A Cry For Justice

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

Grumbling When Good is Done is a Mark of Pharisees

And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. (Luke 13:11-17)

One of the clearest signs that a church (and many, many of them today are) is ruled by Pharisees and hypocrites is when you see leaders and members of such a place loudly protesting and gnashing their teeth when someone, like this daughter of Abraham, is loosed from bondage to Satan. It’s the very same thing. An abuse victim who has suffered torments for years and years calls out for help and is rejected by the pillars of the church. Then the truth comes along, she sees it, and she gets free.

What happens? Celebration? Hardly.

Instead, these whitewashed tombs start their nitpicking. They show you this verse and that verse (entirely divorced of context and from the spirit of mercy and compassion the Lord prefers) to denounce you for celebrating her freedom. These hypocrites will buy their dog the best food, regularly water their plants, service and shine their car, but when a woman is set free from evil and she begins to glorify God for it, look out! The rulers become indignant! How dare you separate or divorce!

Jesus’ words to such “pious ones” today are the same: “You hypocrites!” At least these kind in Jesus’ day crept off, having been put to shame. Today’s such creeps don’t creep. They just stand there insisting they are right, and in reality telling the Son of God He has no right to break their rules.

Good luck with all that when He comes, hypocrites. How do you think that is going to work out for you?

***

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.

13 Comments

  1. Lea

    “Jesus’ words to such “pious ones” today are the same: “You hypocrites!” At least these kind in Jesus’ day crept off, having been put to shame. Today’s such creeps don’t creep. ”

    They have no shame. They are incapable of logic. And they have no heart.

  2. Alone

    Hi there, I’m fairly new to the site, but I just want to share and get some kind of encouragement or advice for today.

    I have been in marriage for many years and have been seeking the pastor’s involvement to step in to correct my husband’s emotional verbal and spiritual abuse. He has very violent abuse from his childhood watching his father beat his mother, so I am not oblivious to the possibility that one day he might snap and not be able to restrain himself physically from meeting me.

    Today, the pastor is going to be starting an eight-week counseling, whereby at the end he intends to discipline one or both of us, based on him not loving me as the Bible instruct and me not submitting as the Bible instructs. He says that submitting means obeying in all things. My concern is great because I have a hard time with the word obedience and the concept of such, and also because most of what my husband does is not biblical and he is very spiteful and I guess you would say covert aggressive with me. But he’s a really nice guy outside of the home! So anyway, this will be the role of his life time, and he is completely geared up for it.

    I do not operate on life [Eds — commenter might have meant to type ‘lies’] which he does, I am all about honesty no matter what. I expressed this to the pastor because he presumes that during these meetings our reference points will be honesty. I expressed my concerns, but I don’t have confidence that this will go over well. As well, he told me to not bring any “ammo” to the meeting ( basically, I can’t say “yeah well he did this, or that’s because this is going on, or he doesn’t do that, or he said this to me”). So whenever my husband lies and makes false claims or pretend a certain way or thing about me, I have no way of refuting and speaking out the truth about the situation. So please please please pray that the truth will be revealed to the pastor, that the Holy Spirit would write all things in the meetings, and that I can write on my tongue with wisdom and godly conduct.

    I am trying so hard not to be terrified, I have discovered that people I thought were my friends most certainly are not, and I don’t seem to have any support from individual congregants within the body at my church. I am discovering however, that my husband has form some friendships with people that make much less money than him and he plays the part of a poor old soul who can barely make enough and never pleased as his wife, which is so very very untrue. We make quite a decent amount of money and he blows it all all the time on all kinds of things for himself and nothing for us. So he gets the sympathy and pity based on a complete lie and I feel like I can’t fight this stuff because I don’t even operate within that Realm. Lying is so gross and destructive.

    Anyway, please pray I can’t function on a daily basis I can barely walk my body tremble so much and I’ve lost weight and I’m constantly nauseous. I feel like my body is expressing terror, when I want to just be at peace and trust the Holy Spirit. If anyone has advice for arguments to an indie fundie pastor about submission –and I don’t mean put-downs or criticism, but literally some theological or doctrinal point that I can stand on to make an impact, at least to help him understand possibly, please put them here the appointment starts in exactly one hour. Thank you for understanding.

    • Dear Alone
      I doubt very much that this pastor will listen to any arguments about the limits to submission, even if you were to present them in with theological acumen, courtesy and winsomeness.

      Your fear is soundly based: your husband is going to lie and lie and lie, and your pastor has refused to permit you to respond with the truth because he has prejudged any challenge you may make to your husband’s claims as you “bringing ammo”.
      That means the rules of the counselling room are all stacked in favour of your husband and the pastor. The rules are stacked against you. There is no way you can get help or justice under those circumstances.

      I encourage you to seriously consider pulling out of the meetings and just telling the pastor that you think the terms he has laid down are such that you won’t be allowed to speak the truth. It is not too late to simply say “I don’t want to participate in these counselling sessions.” It is not too late to say “I won’t participate in any more of those counselling sessions.” Couple counseling is NOT recommended in situations of domestic abuse because of the extreme power imbalance and the strong likelihood that the abuser will be able to do a snow job on the counselor. We may have shared this with you before, but if not, here is our post that explains why couple counseling is not advisable.

      Why Couple Counseling is not recommended for domestic abuse

    • Here are a few more posts about Submission that you may find helpful for yourself.

      When do I submit and when do I stand?

      Should wives submit to harsh husbands just like slaves submitting to harsh masters? (1 Peter 2 & 3)

      And if your pastor is willing to read theological arguments, you could point him to these articles by Steven Tracy, a complementarian who teaches at Phoenix Seminary:

      What Does Submit in Everything Really Mean? The Nature and Scope of Marital Submission

      Headship with a Heart

    • StandsWithAFist

      Dear Alone:
      I agree with Barbara.
      God did not call you to be abused, but to be free, even within marriage.
      Clearly even your own body is telling you that: you are not under bondage to abuse.
      Even Jesus instructed his disciples to flee to the next town, & the next….to keep on fleeing, if the truth was rejected.
      No one is called to submit to a false pastor, teacher, husband or doctrine. Submit only to truth.
      Please be safe.
      You are not under bondage.
      Praying~

    • Jeff Crippen

      I fully agree with Barbara’s advice here. That pastor and his approach is not going to help. Best to just stay away. Blessings.

    • Lea

      >He says that submitting means obeying in all things.

      Awful. And impossible. I don’t think there is any chance you will be getting a fair treatment from this man!

    • beckij

      I agree with Barb. I have tried couples counseling with more than one pastor and it does not go well. Your pastor’s stipulations and conditions will make it impossible for you to be heard. This would be disastrous. What on earth would be the point of counseling if you cannot report what your husband is doing?

      It is not wise to put yourself in this dangerous situation. Your body and your mind are telling you the truth.

      • Gothard Survivor

        You are all right–no one at the meeting wants to hear the truth. It is a hard thing to accept when you are trying so hard.

  3. Herjourney

    It might not be the pastor who nitpicks her freedom. It quite possibly could be his wife who is the pharisee and hypocrite. She rules the house of God where her husband is the overseer.
    She sees the freedom and how God has been faithful to her [the abused] in many ways.
    Oh boy! i am seeing this in plain sight now that i have stepped back and am observing the church where I believe God is pulling me away from.
    It’s not always the pastor. It could be his wife who pulls the strings from behind the curtain.
    He wants to follow Christ in dying for his wife. I see that she takes full advantage of his loyalty to her. It makes my stomach turn.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yep. I have seen that version too.

  4. For Too Long

    For some reason, this post just made me cry today. Maybe because it’s so incredibly true. While I never expected the elders to celebrate my decision to end my abusive marriage, I never expected the persecution and re-victimization I received at their hands, either. I think that, like anyone with Pharisaical-tendencies, they believe in their own rightness and authority to such a degree that anyone who pursues a course outside of them must be brought in line. Yes, like the Pharisees, they become “indignant.” It really offends the sense of their own importance.

  5. bright sunshinin' day

    You nailed it, Jeff. Thank you for continuing to lead your readers to the Living Waters – read correct exegesis of God’s Word – in this day and age where many are dry and thirsty due to these Pharisees ruling the pulpits!

    This:

    “Today’s such creeps don’t creep. They just stand there insisting they are right, and in reality telling the Son of God He has no right to break their rules.

    Good luck with all that when He comes, hypocrites. How do you think that is going to work out for you?”

    Psalm 140 and 63 shed light on what God thinks of these kind and what His plans are for those who oppress His children. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

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: