What Christian Leaders Tell the Sexually Abused

What Christian Leaders Tell the Sexually Abused February 7, 2017

Gothard no victim
From Bill Gothard

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Redeeming Dinah

All images by Cindy Kunsman from Redeeming Dinah and used with permission. This is a summary of some of the teachings of prominent Christian leaders on sexual abuse that Cindy has used in her presentations on abuse. It is a compilation more than an article.


    • NEARLY COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENTATION OF BILL GOTHARD’S MATERIAL CONCERNING SEX (AND DOMESTIC) ABUSE  There are no victims. The post reviews pertinent teachings and materials that discuss sex abuse, magical ways of warding it off, and victim blaming excuses for why it occurs. Some of this is predicated on Gothard’s doctrine that Christians have no personal rights but are wholly dependent on God’s magical intervention to protect them.
    • Gothard’s Power of Crying Out (book) 2001  The Biblical character, Dinah, would not have been raped if she had cried out and if she had remained at home and holy.
(Gothard and the IFB Teach the Same Things)

                                  (A Series of Posts)


               Link to specific segments on the ABC Website (full show in video above)

  • Ron Williams on Strange Women
    • A transcribed sermon of his beliefs that attractive women have poor character, and that any woman or child who is sexually assaulted has merited such because they have the soul of a prostitute. (the King James Version of the Bible transliterates “prostitute” as “strange woman”)
    • audio on archive
  • Samantha Field’s personal experience at Pensacola Christian College: required to repent for her own rape by a fellow student
  • Patrick Henry College in The New Republic Feb 2014
    • “God’s Harvard” (a college “theologically Baptistic” specifically founded with homeschooled students in mind) uses their infrastructure to suppress reporting of sexual assault while shaming and vilifying the abused.
  • John Piper’s advice and confusing “clarification” about statement when asked how women should respond to domestic violence
    • Original Video (2009)
      A wife should take a couple of beatings first and shouldn’t be sensitive to “verbal unkindness.” Seek pastoral counseling.
      • Critical Review at UnderMuchGrace March 2011
        • Piper’s obsession with sex, mentions “group sex” as comparison to domestic violence (???), and points out very different advice regarding abuse of a child at the hands of a parent
    • Piper’s Clarification Statement (several years later) Dec 2012
      • Piper appears to retract his statement several years after colleagues noticed all of the criticisms of his position. PLEASE take note that Piper makes a veiled threat that by reporting abuse to authorities, a wife and her children lose her meal ticket and their father because of the consequences the husband faces for committing violence.
    • NOTE: John Piper does not affiliate with the IFB, but he grew up across the street from BJU where his father built a Southern Baptist church. His father was close friends with both Bob Jones and John R. Rice, and he carried many of their beliefs over into the tenets of the Southern Baptist concept of patriarchy called “Complementarianism.” He is listed here with the IFB because of the significant influences that I believe shaped his belief system.
OTHER BAPTISTS (Includes general physical abuse)



moreRead more by Cindy Kunsman:

Distinguishing Doctrine From Behavior


Cindy is a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network.

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman is a nurse (BSN), naturopath (ND) and seminary graduate (MMin) with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, hypnotherapy for pain management, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her current professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups and the recovery process from both thought reform and PTSD.

She blogs at Under Much Grace and Redeeming Dinah.

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