"Everything difficult indicates something more than our theory of life yet embraces, checks some tendency to abandon the straight path, leaving open only the way ahead. But there is a reality of being in which all things are easy and plain -- oneness, that is, with the Lord of Life; to pray for this is the first thing; and to the point of this prayer every difficulty hedges and directs us." [1] -- George MacDonald


Satan subtly stole the souls of mankind away from the Creator in the garden of Eden, and he has continued to steal, kill, and destroy the ones whom God created in His own image (John 10:10). Satan wanted to thoroughly distort our views of God and ourselves so that we would no longer recognize our divine origin and relationship. The Father wisely sent His Son at the right time to reveal Himself to us and to declare all believers His secured possession (John 10:25-30 and 1 Peter 1:17-21). Jesus then became damnable sin on the cross for us so that by faith in Him we may receive life, blessings, and the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:13-14). Our sin separated us, but by faith in Jesus we are made one with our Father by His Spirit. "He restoreth my soul . . . (Ps. 23:3).


1 John 3:9 "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
Seed is sperma ("sperm") in the Greek; meaning seed as regarding plants, or semen as regarding offspring.
Remaineth is meno in Greek; meaning to abide, to tarry, or not to depart; to continue to be present, to endure, to survive; to remain as one, not to become another or different, or to await one.

I am not postulating that God has a spiritual form of sex with those who believe in Him. I am comparing the types of oneness which transpire through physical union and spiritual union. Both types of unions necessitate a giving and taking between two people. Though God has offered forgiveness by taking our sins upon Himself, we have no union with Him until we believe (surrender our pride and broken lives through repentance unto salvation) and obey (often immediately demonstrated through water baptism). Our spiritual union with God's Holy Spirit makes us a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). The old has passed away and we become a new person now empowered to say no to sin and yes to God's commands. Persons who remain unrighteous (1 John 3:10), regardless of religiosity, are not in union with God; because oneness with God demands our obedience to Him.

"It is by the will of the self-existent God that we live. So the links of unity between ourselves, who cannot create life, and him who has created it, must already exist. They must only require to be brought together. For the link in our being with which to close the circle of immortal oneness with the Father, we must search the deepest of man's nature; there only, in all assurance, it can be found. . . . Obedience is the joining of the links of the eternal round. Obedience is but the other side of the creative will. Will is God's will; obedience is man's will; the two make one." [2]

Most Christians have difficulty choosing to be obedient to God and respecting His personal boundaries, as is testified by Paul in Romans 6-8. God's answer is to recognize the powerlessness of the sin nature through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to now give all authority and control to the Holy Spirit in your life to mortify sins and to live for God. We must also believe God's will for us is truly good before we will submit ourselves to it (Rom. 12:1-2). Jesus has already sacrificed Himself for us, proving His love and good will toward us, that we might choose to faithfully submit to Him as His Bride (Eph. 5:22-33).


Love requires more than one to exist. I conjecture God is comprised of more than one "person" because "God is love;" and God who said, "Let Us make man in Our image" chose to be One. Before there can be oneness, there must be separate and distinct selves. Each self requires personal boundaries and distinctions to be recognized and respected. In John 17 we see love and oneness demonstrated in the Godhead through mutual personal knowledge, communication, glorification, and possessions. We see God's love and oneness demonstrated to believers through mutual personal revelation, communication, sanctification, glorification, and His protection of us.

John 17:20-21 "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

Jesus sent disciples out two by two to evangelize. Paul went with Barnabbas or with teams to evangelize. A community can not see Jesus unless "two or more gathered together in His Name" display Him to that community by loving one another (John 13:35). When Jesus is proclaimed by a single voice without being displayed through loving one another, people receive the knowledge of Jesus, but rarely come into relationship with Him personally because they have yet to meet the Person demonstrated through His Body. I believe this is the condition of many believers in the US: they have been inoculated with a dead gospel, void of the One who is Life; sometimes preventing them from catching Life Himself. The institutional churches perpetuate the lone voice proclaiming knowledge of Jesus while the audience perishes for lack of real Life.

We are a broken, suffering people, but our goal is not the absence of pain, nor the presence of healing. Our goal is oneness with God, towards which pain and suffering may be a means. What keeps us from oneness with God are blockages of sin (our own unrepentant sins, including unforgiveness), or lack of personal boundaries (rules which others must respect in order to maintain relationship with us). Jesus came to save us from our sins and enable us to forgive others, and to make us whole. Jesus saves the entire person and brings them into relationship with Himself and His Body.


Though the Greeks believed in a threefold division of the human nature (1 Thess. 5:23), the Jews believed in the two-fold, physical and the non-physical, aspects of a person. In the New Testament soul and spirit are often used interchangeably. Regardless of how we try to subdivide ourselves, we don't really understand how sex affects us. There's a give and take, an intertwining of two beings, during intercourse. Our entire being was created for fellowship with the Lord, not for fornication or idolatry. We must refrain from subjecting God's Holy Spirit to intimate intermingling with sin; there is forgiveness if we don't refrain, but the consequences remain (Gal. 6:7-8). Sex outside of marriage damages our human nature. As spiritual union with Christ changes us from glory to glory into His image and often brings about wholeness in our entire being, so each unlawful union alters our personality and often brings disease to our body and soul as well.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Flee is pheugo in Greek; seek safety by flight, or to escape safely out of danger.
Fornication is porneuo in Greek; meaning to act the harlot, to indulge unlawful lust, or to practice idolatry.
Body is soma in Greek; meaning the body as a whole, including soul and spirit.
Flesh is sarx (the root sairo means to brush off) in Greek; meaning external, human nature, or carnal, or body as opposed to soul and spirit.
Spirit is pneuma in Greek; meaning breath or spirit.
Joined is kollao in Greek; meaning to glue, stick, cleave, or keep company.

The phrase "and in your spirit, which are God's" has weak manuscript support. Food is necessary for basic physical survival, but both food and "this tabernacle" will be dissolved (2 Cor. 5:1-10). Paul used the term body here to mean more than the physical tabernacle which will be destroyed; it includes the personality. We have been purchased and occupied by our Owner, who rightly makes claims upon our members. Our union with His Spirit will change our personalities to become more like His (2 Cor. 3:18). Our sexual unions outside of marriage will alter our personalities away from being like Jesus toward being more like the sexual partner(s), plus the effects of sin and other consequences (for a sad example of this, read 1 Kings 11). Though our unlawful unions do not affect the unchangeable holy nature of God, they do cause Him grief (shabar in Ezekiel 6:9, which means to break in/down, rend violently, wreck, crush, quench, rupture, or shatter).

The secular media and educational system continue to espouse the lies of "free and safe sex." Non-monogamous sex is costly and dangerous. It costs you your virginity and the purity of your personality. Through multiple sexual partners your own personality can become so scattered that you no longer know who you are. You have parceled out all that you knew of your true self to others, and have received into your personality a smattering of other personalities you barely knew. Beyond the emotional distress, non-monogamous sex can produce disease, unwanted pregnancies, infertility, and even death.

God placed great value and protections on virginity and marriage. When a man chose to leave his family and purchase his bride at great cost, he knew it was his delight and duty to "cleave" to his wife and to guard their relationship (his investment) from being torn asunder by anyone. If a Jew discovered his bride was not a virgin (maybe the hymen had already been ruptured), he could expose her and have her killed by the community (Deut. 22:13-21). It's important to a man to be the first and only lover to a woman.

A wicked man doesn't care if he is the first and only lover to many women. He might even seek sex with younger and younger children in order to assure he is the first; thus robbing many of their virginity and scarring their personalities. Sinners expect others to be like them (1 Peter 4:3-4). As a society becomes morally depraved, sinners assume no one reaches maturity as a virgin.

Insights for praying for people who have been sexually abused can be derived from the "two become one flesh." Survivors can be empowered by praying for themselves; thus turning to Jesus when they're hurting, and not to spiritual gurus. Counselors can help these people ask God to deliver them from every aspect of their perpetrator's personality, for a complete dissolution of the unhealthy relationship, and for a restoration of the individual's own personality which became intertwined with the perpetrator's. After breaking the unhealthy bonds, bond to Jesus afresh (Hosea 11:1-4).


Many books have been written on the effects of sexual abuse. I hope this limited overview will be especially helpful to those Christians who, understandably, have not read psychological literature. Keep in mind that individuals respond uniquely to adverse situations, and that each generation has had to determine afresh what to do with sin and its effects.


"Ferenczi was very sympathetic, and noted that when a child has been the victim of trauma, she or he needs an enormous amount of genuine love: `otherwise, the child remains in mute and proud suffering, and if there is not at least one human being to whom it can open up, the child is suspended in majestic solitude above the events, whereas in the symptoms, such as nightmares, etc.,. And in trance states, the suffering is carried out without leaving any trace of conviction as to the reality of what happened.'" [Written by Ferenczi in 1932. Reprinted on page 75 of Masson's book Assault on Truth] [3] Half a century ago Ferenci described the traumatic results of incest. Today we know these symptoms can result from any type of trauma, and refer to it as post-traumatic stress syndrome.


The American Psychiatric Association `s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (1987) defines post-traumatic stress disorder as "The development of certain characteristic symptoms following a psychologically distressing event which is outside the range of normal human experience."

"Post-trauma stress is the development of certain symptoms or reactions following an abnormal event. The event is abnormal in that it is life-threatening or extremely disturbing, and can be anything from a minor accident to a major disaster. This includes other incidents such as a divorce, riots, war, bereavement or any event which causes trauma and shock. This trauma is the disturbance of our normal life beliefs and turns our world upside down causing confusion, disbelief, feelings of vulnerability, a loss of meaning and purpose in life, and changes in self-image or self-esteem." [4]

War veterans sometimes endure torture, or have had to helplessly observe the torture of others. In the article "Prevention of Torture and Care of Survivors," Metin Bosoglu, MD, PhD reminds us to empower such people by using correct terms: "`Survivors' refers to individuals who have experienced torture or other forms of organized violence. The term `victim' is avoided not only because it is stigmatizing but also because it contradicts the most fundamental aim of survivor care, namely, to eliminate the victim role." [5]


People are not only tortured in foreign countries during war and political upheaval, but in our local churches and neighborhoods as well. Under the guise of ethnic tolerance, cults and ritual abuse are flourishing in our country; not that WASPs are not guilty of their own brand of spiritual abuse. True Christian churches would do well to take a strong stand against religious abusive practices. Craig Lockwood takes such a stance; "If a spiritual activity practiced by a group or an individual takes away another person's intrinsic right to control his or her own destiny, if humans are harmed, degraded, injured, or murdered for any reason, in the name of any deity or spiritual practice--then it is wrong." [6] How much more so is it wrong to injure and degrade one's own children for selfish sexual gratification?


"As defined in the so-called bible of psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III-R), post-traumatic stress disorder concerns reactions to a `traumatic event that is generally outside the range of normal human experience'--emphasizing the serious nature of the precipitating event rather than the inherent weakness of the respondent. DSM-III-R says that some events frequently produce the disorder (e.g., torture) and others produce it only occasionally (e.g., car accidents.) The effects of some traumas are virtually inescapable: incest falls into the category of torture. And what is never mentioned in DSM-III-R? Incest." [7] Because of the prevalence of abuse cases seen by psychologists, the new DSM-IV lists codes on page 682 for current physical and sexual abuse of children and adults, but there is still no mention of incest or a code for adults who recently remembered childhood incest. The hierarchy of psychology is in denial concerning incest. "Several kinds of traumatized populations have never been subjects of a single controlled clinical trial, such as victims of child sexual and physical abuse." [8] This lends credence to the child sex/abuse conspiracy. Torture is difficult enough to endure at the hands of political enemies and demigod cult leaders, but virtually impossible for a child to endure from a parent.


John Smid stated at the "Healing the Wounded" conference in San Diego in April, 1994 that "Children are not pliable, they just learn to cope and protect themselves early;" and "If parents leave a young child (infant to two years old) for more than ten days, the child believes the parents are dead." Children would rather believe lies than to believe their parents would act toward them in a selfish or evil manner. The main lie children tell themselves, in order to protect the "goodness" of their parents, is that they are bad or at fault. Sometimes the perpetrator will enforce the lie that the child is wicked and to be blamed for the abuse; this leads to a lifetime of feeling guilty. The perpetrator might enforce the lie that no one would ever believe them or come to their aid; thus leaving the child feeling powerless, alone, and hopeless. The perpetrator might enforce the lie that the child is crazy or making up everything; thus disabling the child to trust his or her own thoughts and emotions, sometimes leading toward mental breakdowns or splits.



I agree with Francine Shapiro that some traumatic memories become chemically wrapped inaccessible bundles in the brain. According to Craig Lockwood, that chemical is nitrous oxide: "Trauma, fear, and rage will interrupt normal physiological process and produce the release of nitrous oxide, which also acts as a memory inhibitor." [9] It would be an interesting study to determine whether or not the continuous release of nitrous oxide in the brain produces a lithium deficiency (since lithium is used to successfully treat some manic-depressive brain imbalances).

I think much of the chemical abuse in society stems from unaware incest survivors who are subconsciously trying to eliminate those traumatic memory bundles in their brains. Unfortunately, the chemicals they choose are not selective in the brain cells they destroy. Others who remember trauma say they are drinking alcohol or doing drugs in order to forget. Forgetting the experience will not bring healing but more holes into a personality which might already be fragmented. Forgiveness is what brings wholeness to a person. Shapiro has not yet discovered what chemical is released in the brain during EMDR which unlocks traumatic memory bundles (described in My Healing Tools), but even if it becomes readily available, only those willing to face and forgive the truth of the past will experience healing.


Those abusing chemicals in order to forget are truly being "self"-destructive. Destroying or rewriting personal history disables a person's concept of self. "Working with dissociative patients, therapists often discover that much of what they encounter in dissociative patients is a lack of a "narrative sense of self" and a paucity of autobiographical memory." [10] "Two unique features help define autobiographical memory: a sense of self that is connected to this memory, and a sense of time." [11]

It is typical for unaware incest survivors to have large memory gaps of their childhood, and an inability to look at old photographs of themselves and recall what age they were at the time. At first I didn't think I had this problem because I could remember my school years with great detail, but then found I couldn't remember what had happened at home during the same years. When I drew a time-line of my life I actually drew two lines for several years; one for who I was at home, and another for who I was at school. This did not represent a simple change in roles, but an alteration of my personality.


During my double life, I also had difficulty separating dreams from reality. I obsessively thought about my friends, and then could not recall if I had actually spoken or written to them.


"For some incest survivors the trauma is too difficult to bear. These women `go crazy'--they leave reality and experience uncontrollable hallucinations and delusions. They become schizophrenic. (Severe trauma can affect brain chemistry in serious ways; therefore, other forms of extreme mental disturbance such as manic-depression probably often result from trauma of incest.)" [12]

"Many incest survivors appear to be schizophrenic but are not. At risk for misdiagnosis, incest survivors are especially vulnerable when they experience these events: some have mild hallucinations that are topic-specific--that is, limited and related to experiences that the incest survivors have had. For instance, they may have hallucinations during sex. Some survivors frequently imagine hearing their names called, or being touched, or watched, when no one is there. This relates to the shattering of boundaries represented by the abuse, which leaves the survivor no privacy, no personal space. It is not, however, craziness, although it often feels and looks as if it is." [13] Whichever way you classify it, incest distorts a child's original personality. "Some incest survivors have survived devastating experiences by splitting themselves into semi-independent ego-states or full-blown multiple personalities." [14]


"Born in the victim's early childhood, multiple-personality disorder is a form of depersonalization where, during amnesia, the personality divides into separate, fully functioning aspects of the emotional or personal life of the individual. These personalities are all fully in touch with their environment when they are "out," but they don't all know about each other and the sufferer may not know about them at all. Although the personalities are generally of different ages (children and adults), for their assigned age they are each fully functional and internally consistent." [15]

"In multiple-personality disorder, which has sometimes been described as a post-traumatic stress reaction, more than 200 personalities can be created that embody aspects of the child that she cannot face in herself: the angry one, the vulnerable one, the sexual one, the creative one. Personalities evolve over time; old ones may die and new ones may be born. They may be of different genders or nationalities (speaking languages that there is no record the individual ever learned.). They may age or stay children forever. The woman with multiple-personality disorder will not know any of this. All she may know is that she experiences repeated periods of amnesia, after which she may find in her closet clothing that she didn't buy, or may encounter people whom she does not know but who insist they know her by another name." [16] I propose that some of the different personalities are actually the child's identification with the different sexual offenders, which could account for the different gender and for speaking in the languages they heard their rapists speak.


While visiting churches, Peter and I commonly asked the pastor if he believed Christians could be demon-possessed. One pastor said he used to believe they couldn't until he began "ministering" to one of Eileen Franklin Lipsker's Christian sisters. (So much for confidentiality.) Because this sister spoke in a man's voice and threw him during a "session", he decided to change his beliefs and try to cast demons out of her instead of investigating other reasons for her behavior.

Eileen Lipsker's recovered memories solved the 20 year old molestation/murder of Susan Nason. The case was tried in Redwood City, CA and George Franklin Sr. was sentenced to life in September, 1990. A documentary film followed called "Fatal Memories." [17] The family's Christian background is alluded to in the film. The childhood trauma psychologist in the film asks the main character if she spoke in other voices. (In 1995 a judge reversed Mr. Franklin's murder conviction because evidence that Eileen could have learned the details from news articles had been barred. The attempt to refute recovered memories makes the child-sex conspiracy, as noted in John DeCamp's The Franklin Cover-Up[18], more plausible.)

Multiple personalities is a known effect of incest, and pastors need to stop adding demon-accusation to injury. Refusing relationship with God in preference to spiritual involvement with demons causes demon-possession; sexual violation by sinful people causes multiple personalities. Demoniacs in the Bible do not demonstrate multiple personalities; they demonstrate conditions which torment the true personality: uncontrollable crying out, cutting oneself, muteness and blindness, seizures, sudden terror, predicting the future, and unrestrainable, violent super-human strength.

I have seen several Christian female incest survivors be labeled demon-possessed. I have read of cases, past and present, in which female survivors have taken on physical characteristics of the men who raped them, such as manly voices (swearing included) and manly strength. Though incredible strength and speaking in a different voice can be attributed to some demons, I believe these uncharacteristic displays are those of personalities that have been violently infused with other human personalities.


Picture a little girl being physically and sexually and emotionally violated by her father. She can't resist him physically or sexually, but mentally she can protect herself by pretending, by telling herself lies (or listening to her father's lies) that are less painful than the present reality. This process is termed "dissociation", defined by Webster as "the process in which a group of mental activities breaks away from the main stream of consciousness and functions as a separate unit: an intensified dissociation can lead to multiple personality." [19]

The abused girl might pretend she's not really a part of her body while being raped, and then might grow up disassociated from her physical and emotional feelings - the "frigid wife". She might pretend she's in a fantasy world while being raped, and then grows up to do the same thing whenever she feels threatened, possibly becoming out of touch with reality or "mentally ill". She might pretend her daddy isn't really doing this to her but to someone else she invents. She might give this fantasy person a name and characteristics.

Most multiple personalities cases are the result of multiple sexual violations. Craig Lockwood states in Other Altars, "By 1988, it had been clinically well established that persons diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (MPD) consistently disclosed backgrounds of severe traumatic childhood sexual abuse." [20] E. Sue Blume states in Secret Survivors, "Research has indicated that the overwhelming majority of people who have multiple personalities were victims of particularly sadistic, relentless physical or sexual abuse in childhood, which usually involved confinement." [21]

Once the true personality has been forced to accept a second personality to co-exist with the true self, the process of incorporating other personalities during trauma has been established; Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) could result. Craig Lockwood explains this process in his introduction to Other Altars. "Survivors often exhibit a common psychological characteristic: dissociation. Strange, at times frightening, dissociation occurs naturally as an emotionally protective response to trauma, as often seen in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of Vietnam vets. Dissociation can also be created artificially.

Responding to severe trauma, survivors dissociate--walling-off traumatic events with a nearly impenetrable barrier of amnesia. They survive, as attested to in the literature of PTSD, without much, if any, conscious recollection. Some survivors create, or report having created for them, other `parts' or personality fragments." 22 If a child endures sexual trauma before the personality has fully developed, it will cause gender confusion and personality problems. But sexual abuse at any age can damage the personality. Craig Lockwood states, "What makes MPD and PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) different is that MPD is a `dissociative disorder' and PTSD is an `anxiety disorder'. . . . MPD, however, is generally believed to develop before the age of eight, while PTSD can occur at any time in a person's life." [23]


Beverly Engel, who wrote The Right To Innocence, discovered "Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse suffer from sexual identity problems. During the recovery process, some women find themselves attracted to other women and start homosexual relationships for the first time in their lives. Still others are repulsed by men and fear they will never be able to have a relationship with one. Once the program is completed, however, most participants are no longer as confused about their sexual preference. Many women who were startled by their homosexual feelings discover that once they have released their anger toward the perpetrator, their heterosexual orientation is restored." [24]

Even after I released my anger and forgave my perpetrators, I still found I must be wise in relationships with other women, especially women with similar backgrounds to mine. Boundaries must be clearly communicated and enforced to establish healthy relationships.

In my limited exposure to other incestuous families where the father is the perpetrator, I've found the boys were empowered by the abuse, and the girls disempowered. This might be due to the boys reasoning when they grow up they will be able to exert the same power and control over others, and the girls reasoning they will never be able to exert the same power and control over others.


Sin is disobeying God's will, so it is illogical to state an abuser's sin was in God's will for the victim. When a victim believes it was God's will for her to be raped, then she is believing God to be abusive, and will likely relate to God as she did to her perpetrator. The answer to why God allows evil in the world is that if God removed evil-doers it would destroy us too because of our interdependent system, as Jesus explained in the parable of the wheat and the weeds (Mat. 13:24-43).

Jesus didn't stop the abuse, He willingly became a victim with me, and my family and pastors abused Him while they abused me (Acts 9:4). By my willing association with His death and His resurrection I am one with Jesus, and He's shared my pain and shame and anger that I might know His peace and acceptance and love. Victims especially need assurance that rape was not their fault and it was not God's will, but that God is willing and able to heal them now. If they are willing to share in Christ's victim status on the cross; then they are welcome to share in His victor status when He rose from the grave.

In Pia Mellody's book Facing Codependence, she describes how abuse affects attitudes toward God. The link between the physical, sexual emotional, and intellectual forms of abuse and spiritual abuse consists of the message children get from any abuse: the abuser's attitude communicates, "I am more powerful than you. I can do whatever I want to do to you. I'm God. My will is going to prevail no matter what, and I'll abuse you to get my point across." When abusive parents put themselves in place of the Higher Power in this way in the children's lives, they model to them a punishing, self-centered, and abusive God.[25] Sometimes children are angry with and hate the family concept of the Higher Power for allowing the parent to abuse them. The real issue is not that the Higher Power has allowed anything to happen, but that the offender has been abusive. But the children can blame the Higher Power to protect themselves from facing the unacceptable and painful reality that the offending adult (in whom their security lay) is the one who hurt them. This scenario can create strong denial in the child about the parent's abusive behavior and sometimes profound delusion. And of course this blaming of God can create an enormous resistance to the idea of surrendering to a Higher Power later. 26


"Several Justice Department studies verified that `adults who had been sexually abused as children formed over 90 percent of the repeat criminal offenders'--hard-core career-criminals. When these offenders had children, the cycle of abuse-crime-incarceration was repeated."[27] Unless the trauma is exposed, the anger is expressed, and the offenders are forgiven; the suppressed anger and unforgiveness will find an avenue of expression.


"A patient has an inalienable right to relief from pain, anxiety, and depression in the shortest time possible and with the least intrusive intervention. This means that every psychotherapist has an obligation to so hone his or her craft that the patient need not spend months or years in treatment to experience relief from pain, anxiety, or depression. If this can be effected in brief rather than long-term therapy, the patient has that right. And if the relief from such distress can be performed on an outpatient basis rather than in a mental health hospital, do it: It is preferable to spare the patient and the family the dislocation and lifelong stigma that inevitably follows such hospitalization. Most psychiatrists and many psychologists fail to recognize that mental health hospitalization is never a benign event. It affects the patient's subsequent life pervasively: one's driver's license, the ability to become bonded, eligibility for life insurance or certain occupations, and the likelihood of running for public office, to name only a few." 28 -- Nicholas Cummings

If that were not enough, Christians have to deal with the insensitive responses from ill-informed brethren. Even if they don't know what to say, the Church desperately needs to devote time during regular services to "weep with those who weep," and show these people that they are loved and accepted especially during the painful times in their lives. Too often the hurting are further isolated and estranged from the body by only offering "ministry" to them outside of the main sanctuary, confirming to their broken hearts that they can't expect to fellowship with other believers until they have overcome their difficulties. The Sunday meeting seems to be reserved for those people who can "rejoice with those who rejoice."


Jesus not only redeemed our stolen soul, He defeated Satan and rendered him and his cohorts powerless, and He is available to destroy the works of Satan in our lives (Col. 2:15 and 1 John 3:8). Jesus graciously helps us reclaim every part of our true selves which has been stolen or distorted by others.


From Romans 6:15-23 one could say the abuser enslaved the victim's body to obey his sinful desires. Though the victim comes to Jesus, she might be unaware of an older "master" still reigning in her members. In John 4:16-18 Jesus tells the woman at the well that she's had five husbands, and that her current lover isn't a husband. "Husband" is also translated master or lord.

In Bible times the suitor had to pay a price determined by the father for his bride, and the bride came with a dowry of goods or gold. This large investment on both parts, as well as the likelihood of death for infidelity, made virginity highly valued (Deut. 22:13-29). When a man has intercourse with a woman, she becomes his possession, and he becomes her "owner" and protector (1 Thess. 4:3-4 and 1 Peter 3:7). In a good marriage, the wife is a treasured possession of great value; protected and honored. Even when a Jewish virgin was raped, her rapist had to pay her father the bride-price and support her as his wife for the rest of his life, and he was considered her husband and "owner" (Deut. 22:28-29).

Today in regards to fornication and rape, the woman or girl is often treated as a worthless possession; violated and disreputed. Yet a raped woman is possessed ("owned") by a man or men, until she nullifies the ownership to fully possess and "own" herself. Song of Solomon 6:3 and 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 refer to mutual ownership between lovers and husband and wife respectively. During intercourse there is a give and take which produces a oneness and an ownership of each other.


I suggest the woman write a "Dear John" letter or certificate of divorce for every person with whom she can remember having a sexual encounter. (Whether or not you actually send these letters is up to you.) You could explain that during sexual intercourse there was a transaction of personality as you became one; and that you give back all you retained from him, and you take back all he took from you. It could state that you are no longer one of his "trophies", but that you are God's precious possession and under God's control. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 specifically refers to God purchasing us through Jesus' sacrifice so that as His possession we should have no other spiritual union (idolatry) or sexual union (fornication) outside of His will.


For sinful sexual encounters truly initiated by you (not falsely accused by an abuser), it's important to repent of the sin and receive God's forgiveness. If you determined you made a willful choice to sexually sin with a person, it is good to state you have repented of the sin you committed and have received God's forgiveness, and that you now ask forgiveness from them. Remember, forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. If you are still tempted to commit sexual sin with a person, do not seek reconciliation -- "Flee sexual immorality." When you receive accusations of guilt (in your own mind or from others) for your forgiven sins, agree that you committed the sins, but that you reject the guilt because you have received God's forgiveness.


You are not guilty for sexual encounters initiated by perpetrators! The perpetrator might not have been excommunicated or incarcerated, and you might have disfellowshipped and punished yourself because of your great need for some justice. Write very clearly that you do not receive their guilt for abusing you, but you rightly place all the blame, shame and guilt on them. Give the guilt back to the abuser, don't accept it. If you still have feelings of guilt, leave them at the cross and let Jesus deal with them.


As you regain memories of all they said and did, write a more detailed list of all the sins for which they are held accountable before God. The process might be lengthy, but this will separate the false guilt you feel from the true guilt they bear. It is vital to regaining your wholeness, and Jesus delights to go through it with you. If you are single, you might decide to seek support through this process with Christian friends and/or counselors until you are able to present yourself whole/holy to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:34 "There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband."
Please is aresko in the Greek; meaning to strive to please, to accommodate one's self to the opinions and interests of others.

If you are married, it is part of your husband's loving duty to help restore a wholesome relationship of oneness (you might decide to join a support group for couples). Christian counselors would do well to support the husband as the primary, earthly "spot-remover". I still suffer from easily assuming false guilt, and it helps greatly to have a husband who helps me expose it as false.

Ephesians 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
Word is rhema in the Greek; meaning that which is or has been uttered by the living voice; speech, discourse, an utterance, a message, or a narrative.
Glorious is endoxos in the Greek; meaning of high repute; illustrious, honourable, esteemed; figuratively, free from sins.
Spot is spilos in the Greek; meaning spoilage, spot; a fault, moral blemish; of base and gluttonous men.
Without blemish is amomos in the Greek; meaning without rebuke, blameless, or free from fault.



On rare occasions a member of the family of origin may be supportive, but also seek like-minded believers in God who will uphold you through the painful ordeal. You will need a support network beyond professional helpers and those who may be in group therapy with you.


God's truth sets you free from religious lies, and the truth about your past frees you from relational lies. Some people want to use newly acquired "truth" as a weapon to prove others were wrong; they might have to face the truth that there is nothing in their past upon which they can blame their current problems. The reason to remember past abuse is not to find a scapegoat, but to work through the emotional baggage to the point of forgiveness which brings freedom.

It is important to believe God will help you remember what you truly experienced, because you will rarely have family members who will verify your stories. In fact, family members will often try to minimize or negate what you re-discover.


Remembering abuse is painful. It is important to remember every person (or group or gang) who abused you so that you can eventually forgive them; it is less important to remember every way and instance in which they abused you. It is also important to remember those episodes which are crucial to your personal history and development. God knows what is needful for you to remember, and you can trust Him to recall it to your mind in His perfect timing.

God wants to walk through your pain with you, and He can give you the strength you need. Decide in prayer whether or not you should also seek medical alleviation of some of the physical symptoms of shock and grief from the memories. You also may choose to take breaks from the process in order to rest and regain strength.


Some of your friends will not be able to relate to you while you're in pain and confusion; that's O.K., it helps conserve your relational energy for others. If you're married, you and your spouse need to be specially gracious to each other, and set aside regular "fun" times together throughout the process. This also applies to children if you have them.

As you regain your emotions and personal boundaries, it will be difficult for your friends and family to relate to the new you at first. Give yourself and everyone else a generous amount of gracious space. As your boundaries become stronger, you will not allow people to continue to relate to you in a derogatory or abusive manner. If someone demands that you return to your old self in order to continue relating, refuse. Tell them you hope they will change their minds and eventually accept the new you.


Emotions are a part of being human, to be accepted and expressed without losing self-control or sinning. Contrary to social justice, being the victim of someone else's sin does not grant the right to sin against others. Adult survivors are responsible for their actions.

Jesus chose to personally interact with emotionally distressed disciples. He made a detour during His ascension from Sheol to heaven just to comfort Mary Magdalene, and He appeared to Thomas to relieve his doubts (John 20:10-30). Jesus then left us His Comforter to be with us forever.

In her book, The Right To Innocence, Beverly Engel describes the emotions of someone who has survived abuse. "The emotional and mental splitting from your body that formerly meant your survival during the abuse is now backfiring. Your perpetual state of slumber has become a waking nightmare. Your real self is hidden, out of reach. You are out of contact with your own body. In order to recover, you will have to re-learn to integrate your body with your mind, and your emotions with your thoughts. Emotions are not just states of mind, they are also states of body." [29]


To become whole again, the survivor must be allowed to accept the traumatic emotions of the first sexual encounters as part of her original, God-given emotions and personality. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." -- liberty to feel and emote. As the Holy Counselor brings back memories, the survivor may have body sensations; memories of where she was grabbed or slapped or penetrated. If people throw-up during these times, please don't attribute it to demons. If it makes others nauseous to think of adult-child sex, think of the physical upheaval it causes the person who endured it. Personally, I had diarrhea.


Let the survivor take the time to find and experience the pain and anger and rage.

Exodus 22:2-3a "If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him."

It was acceptable for a Jew to kill a thief in his house at night to keep him from stealing property; therefore it is acceptable for a woman to feel like killing the attacker who stole sex and damaged her personality. (If she is married, her husband may feel the same way.) Express anger safely, without injuring yourself or others.

In normal circumstances, not letting the sun go down on your anger is possible, but with suppressed memories, the sun has already gone down. Some people would like to avoid experiencing the pain and anger, and yet fulfill the requirements of forgiveness; but then they are only forgiving the person's sinful actions. You can not forgive the pain a person has caused you until you are willing to own the pain and anger. It would be like loving God with all your mind, but not your whole being. You have to accept your emotions as part of yourself, and become a wholly integrated person again in order to truly forgive someone. Pursue wholeness prior to forgiveness of the abuser(s).


After you have experienced the anger and accepted your emotions as part of yourself again, then it's time to consider the 'real you' forgiving the 'real them'. It is difficult to keep forgiving the perpetrator(s) while in the process of bringing memories back to the conscious level. But after the initial forgiveness is given, it is easier to practice Matthew 18:21-22, and to keep forgiving the perpetrator for each sin against you as you remember them. By forgiving, "letting go", you are disentangling who you are from who they are, thus building clear personal boundaries. Take time to pray for the healing of each individual injury; whether spiritual, physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional.


As the new, healed, whole you emerges, you might discover positive and negative desires that were formerly quenched. With the wondrous freedom in Christ also comes the horrible revelation of the sin nature (Gal. 5). Jesus has and will continue to deliver you from your sin nature (Romans 6-8), and He will forgive and cleanse you when you confess your sins to Him (1 John 1:9). Alongside all other efforts should be prayer in the Spirit according to Romans 8.


* Recognize your inability to save yourself from your sin nature, and give thanks to Jesus who came to save you from your sin (Romans 7:22-25 and Matthew 1:21).

* Recognize yourself as God's child who no longer needs to fear His wrath against lawbreakers, because Jesus has already taken the punishment for your sins (Romans 8:14-16, Colossians. 2:9-15 and 1 John 4:13-18).

* Refuse to feel guilty for your efforts to please God when you've truly chosen to live according to His Spirit within you (Romans 8:1-9). Identify yourself as a saint not a sinner. Those who consider themselves to be sinners ("controlled by the sin nature") cannot please God.

* Refuse to please your sin nature. Since you've separated yourself from the "sinner" identity, also separate yourself from sinful deeds by the Spirit's resurrection power within you (Romans 8:10-13).

* Endure your sufferings with Christ that you also may be glorified with Him. The future glory far outweighs your present suffering (Romans 8:17-18).

* Continue hoping and waiting for that glorious day of salvation from all sin and suffering. Physical nature groans within us as we await our final redemption from the curses of the sinful nature (Genesis 3:14-19 and Romans 8:19-25).

* Recognize the Spirit's intercession for you towards this good and glorious day of our final redemption (Romans 8:26-30).

* Rejoice that no matter what obstacles come against you, they cannot separate you from God's love, gifts, and justification (Romans 8:31-39).

[1 ]Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, The Word of Jesus on Prayer. Quoted in George MacDonald An Anthology, edited by C. S. Lewis. New York: New York. Macmillan Publishing Co., 1947, p. 38.

[2] George MacDonald. (Compiled and edited by Michale R. Philips) Discovering the Character of God. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1989, p. 90.

[3] Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Against Therapy, (New York, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1988), p. 87.

[4] Frank Parkinson, Post-Trauma Stress (Tucson, Arizona: Fisher Books, 1993), p. 34.

[5] Metin Bosoglu, MD, PhD; "Prevention of Torture and Care of Survivors," (JAMA, August 4, 1993, vol. 270), p. 606.

[6] Craig Lockwood. Other Altars: Roots and Realities of Cultic and Satanic Ritual Abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder (Minneapolis, Minnesota: CompCare Pub., 1993), p. 245.

[7] E. Sue Blume, Secret Survivors (New York, U.S.A.: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1990), p. 79

[8] Susan D. Solomon, PhD; "Efficacy of Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder," (JAMA, August 5, 1992, vol. 268), p. 633.

[9] Craig Lockwood. Other Altars: Roots and Realities of Cultic and Satanic Ritual Abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder (Minneapolis, Minnesota: CompCare Pub., 1993), p. 236.

[10] Ibid., p.230.

[11] Ibid., p. 237.

[12] E. Sue Blume, Secret Survivors, p. 85.

[13] Ibid., p. 85-86.

[14] Katy Butler, "Too Good To Be True?", The Family Networker (November/December 1993), p. 30.

[15] Ibid., p. 86.

[16] Ibid., p. 87.

[17] Fatal Memories, (C) 1992 Twilight Motion Picture XXII Limited Partnership in trust for Green's Point Productions Inc.

[18] John DeCamp, The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska. Omaha ATW, 1992.

[19] Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, deluxe second edition (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1983), p. 532.

[20] Craig Lockwood, Other Altars, p. 11.

[21] E. Sue Blume, Secret Survivors, p. 86.

22 Craig Lockwood, Other Altars, introduction.

[23] Craig Lockwood, Other Altars, p. 238.

[24] Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C. The Right to Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. (Los Angeles, California: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1982), p. 193.

[25] Pia Mellody, Facing Codependence (San Francisco, California: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1989) pp. 182.

26Ibid, pp. 183.

[27] Craig Lockwood, Other Altars, p. 250.

28 Brief Therapy: Myths, Methods, and Metaphors edited by Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D., and Stephen G. Gilligan, Ph.D. (New York, NY 10003: Brunner/Mazel, Inc, 1990), p.178.

[29] Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C., The Right to Innocence, p. 43.

© 1997 L. Eve Engelbrite