Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

Believe it or not, approximately 2-3 million Americans exhibit some type of sel-abusive behavior. 1 out of every 200 U.S. girls between the age of 13 and 19 years old cut themselves regularly.  Watch as 16 year Ashley shares how God delivered her from cutting herself through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bad Hermeneutics (John MacArthur)

Posted: February 4, 2010 in Theology and Doctrine
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Taking God’s Word seriously means many hours of diligent study, which produces doctrinal coherence and theological consistency. That’s not what today’s evangelicals are known for. So how do we remedy that?

Charismatic Chaos

Posted: November 20, 2009 in False Doctrine, False Teachers, Theology and Doctrine
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Following my videos on Give me the Truth Part 1 and Part 2 and my post on ‘Did God actually say that?‘ I realise that the things mentioned in these posts happen predominantly in charismatic circles where I came from. Now let me say from the very start that not everything in charismatic churches is bad as there is bad in every church and I would agree with John Macarthur when he says:

I’m very much aware of the fact that not everyone who is associated with the Charismatic movement is engaged in the kind of extreme error that we will be, from time to time, referring to.  There are people who are more moderate.  There are people within the Charismatic movement who, themselves, are very, very concerned about the heresies and the aberrations that exist within that movement

However, there are so many things in there which is error that we cannot ignore it.

Here are some classic examples

Now there may be somethings below that you may not agree with but on the whole, I think that John Macarthur hits it right on the head. You can listen to each sermon by clicking on the appropriate link or download it by right clicking on the link and saving the files. 

Does God Still Give Revelation?

Does God Still Give Prophecies?

Proper Biblical Interpretation

Does God Do Miracles Today?

The Third Wave

How Do Spiritual Gifts Operate?

What Was Happening in the Early Church?

Does God Still Heal?

Speaking in Tongues

What Is True Spirituality?

Does God Promise Health and Wealth? Part 1

Does God Promise Health and Wealth? Part 2

Does Experience Determine Truth?

In trying to get our theology correct, it can be so easy to forget that humans and families are going through various struggles every day. Whether this be sickness, homelessness, persecution, death and the list goes on and on.
This was further emphasised when I received a facebook message from some who had read my previous post and was touched as she was in a similar situation as Laura did in the post ,where she finds herself with someone who was not walking with Christ (Note: I just to clarify that this person was not a christian at the begining of her relationship) and as a result, was facing various struggles in her marriage. Well I pointed her to Laura and Darren who made this video tesimony which I find amazing how Christ can truly transform a family. For example, as I write this, Darren’s facebook status reads ‘just finished a gospel tract drop. Pray for results tenfold…..‘. Now that is a transformation. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video
Vodpod videos no longer available. 

Yes, we must get our theology right but let us never forget that because we have been shown love while we were yet sinners, we should extend that love to others in anyway we can. Whether that be physically, financially, spiritually, materially or it could be as simple as giving a word of encouragement.

Related Post:

An encouraging testimony for those who have unsaved spouses

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. (1 Peter 3:1-2)

I received this message from a friend and I thought I would share it with you as I know there are those of you out there who have an unsaved husband/wife and probably are at your wits end, struggling with the whole situation, feel as if you are in a trap or simply do not know how to balance the christian life and the problems that you are having with your partner. May the testimony below encourage you and if you would like to contact the person direct, please let me know and I will pass on the message. Names have been changed to protect the persons identity

I think I told you a while back that my husband wasn’t saved. This is our story.

About 8 months ago I had a burden on my heart stronger than ever to pray for my husband’s salvation and for the first time began asking people to pray for him.

Back then he would’ve called himself a ‘lad’s lad’ although many would call him something a lot less pleasant. He had quite a horrendous up bringing full of abuse and neglect and was passed round family members like an unwanted possesion. Not suprisingly he ended up in his teens in and out of police cells narrowly avoiding a sentence on quite a few occasions. This was when I met him, I was also a wayward teen but not on the same level he was. I knew God but had chosen to ignore him to satsify my own selfish few years. We began a relationship and within a year I was pregnant with our son Lee and two yrs later we had our daughter Sonya. It was just after this that I came back to my Father in heaven.

We then got married as I gave him an ultimatum – I didn’t want to live in sin any longer so it was marriage or nothing. After preaching ‘at’ him for two years I began falling into misery and pleaded with God to help me. He didn’t draw David in right then, but He gave me an amazing sign. I asked Him in prayer one night to show me why David wouldn’t even come to church. I woke up with a Bible verse being shouted in my ear, I later realised it was the Lord shouting at me. I jumped out of bed and flicked through my Bible to find the verse – it said ‘They would not enter the holy place as they were afraid of the amazing signs and wonders happening in there.’ I couldn’t believe it, for the first time in my life God had actually spoken to me. So I took heed and finally gave David upto God.. and His perfect timing.

Two years on and we’d had some ups and downs, our relationship was quite erratic and David had always been a very angry person with occasional out bursts of violence – although he’d never physically hit me he would mentally intimidate me to the point that I’d fear for my own life (usually after he’d consumed alcohol) – God had always protected me though and I always felt He was telling me to hang on in there rather than leave.

Then, as I mentioned, I had the overwhelming urge to pray much more often for David and asked others to aswell. And out of the blue David said he’d one day like to read the Bible, but not one of the ‘new types’ it’d have to be an old King James Version. My Mum gave him an ancient one and he began reading it instantly, day after day – bearing in mind he’d never finished even a small book before he was ploughing through it.

A couple of weeks later God showed Himself to David through my 4 year old Sonya, who has such a great faith. It was pouring down with rain outside, the sky was black. David and Sonya were alone in the lounge and she looked out of the window and prayed out loud ‘Jesus please make it sunny and warm so I can play in the garden’ David laughed and got up to go out and have a cigarette. Literally by the time he’d opened the back door the sky was fully blue, the sun was shining and the grass was dry. He was so shocked and amazed that he came stumbling up the stairs to tell me. He really couldn’t believe it.

Then a few days later when he was fishing he muttered a quick prayer under his breath that ‘If you’re there God help me catch some fish today’ He was the only one to catch that day, infact he didn’t stop catching until he and his friends left to come home!!

A few days later there was a ‘men’s night’ at our church and he said he wanted to go – obviously I nearly fainted! When he came home he was in tears and told me that at the end he went to the front and said to the preacher ‘I want to become a Christian’ at which point he collapsed onto his knees sobbing – something I still could not imagine this previously hard hearted man to do.

For the next few days along with rejoicing, I struggled. My husband was truely gone and another kind, loving man had come in his place. He repeatedly broke down in tears with anguish and guilt for his sins and at the love and grace of our Lord Jesus. He sobbed for quite some time thinking about the sacrifice that Christ has made for us.

It’s been about a month now, and I can honestly say I know he is saved, I have never seen such a transformation. The Holy Spirit is truely regenerating him day by day. He is over half way through the Bible now, is printing scriptural tshirts, praying constantly and preaching to anyone who’ll hear him.. oh and he was baptised (full immersion) two weeks ago. Also last week he went out with another Christian into town late at night and shared God’s Word with all the weekend partyiers. He said he began speaking to one guy and within 5 minutes there were 20 men gathered around listening to him speaking about God.

Finally I can rest at ease knowing my family ALL belong to God and as a team we are already seeing miracles among our unsaved friends, two who have already turned to Christ! David acknowledges that he’s at the beginning of a massive learning journey but has already adopted the scripture ‘Let God be true and every man a liar’ – and can already see the difference between the true and false gospel.

I praise God every day and I reckon soon enough nothing much will suprise me. God is good!

Hope I didn’t lose you there Alan and sorry for the uber message. If you know any women in the same position I was please share our story to encourage them!

God Bless!!

Juanita diary

I’ll say no more

Taken from the Church Mafia website

“Boy, Steve sure is touchy today,” the pastor commented to his youth minister. “I only asked him if he’d be at the revival meeting tonight, but he just stared at me and never said a word. Maybe Steve’s one of those guys who thinks revival is for everyone else!”

“Well, pastor,” the youth minister answered, “Steve has been rather busy lately, what with the new junior high Sunday School class, his work on the building committee, and choir rehearsals. Plus, his wife just had a baby, remember?”

“Well, I guess we’re all busy, aren’t we,” the pastor replied sarcastically. “You’d better remind Steve that all Sunday School teachers are required to attend the revival as a good witness to their class members. Be sure to tell him, huh?”

Church volunteer burnout is a major problem throughout the Christian community, and it seems to be growing. Are church volunteers just getting more lazy and irresponsible, as implied by the pastor in the scenario, or is there really something to burnout?

WHAT BURNOUT REALLY IS

Everyone gets tired once in awhile from hard work, daily stresses and strains, and plain getting older, but a little rest is all that’s generally needed to recharge our battery. Burnout is a different phenomenon altogether, however. It makes us feel tired and lethargic even after prolonged rest.

More psychological and emotional, rather than physical, burnout results from prolonged stress, overextension, and hurriedness. The nervous system gets stretched until it loses its resiliency and renewal capacity. The burnout victim finds it more and more difficult to snap back from hard work, to “get up” for challenges, and to adequately rest. Then the “blahs” set in (the so what? feeling) even in the absence of hard work and stress.

That’s when you know you’re suffering from burnout. You’re tired all the time even though you haven’t done much of anything. You feel like withdrawing, even from activities previously relished. Before long you start to feel worthless.

A PORTRAIT OF BURNOUT

Let’s see how Sunday School teacher, committee leader, choir member, new father Steve (from our opening scenario) burned himself out. For starters, he didn’t fully anticipate the challenge and difficulty of ministering to junior high kids. In fact, he had to push himself most Sunday mornings to go to class. He thought that singing in the choir would be fun but hadn’t reckoned on all the rehearsal time, special performances (such as every night of the revival), and his need to practice at home.

Steve joined the building committee thinking he could help supervise the grounds maintenance crew. Instead he wound up mowing the grass himself. And the building committee wasn’t always one big happy family, especially when it came time to discuss the annual facilities budget.

Steve felt guilty whenever he missed a church function, like the Sunday night his new daughter was born and the church had its annual anniversary pot luck supper. Eight people asked him where he’d been, and Steve couldn’t determine if they truly cared about him or were checking up on him. Feeling that way made him feel even more guilty.

While Steve’s wife, and junior high helper, recouped from the birth of their fourth child, Steve tried to find a temporary helper to fill in. Three people said working with junior high “wasn’t their thing.” Two wanted to “pray about it,” and the one guy who promised to help out “for a little while” never showed up.

Steve’s recent job promotion didn’t help matters either, because now he’s on the road more. But at least the modest pay increase would ease the financial expense of his new daughter.

When the youth minister finally corralled Steve about his “duty and responsibility” to attend every night of the revival, Steve didn’t get mad, he just went limp and started thinking about the “small, simple” church his family used to belong to and how nice it would be to return.

Steve’s trying experience is all too familiar to a growing number of conscientious Christians today who unknowingly fit the burnout syndrome to a “T”.

THE ROAD TO BURNOUT

  • Overcommitment (always in motion);
  • Inadequate breaks and rest (continuous ministry involvement);
  • Idealistic standards;
  • Constant low-grade stress (occasionally interrupted by crisis!)
  • Lack of help and assistance;
  • Chronic fatigue from pushing oneself (”hitting the wall”);
  • Strong sense of responsibility, even when others “dropped the ball”;
  • Guilty feelings about missing church events/activities;
  • Heavy job and family responsibilities/expectations;
  • Inability (or strong reluctance) to say no.

BURNOUT REALITY ORIENTATION

Burnout happens to nice guys—to the dedicated, loyal, idealist church member who wants to make a difference. That’s the problem: this all-out commitment drives some Christians to take on too much, too soon, too often. They overlook their heavy non-church responsibilities at home and on the job.

Constant challenge and activity carries stress in its wake—”getting up” for ministry activity, putting out brush fires, coping with diverse personalities, making do with scarce resources. And don’t forget the strings attached to becoming a ministry leader: visitation, showing up every time the church doors are open, maintaining an exemplary witness at all times, attending (seemingly endless) meetings.

Sometimes the pastor and staff get a bit out of touch with grass roots volunteer busyness. They’re so busy (and under-appreciated) themselves, chronic overcommitment is simply a way of life. The idling majority of the congregation conveniently assumes that “everything is running smoothly, so our help isn’t really needed.” Others, not so naïve, know the tremendous sacrifice required of ministry involvement and want no part of it.

A STRATEGY FOR AVOIDING BURNOUT

It’s easier to avoid burnout in the first place than it is to overcome it. Here are 10 do-able strategies for escaping its clutches:

  • Rest, relax, recreate, renew. It’s God’s way of sustaining us for the long haul.
  • Pray for your ministry responsibilities. Let God perform the work, using His infinite strength and perfect wisdom.
  • Give something up before taking on a new commitment or responsibility. Don’t keep “adding floors” onto your already towering skyscraper of activities.
  • Learn to say no and to set up reasonable boundaries around your involvement. Specify the help you’ll need and the constraints on your time.
  • Set priorities and consult with your family. Church work occupies an essential role in our lives but must never take priority over family. Look for ways to team up with your spouse in ministry activities. Be willing to occasionally say no to low priority church activities when they conflict with quality family time.
  • Get away from it all on a regular basis through hobbies, recreation, short-ministry “sabbaticals,” and sometimes just being a couch potato.
  • Listen to your body’s stress warning signals, such as headaches, backaches, dizziness, insomnia, and unexplainable fatigue.
  • Cut out the hurry and worry. Stress is the natural byproduct of trying to stuff 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound bag. Do only what you reasonably can in the time available and with the resources available.
  • Keep those to whom you relate informed of your changing commitments and priorities. Stay away from guilt trips.
  • Emphasize grace over works. We don’t earn God’s blessings by the amount of church work we do. He wants us to lead healthy, balanced lives where ministry service is a joy and source of deep personal fulfillment. In the absence of such joy, ministry turns into burden and burnout.

Jesus knew of the burden of burnout. His words in Matthew 11:20, 30 are extremely comforting: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Our solution to burnout? “Take my joke upon you, and learn of me…Ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Related Posts:

The Church Mafia – Spiritual abuse in our churches

The Church Mafia – Spiritual abuse in our churches – A Testimony

Spiritual Abuse – Don’t Suffer in Silence

A victim of the Church Mafia needs help

The signs of an abusive church

Thankyou from Tara and from me