Let’s Talk about Bearing One Another’s Burdens

Gal 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

What is the Law of Christ? Theologians no doubt have written massive essays on that subject. But I don’t think it is that difficult to sort out.

Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Joh 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

1Jn 4:21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

So there it is. It isn’t, as John says in First John, a new commandment. Because when we love one another we necessarily obey God’s moral Law, the ten Commandments if you will.

Mat 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the great and first commandment. (39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (40) On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Here in Galatians, Paul gives us an insight into this love which is the Law of Christ – in regard to loving others. It is this: bear one another’s burdens. There are many ways that we can exercise love, but this one really distills it down. Bear one another’s burdens.

Now, let’s bring this to bear on this issue of abuse. What will be a genuine Law of Christ response to an abuse victim who reveals what is happening to her and asks for help? It is obvious – bear her burden. Recognize that burden. Think of ways that you can help carry that load with her and help her get free of it. No brainer, right?

But you all know what is happening in the churches very, very typically – so typically that we can write the story before it even happens. We know how it will play out. Will her pastor and fellow Christians step and and readily bear her burden? Nope. Doesn’t happen. In fact if I were an artist I would insert a sketch here of a pastor and others piling more and more load onto her.

Let’s continue to think this through. If bearing one another’s burdens is a primary way in which we fulfill the Law of Christ, then WHAT is this saying about the real nature of all these “christians” who refuse to bear the victim’s burden? I can tell you. They are not fulfilling the Law of Christ. They are not loving her. And it doesn’t take long in reading through First John to discover that anyone who claims to be a Christian but who does not love their brother/sister is a fake!! Anyone yelling “foul! You are being too harsh and judgmental!” – I challenge to pick up their Bible, go to First John, and demonstrate to me that I am wrong.

How a church or any Christian deals with an abuse victim reveals the very nature of their theology, of their religion, of their claim to be in Christ. And the large majority are flunking this test big time.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about Bearing One Another’s Burdens

  1. I cannot adequately express how much damage is being done to abuse victims by so-called “Christian” pastors and ministers. About 7 years after I became a born-again Christian, I went to our pastor at the time and told him that I needed help. My husband had kicked me over and over when I tried to talk to him about something he had done that hurt me deeply. My husband told me that he was going to keep kicking me unless I dropped the subject. When I related this situation to the “pastor” he said, “You two were acting like children and you both need to be bent over my knee and spanked.” I could not believe that he said that.

    As a result, I did not talk to anyone else for what seemed like an eternity about the ongoing abuse I was suffering from my “Christian” husband. He used his anger to control me for decades. Not only did my then husband shut me down, but the person I went to for help made me feel like it was my fault. After all, they were both “men of God.” The emotional, physical, sexual, mental, spiritual, financial and other abuse lasted for over 37 years until the day when my husband was arrested for strangling me in front of a law enforcement officer. The Lord literally saved my life and finally delivered me from that narcissistic sociopath.

    True Christians are far and few between, but wolves in sheep’s clothing abound and they are abusing the abused.

    Thank you, Pastor Crippen, for being a voice for truth regarding this cancer in the church.

  2. The problem is, when a violent abusive man who calls himself a Christian plays victim, many so called “Christians” think they ARE showing love for the abuser and the victim when they tell the victim “we’re praying you get help to stop being abusive/ stop being mentally ill/ [whatever other lie the abuser has claimed about the real victim]”. These “flying monkeys” believe they are righteously praying for everyone involved when telling the victim they are “praying for them” and pray these evil false prayers.
    It’s bad enough when unwitting flying monkeys do it, but those who call themselves Christians and know about the abuse and still say these “prayers” are little more than blasphemers in sheep’s clothing. They sound all pious but are “like white washed tombs”.
    Several times after my abuser’s mother told my battered daughter that she and I deserved the beatings we had received from the abuser, and then said to me she was “praying my daughter and I find peace and get over our mental issues soon” [i.e. reminding me of her hateful nasty gossip spreading lies that my daughter and I were delusional about the beatings we endured at the hands of the abuser], I told her seemingly pious words were those of a modern day Pharisee. The rage I got from her was immense – carefully hidden but huge. I believe if she could have killed me and no one find out, she would have done it those times, so much was the hatred in her superficially polite responses.

    But that is typical in churches it seems – those who are evil do as the please, while everyone else is either ignorant to the truth or stay silent in the naive incorrect belief that silence equals neutrality.

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