Corporate Accountability – All Share in the Guilt of Oppressing Victims

Mat 23:34-35  Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,  (35)  so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

Every single time I post a comment on social media or write a blog post in which I say that the entire Southern Baptist Convention, its churches and members as well as its top level leaders, are guilty of oppressing victims of abuse, I know that I am going to have the following missile launched at me:

Your charge is unfair. You cannot judge all for the sins of a few. The church I am going to is an SBC church and we don’t do those things. We are in fact working to make it harder and harder for sexual predators and abusers to operate among us. You owe us all an apology for your accusation.

And when we address the top level leadership in the SBC and their ongoing sins of tolerating evil in the churches, even covering for it, what is their typical response?

Baptists are not like the Roman Catholic church. Our churches are independently governed. We here at the home office have no authority over them. You owe us an apology for accusing us of participating in these things.

Seems as if the only wrongdoer is ME or anyone who calls the SBC to account.

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Does the Lord send us back to people who have threatened to kill us?

Psalm 94:1-7  O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!  (2)  Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!  (3)  O LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?  (4)  They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast.  (5)  They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your heritage.  (6)  They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless;  (7)  and they say, “The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Many times domestic abusers make overt or veiled threats that they will kill their victim if the victim ever leaves them. And of course we all know that actual cases of these murders being carried out are not at all rare.

What does the Lord think of such evildoers? The Psalmist answers that question quite plainly. The Lord sees them. And He is a God of vengeance, a defender of the innocent. The Psalmist rightly calls upon the Lord to rise up and repay these arrogant murderers.

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Saul of Tarsus was not an Abuser – Let me show you why

Act 9:13-15  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.  (14)  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”  (15)  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

Quite often when I tell people that abusers never change, they will ask about the case of Saul, later the Apostle Paul. After all, he was assaulting the early church and then the Lord appeared to him and converted him wonderfully. Should that not give us hope that even the worst domestic abuser could one day be born again?

My answer is, no. Let me show you why.

Continue reading “Saul of Tarsus was not an Abuser – Let me show you why”

Do not Take Your Guidance from Fables Like this

Recently I was sent a link to a site that apparently claims to speak God’s Word particularly to women. The link brought me to a post on that site which had the following story about a woman and the evangelist Charles Finney. I quote the account below and I do so to caution everyone about reading things like this and assuming that they are true and that they contain Godly advice. Stories like this are dangerous because they encourage abuse victims to place themselves in great danger, thinking that it is God’s will for them to do so.  Here is the story and then I will make a couple of additional comments below:

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Financial Abuse – a typical tactic of the Abuser

Luk 19:8  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”

As we see in this account of Zacchaeus, one mark of a genuine Christian is concern for the poor. To mistreat the needy, to oppress a widow or orphan, is a great wickedness in God’s sight.

Unlike Zacchaeus many people who claim to be fine Christians regularly oppress the poor, and some of them even do so to their own spouse. The domestic abuser uses economic oppression as a tactic to maintain power and control over his target. Listen to the testimonies of scores of abuse victims and you cannot help but see it.

Many abuse victims live in poverty. At the same time, their abuser often lives quite high on the hog (apologies to hogs…I prefer their company that of the abuser). Financial abuse looks something like this:

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Willful Blindness to Evil Loves “Simplicity” and Hates Wisdom

A friend of mine, a survivor of horrific abuse both at the hands of her ex abuser spouse and by her ex “church” and pastor, pointed me to the following verse recently. It powerfully rebukes the evil of people’s refusal to see the wicked for what they really are. Insisting upon being willfully blind, they ignore the testimony of those who have been the targets of these wolves in wool. Here is what the Lord says to them:

Pro 1:22-26  “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?  (23)  If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.  (24)  Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,  (25)  because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,  (26)  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,

As my friend also said: “In my life these last few years, it hasn’t made sense that people believed their own third party perceptions of [abuser], rather than believe what his wife and kids (who lived with him!) were saying. To contemplate how highly they must regard their own opinion in such a situation is sobering.”

The wicked know of this willful blindness, and they use it. Here is a perfect description from Dr. Robert Hare, the man who knows more about the psychopath than just about anyone:

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Who is a Christian – Psalm 15 Answers the Question

Most of you have had to struggle with the question, “is my abuser a Christian?”  Why? Because he (and sometimes she) claims to be. Because the abuser so often parades as the finest saintly holy one in the entire church, and most of the people believe it. Just as the abuser’s father can appear as an angel of light, so can his servants.

Local churches and pastors often and even typically insist that the abuser is indeed a child of God, not of the devil. We all sin, you know. So they allow him to remain in the pew, and sometimes even in the pulpit!

But what does the Bible say? Who is a Christian and who is not a Christian? While Scripture clearly answers these questions over and over, we are just going to look at one such text in this article. Here it is. Read carefully:

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