It’s easy to see challenges of the early church in New Testament writings: new covenant vs. old covenant, the need for order in a new worship setting, gnosticism, legalism, etc.
The contemporary church has its own issues and struggles: social justice, critical race theory, feminism, and various social movements that draw our attention. Followers of Jesus Christ are called, like the early church, to parse out truth without swallowing lies. Unfortunately, many of us turn our backs altogether, failing to see the falsehood we ourselves embrace.
Recently, words like oppression, oppressor, ally, gender, majority, power, privilege, and other “isms,” have been used as weapons to slander, insult, berate, and neuter men, caucasians, well to do, seemingly advantaged individuals for no reason other than their God-given gifts and abilities. That does not mean there is no sin, no responsibility for words and actions; no culpability for life. But many individuals have been personally attacked or otherwise harmed without cause.
The result is that these same men–many of them God-fearing–symbolically cover their ears, sing “lalalala,” and resist any and all issues related to their experience. Questions, challenges, or honest discussion about unrelated–but triggering–topics are met with fear, defensiveness, and stony silence.
Sadly, Satan has used those very words, societal pressure, and actions to shut down the Church of Jesus Christ where it is needed most. And, as a result, pulpits and parachurch ministries enable and empower fleshly responses of husbands and fathers in their homes. Real women are held captive. Real children are hurting, berated, and used. Real men are not questioned, held accountable, or dealt consequences.
Individuals who have experienced personal attack from outside forces for no reason other than their ethnicity, gender, status, or position ought to be the first to see and come alongside women and children in similar situations. Yes, these women are sinners. But they are not being degraded and mistreated for their sin. They are experiencing the effects of those who have been given (or assumed) authority and use it sinfully–based, not on what their wives have or haven’t done, but simply because they can and it gets them what they want. It works.
Those who misuse authority–abusive men (and women)–are not asking others to steal a car or murder someone. If that is your definition of abusive authority, you have missed the point. These individuals, in selfish ambition and bitter jealousy, use their position and resources to sin against others. Until we get that right, we will continue to mislead and misunderstand the construct of abuse and oppression in the home.
Perhaps you struggle to identify, verbalize, and act on domestic abuse because of the onslaught against you personally. You are afraid. Hurt. Threatened. Confused.
Welcome. This is the world of abusive power and control. Let go of your fear and join us. We’d love to have you and serve alongside you instead of feeling like we’re against you.
Jump off the bandwagon of society’s accusations and jump into the gospel. Seek truth. Believe truth. Speak and embrace truth.
Seek Jesus. Believe Jesus. Speak and embrace Jesus.
And with truth, you will find freedom–freedom for yourself, and the ability to shine light on others.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I am testifying about Myself, My testimony is true, because I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. Even in your Law it has been written that the testimony of two people is true. I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”
…”I have many things to say and to judge regarding you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I say to the world.” They did not realize that He was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, and I do nothing on My own, but I say these things as the Father instructed Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” As He said these things, many came to believe in Him.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. Now the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. (from John 8)