20 February, 2006

Glory - Invisible and Pre-eminent - clarified and reposted.

Clarification:
#1) The physical abuse does not seem to have started again.

#2)
James 2:15-17
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

When I put this post out here, I was already pretty resolved as to what I would do about the situation. I have done that. This post spiritualizes the issue in a way that I believe is very important, but spiritualizing an issue cannot happen until the hungry are fed. My post would have been highly inappropriate had the practical actions not been in the works already. I apologize for not making that clear when I wrote it. I was not thinking really clearly, and forgot to check my assumptions.

Prayer is a first resort and a last resort, but praying when the means to answer the prayer is our hands is just a form of lying.

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I will add this thought to the post. My sister in the Lord is being counselled by her church to submit, and everything will be just fine. If she will be more supportive of this man, then he will become a blessing to her.

Have they neither eyes nor ears!?

No complementarian advocates abuse. I realize that. But, if you advocate a philosophical position that tends to enable abusers, do you not have a moral responsibility to put safeguards and correctives in place to accomodate the acknowledged weakness in your philosophy?

Where are the safeguards?

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God's ways are far above our own. We say that, mean it, and try to live by it but we cannot understand it.

Sometimes, though, we get a little glimpse.

The other day, during the brief discussion on a woman's role in the church, I was asked what my thoughts were on marriage. Later that night, by a sad coincidence, I heard that a sister of mine is being abused again by her husband. (No matter what we believe the scripture says about a woman's role, I know we all agree that it is not this. I would appreciate everyone's prayers for this woman. She is continuing in submission to her husband and prayer.)

As I prayed about this, I reflected on God's glory. His glory could be displayed so mightily, if He would just turn the heart of the abuser. He could do it, and He could do it so easily. If you believe in irresistible grace, then you believe He could do it directly. If you believe man's will must move first toward God, then you still believe that God could do this thing.

He turns the hearts of kings.

How does He do that?

I don't know. It's a mystery. His ways are above mine, but He does it. He sends little birds to whisper things in their ears that cause them to lust over whatever He desires. He hardens their hearts. He softens their hearts. He sends a Daniel to speak the truth to them, or He sends a ravening bird from the East.

He could turn the heart of this man.

Why would He not turn the heart of this man? He could heal the emotional damage that leads to this sin. Know that I do not ask this as a theologian, but as a man doubled over in agony for a young lady that I used to babysit. I helped her with her homework, and fixed her broken toys. It is too simple to say that God will bring good from this evil. He will, and we all know that, but what could be better than turning the heart of an abuser back to the truth, and saving this girl - woman now - from a life of constant fear and pain.

Why will God not take the glory that sits right before Him? It would be so easy!

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Go back to the day they nailed Jesus to the cross.

All of Rome and all of Israel were arrayed against one solitary Man. That solitary Man could have brought glory beyond our measure to Himself with one call to legions of angels. He could have made sure His Father received all that glory. He could have been proven to be the best thing since sliced bread.

He passed on the chance.

He didn't pass on that glory because of a command somewhere in Leviticus. He passed because He had His eyes on a glory that I can only guess about. There was a glory in allowing sin to ravage His mortal body, and He never took His eyes off that glory. With every stripe, He considered the reward and stood. Having done all, He stood.

He won to Himself and His Father that Glory that God alone can see - and we who love Him and are learning to see with spiritual eyes.

Praise the Name of the Lord.

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I will weep, and I will pray for deliverance for my little sister. But, I will also pray that she will be perfected by suffering, and that she and God will enjoy the rich reward of the glory that passes understanding.

Romans 8:18 TNIV
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1 Peter 4:13 TNIV
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Romans 5:3 TNIV
Not only so, but we [ Or let us] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

11 comments:

Danny Kaye said...

I agree with the heart of what you say, Codepoke. Your sister is, no doubt, being perfected. Your prayers and the prayers of others are certainly needed.

I understand the submission concept and all. And, to be sure, your sister must submit to her husband.

But there is a huge difference between the laws of the first century and the laws of the USA.

There were no laws protecting a woman from her husband back then. Now, however, a woman has a course of action that she may biblically take in order to protect herself from her husband.

Your sister is fully able to use the laws of the land in which she lives. If a crime is committed, she may report it.

Paul did it when being persecuted in order to avoid being flogged. Your sister may take the same course of action.

codepoke said...

Thanks for the points. I appreciate them.

blestwithsons said...

The pastor I most refer to, Dr Broggi, always teaches that in an abusive situation the woman should legally separate and get whatever court orders and legal measures necessary to be safe - but to pray like crazy for the husband and pray for an eventual reconciliation. Keep your heart toward your husband but keep your body safe - ya might say. (my words- not his)

codepoke said...

I respect that, Blest. In fact, as individuals I think most of us would hold that position. I bet the pastor at my sister's church would hold that position, and hold it sincerely.

As an organization, his church failed that test.

When a young lady shows up with her husband because their last fight kind of scared them both - scared them so much that they risk asking for help - do we offer "submission" as the primary solution? Sure we do. We see submission as an expression of perfect, sacrificial love. Why wouldn't we offer it?

Well, because it's not a solution! As humans, we know somewhere deep down that love conquers all, but we forget that love loses without wisdom.

Love doesn't fix anything. Love gives us the courage to do what must be done to fix things. Love gives us the courage to demand repentance, and to give it when it is needed. Love gives us the courage to save children. Love never fails - if we can get someone, somewhere to apply it!

Obviously, this rant may have nothing to do with Dr. Broggi. I am just suspicious of the difference between a man's righteous beliefs, and an organization's practical outworking.

I also would hope that he includes emotional abuse as abuse. Some have almost got to see bruises before they will take action.

MIlly said...

Wow! The only way for her is to get out and get out now! He will not change until he gets help. This is experiance speaking. They get worse they turn on the children. Two of my roommates and a relative have been through this. One roommate quickly left the other stayed, left, went back, left. He hurt the children mentaly I know for sure one refuses to go to church the other is divorced and had a very hard time growing up. I yelled at her mother one day that it is no wonder she's angry look at what you have put her through. My relitives husband stopped hitting her and started on her son.

I get that she loves him but it has to stop. When threatened by a boyfriend I broke up.

She needs to be safe until he can work it out. If he truely wants help God will help him. They have my prayers.

Think about your local DVIS they always need donations soap, shampoo, cloths, teddy bears for the kids.

Praying.

codepoke said...

Thank you, milly, and I agree. Helping the DVIS is a great suggestion, too. Thank you for your prayers.

MIlly said...

I also encourage churches to offer a study on women of the Bible. Not just for women howerever, we just offered it to women at my COC. I may be wrong but I believe more women are talked about yet less are named. The women are strong in the Bible they are leaders, mothers, and care givers. Submission hmm Isn't he also to submit to her? OOPS I'm COC good thing my man thinks we are equal.

Sorry for getting wound up in the earlier post. It's so hard to watch the people you love get hurt.

Praying for those who need a safe place to stay tonight.

codepoke said...

I may be wrong but I believe more women are talked about yet less are named.

Do you mean in the bible?

Submission hmm Isn't he also to submit to her? OOPS I'm COC good thing my man thinks we are equal.

:-)

Milly said...

Yes the Bible.

It at one time in many churches and I'm sure is still believed that women are less than equal. The thing that I always enjoyed growing up COC is that the women knew their place, right behind the husband telling him exactly what to say. I personaly was raised in a home of very strong women, my mom and her sisters. I was also taught by them and my father that women were equal. My husband feels that I can work just as hard as he can. We value each other.

Milly said...

I just counted from one of my Women's study group books 50 women are in this book. I am not sure how many men are in the Bible. I think that some would be surprised to find fifty women's stories.

:-)

codepoke said...

I think that some would be surprised to find fifty women's stories.

I know I would have been! Praise the Lord for His priorities over ours.