Participants: Dr. James Marcum (Host), Steve and Samantha Nelson
Series Code: BRX
Program Code: BRX00026B
00:01 Welcome back to Bible RX, here today our guests
00:04 Stephen and Samantha Nelson.
00:06 They work with the ministry that's called The Hope Of
00:10 Survivors that works with healing, specifically healing
00:13 of abuse, Pastoral abuse.
00:15 Steve that brings up this question, I hear about what
00:19 abusing my dog is, but what is abuse, what would be a good
00:23 definition of abuse and what is abuse all about?
00:25 That's really good question Jim, people have difficulty
00:28 understanding abuse in a relationship because they say
00:31 here is an adult woman, generally this is the case,
00:35 here's an adult man, aren't they equal in that regard?
00:38 They both have minds and they both think but they are
00:41 not really seeing what is going on in
00:43 this type of a situation.
00:45 What we have to realize first is when we go to church,
00:48 when anyone goes to church and you step into the door of
00:51 the church there is an automatic trust that you give to
00:54 that person in leadership there.
00:56 That automatic trust creates vulnerability.
00:58 There is also the interesting point to realize here is
01:02 that there has to be a leader in church.
01:04 The pastor at times when there has been a moral fall
01:07 says I am just a man.
01:09 But you know that it's not where the
01:10 Bible comes across with this.
01:12 God is saying that you are more than just a man because
01:13 you are standing as a representative of Christ.
01:16 So he has his leadership ability, he also has knowledge.
01:19 He has been trained in the Word of God, he has many
01:22 years of experience, he has the education of course.
01:25 Sometimes there is an aging balance, all these things
01:28 create a balance in this relationship.
01:30 It's not like people who met at the grocery store,
01:32 this is a relationship like patient-doctor,
01:36 they're still that professional boundary that
01:39 always needs to be maintained.
01:41 When that boundary crosses exploitation, that creates abuse
01:45 One of the dictionary definitions of abuse is to
01:48 misuse, or to defile by improper sexual intercourse.
01:52 This one on other definitions we use when we are doing
01:54 our presentations on this because nobody ever goes to
01:57 the Pastor seeking a type of sexual relationship.
02:01 Most cases that we have worked with adults that have
02:04 been victimized then they sought help from their Pastor either
02:07 counseling for a marriage situa- tion or something from the past
02:10 or maybe even just a new Christian who is coming to the
02:12 Pastor for a Bible study, then they are victimized that way.
02:16 We don't want again like you said earlier, we don't want
02:20 the picture that all pastors are bad, there is
02:22 relatively small, many pastors are good, but
02:24 those small can do a lot of damage.
02:26 Its devastating, the news where you hear about a class
02:30 action lawsuit or something like that, I can't imagine
02:34 what it does to the church itself.
02:37 That's a really good point because the church, all the
02:41 sudden you just lost its whole perception of purity
02:44 and Christianity that is tied in many ways to the
02:47 Pastor because he is giving them the Word of God each
02:50 week, he's expounding on scriptures, and they believe
02:53 he is living what he is saying.
02:55 When it shows that somehow that didn't happen,
02:57 they cannot put the two together.
02:59 They look at here is the Pastor, here's his actions.
03:02 These two things never come together in their mind until
03:05 they truly understand the nature of this relationship.
03:09 Then people have difficulty for years, it will destroy,
03:12 it has destroyed peoples belief in the church and God
03:16 and it is a terrible devastation to the church.
03:19 It's like a ripple effect from the victim the ripples
03:22 just go out to the congregation in the community.
03:24 Well I can see how this can happen,
03:26 it would be very hard to talk about.
03:28 Not only on a television program or anything
03:31 you because there is power structure and people
03:34 don't want to hit the system,
03:37 and the system is going to say hey listen
03:40 we didn't do anything wrong.
03:41 It could be devastating.
03:42 There is the shame of that and people do
03:44 love their church,
03:46 they do love God and they are there because you want
03:48 that relationship with God and no one wants
03:50 to destroy the church.
03:51 And that is why, oftentimes this will never as
03:54 I spoke earlier been Lady 80 years old for 60 years
03:58 didn't talk about it.
03:59 She'd want to damage the church, she'd didn't want to bring
04:02 reproach to the cause of God but God doesn't want people
04:06 to be hurt either.
04:07 Let me throw this a different direction here.
04:10 Now I have the person that has been abused,
04:13 and we have talked about what abuse is.
04:16 Now what if there is also other people that are the
04:18 abusers, they need help too.
04:21 Now how would you work on healing that, that would be
04:26 very hard to heal as well.
04:27 Yeah very difficulty. - does your ministry work with
04:30 the abuser or the abusee?
04:33 We have worked with some abusers, a sad thing to say is
04:38 that many of them are unrepentant and don't really
04:40 want help, they don't think they have a problem.
04:42 Until they reach that place of repentance, you really
04:48 can't do much for them.
04:49 But you can talk about what we do.
04:52 We do provide conferences for pastors.
04:55 A lot of church nominations will have annual or semiannual
04:59 pastors - workers meetings and they will bring us in to talk
05:03 about this issue.
05:04 We share our own experience and start to show them that
05:07 sometimes you get so involved in ministry you forget the
05:09 reality at what is going on.
05:12 The dynamics between a relationship with the Pastor
05:15 and members of his congregation.
05:16 Sometimes friendships are formed and you still bring
05:20 us back to remember that imbalance of the source.
05:23 That is not wrong, God put those balances in place
05:26 because it does lead as ultimately to Him, but
05:29 we do work with them to help them to understand
05:31 some of the issues involved.
05:33 Now do you guys just work with physical abuse, or do you
05:35 also work with the mental abuse that sometimes can occur?
05:38 Well predominantly you're working with the pastoral sexual
05:41 abuse, but that encompasses the spiritual abuse that goes
05:44 along with it because for many of these victims what has
05:46 happened is that the Pastor may keep them silent because
05:49 he is saying you to talk about this you will destroy my
05:52 career, you will destroy the church, so the victim all of
05:55 a sudden has this perceived responsibility upon her that
05:57 it really is not her responsibility.
05:59 It's his actions that will cause his career to be lost or the
06:03 church should be destroyed, not the victims.
06:07 In talking about it we find a lot of times since
06:11 spiritual component is the most difficult to get over.
06:14 What happens physically is shame full enough, but the spiritual
06:19 twists people's minds as far as who God is and what type
06:25 of God He is really.
06:26 That takes the longest time to overcome and help people
06:30 to heal from.
06:31 It is a key component, because a person believes that
06:34 God is the one who wanted this to happen, who did this to
06:37 them, their trust with God is zero, is out the window.
06:41 In order for them to heal, they need to be reconnected
06:44 to God, but now they don't trust God.
06:46 So that is what makes this ministry so difficult, getting
06:49 people to come back to the place where they can see and
06:52 that they can trust God.
06:53 That reconnection opens the door for healing, but when
06:57 they believe that the church and through the Pastor God
07:02 wanted them to be hurt, it's a miracle, a miracle alone
07:06 that can bring them back to where they start to heal.
07:11 Well we try to treat with biblical prescriptions,
07:14 and one of the greatest biblical prescriptions
07:17 is a prescription of love
07:20 people who have more love in their life and has colds,
07:22 less infections, less heart attacks, and it seems like
07:25 this would be a good place to start it anyway
07:27 to get them to understand love.
07:29 If you don't have love you can't really be healed.
07:32 No you're absolutely correct, and that is the number one
07:36 component when people come to us, either with Samantha
07:39 talking about that on the phone or through e-mail.
07:41 Ultimately she is reaching out to them, and I don't want to
07:44 share what she's going to say, but she is reaching out so they
07:47 would trust her and see that love, God's love through her
07:51 so they will begin the healing process.
07:54 Now do you find the victims, the people who have been
07:57 abused better with a female counselor or a male counselor?
08:01 It depends, probably most of them would do better with
08:04 a female, but they seem to do very well with the
08:07 opportunities we have to consult together as a couple.
08:10 We actually have a lot of husbands who contact the
08:12 Ministry first trying to find help for their wives.
08:16 Steve works with them mostly unless he doesn't have
08:20 the opportunity to.
08:22 Trust is so important, and there are people who even like
08:26 for example, this one had been through so much in her
08:31 first e-mail to us was if you are a Pastor
08:33 I don't want or need to talk to you.
08:35 I mean that is just so deep, so the first thing is
08:38 building a communication, yes you can trust me.
08:41 You can trust me because I've been there and I know what
08:44 you're going through and I understand the
08:46 lack of trust that you have and how fearful
08:48 you are and how filled with shame you are.
08:51 So standing in the gap really Steve and I standing in
08:55 the For them really helps to bridge the gap between
08:59 relationship with them in Christ and
09:01 start the healing process.
09:03 So let's move onto another question here, this comes
09:07 into Heart Wise Ministries.
09:09 My husband and I have been having problems.
09:17 Then she says no one would believe me, what would
09:20 you recommend in that situation?
09:22 Boy that is a touchy one. - that is a touchy one.
09:24 Unfortunately that is often the case that they wouldn't
09:28 believe her but she needs to, she is in a difficult
09:32 situation because her and her husband are already having
09:34 problems, and talking with her husband about this,
09:37 depending on the problem, may not help it.
09:40 But she can't just, I believe she needs to be able to deal
09:43 with this, she needs to be able to find a trusted friend.
09:45 Someone in the church that she can share this experience
09:48 with, if it is not her husband and then from there
09:51 they can prayerfully decide where to go with this.
09:54 Make sure she is seeing this situation correctly in that
09:57 way when she deals with it she knows the confidence
09:59 what she is doing is the right thing.
10:01 Now Samantha this is a personal question.
10:03 You have been through an abusive situation.
10:05 What were your first thoughts about where to go for help?
10:09 I can't really say my first thoughts was to go for help.
10:13 My first thought was to kill myself because
10:15 I saw no way out of it.
10:17 A lot people just have a symptom as their first.
10:19 There might be listeners out there that are going to
10:22 the same type of problem right now and we don't want them
10:26 to have that, we want them to turn to getting some help.
10:30 Steve was actually one of those husbands who was seeking help
10:33 for his wife and he was searching online and not finding
10:36 much, so that is why we believe God really led us to develop
10:38 The Hope Of Survivors and to help that information out
10:41 there for those thousands who are getting the help
10:43 they need and the website alone
10:44 without even contacting us.
10:45 I would recommend that is a good place to start.
10:48 You know when you think about changing a bodies
10:51 chemistry, everyone thinks you have to have medication,
10:55 or you have to have some type of shock procedure,
10:59 but you actually can change chemistry even more so if
11:03 you can change what cause the chemistry to be bad and
11:07 in the first place.
11:09 It sounds like when they don't have love in their life,
11:10 everything just falls apart.
11:12 This very fascinating and unfortunately we are going to
11:15 have to bring up some more of these questions at another
11:19 time, but we have a little time left and is there
11:21 anything you would like to share with our audience
11:23 today before we have to close?
11:25 Well I would like to say something maybe the husbands
11:28 out there that are watching this program and wondering,
11:31 is a really hope for my marriage?
11:35 Because awful when you go through this you are thinking
11:38 there is no hope, often they are at a point where they
11:41 once the discovery of the situation comes up
11:44 they are feeling that divorce is the only option.
11:46 I want to assure you that God can reach you.
11:49 God can heal you rare each and God can take you and
11:52 re-create you emotionally, spiritually,
11:54 and He can bring you through this.
11:56 We have been through it and we have seen hundreds go
11:59 through this and we know He will do it.
12:02 Samantha would you have a brief comment
12:04 you would like to add to that, it was very well said?
12:06 I just want to see if anyone out there is going through
12:08 something like this, reach out for help.
12:11 You don't have to go through this alone, you are not
12:13 alone and people can help you and God will help you.
12:16 In the website once more thehopeofsurvivors. com.
12:19 I just want to thank you and we have a lot more
12:23 questions but I guess next time we will have
12:26 to address some of these.
12:27 This is a real form of healing, a real form of treatment.
12:30 I think this is something that is sort of risky to talk
12:33 about this, people aren't just talking about this every
12:36 day I want to thank you for taking the time out of your
12:40 busy schedule join us as we have talked on Bible Rx today
12:43 up ways to yield body with a biblical perspective.
12:47 Specifically ways to heal the mind
12:49 after it has been abused year after
12:51 year changing all that damaged chemistry.
12:53 Join us next week and we are glad
12:55 you were able to be with us today.