Standing against evildoers—a poster

When our Lord Jesus went to the cross with His mouth closed like a lamb to the slaughter, it was for our salvation.

But have you considered that the reason that happened–in human terms—is because there had been plenty of times before that when He didn’t keep His mouth closed, when He called out evil among God’s people exactly for what it was?

This was why He was forced to go to the cross. He made enemies because He called out evil for what it was.

Our Lord Jesus was never complicit with evil propagated by the religious leaders, covering evil “so He wouldn’t give God a bad reputation.” He solidly stood against it.

God’s people will suffer at the hands of evildoers. But let it never be while we’re pretending that evil is good. 

 

 

 

 

 

Righteous anger or sinful? A response to the Women’s Study Bible

Last Friday morning I wrote and posted a response (link) to Michael Pearl’s blog post in which he answered the questions of a woman who, with her children, was living with an abusive husband (link).

The title of my post, “Dear Michael Pearl, this is what righteous anger looks like seemed self-evident. This is because, as it so happened, the previous morning someone else had written to ask me a question that in God’s providence prepared me for Friday morning.

She asked for my thoughts on a short lesson about anger from the Thomas Nelson Women’s Study Bible (WSB), edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Kelley. (There appear to be dozens of editions of this Bible available, but I’m linking to one of the most recent ones.)

Here is the lesson, found at Ecclesiastes 7:9. (in this edition it’s on page 982.)  Continue reading “Righteous anger or sinful? A response to the Women’s Study Bible”

There weren’t any wicked people in MY part of the world

This coming Friday, the plan is, I’ll be doing another Facebook Live interview with Natalie Klejwa of Emotional Abuse Survivor (aka Visionary Survivor). Because we’re going to be talking about “bitterness,” I was naturally led to think about the wicked.

So here’s a funny story. It’s actually true, too.

Around 25 or 30 years ago when I was reading through the Psalms, I sighed and said to myself, “There sure are a lot of Psalms about the wicked. But I don’t personally know any wicked people, so these psalms seem like they don’t apply to me.”

Yes, it’s true. That’s what I said.

Then I went on to think, Continue reading “There weren’t any wicked people in MY part of the world”

The other kind of radical (a guest post for Give Her Wings)

Which one is Radical?

This  post is also being published today at the blog of Give Her Wings, an organization that helps and supports women leaving abusive spouses. Please visit their site.

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Last September for my Birthday Reflections post (an annual tradition), I wrote about going down into the dark valley called The Valley of Weeping.

Today, though, I want to express my boundless praise for the gift God has given me in that valley, the people I’ve been privileged to get to know there. I want to shout out my thanksgiving to God for the faithful trauma survivors He has put in my life. Most of them were traumatized by people who claimed to be Christians, even Christian leaders. But in spite of that, these women are still following God, or longing to follow Him, in faith.

My heart swells in even thinking about them. I would far rather sit at their feet than at the feet of the most popular speaker.   

Many of them will never stand before a microphone and speak. Many of them will never write a book. Many of them will not have any sort of following at all, because they are simply trying to live their lives. If we take David Platt’s Radical as a mantra, Continue reading “The other kind of radical (a guest post for Give Her Wings)”

The other kind of hypocrisy (a guest post for Leslie Vernick)

This post is being simultaneously published at the website of Leslie Vernick.

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I’ve been urged to watch 13 Reasons Why to see the 13 reasons (why) a young friend hates it so much. (Though I’ve read and heard enough about it to understand it, so far I’ve been able to get through only the first episode). The bullying she personally experienced at her Christian school, she said, was pretty much everything that happened in this Netflix series, and more.

One of the most important things she described to me about her school was the dynamic of bullying. Some students there were genuinely nice people, but they lived in such an environment of fear that whenever the main bullies were around, they remained silent or even participated in the bullying if necessary, so they wouldn’t become a target. (You may wonder why no one tried to alert teachers or administrators about this massive problem, but someone did and it wasn’t believed, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog post.)

So while I was pondering the dynamics of a bullying school environment that went stratospherically beyond anything I had experienced in my own high school days of mild bullying, we heard a sermon on Galatians 2.

“Well, what do you know,” says I to myself, “there it is again!”

The story goes that the apostle Peter and the other Jewish Christians were actually welcoming the Gentile Christians and even eating with them (a truly big deal in those days) . . . until the bullies came.

The bullies weren’t swaggering studs or prima donna divas; they were Continue reading “The other kind of hypocrisy (a guest post for Leslie Vernick)”

On calling people out via social media—a response to Jarrid Wilson

On my personal Facebook page I have the “On This Day” app so I can see everything posted on each day through the years. So during the month of February I’ve been following what happened in February of 2014, which in my little world was significant. Early that month, Bob Jones University had fired the team that was investigating their handling of sexual abuse allegations, Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment (GRACE), headed by Boz Tchividjian. Because I spoke out about the firing in various places on social media, including my own personal Facebook page, I gained quite a following Continue reading “On calling people out via social media—a response to Jarrid Wilson”

Why “moral injury,” like “PTSD” is a term that applies to far more than our soldiers, and why that’s important to all of us

I recently finished reading the book What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars, by Pulitzer-prize-winning war journalist David Wood (Little, Brown, 2016). When my husband brought it home from the library my interest was piqued because I hoped it might give me insight into why the abusive situations I’ve known about involved what seemed like a disproportionately high percentage of abusers who were military veterans. Continue reading “Why “moral injury,” like “PTSD” is a term that applies to far more than our soldiers, and why that’s important to all of us”

Tullian Tchividjian, Tom Chantry, BJUGrace, and gossip

In the beginning, I had a little blog called Here’s the Joy on which I just wanted to blog about the Christian life and the wonderful truths of the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, the Hope of glory. I was happy with my eight readers, and life was (relatively) uncomplicated.

Then I began to interact more and more with abuse survivors and those who blog about abuse. That does have a way of upending your world, doesn’t it? I may still have only eight readers, but my blog has taken a turn.

So yesterday I was supposed to be working on the publishing policy for Justice Keepers Publishingand other fun things, but I got waylaid for a bit by someone’s blog post with links and more links. Eventually it led me to a blog where I had a spirited discussion with the blog admin, who had said we should keep silent regarding scandals such as that about Tullian Tchividjian and Tom Chantry, because otherwise we are breaking the ninth commandment, “thou shalt not bear false witness.” Continue reading “Tullian Tchividjian, Tom Chantry, BJUGrace, and gossip”