What do we Mean When we say “Believe the Victim”?

Exo 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exo 23:2 You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice,

Pro 12:17 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.

One of the best things we can do to help victims of domestic abuse is believe them. This provides them with validation – something they do not receive from most everyone and it is like a life-giving breath for them. I say, believe the victim when she reveals abuse that is happening in her home.

Now, the question arises in this regard – “how do we know she is not lying?” A valid question to ask, certainly. There are wicked women as well as wicked men. Both can be guilty of falsely charging their spouse with abuse. So how do we sort it out?

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The Deception of the Abuser — Sermon by Ps. Jeff Crippen

The Deception of the Abuser
Sermon 5 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on August 22, 2010
Sermon Text: Luke 3:1-14

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, (2) during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (3) And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (4) As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (5) Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, (6) and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” (7) He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (8) Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. (9) Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (10) And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” (11) And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise. (12) Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” (13) And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” (14) Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:1-14 ESV

In this passage of Scripture, as in many others, we see that there is a false repentance.  The gospel is a gospel of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, just as John the Baptist baptized repentant people in preparation for forgiveness in Christ. I do not believe we need to prove this point – that there is no true faith in Christ where genuine repentance is lacking.

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