Spiritual Abuse

As Christian preachers, some of us tend to focus a lot on telling members of our congregations (the victims of abuse) to bear fruit, walk in love, turn the other cheek, stay in character, forgive, and endure through the many sufferings inflicted upon them by other members / church leaders.

But we don’t do enough preaching to the members/ministers of our congregation (the perpetrators), warning them to repent of the manipulation, control, bullying, lying, gossiping, slandering, abuse tactics, nasty attitude, and other destructive behaviors that are causing the offense to occur in the first place. Sometimes, it can be easy to just sweep the abuse under the rug so we don’t have to deal with the real issue at hand. Sometimes, we can cause more harm to the innocent and add to the spiritual abuse by trying to protect the perpetrators because of the level of influence they have in the church (their title/their financial offerings).

There needs to be teachings on both being merciful and repentant. But if we focus more on prevention (stopping it before it happens), then there wouldn’t be much need for intervention (stopping it after it starts). Loving an abuser, forgiving them over and over, and praying and fasting for them alone is not going to make them change. These things are helpful but can also be considered passive if not followed up with a plan of action to stop the behavior. The abuser needs rehabilitation, behavior modification, renewed thinking, discipline, sharp rebuke, accountability, etc. And if none of that works, they may need to be placed on a sabbatical leave or be indefinitely disfellowshipped / ex-communicated. Why should a whole congregation suffer at the hands of a few negligent members?

As Christians, we are to be loving and forgiving, but we aren’t doormats for abuse. We can assertively stand up for ourselves and be Christlike at the same time. God does not overlook abuse between members of his flock. He is proactive in dealing with it righteously. And so should the shepherds/pastors whom God has placed to steward His church. For every church leader who operates under a spirit of Eli and turns a blind eye to the disorder and abuse taking place in their church and who refuse to address it—may they be judged by God.

Reference Scriptures:

1 Samuel 3:12-13

I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.

Ezekiel‬ ‭34:17-25‬

“This is what the Lord GOD says: “And you, my flock, I will judge between one sheep and another. I will judge between the male sheep and the male goats. You can eat the grass growing on the good land. So why do you also crush the grass that other sheep want to eat? You can drink plenty of clear water. So why do you also stir the water that other sheep want to drink? My flock must eat the grass you crushed with your feet, and they must drink the water you stir with your feet!” So the Lord GOD says to them: “I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep! You push with your side and shoulder. You knock down all the weak sheep with your horns. You push until you have forced them away, so I will save my flock. They will not be caught by wild animals anymore. I will judge between one sheep and another. Then I will put one shepherd over them, my servant David. He will feed them and be their shepherd. Then I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be the ruler living among them. I, the Lord, have spoken. “And I will make a peace agreement with my sheep. I will take harmful animals away from the land. Then the sheep can be safe in the desert and sleep in the woods.”

#SpiritualAbuse #Eli #ChurchHurt #Correction #Order #MakeChurchSafeAgain

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