Who is listening?
[September 1, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
The abused and their advocates cry to the Lord (Habakkuk 1:2-4 ESV) —
O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
The Lord’s rebuke to the abusers and those who enable them (Jeremiah 7:5-10 ESV with examples in brackets added by me) —
“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless [children with abusive fathers who exploit and neglect them], or the widow [the woman lacking a real husband and oppressed by an anti-husband], or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you —
steal [rob the victims of their dignity, health, financial support, reputation, and the welfare of their souls],
murder [the murder of hatred and unjust accusation],
commit adultery [and otherwise pervert the marriage bed with your porn-inspired desires],
swear falsely [even under oath, lie through your teeth; and make lies by omission and half-truth],
make offerings to Baal and go after other gods that you have not known [idolizing the PhD from the ‘right’ seminary; idolizing those who have published lots of books; idolizing marriage and the family; saying you care about the unborn but ignoring the cries of the living who have been groomed and abused by wicked men or women],
and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’ — only to go on doing all these abominations?
Our team member Wendell G acerbically remarked in a back-of-blog email thread last week:
If Jesus were teaching today, many of the established denominations would reject Him because He does not have a PhD (aka Piled Higher and Deeper) from one of THEIR seminaries. And John the Baptist wouldn’t even be allowed to be the usher, in case he could not control himself and boomed out “brood of vipers!” in the middle of the service.
Could you imagine how some people would want Jesus to teach the Beatitudes today?
“Blessed are the women who stay with their abusers for they shall see salvation.”
“Blessed are you when your husbands revile you and call you all kinds of names. Rejoice and be glad, for even though your spirit is crushed and you lose your life, at least you were obedient. For many a husband has done this before you!”
“Blessed are those that are silent before the verbal onslaught, for they are helping their husbands take their rightful place in the kingdom.”
“Blessed are the abuse victims who obey their church leaders and do not report abuse to the police or child protection, to preserve the the reputation of the church.”
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. [The original link to O Jesus, I Have Promised was broken. We replaced it with a version played by Andrew Remillard. For the lyrics, click here [Internet Archive link]. Editors.]
[September 1, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 1, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to September 1, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to September 1, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 1, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]