as you read Driscoll’s books, read my posts, watch his podcasts, and listen to people who have fallen out of his good graces (that is, DISSENTERS who–gasp–dared to have their own opinions, dared to question him,–which is a sin according to MD– and dared to disagree on any of his Bible interpretations).

(And, by the way, I’d summarized this prior to my knowledge about Driscoll–so I was not writing this “to him” or even with him in mind. Rather, I was thinking of those who exploit, abuse, manipulate and control in general).

Tactics of Manipulation & Control

From  Simon’s Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

As Summarized by Freedom

Minimizing: Turning mountains into molehills (the character disordered and/or perpetrators do this; neurotics do the opposite). He trivializes the nature of his wrong doing. He tries to convince you that you would be wrong to conclude that his behavior is as wrong as he knows you suspect.

Lying: Omission, distortion. Your abuser/manipulator will stop at nothing to get what he wants; therefore, you can and should expect him to lie. They have refined lying to an art. He will withhold a significant amount of the truth from you, or distort essential elements of the truth, to keep you in the dark. He uses smooth, calculated omissions to deceive you.

Denial: “Who Me?” He poses as the humble servant. Your aggressor refuses to admit he’s done something harmful or hurtful when he clearly has. This “Who Me?” tactic invites the victim, you, to feel unjustified in confronting the aggressor about the inappropriateness of a behavior. It’s also a way for him to give himself permission to keep right on doing what he wants to do. He uses this maneuver to get you to back off, back down or maybe even feel guilty for insinuating he’s doing something wrong.

Selective Inattention: Refusal to pay attention to anything that might distract him from pursuing his agenda. He actively ignores your warnings, pleas or wishes and refuses to pay attention to everything or anything that might distract him from going after what he wants.

Rationalization: Excuses. Justifications. A rationalization is an excuse your aggressor/abuser makes for engaging in what he knows is an inappropriate or harmful behavior. This can be very effective, especially when he makes just enough sense that any reasonably conscientious person is likely to fall for it. If he can convince you he is justified in whatever he’s doing, then he is freer to pursue his goals without interference. He will often use shame and guilt to coerce you into buying his rationalizations / excuses / justifications.

Diversion: Distraction. Changing the subject. Dodging the issue. Throw you a curve ball. A moving target is hard to hit. When you try to pin your manipulator down or keep a discussion focused on a single issue or behavior you don’t like, he is expert at changing the subject, distracting, dodging and throwing curves. He utilizes this maneuver to keep the focus off his behavior, move you off track, keep you off balance and maintain his freedom to promote his self-serving hidden agenda. Confronting a manipulator is like trying to nail Jello to a wall.

Evasion: Your manipulator uses vagueness to avoid being cornered on an issue by giving rambling, irrelevant responses to a direct question. He deliberately uses vagueness to confuse you, to make you think you have an answer when you don’t. When he is not responding directly to an issue, you can safely assume he is trying to give you the slip.

Covert Intimidation: This is your abuser’s use of veiled threats to keep you, his victim, anxious, apprehensive and one down. The abuser is adept at countering arguments with such passion and intensity that he effectively throws you on the defensive. A manipulator primarily intimidates you by making veiled threats. This way he can threaten you without appearing overtly hostile and aggressive.

Guilt Tripping: “How could you think that of me??!” “How could you doubt me?!” Your manipulator keeps you self-doubting, anxious and submissive. This is one of your aggressor’s two favorite weapons, the other is shaming. Aggressive personalities know that others have very different consciences than they have. They also know that the hallmark qualities of a sound conscience are the capacities for guilt and shame. Your manipulator is skilled at using what he knows to be a greater conscientiousness in you, his victim, as a means of keeping you in that anxious, submissive state where you doubt yourself and your perceptions. All your manipulator has to do is suggest to you that you don’t care or that you’re being selfish or cruel [in finally calling them on their abuse] and you immediately start to feel bad. Whereas you can try until you’re blue in the face to get your manipulator to feel remorse for his hurtful behavior, acknowledge responsibility and admit wrong doing, to absolutely no avail.

Shaming: Your abuser uses subtle sarcasm and put downs as a means of increasing fear and self-doubt in you. He shames you to make you feel inadequate and unworthy so you will defer to his dominant position.

Victim Stancing: He plays the victim role to gain sympathy, evoke compassion in order to get something from you. He also uses this to play a false one down position to you in order to disarm you. If your manipulator can convince you that he’s suffering, then you, being a caring, sensitive soul, will want to relieve his distress.

Vilifying the Victim: Your abuser makes it appear that he is merely responding to and defending himself against YOUR aggression, making you, the victim, feel like the villain while he masks his aggressive intent and behavior.

Servant Role: Your manipulator cloaks his self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a noble cause; he pretends to work nobly on your behalf while concealing his own desire for power and dominance. One hallmark of a covert aggressive personality is he will loudly profess his subservience while fighting for dominance.

Seduction: He charms, praises, flatters you and overtly supports you to get you to lower your defenses and surrender your trust and loyalty. Your manipulator is particularly aware that to the extent you are emotionally needy or dependent (that is, vulnerable, which everyone is to some extent), you will desire approval and reassurance and a sense of being valued and needed above anything. Appearing to be attentive to these needs can be his ticket to incredible power over you. He melts any resistance you might have to giving him your loyalty and confidence. He does this by giving you what he knows you need most. You don’t find out how important you really are to him until you turn out to be in his way.

Blame Shifting (Projecting the blame onto you): Your aggressor is always looking for ways to shift the blame for his abusive behavior away from himself. He is expert at finding scapegoats in subtle, hard to detect ways. His willingness to blame you for his abusive behavior is in itself an abusive act. At the very moment he is engaging in the use of this tactic or any other he is in the act of aggressing.

Feigning Innocence: He attempts to convince you that any harm he may have caused you was unintentional or that he really didn’t do what he’s being accused of. This makes you question your judgment and sanity and to doubt your right to call him on his abusive behavior. He adroitly uses the look of surprise or indignation, or the sudden gasp at being so accused.

Feigning Confusion: Your abuser acts like he doesn’t know what you’re talking about or is confused about the issue you’re bringing. Plays ‘dumb’ to get you to question your perceptions, sanity, etc…

Brandishing Anger: Calculated, deliberate display of anger he may or may not feel in order to intimidate, coerce and manipulate.

When somebody uses these tactics frequently, you not only know what kind of character you’re dealing with (covert aggressors, manipulators, abusers, Narcissists, Anti-Socials, Borderline Personalities, etc…) but precisely because the tactics are both tools of manipulation as well as manifestations of resistance to change, you also know that he will engage in his problematic behaviors again. You can give up your fantasy that in time he will change and things will be different. Nothing will change until he decides to stop fighting and start accepting. As long as he’s engaged in utilizing these tactics, it’s clear he doesn’t intend to change.

In Sheep’s Clothing, by George K. Simon, p. 96-112

Freedom’s NOTE: And of course, with an abuser, especially a “professional” abuser, it is never appropriate to hang around in the abusive relationship hoping he will change. The point in the paragraph above is that as long as he’s aggressing, he has no intent to change. Realizing this could prove helpful to us in letting go of more denial about the abusiveness in the relationship and any hope we may have of reconciling with the abuser and picking up where we left off: namely, being abused by him again but calling it ‘love.’

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Note: This is in response to “Fundy’s” comment under my ‘About’ page and to his two posts on his site, dated 4/20/09, and 7/17/09.

Will,

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your apology and new tone (I hope it sticks), and at the same time, I am curious about your motives… You had been exceptionally harsh, as you mention in the above, in your original post on your site:

“My Former Church Is A Cult” Blogging
http://www.reformedfundamentalist.com/blog/?p=224

And I am wondering what brought about the change of heart so to speak. Exposure? Embarrassment? Social pressure? Conviction? …just curious.

For me to engage in conversation with you, I need to firstly cover some ground regarding some of the things you had written in your two posts. Much of this will answer or respond to your comment here. And after reading the following, if you remain unsure as to my “gender equality” beliefs, you seem to have access to EC (Equality Central)

http://equalitycentral.com/forum/index.php

so I would invite you to further explore those conversations in that forum as well as to look up Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE)

http://www.cbeinternational.org/index.php

First, my response to some of the content in your blog post, dated 4/20/09:

“My Former Church Is A Cult” Blogging

http://www.reformedfundamentalist.com/blog/?p=224

You wrote about my site and others like it, “…However, these blogs that I’m talking about, see no good in their former church.”

I’ve stated several times throughout this blog that I have appreciated SOME of Driscoll’s messages when they are truly accurately from Scripture and when God’s heart is revealed therein. It is only recently when I’ve come to the conclusion that Driscoll is a “package deal,” meaning that since there is so much poison interspersed with his overall teaching and domineering, flip attitudes, I cannot embrace any of his teaching, and am now against “all things Driscoll and MH.” Currently, I think there is too high a price to pay in spiritual and psychological health in trying to glean any “good stuff” from MD. For me, to try to remain open to some of Driscoll’s teachings amounts to remaining open to any aberrant church’s or cult’s messenger’s, it is just too harmful overall.

And yes, you were extremely harsh in that first post, stunningly so. You stated that since I am in the mental health field I was “highly unethical” and open “for a lawsuit” based on the content of my blog in which I am pretty consistently stating, “It would appear, it seems to be” and inviting others to compare MD’s actual words and behaviors to various descriptions of dysfunction. Contrary to your assertions, I have not attempted to diagnose Driscoll. You also seemed to mock or dismiss the list of symptoms of church abuse posted in my ‘About’ page which is based on experts in the field as I compared these to MH and MD (comparing and considering possibilities does not a diagnosis make).

Additionally, you seem to have some reactivity toward a person (especially a woman?) who holds a Scriptural Egalitarian view… You named a woman who had been tormented by an abusive husband “incredibly selfish” for sharing her hurts and the terror of that situation and her way out. You came across as so heartless and closed minded, I had no desire to converse with you. So now, I would ask, what are your motives in communicating here? If it is truly to understand Egalitarianism, which you state that I nowhere define (see post #29, it is defined there), I welcome you. If you want to tell me how wrong I am and try to “reform” me, save your time and effort.

I used to be a Traditionalist (call it Complementarianism if you wish) and I’ve done my research. Having looked into some of the original Greek, I’ve come to understand that many of the interpretations of key, cherry picked verses about women being silent in the church and not teaching men were actually mistranslated and usually misinterpreted.

Here is some more information for you if you are truly wanting to understand my stance (and other egals’) on biblical gender equality:

Fleming’s “Familiar Leadership Heresies Uncovered”

http://www.amazon.com/Familiar-Leadership-Heresies-Uncovered-Fleming/dp/1597520381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243731918&sr=8-1

and “Why Not Women?” by David Joel Hamilton.

I have also been told that a very good read on Biblical Equality would be:

“Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry”
Stanley J. Grenz

Another recommendation was:

“The best and most thorough teaching I have seen on this is Cheryl Schatz’ DVD Women in Ministry. You can watch some clips on

youtube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e9TL5TWdac

“Her blog is a big help, too. Here are some posts on 1 Corin 11

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/category/1-corinthians-11/
Cheryl covers everything from Genesis to the NT scriptures that the comps use to restrict women.”

On the scholarly breakdown of 1 Tim 2:12, I was directed here:

http://www.geocities.com/about_biblical_equality/1stTimothy212.htm

When you had stated you had not seen “sufficient reason to accuse Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll of being ‘spiritual abusers’,” this tells me you have not looked at the information presented throughout my blog, information which had largely been available in my former blog site– posts 1-16 were there, and I think these alone substantiated many of my claims.

You ended your original post (4/20/09) with:
“Much of this ‘My former church is a cult’ blogging is done by persons who fixate on a handful of issues that they believe their former church is wrong about teaching. Some of the people who do this have little to no understanding of the theological issues that they are handling, and attack the issues from their cultural point of view, rather than a Christian point of view. I’ll have to look in this particular blog more, and look into Mark Driscoll’s teachings as well, but so far, I haven’t seen sufficient reason with evidence to come to the conclusion that Mark Driscoll is a cult leader.”

I appreciate your stated willingness to look into this more. As to the first part of the above paragraph, if you had considered what the experts define as church abuse and if you had read more thoroughly the many accounts and specific quotes of Driscoll’s in my blog, then, by way of using your analytical skills you would have seen that A aligns with B in many ways. And, from an egalitarian standpoint I could say that you, a Traditionalist “have little to no understanding of the theological issues that they are handling, and attack the issues from their cultural point of view, rather than a Christian point of view,” your cultural view being patriarchy, male chauvinism, and misogyny.

YOUR RECENT POST ON YOUR SITE:

My Former Church Is A Cult Blogging Pt 2
http://www.reformedfundamentalist.com/blog/

Regarding me you stated very firmly in bold, “I would like for her to make a response, because I sincerely want to know what exactly her position on ‘gender equality’ is, because she never made it clear on her blog, only that she wanted gender equality.”

Again, please see my post:

29. Men, Women & Biblical Equality

which begins with:

“I am posting this to provide biblical reasoning as to why I believe Driscoll’s views, sermons and treatment of women are oppressive, anti-biblical, and appear to cross over into abuse as well. The following in its entirety is copied by permission from CBE (for more info go to bottom of page) and captures my understanding of Scripture regarding…”

Also, for other issues you touch on, please see:

My ‘Mars Hill’ page, asking readers to compare MH and MD to what the experts have written about church/spiritual abuse, please see ‘Misogyny’ sub page under ‘Mars Hill’ page to read MD’s quotes about women and try, if you are able, to tell me how any of these are at all Christ-like and truly Biblical (in the whole scope of the Bible).

I appreciate your efforts in your paragraph saying that physical abuse “may be cause for biblical divorce…” but then you go on to drastically minimize emotional abuse, saying it is a “fuzzy area” and “not clear.” Well, as a woman who has been severely psychologically, emotionally and verbally abused by a predator who never physically abused me, a trusted ‘professional’ no less, allow me to set you straight a bit: TO THE WOMAN BEING THUS ABUSED, THIS KIND OF ABUSE IS NOT FUZZY OR IN ANY WAY LESS REAL THAN PHYSICAL ABUSE. To the one being tormented by a controlling, manipulative and cruel abuser, such abuse is, well, abusive! In fact, when a woman suffers abuse wherein there is no black eye or bruises or cuts on her physical body, the world and the church brush it off as not really being abuse—see Danni Moss’s site on Domestic Violence in Christian homes and Sexual abuse by clergy.

http://dannimoss.wordpress.com/

Also, cult leaders and controlling pastors of aberrational churches often do not beat their parishioners (although several do and have). The scars on the spirit are probably even more damaging than the physical scars. Domestic Violence victims will tell you that the actual hitting is not where the deepest agony came from, but rather, it was the gradual soul murder, bondage and terror which they consider to have cause the most damage. The same holds true about a sexual predator in the helping professions (clergy, therapist), in that the final act of sexual assault, intercourse, isn’t usually what causes the greatest damage, but rather, the calculated grooming, the insidious descent down the slope of boundary violations where trust is betrayed and the soul is so deeply scarred. Again, I know this one by experience.

So, in re: to the woman I’d written about who was abused by her husband and left him, whom you referred to harshly and called her “incredibly selfish,” would you continue then to do the same if she had not been punched in the face by her husband but had instead been demeaned, manipulated, shamed, confused, controlled, made to think she’s the crazy one, enslaved, terrorized, intimidated, isolated from others, oppressed…?

In this second post you wrote regarding me, “I would like to say to this woman, whom I know only as “freedom4captives”, that I do apologize if my tone seemed overly harsh, or if I was incorrect in my account of things. I came to my conclusions about her blog at a time when she was evidently in the process of moving posts over to her new blog.”

Again, I do appreciate your apology, Will, and your new tone. I accept your apology.
Freedom

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