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DO ABUSERS HAVE A CONSCIENCE?

By Terry Loving

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Timothy 1:5

A CRY FOR JUSTICE BOOK

“And herein do I exercise myself – And this very tenet is a pledge for my good behavior; for as I believe there will be a resurrection, both of the just and unjust, and that every man shall be judged for the deeds done in the body, so I exercise myself day and night, that I may have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.

Toward God – In entertaining no opinion contrary to his truth; and in offering no worship contrary to his dignity, purity, and excellence.

Toward men – In doing nothing to them that I would not, on a change of circumstances, they should do to me; and in withholding nothing by which I might comfort and serve them.” 1

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“Abusive people have dysfunctional or even non-functioning consciences. In contrast, their victims have very active consciences. And the abuser uses this to his advantage. He can, without any hesitation or remorse, insinuate a horrid charge against her, making her feel the pangs of her own conscience, and causing her to wonder if she really is guilty.” 2

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Most have heard the saying, “Let your conscience be your guide.” When making decisions in life, “normal” thinking people rely on their inner voice to decide what actions they should take. Depending upon the level of maturity, a person with high morals, integrity, ethics and the like will usually make decisions they can live with. In other words, the choices they make in life would be those that do not keep them awake at night torturing their minds with guilt. After making their final decision they are able to live with themselves knowing they made the right choice – no harm done.

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1 John 3:21
“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”

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The abuser’s decision-making process is much different. Their decisions are not based upon what is right, just, fair, moral, ethical, nor do they consider the feelings of others. Life is all about the abuser and their comfort and well-being. It is within the avenues of power and control as well as entitlement that the abuser establishes a domain of terror. He feels justified.

depression1

The word conscience is defined as:

[kon-shuhns] Show IPA

noun

1. the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.

2. the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.

3. an inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I’d eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me. 3

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Pastor Jeff Crippen beautifully explains in his book – A CRY FOR JUSTICE how we assume that abusers must be “weighed down” by their horrid actions toward others. Normally, non-abusive souls would agonize over wrongs committed towards others, and seek to make amends. Because we would feel bad inside, we naturally think that others would feel the same – not so with abusers. In fact, Jeff explains how abusers use our assumptions against us as they play the “victim.” The abuser’s deeds do not weigh heavy upon them, for they are functioning in what they perceive as a normal way of life. They are oblivious to the real pain they cause others because they do not care – life is all about the abuser – no one else – not even God.

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abused woman

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In the absence of a “healthy” conscience, abusers can beat the daylights out of their victims, and minutes later take the family out for an ice cream cone. His family, especially his spouse is his personal property to do with them as he sees fit. The beatings or verbal put downs in his mind are his God-given right to keep his family in line. After all, God made him the head, and all beneath him must submit or face dire consequences. Is there any remorse for the abuse? Never! Entitlement and false justification do not produce such emotions.

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Abusers lack empathy which is why they can bloody your face and throw you a towel in disgust – “Clean yourself up, you are a mess!” Your bloody wounds are only an issue when you no longer look “pretty.” After all, he is the only man that is allowed to look at you. They will never admit fault for your pain, because you – according to them – “Brought it on yourself!” Abusers are very capable of fake empathy, especially when the abused threatens to leave them. The false tears only serve to melt the heart of the abused, and the cycle of torture will repeat itself. This is how the crazy making stage begins.

obey fist

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Abusers who claim to be Christians pretend holiness, and yet – they have no conscience – not in the sense of what we define as “normal.” 1Timothy 4:2 speaks of “hypocrites” and “liars” that have a conscience that has been “seared with a hot iron.” Verses 1-5 gives us a clear picture of the spiritual apostasy that shall take place in these “latter days” – the Christian age. According to various views of Bible commentaries, a conscience “seared with a hot iron” can also be applied to the conscience of abusers, especially those who call themselves Christians.

woman hit man with shoe

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Can we not safely say that abusers in our places of worship have “departed from the faith?” The foundation of the “faith” that Jesus ministered is based on love. It is not possible that abusers are following Christ, but their own hypocritical self-imposed doctrine of hate. They are incapable of the agape love that we should have for one another. Agape love possesses compassion for the plight of others as well as; empathy; true love; it is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love that abusers do not possess.

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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8

“A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  John 13:34-35

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”  1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The consciences of abusers are senseless and unfeeling as flesh that has been cauterized. “The sensitiveness of their consciences is destroyed by the brand of the devil.”  People’s New Testament

domestic-abuse

“The metaphor is from the practice of branding slaves or criminals, the latter on the brow. These deceivers are not acting under delusion, but deliberately, and against their conscience. They wear the form of godliness, and contradict their profession by their crooked conduct (2 Timothy 3:5). The brand is not on their brow, but on their conscience. Comp.” Titus 1:15; Titus 3:11Vincent’s Word Studies

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15)

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Jeff also notes a “degree of abuse” that ranges from “remarkably selfish” to “narcissistic,” “sociopaths” to “psychopaths.” When abusers reach the sociopath or psychopath levels, many people view the abusers as having no conscience at all. However, Pastor Crippen maintains that abusers do have a conscience, but they are “dysfunctional.” They possess not the normal means of inner conviction which keeps our passions for wrong in check.

When the searing of the conscience takes place, no one can say for sure. What we can know is the fact that abusers “speak lies in hypocrisy,” they are senseless, and unfeeling:

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 “Such a conscience exists in a mind that will practice delusion without concern; that will carry on a vast system of fraud without wincing; that will incarcerate, scourge, or burn the innocent without compassion; and that will practice gross enormities, and indulge in sensual gratifications under the mask of piety.”  Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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the_sociopath_next_door_martha_stout_unabridged_mp3_compact_disc

The Sociopath Next Door

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I highly recommend A CRY FOR JUSTICE for many reasons. It opened my eyes to a darker side of abusers, and their cunning ways. This book took my understanding of abuse much deeper, and I could feel the essence of evil more acutely as I read each page. It is a must read for those who desire to counsel the abused, and for church leaders who need to educate themselves concerning this atrocity that is hidden within our houses of worship. In addition, I also recommend this book for self-study as well as group Bible study.

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The main reason I applaud this work is the fact that Pastor Crippen isn’t afraid to “call a spade a spade.” He says what needs to be said, and isn’t concerned as many other pastors are about stepping on toes. There is no arrogance in his preaching  and teaching against domestic abuse, for he understands that the Christian church is under spiritual attack, and the people of God have been silent and ignorant for too long. The last place on earth we should witness abuse is in our houses of worship, and our Christian homes.

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It is important to understand the many faces of abusers and how they deceive us. Jeff also covers topics such as, “Why the Church Covers Up Abuse,” “Dealing With Abusers,” “The Abuser’s Use of Shame and Fear” and much more. He also covers “The Devastating Effects of Abuse on Children.” Personally, I am one who is suffering, and will most likely continue to suffer those “devastating effects.” They are very real!

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Pastor Crippen and Anna Wood – THANK YOU!

http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/

A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church

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Conscience (36 Occurrences)

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http://www.sociopathworld.com/

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Profile of the Sociopath

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Charmer/ Abusers and their ‘Prey’

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   An Interview with Martha Stout

How do you spot a sociopath?

“A sociopath has no conscience, no ability to feel shame, guilt or remorse. Since 1 in 25 ordinary Americans is a sociopath, you almost certainly know one or more than one already. How can you recognize him or her?”

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Potentially Abusive Personalities: Some Red Flags – by Dr. George Simon, Jr.

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 1 Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

2 A CRY FOR JUSTICE – The Abuser’s Use of Shame and Fear – 89

 3 Chicago Manual Style (CMS):conscience. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conscience (accessed: April 14, 2013).

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http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

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Posted by on April 14, 2013 in Sociopaths And Psycopaths

 

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