Shepherd My Sheep
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Are you driving your sheep to Him...or to death?
Who should Jesus-followers follow? Jesus, of course.
Let me start by explaining why I choose to use the term 'Jesus-follower' rather than Christian.
Anyone who believes in God, knows the doctrines, and occasionally reads the Bible can call themselves a Christian. Indeed, by this definition, Satan could call himself such. Yet, a person who honestly and humbly follows Jesus, His commandments, His Way, and His Truth is, what I call, a Jesus-follower. And I would argue that this is what we all need to be working towards.
Too many churches think members should follow them rather than Jesus. And that wives should obey their husbands. Effectively, Pastors and Christians turn themselves into gods and marriage into an idol. Instead of the sweet smell of Fruits of the Spirit, this reeks of Pharisees and the Law. Of paganism and Satan's works. Do you see the problem here? Jesus-followers are not meant to follow Christians. Jesus said, "Follow me!" So, pastors, fellow Jesus-followers, let us follow Him and lead others to Him IN LOVE, BY LOVE, and THROUGH LOVE.
What does following Jesus look like when supporting women who reach out for help with abuse? If a victim comes to you confused and afraid (as they often are): Believe her. Love her. Protect her. Seek her husband but don't be tricked by his works of Satan. Satan is a master manipulator. That is what abusers are too.
Let me ask you this: would Jesus want His sisters married to a child of Satan? Would He wish to be party to an abusive relationship? It's important to note here that a victim of abuse who is a Jesus- follower is also a temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus with us. Think about that for a minute. If churches fail to follow Jesus when they respond to abuse, they make Jesus a victim too.
How can we bemoan the betrayal of Christ while simultaneously throwing victims back into an abusive marriage or out of the church? Churches, please realize that by throwing out the victim, you are throwing out the Holy Spirit. You are re-victimizing not only the woman but Jesus Christ. Furthermore, consider the space left in her absence. It will be occupied by a Satan-filled abuser - the one you hope to redeem. Instead, his poison will infect and proliferate in your congregation.
Now, consider who put Jesus in an "abusive" situation? His Father? His disciples? No, of course not. Israelites at the time refused to believe Jesus was a victim of the Pharisees. From our vantage point today, we can take a step back and see the whole picture. The Pharisees brainwashed people into believing that Jesus was "abusing" God's Word. The Pharisees and their followers destroyed Jesus, while the Pharisees walked free.
Church leaders and pastors - take a step back and look at the similarities. The actions you choose now matter. Will you step up and support the victim, like the disciples? Or will you make choices that will smack of the Pharisees? If you turn your back on her and make her return to her abusive husband, you will kill the Spirit in her and destroy her faith. The responsibility lies with you.
"Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you, in heaven, their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost." Matthew 18:10-11,14
"But the abusers are Christians! We must bring them back to God!" I hear you say. Perhaps they are Christians. But they most definitely are NOT Jesus-followers. A man who repeatedly subjects his wife to abuse is not loving her. He has broken his covenant with Jesus and his wife.
Furthermore, I argue that most abusers display all seven deadly sins. They have broken all ten of God's commandments. They have indisputably broken the one new commandment instituted by Jesus - to love one another. Education and healing of the abuser are in God's hands if that is His will. "Healing," loving, and supporting a son of the world is NOT your job. Especially when that man will manipulate you as skillfully as Satan.
It's also worth noting that Jesus never once tolerated abuse during His Ministry (bar coming to the Cross.) When attacked by the Pharisees, He cleansed His hands of them. Neither Jesus nor His disciples tried to make them change their ways with hours of individual instruction. Instead, Jesus told the disciples to shake the dust from their shoes and move on if people wouldn't listen.
"Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." Luke 9:5
Healing, loving, and supporting the victim who IS a Jesus-follower IS your job. Let's look at that Jesus-follower. What sort of behaviour does she display? The Fruits of the Spirit have enabled her to last as long as she has - love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. While you might be right to think she lacks self-control, joy, and peace, it is only because she has been completely broken down by her abuser. Note, too, that the characteristics she has maintained are those that she has continued to shower on her abusive husband.
Does she display any of the deadly sins in her life? Pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth? I bet not one. Does she break the Ten Commandments? Doubtful. Does she hate rather than love? No. Even when she is being abused in every possible way, she still loves. She still carries the benefit of the doubt for her abuser. She wants to save the marriage because she married for life. Coming to you for help means that she has exhausted all avenues for repairing the relationship. And, whether she dares admit it to herself or not, she is in a perilous situation.
Church leaders - double check that you are a faithful Jesus-follower. Not a Christian. And PLEASE ensure that you are loving, leading, and shepherding your flock as He would. Like Comment Comments Write a comment...
About This group was originally founded by Julie Owens for "Peace and Safety in the Christian Home" (PASCH), a former international coalition of Chris… See more Private Only members can see who's in the group and what they post Visible Anyone can find this group. General group
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