A Cry For Justice

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

A Remarkably Insightful and Accurate Description of the Deceptive Evil of Abusers

The following incredibly descriptive comment was submitted to the blog by TB in response to the article “The Patriarchal Father as Idol God.”  We are making it a stand alone blog post to highlight it to our readers. Many, many thanks to TB for sharing and blessings on her.

I had followed a religion loosely in the years prior to meeting my husband [“h” from here on], but I had no relationship with Jesus at all. Then my boyfriend, who soon after became my h, told me I needed to accept Christ. So I accepted Jesus, but over the years that followed, as husband and wife, we never developed and grew in relationship together as a couple in God.

I never really noticed my h didn’t have much of his own personal relationship with Jesus because I didn’t know what a relationship with Jesus was supposed to look like. He would pick up the Bible and read from it every now and then. He listened to radio teachers. He’d pray before we ate. We’d go to church on occasion, but never for any length of time. He did not have a passion for Christ and neither did I. I knew I was forgiven and aware I had been saved, but I honestly did not have a close relationship with Jesus, myself. I looked to my h as my spiritual mentor because I honestly did not know how I was supposed to be doing this “Christianity” thing. And I spent most of my time trying to please my h.

When we would go to a church for a short while, I would connect with the people quickly, but he never would. Church was like my extended family because we had no family nearby for many years. But it was always my thing, not his. And he would always, always unplug after a short while. Eventually he quit going altogether. I would end up going alone or with my kids over many years of our married life.

He complained about me early on, telling me I was not feminine enough, I was not sweet and submissive like other women, that I was more like a man than a woman. He was the Christian first, and knew God better than I (at least I thought so at the time), so surely he must be right. I wanted so much to be a Godly wife, to make my h happy, to please him. So I began to learn all I could about how to be more of the things he wanted…which led me to resources by the Pearls and Vision Forum and the like. The info looked and sounded wholesome, but applying their ideas of submission and unquestioning respect and loyalty, etc, only served to create a monster in my h. He became more demanding and I felt more pressure to perform in ways that I really didn’t know how. Then I’d feel condemned, shamed, and like a failure because the things I was learning and applying and trying to do and live up to, still didn’t seem to be enough, or to be the “fix” for my situation. I felt like Leah in the Bible who kept having sons for Jacob, each time thinking, “Now, Jacob will love me.” But she finally realized it wasn’t so.

In my efforts to be the excellent wife, my h still found reasons to berate and criticize me. I was a homemaker, homeschool mom, Sunday school teacher, stay-at-home mom, had a big family, stayed fit and always tried my best to look good for him, making myself available to him whenever he wanted, all while doing the domestic stuff most men say they want. Yet, in all that, I was still falling short in his eyes all the time. And I found I really wasn’t enjoying my life anymore. I felt like a Stepford wife, just going through the motions. I was offering up sacrifices to an idol god who could never be satisfied.

And my h, who you’d think would have been satisfied because I was the epitome of the all-American wife/mom, was continually raising the bar, or changing the standard, or finding fault, all the while demanding more honor to him — above all family, friends, and church.

I didn’t know how to give him any more than I was giving. My girlfriend’s husband even said he wished his wife did for his household all the things I did in mine. I could not understand how my h could be so demanding of more. I was just so sure he was right about me missing the bar, that I kept trying another method to modify myself, my behavior, my attitude. I never really stopped to think that maybe my h was wrong. Maybe I was okay, and he was not. Maybe it wasn’t really me who needed to keep changing/morphing into someone else to keep him happy.

As Jeff said about idol fathers, but I’m making it husband not father to make it more applicable to my situation:

And so it is with the wives of the idol husband. “Husband, wrong?” Show them hard, concrete evidence to the contrary of what their husband said, it will not get through. He has become their surrogate Christ. Really, an anti-christ. And such a god can do whatever he wants.

That, in my experience, is exactly the truth.

Truth Torments the Wicked: Insight into an Abuser’s Mind and the Real Nature of His Tears

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41-42)

…and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.” (Luke 16:23-24)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)

Two things have kept me awake tonight, so I gave up, got up, and decided I had better write about them. Both pertain to the title of this article: Truth Torments the Wicked. Let me explain.

A friend, an abuse survivor, told me that her abuser had contacted her after she left him and said something like this: “I am crying my eyes out. I would not wish this on anyone!” Now, understand. This man has done many very cruel things to this lady. This “Christian” man has done evils I wish I could tell you about, but for her protection I will not give details. He is “crying his eyes out” because she has called him on his wickedness, left him, and is done with him. NOT because of the many cruel things he has regularly done to her, but because HE is in this torment. And, of course, his statement is a covert accusation against her. Can we complete his sentence? Yes we can – “And it is all your fault. You are so cruel to put me through this pain.”

The second thing that has kept me from sleeping tonight is what the Apostle Peter said in a rather mysterious Scripture he wrote in his first letter, 1 Peter 3:18-20, quoted above— “He [Jesus} went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison because they formerly did not obey.” Strange, huh? Let me suggest a principle derived from this passage and which, I believe, is supported elsewhere in Scripture –

The real torment that the wicked will experience in eternity, in that ‘outer darkness,’ is most certainly not any kind of repentance or authentic sorrow over their evils, specifically their wickedness of rejecting Christ. No. Their torment originates largely (if not primarily) in Christ’s exposure of their true nature, of their evils, and of the fact that He is indeed the Son of God who gave them many, many opportunities to repent of their sin and submit to Him. But they would not. They refused to ‘kiss the Son’ and His wrath was kindled (Psalm 2)

Like our poor, pathetic, pitiful abuser whining that he is crying his eyes out and that his pain and suffering are just unbearable, the wicked in hell wail and howl. But certainly not out of repentance or some kind of regret for their sins. Their crocodile tears are shed because Jesus is Lord, and they are not.  That rich man who had ignored the suffering of Lazarus, did he cry out in Hades because he was so distraught that he’d not been compassionate to Lazarus? No. The rich man’s crying was all about him. HE was in torment. And if his brothers end up in the same spot as he, well, it was because Christ did not warn them or provide them adequate proof of the truth of His Word. Christ, in truth, would rise from the dead and they still would not have Him as Lord.

My friend’s abuser was not suffering because of the torments of his conscience, but simply because the truth had come out, he was exposed, and now it is time to pay the consequences.

I have no doubt that this very mentality, this hatred of Christ and His truth, is energized by the hatred of light by the darkness.

And this, I believe, is why Christ (after He was crucified and before He rose again) went in spirit to these wicked ones in their prison. To proclaim to them His glory. To preach to them that He is Lord, that He offered them salvation in the ark in their day, but they wickedly spurned Him and mocked His servant Noah. They are tormented, you see, by truth. 

For the most part we here at ACFJ and most all of you, our readers, deal with wicked people who claim to be Christians. These are people who have been exposed to the truth of the gospel over and over and over again. They sit in church or parade themselves as eminent saints, week after week. They hear of their need to repent and get into the ark, but they will not. They have tasted of the kindness of the Lord, but in the end they hold the Son of God up for crucifixion and mocking –

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Do not pity them. Do not be drawn in by their tears and wailings. This is not repentance. It is all about them. These are the tears of rage against truth, against the exposure of their evils, against the Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings. I suppose you might say that their hell is of their own making.

Further Reading

Crocodile Tears

Nor Shall Your Eye Pity Him

Christians Need to Get “Pity” Right and Stop Pitying the Wicked While Refusing Pity to the Innocent

Demons Thrash When They are Exposed – And so do Abusers

Do not Pity the Wicked: Abusers Use Pity as a Snare

 

 

A Good Name — part 8 of Ecclesiastes sermon series by Ps Sam Powell

A Good Name
by Ps Sam Powell
Ecclesiastes 7:1-6

Chapter 7 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

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Listen to the sermon by clicking on the link above.

Why Does He do That? – The Fundamental Motivation of the Abuser

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. (1 John 3:11-14)

I believe I have written before on these verses, particularly on verse 12, but I am compelled to write again.

The first part of the title of this post is familiar to most all of you — “Why Does He do That?” — as it is the main title of Lundy Bancroft’s wonderful and foundational book that has helped so many people learn what they could not learn in their churches. Namely, abusers abuse because they have a profound mentality of entitlement to power and control and feel fully justified in using whatever tactics they must to obtain and maintain that self-deifying power.

But let me suggest that Scripture tells us there is perhaps an even more basic answer to the question, “why does he do that?” And it is this —

The wicked hate the righteous with a murderous hatred simply because their own deeds are evil and their victims are righteous.

Darkness despises light because the light exposes what the darkness hides. Light breaks the power of darkness.

The liar despises the truth because the truth robs the liar of his deceiving power over others. Liars hate the truth because they are liars and the truth is truth.

The world hates Jesus Christ because the world is antichrist, and Christ is King of kings.

You see it here in the words of the Psalmist —

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalms 2:1-3)

Why do the nations rage? Because the Lord is the Lord and they are not.

I have absolutely no doubt that the murderous, destructive hatred of the abuser (especially the kind of abuser who claims to be a Christian) rages against his victim simply because she is righteous, and he is evil. In the world today, even in and perhaps especially in the West, domestic violence and abuse are perhaps THE leading form of persecution against Christians.

Listen to it once more –

We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. (1 John 3:12)

Understand? Why does your abuser abuse and hate you? Why? Because he is evil. Because you are not.

And it really requires coming to grips with all of this in order to begin to see the blinding, deceptive, fog cast by the abuser begin to fade and lift. He is evil. Not difficult. Evil. Not damaged by his childhood. Evil. And no matter how skillfully he constructs a disguise of holiness, inside there is a wicked, evil heart that hates all good.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

Further Reading

Wise as Serpents:  Cain is Still With Us Today (Part 5 of a sermon series by Jeff Crippen)

“Reconciliation” With an Abuser is the Twilight Zone

Thursday Thought — New Resource items on Sexual Abuse and Pornography

We have added four new items to our resources pages: Sexual Abuse and Training Materials.   These items are for women who discover their partner is using child exploitation material.  The new items are listed below with a brief explanation.

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These three resources are from secular sources

Rosie Batty’s discovery of ex-partner’s child porn charges

Rosie Batty, former Australian of the Year and Domestic Violence campaigner, talks of the trauma she experienced when she discovered her ex-partner had been charged with accessing online child abuse material at a library.  His child pornography charges are a lesser-known part of Batty’s tragic and well-publicized story.

PartnerSPEAK.org.au

A peer support forum for ‘affected partners’ – people who are affected by and concerned about the child abuse material viewed by their partner, husband or family members.

PartnerSPEAK Research Report

In 2015 PartnerSPEAK partnered with Dr Marg Liddell and Professor S. Caroline Taylor, AM to do research exploring the experiences of and impact on the non-offending partners of people involved with child exploitation material.  This published research is the first of its kind worldwide.

 

This resource is a Christian site –  much like G.R.A.C.E (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment)

Church Protect, Inc.

Church Protect began as a result of Jimmy, one of the founders of the organization, finding out that his father, a former minister, is a pedophile.  Jimmy Hinton, along with Jon Uhler, started Church Protect to help churches combat child sex abuse.  Their mission is protecting, equipping, and supporting churches to prevent and report abuse while meaningfully helping those who have been impacted by the trauma of sexual abuse.

A Common Tactic of Abusers is to Try to Alienate the Victim’s Allies

“I understand that you are giving _______ counsel and I want to talk to you.”

I have received that kind of message many times over the past few years. A message on our church answering machine. An email. A note. I never answer these messages because I know what they are about. They are attempts by the abuser to place doubt in my mind about the victim. Just think of it. A person actually contacts me, thinking that I am counseling their target.* The abuser actually expects that I am going to talk to him about his spouse!! Hello? I would not even be free to acknowledge that I have spoken with them or not, let alone provide any details!

Sometimes these calls are really a not-so-veiled-threat — “I know and I want you to know that I know.”

And sometimes the abuser’s attorney will even call and want me to talk to him. Can you believe it? I mean, I know that all they are after is more information that they can use against the victim. Never return those calls either. I think that some attorneys will call simply to imply that “you better stop talking to her or else.” Or others may even be trying to find out where the victim is.

And then you have the abuser’s “pastor” who will phone me, sometimes repeatedly, asking me to please, please telephone him and talk to him. Really? At best such a pastor is duped by the abuser and even quite likely a full-blown ally ready to eventually ex-communicate the victim. I have, I admit, wished at times that I could put a string of special messages on our answering machine. “If you are _____, please press “1” for a special message just for you.”

Very rarely, but once in a great while, I will be contacted by a pastor who really does want to help an abuse victim. How do I tell the difference? Because this kind of pastor has heard about our ACFJ ministry and has expended some effort to hear what we are saying and seriously consider it. The most telling way I can identify such a pastor is that they have taken the time to read our books (at least one of them anyway). Then they will ask for advice or they will ask a question or two and really listen to my answer. But once again, these kind are rare.

But most typically, by threat or by deception or some other manipulative means, the wicked types typically contact the friends and allies of their victim in order to intimidate them, or to place doubt in their minds about the character and truthfulness of the victim, or effect some other harmful goal.

We know. And we won’t be returning their calls. I don’t care to have a conversation with the devil.

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*Note: I do not actually give professional counseling in this blog or in other settings. I will state my opinion, answer questions, direct people to resources. I will give my opinion about whether a pattern of behavior is abusive or not, but I will not give technical legal advice (other than “call the police”). And whatever my opinion may be, I know that decisions must ultimately be made by the victim.