Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Tag: peace

The Comforter

Joh 14:16-18 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, (17) even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (18) “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

The Holy Spirit, particularly in the Gospel of John, is called the paraclete, variously translated as the comforter, the Helper, and probably some other similar terms as well. Christ and the Spirit, as well as the Father, are one. So much so that Jesus can say of the coming of the Spirit, “I will come to you.”

Every real Christian is indwelt by the Comforter. And He is very active in us. Paul could say, for example:

Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

and again-

Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

It is by the Spirit that the Father communicates to us that we are indeed His children. The Spirit is the Spirit of adoption and He is the One who assures us that we really are Christ’s people.

But what I would like us to think about here is this matter of the Spirit being the Comforter. Here is Paul once again:

2Co 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (4) who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (5) For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Oppressed people are afflicted people. In fact, it is not going too far to say that every real Christian is oppressed in this fallen world. We share, as Paul says, in the sufferings of Christ and those sufferings are not rare. They are abundant.

However, the more these sufferings increase, the more the Comforter comforts. I don’t know exactly how He does this, but He does. It is a mystery, but it is real. I suppose one way this comfort comes to us is through the Spirit leading other believers to join us in our suffering. To come to us and help us just as faithful believers came to Paul when he was in prison. But I am sure there is also an inner, mystical aspect to this communication of comfort to us as well.

The Spirit’s comforting has a goal even beyond comforting us. He causes us to experience this comfort so that we can exercise it toward other believers who are suffering. That is why, for example, we all are comforted by those believers who have experienced the same kinds of sufferings that we experience. If you want to find someone who is a comfort to you, for instance, when you are being sorely abused by a wicked person, you will find that someone in the ranks of those who have also been abused. They suffered, they were comforted, and they can pass that comfort on to you.

Knowing these things helps us endure and persevere in this fallen world. Christ has not left us alone as abandoned orphans. When we are born again, He comes to us and He comes in the Person of the Spirit. He is right there with us in our suffering. So ask Him. Ask Him to pour out that comfort on you. As Peter puts it – Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. And Paul again:

Php 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Let's Talk about "Peace"

Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christ is titled the Prince of Peace. We look forward to the fullness of His kingdom in large part because there will be unending, complete and final peace. Every single aspect of war and conflict, sin and hatred, racism and injustice will be gone forever. Peace is a beautiful thing that in reality none of us have ever known in its full glory.

And when it comes to this evil business of abuse that we deal with, we are confronted by various “experts” who claim to hold the key to giving us peace. There are numbers of ministries that focus on this issue of peace. Some are worse than others, but most all of them raise my suspicions. Over and over again victims who go to them for help end up being put on trial. They are told that “well, God wants peace restored in your life so here is what YOU need to do.” That sort of thing. The problem is that so often what the victim “needs” to do is to make peace with her abuser!

Now, think this through. How does the Prince of Peace establish peace? Even now, but on that Day also when He comes again? How does Christ fill the creation once again with peace? I can tell you:

2Th 1:5-9 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— (6) since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

There will be no negotiations with the enemy. Only full and complete destruction. The wicked will be cast into the Lake of Fire and we will never ever see or hear from them again.

And I want to tell you that THIS aspect of peace, that is to say, this business of HOW Christ is going to fill the creation with peace, is swept under the carpet by most supposed “abuse ministries,” churches, and pastors today. In other words, the “peace” they promise via their various programs and formulas is a false peace. As our friend Lynn has recently said in her post on Hezekiah’s prayer, there is no place for imprecatory prayer in these people’s system. As a result, we see that the Christ they serve is not the Lord Jesus of the Bible. He is a watered down version who loves everyone the same and what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians is, well, not worthy of this Jesus they serve.

So beware. Most “peace” that is promised by this myriad of “Christian” ministries is a false peace. Abuse victims are not going to have peace until they are able to be free of their abuser and that means that in this present life, absolute peace is not going to be achieved. The amazing thing about the New heavens and New Earth that we who are in Christ are headed for is this:

Rev 21:4-8 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (5) And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (6) And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (7) The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (8) But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

See it? The former things will have passed away. That means a whole lot more than we realize. It means that those triggering memories, all that PTSD, all of it – will be gone! Every tear. Every aspect of death. Gone. And why? Not only because of our new resurrection selfs, but because the wicked will have received their portion in that burning, eternal lake. We will never see them again. Will we think of them again? I don’t think so. And that is real peace.

***Peace, Peace, When there is no Peace+4

Jer 8:10-11 Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. (11) They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

As many of you are very much aware, the Lord’s words about the wicked false prophets and priests play out in our day all the time as well. I want to show you how you as a target of an abuser can expect to hear this pronouncement from so many of those to whom you turn for help. “Peace, peace” – when in fact there is no peace.