Terry, thanks for your reply.
My main confusion was whether you were addressing an abuser as
a Christian or not.
I apologize for any confusion in my initial post. What I wrote was intended to shed light on the fact that
Christians, both male and female, suffer violence and/or abuse from their "Christian" mates – this should not be. Believers
are admonished to “love one another,” as “Christ has loved us.” A truly “converted” believer will not live a life of violence.
At the start of the article, you seemed to indicate that Christian suffering should
be for the world, not for other Christians.
I am not sure what you mean by, “…for the world, not for other Christians.” In times
past, presently, and in the future, those who follow Christ suffered and will suffer evil from those who oppose the Message and the Messenger.
Those who are baptized into Christ have become a part of a great spiritual family without number. This spiritual family has Biblical instructions on how to conduct ourselves in the world, with one another, in our church houses, and especially in the presence of God. Granted, we may fall short in many areas, but continuing in violence and abuse means that carnality is preferred over embracing
a spiritual walk. This involves work, Christianity it is not passive.
So if the husband is a Christian, then why does he need to be washed in the blood or
have a Damascus experience?
If a husband is a “Christian” – truly converted from the heart – baptized believer
(washed in the blood) – then there should be a noticeable difference in his new life. Baptism alone does not change
his heart; it is a symbol of change – conversion of the heart.
It is possible to be baptized without possessing true faith, and repentance. In this case, there is no
new heart, no change, and he will come out of the water a wet sinner. One must be born of the Spirit and the water to experience
a spiritual heart conversion by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many people make the mistake of looking to “feel”
different when they come out of the baptismal pool. Salvation involves faith and obedience. We will still experience temptations,
and the devil will continue to cause us to stumble, as well as our own flesh. Salvation is a constant battle to keep on the
narrow road and not be persuaded by evil to revert back to our old way of living.
And if the husband is not a Christian, does that mean that the argument about suffering
is less persuasive, since he is of the world? (You have answered that.)
Again I will state that we should not tolerate violence/or abuse from anyone.
But I get your response to mean that the Damascus experience also applies to a Christian.
Think of a Damascus experience as enlightenment – “I was blind, but now I see.” Saul
was blind to the fact that he persecuted Jesus Himself by persecuting His church (Christians). I was blind to the events of
my past that hindered my walk with Christ – until the Holy Spirit clarified things for me.
We can also think of this experience as a spiritual conversion. Not everyone that claims to be a Christian
has experienced a Holy Spirit conversion of the heart. Some people get baptized again when they experience a heart change.
They feel that the first time they may not have been ready to accept Christ, or they weren’t truly heart converted.
They may have gotten baptized to keep the peace in the home. Emotionalism often drives people to accept Christ, but their
lives haven’t changed – for emotionalism and the like does not involve a heart change.
Someone can have the revelation to be saved, but not the revelation to not abuse.
A truly saved person will not abuse.
But it’s strange how I do have in-laws and friends who are respectful but not
saved. They just have different thinking patterns.
All that we do and say begins within our hearts and minds. Anything that doesn't change stays the
Does my ex have a mentor? He did seek one out, but one that hardly knew us and so he
could vent his stuff. People who don’t know him well can’t see through his manipulation because he says the right
things, like “I need help, I don’t know what to do” but when told what to do, has diversions, and excuses.
The mentor then gets diverted to other tangents, like what I am doing to him. And even if they manage to call him on certain
things, they don’t know if he really heard it, or puts it into practice because he may say the next time that he didn’t
lose it while we still attacked him. The mentor will not know if he is lying.
Anyone that truly desires to change will do what is necessary to make that happen. It is a crazy rollercoaster
being involved with someone that you love, and they are abusive. We get so caught up in their change that we forget to take
care of ourselves. Often we fool ourselves into believing that once they get help and change, we can have our “Happily
ever after.” Please understand that some people will never change – no matter what.
He is reading the Bible now more than ever before (he hardly read it for the duration
of our relationship, even though he was a Bible study leader). He is also attending prayer meetings, but only God knows if
he is praying.
And what are you doing to take care of yourself?
Right after such meetings, he corners my friends to ask what I am thinking. He doesn’t
see such acts as abusive. He also doesn’t see harassing or stalking as abusive, and will drop his jaw if told that some
of his actions post-separation are abusive. He said he was very proud that he was no longer abusive since separating –
something that is not true.
Only you can make the final decision concerning this situation. God gives us free-will, and it is up to
you how much you will endure.
As for understanding the Bible, I don’t know, but I do know he had a lot of trouble
understanding books or concepts about boundaries and dependencies issues, even if the counselor spoke slowly. He would say,
“It’s all too deep. I’m a simple person.” And he would say not to judge him
for that because he was slowly trying to understand it and it wasn’t his fault if he couldn’t.
So he definitely likes to give the impression that he is trying his best and that it
is unfair we are not giving him any more chances. No one can understand why he can read the Bible, seek God, say the right
things and still nut not get it. He is very bright otherwise.
It’s just a travesty that a person can be saved and perpetrate oppression and
I feel for you and the abused of the world. I know what it is like to live in such confusion, and no matter
what we read, are advised, or conclude – the ultimate decision as to what should be done will be that of the abused.
When we love those who mistreat us, we just want them to get well, and stop the mistreatment. But sadly, this doesn’t
It’s just a travesty that a person can be saved and perpetrate oppression and
This is a person that has not been truly converted to Christ.
They may have gone through the motions – but something is definitely missing. Perhaps these are the people that Satan
uses to discourage the abused that are unsaved not to bother coming to church worship. After all, God’s people are enduring
the same beatings and abuse of every kind – but NOT BY HIS WILL!
True Christians of the Bible strive to change their ways. The
truly converted have hearts filled with love, not hate.
Luke 6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor
does a bad tree bear good fruit.”
Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will
be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child is known by his actions,
by whether his conduct is pure and right.”
shall know them by their fruits - The Saviour gives the proper test of their character. People do not judge of a tree by its
leaves, or bark, or flowers, but by the fruit which it bears. The flowers may be beautiful and fragrant, the foliage thick
and green; but these are merely ornamental. It is the "fruit" that is of chief service to man;
and he forms his opinion of the nature and value of the tree by that fruit. So of pretensions to religion.
The profession may be fair; but the "conduct" - the fruit - is to determine the nature of the principles.”
“For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their
ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears,
and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
Acts 28:27 KJV
January 24, 2011
Dr. Charles Stanley
I marvel at the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. A crawling, slimy, and spiky bug disappears into a chrysalis spun from
its own body, and before long, a delicate and graceful winged butterfly emerges. It is magnificent.
Our change at the moment of salvation is just as radical and miraculous. From a death-bound, sinful, and depraved heart,
God brings about a brand-new creature--one that is forgiven, made righteous, and designed to be the place where He Himself
resides (2 Cor. 5:21; John 14:17).
Have you ever wondered why, then, we continue to struggle with sin after trusting Christ as Savior? Shouldn't all the habits
and tendencies of our old heart have vanished? The answer is that the term "new creature" refers to our position in Christ.
It is true that believers are forgiven and eternally secure as children of the heavenly Father. Yet we remain in fleshly bodies,
and as long as we are on earth, there will be an ongoing battle between spirit and flesh.
Throughout our life, God is transforming us to be increasingly like Jesus--His Spirit residing within helps us to combat
sin and teaches us how to live. This process, called sanctification, is a journey that will last until we are called
home to heaven.
While salvation is a one-time event, sanctification is a life-long adventure. And though the Lord sees believers as righteous,
we still have the capacity to sin. Thankfully, God's Spirit guides and empowers us to become more like Jesus, and as we yield
to Him, our behavior and thoughts will change.