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Overcoming Anxiety & Spiritual Abuse, Part II

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Overcoming Anxiety & Spiritual Abuse, Part II
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What do you do when you feel called to start a ministry, but your pastor tells you not to? He says you’re not ready. You need to be under his authority. And your ministry must “complete,” not “compete,” with the local church.

That’s precisely what happened to Christy Boulware, author of Nervous Breakthrough: Finding Freedom from Fear and Anxiety in a World that Feeds It. And in this second part of Julie’s interview with Christy, she tells about how, after overcoming a severe panic and anxiety disorder, she wanted to help others—but her pastor stood in her way. This led to the painful discovery that her church was a “cult,” and her pastor was addicted to control.

This threw Christy into a tailspin and caused her to question her calling. But over time, with the help of wise friends, she and her husband realized they needed to leave their church and continue the ministry God had given her.

Christy’s is such a powerful story. And through it, she gives a helpful blueprint for how to discern spiritual abuse and escape it.

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Guests

Christy Boulware

Christy Boulware is an international speaker, author of Nervous Breakthrough, Bible study creator, and founder of Fearless Unite. She is happily married to the love of her life, Troy. They have three beautiful children together.
Show Transcript

SPEAKERS
JULIE ROYS, CHRISTY BOULWARE

JULIE ROYS 00:04
What do you do when you feel called to start a ministry, but your pastor tells you not to? He says you’re not ready. You need to be under his authority, and your ministry must complete, not compete with the local church. Welcome to The Roys Report, a podcast dedicated to reporting the truth and restoring the church. I’m Julie Roys, and what I just described happened to Christy Boulware, author of Nervous Breakthrough: Finding Freedom From Fear and Anxiety in a World That Feeds It. For a decade, Christy’s biggest nemesis was severe anxiety and panic disorder. But once she got well she found she had another obstacle, her own pastor . This threw Christy into a tailspin and caused her to question her own calling. But over time, she and her husband realized that they were being spiritually abused. They also realized that the church where Christy at first found Jesus and gotten saved, was also very cult like and harmful. Then the second part of my discussion with Christy, she tells her story of experiencing church hurt. And I believe there’s so many great lessons in this story about how to handle spiritual abuse and its aftermath.

So, I’m really looking forward to sharing this conversation with you. But first, I’d like to thank our sponsors, Judson University, and Marquardt of Barrington. If you’re looking for a top ranked Christian University, providing a caring community and an excellent college experience, Judson University is for you. Judson is located on 90 acres just 40 miles west of Chicago in Elgin, Illinois. The school offers more than 60 majors, great leadership opportunities, and strong financial aid. Plus, you can take classes online as well as in person. Judson University is shaping lives that shaped the world. For more information, just go to JUDSONU.EDU. Marquardt is a Buick GMC dealership where you can expect honesty, integrity, and transparency. That’s because the owners there Dan and Kurt Marquardt are men of integrity. To check them out, just go to BUYACAR123.COM.

We now resume my conversation with Christy Boulware, author of Nervous Breakthrough: Finding Freedom From Fear and Anxiety in a World That Feeds It.

JULIE ROYS
I know that once you got to a place of feeling healthy, and God had brought you through this, you had an excitement, to share that with others. And that’s really how God works. The comfort that He’s given us, He wants us to give others and so I think that’s such a beautiful desire. But as you began to step out in this, and this is so sad, you would hope that your pastor would be the person most excited about that and getting behind it and blessing it. And I hate to say this, but I think especially when it’s women stepping out in ministry, very often they don’t find their pastor blessing it. And that was your situation. Tell us that story of and you don’t really touch on it in your book. But I know that’s a bigger part of your story. When your pastor really wasn’t thrilled.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 03:59
Yeah, I actually had a warning sign that I missed. So, I was about 18 months into my recovery journey and tapped into this local church doing really well making friends, things were going great. I started sharing my testimony, they had given me an opportunity to share my testimony. I was blogging and doing a little bit of speaking about it. And so, this was around June of 2015. So, the breakdown happens in 2011 and June of 2015. I just was starting to feel this prompting to start a support group for other women that were struggling with the same thing that I struggled with. And I asked my friend who, my very good friend who actually was the pastor’s wife for advice about this feeling that I was having didn’t know what to do with them. And she just said, let me talk to my husband, which was our pastor. And she comes back to me and she said that. Here’s what he said. He said Christy, you need to aim longer before you fire. And I just paused. And she just said, basically what he’s trying to say is you’re not ready to start a ministry, Christy. And I got off of that phone call just completely crushed, and so confused, too. And I took this hunting analogy to my husband because he’s a big hunter too. And I said, Troy, this is what she said to me, this is what Pastor said to me, what do you think? What do you think I should do? And it was this moment, I’ll just never forget it. Troy just boldly and confidently said, No, if you aim too long, you’ll miss. It’s time to start this ministry. And I was like, All right, let’s do it then. Let’s start it. So, here’s what’s so crazy, Julie. Fearless Women was what it was called before, we’ve now rebranded as Fearless Unite. But it started in a library with 38 women in attendance, and it grew rapidly. And churches started to hear about it and other churches started partnering with us. And before we knew it, we were doing these monthly meetings where 200 or 300 women were showing up at it. And by the end of 2015, we were a legal 501 C 3, and we became a nonprofit organization.

So, part of the programming that we offered was these local community events that were completely free. The support groups that kind of outgrew the support group mentality, because so many people were coming to it. So, we started putting together programming called Impact groups. Now what these were, they were fear and anxiety Bible video studies that were written and produced by myself, but also our Fearless team. So that was interesting. I got called into the pastor’s office. Yeah, I got called into the pastor’s office.

JULIE ROYS 06:44
I’m feeling anxiety right now. I’ve experienced this. But okay, yes.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 06:48
What smoke alarms are going off right now? So, I got called into the pastor’s office, this was early 2017. And my husband was with me for this meeting. And we had these, like, kind of three major big ideas that he was explaining to us in the meeting. And the first was, God’s work must be done God’s way. And he used II Samuel 6, the Ark of the Covenant. And as you recall, in that story, Usiah, I think is how you say his name, he died for touching the Ark. And we began to get this underlying feeling that he was saying, You’re messing with God’s way by not doing it the way that we want you, like, I want you to do it. And so, he didn’t come out and say, You’re gonna die. But there were these implications of using that scripture to make us understand that God’s work must be done God’s way.

Now, the next big idea that he gave us was parachurch ministry, which is what Fearless Women was a parachurch ministry is not in the Bible. So, he just told us parachurch ministry is not in the Bible. So, he then said, we’ll support parachurch ministry if you’re doing something that we don’t do, or can’t do, and it was built under biblical government. And then this big idea was said, Christy, don’t compete with the church, complete the church. And I was super confused after that point. And then we got to one of the, there was lots of points. But these were the three main ideas that really hit my husband and I. The last one was God works through authority. And so, he used John 10 1,3, but then also, verse seven, I’m just going to read it to you, it says, Then Jesus said to them again, Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. And then he gave us two points after that. He said, God gives the senior pastor, he said, senior pastor, a flock. And then the second one is the door, in and out, is through the pastor. Needless to say, my husband and I had a lot to think about a lot to pray through. And truthfully, Julie I left that meeting feeling so confused, and conflicted, controlled. I also felt like we were doing something wrong, I felt like we were being disobedient to his authority. And it was incredibly difficult to process through that.

JULIE ROYS 09:16
Let me pause you there. Because there’s so much to unpack and what you just said. One, going back to you not being ready. Almost in a way, and I’m guessing being ready would be the pastor telling you you’re ready, which would put him in control of when you’re ready. But it also, and this might be a strong word to call the curse. But it’s almost like saying, it’s going at you as a person. It reminds me of I remember when I was in my late 20s, wanting to step out in a ministry and I had a pastor look at me and say, Julie, you’re not a visionary leader. And I remember at the time just being like so puzzled by that because I had already started like two different ministries at this point, and I’m like, how am I not a visionary leader? And he’s like, Well, I can’t go into detail like I can give you the book. And I could go through all the points, but you’re just not. I remember just coming back home, and it was my husband who looked at me and said, “That’s insane. Of course, you’re a visionary leader, like you’ve started all these things like, how could you do that if you’re not a visionary leader? I mean, I don’t know what they mean by that. But don’t receive that, Julie. And I’m like, Okay.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 10:18
Thank you, Lord, for an amazing husband.

JULIE ROYS 10:21
I know. And what’s sad too, is that as women, I think our fallen condition is that we tend to be bent towards men that we don’t look straight up into the Father’s eyes, which is what we really do need to do. And it’s wonderful when you can have a man bless you, like we had our husbands bless us. But often the men won’t. And sometimes we need to just be able to look directly. And we do need to be able to look into the Father’s eyes and say, who have you made me? And what are you calling me to do? And our identity has to come directly from Jesus, because otherwise, we will be paralyzed, and we won’t be able to move out and what he’s calling us to do.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 10:56
You gotta preach, Julie.

JULIE ROYS 10:57
I think it’s important to name those things, right? Because we do and as women, I hate to say it, but it comes so often, because we’re a threat to somebody in spiritual authority sees us as a threat. And I don’t know what it is about strong women, but we just make these men go, they do, they just, they get so threatened. And that’s what I hear in your story.

But then the authority and control using scripture the way that he did, and to say Jesus doesn’t say that the pastor is the gate. Jesus says, I’m the gate, right? They enter, and I know my sheep, and they hear My voice, and they recognize my voice, because their mine. And he’s put himself what he did in that conversation is put himself in as Jesus, which is frightening. But that is what so often happens. And so, I know there’s people listening right now that are probably, you know, there’s bells going off because they’ve had this happen. But it’s devastating to us in the moment. It is so confusing, because we’re hearing, the confusion is not because oh, what our pastor is saying the spiritual authority saying is true, but because we’ve heard something from our father, our father has called us and has commissioned us to do something. And yet we have these earthly voices that should be, you know, blessing that and instead saying, No, you can’t be getting that right. And so, it puts us into a tailspin. So how did you work through this?

CHRISTY BOULWARE 12:28
Lots and lots of prayer. But I think one of the biggest things was we asked for his notes. We said, “Can you please put in writing what you taught us that day? Because we’re very confused, and we would like to study it out ourselves. Can you put the scriptures down? Can you put the notes down? So, we received the notes that he taught us that day, and we felt led to go seek wise counsel. Now what’s important about this wise counsel, and if anybody’s listening, it was outside of our local church. We sought console outside of our local church. And the beautiful thing is the Lord had blessed us with so many partnerships of other churches with what Fearless was doing at the time, that it was very easy for me to find a neighboring community of an elder of a lead pastor, that I could have a sit-down talk with. So, I sent the notes over to this pastor, my husband and I and this pastor and his wife, we sat down over a nice lunch, and I’ll never forget it, Julie, he just very boldly and bluntly said, Christy, we reviewed your pastor’s notes, and we think you’re in a cult. And we think that he is using scripture to manipulate and to control you. And I remember even the pastor’s wife that day was like, oh, no, no, but we could say this a little nicer kind of thing. And you know, we don’t we’re not trying to hurt your feelings. And he’s like no, I don’t know how else to say this. I don’t know how much easier like how to say this. And I remember us leaving that going, no, this can’t be true. We love our pastor, like we believe in him, like just know, like, Ah, this can’t be true. So, but then we had to just really wrestle with that.

JULIE ROYS 14:09
Boy, I love what you did. It reminds me of the Bereans, right? Who, even the apostle Paul, took what he was teaching them, they searched the Scriptures to see if what he told them was true. And I think so often people that are in hyper controlling churches or cultic churches, which as I think over the past decade, the definition of cult has changed where it used to be it has to have some sort of heretical doctrine at the core of it. And I think people are realizing no, you can have an orthodox, very biblically Orthodox Church, it can still be cultic because of the control. And because of the place of the pastor, and because of these things. Thank God, that you were able to find someone who was able to discern that. But wow, that’s when you’ve been, how long have you been at the church at that point?

CHRISTY BOULWARE 15:00
So, since 2007, that’s when I raised my hand and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. So now what we’re at 2017 when that conversation took place, yeah.

JULIE ROYS 15:08
Wow. So, you’ve been there a decade. And you hear this, and this is your community. So how did you process it?

CHRISTY BOULWARE 15:16
We still believe the best and our pastor, and we asked for one more in person sit down meeting with him. And so, we did. And it was my husband and I and his wife, and we sat down. And we wanted to take a humble approach. Because what if we were wrong, Julie? We hadn’t been to seminary, we didn’t have all this extra knowledge, you know. So, it’s like, gosh, what if we were wrong? And we wanted to believe the best in him. But here’s what’s interesting. My husband, we’re talking about our strong husbands. He prayed this very simple prayer as we walked in, and we were holding hands together. And he said, Lord, show us what we need to see. That was it. Just show us what we need to see. And so, our first topic of discussion when we sat down was that my pastor wanted to go over the biblical government that our parachurch ministry had. And he asked, do we have a lead pastor on our board? And we were genuinely curious. It was like, no pastor. I mean, we don’t have a lead pastor on our board of directors, but we have a pastor. And we’re curious, like, why does it matter if it’s a lead pastor? And he started to use this analogy that lead pastors know how to bench press more.

JULIE ROYS 16:27
Sorry, wow! Okay. Okay.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 16:32
Could bench press more. And so of course, we were dismayed. And we’re just but again, we have so much respect for this man and love that we were just still trying to process it all out. And again, remember, since parachurch ministry is not in the Bible, the only way you would support it would be under biblical government doing things that the church wasn’t doing, and if I wasn’t competing with the church. So again, he was trying to make a case for the biblical government, which just led us into that next area of concern was how he didn’t feel like it was right that we were producing, and leading out small groups, which is what I called Impact groups, and that was competing with the church. And so, I remembered Christine Caine had just spoke at our church. And she does propel groups. And propel groups were exactly like what our impact groups were. We were creating biblical, small group material, that were helping people overcome fear and anxiety. It was a meeting and need in the church because fear and anxiety is an epidemic right now. And there were so many people that would love to be in a Bible study about fear and anxiety. And we were producing these and putting these out.

So, I asked him, I said, Well, we just had Christine Caine here. And she does propel groups. And we’re okay with that. And Dave Ramsey, he does Financial Peace groups. And I said, I’m just trying to do something similar to this, and not compete with the church, but just meet a need in the church to disciple to hurting women that are struggling with the same thing. And interesting that you had brought up that scripture in Corinthians, comfort, comfort others with the same comfort God has given you. That was the key verse for our impact groups, it was, God had comforted me, I was going to turn right back around and comfort others.

Julie, he wasn’t really happy with my line of questioning and responses at that point. And the conversation started to go a little bit south, and we wanted to keep it holy. And I just said to him, I said pastor, I can tell that we’re not going to agree on this topic here. So, can we just agree to disagree here? Or is this the end of the road for us? And I’ll never forget this, Julie. He looked right at my husband and I, and he just said, this is the end of the road for you. You will not be supported if you continue. And just like that, the place that I found Jesus, by the man who led me to Christ, we were no longer welcomed in our church anymore. And I left that meeting completely devastated with my heart in a million pieces. And my husband, on the other hand, just had a smile on his face. And he said, Thank you, God for showing us what we need to see.

JULIE ROYS 19:08
Wow. I haven’t told this story yet. And I will just allude to it now because I haven’t fully felt released to tell it. But I have friends who were told that if they persisted in something they were doing, they could no longer take communion within a church. And I thank God that they listened to the voice of God, and not the pastor at that point who was not speaking the words of God. And I’m just struck that whole senior pastor thing. There’s no biblical basis for that. And where is the priesthood of all believers? Yeah, that is such a control move, but so glad that you were able to discern rightly, what was going on. Wow, I can only imagine the devastation you must have felt. I mean, there’s one thing to know in your head. God’s calling me to do this. I’m sure there had to have still been some degree of doubt, because that’s just how we work as human beings. When you have a spiritual authority, say something like that to you, it’s hard. It’s hard to take. And it messes with you inside. Even if in your head, you say that was BS. I know, it’s somewhere deep down. You know what you’re doing is, right. You have that conviction. But at the same time, you’ve got that kind of messing with you.

I guess you could apply the same thing you were talking about the anxiety, snowballing thoughts where you had to take this thought captive now and these doubts captive, but walk me through the process coming out of that emotionally, spiritually? That’s got to take to some degree your legs out from under you. Or did it? Maybe you were just like, so confirmed that you just shot right out of the gate? I don’t know.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 20:46
Oh, heck no.

JULIE ROYS 20:48
Maybe I’m projecting but yeah, how did you deal with it?

CHRISTY BOULWARE 20:51
My husband was very strong. He was so grateful. And for me, this is where I found the Lord. This was where all my dearest friends were. I lost all kinds of friends. I felt so lonely, depressed, incredibly anxious. You’re right. The self-doubt raged in my mind. What if I’m wrong? What if I’m being disobedient? What if I’m rebellious? What if I am in direct contradiction of God’s word? I want to honor God’s word. So, it was like this mind game of questioning my calling, who I am, what I should be doing. I mean, it was excruciating.

But I do, I think there’s some things that we did right, and some things that I think we did wrong. And what we did right was we stood up for ourselves, we stood up for ourselves, and we did not allow ourselves to be manipulated and controlled. And we refuse to slander and gossip, even though all of that was being done for us at Facebook and the things that were being said, and this behind-the-scenes conversations that would later come back to us. I was just floored by the amount of just deception and just straight up slander and things about our character that just were not true.

Another thing we did right is we took a while before we jumped into a new church home. And when we did feel called to move on to a new church home, we did sit down with the leadership of that church and asked, What are your thoughts on parachurch ministry because we didn’t want to get ourselves. We found that they were with open arms excited to take in this parachurch ministry, were championing, welcoming, cheering it on in a very healthy way. So that was good. Another thing is we took some time before we started serving. We really needed healing. And we didn’t just jump right into serving again.

Some things we did wrong, Julie, this situation felt like a divorce. Now, I’ve not walked through a divorce. But I’ve walked through many dear friends that have had to walk through a divorce. And it’s so incredibly painful. I mean, the place that I fell in love with Jesus Christ is the place that wounded me. That made me second guess and question everything that I’m doing and feel called to do. And so that just created an enormous amount of anxiety in me and again, losing all these friends. And I became obsessed, literally obsessed with trying to figure out why God allowed this to happen. And I wasted too much time being distracted by that. And I was worried about it constantly. I think something else that we did wrong is I didn’t get counseling soon enough. I just didn’t. And I’m in counseling now. But I’m learning that even so long ago, this is 2017 that I am still disentangling myself from bad theology that was imposed on me for years and years. Even in my new church, a healthy church, where I’m my counselors, I need you to take church off of an idol here, Christy and I need you to ask yourself, are you codependent on your pastor’s covering right now? And so, ah! all these really big ideas that I’m working through myself right now that are going all the way back to 2017. And I wish I would have gotten into counseling sooner, because it’s affected the way I view church. It’s affected the way I view pastors; it’s affected the way I view church, people, and community.

And this last one might sound a little funny, but I forgave too fast. And here’s what I mean by this. When I was in therapy, my therapist said to me, Christy, you cannot forgive what you haven’t acknowledged. And I thought, oh, so then she gives me this worksheet where I have this five-page worksheet, and I have to work through the four stages of forgiveness, and part of it is writing down why you were hurt. And when they said XYZ to you, how did that make you feel? and when this person betrayed you through and it was like a ripple effect because it wasn’t just my pastor I needed to forgive it was the pastor’s wife. And then it was the friends that betrayed me. And it was like this ripple effect of forgiveness that needed to be put out, but I needed to walk through the stages of forgiveness first, to truly forgive. I think I was just like, oh, yeah, I forgive them. That’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s what Christians do you forgive. But really deep down, I was still bitter. I was still hurt. I was still wounded and had not worked through that forgiveness properly.

JULIE ROYS 25:09
What a wise counselor you had.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 25:11
Oh, amazing.

JULIE ROYS 25:13
Yeah, that’s wonderful. And that is a gift. And I’m curious because you said this covering? Did you have the umbrellas of authority that were like the Gothard thing going on, or something similar?

CHRISTY BOULWARE 25:24
I’m watching Shiny Happy People right now, too. And I’m just like, I can’t wait to see my gosh, it’s giving me anxiety. I was never shown like a picture of umbrella or covering. But this idea of spiritual authority that you had to run to or be over like your pastor was the person that you needed to check in with, was absolutely under woven in all of it for sure.

JULIE ROYS 25:48
Wow. Well, I’m very grateful. I did not grow up in that. I grew up in a very conservative Christian church, but it was not fundamentalist. And my mother was a very strong spiritual force. And she was our superintendent of Sunday schools in the church I grew up in, and I had a pastor who gloriously did not feel threatened by my mother, and just was able to bless her. Now they moved when I was in college, from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, and then that stopped. And she couldn’t really minister after that. And that was really sad for me to watch. But I have said many times, I’m so grateful for that heritage that I was given. Because when I saw spiritual abuse happening, when I began to experience it, yes, there was self-doubt, there was all of that. But I also knew, it’s like what they say, with dollar bills. If you’re trying to figure out a counterfeit, you look at the real, you study the real, and I grew up in the real, and I’m so blessed, I know I’m so blessed by it. I thank God for it. Because I see so much of the non-rail right now, in the work that I do that I’m just I’m so grateful that I know the real exists, I love the church. I couldn’t stay in this work if I didn’t love the church, because I’ve seen how beautiful it can be. And I’ve seen how beautifully it raises the next generation within it. But we’re just really gotten a foul of it because of and sadly, a lot of it is due to these pastors who are into building their kingdom, and not the kingdom of God and controlling and you cannot control what God is doing. It is completely outside of your control, but the Holy Spirit, you don’t know where it comes from. And you don’t know where it’s going. But you better get on his agenda. Because if you’re trying to steer yours, you are going to just shipwreck everything. And we’re seeing that happen all over the church right now.

And I know, and we’re running out of time. So, I have to get to our last question. But we could talk so long on this. But I know right now there are people listening, who have had all of the same things that you’re talking about happen to them maybe, and then some and the spiritual abuse and the confusion and the pain and all of that they’re in the midst of this. And that’s what with so much of the interviews so many of the interviews I do., it’s that abuse that they’ve experienced, sadly, in the church that is causing so much of their anxiety and their trauma. So, would you just speak that person who right now is feeling really stuck in the midst of the aftermath of this kind of church hurt situation?

CHRISTY BOULWARE 28:29
I think understanding that you can be understood. I think that’s so important. And that church hurt is so excruciating, I think sometimes we sweep it under the rug, like it’s just not that big of a deal, or it doesn’t hurt that bad or I mean, it’s truly one of the deepest pains I have ever walked through. Even going through suicidal thoughts and a nervous breakdown. It was so painful. So, I think I just want to tell you, I get you, I understand you. If you’re on the other line listening, gosh, I’m so sorry for the pain that you’ve experienced.

And I think I just have three little pieces of advice. The first one would be don’t stay in an abusive situation. Please go seek wise counsel outside of your church community. And ask God pray, ask him to give you wisdom and discernment because oh my goodness, he will. Like you said with the dollars I didn’t grow up where I knew the real so I couldn’t tell there was a counterfeit and that’s why it was making it so difficult. But God was so faithful to provide the people at the right places at the right time because my heart was bent towards truth. I wanted to know the truth and he gave me the truth. And do not please man. Please God. That’s what we’re here for; please God first above all else, and then get help for the hurt. I wish I would have gotten help sooner. I love Julie that you’re doing The Restore. I think your conferences what you’re doing with that is just so beautiful. So go to one of her conferences, go get into therapy, get help. And then this last one is probably the most difficult for me to say. But it’s just remember that God still uses imperfect people. And sometimes that just doesn’t make sense. And here’s a little story. I was recently interviewing someone for a marketing position that’s available in our organization. And one of our interview questions was just tell me how you found the Lord. And she tells me the story about how she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior in this most beautiful, glorious way, and how God was working in her life. And guess what? It’s through the same man that hurt me in the same church, that we were asked to leave. And I just thought, oh, my gosh, and I was so conflicted in my flesh in that moment, and the Lord led me to Philippians 1:15 – 18. And it’s when Paul’s talking about okay, look, some people are going to preach out of envy and rivalry, and some are going to do it out of goodwill. And then it goes down in verse 18, it says, but what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached, and because of this, I will rejoice. Yes, I will continue to rejoice. So what I’m not saying is you shouldn’t address church hurt, or you shouldn’t address control or manipulation, like you absolutely should do it. But do it in a Christ honoring way. But remember, that God still use an imperfect people to reach people for His glory.

JULIE ROYS 31:39
Yeah, and that’s a tough one. But it is true. I’ve had a number of people process; I came to the Lord through this abusive person. I came to the Lord through somebody who I don’t even know is a believer at this point. And does that mean that you didn’t truly come to the Lord? No. That doesn’t mean that . The Lord has met you and praise God that He can use a donkey so he can use a bad pastor.

Christy, thank you so much. And thank you for mentioning Restore again, that’s coming up October 13 and 14th at Judson University, and early bird tickets are still available for Restore. But it is a wonderful two-day conference where so many other survivors come together and find healing. But not just survivors. And I’m really encouraged. I was excited at our last Restore, we had a number of pastors come, we had a number of seminarians come. And it does grieve me that I find so many pastors like if you do a conference on how to grow your church big and how to be successful man, they will flock. But to come and hear from survivors? to come and hear about how to handle church hurt? or how to respond when somebody comes to you and says, I’ve been sexually abused? to find out those things, how to really shepherd and care for your sheep. Often pastors aren’t very interested in that, because that doesn’t bring in the dollars and the people and the noses and all those things. So, I really encourage you, if you’re listening, and you’re in a position of spiritual leadership, at a church or a para church, I really encourage you to consider coming to Restore. And those of you who are hurting, wonderful place to find healing. Again, it’s RESTORE2023.COM. You can find out more about that.

But Christy, thank you so much. This was just such a great discussion, and I so enjoyed your book, but even more so being able to talk with you. So, thank you.

CHRISTY BOULWARE 33:38
Thank you so much.

JULIE ROYS 33:39
And thanks so much for listening to The Roys Report, a podcast dedicated to reporting the truth and restoring the church. I’m Julie Roys. And if you’ve appreciated this podcast, would you please consider supporting the work we do at The Roys Report? As I’ve said before, we don’t have any big donors or advertising, we simply have you the people who care about telling other survivors stories, exposing wrongdoing, bringing healing, and restoring the church. Also, this month when you give a gift of $30 or more, we’ll send you a copy of Christy’s book Nervous Breakthrough. It’s such a great resource and I’m so excited to make it available to you to donate and get a copy of nervous breakthrough. Just go to JULIEROYS.COM/DONATE. Also, just a quick reminder to subscribe to The Roys Report. That way you’ll never miss an episode. And while you’re at it, I really appreciate it if you’d help us spread the word about the podcast by leaving a review. And then please share the podcast on social media so more people can hear about this great content. Again, thanks so much for joining me today. Hope you were blessed and encouraged.

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3 Responses

  1. I don’t listen to podcasts, but this afternoon I listened to two podcasts. One was an interview of the stewardship director of the church our daughter is attending in PA and one was yours. I enjoyed the first one, but I loved yours. Why? I’ve helped off and on for 15 years with seniors who are caught in some way with the cancer of elder fraud.
    The Lord impressed on my heart to start a ministry for seniors…but to have two other parts besides elder fraud…one is helping seniors start a ministry–or whatever the passion the Lord has given them–in their retirement. I’ve spent the last 40+ years helping others start businesses and now I want to build a network of other resources that can help the ‘Julie’s’ of the world get launched to the glory and honor of the Lord–with eternity’s values in view!
    Do you know of people I could connect with? Hope I didn’t run over your 300-word maximum!
    Thanks! God continue to bless you. I was saved in a parachurch ministry in 1970 as a college senior through Campus Crusade in Lake Arrowhead, CA. That means I’m an old guy! HA!
    Would love to connect!

  2. What you said about God working through bad people made me think of Abraham abusing Hagar and David abusing Bathsheba, while becoming heroes of the faith. When not thinking about the victims, it’s easy to say, “God is showing us that he forgives and works through us no matter how bad we are.” However, as soon as I think of the victims, I wonder what God’s message to them was and how they felt seeing the abusers elevated as great men of God.

    God’s comfort for Hagar is more obvious than for Bathsheba, and I don’t know why. Regardless, I think there are millions of “Hagars” in the church today. Specifically, an estimated 50% of married evangelical men use porn, and how many of them are doing “great ministries” while their wives feel like disposable items and have unidentified betrayal trauma? How many wives feel used for sex and domestic labor, but can’t say it out of fear the church will side with the “amazing godly husband”? How many of those wives support the ministry behind the scenes, while getting less honor from the church?

    I wish the church were more concerned with compassion for Hagar than praise for Abraham.

    1. But you know, it was through Bathsheba, not one of David’s other wives, that God chose to carry the Royal Line all the way to Jesus. She birthed Solomon who, apart from Jesus, the wisest man who ever lived, and the most successful King of Israel.

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