Watch Out for Wolves in Wool — a True Story of Disguises

We all know that abusers love to hide in the pews, wearing “holy” garb as a disguise. It’s one of their favorite methods, and a very effective one too.  I never cease to be amazed at how many of these mask-wearers are in churches.

Recently I did some searching online to see what had become of a fellow and his wife who I had known many years ago. They were church members and he was active not only in the church but also held a seminary degree and worked in a professional ministry setting with a well-known Christian organization. I found that he had died, as had his wife, and I located their obituaries and read them.

Continue reading “Watch Out for Wolves in Wool — a True Story of Disguises”

The Essential Nature of an Abuser – Devoid of Love

You never loved me. You only wanted to possess me. Your curse is that you cannot love.

I came across this quote in, of all places, a dark comedy movie. It jumped out at me as true truth in regard to the people we class as sociopaths and it is certainly an excellent description of a domestic abuser as we define them here. Power. Control. Possession. Devoid of love.

Understanding this is key to getting free of the confusing fog abusers cast and to getting actually free of them.

The abusers I have had personal experience with have for the most part been church members in churches I have pastored. Professing Christians, yet still children of the devil. The most pious saints, they would have you believe. And it took a long, long time for me to realize that ALL the show of religion they put on was absolutely false. That they never loved me, they only wanted to own and control me for their own evil designs. That they were people who knew nothing of love and were in their very being incapable of knowing or giving love.

Oh they can mimic these things, and often do so very, very convincingly as we all have seen. But when a person who is incapable of love seems to be exercising love, it only seems that they are. In fact they are mimics. They see other people loving one another and then they outwardly mimic that love. But it isn’t love at all. Your abuser has never loved you. In fact, he or she has never loved anyone.

Their curse, justly deserved, is that they cannot and they will not, love.

I don’t talk to Abusers

Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Over the years in this ministry to abuse victims, I have been contacted numbers of times by people (mostly men) who are domestic abusers and Christian pretenders. Their line is always pretty much the same: “I don’t want a divorce. I haven’t been a great husband, but that has all changed. I am willing to go to counseling with my wife but she refuses.” Done. Finished. Call ended. Communication over. Why?

Continue reading “I don’t talk to Abusers”

They Never Admit Wrong: A Sure Sign of an Unsafe (and Unsaved) Person

1Jn 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Mr. Decker: “Captain, shouldn’t we take every possible precaution?”

Captain Kirk: “Mr. Decker, I will not provoke an attack.  If that order isn’t clear enough for you….”

Mr. Decker: “Captain, as your executive officer it is my duty to point out alternatives.”

Captain Kirk: “Yes it is.  I stand corrected.”

“Yes, it is.  I stand corrected.”  Words you will never hear from an abuser.

Pastor Larry Dean, a reader of this blog, loves to talk about repentance. He would tell you that it is sorely lacking not only in the world today, but in the church. And yet without repentance there can be no forgiveness of sin. A gospel with no call to repentance is no gospel at all.

Continue reading “They Never Admit Wrong: A Sure Sign of an Unsafe (and Unsaved) Person”

It Only Takes a Wink or a Glance to Abuse

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; (Proverbs 6:12-14)

I have probably written posts about these verses before, but they are on my mind again today and the truths they teach cannot be announced too often. As you read this, please note: I am in no way here being critical of victims who have not yet left their abuser. We realize that “just leaving the jerk” is not so simple.  No, I am primarily speaking of other people like church members who continue to associate with the wicked/abuser rather than dissociating from him. Ok, here we go:

When it comes to dealing with an abuser — with these wicked ones who see themselves as gods to be served and worshiped — we cannot employ half measures. And these Proverbs explain why. Let me explain further.

Continue reading “It Only Takes a Wink or a Glance to Abuse”

Don’t Fall for the Abuser’s “Repentance” — Lessons from Zacchaeus

Just about all of you have heard an abuser claim to “have changed,” or “I have repented and the Lord has forgiven me and now you must also.”  We have had pressure put upon us by the abuser’s allies to “forgive” and reconcile because, after all, he said he was sorry. Yada, yada, yada.

Real repentance is a gift from Christ and it is a rare jewel (emphasis on rare). There is no salvation and no forgiveness from the Lord Himself where there is no genuine repentance. The “grace on steroids” crowd thinks that repentance is easy and cheap. But if you want to see the real article in action, let’s take a look at true repentance evidenced in a man named Zacchaeus. Here he is:

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)

He was a CHIEF tax collector. He was RICH. Power and privilege were his in enough abundance to counter the people’s hatred of him (tax collectors working for Rome, ripping people off were not exactly well thought of).  Small in stature and yet he was a “big man” and he liked it.

This day was an appointed day in Zacchaeus’ life. The Lord had decreed that this day this man at this particular place would meet the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Jesus came to “THE” place. His gaze goes right to Zacchaeus and he NAMES him! “I MUST stay at your house today.” These are the words of divine decree declared in eternity past.

Zacchaeus’ response was a miracle. He hurried and came down. He received Christ joyfully. AND HE PAID A HUGE PRICE —

  • The entire focus and goal of his life changed. Christ now was precious to him, not money.
  • Without anyone telling him to do so or compelling him, Zacchaeus spontaneously bears the fruit of repentance by announcing he is going to give half of his goods to the poor (who he had no doubt disregarded or despised before).
  • He knows he has defrauded many people and he is going to now set those crimes right by paying them back four times what he took from them (far in excess of the Old Testament requirement by the way).

JESUS makes the announcement — “Today salvation has come to this house.” He declares Zacchaeus to be a true son of Abraham, no longer lost. If the Son of God declares that a man’s repentance is real, you can count on it being real.

THIS is the kind of response we MUST see in people (specifically in abusers) who claim to be repentant. Zacchaeus’ response was the fruit of a heart truly regenerated by Christ, and we must settle for nothing less. No coercion to make things right. No telling victims they MUST forgive him. None of it. Only a radical transformation into a brand new person who delights now in Christ and of their own volition and accord are willing to give up everything.

You are NOT being too narrow if you insist on this kind of evidence. You are NOT an unforgiving person if you will not reconcile with a person in whom these evidences are absent. You are, in fact, wise.

“Alright, Mr. Abuser, you claim you are a changed man. You insist that you are sorry for what you have done and that the Lord has forgiven you. Well then, what has your ‘repentance’ cost you? In what ways are you actively working (without someone else telling you to do it) to make things right with your victim?”

Don’t accept halfway measures. Be very suspicious of someone who claims repentance but is asking “well, what do you want me to do to prove it?” Answer: “go away and leave me and the children alone. Provide for us even if a court doesn’t order you to, and leave us alone.”

Zacchaeus didn’t ask. He didn’t have to. He knew. And he knew because he was a new creation.

The Satanic Nature of the Abuser’s Mockery

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Hebrews 11:36, “Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.”

Mark 15:20, “And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.”

Abusers use disdain and dismissiveness as a weapon designed to de-humanize their victim.  This article addresses a very similar tactic, and yet it is not quite the same thing.  While disdain can be very passive (no response, a roll of the eyes, a short verbal put-down), mockery is much more active.  It also targets the victim’s personhood, but more overtly.

What does it feel lie to be mocked?  Ridiculed?  To be told you are a fool.  To be scornfully laughed at and treated with derision?  It is extremely painful and very, very damaging if believed.  The Apostle Paul spoke of it –

1 Corinthians 4:9-13, “For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. (10) We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. (11) To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, (12) and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; (13) when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”

All the prophets of God were mocked.  Here is an example that Isaiah experienced –

Isaiah 28:9-10, “To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? (10) For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

Isaiah’s mockers spoke jibberish, making fun of the words of the Lord spoken by Isaiah — as if to call them nonsense and baby talk.  You can hear their devilish laughter.

And speaking of devilish laughter, we come to the main point.  Mockery is Satanic. Especially in the hands of the abuser.  Satan is a mocker.  Many, many times as enemies of God came against the people of God, they evidenced this demonic quality of mockery.  Isaiah admonishes this spirit in Sennacherib when his armies came against Jerusalem:

Isaiah 37:21-24, “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, (22) this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: “‘She despises you, she scorns you– the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you– the daughter of Jerusalem. (23) “‘Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel! (24) By your servants you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon, to cut down its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses, to come to its remotest height, its most fruitful forest.”

And think of Goliath:

1 Samuel 17:41-44, “And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. (42) And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. (43) And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. (44) The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.””

Perhaps the event in all of biblical history that saw the greatest concentration of mockers was The Cross:

Matthew 27:27-31, “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. (28) And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, (29) and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (30) And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. (31) And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.”

Enemies of the Lord are representatives of The Enemy of Christ, the devil.  Satan is a mocker. Mockery is one of his favorite and most effective weapons, and therefore we as the people of Christ need to be very, very wise to this tactic.  And if you are the victim/target of an abuser, you already know mockery quite well.  Abusers mock-

  • Your appearance
  • Your accomplishments
  • Your interests
  • Your family
  • Your church
  • Your ideas
  • Your habits
  • Your decisions
  • The route you choose to drive to the store
  • The pets you like
  • The new glasses you wear
  • Your hairstyle, makeup, and wardrobe
  • Your friends
  • Your gender
  • Your music
  • How and where you sit
  • Your body and sexuality

Abusers mock everything about you and everyone associated with you.  It is a wicked, soul and body destroying campaign designed to murder you as a human being and turn you into a malleable blob of putty, easily shaped and controlled.

And you can hear him.  You can hear the devil in the mocking words.  He has a certain tone.  Mockery is Satan smiling.  It is hatred grinning at you.  It is pure evil. Without conscience.  Without empathy.

So when the mocker comes your way, realize who he is and what he is doing.  Reject his ridicule with the truth of Christ.

“We know you, Satan.  We see you.  You are a murderer and a liar, the very father of lies.  We belong to Christ Jesus.  You have nothing in us.”

James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”