A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Are abusers blind? Are abusers deceived? What does the Bible say?

This is part 1 of a 6 part series on Spiritual Blindness and Deception.

Are abusers spiritually blind? (Or psychologically blind, which is pretty much the same thing.)

Are abusers deceived?  If they are deceived, to what extent have they been deceived by others and to what extent have they deceived themselves?

These questions about deception give rise to even more questions:

Are some abusers brainwashed or controlled or enslaved by others? Are some of them so controlled by people higher up the pyramid of evildoers, that they could be said to be victims themselves?

The blind leading the blind and falling into the ditch.

These are important questions because many leaders and counselors in the visible church are teaching that abusers are blind. Or they are giving a more subtle and pernicious version of the idea: they are over-emphasising the abuser’s blindness and under-emphasising the abuser’s conscious intentionality to do evil .

These leaders and counselors often say the remedy is to educate the abusers, open their eyes, bring them to see the error of their ways. They usually say – or subtly imply –  that the onus for waking up the abusers falls on (i) the victims, the oppressed; and (ii) the paid professionals / pastors / counselors who are dealing with abusers. Run that agenda and there is money to be made.

The Bible talks about spiritual blindness in different ways

I have discerned four different ways the Bible refers to spiritual blindness. Please don’t think I’m saying these are discrete categories. I only offer them in case they are helpful.

  • Blindness from original sin
  • Blindness exacerbated by individual choice / group choice / group-leader choice
  • Blindness as a result of being deceived by others
  • Blindness as a judgment from God

In the other posts in this series I will be presenting scriptures that pertain to each of those categories and making a few comments or observations about the scriptures, to help us all think about the questions.

The questions:

Are abusers spiritually blind? (Or psychologically blind, which is pretty much the same thing.)

Are abusers deceived?

If they are deceived, to what extent have they been deceived by others and to what extent have they deceived themselves?

Are some abusers brainwashed or controlled or enslaved by others? Are some of them so controlled by people higher up the pyramid of evildoers, that they could be said to be victims themselves?

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

I will make each post title below into a hyperlink when the post comes out.

Part 2: Blindness from original sin

Part 3: Blindness exacerbated by individual choice

Part 4: Blindness exacerbated by group choice and group-leader choice

Part 5: Blindness as a result of being deceived by others

Part 6: Blindness as a judgment from God

7 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    From the original post “……Spiritual Blindness and Deception”

    For me, ^That is an infinite loop of questions and answers, depending on perspective (God / the Enemy / humankind).

    From the original post “The Bible talks about spiritual blindness in different ways”

    ^That.

    From the original post “In the other posts in this series…..”

    ^Those might help put an end to my infinite loop of questions and answers.

    • Hi Finding Answers,

      You said that the title of the post, Spiritual Blindness and Deception, “is an infinite loop of questions and answers, depending on perspective (God / the Enemy / humankind).”

      Would you like to amplify more? Would you like to share what or how that infinite loop of questions and answers is like for you? Or, to put this another way, would you like to tell us what some of those questions and answers are for you?

      I know my questions may be hard, so please feel free to ignore them. 🙂 Please only respond if you feel led to do so. 🙂

      • Finding Answers

        Barb asked (27TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 3:50 AM) “Would you like to amplify more?….”

        I have no way to answer ^That, but NOT because I think in pictures. Due to the complexity of the variables in my infinite loops of questions and answers, it’s virtually impossible to provide a simple list of either questions and / or answers.

        ^That response is condensed from MANY mathematical equations and a LOT of computer programming language 🙂 , so please let me know if I need to provide clarification.

  2. Helovesme

    From the very start, my mind started working. The questions asked (at the start) are ones that need to be answered, but I am not sure if everyone will like the answers, or agree on them! But they need to be asked and answered, debated and deliberated.

    It’s not good enough to “agree to disagree” about such serious matters. The consequences will be too dire.

    For example, there is absolutely NO way the church should “agree to disagree” that most victims of rape are innocent, but there are exceptions, based on certain conditions.

    NO. Every victim of rape is 100% innocent of what was done to them. The reason why this is true, is because the Bible says so. Never in the Word does it indicate otherwise! As a believer, you simply cannot agree to disagree where the Bible is concerned.

    If you do that, you are claiming that you are born again in Him, but in reality you have not fully reckoned your old self as 100% dead and gone.

    When a baby is born out of the womb, they are exposed to light for the first time. When that baby was in the womb, their world was quite dark.

    (I do not have kids of my own, so feel free to correct me on this. If I recall, a newborn’s eyes take a bit of time to fully open to be able to actually see the world for the first time. So even out of the womb, the eyes are not ready to be used right away.)

    When you become born again, you don’t go back into a womb, of course. But you do exit a very dark world (the kingdom of darkness) and cross over to a very different world (the kingdom of light).

    And you leave behind that old self with all its old ways, old sins and old ways of thinking, believing and behaving. You do not take any “baggage” from that kingdom to the new one! You leave everything there, because that is where it belongs. It has no place in His kingdom.

    When you come to Christ, your eyes are truly opened for the first time. This is a work of Him and no one else. I can only speak to reason why from my own life: I had NO desire to see how ugly my life was apart from Him. I would have done anything to avoid seeing myself as I really was—–had He not made it possible, it would not have happened.

    Coming to Him as an emptied vessel, ready to be filled by Him is not instantaneous. I had a long road ahead of me and I still do. Babies are cute, but also fragile. Their vulnerability factor is quite high. I was about as clueless as you can get as a baby believer. I had little to no discernment. My eyes were opened all right, but it didn’t take long before my vision became blurry. And when your vision is blurry, I was not careful about what I was sticking into my mouth. (spiritually) So deception easily took a hold of me.

    I only offer this narrative to add to the discussion, NOT to apply this to abusers. In fact, this is the sort of narrative that abusers might use in order to garner sympathy. With abusers, it’s common for them to blame anyone and everyone but themselves for their choices.

    However, I offer no excuses for my bad beliefs or rocky theology. When I look back, either I was taught Scripture wrongly, or I did not do my homework accordingly, or I simply discarded or disregarded Scripture in favor of what was “trending” at the time!

    Yes, I was young (both in actual age and spiritual age). Yes, my childhood of abuse likely conditioned me to be especially vulnerable to spiritual abuse or deception. Yes, there are culprits that likely took advantage of my obvious neediness, over-eagerness to please both God and people, and my intense overcompensating for all that I lacked.

    BUT, the only one that could pull me out of all that was the Lord Himself. The only one who could ask Him to do that was me, because regardless of how I got there, I was in a very deep and dark hole. The ones who had done me wrong, or even threw me down there were long gone. They were not going to get me out and did not care to.

    The fact that she is not only focusing on deception, but on blindness—-is key. I think she’ll do an especially great job tying them together (when applicable), but also separating them from one another (when applicable).

    When it comes to abusers. she was spot on: “they are over-emphasising the abuser’s blindness and under-emphasising the abuser’s conscious intentionality to do evil”

    Blindness is an easy way to excuse abusers. When a person is born blind, or becomes blind, we tend to have sympathy for them. And rightly so. Their world is dark, but they need to be able to live and function in a world of light.

    This is simply not applicable to abusers, however. Perhaps we WANT so badly to believe that it is, so we choose to despite evidence to the contrary. No one “delights” in the fact that abusers will likely die without repenting. The Bible is clear that God takes no pleasure in punishing the wicked. He would much rather that they repent. We should not delight in it either, but we should find the courage to accept it—-and thank Him for being a just and righteous Judge.

    This is a series, so I hope we can explore it bit by bit. We likely won’t figure it ALL out, but we will grow, encourage others and be encouraged ourselves.

  3. Gany T.

    “Or they are giving a more subtle and pernicious version of the idea: they are over-emphasising the abuser’s blindness and under-emphasising the abuser’s conscious intentionality to do evil.”

    I, like Helovesme, want to highlight ^That well-stated truth.

    “Run that agenda and there is money to be made.” [referring to those who say the remedy is to educate the abuser, etc.]
    ^That

  4. leaningonhope

    Just like the saying, “hurt people hurt people”, or, “ignorance is bliss”….

    The part of this article that stood out to me was that, sometimes abusers learn to abuse by being abused, and they may be blind to their own behavior until someone points it out to them, and/or confronts them. (That was me at a point in my life.) Then the responsibility is on them to look at themselves, own their wrongdoing, and change. If they can, that is.

    I’ve also known some who have been confronted about their abusive behavior and they just get better at hiding it or being more subtle about it. In which case, then they could be viewed as deceiving themselves.

    • Hi, leaningonhope, you might like to have a look at our post Hurting People Hurt People.

      It discusses how that saying is often used to minimise the responsibility of the abuser, and to pressure the target of abuse into trying to research the “cause” of the abuse. All of which adds to the burden of the victim.

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