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Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

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Old 06-19-2015, 08:59 PM   #1
Terry
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Default The Unfolding War Against Spiritual Abuse

http://www.harvestnet.org/teachings/unfoldingwar.htm

"I'm sure that many of us have witnessed the scene where a group of believers become so proud of their "correct" doctrine that they have managed to puff themselves up into the stratosphere. They are simply better off than anyone else or any other group, and most newcomers sense their sectarian pride in short order. Such groups have totally missed the point, and they are probably already very cult-like...

We all have concerns over loss of friends and over further spiritual abuse when abusive leaders and their followers react to our questions or challenges. We may even fear financial loss, possible legal harassment or physical endangerment. In other words, often we are just plain intimidated.

I am not trying to shame those who have been led to stay quiet -- even for their own sakes (Prov. 27:12). God sometimes leads people to be quiet or passive for reasons of wisdom, even for the sake of our own family. He has done this with me. Instead, I am saying that the practice of keeping silent as a whole and as a general practice is inadequate to the overall problem on a grand scale basis.

Silence in the face of evil or error should never be adopted as the best wisdom for the day, or for every day and every situation (Prov. 29:25). God may lead us into the similar bravery or boldness He has taken Himself (e.g. specific, sometimes public or semi-public, rebukes). Still, this boldness is a place of difficulty and this I well understand too, for I have taken this road myself, too.

All in all, people faced with the knowledge of specific spiritual abuse or sin in their midst must come to terms with their own personal spiritual maturity and ethics as they determine how best to deal with it. When they are the only ones willing to do anything or say anything, it becomes a source of great personal strain and soul searching. They must "count the cost" and consider the wisdom of staying silent, and they must also "count the cost" of other people's hurt should they stay silent. At the same time, they often feel burdened for the soul they have discovered in sin and error! These things are all are very difficult to weigh. They are the things that the Lord Himself, and the wisdom of the Scriptures, must guide us all through.

...According to the apostles, the ability to distinguish good from evil is not solved by the basic Gospel ("milk" Hebrews 5:13-6:3). The attraction to false leaders and the almost worshipful hero-identification of this leader -- or any leader, good or bad, can only be solved by solid food. This "solid food" can not be assimilated well while we are still yet spiritually immature. And what is spiritual immaturity? Well, if we are still functioning from our fleshly desires, having foolish ambition, malice, pride, lust, insincerity, jealousy, and loyalty to mere men, we are definitely spiritually immature (1 Peter 2:1-5; 1 Corinth 2:3-5). Yes, we need milk as infants, but we need to graduate from there to solid food. If we don't, then Scripture says we are unprepared for discerning good from evil.
...The silent consent of the people allows spiritual abuse to go virtually unchecked. It's like a neighborhood that is afflicted with robberies every night, yet no one bothers to set up a 'neighborhood watch' or call the police. In fact they oppose any action that would be too "stern"-- as defined by the robbers themselves!

Robbers and conmen do not need to dictate to us what are the appropriate responses to their thievery and deception. The Body of Christ is not supposed to be bleeding and wounded, with broken bones unmended and infections rampant.."
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Unfolding War Against Spiritual Abuse

Wow! Thanks for that post and link bro Terry.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Unfolding War Against Spiritual Abuse

One may expect the reaction to addressing spiritual abuse something along the lines, "From the Lord's view, he doesn't see any iniquity in Israel or the church. If the Lord doesn't see it, then I also will choose to not see iniquity."
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:41 AM   #4
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One may expect the reaction to addressing spiritual abuse something along the lines, "From the Lord's view, he doesn't see any iniquity in Israel or the church. If the Lord doesn't see it, then I also will choose to not see iniquity."
Terry, did one of the BBs say this or maybe an elder? I'm sorry, but this is the most foolish, false and deceiving statement I think I have heard. It could only be said by someone who does not know the bible or someone who chooses to follow the teachings of a man rather than the bible. The statement's author must have been a confirmed Leeite. From the major prophets especially Jeremiah and Lamentations there is evidence that the LORD saw the sin, stiff neck and treachery of Israel. From John's Revelation we know the Lord saw the sin and backsliding of the church, and Paul under the inspiration of the Spirit speaks about some of the iniquity of the church.

Why would anyone keep themselves under subjection to false teachers who say this kind of thing?

Last edited by HERn; 06-20-2015 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Added a question.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Unfolding War Against Spiritual Abuse

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Terry, did one of the BBs say this or maybe an elder? I'm sorry, but this is the most foolish, false and deceiving statement I think I have heard. It could only be said by someone who does not know the bible or someone who chooses to follow the teachings of a man rather than the bible. The statement's author must have been a confirmed Leeite. From the major prophets especially Jeremiah and Lamentations there is evidence that the LORD saw the sin, stiff neck and treachery of Israel. From John's Revelation we know the Lord saw the sin and backsliding of the church, and Paul under the inspiration of the Spirit speaks about some of the iniquity of the church.

Why would anyone keep themselves under subjection to false teachers who say this kind of thing?
A brother who my wife and I once rented from. Not an elder or a BB, but perhaps a brother who just wants to go on positively and not become "inwardly disturbed". Meaning not wanting his conscience bothered by Local Church history.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Unfolding War Against Spiritual Abuse

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One may expect the reaction to addressing spiritual abuse something along the lines, "From the Lord's view, he doesn't see any iniquity in Israel or the church. If the Lord doesn't see it, then I also will choose to not see iniquity."
Really? What verse is this?

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Old 06-20-2015, 01:23 PM   #7
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Really? What verse is this?

Nell
Appears Nell, the basis is Numbers 23:21. Let's explore other passages on iniquity.

Isaiah 53:6
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Micah 2:1
Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.

Question, does Numbers 23:21 excuse and pardon spiritual abuse?
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:07 PM   #8
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"I'm sure that many of us have witnessed the scene where a group of believers become so proud of their "correct" doctrine that they have managed to puff themselves up into the stratosphere. They are simply better off than anyone else or any other group, and most newcomers sense their sectarian pride in short order. Such groups have totally missed the point, and they are probably already very cult-like...
In the LC, there has always great emphasis on defining and knowing the supposed truth. For many members this endeavor has eclipsed the warning signs that the movement has gone wildly astray.

Sectarian pride has been a defining attribute of the LC. Most LC members are aware that outsiders view them as sectarian, and they like to protest this characterization. What I have always found frustrating is that LCers claim the way in which outsiders label them are all "false accusations". They never go beyond that to analyze why they've been labeled that way in the first place.

Furthermore, if there is any discussion regarding why they can't intermingle with other Christians, it always goes back to the whole thing of saying that no one else has the truth. LCers are so caught up in what they believe to be true that they think anything else is a complete waste of time, thus rationalizing the sectarianism. It is a self-reinforcing system.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Unfolding War Against Spiritual Abuse

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Appears Nell, the basis is Numbers 23:21. Let's explore other passages on iniquity.

Isaiah 53:6
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Micah 2:1
Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.

Question, does Numbers 23:21 excuse and pardon spiritual abuse?
No.

Further, the New Testament trumps the Old (since we are living in the NT age), especially in matters of sin. Spiritual abuse is sin.

Numbers 23:21 is another description of an event that took place in the Old Testament times. It is not a prescription for behavior to live by especially since God gave his Son to die for the sins of fallen, sinful man.

It's a pretty ridiculous statement IMHO.

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Old 06-20-2015, 06:50 PM   #10
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No.

Further, the New Testament trumps the Old (since we are living in the NT age), especially in matters of sin. Spiritual abuse is sin.

Numbers 23:21 is another description of an event that took place in the Old Testament times. It is not a prescription for behavior to live by especially since God gave his Son to die for the sins of fallen, sinful man.

It's a pretty ridiculous statement IMHO.

Nell
To use Numbers 23:21 (“He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them.) as an excuse to not confront unrighteousness is a copout.
The verse I quoted in Isaiah 53:6 I see as foretelling Jesus dying on the cross for our iniquities. To claim Numbers 23:21 as an excuse regarding iniquity indicates denying the significance of Jesus' death on the cross. Completely contrary to the New Testament ministry.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:36 AM   #11
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To use Numbers 23:21 (“He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them.) as an excuse to not confront unrighteousness is a copout.
The verse I quoted in Isaiah 53:6 I see as foretelling Jesus dying on the cross for our iniquities. To claim Numbers 23:21 as an excuse regarding iniquity indicates denying the significance of Jesus' death on the cross. Completely contrary to the New Testament ministry.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17
I agree with you, Terry. People who make statements like this one seem to believe that the simple act of words coming out of your mouth in whatever order you choose, make a statement true. For example, standing under a clear blue sky and stating "the sky is orange", and expecting the hearers to believe that the sky is orange.

Politicians come to mind...stating the obsurd while ignoring the obvious.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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Old 06-21-2015, 05:55 PM   #12
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To use Numbers 23:21 (“He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them.) as an excuse to not confront unrighteousness is a copout.
A contradicting word to any brother quoting Numbers 23:21 is Ephesians 5:11

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:35 PM   #13
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A contradicting word to any brother quoting Numbers 23:21 is Ephesians 5:11

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
The difference here is that the first is corporate and the latter is individual. Balak paid Balaam to curse Israel, which was obviously special to God's heart. So God said He saw no iniquity in Israel. This has nothing to do with exposing the deeds of darkness even of individuals within the church.

Ironically what Lee did repeatedly to categorically condemn all of Christianity was very similar to what Balaam was paid to do. Lee condemned the body of Christ as a whole, outside of his little movement, as pitiful, hopeless and helpless. This is altogether different from exposing specific deeds of darkness, which is what John Ingalls et. al. did to expose the corruption at the offices of LSM.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:40 PM   #14
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The difference here is that the first is corporate and the latter is individual. Balak paid Balaam to curse Israel, which was obviously special to God's heart. So God said He saw no iniquity in Israel. This has nothing to do with exposing the deeds of darkness even of individuals within the church.

Ironically what Lee did repeatedly to categorically condemn all of Christianity was very similar to what Balaam was paid to do. Lee condemned the body of Christ as a whole, outside of his little movement, as pitiful, hopeless and helpless. This is altogether different from exposing specific deeds of darkness, which is what John Ingalls et. al. did to expose the corruption at the offices of LSM.
I see what you're saying Ohio, but some in the local churches use Numbers 23:21as a principal towards individuals or a group of individuals.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:05 AM   #15
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I see what you're saying Ohio, but some in the local churches use Numbers 23:21as a principal towards individuals or a group of individuals.
That's the problem. We allowed Lee and Co. to interpret the Bible for us without any checks and balances. Lee basically enjoyed what the popes had for centuries -- so-called "infallibility" related to doctrine. In other words, if Lee was God's sole oracle on earth today, how could he possibly be wrong?

The Bible has no such authorizations in the New Testament. The "first pope" Peter of the Catholics was rebuked by Apostle Paul so they had to make him their first MOTA instead, but neither Peter nor Paul received such legitimacy from the scriptures.

Only Jesus, the Son of God, today's Moses, who built God's house, is the infallible One of the age. He needs no vicar, no holy see, no acting god, no mota, no unique oracle, etc. to take His place on earth. What He has given us, since He ascended into heaven, is His Spirit. The church has never been instructed to follow a singular man, regardless of who he is, rather we are instructed to walk by the Spirit, and follow men who are genuine examples of the faith.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:51 AM   #16
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When it comes down to how average LC members are affected by spiritual abuse, I think that it is mainly an issue of the disconnect between how the LC is presented and what it really is. What I mean is when LC members get offended, are wronged, or are in abusive situations, none of this is ever discussed or addressed. It's bad enough that these things happen in the first place, but the fact that there is a complete denial of these things, all the while leaders are continuously promoting a "pristine" image of the LC, it makes the suffering so much worse.

Something which I was considering is how CRI called the LC "An exemplary group of Christians". Obviously, many of those in the LC were happy to hear themselves labeled in such a manner. What about those who have been hurt by the LC? I think that kind of label is utterly insulting to those who have been hurt, and it even marginalizes their sufferings. For those who have been spiritually abused in the LC, there is nothing worse than to have an outside entity come and say that the LC is something commendable. What this means for those who have suffered, is that they are made to look like their experiences are all imagined. There might be the notion that they couldn't possibly have been treated that way among the "exemplary Christians" they were involved with. Am I making sense? It is this disconnect that I think can be so harmful. Not only are the experiences of some members treated as nothing, but can be made to look like liars if they try to address those experiences.

To provide a concrete example of what I'm trying to say, I will use the ground of locality. Many LC members may notice that the LC is sectarian or divisive, as opposed to the image of "oneness" that is constantly promoted. If anyone in the LC were to point out the sectarianism or division, it would be vehemently denied by LC leadership, probably labeled as "utterly false". Furthermore, they could pull out something Lee said, such as the following:
Quote:
I regret to say that some of the saints who have read our publications concerning the ground of locality have used them to cause division. Some have said that they are taking the ground of locality in a certain city and that they do not want to have fellowship with others. This is a true division. The ground of locality is for oneness, not for division. If we take the ground of locality as a standing to be independent from other believers, we are divisive.

Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Witness Lee
http://www.ministrysamples.org/excer...-DIVISION.HTML
Notice how in this excerpt Lee distinctly speaks against the ground of locality being something of division. So seemingly Lee spoke against division, but some LC members notice division. How is discrepancy reconciled? The elephant in the room is that Lee's teachings were in fact divisive, however, leaders can pull out quotes like this one to silence anyone saying that Lee taught anything the least bit divisive. They can show that Lee supposedly taught the opposite of division. This is very manipulative, and it leaves those with concerns with no way to address anything. This is the kind of spiritual abuse I'm taking about. Members are instilled with a distorted reality, and it is hard to refute that false reality, even when there are numerous red flags.

When I look back at my path of becoming "concerned", I realize that all I had to go off of was my own intuition. Members are so caught up in their false reality, that if I were to point out even the slightest of things that concerned me, it would be met with harsh denial. In other words, if I was even the least bit unsure of my position, I might start thinking that I was crazy after awhile. I think this is a trap many fall into. They start thinking to themselves "I'm the only one who appears concerned, therefore the problem must be me." Thankfully, many have come forward with their experiences so that LC members can realize they are not alone in their suffering.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:54 AM   #17
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That's the problem. We allowed Lee and Co. to interpret the Bible for us without any checks and balances. Lee basically enjoyed what the popes had for centuries -- so-called "infallibility" related to doctrine. In other words, if Lee was God's sole oracle on earth today, how could he possibly be wrong?
I'm sure some might say it's outright arrogance to read the Bible only and at the exclusion of a LSM publication.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:16 PM   #18
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When it comes down to how average LC members are affected by spiritual abuse, I think that it is mainly an issue of the disconnect between how the LC is presented and what it really is. What I mean is when LC members get offended, are wronged, or are in abusive situations, none of this is ever discussed or addressed. It's bad enough that these things happen in the first place, but the fact that there is a complete denial of these things, all the while leaders are continuously promoting a "pristine" image of the LC, it makes the suffering so much worse.
Those in the local churches affected by spiritual abuse, there are perhaps several outcomes to be considered if not more;
1. Expectation to take the cross.
2. If one did not keep it "in house" and spoke outside the protective confines of LSM fellowship, he or she would be portrayed as a disillusioned member.
3. Reaction from the leadership perspective is likely to project "false accusations" or "imagined wrongdoings". All the while as Freedom indicated, "promoting a pristine image of the LC".
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:29 PM   #19
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The difference here is that the first is corporate and the latter is individual. Balak paid Balaam to curse Israel, which was obviously special to God's heart. So God said He saw no iniquity in Israel. This has nothing to do with exposing the deeds of darkness even of individuals within the church.
He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them Numbers 23:21

To rephrase what Ohio is saying here, the LC perspective is taking Numbers 23:21 OUT OF CONTEXT.
Instead the LC/LSM application of Numbers 23:21 is not corporate, but individual. Following is a result of LC application of Numbers 23:21

1. 1 Timothy 5:20...rendered obsolete
2. Matthew 18....it's negated
3. No accountability
4. Elders and coworkers get a free pass.
5. Partiality towards the elders and coworkers is promoted
6. This becomes the pattern:
So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:28

Very simply stay positive and just look the other way.
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