How I Learned About Abuse Victims being Blamed Instead of the Abuser

1Ki 18:17-18  When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”  (18)  And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals.

When I arrived as a new pastor at Christ Reformation Church here in Tillamook (back then it was called Idaville Bible Church), I had a real mess confronting me. What had paraded as a fine, loving, Christian church when I came to candidate as a pastoral applicant, turned out to be anything but. There were a few genuine Christians in the mix, most of whom are still with us. But the majority were unregenerate people who had been assured in years past that they were surely saved and that, after all, Christians are just sinners who we have to be patient with no matter how ornery they might be. Yeah.

There was a lady in the congregation who was a skilled pianist and she had risen to the positions of pianist and choir director. The music minister if you like (though informally). This lady was impossible to work with and she made that plain right from the start. “I don’t go to committee meetings. The music is my area and I don’t need any help.” Boom. In other words, here was a person who was designing a significant part of the worship services but who refused to work together with anyone, including and perhaps especially the pastor.

It wasn’t long before I learned that she was a very nasty person and she had a reputation for that nastiness. Her own adult son took me aside once, trying to get me to “just be patient with her” because, as he said, “we all know that my mother is a bitter person.” It wouldn’t be long before he hated me as well.

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Signs of the Dark Kingdom

I have often, as you have guessed if you have read many articles on this blog, thought that abuse is demonic to one extent or another, varying most likely from case to case.  Thinking about this brought to mind the following Scripture.  Let’s read it and then see what characteristics we can find here that point to the kingdom of darkness being involved:

Mark 5:1-9, They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. (2) And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. (3) He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, (4) for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. (5) Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. (6) And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. (7) And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” (8) For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” (9) And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”

Luke adds –

Luke 8:26-29, “Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. (27) When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. (28) When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” (29) For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)”

Ok, let’s see what we can derive from this account (other than the fact that this, as you may know, was the origin of deviled ham.  Really!  My old Sunday School teacher told me so.  The pigs, you know).   What are the evidences here of the devil being involved –

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The Abuser as Esau — A Sobering and Freeing Truth for Victims

This is a sermon delivered by Jeff Crippen at Christ Reformation Church.  It presents a realistic view of the abuser who has persisted in abuse without repentance for many years all the while claiming to be a Christian.

           “The Perilous Danger of Hypocrisy – the Path of the Reprobate”
October 26, 2014

Sermon Text:  Psalm 115
Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 44:6-20
Introduction–

“Hebrews 12:14-17  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  (15)  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;  (16)  that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.  (17)  For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”

This morning I want to speak to you about a very sobering topic which everyone who professes Christ must be warned about. Let’s state the thesis this way:

If a person persists in walking the path of hypocrisy long enough, if a person who professes Christ is in fact professing a lie, following a “Christ” of his or her own imagination, that person (like Esau) will end as a reprobate, their eternal destiny sealed, and repentance no longer possible for them.

Psalms 115:1-8  Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!  (2)  Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”  (3)  Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.  (4)  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.  (5)  They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.  (6)  They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.  (7)  They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.  (8)  Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.

This past weekend as you know I was in Indianapolis for a conference on domestic violence in the church.  When we deal with this subject, we necessarily deal with hypocrites. With people who wear a façade and masquerade as Christians when in fact they are children of the devil. They honor Christ with their lips, with their outward actions, with their mannerisms and glances. But their heart is far, far from Him.

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