Preaching Perseverance and Patience to Abuse Victims? Time to get a Clue!

Many thanks to No One Down Here for this powerful comment. I decided to make it a stand alone post to be sure everyone was able to see it.  She wrote this in response to the artwork strip done for us published on Nov 4th.  Pastors, church leaders, “biblical” counselors, church members – are you listening?  Most of them of course will not, but then we write here primarily for abuse victims/survivors.

Here then is NODH:

Continue reading “Preaching Perseverance and Patience to Abuse Victims? Time to get a Clue!”

Patience? Really?

Many thanks to @daughterofnarcissus for this artwork. She drew it after reading our post at Light for Dark Times on unbiblical forbearance which is so often laid upon victims of abuse. As the first frame indicates, so many people here have been targeted by an abuser for decades. And yet, “the Bible says we are to forbear.”  Yeah.

Link to article at LFDT – Abuse Counseling: How Long is “Forbearing”?

I don’t talk to Abusers

Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Over the years in this ministry to abuse victims, I have been contacted numbers of times by people (mostly men) who are domestic abusers and Christian pretenders. Their line is always pretty much the same: “I don’t want a divorce. I haven’t been a great husband, but that has all changed. I am willing to go to counseling with my wife but she refuses.” Done. Finished. Call ended. Communication over. Why?

Continue reading “I don’t talk to Abusers”

The Widows and Orphans of Our Time

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

There are literal widows and orphans today who need our help. Widows who are widows indeed, without even family members to care for them. But this biblical category of people who are particularly near to the Lord’s heart – widows and orphans – is much, much broader than most Christians have realized.  One lady commented:

Couldn’t all the passages that speak about caring for the fatherless apply to children who do indeed have a living father, but he doesn’t protect and teach like a father, but rather hurts them?  They have a biological father, but who would debate that they don’t really have a protector and nurturer.  Wouldn’t most everybody agree that we as a country do right to remove children from dangerous situations and place them in a safe home?   So, when the Bible speaks of caring for the fatherless and widows, I’m wondering if the woman who has a husband who doesn’t love her, but abuses her, might she fit under the category of widow?  She has a husband, but no one to love and care for her.

She is EXACTLY correct!  Here we are, looking all around us for widows and orphans, and yet we miss them.  They are right in front of us – many sitting in the pews of our own churches.  We are fooled, just because there is a man with them. But he is no husband or father.  He is their tormentor from whom they need rescue.

Continue reading “The Widows and Orphans of Our Time”

Maintaining the Unity of the Spirit Requires Dealing With Abusers

Eph 4:1-6 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, (2) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (3) eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call– (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Church unity. We hear a lot about it, but we really don’t see or experience it very often at all. Most times the “unity” in a local church is just role play. But under the surface, whoa! Constant, low-level friction. Why?

I suggest that one chief reason for this sorry situation is that most Christians and church leaders have a warped view of biblical, genuine, spiritual unity. It often is better described as “uniformity,” in which environment the pressure is on everyone to get in line. In that kind of supposed “community,” everyone is presumed to belong, and all efforts must be diligently enforced to be sure that everyone stays in the community. Everyone. Tolerance is not only the word of the day in our secular culture. It is the attitude (enforced) in our churches. To differ is to be intolerant, and to suggest that someone really does not belong….well, that is the quickest way to be censured or tossed out.

Being “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” requires, I maintain, removing wicked, unrepentant people from the community. What’s that? I shall repeat: biblical zeal to maintain Christian unity requires the expulsion of people who have demonstrated that they are not in Christ, and thus, with whom, we have no unity. THIS is walking in a manner worthy of our calling.

“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (3) eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body and one Spirit.” 

Think about it. How can we maintain what does not exist? We are to patiently “bear with one another.” Who is the “one another”? It is believers. Those who are in Christ. Those who have one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Those who have the Spirit. That spiritual unity exists in and between all Christians.  But it does not exist with the wicked.

And therefore anyone who comes along preaching to us that we are to eagerly and patiently maintain unity with an abuser (or any other so-called brother who habitually walks in evil) is preaching some kind of “unity” that the Bible knows nothing about. Consider.  Isn’t it true? Abusers are allowed to remain in our churches in the name of “unity.” But there is no unity to maintain. Such a man is not our brother. In fact, many Scriptures tell us to separate ourselves from such people. To put them out of our churches (1 Cor 5). Not to even eat with them.

And when we wake up and do this, guess what? We are actually maintaining the unity between genuine believers that honors Christ, the Head of the body.

Until YOU Have Been the Target….

2Ti 4:14-15  Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  (15)  Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.

I wonder if Timothy believed Paul’s warning? I hope that he did. I suspect that he did. But if so, Timothy would be an exception to such warnings.

I have seen it over and over and over again. Victims, people who have been targeted by domestic abusers, sociopaths, psychopaths, wolves in wool, tell someone what the evil person is doing. Just like Paul told Timothy about Alexander. But what is the most typical reaction to the warning?

  • You are exaggerating
  • He can’t be as bad as that
  • We are all sinners, you know
  • You need to show him love. He probably had a messed up childhood

And then, throw into the mix the denials and charming wiles of the abuser and the victim’s report just blows away in the wind. Why?

Continue reading “Until YOU Have Been the Target….”

It Only Takes a Wink or a Glance to Abuse

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; (Proverbs 6:12-14)

I have probably written posts about these verses before, but they are on my mind again today and the truths they teach cannot be announced too often. As you read this, please note: I am in no way here being critical of victims who have not yet left their abuser. We realize that “just leaving the jerk” is not so simple.  No, I am primarily speaking of other people like church members who continue to associate with the wicked/abuser rather than dissociating from him. Ok, here we go:

When it comes to dealing with an abuser — with these wicked ones who see themselves as gods to be served and worshiped — we cannot employ half measures. And these Proverbs explain why. Let me explain further.

Continue reading “It Only Takes a Wink or a Glance to Abuse”