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Archive for May, 2008



Refer to STEP 6:
I abandoned my desire to spread hatred because of my pain and anger, and chose to relinquish my right to be self-absorbed.

But seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

When you’ve been abused, when you’ve been verbally maligned, when you’ve had your character assaulted by someone you trust, the most natural thing in the world is to strike back. You want vindication. You want to set the record straight. You want everybody to know the truth. You want someone to listen.

For those of us in recovery from religious abuse, we know these feelings well. It’s hard for us to escape them—even for a short time.

Unfortunately, the abusive leaders are in the power position, and any attempts to set the record straight frequently falls on deaf ears, making the abusee seem like a disgruntled malcontent.

Although it’s hard—really, really hard, to survive emotionally you need to renew your mind by seeking the Kingdom of God first, allowing Him to set the record straight—in His time, not in yours.

From your perspective, this seems particularly unfair but, if you seek God’s perspective diligently, it will come and so will your vindication. For most of us, instant gratification isn’t fast enough. From God’s perspective, building you from the inside out is far more important than proving you right to the world.

If you understand this and accept it, this part of renewing your mind will be complete, and you will be well on your road to recovery.

Related Articles
Renewing Your Mind: Part 1
Renewing Your Mind: Part 2
Renewing Your Mind: Part 3
Renewing Your Mind: Part 4
Renewing Your Mind: Part 5
Renewing Your Mind: Part 6
Renewing Your Mind: Part 7

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Refer to STEP 4: He alone could heal me

One of the great illusions of life is that we control our own destiny. Every one of us wants to believe this, whether Christian or not. But it simply isn’t true—as life teaches us repeatedly.

Having control certainly is not a New Testament principle. And yet, we all want to believe the outcome of our lives depends upon what we do or what we don’t do. We want it so much, we often demand God to do what we want and believe, like a two-year-old, He will acquiesce to our wishes. Like a good parent, He smiles and does what is best for us from His perspective—not ours.

At the same time, much of life has routine to it. Because it does, we become accustomed to having a certain measure of control over our day-to-day activities. This leads us to believe we do have control.

Then, for whatever reason, something happens that’s completely out of left field. And more often than not, it isn’t something desired.

When that happens, we can become angry and bitter, blaming God for the unpleasantness of our circumstances. Or, we can renew our minds by bending our knee and acknowledging that God, in His sovereignty, has control over everything. And we do not.

From my personal experience, this is not only the most difficult part of Christianity but of life as well. I know . . . that I know . . . that I know God is in control, and I still have a hard time with this. Most Christians do.

Just think what it would be like if you didn’t have the Lord. Take a minute and thank Him for being so intimately aware of who you are that He knows the number of hairs on your head.

Related Articles
Renewing Your Mind: Part 1
Renewing Your Mind: Part 2
Renewing Your Mind: Part 3
Renewing Your Mind: Part 4
Renewing Your Mind: Part 5
Renewing Your Mind: Part 6

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: As evidenced by the story about the renegade Catholic priest, the Obama/ Wright connection will remain in the news throughout the election cycle. At Pushing Jesus, we will make periodic commentaries about this. It’s right on target for us. It’s important; it’s relevant; and it’s interesting.

–Jack–

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Refer to Step 3: I accepted that the responsibility for getting back on track was mine and no one else’s.

Between now and the election next November, we will hear a great deal about how Barack Obama perceives the world. Most of it, however, will be carefully filtered through his sophisticated campaign staff. It’s like that for every presidential candidate. At the same time, those of us recovering from religious abuse will listen to what he has to say through our filter as well.

If I’m correct about the strength of Jeremiah Wright’s influence upon him, it will come out in moments of candor. Some will refer to moments like these as gaffes. That’s not what they are! Instead, they reveal the inner working of Barack Obama’s worldview—and Michelle Obama’s as well.

The gaffe he made about his uncle liberating Auschwitz instead of the other concentration camp was actually encouraging. At least he recognizes the Holocaust actually happened, which Farrakhan and other Muslims deny.

In the days ahead, look for what he might say about the following:

Israel—and our commitment to it
Islamic nations—and how America should relate to them
Racism—should African-Americans be considered victims?
Christ—does Obama view Him like Wright does?

If you pay attention, Obama will reveal himself clearly, and you can make an informed decision about his suitability as Commander-in-Chief.

Related Articles
The Obama Worldview: Part 1
The Obama Worldview: Part 2
The Obama Worldview: Part 3
The Obama Worldview: Part 4
Is Obama a Narcissist

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Refer to STEP 4: I chose to accept as true what God has said about Himself. He is good and can be trusted.

No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or how you’ve blown it, God is able to get you back to a place where He can use you again.
—Nancy Leigh DeMoss—

When a person has been verbally or emotionally abused, feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem are inevitable. It just goes with the territory. Sadly, it’s usually what the abuser wants.

To recover, however, the abusee needs to make a conscious, concerted effort to reject the message that says they are worthless. It isn’t true—even if you’ve done some less than honorable things.

God still has a plan for you. He still loves you, and everything can work together for good, if you will allow it. To do this, you need to renew your mind and tell yourself every day—and sometimes every minute—you have value to God, to yourself, and to everyone you know.

This, more than any thing else, will help you become everything God ever intended you to be.

Related Articles
Renewing Your Mind: Part 1
Renewing Your Mind: Part 2
Renewing Your Mind: Part 3
Renewing Your Mind: Part 4
Renewing Your Mind: Part 5

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Refer to STEP 1:
I recognized that where I am in life is not where I want to be. My life was shipwrecked.

Denial is the number one reason why people don’t recover from religious abuse. They refuse to accept that the problem exists so, in their minds, it doesn’t. That’s what Barack Obama wants us to believe about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright. There’s no problem with it.

Their position is that Obama went to church there. That’s all. It’s no big deal, and it hasn’t had that much impact upon his wife and him. That’s the message we are given by Obama and his campaign staff, and they want us to believe it.

Apparently, millions do but, for those of us who are in recovery from religious abuse, it’s simply not credible. We are either being deliberately deceived or, more likely, the Obama’s believe what they are saying is true, which means they are in denial. They don’t believe Jeremiah Wright has had much impact upon their lives and how they think.

But could this be true?

It’s highly unlikely, especially since Obama showed so much loyalty to Wright by refusing to get rid of him long after he became a political liability. Do you think Hilary Clinton would have shown similar loyalty? Of course not.

The political commentators on every network couldn’t understand why Obama didn’t cut Wright loose much earlier, but we understand why he didn’t, don’t we? It’s not that easy to cut the cord with abusers, is it? For those who have never been abused, it’s easy to be critical but, for those of us who have years of experience with it, it’s one of the most difficult things in the world to do.

It has to be done, however, and the first step is to recognize that the abuse has actually happened. The Obama’s aren’t there yet. They’re in denial and don’t believe Wright’s worldview has any negative implications for them.

They’re wrong about that. It does, and I have three words for that foolish assumption:

Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick!

Related Articles
The Obama Worldview: Part 1
The Obama Worldview: Part 2
The Obama Worldview: Part 3
Is Obama a Narcissist?

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Delmer, who has written several comments about Barack and Michelle Obama, has written a guest editorial, which hits a nerve few Caucasians can understand. I was deeply touched by his candor and decided to let him have center stage with his message.

-Jack-

Before we talk about our assumptions about what Barack and Michelle Obama’s worldview might be, I think it’s important to understand what Black Liberation Theology is, and how it started. This link from About.com is one of the best explanations I have found so far:

http://atheism.about.com/od/theology/a/lib_black.htm

I’d also like to say that I totally, wholeheartedly agree with what Jack wrote about Christianity being colorblind. In my mind, the church should be front and center in addressing this issue. But Like Jack said, in too many instances, Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week. And to be honest, there have been many instances over my lifetime where I have attended white churches (I am Black obviously) and was treated either with indifference, disdain, or down right rudeness.

It breaks my heart.

My whole life I have been open to having relationships with all types of people, regardless of who they were. It blows me away that people’s fear would still allow them to marginalize me as a human being. Me, who was created by the same God that created them, but for some reason, because of my color, I am somehow “different” or “less than”.

We can address this together, but I think as a nation we are still suffering the consequence of the sin of racism every day. I liken it to a sin that we may commit. While Christ may forgive us that sin, we still suffer the consequence of that sin. Unfortunately, many hearts have not been healed or racism, and it continues to perpetuate itself in generation after generation.”

-Delmer

Related Articles
The Obama Worldview: Part 1
The Obama Worldview: Part 2
The Obama Worldview: Part 3
Is Obama a Narcissist?

Read Full Post »

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