The Healing Power of Validation
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Luther commented to Spalatin: I have seen the admirable words of our Most Illustrious Prince to our Lord the Legate of Rome. Good God, with what joy I read them and read them over again! [Here I Stand, by Roland Bainton]
Mat 10:26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
One of the primary purposes of this blog ministry is to provide abuse victims with vindication. Martin Luther knew the power of it. The object of all kinds of wicked conspiracies for daring to take on the principalities and powers of the Roman church, Luther was scorned and maligned and falsely accused. So when his prince, Frederick the Wise, defended him and refused to permit Luther to be handed over to probable execution in Rome, Luther read Frederick’s words to the Pope’s emissary (Cajetan I think) with joy. And not only because Frederick was protecting him from the stake, but because Frederick was speaking up for him, protecting him, and validating him. I suspect that many of our readers who have tasted that rare bit of affirmation can fully identify with Luther when he says “…with what joy I read them [the words of Frederick’s letter to the Pope] and read them over again!”
Abuse is the abuse of POWER. Always. Where there is abuse, there is an abuser with or craving for power, and a victim who lacks power, or has been made to think she lacks it. Abusers will often play the victim, bemoaning how little power they have, even claiming that the victim is the one with the power — but it is all a sham. If an abuser lacks power, he will still abuse by craving it, demanding it, and punishing anyone who stands in the way of his quest for it. Abuse is always about power. That is why it really illustrates so well the essence of sin. “No, God! I will be the Most High, not you! My law, not yours.”
Satan, not surprisingly then, is the great accuser. Who does he accuse? The brethren. In Christ the basis of his accusations has been shattered (the debt cancelled, nailed to the cross), but he still accuses. And so do his wicked children. Every abuse victim can tell many stories about how their abuser has accused them and lied about them. And they can tell stories about how people — even former friends — have believed those accusations and lies. How judges in family courts have believed the lies. One of the great outcries of victims is “no one will believe me.”
We at ACFJ often receive long, long emails. We listen to long, long telephone conversations. If an abuse victim phones, we know that we are going to be on the phone for at least an hour in many cases. Listening. Mostly just listening. Why? For the same reason Luther read and read those words from Frederick — the taste of validation. “You are the first one who has believed me” is the statement we hear so often. And so they spill it. Then they apologize for going on and on. But they keep going. Why? Because someone, a fellow Christian or pastor has simply said, “I believe you.”
One Day, one great Day…the most glorious announcement of validation is going to be heard by every single downtrodden, oppressed victim of evil. The Lord Jesus Christ knows every single one of His sheep intimately. He knows our every thought. He knows every single thing that happens to us. He knows every conspiracy devised against us and every injustice foisted upon us. He sees in the darkness. He is present in the innermost council rooms of evil. On that Day, everything that has been whispered in the darkness is going to be revealed. Christ’s people are going to be vindicated, validated, and rendered perfect justice. The wicked will receive justice too!
I wonder how many thousands of years we will play and replay that decree of perfect justice? Because surely we will be saying the same words Luther said — “With what joy I hear them over and over. Could you just hit replay one more time?”
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.