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    Accept Surrender

    You often add this tag line or a variation of this on many of your articles before you start:

    “This article is not intended for those who have gone through abuse or other kinds of violence. Loving those who “hurt” you does not mean or imply that you must subject yourself to abuse. The right response to abuse is to leave the abuser.”

    What kind of abuse are you talking about? All abuse? What about the spectrum of emotional abuse? I struggle with how emotional abuse is being handled today. Sometimes it seems very sweeping in its assessment. Or appropriate measures not taken to understand to what extent its going on. Also when you say “leave the abuser” it seems missing a fuller explanation but maybe I am reading wrong. Thanks for your amazing ministry. Bless you and your staff.


    If I’m remembering right, I don’t think they use the term, emotional abuse. They have a great article on that. Anyway, I get your question, so figured I would hop on here to see what they tell you. ? don’t mind me??

    Rick Thomas

    Hey Steve,
    Good questions. Thank you for asking them.

    Here’s my response to emotional abuse:

    Now for the tagline:

    Unfortunately we live in a social media world where “everybody” has a voice, which means some of these folks do not have a social filter or the wisdom to respond well on the Internet. That is problem one.

    The second problem is that it’s virtually impossible for some people to read an article without “mapping their experience” over the article, and then hijacking the article. And when they do map their experience over the article, they miss the point.

    Both of these problems (a lack of discretion on the Internet and mapping their problems over the point of the author) have historically created a significant amount of distraction and time wasting for me because of the unnecessary noise it creates.

    So, with all that in mind, I have added, as you have seen, that tagline to certain articles. And, of course, where you will see it is almost exclusively in my “abuse” type articles.

    The demographic that creates the most noise is mostly women, who have been hurt significantly. They are typically the most vocal. They have gone from being quiet for so long in their horrific marriages that a few of them err on the other side by being vocal in unhelpful ways, i.e., missing the points of the article, mapping their experience over what they read.

    These victims have a legitimate complaint against their spouses, as well as the church, which is why our ministry has always been strong advocates for victims. But some of them struggle in such a way that it clouds their judgment when it comes to responding to content.

    And the number one thing they will say is some variation of, “So, you’re saying we should just submit and shut-up!!!?, or something like that, and from that point, it goes downhill quickly.

    The irony is that we’ve never said that. Nowhere!!

    I put the tagline in there to circumvent this knee-jerk response. We have never taught such a thing as shut-up and submit, but as our ministry grows beyond “my friends,” there are thousands of folks who don’t know me. Thus, they clump me into that group of authoritarian evangelical leaders who have had some uncaring and unwise responses to abuse.

    The reason the tagline is short is because I’d have to write another article to explain it which would takeaway from the article at hand. Thus, I’m okay with the general-ness of it. And it has worked well as it has quieted a lot of unnecessary noise while keeping the reader focused on the real point of the article that is in front of them.

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