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  1. Willa pointed out the history of the divisions in the Christisn Church and someone else mentioned the Jewish sects that existed before the Church started. So there have always been factions. Obviously it seems worse now because there are more professing Christians than there were 2000 years ago or even 1000 years ago. So naturally you will have more divisions. I think the problem arises when you have one or two churches claiming to have apostolic succession and then using that claim to hold people in bondage or manipulate them. When someone tells me they are a Christian and they are living out what they believe, I never care what denomination they belong to.
  2. I'm glad they are "willing to follow rules." The Bible instructs children to obey their parents in all things. I wouldn't allow it at all. And I'm surpprised the parents are not understanding. Every parent I know lives by the motto"your house your rules" unless it is something ungodly or immoral going on.
  3. I agree with what the others have said. I just wanted to add one quick thing. Husbands are called to love their wives and we know love does not behave rudely. From what you describe, his behavior is rude and insensitive and it hurts you. He should care about that and he should address that. I would also examine yourself and ask if you would give up a friend for him. I have noticed in my own marriage that at times I have asked my husband to do things that I'm not sure I would do. But nevertheless, he shouldn't be doing anything that causes his wife prolonged anxiety and hurt.
  4. Thank you turtletwo. And I expect criticism. It doesn’t bother me at all now. The first person I confided in was a Christian woman that I really admire and she accuseed me of gossiping when I told her. She was not concerned about me or his other victims, just his reputation. So that was my first clue that some people are going to rip me apart for coming forward. I have braced myself for it.
  5. Hi suzann344, There is a lot of assumption in your post. I’m 200 pages in and I think that a small part of me came here hoping that people would say don’t write it so that I could convince myself not to finish it. It has been very challenging to relive everything. Not just what I went through, but what I saw other girls and women go through. I spend all day either reading, writing or talking about it with my husband. I’m blessed to have such a supportive husband and three kids. My kids are out for summer break and whenever they see me writing they quiet down. To my surprise, the writing has helped me spiritually.As I write, I’m tempted to judge him and the people he surrounds himself with(judge him as far as labeling him as prideful, angry, selfish, greedy for money etc.) and I end up examining myself and realizing that I have some issues that I need to work on as well. I think if you knew the details you would judge me for not coming forward sooner.🙂
  6. Thank you! I saw that it was available online and I printed out chapter five to read today. It looks very helpful and relevant to what I’m writing.
  7. I’m not sure I agree there is judgement going on. And if there is, it might be justified because he is a Christian leader and Christ called out the hypocrisy among the religious leaders. The call “not to judge lest we be judged” was a call to avoid hypocritical judgement. Get the log out of your own eye first before attempting to get the speck out of your brother’s eye. That helps us to examine our own behavior and helps us to avoid hypocrisy. We’re also warned to make sure our judgements are fair. Would we want to be judged with the same measure we are using to judge others? There is a specific instruction not to judge the world but to in fact judge other Christians: 1 Corinthians 5 11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. As for what do I want, forgiveness or a warning for the public? I want both. They are not mutually exclusive. What I really want is for woman to stop being harmed and then denied healing by those who not only do not confess their sins, but threaten to revictimize you if you say anything. The church should be a safe place for women.
  8. Justin Adams, "Why expect a free rideforever without any effort?" Who said anything about a free ride without any effort? All of us have been called to grow spiritually (2nd Peter) and to bear fruit among many other things after we have been saved. However, we don't do these things to maintain salvation. We do them because we now belong to Him. And maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by a down-payment by the Spirit. I thought the ransom was paid in full?
  9. I will definitely consider it.🙂 I will say I don't think we help people, whether our enemies or not, when we assist them in covering up tragic behavior. It can be hard to come to repentance if you never have to face any consequences for your actions.
  10. “We are not relying on our righteousness but his.” This is what I wished people understood. I think the teaching that you can lose your salvation is so very sad and does nothing but keep people filled with anxiety and turns off unbelievers from our faith. Why become a Christian? If there is no assurance of salvation then Chritsianity looks like a pretty scary religion. Think about it: we’re born into original sin, given a weak body/flesh, we have a powerful adversary who prowls around looking to devour us and even God Himself can’t save us? We have to overcome all these obstacles or we burn in Hell for all Eternity. Why even bring kids into the world, especially if you believe the Calvinists who say only a few are chosen. How is that a message of Good News?
  11. Abdicate, John 9:1-12 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. Romans 7:15-20 New International Version (NIV) 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a]For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 2 Timothy 1:12-14 King James Version (KJV) 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
  12. Willa, I definitely realize "but for the grace of God go I." I haven't handled this well so I need to pray for his forgiveness and my own for some of the language I used when angry, among other things. Almost lost my faith altogether. He has not only not confessed everything,but he has called me saying that "if those details get out, you will destroy my life what little bit of it I have left."Also said his wife threatened to kill herself. I agreed not to disclose things that are not in the best interest of the public and would only serve to hurt his kids. He asked me for forgiveness but also hired private investigators and lawyers to look into my background hoping to find dirt on me. One of the lawyers threatened me so badly that he was fired from his firm and that was covered in the legal press. So part of the story is already out there. Thanks so much for your advice and wisdom.
  13. I'm not sure if I'm replying in the correct place but thanks for the warm welcome and replies. Jostler, thanks so much for taking the time to write all of that out. I agree with what you wrote and it helps a lot. If I have one negative feeling or thought about him, I start to think that my motive is revenge. But I'm not sure revenge in biblical times meant telling what others did to you. I thought it was returning evil for evil(or an eye for an eye etc.). This took such an emotional and spiritual toll on me that I couldn't even pray(with the exception of grace before meals) or read the Bible for a year. At this point, I don't want to do anything that is going to break my fellowship with God in that way again. I agree that the verses on judging, especially Matthew 7, are often twisted or misused a lot. Usually by those who want to continue on in sin.
  14. I don't know what forgiveness means anymore. I feel like the doctrine of forgiveness is being used as a license to sin and escape consequences. I recently discovered that a man who harmed me when I was age twenty is a very popular religious leader. When I say popular, I'm talking about Billy Graham, Tim Keller and other pastors thanking him in their books. This particular leader had a Christian Non Profit that he started the same year I met him. He harmed me an other women that year and the following year. I got in touch with the non profit and they fired him. He then called me and asked for forgiveness. I said "I forgive you" but he said because I am writing a book about my experience with him, I have not truly forgiven him. The Bible teaches if we don't forgive we won't be forgiven. It also says that vengeance is the Lord's. I'm being told that writing the book means that I have not forgiven in my heart and that I am taking vengeance. I was also told that I am "judging" him when I say he is not qualified to be a leader of a major Christian organization(he's had many stints in rehab for drinking, cocaine and has been a human trafficking customer). I don't want to hurt anyone by disclosing damaging details, but at the same time, I need healing. I also feel a duty to warn others about how some powerful men in the church harm others(particularly women). The most important thing is that my behavior is in line with Scripture. Any input would be appreciated.
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