Monday, November 29, 2010

People that redefine abuse for motive

Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

Look out for teachers that redefine words and concepts!
It seems we need to find a way to separately define common abuse (a general failure to love as we ought) and damaging abuse (serious, habitual harm to another person).

For instance, if a man neglects or speaks unkindly to his wife (and this goes both ways) he has in fact abused her. She was given to him to love and cherish; yet, he has failed to love her as he loves himself. And in a husband’s case, he has also failed to love her as Christ loved the church. He has sinned. He should repent and win back his wife’s trust.

Still, most of us would not view him as an “abuser.” We can’t go around labeling every person who sins against others an “abuser,” unless we’re willing to claim that label for ourselves as well (Romans 2:1-3).

The first paragraph assumes that most of the world doesn’t recognize a ‘pattern of behavior’ when speaking about abusive behavior.

The author herself as taken it upon herself to 'redefine' the word, and then use it.  She pointed to an definition from an old dictionary, but ignored what they stated about 'pattern of behavior'.  As of today we have a NEW definition of abuse that involved no pattern of behavior according to the author.

The author's second description more fits the 'global' meaning.  The first definition is her own personal one to show how she and others misuse the one referenced in the dictionary.

Abuse has been, and chances are always WILL BE a 'habitual' or 'pattern' of harm to another.

In her example, she is attempting to show an individual that may have sinned against their spouse one day by being unkind.  I think we can all agree that is indeed sinning against another by failure to love as we ought.

Stating this makes you an abuser is a personal definition, and one that is not applicable to the one referenced in her own dictionary.
Rather than stretch the meaning of abuse (which has been redefined into oblivion) to include anything that offends our sensibilities, and instead of labeling anyone an “abuse” who gets in the way of what we want to do, let’s examine legitimate ways people harm one another, and discuss when and if the church or civil authorities must get involved.
The author once again has 'redefined' the word abuse to include now a third definition.

It went from: a general failure to love as we ought to now 'anything that offends our sensibilities'.

In other words, the author is saying labeling everything you don't care for as abuse.

Its strange how the author speaks on how others 'redefine' the concept of abuse, and then turns around does it herself.  Then to make sure the point is made, she redefines it yet AGAIN to another definition to use against others.  Notice the 'selfish' slant she attempts to spin with her final definition.

WELL to be fair she is adding to her own definition of abuse with the slant to show how the world gets it wrong.   She basically loaded up her own definition, and slanted it show how others misuse it for their own selfish motives.  Don't know how that is possible since it was recently just invented.

Its quite amazing how others will divert in such ways in order to NOT deal with the correct concept isn't it?

This leap is not uncommon sadly.

The author wishes her audience to realize we are ALL abusers!

We have a bit of a dilemma. Webster’s “maltreatment” definition may simply describe the way we all regularly sin against one another. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-40 that all the commandments are summed up in the two commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.

So, maltreatment (or abuse) could be described as failing to properly love one another. Of course, that means, to varying degrees, we all abuse one another, since we all fail to perfectly love. Defined this way, each of us has been abused, and each of are abusers. “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)
Yikes!  You notice the setup for the shaming?  "No one is perfect, so we all are abusers?"
But, again this shamefully detracts from the seriousness of true abuse—the scary kind—the kind you read about in the news. It also minimizes other forms of real abuse that may not leave visible marks. Obviously, there are varying degrees of harm people inflict upon one another, and sometimes the extremes create crisis.
Now that she has shamed everyone SHE will educate us on the 'real' forms of abuse.  The poor author just doesn't seem to get it does she?
There are other ways man harms man—actions that are rightly called abusive: physical or sexual assault, spiritual exploitation (cults), harmful neglect of the helpless under our care, and cruelty to the elderly or infirm. More extreme situations call for more drastic measures, and some situations necessitate the involvement of civil authorities.
Can anyone recognize the 'habitual' pattern of behaviors in the above paragraph?  There are additional concepts of course that fall into her above description.

The author then generates four different types of abuse in which she has come up with, but do not line up with dictionaries.  At this point you need to wonder WHY she would do this.  What is the motive?  She will give you hints when she redefines the concepts for you.  Lets take a look her catagories:

Type A: A general failure to love as we ought, which is not habitual and which occurs within the context of an overall healthy relationship. This, at the very least, includes every one of us. (In other words, we are all abusers.  Which of course is not what the dictionaries say.)

Type B: A habitual and ongoing failure to love as we ought that escalates to the point of damaging the physical or emotional health of those around us. (Getting closer she mentions 'pattern')

Type C: This type of abuse includes physical or sexual assault, or serious wrongful neglect. (Hmm.  Must be the 'real' abuse she mentions prior.)

Type D: This type of abuse is sometimes (ironically) abused. It describes the behavior of groups which are marked by false teachings or a false teacher—a cult. Unfortunately, there are those who use the loaded term spiritual abuse to label true brothers and sisters in the faith with whom they disagree. (Can we say not even close the definition of spiritual abuse?)

When people attempt to 'redefine' concepts like abuse?  When they can't even stick to the dictionary definitions, but go way beyond that?  When they try to tell you most people will claim 'abuse' when they don't like something?  You need to start sniffing out motive on their part.

When I look to the list above with the types of abuse?  Since Type A and Type D are completely incorrect, and off the charts?  Chances are good the motive as they continue will focus on these.

It will also show how their sensibilities were offended by something, and they have decided they must redefine some concepts to show how either something is or isn't abusive.  Since they have loaded the true definitions we need to keep that in mind as they continue to 'teach'.

Since New Oxford American Dictionary hasn't announced they have revised new definitions for words like they did for Palin with repudiate?  All we can do is wait and see if they will accept the new definitions, until then sadly we will have assume motive.

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Anonymous said...

This is a very helpful breakdown. Thank you.

Eric on 10:59 AM said...

The author can't even keep up the redefinition game in her own vocabulary: "This type of abuse is sometimes (ironically) abused." Wait--that usage doesn't fit into any of her four categories or other definitions!

Or is she just claiming abuse because she doesn't like something or sees it as getting in her way?


Hannah on 11:15 AM said...

lol Very true Eric!

Anonymous said...

I have found some glaring examples of people that re-define abuse just to make a point. There is a poster on a marriage website that keeps shooting abused women down to make his point that his wife's affair was more abusive than any domestic abuse she accused him of (and left) and that women who do that are abusers.

Some of his comments:

"Don’t make excuses for abusers. Adultery is spousal abuse. It’s damaging effects are known to be worse than being raped by most who are betrayed. Someone they trusted perpetrated the ultimate abuse, they betrayed the trust, they replaced truth with a lie, and they continue the abuse by continuing the lie, excusing it, or minimizing it."

"It’s unacceptable for men or women to perpetrate this form of abuse. I will not back down from the fact that affairs are spousal abuse, regardless the gender of the cheating spouse."

"Even the stats both you and Rachel bring up indicate that abuse is present in a minority of cases. Yet no-fault divorce is present in a majority of divorces. Therefore, that means that even more spouses are being abused by no-fault divorce than by any of the other types of abuse you cite. Yet you still want to keep around no-fault divorce.
If you’re truly against abuse, wouldn’t you go after the largest set of abuse cases, those involving spouses who perpetrate the emotional abuse of a divorce against a spouse who is NOT engaged in any sort of marital misconduct?
I’m with you, we should be against abuse. And breaking your vows because you are not happy is a form of abuse against an innocent spouse. We must end ALL abuse now, not just those abuses that are politically correct."

Amazing that he even uses abuse-speak in some of his comments and talks about taking responsibility, blame-shifting, the abuse cycle, etc but applying it to people having affairs. And typical of abusers, he minimizes how widespread and damaging spousal abuse is in the church, insisting that women commit worse abuse by not attending to husbands' needs.

Yet the Christian moderators keep allowing him free rein. This is a parallel of what happens in churches - abusers get away with it.

Hannah on 7:21 AM said...

Yes, he is diverting. Adultery is dealt with all over the place within the church - and elsewhere. No doubt it is damaging and hurtful. I doubt you would find a person that won't acknowledge how hurtful it is.

Abuse isn't stealing the thunder over that issue, and yet they take it as such.

Stating 'no fault divorce' is abuse? Okay then. Its no secret that people have been divorced against their will since time began. What I truly never understood was WHY would someone wish to force the other person to stay? Its not like that would be a very healthy environment. I find people like this never answer that question.

An answer to his approach would be to view these spouses as an unbeliever. The bible states to if the unbeliever does not wish to stay? Let them leave.

The problem comes that the person in question that you are speaking with won't like that answer. They wish to have some backup to force the person to stay, and treating them as an 'unbeliever' as the bible states isn't what they want to hear.

Another note, people like this will acknowledge spouse abuse with one little sentence. Its not right - or something along those lines. At that point they have done their Politically correct job, and turn it into a gender battle. This issue isn't gender related.

They want to speak about how their spouse left them, and now is with someone else. Ignoring all their 'emotional' junk, and just attempting to keep them on point? Its almost impossible, and they are showing their true colors. It shows why the spouse left, because basic communication skills with this person just isn't present. They aren't one for resolution - they want the other person to admit they won and are the true victim.

Yes, Christian moderators are confused by the crazy making. They don't want to waste the energy to shut it down, or reel the person in. It shows lack of backbone, and you are correct it is a parallel of what happens in churches as well.

Anonymous said...

Hannah, here is a reader's comment found on a Christian site advocating the family, and depicts a very common thinking that can lead an abused woman away from where she can get help.

"Feminism is opposed to Christianity. The Christian belief that wives should submit to their husbands is contrary to a feminist’s beliefs. God has a plan for how people should lead their lives and feminists do not respect it."

Isn't this sort of thinking what stops women of faith seeking help in the right places? Abused Christians are very eager to please and reluctant to use secular services because they might be staffed by those "dreaded feminists".

And when they do finally venture out and secretly do the unthinkable - get advice from secular services - they find that they are not evil man-hating people. Some are stridently anti-church, only because they have seen the effects of erroneous church teaching on abused women. Still, women are wary of accepting their help because if they let others know their source of help, they will be dismissed. My ex goes around telling people that I have been corrupted by feminists and turned into one of them. And most of my committed church friends actually take a step back in horror, because they have been taught that feminism is what is infiltrating the church.

Anonymous said...

OK, so here's another one from a Christian book about moving on after a broken marriage. In this section, it is trying to explain why marriages disintegrate. It puts it down to human nature. Here are some quotes:

"First humans have been estranged from one another since the beginning of time...Ever since the Garden of Eden...They both refused to won up to their part in the problem...we are just like them...We know the depravity hat exists in our hears and wonder if we can really sustain love for anyone other than ourselves."

"Second, pride enters the scene and creates further dissension. Most of us would rather walk on hot coals than admit we were wrong...we want to protect ourselves and are willing to sling arrows at others to ensure that we are right..."

"Third, human nature seems fraught with a pervasive sense of childish entitlement and selfishness...We not only want to blame others but also want our own way...Unfortunately, this quality kills and destroys our marriages."

"Finally, because many are stuck in their immaturity, they are unable to be sacrificial in their loving. This sacrificial quality is hard to find in relationships today, partially explaining the high rate of separation in marriages...M Scott Peck.. focuses on revealing our narcissistic nature and gives a clarion cry that love can succeed only after we reach the end of our childish yearnings."

This book was given to me by my Bible study leader where ex attends and I stopped, even though I was a member and he wasn't! This is because they want to support him, esp when he has cried on their shoulders. Now presumably they have read the book and even though I have told them about domestic abuse, they take the line that the marriage failed because I chose to walk away because of my selfish human nature.

The author is half-right. Those things he talked about contributes to the breakdown of any relationship. But it only takes one to do it. He should have added something in there about one party having to walk away because it is intolerable and unacceptable in God's eyes to stay in those situations. Because he didn't, an abused woman reading it will think twice about leaving.

Hannah on 9:53 AM said...

When churches take this stand? They are the characters in the book they are using to shame you with. Its called projection.

They refuse to look at the facts, and listen to the other side of the story. Their pride will not allow them to see that they could have the wrong approach, and are to busy blaming everyone and anything else - except the root of the issue.

You can't attempt to deal with anything unless you want to deal with the root. The fact is your husband is a broken person with a root of rage. When they place the institution of marriage first, and then waffle on the safety of those within it? They built their house on sand.

There is a time and place for everything, and that book they handed you? Its not the time nor the place. The love we are asked to show to others as God instructed? Their pride will not allow them to admit it sounds like a gong.

Unless the addiction - or root of rage is deal with? The root will remain. Their selfish human nature is to scared to deal with the root, and their project their selfish nature unto you.

This is why the spiritual pixie dust that churches like to use doesn't work. They become the sloth, and rely on God to deal with things he would ask them to.

Don't read that book, and I wouldn't remain in contact with that church. Unless they wish to deal with the light of truth? If they wish to remain in the darkness and hide? They will do neither of you any good.

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