Another Fundamental Attitude in the Abuser – Justification

1Sa 13:8-12 He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. (9) So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. (10) As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. (11) Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, (12) I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”

“I had to do it.” “I did it for your own good.” “You made me do it.” These are some examples of the mentality of justification which characterize the abuser’s thinking. Entitlement to power and control and justification in doing whatever is necessary to obtain and maintain unwarranted, unauthorized, power and control. This statement really defines the abuser.

You see it here in Saul. When confronted by Samuel for offering sacrifices he had no right to offer, Saul blamed first circumstances (not his fault) and then he blamed Samuel (again, not his fault). Saul was, in his thinking, justified in doing what he did.

And so it goes with the domestic abuser (and other types of abusers too). He rages at his target all evening long until she is beaten down and the children are hiding out of sight. And though later he may bring her flowers, he still believes he was entirely justified in doing this to her. And he will do it again in spite of any promises not to. After all, in the end he was just in what he did. She needed his raging punishment. Maybe he didn’t want to do it, but it had to be done, you know.

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Worship Me, or Else – The Abuser’s Command — Sermon by Ps Crippen

Worship Me, or Else – The Abuser’s Command
Sermon 2 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
Part 2 of a 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on August 1, 2010
Sermon Text:  Daniel 3

I would never in my wildest nightmares dream that my husband would ever abuse me, but he did. I took our two-month old son and fled after the 4th time my husband struck me. My husband is a Christian, but his rage at things was unreal and it doesn’t take much to end a human life when one is in an uncontrollable rage. I received counsel that it was my duty to stay and suffer for Jesus’ sake…I stayed with him then, misapplying Scriptures of how I was to act. I accepted what he did or didn’t do and just tried to work on me, doing what was right.

I was beaten and emotionally abused by my ex-husband. I left for six months, but when he saw a counselor and promised reform, I returned. I was not beaten after the return, but I found that my 4-year old daughter was – and sexually abused by him as well. The pastor I spoke to, the counselor I saw, the family doctor – all Christians – preferred to believe that I was lying, or at least to blame for the trouble. Even his divorce lawyer (another Christian) condemned my soul to hell because of my hardhearted refusal to try still another reconciliation.

Even now, seven years later, no one believes the story. And at this moment he has my daughter, thanks to a court order and gross misunderstanding of a letter she wrote to [a nationally known counselor]…My daughter, now 11, is reduced to the almost suicidal state I was in. She desperately wants out.

I did not leave until after his third murder attempt on me and still I believed in a reconciliation. I kept thinking that if I would do right things, he wouldn’t get angry. He never even admitted abuse. Our marriage was so ‘perfect’ on the outside that few people believed that I had been abused.

It’s been 4 months since my husband was removed from our home by police, and most people who know about it just pass judgment on me. You don’ t know what it’s like to wake up at 3 AM with your husband standing over you, not talking, not doing anything, just staring at you. You don’t know how guilty you feel or just plain confused when people you love don’t help or won’ t get involved. You don’t know my fears as a mother of three boys, of beginning to lose the respect of my sons. I can still hear my husband screaming at me, ‘you’re a Christian and God wants us together. You leave me and nothing will go right in your life forever.” [Battered into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home; by James and Phyllis Alsdurf]

Do those examples excite your interest in learning more about the psychology and methods of sin – particularly in relation to its evil desire for power and control over others? I hope that they do. Because it is my opinion that evangelical, conservative Christianity – our religion – has plenty of “dirty laundry” that needs exposure and cleaning. Evil men (and sometimes women) creep into our love feasts unnoticed –

 

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Sin of Abuse Exposed by the Light of Christ — Sermon by Ps Crippen

Sin of Abuse Exposed by the Light of Christ
Sermon 1 from the series: The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on July 25, 2010

3 John 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.

This morning we are beginning an intermission in our study of the Gospel of John to begin a series which I have been studying and preparing for in the past few months. This series has as its subject a very, very important topic that we simply cannot remain ignorant of. Let me introduce it to you by explaining how I came to it myself.

Last year, I began to ask myself if there might be some way that we as a church could become wiser in respect to the deceptions and schemes of the enemy. That is to say, I was asking the question “Are there some typical, characteristic, common warning signs that will help us more clearly and more readily see the enemy when he comes to us disguised in sheep’s clothing?”
Why was I asking this question? Because over the past years, this church has been assaulted numerous times (as has any true church) by divisive men, by men trying to introduce false doctrine, by men like Diotrophes who craved to be first in the church, and so on. And we expect that there will be more attacks in the future.

Now, at this point, you are probably asking – “Well, we have the Bible. It is sufficient for everything. Why look any place else?” And you are absolutely correct – the Bible is completely sufficient to make us wise with God’s wisdom. And in all the reading that I have been doing, inevitably as I discover some more things about the psychology and methods of sin, I find out that sure enough, these very things are indeed in the Bible – but I had not seen them nor really understood them yet. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for the Church to have older members who have served Christ for many, many years – because we grow in Christ’s wisdom and understanding as He teaches us through the years – often in the “classroom” of life.

For example – we have already heard this morning that one deed of the flesh is jealousy – that another is sensuality, and so on. But just what do these sins look like? Are they always really that easy to recognize? And I can tell you, they are not. Sin, by its very nature, is a lie. It is deceptive and dark and crafty. The serpent in Eden did not appear to be such a threat to Eve.

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The Quest for Power and Control – the Heart and Mind of the Abuser

3 John 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.

At the heart and in the mind of all abusers – be they domestic, sexual, or spiritual – is this profound mentality of entitlement to power and control. You see it in this Diotrephes who the Apostle John is going to take on. Diotrophes “likes to put himself first.” And so it is in an abusive marriage. The abuser is to be top dog, or else.

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