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But be on the alert. Abusers, and those who collude with them, can do all of the above. He inserts this suggestion while expressing his deep concern for victims. Worse, he exploits a woman who trusts him, manipulating her to say the same. They trade in dishonesty. Urging men to honor women, Pastor-Man tells an anecdote from early in his marriage. With relish, he describes a small but embarrassing mistake his young wife made in doing her household chores. He reenacts the hurtful way he teased her about it.

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And still he continues to belittle her over one long-ago mistake. Pastor-Man preaches that women can guard against sexual harassment and rape by dating men who act like gentlemen in public. Does he not know? Or maybe he does: Abusers grooming a target play the gentleman well.

Warming up to his subject, Pastor-Man denounces sexual violence in any form. He warns against it. Passionately, he draws a line in the sand. And then — he erases the line. But you, notice. He has spoken as if the sexually abused are crimeless victims. Beware of church leaders who decry abuse and cover-up and, in the same breath, collude with both. Beware of those who appear sincere yet trade in dishonesty. They offer superficial help for deep brokenness.

Breaking the Silence on Spiritual Abuse | SpringerLink

He calls men to be pure. He makes no distinction between the temptation to sexual sin, which both genders face, and the lifestyle of strong deception, sexual domination and violence that male abusers deliberately adopt. In fact, Pastor-Man preaches as if all men who attend church want to be godly and to overcome sin. Yet sexual predators are often drawn to church, where they seek to appear blameless, and to get away with evil. Pastor-Man tells abused women to forgive. He thus promotes one scriptural concept as a cure-all. Yet in abusive situations, forgiveness wrongly applied can be deadly.

Pastor-Man shames victims away from seeking justice. He omits other crucial biblical principles, including:. Beware of church leaders who do not place responsibility for abuse squarely on the shoulders of abusers. Beware of those offering simple, sure-fire cures. The musicians take their places onstage as Pastor-Man begins the altar call. He sounds no call to abusers. He calls all abused women to come be healed.

It manipulates women who want to please God, who trust their leaders and who long to be heard. Promising help, it puts the vulnerable at risk.

Notice any attempt by church leaders to coerce victims to speak up — even by inviting them to sign a card. Katherine Weare. Nurture That Is Christian. James C. Engaging men's responses to family violence. Andrew King. Michael J Stopper. Transforming Theological Education. Perry Shaw. Working With Men For Change. Jim Wild. The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education. Kathryn Ecclestone. Ernest Shurtleff Holmes. Critical Thinking in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Colin Feltham. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud. Couples, Conflict and Change.

Adrian James. Social Psychology in Christian Perspective. Angela M. Generational Intelligence. Simon Biggs.

Hidden spiritual abuse is “very real and damaging”

Rollo May. Attachment and Human Survival. Marci Green. Empowering Couples. Duane R. The Processes of Defense. Joseph Fernando. The Multicultural Leader. Dan Sheffield. Self-Esteem and Positive Psychology, 4th Edition. Christopher J. Ace McCloud.

Domestic Violence and Spiritual Abuse

The Altruism Question. Daniel Batson. Forgiveness and the Healing Process. Cynthia Ransley. Psychology for Christian Ministry. Rebecca Nye. Borderline Personality Disorder. Perry D Hoffman. Spiritual Crisis. J Lebron Mcbride. Christie Cozad Neuger. Cultures of Optimism. Oliver Bennett. Human Learning. Peter Jarvis. Communicating Forgiveness.

Douglas L. Dr Tony Eaude. Beyond the Iceberg. Christiana Onu.


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When victims of domestic violence confide in the clergy, they are unfortunately not always met with the Godly love they hear so much about from the pulpit. Clergy often responds with victim blaming and shaming wrapped in the guise of counsel. Breaking free from this dangerous situation is an impossible choice for the victim to make.

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If they stay, their family remains together, yet they sacrifice their safety and well-being. If they leave, they have a hope of building a better life for themselves and children. However, victims must also consciously choose to leave their entire lives behind, not just the violence. Their lives center around the religious community, and the congregation often shuns those who leave. Such victims are unsure of where to go and whom to trust because they were expected to ignore secular sources of help.

By Amy Thomson Spiritual abuse is a form of psychological manipulation used by abusers to coerce their victims into compliance by using religious belief as leverage. How spiritual abuse manifests in the context of intimate partner relationships Victims living with an abuser who uses spiritual control in the home are subjected to additional levels of control and coercion not experienced in non-practicing families. Abusers use scripture regarding wifely duty to manipulate their partners into having intercourse. However, any time a victim does not consent to intimacy, it is sexual assault or rape.

Abusers use scripture referencing subjection to guilt their partners into obeying everything they are commanded to do. Victims attempting to resist are met with rants and accusations about being a failure as a partner and parent to the children.

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If a victim attempts to call the abuser into account for their abusive behavior, the abuser dismisses their concerns and notes scripture references to the woman being the property of the husband. The victim is often prevented from attending church or engaging in social activities with other members of the congregation.