A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Sexual Issues: A Short-Term Model for Promoting Abuse in the Church

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

As most of our readers already know, we have huge issues with the book Sexual Issues: A Short-term Structured Model, written by Harold Wahking and Gene Zimmerman (Baker Books, 1994). This book lurks in Christian seminary libraries and we know that it has been used in a counseling course in at least one conservative seminary (Dallas Theological Seminary) as recently as March of this year.  Sexual Issues is just one volume in a 10-part collection with a series title Strategic Pastoral Counseling which claims to “map a new counseling game plan to help those in ministry accomplish more in fewer sessions.” Oh yes, it will certainly accomplish more. With that we agree. But none of it will be good. Other volumes in this mess include one on Understanding and Facilitating Forgiveness, and another entitled Marriage Conflicts. Both of those ought to be real jewels alright.

The man behind this entire series is one David G. Benner, described on the book fly as “a clinical psychologist and faculty member at Redeemer College.” He claims that these volumes will serve as “a step-by-step pastoral counseling model that facilitates spiritual growth and psychological wholeness.” This means then that the overall series in general, and this individual volume (Sexual Issues) claims to be written by Christians, for Christian pastors, to be used in Christian churches, supposedly from a Christian framework. Yet we find virtually nothing biblical or Christian in this volume. As we noted in our book review, and reiterated yesterday, the book recommends not reporting child sexual abuse as a valid option for the pastor if the father/perpetrator seems to be repentant and willing to go to counseling. That advice is illegal, unethical, and well, just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous.

But as I read further in the book, I found more appalling material that our readers need to know about. Why? Because wherever future pastors or counselors are being trained with books like Sexual Issues, abusers are going to be enabled and protected in our churches. Abuse victims will not be protected. In fact, what will happen is exactly what we are all seeing happen in churches — the very pattern that initiated this entire ministry of A Cry for Justice. Many of you have been on the receiving end of this pattern and you know firsthand how evil it is. We should not have to tell seminaries and seminary professors these things. They claim to be “in the know” as the ones competent to be training pastors of the church. Unfortuntely it is naive and dangerous for Christians to make such assumptions and cease holding them accountable.

So, as you read the following excerpt from the book, remember that this comes from authors who claim to be Christians, who claim to operate on a biblical foundation, from a book that is published by an allegedly Christian publisher, and which has been and very likely still is being used to train Christian leaders. But most importantly, compare what you read with the Word of God — with such verses as we have quoted at the beginning of this article. Be a Berean. What would Christ say to this fellow “Carl” who comes to his pastor for “advice”?
(NOTE: We could have picked from plenty of the other counseling scenarios in this book to give you examples of the unbiblical nature of this book. Just about wherever you throw a dart at this one, it will hit bad stuff).  My additional notes are inserted into brackets where I just couldn’t hold myself back–

I’m Just Not Ready to be Committed to Marriage

Sometimes we stray far from God’s ideal and at other times we get only into some shades of gray. In pastoring people in difficulty, one consideration is to assess how far from God’s ideal the individual is. Another consideration is to assess the readiness of the person to grow from confrontation. Narcissistic people, those who suffer from what the Bible calls ‘arrogant pride,’ will very often just break relationship with anyone who confronts them. [And boy, we all know we wouldn’t want a narcissist/abuser to run off and leave our church!] We can still help them by giving encouragement when we can and by asking questions that may help them confront themselves. The following all too typical pastoral counseling relationship illustrates this difficult task. [Yes, encouraging and asking questions is just what a guy like this Carl needs!]

Carl attended worship regularly and served on church projects at times [i.e., Carl claims to be a Christian and apparently is a member of this pastor’s church].  He was a talkative and outgoing person liked by everyone. He went through a very painful divorce and during his grief had some counseling sessions with his pastor. His ex-wife, he stated [the story according to Carl] was very inhibited, bossy, and critical, just like his mother. He became depressed; she got on his nerves. After 12 years of marriage he had an affair [well, hey, the poor man was driven to it by his inhibited wife who wouldn’t watch porn with him — ok, that’s my theory] . . . affair that lasted six or seven months. He broke it off without his wife finding out [i.e., he never repented]. A year later he had another affair, and when his wife learned of this, she divorced him [man, that woman was cold!].

As the pastor and Carl met one evening before a church committee meeting, the pastor asked, ‘Hey, Carl, how are you doing?’ Carl said that he was doing ok, but that he would like to talk to the pastor about something. He called later and they met in two days.

Carl: I sure feel a lot better now that I’m not married to Clara. I know divorce is wrong and all, but I was really miserable with her. And yet I just thought that was what a man was supposed to put up with. [We here at ACFJ are now shouting “abuserese!  That’s abuserese! This guy Carl is actively inviting the pastor to buddy with him man to man and justify his divorce.]

Pastor:  You missed out on a lot of joy, I believe.

Commentary by the Authors: [the book authors regularly insert commentary and ‘the Pastor’s silent reflections’ in these scenarios]. The pastor is in the Encounter Stage. He does not agree that Clara was a bad wife because Carl would interpret that to mean that the marital problems were all her fault. The pastor does affirm that Carl missed out on a lot of joy. [But notice that according to this model of counseling, the pastor must NOT tell Carl that he was the prime cause of the divorce! Carl might leave, and we just can’t have that!]

Carl: Yeah. She was never satisfied. I couldn’t please her. Well, I’ve met someone I like a lot. We’ve been dating a couple of months and she’s getting serious. Every time she mentions marriage, I panic a bit. [Abuser sign!]

Pastor: You were hurt so badly before that just talking about marriage makes you uneasy, is that it? [Poor, traumatized Carl! And this foolish pastor is spoon-feeding Carl self-justifying excuses!]

Carl:  Yeah, I mean, don’t you think I ought to take my time and not get married until I feel ready? [If Carl can get the pastor to agree to the ‘take your time before remarrying’ line, then he can quote the pastor’s words to his girlfriend to push back against her requests that they consider getting married.]

Pastor’s Silent Reflections: What is going on here? He’s met someone, that sounds okay. She is getting serious. He’s scared. That doesn’t quite warrant getting back into counseling. He doesn’t sound as if he’s grieving over Clara. He seems open with me, that’s good. [The pastor has naively swallowed Carl’s feigned honesty and transparency. This pastor is so naive he couldn’t recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing even if the sheep suit was on backwards!]  Theoretically he wants support from me to stay away from marriage until he feels ready. There is something else. I imagine he is sexually active with this woman, maybe that’s it. He’s not bringing that out though. Fears my confronting him?

Pastor: I agree that you do well to avoid getting into an agreement to marry when you are just not ready for marriage yet. How come the woman is pushing you to get married?

Commentary by the authors: The pastor asks an indirect question that still invites Carl to open up the issue if he’s ready. This is less confrontational than a direct question: ‘Are you having sex with her?’  [Yep, that’s how the Lord works with the wicked alright. Indirectly. Wouldn’t want to just out and say something like ‘Woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!’]

Carl: Well, she says she likes me a lot and she knows I like her. I guess we do love each other, some. And, well…she’s very sexy.

Pastor: So, if you are having sex together, that may explain part of her desire to get married.

CommentaryThe pastor does not accuse Carl of being sexual with the woman. He uses the word ‘if’ and then invites more sharing on a very important issue: understanding the woman he’s dating. [Because, you see, the Lord would never accuse a guy like Carl of sin or anything like that. Carl might get upset.]

Carl: yeah, I think so. I’ve been with three or four women now since the divorce, single women, you know, and as soon as sex starts they start talking marriage.

Pastor’s Silent Reflections: Carl is still very self-centered and shallow. He doesn’t experience women as whole persons, and yet he is so attractive that they are drawn to him anyway. If I could confront him about his shallowness or his having sex with three or four women over the last 18 months, he’ll get huffy and leave. The best I can do is to affirm him and then invite him to grow.

I have to stop there. The “session” goes on just like this and ends with the pastor saying “I’m happy we could talk man to man like this. Keep on growing and come by to share like this anytime.”

The best thing this pastor could do is resign from his pastorate and go let God’s Word straighten out his mind. Because obviously he ceased thinking biblically long ago, if he ever did. In fact, a pastor like this who deals with people like Carl in this manner may well not be a Christian himself.

What is Carl? Carl is a sociopathic abuser of women. Carl is a narcissist. Carl is a wolf in the midst of this pastor’s flock and this so-called “shepherd” is allowing the wolf to consume the sheep. Carl professes to be a Christian. Carl is a member of that church. Carl should immediately be confronted with his sin and due to its severity, the following Scripture should be applied to him so that the entire church will know and the women in the church protected:

1 Corinthians 5:1-7  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. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Anyone who thinks this is too harsh has no business being a pastor.

And any seminary or counseling professor who cannot immediately recognize that such a book as Sexual Issues is completely contrary to the Word of God and harmful to souls needs to consider closing up shop and sorting out when the discernment of God’s Spirit departed from them. Because they are Ichabod.

38 Comments

  1. Katy

    HALLELUJAH AMEN
    And all God’s sheep cried out for justice!
    This is EXACTLY what is wrong with the evangelical church in our age — lack of discernment and no understanding of God’s ways 😦 Instead of throwing the wolves out, the evangelical church turns around and beats up on the sheep: “Here’s yet another book hot off the presses with 50 more rules for living your life the Godly way, starting with women shall submit to all men and God hates divorce no matter what”
    😦
    God bless this ministry

  2. Ellie

    AMEN!

    My pastor would never behave like the coward in that scenario. And he’s respected for it! Praise God that there are still some true shepherds!

  3. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  4. hisbeloved

    “The best thing this pastor could do is resign from his pastorate and go let God’s Word straighten out his mind. ”

    Thank you Jeff- I needed to laugh out loud today!!! I’d love to give you a hug for this post- so EXCELLENT!!

  5. Heather2

    Yes… Ichabod….

    I imagine that Ichabod is multiplying like rabbits as a result!

  6. thepersistentwidow

    No wonder the church is so clueless concerning abuse. What kind of person could actually think that the dialogue from Sexual Issues would bring about any meaningful help? It is more like exercises in gullibility. And we have to come before people trained in this when we need help? No thanks, better to not go to the churches led by this thinking until they get educated in Scripture and abuse.

    If this seminary wants students to learn how to be biblically wise in dealing with abusers, they should be making Jeff and Barb’s books required texts.

  7. G. F. Mom

    This was a little long for me so I only read parts for now, but man!… sadly, I must admit… that naive Pastor sure sounds like me when giving advice to people I’m afraid to offend. I really need this I’ll go back a little later to read the whole thing.

  8. Annie

    Quite apart from the points you are making, Jeff, the style of questioning used by the pastor goes against what is commonly taught in psychology counseling courses. Of course, not all counselors are DV trained, even in secular circles. Non-DV aware counselling may not recognize the red flags of abuse and may not recommend the non-neutral stance of advocating for the abused, but in any case, when working with a client, the directive, closed style of questioning that is evident in the conversation above is not considered good counseling.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Annie. I didn’t know that. Good info.

  9. I am deeply disturbed to discover that a book published 20 years ago under my general editorship of a series of books on short-term pastoral counseling is being vilified as promoting sexual abuse within the church. The book, Sexual Issues: A Short-Term Structured Model was authored by Harold Waking and Gene Zimmerman (Baker Book House, 1994). It has been out of print for many years but continues to sell through used book outlets. In no way does this book promote abuse and the use of such inflammatory language on the part of this website is highly regrettable.

    If the book is in fact ambiguous on the matter of the need to report sexual abuse, it should no longer be used as a textbook in classrooms. As I no longer have a copy myself, I am not in a position to judge (and please do not send me quotes to document the matter.) Let me, however, clearly say that I have spent 40 years as a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of victims of sexual abuse and am intimately familiar with both the statutory requirement for reporting and the clinical importance of following these requirements. If the book was less than clear on this matter, since I had overall responsibility for the publication of the series in which it was included, I express my sincere regret. However, let me now make clear that abuse is intolerable and overlooking it should never be an option in responsible counseling or soul care – either pastoral or otherwise.

    David G. Benner, Ph.D.

    • Jeff Crippen

      So, Dr Benner – You don’t want us to confuse the issue by quoting from the book? This book promotes abuse in virtually EVERY way, and we will be publishing still another post quoting from it as another clear example of the kind of abuse that domestic violence victims are receiving at the hands of their churches and pastors. No, the book is not ambiguous. It is very clear. It presents not reporting as an option and encourages it. You don’t have a copy and aren’t in a position to judge, but we do have copies and we are judging it. Perhaps you could contact the authors and have them recant what they wrote? Because even though the book was published 20 years ago, it is still having its damaging effects. This book presents itself under the guise of Christianity. But it in no way is Christian. The soteriology presented in it is a rank denial of the gospel, as it validates people who choose to walk in sin as Christians. And my emphasis here is upon WALK in sin. Living in it. Habitually characterized by it. If that is your take on Christianity, then we serve a different Christ.

    • Ellie

      Dr. Benner,

      You said:

      “As I no longer have a copy myself, I am not in a position to judge (and please do not send me quotes to document the matter.)”

      If you are not in a position to judge, why even address the matter? Also, it seems that DTS is no longer using the book now. Perhaps you could get it from them. Please get in a position to judge before you reprimand someone for critiquing a book he HAS read that you either haven’t or don’t remember. We at ACFJ will continue to identify books that harm and oppress as well as books that help free the oppressed. We will read them and tell our readers what we learn. We want to equip the Church to help the hurting. If you would please take the time to read the scenarios quoted, I hope you’ll have a better understanding of why we’re opposed to them being taught to future ministers.

    • Dr Benner, thank you for taking the time to comment on this thread.

      I am glad you are intimately familiar with both the statutory requirement for reporting and the clinical importance of following these requirements.

      I am glad that you stated in your comment that abuse is intolerable and overlooking it should never be an option in responsible counseling or soul care – either pastoral or otherwise.

      I am glad you have acknowledged that your overall responsibility for the publication of the series means that you bear some responsibility for what all the books contained.

      I am dismayed that you can’t remember what the book Sexual Issues said about reporting sexual abuse. I am glad that you have expressed regret if the book was “less than clear” on the rights and wrongs of reporting sexual abuse. However, I am disappointed by your choice of words there. Very disappointed.

      Let me explain a bit more why I’m so disappointed. You will presumably quite familiar with the characteristics of evasive and minimizing language that is used by perpetrators of abuse and their allies and apologists. Since you don’t want to refresh you mind and verify for yourself what the book actually said, let’s just accept, for the sake this argument, that the book DID say what we reported it as having said. Would it be fair to describe the book as ‘less than clear’ on the requirements for reporting sexual abuse? I don’t think so. I think ‘less than clear’ is a euphemism at the very least. And I shall also call it weasel words.

      Yes, you may think I am being a bit coarse there, but Dr Benner, we are not talking just in ivory towers and tidy consuliting rooms here, we are taking about horrific abuse, suffered repeatedly, by many many people, and excused and discounted by many many other people. This is a matter of outrage. Please see our post Lundy Bancroft says the right outlook is outrage.

      I deny that our posts on this book have been ‘vilifying’ the book. I reject your choice of word there, and I find it unduly inflammatory and emotive.
      The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘vilify’ as ‘to speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner’. Yes, we have disparaged the book; it deserves to be disparaged. We have not done so abusively.

      The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘abuse’ as ‘Use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse; Treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly; Speak to (someone) in an insulting and offensive way’. We have not disparaged the book to bad effect or misused it; we have quoted it accurately, and we have spoken the truth about it — we hope to good effect, to the benefit of victims of abuse and those who may be counseling them. We have not treated anyone here or on other posts with cruelty or violence. If anyone feels insulted or offended by what we have written, we put to you that that person needs to listen to our message about this book and soften their hearts towards victims of abuse, and join us in the Cry for Justice.

      Please also see our definition of domestic abuse in the sidebar of this blog.

      By the way, it is a characteristic of domestic abusers (and I’m NOT accusing you of being one) that when their victim asks them to stop behaving so wickedly, they accuse the victim of abusing them. Hmm. Since virtually all of us at this blog have experienced abuse of some kind, we do not take well to having the label ‘abusive’ slapped on us unjustly.

      • Heather2

        Thank you, Barbara and Jeff, for your willingness to continue to expose those who would minimize the damage this book fosters and for holding Benner and DTS accountable!

    • hem hem readers. Check out Dr Benner’s website by clicking on his screen name.

      • Sarah

        That is disturbing. He isn’t actually a Christian but a New Age spiritualist blending Christian elements with occult and other religions, in the name of “tolerance” and “humility”. I read his most current blog and I was horrified to see him describe the Bible as “tired old scriptures”. He seems to think the centre and purpose of Christianity is truth and love. While those are important, they aren’t central. Christianity hangs on Jesus, on who He is and what He did. He is truth and love, but not just those things, He is way more than that. Personally I dont want to know Dr Benner’s version of God. I prefer the one I met in Jesus.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Sarah – Excellent words, thank you. Our research continues and we have already found another of Benner’s books presently and actively being used in counseling courses at still another supposedly conservative Christian seminary. We will be posting more articles soon exposing this for all to see. Yes, how is it that a New Age guru is being used to train “Christian” counselors? Surely this kind of thing has to be directly connected to the horrible treatment of abuse victims by their pastoral counselors in our churches.

      • Heather2

        I was alarmed by what I saw too!!!! Can we “cry wolf” loud enough?

      • Jeff Crippen

        Heather2 – we have more info coming about Benner and his books being used in these seminaries.

      • Heather2

        Jeff, I was blown away when I read about his contemplative connections. Keep the info coming!!!!! Apostates are abounding everywhere I have looked over the past decade. It shouldn’t be a surprise to those who discern and know the warnings in Scripture. But to see them now mingling has me stunned!

      • Jeff Crippen

        Heather2 – How many real Christians would want the seminaries who are training pastors for their churches to use books of any kind, let alone counseling books, written by David G. Benner who, by his own statement is a “Master Teacher” at The Rohr Institute/Center for Action and Contemplation. I mean, the newest Christian can spot the New Agey, “everyone is God’s child” nonsense in the blurbs from that website. Here’s taste:

        A distinct school of spiritual thought grounded in the Christian mystical tradition, the Rohr Institute’s Living School offers students exclusive access to learn directly from Fr. Richard Rohr, other core faculty, and invited master teachers. Fr. Richard is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province, and the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, now home of the Rohr Institute. An internationally recognized author and spiritual teacher, Fr. Richard serves as Academic Dean of the Living School.
        Strongly influenced by the Franciscan Alternative Orthodoxy and drawing further inspiration from the Perennial Tradition, the Living School provides a powerful learning platform that integrates theoretical and practical disciplines. The School combines online courses with on-site sessions to maximize the relationship between personal and communal practice and study.

        And some more-

        The world needs places that equip individuals to serve with compassion, acknowledging our differences while valuing our one-ness. The Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation provides such a course of study grounded in the Christian mystical tradition. Cultivating a contemplative mind through teachings and practices, students deepen their awareness of our common union with Divine Reality and all beings. Students emerge empowered to live out their sacred soul task in their homes, workplaces, and all relationships, within a more spacious stance that is at once critical, collaborative, and joyful.

        Apparently Covenant Seminary and others don’t have any problem with this non-Christian false gospel business.

      • Heather2

        Any seminary’s reading list will undoubtedly contain many contemplative resources. I have been keeping an eye on what they have been using as instruction for seminary students for at least the past ten years. In churches all one needs to do is scan their recommended books and reading lists. This is now all main stream. It is New Age and ecumenical. We are no longer just facing Seekers and Creekers, Emergents and Neo Calvinists. We are now looking smack dab in the eye of the reality of mainstream “Christianity.”

        What shocked me was the connection to abuse!!!!! Until The Lord returns we MUST continue to name names!

        Jeff, you and Barb are doing a service to so many! Thank you.

      • I would like to highlight this one point:

        students deepen their awareness of our common union with Divine Reality and all beings.

        So now we too are God, along with everyone else. Just like Neale Donald Walsh’s “God” said!

        And besides — “Divine Reality”? Really?

        So I did a Google search on Divine Reality and found it is used in both Bahai and Sufism. In fact, a Sufi named Lynn Salaam Silver said, “Sufism is about awakening to God’s reality NOW vs. the hereafter. The focus is on the experience of God rather than the intellectual understanding of God.” (Link available on request. I’m not comfortable putting it in here.)

        This about the experience of God rather than intellectual understanding is exactly what Benner said in his own account of how he got where he is. I’m assuming Jeff is going to go into what Benner said later so I won’t quote it here.

        This is some seriously bad stuff.

      • Ellie

        “students deepen their awareness of our common union with Divine Reality and all beings.”

        In other words, “Use the force, Luke.”

        No thanks.

      • Yes, Jeff is going to publish a post on Benner.

    • Forrest

      One question, Dr Benner… Did you become aware of the statutory requirement for reporting abuse before or after you supported a book that encourages pastors to believe that not reporting abuse is a valid option?

    • Saved by Grace

      Dr. Benner, you said “I express my sincere regret.” How does this make things right for those who have suffered horrendous abuse? This is abhorrent, unacceptable and UNGODLY.

      God says:

      Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (II Corinthians 7:10 NIV)

      How do your words on this blog correct, make right, what was written and published under your editorship 20 years ago? You say you have 40 years experience, how does your experience impact your words showing that “sincere regret” will make things right and comfort the abused?

      • I agree, Saved by Grace. Here’s another Bible passage. Benner and the DTS Counseling faculty, and any other seminaries that who approved that book should be confessing sin and asking forgiveness. Regret doesn’t cut it.

        This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say [or imply] we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10, ESV

    • “In the thought of one who is at ease, there is contempt for misfortune”
      Job 12:5a

      Dr Benner, does this apply to you?

  10. Katy

    As I no longer have a copy myself, I am not in a position to judge (and please do not send me quotes to document the matter.)

    YOU ARE KIDDING RIGHT? RIGHT?
    So…. you don’t want to actually read the book that was published under your “general editorship”?
    Glad to hear you (personally) understand the laws about reporting child abuse. So…I guess it’s “SUCKS TO BE YOU” for all the poor hapless souls who actually read this book in a counseling class and took it seriously and then further victimized others?

    I can’t even. . … I mean. . How do you reply to this sort of insanity?

  11. Furthermore, Dr Benner, I put to you that you are not taking into consideration how much pain and triggering would be caused to a survivor of sexual abuse who happened to read that book in a seminary or church library. Think for a moment about a victim of abuse who had reported the abuse to a pastor hoping that the abuse would stop, but instead found that the molester had been ‘given another chance’ and so the victim was further abused. How would this person feel, if she or he happened to read this book?

    There are survivors of child abuse going through seminaries and counseling training right now. And if they are anything like me, they will probably be quietly looking on library shelves for books that talk about child sexual abuse and what to do about it. And whoopsey do! They come across this book, read the offending paragraph, and are triggered back into PTSD flashbacks with racing heart and trembling frame.

    Dr Benner, for all your training and experience, do you understand this? Do you have any idea what that is like? Don’t you have any sympathy? Maybe you haven’t experienced this yourself — if so, praise God for your good fortune! But if you haven’t got ‘inside skin’ empathy with us, why not at least listen to our claims and our perspective — and take us seriously?

  12. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir and commented:
    This helps explain why victims are not being supported by their churches…

  13. Barnabasintraining

    If I could confront him about his shallowness or his having sex with three or four women over the last 18 months, he’ll get huffy and leave. The best I can do is to affirm him and then invite him to grow.

    Well. OK. It appears I have met with defeat.

    I would like to say something to this. Really I would. But I have been reduced to No Words. 😦

    It’s just like that. No Words. 😦

  14. cindy burrell

    I loved your commentary, Jeff. I was thinking the same things and found myself gasping in horror as I read.

    You go!

  15. Wemmick Girl Saved by Grace

    Well. This explains so much. I felt nauseated reading it. Thank you for exposing what is being taught at the top.

    • Not Alone

      Precisely, Wemmick Girl. And Katy is very on pointe as well. Thank you Ps Crippen.

  16. Just got caught up on this one. Wowee. Jeff, you made me laugh out loud, and then the book made my jaw drop. “If I could confront him about his shallowness or his having sex with three or four women over the last 18 months, he’ll get huffy and leave. The best I can do is to affirm him and then invite him to grow.” Seriously?? This book was written, remember, back in 1994. Is this the reason that now, in 2017, Christian women in the 30-something singles crowd are being told that oral sex on the first or second date is just expected? Oh, well, shrug the shoulders and just “affirm” him. If there isn’t a course correction after that paragraph in the book, it sounds diabolical.

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