I start doubting Tracy was ever truly a Christian–so it’s okay to separate myself from her fellowship

Some will say, “If your abuser is or is not a Christian, what difference is that to you?  Don’t judge another person’s eternal destiny!  What’s in his heart is between him and God!”

But whether or not our abuser is really a Christian, affects us, because the answer determines how we act.  There are all sorts of Bible verses instructing us how to act during disagreements with fellow Christians, because the unity of the Body is vital.

But when abusers refuse to admit they have abused, and continue to torment the victim, it is impossible to follow St. Paul’s instructions.  This causes guilt in the victim, who feels far more anger than forgiveness.

It also affects whether or not the abuser should be treated by the Church as a believer, or put out of fellowship because of unrepentance and danger to others (especially the victim).  Do you want the victim’s salvation and healing to be threatened by being forced to face their abuser every Sunday at church?

Victims also commonly ask how a Christian, saved and regenerated, can abuse others–then not only refuse to repent, but take Communion along with the abused!  Communion is not to be taken lightly, as the Bible warns, lest harm come to the person taking it “in an unworthy manner”:

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.

30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.

32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.–1 Cor 11:27-32, NIV*

From What does it mean to take communion in an unworthy manner? by Matt Slick:

It seems most probable that Paul is telling people to examine their motives, make sure there is no dissension with other believers, to take the supper solemnly, and that they were to rightly understand that it represents the sacrifice of Christ.

This is why I wrote the e-mail to Richard back in July 2010, which Tracy did not let him see by forcing him to block my e-mails.

From Jeff Crippen’s post on the Cry Out for Justice blog,  Repentance and Abuse: Real Repentance Bears Fruit:

And this, once again, is why we insist that a person who is dominated and characterized by a mentality of power and control, of entitlement to what is essentially worship, who without conscience can enforce his power and control over others through the use of wicked means, is not and cannot be a Christian.

You can be sure that where there is no fruit of repentance, there is no repentance.  And where there is no repentance, there is no salvation.

The fruit borne by real repentance and faith always evidences itself in increasing holiness of life and in obedience to Jesus Christ as evidence of having been cleansed by His blood.

We have heard of pastors who tell abuse victims that they must regard their abuser as being a Christian, even though the abuser shows no repentance and his life is characterized by habitual evil.

Being baptized or having said a prayer to accept Christ or being a church member does not make anyone a Christian.

…Oh yes, many unregenerate people appear quite moral. Think of the Pharisees for instance in Jesus’ day. But they never practice their morality out of a motive to glorify God.

They do it only for self and for the gain that it will get them from the world, which they love. Some even choose the facade of religion — of Christianity — and yet it remains only that, a facade.

In reality, the unregenerate heart is hostile toward God and cannot obey His Law, no matter how pious he may seem outwardly. The Christian, in contrast, is grieved over his sin because it is disobedience to the Lord whom he loves and is in opposition to the law of God which has been written upon his heart.

Thus, the Christian will always repent when he sin. The unregenerate never will. Like Esau, he may weep and wail and seem to show intense remorse, yet is it all motivated by a love for self. Esau only grieved because he gave away something he did not value at all, but was sorry that it cost him being first.

[Written between February and probably May 2011:]

It’s a struggle sometimes just getting up and going to church because of its connection with Richard, especially when twice he’s shown that he’ll still take his family there despite our estrangement, and that he won’t tell his wife to make peace with me for the sake of unity and peace in the body of Christ.  

When I see Tracy take the Eucharist but make no move to come to me to make peace, I feel so sick, like her hypocrisy makes me want to run to the bathroom and throw up.

I know at least some of her abuses, not just of me but of her husband and family, because I lived behind closed doors with her for a time, yet she goes to the Eucharist while making no attempt to change things. 

There is also 1 Corinthians chapters 5 and 6, which speak of judging not outside but inside the church, putting away from our fellowship those who claim to be Christians but behave in reprehensible manners, such as swindlers, thieves, and various other things–including revilers:

Reviler – Verbal abuse (also called reviling) is a form of abusive behavior involving the use of language. It is a form of profanity that can occur with or without the use of expletives.

While oral communication is the most common form of verbal abuse, it includes abusive words in written form. –an earlier version of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reviler

From Rev. Renee:

To many of us, the words “Christian” and “abuser” don’t seem to belong together. They are, or should be, a contradiction in terms.

And yet how many of us have heard of a minister’s children who were raised with cruelty and abuse? How many of us know of an upstanding, church-going man- or woman- of- God, who turns out to be a criminal or a child molester?

Who can forget the huge scandal in the Roman Catholic church, when so many of their so-called “men of God” priests were exposed as pedophiles, child molesters who were using their position in the church as a source of obtaining new victims?

Calling oneself “Christian” does not make one exempt from abusive behavior. And calling oneself “Christian” does not make one a REAL Christian, either!

One Scripture which addresses this point is 1 John 3: NO ONE WHO LIVES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING. NO ONE WHO CONTINUES TO SIN HAS EITHER SEEN HIM OR KNOWN HIM.

DEAR CHILDREN, DO NOT LET ANYONE LEAD YOU ASTRAY. HE WHO DOES WHAT IS RIGHT IS RIGHTEOUS.

HE WHO DOES WHAT IS SINFUL IS OF THE DEVIL, BECAUSE THE DEVIL HAS BEEN SINNING FROM THE BEGINNING. THE REASON THE SON OF GOD APPEARED WAS TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK.

NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD WILL CONTINUE TO SIN, BECAUSE GOD’S SEED REMAINS IN HIM; HE CANNOT GO ON SINNING, BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD.

THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WHO THE CHILDREN OF GOD ARE AND WHO THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL ARE: ANYONE WHO DOES NOT DO WHAT IS RIGHT IS NOT A CHILD OF GOD; NOR IS ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE HIS BROTHER”.1 John 3: 6-10 NIV. —The Christian Abuser- Twisting God’s Word To Justify Abuse

If you were abused by a person who called him/herself a Christian and said that they knew Jesus — I assure you that this was the Greatest Deception and lie that they ever told.

At best they might have heard about Jesus, I doubt that they ever personally met Jesus in the SuperNatural, because when you truly meet Jesus you are Transformed by His Holy Love and when you follow Jesus you turn away from evil, and the closer you walk with Jesus, then evil is no where to be found, so when Jesus is in you and you are in Jesus you can do no evil.

And Abuse is the Manifestation of Evil. So the Counterfeit Christian lied about being an Authentic or True Christian. Just because a Person calls him/herself something doesn’t automatically make it so, look at the fruit of the Behavior they are producing to reveal their True Nature. –Soaring Dove, The Journey Out of Nothingness

On false Christian narcissists, and whether or not we should judge them as false Christians and separate from them, also see:

From Narcissists Suck: No Contact: Because Their Evil is Contagious
From Narcissists Suck: “From Such Turn Away”
Can a narcissist or sociopath be a Christian?

“Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ.”  – St. Justin Martyr ( c.160 )

I get greatly annoyed by Christian groups who accuse each other of being false Christians because of doctrine or practices.  But the Bible does indeed warn us to discern false Christians by how they act, evil behaviors which any Christian group can agree on, whether conservative or liberal.

We are not told to let the poison of narcissists, abusers, users, deceptive ministers, thieves, con men, and the like infect us just because they’re “Christians” and we’re supposed to “love and accept and not judge fellow Christians.”  Quite the contrary: We’re told to toss them out of our fellowship!

Christ was able to hang out with sinners because he’s God and could influence them without them influencing him.  But God knows very well how fallible we are, how easily influenced by the bad behaviors of our friends.

From the Orthodox Study Bible note for 1 Kings 19:10: “The children of Israel forsook the Lord because an angry and wrathful temper took hold of them, for God cannot be known in that kind of disposition.  He can only be known in and through the virtues, such as gentleness.”

 

[Added 4/26/14:] From a Cry for Justice:

In summary, the pastor’s duty to the abuser is secondary to his duty to the victim.  Regarding the abuser, the pastor must 1) Be able to avoid being deceived by the abuser’s ploys, and 2) exclude the abuser from the congregation in order to protect the victim and the flock.  All of these actions will be costly. —Part 3

 

Prevention is better than cure.  This applies to abuse within the church as well as to our physical health.  It is better for us to create an environment in our churches that is alien and hostile to evil.

A place where righteousness and truth reign to a degree that evil just has to leave because it is exposed.  The question is, why aren’t our churches such places?

And apparently it is not exaggerating to say that they are not because victims of abuse come with the same stories over and over about how their abuser was able to hide, was able to gain allies, was able to be enabled within a local church.  What has gone wrong? —Part 5

 

In the church, unrepentant sin is to be pronounced from the rooftops, in the hearing of the entire church.  It is to be exposed and dealt with openly, so that those who profess Christ’s name yet cause that Name to be blasphemed by unbelievers are expelled from the body of Christ, and Christ’s Name thereby is once more honored.

If a pastor is going to deal biblically and righteously with an abuser who is a member of his church, that pastor must resolve to do so in openness and in truth.

There can be no cover up, no minimization of the evil, no political maneuvering designed to save face or cover anyone’s tail end.

The evil must be exposed for all to see, and the unrepentant evil one delivered over to the realm of darkness, outside the church, in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. —Part 7

 

The large majority of the readers of this blog do not need to be told that a false gospel, gutted of a call to genuine faith and repentance, is the abuser’s great ally.

This “gospel,” which the Apostle Paul says is no gospel at all (Galatians 1), only produces nominal Christians, meaning that they are Christian in name only.

Survivor after survivor will tell their stories of how their abuser hides in the pews, playing the role of “Christian” and enjoying the affirmation of his fellow church members.

Where a false gospel is preached, false Christians are produced, and an environment that is ripe for the practice of evil is cultivated.  Sadly, we must admit that such a false gospel is widely preached in our churches today, as it has been for decades now. —Part 9

 

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing

*Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.  Copyright @1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

 

%d bloggers like this: