Incompetent to Counsel

I receive communications from pastors or other people in churches who are doing “counseling,” with some regularity. I won’t say “frequently” because most of them think that they know all they need to know and I find that they really are not teachable, so I don’t waste a lot of time dealing with them. Once in a while someone who is sincere will write and ask for help, but they are a rare breed.

Here is an example of the kind of thing I receive. Read it and then mull it over and chew on it a bit and then let me know what you think. Spoiler alert – I am also including below our friend Kelly Orr’s take on it:

Dear Pastor Crippen,

I’ve recently read your book “Unholy Charade.” It was presented to me by a spouse in my church who is undergoing marital difficulties and may consider herself to be an abuse victim. What I’m wondering, following my reading of your book is how in your view does a pastor differentiate between a difficult marriage and an abusive one? – or an unhappy marriage from an abusive one? While I see some validity to the things you say about abuse victims, the thought also occurs to me that your book has the potential for throwing the door wide open for easy divorce. All that’s needed is for a spouse to create a rationale for calling him/her an abused victim. Is it not true that some form of abuse can be found in every difficult or unhappy marriage situation? I’d appreciate your thoughts on knowing when a marriage crosses a line and how to recognize that line.

How did I respond? Well, after my blood pressure level lowered again, I simply said this: “Read the book again. And this time, really think about what it says. Your questions are answered clearly in the book. You still don’t ‘get it.'”

You see, this fellow’s questions on the surface to most people sound like, good, honest, genuine inquiries, right? But there are red flags all over the place in what he says which tell us he is incompetent to counsel an abuse victim or to deal with an abuser. Let me give you Kelly’s reaction and you will see what I mean:

Good grief! Really. Even reading the phrase “easy divorce” makes me feel irritated. When is divorce easy? He sounds like a legalist wanting an easy answer to making a judgment about someone else’s situation. He is trying to take away her perspective. Now that, in my mind, is controlling. I like your suggestion to tell him to read it again. If he can’t figure it out, he should remove himself from the privilege of giving any input into her life. He should just refer her on to an abuse professional like the domestic violence center and be quiet. He has no empathy. He doesn’t believe her and he minimized her situation. He thinks he knows better than her and that he gets to make some decision about her life. 
It makes me angry and I want to tell her to run far away from him.

What do you think? What red flags do you see in what he says? And let me know what you think about this business of the “difficult marriage”? Hmmmm…. What is that? What does this concept tell us about this pastor’s theology of salvation, of the new birth, of who a Christian is in Christ???

37 thoughts on “Incompetent to Counsel

  1. Anonymous

    The major red flag is exactly as Kelly Orr stated: Easy Divorce.
    The ignorance that all the phases (unhappy, and difficult) have been completed to total destruction: abuse. Now the spouse stands before the church broken, alone, and terrorized.

    I agree, the domestic violence agencies with their counselors have been a tremendous help to me in regaining my mental stability. And the greatest gift to me has been my quiet time reading the Bible to restore my broken spirit. Everyday I look around and give thanks for the blessings I do have and most of all that I lived (literally didn’t die at the hands of the abuser) to have peace in my life. God’s Peace. And this ministry that takes a stand, Pastor Crippen, and all my many fellow abuse survivors. Thank you for hearing me and believing me.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Anonymous,

      I apologize that I accidentally deleted part of your comment. Would you be able to re-construct the parts that are missing. It was the 2nd and 3rd flags.

      So sorry. I pushed the wrong button 😦
      twbtc

      Like

      1. Anonymous

        Sure! The second red flag was where to draw the line. Abuse victims and survivors are asking you the same question Pastor. Obviously you don’t have a line that can’t be crossed.

        And I can’t remember the third red flag but I have no doubt someone will add to this list of red flags from this post. They are valuable in spotting the predators and I appreciate that so very much.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. When I was still living in an abusive marriage years ago (took me 20 years to become free), I was often told that marriage was not intended to make us happy but to make us holy. One pastor even said to me one day after he witnessed my ex verbally abusing me that I would one day receive a huge crown in heaven, and he walked away. In other words, I guess because of my staying and suffering, my crown would be extra large and rewarding. I just stood there that day, years ago, dumbfounded by his comment.

    The truth is, many professing Christians truly believe that marriage is meant to be difficult and the more we stay and just suffer through, the more holy and righteous we are, and we will then receive great reward one day.

    As far as an easy divorce, sounds like an oxymoron to me. Really irks me how people would say to me how divorce is easy, it’s staying and trying to make it work that is hard! And I would say, I think I gave it a pretty good go staying 20 years and trying to make it work, don’t you think?!

    I look back at all the misinformation I received from people at my former church when I was struggling through an abusive marriage and the truth is, they just did not understand or perhaps want to try to. It was easier for so many to look the other way and some even told me how they could not take sides. Breaks my heart to this day how I was dropped by that church when I most needed help.

    Thank you for speaking out and speaking the truth! You are a light for abuse victims.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Anonymous

    I would like to also add what I no longer consider a loss. The church, family and friends that openly supported the abusive ex. My family, marriage, and church meant the world to me and I lived my life accordingly. I was truly shattered by the betrayals.
    As time went by, I realize I was actually blessed to have them all expose themselves for who they truly are. I am at the stage where I no longer can even say any of them were well meaning. I do not want them in my life, so it is no longer what I would count as a loss.

    Matthew 10: 13-15
    13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, as ye go forth out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. emmellkaycee

    To this pastor:
    She *may* consider herself an abuse victim? Uhm, hello? She gave you the book, so you would have the outline. *She* already knows what being abused by her spouse is—she’s living it.

    So, it’s *your* authority to determine whether the abuse she is living is **really** abusive? It is your ‘authority’ that is the determining factor as to the degree of “difficult” she ought to endure before it can be called abusive? Is that your position? How is it yours to determine, and not hers?

    Just what is “easy divorce?” I have never seen one, have you? I have only seen the pain of shattered dreams, the emptiness of lost hope, and the distress of no other choice left, because every other action, prayer, and plea has been tried, and has left the heart sick with the eventual awareness of eyes-wide-open truth.

    So, you think it acceptable to expect that “some form of abuse” lives in every marriage? Tell me, pastor, what is that level? Is it the first time a spouse is called vile names, the first time they are belittled, reviled, pushed into a wall and screamed at, the first time slapped, punched, thrown to the floor, left with bruised flesh or broken bones, the first time they are cheated on, lied to, STD’d, gaslighted or prevented from telling anyone outside the marriage about the abuse…or need there be a year of any of these or the myriad other abusive actions that can be wrought? Is a year enough? How about 5? Does it take decades of heart-sick endurance for you to be assured and satisfied it really is abuse?

    And just what kind of twisted perspective of marriage do you have that you consider there will be “some abuse” apparent in them all? Point me to the Spirit and scriptural based grounds for that view, please. Show me God’s stamp of approval on that idea.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. George

    “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

    The pastor’s love for either one is not sincere.

    “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.”

    Liked by 6 people

  6. hannah

    I ran into similar a similar attitude when discussing this issue with a so-called pastor of a mega church in Littleton, CO. These guys think Christian women are sitting in church, dreaming about how they can disrupt their lives and their children’s lives by finding some excuse why they can divorce their husbands! They think women are scheming Jezebels who are looking to destroy their own financial security, uproot their children from home, friends and family, just to get a divorce!! They have a very low esteem if women. My experience as a biblical counselor was exactly the opposite. Women were reluctant and even refused to say they were abused unless their husband was physically violent! They wanted to obey God, submit to their husbands, and have a godly home life. This man’s feigned concern is nauseating.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. R

      I think this might be my favorite comment here. I’m not saying there has never been a woman who just wanted to run off for no reason. But so many times, women are desperate to keep their marriages, and they’ve endured abuse for decades, at the expense of their health and sanity, just to try to hold their families together and honor their God.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I actually had a related thought back in April in a different forum; here is what I asked:
    Biblical languages question:
    Does “counseling” appear as a gerund or gerund-equivalent in the Scriptures, anywhere? I’ve got the verb (I counsel you to buy – Revelation) and the noun (counsel – various Proverbs), but I”m not recalling anything that is translated as “counseling” , therefore I”m wondering
    a) if gerunds don’t exist in the Biblical language
    b) if the equivalent idea does not exist in translation because the equivalent is not present in the original. That is, the Bible doesn’t talk about “counseling”.
    c) something else.
    P.S. a Gerund is a verb used as a noun: “swimming is my favorite sport”; “swimming” is the gerund.
    What’s behind the question? I’m pondering the language used in the concept of the nouthetic “counseling” and how it differs from “counseling” as understood in the wider culture, including the secular world. The use of the gerund “counseling” seems like it could be a subtle impostering (also a gerund) , since the meaning in a lot of people’s minds of “counseling” involves more than what the nouthetic camp does. Whether deliberate on their part or not, use of a non-Biblical word for such a “Biblical activity”, especially one that misleads so handily, seems significant. As my primary denominational exposure is with a group that prides itself on truth according to the original languages, I”m wondering if we have some unwarranted confusion here.
    Thoughts?

    Like

    1. And here was how someone answered me: I know gerunds exist in Greek. I don’t know about Hebrew. Biblical counseling is neither biblical nor counseling. At the end of the day, the bible is not all we need for everything. And they are big fat liars.

      Like

    2. Jeff Crippen

      Well it is always best to stick with biblical terminology. The Apostle Paul surely was a counselor but how did he go about it? He preached and taught scripture. Most so called biblical counseling does not – except to distort the scripture. We need to teach Gods Word accurately and thereby make disciples. But there is sooo much false teaching today that people don’t even know who a Christian is And what it means to be saved.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, Jeff, et. al., agreed, and in sticking to the original language in the strictest understanding possible, I’m thinking that the word “counseling” does not exist in the Bible, therefore can we legitimately say that ” counseling” is not really a Biblical idea, per se, ( en si), in the first place?

        Yes, we have the Wonderful Counselor, we have Jesus “I counsel you to buy….”, we have nouns and verbs, but i am not remembering the Bible ever even conceptualizing the related noun “counseling”. And thinking, therefore, in the strictest way possible of interpreting “what the Bible says”, can we say, that Scripture does not provide for a concept of “counseling” and [therefore], maybe “we” should not either [, so take THAT, Mr/Miss nouthetic counseling.]

        I ask because there is a whole [strict] theological camp who wants to base their actions on ” what the Bible says” and by means of bad translations foist on the people of the church the notion that “god hates divorce”, and i suspect many many other things. These types typically or at least frequently resist outside info such as how abuse affects the brain, etc, since that would mean allowing human knowledge to overrule “what the Bible has to say about marraige”. And so through their strictness of interpretation they entrap the humble sorts who truly want to obey God. Such is the way, it seems, of the nouthetic counselor, especially if they happen to be KJVO (personal ugh, but i digress).

        I’m wondering if I can legitimately cut them off at the knees, by simply saying that “counseling” is not biblical in the first place; the Bible does not conceptualize it and we should not either [And thus fold their own ‘logic’ back on itself to neutralize it. ]

        Anyhow, nerd over here got to pondering a sort of developing “theology of abuse”, perhaps “to give an answer to abusers” on their own level [the fool according to his folly], and I thought to pose the question in case more experienced people in this camp had pondered it or might think the idea useful.

        Like

        1. Jeff Crippen

          Good points Nita. Well I reject the movement known as nouthetic. But that aside, what we do have is this-

          2Ti 3:15  and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
          2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
          2Ti 3:17  that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

          So all faithful reading, preaching, teaching of the Word is effective to do God’s work in us. Call it counseling or discipling or whatever- the point is that ultimately God must be our counselor/teacher and He uses His Word and Spirit to do it.

          But what is being paraded today as biblical counseling is most often not. Its principles are wrong. The counselors are incompetent in the Word.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. Lynn

      It also depends on what they mean by “biblical”. Most of the time biblical is tossed in front of other words as if to imply it’s somehow more godly or is from God than the thing is on its own. Just because something is in the bible doesn’t mean that is good for us to engage in. Slavery is biblical. Child sacrifice is biblical. Rape is biblical. That doesn’t make it right. So be very wary of any person or organization that’s trying to throw the word biblical in front of something as a means of getting you to support or obey their instruction.

      There is nothing inherently godly about biblical counseling. It sounds like it should be better than traditional counseling, but it’s not. It’s another trap by the enemy whose emissaries are eager to offer their opinions – in an area, they have no business offering it unless they have actually been properly trained to deal with trauma – as seen by the wolf pastor in the post above.

      If you break your arm, you go to the doctor and get a cast for it so it will heal properly. You don’t ignore it or keep doing the same things that caused it to be broken in the first place, you will permanently damage it. Your brain is just as much a part of your body as your arm is. Treating it as some mystical other that must be dealt with differently than the other body parts is opening the door for additional abuse.

      Transform your mind with the Word of God and prayer, and look for a licensed trauma-informed therapist who helps you heal those deep wounds because if left untreated, they will continue to negatively affect your life. It’s your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and needs attention and support. Getting help for your abused brain apart from scripture is not sin. Abuse literally rewires your brain to make it harder for you to live a healthy, “normal” life. Finding the right tools and techniques to help rewire your brain so it’s not stuck in that abused state is a good and right thing. It’s part of how you heal from your trauma. It doesn’t mean you lack faith. Using the tools available to you to bring about physiological healing for your brain isn’t any different than taking insulin to control your blood sugar. Whom the son sets free is free indeed. So claim that freedom and be willing to take action so your body can mirror the freedom in Christ that lives in your spirit.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jeff Crippen

        The problem is that “biblical” has been given a different meaning in these counseling groups. They grab onto “Bible” but only to give their system a stamp of approval by God – though He does not approve of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Anonymous

        I 100% agree that the emotional abuse slowly rewires the brain, as does sudden trauma quickly rewiring the brain from being physically assaulted. Speaking with a trained trauma counselor at the national domestic violence center saved my life. As did my two dogs who gave me a reason to get up in the morning. The smallest of things put together create great healing.
        Spiritual abuse from the church had me searching for the real God I know exists. Maybe the real God is in Buddhism? No. Maybe He is in this nature religion? No. My list goes on and on. Eventually I came around full circle to where God is, in the teachings and the person of Jesus Christ. I know and knew I was home again minus the false teachings and false religion.
        I wish these Pastors would understand the incredible level of damage they inflict on an already abused person. But maybe that is actually their agenda.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Free

        Many thanks Lynn (& Pastor Crippen + other comments). You have put words to the ever so common misuse of the word biblical & all that comes with it – as well as given us an insightful & useful recap of the tools & options we all have to heal from abuse. Such awesome reference comments & reminders!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. DIVORCE IS NEVER EASY!

    Divorce is always heart-breaking and extremely traumatic! The emotional, spiritual, mental and physical toll it takes on a person is horrendous. It takes years of healing from a broken heart and spirit that results from living with an abuser, and some survivors never really heal. The extremely strong soul ties that are formed between husband and wife make divorce tremendously painful, even though divorce from the abuser is the only way to begin the needed healing.

    People in godly marriages do not need to look for a way to get free from their spouses because there is no abuse going on. Genuine Christians do not abuse God’s sons and daughters. They sincerely love, respect and treat others with kindness, not any form of abuse.

    This pastor needs to stop “counseling” because he does not understand any of the dynamics involved in living in a marriage to a narcissist or sociopath who is parading as a Christian. I wonder if this pastor is abusing his own wife, if he is married, and justifying it by calling his marriage difficult or unhappy. Just a thought…

    Liked by 6 people

  9. So many Christian pastors and counselors claim a broad understanding of marriage dynamics but are all-too-willing to normalize abuse. Sadly, this pastor is no different.

    What the pastor unwittingly admitted is that he doesn’t have a clue when it comes to identifying or addressing abuse. The very idea of confronting an abuser and rising in defense of his victim is terrifying. It means making himself a target, too, and he’d rather maintain his image as a non-judgmental kind of fella.

    The easier strategy focuses on minimizing, normalizing, or ignoring the abuse. He rationalizes that the abuser doesn’t know what he is doing and “inappropriate behavior” can surely be managed. The victim needs to accept that some abuse is normal and to be expected, and she just needs to tip-toe around the abuser in faithful obedience to God, keep her secrets, weep in private, and trust that better days lie ahead.

    In this all-too-common scenario, the pastor gave hearty approval to the abuse and oh-so-lovingly threw his wife and any children back into the lion’s den. Then he patted himself on the back and congratulated himself on “saving” another marriage.

    And I kinda want to vomit.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Sue

      Dear Cindy, a while ago, was listening to a for-real preacher. He said that alot of church leaders don’t study the Word much, if really at all. Hearing that, was a bit shocked … but come to think of it, having read posts and comments on this blog … Wouldn’t doubt, for two seconds, the church leaders doing the minimizing, the gas-lighting, and the stark noseyness, are the same ones who’ve memorized their chosen top 40 scriptures … and that’s as far as these fakers care to go with the Word.

      Am so very grateful for this blog. But very sad that it’s Scriptural contents are very rarely studied/discussed.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Comfort

    Red flag # 1. The pastor doesn’t believe her word from the start. He ‘may consider herself to be an abuse victim.” The poor lady is probably in the FOG, the beginning stages of realizing she is an abuse victim and is not going to get sympathy from this pastor.

    Red flag #2, He has the idea that abuse is acceptable.

    Red flag #3. He only “sees some validity to the things you say about abuse victims,” indicates he is the opposite mindset and totally invalidated what has been stated in the book and is unwilling to acknowledge them, and looking for validation to reverse what he reads, maybe he is being convicted himself.

    Red flag #4, Then he follows with the insinuation the injured party in the marriage is just creating a rationale for being an abuse victim?… which insinuates they are lying? Like she just invented all this up? Really? And this makes it a double abuse to the targeted victim, which in all likelihood is being crushed on all sides by the forces of darkness.

    Red flag #5. “ EASY DIVORCE” It shows how far the antichrist spirit has infiltrated the institutional earthly church system.

    Red flag # 6. The second time he brings up the thinking that abuse can be found at all in a Christian marriage.

    To be continued.

    Liked by 8 people

  11. joepote01

    “your book has the potential for throwing the door wide open for easy divorce”

    This pastor seems to fear allowing divorce for abuse may result in all his married parishioners running to the courthouse to file for divorce.

    All I can say to that is if the people in his congregation are in such miserable marriages that the only reason they are staying is because they fear God’s wrath if they leave, then they probably all need to divorce.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Lynn

    One of the things that strikes me as I read the post and the comments by those who have been in abusive marriages, is just how hateful and unloving these so-called pastors are towards women. Since the overwhelming majority of abuse is perpetrated against women by men, we, as the body of Christ, must seek to understand not only who God is and his law, but his view of man and woman. How does God view women? Are they equal heirs of the kingdom of God, or not? This pastor’s behavior doesn’t indicate that he doesn’t believe that women have equal value in the sight of God compared to men and attempts to deny her agency by projecting his own perceptions and beliefs onto her.

    Pastors, like the one in this post, at their core, hate women. Their love of position, power, and the chance to control others, reveal the nature of their heart and which master they serve. They work extra hard to make sure the language they use doesn’t readily appear hostile so they can maintain appearances, but if you take more than 2 seconds to really think about what he’s saying, the poison reveals itself. This is a deceived man who’s damaging the people he’s supposed to be feeding the truth of God’s word to.

    1 – Pastors don’t get to decide what’s an abusive relationship, the victim does. It is the height of arrogance to think that you as a pastor get to determine what is abuse for someone else. You don’t. You sin against your brother or sister in Christ when you do this and malign the character of God by showing a false view of who God is.

    2 – All abusive marriages need to be ended. If 99% of the world’s marriages are abusive, then 99% of them need to be ended. The institution is not more important than the people in it.

    3 – No divorce is easy. It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to go through with it. If dealing with an abuser, it will be like pulling teeth to get it settled which adds to the layers of abuse the victim is dealing with.

    I am baffled by the vigor in which professing Christians cling to the God hates divorce mentality. It’s not true. You could make the case that God divorced the nation of Israel because of her wicked idolatry when he sends them into exile and replaces her with the church, thereby grafting in the gentiles so that the bride of Christ is not made up of a single nationality, but of all the nations of the earth.

    Men like this pastor worship the institution of marriage and act as if God’s character isn’t strong enough to deal with his children divorcing for legitimate reasons like abuse. Why assign shame to divorce when you don’t know the context? Christians aren’t meant to be known for their ability to remain married. They are meant to be known by their love for one another. It is incredibly unloving to use your position as someone who speaks for God to counsel women (and men, if dealing with a female abuser) to remain in abusive marriages. That is of the devil.

    May the pastor who wrote those horrible things regarding his belief about the woman who sought his help from an abusive man and those pastors like him feel the same pain and torment their counsel inflicts upon their victims for as long as it takes to rid them of their faulty thinking. Open their eyes Lord, and bring them to repentance. If they won’t repent, expose them for the wolves they are and bring about their promised destruction. Comfort, protect, and strengthen the victim. Restore her and help her heal from the abuse she’s endured. Grant her wisdom as she navigates the circumstances she’s in, and deliver her from those who seek to do her harm. May you get all the glory and honor Lord.

    Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Daughter of the King

    It is interesting to me that this “pastor” seems to be more concerned about what God might think of him for “letting” people in his congregation get an “easy divorce” than how God might think of him for not protecting a victim of abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Innoscent

    If this pastor had the mind of Christ in the first place, he would have seen Jeff’s book as an eye-opener, a God-given gift to enlighten his mind and educate himself about abuse. His letter only reveals his closed mindedness and blindness
    Someone who’s willing to learn in order to tend and care for God’s flock would have discerned the leading of the Spirit in the woman handing him out the book. But yea it takes humility. Something that would have led him to write otherwise… (Let us dream)

    “I’ve recently read your book “Unholy Charade” which was lent to me by a spouse victim of abuse in my church. What I’ve realized is my utter ignorance of the dynamics of abuse and the evil tactics of abusers, especially within the church. I’m dumbfounded. I’m starting to see how an abusive marriage is a different beast altogether. The life examples you related in your book opened my eyes to the mindset of abusers and the mental, emotional and physical games they play with their prey.
    What I’m wondering, following my reading of your book is how I’ve been able to pastor all this time without any proper knowledge of this terrible issue, how I let down many women and children in need of help. I’d appreciate it if you could send me your other books on the matter. In the meantime, I will read “Unholy Charade” again and visit your blog. I will leave no stone unturned as I’m accountable to God for looking after the sheep.”

    Waking up…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Astraea

    There are several flags and poor logic in his questions, but the final statement that goes something like, “but don’t you see this in all marriages” is the worst for me. It is the worst because this was repeatedly used against me by my pastors and women in the church. This is a logical fallacy. It is a type of straw man argument that creates a more minor argument that can be easily knocked down, and then tries to compare the two. It is fallacious and can be used for all kinds of manipulation. I think this is routinely used in the church to make people feel like they are complaining for no reason and keep them in check. Do we all make mistakes? Yes. But unrepentant pattern is a different category than routine sinful mistakes that a person works to rectify and seek forgiveness for. Yet these blind guides try to compare these radically different situations and treat them as if they were the same. This flawed thinking will keep them lost and cause them to give wrong, dangerous counsel.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Free

    The biggest flag was the fact that he even wrote the message. The message looks like, and reads like an “innocent” cover to try and drag you into a pastor sparring session, or a biblical quoting cage fight – which is what abusers do. All I could think was his message needs to be filed – in the garbage. And Lord willing the person who gave him the book will cease contact with this type of “leader”.

    Your response to him was spot on, you read right through the smoke and mirrors and quickly called him out on his nonsense.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. The part that got my blood boiling was when he said “isn’t there abuse in all difficult relationships?”
    What?! This guy doesn’t understand what abuse is. And what is his definition of difficult? Depending on that definition the answer to his question might be “yes” or “no way!”

    Wouldn’t be surprised if this guy is abusing someone himself. The way he talks about abuse is like he thinks it’s just like any other sin. Like he thinks there’s a spectrum of “acceptable” bad behavior to abuse that “crosses the line” – and somehow he is the one who needs to determine the difference. He doesn’t understand the existence of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. At best, he is dangerously naive. As you said Pastor, he shouldn’t be counseling anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

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