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CHRISTIAN SUFFERING-IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GOD’S WILL?

26 Dec

By Terry Loving

How can a woman who is often beaten and maltreated “rejoice?” Does Jesus expect her to shout and praise God as the blows land on her precious body? Can she honestly feel good about following a Savior who encourages her to keep her eyes on the prize – heaven – when the beatings drain joy from her soul? And how shall she pray – “Dear Lord, give me the strength to take another body slam, for I give my all to Thee?”

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Sadly, many Christian women believe that it is their “duty” to suffer domestic violence and abuse. They have no real Biblical basis for the abuse, only the lies told to them by abusers who misuse the Word to keep them in bondage. Unfortunately, numerous preachers misquote the Bible in ignorance, and embrace male domination to support the abusers in their misdeeds. Granted, the Bible does warn the followers of Christ that we too shall suffer for His sake. However, the foretold suffering is what we should suffer from the “world,” not from fellow believers.

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Christian women have been brainwashed to believe that the violence and abuse amounts to “suffering for the sake of righteousness” – therefore, they are “blessed,” (1 Peter 3:14). In this same verse, Peter says, “And do not fear their intimidation…” Who is the “their” that Peter speaks of? More so, who is “the world” that Jesus spoke of in 1 John 3:13? The “they” in Matthew 10:23? Jesus suffered for the souls of man and our spiritual well-being. If we are to follow His example, how is suffering violence and abuse in our Christian homes for the benefit of ourselves, or anyone for that matter?

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Matthew 5:11 reminds us that we are “blessed when people insult,” “persecute,” and “say all kinds of evil” against us because we follow Jesus Christ. Who are the “people” this verse speaks of? When a Christian wife is verbally abused by her Christian husband, is he counted among the “people” who “insult” and “say all kinds of evil?” The point I am driving home is this, there is an “us” and there is a “them.” And the “us” should be on the same team, sharing the Gospel of love with the “them” that hate us – as our Lord warned us they would. In fact, believers were once counted among the “them” until we embraced the love of Christ, repented of our sins, and turned heavenward. (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21)

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Jesus warned His followers that they too would suffer for His name sake – “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). The King James Version states, “Marvel not….” He wanted them to understand that once He was crucified and taken out of the way, they would be next in line for mistreatment. So, basically, “Do not be surprised…” “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…” (1 John 3:13). The cost of discipleship wasn’t and isn’t cheap. Early Christians were murdered, beheaded, stoned, and persecuted in horrendous ways. Even today around the world, true followers of Christ are facing the same life threatening evil at the hands of those who oppose the message of the Gospel. Jesus says in John 15:19:

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“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” Violent and abusive Christians blur the line between the “world” and the people of God. There should be a clear distinction between “us” and “them.” Not in the sense that we are better than the unsaved, but that we live differently. We should never forget where we came from, “For such were some of you” – “us” – (1 Corinthians 6:11).

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True Christians will “seek peace and pursue it,” while “carnal” Christians will continue to sow the seeds of discord and strife. In fact, those who commit violence and abuse against their mates are having a fit of carnality.

“Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7)

(New Living Translation) – “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.”

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“Believers may be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus secured. What is the principle of their walk; the flesh or the Spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? For which of these do we make provision, by which are we governed? The unrenewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully. And the law, besides outward duties, requires inward obedience.” 1

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Christians who violate others with violence and abuse are controlled by their “sinful natures.” When abusers apologize for their wrong, and promise to never do it again – they are not telling the truth. It is impossible, without a renewed heart to control themselves. Only the Blood of Jesus can wash away their sins, and give them a clean heart. You can cook better, give great sex, and become a slave – but nothing will change. You will wake up twenty years later, still going through the same drama.

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Yes, the suffering is ours to share as believers, but not at the hands of our fellow sojourners. Before Paul became an Apostle, he persecuted the church as an unbeliever, a worldly person – unsaved. What he did to the church, he did to Christ. On the road to Damascus, Saul who became Paul was transformed into one of the great defenders of the gospel of Christ. Once you have a true conversion, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, you no longer desire to persecute, but defend the cause of Christ. This conversion involves loving and treating others the way Christ would treat them. Would Jesus beat a woman for making a mistake? Would He verbally abuse a husband because He lost his job and could not provide for his family?

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/ABUSE are not the Will of God for His people.

Abusers won’t change until they experience a Damascus experience like Paul. There is nothing the abused can do but save themselves.

PRAY FOR DELIVERANCE- and give God something to work with – LEAVE!

1http://bible.cc/romans/8-7.htm

PAUL’S TESTIMONY

http://esv.scripturetext.com/acts/22.htm

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ARE WOMEN IN YOUR CHURCH SILENTLY SUFFERING?

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THE PHARISEE SYNDROME

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http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

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JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES EXPERIENCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(Risk dis-fellowship if the abused involves the police)

No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.

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15 Comments

Posted by on December 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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15 responses to “CHRISTIAN SUFFERING-IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GOD’S WILL?

  1. rising writer

    December 27, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for addressing this subject. I spoke about this subject back in October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but I have to say that as believers we need to continue to raise our voices against violence and make our brothers and sisters aware that this is not God’s plan for our lives. Your article is way more eloquent than mine, but thanks for writing this.
    This was my post if you’re interested:
    http://therisingmuse.com/2010/10/06/dvam-from-victim-to-victory-2

     
  2. ssofdv

    December 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Hello “rising writer.”

    Thank you for stopping by, and for your compliment. Yes, we need to “continue to raise our voices.”

    We may not be able to help every abused person, but we are doing our duty to make the sin of violence and abuse known.

    I enjoyed your article as well, and I left a reply. Looking forward to your future visits to my site.

    Terry

     
  3. Lina

    December 28, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Thanks for your article. Just some clarifications. You say, ‘True Christians will “seek peace and pursue it,” while “carnal” Christians will continue to sow the seeds of discord and strife. In fact, those who commit violence and abuse against their mates are having a fit of carnality.’

    So Christian husbands who abuse are carnal Christians. But you also say that they won’t change until they have a Damascus experience and be washed in the blood. In that case, what happened when they got saved? My violent ex doesn’t admit to abuse, although he keeps crying tears of remorse. He says he needs a revelation and says he has been praying very hard and only needs a miracle from God to get it. To me, that seems like shirking the responsibility needed to take ownership of the change process. That’s like blaming God for not giving him the Damascus experience.

    Also, if he wasn’t really washed in the blood in the first place, does that mean that the argument for not suffering at the hands of a believer doesn’t apply, since he will be “of the world”, who we should suffer for.

    Whatever the case, waiting for the Damascus experience seems to be letting him off the hook and confusing the people praying for him as well. They’re all wondering why God is not helping this poor helpless soul who “loves” his family but can’t seem to do the right thing, even when he says he wants to.

     
    • ssofdv

      December 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      Hello Lina,

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and commenting on this post. Because my responses to your questions and concerns are extensive, I am preparing a PDF file that I will post before the day is done (12/29/10).

      Please check back.

      Terry

       
  4. Terry

    December 30, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Hello again Lina,

    I have to master creating “secure” PDF files, it didn’t work out today. In the meantime, I created a page just for your questions and concerns on my website.

    Please click on the following link to review my response. It is my hope and prayer that I was able to satisfy your inquiry.

    Sincerely,

    Terry

    http://spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org/id107.html

     
    • Lina

      December 30, 2010 at 1:54 am

      Terry, thanks for your reply.

      My main confusion was whether you were addressing an abuser as a Christian or not. At the start of the article, you seemed to indicate that Christian suffering should be for the world, not for other Christians. So if the husband is a Christian, then why does he need to be washed in the blood or have a Damascus experience? And if the husband is not a Christian, does that mean that the argument about suffering is less persuasive, since he is of the world? (You have answered that.)

      But I get your response to mean that the Damascus experience also applies to a Christian. Someone can have the revelation to be saved, but not the revelation to not abuse. But it’s strange how I do have in-laws and friends who are respectful but not saved. They just have different thinking patterns.

      Does my ex have a mentor? He did seek one out, but one that hardly knew us and so he could vent his stuff. People who don’t know him well can’t see through his manipulation because he says the right things, like “I need help, I don’t know what to do” but when told what to do, has diversions, and excuses. The mentor then gets diverted to other tangents, like what I am doing to him. And even if they manage to call him on certain things, they don’t know if he really heard it, or puts it into practice because he may say the next time that he didn’t lose it while we still attacked him. The mentor will not know if he is lying.

      He is reading the Bible now more than ever before (he hardly read it for the duration of our relationship, even though he was a Bible study leader). He is also attending prayer meetings, but only God knows if he is praying. Right after such meetings, he corners my friends to ask what I am thinking. He doesn’t see such acts as abusive. He also doesn’t see harassing or stalking as abusive, and will drop his jaw if told that some of his actions post-separation are abusive. He said he was very proud that he was no longer abusive since separating – something that is not true.

      As for understanding the Bible, I don’t know, but I do know he had a lot of trouble understanding books or concepts about boundaries and dependencies issues, even if the counselor spoke slowly. He would say, “It’s all too deep. I’m a simple person.” And he would say not to judge him for that because he was slowly trying to understand it and it wasn’t his fault if he couldn’t.

      So he definitely likes to give the impression that he is trying his best and that it is unfair we are not giving him any more chances. No one can understand why he can read the Bible, seek God, say the right things and still not get it. He is very bright otherwise.

      It’s just a travesty that a person can be saved and perpetrate oppression and injustice.

       
      • Terry

        December 30, 2010 at 8:28 pm

        Hello Lina,

        Thank your for trusting me with your concerns.

        I am preparing a response for you, and I will update you with a link for review.

        It is my practice to ask God and the Holy Spirit to guide me in my writing. I only desire to respond in the way They guide me to do so.

        Thank you for your patience, and for visiting my blog.

        Terry

         
      • utchy

        August 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Hello Lina, those excuses you mentioned that your ex gives are exactly what my abusive husband gives.i finally left him. he has been led to God and knows the bible, but he dosent find christianity trendy and engaging enough. i am begining to think that abusive and violence spirit are like that of masturbation, where you know your actions are wrong yet you keep at it. its only a deep love for the word og God and bold confession and help that can deliver one.
        Meanwhile the abused need to be well and alive to see the Miracle of such repentance and also go to heaven because i doubt if rapture had taken place on one of those days with the pain and bitterness in my heart, wonder if i do make it.

        Presently, i am working hard at finding the old me and rediscovering the unbattered me. i am very Hopefull and ethusiastic that i will be single and whole again because ironically i had a wonderfull single life, before i mortaged my happinnes for the past 4 years. Good to be free and alive-

         
      • ssofdv

        August 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        Hello utchy,

        Thank you for your reply to Lina. I am happy to hear that you are “working hard” to rediscover yourself – the “unbattered me.” I like the way you put that. That statement should be the spring board for every abused person to work towards the same goal. Before battering, yes, you were a unique person with strength that you are probably discovering for the first time.

        Satan knows the Bible very well also – but that does not mean that he belongs to God. Reading and quoting Scriptures does not prove anything – it is how we live – and how we treat others that makes a difference.

        God understands your “pain and bitterness” and will help you to be free in time. Try not to stay there, and keep fighting for your life. Stay strong.

        Peace

         
  5. ssofdv

    January 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Hello and Happy New Year to all!

    Lina, here is the link response to your latest post. May God bless you with wisdom and strength to make the right choices concerning this matter.

    Terry

    http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org/id109.html

     

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