A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

This blog was accidentally suspended by WordPress

What a week! The automatic spam filter used by WordPress suspended this blog for about 24 hours. I contacted WordPress to ask them why they had suspended the blog. Many hours later they emailed me saying it was an accident and they reinstated the blog.

I’ve known for a long time that WordPress’s spam filter sometimes sends a comment to spam when it is not spam. If a comment has more than two links in it, it will be automatically sent to spam, but sometimes the filter can send comments to spam when they have no links in them. My assistant, Reaching Out, looks at the spam folder every day, retrieves what has been incorrectly sent to spam, and deletes all the spam. It’s a tedious but vital job for any blogger, and I’m so glad Reaching Out does it for me.

But suspension of the entire blog was something we had never experienced before. It was scary!

The suspension happened shortly after Sister’s long comment was published. Reaching Out, Sister and I were all wondering whether Sister’s comment had led to the suspension. I also speculated about other things that might have got us suspended — things like Meredith Miller’s interview which I featured last month. It was a relief when WordPress told me that the suspension was accidental and was caused by their software not behaving rightly.

A few hours before the blog got suspended, a tree branch fell on my car while I was driving, smashing the windscreen and damaging two panels. Fortunately I am not injured, only the car is damaged.

You may have wondered why I haven’t written many posts recently. Since I moved to rural Victoria I’ve been putting time into getting to know people in the community, getting my house organised and refurbished, establishing a veggie garden, joining a ladies Bible study group (KYB – Know Your Bible) and running a summer Bible study group myself over the summer break. I’m resisting the jab and am being discriminated against in various places, but I knew that would happen when I decided to not be Covid-jabbed. I am connecting with other folks here who are resisting the jab. We are supporting each other as best we can.

I’ve been feeling somewhat afraid of what to write in forthcoming posts. Society has become so polarised. Many people are judgemental of those who hold different views on Covid to the government narrative. Some of my readers at this blog might shun or despise me for my position. I still want to write in a way that supports, educates and empowers those who have suffered domestic abuse. But I’m also keenly aware that systemic abuse has escalated and intensified around the world. The dynamics of abuse are similar whether it’s at the micro level or the systemic level (macro level). So there is still lots to write about. But people are very different in how much they are willing to receive a love of the truth. Waking up to the lies is painful. Facing the reality and prevalence of abuse is not easy! It’s disturbing. And we are all at different places in either receiving or refusing a love of the truth. God is working in each and every human being on this earth, that’s apparent. Life and changes seems to be happening at breakneck speed.

How to obey conscience, how to handle and express my emotions and my empathy with so much trauma coming to the surface in me and in others, so many evils being exposed, so much suffering and fear and confusion… I’m struggling to navigate all this as a writer and as an ordinary human being who has needs and flaws and weaknesses and loves the Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s all I can write for now.

28 Comments

  1. Encourager

    I feel your frustration.
    Being as wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove requires much thought and discernment.

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Encourager,

      For your safety and protection, I changed your screen name to the screen name you have used most recently on the blog, as the name you submitted with your comment might have been too identifying. If you would prefer having a different screen name, please email me at reachingout.acfj@gmail.com.

  2. Seeing Clearly

    You said a lot in this one writing, Barbara. Many of us, as seekers of rightness, are sensing deep chaos around us. Over the last two years, I experienced the barriers to move forward in external ways, including a head laceration and concussion. At the same time, fragments of childhood trauma have finally, in wisdom, surfaced. The piece that kept my swallowing mechanism from correct response is now set free. Would this be plausible to many people? Probably not.

    In my 60th decade of life, I am leaning deeper inwardly, quietly, savoring posts like the one you just shared. The description of a limb falling is a reminder to me of a world so much greater in dimension than is humanly fathomable.

    I hope to affirm you and encourage with this comment.

    [Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]

    • Thank you very much Seeing Clearly, I was moved by your words.

      God healing your swallowing mechanism — that is awesome. (You may have noticed that I am not one of those people who speaks the word “awesome” lightly or casually.)

      Your words brought to mind the phrase “deep calls to deep”.

      Psalm 42:9 Book of Common Prayer (Coverdale’s translation)
      One deep calls to another, because of the noise of thy torrents; / all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

      Psalsm 42:7 NKJ
      Deep calls to deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your waves and billows have gone over me.

  3. Finding Answers

    Hi Barb,

    In the original post, you wrote: a tree branch fell on my car while I was driving, smashing the windscreen and damaging two panels. Fortunately I am not injured, only the car is damaged.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you….I bet it was terrifying. And I’m grateful you weren’t injured. 🙂

    Hopefully the damage to your car won’t take too long to repair!

    In the original post, you wrote: But suspension of the entire blog was something we had never experienced before.

    I hadn’t known WordPress had a Spam filter for entire blogs, although now that I think about it, it does make sense….I suspect social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and other internet sites work somewhat similarly: some parts of the process are automated (done via computer algorithms), and some parts are done manually (vetted by people).

    And the tree branch falling on your car only a few hours before the blog was suspended probably compounded your shock and stress….please take care of yourself.

    In the original post, you wrote:

    Since I moved to rural Victoria I’ve been putting time into getting to know people in the community, getting my house organised and refurbished, establishing a veggie garden, joining a ladies Bible study group (KYB – Know Your Bible) and running a summer Bible study group myself over the summer break.

    Yay!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Your description of your life since you moved to rural Victoria sounds lovely….I’m glad you’re settling in. 🙂

    And Sister’s comment (the one linked to in the original post) is worth taking the time to read….

    • Thank you Finding Answers,

      I was frightened when the accident was happening. But what surprised me was how afraid (hyper-hypervigilant) I was for two days after the accident.

      I noticed something about myself that I’ve noticed several times before: I only realise how scared I am feeling when I go out in public. When I am home on my own, I am not acutely aware of feeling scared. But when I go out in public and walk along footpaths with cars passing me where I encounter other pedestrians, or I go into a shop where there are other people, I become acutely aware of how jumpy I am. I noticed this during the lockdowns when I was living in Melbourne. And I noticed it again in the two days after the accident.

      I also noticed progress in myself. I was in a goodwill shop and twice I jumped when a customer spoke or moved behind me. It was the same customer both times. The first time I apologised for my (very obvious) startle response and explained to her that I have post-traumatic stress. The second time I jumped again and she said “You shouldn’t be scared.” I replied to her (calmly, without raising my voice) “You cannot tell me how to feel; my fear reaction comes from my subconscious and is entirely out of my control.” She listened and seemed to respect what I’d said to her. I think that’s the first time I was able to voice a courteous and respectful reply to someone telling me how I should feel.

      • Finding Answers

        Thank you for your reply to me (29TH JANUARY 2022 – 4:55 AM), Barb. And my apologies for my delay in thanking you for your reply to me.

        You wrote:

        I only realise how scared I am feeling when I go out in public. In my dwelling on my own, I am not acutely aware of feeling scared. But when I go out in public and walk along footpaths with cars passing me where I encounter other pedestrians, or I go into a shop where there are other people, I become acutely aware of how jumpy I am.

        That makes total sense….

        I also noticed progress in myself. I was in a goodwill shop and twice I jumped when a customer spoke or moved behind me. It was the same customer both times. The first time I apologised for my (very obvious) startle response and explained to her that I have post-traumatic stress. The second time I jumped again and she said “You shouldn’t be scared.”

        And as is written and commented about so frequently on the ACFJ blog, the customer in the goodwill store was “shoulding” you….and while, to her anyway, she was probably only / just trying to help, in reality, it could more accurately be written she was “only / just trying to help”.

        I replied to her (calmly, without raising my voice) “You cannot tell me how to feel; my fear reaction comes from my subconscious and is entirely out of my control.” She listened and seemed to respect what I’d said to her. I think that’s the first time I was able to voice a courteous and respectful reply to someone telling me how I should feel.

        🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Robert

    Thanks for standing with those who did not want to be Vaxxed. Have enjoyed your posts. God bless you.

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Robert,

      For your safety and protection, I modified your screen name, as the name you submitted with your comment might have been too identifying. If you would prefer having a different screen name, please email me at reachingout.acfj@gmail.com.

    • Thanks Robert. And welcome to the blog since this looks like your first comment! 🙂

  5. Sigma

    I read your blog, and I find it a great primer for biblical feminism.
    I don’t understand your hesitation for inoculation, and I don’t personally agree with it, BUT! If you DON’T turn this blog into an anti-jab disinfo machine, then we’re cool.
    Live life as you see fit, and do as little harm to others as possible.

    • Hi Sigma, it’s interesting that you don’t understand my hesitancy for inoculation, yet you are quite willing to label anti-jab arguments as ‘disinfo’…which is a disparaging label.

      How can you know that anti-jab arguments are disinfo, when you say yourself that you don’t understand why I am reluctant to accept the inoculation? If you don’t understand, surely it would be wise to try to understand, rather than just use a negative label to dismiss what might be good arguments and good reasons not to take the jab.

      In my post, I referred to the phrase “willing to receive a love of the truth” (2 Thess 2). If there is disinfo being bandied around, surely the important thing is to listen carefully to the various claims about what is ‘truth’ and then with due diligence research the evidence to see whether a given claim is true or whether it is disinfo — i.e. a lie, a falsehood.

      As Sister remarked in this comment, “a fundamental indicator that someone truly understands abuse is whether or not they recognize they can still be fooled by abusers.”

      Abusers tell lies. Abusers spread disinfo. Abusers rewrite history. Abusers shift the goal posts all the time.

      These things are worth pondering. How do they apply in the current world we are living in?

  6. Teres

    You are an amazing woman! I’m glad you were able to connect with those of like mind. I have that issue here as well. Praying for you.

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Teres,

      For your safety and protection, I changed your screen name to the screen name you have used most recently on the blog, as the name you submitted with your comment might have been too identifying. If you would prefer having a different screen name, please email me at reachingout.acfj@gmail.com.

    • ((Hugs)) to you, Teres. 🙂

  7. Finding Answers

    Off-topic to the original post, unless, perhaps, my comment might be considered somewhat topical in relation to Barb’s mention in the original post of the Know Your Bible ladies Bible Study Group….and my questions are not intended to detract from the seriousness of the original post.

    Serious questions (and something that just crossed my mind today as I was skimming through some old ACFJ blog comments):

    When people talk and / or write and / or somehow communicate they want to become (or that others need to become) more Christ-like, would it be more accurate to use the phrase (and I’m intentionally omitting quotes from the Bible) showing the fruits of the (Holy) Spirit?

    Given the rampant abuse (of all kinds) in Christianity (and / or “Christianity”), both inside and outside of the church (and / or “church”), is there any significant difference in how damaging either phrase (becoming more Christ-like versus showing the fruits of the (Holy) Spirit) might be and / or is?

    In other words, does one phrase have more potential for being used in and / or for spiritual abuse than the other phrase? Or might the answer(s) depend on who is (are) the abuser(s) and how the phrase(s) is (are) (mis)used?

    • You raise some good questions, Finding Answers. Which phrase is more likely to be used in a damaging or abusive way — “becoming more Christlike” or “showing the fruits of the Spirit”?

      In my experience “becoming more Christlike” has become more of a cliche than “showing fruits of the Spirit”.

      Logically and biblically, the two phrases are synonymous. But in Christianese, “becoming more Christlike” is often used by Pharisiac types in a covertly condemnatory manner. E.g., Mr Pompous Pastor says, “I would like to see the people who attend this church becoming more Christlike.” It might be dressed up as ‘godly exhortation’ but the daggers are lurking not far below the surface.

      • Finding Answers

        You wrote, Barb (31ST JANUARY 2022 – 2:44 AM):

        In my experience “becoming more Christlike” has become more of a cliche than “showing fruits of the Spirit”.

        Logically and biblically, the two phrases are synonymous. But in Christianese, “becoming more Christlike” is often used by Pharisiac types in a covertly condemnatory manner. E.g., Mr Pompous Pastor says, “I would like to see the people who attend this church becoming more Christlike.” It might be dressed up as ‘godly exhortation’ but the daggers are lurking not far below the surface.

        That.

        And perhaps the fruits of the Holy Spirit as listed in the Bible are more easily defined, and perhaps more easily seen in the actions of each person, although complexities still exist when one takes into consideration victim(s) / “victim(s)” / survivor(s) / “survivor(s)” / abuser(s) / “abuser(s)” / etc. / “etc.”.

        I think, perhaps, it’s easier to define the (fruits of the Holy Spirit) words listed in the Bible than it is to define the phrase “becoming more Christlike”.

  8. 50andfree

    I understand exactly what you are saying. The world has changed tremendously since 2020. It’s riskier to say what you think today than it ever has been in my lifetime. I will say this, and people might get very mad, but I’m going to say it anyway; medical mandates are abuse!! And censorship is abuse!! There, I said it. People are afraid because we are living under tyranny, which is a form of abuse. Thank you for posting this. I appreciate you.

  9. Sassinsweet

    Go girl. Keep resisting the coercive jab.
    Government is sounding too bossy, intrusive, abusive.

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Sassinsweet,

      For your safety and protection, I changed your screen name to the screen name you have used most recently on the blog, as the name you submitted with your comment might have been too identifying. If you would prefer having a different screen name, please email me at reachingout.acfj@gmail.com.

      • Sassinsweet

        Thanks.

  10. where2or3r

    “Discerning good and evil”… “the Mind of Christ” vs “the reprobate mind”…

    We are seeing a certain type of evil, all using abuser tactics, in all spheres of life around the world. Proverbs 6:12-19 and James 3:14-18 help us see, also. Thank you for the blog and your efforts to resist and expose evil.

  11. Sojourn

    Dear Barb, I hope that all the car repairs are being dealt with and that the car is back on the road, or if not, then it won’t be long ’til it is. Same thing happened to my daughter when she was driving at dusk with all her children on board. The van was written off, very traumatic for them all and added to the complexity of her enduring a difficult separation and subsequent divorce.

    I think that many people are having difficulty putting their thoughts into words regarding what is happening in our lives on the macro level and this is causing unprecedented cognitive dissonance. I hear about and know of those who have never given a second thought to the bigger agenda and are completely oblivious to what is really happening. For readers of this site, those that are aware of all the mind games, behaviours and issues on a personal level, it must be very difficult navigating these stormy waters.

    I personally know of deaths, attempted suicide, suicides and many who have been injured, some temporarily and some permanently, by those that have taken the government mandated requirements. Then we hear that there is no protection or stop of spread of the causative agent in the same group, and yet these requirements are still being pushed, advertised ad nauseam. Common sense has fled away. We see the medical establishment being gutted, the media being the watchdog for the agenda and the governments being deconstructed before our eyes. Let alone whatever is happening on a personal level to individuals and their families.

    I think we do need a place to express our concerns, but also to encourage each other that being in Christ and being His disciples is our only option to be able to steer this course in peace, love, faith and hope with forgiveness. But we also have to remember that Jesus spoke about ‘my kingdom is not of this world’. John 18:36
    Everything we are facing has been so cleverly conceived by the enemy of our souls since the garden, it is a spiritual battle. And we need to know our Lord and Saviour who will defend us in each and every round.

    • Seeing Clearly

      Sojourn, you describe well the chaos and dissonance in our world. It can feel very disjointed and unsettling. However, I choose to not give the enemy of our souls so much credit. Yes, the enemy would be proud to take credit for “everything“. CS Lewis said something to the effect that the enemy does not need to do much because humans do most of it to themselves. After decades of constant resistance from my now divorced spouse, I choose to align with the grace and mercy of God and resist giving evil the attention that my ex spouse and many in religious leadership try to coerce me into fearfully bowing to. It is simply my perspective.

    • I take my hat off to the way you expressed that, Sojourn. 🙂

      Many people seem to be hypnotised. And those who are not fully hypnotised are often experiencing cognitive dissonance and undergoing strong emotions such as grief, bereavement, loneliness, anger, confusion, frustration, judgmentalism and a spirit of vengeance. You are right that it is very challenging for us as Christians to steer this course in peace, love, faith and hope with forgiveness.

      My niece has lent me a car for as long as it takes to repair my car. What a blessing!

      My heart goes out to your daughter.

  12. Regarding the persecution which I and many others are experiencing, I want to say a bit more.

    The Bible says this about the time leading up to the day of the Lord’s return:

    “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt 24:12 NKJ)

    “because iniquity will have the upper hand, the love of many will abate” (Matt 24:12 NMB).

    In his novel Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky wrote something which seems to foreshadow what Matthew 24:12 alludes to and what we are seeing in the Covid Era. [Trigger warning: the linked post has descriptions of violence and mayhem.] Dostoevsky foretold Covid-19 mass hypnosis and mass chaos.

    I am not saying I know for sure when the Lord will return. I am not saying I know for sure that the Covid Era is an immediate precursor to the Lord’s return. I’m simply pointing out interesting facts that I think are likely connected.

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