Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Some More Thoughts on Perpetual Victimhood

I have written recently on this topic of perpetual victimhood, but I believe it is necessary to keep this subject before all of us. I am running into it quite often. It concerns this business of therapy and counseling that keep abused people embracing an identity of being a victim. On and on the therapy goes and it keeps people enslaved.

Now I want to be careful to emphasize that we are not saying things like PTSD counseling and therapy do not have a place and are not helpful. Often, most of you know, I have recommended this to victims. HOWEVER, these things must never be an end in themselves and we must be on guard against unbiblical philosophies that can crop up in such counseling. I want to see victims truly healed and victorious over evil and never be snared by the man-centered “therapy” that is so common. There is no deliverance from injury if the remedy is wrong. If you break your leg you don’t want to keep it in a cast forever. And what I am warning against here is the wrong remedies that perpetuate victimhood but have no true cure to offer. Here is the only real and ultimate cure:

Joh 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

NOTE: Even though I believe I was quite clear in stating the aim of this article in the opening paragraphs above, emphasizing what I am NOT saying, we have still received several comments from people who apparently failed to read carefully, who have I assume not read my books, and who seem to be very unfamiliar with this ministry to abuse victims. In response, my friend who I quote just below, said this:

You (or I) never said victims shouldn’t have a voice or process what they’ve been through!! You of all people have given victims a voice. And as a counselor myself, I know that of course women have to process what they’ve experienced. You used the word “perpetual “ victim, not ignoring or dismissing the abuse, but getting victory over it. I just heard a testimony of a woman who experienced a lifetime of abuse, and after becoming born again, she went through Celebrate Recovery and has victory over it. Women who stay in victimhood are the ones who marry abusers over and over again. Even the last comment is an accusation of not wanting victims to come forward when that’s exactly what your ministry is all about. They haven’t read your books.

Alright the, here is the post.

A friend of mine recently commented on this matter of perpetual victimhood and here is what she said. This is wisdom so pay close heed:

Anytime someone tells me they have been in counseling, the hair on the back of my neck goes up. If they have been in counseling for years, then how come they are not better? Seeing women who are still victims [after all this prolonged therapy] gets me riled up. As you are teaching in Revelation, at the end of every letter to the churches the Lord says, ‘to the overcomer/victor/conqueror…’. It doesn’t say ‘to the one who ekes by and barely survives.’ I am not seeing women who are overcoming, being victorious, or conquering and yet His word says that we are to be! I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but if we don’t overcome, then the devil wins.

This perpetual victimhood will eventually turn a victim into a mean, abusive person. Why? Because this kind of therapy is not biblical. It is idolatrous because it is the philosophy of me, myself and I. It teaches that it is all about YOU. I know this first hand because I have been on the receiving end of it more than once. Just say or do one thing that “triggers” such a person and they will pull the trigger on you.

My friend (who is a trained professional counselor by the way AND an abuse survivor herself) also said:

Where in the Word does it say, ‘oh poor you, you’ve been treated so horribly (which is true) and as you continue to wallow in that everyone is to understand and walk on eggshells around you.’ The Bible does not say this. It says do not be afraid, rise up, be the head and not the tail, and utterly destroy the real enemy.

‘No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cuase this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.’ [Joshua 1:5-7]

Micah 7:8 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.

Eph 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (14) Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (16) In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (17) and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (18) praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…

And here is more wisdom for you yet. This comes from another friend of mine who is an abuse survivor and who is also a survivor of something even more serious than domestic abuse. She is a survivor of false Christianity and a false gospel which kept her deceived for many years. Listen to her carefully now:

I’ve come to see and understand more fully that people in perpetual counseling like this don’t want to be healed. That is, healed in Christ. They are not born again, nor are they seeking to be. They are happy to stay in the past and talk and talk and talk about themselves, their problems, their pain, what happened to them, etc… they can’t ever move on.

I love when Jesus asked that man “do you WANT to be healed?” Most people do not. You can see it clearly. They are getting comfort from counselors, not Christ. They are even bringing their children down the same dead road. They cannot see the glory of Christ at all because if they could, He would be drawing them closer to his wisdom, knowledge and Word. He is the only healer. They need to be made new creations and that’s not going to happen trying to get fixed by man.

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6 Comments

  1. Denise

    This! Thank you so much for addressing this issue. I have thought this for years.

    The Bible says “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”! It has been my experience that when we turn to Christ and His Word for healing we become more than conquerors! He is our Healer! All glory and thanksgiving to Him for His wonderful mercy and gracious love!

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    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes! The only real remedy for a troubled heart is faith and trust in Christ (John 14:1)

      5
  2. Allison

    Excellent, timely advice for me! thank you!

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  3. Absolute truth! I have tried to minister to quite a few “Christians’ who do not want to be healed from emotional pain and trauma, but just want to rehash the horrible things that they experienced over and over and over. Those type of people embrace the victim identity and refuse to follow any advice given to them that would set them free to become more than conquerors. Oh, they “say’ they want to be free, but their actions do not confirm that at all. It is very sad because Jesus has the power to turn victims into survivors who are MORE THAN CONQUERORS! I know because after decades of horrific abuse of every kind, I am living in a victorious state thanks to the healing of my Lord Jesus. The genuine Christians who follow the Lord’s instructions and the Word of God do receive the amazing healing and freedom they need. I have had the privilege of witnessing miraculous transformations in the hearts and spirits of deeply wounded and traumatized, true believers for over 15 years. Praise the Lord!!!

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  4. Deb

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful bits of wisdom! So important and timmely.

    2

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