Revictimizing Victims

“Americans, indeed all freemen, remember that in the final choice, a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower




"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. that the man [in Greek, person] of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)


"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

According to the authors of The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, "Because of how God's Word has been applied, it has not been a help but a hindrance.  Instead of a lamp and a light leading people in the path of truth, it has been used as a tool to keep in the dark those secrets that destroy families, and churches.  Instead of being "revived by His precepts' (Psalm 119:93), some victims of various kinds of abuse have been further abused and betrayed as the Word has been misused to minimize their pain and excuse their perpetrators.  For some, healing has been short-circuited.  Jesus' precept, "The truth will set you free," has been replaced by man's precepts, "to be nice is better than to be honest" and "keep the (false) peace at all costs."  (p. 95)


Never Resist 


Sometimes religious leaders counsel people to go back into abusive relationships through the use of the following verse, which is being taken completely out of the context in which it was written:


"But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."  Matthew 5:39 (KJV)


Incredibly, some Christian women who are being brutalized, emotionally crushed, even bloodied by supposedly Christian husbands, have been encouraged to remain in their abusive marriages, even if IT KILLS THEM!!!  (We are not exaggerating)! The counsel given by some pastors and spiritual leaders to these wounded wives is appallingly:  "Wives, be submissive to your husbands . . ."  The mishandling of Scripture is, unfortunately, widespread and is being used to coerce abused women into staying in destructive relationships. 


Here is an excerpt from an Ethics Daily article entitled "Professor's Views on Spouse Abuse Don't Square With SBC Statements" on July 20, 2008, which can be found at this link:


Recent comments by a Southern Baptist seminary professor that abused women are at least in part to blame if they refuse to submit to their husband's God-given authority don't square with official teachings of his denomination.


"And husbands on their parts, because they're sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged — or, more commonly, to become passive, acquiescent, and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and in churches," Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said in a June 22 sermon at Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas.  


An article on the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention Web site, meanwhile, counsels that, "The most harmful rationalization for woman abuse is the tactic of blaming the woman herself."


Titled "Breaking the Cycle of Abuse," the NAMB article instead attributes most abuse to feelings of "inadequacy, helplessness and fear" on the part of the man.


"Because of negative experiences with females and his own lack of satisfaction with his life, the abuser feels great hostility toward women, along with a need to dominate and control," it says. "The 'macho' image which may have been fostered in his family or culture causes him to see women as extensions of himself, his property, to treat–or mistreat–as he pleases. A common factor is competitiveness with women, especially when the woman has a higher educational or vocational level."


"The fact is that battering occurs under any circumstances where the man wants to show that he is 'the boss,'" the article continues. "He may be upset about something that has nothing to do with her, which is why a wife's efforts to please, to placate, and to avoid trouble usually are pointless. Police files are filled with cases of women beaten or killed because dinner was late or his shirt needed a button, because she wore her red dress or didn't wear the red dress."


If an abused woman seeks counseling, "the counselor can only suggest ways she can change, and her behavior is not the problem," the article says. The abusive husband "almost always refuses to go for counseling, either because of his own deep-down sense of shame and guilt, or because he actually does not see himself as having a problem."


As you might imagine, this kind of advice has not been playing well in the secular world, as we have discovered through our research.  Here is one blogger's interpretation of Bruce Ware's idiocy, which can be found at the following link:

Women who don't submit to husbands are to blame for domestic violence, says Baptist scholar



One reason that men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband's God-given authority, a Southern Baptist scholar said in a Texas church recently.


Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, said women desire to have their own way instead of submitting to their husbands because of sin.


"And husbands on their parts, because they're sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged–or, more commonly, to become passive, acquiescent, and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and in churches," Ware said from the pulpit of Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas.


Ware said God created men and women equally in God's image but for different roles.


"He has primary responsibility for the work and the labor and the toil that will provide for the family, that will sustain their family," he said. "He's the one in charge of leadership in the family, and that will become difficult, because of sin."


"…A woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God's ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as — for the most part, generally this is true — as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man's position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men,"


Oh. My. God. (Or not, as the case may be). Like we needed any more reasons to scorn and revile southern American right-wing religious types. Why doesn't this stuff make the headlines more often? How can Christians tell Muslims (and they do, often) that some elements of Islam treat women unfairly? Are enough loons out there taking this crap seriously for it to be a serious social and political issue?


If you have been following our blog, you will remember that we identified Bruce Ware as one of the CBMW men.  In fact, he is a Council Member of CBMW and has recently been named the president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a professional society of Biblical scholars, educators, pastors, and students with the stated purpose of serving Jesus and his church by advancing evangelical scholarship.  Here is the title of the paper that Ware has written and will be presenting at the 61st Annual Conference scheduled for November 18-19, 2009, in New Orleans. 
─ Bruce Ware (Professor of Christian Theology)  ”A Defense of the Ontological Equality and Functional Authority-Submission Relations among the Three Trinitarian Persons”


You may remember that Ware is the theologian who fully believes in the eternal subordination of the Son (Jesus Christ) to God the Father, which we consider to be heretical. 


The authors of The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse share the following testimony by a woman who sought counseling from her pastor regarding her abusive husband:  "She told him (the pastor) about the fact that she had recently been strangled to unconsciousness by her husband and felt she needed to escape to safety.  His response:  'Stay with him and if he kills you, God will use that to draw him to himself.'" (p. 100)

Shame on that woman's pastor!!!  That is blatant pastoral abuse, and it must be exposed!


Just Forgive


Another verse that is terribly misapplied to abusive situations is Matthew 18:21-22 — "Then Peter came and said to Him, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?  Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'"  


When applied to abuse, this verse has been taken completely out of context.  Misapplications of this vary, including:  "Don't notice the abuse," "What's wrong with you that you can't forgive?" and "You have an unforgiving spirit, or a root of bitterness."  Shame on those who twist Scripture in order to lay a guilt trip on those being abused.

Never Appeal to Secular Authorities


Have you seen the following Scripture misapplied? 

1 Corinthians 6:1-2 — "Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?" 


This passage is referring to a civil suit, not a criminal suit.  When a husband batters his wife, it's a CRIME!  When a parent abuses or neglects a child, it is a crime.  When a pastor sexually assaults a member of his congregation, it's a crime.  Reporting a crime does not go against 1 Corinthians 6.  Being a Christian does not exempt someone from being held legally accountable for his behavior, and SHAME ON ANYONE who would misapply 1 Corinthians 6 as a reason for not taking a criminal to court.


Speaking of taking 'Christians' to court, just this week Darrell Gilyard, a former pastor, entered a plea deal for multiple sex crimes and will be sentenced on June 11, 2009.  He will most likely face three years in prison and three years of probation.  We believe his sentence should be much harsher for all the lives he has ruined! 


Here's an update on Pastor Wade Burleson's blog:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Walking Where SBC Preachers Fail to Tread

"The sordid case of former Southern Baptist pastor Darrell Gilyard is coming to a just and appropriate end. Gilyard has entered into a plea deal with prosecuters for multiple sex crimes, and will receive his sentencing this Thursday, May 21, 2009 before a media circus in state court. Gilyard is agreeing to his guilt on all charges and to three years incarceration in a state facility and then three years probation. He will also carry a permanent record identifying him as a sexual predator/offender. The court has also mandated periodic psychiatric evaluations and ongoing counseling.


A handful of leaders in our Convention … neglected to fulfill their God-given responsibilities to shut down Gilyard's ministry and provide help to his victims. Alas, a young Southern Baptist woman, a Gilyard victim herself, approached the unenviable task of bringing Gilyard to justice with the zeal of a modern apostle. Tiffany Croft began her blog with the goal of treading where we Southern Baptist pastors and leaders feared to trod. With all the negative press from official channels in the SBC regarding blogs, it would be great to see someone like Tiffany be given credit using a blog to bring about good in our society."


Here's a link to an informational article written last year by Pastor Burleson detailing Darrell Gilyard crimes.


Just yesterday, Gilyard pleaded guilty in court to molestation.  Here's an excerpt of an Associated Baptist Press article written by Bob Allen that highlights Gilyard's plea bargain.


Former rising star preacher pleads guilty to molestation

By Bob Allen   
Thursday, May 21, 2009



"An African-American preacher once popular in preaching circuits of the Southern Baptist Convention pleaded guilty May 21 to molesting a 15-year-old girl and sending lewd text messages to another at his former church.


Darrell Gilyard, former pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., faces three years in prison in a plea bargain. His official sentencing is June 11. After he is released from prison, he will serve three years probation and be required to register as a sex offender.


Gilyard, 47, was arrested Jan. 14, 2008, on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct after a church member told police she found inappropriate text messages from Gilyard on her daughter's cell phone. Another girl recorded alleged sexual conduct with Gilyard in her diary.


Gilyard resigned the large, predominantly African-American congregation after 15 years. Before that Gilyard was mentored by a number of high-profile leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention who promoted him as America's next great black preacher."


To top it off, here's a video clip from the Jacksonville news yesterday.


Darrell Gilyard's case only serves to highlight the MANY accounts of sexual abuse that are taking place in our churches by pastors!  One only needs to check out

to discover the horrible crimes that have been occurring in churches belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention, for example.  Incredibly, a motion was made at last year's SBC convention to set up a database of pastors who have been convicted of sex crimes.  The motion did not pass!  Sadly, such criminal behavior spans all denominations.


It is important to stress that in many of these instances victims are being re-victimized using the methods described above in order to protect the guilty.  What should we as Christians do to address these horrendous crimes? 


Silence is NOT the answer!

Comments are closed.