You Shall Not Test the Lord Your God — How Telling Victims to Stay With an Abuser Breaks This Commandment
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” (Matthew 4:5-7)
One of the most prevalent sins to be found in local churches today is that of “tempting / testing the Lord.”
People who ignorantly and arrogantly expound “thus saith the Lord” to victims and pronounce that God would have them remain with an abuser are putting the Lord to the test. It really is the very same thing the devil was doing when he told Jesus to throw himself off that high place. “Your Father says He will protect you, so let’s just see if it’s true. Go ahead. Jump.”
Many Christians are just enthralled it seems with exciting stories about how God miraculously delivered someone. Maybe some high drama on the mission field. The idea is that if a Christian is in a hard place, they should exercise true faith and stay in that hard place and trust God to rescue them. A closer look however will reveal the obvious: such Scriptures are addressing situations in which the believer has no choice, no route of escape. Like being a slave to a cruel master or a citizen of Rome under blood-thirsty Caesar. Paul writes elsewhere however:
Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) (1 Corinthians 7:21)
Here is a typically cruel and ignorant claim made by a church leader recently:
Christians have historically taught subjection to God-ordained authority, especially when that authority is abusive. Can you show Biblical justification for Divorce in the case of abuse?
What a lie! Did God tell Israel to remain in Egypt? The entire biblical history of redemption is about REDEMPTION! Freedom from abuse and slavery. Does God tell us to remain enslaved to the devil? See how twisted this is? “Let’s go find the most abusive authority we can and submit ourselves to it and we will bring glory to God.” THAT, Mr. church leader is the wicked sin of testing the Lord and He does not look kindly upon anyone who teaches it. I say, “teaches it,” rather than “practices it” because I can most assuredly bet that YOU do not practice what you preach.
Your question is totally turned around. It is not WE who need to answer your accusatory question “can you show biblical justification for divorce in the case of abuse?” — but rather YOU who need to show biblical proof that God insists that an abuse victims remain in the abuse, submitting themselves to the wicked abuser. We put it right back on YOU.
What is it, we must ask, that makes a person demand such things of the abused? What is going on in this guy’s mind for him to make such a false and cruel statement….especially when that authority is abusive? I suppose there are a number of answers:
- He is himself an abuser, motivated by a lust for power and control
- His “christianity” is in fact legalism mixed in with asceticism. “Whip and beat yourself into the kingdom of God.”
- He is guilty of rank arrogance — “be like me. I am willing to suffer for Jesus. Why aren’t you?”
- He really dislikes and resents women
Any or all of these motivations are possible, and none of them are good.