A Cry For Justice

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

These people have turned the world upside down!

Paul and Silas in Thessalonica

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”

And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.

But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” (Acts 17:1-7 ESV)

Truth and light is resisted by those who love darkness because their deeds are evil.  These people fight the truth.  They fight those who are telling the truth. They try to crush them. They attack them. This passage calls them ‘jealous’: they were jealous of Paul and Silas. Why? — because Paul and Silas were getting converts. The jealous Jews knew this was eroding their power base. The people who were being converted to Christ couldn’t be so easily browbeaten and intimidated by the power-hungry Jews. They would be liberated from and would see through the mind control that the Jewish leaders had spread with their countless minute regulations for ‘right living’.  They would no longer look up to these Jewish men as the Great Leaders who were more holy than them and whose word was vernerated. Hey, these Jews’ very livelihoods might be at stake. Where would they get their income if the tithes stopped coming in?

And they didn’t fight like gentlemen. They enlisted allies — wicked men of the rabble. They formed a mob. They set the city in uproar. They attacked the house of Jason. They wanted to bring Paul and Silas out to the crowd where they would be pelted with invective and blows. Unable to find Paul and Silas, they manhandled Jason and some of the brothers and dragged them before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”

The apostles had turned the world upside down. Actually, they’d turned it right way up.

When the victim tells her abuser the truth, he tries to crush her. He fights against the truth and he fights dirty. He enlists wicked men to be his allies. He levels accusations against her to the authorities: “I am her head but she is saying that she doesn’t have to submit to me. She’s become a feminist: worldly, rebellious, ungodly. She’s acting against all the decrees of Christianity and if you let this go on it will turn church upside down. Do something about it!”

The allies chime in: “The people at A Cry For Justice are teaching that you can just label anyone you don’t like as an abuser and put them out of the church with no possibility of forgiveness. They are violating the gospel! Shame on them!” 

Opponents of our Cry for Justice slanderously misrepresent what we are doing. But what they say does not deter us. We are in the business of turning the church right way up.

***

dark dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

16 Comments

  1. Natalie

    Praise God for your ministry to the forgotten women in our churches.

    • Valerie

      Perfectly stated!

  2. healinginhim

    Amen. Thank you for more encouraging words and personally very timely as I have felt rather weepy. Tiredness and the Christmas “talk” of family and friends is very isolating for me.

  3. sheila

    amen….THE LORD provides the wisdom, strength, and determination to press through the wicked and their jarring words, and the joy is worth the battle.

  4. healinginhim

    Forgot to thank you for the hymn chorale link. I’ve never heard this chorale before.

  5. Sasanka

    Hi Barbara, thank you, and please don’t ever get discouraged, Cry for Justice team. You are indeed in the business of turning the church right way up. Praise God for you.

  6. Herjourney

    Proverbs 31:25
    She is clothed in STRENGTH
    and
    DIGNITY
    and she
    LAUGHS
    without fear of the future

    A feminist for Christ!
    Turning the world upside for the abused.

  7. Anonymous

    Critics accuse ACFJ: “…you can just label anyone you don’t like as an abuser…” More accurate would be to say that what ACFJ does not like is THE EVIL ACT ITSELF done by abusers. Critics go on to say, “…and put them out of the church with no possibility of forgiveness”. Ephesians 5:11 instructs us: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” And how marvelous when we bow in humility before God in confession and true repentance, we are indeed forgiven. I would encourage the critics to take another look at ACFJ and be amazed to find the the platform upon which they stand, lines up perfectly with God’s holy Word.

  8. Jane

    I think one of the hallmarks of working against abuse ESPECIALLY within the contentedly patriarchal church is how utterly exhausting and frustrating it is. It’s like being a cat chasing a laser pointer guided by a sociopath. You know it is there, you can see it, you can chase it and you know when it’s on. But you cannot nail it down, catch it or demonstrate it if the person holding the remote decides to turn it off. They just “unclick” and all of a sudden you’re a frenzied, panting cat standing splay legged in the middle of the room having chased….”nothing.”
    ACFJ told me “We see it too. We see it and its not ok.” It was water to a desert. It was a real demonstration of Christ’s church- because the only people who decried what I was experiencing were secular until I found this place, leading me (like so many) to believe I was denying my faith and my savior if I left an abuser. Don’t give up.

    • healinginhim

      Jane, I knew something was terribly wrong; sinful within the church as they seemed so blind to blatant sin. I often berated myself for being judgmental and yet each day as I read from HIS Word something just did not seem right?
      God graciously presented ACFJ into my life just when I was about to give up on myself as being a Christian because I didn’t seem to be ‘bearing any fruit’. My spouse, family and the church community had become enemies of the ‘true Gospel’ and I was the scapegoat.
      The man I married was a false convert and has admitted it and yet to this very day many ‘churched folk’ refuse to believe that he is not saved; claiming we are believing false teaching … they believe that the fact that he attended many ‘conferences’ proves he had a ‘right heart’ …. not really … I know better.

    • Anonymous

      Jane, you positively nailed it. What an excellent visual… And all of us as victims / survivors of abuse relate EXACTLY to what you have portrayed.

    • Hi Jane, what a magnificent image for domestic abuse! We shall be putting it on our Analogies, Allegories and Fairy Tales page which is nested under the ‘Insights’ tab.

      Welcome to the blog 🙂 I encourage you to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
      If after reading that page you wish to change your screen name, just email twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

    • Valerie

      WOW! This⬆!!!!

      • Valerie

        Barbara, you are wonderful and the new users info page is helpful, but I meant that specific comment directed at Jane. 😀 I got too hasty with my arrows and didn’t consider my post placement.

      • It’s okay Valerie 🙂 I know your arrow was meant to be praising Jane’s comment, not mine!

        Your comment is placed below mine simply because of the way WordPress works. Replies to Jane’s comment will be placed in the order they were published. Mine was written just before yours, so mine is directly above yours.

  9. Bruised Reed

    I’ve known -and loved- that hymn since I was a little child (4-5?), but never considered until now the possible connection between that and my own personal history of abuse. Let’s just say, God has been a wonderful Father to me, in spite of my earthly parents! ❤

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