The Root of Abuse

One of the most common ways that a Christian is persecuted today is in the scenario of a Christian who is married to a non-Christian.  Very often the unsaved spouse, the abuser, parades himself or herself as an eminent Christian, but is really only a Saul.  And at the root of the abuse is a fear of Christ, as the abuser sees that the Spirit of Christ is in the victim, and a hatred for Christ and thus for the victim.

As I am contacted by abuse victims who are Christians, and usually it is the wife – I am learning this to be true.  And it is something that the victims often have not yet realized.  Here is the root cause of the abuse –

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Diotrephes, the Evangelical Church, and You

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. 3 John 1: 9-10

My two books, A Cry for Justice and Unholy Charade, were written because the evangelical, Bible-believing church has a problem – a big problem.  Diotrephes is hiding in our pews.  Or rather, he is hiding in plain view.  He (or she) is the person who wears a mask of eminent saintliness, having convinced most everyone in the church of his godliness, but whose real motive is a craving to be first.  Diotrephes likes to put himself first.  He sees himself as entitled to power and control and regards himself as fully justified in using whatever tactics are necessary to ensure that he lords this power over the people of Christ.  Perhaps you have known him?

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Legalism is Abuser-Friendly

1Ti 1:8-11 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, (10) the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Timothy’s job at Ephesus was to “instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines.” Apparently these guys were misusing the Scriptures and stirring up trouble in the church. They were arrogant. They fancied themselves teachers but in fact, as Paul says, they were ignorant. Arrogance and ignorance – now there is trouble.

Specifically, they were not using the Law “lawfully.” How do you do that? How do you apply the moral Law of God, the ten commandments for instance, in the way God intends it to be used? Well, you have to realize this:

…realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, for for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane… (vs 9)

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