A Cry For Justice

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

The Matron of Matthew 18

This post was written by our reader who goes by the name Friend of the Oppressed. Thanks, Friend! 

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17

matron

  1. A married woman, especially one who is mature and staid or dignified and has an established social position.
  2. A woman who has charge of the domestic affairs of a hospital, prison, or other institution.
  3. A woman serving as a guard, warden, or attendant for women or girls, as in a prison.

Do you know The Matron of Matthew 18? She is a wife in the church and has the “ministry” of confronting others with their sins. She insists to know all the details so she may properly condemn and crush with the full weight of the law. She gossips under the guise of prayer requests. She knows what is best for “you.” She feels entitled to declare whether or not another is saved. She is harsh, unloving and demanding that others obey her “scriptural” rebuke. If one disagrees with her correction or refuses to listen to her harassment she brings her scorn like hell hath no fury. She is pleased to tell how one has failed to persevere.

The Matron self-righteously engages in hate-filled argumentation against other religions, abortion and gays instead of dispensing the truth in love and respect. It seems as if she delights in the idea of sinners going to hell. She shackles individuals in bondage to legalism. And she demands the burden of sin be placed upon the saints rather than on the Redeemer who bore sin once and for all; and in Whose name, the name of Jesus, there is no condemnation.

She hard-heartedly tells those in abusive marriages with or without adultery that “God HATES divorce!” because she hates. Rather than weep with those in oppressive, abusive marriages she dismisses their pleas and says such things as

“I pray you will obey the Word, not seek divorce, even if it means you don’t get a life of happiness.”

“If God wants to use your husband or wife to end your life, your life does not matter.” “To suffer and die ‘for Christ’ in your marriage may be required of you.“

What matters in her hate-filled, bitter ideology is marriage at ALL costs. Even if that cost is the life of a husband or wife and children to the insidious, murderous ways of an abuser, an abuser like her.

She repels the unsaved and the saved alike from Jesus. Dressed in her garments of sheep’s wool, she is a minister of Satan the destroyer. She is the epitome of cold orthodoxy without love.

She is the Matron of Mathew 18.

60 Comments

  1. Wendell G

    ““If God wants to use your husband or wife to end your life, your life does not matter.” “To suffer and die ‘for Christ’ in your marriage may be required of you.“”

    I recently asked a friend of mine (a doctoral candidate at a very liberal theology school) what the early church fathers felt about divorce for abuse, and I was astounded when he told me that a number looked on staying in an abusive situation as a form of desirable martyrdom! It astounds me that this attitude still exists.

    What a warped mind these people must have! The Greek word for martyr means witness and true martyrs have been great witnesses to faith. A number of people have been saved by watching the faithful stand up under persecution FOR THEIR FAITH. What people who have the attitude described above is a lack of understanding that staying in an abusive situation is not a witness to the abuser. Chances are, they will never admire the “faith” and “perseverance” of their victim and come to Christ. The victim isn’t being martyred because they love Christ. They are being abused because of the sick, controlling mind of a deranged individual who cares for nothing but him/herself, even if the abuse is couched in spiritual terms!

    Oh, that quote really got my dander up!

    • Anne

      It was never presented to me that the witness was intended for the abuser but for others on the outside who happened to be watching.

      • Brenda R

        That’s the way it should be, but well meaning people who think their way is the only right interpretation of God’s word seem to miss the point. Abuser’s are in the wrong and the victim is not causing their behavior.

      • Anne

        But either way the results were still that the person abused was expected to stay in the situation and endure.

      • Yes, I got the same. As I said- the few unbelievers who I did talk to and try to use the situation as a witness thought I was nuts. Because it was nuts.

        “Come worship a God who will make you suffer for no good reason except a merciless religious law”. How is THAT attractive OR the Gospel?

        It isn’t either.

      • Barnabasintraining

        “Come worship a God who will make you suffer for no good reason except a merciless religious law”. How is THAT attractive OR the Gospel?

        It isn’t either.

        Boom.

      • Anne

        As a child I watched a woman stay in an abusive horrible marriage. I didn’t understand a lot of it of course, but even as a kid I knew it was bad. It did shape my faith. It was a witness to me. I don’t know what to do with that now. And then there are the books. Seems like so many of the books I read had women in horrible marriages/relationships but they choose to honor God. I felt like those really did serve as a testimony to me.

        But then look where I am. So maybe there were more of a negative influence and I’ve only mistaken them as a positive all this time. Maybe if the woman had made the opposite choice it would have been an even greater testimony/witness.

        The whole thing confuses me.

        I’m still very much torn on this. I WANT to believe I can leave and never go back. I don’t want to endure another moment of what I already lived with. Yet I do feel bound to the belief there isn’t really an option to leave. So I read here and other places desperately wanting to be convinced otherwise only to end up in the same spot every time.

  2. Anonymous

    What is amazing here, is that if the abuser attempted to murder the woman and her children, killing the children but the woman survived; and later the courts came back and blamed the woman, because she stayed in the abuse and did not seek to get away and protect herself and her children; does anyone here, really believe that anyone from the Church, the matron in particular, would come to the victim’s aid, and take the blame, saying that they were the reason she stayed? Would any of them take the criminal punishment for her? My vote is a big “no”. They would join the forces against her and then say, “Well, we had no idea that it was THAT bad…geesh…how could WE have known?”

    People who behave the way described in this post, to me, are like the woman who followed Paul around making her announcement about him until he finally became so annoyed, he turned and rebuked the demon and it came out of her. You could always try that Friend of the Oppressed! Then you would be living up to your name, because truly “matron” is oppressed and in bondage to false teaching about our precious, loving, delivering Savior.

    • Just Me

      Very well said, Anon.

  3. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    I hope you don’t mind my adding an actually tame example of some of this. I think concrete examples help me and others put words to what we went through. This was an email exchange with a lay counselor that helped me for the first year. [Note from JeffC – The lay counselor’s words have been put into italics for clarity of who is speaking. SS – be sure to tell me if I did not correctly identify the counselor’s words and your words. JeffC]

    “I believe initiating divorce shows no faith in God and His timing. I believe it shows that you do not believe God works in the lives of His children.

    But, how you decide to proceed is your choice and between you and God. Scripturally speaking we KNOW God hates divorce and no where does it say He loves it or that it IS the answer.

    The only thing stated is that one who has gotten a divorce because of marital infidelity is not considered an adulterer.

    Not the same things as condoning divorce.

    I am looking to Scripture for answers, not other people, not websites, not my feelings. Scripture. I am confident in all that I have said and still say.

    I do not believe you should divorce ex-idiot. I believe that the calling to be above reproach to your children – including how you judge their father is one that will bring great glory to God and a chance to see His hand work at restoring relationships. He has said he gives life to the dry bones, restores the years or the locust, and makes all things new. To show your children the reality of this is an amazing gift of showing them God in the flesh.

    Jesus showed us love by sacrificing everything for a people who do not deserve it. I have committed adultery in my heart towards God so many times. I am thankful He extends me grace to grow and to have the time to listen to Him and to walk the challenging path to see where I have been faulty in my thinking, where I have sinned, and to give me a chance to repent.

    Jesus came as an example. Yes, I believe it would be wrong for you to divorce ex-idiot. I believe that you would miss out on an incredible opportunity to live out the reality of being like Jesus for your kids.

    But we all make choices where we choose a different path than following in His footsteps.

    So, this is your decision. You know where I stand.

    On Sep 6, 2011, at 8:33 AM, StillScared but getting angry wrote:

    I have not said I have problems initiating the divorce..you have said you don’t think I should but I haven’t agree to that.
    On Sep 6, 2011, at 8:24 AM, lay counselor wrote:

    That is a wrong and judgmental statement. You are not the Holy Spirit and I do not need to break a confidence because you demand it.

    You do NOT know what ex-idiot is going through right now. You do not know many things. BUT, you HAVE hardened your heart and decided to turn away from God working in ex-idiot.

    Will ex-idiot get to a place where your marriage is restored? Don’t know. BUT, if ex-idiot gets to a place where he is showing a dependence on God to his children, you should want that. But right now, you want him out of your life.

    Your responses lately have sent a very loud message to me that you want a divorce but you do not want to be the initiator.

    Either seek to see what God is doing or quit. But don’t go judging ex-idiot anymore because you do not know his heart anymore than he knows yours.

    If you argue with me that you do, then you are doing exactly what he has done for the last ten months – telling the rest of us what your heart really means.”

    • Jeff Crippen

      SS – this “lay counselor” is appropriately named, – a counselor that needs to lay it to rest and close their mouth. This is wicked, wicked, self-righteous and evil stuff. The words drip with arrogance. What a high pedestal the “counselor” has put themselves on, and I can almost see them standing up high above you, looking down on you, the mere peon. This stuff makes me want to scream, fashion a whip of cords, and drive the wicked out of the temple.

      • Still Scared( but getting angry)

        and this was more of her milder rebukes to me…sigh. She was helpful with somethings.

    • Barnabasintraining

      This stuff is all out of the same play book. All I can do is sit here and shake my head at this. I hope to have more to say on this later but this is just brutal and vicious. This is tame? Wow. I don’t know what this is, but the person who said this is no counselor.

    • wow that is pretty incredible. so she was telling you with absolute authority that YOU don’t have a CLUE what is going on in your husband’s mind? When you lived under his abuse for how many years?
      the arrogance in her tone is revolting….she was being completely duped by listening to ex-idot’s ranting and lies – and then takes it upon herself to blast you like that. 😦
      so glad you’re not listening to those fools anymore!!!

      • K

        This is sickening, SS. Really wicked stuff. Good for you for getting out from under it. I also had a Christian counselor who would tell me, “Well, this matter is between you and God, BUT….”

      • Barnabasintraining

        “Well, this matter is between you and God, BUT….”

        Yeah. How about that?

      • Brenda R

        It’s amazing so many people miss that very valid point.

      • Still Scared( but getting angry)

        Yes she told me how she thought she had gotten through to him and he was starting to understand . Yep! You go girl, you somehow found the right words to communicate that I haven’t tried in 17 years…, well, 14, I stopped trying.

  4. Brenda R

    I know a few like that. I don’t understand it at all. It is as if they don’t feel that they have ever sinned, need Christ or have appointed themselves His personal messenger. The word says to love the sinner, hate the sin. Who is sinning here, the one who is trying to protect themselves and perhaps children or the one abusing them? People need to get that beam out of their own eye. The hate these folks are dishing out is no where near Christ-like. He loves all of us.
    I can’t believe that we are ever called to be martyred by our own family. Anyone who would advise a person to go back to an abusive relationship and labeled sinful for leaving needs to stop and pray about that. Perhaps even think about living in those circumstances for just a little while. We are not all fortunate enough to live in a model Christian home. When I think about it, I wonder if these people who would have an abused person return to their abuser without question aren’t being an abuser themselves not only to that individual but to their own families.

  5. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  6. Jim

    I was in a Catholic church seven or eight years ago and the priest was talking about a French priest who was a missionary in North America in the French colonial period. He was tortured and seriously disfigured by an Indian chief. He left to go back to France and the Indian chief promised him he would kill him. He raised money for the mission in France and went back. Sure enough, the guy was good to his word, he killed him.

    But- here’s where the story gets inspiring!- the Indian chief later got baptized and used the name of the priest he tortured and killed. So I guess we are supposed to submit to severe pain, injury and death in the hope it might result in conversion. (I wonder how sincere the Indian was- I think he figured the white man wasn’t going away, was getting more powerful and it might be a good idea to take advantage of this forgiveness thing before they decided to go after him for killing the priest.)

    This story isn’t about abuse but I think it illustrates the pervasiveness of idea that people- other people- need to passively suffer under evil treatment.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Jim – in native cultures around the world, I think you will find that “using the name” of someone or something has a lot more pagan significance than Christian. What, really, did that “baptism” and name-change mean to the Indian chief? The Lord knows. But we should not assume that this is some awesome story of sacrifice that led to the saving of a soul. It may well be far more tragic than that.

    • K

      What an interesting story. How odd to take as the moral of the story, “let people hurt you, it might lead them to Christ!”

    • There is always the story of Jim Elliot who is an amazing picture of self sacrifice for the sake of evangelism. I believe in what he did and think it was a powerful and potent gift. But it was his choice to make, between him and God for the clear sake of the Gospel. He died so that others might have life. He didn’t know he was going to die, but he was willing to take the risk.

      I’ve said before that my church used to tell me that my mission to suffer was the same as a missionary. But it’s not the same. I was not sharing the Gospel in my marriage (the few unbelievers who knew my situation and I tried to liken it to Jesus’ sacrifice thought I was nuts- and they were right) and a missionary has a choice. They do what they do out of conviction, not by being bound into suffering by the church it by doctrine.

      • K

        I admire Jim Elliot and the missionaries that died with him. Although they knew that they were going into a dangerous situation, they did everything they could to try and prevent harm to themselves and others. They made plans, brought gifts, learned some of the native language and customs, etc. They weren’t there to suffer for the sake of suffering.

        Sending an abused person back to a dangerous spouse and telling them just to put up with it “for Christ” is not the same thing.

  7. thepersistentwidow

    Still Scared,

    This is so outrageous! This counselor condemned you for judging ex-idiot, and in the same breath, judged you harshly and falsely. The counselor judged the quality of your faith, labeled you demanding for stating your position, and decided that you have hardened your heart, etc. How wicked! I think that it was because there was no other blame that they could lay on you but to charge you with such subjective and false claims. If there was something tangible, certainly the counselor would have used that against you. It is amazing, those were the exact same faults that my church had labeled me with.

    How does it make any sense that you are responsible for ex-idiots spiritual turnaround? Won’t God continue to work in ex-idiot even if you divorce him, if that be God’s will? This is the same ridiculous argument that my church had for me, when I asked them to discipline my husband as a separate issue from reconciliation in the marriage. If either of these men repented for the abuse, and changed, the marriage issues would no longer be a problem.

    Once I said no more to the abuse and adultery from the husband by filing for divorce, and also years of similar dialogue from the church by leaving their fellowship, the concern that the church had for him evaporated. The only reason that they feigned such concern for his soul was to manipulate me into taking him back. How shallow, how deceptive, how evil! And on top of it all, these ‘counselors’ get paid for this debauchery! Do these people even have a conscience? It seems that walking in the truth does not apply to them, especially when they are busy ‘fixing’ someone’s marriage.

    Still Scared, I hope that you have shaken the dust off your feet and no longer deal with these people.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      I have to, casually, we run in the same circles so I use the “pass the bean dip” response when she says something that I know will go down the road I don’t want to travel again. “That’s nice, would you pass the bean dip?” and change the subject with a smile.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      Every now and then I want to go to her…”See, he still doesn’t get it!! He still hasn’t changed! He is still not seeking the Lord. ” But I know her excuse would be because I didn’t just suffer and “stay married even if you have to live separately. A woman in my church has done that with her husband who is a drug addict for years” Snort!! She and many people don’t get how desperately abusers need CONTROL.

      • It’s really hard to not want to try and make people see the obvious even though they will never see it.

        If you didn’t die in your marriage, there was always more room for you to trust God. So says a person standing on the outside. We can’t trust anything we think, feel, or believe about ourselves and what we can handle. Only their theology, crafted in an emotional vacuum that knows nothing of what it is like to be in the situation.

        I think I’ve shared before how I got an out of the blue text from my pastors wife after I left the church encouraging me to take my ex to see a movie she thought would help us.

        Because we were obviously just one movie away from the road to reconciliation (it was that movie about the woman who lost her memory and didn’t know her husband any more- apparently it was not very good, but she knew the real life couple it was based on).

        I remember she used to tells us how Satan’s focus was on attacking families. She said it all the time and very publicly.

      • His Child

        Jeff S, I often hear this statement too that Satan’s focus is attacking families. I don’t know how to articulate that I don’t disagree with that, but I don’t think families are breaking down because of that. I mean, where people are leaving marriages because of abuse, surely it is a victory to praise God for, not something to attribute to Satan’s work. How would you respond these days if you hear that sort of rhetoric?

      • Depends on the context. I’d honestly probably ignore it as not worth my time to get into.

        I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the statement itself, just a lot of underlying assumptions.

      • Here are some possible ways I could respond, depending on the context and who I was talking to.
        They say: “Satan’s focus is on attacking families.”
        I reply, “Yes, and when one spouse gives himself over to Satan’s agenda, then the other spouse often needs to divorce the destructive spouse — that’s usually the only way to prevent Satan from wreaking further destruction. So in that case, divorce is a protective measure.”
        Or, more simply, “Families are not the most important thing, people are. Protecting families is not as important as protecting the people in them. Sometimes families need to break up in order to protect people.”

      • Heather 2

        Well said, Barbara. The church has lost sight of the importance of people’s hearts and souls. In its effort to become an example of the saving grace of God they have given a false picture. It’s really about image, isn’t it? I suppressed the lies in my marriage for noble reasons, and in the end it came back and bit me when I finally said “no more. ” Jesus came to set the captives free, to place value on women. The false church is made by man. And man has created another abuser.

        So, yes, God has given each of us clarity and the permission to leave our situations. Regardless of what the institution of man may say or think.

        God loves his hurting daughters. He does not expect us to live in lies for the benefit of an institution.

  8. Jeff Crippen

    This comment is from an anonymous reader via email:

    I have known the Matron: FOTO has shed some light on this sinful invasion of the Church. The Matron was my “best friend”. I have often referred to her as the “church gossip”. She criticized young women for their hopeless housecleaning skills, endeared herself to the pastor and his family and hung on tight to her position of sunday school teacher, advocating only homeschooling, fearing that her own adult children’s spouses would never be good enough for her kids and grandkids. She had me and the pastor’s family, and who knows who else, wrapped around her finger. She told me about who said what, who was causing strife in the church, etc. She was sort of outside the main activities while giving her critical view of those who were in leadership. She was too “mature” to give a temper tantrum, but she had her ways of controlling people.

    She became very ill with a life threatening disease. She was so fearful of dying because she would not be around to influence her grandkids, take care of her house, etc. In the throes of her last illness, she sent me a nasty email, critical of me. She gave a bold testimony of her faith to a nonbeliever, but that person felt manipulated by her “pushiness” in her witness. Only God knows her heart, and it is sobering to think that He removed her from us…for our protection?

    None of us are sinless, God, be merciful to us that we would truly honor You in all of our actions and communications.

  9. Ellie

    I have made several apologies to women who’ve had the bad fortune of being on the receiving end of my bad advice. Once I found a lady crying in the bathroom at church. I hugged her and asked what’s wrong. She whimpered “He’s never going to change is he?” My response? “No, sweetie. He’s not. You have to trust in God to get you through this.” And then (I can’t believe I really did this), I scurried straight over to a used bookstore nearby, bought a copy of You Can Be The Wife Of a Happy Husband and deposited it in the lap of the pitiful crying woman. Today, I am so thankful that she didn’t beat me to death with that book.

    I recently called her and apologized. Because I truly believed that I could and should endure X’s cruelty, I thought everyone else should endure what ever was being dished out to them. I was wrong. The sweet lady told me that she knew that my heart was one of love and compassion, however misguided. She’s glad I’m safe. She’s praying for me and my kids.

    • Brenda R

      We are so brain washed…..until we aren’t anymore. There is a difference between misguided and loving, and misguided and cruel. You weren’t being cruel, you genuinely thought you were supporting her.

      I thought for the longest time that if I were only kinder, more loving, just let it blow over, give him time to calm down that all would be better and the Lord will get ahold of him and all will be wonderful. Well it doesn’t always work that way. My Christian counselor applauds me for leaving and filing for divorce. My pastor and his wife, not so much. It is how it is affecting him. What I am doing to him. We need to sit down together. Complete insanity.

    • otter

      This is such a great post. So many of us try to counsel from our perspective and experiences (we’re all guilty). I know one of my friends who was stuck in an abusive marriage went back to her ex after safely leaving because some people in the church spoke to her about working through their own marriage problems. Unfortunately, they really didn’t understand true abuse and mental illness (their problems dealt with sane spouses who saw reality clearly). No one really can empathize with a certain level of abuse unless you have lived it. I think chronic illness is the same…until you’ve suffered that way, don’t judge someone’s pain. It’s far better to love the person, listen to them, give them scripture of how they are loved by God, tell them you are praying for them, and direct them to a counselor who you feel understands abuse and is guided strongly by the Spirit.

    • Ellie, this such a powerful thing to admit to and be able to talk about. I am thankful for your voice and being willing to talk about this.

      And you contacting those women speaks volumes about you.

  10. Heather 2

    My heart is so heavy for those who have been led down this path of tragic “godly” counsel and advice. I, too, believed that forgiving my adulterous husband and becoming a better wife, would be Testimony. It seems to be common amongst us.

    So I endured for 33 years. I believed a lie. This article, along with the one about the panel which included Nancy De Moss, shows how little anyone knows who has never endured abuse, adultery, abandonment and other sins which crush our very soul.

    I have said that I defy anyone to walk in my shoes and have the audacity to judge me.

    What I don’t understand is some are continuing to attend these churches and listen to these “well meaning and godly” people.

    They need to be left behind, and fast because to remain only causes more intense guilt and confusion. That is definitely NOT of God.

    I have been able to see some things so much more clearly since being on CFJ. What a truly blessed ministry!

  11. Jeff Crippen

    I watched the video again. Yes, I’m sure I could see just a drop of cherry Kool-Aid on the edge of one of the cups.

    • Barnabasintraining

      I watched the video again.

      I don’t know how you did that…

      • Ellie

        snort

      • Brenda R

        What video are you all talking about? I think I missed this.

      • Barnabasintraining

        Brenda, I think the comment might have been meant for the Kassian/DeMoss thread.

  12. Ellie

    As someone who drank the Kool-Aid and, by God’s grace, survived, I am hesitant to call down God’s fire on them. I know how hard it is to get out of that mindset. There is so much guilt. For so long I felt that I was not trusting God because I left. By His grace, God showed me that leaving WAS obedience. I’m so thankful that He did.

    • Ellie

      I also think that if they acknowledge that our divorce is good and right, that our abusers are reprobate and have no interest in a healthy loving marriage, they might be forced to face the fact that their tolerance of abuse in their marriages was in vain, that perhaps divorce would be more honorable than pretending their abusers are Christians. From their perspectives (it was from mine anyway) the idea that divorce might be God ordained is terrifying. Utterly terrifying. Nope. Easier to tell us to get back in there and suffer for Jesus than to face the terror that just the word “divorce” instills.

      • Ellie I understand that mindset too, and I think most of us were trapped in it. I felt that terror of God possibly *ordaining* divorce. I wonder where we got that fear from, since nowhere in scriptures do we find God condemning divorce the way that our churches do! I have thought about this….and I still come back to the idea that the current church is *highly* concerned with how they look to the world. As if…we all keep our marriages intact and our kids out of trouble, and that will give us a good reputation among the lost.
        But I think we’re just too focused on the wrong things. That’s why the church is humiliated when they are caught protecting pedophiles and wife beaters in their congregations – it would be better to throw out the evil doers and be less concerned with our divorce rate!!!

      • Over and over again you hear evangelicals lamenting the divorce rate, yet the answer is always the same: try harder and be more committed. And preachers are convinced we just aren’t getting it. The problem, according to them, isn’t their message, but people’s failure to implement it.

        At some point, maybe we’ll figure out lack of commitment and effort are not the only (or even primary, I’d hazard a guess) reasons for divorces within the church. Maybe the church will also figure out that our message to the world isn’t about how strong we are. The attraction of the Gospel isn’t that we can attain great power and do better than the world, but rather that we have a Savior who is stronger than the world, and indeed ourselves. If we display a goodness and righteousness, it is a gift from God.

        I agree with these preachers that the church should have a lower divorce rate than the world. If we are tapping into the means available to us, then yes, we should have a supernatural strength and power. That is the nature of the Christian life. But we a obviously aren’t doing that. When are these preachers going to start questioning their message? That constantly delivering a “be more committed” message is not good enough? That perhaps they need to preach against, and then take action against, people who blow up marriages. If there were real consequences to neglecting or abusing you spouse, maybe the wolves will have to go elsewhere to find their prey. Right now, we welcome them with open arms and tell their victims to try harder.

        I think one issue in the church is that people take strong stances against issues they don’t struggle with. It’s easy to say the issue with divorce is with commitment when you aren’t facing a spouse actively blowing up your marriage.

      • people take strong stances against issues they don’t struggle with

        Oh yes. You mean like when Nancy DeMoss calls abused wives “bitter” and unsubmissive, all the while she’s been single her whole life. ? You mean like that? 😛 haha

  13. thepersistentwidow

    I think that there is a big difference between someone giving bad advice out of ignorance on the subject, and someone using lies and accusations, under the guise of godly counseling. As Christians, we make mistakes, and especially with the flood of bad marriage theology books, and legalistic church teaching, it is easy to be misinformed and misinform others. We really have to seek the truth on this issue to be set free.

    But there is no excuse for people who deliberately look to find fault with abuse victims to ‘save the marriage’. They claim to know the victim’s heart and motives, won’t listen to their fears, try to shame and guilt for no reason other than to force their way on them. I don’t know where they learn these tactics of interrogation, or how they convince themselves that they are doing the Lord’s work. If they had Christian counsel to give, it would be done in a spirit of truth, love, and concern, even if it was factually misguided. Such are the accusers of the brethren. They condemn the innocent so that they can acquit the guilty. Then, when they force some violent person back on the poor soul who asked the church for help, they can revel in their success. I assume that they look for the next family to ‘help’. Beware!

    I think that Ellie’s apology was a great Christian testimony. Many times, especially early on in my Christian walk, I had legalistic opinions of others that I am now ashamed of. I now can see how narrow those views were, and how easily legalism comes to us fallen humans. It is our natural default mode to choose law over grace. I think that Ellie and I can both look back and be thankful for how much we have grown. If I had gotten an apology from any of the church interrogator’s, it would have lifted my heart. I would love to accept their apology. Rather, they scatter when they see me in this small town and seek to avoid me. As I said, there is a big difference between someone giving bad advice out of ignorance on the subject, and someone using lies and accusations, under the guise of godly counseling.

  14. “But don’t go judging ex-idiot anymore because you do not know his heart anymore than he knows yours.”

    This one wears me out. “knowing his heart” is meaningless. All we can do is judge actions/words over time. When they trot out the “you can’t know someone’s heart” excuse, you had better steel yourself. You know they expect you to martyr yourself.

    • Barnabasintraining

      “knowing his heart” is meaningless. All we can do is judge actions/words over time.

      Right? First of all, if you can know a tree by its fruit, what is this don’t judge the heart business anyway? Second, the actions cannot be lived with no matter what the heart situation is. OK. We’ll leave the heart alone then. He still needs to change both his behavior and his demeanor. These people need to stop yelling at the victim for holding the abuser accountable.

      • Still Scared( but getting angry)

        Yes, I got so beaten up by her and his pastor because I wanted more than words. I wanted true change in behavior over time.

  15. “Oh yes. You mean like when Nancy DeMoss calls abused wives “bitter” and unsubmissive, all the while she’s been single her whole life. ? You mean like that? 😛 haha”

    And VERY rich. Single, Rich with no kids.

  16. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    This is another of her trying to persuade me to keep holding out. I think the crux of the issue may be that she thinks my ex-idiot is a believer because he says he is, rather than observing fruit.

    “He said he wanted to talk with D. about this again.

    Give him a chance.

    A friend of mine has been married but separated for 12 years. God has chosen now to bring her husband back into a right relationship with Him. Things are changing. It took a long time.

    You have a responsibility to GOD – not ex-idiot – but GOD to give ex-idiot an opportunity to show you and the kids He is working in ex-idiot’s life. You will need to extend grace as ex-idiot is going to fall into old habits as he tries to learn new ways of thinking about you and your feelings.

    If you can’t do that, then you need to tell him you are divorcing him. If you are unwilling to let God work in ex-idiot’s life, you need to end things now.

    I hope you do not choose to say God is not working. That would be wrong.

    Still Scared but getting angry – we are ALL supposed to leave room for others to change and repent and right now – whether you want to admit it or not, you have hardened your heart.

    It is clear in how much you are fighting my counsel.

    My counsel is godly counsel. Your attitudes are not.

    Do I believe ex-idiot has turned 180? Nope. Do I believe God has gotten his attention? Yes. Now – is he going to listen? I don’t know. We will see. I am not holding my breath NOR am I giving up. I am in a holding pattern waiting for God to show me what is next.

    I can try to help him understand what happened between he and the son who won’t see him so that he backs off – try being the operative word. If he is serious about changing, he’ll try to listen.

    God has not released you from seeking reconciliation with a fellow believer. So you need to be willing to do things – such as provide information – that will allow ex-idiot to choose one of two paths – understanding or defense.

    • Forrest

      @Still Scared. This is nothing more than putting you back under bondage and trying to guilt (manipulate) you into doing what Matron wants. It is NOT of God.

  17. Barnabasintraining

    If you can’t do that, then you need to tell him you are divorcing him. If you are unwilling to let God work in ex-idiot’s life, you need to end things now.

    I hope you do not choose to say God is not working. That would be wrong.

    Manipulative much?

    • That is the language, though. I remember being asked if I believed God would heal the marriage. I said “no” and felt terrible (but I walkways believed he COULD).

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      Yes, God can…but it doesn’t mean He will!! He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that God would be glorified. How can I not say God might have hardened my ex-idiot’s heart one of those many times after he had repeatedly hardened it himself…

      • Barnabasintraining

        Over at Wartburg Watch there is a thread where someone mentioned “shame grenades,” which is an awesome term. It comes from this article (I know nothing about this site besides this):

        http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/2010/11/the-jesus-juke/

        He talks about those one liners people throw into conversations that are supposed to be super spiritual and designed to instill shame, and calls them “shame grenades.”

        I’d say this goes beyond that to air raid bombing. This person carpet bombed you with shame missiles!

        Incoming!!!!

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