The Church’s Injustice to Abuse Victims Hampers Our Opposition to Abortion
I can’t run. I don’t like to run. Unless there’s a reason – like running back to get the net when someone hooks a big salmon at the river. I don’t even like to walk and hike. What’s the point, I ask – unless there is a lake or stream full of fish at the other end? I like that old cowboy in the saloon who laughed in disbelief when Marty McFly (Back to the Future) said that his special shoes were for running and that in the future, people run for fun! “Yeah, right….”).
Anyway, I can still hear my old coaches yelling – “Get the lead out! Pick it up!” I never figured out how to do that.
Our Coach today, the Lord Jesus Christ, is shouting at His Church – “Get the LOG out!” But we aren’t hearing Him. His voice has grown faint because of the constant drone of our man-made doctrines and traditions. We are so entrenched in these traditions that have been handed down to us now for decades, that we have missed the spirit of God’s Word, and the heart of God Himself. Mercy, not sacrifice. And nowhere is this disastrous error more evident than in our unjust, cruel treatment of the victims of abuse who come to us for help. We tell them – “Now, you need to go back home and do a better job of submitting to that man. No, God does not permit you to divorce for abuse. He wants you right where you are. No divorce. Marriage is forever.” The log of legalism in our eye keeps us blind to the obvious fact that this thing she is in is not marriage and never has been. It precludes us from seeing that while God sanctified the Holy Place and the table of showbread for the priests, He let David go in and take that bread when he and his men were being abused and pursued by Saul –
Matthew 12:1-7, “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. (2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” (3) He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: (4) how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? (5) Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? (6) I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. (7) And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”
What has all of this got to do with abortion? Just this – on the one hand we, the Christian church, are shouting aloud that we are for marriage and the family, and life. We decry abortion as evil – as murder. And so it is. And yet, at the same time – behind the scenes in our churches, in our pastoral and counseling offices, we are sentencing abuse victims to spiritual, emotional, or even physical death at the hands of their abusers. All in the name of Scripture – yet in a spirit that is not of Jesus. AND PRO-CHOICE PEOPLE KNOW FULL WELL WE ARE DOING THIS. They know, because they see it in the stories of Christian women who come to the women’s resource centers, having been refused help by their churches. How in the world do we think that they are ever going to hear us as we march and protest against abortion? All they can see or hear is “hypocrites”! And isn’t that also what Jesus sees in us?
How can anyone claim to be pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family – and yet continue to believe and teach and enforce the things that we are oppressing the victims of abuse with?
Get the log out! That is our Master’s cry. It is long, long past time for us to hear Him.