Refer to STEP 4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.
Ambition is “Lucifer” applied to a barrel of gunpowder, the explosion of which, where it succeeds in blowing one man into a niche, dashes twenty to atoms.
—Charles William Day
A surprisingly large number of narcissistic men and women lead major Christian ministries. Because their unique “Christianized personality disorder” is not easily recognized, such leaders routinely abuse those they have been called to serve. As part of their disorder, they never recognize or acknowledge the true nature of their wrongs or the consequences of their behavior, which impacts every aspect of their ministry.
They behave ruthlessly, while calling their behavior God’s leading, misleading thousands in the process. Their egocentric worldview allows them to embrace a mind-set that equates their will with God’s will. They actually believe the two are one and the same. Because their calling is higher than others, they are more important, and they behave accordingly. What they think and believe carries more weight than others. By the message they preach, they would deny this; but by their actions, they consistently validate it.
They rarely admit wrongdoing because they never believe they are wrong, which is part of their unique personality disorder. They will acknowledge that they have made “many mistakes,” while never admitting to a specific one. They not only lack empathy for others; men and women like these don’t even understand it—not really. To them, it’s a concept to emulate, and their feigned compassion is never truly empathetic. Instead, they always have an agenda, which centers on ingratiating others to themselves.
What makes people like these so difficult to recognize is they have great empathy for “the lost”—for those who have no relationship with God. At the same time, they are quite willing to trample upon anyone who gets in their way to “reach the lost.”
Narcissists seem to love loosely defined groups rather than real, flesh-and-blood people, with whom they are incapable of having a normal relationship. It’s the idea of helping nameless, faceless people that they love—not getting involved with real humans. While the message they broadcast is humble, their day-to-day dealings with others displays how arrogant they really are. In their minds, they believe they are serving the Lord, but nothing could be further from the truth.
For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts. (I Thesssalonians 2:3-4)