|Facts vs. Lies|
Lie 1: Sexual abuse (in this form) is rare and almost unheard of in the U.S.
Fact 1: Sexual abuse and abuse of power in these types of situations is all too common, even epidemic in our country and around the world. Unfortunately, most of the men who violate the appropriate boundaries are “repeat” offenders who continually exploit woman after woman.
Lie 2: It must be my fault. If only I hadn’t been so nice, if only I’d said “no” more firmly (or at all), if only…etc.
Fact 2: It is not your fault. The pastor bears the responsibility for maintaining proper boundaries and for protecting those under his care. According to the Bible, we are each responsible for our own actions and choices and, therefore, you do need to confess (to God) and repent for the willful sins you may have committed during the abuse (lying, adultery, and so on).
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”—1 Cor. 6:9-11
The person with the power (pastor, therapist, teacher, etc.) is the one who has the responsibility to help you maintain and keep proper boundaries. You are entrusted to his care and he is under obligation to protect you, not to harm you. Pastors and other clergy have a much more solemn obligation to keep this trust as they represent God to their congregants.
Lie 3: The pastor said this is God’s will for us to be happy. Shouldn’t I believe him?
Fact 3: It is never God’s will that we should break any of His Commandments. You cannot, and should not, trust a pastor who is violating God’s Word.
Sadly, many pastors use this story to convince the women they are abusing that all will be forgiven and God will bless their new relationship. This is just not according to God’s will. Although David and Bathsheba were blessed at some point, their son being King Solomon, they also suffered greatly, David most of all, for their sins.
Lie 5: “No one knows me like you.” “I’ve never felt loved like this before.” “You’re so special to me, I can’t live without you.”
Fact 5: These are lies the pastor tells you to play on your emotions in order to control and manipulate you, and to make you feel guilty for trying to do what is right. Get away from his abuse. Don’t fall for these lies, no matter how much you may long to hear those words from someone. Coming from him, those words can NEVER be right.
Please read an excerpt from the AACC Christian Counseling Code of Ethics.