This month's Series is on Abuse. The previous post served as our Introduction to this month's Series. Here is a summary:
What are the causes of Abuse?
We saw that Abuse is a Right WHAT (exchanging information) with a Wrong HOW/WHY (for your own benefit at the expense of another/to gain acceptance). We also saw that a Right WHAT with a Wrong HOW/WHY is the definition of DECEPTION. (June 2009)
For the next ten posts, we will be looking at the ten characteristics of the mentality of an Abusive person. For this section of the Series, I will be referencing "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. Before we look at the first of the ten characteristics of the mentality of an Abusive person, I wanted to share some quotes from the Introduction and first two chapters of "Why Does He Do That?" to begin to answer the question "What are the causes of Abuse?"
"And I have learned that the problem of abusiveness has surprisingly little to do with how a man feels - my clients actually differ very little from nonabusive men in their emotional experiences - and everything to do with how he thinks." (page xvii)
The abuser "draws you into focusing on the turbulent world of his feelings to keep your eyes turned away from the true cause of his abusiveness, which lies in how he thinks." (page 21)
"Your abusive partner wants to deny your experience. He wants to pluck your view of reality out of your head and replace it with his. When someone has invaded your identity in this way enough times, you naturally start to lose your balance." (page 49)
The cause of Abuse is a flawed thought process. This flawed thought process is a deceptive mentality. This year, during our Series on Spritual Warfare (June/July 2009), we saw that Spritual Warfare consists of THOUGHTS which are made up of WORDS. We have also seen that we learn our thought process from our environment...from how we learn to complete the First and Second Feedback Loops.
In a very real sense, a "generational curse" is a flawed thought process (Spiritual Deception) that is passed down through generations that results in destructive behavior. It results in Abuse.
This flawed thought process has ten characteristics. Each of these ten characteristics can be arranged in a progression from Cause to Effect.
We will cover these characteristics in a Cause to Effect order. That means, today, we will cover the First Cause of the Abusive mentality...
ABUSIVE MENTALITY #1: ENTITLEMENT
Here are several passages from Lundy Bancroft:
"Entitlement is the abuser's belief that he has a special status and that it provides him with exclusive rights and privileges that do not apply to his partner. The attitudes that drive abuse can largely be summarized by this one word." (page 54)
"Deference refers to the abuser's entitlement to have his tastes and opinions treated as edicts." (page 58)
"Freedom from accountability means the abusive man considers himself above criticism." (page 58)
The First Cause of the Abusive mentality is Entitlement...that the abuser believes they have a special status that is exclusive to themselves AND does NOT apply to others. We have repeatedly covered this mentality and found it is PRIDE, HYPOCRISY, and also known as ONE WAY JUSTICE. It is also the mentality that is propagating BOTH of the Universal Strongholds: The Role of the Sexes and Leadership. (August 2009) This is HOW/WHY people are BOSSES instead of Leaders.
In the post titled, "Red, Yellow, and Green Lights" we saw that Red Light people have a BAD thought process and do NOT have the ability to improve (because of pride). Red Light people feel they are Entitled.
Pride is the belief that the person is in need of nothing...there is NOTHING superior to them. This belief is PROVEN when the individual cannot CONSIDER he is wrong. Humility is PROVEN when the individual is able to CONSIDER he is wrong. Notice, this doesn't mean the person ADMITS or AGREES that he is wrong. If the ONLY way a person could be humble is for him to ACTUALLY be wrong, then it would not be possible for Jesus to be humble.
Towards the end of the I John Series (I John 5:14-18, November 2009) we covered two quotes (from Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jonathan Fries). We then made the following conclusion:
"People who believe in "One Way Justice", abuse others and avoid confessing and repenting to the people they abuse. They convince themselves they are confessing and repenting to God, however, if they did, God would tell them to confess and repent to the person they hurt. To bring the sin into the light coming through the believer they abused. Instead, their flesh convinces them they have repented...and the person who believes in "One Way Justice" is ACTUALLY worshipping themselves...as are every person who cannot explain God's Nature."
"God is light and in Him there is no darkness AT ALL. This means that God is ALWAYS COMPLETELY Right and ALWAYS COMPLETELY Just. This is the ONLY non-contradictory explanation AND the ONLY explanation that agrees with God's Word. Every other explanation is opinion and ACTUALLY a person's attempt to worship themselves."
We covered "ONE WAY JUSTICE" in a lengthy post. Here is an excerpt:
"Why is it that some people are for "One Way Justice"? If something bad happens that the person didn't cause, everyone believes justice should be upheld...they deserve to be compensated. However when something good happens that the person didn't cause, "One Way Justice" people don't think they ought to pay...like "unmerited favor"...a man-made idea that completely violates justice and results in contradictory (unsound) doctrine."
"One Way Justice in the life of the believer occurs when they believe they can sin against you as many times as they want without having to "compensate" you."
"There are several rationalizations for this, but in order to believe this one would have to ignore much of what Jesus said. You have to combine the Salvation Model (God and us) with the Reward Model (us and others). One would have to think that Jesus encourages His followers to be less excellent than non-believers and not ACTUALLY show love."
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35)
"This verse is brutal. Jesus said that our love for one another proves to ALL men that we are His disciples. Again, love is the ultimate effect."
"One Way Justice doesn't result in love. "Unmerited favor" doesn't result in love. "The divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life" (grace) results in love...by definition!"
"The other effect of One Way Justice is a belief the "ends" justify the "means". People believe they can sin against someone several times (One rationalization: "I'm not perfect, just forgiven.") until they catch the "unbeliever" ONE TIME. Then they don't forgive the ONE SIN...they glory in it thinking it justifies the MANY SINS they committed...and the world watches this and knows this person is not a Christian."
"Look at the verse from John again. The world was the first one to call believers "Christians". The world KNOWS what a Christian is...they know the effects. They are the first ones to tell us when we are not being "Christian". One Way Justice drives people away. The "believer" who thinks they are helping the cause of the kingdom is actually hurting it..."
ALL of this agrees with last month's Series on I John. John SPECIFICALLY told us the difference between a believer and a non-believer. A believer loves others. A non-believer SAYS they love AND do NOT actually love people. The non-believer is deceived. The non-believer is an Abuser.
Clearly, ONE WAY JUSTICE is HYPOCRISY and PRIDE. Clearly, it is a deceptive trait exhibited by people who are NOT believers. It is a Right WHAT (special status) with a Wrong HOW/WHY (exclusive to the person claiming it).
The First Cause of an Abuser is "Entitlement" which covers ONE WAY JUSTICE, HYPOCRISY, and PRIDE.
Tomorrow, we will see the second characteristic of the Abuser's mentality is an effect of this First Cause...