The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Abusers & Perpetrators

Pedophiles vs. Child Molesters: Understanding the Difference

186

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

To say that all pedophiles are child molesters is like saying all straights are rapists.  Pedophilia is a sexual orientation.  Molestation is a form of sexual assault.  Being sexually attracted to children is not at all the same as wanting to assault them.

UNDERSTANDING PEDOPHILES

While many gays and straights like to publicly broadcast their sexual preferences, pedophiles tend to keep their private feelings about sex to themselves.  What’s wrong with that?  It’s hardly classy or appropriate to dump your hormonal viewpoints and urges all over the world wide web.  A straight man who tells the world how he is lusting after his female coworker is behaving quite immaturely.  People who post pictures and videos of themselves being physically intimate with their lovers are just cheapening something which is meant to be cherished.  Our personal sexual desires are not things we should be waving about like flags.  So the fact that a pedophile doesn’t walk down the street saying, “Hey, everyone, I’m really turned on by kids,” hardly makes that man a creep.  Instead, he’s modeling a level of self-restraint that we could all use to imitate.  Read more of this post

Help for Aggressive Critics: Why You Need to Verbally Trump Others

245

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Are you one of those argumentative Christians who is always looking for a chance to shut someone down with your version of God’s truth?  Do you listen in on other people’s conversations, hoping that someone will show some ignorance on a subject that you feel you’re an expert on so you can barge into the conversation and pound that fool into the ground with your brilliance?  Do you find yourself getting all agitated and flush-faced when someone makes a comment about God which you believe is wrong?  Are you quick to break out a mocking tone and condescending language as you’re explaining your view to someone else?  Do you inwardly panic when someone points out a major flaw in your argument that you don’t know how to counter? Do you understand why you’re such a dominating pill in verbal conversations?  You have your reasons.  Humans always have reasons for what they do, and those reasons make sense to them.  Read more of this post

Understanding Your Perverse Fantasies: A Sign of Stress, Not Defectiveness

242

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There’s a widespread belief among Christians that if a man’s spiritual priorities were in the right order, he wouldn’t have certain kinds of thoughts, he wouldn’t be hooked on porn, and he wouldn’t have certain nasty desires welling up within him 24/7.  And yet the truth is that a man can have excellent priorities and be embracing all the right soul attitudes while he is being plagued with some very dark mental fantasies.  The psychological principles we’re going to discuss in this post can be very helpful to anyone who is feeling tormented with perverse fantasies of any kind.  When you’re obsessing over certain kinds of themes, you can easily end up shunned by both the mainstream Christian community as well as the world at large.  Happily neither of these human groups are accurately conveying God’s assessment of you.  And once you understand a few basic principles about where perverse fantasies come from, you can stop treating yourself like a worm and become more receptive to the compassion and help God is offering you. Read more of this post

Are all sexual perverts going to Hell?

Are all sexual perverts going to Hell?

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There is something about the mention of sexual sins in the New Testament that triggers a selective memory response in Christians. We know there are certain verses which specifically say that all sexual perverts will go to Hell and we like to refer to them whenever the topic comes up. We don’t recite the actual verses, we just say something general like “God says all perverts will go to Hell.” We do this because we have forgotten what the verses really say. If we remembered them accurately, we’d stop quoting them so often because when they’re isolated from the rest of Scripture, these verses actually say that we are all going to Hell. Read more of this post

Temporary Deliverance: How to Interpret the Return of Old Struggles

229

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

For thirty years, John has been owned by his addiction to alcohol.  He just can’t stop getting plastered, and his addiction has ruined his life.  One day John is sobbing alone on the floor of his ratty apartment and feeling totally overwhelmed by his own worthlessness.  He cries out to Jesus in desperation and asks Him to have His way with what’s left of John’s shattered existence.  Much to John’s shock, a miraculous feeling sweeps through his body and suddenly the constant craving for alcohol is gone.  Not only that, but the horrible depression that’s always hanging over him also vanishes.  John feels like a crushing boulder has been lifted off of him.  He’s a new man, and for two whole years life is glorious.  But then John’s circumstances take a turn for the worst and he finds himself greatly stressed.  Much to his horror, that old craving starts rearing its ugly head again and soon John finds himself in a bar getting drunk.  What happened?  Has Jesus rejected him? Read more of this post

Help for Physical Abusers: Why You Keep Beating the People You Love

227

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Joe is walking alone down a dark alley at night.  Suddenly a masked man with a bat leaps out of the shadows and demands that Joe hand over his wallet.  Terrified, Joe rushes to obey.  He tosses his wallet at his attacker’s feet and fearfully backs away, pleading for mercy.  Score one for the mugger.

A short while later, another man named Todd heads down the same alley.  Once again, our mugger leaps out of the shadows wielding his weapon and demands that Todd hand over his wallet.  Todd lunges forward, tears the bat away, and beats our mugger into a bloody pulp.  Thus ends the career of our mugger. Read more of this post

Rejecting Labels of Inferiority: Help for Victims of Abuse

226

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There is an element of power in every human relationship.  What defines whether a relationship is healthy, dysfunctional, or abusive is how that power is being distributed and used.  An important point to bear in mind is that among humans, it is never correct for all of the power to be on one side.  In peer relationships, the goal is to keep the power equally divided.  In parent-child relationships, the parent is supposed to start off with the majority of the power.  As the child grows, the parent is supposed to gradually allocate more and more power to the child until the relationship finally settles into a peer dynamic when the child is an adult. Read more of this post

The Mindset of Trauma Rehearsal: Trying to Acclimate to the Unbearable

225

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Trauma is initially created by a lack of debriefing.  It wasn’t just that you experienced something overwhelmingly negative—it was that you were prevented from being able to emotionally depressurize immediately afterward.  It is the absence of debriefing or processing which turns upsetting experiences into crippling traumas.  Heather and Kim are  good examples of this.  Both women had terrifying drowning experiences when they were girls.  But in Heather’s case, she was able to run to a caring mother, cry it all out, and receive both sympathy and help in gaining a new perspective of her experience.  While she was being held underwater, unable to breathe, Heather was terrified.  Her mind was leaping to all kinds of overwhelming conclusions, such as the brother who she trusted was maliciously holding her under.  As Heather’s mother talks her through these feelings and helps her understand that her brother was not trying to harm her, overwhelming fears are put to rest, and Heather is able to quickly recover.  Read more of this post

Dealing with Death: Eight Lies that Keep Us Stuck in the Past

222

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Someone has died and instead of moving on with your life, you’re obsessing.  You’re stuck in the past.  You’re feeling obligated to treat the dead person as if they are still very much a part of your life.  There are many reasons why people choose to respond this way to death, and none of them are good for the soul.  If you’re not ready to leave your stagnating position, then this post is just going to make you mad.  We’re dishing out tough love here, and that means we’re going to blast you with a lot of bluntly stated truths with very little padding in between.  Our purpose in using a tough love approach is to cover a lot of ground in a little space while arming you with a ton of good food for thought. But if you’re not ready to do some deep thinking, then you’re probably going to feel overwhelmed very fast and you’ll want to go off and sulk or send us a snarky message instead of embracing the truths that we’re going to lay out for you. Maturity is something we must choose—it’s not something that can be forced upon us.  The longer we try to avoid it, the more miserable we become.  But once we do reach the point where we are tired of being miserable, then there is great hope to be had.  No matter where you’re stuck, you can move forward by gaining some new perspectives and making some wise soul choices.  Read more of this post

Understanding Conviction: Invitations to Engage

221

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You’re thinking about getting an abortion and God convicts you not to.  Is He worried that you’re going to snuff out a life prematurely?  No, because He hasn’t placed that power in your hands.  You can’t mess up God’s plans for another soul.  You can’t cheat them out of opportunities that He wanted them to have.  God isn’t convicting you because He’s worried that you’re about to mess up His universe.  He’s convicting you to force you to choose between obedience and rebellion.  He’s after engagement.  He doesn’t need your help. Read more of this post