Cult leaders, and manipulative pastors, have a way of making up excuses for their behavior. If Christians aren’t careful, they’ll find themselves (and we’ll find our friends) making up excuses for their behavior, too.
You’ve heard it before. Church members and Christians essentially start excusing abuse and torment that their pastor (or another “man of God”) has done to others by saying, “Well, they’re just God’s mouthpiece,” or “Whoever got offended just wasn’t devoted enough to God,” or even, “It was all part of God’s plan. They must not be close enough to God.”
Some I’ve heard about myself and my situation:
“Lisa was just overly sensitive.”
“Lisa was just an immature Christian.”
“No one else was hurt.”
“It must have just been your Master’s Commission. We didn’t go through that. We had a great Director.”
“God told me to do it. I was just following His orders.”
“We fired that person. They’re not here anymore. Things have changed.”
What they really mean is a) we don’t give a shit b) we’re going to try to intimidate everyone in our church to believe us and not you c) we’re doing everything in our power to discredit you so you shut up and go away.
They don’t give a damn.
Pastor Daniel’s son has told me this about his father time and time again. “He could care less about you. In fact, he looks down on people like you.”
The bottom line is, (most) everything you hear from a controlling pastor or a cult leader after someone leaves and decides to speak up is an excuse.
An excuse for their behavior–their abusive behavior.
I remember being in Master’s Commission, when a student’s parents would complain about something we did. Nathan would shut them up and the other students by saying, “Things have changed. We don’t do that anymore.”
It was a lie. We never changed. We attempted to, but the truth is, Nathan ‘s ways were set in stone and wouldn’t budge. He taught all of us to disciple those under us with an iron fist, just as he did. Nothing was going to change. But, we had to live up to “expectations” and so we tried to tell people what they wanted to save our reputation.
Have you ever heard any of these excuses? In what context?
Have you ever met a pastor who was humble enough to admit his wrongdoing? If so, how did he present it? Did he apologize to the person he wronged?