Tit 1:10-11 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. (11) They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
1Ti 6:3-5 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, (4) he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, (5) and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
1Ti 1:3-4 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, (4) nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
I am compelled to sound still another warning to everyone I can, especially to people who have been targets of abuse and who are looking for help. Just as there are scammers who prey upon the vulnerable of all kinds, there are false victim advocates/counselors who are out to prey on victims. Wicked people, as you know, often start online scams to get money supposedly to support the familes of murder victims and so on. Pure evil.
But here is the kind of person I really, really, really want to warn you all about and I really, really, really, hope you will listen and take heed. I have seen the devastation this kind of person does to abuse victims and survivors. This is the person who parades as an advocate of abuse victims, but their only real purpose is to gain glory for themselves and/or to feed their wicked lusts after gaining the trust of the oppressed.
Now, first of all, let me say that these kind of wolves are often extremely convincing. Their disguise is such that you are just certain they are genuine and in fact unusually gifted by the Lord. You will read their articles or their books and it is really good stuff! I once, for instance, heard a man pray in our worship service whose prayer was one of the best, the most saintly, the most theologically correct that I think I had ever heard to that point. But in reality, this man was evil. In a few months his true nature was revealed. He was not a Christian at all, let alone an eminently holy person. It was all a facade and his purpose was to creep into the church, gain people’s trust, get them to praise him, and to destroy the ministry.
You cannot always discern immediately what these people are. Thus we must all proceed with much caution and be hesitant to just throw our trust out to them. The devil himself is quite a good theologian you know and able to appear as an angel of glorious light. But he isn’t. He is the devil.
What are some red flag warnings that could indicate some “therapist” or “advocate” is a wolf?
- A focus on “fixing” the abuser by some program the person has devised
- A focus on weird things such as searching for some demonic or satanic abuse in the victim’s background
- A focus on fixing YOU with some oddball new-age type program or retreat (for which you pay big bucks of course).
- A male or female “advocate” who makes you feel uncomfortable by their body language or demeanor toward you
- Signs that the person is self-centered and self-promoting
What are the experiences of abuse victims? That is to say, what are the issues that a genuine victim advocate will realize that the victim is experiencing and that she needs help with?
- Met their abuser in a church or Bible college, has been confused by being abused by a “christian”
- On the honeymoon the abuser showed his true colors, morphing from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde very quickly
- Accusations, gaslighting, guilting, shaming
- Patriarchy on steroids
- “Churches” and “pastors” who side with the abuser
- Health issues from continual stress and lack of sleep
- Sexual abuse
- Economic abuse
So, as the Apostle John tells us (1 John 4:1), test the spirits. Use discernment with God’s Word. And don’t disregard how a person makes you feel. Most of us can look back in our lives and see that the original uneasy feeling we had turned out to be true.
Col 2:18-19 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, (19) and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.