The Good Samaritan Story Exposes Most “Christians” as Counterfeits

1Jn 2:27  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.

1Jn 3:10  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

These things John wrote about are true of every real Christian. Everyone who is born again, everyone who is in Christ, has been given a new creation nature and now loves God, loves God’s people, and loves God’s Word. No exceptions. No, we aren’t perfect and never will be in this life. But the very essence of who we now are has been radically changed.  This is why Christ said that a good tree bears good fruit and a tree that bears bad fruit is a bad tree to be cut down.

As you can see from the verses above, there is one particular fruit that evidences the new birth. That fruit is love. And specifically love for Christ’s people. Love for one’s neighbor. Where this love is absent, Christ is absent. Understand? The Spirit of Jesus is in us and teaches us to love as He Himself loves us. This is why, as a reminder, it is absolutely impossible for a domestic abuser to be a Christian. The thing is unthinkable. Not even a possibility. When abuse victims come to understand this truth, they have taken a real step toward freedom.

Now, the Good Samaritain:

Continue reading “The Good Samaritan Story Exposes Most “Christians” as Counterfeits”

When Men as leaders Forfeit Their Right to Lead

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. (Jdg 4:4-5)

I am no expert on the era of the Judges and I do not claim to know with certainty why a woman, Deborah, was chosen by the Lord to be the judge of the nation in those days. I do know that it was a dark time “when every man did what was right in his own eyes.” But certainly one explanation could be that the men of the nation had forfeited their right and duty to lead.

Sin in the life of a leader in the household of God can mean forfeiture of his position of leadership. God could have removed David as king, though for His glory and His faithfulness to His covenant, He did not. In Saul’s case, kingship was removed. And so it had been in the history of the kings of Israel.

Recently I read an article by the boys over at The Gospel Coalition, for whom I have no respect. I do not respect them because they continue to rally to each other’s case when one of their “buds” is in trouble. See the whole CJ Mahaney, SGM fiasco as an example. TGC fellows have been sounding the “anti-abuse” trumpet lately it seems to me, and in this article I just read you have them going on and on about how the Bible and Jesus in particular show the value of women.

It is true that the Bible and Jesus in particular show the value of women. Jesus highly valued women and the examples given in the TGC article are accurate. Then the article moves on to its main point —complementarianism. Men are to be the leaders in the church, in the marriage, in the family, and so on. I don’t want to get into that whole debate here. I hate people demanding that I embrace the label “complementarian” or “egalitarian” for myself. I prefer to say “I believe what the Bible teaches about men and women and marriage and family and church.”

My point here is this. Ok, let’s say that the Bible teaches that men are to be pastors and elders in the church, not women. And that men are to be the leaders in their marriage and in their home. That women, all things being equal, are not to be in those positions. Then here is my challenge to the men.

Why should the Lord continue to entrust any man with the oversight of Christ’s church when that man continues to cover for and enable wicked abusers? What makes you so certain that the Lord would not appoint a godly woman in the place of such an ungodly man? It is evident and plain for anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear that evil, wicked, oppressive abuse IS being enabled and covered for by church leaders, many if not most of whom are men. Do you really think that male leadership in the church is more important to the Lord than justice and mercy and courageous defense of the oppressed? Do you think that the Lord would rather have a “good ‘ol boy” who protects evildoers leading His flock than a woman who is a true daughter of Abraham?

Evil, power-and-control hungry, wicked men ARE being protected and covered for in many if not most local churches. Those who want to deny that, well, we have nothing to say to you as long as you choose willful blindness. Will the Lord be with any such “shepherd” who feeds himself and not Christ’s lambs? Of course not. To the boys at TGC and really to all men who are leaders in the church and who protect abusers and add to the oppression of victims, I say: You should take a very hard look at yourself and your ministry to see if the glory of the Lord has not already departed from you and that shepherds after His own heart are not being raised up elsewhere in places you might never even think to look. You may well find yourself and your ministry “Ichabod.”

And then one final note. Just because a woman is a woman does not guarantee that she will be a friend to the oppressed. Notice that in my above statements I specified that the Lord may use a GODLY woman — a woman who truly knows Christ and who knows His Word and possesses His wisdom. Many professing Christian women, like many men, do not. Many of the abuser-friendly comments which side with the abuser are made by women.

If the Lord does raise up a woman to lead, she will most certainly be a woman like Deborah, full of His Spirit and His wisdom. One of the chief signs that she has those qualities is how she responds to evil and the victims of evil.

“But King David Did it” A Line we Hear Repeatedly When Some Leader’s Evil is Outed

Recently we had a bit of a go ’round with a fellow who has been a Bill Gothard follower for years. He still wanted to defend Gothard by insisting that we must withhold judgment until “the facts are in.” We maintain that the facts ARE in and Gothard is to be rejected now as still another example of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Anyway, this fellow pulled the King David card on us and I think it is important that we carefully think through this typical tactic used by people who simply will not admit that their idol is in fact an evil person hiding behind a facade. Here is what he said:

A man [i.e., King David] committed adultery then murdered to cover it up. Pretty bad. In time, God’s prophet confronted the man, he eventually repented and now and for all time, God says “David is a man after my own heart”.  And the episode, though destructive short term, did not invalidate all the good that David did before the adultery.

There is sooo much wrong in these words. First of all, it is erroneous to compare someone like Gothard with King David. Why? Because, yes, David did in fact repent. Genuinely. Authentically. We have seen none of this in Gothard, nor do we see it in most all the big name “Christian” celebs and leaders who get exposed for what they really are. What we do see in them is denial, superficial tears, and even more telling, their insistence that since “God has forgiven me, you all must forgive me too and let me keep right on in ministry.” David did none of this. David knew he deserved nothing but death. He knew he didn’t deserve to be king. Furthermore, God pronounced longstanding consequences upon David and his family for David’s sin. Yes, David WAS a man after God’s own heart. And that is the fundamental difference between him and these scandalous icon types we see so frequently today.

So don’t let anyone pull the David card on you. Abusers do this all the time, as most all of you know. You have to forgive them, they say, no matter how evil they have been against you, because God forgave David. Well, Mr. Abuser, here’s the catch. YOU are no King David whose Seed would be Messiah and of whose throne there will be no end. You are not, unlike David, a man after God’s own heart. Unlike David, you do not authentically repent. And therefore, not only does your victim not have to forgive you, God Himself does not forgive you.

 

Consider How the Story of the Good Samaritan Relates to the Way Churches are Responding to Abuse Victims

This announcement is somewhat of a reminder to me, but also a request for everyone to be thinking about the parable of the Good Samaritan. How does this Scripture expose and convict so many pastors and churches and professing Christians of being the priest and Levite who passed by the man who had been beaten and robbed?

Here is the text. I will be writing a post about it soon:

Luk 10:30-37  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.  (31)  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  (32)  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  (33)  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.  (34)  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  (35)  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’  (36)  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”  (37)  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

The Devil is in the Details: To Reveal Abusers and Their Allies You Must ask the Right Questions

Quite a long time ago I wrote a review of Voddie Baucham’s “sermon” on the permanence doctrine (i.e., divorce is never ever permitted by God. Period. No discussion.) Baucham thinks that remarriage is only permitted when a former spouse has died. If any member of his church comes to him or his elders and says they want to divorce or that they have serious marriage problems of ANY kind, Baucham tells everyone his reply will be “YOU are the problem. Go back to your marriage.”

Baucham, incidentally, was actually “preaching” straight out of a book by Jim Elliff called Divorce and Remarriage: A Permanence View (terrible, terrible book). But Baucham gave the plain impression he was preaching Scripture and thus speaking by the Lord’s authority. I think the prophet Jeremiah has some words for such people who would presume to speak for the Lord when in fact the Lord has not sent them.

Many of Baucham’s followers have vehemently protested that we would be so critical of him. Recently a reader submitted the following comment in response to my critique of Baucham’s teaching. Here is what she said (and I have not edited her comment even though it appears a little confusing, probably just an auto-correct typo thingy):

I had the privilege of speaking to Voddie Baucham in February when he was just outside of Atlanta. I asked him about a specific issue since of my family members are going through. A divorce occurred in order to keep the wife safe because her life was in danger and because of marital unfaithfullness on the unbelieving husbands part. Mr Voddie gave me great advice to pass along to her. He also said that unfortunately, sometimes there are severe situations where divorce is unavoidable.

Our commenter sounds satisfied with Baucham’s response, does she not? Perhaps implying that we have been too hard on the man or at least have misunderstood him. Nope. We haven’t. But what HAS happened is that she made a common mistake we have all made when dealing with such people — she failed to ask him the right questions.

What should she have asked him?

  • In these “severe situations” should a divorce take place?  Are both parties guilty of sin before God? That is to say, is any divorce a sin? I am not asking if the Lord will forgive a person who files for divorce, but specifically I want to know if you are saying that it is always a sin to file for divorce?
  • In these “severe situations,” does God allow for remarriage?
  • And incidentally, just what are some examples of these “severe situations” you speak of?

It takes these kind of pointed questions, asked very pointedly so that there is no room for shifting, to get down to the heart of the matter. In this case, Baucham would have to answer (if he were being straightforward and honest) that he believes every divorce is a sin, that filing divorce papers is always a sin, that God never allows any divorced person to remarry if their ex is still alive, and that these “severe situations” are limited to severe physical abuse.

Mr Baucham’s advice on this subject is never “great advice.” This lady may think it was, but we say once more, she failed to ask the right questions — and Baucham, like so many of these kinds of people who lord their private opinions over Christ’s people, conveniently avoided the details.

As is often said and is always true, the devil is in the details

Is a Written Procedure and Training the Solution to Domestic Abuse Hiding in the Church?

Mat 23:24-25  You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!  (25)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

With some frequency I have sincere people contact me with the same question. Their motive in asking is good and they truly want to get justice for abuse victims and expose their abusers – especially the ones hiding behind a Christian disguise. Here is the question they bring:

Is there a written procedure or protocol somewhere that I can take to my church leaders so it can be implemented and domestic abuse will be handled properly in our church?

Another form of this question goes something like this:

Is there some type of conference that can be put on in our church to educate the pastors and members about domestic abuse?

These questions come often enough that I thought it would be good to write in this post what I tell those who ask them. So, here we go.

Continue reading “Is a Written Procedure and Training the Solution to Domestic Abuse Hiding in the Church?”

“She Just Wants to Take Him for all She Can” — Really?

As we know, abuse victims are regularly and roundly criticized (that’s putting it mildly) for leaving and/or filing for divorce from their abuser. One of the charges made against them is that “she just wants to take him for all she can in divorce court.” And, of course, abusers love to repeat this mantra, claiming that the courts are dominated by the feminists and men received gross injustice there.

That is a fantasy that originates with and is promoted by abusers. Let’s do a reality check.

Continue reading ““She Just Wants to Take Him for all She Can” — Really?”