“Bright scars on a darker surface testify to a long history of impacts on Jupiter’s moon Callisto in this image of Callisto from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.The picture, taken in May 2001, is the only complete global color image of Callisto. Callisto’s surface is uniformly cratered but is not uniform in color or brightness. Scientists believe the brighter areas are mainly ice and the darker areas are highly eroded, ice-poor material.”
What does “Chacun voit midi à sa porte”in the title mean?
According to 9 Beautiful French Proverbs That Will Impress:
“Chacun voit midi à sa porte” is a beautiful expression which, while being somewhat unfortunate, is nevertheless quite true. The literal translation goes, “Everyone sees noon at his doorstep.” It means that every individual is occupied, first and foremost, with his or her own personal interests, and each feels their subjective opinions as objective truths. When such tenacity occurs, the French would say, “Inutile de discuter,” it is “useless to argue,” since every man feels he is right.
Basically, it means *we all have our wown way of looking at things.* The Three Anglican Amigos (One of the ways they describe themselves) continue to look at the Jonathan Fletcher abuse saga.
Warning: A several minute description on the graphic nature of Fletcher’s sexual abuse is graphic.
There is no such thing as spiritual abuse says Gavin Ashenden.
He is the man to the right in the video. He believes that there is no such thing as spiritual abuse although I think he would say that abuse has a spiritual component. He wrote a post on the matter There is no such thing as ‘spiritual abuse’ which was published in Virtue Online.
I agree with his statement here.
Most sexual abuse is of course not confined to sex: it extends also to improper acts of power and destructive psychological manipulation and consequent wounding. One of the victims of Jonathan Fletcher has in recent days been phoned six times by a member of the Fletcher inner circle, ‘just to enquire if he’s alright’!
There is no sex involved in this recent manipulation, but an abuse of power there certainly is, and an unwelcome degree of psychological pressure to accompany it.
Ashenden appeared upset that Bishop Lines utilized the term *spiritual abuse* to possibly describe his own abuse at the hands of Fletcher.
Ashenden highlighted his concern that Bishop Andy Lines did not fully disclose what had happened to him when he decided to take a break from hi9s clerical duties as outlined in GAFCON bishop speaks of ‘spiritual manipulation’
THE Rt Revd Andy Lines, the GAFCON “Missionary Bishop for Europe” in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), has revealed that he has experienced “spiritual manipulation”.
Bishop Lines announced in January that he would be moving with his wife to Australia, in March, for three months, to “take a break to recover and regroup”. The reasons given included “very difficult personal matters”, although no details were given at the time.
…A statementfrom Bishop Lines was posted last week on the website of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), over which Bishop Lines has episcopal oversight.
The statement says that Bishop Lines has decided to speak of his experience of manipulation “in light of recent reports in the media”. It does not specify which media reports, although the statement was made shortly after news emerged of allegations against the Revd Jonathan Fletcher, a former Minister of Emmanuel Proprietary Chapel, Ridgway, in Wimbledon .
…Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of ACNA, who chairs the GAFCON Primates’ Council, said: “The betrayal of trust by a mentor is a terrible wound, and when things like this take place in the Church it only increases the pain.
“Bishop Lines is a survivor who has shown the willingness to do the hard spiritual and emotional work of coming to grips with the actions of an abusive father-figure.
Ashenden appeared irritated that Lines did not fully disclose the extent of his abuse. Perhaps he is demonstrating a lack of understanding on how difficult it is for victims to disclose their pain in these circumstances.
Now, back to Ashenden’s concern regarding the use of the term *spiritual abuse* and/or *spiritual manipulation.” I find Ashenden’s criticism of Lines to be a bit cold. However, it may be that he does not fully understand how abuse can affect one’s spiritual and emotional health.
This may attempt both, because it helps an organisation one cares for to come to terms with its responsibilities, and also facilitates the possibility of some personal progress. Curiously, the main stimulus to do this came from my discomfort with the phrase the Bishop Andy Lines had used in his own much too partial disclosure.
I’m very sorry for his discomfort and any suffering he has had endure, but I feel he has not made it any easier for other people by the opaqueness of his own disclosure.
He outlined his belief that *spiritual abuse* is a term which should not be used.
I find that I strongly disapprove of the term ‘spiritual abuse’. It is a euphemism and one that is going to be used oppressively by the progressive culture against the Church. It should neither be endorsed or adopted by us.
Abuse is usually psychological, sexual or physical. There is no such thing as ‘spiritual abuse’. Abuse may have spiritual implications but that is not the same thing.
It appears that his argument against using the term rests in his belief that the term could be used by those outside of the faith to claim that *praying for a patient* could be considered abuse. But is that any reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater?
Spiritual abuse is a useful and necessary term.
Jesus called out the Pharisees for their willingness to burden the Jewish people with spiritual *to dos.* In Luke 11:46 NIV:
Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
Jesus was not referring to sexual, psychological or physical abuse. He was referring to spiritual burdens. According to one commentary:
While multiplying men’s religious obligations to infinity by ridiculous and hair-splitting interpretations, the lawyers did not personally accept and fulfill the obligations which they imposed on others. They avoided the regulations they prescribed for others by all kinds of “theories and handy methods of escaping the fulfillment of the commandments while keeping the appearance of executing them.
Mary De Muth wrote 10 Ways to Spot Spiritual Abuse.
Have a distorted view of respect.
They forget the simple adage that respect is earned, not granted. Abusive leaders demand respect without having earned it by good, honest living.
Demand allegiance as proof of the follower’s allegiance to Christ.
It’s either his/her way or no way. And if a follower deviates, he is guilty of deviating from Jesus.
Use exclusive language.
“We’re the only ministry really following Jesus.” “We have all the right theology.” Believe their way of doing things, thinking theologically, or handling ministry and church is the only correct way. Everyone else is wrong, misguided, or stupidly naive.
Demand blind servitude of their followers, but live prestigious, privileged lives.
They live aloof from their followers and justify their material extravagance as God’s favor and approval on their ministry. Unlike Jesus’ instructions to take the last seat, they often take the first seat at events and court others to grant them privileges. They typically chase after wealth–at any cost, and often at the expense of the very people they shepherd.
Buffer him/herself from criticism by placing people around themselves whose only allegiance is to the leader.
These leaders and churches view those who bring up legitimate issues as enemies. Those who were once friends/allies swiftly become enemies once a concern is raised. Sometimes these folks are banished, told to be silent, or shamed into submission.
The subtle power of spiritual abuse
Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, The: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church by David Johnson (Author), Jeff VanVonderen (Author) attempts to begin to capture what spiritual abuse might look like in a church setting.
How understanding spiritual abuse can also help us to understands the far reaching implications of other forms of abuse.
Here is a comment found in the comment section under the video,
The pedophile scandal in the Catholic Church helped many to see how spiritual manipulation was used for pedophiles to gain access to victims. In Hiding behind God former victims described the *tricks* used by the priests to get them to comply.
Mr. Thompson would not say why he was upset, because, he explained, Cipolla told him “it would be a sin if he told anyone” and made him sign a paper in the Bible agreeing to stay silent.
These victims were sexually abused and were spiritually manipulated. They were trained to believe that the priest was God’s representative and that they should be obeyed. Many also believed that if a priest told them to do something, it must be good and right.
Jonathan Fletcher used spiritual abuse and manipulation in order to sexually, physically and psychologically abuse those
Jonathan Fletcher was a revered leader of the conservative evangelical movement within the Church of England. He came from a posh, public school background and had the authority and connections to make or break the career of up and coming religious leaders.
He was revered as a fine teacher and, of course, he was a *man of God.* Achensen is making my case for me.
In the case of Jonathan Fletcher, he has sadly been unable to acknowledge what has been done badly. Worse than that, the whole circle of influence that he presided over involves considerable powers of patronage, and it is hard to think that this influence has not been abused as a price of silence. The great danger in this case is that many of the people who owe their office to Jonathan Fletcher must now be under suspicion of having condoned his activities with the silence for which they are still paying for their positions and the exercise of his considerable and far-reaching patronage.
The fact that behind the scenes at the moment there is emerging some evidence that members of Jonathan Fletcher’s sphere of influence, who may have been victims themselves of course, are pressuring into silence those who have come forward for help, is deeply worrying. More than worrying it is, of course, deeply disturbing and greatly offensive. It can only deepen the psychological wounds and compound the abuse.
Achensen is part of the system that has allowed men like Jonathan Fletcher to thrive. I am not saying that he knew of Fletcher’s deeds. However, he knew much about the system that allowed men like Fletcher to thrive. I sincerely believe that there will be dark days ahead for this group of churches. We already know of John Smyth and Jonathan Fletcher. Even now, some reading this will say “Surely they know about so and so” and they will all be thinking about different church leaders.
If the men in these videos don’t have the courage to name an abuser, why would they demand that victims should *tell the truth?*
In Monday’s post, the three amigos chose not to name the abuser because they were attempting to be *pastoral.* Yet in Achensen’s post on spiritual abuse (or lack thereof) he stated:
As Christians, we are committed to a belief that Jesus entrusted to us, which is that by telling the truth we are all potentially set free. We must hope that some of Jonathan Fletcher’s victims will find the courage to tell something more of the truth and so find greater freedom for themselves and each other; and that the Church of God might do what it humanly can to put things right.
These gentlemen cannot ask the victims to do what they will not do themselves. If they wish to be leaders, they must provide comfort and care to the victims, first. Think of it this way. I once witnessed a car accident in which a drunk driver smashed into a care carrying to elderly people. The drunk driver was fine as were his three little children. The elderly couple were in severe pain and in need of attention. I spent my time caring for them and another lady cared for the children until the EMTs arrived. I explained to the police what I saw, including the fact that empty bottles of beer fell out of the car and that the drunk driver appeared incoherent.
I pointed my finger at the drunk driver and consoled his victims. I didn’t choose to protect the driver. I chose to comfort the victims. I’m sure some nice chaplain will give him spiritual counsel in prison.
These men must understand that the victims need their help and support. They need to stand with victims and provide solace so that maybe one day the victims will find their strength and come forward in their own time, not the time frame of the leaders.
Church leaders and influencers must be willing to educate themselves about the implications of such abuse.
There is no question that such revelations will lead to further loss of membership in the church. It has happened to the Catholic church and it is happening in the Southern Baptist Convention. Sexual abuse of children, teens, women and men is universally reviled by those inside and outside of the church.
There is an interesting discussion within the video in which they discuss they discuss that Fletcher may have been teaching his victims that God wanted them to paddle each other on their naked bottoms because of the need be punished for their sins. They bemoaned the fact that the victims and Fletcher appeared to ignore the fact that Jesus had taken care of their sins on the Cross as they launched into a discussion of penal substitutionary atonement.
Once again, I believe that they are proving my point. There is such a thing as spiritual abuse and Fletcher engaged in it while also sexually, physically and psychologically abusing these young men.