WHY WE MUSTN’T BE QUIET
Two years ago, I met a wonderful lady called Faith who was and is still a strong advocate against Gender Based Violence against Women. She became my mentor and my greatest source of inspiration on the subject. As I volunteered in her organization in High Schools, I was almost unaware and completely blinded to the gravity of the subject. To me, abuse was not something to be talked about. It was obvious. If you are abused, you move on. It happened and it‘s a subject to never be discussed. Just deal with your emotions and you are good or so I thought…
A year later, I was so fired up about the subject on abuse; I wanted to know so much more. Then my Eureka moment happened. Mrs. Greg Johnson taught us about ‘10 Lies the Church Tells women‘ and her reference was a book. I got the book and read it faithfully jot-ting down notes, and referring to scripture to understand how scriptural its thoughts were. By the time I was done reading, I was convinced that we had a big problem in the Body of Christ: WE ARE JUST TOO QUIET.
Abuse is a subject that people remain silent about, but in the church, the silence is almost deafening. Every week I meet men, women, and young people that are or were in abusive relationships. And when I ask if they seek counselling with their pastor the answer is sadly the same. No. I can‘t approach Pastor with this,‘ each giving their own reasons – the pastor won‘t understand or I am too embarrassed to speak or it‘s my problem alone. The bottom line is that we have nursed a culture of silence. Think about it. If we spoke and acted against abuse like we speak against poverty, if we put the same effort in caring for the sexually violated like we care for the orphan, if we stood up for the physically abused like we stand up for our kids, Just what if? An abused person doesn’t just suffer physically and emotionally, they suffer spiritually, they shut down, they become as walking corpses. Wounded and dead, screaming for help but nobody hears.
God Hates Abuse
Am reminded of Jesus Christ and his love and compassion for his children – the broken. The Woman caught in adultery is a classic example of a woman who faced gender violence/abuse in John 8:1-11. Despite the fact that she was caught in the act with an adulterous man, she was dragged to the temple at the feet of Jesus by the Pharisees who said,‘ …In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?‘ But Jesus did the exact opposite of what the religious culture demanded. He wrote on the ground then rose up and said, Let anyone who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.‘ Considering that women were treated as second-rate citizens in that age, Jesus STOOD UP and protected a WOMAN. This is not to say that he liked her Sin but on the contrary he saw her as valuable and worthy of love and protection in an otherwise cruel world. That day she would be dead.
And so I dare say – God hates abuse. And yes it is biblical, Malachi 2:16 says…and I hate a man’s covering himself f with violence as well as with his garment‘. In the NIV the footnote (f) stand for – or his wife. We must HATE what God HATES and LOVE what HE LOVES. And that‘s why we mustn‘t be quiet- Because God hates Abuse. He Hates Violence.
It‘s your duty
Monica Johnson a Screenwriter once said, As a Christian, we can‘t stand on the sidelines with no team jersey or team colors to show our allegiance to Christ.‘ Basically we can‘t claim to be Christian and not be passionate and radical concerning the things that God is passionate and radical about. But how radical is God concerning these matters? In Psalms 12:5 God says,
Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, now I will arise says the Lord. I will set him in the safety for which he longs.‘
And because we are Christ‘s ambassadors (2nd Corinthians 5:20) as though God is making his appeal through us, each of us has a duty to stand up and speak out for the abused. We each have a duty to stand up for the battered woman, molested boy, neglected child, wounded girl and crushed man. We must remember that the Lord is close to the broken hearted and crushed in spirit.
I encourage each of us to refuse to be quiet. If you have been through any sort of abuse and still struggle with its effects, do not be quiet. Don‘t let the devil kill you slowly in the inside. Remember the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) but Christ came that you may have life and have it abundantly. If you are passionate for the abused, wounded and broken then do not be quiet. Plug into an existing ministry or start your own that can help someone out there who needs to know the healing power of Christ Jesus. With that said, a command is left for you and I,
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.