James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
There are literal widows and orphans today who need our help. Widows who are widows indeed, without even family members to care for them. But this biblical category of people who are particularly near to the Lord’s heart – widows and orphans – is much, much broader than most Christians have realized. One lady commented:
Couldn’t all the passages that speak about caring for the fatherless apply to children who do indeed have a living father, but he doesn’t protect and teach like a father, but rather hurts them? They have a biological father, but who would debate that they don’t really have a protector and nurturer. Wouldn’t most everybody agree that we as a country do right to remove children from dangerous situations and place them in a safe home? So, when the Bible speaks of caring for the fatherless and widows, I’m wondering if the woman who has a husband who doesn’t love her, but abuses her, might she fit under the category of widow? She has a husband, but no one to love and care for her.
She is EXACTLY correct! Here we are, looking all around us for widows and orphans, and yet we miss them. They are right in front of us – many sitting in the pews of our own churches. We are fooled, just because there is a man with them. But he is no husband or father. He is their tormentor from whom they need rescue.
If that sounds anti-marriage and family to anyone, it is! But be sure your head isn’t all turned around in regard to just who is anti-marriage and family here. It isn’t us. It isn’t the wife and her children. It is the abuser. And we have for far too long succumbed to his promotion of the notion that the sole enemy of marriage and family is radical feminism. Who or what is more dangerous to the families within our churches? The Radical feminists (some rather radical feminists are ok, you know. A Christian feminist is necessarily a radical!) who make no claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word, or the pious, eminent “saint” of a man sitting in our church, even perhaps leading our church, wearing a façade of the name of Christ, yet in reality lording his power and control over his wife and children as Pharaoh lorded it over the enslaved Israelites? The answer should be obvious. The real threat lies within. In fact, there is more truth among radical feminists about the evils of abuse than there will ever be in the mind and mouth of the abuser who claims to follow Christ.
Worse yet, these “Pharaohs” have recruited us. We, the members of Christ’s body, have blindly accepted the abuser’s masquerade and his accusations against his victims. He has issued us the whips of legalistic bondage through his perversions of the Scriptures, and we are far too often his allies in this oppression. Can I hear protests? “Oh, that is way harsh! You exaggerate! There is no way it is like that!”
Ask the slaves. Scroll through the comments to the articles on this blog and read their stories first hand. And then –
Matthew 9:13, Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.