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IS THE WORD OF GOD OFFENSIVE???

By Terry Loving

PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST IS NOT A “STAND BEHIND PHIL” POST. I STAND FOR AMERICAN’S HAVING FREEDOM TO SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD PUBLICALLY WITHOUT REPERCUSSIONS. Our society is rapidly changing, and we must be careful how we cry out for censorship – whether we agree with what is said or not.

Bible

… “just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” Romans 9:33

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“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12   New American Standard Bible

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 “The Holy Scriptures are the word of God. When God sets it home by his Spirit, it convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It makes a soul that has long been proud, to be humble; and a perverse spirit, to be meek and obedient. Sinful habits, that are become as it were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, are separated and cut off by this sword. It will discover to men their thoughts and purposes, the vileness of many, the bad principles they are moved by, the sinful ends they act to. The word will show the sinner all that is in his heart. Let us hold fast the doctrines of Christian faith in our heads, its enlivening principles in our hearts, the open profession of it in our lips, and be subject to it in our lives.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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spread the Gospel

More and more our society is moving towards hatred of the Word of God. Christians who uphold Biblical principles they strive to live by are under attack for their lack of so-called political/Biblical correctness. Publically speaking out against the very sins that God Himself speaks against is a sure way to incur the wrath of those who pick and choose what Scriptures they find more palatable – and of course, anger from those who don’t believe in God at all.

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Jesus said in Matthew 10:34
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Further:

Luke 12:52
“From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”

Luke 12:49
“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

 Luke 12:53
“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

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The above Scriptures clearly state that “peace on earth” was, and is not the intended purpose of the Gospel of Christ. “The bringing in the gospel dispensation would occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ’s religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men’s pride and lusts.” Luke 12:51

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Because the Gospel is contrary to the lifestyle of the world, it will be rejected and despised. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is “living,” and “active.” If it were not, the heart of man would not be convicted by it. Therefore, whenever a Christian speaks the Word of God to a non-believing public, he or she will be hated – but also forewarned that this would be so:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” John 15:18

the stones will cry out

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Christ Divides Men

      49“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50“But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

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Believers and non-believers will be at odds. Light and darkness will oppose one another. Not only will this take place in the world, but within our very own families.

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“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” New American Standard Bible  John 3:20

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When Jesus walked the earth, He had followers and opposers. Many people loved Him, and others hated Him to the point of killing Him. What did He do wrong? He healed the sick, fed multitudes, raised the dead, imparted comfort from God’s Word, associated with and loved those who society cast aside – really, what did He do wrong? Nothing!

jeremiah 20 9

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What those who opposed Him accused Him of was His proclamation of equality with God the Father:

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 New American Standard Bible

The Jews were appalled, for this declaration in their eyes amounted to blasphemy. This was more than they could stand. Something had to be done – and death was the solution.

No one in our present society has ever met Jesus. So what has He done to cause such hatred towards Him today? Nothing!

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Our Lord carried out His purpose on earth, bridging the gap between sinful mankind and a Holy God – He spoke the Words that God gave Him to show man a better way to live, and the only way to die – in Christ – in order to be with Him forever. Obedience to the Word of Life brings salvation, eternal life with Christ – who wouldn’t want to embrace this and much more – even in the midst of our suffering on earth for the cause of Christ?

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Well, those who choose to live the opposite of Scripture, who seek their own way, reject the “narrow way” in favor of the “broad way.” Whenever the Word of God is spoken, it is like a mirror held up to our faces and we see deep into our souls what we really are. If you do not like what you see – convictions of the heart – you will strive to make changes if your heart is receptive to the living Word of God. Otherwise, you will reject it and persecute those who speak out boldly upholding their convictions that Jesus is the Son of God – and the Way to eternal salvation. Obedience to the Word means life change, which many reject.

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What the world does not understand is the fact that Christians are commanded to speak the Word of God and not be ashamed:

Mark 8:38

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

There is a severe price to pay for disowning our Lord:

Matthew 10:33

“But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

Luke 9:26

“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

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Francis of assisis

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 38. – Our Lord here looks onward to the day of judgment. Whosoever shall be ashamed of me. “Whosoever:” the word includes all, whatever their position or circumstances may be. “Shall be ashamed of me;” that is, shall deny my faith, or blush to confess me here. Of him shall the Son of man be ashamed; that is, Christ will despise him, when he shall appear with power and great glory, in that sublime majesty which he gained by his death upon the cross. In this adulterous and sinful generation. It adds to the disgrace of being ashamed of Christ that the shame is manifested in the presence of the base and the worthless; and therefore our Lord exhibits the contrast between the mean and contemptible people in the presence of whom men are ashamed of him here, and the magnificent assemblage in whose presence he will be ashamed of them hereafter. The cross of Christ appeared to the great body of mankind to be shameful and contemptible. To the Jews it was a stumbling-block, and to the Greek’s foolishness. Hence vast numbers, whether through shame or fear, did not dare to confess it, and still less to preach it. And therefore it is that St. Paul says (Romans 1:l6), “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”

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1 Corinthians 1:18
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

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God is not mocked

Significance for our Time

 “Inclusiveness.”

“A key word in today’s society is “inclusiveness”. We are told that we should accept “alternative lifestyles”, accept all sorts of behavior that used to be considered unacceptable. Those who are considered unwilling to do so may be required to receive “sensitivity training”. The watchword is “tolerance”. Some have almost made a god of tolerance. Yet we find these same people can be quite intolerant of any viewpoint that does not tolerate every kind of behavior. Any deviation from the standard of tolerance is considered intolerable, and there are efforts in many countries, including ours, to make it illegal. In parts of Canada, for example, it is now illegal and punishable by law for anyone simply to repeat what the Bible says about certain forms of behavior.”

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 “Jesus was never tolerant of evil. He reached out to the sinner in love, but he hated sin. When a woman was found in adultery, Jesus did not say, “Your lifestyle is fine”. He said, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). In his Sermon on the Mount and in other teachings he insisted on a very high moral standard. He denounced the religious leaders of his time, saying “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, hypocrites” (Matthew chapter 23).

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“Scripture teaches that those who do certain kinds of acts, and live in certain kinds of ways (including impurity and sexual immorality), will not inherit the kingdom of God and will incur God’s wrath (Ephesians 5:5-7; Colossians 3:5-6; Galatians 5:19; see Romans 1:18-32; Revelation 21:8). It tells us “do not be partners” with such people (Ephesians 5:7). Jesus will come again “in blazing fire” to “punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7,9)..

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Where many today teach tolerance of every conceivable kind of behavior, Jesus drew a sharp line of division. He said that some behavior is sinful and should not be tolerated. He said that some things are good and some things are evil, and the evil cannot be tolerated or accepted. I believe we urgently need that line of division today. http://www.scriptureinsights.com/Divide.html

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“13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”

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reaching-the-lost

Ezekiel 3:16-21 ESV / 13 helpful votes

“And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

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faith comes by hearing

“The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.”   Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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New American Standard Bible
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

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In a recent edition of GQ, the patriarch of the “Dynasty” spoke out concerning his views on sin, and the result has been a media buzz and outcry from GLAAD denouncing his statements. In what now might appear as an attempt to stir up controversy, GQ asked the A&E star of Duck Dynasty about his views regarding sin. In response, Phil, who has referred to himself in the past as a Bible-thumper, responded unsurprisingly by quoting the same Bible he claims to regularly thump. Phil, in response to the question on sin stated, “start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” He continued on to state, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolators, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the Kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

” 9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  1Corinthians:6-11

IS THIS NOT AMERICA – The land of “Free speech?” “Religious freedom? Protected by our Constitution??????

blog-spot-free-speech3

“The comments made by Phil, drawn out by GQ’s Drew Magerty, caused GLAAD to almost immediately cry foul, however the large christian population and viewership appears to be twiddling their thumbs and watching the entire fiasco play out. GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz in speaking to the press lashed out in response to Phil’s statements accusing Phil of misquoting the Bible and attempting to perpetuate “myths” and “lies” concerning the homosexual and wider LGBT communities.”

There was no misquoting the Bible by Phil. Many view the Bible as of book of “myths” and “lies” to support their ungodly way of life. Drew Magerty asked Phil questions that pertained to his faith, and Phil did what the Bible says we should do when confronted with our beliefs: 1 Peter 3:15-17

New American Standard Bible
13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”

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Voltaire

IS THE WORD OF GOD OFFENSIVE???? Only to those who despise hearing what thus saith the Lord

New American Standard Bible
“To whom shall I speak and give warning That they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.” Jeremiah 6:10

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/huckabee-weighs-in-on-duck-dynasty-controversy/

Huckabee weighs in on “Duck Dynasty” controversy

“What we’ve seen is that there is a new level of bullying of the part of these militant activist groups,” said Huckabee, a former pastor and 2008 presidential candidate, said on “Fox News Sunday”. “I think it has come to a point in our culture where political correctness has made it so that if you want to take a point of view that is traditional, that holds to steadfast, old fashioned biblical Christian values, which are also, by the way, values of traditional Judaism, and even Islam, that somehow you’re supposed to just shut up and keep that to yourself. But if you want to advocate for same-sex marriage, we’re supposed to be very tolerant.”

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John 3:19
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

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Duck Dynasty: Phil Quotes Bible, GLAAD Cries Foul, Christians Silently Twiddle Thumbs

“The announcement of Phil’s suspension from the show does not appear as of yet to have been met with any significant outcry from christians who at least presumably believe in the same Bible that Phil referenced in his statements, and no such cry has come from viewers either. It remains to be seen whether significant support for Phil will be shown by viewers or the wider christian population at large.”

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Other networks eager to air ‘Duck Dynasty’

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Network quiet amid petitions calling for boycott over ‘Duck Dynasty’ move

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Pedophile support group seeks ‘truth and dignity’ – Want same rights as homosexuals

August 2, 2013 (Renewamerica.com) – Who could’ve seen this coming? Well, those of us who can see the “logical” end results of the radical homosexual movement, that’s who. With homosexual activists on the march throughout our government, military, schools and society in general, many of us have warned that their push for special “rights” would – besides trample on the freedoms of speech, religion and association of those who oppose them – inevitably lead to demands by other sexual deviants, like pedophiles, for their own societal affirmation.

Jack Minor, in his column titled “Pedophiles want same rights as homosexuals,” wrote: Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.

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WOE UNREPENTANT AMERICA!

“Our nation is walking in darkness, and it’s getting darker by the minute.”

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

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

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2013
All rights reserved.

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Posted by on December 22, 2013 in Preaching The Pure Word Of God!

 

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WHY IS SELF-FORGIVENESS SO DIFFICULT?

By Terry Loving

forgive yourself

“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.”
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

With the New Year approaching rapidly, many people are making lists as to what resolutions need to be addressed for the betterment of a new lifestyle. Some people will succeed in completing their list of weight loss goals, quit smoking, new employment or leaving undesirable relationships and situations. On the other hand, many people will fail to accomplish what their minds conceived as needed changes in their lives. Another year goes by.

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One important life change that I have always struggled with is forgiving myself.  I have been able to – with time – forgive the trespasses of others as I have asked God to forgive mine. You never forget the things that you have forgiven, but with God’s help and the right understanding – one can forgive others and move on. I have learned that forgiving others is more about me than them. Meaning, I will be right with God in forgiving, and my overall mental and physical health will improve as I let go of hurts. Heartburn, headaches, bad moods and sour dispositions will fade away when we forgive. When we remove the stumbling blocks, we begin to find our way again, and the future becomes brighter.

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forgive youself2

Most Christians understand that un-forgiveness is serious business with God:

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

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Plain and simple isn’t it? We must forgive to receive forgiveness from our heavenly Father. Simply stated, but difficult for many – Christians included. Too many people cannot let go of the past and remain stuck in the yesterdays of their minds. They are not reliving the hurts in reality; however, they hit the replay button over and over again never allowing the pain to heal. I am speaking from experience.

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When we forgive others we often conclude: “He was upset.” “She didn’t mean what she said.” “They are just ignorant.” “He made a mistake.” “She didn’t know any better.”

On the other hand, we mercilessly criticize ourselves when the same conclusions apply to our personal mistakes and trespasses.  We can easily emphasize with the human failings of other people, and yet we hold ourselves to such high standards that we punish ourselves continually for the things that in many cases we have been forgiven for.

quoteforgiveness3

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Granted, self-forgiveness may be more difficult when we come to the realization that we caused pain on purpose. In the case of domestic violence and abuse, self-forgiveness may never be realized especially if a life was taken or destroyed because of selfish ambitions. If a relationship was lost, and attempts to recover it were futile, the struggle to forgive oneself will likely continue for a long time. But there is hope for peace of mind.

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Countless abused persons have a difficult time forgiving themselves for the abuse they endured. Faulty reasoning causes many to conclude that they were to blame for what happened to them. Many will make statements such as: “I am intelligent, why didn’t I see this coming?” “How could I allow this to happen to me?” “What did I do wrong?” “How could I get mixed up with him?” “How could I let her charm fool me?” If we view our mistakes as sin self-commendation increases, even though we ask God’s forgiveness, and know that He is faithful and just to forgive.

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Psalm 32:5 says, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

You “acknowledged” your sin, made no excuses or tried to hide it, and “confessed” to the LORD.” When we do this in Christ, the “guilt” of our sins is forgiven.

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1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Matthew 12:31 – “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (KJV)

Why do we as Christians continue to condemn ourselves when we have been forgiven by God Almighty Himself? God shows us mercy, why can we not give ourselves the opportunity to fully experience His mercy along with self-mercy?

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No human being is exempt from hurting others, making mistakes, exercising poor judgment, or living with regrets. But we must learn self-forgiveness in order to become all that God intended for our lives to become. We must remove the obstacles of the past. If we can learn from the memories of our mistakes, great! If we confessed our faults to God and know that we have been forgiven; if we asked forgiveness of those who we have hurt – accepted or not, then we are convicting an innocent person over and over again.

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One Writer states: “Yet, we can and often do refuse the choice to forgive ourselves because we are experiencing tremendous guilt and believe that we deserve more punishment. Failing to forgive ourselves is one way to keep the punishment in effect. It is a way for us to martyr ourselves over and over again. The foolishness of this practice should be self evident. What can our self inflicted punishment do to help our victim, or for that matter, ourselves? What good can come of it?”

“It’s common to hold on to guilt and shame when we’ve hurt someone, but those feelings do not come from God. They come from our enemy, Satan. Guilt and shame prolong pain and suffering while providing nothing of value to anyone. They leave us looking back, and while we’re busy focusing on the past, it’s very difficult to move forward with Christ.”

“Instead of guilt, God requires repentance. These two words mean very different things. Repentance is an acknowledgment of the wrong we have done followed by a commitment to change our ways, but guilt carries no such commitment. Guilt causes us to live in the shadow of our past disgrace, while repentance looks forward in anticipation of God’s grace.”

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We must also understand:

The Conflict of Two Natures

“14For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”

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“21I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

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“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Lewis B. Smedes

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“7:18-22 The more pure and holy the heart is, it will have the more quick feeling as to the sin that remains in it. The believer sees more of the beauty of holiness and the excellence of the law. His earnest desires to obey, increase as he grows in grace. But the whole good on which his will is fully bent, he does not do; sin ever springing up in him, through remaining corruption, he often does evil, though against the fixed determination of his will. The motions of sin within grieved the apostle. If by the striving of the flesh against the Spirit, was meant that he could not do or perform as the Spirit suggested, so also, by the effectual opposition of the Spirit, he could not do what the flesh prompted him to do. How different this case from that of those who make themselves easy with regard to the inward motions of the flesh prompting them to evil; who, against the light and warning of conscience, go on, even in outward practice, to do evil, and thus, with forethought, go on in the road to perdition! For as the believer is under grace, and his will is for the way of holiness, he sincerely delights in the law of God, and in the holiness which it demands, according to his inward man; that new man in him, which after God is created in true holiness.”    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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“If you are carrying strong feelings about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present.” Les Brown

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In light of what has been written thus far, the question that begs an answer is, “How Do I Forgive Myself?” First, advice from the Apostle Paul:

  “7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

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     “ 12Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”

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forgiving myself7

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  New American Standard Bible

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“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.”  Hebrews 3:1

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“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

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16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_corinthians/5.htm

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“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
Mark Twain

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2 Peter 1:9 – “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

Romans 6:14 – “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

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http://www.wikihow.com/Forgive-Yourself

Learning To Forgive Yourself

How to Forgive Yourself

10 Steps to Forgiving Yourself

How Do You Forgive Yourself?

The Secret to Forgiving Yourself

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ABUSERS – TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF!

By Terry Loving

WARNING – GRAPHIC VIDEO!

The above video represents a violent and brutal home invasion caught on a nanny cam in Millburn, NJ. The date of the attack was June 21, 2013 at 10 a.m. in the morning.

“The incident in a Millburn living room last Friday was caught on camera, authorities have said. In the video, a young mother is shown watching cartoons with her 3-year-old daughter – and then a loud crash is heard from off-camera. Within moments, an intruder lunges at the woman, pummeling her with his fists and kicking her in the head before tossing her down a flight of stairs off-camera. An 18-month-old son was asleep upstairs at the time of the crime, authorities have said.”

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“The victim tried not to scream as she was beaten, because she didn’t want to traumatize her daughter, she told authorities.”

The video shows what a violent crime looks like,” Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said. “We have a tremendous amount of violent crime in Essex County, but when people in the community see what it really looks like that’s why we got the outpouring of assistance that we did.”

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Forty-two year old Shawn Custis showed the world what violent domestic abusers do every day. I am not taking anything away from this poor woman and her child who was a witness. For his crimes, Shawn should pay dearly, and never taste freedom ever again. He has a history of criminal charges which proves that he will not change, and may kill someone next time.

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home-invasion2

I needed to post the video for it reminded me of what I witnessed as a child. I still have memories of my mother being beaten the very way this woman was – her child will never forget either. I am shaking as I type this post. There is tightness in my chest – this took me back to a day that was pressed down deep within my memory. I am trying not to cry.

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It is my hope that domestic abusers watch this video and see themselves. This is what they do behind closed doors. Let me just address them directly.

Abusers – you should be ashamed of yourselves! See yourself in this video and REPENT! You beat down innocent and defenseless women; scar their children for life – and for what? To prove that you are a man? I am so very angry today! I am hurting and praying for all the women you hurt. Most of all, I pray that you will find God and change. There is no excuse for the terror that you dish out, no excuse at all.

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One day you will stand before God and give an account. Look at the video, see yourself as God sees you and decide how you will answer. My guess is you will be so frightened before our Creator, reduced to weak knees with fright that you will be at a loss for words – your very heart will fail you.

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Shawn arrest

You think that what you do behind closed doors is not seen by anyone – not so. Just as you look at this video and witness the evil and ugly truth of violence against women – so does God:

5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Genesis 6:5-6

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Abusers, you are grieving the very heart of God. Each time you hurt one of His children, you are ripping His heart apart. You feel safe behind closed doors as if no one sees your ugly deeds, but you are very wrong.

10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

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china man beats woman

When you brutalize your loved ones, you are passing judgment upon them. You have deemed them guilty of trespassing your warped sense of right and wrong – and sentenced them to vicious beatings and mistreatment. You regard the abused with contempt, you despise them, and you hate God and His righteousness. Why? Did God treat you this way when you made mistakes?

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Perhaps someone abused and misused you as a child. Should that not be enough reason not to hurt others as you have been hurt? Why are you so angry? The Bible says:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31

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This means that you are in charge of your anger. It also means that God will help you to “put away from you” the destructive emotions that cause you to lash out unjustly – if your heart is teachable. Whatever fears you have, abandonment, not being good enough – whatever – God can, and is willing to help you. But first, you must admit that you have a problem with a lack of self-control. I know, for I was once an angry person, and I felt I had every right to be considering what I had to endure in my mother’s house. But I lashed out in the wrong way – and used the smallest disagreements to vent my frustrations. It wasn’t until I acknowledged to God that I had a problem with anger – and I did not know for most of my life – that God was able to wash me clean of bitterness.

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man-beats-woman

Let me ask you this – does it matter to you that you will damage a child for life? When children witness domestic violence and abuse, your brutal actions and verbal tirades short circuit their emotional growth, plant seeds of fear, and instill negative and hurtful memories for life. Are you bold enough to stand before God and give an account? God may not approve of our actions, but He loves all mankind – especially children. When you abuse and rape, you abuse and rape the heart of God.

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“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

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“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,” Hebrews 10:26

“How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29

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“All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt.” Ecclesiastes 8:9

“When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.” 1 Corinthians 8:12

And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment–wickedness was there, in the place of justice–wickedness was there.” Ecclesiastes 3:16

“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed– and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors– and they have no comforter.”  Ecclesiastes 4:1

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GodLooksAtTheHeart

“Shawn Custis has been charged with first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Kathy Carter, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office.”

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Any man who beats a woman, wife, girlfriend – whoever, should be charged with “attempted murder.” To what “degree” I don’t know, but abusers should not get away with a slap on the wrist – especially when the violence is carried out in front of children.

Until our world understands that what took place in this video is the face of domestic violence, nothing much will change. Domestic violence is a crime! The fact that it happens mostly behind closed doors does not lessen the severity and criminal element of the acts. It can happen to anyone, at any time.

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This video opened an old wound, and there will always be triggers. I am outraged by the vicious attack on this woman in the security of her own home. And yet, this happens every day in America – women brutalized and killed by deranged evil abusers in a place they should feel the safest – home. Will this open your eyes now????

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I believe every Pastor should see this video, and then they may not be so quick to send the abused back to their abusers. Perhaps then they will understand that cooking better, keeping quiet, being more intimate and the like is not the problem concerning abuse. Abusers are the problem period!

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wife_beating

Shawn plead “Not Guilty” – really Shawn?

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Comments concerning the brutality of Shawn Custis:

We believe it was his intent to kill the woman,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly said. (Could we not say the same concerning domestic abusers? The highlighted words below is describe what the abused suffer every day!)

  • ·         A brutal mid-morning New Jersey home invasion
  • ·         an assault
  • ·         mother suffered a vicious beating at the hands of the 5-foot-11, 210-pound suspect
  • ·         chilling video captured the entire midday attack
  • ·         “He bombards her and starts wailing away.”
  • ·         The suspect throws the woman down, punches her several times in the face before picking her up and throwing her down. He goes upstairs to ransack the bedroom and as he returns, kicks the woman in the face as she struggles to regain her feet.
  • ·         … “she moans.”
  • ·         “He’s a lefty, every punch and kick was lefty,”
  • ·         his reactions were violent.
  • ·         “There was no reason for it, she would have given him anything he wanted,” Palardy said.
  • ·         In his final sickening act, the man throws her mother down the steps,
  • ·         The stunning, midday attack is so shocking
  • ·         The woman was treated at the hospital for leg and face injuries suffered at the man’s hands.
  • ·         “They wanted to show how violent this person is because they want him caught as much as we do,” Palardy said. “And we’re not going to sleep until this guy is caught.”
  • Thankfully she’s ok, physically; but you never know the emotional scars left on her, her daughter, and her husband who probably feels guilty that he wasn’t around to stop this beast!

dead woman

“The question arises in a case like this: “What Would You Do?”; but I think the answers will be obvious.”

Here are some of the answers to the above question:

  • Let’s hope someone in the community takes care of this animal the same way he treaded this lady. Waste of time going though the legal system.
  • He should be shot on sight.
  • 4 words…..tall tree, short rope.
  • They caught him and he is pleading not guilty, I hope they lock him up and throw away the key on this piece of garbage
  • i agree. As a young black man.. This is horrifying… sickening… He needs to be thrown in prison and then they should throw away the key… Bad enough black men have a bad rep, this doesnt help at all…

beat-up-women-513

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Now my questions are:

Why no outrage concerning domestic violence and abuse? Why is the church silent? Why do Preachers send the abused back to what we witnessed in the video? Why no concern for the women who suffer this evil every day of their lives and some die? What makes this crime different besides the fact that this was a home invasion? The action of the perpetrators are the same are they not – both robber and abuser?

Most of all, why do we close our eyes? This level of brutality happens in American homes and around the world daily – 24-7. Worst of all, many perpetrators are so-called “Christians.” Why????

“but when people in the community see what it really looks like that’s why we got the outpouring of assistance that we did.”

OK world, now you have had an opportunity to “see what it really looks like,”  – the evil of domestic violence – what are you going to do about it?

If you see yourself as the aggressor in this video and you continue, you really have no heart.

Sigh….

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women in hospital

Woman allegedly professes love for man who beat her with baseball bat

“When KCTV5 last spoke to Taylor, she said she hoped to inspire other women and girls to stand up against domestic violence and break the silence.”

“You can stand up for yourself. There’s ways you can do it, even if you have to whisper in somebody’s ear and have somebody else take action for you. There’s always a way to get out,” Taylor said.

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WHY DON’T PEOPLE TALK ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

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DO ABUSERS HAVE A CONSCIENCE?

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DOMESTIC ABUSE IN CHRISTIAN HOMES – Recommended Reading

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Prayer-Request2Please click on picture to request prayer.

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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in VIOLENCE AMONG US

 

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DO ABUSERS HAVE A CONSCIENCE?

By Terry Loving

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Timothy 1:5

A CRY FOR JUSTICE BOOK

“And herein do I exercise myself – And this very tenet is a pledge for my good behavior; for as I believe there will be a resurrection, both of the just and unjust, and that every man shall be judged for the deeds done in the body, so I exercise myself day and night, that I may have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.

Toward God – In entertaining no opinion contrary to his truth; and in offering no worship contrary to his dignity, purity, and excellence.

Toward men – In doing nothing to them that I would not, on a change of circumstances, they should do to me; and in withholding nothing by which I might comfort and serve them.” 1

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“Abusive people have dysfunctional or even non-functioning consciences. In contrast, their victims have very active consciences. And the abuser uses this to his advantage. He can, without any hesitation or remorse, insinuate a horrid charge against her, making her feel the pangs of her own conscience, and causing her to wonder if she really is guilty.” 2

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Most have heard the saying, “Let your conscience be your guide.” When making decisions in life, “normal” thinking people rely on their inner voice to decide what actions they should take. Depending upon the level of maturity, a person with high morals, integrity, ethics and the like will usually make decisions they can live with. In other words, the choices they make in life would be those that do not keep them awake at night torturing their minds with guilt. After making their final decision they are able to live with themselves knowing they made the right choice – no harm done.

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1 John 3:21
“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”

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The abuser’s decision-making process is much different. Their decisions are not based upon what is right, just, fair, moral, ethical, nor do they consider the feelings of others. Life is all about the abuser and their comfort and well-being. It is within the avenues of power and control as well as entitlement that the abuser establishes a domain of terror. He feels justified.

depression1

The word conscience is defined as:

[kon-shuhns] Show IPA

noun

1. the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.

2. the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.

3. an inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I’d eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me. 3

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Pastor Jeff Crippen beautifully explains in his book – A CRY FOR JUSTICE how we assume that abusers must be “weighed down” by their horrid actions toward others. Normally, non-abusive souls would agonize over wrongs committed towards others, and seek to make amends. Because we would feel bad inside, we naturally think that others would feel the same – not so with abusers. In fact, Jeff explains how abusers use our assumptions against us as they play the “victim.” The abuser’s deeds do not weigh heavy upon them, for they are functioning in what they perceive as a normal way of life. They are oblivious to the real pain they cause others because they do not care – life is all about the abuser – no one else – not even God.

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abused woman

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In the absence of a “healthy” conscience, abusers can beat the daylights out of their victims, and minutes later take the family out for an ice cream cone. His family, especially his spouse is his personal property to do with them as he sees fit. The beatings or verbal put downs in his mind are his God-given right to keep his family in line. After all, God made him the head, and all beneath him must submit or face dire consequences. Is there any remorse for the abuse? Never! Entitlement and false justification do not produce such emotions.

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Abusers lack empathy which is why they can bloody your face and throw you a towel in disgust – “Clean yourself up, you are a mess!” Your bloody wounds are only an issue when you no longer look “pretty.” After all, he is the only man that is allowed to look at you. They will never admit fault for your pain, because you – according to them – “Brought it on yourself!” Abusers are very capable of fake empathy, especially when the abused threatens to leave them. The false tears only serve to melt the heart of the abused, and the cycle of torture will repeat itself. This is how the crazy making stage begins.

obey fist

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Abusers who claim to be Christians pretend holiness, and yet – they have no conscience – not in the sense of what we define as “normal.” 1Timothy 4:2 speaks of “hypocrites” and “liars” that have a conscience that has been “seared with a hot iron.” Verses 1-5 gives us a clear picture of the spiritual apostasy that shall take place in these “latter days” – the Christian age. According to various views of Bible commentaries, a conscience “seared with a hot iron” can also be applied to the conscience of abusers, especially those who call themselves Christians.

woman hit man with shoe

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Can we not safely say that abusers in our places of worship have “departed from the faith?” The foundation of the “faith” that Jesus ministered is based on love. It is not possible that abusers are following Christ, but their own hypocritical self-imposed doctrine of hate. They are incapable of the agape love that we should have for one another. Agape love possesses compassion for the plight of others as well as; empathy; true love; it is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love that abusers do not possess.

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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8

“A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  John 13:34-35

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”  1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The consciences of abusers are senseless and unfeeling as flesh that has been cauterized. “The sensitiveness of their consciences is destroyed by the brand of the devil.”  People’s New Testament

domestic-abuse

“The metaphor is from the practice of branding slaves or criminals, the latter on the brow. These deceivers are not acting under delusion, but deliberately, and against their conscience. They wear the form of godliness, and contradict their profession by their crooked conduct (2 Timothy 3:5). The brand is not on their brow, but on their conscience. Comp.” Titus 1:15; Titus 3:11Vincent’s Word Studies

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15)

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Jeff also notes a “degree of abuse” that ranges from “remarkably selfish” to “narcissistic,” “sociopaths” to “psychopaths.” When abusers reach the sociopath or psychopath levels, many people view the abusers as having no conscience at all. However, Pastor Crippen maintains that abusers do have a conscience, but they are “dysfunctional.” They possess not the normal means of inner conviction which keeps our passions for wrong in check.

When the searing of the conscience takes place, no one can say for sure. What we can know is the fact that abusers “speak lies in hypocrisy,” they are senseless, and unfeeling:

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 “Such a conscience exists in a mind that will practice delusion without concern; that will carry on a vast system of fraud without wincing; that will incarcerate, scourge, or burn the innocent without compassion; and that will practice gross enormities, and indulge in sensual gratifications under the mask of piety.”  Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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the_sociopath_next_door_martha_stout_unabridged_mp3_compact_disc

The Sociopath Next Door

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I highly recommend A CRY FOR JUSTICE for many reasons. It opened my eyes to a darker side of abusers, and their cunning ways. This book took my understanding of abuse much deeper, and I could feel the essence of evil more acutely as I read each page. It is a must read for those who desire to counsel the abused, and for church leaders who need to educate themselves concerning this atrocity that is hidden within our houses of worship. In addition, I also recommend this book for self-study as well as group Bible study.

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The main reason I applaud this work is the fact that Pastor Crippen isn’t afraid to “call a spade a spade.” He says what needs to be said, and isn’t concerned as many other pastors are about stepping on toes. There is no arrogance in his preaching  and teaching against domestic abuse, for he understands that the Christian church is under spiritual attack, and the people of God have been silent and ignorant for too long. The last place on earth we should witness abuse is in our houses of worship, and our Christian homes.

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It is important to understand the many faces of abusers and how they deceive us. Jeff also covers topics such as, “Why the Church Covers Up Abuse,” “Dealing With Abusers,” “The Abuser’s Use of Shame and Fear” and much more. He also covers “The Devastating Effects of Abuse on Children.” Personally, I am one who is suffering, and will most likely continue to suffer those “devastating effects.” They are very real!

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Pastor Crippen and Anna Wood – THANK YOU!

http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/

A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church

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Conscience (36 Occurrences)

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http://www.sociopathworld.com/

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Profile of the Sociopath

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Charmer/ Abusers and their ‘Prey’

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   An Interview with Martha Stout

How do you spot a sociopath?

“A sociopath has no conscience, no ability to feel shame, guilt or remorse. Since 1 in 25 ordinary Americans is a sociopath, you almost certainly know one or more than one already. How can you recognize him or her?”

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Potentially Abusive Personalities: Some Red Flags – by Dr. George Simon, Jr.

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 1 Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

2 A CRY FOR JUSTICE – The Abuser’s Use of Shame and Fear – 89

 3 Chicago Manual Style (CMS):conscience. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conscience (accessed: April 14, 2013).

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Posted by on April 14, 2013 in Sociopaths And Psycopaths

 

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WHY IS “REPENT” SUCH A DIRTY WORD?

By Terry Loving

Mourners bench2

“Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

Jeremiah 6:16

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In times past, preachers and Revivalists used what was called the “mourner’s bench” to call sinners to repentance.  After hearing a sermon that cut deep within the soul, a “sinner” would be “moved” by the Holy Spirit to change their sinful ways, kneel at the mourner’s bench – confess and denounce all wrong.

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In modern churches, preachers invite or extend altar calls to those who desire to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. During this time, people will publically confess Jesus as Lord, and get baptized – depending on the type of church they worship in.  This is also a time of “joining” a place of worship that is to your liking.

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The mourner’s bench has no spiritual powers – its significance is merely a symbol, a visual that connected sin, confession and repentance.  The practice was akin to kneeling at the foot of the cross and seeking with a contrite heart a cleansing of the soul. In some places of worship, public confession is practiced, and people are invited to empty their souls before the whole congregation. But times have changed, and the practice of confession of sins to God before an audience has all but disappeared.  Granted, we can go directly to God and confess our sins in private, however, this post mainly concerns the duty of repentance overall.

Mourners two

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John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”a

“In the time of John, the nation had become extremely wicked and corrupt, perhaps more so than at any preceding period. Hence, both he and Christ began their ministry by calling the nation to repentance.”    Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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Matthew 4:17  “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Both John and our Lord began their ministries calling for sinners to “repent.” So how is it that ministers today omit this requirement for salvation? Jesus said, “…It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Luke 5:32 says that sinners are called to repentance.

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mourners three

“I came not to call the righteous,…. Such as the Scribes and Pharisees were in their own apprehension, and in the esteem of others, who trusted in themselves, that they were righteous, and submitted not to the righteousness of Christ: these Christ came not to call by his grace, and therefore did not associate himself with them: but sinners to repentance; such as the publicans, and others, with them, were; and therefore he was chiefly with such, and chose to be among them: these he not only called to repentance by the outward ministry of the word, but brought them to it; he having power to bestow the grace of repentance, as well as to call to the duty of it;” Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

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“5:27-39 It was a wonder of Christ’s grace, that he would call a publican to be his disciple and follower. It was a wonder of his grace, that the call was made so effectual. It was a wonder of his grace, that he came to call sinners to repentance, and to assure them of pardon. It was a wonder of his grace, that he so patiently bore the contradiction of sinners against himself and his disciples. It was a wonder of his grace, that he fixed the services of his disciples according to their strength and standing. The Lord trains up his people gradually for the trials allotted them; we should copy his example in dealing with the weak in faith, or the tempted believer.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Jesus_Said_Repent

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Every person on the face of this earth could benefit from a mourner’s bench of the heart. At any time, we can call upon God to forgive our sins – but we must first acknowledge that we are sinners who have a desire to change our ways, and therefore we must repent. But how can we know that we sin against God and others, even ourselves if the preaching is watered down, preached timidly, and filled with promises of riches in this life? If preaching hellfire and brimstone, and repentance of sins is so unpopular – then how can sinners be convicted of their sins so they can come to Christ and be saved?

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mourners one

Although repentance is for everyone, the remainder of this post will address domestic abusers, especially those who call themselves “Christians.”

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Prayer of a Suffering Penitent

Kind David lamented in Psalm 38 that suffering, and un-confessed sin was the cause of his “anxiety.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.”

“For I will declare mine iniquity – That is, he was not disposed to hide his sin. He would make no concealment of the fact that he regarded himself as a sinner. He admitted this to be true, and he admitted that his sin was the cause of all his troubles. It was the fact that he was a sinner that so painfully affected his mind; and he was not disposed to attempt to conceal it from anyone.”  Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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“I will be sorry for my sin – I will not deny it; I will not apologize for it. I admit the truth of what my conscience charges on me; I admit the correctness and the propriety of the divine judgment by which I have been afflicted on account of my sin; I desire to repent of all my transgressions, and to turn from them.”

“For I will declare mine iniquity,…. Either to men, to ease his mind, justify God in his proceedings with him, and for their caution and admonition: or rather to God, against whom he had sinned, and who only could pardon him; with a view to which he was determined to make a free and open confession of it before him:”  Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

mourner four

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“David’s troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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1 Corinthians 11:32 “When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”

David’s penitent prayer did not include a “mourner’s bench” – but his soul mourned over his sins. Deep inside, his soul acknowledged he was a sinner, had sinned, confessed it, and repented.

2 Corinthians 7:10  “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

David’s heart was contrite and his prayer of repentance was honored by God.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

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“The good work wrought in every true penitent, is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrow for sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God’s word. Oh that there were such a heart in every one of us! God is graciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of all burnt-offering and sacrifice. The broken heart is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ; there is no true repentance without faith in him. Men despise that which is broken, but God will not.”   Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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praying prostrate1

You cannot be a Christian and an abuser as well.The words “Christian” and “abuser” are not synonymous. They do not belong together, and there is no such thing. There are “Christians” and there are those who abuse while claiming to serve Jesus Christ. If you are an abuser, you are not a true Christian.

Domestic violence and abuse amount to sin, and un-confessed sin separates us from God’s grace and hinders prayers:

Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;

Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.”

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Isaiah 1:15 – “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;”

the clay

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Those of you who are married:

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

Christians are not exempt from wrong-doing and committing evil even as the world does. Unfortunately, Christians have a tendency to see the world as “us” and “them,” “saints” and “sinner,” – however, believers can fall as well. We judge the sins of non-believers as if we never sinned ourselves:

“Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

womanPraying

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“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,” New American Standard Bible (©1995)

1 Corinthians 10:12 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall…”

Abusers in the body of Christ do not love God, and they are not of God.  In fact, their whole idea of “love” is distorted and worldly. Love should not abuse. Love should not hurt.

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Preaching repentance from the pulpit may not be popular or draw crowds, but there is no other way to forgiveness. One may confess to accept Jesus Christ, but without true repentance and a heart change, the confession is mere words – worthless.

Abusers in the body of Christ are yet “carnal” and have “a form of godliness.”

Having a form of godliness – will apply well to those who have all their religion in their creed, confession of faith, catechism, bodies of divinity, etc., while destitute of the life of God in their souls; and are not only destitute of this life, but deny that such life or power is here to be experienced or known. They have religion in their creed, but none in their hearts. Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

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Fear of God pic

“When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. When children are disobedient to their parents, that makes the times perilous. Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. We abuse God’s gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection to children. And when men have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honoured. God is to be loved above all; but a carnal mind, full of enmity against him, prefers any thing before him, especially carnal pleasure.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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But denying the power thereof – Opposing the real power of religion; not allowing it to exert any influence in their lives. It imposes no restraint on their passions and carnal propensities, but in all respects, except in the form of religion, they live as if they had None. This has been common in the world. From such turn away – Have no contact with them as if they were Christians; show no countenance to their religion; do not associate with them; compare 2 John 1:10-11; see the notes at 2 Corinthians 6:17.   Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”

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Family-Praying1

“There is no fear of God – Psalm 36:1. The word “fear” here denotes “reverence, awe, veneration.” There is no such regard or reverence for the character, authority, and honor of God as to restrain them from crime. Their conduct shows that they are not withheld from the commission of iniquity by any regard to the fear or favor of God. The only thing that will be effectual in restraining people from sin, will be a regard to the honor and Law of God.” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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Many people ask, “When will domestic violence end?” The only way this evil will end is those who abuse must first hear the pure undiluted Word of God. The power is not in the preaching per se, but in the Word itself:

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

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“The idea here is, that what “God had said” is suited to detect hypocrisy and to lay open the true nature of the feelings of the soul, so that there can be no escape for the guilty. His “truth” is adapted to bring out the real feelings, and to show man exactly what he is. Truth always has this power – whether preached, or read, or communicated by conversation, or impressed upon the memory and conscience by the Holy Spirit. There can be no escape from the penetrating, searching application of the Word of God. That truth has power to show what man is, and is like a penetrating sword that lays open the whole man; compare Isaiah 49:2. The phrase “the Word of God” here may be applied, therefore, to the “truth” of God, however made known to the mind. In some way it will bring out the real feelings, and show what man is.” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

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repent7

“When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.” Ezekiel 3:18

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“Repent” is not a dirty word – it holds the key to spiritual regeneration, and leads the lost and erring to the One who saves. It opens the door of stony hearts to receive guidance from God’s loving kindness and long suffering for our sakes. Feel good sermons won’t change hearts, nor will prosperity preaching – teaching disciples to place their trust in riches. Repentance cleanses the soul and gives us another chance to be in right standing with God.

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If you are an abuser who claims to know God, you are lying to yourself. You who are in the pulpit and abusing your loved ones are worst off, and you will be subject to a higher scrutiny in the Judgment. There should be no shame in confessing your faults to save your souls. If not, why bother getting up on Sunday morning and walking through the church house doors? What is the point? God is not listening to you.

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Except-Ye-Repent

Lastly, King David acknowledged that his sins and his sins alone were the cause of his misery. Abusers blame their loved ones when things go wrong in their lives, but David says:

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.”

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Abusers possess an uneasy spirit – a fretfulness that does not allow them to be at peace with themselves. In public, they put on a front that all is well until they reach home. When those who could witness their false sense of self are not present, they unleash their unjust fury upon those who they claim to love.

Abusers why not put pride aside and do as David did before it is too late? Domestic violence and abuse is wrong, sinful, and you alone are to blame for the turmoil within your household. You may lead the beautiful songs on Sunday morning, preach earth shaking sermons, and serve within your congregation seven days a week – but your un-repentant sins will soon find you out.

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100328-repent

“For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.”  Mark 4:22

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”

3 John 1:11 “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.”

Proverbs 14:16 “A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'”

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

What is “lawlessness” and “iniquity?” – SIN!

What is domestic violence? – SIN!

What is abuse? – SIN!

Set the captives free

REPENT!

 “Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” Proverbs 28:14

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” Matthew 7:13

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How to Recognize True (and false) Contrition — by Dr. George Simon, Jr.

“A person’s character deficiencies inevitably spawn a host of irresponsible behavior patterns – bad habits that can become easily ingrained and, once rooted, extremely hard to break.  Often, these dysfunctional patterns involve forms of mental, emotional, and even physical abuse within relationships.  And while many of the character-impaired individuals I’ve worked with experienced periods of profound unhappiness and even a degree of regret over their actions, only a handful made truly significant changes in their once destructive behaviors.”

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“Kevin says faith has also helped him, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. “What oftentimes happens is that people will think because they’re at a church or a synagogue or a mosque or whatever their particular faith is that they’re okay. No. Are you really dealing with where this emotional hurt came from?” he says. “Mental development has to happen, emotional development.”

“Kevin says healing doesn’t only happen when talking to a therapist or pastor. It also happens through support groups or advocacy organizations. “Part of this is that we have got to make a commitment to becoming allies in speaking out against this,” he says. “Are you willing for the rest of your life to commit verbally, emotionally, spiritually to challenging any forms of violence toward women and girls?” he says. “That’s the kind of work we need to get to.”

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Why Men Abuse Women

“Tony says it felt like he “blacked out” during the abuse. “You don’t understand what’s going on,” he says. “I completely own up to [what I did], but in that rage, it’s like your brain wires, they aren’t clicking.”

“He says being in an abusive relationship is like being in a drug addiction. “It becomes like your bond in the sense that the woman is like cocaine inside of that relationship. That’s the only connection you have, because there’s no real love,” he says. “In order to overcome it, it’s almost like you have to separate, go to rehab, move out of the dope house and never come back.”

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Domestic Violence and Claims of Change: Is It Possible?

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Danger of Rationalizing Sin

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How to tell if he’s changing

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How to tell if he’s not changing

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DOMESTIC ABUSE – DOES IT EVER STOP?

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

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

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GOD LOVES WOMEN? YOU CAN BET ON IT!

By Terry Loving

Crown of Indian women

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

 (A relationship with God and eternal life is offered to “whoever” – male and female)

I received an email from someone named “J” – and I promised to reply to their inquiry. With their permission, my reply is this post, for there are many – especially women – who may feel the same way “J” does. Below is the unedited email:

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“Comment: the woman in India has died, i read last night. she was gang raped. it is modern day Judges 19. where does God say He loves women, where does God say He hates the sin of a guy using God given strength to over power & beat & rape a woman to death like in Judges 19. He didn’t give women strength , He made them a target for pain & suffering. i need to know where He says its wrong to hurt women.”

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First of all, YES! – God loves women! His only begotten Son died for male and female – everyone. Also, God has given women more strength and courage than we utilize for our own sakes. Sorry, I do not agree with, “He made them a target for pain & suffering.” I understand your anger over the rape and death of that precious Indian woman. The whole world should be outraged. However, God did not rape or murder her – those who were influenced by evil – harbor evil within their hearts – take pleasure in doing evil took her innocence and her life.

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New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

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Jesus-Christ-Samaritan-Well-mormon

Although a horrible rape resulted in death in Judges 19 as well, I find that many people do not dig deeper into the story to find the ultimate truth.  When tragedy strikes, too often we blame God for the happening, and quickly assume – in the case of Judges 19 for instance – that God favors men, and does not place a premium on women. Please understand that everything that man did in the Bible was not always justified in the sight of God, nor was everything permitted by God. Too often, assumptions are made to justify the doings of man. There are many examples in the Bible where men made decisions they erroneously believed would bring them favor with God, but ultimately – God was displeased.

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New American Standard Bible (©1995)

“Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”   (devices = schemes, follow their own downward path, seek many alternatives, sought many inventions, looked for many ways [to avoid being decent]) –      http://bible.cc/ecclesiastes/7-29.htm

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Levites spoken of in Judges 19 and Judges 17: 7-13 were viewed as men close to God, for they served in the Temple of God.

“Originally, firstborn sons were designated to be the holy tribe, the ones who would serve in the Tabernacle and the Temples, and be the spiritual leaders of our nation; G-d having “acquired” them when He spared them during the Plague of the Firstborn in Egypt. When the Tribe of Levi proved their mettle during the debacle of the Golden Calf, G-d removed the privilege of priesthood from the firstborns and instead sanctified the entire tribe of Levi.

Moses blessed the tribe of Levi, saying, “They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, and Your Torah to Israel.” Aside for their Temple duties, the tribe served as the rabbis and teachers of their Israelite brethren.” 1

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samaritanwoman

“Michah” in Judges 17: 7-13

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

“17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God’s favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.”

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Jewish custom places a high premium on hospitality.

In Rabbinical Literature:

“Among the ethical teachings of the Rabbis, the duties of hospitality occupy a very prominent position. Some regard hospitality more highly than the reception given to the Shekinah (Divine Presence); others make it superior to visiting the house of study; others, again, consider it as one of the six meritorious deeds whose reward is like a tree, the fruit of which man enjoys in this world, while the trunk remains for his enjoyment in the world to come (Shab. 127a). Special emphasis was laid upon the hospitality due to a scholar, so that it was said that one who shows hospitality to a student of the Law is regarded as if he had offered the daily sacrifice (Ber. 10b, 63b, id. 76b; Gen. R. lviii. 12).”

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The old man in Judges 19 perhaps felt that he had two situations to defend, a Levite and one to whom he extended the hand of hospitality. In this case, it isn’t God Himself who is making the distinction, but man. Rather than suffer perceived consequences for allowing a son of the priesthood line and his guest be overtaken by evil men, the owner addressed the crowd in this manner:

23The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing. 24Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don’t do such a disgraceful thing.”

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beautiful_feet-5

Again, this wasn’t a decision made by God, but by the man of the house and the Levite.

In the same way, Lot offered his daughter’s instead of the two angels:

1The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2“My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

Lot also made the decision to offer up his daughter’s to evil men desiring to have sex with the angels.

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

“Here is my daughter, a maiden – Such a proposal was made by Lot to the men of Sodom, Genesis 19:8, but nothing can excuse either. That the rights of hospitality were sacred in the East, and most highly regarded we know; and that a man would defend, at the expense of his life, the stranger whom he had admitted under his roof, is true; but how a father could make such a proposal relative to his virgin daughter, must remain among those things which are incomprehensible.”

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Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

...”let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes; this was a very great evil in Lot to make such an offer of his daughters; it was contrary to parental love and affection, an exposing the chastity of his daughters, which should have been his care to preserve; nor had he a power to dispose of them in such a manner: and though fornication is a lesser evil than sodomy, yet all evil is to be avoided, and even it is not to be done that good may come: nothing can be said to excuse this good man, but the hurry of spirit, and confusion of mind that he was in, not knowing what to say or do to prevent the base designs of those men; that he might be pretty certain they would not accept of his offer, their lust burning more after men than women; that this showed his great regard to the laws of hospitality, that he had rather sacrifice his daughters to their brutal lusts, than give up the men that were in his house to them; and that he might hope that this would soften their minds, and put them off of any further attempt; but after all it must be condemned as a dangerous and imprudent action:…”

 

Movie - One Night With The King - Queen Esther

Movie – One Night With The King – Queen Esther

Neither of these situations suggests that God Himself commanded the old man, the Levite, or Lot make such sacrifices. But one thing should be noted in both scenarios, the perpetrators were eventually destroyed.  The rape and murder of the concubine in Judges 19 triggered a civil war. The rapists were of the tribe of Benjamin, and the elders refused to give them up to justice when commanded by the other Jewish tribes.

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Prior to the general assembly of the tribes of  Israel, the husband of the concubine cut her body into twelve pieces, representing the twelve tribes of Israel – and sent them each a visual impact of the horror that had taken place.:

29When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30Everyone who saw it said, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!”

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In those days, Israel had no king, or magistrates to consider and punish this crime. Therefore, it was up to the people to decide what punishment the men of Gibeah should face – the death penalty was decided. The tribes of Benjamin refused to deliver up the malefactors of Gibeah to justice. The tribe of Benjamin took a stand against the united force of all Israel, fought against justice, and consequently against the just God Himself.

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In Judges Chapter 20, you can read about the civil war which the rape and murder spurred. The Israelites obtained over the Benjamites in the third engagement. The first two times they went to battle they did not consult God, but assumed that their cause was righteous enough that God was automatically on their side – they depended upon themselves too much – assumption can be defeating.

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After the war, there was a remnant of Benjamites, 600 men who took shelter in the rock of Rimmon for four months. The perpetrators were killed in the battle, and God gave the victory to the tribes that fought for justice and punishment of the evil men who raped and murdered to satisfy their evil lusts.

Jude 1:7

 “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

When we do not “rightly divide” the Word of God, we often blame God unjustly. On the surface, the rape of the concubine may seem that God favors men over women, but this is not true. Not only did God stand for justice, He loved this woman enough to avenge the wrong she suffered. How many civil wars in our modern living were fought over rape, domestic violence, and injustice period? Today, we have the judicial system that Israel did not have; therefore, we have access to justice and retribution through our laws. Most importantly, God is a God of justice – He will avenge all wrong.

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women at tomb

“where does God say He loves women, where does God say He hates the sin of a guy using God given strength to over power & beat & rape a woman to death like in Judges 19.”

I believe I have shown through this example how much this woman was loved, and how justice was served.

“He didn’t give women strength , He made them a target for pain & suffering. i need to know where He says its wrong to hurt women.”

We live in a fallen world, and we should not blame evil doings on God. Too often we get angry with God when a loved one dies, or is taken from us tragically. Humans want it all – free will, a God hands-off policy, and a Divine puppet. We do not want God telling us what to do, and yet, we want Him to be there when something happens to visually and instantly satisfy our need for justice and revenge. One woman stated to me a while ago, “God has some explaining to do!” She was barren and angry that God did not see fit to bless her womb. News flash, God does not owe us any explanation at all:

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?

Romans 9:20 “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”

Isaiah 64:8 “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

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woman_touching_jesus

“He made them a target for pain & suffering. i need to know where He says its wrong to hurt women.”

Throughout the Bible you can read where God hates injustice and wrongdoing. To say that God made women “a target for pain & suffering” is unjust. It is Satan who hates women, and all mankind. Our world is experiencing spiritual warfare like no other time in history, and yet – God gets the blame for all the bad things done in this world. We fail to acknowledge that evil exists and the fact that humanity has a spiritual enemy:

Revelation 12:9

“The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Job 1:7 “The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

“Your adversary the devil – This is the reason why ye should be sober and vigilant; ye have an ever active, implacable, subtle enemy to contend with. He walketh about – he has access to you everywhere; he knows your feelings and your propensities, and informs himself of all your circumstances; only God can know more and do more than he, therefore your care must be cast upon God.”      Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

As a roaring lion – Satan tempts under three forms:

1. The subtle serpent; to beguile our senses, pervert our judgment, and enchant our imagination.

2. As an angel of light; to deceive us with false views of spiritual things, refinements in religion, and presumption on the providence and grace of God.

3. As a roaring lion; to bear us down, and destroy us by violent opposition, persecution, and death. Thus he was acting towards the followers of God at Pontus, etc., who were now suffering a grievous persecution.

Satan is an enemy to mankind in general, but more especially to the seed of the woman, to Christ personal, and to Christ mystical, to all the elect of God:

The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. He goeth about as the lion, seeking for prey. The lion while hunting only roars when it springs. So the devil is stealthy and does not give warning of his approach.

Evil is not of God!

satan cast out

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Question: Does God love women?

“Answer: This is an interesting question, but it certainly has a Scriptural answer. First let me remind you that it says in Genesis: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) In other words it takes both the attributes of the woman and the man to see what God is like, since both are half of the picture (image) of God.” (Read more)

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“I believe one reason Jesus may have appeared to the women first after He had arisen from the dead is because He loved them, but also because of their courage under fire that the male disciples did not show when He died on the cross. All the rest of the males had run away except for John. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and other women were at the cross when Jesus died.” (Read more)

“Who did Jesus stop to talk to on His way to Golgotha, was it not the women?” (Read more)

“Why else would these women have been so loyal to Jesus except that He had had a godly love for them! Who is Jesus? He is God in the flesh, what He was like is exactly what God the Father is like! Does He love women? certainly He does! (Read more)

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God loves wives so much that He stops listening to the prayers of their husbands if they mistreat their wives – that’s HUGE!

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”

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In conclusion “J”, please read posts from this site and you will find many scriptures that speak to God’s displeasure of mistreating women, and one another period.

It is my hope that you have been enlightened, and that the Holy Spirit will touch your heart with truth. It is man that twisted the scriptures to paint our God and Savior as members of the earthly “good ole boys network.” That is the work of Satan.

Thank you for allowing me under the direction of the Holy Spirit to answer your inquiry. May God bless you with His everlasting Peace.

Peace be unto you.

Terry

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“God does not make bad things happen, but religion most certainly can. Since the first words were written in the Bible, men have twisted it to justify their own beliefs, prejudices, and even their own dark desires. That truth is proven even more so in this film.”  (Review quote)

follow the prophet

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1 http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/261,2081262/What-is-a-Levite.html

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

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© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009-2012
All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2013 in SATANIC INFLUENCE

 

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“FORGIVE AND FORGET” – IS IT POSSIBLE?

By Terry Loving

“It hurts too much to forgive.”

Years ago, I taught a ladies Bible class on the subject of “forgiveness.” The most memorable moment of that day was the objection by the Minister’s wife. I made this statement, “When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that you have to interact with them.” She did not agree. In fact, the Minister’s wife said, “If we do not fellowship with or be around the person we forgave, then that means that we have not truly forgiven them. Well, of course I had to defend my position, and I still stand by it today.

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There are many misconceptions concerning forgiveness, and to “forgive and forget” is one of them. Unless you are brain dead, physically dead, or have the ability to wipe out your memory completely – you will most likely remember some painful event, especially when sinned against as a child. As an adult, you may have forgiven your uncle for molesting you when you were seven-years old, but you will never forget the happening.  Your growing up was “interrupted,” and you are left with confusion, pain, anger, memories, hurt – a lot of feelings that you are unable to process without professional help. Even then, you may never get over being molested – you were betrayed by someone you trusted. The feelings about yourself will most likely be those of inferiority, and you may struggle with self-esteem and self-acceptance.

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Your uncle may have your forgiveness, but he has lost your trust. As an adult, you are always uncomfortable around him, and you vow to never leave your children alone with him – ever! Does this mean that you have not truly forgiven him? – Not at all. The precautions mean that he is a child-molester and not to be trusted. Child molesters rarely change, if ever. Forgiveness does not equal blind trust. It does not erase the past, nor should everyone pretend that nothing ever happened.

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Domestic abusers often beg for forgiveness, and many times they are forgiven – over, and over again. When the abused cannot take the abuse anymore and leave the relationship, the abuser accuses them of being unforgiving. The real truth is the abusers have not truly repented! If the abuser truly repents, and the relationship isn’t beyond repair, then the forgiveness should allow for healing with counseling and whatever else it would take to make the relationship whole. Unfortunately, most abusers are not sincere with their fake apologies and tears. If they were truly sorrowful, the “honeymoon stage” would not exist.

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 While writing this post, it is difficult not to include some of my own life’s story. When I was a “busy” person, there wasn’t much time to reflect on my past. My first time being laid off from work is when God revealed things to me, and I began a journey of inner reflection. Many people stay “busy” to keep from thinking and feeling, but we do ourselves an injustice especially when there are life issues we should address. In my case, I did not realize that I was covering up pain with work, school, relationships, worship, friends, hobby’s, etc. I thought I was living, but I was missing key information that kept my soul angered. Solitude is a necessary journey.

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As far as abuse goes, I take some responsibility for those relationships that went wrong. The violence and mistreatment were the sole responsibility of the abusers; my part was ignorance concerning red flags. I never thought that I would need to educate myself about domestic violence, for I saw the madness that happened to my mother and her friends as being “their issue.” I knew what to look for after the fact, but not before allowing myself to get involved with an abusive man.

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I can forgive my abusers, especially now that they are deceased, (not by my hands). When they were alive, I just stayed away from them, and decided that they were bad company and there was no need for friendships. I forgave, but chose to keep my distance. Did that mean I did not truly forgive them – not at all. Wrong-doing has consequences. I chose not to be bitter, but I never forgot what happened during those abusive moments. I chose to not listen to another, “I’m sorry.” Forgive and forget? – You never mentally forget.

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Is it possible that we find it difficult to forgive others because we think forgiving amounts to a pardon that erases their offense completely? Do we think that once forgiveness is extended their offense magically disappears as if it never happened? Is it possible that we withhold forgiveness because we still experience pain while we think our offenders will go free – live happy lives while we are miserable?  After all, why should we carry a burden we did not ask for? We were sinned against, so why should we pardon offenders when we were just children trying to grow up? Wives trying to be the best mates they could be to an abuser? Husbands who gave their all and still their wives hated and verbally abused them. Why should we forgive what we feel is unforgivable?

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Before I state reasons why we should forgive, I repeat – “You will never forget.” There will always be triggers, a movie – a comment – a song – painful experiences others share, etc. Something will always remind you of the traumatic experience(s) that you try to forget. You will remember them for they will make you a “different” person from the person you long to be. You will have inner struggles, emotionally and you will have highs and lows when it comes to happiness. This may not be the case for everyone, but it happens to most people. Abuse changes a person from the inside out.

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On a personal note, I find myself having to forgive my mother over and over again. Whenever I come to the conclusion that she was a wreck, I forgive her. Then again, as repressed memories surface, I am angry and appalled all over again. So I find myself on this crazy cycle of anger, forgive, remember, anger, forgive and it may always be this way. The most important thing is to not allow myself to become bitter. I will mention this again in a few.

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Why should we forgive? Because if we expect and hope for forgiveness of our own trespasses, we must forgive people of theirs:

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Geneva Study Bible

{4} For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

(4) They that forgive wrongs, to them sins are forgiven, but revenge is prepared for them that take revenge.

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I interpret the “forgive and forget” concept this way. You will never mentally forget, but the forgetting should involve not holding a grudge to the point of seeking revenge. When offenses remain at the forefront of our thoughts, we cannot see our way clearly to release our pain into the Hands of a loving Father. Instead, we become bitter, angry with God, and unleash our pain onto those who are closest to us. We want blood!

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We become angry with God and discount the fact that we live in a fallen world, ruled by the god of this world. Yes, God saw what happened to you, to me, to everyone that was sinned against, and will be sinned against. Surely He will avenge:

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”

Deuteronomy 32:35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

Our responsibility is to forgive – release the pain, and trust that God will heal our wounds so that we can move on. We are admonished to not allow bitter roots to grow within our hearts.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;”

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil.” Psalm 37:8

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

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Wesley’s Notes

“4:31 Let all bitterness – The height of settled anger, opposite to kindness, ver.32. And wrath – Lasting displeasure toward the ignorant, and them that are out of the way, opposite to tenderheartedness. And anger – The very first risings of disgust at those that injure you, opposite to forgiving one another. And clamour – Or bawling. I am not angry, says one; but it is my way to speak so. Then unlearn that way: it is the way to hell. And evil speaking – Be it in ever so mild and soft a tone, or with ever such professions of kindness. Here is a beautiful retrogradation, beginning with the highest, and descending to the lowest, degree of the want of love.”

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“Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.” Job 21:25

Forgiveness is for our own good, so that we can go on with our lives. Bitterness of soul robs us of the opportunity to begin our lives afresh, on our own terms. Those who sinned against us were unable to take away our free will. We still have the opportunity to choose – be healed, or continue to be angry which leads to bitterness. You will live, but “never having enjoyed anything good.”

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New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (to be moved, or to fall)

Forgiveness on our part is a releasing. Only God can truly forgive our transgressions:

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25

Again in Hebrews 8:12:

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

“4. If people are ever pardoned, they must come to God – and to God alone. They must come, not to justify themselves, but to confess their crimes. And they must come with a willingness that God should pardon them on just such terms as he pleases; at just such a time as he pleases; and solely with a view to the promotion of his own glory. Unless they have this feeling, they never can be forgiven, nor should they be forgiven.”  Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Not everyone will repent of wrong deeds. Because abusers move on with their lives without righting a wrong, they erroneously conclude that what was done is done, and no there is need to look back. However, a day of reckoning is coming:

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

Also, Matthew 12:36:

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”

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In conclusion, take back the essence of you, your power and sanity from your abuser(s). Spending time wondering if they will ever be punished is a waste of precious life. If we wallow in pity and anger, abusers win – and they still have power over our lives. I admonish myself when I feel like giving up that “I cannot let them win.” Besides, I don’t know how to give up, God has placed a gift and talents within my soul. I enjoy employing them, especially to help others. I can never figure out what I would do if I gave up anyway. I conclude that quitting life is not my destiny. God does not desire failure for your life as well.

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 My mother is deceased, so I cannot ask her, “Why?” Perhaps God in His infinite Wisdom waited until she died to reveal many things to me. On the one hand I am glad that I cannot confront her, for I would not want to dishonor God by dishonoring her, although my pain says she deserves it. So I press along, looking forward with hope, and walking with Hope. Some glad morning, a new day will dawn, and God shall wipe away my pain. Until then, God soothes my soul when I help others in His name.

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I have learned to detach from this world, and in many cases – not voluntarily. Therefore, I am at peace in spite of the memories that I wish to forget. Serving my Lord is more important to me than the things that happened in my life. My Father promised a reward, and that is what comforts me. I will never forget, but I forgive trespasses as I ask that God forgives mine.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Peace be unto you.

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“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”  Matthew 16:27

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

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WILL GOD PUNISH MY ABUSER?

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Why Do Victims Start To Mirror Their Abuser’s Behavior?

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HE BEATS ME – BUT HE IS A GOOD MAN!

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

 

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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