The Bible says in John 16 that we will have tribulation in this world. But Jesus comforts us with the words that we should take courage because He has overcome the world.
I would think that when dealing with tribulation, the temptation will always be to fall into bitterness. But Jesus encourages us that we should take heart. Therefore we should be able to overcome bitterness.
However, I have seen things that make me concerned. I have seen doctrine and pressure from church leaders that were not the sweet water that Jesus offered, but rather bitter waters. And those putting forth these doctrines and pressuring people to accept unrighteous decrees from leadership have been deceived and try to state that their doctrines are sweet.
Now those of you reading may wonder what I'm speaking of. I suppose there are many things that fall into this category. But I'd like to mention one in particular. And this is the pressure many churches have placed on women to remain in home situations where there is some sort of abuse.
For many years, it was as though churches denied that abuse existed.
But I had and early exposure to it's existence in the form of a sentence spoken by an acquaintance. She said that her ex tried to "beat the fear of God into me with a folding chair."
I was shocked by this statement. I had just given my heart to the Lord a few years earlier and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. And it hurt me that anyone thought that they could beat another human being with a folding chair. And I longed to tell the woman about the real love of God. But her heart was hardened. She preferred smoking, drinking, and partying now. They were better companions. And in all honesty, can anyone blame her if she felt her only choices were to be beaten in the church or to have fun outside the church?
Some reading this may believe that this is an isolated case, or that I'm exaggerating for the sake of shock value. But sadly, this thing of women leaving the church rather than being abused is more common than many polite Christians want to believe. The reason these women are leaving the church is because in many cases the church has turned a blind eye, or worse, blamed the victim. And these women have had enough. They refuse to drink the bitter waters that domineering men have tried to give them. But sadly they haven't found the true sweet water that Jesus had for them all along. So they left to find other waters.
And worse still, in many cases, instead of the church recognizing her error, it again blames the victim, judges and labels these women as unsubmissive and turns it's back on their wounded souls.
The good news is that things are changing.
The bad news is that it has taken so long and the church has lost many who would have been assets to the cause of Christ.
This blog is for women, both still in the church and who have left the church. Those who have been abused and been forced to drink bitter waters rather than sweet, and who have been judged for spitting the bitter water out. If you are one of those women, please feel free to tell us your story.