Christian Authors and Ministries in our Hall of Blind Guides
We are not making any personal aspersions or accusations against the character of any person or organization listed here. We are simply announcing that this list represents well known organizations, theologians, pastors, counselors and others who are in our opinion, not safe resources for abuse victims.
Jay Adams, author, “father” of nouthetic counseling
While Adams’ position on divorce for abuse may be better than others, we cannot recommend him or nouthetic counseling for abuse victims.
Neil Anderson and Freedom In Christ ministry
Theologically, there is some concern about doctrinal confusion in Anderson’s approach. He speaks of “soul ties” and various concepts popular in the church that don’t appear to have scriptural underpinning. While there is no doubt in the minds of many abuse survivors that satanic oppression and influence occur in an abuser, some of the cure Anderson proposes isn’t scriptural rather, it is popular inner-healing methods that produce much trauma in some of those that get taken in by it. And we are cautious about any teaching (and Anderson’s may be one such teaching) which emphasizes the demonic and supernatural but fails to address the non-supernatural that is the bread and butter of abusers’ tactics. The abuser typically chooses and selects, in his own flesh, the tactics of abuse and coercive control he uses against his target. Any teacher on demonization who does not understand the mindset of entitlement which abusers cultivate, will not be equipped to provide balanced and wise help to domestic abusers or their targets.
Voddie Baucham, pastor and author
Like John Piper, Baucham is a permanence view teacher.
Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF)
We believe that while CCEF is teaching and writing about how to respond to domestic abuse, as yet their teaching still has so many flaws and gaps that we do not recommend it.
Day One Publications (in the U.K.)
Day One has published a “Help!” series in small booklet form. Titles include Help! Someone I Love Has Been Abused, and Help! I Can’t Forgive,and Help! I Can’t Submit to My Husband, and others. As with most such material there is some good in these, but they contain enough serious error that we have to place them on this list. The Editor is Dr. Paul Tautges, a NANC counselor and pastor. The booklet on submission to husbands, by Glenda Hotton, cites as references such notorious works as Nancy DeMoss’ Lies Women Believe, Elizabeth Rice Hanford’s Me? Obey Him? and John Piper.
Mark Driscoll, former pastor of Mars Hills, Seattle, Washington
Driscoll’s bullying style in addition to his teaching content earns him a definite place on this page.
Faith Trust Institute & Marie Fortune
Faith Trust Institute is known for having resources on domestic and sexual abuse, but it has liberal theology, and the founder of the Institute, Marie Fortune, is an openly practicing lesbian (see links below).
Family Life’s Men Stepping Up (mensteppingup.com)
Why is this program on the list? Because it includes presentations by Voddie Baucham and Mark Driscoll.
Focus on the Family
While Focus on the Family has made some good statements about abuse of late, we still do not believe that they are ready to be given our confidence. We will still not refer abuse victims to them.
Dr. Williard F. Harley, Jr.,
Founder of Marriage Builders and author of His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair-proof Marriage, made me recite in front of my emotionally abusive spouse, “I am responsible for creating the conditions that allow my spouse to love me,” (also had my husband say this). And when I told him that my spouse dominates decision making, he said, ‘Well, are you ever inconsiderate? So, you both need to work on your part,’ ignoring that I am acting in response to years of mistreatment. He denies any emotional abuse as being one sided — thinks that both must be equally abusive and “just do your part”. He repeatedly ignored me when I told him signs of emotional abuse and financial control, etc. (This was the personal experience of one of our readers who wishes to remain anonymous.)
Paul Hegstrom and Life Skills International
We are not willing to endorse Paul Hegstrom’s books, movie, or his program Life Skills International (or the other programs and books which LSI seems to have sprouted, which seem to be set up by people who model their programs on Hegstrom’s example). We are not convinced that Hegstrom’s approach is fully sound. See our post that explains our concerns.
John MacArthur, Jr., pastor, author
MacArthur has consistently denied that abuse is grounds for divorce.
Nouthetic Counselors (formerly called NANC, now ACBC – Association of Certified Biblical Counselors)
While you may come across a counselor trained by the national association of nouthetic counselors that understands abuse, more often than not we believe that nouthetic counseling is ill advised for cases of abuse. We believe it is too simplistic and certainly can cause damage to PTSD sufferers, as we see it.
Started by Ken Sande in 1982, this organization’s materials and philosophy do not adequately consider the abuse scenario. (They have stated in writing that they have no policy on domestic abuse.) As a result, victims can be harmed and abusers enabled by this approach. Sande’s well-known book The Peacemaker, is in our opinion biblically inaccurate particularly in its treatment of the subject of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Learn about Persistent Widow’s experience with Peacemakers at this post: The Nightmare of Peacemakers Mediation for Domestic Abuse: Part 2 of Persistent Widow’s story
Barbara Mouser, author
She and her husband are the directors of the International Council for Gender Studies (ICGS). She is the author of Five Aspects of Woman (A Biblical Theology of Femininity)
Michael and Debi Pearl, authors
The Pearls’ patriarchy wins them a place on our list.
John Piper, pastor and author
Piper is well-known to readers of this blog as a teacher of the permanence view of marriage. That means no divorce for any reason ever as long as one’s spouse is still living. More about Piper’s false teaching can be found at this post: John Piper’s Divorce Doctrine: Opinion Turned Into God’s Law. For still more information about Piper, we have a tag called John Piper. It can be found on the top menu under TAGS.
Once more, it is patriarchy among numerous other teachings which we believe to be unbiblical that places Philips and the former Vision Forum crowd on this list.
Jenny Bolt Price, iwokeupyesterday.com
a pastor’s wife and life coach in south Florida, Price’s blog contains articles that would lead an abuse victim down a very wrong path.
Lou Priolo founder and president of Competent to Counsel
Priolo acted appalled that I didn’t want to be married anymore even before getting any details. He said something like: ‘Why would you expect that your kids won’t be bitter at you if you are bitter at your husband? You need to apologize to your kids for your marriage.’ His tone was very rude so I never contacted him again. (This was the personal experience of one of our readers who wishes to remain anonymous.)
Gary Thomas, pastor and author
Thomas is placed on this list as a result of his blog article, “Why Men Don’t Change”. This article denies the reality of the new birth and maintains that a man can be a Christian and keep abusing his wife.
Douglas Wilson, pastor (Christ Church, Moscow, ID) and author
Wilson’s patriarchal views qualify him for the Hall. The association he belongs to is the Communion of Reformed Evangelicals (CREC).
2equal1 International (combined ministries of Nova Shalom, Marriage Ministries International and University of the Family)
U.S. Directors: Mike and Marilyn Philipps
Australia Directors: Ian and Jan Watts
This ministry is based on the unbiblical concept that a covenant is forever binding and God expects couples who take a vow to keep that vow “even to (one’s) own hurt.” And a divorced person can’t remarry because God is holding you to your vow. This concept is damaging and harmful to abuse victims.
Note: There are other ministries that follow the 2equal1 materials though they may have different names. One such example is the: standforyourmarriage.org website.
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Revive Our Hearts women’s ministry
DeMoss’ programs and books have evidenced that DeMoss is quite uninformed as the nature and tactics of abuse. The advice to abuse victims she provides has frequently been very deficient.