the Hope of Survivors

Consequences of Abuse
 The Forbidden Ground of Unholy Fancies (counsel to a minister).

The word “abuse” by definition means “to use ill; to maltreat; to misuse; to use with bad motives or wrong purposes; to violate; to defile by improper sexual intercourse; to deceive; to impose on; to treat rudely or with reproachful language; to revile; to pervert the meaning of; to misapply.” It also means seduction. (See American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828.) So, when a woman, whether consenting or not, finds herself in a relationship with her pastor, it is clearly abuse. The pastor’s role is NEVER to be in a physical or intimate relationship with one of his sheep.

Consequences of abuse (of any type) can include fear, grief, anger, anxiety, shame, guilt, low self-esteem (self-respect), self-abuse, suicide, eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia) depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a host of physical illnesses and symptoms, damaged ability to relate to others and to God, trust issues, etc. Some victims may turn to drugs or alcohol, some may become easy targets for cult associations.

Abuse of any kind, especially abuse that occurs during childhood, carries with it long-lasting effects on the victim. Abuse that goes untreated tends to manifest itself in various ways throughout the victim’s life. Until a victim receives emotional, spiritual and physical healing, she/he remains a potential target for other abusers and perpetrators. Only when the abuse and its effects have been properly dealt with, can the victim move on to becoming a survivor and take control of her/his life again and protect herself/himself.

To learn more about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), please see the PTSD Alliance web site.

How Does this Happen?

“The abusive pastor or spiritual leader has allowed himself to go a long way down the track before he ever commits the crime of abuse. But until the crime is committed, he likely doesn’t realize just how far he has already strayed. When once the deed is done or the pattern begins to unfold, the huge distance from the Lord becomes readily apparent. And it can seem like too enormous a gulf to bridge to ever get back. So the abuser doesn’t try, at least not very hard. Rather he continues to medicate his spiritual pain with fleshly anaesthetic which is addictive. And the Evil One laughs obscenely at his success over human weakness.

When the victim is trapped by this crime, she is often on her way, or trying to be on her way, back to wholeness from brokenness. Of course wholeness, including spiritual growth, is the last thing the devil wants. So he sets her up for abuse by the human she is seeking a path to wholeness from, sending her back into the abyss out of which she has started to climb. And again his laughter is loud and ugly.”—Tom Lemon, V.P. for Administration, Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Take a moment now to listen to this song of encouragement, “Blessed Are The Tears.”—Steve Nelson WMA or MP3



“You have been represented to me as being in great peril. Satan is on your track, and at times he has whispered to you pleasing fables and has shown you charming pictures of one whom he represents as a more suitable companion for you than the wife of your youth, the mother of your children.

Satan is working stealthily, untiringly, to effect your downfall through his specious temptations. He is determined to become your teacher, and you need now to place yourself where you can get strength to resist him. He hopes to lead you into the mazes of spiritualism. He hopes to wean your affections from your wife and to fix them upon another woman. He desires that you will allow your mind to dwell upon this woman until through unholy affection she becomes your god.

The enemy of souls has gained much when he can lead the imagination of one of Jehovah’s chosen watchmen to dwell upon the possibilities of association, in the world to come, with some woman whom he loves, and of there raising up a family. We need no such pleasing pictures. All such views originate in the mind of the tempter…

It is presented to me that spiritual fables are taking many captive. Their minds are sensual, and unless a change comes, this will prove their ruin. To all who are indulging these unholy fancies, I would say, Stop; for Christ’s sake, stop right where you are. You are on forbidden ground. Repent, I entreat of you, and be converted.”

Mind, Character & Personality, Vol. 1, page 305

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18