Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

This is what the targets of RASN’s* so often endure in their churches

The following is an excerpt from a letter I received some years ago from a lady who was married to an abuser and who went to her pastor and his wife about the matter. Ultimately after it all played out, she was ex-communicated formally from her church for refusing to remain married to the wicked man. And then some years after that, the pastor was expelled from his denomination. A few people from the church apologized to this lady, saying that their leadership had lied to them. But no mention was made of their church’s failure to discipline her abuser, even though he was also a member of the church.

My Pastor and his wife asked to meet with me this past Sunday.  I always feel a dread to these meetings, because I walk away feeling so hopeless after I have spoken with them.  I am usually a real mess for a couple of days and just pray and ask God to show me if I am being rebellious in anyway. 

These are some of the things that they have said to me, and I am wondering what you think of them:

1.    They tell me that I need to make it easy for my husband not to sin.  I am not certain how to do that.   I have never said anything to my husband, that I know of, to cause these outbursts of wrath from him, but I think they think I must have done something.  I do not argue with him or talk down to him.  I do not respond to him, except with fearful silence, when he is behaving this way.  My Pastor and his wife are very into nouthetic counseling and I do not know that much about it. 

2.    They tell me that I am not to assume anything, based on his past behavior or otherwise.  They say that he said he loves me and they believe him.  They say he said he was sorry, and that I need to wipe the slate clean and encourage him, instead of being angry and distant.  I cry a lot over this, first of all, because he has repented so many times in the past, and it has always been false repentance.  I also cry because I do not know how to make myself feel close to him anymore.  I do not want to be intimate with a man who talked about me sexually, in the ways that he did.  I am not certain I can heal enough from this, to trust him again or be intimate with him again.  They think I should not think about the notes, but I can’t help but remember all the hate. 

And the abusive controlling demands from the pastor continued –

“They say that they want me to send any emails I write to my husband, to them first, so they can make sure that they are encouraging to him. “

They say that I can never know that and it isn’t for me to judge him. 

And the result of all of this “pastoral counseling”? –

These are the things that upset me so much that I just cry and cry.  I feel so weak and defenseless after talking to them.  Do you think that is rebellion on my part?  Do you think that I am just resisting submitting to my husband? 

These things are not uncommon. You can see how such “counseling” could even lead to suicide. It is absolutely spiritual malpractice but, unlike the secular counseling world, churches most often have no accountability.

*RASN = Revilers, Abusers, Sociopaths, Narcissists


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  1. Deb Bissell

    So grievous.. They will stand before the Lord one day and there will be no excuse for them.

  2. Jacob Dedrick

    So much evil it makes my stomach hurt. Thank you for exposing these evil pastors.

  3. Anonymous

    I know you review comments before posting and I am sure you will probably edit or not post this at all.

    At first, I thought you were describing John MacArthur, until I got the line, “the pastor was expelled.” Everything but that line perfectly describes the situation of John MacArthur and Eileen Gray. If you are unfamiliar with this situation, a quick google of her name will tell you all you need to know.

    • Kate

      I realize this is an older post but thank you!

      I had not heard of this situation about John MacArthur before but just researched it. Typical and disgusting sadly, but I’m quite sure it’s happening in most every large church today.

      God revealed the truth about John MacArthur to me 20 years ago so this doesn’t surprise me. What I find sick is that the authorities didn’t arrest him and all his cronies who covered it up. It’s the same situation with Brian Houston of Hillsong. His dad confessed to him that he had molested a boy and he didn’t do anything except pay the victim off and tell him he had tempted his dad, so it was his fault.

      If there were more public arrests of church leaders when churches refused to hold these abusers accountable, maybe it would at least force them to act. But the sad truth is that they would probably try harder to control and silence the victim. After all, people like John MacArthur, Franklin Graham, the late Ravi Zacharias have revealed that they themselves are RASNs.

      Thank you for posting this

  4. SJH

    Classic victim blaming and ganging up on the target techniques.

    RASNs attract and surround themselves with other RASNs and then ‘share’ their target – just like other predators. The ultimate high for RASNs is manipulating others to further destroy the target.


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