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In the counseling room, I often hear women say, “I never saw it coming….” Or, “I saw the signs but didn’t act on them.” When it comes to spiritual abuse, what are warning signs we can look for? How do we recognize spiritual abuse, and what should we do about it? Consider these examples.  Read more
As I reflect on my call to ministry, my heart and mind take me back to the book of Exodus, when God calls Moses to deliver his people out of Egyptian slavery. I identify with the Exodus story because of the deep burden and calling that God has placed in my life to guide his people out of slavery and the trappings of this world’s philosophy into his guiding way of life that is grounded in God’s son, Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Read more
The struggle for power has always been part of the human story. Sometimes the quest of a person or group of people to dominate another is easy to see, such as in the rising and toppling of civilizations throughout history. But other times the struggle for power grows right under our noses, while we remain largely unaware of its serious consequences. Such is the case with misogyny, which is rapidly mutating and infecting society in the viral form of pornography. Pornography is growing more violent and abusive toward women. It is also becoming more culturally acceptable. And, alarmingly, most of us don’t even recognize how much it is seeping into our everyday lives.  Read more
We often ask, “Why does God let abuse happen?” But I think the Lord may be asking the church, “Why do you allow it?” Martin Luther King, Jr. said that if there is one thing this generation should repent of, it’s the chilling silence of those who call themselves righteous. –Dr. José Vinces Read more
“I was born. Whether or not that is of consequence is yet to be determined.”  I still remember writing those words for a high school creative writing assignment. I had not yet determined if my life was relevant or even necessary. Those thoughts were not new to me; they had haunted me for as long as I could remember. Why?  Read more
Kimberly’s story left me speechless. She had believed that, as a Christian woman, she was to play a secondary role in ministry and in her marriage. “I was determined to be the kind of Christian wife God would be proud of. Yet nothing worked like it should have. I did all the submitting I could think of and more, but I could not do a thing about the abuse,” she wrote. After enduring terrible emotional and physical abuse from her husband and feeling certain that she was worthless to God and everyone else, Kimberly found herself at a breaking point. Then, in a seemingly meaningless chore—taking out the garbage — she discovered a book that would change her life: Gilbert Bilezikian’s Beyond Sex Roles. Kimberly had believed she was garbage, and yet, in the dumpster, she found a book that told her otherwise. Read more
Christian leaders often subscribe to stereotypes and myths about men and women and their sexuality. Most of the time, emphasis is placed on Christian women needing to dress modestly and for men to avoid the temptations of their “visual nature.” By proclaiming sexual myths, a “gendering” of sexual sin occurs which enables some and adds an extra level of shame for others. Basically, women are seen as less sexually motivated, and therefore issues such as female sexual addiction and pornography go unaddressed in many churches. Read more
It’s all around us; we are surrounded. Sometimes it’s in our faces; other times it’s become such a normal part of everyday existence that we hardly even take note. On the television, on the radio, at the movies, at the local drug store or the checkout lane at the grocery store: it is “raunch culture,” and it is invading nearly every aspect of our lives.  Read more
Someone has said that one of the biggest problems with pornography is not that it shows too much of a woman, but that it doesn’t show enough. It doesn’t show that she is an individual with a soul, who has a right to be valued as such. It doesn’t show that she has the right to privacy and honor and respect. It doesn’t show that she is a person of worth, created in the image of God, fully human.  Read more
In 1899 Joseph Conrad wrote the classic novel Heart of Darkness, using the context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expose the malevolent darkness of the human heart. Now, over a century later, the Democratic Republic of Congo epitomizes the reality and potency of human depravity. In the past decade Congo has experienced a series of foreign invasions and civil wars that have led to the deaths of over five million people. One byproduct of these years of conflict, coupled with entrenched patriarchy, is epidemic levels of violence against women.  Read more