Teaching About Domestic Violence Urgently Needed in the Church, Preacher Claims

By CCD contributor: Liu YanyueApril 17th, 2017

Recently, a civil servant from Erdos in Inner Mongolia was given Death sentence with reprieve due to his beating his wife to death. Last November, a young man in my city accidentally stabbed his father to death when his father was abusing his mother. The relatives of the young man appealed to court and asked for a possible redduce of punishment.

Until now, domestic violence is still one of the most concerning social problems in China. According to statistics released by the All-China Women's Federation, 30% of married women in China have suffered from domestic violence. The proportion is higher among well-educated women. In March, the Law of Anti-family Violence was approved to combat the problem.

Domestic violence also happens in the church. A Christian sister made a survey among the female of the church choir. She found that most of them have experienced domestic violence. Faced with domestic violence, the nation is strengthening legislation and the society is taking action. However, the church seems to have little response.

I'm talking about domestic violence from the angle of theology and shepherd.

Firstly, we must stand in the position of prophets and claim the guilt of domestic violence.

In the time of Prophet Malachi, the moral degeneration of the Israelites made them look down on marriage. They got divorced casually. Domestic violence also happened from time to time.

Prophet Malachi severely scolded them: "Although God has the ability to create more people, He only built one human. He hopes that human beings could get pious descendants."

God said: "I hate those who get divorced with their wives, as well as those who abuse their wives. You should keep your principle and never deceive others."

The prophet didn't give ambiguous moral criticism. He started from the creation of human beings. He let us know that divorcing or abusing one's wife is a violation of marriage, which is designed by God. "It is a great sin."  

Secondly, we must reject the distorted and abnormal suffering theological ideas.

Sometimes, we would hear such spiritual rhetoric in the church: " You have such violent husband. Don't panic. Don't lose heart. You should still obey your husband because this is the homework given by God. This is the cross you should carry. So you should endure everything."

People who said such words completely ignore the bitterness of those sisters. They are just talking like unconcerned people. They have totally misunderstood the meaning of the cross. They won't realize that they just make those sisters more disappointed with what they said.

I have seen a testimony on the Internet once. A sister, who has suffered from domestic violence, ran to cry in the church. The believers in the church didn't comfort or protect her. They just scolded the sister with spiritual words with a superior tone.

At last, the sister couldn't bear the domestic abuse any more and she killed her husband. The believers in the church were astonished and regretted their words.

Job has said:" You are forgers of lies. You are physicians with no value. I wish you could all be silent." (Job now - 5),

Third, the church must return to the teachings of Jesus.

When the Pharisees wanted to sound Jesus out and asked Jesus his viewpoints regarding divorcing wives, Jesus returned to God's creation of human beings and intention for marriage: "God made males and females. They will create descendants together. Humans should leave their parents and join with their wife."

Have you read through the script? If you have, a husband and wife are no longer two separated individuals. God has joined them together. They are a community."(Matthew moreover - 6)

If we think the script is talking about the modern concept of divorce, we have misunderstood the real teachings of Jesus. In ancient times, males dominated the society. Women were just accessories of men. Men could abandon their wives casually; but, women could only passively accept it. Abandoned wives were miserable because they lost their livelihood.

Therefore, when Pharisees said that Moses allowed men to divorce a wife, Jesus said this was not God's command because men had a hard heart.

Jesus strongly condemned the patriarchal society, where the dignity and rights of women were trampled. He also tried his best to protect women in the weak position. In his opinion, unless a man's wife is not loyal to him, he shouldn't abandon his wife for any reason.

Jesus was not talking about the modern concept of "divorce". He was targeting husbands who abandoned their wives in an ancient society where males were superior to females. He intended to protect women.

Last but not least, we should give victims of domestic violence guidance and protection 

If the perpetrator is a member of the church, he must be punished. If a sister has suffered from the pain of domestic violence for a long time, the church shouldn't avoid their appeal for help with the excuse of carrying the cross or divorce is forbidden.

Although the Bible didn't explicitly said that people could get divorced due to domestic violence, we must think of how to deal with this problem from a higher level instead of understanding it with superficial words.

We know that the rules of Sabbath Day are very important for Jews. Rabbis of Judaism wrote out a long list of taboos aside from the rules on Sabbath. 

Therefore, when the apostles of Jesus pinch grains to eat on Sabbath Day, the Pharisees got very angry. They even thought Jesus' treatment of patients has broken the regulations of Sabbath Day.

From the perspective of Judaism, the behavior of Jesus is indeed against the law. However, Jesus put forward a higher moral principle: "On Sabbath Day, should we do good or do evil things? Should we save life or kill life? Which option is better?" In the eye of Jesus, Sabbath Day is indeed important. However, goodness and saving life is more important than the regulations of Sabbath Day.

However, the Pharisees have put the cart before the horse. The regulations of Sabbath Day have become religious shackles. Of course, marriage is very important.  However, if someone is living death in marriage, what's the meaning of marriage?

If a sister always suffers from domestic violence and her life is even threatened in marriage, what is the worth of her marriage? The dignity and value of life is much more important than a marriage that lets people live in hell!

Apostle Peter received the teachings of Jesus and told brothers in his church, who have been husbands: "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."(1 Peter 3:7)

The church should insist on God's and the prophets' teachings. Faced with existing domestic abuse, further adjustment and breakthrough should be made by the church. 

Translated by Emma Ma

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