The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
The Forgotten Victims of Eldorado
By now, most of us are aware of the problems that have been going on in a "ranch" in Eldorado Texas as 416 children were removed from the ranch after a 16 year old girl called the police to say she was abused.
Those on this ranch are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This faith practices polygamy in arranged marriages and believe the lifestyle brings exaltation in heaven.
There are several aspects I would like to bring out in this message, both as the director of Shattered Men, and as an ordained pastor.
Most of the adult women who were forced to leave the ranch have or want to return. The members gave tours of their Yearning for Zion ranch two weeks after it was raided by law enforcement saying they wanted to show that their lives — isolated from what they regard as
a hostile and sinful outside world — center on family and faith. They can leave the ranch to go shopping and are not "locked" in.
On Thursday, a custody hearing starts to decide whether the children, will be placed in permanent state custody. State officials alleged a pattern of abuse by adults, including marriages between young girls to older men. Sect members deny children were abused.
Families meet daily for religious devotions, prayer and singing. The community also gathers for church meetings on Sundays
There are several things I am concerned about. Needless to say, I do not want to see anyone abused. Although only a very few of those at this ranch have ever alleged abuse, it does not mean it has or has not occurred. It DOES have to be checked out carefully and I do not envy the authorities that have the task of doing this in the least. From Shattered Men, I know how easy it is to be accused of abuse when none has occurred. I also know who easy it is for
someone to suffer horrible abuse and not even realize it is abuse until they find out that what they have faced is not normal. Although we want to help anyone that has been abused, we do not want to make victims where there are none. There has to be a balance. Abusers have a way of making those they abused feel they "deserve" it so they do not see it as abuse. They think they are being punished for something they did wrong...they forced the abuser to do
what they did. On the other hand, many abuse centers need victims and they create them where none exist by saying anything their clients do not like is abuse.
One thing I do feel strongly about is that a young girl does not have the maturity to give informed consent to marriage. I do believe a forced marriage for these girls is wrong but I will
address this when I come to the part where I am addressing this as a pastor.
Before then I want to address the forgotten victims of this situation. These are the victims very few have spoken about.
For those who have read or seen the reports on this situation, you may have noticed they talked about the young girls who were removed from this ranch. What about the boys? Oh, there are a few boys among the 416 children but they are all very young. Most boys are
forced to leave this ranch by the age of 13. Many are forced out with no place to go. Up to a thousand teenage boys were simply dumped on the side of the road with no place to go. They are on their own. My friend…THIS IS ABUSE! Why have so few talked about this aspect of this ranch?
Joanne Suder, a lawyer representing some of the Lost Boys in a case against the sect, said there had been "a conspiracy to excommunicate young boys to change the arithmetic so there are more young girls available for polygamy." She said some of the boys were simply driven out of town and dumped on the side of the road, leaving them traumatized. "I think anyone who finds themselves ousted from the only environment they ever knew and left in the middle of nowhere, and then is not allowed to be with their family and loved ones, and is led to believe that they can no longer go to heaven, is going to be troubled," Ms Suder told The Guardian.
At the start of this message, we stated "This faith practices polygamy in arranged marriages and believe the lifestyle brings exaltation in heaven" What does this mean? Well, the Mormon Church used to teach that men can become a god by multiple marriages. (It is my understanding that women can only become the wife of a god) They also teach that GOD use to be human just as we are now and He advanced to the level HE is at now.
I do question that if they really felt that GOD told them to do this… why they gave it up so easily when the government told them to stop polygamy.
Marriage was first instituted by God in the Garden of Eden. It is a monogamous, physical and spiritual union between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:21-24), where adultery was forbidden (Exodus 20:14), and dissolution was not allowed. But it didn't take long for the
monogamous arrangement to become corrupted. Polygamy became an accepted social custom (Gen. 16:1-2; Deut. 21:15). In fact, many of the Kings of Israel were polygamists. The norm, however, was, and still is, monogamy.
You see, God often allows things HE knows will harm us because of our stubborn will. (God calls it the hardness of our heart) We as parents sometimes out of frustration will allow our children to do something that can hurt them such as if they refuse to do homework,
we will let them even though we know it may result in them failing a grade and being held back in school)
Far more important to me is that if this sect believed they had the only way to have eternal life, why did they throw these boys out as they did? Would that not mean these boys were expendable simply because they were boys? In reality, this is far from uncommon in
our society as we often see society treating men and boys as if they are expandable.
This particular sect believes polygamy allows a higher birth rate, increasing the "righteous" population. No man can go to heaven if he has less than three wives
The Bible tells us something totally different. God tells us that HE is not willing for anyone to perish and that we can ALL come to Him for salvation. If God did demand that men have three wives to be able to go to heaven, it would seem like there would be three girls born for every boy yet the birth rate is nearly equal.
What does assure us access to heaven? Simply it is as follows:
Many people know ABOUT God but to have a relationship with Him, we have to KNOW Him. What is the difference? Knowing about God can include us being aware of all the facts
concerning Him. Many people think that knowing that Jesus Christ died for our sin is all that is needed for salvation. It is NOT! In order to have salvation that is to have eternal life there are a few basic steps we need to follow. This is so important I want to go over them,
1: We need to realize we have sinned. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God This means we have failed to met the goal of being perfect in order to enter heaven. Few of us would question this.
2: The penalty for the sin that we are guilty of is death. Romans 6:23 tells us The wages of sin is death. (Death is separation. When our body dies, our soul is separated from our body. Eternal death is when we die without doing what is being explained here and then our
spirit is separated from God for eternity.
Since the only price we can pay for our own sin is to be separated from God forever, it stands to reason that there is no way we can pay for our sin ourselves. We thus come to the 2nd part of Romans 6:23: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord.
3: 2nd Corinthians 5:21 informs us: For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Jesus Christ, God's only Son became sin for us so that we can be freed from the penalty of sin. What then do we need to do?
4: For GOD so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten Son that whosoever (read YOUR name here) believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Please note the ONLY condition given is that we believe in Jesus Christ for full payment for our
5: Many times our own past activities or the activities of our ancestors may be a basis for demonic problems based on Exodus 20:5. It is important therefore to Renounce the sins of our ancestors.
Now if we only learn these facts, even though we may understand that they are true and believe them. that is only knowing ABOUT GOD. How do we KNOW HIM then? It is APPLYING that payment to our account. This would be like having a check to pay a bill and putting the check on a desk. The bill does not get paid because the check was never APPLIED to your account. Once we know and believe the facts pointed out above, the next step is to TALK to God much as you and I would and admit that we have fallen short of what He wants. We recognize that we deserve to be separated from a Holy God. We then tell Him that we know that He has provided a payment for all our sin and this payment was Jesus Christ when He died on a cross.
It is at this time we ask God to APPLY THIS PAYMENT TO OUR ACCOUNT. We ask God to credit as PAYMENT IN FULL for all our sin the price Jesus paid for us. It is this step that gives us eternal life. If we do all but this step, we know about God. When we do this step, we will KNOW God and we will have eternal life. Following is a model of a prayer to trust Christ. Lord God, I now realize I am a sinner. I realize I have fallen short of the goal You have set forth for eternal life and I now repent of this sin. I also understand that according to Your Word, the Bible, that Your Son, Jesus Christ as paid the debt for me and I am now asking You to credit the payment Jesus made on the cross to my sin. Lord God, I also renounce any sin on the part of my ancestors that may have been invitations to curses or demonic activity. Lord God I also now understand that You have now given me eternal life and I thank You for that fact. Amen.
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month