Power and the Abuse of Authority

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16 Responses

  1. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    This is very good and timely

  2. JM says:

    This video speaks enough truth to be frightening. The speaker gives the air of someone who has seen plenty and knows of what she speaks. She pulls no punches and uses Scripture accurately to take away any wiggle room from a leader trying to rationalize their sin. Bravo! Sorely needed. It should bring some to their knees and many to tears. About halfway through it she says something that completely nails why it is impossible to hide a pastor’s sin and call it good. It should be required in some sort of pastor boot camp.

  3. Hannah says:

    I appreciate someone who has been in the field 37 years and knows what she is speaking of.

    This is very powerful. Power to assert control of hearts. Using sheep for food.
    Power over vulnerable people a
    Allowing them to become prey. The ability to damage..
    In this one hour message, she breaks down what power is, how it happens that someone can abuse this power , and the deficits in the human heart, that leads to it..
    I found it interesting that the only time you heard the audience respond, was when she said that powerful men sometimes have mothers that are critical( the audience laughed)… It gives them drive in the corporate world..interesting..

    The person in power feeds the self.
    It starts with self deception. A trust in humans for food.. Hiding, pretending, covering..addicted to deceit. They try to maintain their image..ignore sin..

    Drawing others into their web of deception…silencing others..

    Interesting how anxiety is a driving force…the more power, the less anxiety. An increase demand for praise.
    Then there’s the public and private lives.

    Also interesting that abuse can be either domination or passivity.

    When she brought Jesus in and talked about His wounds…the cross.., and how he served others with humility…quite a contrast to the Lordship of the Pastors I’ve seen at every church I have attended.

    Very good message.
    Sadly, some of these men will really need to look at themselves with humility to recognize and let God change these issues…I guess like we all do.
    I understand a narcissist is hard to change. I wonder if she has a teaching on this.

  4. JM says:

    Hannah, I like the way you break down her presentation. Very helpful. I also thought it was interesting that she included passivity as an abuse of power because you do not use the power you have to stop something you know is bad. I wonder if I will ever see or read things that are this indicting of church leadership without thinking of CC. Um…no, probably not.

    Hannah, I wondered if you ever visited churches of other denominations. After the four CC’s, we tried a Freewill Methodist (really bad people flattered the pastor and it fell apart) and an Evangelical Lutheran church. I really liked the Lutheran one until that pastor got moved to another church out of the county. The new pastor just wasn’t into meeting people at their own level. He was very aloof and even seemed bored with us unwashed masses. So sad.

  5. Erunner says:

    I couldn’t help coming away from this video without realizing that any response had to be of me looking in the mirror. Having been married for 40 years, having three children in their 30’s and four grandchildren, I came away realizing the profound influence I have had over others in my life.

    I believe some real self examination is required before I an even begin to comment on others individually or as part of a group.

    The speaker’s background has exposed her to many uncomfortable truths. This is a video worth returning to a second time.

  6. Laura says:

    Link to Diane Langberg’s teachings on Forum of Christian Leaders:


    Diane Langberg’s website with more resources:


    May HIs Church walk in a manner worthy of the calling in which we’ve been called.

  7. Hannah says:

    I agree… With your comments.
    Hence my ” I guess we all do” comment.

    I thought about how gut wrenching it must be for someone like her to hear so many cases of abuse.. I don’t think I can listen to her other messages in the side bar…gut wrenching I’m sure.

    I’ve visited many churches.
    I was listening to a sermon on a website of a church I have not visited.
    At least it was not topical with jokes and stories.. I went to their online giving page where I read “the bible teaches that tithes and giving are a part of growing in Gods grace.”

    I really have a hard time with that.
    As a baptist church, their statement of faith reflects the truth about salvation by grace alone.
    There always seems to be a red flag…:(

  8. Linnea says:

    E @ 5…my thoughts exactly.

    JM @4…I recently took a writing workshop and met a fellow believer who had many years of experience as a psychiatric nurse. She felt compelled by the Lord to write a book about the standby abuser. She had just started her research into what allowed someone to enable the abuse by ignoring it. I hope she finishes and publishes that book as it is important to understand that dynamic so that it can be interrupted.

  9. Erunner says:

    Sadly there will be people who would dismiss this out of hand. The first reason would be their views on mental illness. The second would be because Diane is a psychologist and to make it worse, a Christian psychologist.

    Because of these existing stigmas many people will miss out on the excellent information Diane offers.

  10. JM says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. The whole tithing thing is such a rip off. I have seen what you describe. It kind of bolsters the argument that, in our country, we teach more Americana than we do Gospel because it has become so much about money.

    We even tried small fellowships only to see uncared for sin blossom and squeeze the life out of them, too. This would rightly prove the point that CC doesn’t own rot. They just seem to have the capacity to spread their rot better than some. We saw that most of the time the one giving the unchecked offense is either the one at the top or they are friends with somebody in power. Over and over, that was the one of the bigger problems. Like in the secular realm–it was who you knew that determined what the punishment would be or if you were even punished at all.

    E Runner
    Your #5 & #9 are well said.

    Thank you so much for those links!

    I probably should come with a warning. The issue of someone essentially abdicating their duty and thereby, allowing great harm to others by default–is a HUGE issue with me!

    I see this in the whole CC empire and its climate of abuse. Personally, I believe it could have been either stopped or forced to modify early on if people would have used the discernment God surely gave to them to stand up to its foundational problems (moses model)–and its founder. Unfortunately, the problem of its foundation became moot because CC should have shut down or changed leadership in the late 70’s when Chuck became disqualified. But the sin of enablement was to continue. More was rationalized when Chuck was disqualified and “for the good of the cause” they chose to cover it up and go forward. This became a very sick leaven inside of the whole association. Because, at every level and at every opportunity, they did not do what they were called to –honor God and think of the sheep first– we now have this awful train wreck before us and broken bodies everywhere. Standby abuse is exactly what it is! Please tell your acquaintance that there is great interest in such a publication.

  11. Linnea says:

    JM– One of the key points of Diane’s message is that we all have power. Sometimes I think we don’t realize what kind of power we have.

    I think of my youngest son in the classroom– he was not recognized by the school as a leader, but because of his precociousness, he was identified as a leader by the other kids. He didn’t readily submit to authority unless he respected it, and that was a problem for the school. Instead of fighting him on it, it would have been more productive to put him in a leadership position, then role model good leadership for him.

    I tell that story because I don’t think we often realize how much of a role model we are to others.

    When you embrace the Lord, and study the word, you become confident in your beliefs. That confidence is recognized by others around us and they look to us as role models at times. They may minimize our beliefs and standards on a routine basis, but when tragedy befalls a person, they will come to us to ask for prayer. They are counting on us to intervene on their behalf. That, my friends, is huge power and responsibility.

    Listening to Diane made me remember that I represent Jesus all the time, not just some of the time, and that in itself is power.

    I think about Steve Brown and how he’d end his talks with “you just just think on that”…or something to that effect.

    I’m just thinking’ on that…

  12. JM says:


    Thank you for reminding us how we are all role models and that, whether we realize it or not, we have the power by how we live our life to represent Jesus and affect others in that capacity. It is sobering, but very true and very humbling.

  13. Hannah says:


    The tithing thing is a rip off and they all teach it.

  14. Babylon's Dread says:

    I just saw this today and as a pastor ‘shepherd’ I pledge to give it a good hearing and try to come back with a comment. The diatribe was against shepherds which in that context meant the kings. I do not expect that kind of exegesis from her but wanted to note it here.

    Still her point about kings getting their food from the flock broadens the scope out to all those in authority. I quite like her style and her delivery so far. I am sure she will chasten me at some point before we are done.

    The political and religious climate has me re-evaluating so many things. It is already a painful process. So here she adds some fuel for the fires. Anyway I am glad this did not slip into the oblivion of past posts before it fell across my eye.

    Logger Dread

  15. Linnea says:

    Dread…I’ve listened to the video….I had to take it in small chunks, because like Tozer, she gets to the point quickly, and has many points! Lots of noodling required…

  16. Siggy the Terrible says:

    I could swear the political and religious climate is just Satan’s massive Dialectical scheme to wear out the saints.

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