Easter: Now or When?

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“Christ didn’t die for me to live like this!”

The realization came upon me one day as I was struggling with domestic abuse from a minister I had married.

As a young woman, I maintained a conviction that the spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lived in me and my essential spirit was eternal.

That was the spirit that kept fighting the abuse. The faith in love and goodness overcoming kept me fighting. But I didn’t understand that reasoning could not overcome insanity.

A man who beats his pregnant wife is insane.

A man who tries to poison her drinking water is insane.

A man who justifies mistresses with the story of David has broken his vow.

A man who enforces prayer each morning and hatred each night is using coercive control.

And it took me years to understand that trying to make a relationship work with such a man was something only God could do. I could not..

A few years before this, I heard a woman say, “If you pray to be crucified with Jesus, you will be.”

The doctrine of imitating Christ by seeking out unnecessary suffering is not God’s will.

The doctrine that we must be locked into an abusive relationship because of a vow is an invention of men using God’s name.

Man-made doctrine is toxic. It is built to control women for the ego of men.

Abuse in the name of God is still abuse.

And so, when will your Easter come?

Is your faith static or dynamic? Does it exalt suffering or the abundant life in the gospel?

The Christ spirit of life was demonstrated by Jesus.

The Christ spirit within raised Jesus. It didn’t leave him in the tomb.

It doesn’t leave you there either.

Don’t believe anyone who tells you it does.

Easter and Domestic Abuse

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One of the most important ways in which my faith matured in the course of escaping domestic abuse in the name of God was the application of eternal life to the situation.

The way that the Bible and faith concepts were hurled against me was contrary to Jesus’ message and example, his demonstration that believers had the power of life over death.

They enforced a view of me and women generally as second- class souls. We were believing Christians, but the promise of the redemption and resurrection were somehow not fully ours.

Instead we had to keep earning our right to be treated with dignity, respect, and hardly ever the love we had been promised both in our vows and in the gospel.

The idea that my husband, a minister, was my Lord standing over me as head between me and Christ was scarcely different in the fundamentalist view than in the Catholic one in which I had been raised. The only difference was that instead of the priest between me and God, my husband was granted the responsibility.

This was one of the teachings I had left the Catholic faith over, citing the teaching to call no man Father.

Yet here I was being told that I must obey my husband who was a proxy for Christ  in our marriage.

But he certainly wasn’t acting like Christ. In fact there were many nonbelievers who had better marriages that we did.

Finally after years of begging, pleading, turning myself inside out to please, asking God in prayer for answers, I changed my prayer.

Instead of asking to change me so he would stop the abuse, I prayed to either change him or get me out of there.

The answer came. I was to leave because Christ did not die for me to live like this.

My own personal resurrection. Thanks be to God.