GEMS — Great Quotes
“Counseling a woman to be a better wife when her husband is abusing her is like telling a sheep to be tastier when a wolf wants to bite it.” (an anonymous ACFJ FB reader)
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“Victims of coercive control are vulnerable, but not because they are weak, character-deficient, or mentally unwell. They are vulnerable because they have been groomed.
The impact of the control on the victim is devastating. She exists in a constant state of fear that she has not moderated her behavior sufficiently to avert catastrophe for herself and her children. Her fear is real and not imagined, as it is based on a realistic appraisal of the perpetrator’s capabilities. ” ”Seeing What is ‘Invisible in Plain Sight’: Policing Coercive Control,” by Cassandra Wiener, Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
“Well-crafted damage control is not repentance. It takes discernment to know the difference.” (Garris Elkins)
“Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom? Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin. The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will before long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom.” [Devotional Classics of C.H. Surgeon, April 2 Morning]
Psalm 55:21 — The words of his mouth were smoother than butter.
“He lauded and larded the man he hoped to devour. He buttered him with flattery and then battered him with malice. Beware of a man who has too much honey on his tongue; a trap is to be suspected where the bait is so tempting. Soft, smooth, oily words are most plentiful where truth and sincerity are most scarce. But war was in his heart. He brought forth butter in a lordly dish, but he had a tent pin ready for the temples of his guest. When heart and lip so widely differ, the man is a monster, and those whom he assails are afflicted indeed. His words were softer than oil. Nothing could be more unctuous and fluent, there were no objectionable syllables, no jars or discords, his words were as yielding as the best juice of the olive; yet were they drawn swords, rapiers unsheathed, weapons brandished for the fray. Ah! base wretch, to be cajoling your victim while intending to devour him! entrapping him as if he were but a beast of prey; surely, such art thou thyself.” [Exposition of Psalm 55 by Charles H. Spurgeon]
Researchers have shown that mental health services rarely ask about domestic violence, despite the fact that 20 to 50 percent of mental health clients are victims or perpetrators of domestic violence; and that domestic violence is present in one quarter of female suicide attempts and in at least one third cases of female alcoholism; and that it is a major factor in drug abuse and female depression. [Women at Risk: Domestic Violence and women’s health, (Eds, E Stark & A Flitcraft) pp 157-191]
According to Judith Herman, the diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ is often used in mental health services as ‘little more than a sophisticated insult’. [See her book Trauma and Recovery, p 123]
“The short path to heresy is not in denying biblical teaching. The short path to heresy is just in affirming part of biblical teaching. Honing in on a verse, honing in on an idea, and trying to let that be the be all and end all of your theology. But the orthodox fathers said no no no, we can’t do that! Scripture can’t function as our supreme authority unless it’s the total message of scripture that’s our authority.” [by Scott Swain, God from God, Light from Light: Retrieving the Doctrine of Eternal Generation (21:12 in the audio)]
“All the abusive parent has done to deceive us and our children comes with a cost. A price too high to pay. One day our children will see that all the goodies have come with a payback plan that they did not sign up for. They will see that the job they were given, comes with a chain. They will learn that when an abuser gives, it is because they plan to take. The abuser is storing up his treasure and intends to cash in one day.” (IAmMyBeloveds)
“…it would be better for robbers to remain in the wood and there to kill strangers, than to entice guests to their houses and to kill them there and to plunder them under the pretext of hospitality. This is the way in which you act; for ye destroy the bond of marriage, and ye afterwards deceive your miserable wives, and yet ye force them by your tyranny to continue at your houses, and thus ye torment your miserable wives, who might have enjoyed their freedom, if divorce had been granted them.” (John Calvin on Mal. 2:16)
“The goats in the church have well-trained the church at large to ignore the signs and to ignore the verses and obligations that would inconvenience or unsettle the goats.” [Misti]
“It is true that love keeps no record of wrongs, but insanity forgets repeated abuse.” [‘J’]
“The one common denominator of all destructive relationship: Your spouse doesn’t take responsibility for his behavior — Ever.” [Natalie Klejwa]
“An abused woman’s worst enemies are often other women with big mouths and small minds.” [Mary from our Facebook page]
“The hardship that comes with leaving the abuser is what “suffering for Christ” is, rather than staying and “suffering for evil.” [Surviving Freedom]
“I used to think that misogyny was fundamentally some creation of ungodly, Christ-hating feminists. Really. That is the party line I was taught. But ultimately that explanation deteriorated as I experienced evil abuse myself by men (and some women) who held to that dogma. I came to realize that the fact is that in the church (and in the world) there are many who claim to know Christ but who have created a hierarchy of power that oppresses those without power. And so often those who are oppressed are women, and those who stand with them. I came to see that the wicked men (and the women who were their allies) in fact held and disseminated a view of women that saw them as inferior beings who if it weren’t for sex, men would be better off without.” [Pastor Jeff Crippen]
“The thought crossed my mind that proven, even divorced abusers, should wear a scarlet letter to warn future brides so they don’t make a mistake. If you are not familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, his heroine was required to wear a large scarlet A because she had had a baby out of wedlock. “A” would do for abusers as well as adulterers.” (Ann)
“Tough love is true love. Our Christian culture is hyper-grace or perhaps grace on steroids but there is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts or enabling grievous ones. Courageous Christians must recognize and enforce boundaries – not just God’s boundaries (the law), but their own boundaries as well. Boundaries define love and peace. Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Carrie Truelove)
“And many of these women, after the LORD God lifts the fog created by their abuser, courageously takes the step to escape, rescue their children, and charge forward through a maze of legal and ecclesiastical challenges. The battles are raging, and yet our Savior leads and guides them and provides for all their needs. These are some of the courageous believers, of whom the weak and cowardly are not worthy.” [an anonymous ACFJ reader]
“And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.” [C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle: The Chronicles of Narnia]
“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” [Frederick Douglass]
“Truthfulness was of no value to her, but believability was of value in manipulating situations and relationships to her advantage. Trustworthiness was of no value to her, but trust was of value.
“So truth was only of value to the extent that it made her more believable to those she was trying to manipulate. Her lies included enough truth for credibility.
“In fact one of her favorite tactics was to present actual facts in such a twisted manner as to intentionally draw the listener to a completely false conclusion. It made it very hard to refute what she was saying despite the fact that it was a lie…and made it very easy for her to act totally offended that anyone would dare disbelieve her.” [Joe Pote, writing about his abusive ex-wife]
“To be believed is the most precious gift when you have been abused. Freedom from hell on earth follows. It’s why many of us are out and even alive today.” [Deborah]
“Part of being abused is having that part of you that can resist ‘dis-abled’ by the abuser through lies, manipulation, destruction of boundaries.” [Savedbygrace, taken from her comment on the blog]
“What the abuser considers control is when someone says no to him or attempts to hold him responsible for something he’s done.” [KayE, taken from her comment on the blog]
“I think that at some point, as victims of abuse, we learned to view ourselves through the abuser’s eyes and not God’s eyes. God has used this heinous process to open my eyes to that and change it. I no longer see God viewing me, like the abuser views me. I am now once again able to see God viewing me, as His Word says He views me – and let me tell you something folks – that is nothing but good. Good, good, good.” [IamMyBeloved’s, taken from her comment on the blog]
Hosea 6:6, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
This Bible verse, how many times have you heard it quoted in church? It is often used to make those of us with a heart for the Lord, come to heel. Mercy, mercy, empathy, mercy! Give it up! Show us who has a conscience so we can rape you! It’s our right! These evil ones throw us into the fire. They sacrifice our hearts, minds, bodies and souls on the fire so that they can keep the status quo. But those of us who belong to Jesus don’t do anything alone. And when they chuck us onto the pyre, they are actually throwing Jesus in our place. They are sinning against God.
Evil is real and very active. It comes in human form. As others have stated, most of us had no idea what it even looked like, so initially we embraced it and called it good. But as we now know there is a world of difference between thinking something is good and it actually BEING good and once we have been shown the difference through God’s work in our life and through his Word, we no longer accept evil as good. Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” [from an anonymous ACFJ commenter]
‘When the line has been crossed over into real abuse, the rules change and do a 180.’
I learned that from a child abduction and security expert when he was on a talk show. The situation that security expert gave as an examples was ” (paraphrasing): “We teach our children to be behaved and polite in public. This is a good thing when they are with loving, safe, and protective adults. If they’ve been abducted, or are in any danger, teach them the rules completely change. If they’ve even brought to a grocery store, then start pulling boxes off the shelves and making a mess. . .anything to bring attention from other adults who could help.”
This is a simple, simple proviso for victims of abuse, and all pastors and counselors should be taught it. It is also something all kindergartners should be taught. [comment posted on Facebook by Danna Wright]
You can lead an abuser to God’s mercy, but you can’t make him drink. [Pastor Jeff Crippen]
A MARRIAGE TO AN ABUSER DOES NOT NEED TO BE FIXED — IT NEEDS TO BE ENDED. [Pastor Jeff Crippen]
Martin Luther said about marriages where one spouse believes they are entitled to mistreat the other spouse:
“. . . Sometimes there is no hope for improvement, or the reconciliation of the guilty one and his restoration to good graces is followed only by his abuse of this kindness. He persists in his flagrant and loose behavior and takes it for granted that he is entitled to be spared and forgiven. I would not advise or prescribe mercy for a person like that; rather I would help to have such a person flogged or jailed. For one oversight is still pardonable, but a sin that takes mercy and forgiveness for granted is intolerable.” [Luther, M. (1999, c1956). Vol. 21: Luther’s works, vol. 21 : The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (21:92). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House]
“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 19:2b)
Victims deserve to be consoled with the truth that God hates a certain kind of marriage – the kind of marriage that profanes his name due to false vows. [Pastor Dietrich Wichmann]
“True story. My brother bought a flipped house with structural issues. He thought they were minor and it was such a cute house. A couple of years later, the dining room floor starts to sink. He calls me, a designer in an architecture firm, and my husband an engineer. We visit, crawl around in the crawl space, and develop a plan that involves hydrolic jacks, pulling out the dining room floor and sub-floor, pouring footings for new columns, sistering up beams, etc. We, now including our dad and second brother, even offer our vacation time to help provide the man power to make it a DIY job – very limited budget. My brother, who admits he has a tendency to take the easy way out, chooses not to do it, and figures out how to install a new hardwood floor so that it hides the imperfections. Meanwhile, the house is still sinking on one side. A year later, he calls me again, now the second floor is starting to separate. I explain that the new floor must now be torn out before this work can be done. “But I don’t want to ruin my beautiful floor, that was a lot of work and expensive” he says. I explain that when the beams are lifted and reinforced the new floor is going to buckle and probably splinter, the only way to salvage the new floor is to gently tear it out first. He is now trying to sell the house.
The point… it is possible to do incredible RENOVATION (not restoration) work. In this case the house was built on sand, with improper footings. It’s possible to correct, but involves lots of work. You cannot legally renovate a house without the owner’s permission (and usually their financing too). If the owner insists on only doing cosmetic work, then the problem will remain. It will temporarily look better, until the problem rears its ugly head again, usually worse than before. Now of course the city can get involved and condemn a house… but even that doesn’t guarantee that the owner will address the issues.” [from ACFJ reader, ESR]
“Though true repentance is never too late, yet late repentance is seldom true.” [Thomas Brooks]
‘My husband very carefully drew the line at hitting me, because he knew that was the only abuse people care about.” [see more at http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/09/12/whyistayed-churches-support-spousal-abuse/#comment-11564 ]
“I call it ‘putting the light out’. When I or the children got sparkly-eyed and excited about something, or wanted something, he had to put out the light, he couldn’t stand it. They like you weak.” [from ACFJ reader, Sunflower]
Candy-Cliche talks to her friend Sally-Survivor-of-Abuse. The abuser was Sally’s father. Sally has decided to not communicate with her father unless he recognizes and makes amends for the pain he caused her.
Candy: “We just need to love him to the throne.”
Sally: Is that what God does? Does He love us to the throne?”
Candy: “That’s a good question.” She thinks for a moment and then continues, “No, He convicts us. He convicts us so we see who we really are and feel like crap and then we come to Him.” [based on an actual event. compiled by Barbara Roberts]
“Domestic abuse perpetrators who visibly show remorse change at about the same rate as those who don’t.” — that’s what the experts who work with abusive men tell us. [by God Loves Women]
The Gospel should be pronounced to ‘crushed’ sinners. The Law should be pronounced to ‘secure’ sinners. [C.F.W. Walther, Lutheran theologian, link]
‘When I finally got to the point when I could ask myself, “what is the endgame here?”, I realized it was either total control, or, absent that, it was to destroy me, my kids, my family. Neither option was acceptable; I no longer wanted to live like that. I chose to accept reality, to get out, go NC and make no apologies. My abuser had worked overtime to smear, slander & build allies. So I went completely silent, refused to respond to emails, accusations, gifts, cards, threats, pleas and lies. i just went completely “off the grid”: I blocked email, phone numbers, etc. Any cards or gifts went into the trash, unopened. I will never forget one pastor who asked me if I was “ready to compromise yet?”. I answered that “I will never compromise the truth”. That pastor was more interested in appeasement than truth. It was hard, especially the first year, but I am alive and well. I will never go back to that life. Never. Ever.’ [from ACFJ reader]
Philippians 4:8 in a discussion about abuse: Finally, brothers, whatever is:
revealing truth, exposing lies, false doctrine, and hypocrisy
Staying the course, not backing down, not being swayed through intimidation. Not by abusers, not by their enablers. Protecting the innocent and vulnerable. Standing up to bullies. Choosing not to remain naive. Choosing instead to bear the reproach of the oppressed, and all of its discomfort.
Recognizing what is just and what is unjust, and crying out for justice.
Seeing those who have been abused and manipulated as God sees them. Through the pure lens of empathy and compassion, not the muddled lens of tradition and bias.
Creating a safe place for victims, and sharing the burdens of hurting souls.
Giving the downtrodden a voice, shouting it from the rooftops.
Biblical studies (in context).
Worthy of Praise
Things which are done with the heart of Christ are worthy of praise. I believe all of the above fits that.
…think about these things.
[by Randy Stephenson, a commenter on ACFJ]
“I was told by my husband when I said ‘you know you abused me’–he replied ‘they were abusive acts’, not abuse.” [from a reader]
“I often tell our guys [in the Behavior Change Groups we run] that changing behavior without a change of heart is like taking all the apples off an apple tree, stapling bananas in their place and saying, ‘Look at my beautiful banana tree!’ Give it time, the apples always come back. The heart of violence must be uprooted.” [Rev. Chris Moles]
“You cannot wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.” [comment posted on our FB post]
“My abuser told me I got my revenge by simply leaving. I could’ve done some bad things on the way out, but I would rather see what God does with it. He did more than I ever could have.” [comment posted on our FB post]
“Here’s a simple rule: If it’s simply impossible to see genuine love and concern in your therapist’s proposal for your healing and well-being, it’s probably unholy.” [Dr. George Simon, Getting the Right Kind of Help Part 2]
Job suffered greatly. His suffering was not due to his own sins, but his friends insisted it was. He answered them like this: I will never affirm that you are right. I will maintain my integrity until I die. I will cling to my righteousness and never let it go. My conscience will not accuse [me] as long as I live! (Job 27:5-6 HCSB)
“We think we love them, but in truth, we love our own fantasy of who we want them to be. They can never be that person! Never, ever! But we keep trying. We believe what the Bible says about love never failing. But we have taken it out of context. And we then become our own stumbling block.” [Nicola, blog reader]
“Our current context of exploding mega-ministries has shown us the dangers which surround any man who, absent the checks and balances of any affiliation, owns the loyalties of an expanding group. Few if any can resist the temptation to become a modern-day Diotrophes who wants to be first.”
“In a context in which personal loyalty to the leader is the glue that holds a church or a school together, disloyalty is the chief sin and the main target of discipline.” [Anon]
“It takes two to tango.” UGH. I hate that saying! As a ballroom dancer it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me to hear that misquoted. Both people have to know their steps for the dance to look good but ONLY ONE person can screw up the dance by not practicing the steps enough or refusing to move their feet! (Or even worse, purposely trying to trip you!) Don’t even get me started on how the man is supposed to lovingly and firmly lead!! (And, yes, the woman should gracefully follow but she can only do so if she trusts that the man is not going to dance her right into a brick wall.) One of the reasons I love ballroom dance is because, to me, it is symbolic of the way God created a marriage to be when it is healthy. [by a survivor, calling herself ‘Wondering’, who left this comment at Leslie Vernick’s blog.]
Forgiveness means turning over to God any supposed right for making the perpetrator pay for his crime or other wrongdoing, releasing us from anger and a vengeful spirit. It does not require trust or the reestablishment of a relationship, which are separate issues. Neither does it absolve a perpetrator from having to face the criminal justice system and paying a civil penalty. (from a reader of our ACFJ Facebook page]
A battered reed he will not break off, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he leads justice to victory.
So why do some churches break the reeds and snuff the wicks? [from a reader of our ACFJ Facebook page]
We must start saying from the pulpits: Abuse is a matter for the Law and the sooner churches start saying in the pulpit, ‘men who harm women in their congregations, will be reported to the Law, turned over to the courts of men, because such behavior is not becoming of a believer…if you want to be treated like a believer, behave like one toward the weaker vessel…or else, the courts of the world will deal with you as the reprobate you have shown yourself to be!’ [from ACFJ Reader, MrsMomtoSix]
If the Church is to put abusers out (1 Cor.5:11-13), then WE as spouses and parents, are most certainly allowed — even commanded — to put them out of our homes, because WE are the Church, the body of believers. The Church is not a building, it is the people that fill the building. But instead we are admonished to sleep with the enemy by staying married and continuing to be a “biblical wife” to our abusers. [I am my Beloved’s, Fifty and Free, and Barbara Roberts, from here]
“How valuable is truth to you and how much do you really trust that God is COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY righteous, and not just conveniently so because YOU need an answer now? I address that question to those outside the situation: pastors, counselors, friends, etc. Are you willing to wait for God to speak, like Habbakuk did, or are you going to put words in His mouth like the false prophets did? Are you going to wait until you see His righteousness IN TOTAL and not just try to cram the information into the box that reads “God hates divorce” as if that were the ONLY thing He really hated and the ONLY thing He is going to defend? Or are you going to seek God’s COMPREHENSIVE righteousness, remembering that He hates hands that shed innocent blood and all other forms of evil and oppression too?” [Barnabasintraining]
“INTENT refers to what someone wants to do, the plan they have. Intent often causes confusion for people, and it is often believed that abusers do not intend or mean to cause harm. But all abuse is planned and, when abuse occurs, it is because of a conscious choice made by the abuser. The abuser made a decision to give himself permission to abuse. Intent may be difficult to establish or prove, but if the goal was to create fear, injury, or to gain cooperation of someone by the use of intimidation, force, or injury, then abuse was intended. Often abusers claim that the abuse was an accident, and accidents do occur, but abuse towards one’s significant other is always a planned choice, it never occurs by chance.
As for frequency (how often the abuse or sexual offense happens), whether the abusive act occurs one or more times, is still abuse or sexual assault. Too often abusers and sex offenders claim that they did not “mean to” or “intend to” cause harm or be abusive, but abuse and sexual offense is always a conscious choice and, therefore, intent is implied. Proving this statement is easy. The fact that the majority of abusers and sex offenders tend to assault only a selected few people indicates that a choice is being made, a choice which includes a conscious effort to evaluate situations and adjust how we behave toward others. Toward some, the abuser and sex offender may behave kindly, be well mannered and respectful, while toward others behaving abusively and disrespectfully. [Scott Allen Johnson. Physical Abusers and Sexual Offenders: Forensic and Clinical Strategies (Kindle Locations 171-180). Kindle Edition].
“They had no concept of the difference between ‘scheduling date night and communication’ and ‘forced to sleep with the devil and try to keep your soul from dying’. ” [Katy]
“Keeping silent about your abuse empowers the abuser to keep you locked up in the prison he has created just for you. It’s time to break free!” Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment [GRACE]
“A false system has for accomplice whoever spares it by silence.” [Alexandre Vinet, author of Outlines of Theology, 1865]
The only people mad at you for speaking the truth are those living a lie. Keep speaking it.” [Tony Gaskins, Jr.]
God stills you; leads you; reassures you; enlightens you; encourages you; comforts you; calms you; convicts you.
Satan rushes you; pushes you; frightens you; confuses you; discourages you; worries you; obsesses you; condemns you; and uses your abusers to do the same! [provided by IamMyBeloved’s]
“The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.” [Abraham Lincoln]
“Yes, the permanence view is easily rooted in the idea of not breaking “covenants”. The issue here is a lack of understanding about what a covenant is. A covenants is a contract and CAN be broken. It has promises and consequences when it is established. The idea that because it is a covenant makes it unbreakable is not supportable, scripturally or culturally. There are numerous covenants in scripture, and the only unbreakable ones are those God makes with us where we have no responsibilities, and this because he is unable to break his promises due to his holy nature. Those who enforce the sanctions in a covenant are not covenant breakers- the ones who broke the contract are. Thus, a person who commits adultery is a covenant breaker, not the one who files for divorce. How the word “covenant” came to mean “Unbreakable” is beyond me. Historically, even within scripture, it does not mean that.” [JeffS]
“hey, can’t you just wait longer?” [from BarnabasInTraining, responding to the common advice]
“There is nothing to give more time to. This “pastor” or any other pastor like this is not in some kind of flux where he sees his error and is trying to change but isn’t awesome at it yet. There is nothing to give more time to except the same thing you’ve already given (probably too much) time to, because that’s all you’re going to see. He isn’t going to “outgrow” this any time soon, if he ever does, and it is a grave error to force people you care about and are actually responsible for — your family — to endure such things on the vague, vacuous “hope” he’s going to change simply because that would be your preference. What you see is what you get and are going to keep getting. Either confront or get out. And if you confront, do so with the full expectation you will fail to retrieve this errant person and plan to get out. Because 99 out of 100 this guy already sees you and people like you as the problem that he has to solve in his congregation. He thinks you are the one who needs retrieving and has set himself to conquer you, for God, of course. Ahem. Stand up and be a man. Either tell this guy no more and sit on his head until he cries uncle and means it or take your family and leave and make sure he knows why. Either way you must reject his tyranny in the strongest possible terms available to you.” [End quote]
“Elijah did not apologize to Ahab! Wicked, abusive people love to accuse the righteous. We must never apologize to them nor accept their charges.” 1 Kings 18:17-18 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” (18) And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. [Jeff Crippen]
“Shepherds who are too gentle to shoot the wolves will gently let the sheep be devoured” [Matt Chandler]
The narcissist’s view of the universe:
We always have something to talk to God about. He is a dear friend, so it is a pleasure to know Him personally and to walk with Him intimately. He is also the Lord of us and everything that touches our lives. Shall a servant not talk with his master? Shall a dependent not talk to his provider? Shall one in danger not converse with his defender? [Matthew Henry]
In an abusive marriage, that ratio is purposefully set up to be maintained as a 100/0 ratio and that is an evil corruption of God’s design. Abuse is an intentional mockery of God’s design. He abhors that…so should we. [from I Will Stand FB page]
The following quote is recorded here to emphasize that no matter what an abuser’s background is, he is responsible for his actions and responsible before God to repent of his evil:
“Andrew Fuller was brought up under hyper-calvinistic preaching [Hyper-calvinists do not believe in calling upon sinners to believe and repent, but that they must simply wait upon God to save them]. ‘The minister,’ he wrote later, ‘seldom had anything to say except to believers.’ When Fuller came under intense conviction of sin at the age of 15 all the minister could say was, ‘attend the means of grace, and may the Lord call you by it in due time.’ Fuller reckoned that he might have found relief from his soul’s agony had he known that he needed no preliminary qualifications for coming to Christ. Eighteen months after being saved and baptized, he came across a gross instance of antinomianism (lawless abuse of Christian liberty) which is a plant that grows well in the soil of hyper-calvinism. A church member had been guilty of drunkenness and excused the sin by saying that he could not help himself. Fuller reasoned with the man but was reprimanded on account of his youth. The whole church became involved and eventually called on the minister to resign because he supported Fuller who claimed that we are responsible for our actions and that we are not stocks and stones.” [Erroll Hulse, An Introduction to the Baptists]
We know him also to be a deserter who does not refuse cohabitation but obstinately demands impious conditions. [Theodore Beza]
“Abusers are turkeys basted in the same pan.” [Memphis]
“In the family of the just…even those who rule serve those whom they seem to command; for they rule not from a love of power, but from a sense of the duty they owe to others–not because they are proud of authority, but because they love mercy.” [Augustine, The City of God]
“It always happens! You give these little people power and it goes to their heads like strong drink.” [the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) in Downton Abbey]
“God and love are synonymous. Love is not an attribute of God, it is God. Whatever God is, love is. If your conception of love does not agree with justice and judgment, purity and holiness, then your idea of love is wrong.” [Oswald Chambers]
“The court respects the boundaries I put up in the counseling, while the church wanted to discipline me for it.” [by Persistent Widow]
“He says he’s really sorry for everything. And I know that ‘everything’ means nothing. He needs to be sorry for specific things and he needs to CHANGE, not just be sorry.” [Words of real wisdom from a reader]
“Even a good day living with an abuser is a bad day.” [ACFJ reader on realizing that when her abuser is wonderfully charming, it is all still part of the cycle of abuse]
“Satanism is a power religion. People worship Satan because he promises his worshippers power. With power comes position. With power and position comes possession (control). With power and position and possession come pleasure. Satanists seek personal pleasure. Some of them find it in having sex with children… Others find it in torturing animals, children, young people or adults. Satanism becomes to each devotee a power-towards-pleasure system. All that matters to Satanists is power towards pleasure in this life and the life to come. To ‘hell’ with everyone else is their attitude.” [Ed Murphy, Handbook for Spiritual Warfare]
“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and eloquent rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: It never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.” [Judith Herman, Trauma And Recovery]
“Prolonged captivity undermines or destroys the ordinary sense of a relatively safe sphere of initiative in which there is some tolerance for trial and error. To the chronically traumatized person, any action has potential for dire consequences. There is no room for mistakes. Rosencrof describes his constant expectation of punishment: ‘I’m in a perpetual cringe. I’m constantly stopping to let whoever is behind me pass: my body keeps expecting a blow.’ ” [Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery]
“If a husband is abusing his wife he is attacking the temple of the Lord. If a criminal came and destroyed a church would the Pastor say “Do not cart him off to jail, I must live with him, right here in this destroyed church, no matter what.” FAT CHANCE!!
Marriage is a covenant. When the covenant is broken then it is no longer valid. The marriage vows are not a license to sin. The vows for better or for worse do not mean that a spouse can now pursue worse. This vow means that if the very worst thing happens to you, like a tsunami, then you should love one another through it. Ir does not mean that if your spouse is purposefully destructive that you should endure them.
“The vow for richer or for poorer means that during these times of economic failure we should stick together. These things are out of our personal control. It does not mean we have to put up with a bank robber spouse or one who burns money in the yard.
“In sickness and in health means that we support one another when illness comes upon us out of our control. It does not mean that a spouse may now seek out every addictive substance, contract sexually transmitted diseases or smoke until their lungs collapse.
“In good times and in bad means that if a deer hits your car three different times in a year on different roads you stick it out. It does not mean that your spouse can set the living room on fire because they are angry. Or sad. Or bored. They cannot do something malicious.
“The vows are not a means for criminal behavior. They are not a pass to be hateful and mean and destructive.”
[Leslie Nay, on Mark Brown’s Facebook Page]
“It is not a writ of divorce that dissolves marriage before God, but bad actions.” [Cyril of Alexandria, 5th century]
“The fog is when a person lives with someone they do not trust, but wants to trust, lives with someone who really is not for them, but they want them to be for them and want them to be their best friend…in other words, the fog is, as one of my counselors told me, ‘wishful thinking.’ Once a person comes to terms with reality – the fog lifts. When the fog lifts, it reminds me of this song: I can see clearly now the rain has gone…”
[S., at A Cry For Justice]
“We’re not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we’re to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” [Bonhoeffer]
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” [Elie Wiesel]
“The Church herself, going well beyond Scripture, sees the essence of marriage in consent; but suppose the consent has been obtained on false pretenses? I do not mean if the bridegroom claimed to have ten acres when he only had nine, or to be 30 years old when actually 36, but if he concealed syphilis — is the girl to be condemned to a life-long crucifixion? Forcing a couple to stay together after they detest one another is dangerous. It may end in poison.” [Erasmus]
“Smaug is guarding his treasure, and we have awakened him.”
“Repentance does not have to be great, but it must be real.”
“To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who protect the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. Stand up for the innocent or go down with the rest.” [Flora Jessop, Church of Lies]
“Is it possible for one person, or one group of leaders, to comprehend all that’s in God’s Word? Not likely. God’s living Word is demonstrated through all who are seeking Him, regardless of ‘rank’. In some areas of life, many areas perhaps, those in the pews will have more real authority from having tested and lived out God’s Word in situations God will never choose to lead the pastor through. (i.e. abuse) If He is the Shepherd of the flock, then I as a pastor must listen to what He is saying through the flock, remembering that I too am a follower of Him.” Emphasis/additions mine. [The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by Johnson and Van Vonderen pp. 115]
Note from ACFJ Administrators:
The quote below, by Spurgeon, is not making any comment about today’s Anglican church. We included it in GEMS because it is a good example of a church leader expressing righteous outrage about how dangerous teaching was being tolerated in the church. The language of outrage that Spurgeon used, is language we seldom in the church these days. The ‘canons of niceness’ in the church these days are part of the reason why domestic abuse is allowed to fester. We put that quote from Spurgeon on the GEMS page because it demonstrates that language of outrage so well.
Spurgeon was denouncing things which were bad at that time: the Anglican church of that day was allowing, at a clergy congress, the introduction and recommendation of St Ignatius. The clergy who attended that conference were told that all Ignatius’s doings were strictly within the Anglican church’s pale. Believers in the Lord Jesus and evangelical Christians within the Anglican church were continuing to countenance all that Popery and were continuing to remain in communion with it.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND MONK in the costume worn by Father Ignatius, and his crew! Has it come to this, that monkery is to be revived in a professedly Protestant Church? Who would have believed it had it been foretold ten years ago? Can it be true that altars are consecrated by these monks to the Virgin and to the saints, and that they are still tolerated in the Establishment? Yes, it is even so. Ignatius was introduced to a congress of clergy as a minister of the Church, and all his doings are strictly within her pale. Monkery is therefore re- established in the Anglican body. We are not at all surprised at this, nor should we be much astonished if high-mass were publicly celebrated in our parish Churches, and shrines set up to the Virgin, and the saints, within the communion-rails. These would be onlv legitimate displays of the festering corruption of that part of Antichrist which dominates over this country. But what we are astounded at above measure is, the way in which believers in the Lord Jesus and evangelical Christians continue to countenance all this Popery by remaining in communion with it! The Popish party sneer at them, the Dissenters denounce their dishonesty, and many of them feel uneasy in the organs which once were their consciences, but still they “abide by the stuff” without complaining of it! Verily some persons can eat a large amount of dirt! We wish we could say a word kindly but forcibly in the ear of our brethren, who are still in fellowship with the works of darkness practised in the Anglican denomination of Romanists. When will you come out? How far is the corrupt element to prevail before you will separate from it? You are mainly responsible for the growth of all this Popery, for your piety is the mainstay and salt of what would otherwise soon become too foul to be endured, and would then most readily be swept from the earth. You hinder reformation! You protect these growing up as trees which drip with death to the souls of men! You foster these vipers beneath your goodly garments! You will be used as a shield to protect the agents of the devil, until they need you no longer, and then they will cast you away! For the love you bear to your Redeemer, be duped no longer, and by your own hatred of monkery and priestcraft, come ye out from among them, be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing. [C.H. Spurgeon, Sword and the Trowel]
“Christ, after promising joyful rest to the wretchedly distressed consciences, reminds them, at the same time, that He is their Deliverer on condition of their submitting to His yoke. He does not, He tells us, absolve men from their sins in such a manner, that, restored to the favor of God, they may sin with greater freedom, but that, raised up by His grace, they may also take his yoke upon them, and that, being free in spirit, they may restrain the licentiousness of their flesh.” [John Calvin’s wisdom related to Matthew 11:28-30]
“Christ is a Savior not only by the merits of his Cross, but also by the efficacy of His internal operation; for he has not only expiated our sins by His blood; but he has renewed our hearts, and washes away the body of sins which cling to our souls, by His Spirit.” [John Davenant, 1576-1641, commenting on Col 2:11, the circumcision of Christ]
NOTE: Thus any person who claims to be a Christian must evidence the fruit of the Spirit. Christ has saved us not only from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin. Without the fruit of the new creation in Christ, we must doubt such a person’s claim.