Thursday, October 18, 2012

Revisiting Forgiveness and Confronting an Abuser


A few months ago, I began a series of posts which began to discuss forgiveness. I had the bulk of two or three posts written on the subject of how Christians can put forgiveness into perspective when those who have hurt them refuse to repent of the wrong they've done. Before I had an opportunity to back up what I'd written, due to some computer issues, I lost what I'd written. I've yet to tackle the redevelopment of what I'd already prepared.

But the subject keeps popping up. In the most recent post about Jack Schaap, the issue of forgiveness presents itself indirectly. If you are a victim and your abuser throws out a couple of lines of general repentance while doing nothing to show that they are contrite and regretful, what does the Bible say about the most prudent thing to do?

This question becomes vitally important to those who are healing from a difficult experience with an abusive church or a personal situation with an individual in a very controlling relationship. These topics deserve development as they so relate to the focus of this website. How do you make peace with what has happened to you when an abusive leader or spiritual authority figure has mistreated you but shows no signs of contrition and makes no attempt to offer some kind of restitution for the harm they've done? What if they find the idea that they need to make amends ridiculous because they felt entitled to behave abusively? How do you move through such an experience, and how do you learn to trust others in a healthy way in the wake of such a profound and pervasive disappointment?

Not all Christians agree on this matter, but I shall endeavor to present some ideas about this vital element of recovery from spiritual abuse. More will follow.