A Cry For Justice

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

Another abuser grooms, deceives, marries and abuses her. DyingStar’s story Part 2

Many thanks to our friend Dying Star for sharing more of her story. You can read the first part of her story here. She is writing as you can see in a historical present tense. Trigger warning.

I am 22 years old. I am going through a divorce from my first abusive marriage when I meet my second abuser. I have no clue what the next few years will be like.

My mother is dying from cancer. My father has lost his job, and it’s all my parents can do to live off unemployment and pay the nearly $1 million in cancer bills for my mom’s care. I feel scared, worried, and very uncertain of the future. Mark comes into my life, and I feel like he brings stability in a time when I’m very vulnerable. He is quite a bit older than I am, and he works with me. He definitely knows all the right things to say, and in no time at all, he has swept me off my feet. Flowers, sweet notes, and he even programs my computer at work to have sweet messages pop up when I log in to my computer, as he is the software developer for the company I work for. This is it, I think. I have found the one! Within a year and a half, we get married.

It doesn’t take long for me to realize that Mark is a very jealous person. He bites and pinches me, saying that it’s just a joke, telling me he’s leaving his mark on me so people will know that I am his. The bites and pinches leave bruises, and people start asking me why my arms have black and blue marks all over them.

My mother has since passed away, and, being adopted, I reach out to try and find the birth mother who gave me up. It was my mom’s dying wish for me to find her since she knew that she wouldn’t be here for me. I find her and we have many phone conversations trying to catch up for the years lost. Mark gets very jealous, and he starts counting the minutes I spend on the phone with her, even though those minutes were spent on my 45 minute commute home from work and it doesn’t cost anything extra. He also begins to count the number of text messages I send to her and other people, and compares the number of text messages on our phone bill to the number in my cell phone. He goes through my phone regularly, and when he notices the number of text does not match the number on the phone bill, he interrogates me.

He has a drinking problem and it is very evident. Whenever I get home in the evenings, he is always drinking. He works five minutes from our home, and I work 45 minutes away, but he tells me that because his job is more stressful and because he brings in a higher income, the bulk of the cleaning and maintaining the house should belong to me. I should be very grateful for him providing a six-figure income, he says. He goes behind me and wipes his finger on the furniture looking for dust and inspecting my work, after I clean, almost always telling me I need to do better.

His punishment of choice when I do something he doesn’t like is the silent treatment. He sits away from me and refuses to show any affection or love, and won’t communicate, but rather, sits there staring off into space. I feel like nothing I do is ever good enough and trying to win his affection is the hardest thing I have ever done. There are no more flowers or kind notes or sweet words from when we were dating. No, it’s like pouring water down a rat hole trying to make this man happy. It’s a never ending struggle.

Being a people pleaser, I try to keep the house spotless, but there are many nights I’m tired from driving 45 minutes each way to work, and I’m also expected to cook dinner most nights. One of his rules is that there must be two vegetables cooked with every meal. This is something, he says, his first wife would not do. He always talks about how fat and lazy she was and what a terrible person she was. I later find out that none of this is true, as I talk to her myself. She is a cute, bubbly, very happy girl who has a lot to offer, and he tore her down.

He monitors how long I walk the dogs, and tells me it needs to be at least two miles a day. It’s never his responsibility though, it’s always put on me. He often spends time upstairs locked in the spare bedroom playing video games. Eventually, I started finding evidence of pornography he has viewed, although he denies it and tells me it must have accidentally downloaded. I know better. He tells his parents that I accused him of viewing pornography, and his father called me on the phone, telling me I need to apologize to him, that he would never do something like that, and then begins to blame me, saying I must’ve been the one that looked up those videos. Over the span of our marriage, I have noticed his father is very controlling and dominating over his mother, and his mother suffers from severe depression, and I think that is the main reason why. The pornography makes me feel like I’m not good enough, as he must want to look at other women for fulfillment.

When he drinks, Mark gets more and more belligerent and angry. And he drinks very frequently. One night, he starts verbally slamming my birth mother and telling me that eventually, I may have to choose between him and her. His parents back him up on this, telling me that I may have to choose between him and my biological family. I try to stand up to him for once, and I tell him that if he’s going to be like that, maybe I need to leave for a while to sort things out. He jumps out of his chair, lunges towards me, grabs my shoulders, and slams me up against one of the square columns in our big, beautiful, very expensive house. My spine hits the corner of the column as he shoves me against it and I can’t move. I am terrified as the wood digs into my back and spine and he grabs my arms with every bit of strength he can. I finally manage to wiggle out of his grip, but he grabs me with both arms and squeezes me so hard and in such an angry rage that he is shaking. I begin to suffocate, as he has my mouth and nose sealed off. Finally, he lets me go, and I am hyperventilating and walking in circles. He tells me that I’m doing it for attention. I truly can’t help it, how I wish he would see that. He tells me that if I tell anyone anything about that night, he will divorce me. Not wanting to be alone, not wanting another failed marriage, I don’t tell anyone.

The next morning, I wake up and go into the bathroom and see that my body is covered in bruises. It is almost summer, so I have to wear long sleeves to work to hide it. This isn’t what a marriage is supposed to be, is it? How could I have made the same mistake twice? All I ever wanted was to be loved. I know that I have a lot to offer a partner. My parents taught me how to be a loving person, and although I’m not perfect, I want a happy marriage and to be in love and share my life with someone who loves me back. And, if I leave this one, who would possibly ever want me? Especially with me only being in my 20s.

What’s more, who would believe me anyway? He seems like the nicest guy you would ever meet to anyone who doesn’t live at home with us. He holds doors for old ladies, knows everything right to say, and seems very mild-mannered. No one knows the violence I live with at home. I keep asking myself why he hurt me like he did. After all, when we first started dating, he actually had tears in his eyes when he told me he couldn’t believe the things my first husband did to me, and how he would never lay a hand on me. And now look at what has happened. Shortly after this incident, Mark tells me he wants to buy a handgun. I keep wondering why he wants a gun, as he has never had one before. It frightens me.

Not long after this incident, I finally get the courage to leave. Mark tells me that I need to pay him thousands of dollars, even though he has over $100,000 of his own in the bank. His reasoning is that there was a short time in the marriage when I did not work, and I need to reimburse him for, as he puts it, taking care of me. Not wanting to argue, I write him a check for the amount he asks, emptying my savings in the process. His parents hate me, and by this point, he has told everyone that I cheated on him, which I did not. He has made up things about me and made me feel so humiliated. I just want to crawl into a hole and die.

I’m 26 years old, and I have left my second abusive relationship. I don’t know it yet, but another abuser will come into my life.

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How is the PCA responding to victims of domestic abuse? by Lynette English & Valerie Hobbs.

Lynette English is a survivor of domestic abuse. Her story shows how one PCA* church engaged in victim-blaming and serving the status quo, but another PCA church responded by living out the very essence of the Gospel.

…I was married to a seminary graduate, who was called to diaconal ministry and social services for many years. He was a deacon in our local church, and we played the roles of stalwart and contributing members of the church.

However, there was always something “off” in our home life, so we embarked on years of on-and-off marriage counseling of various kinds. The women’s Bible study at my church played a key role in my spiritual walk. As an adult third-culture-kid, I had a few issues of my own, and life with my husband was very difficult. The Lord was leading and teaching me, but there was most definitely a cognitive dissonance between my marriage and the rest of my life. Counselors and advisors were always quick to point out my sin, and I was quick to accept the blame. Some of that was good and needed, but it was a lot like having surgery without anesthesia. I’ve come to learn that spiritual growth can come with kindness and compassion!

I didn’t apply the word abuse to my marriage for a long time. He never hit me, but I didn’t realize that holding me down, blocking my way, kicking in a door, or driving erratically were forms of physical abuse. …

Read the full article by Lynette here: A Tale of Two Churches: Abuse and Protection of the Vulnerable in the PCA– a testimony of a journey through brokenness unto healing.

* PCA stands for the denomination called The Presbyterian Church in America. You can read Wikipedia’s article on the PCA here.

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Dr. Valerie Hobbs has written three articles about how the PCA has been responding to abused women. Dr Hobbs uses the case of Jessica Fore (another abused woman) as a springboard for her reflections on trends she has noted in the PCA. Dr. Hobbs, Ph.D. is a Fellow in Christianity and Language, Greystone Theological Institute and a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, University of Sheffield. Here are her three articles:

  1. Beyond Symbolic Gestures: The PCA and Underprivileged Women—Collateral damage: Abused women whose churches fail to minister to and care for them
  2. Portrait of a Deviant Woman—Vulnerable members of the church are frequently portrayed as abnormal and even deserving of suffering
  3. Serving the Status Quo

We have previously publicized Jessica Fore’s case on this blog here. And you can read more about Jessica Fore’s story at Jessica’s blog here.

Light For Dark Times — Pastor Jeff Crippen’s new solo blog

Pastor Crippen understands that the reason abusers are enabled in churches and victims are further oppressed is because of the tolerance of evil in most churches which then creates a climate of evil. He has said, “We have a plague of wolves in power in the churches dressed in wool.”

For this reason Ps Crippen has created a solo blog that will focus on evil and specifically evil in the church, including but more broadly than just domestic abuse.  We wanted to bring your attention to his new blog as we believe it will truly be a great complement to A Cry for Justice. We have added the blog, Light for Dark Times, to our blogroll and wanted to introduce you to the blog by sharing the About page with you.

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This blog is about evil. Specifically, it is about evil that hides in churches behind a deceptive facade of “saintliness.” And it is about the warnings God’s Word gives us (and there are many) to be on careful watch for the emissaries of evil who will most certainly attempt to creep into the Body of Christ:

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

And it is about how careless and UN-watchful the church is today in heeding our Lord’s warnings. As my first published article for this blog says, the lights are dim in Goshen.

I know about evil. I didn’t always know, nor do I know fully yet. But I was a police officer for 14 years, I have now been a pastor for 34 years (since 1983), and I have spent the last seven years exposing domestic abusers who hide in local churches and are highly successful at winning the leaders and members of their church as allies in wickedness. So yes, I know about evil. But even now I have to be watchful because the subtleties of our enemy are incredibly deceiving.

The ministry I began in 2010 with a Domestic Abuse Sermon Series went on to include two books (A Cry for Justice and Unholy Charade) which I wrote on that subject and a blog which many of you are familiar with, A Cry for Justice. Barbara Roberts continues to publish and maintain that blog as a ministry to victims of domestic abuse. This blog, Light for Dark Times, is in no way meant to be in competition with A Cry for Justice, but is intended to address covert evil in the church more broadly than just the evil of domestic abuse. I would certainly recommend that anyone desiring to become wise about evil hiding in the church begin by studying how domestic abusers work their wickedness all the while parading as the finest and most eminent church members to be found.

Finally, I want to explain why Light for Dark Times will not be accepting reader comments on the published posts. While comments can certainly be very helpful to both the author and the readers, they require quite a lot of time and labor because they must be moderated before they are posted. I simply do not have that time. I want to focus my labors on writing posts that bring light into the incredible darkness that, in my opinion, reigns in so many local churches and individual believer’s lives today.

Ps Jeff has already published two posts:

The Light is Dim in Goshen

If You Refuse to Acknowledge Evil, You Don’t Believe God

What did Jesus mean by “Love your enemies”?

Can you help me understand these passages in light of how we are to treat the abuser? Jesus seems to teach us two diametrically opposed responses to those who do evil  — one of which is found in these verses.

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36)

I was recently asked this very good question.  Here was my reply.

So, aren’t we supposed to be telling abuse and domestic violence victims that God wants them to stay in the abuse, make themselves available for more abuse, let the abuser keep right on withholding money and resources from them, and wait for God to reward them on that Day? You have the same thing in the parallel passage in Matthew:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48)

In light of these commands, do we have this whole abuse thing all turned around when we tell victims to divorce the abuser or to turn them in to the police? No. Not at all. Let me show you why.

Jesus is teaching that His people are to emulate God the Father. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Sons bear the character of their father. If we are sons of God, then we behave as He does, reflecting our spiritual DNA given us in the new birth. So, how does God treat the wicked who are His enemies?

  • He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil
  • He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good
  • He sends rain on the just and on the unjust

See it? Jesus is teaching us about God the Father’s common grace. Common grace is undeserved favor that God shows to all people in common. It is an expression of His mercy and love toward all — a general mercy and love. Not His specific, electing and redeeming love shown to His own in Christ, but His grace poured out on all human beings. Just and unjust. Wicked and righteous. This is the thing Jesus is teaching about in these passages — how we are to reflect our Father’s character through showing all people, including enemies and persecutors, common grace.

How do we do that? Well, first of all we do not seek personal vengeance upon them. Pray for justice, yes. Turn them into the police, yes. Pray that Christ will soon come and mete out His perfect justice upon the wicked. Yes. Pick up a rifle and go snipe them? No! That is personal vengeance and we are to leave it to the Lord. Let Him repay them.

So let’s bring this home to the case of the domestic abuser and his victim. What is Jesus telling us in these verses about such a case? It is this:

  • Realize that they are indeed an enemy and a persecutor. Jesus is not telling us to pretend that this isn’t so. He tells us He is talking about “those who are evil, those who strike us, those who are our enemies.” There is no fiction here that He is promoting. “Well, he’s really a good guy who has just had a rough go of it in life and if you truly get to know him you would see that and love him.” Nope! None of that abuser-enabling stuff here. Jesus calls these people what they are. Our enemies.
  • But in dealing with these enemies, knowing full well that they ARE enemies, we extend the Lord’s common grace to them when the opportunity comes. We don’t zap them immediately — we leave that to the Lord. We don’t let them go hungry or naked — we give to them expecting nothing in return. If we see one of them laying on the road bleeding after a car wreck, we render first aid and call an ambulance. God the Father does these things and so must we. (In fact, the true Christian will WANT to do these things and we have to take care that this Spirit-led love in us is dealt out wisely or we get ourselves into trouble!).

NONE of this instruction precludes us from seeking justice or from escaping the abuse. None of it requires remaining married to the wicked abuser or keeping silent about the abuse. (In fact, God’s common grace sometimes comes in the form of His withholding of good things in order to lead someone to repentance).

So the question to ask in order to answer our quandries about Jesus’ teaching in this regard is, “Well, how does God Himself treat the wicked today?” “How did Jesus respond to His enemies when He was here on this planet?” The Lord, you see, showed them common grace, warned them to repent, announced the coming Day of Judgement to them, and told them they were children of the devil and would perish if they didn’t believe in Him.

But He never requires His people to be bound together with the wicked, to remain married to those who abuse them, or to just “suck it up and take it.” Nope. He doesn’t.  So don’t let anyone claim that He does.

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If you’ve never commented on this blog before it is important to read our New Users’ Info page because it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog. And if you’re new to this blog we encourage you look at our FAQs.  The New Users Info page and the FAQs can also be found on the top menu bar.

Related posts: 

The Lord is Merciful and Gracious: but He Does Not Forgive His Enemies

Distinguishing Enemies From Brothers, And How We Deal Differently With Each

Dealing with Abusive Men (a reblog from My Only Comfort by Ps Sam Powell)

Does unconditional love even exist?

They will turn again and rend you — Matthew 7:6

Does “Turn the Other Cheek” Mean We Must Submit to Abuse?

 

 

The “Do-Nothing” god of our Day Promotes Evil in the Church

No one can disobey the Lord and not suffer consequences. But just as it was in the days of Jeremiah the prophet, so it is today among many who profess to be Christians. Such people sin, turn to their own way, twist Scripture to justify their sin, and then announce that God will do nothing, no disaster will come upon them.

They have spoken falsely of the LORD and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine. The prophets will become wind; the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them!'” (Jeremiah 5:12-13)

We know that the fundamental mindset of an abuser is a profound sense of entitlement. He or she sees himself as entitled to….well, to be the center of the universe. Entitled to power and control. Entitled to be blessed regardless of what he does or does not do. The god of such people is a false god created by them. A god who will do nothing. A god who will not punish.

This subject came to my mind recently as I was reading this Scripture. Let me give you an example of people who I have had contact with in the last few years who serve just such a do-nothing god. All three were women. All three claimed to be Christians. Two of them had left abusive marriages, and the third was widowed. In each case they began to pursue immoral and even adulterous relationships, knowing full well that such acts are serious sin.

Now, each one of these women told me what they were doing. Two required a bit of pointed questioning before they confessed, while the third phoned me and told me she had actually moved a man into her home and bed. And what was common to all three of these people is that there was no sense of brokenness. No real grief over their sin. Oh, they acknowledged with their mouth that it was wrong, but that is as far as it went. Compare that to David’s experience of genuine repentance:

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalms 32:3-5)

What I ultimately realized is that all three of these people expected me and our church to gladly pronounce God’s forgiveness upon them, to welcome them back into our midst all the while singing praises to how gracious and forgiving God is. They had a profound sense of entitlement, you see. Entitlement to be forgiven by God, entitlement to have other Christians smile and tell them no disaster will come upon them. They expected it from their do-nothing god.

And what do you suppose happened when we told them otherwise? When we told them that they must genuinely repent or the Lord was not going to forgive them? The smiley face and pleasant tone turned and the fangs came out! One said “Well, just go ahead then and kick me out of your church! That’s what you want to do anyway!”

Do you see how a do-nothing god promotes evil in the church? How abusers are able to be protected and excused by such wicked theology? After all, even the abuser need not fear disaster or judgement from such a god. When the prophets become wind and God’s Word is not in them, you can be sure that just such a false god will soon become the object of worship in such a place.

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Study Bible Notes are Not Scripture – A Case Study in the CSB Study Bible

We must handle “study Bibles” very carefully, always remembering that the notes and articles are not the Word of God. The following article appears in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Study Bible edition and it is also in the newer edition, the CSB, published by Holman in 2017.

 

The article convinced me that I will not use or recommend the HCSB Study Bible or the CSB Study Bible. The author of the article is Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, North Carolina. There are huge, troubling problems with what Akin writes here. I have interspersed my comments into the article.

The Bible and Sexuality, Daniel L. Akin

God created men and women as sexual creatures. Therefore sex should be viewed as a good gift from a great God. Sex as God designed it is to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. It should be good, exciting, intoxicating, powerful, and unifying.

Comment: I certainly would have clarified the opening sentence here. “God created human beings as male and female. One important aspect of humans is their sexuality.” As you will see in the rest of this article, Akin gives far too much weight to the importance of sex, and in particular male sexuality. Men and women, human beings, are far more that “sexual creatures.” At best, Akin is unclear in his opening sentence.

Akin continues [bold-facing is mine]:

This “one-flesh” relationship (Gn 2:24) is the most intense physical intimacy and the deepest spiritual unity possible between a man and woman. It should remind both partners of the even more remarkable oneness that the human spirit can experience with God in spiritual new birth through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 3). God approves of sexual relations within marriage alone, where husband and wife are to serve each other and meet each other’s physical needs in sexual intercourse (Pr 5:15-21). Paul indicates that sexual problems in marriage can hamper the Christian life, especially prayer (1Co 7:5). Both husband and wife have equal sexual needs which are to be met in marriage (1Co 7:3), and each is to pursue the needs of the other and not his or her own (Php 2:3-5).

Comment: Notice very, very carefully that some of the most sweeping statements in this paragraph are simply stated and not supported in Scripture. For example, the sentences above which I have boldfaced are simply never taught in Scripture. Oh sure, Akin lists a couple of Scripture references, but neither teach what he is saying.

Think it through. Where does this sex as “deepest spiritual unity” leave a husband and wife who for reasons beyond their control cannot have sexual relations? I can tell you. Akin leaves their relationship at second rate.

And he just keeps on making sex much, much more than the Lord ever intended it to be. Listen to him again: “It should remind both partners of the even more remarkable oneness that the human spirit can experience with God in spiritual new birth through faith in Jesus Christ.” As Barbara Roberts noted when she read this, it is really virtual heresy. This is just the kind of thing that is used, through its perversion of Scripture, to justify all kinds of weird “spiritual” practices. I say once more, Akin did not find this teaching in the Bible.

Akin again:

Though the Bible is not a book on sex, it does contain a complete theology of sexuality: the purposes for sex, warnings against its misuse, and a beautiful picture of ideal physical intimacy (see especially the Song of Songs). Below are some of the Bible’s most important teachings on human sexuality.

• God’s Purposes for Giving Us the Good Gift of Sex Knowledge (Gn 4:1) Intimate oneness (Gn 2:24) Comfort (Gn 24:67) The creation of life (Gn 1:28) Play and pleasure (Sg 2:8-17; 4:1-16) Avoiding temptation outside marriage (1Co 7:2-5)
• God’s Commands to the Husband He is to find satisfaction in his wife (Pr 5:19) He is to find joy in his wife (Ec 9:9) He is to concern himself with meeting her unique needs (Dt 24:5; 1Pt 3:7)
• God’s Commands to the Wife She is to be sexually available to her husband (1Co 7:3-5) She is to prepare and plan to capture her husband’s heart (Sg 4:9-15) She is to show sexual interest in her husband (Sg 4:16; 5:2) She is to be sensitive to his unique masculine needs (Gn 24:67)

Comment: Do you conclude what I have concluded from Akin’s words here? That the husband (because he is a man) has ‘unique masculine needs” and it is the wife’s duty to see that she meets those needs. The verses that Akin cites here in no way support what he claims Scripture teaches. And I believe I am being objective when I conclude that Akin sees the wife as having far, far more responsibility to sexually please her husband than her husband has to please her. Oh yes, I know Akin threw in the “He is to concern himself with meeting her unique needs” caveat. But I find it interesting that Akin went into far more sexual detail regarding the wife’s duties to her husband than the husband’s duties to his. Am I imagining that? I think not.

Akin continues, claiming in his sub-title that the principles he is about to lay on us are biblical:

Biblical Principles to Govern Sex

• Sexual relations within marriage are holy and good.
• God encourages intimate relations and warns against their cessation (1Co 7:5).
• Pleasure in sexual relations is both healthy and expected.
• The bodies of both parties belong to the other (Pr 5:15-19; 1Co 7:4).
• Sexual pleasure is to be guided by the principle that one’s sexuality is to be other-oriented. “Rights” over one’s body are given in marriage to our mate (Php 2:3-4).
• Sexual relations are to be regular and normal. No exact number of times per week is prescribed, but the biblical principle is that both parties are to provide adequate sexual satisfaction so that both “burning” (sexual desire) and temptation to find satisfaction outside marriage are avoided (1Co 7:9).
• The principle of satisfaction means that each party is to provide sexual enjoyment (which is “due” him or her in marriage) as frequently as the other party requires. Other biblical principles (moderation, seeking to please another rather than oneself, etc.) also come into play. Consideration of one’s mate is to guide one’s requests for sexual relations.
• In accordance with the principle of “rights,” there is to be no sexual bargaining between married persons (“I’ll not have relations unless you . . .”). Neither party has the right to make such bargains. This is a form of “marital prostitution” and must be avoided.
• Sexual relations are equal and reciprocal. The Bible does not give the man superior rights to the woman or the woman superior rights to the man. Mutual service is the goal.
• Whatever is safe, pleasing, enjoyable, and satisfying to both is acceptable. The body of each belongs to the other (1Co 7:4). Neither should demand from the other what is painful, harmful, degrading, or distasteful to him or her.

Comment: Alright, as we always do here at ACJF, let’s put ourselves in the place of a woman who is an abuse victim. What is Akin telling her? She MUST yield her rights whenever he wants sex. Her husband’s lust is her duty to control. She must give him sex whenever he wants it. She is prohibited from setting any boundaries with her abuser! If she does, she is a prostitute.

As I said, Akin throws in a couple of caveats, as he does in the last bullet point above. But the fact is that this entire article is steeped in testosterone and very light on the estrogen. What I am getting from Akin is that men need sex a lot more than women do, that it is the duty of the wife to meet those needs no matter what, and in the end what is communicate is that if her husband is abusing or adulterating or porning, well, it is her fault.

And remember now how serious this all is. This article appears in the pages of Holy Scripture in the Holman Christian Standard Bible!! Someone in charge down there at Holman picked Akin to write on this subject and agreed with what he wrote. In addition, there are other PhD’s from the halls of Christian academia who wrote other articles in this Bible, whose track record in rendering real justice in abuse cases is anything but spotless.

[This article has been quoted from the Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible, published by Holman Bible Publishers, 2010, Nashville, TN]. The same essay appears in the newer Christian Standard Bible, Study Bible published by Holman in 2017].

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