“The Perversion of Love”
II Sam 13:20-22
And her brother Ab′salom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar dwelt, a desolate woman, in her brother Ab′salom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 But Ab′salom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Ab′salom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
• I would rather people hear the truth from the pulpit than to buy into a lie from the world! X 2
• Church it is imperative that we not only make preparation to receive Christ as the Church, but we seek to prepare ourselves to receive the brokenness of people whose idea of love is so perverted.
• Ammon was the first son of David, he was to succeed King David at his death. Absolom was the third son of David and both he and Tamar were considered most beautiful of the family of David.
• In Dr. Joyceln Elders book “Love Does No Harm” she says “ Previous experiences of abuse profoundly shape an individual’s perception of “normality” and what is ethically acceptable.”
• But I want to take it a step further and say that “Those who stand by and observe the abuse and do nothing shape the culture of acceptance for the abuser.”
When Christians refuse to confront abuse of another we…..
1. Condone the Abuse
II Sam 13:20
And her brother Ab′salom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.”
• Now if you read the rest of this story, you will find out that Absolom waits 2 years after Ammon rapes his sister Tamar before he enacts on his revenge and Absolom kills his brother Ammon for the rape of his sister. But Absolom’s initial response is something that perpetuates in the life of church as well.
• “Shhhh sister….don’t tell…..shhhh he is your brother…shhh don’t take it seriously….shhhhh
• The church has a systemic problem with trying to keep people quiet when unethical things are done by those in the local church. To often things get swept under the rug, because we refuse to acknowledge that there is sin in the camp.
• We get to concerned about what people in the community will think about our church if something gets out.
• We exchange our Ethical compass for having a reputation.
• I was a youth pastor in a church, where the church secretary took $800 and was never prosecuted but allowed to make payments back to the church which she never did. But that family had no qualms in telling everyone what a bad church it was in the community.
• You know what should have happened? She should have been confronted and the leadership should have brought proof to the whole assembly and she should have been prosecuted and forced to pay back the $800.
• The church wanted to give love and forgiveness. I get that.
• But giving grace is only afforded after justice is served!!!!
• But no where in the Bible do we see any instance of God NOT holding people accountable. We are all held accountable for sin, it is why we die physically, that’s the consequence.
When Christians refuse to confront abuse of another we…..
2. We Silence our Christian Ethics
• I am sick and tired of people that are too afraid to speak truth for fear of not being politically correct. I would rather be Biblically correct than politically correct. I don’t care if you are a Republican or a Democrat, our moral compass should not be polluted with politics.
• We need Christ centered Ethics!
• There are so many Tamar’s that make up the body of Christ
• But if we don’t take a stand against the violence towards women, the abuse of children, the abuse of the elderly and even the violence against the Gay and Lesbian community, what kind of Christ are we portraying?
• I doubt we’d represent the Jesus that he is!!
II Sam 13:20
Now hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.”
• Let’s talk about secrets. If you’re a pastor or a leader someone has confided into you at some point. Dr. Emma Justes said “there are both privileges and responsibilities” when it comes to hearing and keeping secrets.
• Can you keep a secret? Some secrets need to be kept in confidence. But when those secrets jeopardize the physical well being of the a person we have an ethical responsibility in being relative with those in authority.
• If a student tells me that they are going to take their own life and commit sucide I will not hesitate in contacting a parent or police.
• But we need to be able to discern whether we are capable of hearing and dealing with the secrets we are told.
• Absolom heard the secret of his sister with his eyes. Her sleeves were torn off, because virgins arms were covered, but Tamar had ripped them off.
• Absolom heard the secret of his sister with his ears. Because obviously he questioned her and we know she told him.
• But instead of listening, instead of hearing his sister the text says that Absolom told her “To hold her peace” He told her to be quiet!
• How often has our culture done the same thing? How often has the church responded the same way. Our history is fluid with examples like this.
• How many stories are there? The young woman who got pregnant and was sent away from home to live with a relative until the baby was born and given up for adoption. Or she was sent away to have an abortion and lost her life. Or the ones that struggle with their sexual identity and are shunned by their family or bullied.
• When Absolom said “ do not take this to heart” he was not giving validity to what has happened.
• Church, it is our responsibility to listen and to validate those who have been abused. But Absolom is not alone in this. Tamar’s own father King David failed to respond.
• Think about it. This is his daughter. His child. And although he is angered by the actions of Ammon, he doesn’t act. He is the judge of Israel and he does nothing.
• If you are a parent, and you find out that your child is being abused, I don’t care who it is; you have to respond.
• It means that you have to ask your child and be persistent. But when you ask questions, you have to ask them lovingly.
• But when you ask, you need to be prepared to listen and not react. Listen to your child. Not just with your ears. If you see your child retreating to their room. If they stop doing their normal routine. You have to find out what is going on.
• But abuse is not just sexual it can be physical as well. And it is not just with the young but physical abuse and neglect often affect those who are elderly.
• Church, if you recognize that something is wrong or something seems not quite right. You have an Ethical responsibility to speak and act against the abuse of another.
• I have seen first hand the physical neglect of the elderly in a nursing home. I have seen the bed sores, I have seen the broken bones, the welts and bruises that come from incompetent care. They don’t have a voice, but you do. Will you stand in the gap of those who are abused? INV