Friends May Desert Us – Christ Never Will

FriJob 19:18-19 Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me. (19) All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.

I bet you all can identify with Job, right!? This is one of the most painful facets of wickedness and evildoers – our “friends” ally with them and abandon us. Family turns against us and takes up with the wicked one, feeding his facade of “godliness.” In a real way, victims of evildoers are seen just as Job was – unpleasant and unclean as if they contracted some kind of leprosy.

Every real Christian is going to experience this betrayal in one degree or another. Jesus said it:

Mat 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (35) For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (36) And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. (37) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

So, is this true or not? That is the question I would put to people who profess to be Christians and yet they insist on maintaining that this should never happen. That if “family” bonds are being threatened, they must be preserved at all costs. Is the cross the offense that Paul said it was?

Gal 5:11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

The question then is not this (which is so often put to victims of evil): “Why is there conflict and alienation between you and your family members?” but rather this (which is properly put to those accusing the victim): “Why do YOU not experience any of this in your own life in your relationships?”

I want to write in another article about something I call “the Judas Moment.” The basic premise is this: there comes a time in everyone’s life – particularly in the life of a person who claims to be following Christ – when the Lord puts a pivotal question to us. Will we follow Him regardless of the cost, or will we look back at Sodom longingly? Will we take up our cross and follow Christ, or will we have one foot in the world and one foot in His Way? He won’t let us do it, you know. It is Him or the world. It is Christ or family and friends.

Most choose the world and you can be sure that when someone makes that choice, they are not going to walk with you in Christ’s truth. They will go their way, looking for someplace where they can continue to deceive themselves and others about their standing with the Lord.

Is it worth it? I mean, is it worth being hated by family and friends? Well, Jesus said it – if we find our life in this world, we will lose it. But if we lose our life here, we will truly find life in Him – and that is life indeed.

The Abuser Provokes His Children to Wrath (Part 2) — Sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

The Abuser Provokes His Children to Wrath (Part 2)
Sermon 11 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on October 3, 2010
Sermon Text:  Ephesians 6:4

Newark, N.J. – An employee of the Newark PreSchool Council was stabbed to death this morning (Thursday, Sept 30 2010) after she arrived at the school on St. Francis Street, law enforcement officials said today.

Erica Ortiz Fuentes, 36, an employee of the East Ward preschool, was attacked by a man with a knife around 7 a.m. as she arrived at work, authorities said. The man has been taken into custody and authorities will announce his name shortly, according to Thomas Fennelly, Essex County Assistant Prosecutor. Fuentes had a past relationship with her attacker and he was under a restraining order according to two law enforcement sources who were not authorized to discuss the investigation. Fuentes had filed previous domestic abuse complaints against him, the sources said.

Newark police surrounded the building this morning and placed the man under arrest. While there were children in the building, they were never in any danger, Fennelly said.

Ephesians 6:4 ESV Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord

I would like all of you to begin, if you haven’t already, to take note of how often this kind of story appears in the news. And remember, this is only the extreme type of domestic violence that makes it into the news. There is a vast amount going on all around us that remains unreported and in many ways is every bit as damaging to the victims.

Continue reading “The Abuser Provokes His Children to Wrath (Part 2) — Sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen”

The Abusive Man as a Servant of Righteousness — Sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

The Abusive Man as a Servant of Righteousness – Exposing the Deceptions of Abuse
Sermon 9 from the series: The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on September 19, 2010
Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 11:1-21

In the years leading up to WWII, Adolf Hitler came to be viewed as a kind of savior of the German people. In fact, he was one of the greatest abusers and users of people in all history. But during the era of his popularity, the large portion of the German people served him and even loved him. They thought him a kind of servant of righteousness. Unless, of course, you happened to be a Jew. Most people ignored the reports that Jews were being slaughtered. They were deceived and, to one degree or another, we might say they preferred to be deceived. It was more comfortable than the truth.

And so it is today. Our enemy is, as he has always been, a masterful liar. He is master of the disguise. And one of his favorite disguises is that of an angel of light, a servant of righteousness. A wolf, in other words, dressed up as a sheep.

Continue reading “The Abusive Man as a Servant of Righteousness — Sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen”