A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

A Thought for Today from Jeremiah 5

I am just going to quote a Scripture here.  This passage pretty well nails the scenario in our churches today that most all of us have experienced and which we are trying to expose.  I like the Lord’s promise of His justice upon such evil and thought these verses might be an encouragement to all of you as well:

Jeremiah 5:26-31 For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. (27) Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; (28) they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. (29) Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” (30) An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: (31) the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

21 Comments

  1. Now Free

    Amen! Thank you, Jeff. These words are a powerful testimony to God’s vengeance upon the wicked.

    Abusers do set traps. They do lie in wait. Although I separated from my husband almost 18 months ago and am seeking a divorce, he contin ues to try to control and abuse me. His abuse continues even though I have not contacted him in any way after the separation. I’ve never answered any of his lying and slanderous letters or remarks, never slandered him with lies, yet he continues in his evil ways, in wanting to see me fall.

    God will avenge in His own time. Abusers should be very afraid. I sometimes do become angry at the abuse I endured, but find comfort in knowing that God knows everything and will continue to help and guide me through this journey, as He does for others who truly seek Him.

  2. Healinginprocess

    Ditto…Amen!

  3. How do you respond though when someone is told to leave the ‘justice’ and or consequences up to God? I come across that often.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Good question and no doubt a typical fallacy that abuse victims are going to have laid on them. Ultimate justice is God’s. Vengeance is the Lord’s. BUT, just point them to Romans 13 where we see that God has established the civil authorities so that wicked people can be dealt with. This is indeed God’s dealings with them, but He uses the civil authorities. Prison. Jail. Fines. Restraining orders. Divorce. All of these things are given for the protection of the innocent. So if such a person came to you with this business of “well now, don’t do anything to the abuser, don’t report him, don’t divorce him, because all of that is up to the Lord. Leave it to Him” — then ask them if they would report a robber who broke into their house, or any crime for that matter. Suddenly the tables are turned.

      • Psalm 37

        Hi, everyone! I’m new to the post, but I’ve been reading the articles and comments for a while now. Thanks for every bit of insight. It’s changed my life. I have a sociopath of an ex-husband who constantly has me in court. I refer to him as Haman (from the book of Esther). I’m owed over $17,000 in child support, and I can’t live my life in peace due to his constant legal harrassment. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve had to do two motions and have been to court 3 times. We’ve had the same biased, UNFAIR judge for 5 years now. I know that God is greater than both of these men, but I do not get justice when I’m dragged to court over and over. For example, my ex is a self-employed plumber who LIES about his income and has the backing of the judge when he turns on the victim act of “I have no money.” I know what Psalm 37 says, but I don’t see it in my life. I need God’s promises of Psalm 94 to help me out of the prison of injustice. I pray and pray, but the financial oppression continues and evil men prosper. Does God care about injustice? If so, what does He do to help women who’ve been oppressed by their abusers? I feel like a castaway on a deserted island, waiting for a ship to appear. Every day, I run to the lagoon and expectantly look for the ship, and it never comes.

      • Psalm 37, welcome to the blog and thanks for commenting. I wish there were answers to your questions. :(
        We know that God loves justice and is angry with the wicked every day; however, we also know that he delivers some of his justice swiftly, but some he will delay until the final judgement. (Ps. 73)

        I can only offer you my hugs and (I know it’s trite) my prayers.

        Waiting for justice, in the waiting room of poverty and legal abuse, must be incredibly hard. I myself did not have to sit in that particular waiting room, so I can only admire you for your incredible strength and resilience — which you must have, to still be alive and and trying your best to respond to all this injustice without sinning yourself. I hope you can pat yourself on the back for how well you are coping with the really difficult circumstances you are in. Even if you feel worn to a frazzle, you are still here, still coping, still breathing, still following God, still praying. . .
        I hope you do not blame yourself for the fact that (so far) your prayers seem not to have brought the justice you long for. I know it can sound awfully patronising to say this (and if it does, please just trash these words of mine) but God is sovereign, and his sovereignty has an inscrutable quality.

        thank you so much for sharing your plight. We are very very glad to have you on the blog.

      • Psalm 37

        Barbara,
        Thank you so much for your reply! I wish I had the insights and encouragement (and EMPATHY) of this community of believers throughout and after my divorce. Between Pastor Jeff’s AWESOME series on abuse and the articles/comments on this blog, I really see the tactics of the enemy clear as day and am beginning to understand the intentional degeneracy of my ex-husband’s behavior. I’m even writing my next cross-motion with phrasing from what I’ve learned on the blog. Kudos and a million thanks for the important work you all do. God’s holding me with His right hand, and this community has its hand on my shoulder.

      • I’m even writing my next cross-motion with phrasing from what I’ve learned on the blog.

        You have no idea how happy that makes me feel, to hear that. We (Jeff C and I) believe that some if not much of this battle for justice will have to take place in the courts, the secular courts, since the church won’t listen. I so love to hear that survivors are being empowered by our work.

    • Jeff S

      I would add to what Jeff says by pointing out that God commands Israel countless times to do justice. It’s not a suggestion, but an order- the people of God will do justice. And remember that this word “justice” carries with it not just the idea of punishing the wicked, but lifting up the oppressed.

    • Barnabasintraining

      It looks right here like God takes a different view:

      They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. (29) Shall I not punish them for these things?

      It’s true that God will have ultimate justice but that doesn’t mean we are to be anti-justice in this age. We can’t be vigilantes, but seeking justice is godly.

  4. Now Free

    I agree, Jeff. We cannot be complacent and passive when we seek to help ourselves and others in the processes required to free ourselves from the abuser.

  5. Anonymous

    Needed to hear all of this today!

  6. MeganC

    I needed this, too, Jeff C! Thank you!

  7. bright sunshinin' day

    Good question, Lynette: How do you respond though when someone is told to leave the ‘justice’ and or consequences up to God?

    JC, helpful passage to show them – Romans 13 and ask them if they would report a robber who broke into their house, or any crime for that matter.

    Often, elders do not want to call a spade a spade. They refuse to use the term “abuse” and prefer to use “marriage estrangement.” And after relaying stories, and even with witnesses, they encourage the person toward giving the abuser “charitable judgement” and warn against “connecting dots where there is no proof.”

    At this time, I’m comforted by Ezek 34: “…because my sheep have become prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd…Behold I [Lord God] am against the shepherds,..I will rescue My sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them..Behold, I, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out…and rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness…I will feed them with good pasture….”

    • When the the marriage has been shipwrecked because of one spouse abusing the other, to call it “marital estrangement” is weasel words. It is wrong because it implies more or less equal fault on both sides; it mutualises the problem rather than laying it entirely in the abuser’s court where it belongs. And it euphemistically avoids all mention of the fact that A.B.U.S.E. is happening.

      • Heather 2

        Thank you for this, Barb. My ex was refusing to take responsibility and decided telling others that “we just grew apart” would make it more acceptable. In the meantime my pain was minimised and I was the one who was unforgiving and would be punished by God.

        It’s garbage!

  8. bright sunshinin' day

    Barb, you nailed to the wall the all-to-famous counselor line “it takes 2 to tango” with your true comment: “to call it ‘marital estrangement’ is weasel words. It is wrong because it implies more or less equal fault on both sides;” WHY do they avoid calling it abuse? A simple dictionary study of the word “abuse” may be a good starting point to help educate them.

  9. Bobbi

    I am looking to the Lord on a daily basis for peace from the wickedness of my son and his wife. I have come to realize they are sick (Wife seems to have a narcissist personality disorder). I tried and tried to put up with the wickedness and abuse but I was finally able to break my desire to please them. Unfortunately, I will not be allowed to see my three beautiful grandchildren and my heart is broken. I pray and pray that the Lord will take care of them. I pray that the Lord will somehow lead my son to reconnect with Him. For now, all I can do is “Look to the Lord” for myself and know there is a reason for all of this.

    • Your son and his wife’s choices are very sad, Bobbi, but your choices about how to respond to it sound excellent. Hugs to you.

  10. Now Free

    I’m in a somewhat different position than you, going through a difficult separation and divorce with a very litigious, acrimonious (and need I say abusive) husband.

    My son, his wife and grand-children have stood by me, although there have been some difficult times between us. My son and his wife have also had some marital problems which I learned to let God take care of, and He did. I found that by praying and trying to keep upbeat helps everyone. Yesterday I let them know that I want us to have fun again as a family. Today we had a great time. Prayer and some honest conversation can work wonders.

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