A Cry For Justice

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

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. 

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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.

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.

Peacemakers Ministries

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.

 Douglas Philips

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.

 

14 Comments

  1. Sandra

    Wondering if you were going to send a friend to get certified in biblical counseling/counseling what would you reccommend? Do you consider CCEF good material?

    • Sandra

      I do see there is a difference between “biblical” counseling vs. “christian” counseling, I would say more interestd in christian counseling

    • Jeff Crippen

      Hi Sandra – No, I do not see CCEF as good material. If I were going to become a counselor by vocation, I would first be certain I had a solid, sound knowledge of the Scriptures (something not easy to obtain nowadays). I would then find a college or university that offers a degree in counseling (it may very well be a secular university) so that I could become professionally certified and thereby able to counsel full time as my vocation. Yes, I know that would expose me to erroneous non-Christian notions about man, counseling, and so on. Thus the pre-requisite of having a sound foundation in Scripture first. But frankly I think that there is a lot of positive data I would learn in such a program and I would weed out the rest. As for counseling as a layman in the field of abuse, I would go to the resources page of this blog and read, read, read. I simply do not know of a biblical counseling program I would send anyone to.

      • Sandra

        Thank you Jeff

    • Sandra, Dr Diane Langberg and Dr Phil Monroe teach counseling at Biblical Seminary. I can’t speak for that seminary overall, but I do admire the work of Diane and Phil, so you might like to investigate the courses they offer. I’m not saying that others at Biblical Seminary are not good, it’s just that I don’t know about them, I only know about Diane and Phil.
      Diane and Phil are both aware of our blog and respect our work.

      On this page of our Resources section https://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/training-materials/ we have links to material by Diane and Phil.

    • also Sandra, you or your friend might like to read our posts tagged CCEF as they give a good picture of why we don’t recommend CCEF.

  2. keeningforthedawn

    Just a note: there has been a name change since this was posted. Nancy Leigh DeMoss recently married (November 2015) and is now using the name Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (and/or Nancy Wolgemuth). Both her maiden and married names are now associated with her teaching.

  3. kind of anonymous

    How about Psychoheresy Aware Ministries/the Bobgans? I noticed that they believe that if you go for counselling and you tell how you are being treated by someone else, that you are guilty of “evil speaking” behind that persons’s back. They seem to regard all counselling as a form of evil speaking and believe that the other person should be there if you are making allegations. As if someone who is sinning by abusing someone else is always going to admit to their sin.

    • I remember the name Bobgans from years ago when I was in classical pentecostal circles. I formed the view then that their teaching was wrong. Yes, we would put their ministry on the list of blind guides.

  4. 3blossommom

    When my husband first was shown to be serially unfaithful and what I now know is emotionally abusive, almost everyone of these authors were who we, and those in the church who were working with him, turned to. He was helped, I was his submissive doormat and all of the abuse compounded. I am so sad, and at times very angry, about that. I was sure if I just did what these people said then my marriage would be good. We are a homeschool family and I am beginning to see just how many authors within that community endanger women with their writing.

  5. Annie

    My former church posted a CCEF event coming up so I came here to find out your opinion of that organization but did not find it in the list of “blind leading blind”; however, as I scrolled down and took a look at the comments I found a post by Jeff:

    Jeff posted above>>>Hi Sandra – No, I do not see CCEF as good material.

    For ease of research, could you add CCEF to the list in the blog?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Annie, we have a tag for CCEF which contains all the posts we’ve written about them. But it’s a reasonable idea to put the on our Hall of Blind Guides too, because we believe that while they are teaching and writing about how to respond to domestic abuse, as yet their teaching still has so many flaws and gaps that we would not recommend it. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Here is our tag for CCEF

  6. Yet

    I’m guessing Family Life would be on here too. Probably good for a shakey marriage but not an abusive one. My husband who I am currently separated from due to emotional abuse sends me family life devotionals all the time. One of them lightly touched on infidelity and specifically said “physical abuse” in one sentence before moving on. And it made me so angry because that word physical should never be placed there — abuse is abuse and I don’t need a black eye to name it as such. Sometimes I want to e-mail them and explain myself and then I realize how ineffective that would really be. I know it was more cause for him to be justified in his actions and he used his religiosity yet again — why did they have to specify physical abuse and not just put abuse (it wouldn’t change anything but it would’ve been good to see).

    Another one that was left in the car for me to read was about how an army captain stands his ground and how you should fight hard for your marriage and never give up. Yes, in retrospect these are good things but when it comes to abuse this is a very dangerous mentality because the abuser always pushes and pushes and fights. It is like a captain who has gone mad with control.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yet – very good observations. Actually if we stop and think even briefly, these claims don’t even make sense. “Physical” as an adjective, as if the ONLY way you can abuse anyone is to punch them in the face. And then that business of the army guy and fighting hard for your marriage. Fight for your marriage? What does that even mean? “You hate me and abuse me terribly, but this marriage thing is worth fighting for so I am going to fight you so we can stay married and…..”. How ludicrous!!

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