**A Surprising Ally of the Abuser

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.

We don’t know much about Ananias. Certainly we cannot say if he was a sociopath or the typical kind of abuser that we deal with. We do know that his sin was great and that he was a liar and hypocrite. But what I want us to consider here is his wife, Sapphira. “with his wife’s knowledge….”. 

Acts 5:8-9  And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.”  (9)  But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”

Over the years on numerous occassions, I have had to deal with wives who chose to take part in their husband’s evil. I think that in some of those cases the husband was an abuser, but in all of these situations I am thinking of, the wife chose to join with her wicked husband in his sin. 

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**Most of You Have Seen Letters Like this

The following is a transcription of a hand-written letter received by one of our blog followers, an abuse survivor. Abused by her abuser and, so typical, by her church as well. The letter was anonymous except of course to claim it is from a fellow Christian “who loves” the victim and her family, including her abuser. I will refer to the letter-writer as “her” because the writing looks to be by a female hand. Here you go. Note it is addressed to the victim AND the abuser. After all, you know, marriage “troubles” are ALWAYS 50-50 shared blame. (I have bold-faced terms in the letter which the writer underlined) –

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Suppressing the Truth in Unrighteousness

The Apostle Paul identifies very clearly the fundamental reason for idolatry:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

God has revealed Himself to His creation so clearly that all human beings are without excuse when it comes to their failure to honor Him as God/Creator and give Him thanks. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, such people set themselves on a foolhardy course of foolishness characterized by the lie that the creature is God. Fallen man would sooner worship a snake than bow before God. Thus we see God justly handing these idolaters over to the depths of their evil and sin.

Now, what has all of this got to do with abuse? Certainly abuse is one result of life in a society that largely rejects God. But it is this matter of “by their unrighteousness suppressing the truth” that has jumped out at me this evening.

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