Abusers Often Betray their Disguise in Subtle Ways we Must not Ignore

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. (Proverbs 6:12-15)

Winks with his eyes. Signals with his feet. Points with his finger. The nonverbal ways of the wicked man. Let’s think about these things a bit.

Quite a number of years ago — almost 20 I think — I attended a pastoral training class at a mega-church a few hours away from us. The pastor there was putting on the class. He was well-known because after he took a church over two decades or so before, the church rocketed to over 6,000 people. Huge campus. Millions and millions of dollars being invested in a completely new facility. He was the man. Their bookstore was filled with his books and tapes.

So we went there to learn “how to do it.” … Stupid. I know, I know.

During the morning presentation this pastor made a statement when he was talking to us about counseling. He said, and this is pretty much an exact quote, “Do you all know what is the most frequent question people ask when they come to me with their marriage troubles?” What do you think he gave as the answer? You won’t guess. Here it is – “They want me to help them sort out oral sex. Is it right? The wife is hesitant and the guy wants it. So they are in conflict.”

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The Worst Abusers are the Kind Who Parade as Christian Leaders

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

  1. “He premeditates his actions. He uses people and every thing he can get as an alibi to cover or justify his actions. He is the master of excuses, a liar, a deceiver and frequently contradicts himself. He is very aware of his power of charisma and persuasive talk.”
  2. “He is not verbally or physically abusive. He sounds loving and caring.”
  3. “He admits he has failed in his role as a provider, protector and leader of the family and then asks for forgiveness and says he is not happy about it either and he needs help to understand why that happens in his life, but he never changes despite all the help is offered to him.”
  4. “I find this abuser the worst because it is not very evident. He disguises himself as a good father and loving husband thru words and showing himself very active in the family matters, but in the reality does not take responsibility for providing, protecting and leading the family.“

These descriptions of a wicked man were sent to us by a Christian wife and mother whose abuser claims to be a godly servant of the Lord. And he has been successful for many years in convincing the people in his church and in other Christian organizations that he is the real deal.

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“How do I Avoid Getting Tied up With Another Abuser?” – A Common Question

2Co 11:13-15  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  (14)  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  (15)  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Recently I was asked a very good question by an abuse survivor who has had more than one experience with abusive relationships, one in which she was nearly killed. The question is stated in the title of this article, “how do I avoid getting tied up with another abuser?”

Well, the answer is not an easy one. There is no fixed formula with guarantees. As the Apostle Paul said in the scripture quoted above, evil comes in very, very deceptive disguises. How many of you for instance can tell about how charming and wonderful “he” was when you first met him? And how he is still thought of as the most wonderful, godly saint in your church? No, there are no acid texts. But we can still apply some pretty good wisdom.

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An Example of How an Abuser Ally tries to Creep in Among us

Some time ago (before we started accepting comments at Light for Dark Times) I received the following note from a man I have never heard of. He was complaining because I did not allow comments. Essentially my reason was because I could not take on a double work load of comment moderation. Anyway, here is what he said. I have had numbers of these kinds of guys over the years send me very similar demands (and that is what this is, a demand). Why? You shall see in a moment:
I hope you realize that it also makes it appear as if you figure you have all the answers and don’t need or want input from your readers. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s just how it struck me.
Dialogue does far more for people than lecturing or preaching. You are missing a good bit of your opportunity. Get a volunteer to screen your comments. Then you don’t need to moderate them yourself. That will give you an opportunity for more teaching and also to clear up misunderstandings with your readers. How do I know? Because that’s part of my job description at a ministry I work for.
Now, guess what? A bit of research and here is what we find.  This guy who demands to be permitted to expound and enlighten all of us, said this in an article about marriage, divorce, and remarriage-
I feel that we are better off to take the ‘no remarriage’ position rather than take chances…  I feel that when we start opening doors for divorce and remarriage, we start down a slippery slope that has no end….I feel that for me to break my vows to my wife, even if she breaks her vows to me, would be wrong for me. That also is the position of most of the groups sponsoring this site and the church I am part of. I realize that this isn’t what you were hoping to hear from me, probably. But I think it is the only safe position.
So, what is his motive? He runs a website “ministry” at which he peddles his perversions of God’s Word, and he wants me to allow him to unload his wicked ideas here, right in the midst of readers who have been subject to evil, including the evil of domestic abuse and abuse in their churches. He wants to oppose what we say on this blog. He is like the enemies that dogged the Apostle Paul wherever he went, teaching a false gospel to enslave others and exalt himself. He wants to teach. He wants to be “first.” He is the kind who visits your church and then insists that he be allowed to teach the class or preach the sermon right away.

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There are Wolves Out There Parading as Christian Advocates of Abuse Victims – Beware!

Tit 1:10-11  For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.  (11)  They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

1Ti 6:3-5  If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,  (4)  he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,  (5)  and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

1Ti 1:3-4  As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,  (4)  nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

I am compelled to sound still another warning to everyone I can, especially to people who have been targets of abuse and who are looking for help. Just as there are scammers who prey upon the vulnerable of all kinds, there are false victim advocates/counselors who are out to prey on victims. Wicked people, as you know, often start online scams to get money supposedly to support the familes of murder victims and so on. Pure evil.

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This is Why Most Pastors and Churches Ally with the Abuser

1Co 5:1-2  It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.  (2)  And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you….1Co 5:6  Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

Recently I was corresponding with an abuse victim whose church was commanding her to remain married to her abuser “because Jesus calls us to stay in suffering.” In the course of our conversation I told her that this church was going to welcome her abuser into the church and end up rejecting her. I am no prophet. Nor am I brilliant. It’s just that after seeing this very scenario unfold countless times it becomes a pretty safe bet to tell someone what to expect. Not too long later she wrote back and said “you called it. Yep. They invited him to be in church.”

Why is it then that churches and pastors and people who we thought were our friends end up allying with the wicked man (or wicked woman if the wife is the abuser)?

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Playing the Victim – Always Remember this Tactic

Isa 58:3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.

I have written numbers of times before on this subject but we really cannot be reminded of this favorite tactic of the abuser too often – playing the victim. The wicked among the Israelites even tried to pull this scheme with God. Didn’t work of course, but it does work quite often with people.

Those who live to have power and control over others – the people we call abusers – act cruelly toward their targeted victims and then if they are ever confronted, they turn on the tears. They become the poor, oppressed people we are to be sorry for. They are the ones who surely deserve our empathy – or so they make it appear. In truth it is the abuser who abusesed! But then, when they are called out on their evil, in one way or another they work to make it appear that they are ones who have been wronged. Pity them. That is what they want from us.

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