Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Red Flags, Control, Manipulation, and Abuse

"When one thinks of cults, 
one of the first associations 
is the attempt to drive a wedge 
between parents and children."

-Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Biblical Literacy, pg.430


Galatians 5:1,7-10,13-15,16-26

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; 
therefore keep standing firm and do not be 
subject again to a yoke of slavery.

You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt 
no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear 
his judgment, whoever he is.

For you were called to freedom, brethren; 
only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, 
but through love serve one another.
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
But if you bite and devour one another, 
take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the 
desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, 
and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition 
to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: 
immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, 
enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, 
dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, 
and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have 
forewarned you, that those who practice such things 
will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; 
against such things there is no law.

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh 
with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also 
walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging 
one another, envying one another."


Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,

Yes, so many red flags when it comes to manipulations and spiritual abuse. Another warning sign is when they try to drive a wedge between a husband and wife! We've never experienced that, but we have heard about that kind of thing happening. God warns those who seek to tear asunder what God has joined!!!!!!! Matthew 19:5-6

That said, sometimes the Gospel does divide families, when some surrender to the Lord, while others maintain their rebellion against God. Matthew 10:34-37. Sometimes the children of faithful Christian parents dive headlong into rebellion, and harm their own parents. Sometimes the offspring (children, but can be adult aged also) from unsaved families get saved, and the unsaved parents cause their own children (who are born again) tremendous grief. But it should be the GOSPEL doing the dividing, not a cult leader or anyone else breaking up a family.

The good news - of course first and foremost, the the Lord is rich in compassion and tender mercy, and cares for those who have trusted in Him, especially if unsaved members of their family of origin are a source of pain and grief. Second - Mark 10:29-30, anyone who loses family because of the Gospel, will be given so much more by our Lord and Savior. And third, sometimes - not always - but sometimes, God will bring those unsaved children or unsaved parents to their knees, and they end up repenting and believing the Gospel.

Love Galatians! After 1 John, it might be my favorite book of the Bible.


Anonymous said...

PS: "We've never experienced that"...

Actually, for clarification, I can think of 2 individuals who have tried to "tear asunder" the bond between my husband and myself. Those people were not religious leaders, though. Needless to say, their disgusting and sinful attempts to harm our marriage did not work.

But what I specifically meant above is we have heard of cases where **religious leaders** attempt such a vile thing, trying to cut apart a marriage. That is extremely wicked!


The Piper's Wife said...

Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing your own experiences. We have also seen these things, with believers and nonbelievers. We always expect better from Christians, but they can certainly disappoint and shock us. Legalism drives so many people and what destruction follows in their wake!!

Yes, the LORD God Almighty is in charge. We can try to persuade those who are following abusive individuals, but it seems that so often we must "let go" while it must be the LORD who does His work in His time with them in their sins.