When Pastors Abuse

I wish Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse was not a book I needed to write. Why? I wish “church” was always a place of love, safety, and God’s goodness. I wish the organized “church” looked and loved just like Jesus.

Jesus is perfect theology and God is love. There is no abuse in love. There is no manipulation or dominance in love. There is no control in love. There is nothing perverse, sexually inappropriate, or lustful in love.

I use quotes for the “church” because truly God’s church is not a weekend service or organization, it is a body of people yielded to God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their agape love (pure, sacrificial, and unselfish love). Abuse is not love and not of God. God will separate His true church from what is false.

Part of what I do is called deep inner healing. It’s not SOZO for those who are in the charismatic church. It’s inviting God into memories throughout a person’s life to interject truth, expose lies, deal with pain, and negative emotions. I do not interject memories. We deal with what God reveals to a person that needs to be healed.

Over the years I have heard the worst of the worst of stories; stories that make Steven King movies appear tame. I deal with people who have been severely damaged and abused to the point of dissociation (they fracture into multiple personalities). I hate to admit that some of the perpetrators claimed to be Christians. Some were pastors or deacons. Some had high levels of influence. They used their status and influence to exploit, manipulate, abuse, or molest others.

Some churches have encouraged hiding the sins of the pastors or the “church”. If anyone knew it could damage the “church” reputation. Holding onto this mindset helped to enable thousands of pastors to continue to abuse people in silence. It is ungodly to enable sin. What you hide, enables abuse to continue. It sends a message, “Please come and abuse people here. We will keep your secrets and forgive. We will pretend that nothing happened.” Some “church” leaders don’t recognize forgiveness is not ENABLING! Forgiveness is supposed to be coupled with repentance. To repent is to change one’s mind, not offer a sloppy sorry because you were caught.

In Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse I talk about the boundaries churches need in place to prevent a set up for a scandal.

  • Background checks on every leader. If you are a pedophile, you are not qualified to lead. Period.
  • Men should not counsel women in closed door, behind the scenes situations or off hours. And vice versa with women counseling men. “Counseling,” has led numerous people into sexual misconduct. Have a two person system. If you must have a one on one, one pastor I knew had a glass office door and his admin would sit outside. She could not hear, she could see what was going on in the session. I do not do deep inner healing sessions by myself in person. I have an assistant. If it’s through Skype, it’s recorded.
  • Check in on pastors and their mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Some are burnt out and not connecting with God. They serve, yet they are not working on their own relationship with God. Check in and have accountability systems.
  • Set up situations where leaders are never alone with someone else’s child. Children’s ministry should have two people not related caring for kids. They all need background checks too!
  • Teach your children proper boundaries. Just because a person claims to be a Christian does not mean they are safe. Teach your children about inappropriate touch and they can tell you anything. It’s sad, yet many children are threatened with getting in trouble if they tell.
  • Cease trusting people just because they claim to be a Christian or clergy!! This one is big.

I knew a lady who’s pastor invited her out to a bar then began to sexually proposition her. Well, first thing is this-I am not meeting my pastor alone anywhere!! Let alone a bar. Secondly, the moment he propositioned me for sex he would have been rebuked and then turned into the church board. This pastor had a history of hitting on women at the church, sleeping with them, then getting up preaching on Sunday. He would also remove parts of scripture that talked about sexual immorality.

What we permit, we promote! Let me repeat that, “What we permit, we promote.” This woman wanted to love, forgive, and pray for her pastor. Awesome! Yes, forgive. Also rebuke the sexual advances and let someone know so he cannot prey on anyone else. Some women have been so brainwashed with false teachings on submitting to authority that they easily give in to what is ungodly. He’s my pastor, I have to do this. NO!!!! You are sinning and God still hold you accountable. “My pastor told me,” does not fly in heaven.

What are you and I going to do to help stop abuse in the church? We cannot change other people. We can ask God for our part! Writing this book and helping victims of abuse is part of my part. It’s also my part to say something if I see something inappropriate.

I regret not listening to my instincts years ago. I noticed a male minister always playing with the little girls. He was in his 50s. They were 7 to 14 years old. I did not wish to judge him. I thought I was being overly suspicious. I looked the other way though it bugged me. Later it was revealed he was grooming young teen girls for sex. He eventually married a teenage girl in an impoverished nation by grooming her parents as well. He was eventually removed from ministry. Could I have helped if I said something early on? I don’t know. I had no proof. It just creeped me out. I wish I had said something.

My encouragement is this, “Please don’t turn a blind eye to abuse, control, manipulation, or sexual sin.” God is loving, gracious, kind, and forgiving. God also highly values people. If we allow abuse we violate God’s love. Being passive is easy. Being passive is not godly.

I see the aftermath in sessions with people. I see how the abuse wounded their views of themselves, of God, of the church. I see the horror and the agony the victims of abuse carry.

Let’s have honest conversations about abuse in the church. Let’s have boundaries that keep people safe. Let’s stop teaching that submission is doing whatever is asked of you. It’s not! Godly submission is being willing to yield to what honors God. It does not mean obey. Let’s teach young children and teens about appropriate and inappropriate touch. Let’s teach everyone about healthy boundaries. No I am not meeting a man alone in his home for ministry. I do not have them come to my house either. Why? I have no desire to be a victim of rape nor to appear to be doing something inappropriate. I don’t meet men at bars to talk about ministry. I don’t sin with them.

Several stories came out this week of men in Christian leadership exposed for sexual misconduct. Those women could have helped themselves by saying, “No I am not sinning with you. No I am not meeting you somewhere alone with no witnesses.” I am not trying to blame them. I feel compassion for them. I am saying in this day and age, we must use wisdom. I am not traveling to my pastors house alone. I will meet you in a public place with witnesses. No I am not sinning with you and submitting to what dishonors me or my relationship with Jesus. Boundaries help protect what has value. It’s far more difficult for sexual assault to happen in a public place with loads of witnesses.

If you have been abused sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually (spiritual abuse is another one that is high in clients I see), manipulated, controlled, or mistreated by clergy or professing Christians, I am so sorry! It is not the heart of God and He hates abused. I pray your heart is healed and restored. God loves you! I can also confidently say that God gives beauty for ashes and binds up the wounds of the broken hearted! You are greatly loved.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Join the Book Club!

I am passionate about helping people step into freedom. You and I do not have to hobble through life broken. It’s time to heal! Let’s heal together.

I am launching an Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse study book club on August 1, 2019.

This closed Facebook group will include additional video teachings, discussion, Q/A, and more!

What do you need to join the group?

1. Access to Facebook.

2. To purchase the study guide (only available at https://www.empowered-free.com/shop).

3. Get a copy of the book (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Amazon.com) or (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Empowered & Free).

Once you purchase the study guide, only $6.99, you will be sent a request to join the community/group.

We will discuss challenging questions like where is God when abuse happens? Does forgiveness heal everything? What to do when you have forgiven and you still can’t stand that person? Wrong teachings from the Bible that create circumstances for abuse, how to get your soul healed, preventing abuse, and MORE!

I hope you join the group and to connect with you soon!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P. S one of the book signings will be in Powell, Ohio on August 19th, 2019 (11am-1pm). More details to come.

It’s Time to Live Victorious! (New Book Coming Soon)

We are almost across the finish line! I am finishing up the supplemental study guide for the Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book today.

This book was birthed out of conversations with clients from deep inner healing sessions and a friend who said, “We need a book to address abuse in the church.” It was not in my queue of books to write. I was working on a manuscript called Killing Insecurity. It’s still a work in progress. 🙂

In the past few years we have heard and seen the stories of #metoo and #churchtoo. Unfortunately, communities of faith are not immune from abuse, gross misconduct, or ungodly behavior. Every person can still choose sin. Abuse is sin. It is unfortunate when abuse happens in places that were intended to be safe, like family, and a place of healing.

I noticed abuse can slip under the rug because of wrong teachings about forgiveness, wrong teachings about submission and headship, and wrong beliefs about God. For many, it is far more detrimental to be abused by clergy. Then they are told to simply forgive and magically it will be like nothing happened. This is false. There are ways to restore/help both the abused and the the abuser.

Aren’t Christians supposed to be loving and perfect? Ha! I am not perfect, are you? Only God is perfect. I am a work in progress.

So, what are we to do about the abuse, control, manipulation, and gross mistreatment? What do we do when the people who claim to love God are failing in loving people? I highly recommend addressing it head on instead of ignoring abuse or telling people to forgive, build a bridge and get over the trauma or mistreatment they suffered.

We must cease sweeping things under the rug and deal with issues that violate God’s heart. It’s a part of justice. God loves to help the oppressed. The greatest commandment revolves around loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse unpacks:

  • Why abuse happens.
  • How people who claim Jesus can be so cruel and unloving.
  • How to spot the red flags of abuse.
  • Wrong uses of scripture.
  • Why forgiveness alone is not removing all your negative feelings or pain.
  • How to get your soul healed!
  • How to keep your children and heart safe.
  • Setting boundaries and dealing with people who do not respect boundaries.
  • Moving from victim to victor.
  • Where was God and why didn’t He stop the abuse?
  • And so much more!

I hope you grab a copy of Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse when it’s released next month and you share it with any person who has been physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally or in any way grossly mistreated by professing Christians.

I also recommend this book for those who have not been abused. I have never been sexually abused, yet I have learned so much and how to speak compassionately from working with abuse victims. Sometimes Christians say the wrong things. This book provides insight into the thoughts of an abuse victim.

I hope many are set free from deep rooted wounds. The first editor stated she experienced healing from reading the manuscript.

It’s time to heal.

It’s time to SOAR!

It’s time to move out of the land of being victimized and into the land of victors.

You may watch a short book trailer here: https://youtu.be/jlexF1HRpFA

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Why That Christian May Have Hurt You!

Gosh, God loves us SOoooooooo much and loves us just as we are. He does not want to leave us as He found us. Part of growing up is becoming more like Jesus in love and character. We still have our uniqueness, we simply grow to look like we would have without the impact of the Fall. We came from God, and in Him there is no flaw.

Sometimes along the way hurts happen from Christians in process, Christians not abiding, immature or carnal Christians. There are two choices 1. Become bitter and cynical. 2. Become better and learn from the experiences.

Hope this post blesses someone and even heals hurts caused by people in process. I am so still on His Potter’s Wheel. The goal is not striving for perfection. The goal is continual intimacy with God and yielding to God to produce good fruit.

Perspective Shifts Can Heal Woundeness (Reflections from the next book)

Sometimes the person who harmed you is an infant or toddler spiritually and in their soul. If you watch babies/toddlers they can be quite “me focused.” They do not think about how their choices impact anyone else. They can be selfish, rude, throw tantrums, make messes, buck correction, get highly offended, pout, and be irresponsible.

Just because a person is 20, 30, 40, 50 or more does NOT mean their soul or spirit is developed into adulthood. They can be 75 and saved 60 years and still 3 in their spirit. Why? God does not force growth. God does not force relationship, abiding, and love.

We grow through relationship with God, intimacy with God, abiding in God, yielding to God, listening to God, studying the Bible with God, accepting correction from people and others (some people never repent or take ownership for their poor conduct-they make excuses or scream grace). We grow up by going through trials with God.

Our character is developed in hard seasons. We grow by having community. It is imperative to have some mature, godly people who walk in love and can speak into our lives. The lone toddler stays a toddler because their view of God is never challenged.

Some people stay in infancy because anything that makes them uncomfortable they get offended and leave. They will not stay anywhere long enough to grow. They look for the easiest road, easiest relationships, and seek out those who will tell them what they want to hear.

Sometimes a carnal or immature Christian will behave just like a person who does not know Jesus or worse. An unyielded person does NOT bear good fruit.

The person who hurt you may be an infant or toddler in their understanding, communication, and applications of what they think is God’s truth.

Understanding we are all in process and not everyone develops at the same rate can help heal so much. Sometimes in inner healing with people I ask God to show them the true age of the person who hurt them. Sometimes it’s a toddler looking back at them; confused and ill equipped to handle adult situations. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse, God willing, will be released next month.

If someone hurt you, it may have simply been a manifestation of their immaturity or carnality. It does not mean it’s right. It means we understand a toddler has a different mindset than an adult. Some people have never allowed God to grow them up or they were wounded themselves and did not seek healing. Immature Christians are insecure Christians. If they do not know their identity in Jesus, they can harm so many people in the name of God. People represent the God they know. Hence God inviting us into relationship not just going to a building once a week to listen to someone else talk about their relationship with God.

You are greatly loved! Lifting you up today. May the healing virtue of Jesus overwhelm you!

Love,

Erin

#books #soulhealing #GetYourSoulHealed #OvercomingChurchHurtandAbuseBook

We Need Healthy Souls!

Why Soul Healing Matters…(short excerpt from my third book-Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse coming out this summer & Masterclass this June)

I have encountered so many people who go to church, pray, fast, tithe, forgive, read the bible and their life is still a mess. Some are physically ill and no matter how much prayer they receive, they do not recover.

There is hyper focus on the body and spirit in communities of faith. People sometimes ignore the soul.

The soul is comprised of the mind, will, and emotions. This part of a person does not instantly become like Jesus when a person repents and places their faith in Him. It is the part of the person that requires continual yielding to God and the mind needs renewed.

Along with renewing the mind, people often come to God with histories of brokenness. These things do not always just magically disappear. They can have a host of problems in their emotions, behaviors, habits, defense mechanisms, and after years of giving themselves over to sin or being sinned against suffer greatly in their soul. Some can read the bible all day and still struggle with lust, anger, rage, pride, insecurity, eating disorders, addiction, depression, and some cases they hear voices or can have a false Holy Spirit. Some have buried their trauma instead of offered it to God. They suffer in silence or some simply create relational dysfunction everywhere they go.

Unhealthy people hurt themselves or others. Unhealthy people also attract unhealthy people.

When there are wounds in the soul, people will overreact to things. Something that is small to one person becomes major to them. Those with soul wounds may have a distorted view of events. They may suffer from hyper suspicion, a hyper critical spirit, or struggle with intimacy.

A wounded soul may struggle to love or be loved. You can love a wounded person with all your might, and they cannot receive what you offer or they accuse you of bad motives.

Physical sickness can also flow from the soul, not originate in the body. I have worked with several cancer patients and their sickness was also deeply imbedded in the soul from unhealed trauma, cursing their body (I hate being a woman), overgiving/codependency, or generational.

The more the soul is healed, the more the person begins to see good fruit emerging in their life.

I have spent years working with dissociative people (those wounded so greatly their personalities split), victims of abuse/severe abuse, and those who seem stuck no matter what they try to do. What I have seen are those issues were living inside the soul. There were wounds as far back as in utero. Yes, babies in the womb can be wounded. Yes, they can hear when mom and dad are discussing things. Yes, they can sense when they are unwanted. I had a lady who struggled her entire life with intimacy because she was wounded as a baby. Her parents had no idea their actions impacted the rest of her life.

We can preach to people all day, yet are they getting better? Is anyone getting healed and made whole. Jesus made people whole.

A broken bone requires more than a bandaid. A broken soul requires more than prayer and quoting scriptures. If no one deals with the root, there remains the manifestation of fruit. Soul healing is inviting God into the places that are broken so He can bring total healing and restoration.

I have met with so many people over the years who had significant breakthrough once their soul wounds were healed. Some required extra sessions, help, therapy to deal with bad habits, yet in 95% of the cases they saw remarkable improvement. God loves to heal, not just the body-the soul.

If you are interested in soul healing, be sure to check out empowered-free.com. The upcoming Masterclass registration closes June 7th. Class is June 13-15 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. The class is best suited for those in inner healing and those who want to learn faith based tools. The tools used are rooted in Christian faith.

To join Masterclass, a 3 day (24 hours Intensive training), go to:

https://www.empowered-free.com/book-online

Love,

Erin

Created for Wholeness!

Part of what I do, aside from write books, is help people get healed from wounds of gross trauma, abuse, abandonment, rejection, and deep soul wounding.

I never thought I would be doing what I do. I simply could not understand why there were so many wounded people in churches and in the world who were not getting better from popping pills or cognitive (talk) therapy or just reciting the Bible. Mostly, I wondered why some people were physically healed and others were not.

God invited me on a several year journey into studying the soul (mind, will, and emotions). The body, soul, and spirit are connected. An injury to one can impact the others. I saw there were people with deep emotional wounds from trauma, abuse, mistreatment who were suffering greatly in their bodies.

After years of training with Dr. Kraft and Dr. Bitcon, I embarked on teaching, training, and facilitating sessions with people to help them step into greater freedom with God.

I have worked with people who are highly dissociative (have multiple personalities) and those so traumatized parts of their lives have been limited. I love seeing God bring freedom.

I also do a yearly MasterClass to train others to do what I do. There are loads of traumatized and wounded people in the world who need help, freedom, and hope. I have even used these methods with children.

God loves to heal! We were created for wholeness, not fractured living.

You may read more here: https://www.empowered-free.com/blog/created-for-wholeness.

If you are struggling with PTSD, wounds of trauma/abuse/abandonment/rejection-I would love to invite you to join me December 1, 2018 at 11am EST for a webinar on Freedom from Trauma!

God wants us free!

Register here: Sign Me Up (Freedom From Trauma Class)

You are profoundly loved, prayed for, and appreciated! Thanks for following the author blog!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Founder & CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC

Founder of Operation God is Love

Empowered-Free.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Upcoming Events! (Book Signing Today & Live Webcast August 22, 2018)

Hope you join us today in Columbus, Ohio for the Confident & Free book signing! There will be refreshments, a raffle, and the opportunity to chat.

Location & Time:

  • 1055 McNaughten Road, Columbus Ohio.
  • Noon until 2pm

Also join us on the author FB page August 22nd at 6am Pacific, 9 am Eastern for the Speak Life Challenge teaching.

I will teaching August 22 on healing soul wounds of rejection, trauma, abandonment, and walking in greater confidence with God.

I was trained under Dr. Charles Kraft and Dr. Scott Bitcon and have years of experience in seeing the soul healed.

Some people are seemingly stuck because they have unhealed soul wounds. I want us to be unstuck and thrive. Do you have lingering wounds of hurt, pain, shame, rejection, or trauma. God wants you healed!!

Stop by and check out previous teaching videos loaded. Author Teaching Videos.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Business: https://www.empowered-free.com

Charity: operationGodisLove.org