Saul of Tarsus was not an Abuser – Let me show you why

Act 9:13-15  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.  (14)  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”  (15)  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

Quite often when I tell people that abusers never change, they will ask about the case of Saul, later the Apostle Paul. After all, he was assaulting the early church and then the Lord appeared to him and converted him wonderfully. Should that not give us hope that even the worst domestic abuser could one day be born again?

My answer is, no. Let me show you why.

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Thoughts on Wolves Hiding Among the Flock

Here is the entirety of 2 Peter 2.  You have to read the whole thing in order to get the “punch line” at the very end.  Go for it, then I have some comments below.

2 Peter 2:1-22 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. (3) And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (4) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; (5) if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; (6) if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; (7) and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (8) (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); (9) then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, (10) and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, (11) whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. (12) But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, (13) suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. (14) They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! (15) Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, (16) but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. (17) These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. (18) For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. (19) They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. (20) For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. (21) For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. (22) What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.

While there certainly are some difficult parts in this passage, I just want to focus on two predominant themes.  These relate to the question regarding whether an abuser will ever repent and change.  Here are the two points drawn from this passage:

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Who is a Christian – Psalm 15 Answers the Question

Most of you have had to struggle with the question, “is my abuser a Christian?”  Why? Because he (and sometimes she) claims to be. Because the abuser so often parades as the finest saintly holy one in the entire church, and most of the people believe it. Just as the abuser’s father can appear as an angel of light, so can his servants.

Local churches and pastors often and even typically insist that the abuser is indeed a child of God, not of the devil. We all sin, you know. So they allow him to remain in the pew, and sometimes even in the pulpit!

But what does the Bible say? Who is a Christian and who is not a Christian? While Scripture clearly answers these questions over and over, we are just going to look at one such text in this article. Here it is. Read carefully:

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Local Churches Have Become Primary Lairs for Abusers

Jude 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Oh, and by the way, did I mention he is active in church?”

Those words came from a friend recently who was helping an abuse victim understand what has been happening to her. After filling me in on some of the evils this man had been doing, he ended his note with the brief sentence above….he is active in church.”

I do not think that we need to hold back any longer. We are fully justified in just coming right out with it:

Local churches have become arenas of choice for domestic abusers, narcissists, and sociopaths.  

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Stephanie’s Story: Part 2

Due to pressure from her pastor, his wife, and her abuser husband (Terrance), Stephanie returned to the run down, spider and rodent infested house, and to her abuser. If you missed part one, here is the link Part One.

And now, Stephanie continues with her story: [In your comments, perhaps some of you could give us some insight into what is going on in the minds of this pastor and his wife. What do you think is their motive?]

Continue reading “Stephanie’s Story: Part 2”

Stephanie’s Story: Part 1

Stephanie, like most of our readers, married an abuser and, to make her plight worse, her church and pastor added to the abuse. Stephanie wants to tell her story, so we are publishing it here in a series. AND we are going to include the emails and letters her ex pastor and church sent her. This first part will be a bit longer than the next few because it is a summary of her story, and as you know, our stories are very hard to summarize. Many thanks to Stephanie!

[In your comments to this story, see how many typical abuser tactics you can identify here. Naming them will certainly help others who are following the blog]

Continue reading “Stephanie’s Story: Part 1”

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.