A Cry For Justice

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

Blessings and Woes from the Politically and Spiritually Incorrect Lord Jesus Christ, and Naming Names

Obviously the title is tongue in cheek. Jesus was never spiritually incorrect. But in many churches today he would be deemed so if he opened his mouth. They’d love him while he was saying blessings, but if he pronounced “woe to you” they would try to shut him down.

Blessed are you who are poor, because the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are hungry now, because you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now, because you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you, insult you, and slander your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Take note — your reward is great in heaven, because this is the way their ancestors used to treat the prophets.
But woe to you who are rich, because you have received your comfort.
Woe to you who are full now, because you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now, because you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all people speak well of you, because this is the way their ancestors used to treat the false prophets.
(Luke 6:20-26  HCSB)

It’s that “you” word which is so unacceptable in most churches today. It’s fine to reiterate the woes and warnings of Scripture abstractly, but as soon as anyone starts to mention particular people, or to say You! yes you who have these self-complacent character traits and behaviours — woe to you… the “let’s keep it all nice” brigade steps in and shuts down the speaker.

You know how it goes. Between the lines, the messages are: We don’t talk like that in church. We keep it all upbeat and positive. The bad stuff? well, that’s for the pastor and elders to deal with in private and how dare you as a congregational member (and a female to boot!) even allude to it? Keep you impertinent head out of the complicated stuff and just make nice so that everyone will be happy. And why don’t you take the hints and eye-nods I’m giving you? Can’t you see that I’m trying to be discreet and not admonish you in public? You know, you’re really putting me on the spot here by being such a persistent pest in the way you want to talk about things that make everyone uncomfortable!

Jesus said politically incorrect things by modern christian standards, and so did the writers of the Bible. They not only admonished the evil and self-complacent, calling them “you,” they named them by name.

In his letters to Timothy, Paul names eight such people plus ‘certain persons’ who are not named but their sins are described and denounced most emphatically:

You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. (2 Tim. 1:15 ESV)

avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:16-17)

For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. (2 Tim. 4:10)

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm (2 Tim. 4:14)

some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Tim. 1:19-20)

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. (1 Tim. 1:5-7)

And in his letter to the Galatians, Paul not only castigated his readers:

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?  (Gal. 3:1a)

he confronted his fellow apostle Peter while many others were present:

But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Gal. 2:11-14)

Paul isn’t the only one. Listen to the apostle John:

Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. (3 John 1:9-10)

I could also give many many examples from the Old Testament; here is one. After subduing the Canaanites, Deborah and Barak sang a song of victory. But their song was not just rejoicing; they also scornfully named the four Israelite tribes who had failed to join in the battle:

Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds, to hear the whistling for the flocks? Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan; and Dan, why did he stay with the ships? Asher sat still at the coast of the sea, staying by his landings. (Judges 5:15-17)

At ACFJ we name names of well known Christians (or ‘c’hristians) whose teaching harms victims of abuse. That is possibly one reason even many good ministers act like we barely exist. Keep it nice. Let Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts and their little group minister to the desperately wounded victims of domestic abuse. Yes, it’s good they do that. But let’s not endorse them publicly or comment on their blog because they strongly condone divorce for abuse and they name names! 

***

Update: Related post:

Mark Jones, Pastor at Faith Vancouver PCA, @Mark_Jones_PCA, thinks that when we criticise people we should name them. See his post: I am, I am, a real complementarian man.

 

****

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.

26 Comments

  1. Jeff Crippen

    Yep! Naming names here! Shining light on those who love darkness. That is what it is about. Good job here Barbara. How many, many times we have been ostracized and distanced by the big names in Christian circles. We have seen it time and time again. We have called them to admit their errors and publicly acknowledge that what they have been teaching is wrong. Silence. Distance. But we know they know we are here and we know that things are not as easy for them now as they used to be.

    • Anonymous

      “…they know we are here and we know that things are not as easy for them now as they used to be.”

      I pray that this ministry continues to make it “not as easy for them” and that Gods little ones who need truth and healing find it here. I have grown by leaps and bounds in the Lord and in my love of searching the Scriptures because of the truth of Gods word that has been opened up wide to me since I’ve found this website. Thank you!

  2. God is not easy.
    When God becomes easy.
    The god of this world is your counselor.

  3. sheisovercoming

    Thank you, Jeff and Barbara.

  4. Exposing the Evil

    Thank you for telling the truth. I am a survivor of horrific abuse and my facebook page is a long running commentary, I speak out too and am not shocked anymore by how many people not only want me to “let it all go” while my abuser keeps doing illegal and evil things to me, our young adult children and others he intimidates and manipulates to go along with his threats, fraud, forgeries and extortion tactics. It is like I escaped a sick and dangerous cult. The court corruption I have dealt with has been outrageous and only made my forensically profiled “paranoid schizophrenic, unstable, dangerous, etc…” more out of control.

    My children are afraid to have anything to do with their mom, me, because of their father’s retaliation, death threats, crazy making, devious, manipulative control tactics. Severe parental alienation of two young adult children who prior to my escaping, stepping out as buffer and saving my life from his blatant intent to kill me, loved their mother. It is shocking how many people refuse to look at any evidence as they go along enabling him and helping him drive my children right out of reality while terrorizing me and getting away with one illegal fraud game after another.

    A nightmare of devastation and destruction of all I held dear that has me living in a protected address program, waiting (like the do nothing because a corrupt judge would be implicated also…. police, DA, courts and FBI inferred) for “someone to die” before anyone will do anything or investigate. I live by the saying “It is not that people do evil things, it is those that stand by and do nothing to stop it that are the problem”. So I keep fighting to stop and expose it like your work. It is a lonely business.

    • Hi Exposing the Evil,

      Welcome to the blog! You will notice that I changed your screen name to protect your identity. May I direct you to our New User’s page as it gives tips for staying safe when comment on the blog.

      Oh, and if you would like me to change your screen name, feel free to contact me twbtc.acfj@gmail.com.

      Again, Welcome!

      • Exposing the Evil

        I try not to ask “why God?”. M. Scott Pecks book “People of the Lie” and so many others have led me to believing that spiritual warfare is a part of all this. I do not want to go through this any more. I want my children back in my life safe and sane again. I want my naivety back. I want my husband to not be so insane. I want to walk into court with the evidence and the law to prevail for once without dancing around what a judge did to turn a horrible situation into a nightmare beyond all reason. I want this to have been a bad dream that I wake up from. I do not want to be a martyr or a Job or any of the others in the bible who faced the evils they faced. I want to hold my children and grandchildren in my arms with no danger, no crazy making, no fear. Just love, just truth, just decency, just to feel safe again to do something so pure and simple. A holiday shared again, a simple conversation.

        If I had done anything bad to merit this horror, I could accept punishment. But to be decent, strong, God fearing and a mother who protected and loved her children, to be destroyed for protecting her life and trying to protect her children and all she held dear, is like my own personal holocaust. So out of control it has become like mob mentality.

        No one should have to go through something like this, fearing for her own and her children’s lives everyday. [details removed to protect the identity of the victim and her children] The Judge in ignoring spot-on forensic profiles, that their father’s side of the family has [certain] disease and genetically linked psychotic disorders. […] Such a rare genetic disorder that gets worse with each generation (a genetic implosion in my family that has my children at grave risk and their father needs to be retested) and I had no clue of all the implications until after I fled for my life and his behavior became even more self and destructive of others, insane and dangerous.
        […details removed…] Doctors have told me that my kids personality changes, due to their father’s now intense crazy making of them, are not unusual. And the court ignored everything because a judge had a personal agenda of retaliation because no judge would not only ignore the overwhelming evidence that a woman was so terrified she fled her home, but also intimidate and coddle her lawyers to misrepresent her and run the other direction.

        God help me stay strong, this is too big for me.

      • Dear “Exposing the Evil” — I changed your screen name for your safety. Please take care when submitting more comments, to not have your email address in the “Name” field. Your phone or computer may input your email address into that field automatically; if so, you will need to manually change it to Exposing the Evil, or some other non-identifying screen name.

        I edited your comment a little to protect your identity. And I also removed some of the names of authors you referred to. To understand why, please read our New Users Info page.

        Regarding genes, while they may have some bearing on an individual’s personality, they cannot explain everything about abusive behaviour. Abusers CHOOSE to abuse. The problem is their hard-heartedness and their distorted beliefs. They believe they are entitled to mistreat those they choose to oppress. You might like to read our definition of Domestic Abuse in the sidebar of this blog.

    • Hi, Exposing the Evil 🙂
      From one diligently persistent exposer of evil to another – welcome !
      It sounds like you have been through HEAPS and are still in it. My commiserations. And I honour you for doing all you did to get as (barely) safe as you are. 🙂

    • Still Reforming

      Exposing the Evil,
      It is – as you wrote – a lonely business, but you are not alone here on this blog. Nor are you ever abandoned by the Lord. Keep up the good fight. It’s lonely, but like Marther Luther said, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” Keep fighting. Shine that light on evil. God’s true children will recognize truth. Many others won’t, but His few will. ((hugs))

  5. healinginhim

    Thank you for this post and encouragement.

    After subduing the Canaanites, Deborah and Barak sang a song of victory. But their song was not just rejoicing; they also scornfully named the four Israelite tribes who had failed to join in the battle

    This past Christmas/New Year seemed even more emotionally brutal as the Lord exposed more heart-breaking issues. One day, I finally had to seek a listening ear and phoned my counselor. One of the issues I repeated to her that has made it very difficult to heal is “why are so many around me, including the church” failing to come forward and truly help me fight the battle? Why don’t they confront my abuser(s)?
    I guess this proves the shallowness of many ‘friendships’. Many used to turn to me when they needed help and now they have scattered and just want to hear “nice talk.”

    • standsfortruth

      Well, then call me a persistant pest that wants to make everyone uncomfortable if it means not whitewashing the truth of evil parading within our midst.

      I’ve also learned that if you let evil go by unchecked, as a child of God- be warned, it will come back to bite you.
      After all being a true believer in Christ makes you the ultimate target. So you may as well take stock and stand against it where and when you can.

      Thank you Barbara for this timely post.

    • Bitter But Getting Better

      Healinginhim, you are exactly right that most friends just want to hear “nice talk”. It is very hurtful. I’m sorry that is happening to you. Online hugs to you!!!!

  6. a prodigal daughter returns

    Rather than having a tender conscience and a desire to root out things that offend, wound and destroy the flock and pervert justice, the fake church roots out and destroys those that resist that evil. They are completely willing to crush those that oppose the damage of lambs while touting those words “judge not lest you be judged”. The line “no church is perfect” is the whitewash that covers so much evil that is disguised in these words “he is just a struggling sinner doing the best he can.” But to victim’s those abuse enablers say, “you can only be forgiven as much as you forgive” Their twist on forgiveness minimises abuse but they will not forgive those that insist on being heard about the sin they are covering up.

    Jeremiah says “they have healed the wound of my daughter lightly by saying “peace, peace when there is no peace.
    Ezekiel expounds the same thought by announcing that the Lord is against those false prophets that say there is peace when there is not. In fact, God promises to destroy that whitewashed wall of lies. Let us be found faithful calling it out until He appears and reduces it to rubble

    Ezekiel 13: 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash,11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash…..

    Lastly, perhaps it is a sign of God’s favor that the popular whitewashed ministries don’t speak well of those called to intercede and be broken before the Lord that are intent on speaking His truth no matter what the cost. Woe to those that men speak well because they say the things that evil wants to hear.

    Luke 26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets..

    • Bitter But Getting Better

      APDR, you said: (Rather than having a tender conscience and a desire to root out things that offend, wound and destroy the flock and pervert justice, the fake church roots out and destroys those that resist that evil.)
      Isn’t it interesting how good they are at rooting us out but say they can’t root out the real evil ones? One of the things that made me truly see the evil of my abusive husband was this very contradiction… He would say that he couldn’t change, behaviors that mattered to me, but then when he wanted to change other behaviors in his life he could. Example being: he stopped eating gluten overnight and never has he even cheated one little bit.
      So I think that the church, as a whole, doesn’t want to have to deal with us because we are not important to them.

  7. Innoscent

    Barbara, I mentioned it in a post before, but again the answer I get to naming names and admonishing the false brothers and abusers, is that “We are not prophets” i.e. like Paul, John, Deborah, etc., let alone Jesus. In other words it is not for anybody’s business to castigate wrongdoers but for…. humm… let’s see… then….heu.. who now by the way…? Well…………… Nobody! or is it …. Someone else.. ? The Whoever competent ones..
    On top of whitewashing, it is “handwashing” (like Pilate). 😦

    • I agree, Innoscent.

      That line was thrust at me, years ago. I had spoken out at a Church AGM about my concern re the senior pastor’s doctrine of faith being dodgy. The denominational head guy was at that meeting and afterwards he told me off for speaking out, saying “You are not an apostle, so you have no right to speak like that!”

      It was a pentecostal denomination and they believed there were ‘modern day apostles’. But of course, none of the ‘annointed apostles’ they recognised would publicly question a pastor’s doctrine. . . What a bunch of stuffed shirts!

  8. Innoscent

    His answer must have taken you back. Typical reaction of male leaders sticking together.. with their stuffed ‘white’ shirts.

    The bottom line is that most church leaders today no longer have got a clue about what elementary discipline in the church looks like, let alone true godliness. Add the dynamic of abuse, they are even more clueless. 😦

    • Yes, his answer did take me back at the time, because it seemed so ridiculous! I probably thought of a snappy comeback later on, but can’t remember it now all these years later 🙂

  9. Still Reforming

    Yes and amen. In NOT naming names, evil is given a comfortable place to thrive and reign. Heresies within the church are associated with men by name: Pelagian(ism), Arminian(ism). Political correctness has no place among God’s people. Of course we don’t throw speaking truth in love out the window, but…. God’s own Word is replete with naming names and speaking what many today would consider too harsh or ‘unChristian.’ What is called “Christian” in today’s churches resembles Caspar Milquetoast more than it does Jesus Christ.

    • Bitter But Getting Better

      Barb, excellent piece. Thanks for giving so many good examples of how we should call evil by it’s real name. For so MANY years I was so afraid to do that.

  10. Bitter But Getting Better

    Barb, EXACTLY! What are they doing to the sheep? Starving us to death, it seems. Sometimes I feel I am living in an alternate Christian universe. Thankfully, because of you folks, I am not living there alone.

    The 2 links you gave me were PERFECT. Thanks for taking the time to share those.

  11. Mark Jones, a PCA minister, believes (like me) that when we criticise people we should name them. See his post —
    I am, I am, a real complementarian man.

  12. Tess

    Thank you Barbara.
    This thing about naming has kept me bound for many years……As I thought I was gossiping and in sin.

    You are a very wise lady.

    • Hi Tess, thanks for the encouragement, and welcome to the blog 🙂

      We always suggest that new readers check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      If you want us to change your screen name to something other than Tess (for your safety), just email The woman behind the curtain: twbtc.acfj@gmail.com — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: