Bribe-Taking in the Church

Deuteronomy 10:17-18 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. (18) He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

Romans 2:11 For God shows no partiality.

Galatians 2:6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

1 Timothy 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

True justice is much rarer in this world than we might believe.  Human beings, including judges, are not completely impartial.  Justice (as the blindfolded lady with the balance scales illustrates) is supposed to be blind, weighing the evidence with complete objectivity.  But we are not completely objective.  Justice is not totally blind, so decisions and rulings are very often tainted with injustice.  Not so with God as Judge.  His rulings conform to perfect righteousness, and by it He will one day judge the world by His appointed Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible condemns the taking of bribes.  One of the most wicked sins in Israel, condemned by the Lord, was that the leaders oppressed the poor because the rich paid them bribes to rule in their favor.  Such people should fear God’s wrath:

Exodus 23:7-8 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. (8) And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

Often, the Bible connects injustice to widows and orphans and other weak, defenseless people to the taking of bribes.  Bribes, as Exodus says, blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.  By their very nature, bribes originate from people who have money and influence and power.  The weak and helpless cannot pay a bribe – they have nothing to pay it with!  And so it is very often in the case of victims of abuse.  Their abuser has the resources, they do not.  The abuser is often a person of influence and reputation, unlike the victim.  So justice is perverted.  Bribes are given and accepted.  The judge is blind – but in this case he is blind to what is right.

Continue reading “Bribe-Taking in the Church”

I Don’t Want Your Christmas Cards – A Victim’s Response to an Abuser Ally

Isa 1:11 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

Mat 12:30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

It happens every Christmas. You go to the mailbox and there it is. A Merry Christmas card addressed to you from a voice from the past. From someone you don’t want to hear from ever again. Yet here they are showing up in your holiday. If you are really unlucky, it even has their fine, family picture on it.

Not only do abusers do this, so do those who allied with them. You know, those people who told you how wrong you were, how unforgiving you were, how unloving and unmerciful and unkind you were when you confronted the abuser and broke relationship with him. The ones who said you were the one sinning. Who told you that you were the one God regarded as the guilty one. Then they went and wrapped their arms around your abuser and said, “you poor, poor, poor fellow.”

Merry Christmas. In Jesus’ name, of course. That’s what the card said. “Sure hope you hang this up on your fireplace.”

Continue reading “I Don’t Want Your Christmas Cards – A Victim’s Response to an Abuser Ally”

Angels of Darkness Masked as Light – The Satanic Nature of Abuse

2 Corinthians 11: 14-15 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (15) So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Jack’s wife Mary was in the pastor’s office. Apparently there had been some kind of spat between them and she had come to the pastor to tell him about it. Jack was one of the finest Christian men in the whole church – everyone knew that. If you wanted something done, Jack was the go-to guy. What a servant’s heart! But now here was Mary – visibly troubled, haltingly sharing a few details of what had happened last night. Jack, she said, had been in a rage. He pushed her down hard onto the bed and told her to sit there and shut up and listen to him until he was through!

Depending upon the initial response Mary gets from her pastor, she will tell him more, or she will tell him nothing else. Abuse victims “test the waters,” whether they realize this is what they are doing or not. If they know that their hearer is open to listening and appears to believe them, they will tell more. If, however, they hear “Well, Mary, your husband is a fine Christian man, and I am sure that he loves you.  He must be under a lot of stress for him to lose his temper like that. Did you say anything that would set him off?” – then forget it. She is done talking.

Continue reading “Angels of Darkness Masked as Light – The Satanic Nature of Abuse”