DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - A DEMASCUS EXPERIENCE
ORIGINAL POST BY “Lina”
Thanks for your article. Just some clarifications. You say,
‘True Christians will “seek peace and pursue it,” while “carnal” Christians will continue to
sow the seeds of discord and strife. In fact, those who commit violence and abuse against their mates are having a fit of
So Christian husbands who abuse are carnal Christians. But you
also say that they won’t change until they have a Damascus experience and be washed in the blood. In that case, what
happened when they got saved? My violent ex doesn’t admit to abuse, although he keeps crying tears of remorse. He says
he needs a revelation and says he has been praying very hard and only needs a miracle from God to get it. To me, that seems
like shirking the responsibility needed to take ownership of the change process. That’s like blaming God for not giving
him the Damascus experience.
Also, if he wasn’t really washed in the blood in the first
place, does that mean that the argument for not suffering at the hands of a believer doesn’t apply, since he will be
“of the world”, who we should suffer for.
Whatever the case, waiting for the Damascus experience seems
to be letting him off the hook and confusing the people praying for him as well. They’re all wondering why God is not
helping this poor helpless soul who “loves” his family but can’t seem to do the right thing, even when he
says he wants to.
ANSWERS TO EACH SECTION:
Thanks for your article. Just some clarifications. You say, 'True Christians will “seek peace and pursue
it,” while “carnal” Christians will continue to sow the seeds of discord and strife. In fact, those who
commit violence and abuse against their mates are having a fit of carnality.'So Christian husbands who abuse are carnal Christians.
chapter 3, Paul addressed the Corinthian church as being “worldly.” Even though they were Christians – having
received some measure of the Spirit, they were allowing the flesh
to dominate and influence their lives. They were “…yet carnal,”
and were not able to receive the “meat”
(wisdom- 1Co. 2:7) of the gospel, but still feeding on the “milk.”
Carnality means that one is still operating in the flesh, and allowing the “old nature”
to continue to dominate – which indicates that we do have a great deal of control
over our thoughts and actions.
Paul also defined
the nature of “carnal” Christians as – “babes in Christ,”
“little children,” and those who exhibit the “works of the flesh” –
the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife,
jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes,
dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness,
carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things
will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21)
Notice the components of domestic violence and abuse included in the above verses. They are “evident,”
– “unmistakable,” “obvious,” and “plain.”
NOTE: If abusers who really want to change are not receiving
a healthy dose of scripture that specifically address their particular actions and mindset, then it is most likely that they
will continue in their wrong-doing. The major fault with American churches is the fact that spiritual comfort takes priority
over spiritual renewal. Preachers will preach watered down sermons in order to please the flock,
and grow their numbers. The Gospel possesses the Power to change lives, but if the “itching ears” don’t want to hear truth, it won’t be received. Still,
abusers are to be held accountable for their violence and mistreatment of others.
“Seek peace and pursue it” – is a call to action
to “try to find,” “hunt for,” “chase,” or “follow” peace.
Psalm 34:14 Turn from evil and
do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Do something!)
Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort
to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Do something!)
3 John 1:11 Dear friend, do not imitate
what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (Do something!)
Psalm 97:10 Let those who love the LORD hate
evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (Do something!)
Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears the LORD
and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
Isaiah 1:17 learn to do right!
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (Do something!)
we “imitate” evil, we will wallow in it. Many abusers witnessed violence and abuse in their homes as children
– but that doesn’t mean this way of life must be theirs. Domestic violence is rampant by choice, and ignorance.
As Isaiah 1:17 points out, we can “learn
to do right!” True
religion makes men peaceable, not contentious.
(Religion – “faith,” “creed”- (The Holy Bible), “belief,” and “conviction.”
and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to
let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27)
Romans 2:13 “For it is
not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”
So Christian husbands
who abuse are carnal Christians.
Yes. They are still allowing the flesh to dominate. Most assuredly,
they are leaning more on the ways of the world rather than allowing the Power of the Word to transform their lives. What we learn as children also plays a major part. If males
learn from family and society that women are insignificant, and only useful for serving their every
whim, they will treat them accordingly.
But you also say
that they won’t change until they have a Damascus experience and be washed in the blood. In that case, what happened
when they got saved?
A Damascus experience today isn’t necessarily one in which Saul experienced. Today one
may experience personal tragedy, loss of a loved one, or a situation where they are helpless and only have God to depend on.
My Damascus experience was during a lay off from work. God had my complete attention, for I had nowhere to go. During this
time, the Holy Spirit revealed things from my past that caused much anger within my soul. I had blamed myself, hated myself,
until I was Divinely shown that many things that happened to me as a child were not my fault. I was tormented with visions
of the past that I blamed myself for. The moment I screamed at God, “What do you want from me?” – He showed
me – made the visions clear – my own mother betrayed me. I no longer have those visions, and the fault was hers,
not mine. God loves me enough – His child – washed in the Blood of the Lamb – to set me free from those torments. I changed in many ways.
The anger and self-hatred within me was dominating my life – controlling
my actions and relationships with others.
A Damascus experience
isn’t a “waiting” experience. I was doing a lot of soul searching during this time alone – praying
along with reading
the scriptures looking for answers.
A Damascus experience
involves a spiritual
transformation. Saul, once a persecutor of the church became
one of its great
In that case, what
happened when they got saved?
I can’t really answer this question. Only God and the Lord can.
Unless you can rephrase, I am not totally sure what you mean.
My violent ex doesn’t
admit to abuse, although he keeps crying tears of remorse.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"--and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Selah
are not true indicators of genuine “remorse.”
is akin to a soul agonizing over the things they have done wrong, and the people they have hurt. Judas hanged himself after
betraying Jesus. That is genuine remorse. Not that abusers should hang themselves. This is just an example of how deep remorse
should be. Women have soft hearts for tears; that is the way God made us – nurturing. Tears without confession,
and a change in direction
are for show. It is a ploy to weaken strength that was built up to make a departure from the violence and abuse.
He says he needs a revelation and says he has been praying very hard and only needs a miracle from God to get
I would not doubt
that he needs a “revelation”
concerning his wrong-doing. If his heart is truly sorrowful – towards God – he will in time receive what he needs
to make changes in his life, but not apart from the Word of God. Christians too often rely only on God for change as if they
have no responsibility to bring about the change. Again, working out our soul’s
salvation with fear and trembling” is a lifelong endeavor.
We must stop treating
God as if He is a Jenie in a bottle, or a magic lamp that we rub to get our way with Him. Too many Christians treat God as
a defective product they purchased. If it doesn’t provide instant gratification, or satisfy inner desires, we perceive
the product to be worthless – seek a refund, or throw it away. Warped Biblical teaching will always produce this mindset.
To me, that seems like shirking the responsibility needed to take ownership of the change process. That's like
blaming God for not giving him the Damascus experience.
Exactly! Now you
are getting the picture. The change begins within. We have to get disgusted with how we are feeling inside, and how life is
going on the outside. And this only happens when we get sick and tired of our own selves – hence – acknowledge
our faults – and confess them. Most importantly, we must see ourselves as God sees us, sinners in need of redemption.
Also, if he wasn't really washed in the blood in the first place, does that mean that the argument for not suffering
at the hands of a believer doesn't apply, since he will be "of the world", who we should suffer for.
Not sure exactly
what you are asking here. If this is an unbeliever that you are referring to, the Bible can answer your question:
“Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what
communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?”
“And what agreement
hath a temple of God with idols? For we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in
them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
Light and darkness will always be at odds. The darkness hates the light. Jesus said that
we are to be “lights” to the world. Unregenerate, (unsaved) souls are of the “world.”
They may be nice people, law abiding and don’t cause others harm. Still, they are not converted to Christ, and on the outside of His Kingdom – a part of the “world.” Being married to, or dating
those outside of Christ is often times not without strife and friction. On the other hand, there are some unsaved people who will
treat others better than many Christians will. Spiritually speaking, you won’t have anything in common, for those who have
not embraced Christ may not be willing to do so, but will or will not stop you. In either case, domestic violence and abuse
should not be tolerated from anyone.
…”since he will be "of the world", who we should suffer for.”
suffering as believers is not for the sake of the world, but for Christ – we share His suffering by “taking up our cross.” Our “cross” to bear in life does not
include domestic violence and abuse. Remember, Christians are supposed to be on the same team.
We are to share the Gospel of Christ with the world.
Whatever the case, waiting for the Damascus experience seems to be letting him off the hook and confusing the
people praying for him as well.
this is not a “waiting” experience. Waiting for a Damascus experience is akin to your utilities getting cut off,
and you sit around waiting for money to fall from the sky to pay your bills. He must put forth effort to change his ways.
…”confusing the people praying for him as well.”
confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be
healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)
Abusers who won’t admit
to the violence and abuse will repeat it, and blame those who they abuse.
“Let nothing be done to encourage any to delay, under the mistaken fancy that a confession, a prayer, a minister's
absolution and exhortation, or the sacrament, will set all right at last, where the duties of a godly life have been disregarded.”
They're all wondering why God is not helping this poor helpless soul who "loves" his family but can't seem to
do the right thing, even when he says he wants to.
First, we have to drop the pride and admit to God that we are messed up. Unfortunately, numerous abusers don’t
see anything wrong with them. My ex did not – he felt that everyone else was wrong, and he was the only one right. PRIDE!
Secondly, we have to get to the source of the pain
which is the catalyst for the anger. Revisiting the past is important to understand how our lives were shaped, and by whom.
I hated myself for many reasons, but mostly because of who my parents were. I took their self-hatred upon myself. We were
a dysfunctional family, and once I learned that, I could see where many things were not my fault.
Thirdly, God and God alone know our hearts.
We may not know if a person is sincere, but He does. Remember this, saying that you “want to” change and doing what is necessary to make for change are two different things.
· Does he have a spiritual mentor who will honestly
show him through scripture that violence and abuse are wrong?
· Does he fast and pray to God earnestly?
· Does he read his Bible on a regular basis? Does
he understand what he reads?
· Has he sought any help in addition to prayer for
his violence and abuse?
· Is he helping God to bring about change in his
life, or just sitting on the side of the road waiting for a miracle?
· Does he practice doing good works (from the heart),
or is he just a Sunday morning pew warmer?
If we go with the
flow of our modern day churches, we will lose much strength and power to change our lives. In other words, when we become
we cease to be tyrants. The greatest example of love that Jesus showed is giving Himself up for others. When we strive to
live God-controlled instead of self-controlled – then we will experience change, a Damascus change.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21)
Mark 9:23 “If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him
Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God," Jesus answered.”
Mark 9:29 “But this kind does not come
out except by prayer and fasting.”
It is my hope and prayer that I have adequately addressed your questions and concerns. If I may be of further assistance,
please do not hesitate to contact me.
In the name of Christ,