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This is a two part article. See: Part Two
When someone mentions the term, "spiritual abuse" today, sexual molestation of a child often comes to mind. We have too many accounts of priests, pastors and Sunday school teachers preying on the children in their care. And yes, sadly, that is spiritual abuse.
But this kind of abuse can also take on a more subtle form as well. Its definition hinges on the manipulation of power enforced by a spiritual authority figure, with the abused party feeling helpless and coerced.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
"Frankenstein" author, Mary Shelley's quote recently stopped me in my tracks:
No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
You could insert the word "addiction" in place of "evil," and you'd have a fitting portrait of the chaotic addict.
For whether or not we understand it, face it or change it, the happiness lure is synonymous with our own addiction-prone hearts. We have more in common with Dr. Frankenstein and his obsessions than is flattering to admit.
We are creatures of what we treasure in our hearts.
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34
If we apply Shelley's quote directly to our dear scientist, we see how he has viewed the creation of life in a laboratory as his happiness, as "the good he seeks." This was his addiction. So consumed, he did bring to life a creation compiled of assembled cadavers. A little electricity and presto! We have our grotesque monster.
His frantic behavior is not far removed from us, in the grips of our own personal addictions.
The following are unsolicited, direct quotes from real people who have been ministered to by CIR. Though Jesus Christ, CIR impacts lives, saves lives and changes lives.
Thank you for the many many resources that have helped to benefit me greatly during a long period of recurring losses and depression. I know without a doubt that God led me to the CIR website, and the benefits received during my long membership will continue to be an invaluable gift of healing for myself, and others with whom I can share my uncovered strength and wisdom. Thank you CIR! ~Dolores
Spiritual abuse occurs when someone in a position of authority (parent, priest, friend, family member or an entire church) misuses their authority placing themselves over others to control, coerce or manipulate them for seemingly Godly purposes which are really their own. This abuse can be physical, emotional and/or sexual in nature. Guilt, fear and intimidation is used to subdue and manipulate.
You will find resources on the Christians in Recovery Web site as follows:
Where to Start Recovery
To find help and meetings locally:
Satan has managed to convince many unbelievers, that he is not real, even though he has been influencing their every day lives abusively, in all manner of ways. Satan is a material, emotional, mental, and spiritual abuser. And if you have experienced abuse on any or all of those levels, he is at the root
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
Confronting and facing up to evil, is never easy. As humans we are inclined to go into denial, rather than confront evil for what it is. This is why so many addictions, addictive behaviors and systems continue relentlessly; enabled by ordinary every day people, until the pain brings them to their knees.
I find it a little sad that we humans still need the use of pain and suffering, to remind us to worship the living God!
Those of us who have experienced abuse and addiction, can testify to the truth of the Bible, that Satan and his demonic influence are indeed real, because we have experienced and witnessed his effects in our lives.
I have found it helpful
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
Matthew 7:24-27 speaks to everyone who is in recovery. At one time or another, we all have built our houses on sand. That sand could be alcohol, riches, drugs, sex, food, another person, gambling, anger, abuse, depression, the list is endless. And just like sand, these God-substitutes slip through our fingers, leaving no trace as we desperately grasp at them looking for something firm to cling to. None of these sand-gods provide a firm foundation. Only God Almighty provides a foundation that is unshakable. No matter how bad things get, God is always there. He never fails. Yes, at times we may feel He is distant, but that is a FEELING. The reality is that He is always present and He holds you firmly in His grip, if you let Him.
by Dale & Juanita Ryan | see: Part 1
We resist getting help
In spite of the abundance of God's love and grace and the many ways in which love and grace are available to us, we do not easily reach out for the help we need. Even when we have acknowledged our need for help, we may find ourselves hesitating, finding excuses, resisting. Resistance to getting help is often the result of a mixture of fear and despair and shame.
It can be frightening to get help. In the process we feel vulnerable and exposed. Jim's Dad had made cutting remarks about him all his life. Jim was so accustomed to hearing that he was lazy and stupid and irresponsible that every time he shared in his support group, he expected to hear these same hurtful comments in response. Even though people didn't respond this way, Jim imagined that everyone must be privately thinking these things about him. As a result, he would sometimes begin to share only to freeze with fear and find himself unable to talk.
by Dale & Juanita Ryan
See: Part 2 | Part 3
The God of the Bible is a God who saves and heals. The Bible is clear about this: He will deliver the needy who cry out, he will rescue them from oppression and violence. Psalm 72: 12,14) When we see our need, acknowledge our inability to save ourselves, and cry out, God delivers us. God rescues us from oppression and violence. Whether it is the oppression and violence of our compulsions and addictions or the oppression and violence of abuse and neglect, God delivers us and heals us. God is powerful enough and loving enough to deliver us from all of the oppression and violence we face.
This is the good news proclaimed in Scripture. And it is the basis for our hope on the recovery journey. We cannot save ourselves. Or heal ourselves. But God can. And God will.
Sound simple? It turns out to be anything but simple. There are several reasons for this. First, we find it hard to believe that God is
How can I recognize a cult?
A cult is very different from the occult, which is Satan worship. A cult is a religious sect that often consists of enough sprinkling of truth that it is accepted by many, but that never teaches the full Gospel. To determine whether a sect is a cult, you can ask several questions:
1. Whom do they say Jesus is? Do they teach that He is fully God and became man to save the world from sin? Or, do they teach that He was a good man, maybe even a prophet, and that we should all try to be like Him? When Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say I am?" Peter replied, in Matthew 16:16, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . That is the great secret. . . . We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea. . . . [H]e was once a man like us." ~Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." Psalm 90:1?2
"God is not a man" Numbers 23:19; Cf. 1 Samuel 15:29
"Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." Isaiah 43:10; Cf. 44:6, 8
The following words are the most often quoted non-Scriptural teaching of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) -- most often quoted, that is, in LDS Church literature itself: