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Spiritual Rape: An Acceptable Church Practice?

17 Jun

I was at the salon one day and I was giving my testimony to one of the ladies who frequent the shop with me every month. Her statement of faith was that she had no faith in the church at all because of what was done to her now deceased mother. I will get back to that later. In the middle of giving my personal testimony I told this woman that my husband and I had been spiritually raped at our former ministry, and this caused her to physically recoil. I did not stop there, but finished giving the testimony as God instructed, and then she told me her mother’s. Today I was thinking back on that conversation and I wondered why she recoiled the way that she did; that prompted me with the desire to know just how rape is defined by Dictonary.com (2011):

As a noun;

1.the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.

2.any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

3.statutory rape.

4.an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.

5.Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

As a verb;

6.to force to have sexual intercourse.

7.to plunder (a place); despoil.

8.to seize, take, or carry off by force.

In the World English Dictionary it has the definition, 3. any violation or abuse: the rape of justice, and that will be my focus for discussion. If you look online for the different types of rape you will find many varieties like spousal, acquaintance, statutory, prison, war, gang, etc. Rape is used for a variety of purposes as well; power, control, anger, and sexual gratification and sadism are a few of them. No one really wants to touch spiritual rape and its purpose, effect and residue. But I do. I am a survivor of spiritual rape and as such, I feel that my story can help someone else who may be going through it, or who has escaped it and does not know where to turn.

First, let me finish with my salon friend mother’s story; she stated that her mother attended the same church for more than 20 years and was extremely faithful to it. This lady had five siblings and they could all see that her mother was in a spiritually abusive church, but she would not listen, she was faithful even unto the end of her life. The daughter told me that her mother gave the church her life savings, she had nothing left upon her death, and although she seemed happy, the family never saw her that way. They saw their mother broken, battered and bruised by a ministry that cared nothing about her soul, only her wealth. What eventually happened was this faithful woman of God probably went home to Jesus, but her six children harbor resentment to the church and possibly God for what they saw their mother suffer. Spiritual rape.

My (our) story is a little different in that the church did not end us, God made a way for our escape, healed us and allowed us to live and tell the tale. Presently it seems like a vast number of ministries are allowing these spiritual rapists to run rampant. They are ravaging God’s people and leaving them for dead spiritually. Please understand that rape is a violation that is intended to strip a person down to their very core and leave them vulnerable; many church leaders who do this may not even be aware of what they are doing, but at heart they are narcissistic, ego-maniacal control freaks who were most likely not sent and just went. In my case it started innocently enough, having my husband and I become “servants” of the Pastor and his wife, and once that was successfully implemented we had to be publicly humiliated in front of the church (homeless and the Pastor offered us a two room shack with no kitchen for us and our 3 children at the time), and when that mission was completed the final phase was to make sure that every service we were guilted into giving a sacrificial offering because we owed him. We had been initiated into the ranks of the spiritually raped victims who came before us. Why were they successful you may ask? The same reason why a date rapist may successfully conquer his “prey”; these people will have you both adore them and on some level fear them and those emotions will make you let down your defenses and leave you vulnerable.

I have a confession. I am a huge fan of the show “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”, and last night I remembered an episode where this young lady was targeting these men and desecrating their bodies by scarring them. When she was finally caught in the act she made the statement/question when asked who she was: “I’m nobody, who are you? Are you nobody too (a poem originally written by E. Dickenson)?” The detectives did not understand the meaning behind those questions until they figured out that the men she was targeting were the men who had raped her as a young teen. They victimized and told her that she was a “nobody”. Sound familiar?

The spiritual rapist will have you questioning everything that you previously believed, even your identity in Christ, and possibly destroy any trust in God that you had built up. I can honestly state that after we were spiritually ravaged, God Himself delivered us from the evil hand that victimized us and it took YEARS to heal. It has only been in the last two years that I have been able to loosen up around most pastors because of the one that I came up under.

To answer my initial question on why the lady in the salon recoiled, it was because the word “rape” is still taboo and a lot of women do not want to even discuss it. However, spiritual rape is a true phenomenon and many women AND men have been victims. The good news is that Jesus Christ is a healer and 2 Cor. 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”.  He is also a restorer; if he can restore my faith, he can also restore yours.

In light of the spiritual rapists like well-known Eddie Long/Creflo Dollar, Jamal Bryant, Pastor Ed Young, and others of their ilk, scandals, and even the lesser known wolves like my former pastor, I urge their members to recognize their abusers, empower yourselves and flee!

If you are reading this and you are wavering because it is hard to trust any person in the pulpit, please send me an email and I will pray with you that God will lead and guide you into all of His truth. I cannot tell you how many nights I cried over how hurt and deceived I felt. No, not at God because my faith may have wavered at times but it never failed. I cried because the first man of God (I thought) that I trusted violated that trust. I consoled myself not with evil thoughts of vengeance, but I know that God’s Word will not return to Him void, but it will accomplish that which he pleases (Isa. 55:11), and God said that he would repay. That is good enough for me!

A Pastor’s Wife

 
13 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Spiritual Abuse

 

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13 responses to “Spiritual Rape: An Acceptable Church Practice?

  1. Sandy Mcgrapth

    June 19, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    It’s scarce for me to discern something on the web that is as entertaining and exciting as what you possess got here. Your page is sweet, your artwork are excellent, and what’s a lot more, you use reference that are appropriate to which you’re saying. You’re definitely one in a million, stellar job!

     
    • iampastorswife

      June 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM

      Thank you so much Sandy, your words blessed me today! Be encouraged and may Jesus bless and keep you!

       
  2. brdavision

    June 23, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Wow Sister Pastor’s Wife! This is another well written, truthful, gut wrenching article. Want to know something crazy? The institutional physical and spiritual rape that goes on in the black church has become increasingly both disgusting and shameful. Preachers with their high charisma levels and authoritarian ways have ravaged and plundered us for years. And we have taken it without so much as a squeal…..

    The word of God and its contents have remained foreign to us and that’s why these charlatans are able to Lord over the people in such a way. Did you catch that movie The Book of Eli? Well the main villain in the movie desired to have the word of God, not to teach the people and have them be saved from their sins, he wanted the bible so that he could be a Tyrannical King over them. But thank God Eli prevented him from achieving that goal.

    That’s what we are going to have to do today as well. We are going to have to take up the sword of the Spirit and attack those who teach falsely and oppress God’s people. The time is out for sitting back saying the Lord will take care of it. What do we think God has us here for? We are his church and according to my bible “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against” us……

    Sorry I think I started preaching lol

    Thanks for writing this. I’m sure it will help many…..

     
    • iampastorswife

      June 25, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      Brother D.,

      Can I give a hearty AMEN to your sermon? You can always have the floor in this forum because your words come from a place of spiritual experience that I quickly recognized and acknowledged. The word rape is so taboo that many people who are survivors are quick to say, “Oh I got hurt in the church” when they know that they have been ravaged and desecrated. I believe in keeping it real and I call it like I experienced it. God delivered me, you, my husband, your wife and many other survivors so that we can help someone else to not fall into the traps that the wolves have set. You are so right about taking up our swords (The Word of God) and fighting; I stopped being a victim more than 13 years ago, and once I got up I knew that it was time to help my brothers and sisters to do the same. If this blog my newest vehicle towards that then To God Be All the Glory!

      The Book of Eli. Loved the movie, loved the symbolism and the message. I am a sociologist/psychologist in training so the movie spoke to me on many levels. That villain knew that “the book(s)” contained power, and that is what the devil wants, power and to be equal with God. That guy felt that if he could just get his hand on the book that he would have that power, yet when he got his hands on it, he was the one who was blind, not Eli. Why? Because Eli had the Word hid in his heart. Some of these leaders want the same power that God has, yet they are so blind, tyrannical and greedy that being joint-heirs with Jesus Christ is not enough for them. Just like the villain in Eli they rape, pillage, desecrate and destroy all to obtain power and in the end – they still lose! My God is awesome!

      Keep on defending the faith, I appreciate each and every post!

      Pastor’s Wife.

       
  3. brdavision

    July 4, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    I appreciate your willingness to be voice crying out in the wilderness….

    We need many more like you.

    God Bless!

     
  4. cevon

    July 20, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Thank you for a great post.

     
  5. Jaj

    January 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    A lot of people are being raped in the church…but what is sad is they don’t even know they are. We as intercessor need to intercede for them that their eyes be opened and they wake up. I know because I was there before. But the church and the pastor’s are telling them that every one else is messed up and not them, so they continue to believe they are on the right track.
    I really thank God today for waking me up and exposing the truth, because I was really naive to what was going on.
    God Bless you Pastors wife and this forum!

     
    • iampastorswife

      January 16, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Jaj, thank you for your comments. This is more common than many would like to think; this spirit in the church is akin to the Jezebel spirit and its ultimate goal is to keep the people from growing in the knowledge of God, and to keep us subject to man. God is raising up a remnant of people who are not afraid to confront this spirit or these abusive pastors, but as you stated we who have been freed need to intercede on behalf of those still in bondage. I talk to people everyday who, to be frank, sound like slaves from the 1700s when speaking about their “church” and their “passa”; I remember a time where I was the same way. Thank God for His spirit and the freedom that comes with it. God bless you too and thank you again for commenting!

      pw

       
  6. GinaD.

    March 31, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Thank u for posting the truth. I have been a victim of this spiritual abuse and God has been opening my eyes and setting me free. For a while I was in denial about it and didnt know what was even happening to me. If its possible “pastors wife” may I have your email to further discuss my situation and to pray? Thank you again for this truth and for exposing this subject.

     
  7. SAM

    October 22, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    on the road to recovery, taking my life back by force with the saving word of the living God” I’m so glad to know I; not alone anymore with this. Those control freaks are still trying to get at me and my children, but praise be to God! and his unchanging word I have the victory, just need to know that I’m not alone, an others have had an experienced spiritual rape and survived. I:m not saying that the road to recovery is easy yet in Christ still I’m taking my life back by force with God Word!

     
    • iampastorswife

      October 23, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Good evening Sam,

      I am praying for your spiritual recovery. I know how very hard that road may seem, but when you trust in the Lord and His word then you will have few worries. The hardest part of recovering from spiritual abuse is learning to trust again, especially churches, church leaders and the like. It will be a tough road, but God will guide you through it. Continue to pray over your children that the manipulative spirits will be bound in the name of Jesus. This period in your life will be your testimony going forward, and I’m sure that you will help others in your journey. Keep trusting in God and staying faithful to what HIS word says.

      Thank you for commenting and I will be praying for you!

      pw.

       
  8. Mark Ellis

    November 7, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    This is an amazing blog thread to read. I searched the internet for the subject ‘spiritual rape’ and came across this post! I have been ‘taking a beating’ and ‘losing my spiritual gifts’ and so have left the Catholic Church…I have been away since March or April and am praying daily…many times per day…asking God to restore me and return what has been taken from me in Christ Jesus’ name.

     

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