Domestic Abuser Intervention Programs Don’t Work – Don’t Get Drawn in by Them

As most of our readers probably know, I always tell abuse victims these two things:

  1. Abusers never change, and
  2. A marriage to an abuser does not need to be fixed, it needs to be ended.

I advise people to base their decisions about whether to leave, whether to stay, and so on upon these two fundamental assumptions. If they do, they will make wise decisions and avoid being further deceived by the abuser and his array of allies.

Now, I have caught flack for making these absolute statements. You see, people (especially professing Christians) want to believe that everyone is redeemable. That God is the God of the impossible. That we must never give up hope on anyone. This is the stuff that makes the tear-jerker feel good movies a hit, you know. The serial killer is forgiven by his victims’ families, they tell him about Christ, and he gets saved and marvelously transformed. This is the thing, you see. This is the stuff that sells.

But it is not reality. And it is not in agreement with the Word of God.

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Beware of the Popular Domestic Abuse “Advocates” Who insist they can Fix Abusers

1Co 5:11-13 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. (12) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

One of the reasons I am not very popular with the “bigger” names in the domestic abuse ministry realm is because I maintain that we are not to waste our time and energy with programs and “ministries” designed to “fix” abusers. In fact, I maintain that abusers as we have defined them here in this blog do not change. They do not repent. And, in fact, they play us for fools when we try to “save” them.

And yet this is not the message most professing Christians want to hear. They like a “they all lived happily ever after” ending to the story. That is why things like this gain popularity for their practitioners:

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Abuse and Pre-Marriage Counseling: We Must Change Our Approach

There are scores of books written and designed to be used to counsel engaged couples, purporting to make them better prepared for marriage.  Many pastors insist on pre-marriage counseling before they will agree to perform a wedding.  I am sure that their intent is good, but frankly, I have never enjoyed nor felt any degree of excitement about this kind of counseling.  I have done it out of “duty.”  It is expected.  People think that we need to pull out all the stops and do everything we can to turn a shaky takeoff into a solid flight.

But it isn’t working, and I think we know it.

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Will Your Church Leaders Stand With You Against Your Abuser? 3 Ways to Know

With some regularity I hear from people who tell me that they are on board with this issue of domestic abusers hiding in the church. They are excited that their pastor has “really had his eyes opened” and is “promising to stand with abuse victims.” And I have heard the same from various well-known Christian counseling ministries.

I don’t believe most of them. And when I say so, let me tell you, I lose friends and I do not gain any popularity with the “happening” crowds in Christendom. They accuse me of being narrow and arrogant, as if “only I know anything.”

But the truth is, I do know that they still cannot be trusted to stand with victims of abuse. How do I know, you ask? I will tell you. Three things. There are just three things that you need to find out – and then you will know too. Ready? [If they fail at any ONE of these, they fail all]

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A Common Claim – “Only God can Judge”

1Co 5:12-13 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

I was reading a commentary on Matthew this morning and came across the following statement by the author:

God is the one truly competent Judge, for he alone knows all things. Every human judgment is based on imperfect knowledge. We make every decision on insufficient evidence. Not so with God. He knows all that is, was, and shall be. [Matthew: Reformed Expository Commentary, Daniel Doriani]

Now, this statement is true, in part at least. God is indeed the only truly competent judge. He is the only one who knows all things. This cannot be said of any human. If perfection in judgment is the subject of discussion, yes – it is only to be found in God.

However…

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Abuse Victims are Being Thrown to the Lions in Local Churches

1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

This passage of Scripture is often misapplied to keep victims of domestic abusers in bondage. However, in this post I want to focus upon God’s promise of “the way of escape.” Obviously it is God’s will that when we are in a trial or test and we see a way of escape, we take it! After all, God Himself provides it!

Now, there are people who claim to be Christians who will tell you that it is always better (and in fact that God requires it) to remain in the trial. Even “unto death.” In other words, they promote martyrdom. Of course they are characterized by the ever-present double standard of the abuser. No way would they become a martyr, but you are required to be one.

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When a Pastor Claims to be God’s Prophet: Wicked and Harmful Words to an Abuse Victim

A victim of a very deceitful, habitually lying abuser shared an interaction she had with the pastor of a church she and the abuser attended. We thank her very much for allowing us to publish what this pastor told her. As is so typical, you see here the incredible arrogance such false shepherds have and the refusal to acknowledge his ignorance about the very evils he insists that the victim submit to his counsel upon.

Here are the highlighted points of the enslaving lies the “pastor” laid upon her, followed by my comments:

1) “What is your end goal, best case scenario?”  Here, in this “harmless” sounding opening question, the pastor is already trying to make the victim say that divorce for abuse is not an option and that her goal must be to stay in the marriage.

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