Mat 21:28-32 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ (29) And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. (30) And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. (31) Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. (32) For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.
My journey into the Lord’s wisdom about domestic abusers hiding in the church began in 2008, eleven years ago. Since that time we have all seen “Christian” organizations (Focus on the Family, Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, etc) and denominations jumping on the wagon ready to go along for the ride, even claiming to be leading the caravan.
Most of it is a mere front. A public relations stunt and I don’t believe the large majority of these people at all. Here is what has happened – they got busted. As other voices began giving a hearing to abuse victims and the facts of what has been going on in churches for decades came to light, the pressure grew. All of a sudden the “ministries” began launching their programs. There has been almost no real repentance for all the years of oppressing victims and enabling abusers that these groups are guilty of. No. They simply knew that it was looking bad for them and they had better do something. And thus the conferences, the books, the therapy programs, yada, yada, yada.
But I am telling you that nothing has changed among these counterfeits. Nothing. How do I know? Read on –
Because I get first hand reports from victims about how they are STILL being wickedly treated, threatened with ex-communication, and lied to by their pastors and churches. One recent report came from a local church that is boasting about its recent attendance at the Southern Baptist’s conference on abuse in their churches. And then, after all their bragging about how they are going to change and help victims, etc., they sent a followup letter threatening ex-communication if the victim does not relent and cease her divorce proceedings from her abuser. “We know we can change him. We have an abuser fixit program. You need to stop sinning and restore your marriage.”
Don’t believe these people for a second. Don’t be duped by their promises of “action” and “change.” All the celeb speakers at the recent Southern Baptist conference are simply helping slap a new coat of whitewash on the tombs.
This is my position. I suppose it is why my speaking engagement calendar is bland! That’s ok. I am able to speak all I want right here.
I couldn’t agree more 😔
Speak away, because you have an audience right here that thrives on your words which give confirmation and validation to most of our experiences re: abuse and the church. <3
Will do Amy!!
The only thing the SBC can do if they discover a member church has folks in positions of authority abusing children or other members is disfellowship them. All Baptist churches are self-governing, and the association has no authority over what goes on with any member church, other than threatening to repeal their membership if they don’t comply.
That is the old line that the SBC has been using all these years to escape responsibility. There is far more the SBC can do when, for example, a pedophile youth pastor is in a church. The SBC has a history of permitting such wicked people to obtain other positions in other churches. They have refused to maintain a database of evil pastors so that other churches will have knowledge of that person’s vile history. The SBC’s seminaries can yank an abuser’s degree. SBC leaders can be genuinely outspoken about a wicked pastor or other church member’s evil, exposing it all. But the SBC has done none of this. None. They have always washed their hands of it like Pilate by claiming exactly what you have said here.
No, that is not “the only thing the SBC can do…”
The very *first* thing they are required to do, both by sound moral judgment *and* legality, is to report the CRIME.
Your last comment made me smile. I’ve always thought of John the Baptist living in the desert as a CHOICE. Now I wonder. ..
You are so, so valuable to the hurting!! Thank you for all your time and wisdom, pastor Jeff!
Thank you Debby. It is a very fulfilling ministry as long as we focus on the victims/survivors. I leave the abusers and the Pharisees to themselves – they are blind guides.
Agreed. Wolves cannot be shepherds.
You keep being the good shepherd you are.👍🏻
I for one am glad that you keep speaking. I share you blog with my pastors, and they concur with most of what they have read. Thankfully, they too, stand by me and my having divorced my abuser. In fact, one of them had been our marriage counselor, and had told me to get away from my ex. They completely supported me, including being party to the Permanent Order of Protection.
But the one thing I keep running up against is my personal belief that he(Ex husband) and others like him will never change because they are incapable of the introspection and repentance that brings about that change. Whenever I get into discussions about narcissistic abusers I am reminded that God can change anybody’s heart. While I definitely believe this and have seen it, in non narcissists, I do not believe that a narcissistic abuser is able to.
All this to say, just please keep doing what you’re doing. Because so very few clergy completely get it.
Thank you GypsyAngel. Agreed.
And speak the truth about abuse you do!! You are the ONLY pastor I have ever known that can explain what abusers do and WHY they do it. You have the knowledge how their evil little brains tick and all of the manipulating disguises they put on to fool the victim and their allies. Because of the extensive knowledge you have gained, you are able to validate with a balm to let us know that we are not crazy and loosing our minds. You are VALUED here more then you know.
Just yesterday, on the Christian radio I have on, good ole focus on the family had a show. They were talking about “healing a marriage”. When I heard that “the wife should look at what she has done to contribute to the breakdown of the marriage, and that she is a sinner also”, I became very disgusted and turned off the radio! Those clowns have no idea what they are talking about. And this distorted information gets repeated to everyone in our country and into the churches. They have no idea how much damage they are causing to the oppressed and will be held accountable by the Lord someday soon!
P.S. Focus On The Family- I am not a sinner, I am a saint. I am a new creation in Christ. My old nature has been taken away and I have been given a new heart and my mind is renewed every day reading my bible and applying it to my life. I am washed in the blood of the lamb.
Don’t you folks read your bible and understand who a child of God really is?
Focus on the Family makes the family and marriage an idol.
They have been doing this for decades. And it has been detrimental to the Body of Christ.
While in normal marriages it is often both spouses who contribute to the breakdown, FotF rarely if ever delineates between the abusive and non-abusive marriages. I have literally spent decades of my life trying every new method FotF puts forth as marriage fixes, thinking it was on my shoulders to make things better. That is what my abusive husband wanted and refused to participate invest in any of it because that would require him to be held accountable. I’ve had a licensed Christian counselor tell me that it was my job to fix our marriage because I am the professing Christian.
True truth jessica.