1Jn 2:3-6 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. (4) Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (5) but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: (6) whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
This subject is one that often rankles people. Well, for that matter the entire subject of abuse arouses ire in many – but not for the right reasons. They just don’t want to admit that what we are saying about it is reality, ie, that abusers are hiding in most every local church and those churches most frequently are enabling them in their evil. But this specific issue – is the abuser a Christian? – really seems to churn up the waters. And yet we dare not ignore it because the answer that we give has huge consequences for the abuser’s targeted victim.
The top menu of this blog has an item called “What is Abuse?” It is vital that you read this definition. Because when I am talking about abuse, THIS is what I am talking about. I am not finding abusers behind every tree (though they may well be behind every other tree!) by calling just about any sinful action of a husband toward his wife “abuse.” No. Read that definition. The evil I am talking about is a habitual, ongoing evil that proceeds from a corrupt heart and mind. An abuser IS an abuser. This is what defines him and from which the wicked fruit of his lust for power and control emanate.
Now, with that in mind, ask yourself the question once more – “Is my abuser a Christian?” He says he is. He often behaves like one in that he quotes the Bible, prays prayers, helps others, preaches fine sermons, but then he turns right around (especially in less public settings) and cruelly abuses you. When you even mildly suggest that he is sinning against you, here comes a lecture supported by Bible verse quotes, showing YOU that not only are your charges false, but that in fact YOU are the one to blame. So convincing is he in his tone, appearance, and words that you frequently come away wondering if or even believing that he is right.
And yet, this abuser we are exposing, is a liar in all this. He is, as Jesus told the Pharisees, revealing who his real father is:
Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Would anyone dare say that these Pharisees were “Christians”? I hope not. To do so would be to reject our Lord’s own words about them. Someone whose father is the devil obviously does not have God as their Father.
Alright then, back to your “christian” abuser. Who is a Christian, according to God’s own Word? John says that a Christian is a person who knows God. Who obeys God’s commandments. And John goes on to say things like this:
1Jn 2:9-11 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. (10) Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. (11) But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
1Jn 3:7-8 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. (8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
1Jn 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
And on and on we could go. What is the obvious answer to our question? Is your abuser a Christian? Of course not. Absolutely not. The thing is impossible. Understand this – your abuser hates you. He is slowly murdering you. I have written elsewhere that abuse is really murder.
Why is this such an important question to be clear on?
Because, understanding WHO your abuser IS will determine HOW he is to be dealt with. Local churches, for example, very frequently (even typically) assume that the abuser is a Christian. They really think that he is a born again, regenerate, saved, child of God! Incredible, but true is it not? Why do they think so? Because:
- The abuser tells them that he is
- The abuser wears that Unholy Charade disguise around them so frequently and has them duped
- And, I suggest to you a third reason – because their knowledge and teaching of the Scriptures is tainted with false doctrine. They have been taught and they themselves usually teach that a person can be a Christian and yet have a life that is relatively unchanged. Thus the sickening mantra thrown at victims of abuse – “Well, we are all sinners, you know.”
The abuser is NOT a Christian. Rather, he is an evil man who CLAIMS to be a Christian. He is a “so-called” brother that Paul talks about in his letter to the Corinthians. HERE is what we are to do with such a person. This is the commandment of our Lord:
1Co 5:11-13 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. (12) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Are you a sister in Christ who is the targeted victim of an abuser husband? Please understand these things that are so clearly set out for us in Scripture. Your abuser is not a Christian. No more than the Pharisees were who put on such a show of “holiness.” Once you realize this, then you can begin to proceed in making decisions that will be wise. You will stop holding your breath waiting for that “day” when he repents. You will stop thinking that if you just have that one more talk with him he will finally hear you. And you will stop being duped by the unbiblical nonsense that so many of your fellow “christians”have been laying upon you and which serve nothing more than to keep you a slave.