The Responsibilities of a Church

Spiritual Growth

Church services are the backbone of most churches today.  A Sunday morning service is the normal minimum and many churches also have either a Sunday evening or Mid-Week service, sometimes both.  This is usually has music and singing of some form of  teaching from the pastor or another teacher.  The teaching part can have a wide range from droll plodding sermon to a much more interactive flow with activities that can make some uncomfortable.

Relationships

[Act 2:46 NKJV] 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

The Early Christian Church set the standard for something that is often missing from modern churches.  A few people make connections through regular church services, but few end up making the regular connections noted in this Scripture.

The ones in this Early Church were starting out something new, but the principle still applies today.  Few churches have anything that comes even close to this.  A part of the service may include greeting others in the service, but that doesn’t really make connections that last beyond that brief time.  A single handshake or “holy hug” doesn’t make connections on its own.

A fellowship time of some sort, where smaller groups get together also may happen, but these are often only once or twice a month.  These often feature a token teaching of some type, but usually lack time for full connect for those participating.

Supporting Others

Most churches have some outreach to the unfortunate, both in the church and outside the church.  This often takes the form of a food pantry or some form of financial assistance for specific emergencies.  Some of them may be others in the church, but such efforts are also unlikely to make connections.

It is quite ironic in light of this that most churches will generally do little to help those struggling in emotional and sometimes spiritual areas.  They may refer people to a counselor, but they will rarely do much beyond church services.  They seem to expect those in the congregation to get better all on their own.

Some people make work through their problems alone, with help from the Scriptures and God, of course, but God put us into groups so we could support each others, not so we could be a group of singles.

Getting and Giving Support

Pastors and others in churches need to really work in this area.

[Jhn 10:11 NKJV] 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

The Good Shepherd cares for the sheep.  Pastors should definitely do the same.

[Jhn 10:12-13 NKJV] 12 “But a hireling, [he who is] not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 “The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

Far too many pastors act like a hireling, because they limit what they do to to services and perhaps some limited interaction during office hours at the church.  This has some merit, since a pastor or other church leader can easily be pulled in many different directions if he is not careful, but using that excuse to justify ignoring the need for strong emotional and spiritual healing in the congregation.

Keep in mind that the pastor or church leaders don’t have to personally head up the effort to help those in need.  They do have to do all the work themselves, they just need to provide the framework for such interaction.  Telling those involved to go to an outside counselor or just ignoring them outside of services is not sufficient or even appropriate to their leadership role.

Setting a good support framework up can make providing this kind of support much easier and meet the needs much more effectively.  Forming a group of godly and spiritual men to help men going through troubled times.  A similar group of godly and spiritual women should be prepared to help women going through similar struggles.  Both groups could use solid training to properly respond to the situations they are likely to face, but they can do much good even being available to spend time and listen to those going through such tough times.

Taking a Personal Role

You may just be a member or participant at a local church, but you can be helpful in this area even if you are not in a leadership role.  Reach out to those facing such challenges.  Be willing to listen to them or even invite them out to eat after a Sunday morning service.  Sending texts every few days to see how they are doing can also be very helpful.  I am sure God can give anyone willing to help out some good ideas for other ways to really help those in need.

The church should actively enable such efforts, but don’t wait for the church to do what it should be doing.  Do what you can and maybe the church will see it and put something more formal in place.  Either way the personal efforts will help out at least some people who need it and therefore have great value.

 

Getting a Handle on Fitness

Getting in Shape

[1Ti 4:8 NKJV] 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Many Christians today must take this Scripture  too literally, based on the amount they are overweight.  I have unfortunately been one of those myself, since I was carrying at least 100 extra pounds at one point.  It was definitely noticeable, but I have a large frame and I don’t appear as heavy as I am.

Getting the news I was gong to be single soon started me on a path to drop about 20 of these pounds.  I have already cut many unhealthy things out, but I am getting much more radical now since I have decided to take better care of the body God gave me.

Eating Better

I have lost significant amounts of weight on the Atkins Diet (low carb) in the past and I am returning to that again, though with more of a Paleo approach.  I won’t ban anything, but I will stay away from many things, including most breads and deserts.  I do think good fresh fruits (or sometimes frozen) can be health, especially if I get back on having a daily smoothy with other health stuff mixed in.

I never drank sugar sodas much and quit diet sodas for the final time a while back, so I don’t have that.  I drink minimal alcohol, so I don’t have that adding to my weight pressure.  I do like cream in coffee, when I have it, but that will have to go since it is loaded with sugar.  Going almost pure water, with some straight coffee and teas is a reasonable target.  I have a SodaStream so I can get my fizzy fix without the calories.

Exercise

My goal is to get into solid weight lifting, likely following the principles of Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.  I inherited my father’s build and I still have strong muscles even though I have not done much with them.  I figure I will look and feel much better developing these to a reasonable state.  I have no desire to be in any competitions or such, but using and developing the muscles I have is a good target.

I am also going to restart my active longer walks, perhaps going out for even longer times.  I have plenty of audio I can listen to if I get bored and doing that will at least get me out of the house so I don’t just sit around and play Destiny for hours.

It is a Journey

I expect this to be a journey, not a short sprint.  I am going to do things I can handle and not try and reach too far past that.  Keeping up motivation is the most important, so having some built-in motivation first and then consider expanding out is a good approach.

Honor God by Getting Healthy

I would encourage anyone reading this to evaluate your own health and do the things necessary to get yourself into a God-honoring state.  Many Christians are woefully overweight and need to realize that they are causing a lot of the sickness problems they face with their own diet and exercise choices.  Focus on changing that, even if only a bit at a time.  The effort will be worthwhile!

Keeping Your Focus

If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Meringue Pie

The saying normally says to make lemonade, but that is too plain.  I want to aim at something more interesting.  The pie would actually be outside my diet for some time, perhaps for the rest of my life, but it makes the point.

Keep Negativity in Check

One tough thing I have found is that it is hard to keep your mind on the right things.  It is very easy to get focused on the bad situation you are in.  Past or even ongoing wrongs by others can easily take over your mind if you aren’t watchful.  The mind is the most important component we must master.

[Rom 12:1-2 NKJV] 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We do not belong to ourselves.  We do not have the right to get stuck in any negative mindset.  We must serve our Lord, which may mean doing things we did not plan or choose.

[Rom 12:1-2 NKJV] 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We must let our minds be conformed into His image.  I expect to write more about that in the future.

I Get by With a Little Help from My Friends

[Ecc 4:12 NKJV] 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Do not insist on isolating yourself.  This can be the toughest part however.  Many you expect to help you may not do much of to make things easier.  Churches are often bad about supporting those under serious attack, especially when some involved think you caused the problem.

You will need to find a group that can help.  This may not be a single person, so don’t get fixated on that.  I have found a great deal of support at Dalrcok’s site and I highly recommend that site.  Those participating there are almost all supportive, but the arguments in the discussion below each post can be a bit rough, but even the discussions usually have great value when taken as a whole.

I wish finding those to support you was easier, but it is something that must be worked out.  No single path will fit everyone, but ultimately God will supply a way for those who seek Him.

Get God’s Wisdom

[Jas 1:5 NKJV] 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

God has promised to give you wisdom when you ask, so take advantage of that.  He is unlikely to tell you why everything happened the way it did, at least not in this life, but He will give you the Wisdom to find a successful path through it.

You are Not Alone, Whatever It Seems Like!

[1Co 10:13 NKJV] 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear [it].

God will provide a way for you, however tough the path or length of the journey.  Know that He is there and seek the wisdom mentioned above.  This is an ongoing process, not a one time event.  You may never get beyond the journey until you move into the next life.

God has personally sent me many different support people in my own journey, which remains ongoing.  These usually came after a really tough time, so it wasn’t always pleasant waiting for this help, but it always came when I needed it the most.

I want to encourage you that you can make it!  He will provide the path as you seek Him!

 

If Momma Ain’t Happy, No One Ain’t Happy!

A Commonly Used Phrase

It is quite common for many preachers and others to use the phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, no one ain’t happy,” or some close variant.  The idea is that a happy family requires a happy mother.  The implication is that an unhappy momma will make for a very unhappy family, whether that woman is truly a mother or not.

This is True, to a Point

Of course any family with an unhappy momma is going to have a high level of unhappiness.  This will impact the entire household.

[Pro 21:9 NKJV] 9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

[Pro 25:24 NKJV] 24 [It is] better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Proverbs talks about other cases as well, and all clearly note that it is better to be alone than in a home with an unhappy woman.  This means that the statement can be reasonable on its own, but that is not usually the full point being made.

The Wrong Point

The problem with using this phrase is the implication that stands behind it.  The statement is often used to note that it is the responsibility of the others in the family, normally the husband, to make the wife happy.  The statement is usually part of telling husbands they need to do more to make sure their wife is happy.  A husband needs to do enough, the theory goes, to make sure his wife is happy at all times.  That will then make everything in the family go smoother.

An Impossible Goal

The underlying flaw in this idea is that no one can make anyone else happy all the time.  Each of us are responsible for our own state of mind, including our own happiness.  No one can ever do all the right things to make every last part of our lives happy, or sad for that matter.  This is why some people come out of life with a very cheerful attitude, while others going through the same things end up being extremely bitter and remain unhappy the rest of their lives.  These different results can happen whether the experiences were good or bad.

Happiness is Not the Main Point

[Neh 8:10 NKJV] 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for [this] day [is] holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord is our strength, not happiness in any form.  Life is much nicer with happiness, but no Scripture promises us a happy life or that we will always be happy.  Many Scriptures indicate that things in life will instead push against that happiness.   The ultimate point is that we must master our own emotions.

Women Must Master Their Own Feelings

Thus any woman must choose to control her own feelings, not expect someone else, not even her husband, to cater to her every whim and to keep her in a perfectly happy state.  She is the one who ultimately controls her response to what comes up, no one else.

The Monthly Cycle has a Huge Impact

Keep in mind as well that most woman spend a large chunk of their life going through the monthly fertility cycle, and their emotions will rise and fall during that time whatever happens.

Something that could make them happy on one day may be incredibly annoying on another.  Anyone trying to always provide the proper input for ongoing happiness will not even have a consistent target to aim at.  Thus he will often not be able to hit the happiness goal no matter what he does.  Expecting otherwise is setting everyone up for failure.

Focus on the Right Things!

It is very important that we watch our focus in this area and even correct those who are misleading others with this foolish phrase.  While it is true that momma’s happiness can impact the family, we must bring the focus back to momma’s role in that, not expect anyone else to make it easier to do what momma should be doing herself:  Mastering her own emotions.

I challenge you to think about it whenever this phrase comes to mind and to challenge others when they misuse it to excuse bad behavior.  We all must master our emotions, with God’s help, and bring them into conformity with the Scriptures.  Don’t expect an outside part to do what each individual should do themselves!

 

 

Help a Man Through A Lonely Time

The Time Between the Stages

Men who are frivorced (frivolous divorce) face a very lonely time in most churches in the time between the divorce is filed on them and the time the divorce is final.  This can easily take 5 months or more and can leave the man alone since he is no longer married, but is also not fully single.

No Longer Married

He is no longer married, since his wife has rejected that.  He cannot attend things aimed at married couples, since he is no longer part of a couple.  Some married couples, especially some other married men may seek to avoid him to make sure their own marriage doesn’t get the same infection.

Time he would have spent with his wife must now be filled with nothing. Motivation to do other activities, including some that need to be done or that would be enjoyable can be harder to generate.  Coming to terms with his new situation will take time and being completely alone makes it much harder than it should be.

Not Single Yet

Most singles activities will not be open to him either, since he is not truly single, at least not in the eyes of the State.  It will not matter if reconciliation is impossible, many leaders of churches and singles ministries will insist he must not participate because the government has not issued its decree yet.

This might be fair if churches had other ways to support such people, but others in the church are most likely already busy in their own activities and do not have any time to spare for his man, since their own plate is quite full with things to do.

Many churches end up rendering to Caesar what is God’s in this situation, which is truly tragic.

Blaming the Victim

We hear a lot today about not blaming the victim, but this often happens to the man in this situation as well.  Many wives will have shared their unhappiness and discontent before filing for divorce, leading many to blame the man for causing the circumstances that led to the divorce.  They may say the wife is guilty because she filed without cause, but they will still harbor thoughts that the man caused that by failing his marriage in an active or passive manner.

This can be very hard to address, since the deck is stacked against men in so many areas of modern life, including in the church.  People use foolish catch phrases that blame the man for not having a happy wife, for example.  This attitude can also be present in churches, even those that should know better.

Stop Being Idle and Reach Out – Getting By with a Little Help from His Friends

I would strongly challenge all those who read this, especially those in church leadership, to actively work to help resolve this problem and not just ignore it.  Invite such men into and activity you are already doing when possible.  Carve out an evening every so often. (Weekly or monthly can be good, especially if others are reaching out as well.)  Just sitting and listening to the man share his story, concerns and desires can be helpful.  A therapist can do some of this, but that is not the same as a friend in the same church taking time to personally reach out.

Do you know of anyone who has faced this?  What have you personally done to reach out and help them through this especially lonely time?  Some readers need to repent of their past lack of action and start actively looking for this situation in the future.  Don’t leave it to someone else or it will likely never get done!  Take action yourself.

[Jas 2:16 NKJV] 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what [does it] profit?

[Gal 6:10 NKJV] 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Be profitable to others, especially those in your own church!  Quit making excuses and be the Body, instead of just pretending!

What Does Forgiveness Require?

One of the common messages in many churches today is that we should forgive others, as is noted in the Scriptures.

What is Covered?

This is usually taken to note forgiving anything and everything, but I have questions about that as note in a previous post.

One thing that keeps coming to my mind as I have been studying the issue more is exactly what it means to forgive.

The Parable on Forgiveness

[Mat 18:23-27 KJV] 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

The forgiveness here noted complete elimination of the debt, not just more time to pay, something that was almost certainly impossible.

The servant then went out and didn’t follow the same pattern.

[Mat 18:28-30 KJV] 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

This servant could not apply the same forgiveness principle to another, even though the debt was much smaller and the one who owed it asked for the same leniency the original servant had just sought.

[Mat 18:31-35 KJV] 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

The real charge against the original servant was that he had not applied the same principle to the one who owed him money that he received.  His unwillingness to do that appears to have undone his former forgiveness, something that is worth considering.

Jesus leaves us with a command

[Mat 18:35 KJV] 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

This must be taken in the context of the parable however.  Both servants were repentant, but the original servant did not continue the forgiveness and cost himself.

What was Gained and Then Lost

The original servant gained complete deliverance from his massive debt at first.  The result of his forgiveness was that he didn’t owe something he could not pay.  He did not get a time extension or a payment plan, the consequences of his debt were completely removed, at least until his later action of not allowing the same forgiveness to others.

We are not clearly told whether the original servant would have been fine if he had allowed the other servant time to pay, though the implication was that even that would not have been appropriate based on the master’s response.  The almost certain expectation was that he would also remove the consequences of the 2nd servant’s debt as part of the process.

What Forgiveness Means

Forgiveness in this case meant removing the consequences of the sin that got both servants where they were.  Neither could immediately resolve the situation.  We do not know exactly what the servant in the latter case could do, we do not have enough information to know whether his debt was payable or not.  It seems like an amount that was reachable in that day, but we cannot be completely certain on that.  Either way, the idea is that the master expected the 1st servant to forgive the same way he was forgiven, which would involve removing any obligation for the debt.

So Who Must We Completely Remit?

The implications of what forgiveness means are deeper than many realize at first.  Saying we always need to forgive even the non-repentant would mean we need to also allow them to continue in their sinful actions, including those that work directly against us.  This may still be good in some cases, but can be dangerous in many areas of life.  Applying blanket forgiveness without any repentance and can create a very harmful society.  This is because those we forgive will normally go on and do the same to others, causing great harm.

That is why it is important to decide the exact results of forgiveness.  Let us not follow a favorite concept and ignore the whole of the Scriptures and its impact on the life of our society.  We must be very cautious.  We do not want to carry bitterness and unforgiveness around in ourselves, but neither do we want to remove others from the consequences of their sinful actions.  Sometimes letting someone reap the consequences of their sin is the best outcome for all involved.

Keep in mind that I am talking about the unrepentant here, not those who seek our forgiveness.  We need to be cautious even then.  I may forgive someone who harmed me or my family, but I will likely not spend time with them until I am fully convinced that aspect of their character has completely changed.  That would be the topic of another post however.

 

A Comment on New President Trump

I am not expecting to get into a great deal of politics here, except as it intersects the Word of God, but I wanted to make a short post nothing how impressed I am with the new US President Trump.

I am old enough to have voted in Reagan’s first election and even Saint Reagan did not do the number of things I have already seen Trump do.  Things also point to a very good outcome if he continues down what looks to be a very successful path.

How many Republican politicians mouthed words about being pro-life, but never did a thing to back those words up?  That used to an almost single issue vote driver for me, but it never made any serious change.

I decided this election that having a country left, which meant stopping the massive invasion of so many who were not Americans and who continue to drive us away from the foundation the founders of the country laid.  We have been going far from that for many years (something I may write about later), but we have been accelerating off the cliff very fast in the last few years.  I have argued that hitting the wall would be hard, whether it is at 80 MPH or 60 MPH, but the prospect of doing that is still not great.

I do not think even the best result of a Trump presidency can completely change some directions that are in place.  The idea of the melting pot I grew up being force fed is turning out to be completely untrue and we will definitely see more an more fissures in American society as everyone acts out on their own identity politics.  Everyone but whites have been doing it in recent history, and many whites are realizing they must stick together or hang separately.

Those who decry the bluntness of Trump really need to get in touch with reality.  He is the only one who has done anything in recent history and we would probably be terminal if his opponent had won and shoved her utopia down our throats.

I look forward to what his entire first term can do for our country.  I suspect he will have no trouble being reelected, especially since his opponents are acting like complete idiots in so many ways.

Taking Every Accusation Seriously

A Single Witness is Not Enough

[Mat 18:16 KJV] 16 But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

I will write more in the future on this Scripture, but I want to look now at the issue of believing every accusation that comes before us.  Note that this requirement is built on the requirement in The Law to have more than a single witness to validate strong charges.

[Deu 17:6 KJV] 6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; [but] at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
[Deu 19:15 KJV] 15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Note that we are explicitly told that a single witness is not sufficient to believe a charge, yet many people today automatically believe the harshest accusations with only a single witness.

False Child Abuse Charges

Some of my readers likely remember the very severe child abuse charges that were brought against daycare centers several decades ago.  It is possible a few were ultimately true, but many turned out to be nothing more than mass hysteria run amok.  Tales of satanic abuse and other horrific occurrences were tossed about and completely ruined the lives of many people.

Most of you will also know someone or at least know of someone who has been charged with child abuse by a divorcing spouse as part of an effort to gain the upper hand in divorce proceedings.  A limited number of these charges may be accurate, but far more are made up out of whole cloth.  This can become clear when the children involved grow up to be adults and examine the situation themselves.

False Rape Charges

Charging someone with rape has become a favorite past time for some today, easily ruining the lives of those charged, whether they did anything wrong or not.  This may be regret rape, where the women regrets she had sex and wants to cry “rape” at a later point in time.  Other cases have involved a woman picking a random man to go after, something that is remarkably hard to defend against.

Society has not wanted to come against those who make such claims falsely because they don’t want to stifle true reports of rape, but that approach has ended up ruining the lives of many.  It is also making many very skeptical about any charge of rape, especially when the party making the charges (usually female) put themselves in a compromising situation around the supposed rape.  It may be politically correct to not “blame the victim,” but people are seeing that many of the women making these charges are the attacker, not the victim.

Making such a charge, whether due to regret, a desire for revenge or for some other reason has had very little downside and a lot of upside as many people will rally behind the accuser, making the accused prove innocence, something that can be almost impossible to do.  Some in society are pushing back against this, but it is still a dicey thing today and many have their lives ruined by such charges, even if they are verified to be completely untrue later.

False Abuse Charges

The divorce situation is also a very common forum for a woman to make such claims, since it can give her a great leg up in court.  Men are abused as well, but are much less likely to claim abuse for many reasons.  They are also less likely to be believed.  It isn’t hard to find stories about a man who was abuse getting arrested instead of his wife because he was the male and he is automatically presumed to be guilty.

Church Should Protect Its Members

This is a tough situation that will cause future trouble in our society, but it is already playing havoc in many churches.  The Scriptures only allow divorce in the case of adultery, but that doesn’t happen as often as we are led to believe, so a woman who wants out of a marriage (women file 80% of the divorces according to this post) has a strong incentive to claim abuse.  That will get many in the church to support her bailing on her marriage.  They may not support the divorce itself, but it becomes a case of the abuser driving her to that point rather than one of her being rebellious, so she can keep a good conscience and good standing with the church, all while violating what is written.

This does not mean a church should do nothing when such a claim is raised, but just putting credence to the charge and having no further involvement can be very dangerous.  I have had a pastor tell me that the church leadership is compelled to tell a woman to leave her husband in that case (as in separation, not divorce), but I could not find any legal reference to that stance.  Few would recommend anyone stay in an unsafe situation, but a surface view is not living up to our responsibilities as Christians.

A church should take it seriously and may want to help such a woman get temporary help, including a place to stay, but they should follow that up with counseling with the woman involved at the very least.  Those counseling should seek to work through the issues and get a better picture of things, not just rely on charges that could easily be false.  Counseling can start with the wife claiming abuses even if the husband will not be involved.  That counseling may open up opportunities to dig into underlying issues.  Just referring the abused wife to a counselor is insufficient, as a woman making such a charge needs serious help and a church should provide that help to its members.  The one in true danger does need a safe place to be an perhaps even someone to help with that safety.  A wife making up such claims, even if she really believes things, most likely has some really bad core beliefs that need to be worked on.

Evaluate and Support, Don’t Just Believe and Accusation

I have found that very few churches rarely come up to this level of involvement in the lives of anyone in their congregation.  I have been in quite a few in over 40 years of being a Christian and I cannot remember a single church that really did much to really resolve things.  It is far too easy to focus on the business in the church and let people hang.  Some churches may have specific counseling and others may refer to an outside group for counseling, but even that falls far short of what is really needed.  Even a claim of something in this situation should result in significant interaction.

Make Disciples

[Mat 28:19 NKJV] 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Christians are called to make disciples, not to farm that out to others.  That would support my assertion here that the church should take a more active role in both validating the truth of claims in this area as well as providing support, counseling and possibly even chastisement in this area.  Those who use an accusation to attempt harm to another or for personal advantage need special attention, even if it is not clear that is the case up front.

Making disciples requires far more time and effort than most are prepared for however.  It may also requiring training up more people in the church to do this work rather than just the church leadership.  This difficulty is not an excuse to do nothing however.  Churches must be more active and even proactive in this area if they want to truly follow their Lord’s commands.

Gathering Advice for the Newly Divorced

Looking for Advice and Encouragement

I want to gather some solid advice for those who are newly divorced, or directly facing that.  It can be a very tough time and many men are completely alone at this time.  Please reply to this with helpful things or encouragement that men can use.  I will seek to give credit for any replies I use for a future post (or even book).

Please Keep It Positive

Please keep things positive.  I want to know things a man facing this can do.  Or solid encouragement for him.  This is not a place to complain about an unjust system.  The system is unjust, but I serve a Lord who is greater than any unjust system and I want to help others make it through what can be a very tough time.

Advice for Pastors and Outsiders

It would also be useful to give advice to those who should be in a supporting role for such men.  What things can they do to help?  What things should they avoid?  Keep this clean as well.  Many in such roles may have helped cause the problem, but seeing things they can do if it does happen may help some get a better understanding of theses situations and that will help all involved.

Anything Else?

Include any other appropriate advice, with the same positive/productive focus.  Hopefully this all can ultimately help this situation and maybe even open the eyes of others to reduce or eliminate this scourge on our society.