I spend a lot of time thinking about pastors, churches and the realities of hurting people. I love Jesus. That means I love the local church. Pastors. The Body of Christ. And I spend a lot of time with hurting people. One thing I don't want to be is a Debbie Downer. I hate bad … Continue reading Listening to A Woman’s Voice
Some view marriage as a magic portal--a golden ticket--to manhood. It's everything a juvenile boy could wish for: sex without cost, privilege without price, freedom from conflict or push-back.
In a relationship with a controlling individual, there is a lot of guilt because that individual has a lot of rules. Not only do the rules change capriciously, there are real punishments associated with breaking each and every rule. The person in power controls which rule is most important in any given moment and determines when, how, why, and what kind of punishment applies whether the rule was spoken, unspoken, real or imagined.
Compare biblical misunderstanding with Amnesty International's Report on Torture (New York: Farra, Strauss, and Giroux), 1973 following the Vietnam War. Albert Biderman, a psychologist, studied the methods foreign armies used to extract false confessions from prisoners of war. You may be surprised at the similarities.
Where sin is involved, we should not be surprised but, instead, should expect the following responses. It is only by God's grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we run to Him when we sin.
So when we clean or cover up another's sin and remove consequences and the opportunity/need for repentance, we are not serving them. We may be serving ourselves without realizing it. We are not working with God, but against Him.
If an individual is not forgiven here on earth, it's because forgiveness was not sought and repentance was not actualized. If that sin is not paid for and loosed on earth by those who experienced it, it is not forgiven in Heaven. It has never been owned, confessed, forsaken.
A man who uses his wife to exalt himself competes with God. As God's bond-servants may we expose blasphemy and wickedness that opposes Jesus, the Lamb that was slain, the One who alone is worthy "To receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
We call out idolatrous behavior so that others may see the person of Jesus Christ exhibited in our churches and congregations--the holiness, reverence, and love He has for His own. We do not obey for our own sakes, but to make Him known. Hiding the idolatrous, divisive, destructive brother in our midst is not loving for that individual, his wife, children, or the local church. It's time we took a hard look at repentance.
It's awkward when a couple is no longer a couple. How can church and family members respond, especially when they're in the same place at the same time? We want it to feel and look normal, natural. We don't want to withhold good or hurt people's feelings, especially when we don't know (or want to … Continue reading Now What?