Don’t Fall for the OPC’s New Horizons Emphasis on Domestic Abuse

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church now has a New Horizons page on its website which offers articles from “experts” on domestic abuse in the church. Even though there is truth in the articles, I want to recommend to you that we do not let the OPC off the hook so easily by being just so glad that a church denomination is finally getting it right.

They aren’t getting it right and I will tell you why.

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The Lord’s thoughts Really are Higher than Ours

Isaiah 55:8-13 ESV  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  (9)  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  (10)  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,  (11)  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  (12)  “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  (13)  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

I thought about this Scripture this week as I was preparing the Sunday sermon from Jeremiah. The Lord had to correct Jeremiah’s thinking about what needed to be done in the wicked nation of Judah in which he lived. Jeremiah had a fix-it plan and he could not understand why God didn’t wipe out the wicked and restore Judah to peace and godliness.

The Lord’s reply was, essentially, what He says here through Isaiah. This is an amazing passage of Scripture – I may have to use it for next Sunday’s sermon. There is incredible hope here for the Lord’s true people.

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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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