Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Part 2 – What does spiritual pride in the RASN look like?

3Jn 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

I wanted to share some more excellent insights from Jonathan Edwards in his essay on Spiritual Pride. He precisely nails the mentality and behavior of what we call the RASN (reviler, abuser, sociopath, narcissist). Here are some quotes:

Another effect of spiritual pride is to make the subject of it assuming. It oftentimes makes it natural to persons so to act and speak as though in a special manner it belonged to them to be taken notice of and much regarded. It is very natural to a person that is much under the influence of spiritual pride, to take all the respect that is paid him. If others show a disposition to submit to him, and yield him the deference of a teacher or headmaster, he is open to it and freely admits it. In fact it is natural to him to expect such treatment, and to take much notice if he fails of it, and to have an ill opinion of others that do not pay him that which he looks upon as his prerogative.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol 1 p 402, Banner of Truth Trust

Edwards obviously had the unpleasant experience of dealing with these kind and he describes them perfectly. RASNs expect to be worshipped and exalted. They lust for this adoration and if anyone dare not bow down to their image, the RASN will hold such people in contempt.

Here is another quote:

A person who is under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others, than to inquire for himself, and naturally puts on the airs of a master….As spiritual pride disposes persons to assume much to themselves, so it also disposes them to treat others with neglect.

Ibid

The RASN is, as is often put, a “know-it-all.” You cannot tell them anything. They will tell YOU, and they do not characteristically ask about YOU. They talk about themselves.

These infernal qualities are red flags, warnings which we should recognize and not ignore. The person filled with this pride is not a safe person. A relationship with them will certainly be toxic and end in much harm and pain.

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What Does Spiritual Pride in the RASN Look Like?

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4 Comments

  1. Cordelia

    “Another effect of spiritual pride is to make the subject of it assuming. It oftentimes makes it natural to persons so to act and speak as though in a special manner it belonged to them to be taken notice of and much regarded”

    The perpetrator I spoke of, in my response in the prior blog post, has made it their custom to walk (to act) in a distinctive manner. Once the obnoxious noise ceases, they stand in certain manner, face fixed–it’s their routine for *demanding* attention and respect. I no longer acknowledge the pompous, power hungry monster, when this behavior is exhibited.

    I also have begun to use “grey rock” to put a road block to their nosy, bossy attempts; it denies the RASN the emotional response they seek (they enjoy upset, undone responses from their victims) to then further abuse.

    I once worked for FANTASTIC bosses. I LOVED going to work; respect for one another and team work were the environment I enjoyed every day. My children tell me it was a very rare situation. While I love the work I do now, I no longer look forward to being with most of the current group; their totally toxic and energy sucking.

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  2. Cordelia

    *they are (not “their”)

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  3. Jade

    My RASN was the Youth Leader for the church, the pastor’s son, and on many music teams over the years. He LOVES to display how much theology and doctrine he knows, while at the same time putting on a show of false humility. He has everyone fooled into believing he is very godly.

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