Child victims from physical and sexual abuse committed by Christian adult men may start to associate God the Father with a kind of "fatherly" mindset which manipulates, assaults and batter children into total submission.
In victims of pedophiles and extremely violent methods for raising chrildren in Christian families there can emerge distorted views of the God of the Bible which makes it difficult, and in some cases even impossible, to heal deep emotional damages. For correcting severely distorted views of the biblical God one needs to have some knowledge about the underlying destructive mechanisms which causes these injuries.
As a preventive measure also churches which have not been subjected to religious violence and the influence of insensitive legalistic groupings can benefit from better knowledge about the destructive mechanisms impacting particularly children and young people's spiritual development.
The victims of the pedophile in Skutnäs who undersigned have talked with have never expressed any intransigence against the now deceased pedophile. Although the pedophile ruthlessly continued to abuse the children while repeatedly expecting them to forgive what he did, the forgiveness is still an important part of the healing process of the victims and therefore it may not be questioned by someone else.
But forgiveness from God does not mean that other people have the right to force the victims to be brought together with such persons who continue to try to manipulate and control them.
Nor can the victims be expected to immediately begin to trust the congregation which failed them during many years. Trust takes time to build up to the extent that the victims can feel safe among other Christians. The victims can, however, not build up such trust for the congregation which can only be built by the congregation, by proving to be trustworthy.
Therefore it is the "object" for the trustworthiness (the congregation) who, through their actions, determines if trust is being built up among the victims.
That fact that the pedophile, despite his awareness of his perverted nature, could continue with the abuse for many years, seems to have been possible because of cowardice in the surroundings, insensitivity or ignorant failure to act.
Even gross assault of children has occurred for decades without the congregation demonstrating a capacity to correct, in a biblical way, those members who seriously wronged openly.
Most victims have no problem with a will to forgive, but they need to see a change of heart before they can be expected to be able to interact normally with people who for many years betrayed them in different ways and hurt them very badly.
Thus, it is the congregation and not the victims' responsibility to ensure that a thorough change of mind takes place in those who have wronged (see also Matthew 18). The congregation also have a responsibility to continue to protect the victims from pressure.
A church that does not take care of their members is in the Biblical figurative language likened with a "mother" who abandons her children. But the God of the Bible does not forget His children. (Isa 49:15, entire chapter)
It is known that fathers who grossly abuse their children have a devastating effect on children's faith and trust in the God of the Bible. But Skutnäs perhaps also have a prophetess who by her peculiar insensitivity indicates how the church as a whole, for so many years, has failed to take care of many of its unfortunate children.
Such a "burdened message"* in a concrete visible form such as an insensitive mother, even betraying and abandoning her children, can be very disturbing to listen to and it may well take some time to accept it in depth.
The Bible has long had public guidelines for how individual Christians and churches must correct such behavior that God expressly forbids.
How such a correction must be applied is described in Matthew 18, where Jesus himself clarifies how far you may need to go in order to correct and entirely get rid of manifestly erroneous behavior in the church.
Some of the victims say that they are suffering most from the fact that the environment betrayed them for so many years and left them alone to rot confined in anxiety on their own.
The betrayal from the environment also allowed the inner circle within the church to be free to burden with guilt any attempt by the victims to seek help. This is also part of the reason why it has taken so long for the victims before thet started to tell their story.
According to experience, the inner distress after this kind of abuse is only getting bigger as the years are passing by, if the exposed isn't obtaining redressing. Over time the inner distress of the victims eventually become too big to bear alone.
During a person's most active years it can be easier to chase away anxiety and gloomy thoughts by engaging in various forms of challenging activities. As age increases, however, physical strength tends to be reduced, and usually one also gets somewhat less active.
From an decrease in inactivity also follows that the inner stress becomes increasingly evident and anxious thoughts may eventually become too heavy to bear. To achieve old age without having been redressed can lead to some people not being able to cope the last years.
Several of the victims didn't in their childhood in their homes get used to a view of God as a merciful God. A dark view of the God of the Bible introduced already in the childhood can have such consequences also later in life that one cannot apprehend a merciful God, neither in the Bible or in public sermons.
Children cannot as good as adults distinguish between words and actual behavior, and many victims therefore have learned to be afraid of a God misinterpreted and presented in a cruel manner by insensitive and cruel people.
With such a background the isolation of the victims can become total if external insulation is supplemented by internal fear and loneliness. This can happen when children in their thoughts are frightened away from such comfort and help that God offers to those who trust and believe in Him. In this way, by actually destroying the faith and trust in God's good intents, the help and comfort which God offers is prevented.
The result is that those with big and the most urgent need for help are instead retracting themselves away from the help! It is against this background that one must ask questions about whether God can help those in distress.
Adult men, and especially the children's own fathers, are often role models for children's understanding of the Biblical God as a "Father". Therefore it is so harmful for the children's spiritual development if fathers treat their children arbitrarily and with element of psychological and physical violence and manipulation.
With fathers as bad role models for the God of the Bible the children do not learn to associate God with compassion and a willingness to help and comfort children in deep desperation.
"So I returned, and
considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold
the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on
the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter." (Eccl 4:1)
One could summarize the current scandal in Pietarsaari (Jakobstad) by saying that a number of small children, became victims of serious sexual abuse for over ten years, and daily physical assault, while they were betrayed by the adult environment, only to be exposed to blame and religious guilt for decades if they showed any sign of wanting to seek help.
Such a summary does not fit very well though with the Biblical description of what the Bible call "fruits" of the Holy Spirit. In biblical figurative language the word "fruit" is a symbolic representation of the outcome or "result" from the works of the Holy Spirit.
Especially in the business world among merchants they are accustomed with the idea that "only the result counts". And in the Bible the results also counts, since the Holy Spirit is said to be no more mysterious than that one from the results (the "fruits") is expected to be able to discern whether the Holy Spirit is the underlying cause.
We clearly see that also the God of the Bible speaks the "same language" as many business people speak today in their daily work - namely that only the results counts.
And among the many victims of the spirit and attitudes from Skutnäs we see such horrific results which the Bible would describe as the result of the works of evil spirits. Furthermore, the results are now also spread throughout the cap of the north. But today we hope and pray that they in Skutnäs will be able to produce quite different results in the future.
A lesson to be learned is that in Skutnäs some of Christian faith's most basic mechanisms has been allowed to be manipulated , which in young children has ruined the prerequisites for a healthy faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact it is so bad that the Christian faith has practically been made almost impossible for many victims.
gravity in that a single one of the small ones who believe in Jesus Christ is being led to
no longer dare to trust and believe in Jesus, seemingly has not yet been fully
understood in the prayerhous of Skutnäs in Pietarsaari. Had
they done so they would already long ago have stopped the evil spirit that for many
years has been evident to people outside this church.
For this reason we at RIL News pray that God would let extra large amounts of grace come over the victims of sexual abuse as well as the many more victims of a more widespread physical and mental assault within the sphere of the Skutnäs prayerhouse in Pietarsaari.
Much grace and truth is required also for those who have betrayed and failed to help the children through the years, and for the violent controlminded people and manipulators who for decades have been able to havoc and accuse the children of God day and night in churches across the Cap of the North.
But according to the Bible the evil powers can be overcome, in two specific ways. The power to overcome the evil is found in the "Blood of the Lamb" (a symbol for the forgiveness that has its basis in the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross) and by presenting to people who and how the Lord Jesus really is. In the Book of Revelation 12:11 one can read more about this.
The God of the Bible is self-sacrificing and has taken upon himself also such gross sins as this article describes. This same God can also heal the damage caused by this evil. In the Bible this God presents himself using several different names, each of which seeks to describe different aspects of the essence of the innermost nature of God.
In our article it has been shown how many abused children have received a distorted apprehension of the nature (personality) of the God of the Bible. It is therefore of particular interest to study the various additional names that describes how the God presents himself and his nature in the Bible.
In stark contrast to the gloomy and menacing perceptions of God's essence being spread from Skutnäs prayerhouse, we find among the many names and characteristics that God uses when he presents himself also the name "Wonderful"!
The name "Wonderful" thus gives some indication about how the God of the Bible is deep inside. In this context it is relevant to note also that Jesus claimed that "he who has seen me has seen the Father". From a practical point of view this means that Jesus in his lifetime demonstrated to man in a visible manner how God really is. Today we can approach and acquaint ourselves with him by communicating with him through words (reading his Words and speak to him in prayer) and by concretely following his exhortations and example.
If one opens one's mind and heart and fully receives the person Jesus Christ, our Lord, then He has promised that he will reveal himself to us (Rev 3:20). End then we would really learn why one aspect of God's innermost nature (personality) best can be described only by the name "Wonderful"!
And moreover, those people who right now feel broken inside and poor, and who have anxiety and at times experience life as a complete horror because they have dealt with personalities and people being ruled by evil spirits and attitudes (also evil is manifested as a person in the Bible), they need, as an antidote and a serum against the evil, to come very close to this wonderful person. Because this wonderful Person is the very God who also have created us, and thus he knows us very well, and He also wants to come in very close contact with us.
Those who have suffered and been hurt by Horrific attitudes and personalities can receive inner healing by getting to Know the Lord, and thus come into close contact with the God who in his very essence is the opposite of Horrible - that is, he's Wonderful! (Isaiah 9:6)
with a perverted mind corrupt
children's perception of God of the Bible, but God is not
at all "terrible", instead he
is wonderful, if he's allowed to present himself. And Wonderful is a
fitting name for a person whose
nature and inner essence is wonderful.
"Protect our children O Lord" - a prayer to God in the form of a song about God's protection over the children, which is part of the theme of the article.
** In English
O Herre, våra barn bevara,
Draw them each day, close to You Oh Father
Fäst dem var dag tätt intill dig Fader
In peace bring fourth them over high mountains
För fram i frid dem högt över bergen,
Oh Lord, our children, please protect them
O Herre, våra barn bevara,
* "Burdened message" - The prophets of the Old Testament often had "burdened" [Eng.: "mass"] messages from God to be presented to God's own apostate people, the Israelites.
** Free translation by the author.
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