This New Book on Domestic Abuse in the Church Looks Good…but…it isn’t

1 Thessalonians 4:9 ESV  Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,

Hebrews 10:16 ESV  “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

1 John 2:27 ESV  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

John 10:4 ESV  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

You must be born again. Every Christian, every true child of God, is born again. God’s Law is written on our hearts. His Spirit has made us new creations. We have been taught to love one another. The Spirit leads us and produces His fruit in us, enabling us by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the flesh.

Kevin Giles’ new book, The Headship of Men and the Abuse of Women [Cascade Books, 2020] presents the thesis that the complementarian teaching of the headship of men and the submission of women to that headship promotes the abuse of women in the church, and really is a root cause of abuse particularly in conservative churches that teach it. Certainly complementarianism does this harm when men (and ironically many women) embrace its patriarchy and use it to justify oppressive, sinful abuse. Giles makes many correct points in this regard throughout his book.

However…

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What did Jack the Ripper look like?

I recently read a short story by Shirley Jackson from collection of her short stories entitled Dark Tales.  There is a movie out now, recently released, on Jackson’s life – but I don’t recommend it. It may not be that factual anyway.  On the other hand, a movie version of her novel “We Have Always Lived in this Castle” is definitely worth watching – but not for kids.

Anyway, one very short story she wrote is called Jack the Ripper. It describes a man who appears to be a champion of mercy and empathy. He comes upon a young woman lying on the sidewalk in the rain and dark, drunk and passed out. He goes into the pub nearby and attempts to garner some support to help her but ends up only being mocked. Eventually he carries her home (finding her address in her purse) and goes to great lengths to carry her up 6 flights of stairs to her appartment. He settles her in, puts her to bed, and then you expect him to leave.

He doesn’t.  This in fact is how the story ends:

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The Remnant – this is an extremely freeing truth

Genesis 6:9-11 ESV  These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.  (10)  And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  (11)  Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.

We have been taught all our lives (or at least all the time we were in the sphere of visible Christianity) that most everyone who claims to be a Christian, who declares that they have been born again, who is a church member…is a Christian. We are not to doubt this, and in fact we were told that it is a sin to doubt it.

And so, here  you are coming to church on Sunday, walking into the place, and seeing all these people…75, 100, 200, 300, or maybe even a thousand or more. There is the singing and the instruments. The prayers. The communion table. The sermon which surely is declaring God’s truth. And there are the baptisms of people who have just been saved. You were taught that a real church is a growing church, and that if the numbers were not increasing, you weren’t faithfully doing God’s work. And oh, how busy it all was. Busy, busy, busy for the Lord. Programs. Committees. Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night. What a great church!

Well, let me shatter this artificial and unbiblical world.

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