For It to be Abuse, Several Things Need to Occur

My friend, Jack Watts, posted this today. Amazing how it describes exactly how Sound Doctrine operates. Praying those still ensnared will have eyes to see and ears to hear!

Refer to STEP4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

One’s cruelty is one’s power and, when one parts with one’s cruelty, one parts with one’s power. When one has parted with that, I fancy one’s old and ugly. —William Congreve

For religious abuse to occur, an attitude of arrogance, entitlement, and pride is required by a religious leader. If such an attitude doesn’t exist, then most abuse is accidental—not malicious. To be certain what’s really happening, it’s always wise to take a good, hard look at every pastor and ministry leader. Try to discern telltale signs of spiritual superiority. If you spot any self-serving or narcissistic characteristics, move on. It doesn’t matter how profound the person’s teaching may be or how loving he or she appears to be, it’s an illusion. Those who recognize the problem and make a stand for what is right are the ones who will be abused.

Here’s the way it works. Although people have differences of opinion, when one person’s opinion is routinely elevated above others and positioned as “God’s will,” then abusiveness often follows. The person who doesn’t buy into the program is not only rebuked; but by holding his or her ground in opposition, that person’s relationship with God is inevitably called into question. To criticize the minister—”the anointed one”— is perceived as criticizing God, making the person who disagrees have flawed, “sinful” character qualities.

Routinely, those who are in opposition are depicted as “carnal”—as purposefully going against God’s will. This makes the questioning person’s walk with the Lord appear to be defective, which is exactly how it is positioned by the abusive leader. When the abuser says, “I’ll pray for you, brother,” it is usually accompanied by a syrupy smile. When this happens, you can be certain that no prayers will be forthcoming—only character assassination.

The person asking hard questions becomes an “untouchable”—rejected by those who were co-laborers just a short time earlier. This kind of treatment happens routinely in ministries and churches, wounding people beyond their capacity to cope with life afterwards. When the process is complete, there is another person added to the ranks of the religiously abused.

Your boasting is not good. Do you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (I Corinthians 5:6-8)


5 thoughts on “For It to be Abuse, Several Things Need to Occur

  1. Affirmation never felt so good, I bet, althoug it is a sad state. Interesting how God has opened your eyes to a whole new perspective. It’s as if you are truly living again. The old saying goes, “Your sins will find you out.” I have to wonder about the future of Sound Doctrine and WP.

  2. From Deut 13:

    “…you must not listen to the words of that [false] prophet or dreamer.

    The Lord your GOD IS TESTING YOU to find out WHETHER YOU LOVE HIM with all your heart and with all your soul.

    It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. KEEP HIS TORAH AND OBEY HIM; serve him and hold fast to him.”

  3. There are many passages like Deut 13…Paul’s report of the Berean Jews is another good example. Notice that these passages imply the people already had a strong understanding of Scripture, both in study and practice. Strong Scripture understanding is required to fulfil commands to root out false teachers.

    In short, if you’re not in the Scriptures regularly (not commentaries, worship music, Bible movies, Televangelism, Christian radio, etc, etc, etc); you’re breaking God’s command and leaving yourself vulnerable to false teaching. As Deut 13 states, God views our dilligence (or lack thereof) in studying Scripture and adherence to His commands a measure of our love for Him.

    Folks, He did this for our protection. The Law is not our enemy, it is our tutor that leads us to Messiah…a point that Paul tried to make, but the meaning of his statement has subsequently been reversed through a lot of bad theology designed to enslave, not liberate.

    Last thoughts:

    Study the Bible for yourself
    Study the history of the church and doctrinal teachings
    Study the character of the person(s) who developed the doctrine

    Learn everything you can about Israel and the Hebrew people…the Bible is a literal, historical book written by the Hebrew people. The Scriptures are written in THEIR context, not the contex of our own “higher spiritual meaning.” Remeber God calls them a light to the nations…

    “…For the Torah will go forth from Zion, and the Word of Yahweh from Jerusalem” ~Isaiah 2:3

  4. Hello Athena,

    Remember me? Smile. I would like to share with you and others on your blog the experiences I had with Tim/Carla Williams and their spiritual abuse. I read their website, Tim’s sermons, books, email and message board and they helped me see who they are at deep level.

    One day I saw in a dream something saying, “You will be heading for Washington State” on a white letter sheet with no date or name. It was interesting dream. I have never seen something like that before in my life. I felt it came from God. I shared with my friend, Lance Forshay about it. Tim believed that I must move there. I refused because I hardly knew them. I had no idea that Williams’s church/Sound Doctrine was a cult. The Forshays asked me to help them move to Enumclaw, WA. We drove from Michigan. We arrived at Tim and Carla’s house on January 1, 2000 to stayed there for 4 days. Frankly, I began to feel uncomfortable about half hour before we arrived. I felt strange and creepy. I wanted to return to Michigan but it was too late now. I really wanted to leave the following days I was in Tim’s house. I felt trapped like a prison.

    Worship serve on Sunday was at Denny/Gloria Meyer’s big nice house. They were members of SD at that time. The number was really small. While I watched Tim preaching, I observed three ladies and their faces look terrified and look like they were afraid of Tim.

    On the evening of January 4th, the Forshays asked me if I see something wrong with Tim before we parted with good-bye. I responded, No, I have no idea. But in truth I should have told them how I felt about this man, Tim. Something was very disturbing but I knew that if I told him, Tim would rebuke me for my “sins” and play with my mind.

    On the following day, I flew back home in Michigan. I felt myself released from the stressful and was very relieved. I never forgot that experience. Afterwards, I was very concerned about the Forshay family. I believed they were “trapped” there in some way. I sensed that Tim is hiding something and somehow he is dangerous.

    I emailed Tim a question, “What if I decide to move there. Will I be trapped there?” He never answered. I became suspicious. I believed that Lance and Joan were trapped.

    One month later, Tim heard from God and told Lance to tell me to move to Enumclaw. Lance rebuked me harshly (as instructed by Tim at that time) and I was really shocked, upset and angry. I responded back and told him that I didn’t hear from God about this. But, he responded back, “Because of your rebellion against God, you are in major sin.”

    I emailed Tim and told him straight that the message in my dream didn’t say that I am supposed to move to Washington. That is the different thing, “heading” or “moving”. I believe that God wanted me to see what is going on there. Tim responded that it make no difference. I shot him back, “That is different!” He backed off. I see him as a manipulative man who are trying to make me feel guilty and confused. I felt strange about him.

    He sent me six more emails later on with ugly and abusive language. I saw no love in his emails. After analyzing his emails, I see his control tactics, hatred and anger. One of his statements from his sermon was this, “God will not live inside you like King Saul and will kill you!”

    Tim is an angry man, very sinful anger man! No love. He is hatred man.

    I asked myself if Jesus would say this. I doubt it because of his fruit. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” Tim has no love but is filled with hatred.

    Colleen Simsa, Traverse City, Michigan

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