When the Abuse Victim Becomes the Abuser’s Ally

Acts 5:1-2 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, (2) and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

It is not my intent to teach that Sapphira was married to an abuser. I simply cite this scripture as an illustration of a wife taking the side of her husband in an evil matter. Both were held accountable.

Nor am I teaching here that a victim of domestic abuse who does not actively expose her abuser is going to be counted guilty by the Lord. We all know, I trust, that “just leaving” an abuser is no easy matter and sometimes, for a time, it is impossible.

But I do want to discuss here a subject that I have come across personally numerous times, namely, cases in which the wife of a domestic abuser actively defends the abuser and even participates in his abuse of their children and of other people. All of the cases I have dealt with have been in the local church and in which the abuser and spouse claimed to be Christians.

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Abuse Victims are Being Thrown to the Lions in Local Churches

1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

This passage of Scripture is often misapplied to keep victims of domestic abusers in bondage. However, in this post I want to focus upon God’s promise of “the way of escape.” Obviously it is God’s will that when we are in a trial or test and we see a way of escape, we take it! After all, God Himself provides it!

Now, there are people who claim to be Christians who will tell you that it is always better (and in fact that God requires it) to remain in the trial. Even “unto death.” In other words, they promote martyrdom. Of course they are characterized by the ever-present double standard of the abuser. No way would they become a martyr, but you are required to be one.

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You CAN Trust Your Perceptions – Don’t Believe a Crazy-Maker

John 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.

One of the common tactics of a domestic abuser is to lie. After all, he is of his father the devil who lies whenever he speaks. So it is the abuser’s nature to lie. And one of the ways abusers lie is to lie about the facts. About reality. To distort what happened. The goal? To convince the victim that her perceptions cannot be trusted. That she is crazy. A kind of fog is cast over the victim’s mind so that she wonders if what she saw or heard or smelled or felt was even real.

Now, still another way that the wicked use this gaslighting (as it is sometimes called) tactic is to twist and distort Scripture. For example, consider the following passage:

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There is a Time to be Done with Your Abuser

Mat 10:12-15 As you enter the house, greet it. (13) And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14) And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. (15) Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Much of what I write these days is repetition. I have written about these subjects before. But truth needs to be repeated, and repeated, and repeated. Often. It takes hearing something over and over before we finally “see” it.  And so here it is, once more.

Many (probably most) churches today have been teaching unbiblical concepts of the love of Christ. “Unconditional love” seems to be the catch phrase. We are told that we must never give up on anyone. That no matter what they have done, we must love them. And by “love them,” most often what is meant is that we must continue to have a relationship with them, expend energies trying to “fix” them, and so on. This mantra of course leaves the domestic abuse victim sitting forever in abuse.

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Waiting for Sasha – The Believer’s Certain Hope

Tit 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, (12) training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (13) waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Until last April, we had two labs – Sadie and Sasha. But Sasha (the black one) died of cancer. Sadie and Sasha were constantly together ever since puppyhood.

Now, I don’t claim to know what goes on in Sadie’s mind, but we have noticed a definite change in her behavior since Sasha left. She is a real people dog, but she chooses to sleep on the back porch and she spends lots of time during the day laying out back on the lawn, watching. So we wonder – is she waiting for Sasha? [As I write this, little does Sadie know that she is about to be joined by Cinder, a black lab/golden retriever puppy, in just a couple of days].

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Marriage is not Hard – You Have been Lied to

Gen 2:23-24 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

One of the primary reasons churches are so filled with unbiblical teaching and man-made tradition parading as God’s Word is that those who are doing the teaching should not be teaching anyone. Wicked doctrine is promulgated by wicked teachers. And frankly, we have been having truckloads of evil teaching dumped on us in church for decades now.

One of these lies is that marriage is hard. You hear the mantra over and over. “Well, that is tough, but you know, marriage is hard. We are all sinners. You have to work at it.” Yada, yada.

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The Burden for Repentance Rests on the Wicked, Not on their Victims

1Pe 3:10-12 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; (11) let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. (12) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Who is responsible for repentance? The person who sins. The guilty. Innocent people do not need to “turn from their evil deeds.”

And yet this “repentance of the innocents” is precisely what we see taught so often in our churches today. Let me illustrate.

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