How I Learned About Abuse Victims being Blamed Instead of the Abuser

1Ki 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.

When I arrived as a new pastor at Christ Reformation Church here in Tillamook (back then it was called Idaville Bible Church), I had a real mess confronting me. What had paraded as a fine, loving, Christian church when I came to candidate as a pastoral applicant, turned out to be anything but. There were a few genuine Christians in the mix, most of whom are still with us. But the majority were unregenerate people who had been assured in years past that they were surely saved and that, after all, Christians are just sinners who we have to be patient with no matter how ornery they might be. Yeah.

There was a lady in the congregation who was a skilled pianist and she had risen to the positions of pianist and choir director. The music minister if you like (though informally). This lady was impossible to work with and she made that plain right from the start. “I don’t go to committee meetings. The music is my area and I don’t need any help.” Boom. In other words, here was a person who was designing a significant part of the worship services but who refused to work together with anyone, including and perhaps especially the pastor.

It wasn’t long before I learned that she was a very nasty person and she had a reputation for that nastiness. Her own adult son took me aside once, trying to get me to “just be patient with her” because, as he said, “we all know that my mother is a bitter person.” It wouldn’t be long before he hated me as well.

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Words of Wisdom from David Wells: Losing Our Virtue

The following is taken from the introduction to David F. Wells book Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover its Moral Vision [Eerdmans, 1998].  Wells is also the author of No Place for Truth and God in the Wasteland. I give your this excerpt here because it goes far in explaining why abuse victims (sexual, domestic, and spiritual) are being treated so cruelly today when they seek help from their churches. The fact is, they are a threat to the “success” of the corporate machine that calls itself the church (but is not):

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Counterfeit Repentance — by Thomas Watson, 1668

Here are some excellent truths about fake repentance. These words are from a pastor of old named Thomas Watson in England:

COUNTERFEITS of Repentance (from Thomas Watson’s The Doctrine of Repentance, Puritan Paperbacks series)

To discover what true repentance is, I shall first show what it is not. There are several counterfeits of repentance, which might occasion that saying of Augustine that “repentance damns many”. He meant a false repentance; a person may delude himself with counterfeit repentance:

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