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.