Sexual Predation by Christian Author and “Apostle” Frank Viola

The pattern is common, but the carnage is great.

After months of investigation, Nathan’s Voice – a victim support ministry by a network of fellowships in Virginia – has confirmed through multiple witnesses a history of lies, abuse, sexual predation and cover up involving noted Christian author and self-proclaimed “apostolic worker” Frank Viola.

Eventually, the edifice of lies and cover up in such cases comes crashing down, as the voices of the victims – even when initially silenced – are finally heard.

In this case, his former church finally had enough and dared to expose Frank Viola’s history of sexual exploitation and leadership abuse, only to be muzzled. That church eventually fell apart because of the lies, deceptions and cult practices foisted upon them.

Finally, however, Nathan’s Voice is allowing their story and first-person accounts to be heard once again – as a warning to all.

Unlike the past, we are resolute in standing against any further threats and other efforts to silence them yet again.

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Beauty from Ashes

Since early this year, we’ve been working on a huge sex abuse case involving Christ Chapel, a large Assembly of God church in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Hurt and Confusion

The human carnage and shattered lives have been great.

We take on these kinds of cases not only because we believe in justice, but because we also believe in redemption. Often, I have the privilege of seeing God’s grace shine through as healing comes and the survivors begin to find the strength to reclaim their lives – and their stolen voices.

As I interview and get to know various survivors and their families, I’m often asked if the pain will ever stop. I tell them how I have seen God bring beauty from ashes time and again, both in others and in my own life.

It is hard, but once we pass through the fire and begin to see what God does with the ashes of our lives, we experience gratitude for who we start to become.

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Christian Counseling Class

For those who want to become part of a support network for abuse survivors, one of our founders, Jim Wright, will be teaching a semester-long Christian counseling class beginning Tuesday, September 6th, through early December. We will be meeting every Tuesday evening at his home just south of Manassas, Virginia, from 7:00 to 9:15 pm.

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True Healing

Ministering to folks who’ve been abused, abandoned or exploited requires a special grace. To find healing, people often need someone who can help them push through the defenses and rationalizations they’ve erected in response their hurts. But when they get to the source of the pain, and transparently surrender their resulting self-perceptions and beliefs to Jesus, they find that He tenderly brings healing and wholeness.

We routinely minister to people dealing with issues that exceed anything you might imagine. But God shows up in amazing ways, and men and women find freedom in just one or two sessions from profound emotional and spiritual bondage.

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Confronting Abusive Pastors, Part 1: Speaking Truth to Power

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” – Martin Luther

How do we handle misconduct by leaders in the church, especially when it goes beyond merely personal sin and involves an abuse of position or trust which harms the church and hurts others?

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Confronting Abusive Pastors, Part 2: My Personal Angst

Much to my dismay, God keeps bringing people to my door who have been abused by a pastor or other trusted church leader.

Over the last year, I’ve taken on three cases against abusive pastors. Two involve significant embezzlement and fraud by pastors in different churches. A third involves extensive sexual abuse and misconduct by half a dozen men on the pastoral and ministerial staff in yet another local church.

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Confronting Abusive Pastors, Part 3: Private or Public Sin?

How should we react to an unrepentant pastor who’s used his position of trust and power to prey on women – often after turning to him for spiritual counsel and support during vulnerable times in their lives?

All the theory in the world is great. But one thing I’ve learned from experience is this: Those who want to help these women find justice and closure, and protect others, need an unflinching resolve to stand toe to toe against these predators.

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Confronting Abusive Pastors, Part 4: Mandatory Public Reprimand

What if the local church refuses or otherwise fails to stop a pastor or other church leader who abuse his position of trust and power? Then he must be openly reprimanded as a public warning to all – no exceptions! 1 Timothy 5 teaches this.

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Confronting Abusive Pastors, Part 5: Civil and Criminal Law

So you’ve tried to follow the procedure of 1 Tim. 5, as discussed in Part 4 of this series, by investigating and exposing church leaders who abused their positions of power and trust.

But what if you were rebuffed?

Or what if – despite public reprimand, confession and repentance – you reasonably fear that they may continue preying on others or the church is not providing restitution for the harm you’ve been bearing? Scripturally, do you have additional options?

More specifically, is it ever proper to seek help from the courts and secular authorities to deal with pastoral sexual abuse or churches which allowed it to happen? After all, doesn’t 1 Cor. 6 say we should not sue another brother?

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