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The Damage of A Faulty "New Paradigm"

Recently, I had an exchange with two dear sisters.

One sister quoted Dr. Sandoval of New Paradigm Ministries:

God created us as channels, taking love and all we need spiritually from Him, and freely giving to others from what we took from Him. As long as we function according to how we were created, health is the result. But when we don’t function like we were created to function, disease is a result. Usually, we have to look no farther than the person(s) in our life that we cannot love for whatever reason, and there the cause will be found. 

Why is it that we cannot love someone else? It is because we don’t believe they are good for us. Perhaps they did something they shouldn’t have, or they didn’t do something they should have (according to our estimation). Then we judge them as not good for us. and we cut ourselves off from them to various degrees. In reality, we never loved them. We only wanted what we could get from them, and when we couldn’t get good from them anymore, we cut them off. Why are we like that? It is because we are detached from God, using others as the source, trying to fulfill our needs from others. 

But God never created us like that. He created us to have Him alone as our source. We are to go to Him alone for the things we need and take them from Him by faith. Then we have the love we need, and we give it away to others for their benefit. Every relationship is for the purpose of giving away what we have taken from God. We don’t love others because of what they are like or how they treat us, but because we have love in us because we have God as our source. We know our correct identity (I am a child of God), we are bound to God by trust, by faith we take from God what we need for the sake of passing it on to others, we have pleasure in taking and giving, the purpose of our existence is realized and life is full of meaning, and all things work as they were created to work. Health is restored and maintained. 

When we are detached from God, it is because we unconsciously believe I am god. But when I believe I am a child of God, I attach to Him and take from Him to give to others. This is the key. And until this is understood and fixed, the diseases will simply progress, whether we take medication, supplements, natural or unnatural treatments, or whatever we do to treat the disease. We must get to the root cause and by God’s grace fix it.

What do you think about that? Do you agree? I'll share my thoughts about it in a moment.

Another sister shared that she was reading his book, The Law of Life, and it has been challenging her to, "think differently, but with peaceful results." She followed up that a friend shared with her years ago that peace is a state of mind, not a state of circumstances. I do agree with that, but more about my thoughts later.

The first sister said she'd read his book, stating the principals are, "hard, but when practiced, is a blessing."

I offered that I respected Dr. Sandoval's position. Well, more like, I respect his choice to have the position he does, just as I respect anyone's. The content of his position seriously needs to be challenged, however.

I responded with the following:

I have not read the book, but I wonder if there's any attention given to the myriad studies done on abuse survivors whose illnesses (often autoimmune) are directly related to suffering chronic abuse they believed they had to endure in the name of love and forgiveness or because they were trapped by limited or non-existent resources.

I would like to understand more about the doctor's familiarity with trauma (including from a theological perspective) and it's affects. This discussion is much more nuanced when factoring in trauma.

The Danger of this Faulty Teaching

I continued with my thoughts about the damage done by the teachings laid out in the quote.

  • Telling a victim of trauma that the reason they created the boundary of no-contact is because they never loved the person is a form of revictimization

  • This teaching, under the guise of spirituality or theology, is dangerous and damaging in its accusation of a victim being detached from God as s/he chooses to protect their God-ordained ability to exist unhindered in their quest to fulfill His purposes in and through their lives. 

  • It also ignores scriptures that provide guidance about how to respond in destructive situations and to enemy-influenced wolves in sheep's clothing, who allow themselves to be used to target God's people with all manner of evil.  Read Proverbs 22:3. No one should be demonized or have their faith attacked because they choose to exercise biblically-approved boundaries.

  • Forgiving someone is an act of love. Attempting to reconcile with them is an act of love. Releasing them to God in their determination to resist His way of repentance and reconciliation is an act of love. When reconciliation is impossible, love reaches them from afar through prayer and trusting God to be God in their life. Individuals should not be misled in the understanding of what forgiveness and reconciliation is and is not.

  • Most victims wanted to love and have that love reciprocated according to God's will. (Mutual submission is biblical. Eph. 5:21) Most victims wanted their marriage to work. Most victims would have given anything if it meant that the other person fully yielded themselves to God. Most victims aren't creating a boundary of no-contact because they think they are god and are upset because they, "couldn’t get good from them anymore."

  • Besides my own experience with the physical manifestations of responses to trauma, I have and am right now coaching women who are physically suffering because of what has been done TO them. If God values our temples of the Holy Spirit, we should too. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). I believe the enemy's ultimate target for destruction is the unique fulfillment of our purpose. He makes strides in this direction when we are emotionally and physically broken.

  • Some of us sacrificed wanting our love to be reciprocated long before a relationship ended and resolved to stand strong if only for the sake of being a conduit of love for the abuser. But this was and is an error.

We are not called to stay in such a situation, constantly being battered. To do so advances the cause of evil. This is not love, but rather unloving in its enabling behavior. We are not called to handhold the other person on their path towards hell, in effect cooperating with the devil's agenda to destroy us and them.

We have been called to advance the cause of righteousness, the cause of Christ, instead. To do our part in that, we need to protect the purpose God gave us by protecting our ability to uniquely fulfill that purpose. To do our part to place ourselves in the best position to accomplish the good work God began in us and honor the temples God created for the indwelling of His Spirit, sometimes requires separation from the things and people that hinder that work. 

  • Following the Bible's guidance about separating from evil, it is not a reflection of "being detached from God" to have a boundary that requires distance. Proverbs 27:12 tells us, "The prudent [wise] see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

  • It is wrong to tell a victim that the reasons s/he is suffering a disease is because they:

The original quote includes some good principles, but they are mixed with dangerous principles. Especially for such a critical, even life-threatening issue, the results still equal danger. These statements need to be addressed in our Christian culture because this kind of teaching leads many to die a slow death in a relationship that God never called them to endure. It is language that needs to be confronted and excised. 

The work of the enemy is to label the victim with characteristics that actually describe the perpetrator. 

The idea that a person who has experienced circumstances that have led to creating a no-contact boundary is enduring a disease as a result of the above and not because of the damage done to the mind and body as a result of experiencing physical/ emotional/psychological/sexual/financial/spiritual/etc. trauma is faulty. It is dangerous. It is damaging. It is a paradigm to which we should not shift.

It is true that a person's lack of love and forgiveness can lead to illness, but this is not the entire message of the original quote. There is a faulty correlation between cutting someone off and not loving them. You can love with an agape love and still cut someone off.

Thank the Lord that greater is He in us than he that is in the world and no weapon that he forms against us through toxic relationships will prosper.

May the Lord's wisdom guide us. HIS word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. Psalm 119:105

What misapplication of scripture and faulty teachings have you known to keep individuals trapped in toxic relationships?

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