Hello friends! My newest book has been released on Amazon! I’m glad it’s being released in Domestic Violence Awareness month, since in Christian circles, domestic abuse is almost always interwoven with spiritual abuse. Click here to see the book on Amazon.
I’ve been hiding in a hole lately, working on the manuscript for this book. While I’ve been working on it, I’ve neglected many emails and most of my housekeeping.
But I’m excited to say it’s almost done! I’ll be addressing topics I’ve addressed in blog posts before, but completely reworked, simplified, and expanded. I had to take a hard look at teachings that had been given by respected speakers and writers.
This post is Part Three of a larger series on the Biblical concept of bitterness. Parts One and Two were published earlier this month, covering the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews and the “gall of bitterness” in Acts.
This post is part of a much larger project exploring the Biblical concept of “bitterness,” looking at all the occurrences of the Hebrew and Greek words as they’re used throughout the Bible.
This is important, because the accusation of “bitterness” is often used to shame and blame and silence victims and survivors of abuse. (I’ve been listening to many sermons and reading articles and books to that effect.)
I believe the Bible makes it clear that bitterness definitely doesn’t always mean what we’ve been led to think it means.
When we left my Independent Fundamental Baptist roots (not because of rules so much, or a particular bad experience, but because in our study of the Bible, some of our beliefs had changed so fundamentally that we no longer fit), in searching for where we belonged in the world of Christendom, we ended up in a Reformed Baptist church.
Jesus cried out, “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
A couple of years ago I posted on Facebook a question about the Greek word translated “repentance.” (It’s metanoia and its variants.) Yes, I admit, it took me a long time to get back to all the links and ideas people sent me, but here I am again, studying repentance.
It’s because three things happened at about the same time. First, I was praying for pastors and other Christian leaders (the ones who have treated and counseled sexual abuse survivors as if they were pariahs) to repent about their wrongdoing. Second, I’ve been praying for revival for a long time, and in the context of that, having a discussion with a Christian leader about whether or not repentance is necessary for salvation. Third, I’ve been studying II Corinthians, where Paul talks about repentance in chapter 7.
I always used to hear repentance being taught as a change of mind. That very sterile, academic definition vaguely dissatisfied me. It seemed to accompany the academic, intellectual acceptance of Christ embodied in the “sinner’s prayer.” Continue reading “What does real repentance look like?”