Hagar: A Portrait of a Victim of Domestic Violence and Rape

This week Twitter has been a flurry with information for victims of   domestic violence and rape.  This ranges from the U.S. redefinition of rape to include men to Nigeria’s first anti-rape toll free hotline for women.  There is even a male movement to stand against rape.  This problem is an ongoing issue, one that shows no sign of diminishing or going away.  According to Amnesty International, one in three women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused and their abuser is normally someone they know.  As I contemplate this very difficult issue, I am reminded of the Biblical Hagar in Genesis 16. The story of Hagar and Sarai is abundant

Men Can Stop Rape (http://www.mencanstoprape.org/)

in ethical situations that draw in the reader and presents complex issues that can be very troublesome.  If you take the text hermeneutically, through an ideological examination in its English translation, we have an Egyptian woman, who is also referred to as slave or concubine, forced to engage into sex with her owner’s husband for producing an heir.  Here the abuser is a woman with a docile and obedient husband portrayed by Abram.  What can we  glean from such a story for today’s battered women?  Hope or horrific defeat? Continue reading “Hagar: A Portrait of a Victim of Domestic Violence and Rape”

In my defense against an abusive God… what I forget and what I am learning By Sara Frykenberg

I spent a great deal of my life believing that the smaller and smaller I made myself, the bigger God would be in my life and the more power He (sic) would have to do the good things He had planned.  If I could just get out of the way… If I could resist my humanness… If I could be “alive to Him and dead to me,” as one of the songs we sang in my college church group reminded me.  I stopped believing this when I felt I had become so small and lost so much of myself that I couldn’t bear it anymore.

I don’t know how to explain it otherwise, but I had a physically violent reaction to any more of myself disappearing.  I yelled and snapped at people like a wounded animal; and when I reached out to members of my Bible study for help, I remember one woman suggesting that maybe demons were involved in some way.  I’m not sure if she thought I was being possessed or attacked, but I remember feeling like she hadn’t heard me at all.

I didn’t understand… excuse me, couldn’t understand why the God I was always taught to believe in, the God who was in control of everything and the God who purposefully made things the way they were, would plan for all the suffering and loss I saw around me—for the loss I was experiencing.  A man who is my ally and my spirit friend listened to me explain this feeling.  He then looked up at me and asked, “You think that God is abusive, don’t you?”  And I replied, “I guess I do.” Continue reading “In my defense against an abusive God… what I forget and what I am learning By Sara Frykenberg”

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