Spritual Abuse, much like any other form of abuse I suppose. 

The abuser probably didn’t start off with an agenda to become an abuser.  Perhaps pride got in the way, ambition, boredom.   All sins of the heart none the less, that not confessed and submitted to the reign of the Lord, take the abuser further than one wanted to go, keep them longer than they wanted to stay, and will eventually (Lord willing) cost them more than they wanted to pay.

The victim, innocent from beginning to end.  We are suppose to be a part of the body of Christ, suppose to gather together regularly, suppose to submit ourselves to the authority put in place by God. And so we join a congregation, we find a place to fit in, to serve, to be used by the Lord. Then we find ourselves looking to our spiritual authority, the leader of our congregation most likely, to give confirmation, affirmation, opportunity. 

And the cycle begins.

The abuser now has access in to the life of the victim.  Free reign, in the name of the Lord, to exercise authority over that person.  The abuse begins not because the abuser exercises his God given authority but because the abuser has his own agenda.  Given over to his own sin, perhaps unwittingly, he is no longer truly serving the Lord, but is now serving himself. 

The victim(s) look to him for teaching, counsel.  In a healthy cycle, the leader, like Christ, would build up those in his charge, constatntly directing them to the Lord, and ultimately empowering them to serve and to grow, and to minister on their own.  But in the cycle of abuse, the abuser uses authority to control, to breakdown, and to make dependent upon him. 

The victims become confused, begin asking of themselves What did I miss?,  Why can’t I hear you God?

But the tactics have been so suttle and the process so slow, it is almost impossible to pinpoint when the abuse began.  And yet as sure as the sky is blue, the victim knows she is a victim.  She knows because there is confusion, division, pain.  All things which God did not author. 

The victim, Lord willing, escapes the cycle. Free at last. 

The question becomes, to tell or not to tell?  We wonder why an abused child doesn’t tell.  We wonder why an abused woman doesn’t tell.  Spend some time as a victim (not truly recommended) and you will quickly see, the abuser is likely a reputable person, established, trusted, respected.  And the victim is just one voice, who’s words are few, proof is little, and emotions are raw. 

The abuser willingly, entered into the game, the victim didn’t even know she was playing until it was too late.  The abuser has a strategy, his defense is built before he even begins to play.  The victim was just rolling the dice, trying to be a part of what God is doing.

And yet if the victims can’t find a way to speak up, the cycle continues.

Could I stand by and let that happen in the case of child abuse?  Ofcourse not, that would be preposterous.

But confront a spirtual abuser…

 

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