The majority of people all over the world do not have stable or safe environments.  The human soul is resilient to overcome many challenges and to push past many obstacles but when a human soul is under continuing stress and fear, overcome by bullies and thieves, pushed down in humiliations and degradations, then that same human soul becomes demoralized, beaten down, oppressed and stuck.  

We are aware of the big violences in the form of war, uprisings, insurgencies, the kinds of violence that command attention over entire areas and people.  Depending on our level of influence, we may have little  control or influence over these kinds of violence.  Yet, there are the personal violences that also work to keep a people and community in poverty.  

These are the daily violences of theft, abuse, rape, and hatreds played out on the streets, in schools, and in the homes of ordinary citizens just trying to get by day by day.  And while a people may be able to rise to the difficulties of war a short once or twice in their lives it is the chronic day by day ‘small’ yet unrelenting violences and pain that weary and burden a people in crippling long-term fashion. 

For our purposes, in this course, we will identify the violence that each of us may experience and receive and also  ‘give out’ to others.  Our goal is to come to a new understanding of how violence and pain remove our firm footing in life and to consider how we might refuse to participate in violence of any kind.  First off, we must identify violence for what it is. 

International Justice Mission 106 works to eliminate injustice around the world.  In this work they have identified violence as the underlying element that locks poverty into place for the majority world. 

“The hidden nature of violence is special for three reasons.  First, violence has behind it an intelligent, willful perpetrator who is working hard — frequently very hard — to hide it.  Indeed, the actual act of violence is hardly ever seen by outsiders.  

Second, violence is an aspect of life that poor people — like all people — find exceptionally hard to talk about because it is uniquely traumatic.  For the human being who has been intentionally humiliated, violated, dominated, defiled, and degraded by violence, the experience is shameful.  Paradoxically, the perpetrator and the victim end up sharing a powerful, reflexive inclination:  They both want to hide it.  Finally, for many poor people, the threat of violence has become such a part of the air they breathe that they rarely speak of it as a distinct phenomenon. They simply absorb it.” 107

“Indeed for the millions of poor men, women, and children in the developing world who find that they cannot go to school, or go to the medical clinic, or keep their wages, or keep their land, or keep their job, or start a business, or walk to the water well, or stay in their house, or stay healthy because they are enslaved, imprisoned, beaten, raped, or robbed, violence is important.” 108

Indeed, violence is an important topic.  And in order to facilitate healing and wholeness to our homes, communities and nations, we must ensure that we are not part of the problem of violence.  We must ensure that we are not violent in our actions towards others, that we are not threatening in our demeanour.

If we are raping and hitting and beating then we are part of the problem of violence.  If we are insulting, humiliating, degrading others with our words and actions then we are part of the problem.  

And so, while any one of us may not be able to do much about the violence of gangs and mobs and terrorists (out there) we can, as we come together, do something about the violence in our own homes, schools, and communities.  Violence surely undermines the strength of a people, community, and nation. 

Ken Wytsma, author of Pursuing Justice and with much influence unto justice around the world writes,  

“God’s dynamic plan is predicated on shalom—the intended state of peace and wholeness that all of God’s creation is meant to experience… it is an active presence of what is right, true, nourishing, joyful, etc. Shalom is the plumb line, and when we see injustice in the world we see that things are not as they ought to be. Put another way, injustice and sin tears the fabric of shalom.  

The astonishing reality is that we are also part of God’s plan for mending the fabric of shalom. God’s intended peace isn’t a neutral absence of conflict; rather, ‘[it] expresses completeness, wholeness, harmony, fulfillment … [and] unimpaired relationships with others.” Dr. John Stackhouse, a theology professor at Regent College, describes shalom in an interview, saying: 

Shalom is this wonderful Hebrew word that literally means ‘peace’ but also means ‘flourishing’—I think that’s the closest English word we have for it. It means that each individual element flourishes—each tree, each animal. It also means that each relationship flourishes. It also means that every group, every system, every family—flourishes…. So it is literally a global idea where everything lives up to its potential. God created the world, and God wants it all back. He doesn’t want just human souls to come and live in a kind of Heaven with him. He is looking for a new sky and a new planet, a new heaven and a new earth, with a new humanity to work out with Him the best flourishing that can be.” 109  

As common people we may not be equipped to deal with or change systems of government or policing but we can change our own participation in violence.  We can begin to free ourselves from poverty by participating in bringing shalom back to our understanding and experience of how life is meant to be.  

In order to understand shalom and peace of heart and living, we take the time to look at how violence is acted out in this world and how these very same patterns of violence may be in our lives, our homes, families, and communities.  

Keep in mind as we study both overt and subtle violences, that God is big enough for all of these things.  The saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is big enough to encompass all that has gone wrong in our lives.  Even in realization of violence we turn to the Lord for cleansing and healing and wholeness. 

I submit the following list of violences for our consideration: 

1. Lying – to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.

2. Stealing – to take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it

3. Lust – uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness.

4. Envy – desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else)

5. Injustice – absence of justice : violation of what is considered right and just or of the rights of another 

6. Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility

7. Judgement – a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion; an opinion so pronounced

8. Partiality –  the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another

9. Sexual Abuse – the act of subjecting someone to unwanted or improper sexual advances or activity 

10. Spiritual Abuse – the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining, or decreasing that person

11. Cruelty – treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly

12. Verbal Abuse –  the excessive use of language to undermine someone’s dignity and security through insults or humiliation

13. Rape Culture – a mindset / belief system that holds women as accountable and to blame for sexual violence upon them 

14. Seduction – to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour

15. Slavery – the exploitation of others for one’s own benefit, using the weakness of others to make us strong

16. Witchcraft – a desire to be a spiritual free agent without relationship with God or regard for His word

17. Greed –  a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money)

18. Domestic Abuse

19. Female Genital Mutilation – partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women

20. Family Neglect due to Ministry – where the wife and children of a leader are emotionally and psychologically abandoned

21. Pornography – explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity

22. Murder – the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another

Now, some of these hardly appear to be violence compared to the worst forms of violence but let us be clear, where we violate another human being, even if only through our words, we are continuing in patterns of violence.  If we want to know the peace of God we must become people of peace.

We must become a people broken and contrite about all that is wrong in this world.  For only out of a heart broken by the things that break God’s heart, can we become part of the solution.  We maintain the image of God in us as we reject violence.

The following pages we briefly look at each of the listed violences.  We read the definition of each violence and I have written a summary sentence about each violence.  We consider how it shows up in our communities and cultures.  And then we see what the Bible has to say about each kind of violence.  

A few of the violences do not have exact Bible verses about the exact violence, although we would find stories that tell of the Lord’s heart, in these cases I have drawn from current authors and experts on violence and we look at what they have to say.  May we take on the heart of the Lord in these matters. 

“God, as we come to this topic of violence, would you give us the courage to look at our own hearts and lives and to see where we have been participating in violence.  Then, give us the courage to turn to you and to come in need of cleansing, trusting you to heal and to restore and to make new.  We depend on your heart upon our lives for life.  We welcome you Holy Spirit.  Speak, reveal and comfort us.  Amen” 

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.  For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.  No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.  They hatch adders’ eggs; they weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.  Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make.  Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.  Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.  We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men.  We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying the Lord, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.  Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.  The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.  He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.  According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment.  So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives. “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord. “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord:  “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord,  “from this time forth and forevermore.”   Isaiah 59:1-29 ESV

106 International Justice Mission,
107 Gary A. Haugen, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, (Madison Ave, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2015), 44
108 Gary A. Haugen, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, (Madison Ave, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2015), 110
109 Ken Wytsma, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2013), 25

We now look at these violences in further detail and understanding:

1. Lying

Within many of our cultures we have adopted the way of the world in terms of lying, deceiving, and falsehood, as ways to manipulate, extort, or force something from others for our personal gain. 

Lying shows up as we: 

  • hide truth so that others see only what we want them to see
  • claim to be something we are not 
  • pretend to have more influence than we have
  • pretend to be worse off than we are
  • speak lies about others so that we appear right
  • cover over our sin, hiding from the light 

What does the Lord say? 

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.” Proverbs 19:9

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.”  Ephesians 4:25

“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour and a snare of death.”  Proverbs 21:6

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”  Psalm 34:13

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”  Matthew 5:37

“You must not testify falsely against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” 
Proverbs 12:22 

“No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.”  Psalm 101:7

“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.” 
Proverbs 20:17

“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”  Proverbs 16:28

“On that day I will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master’s house with violence and fraud.”  Zephaniah 1:9

2. Stealing

Stealing is when we avoid the responsibilities of relationship and go behind a person to use and or keep something that is not ours but belongs to them.  The world is created to operate out of community and relationship, and stealing disregards these ways of God and mankind.  At its worst, stealing takes from others what they are not wanting or able to give to us.  Dishonour is at the heart of stealing. 

Stealing shows up as we: 

  • take property that belongs to another 
  • falsely assume something belongs to us
  • use others for our gain and to their detriment 

What does the Lord say? 

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.”  Leviticus 19:11

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.”  Proverbs 11:1

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  Matthew 7:15

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”  Ephesians 4:38

“You shall not steal.”  Exodus 20:15

“Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.”  
Proverbs 10:20

“Do not move the ancient boundary Or go into the fields of the fatherless.”  Proverbs 23:10

“Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”  1 Corinthians 6:10

“And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” Luke 6:12

“The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.”  Psalm 37:21

“Behold, the pay of the labourers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.”  James 5:4

“Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.”  Proverbs 20:23

3. Lust

Lust is a bottomless pit that will destroy our lives.  The technical definition of lust is living in exaggerated sexual desire; this appetite that is never satisfied.  But of course, lust as an uncontrolled appetite can be for anything and everything.  And in every case, whether in the sexual or for other seemingly less things (an appetite for new clothes or shoes for instance) lust will always leave us unsatisfied.  It is the nature of lust, to keep us forever wanting more.  Lust destroys us from the inside out. 

Lust shows up as we: 

  • take no responsibility for our sexual urges
  • steal sexual encounters from others 
  • rape and molest those who are weaker than us 

What does the Lord say? 

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Matthew 5:28

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  Colossians 3:5

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,”  Galatians 5:19

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”  1 John 2:16

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”  Romans 13:14

“Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:21

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”  Proverbs 25:28

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”  1 Corinthians 6:18

4. Envy

Envy is a continual state of dissatisfaction about what we have in life.  Envy has us looking at others, wanting what they have.  Envy leads to all sort of abuses and sins against God and people. 

Envy shows up as we: 

  • compare our possessions to the possessions of others
  • wish for something beyond what we can have 
  • are dissatisfied with our own life 
  • hate others for what they have
  • hate others for what they have achieved 

What does the Lord say? 

“Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”  Galatians 5:6

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
James 3:16

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”   Titus 3:3

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”  Proverbs 14:30

“For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Corinthians 3:3

“Of David. Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!” Psalm 37:1

“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbours.”
Exodus 20:17

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” James 4:11

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” Proverbs 24:19-20

“You desire and do not have, so you murder.  You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.  You do not have, because you do not ask.” James 4:2 

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

5. Injustice 

Injustice is found all over the world.  It is our biggest problem in the world today.  Injustice destroys our trust in each other and the fabric of society.  Injustice is both big and small.  We must all ask ourselves what part are we playing in the problem of injustice and we must ask ourselves what we can do towards justice where we live. 

Injustice shows up as we: 

  • falsely accuse others of wrong doing
  • take advantage of the weakness and need of others 
  • refuse to give or grant basic human rights to others 
  • act on what is legal but not right (for instance, polygamy may be legal but it is not right)

What does the Lord say? 

“Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed.  And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”  Jeremiah 22:3-5

“You shall do no injustice in court.  You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”  Leviticus 19:15

“You shall not spread a false report.  You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.  You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.” 
Exodus 23:1-3

“You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child.”  Exodus 22:22

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6 

“Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”  Luke 3:14

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  Proverbs 31:8-9

“Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you.  Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”  2 Chronicles 19:7

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”   Ezekiel 16:49

6. Anger 

Anger is not violence.  But anger that erupts from mismanaged emotions, ill-placed expectations, and unresolved pain, does become a violence.  This does damage and instills further pain into the lives of those around us; anger unchecked becomes exceptionally damaging.  Anger that lashes out at others may feel good at the moment when we are angry for we may feel powerful and in control.  But anger that explodes out to others is not power and control, it is actually weakness in action.  Mismanaged anger does not accomplish any good thing. 

Anger shows up as we: 

  • hold bitterness in our hearts
  • nurse hatreds in our hearts
  • yell and scream at others
  • hit others
  • sexually harm others
  • intimidate others with negative emotions

What does the Lord say? 

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4

“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”  Psalm 37:8 

“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29

“For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”  James 1:20 

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Matthew 5:22 

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”  Proverbs 15:18

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  Romans 12:19

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and   and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”  Luke 6:37

“Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.”  Proverbs 29:8

7. Judgment  ( Bitter root judgments )

Note:  Judgments are violence when they become bitter-root judgments. Hebrews 12:13

“Bitter roots are our sinful reactions and our condemning judgments of people, and our refusal and inability to forgive.  Roots are the habitual ways we drink nurture from God, others and ourselves.  They are not what is done to us.  It is our reaction in our spirit, the response in our spirit to what is done to us.  What is done to us is sinful but what we are talking about is the reaction in our spirit, the sinfulness we bring in our reactions.” from

Judgments show up as we: 

  • condemn others 
  • speak ill of others
  • gossip about others

What does the Lord say? 

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  Luke 6:37

“For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:2

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  John 7:24

“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”  Romans 14:10-13

“Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.  Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”  1 Corinthians 4:5

“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.”  James 2:13

8. Partiality  (favouritism)

Partiality, or favouritism, is our habit of keeping others low and unattended to, while we exalt others.  Of course, we do this to gain favor from the ones we are exalting.  Partiality forgets that we are all made in the image of God and that we all stand on equal footing at the foot of the cross.  Partiality is one of the greatest sins we can commit.  From it all sorts of evil is bred in our souls and communities. 

The sin of Partiality shows up as we: 

  • reject the outcasts in our gatherings
  • put the special people at the front 
  • put the rejected people at the back 
  • have some sit in special places
  • make others sit in subservient places 
  • have special prayers for the ones we like 

What does the Lord say? 

“So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,”  Acts 10:34

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”  James 2:1-4

“You shall do no injustice in court.  You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour.” Leviticus 19:15

“For God shows no partiality.” Romans 2:11

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.”
Proverbs 3:27

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.” 1 Timothy 5:21

“You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.” Deuteronomy 16:19

“For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.” Deuteronomy 10:17

“Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.” 2 Chronicles 19:7

9. Sexual Abuse 

When we take our sexuality and use it to hurt others we are perpetrators of sexual violence.  When a man takes his sexual needs and forces them on his wife (without her consent) this is violence to her. 106  All forms of sexual violence are devastating to both the perpetrator and to the victim.  The victim is robbed of dignity, peace and trust while the perpetrator gives away his strength and is robbed (by his own self) of decency, compassion, and any ability to live life as a free man; his heart will forevermore condemn him. 

Sexuality as Abuse shows up as we: 

  • sexually assault any other person
  • rape anyone, young or old, male or female
  • sexualize the young before their time (such as pornography and inappropriate touching, exposing the young to sexuality) 
  • keep silent about the violence we see and hear 
  • violate another person’s body
  • ignore when others say ‘no’
  • lust after women 
  • take on second and third wives (sex is to be sacred to a man and woman for life – anything less this and there is sexual violence taking place, for both the man and the women are destroyed in their sensitivities to sexuality – it all becomes very crass and hurtful)

What does the Lord say? 

“But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offence punishable by death.  For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbour, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.” Deut. 22:25-27

“Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun.  And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.”  Ecclesiastes 4:1

“For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”  Romans 13:9

“And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.  For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” 
Ephesians 5:25

106 Consent is important.  Even in marriage consent to sex is important. To force sex is to take without any regard for your wife. This is not the way of the Lord. 

10. Religion 

Religion has been one of the primary abusers of people throughout many centuries.  There have been many atrocities committed in the name of god.  When we believe that God wants our servitude, our money, our sacrifice, our penance, we end up with religious practices that speak of piety and good living but extract these from others with guilt, fear, manipulation, and violence.  

Religion shows up as we: 

  • use tithing distortions and manipulations
  • teach obedience to man and not God
  • preach loyalty to human fathers instead of to the Lord 
  • exaggerate seed theology for our own gain
  • keep people small as we become big  

What does the Lord say?  

“And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretence make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”  Luke 20:45-47

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”  1 Timothy 4:1-5

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.  “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.  “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites.  For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward”  Matthew 6:1-8

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing”  1 Corinthians 13:1-3

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,”  Colossians 3:12

“It is bad for you, teachers of the Law and proud religious law-keepers, you who pretend to be someone you are not! You take houses from poor women whose husbands have died. Then you try to cover it up by making long prayers. You will be punished all the more because of this.”  
Matthew 23:14 NLT

“They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others… But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in…. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. … Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”  Matthew 23:4-5,13,23,25-26   

*read all of Matthew 23

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you;  go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:1-10

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38

“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  Rejoice always,pray without ceasing,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   1 Thessalonians 5:15-23

11. Cruelty 

  • Definition of cruelty – Callous indifference to, or pleasure in causing pain and suffering. Also, behaviour that causes pain or suffering to a person or animal 
    source: google search ‘definition of cruelty’

Cruelty is pure evil.  It is the acting out of Satan’s immense hatred, jealousy, and rage, against men and women, boys and girls, (and any of God’s living creatures).  Cruelty knows no love, no kindness, no compassion, no gentleness.  It only knows pain, suffering, degradation, and terror and seeks to inflict these things on others. 107 There is no understanding of cruelty for its evil is beyond our comprehension. 

Cruelty shows up as we:  

  • beat, whip, slice
  • molest, rape
  • torture, humiliate
  • degrade, cause pain
  • use fear to control 
  • attack a person’s body parts
  • hurt an animal for fun 

What does the Lord say? 

“Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 

“Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Matthew 26:52

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

“Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways,” Proverbs 3:31

“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.”  Proverbs 11:17

“The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless:  “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?  Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,” 
Isaiah 33:14-15

107 When a child is beaten or treated badly they will take the anger and sense of injustice over this and treat badly whatever is weaker than they.  NOTE: Children being cruel to animals is a tell-tale sign that there is generalized cruelty within the culture and community and home — something is very wrong. Adults will do the same.  We take the pain with which we have been hurt and will hurt others with that same pain.  If we have been cruelly treated we will (generally speaking) treat others cruelly, until we are healed of that pain. 

12. Words as Verbal Abuse 

Our words either build up and give life to people, or they tear down and destroy.  Words used as a weapon against others is one of the most damaging of weapons.  Our insults, accusations, lies, shaming, twisting and manipulating causes much damage to the inside of a person.  When words attack our inner being  we take them in and becomes wounded by them.  We must purpose to use words to help, to lift, to bless, to encourage, and to love others.  God give us wisdom and lead us forward with words that bring life. 

Verbal Abuse shows up as we: 

  • humiliate
  • insult
  • cast shame
  • attack with our words
  • call people names
  • twist words and meaning
  • argue for sport
  • verbally agree to satan’s lies of another person

What does the Lord say? 

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Luke 6:45

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Proverbs 12:18

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. . . . With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness”  James 3:6, 9 

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.  Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ [an Aramaic term of contempt meaning “worthless, empty”] is answerable to the court.  And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Matthew 5:21-22  108

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs” Ephes. 4:29

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” 
Proverbs 18:21


13. Rape Culture

Rape Culture is a way of thinking about men and women and sexuality that makes excuses for rape.  It is a mindset around women and sexuality and purity and violence and men that has affected all of us.  Rape culture impacts how we bring justice to women and children.  It impacts our attitudes within our communities about the value of girls and women.  And it impacts our assumptions about men.  No one wins where there is rape culture thinking.  We are all brought low by it.  

Rape Culture shows up as we: 

  • agree that women deserve rape as punishment and natural consequence of their (original) sin            (a warped and wicked belief found in some religious circles) 
  • put excessive emphasis of modesty on women  (as though it is woman’s responsibility not to be raped)
  • put excessive emphasis on purity  (holding an idolatrous view of purity) 
  • blame victims for the attacks against them  (falsely believing women are the fault of rape)
  • withhold justice to victims of sexual assault  (falsely – it is woman’s fault men are not held accountable) 
  • allow perpetrators to go free without any call to accountability or justice
  • allow and perpetrate polygamy, child marriages, female genital mutilation (the belief that men own women’s bodies and that women’s sexuality is dangerous and must be modified)
  • excuse violent male sexuality as normal 

A Few Things to End Rape Culture:  109

  • Name the real problem.  Two things:  violent masculinity and victim blaming. 
  • Re-examine and re-imagine masculinity. Understand that rape is NOT a normal masculine urge.
  • Get enthusiastic about enthusiastic response. If there is not active enthusiasm for sex then it is rape.
  • Globalize your awareness of rape culture. Learn about rape culture in different ethnic cultures.
  • Practice real politics. Be crystal clear about your own rejection of rape culture. 
  • Don’t laugh at rape. Rape is not a joke. (Do NOT excuse rape, NOTHING makes rape okay)

Additionally, rape culture within church systems shows up: 

  • As we demand modest attire in women (the thinking is that lack of modesty is the cause of rape when in actual fact, the sin in men’s hearts is the cause of rape) 
  • As we make an idolatry of purity (this leads to the logic that punishment against impurity is good and why rape is in some countries punished by death, or more rape) 
  • As spiritual authorities, pastors, prophets, and apostles, manipulate and make sexual favours part of sacrifice or payment within the church (utter evil)

Rape culture is hard to detect because it is a mindset woven into our very attitudes about men and women and sexuality.  So, for the purposes of this conversation we will take one more page to try and increase our understanding of the attitudes and mindsets that we call rape culture. 

In Regard to Women: At its core, rape culture believes that if a woman is raped that she deserved it in some way. Rape culture would say that she is the ‘fault’ of her own rape. And then rape culture would condemn her and shame her and punish her and in some countries and cultures, even kill her. 

In Regard to Men:  Rape culture would have us believe that all men are rapists. Rape culture would have us believe that rape, violent sexuality, is the common state of a man that is just waiting to explode out, and that when women ‘entice’ this violent sexuality that a man cannot help himself.  

Both of these views are hideous lies of satan. Rape cultures degrades both men and women. 

There is no reason, EVER, to rape a woman. And men, can control themselves.  

Colossians 3:19;  2 Peter 1:3;  1 Timothy 6:11;  Psalm 25:12-13

Within religion it can get even more twisted, more subtle and dangerous.  

Religion has views that: 

  • women are made for men
  • purity is absolutely vital 

This has led to consequences in our thinking, extremes of belief where we are no longer living out the heart of God, but rather the assignments of satan. For instance, wrong beliefs are often as follows: 

  • men can use women and use them sexually at any time, this is a man’s right
  • men may believe they own women and her beauty and purity is about him and affects how he sees himself and how others see him 
  • therefore, if a woman is impure, even by sexual violence against her will, she is now spoiled and ‘deserves what she gets’ 

But, we say a big ‘NO’ to all this, for these are nothing more than evil agreements with satan. These attitudes and mindsets create very bad things for women and girls in this world and women are made into objects to be owned. They create bad things for men too; men are brought down to the level of animals.  

But women and men are both created in the image of God. 110 Human beings reflect the glory of God and we must always remember that as we treat men and women so we are treating God. Genesis 1:27

We would never make God into something we own. We would not use God for our own pleasure. We would not violate relationship with God due to our own lust and lack of self control and way of thinking.  So, we must not violate relationship with each other in this way. ‘Taking every thought captive’ is absolutely vital in this area of men and women and sexuality.  Romans 12:2

I pray you seek the Lord for the healing and transformation that you and your community needs around this issue. I am doing the same.

109 source:

110 Refer to teaching in Module One Appendix: For Men & Women, specifically, page 192 and pages 196-197; Also, refer to Module Two, Chapter 48, page 53 for a look at agreements regarding women 

14. Seduction 

  • Definition of Seduction – is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour.  The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally “to lead astray”.     (Note: this is different from normal and healthy desire and passion in context of marriage)

5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; 6  she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. 7  And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8  Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9  lest you give your honour to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labours go to the house of a foreigner, 11  and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12  and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13  I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14  I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.” 15  Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16  Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17  Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18  Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19  a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. 20  Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21  For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. 22  The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. Proverbs 5:5-23

Generally speaking, while rape is men’s sexual violence against women, seduction / temptation is women’s sexual violence against men. 

There is a very real frustration in men (those intent on holiness) that they feel undone and weakened in response to women who would entice them. 

We have spoken about the violence of rape culture and we know that rape is wrong.  But we have not always spoken about how vulnerable men are to women.  It is fairly easy to undo a man – simply appeal to his sexual desire. 

The passage in Proverbs (on the left) outlines the dynamics of seduction and what is at stake.  

Woman, in a hatred of men and self, will bring him low by her sexuality.  “she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it”  verse 6

Man, in a hatred of women and self, will spend his strength in promiscuity, “do not go near the door of her house… lest strangers take their fill of your strength.”  verses 8b & 10a

We must hold each other in honour, men to women and women to men.  And we must understand that at the root of sexual sin is a hatred of both men and women, a hatred of self and a hatred of the one we would sin with. 

Our response, therefore, is still to be one of compassion and understanding.  We may be deeply hurt in our sexuality as a people and in our societies. But we come in community for repentance (turning to God who saves) and healing one to another. 


  • Definition of Slavery – Slavery, bondage, servitude refer to involuntary subjection to another or others. Slavery emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master: to be sold into slavery. Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity often involving burdensome and degrading labor: in bondage to a cruel master. Servitude  source:

Slavery has been around for a very, very long time.  Yet, it has been estimated that there are more slaves in the world today than at any previous time.   111 

“It isn’t legal anywhere but happens almost everywhere — including Europe and the U.S. Slaves are forced to work, without pay, under the threat of violence. They cannot walk away.”

Slavery is to take and use and violate the freedoms of men and women, boys and girls.  It is to use another human being made in the image of God for economic gain.  It is to use threat of violence and death to manipulate another person into servitude.  Slavery violates the freedom of individuals around the world.  But God hears the cries of those in slavery.  

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.  You have laid up treasure in the last days.Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.”  James 5:1-4 

The Old Testament speaks much of slavery, it seems to have been ‘normal’ for centuries.  Yet, even in the midst of cultures used to slaves and slavery the Psalmist shows us the heart of the Lord in the midst:

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God …  who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.  The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.  The Lord watches over the sojourners;  he upholds the widow and the fatherless,  but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”  Psalm 146:5a, 7-9

And Jesus himself confronts us with what has become known as the golden rule: 

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”  Luke 6:31

Let’s make a practical application:  If you are using children (who are to be in school) to till your crops, you are part of the problem of slavery.  If you have house-help and barely pay them a wage enough for them to live, you are part of the problem of slavery.  If you have a business of any sort and your workers are kept by force and with little to no pay, you are part of the problem of slavery.  And if you use violence and threat to keep these people in these places and positions, you are part of the problem of slavery. 

“Behold, the wages of the labourers … which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries … have reached the ears of the Lord”  James 5:4

111 source:

16. Witchcraft 

  • Definition of Witchcraft – For the purpose of this study, we are defining witchcraft as a desire to be a spiritual free agent without submission to God or regard for His word  
    Used from a very comprehensive article at

A spirit of rebellion, wanting the supernatural without accountability or relationship with God and without respect for the word of God, and we have the sin of witchcraft.  The core sin of witchcraft is trying to have power over our lives (or other’s lives) outside of a relationship with God.  In churches this shows up as trying to be powerful (God’s preeminent characteristic is love, not power).  Where men and women purport to be spiritually powerful, ultra prophets and super apostles this may be nothing more than rebellious, idolatrous, power-hungry souls playing with witchcraft. 

Witchcraft (and the spirit of witchcraft) shows up as:

  • lust for power — prayers used as divination
  • trying to tell the future or the past
  • looking for surety — seeking out seers
  • scapegoating people (rejecting people based on gossip)
  • tricks and trades for show, making fools of people 
  • superstitions, myths, and legends
  • ancestor worship 
  • prophesying for payment 
  • evil acts in pursuit of purity 
  • folk-lore that manipulates

* Add what you know about witchcraft

What does the Lord say? 

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

“And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God?  Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?”  Isaiah 8:19

“You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes”  Leviticus 19:26b

“For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.”
1 Samuel 15:23a

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” 
Colossians 2:8 

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12a

17. GREED 

If we have the sin of greed we will find ourselves agreeing with messages that promise our good fortune, or wealth coming our way, or quick solutions to the problems we have made of our lives.  Greed promises that all things will become completely okay and fixed in our lives, but these promises lull us to sleep and to keep us from taking responsibility for our actions and decisions in this life.  

Greed is evidence of a people unable or unwilling to be faithful with a little.  As the writer of Proverbs warns us, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”  Proverbs 13:11 ESV

Greed shows up as we selfishly want more:

  • power
  • sex
  • prestige
  • money
  • possessions

What does the Lord say? 

“A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.” Proverbs 28:25

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16

“Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.”  Proverbs 15:27

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:10 

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3 

“An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.” Proverbs 20:21

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

“They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!”  2 Peter 2:14


  • Definition of Domestic Abuse –  violent or aggressive behaviour within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.  source: google search of ‘definition of domestic abuse’

Signs of Domestic Abuse:

Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Does your partner:

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for their own abusive behaviour?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?

Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?   112

“Domestic violence is in stark opposition to God’s plan for families. Genesis 1 and 2 depict marriage as a one-flesh, helping relationship. Ephesians 5:21 talks about mutual submission. Ephesians 5:22–24 explains a wife’s submissiveness to her husband, while verses 25–33 talk about a husband’s self-sacrificial love for his wife. First Peter 3:1–7 gives similar instructions. First Corinthians 7:4 says, “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” The two belong to one another and are called to love one another as Christ loved us. Marriage is an image of Christ and the Church. Domestic violence is a far cry from the character of Jesus.

Domestic violence involving children is also condemned by God. Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” God entrusts parents with children, and those parents are to lovingly care for them and train them up. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (see also Colossians 3:21). Children are to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1–3), and discipline is important. But discipline is distinctly different from violence and abuse. 

Following God involves serving others, not manipulating and controlling them. Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26–28). His command to us is to “love one another” (John 13:34). Ephesians 5:1–2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Christians are called to sacrificially love others, especially those in their own families.” 113

112 source:

113 source:

19. Female Genital Mutilation 

  • Definition of Female Genital Mutilation   the practice, traditional in some cultures, of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for nonmedical reasons. It is illegal in many countries. Definition per google search; Also see:

John Roy Bohlen of Great Commission Ministries has this to say about FGM: 

“In my seminars, I ask the question, “Is there any demon present, any angel, any man, or any woman who can show me even one Verse from the Bible or the Koran, that states, commands, recommends or even remotely suggests, implies, hints or infers that a female be circumcised?”  The place is always totally silent.  Then I present Bible verses like John 10:10 “The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I, (Jesus) came that you might have life and that you may have it more abundantly.” And, John 15:11  “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”  (NAS)  In other words, the devil’s seeks to steal enjoyment and pleasure away from us.  He succeeds in this matter of FGM.  Yet God always has intended for both the man and the woman to experience sexual pleasure within marriage.

God created sex, the sex organs for both the man and the woman, and that He gave sex and pleasure in sex to both the man and the woman as a precious gift.

1) Cor 7:1  “Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.  2)  But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.  3)  Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.  4)  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  5)  Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (NAS)

These verses are a clear indication that God expects the woman to have pleasure.

Gen 2:22  “And Yahweh, the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib (or, side), which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23  And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman”, because she was taken out of Man.’   24  For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.  25  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”  (NAS)  

And, 1 Tim 6:17  “Charge them – – that they be not high-minded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”  (ASV)  God created sex to be richly enjoyed by every husband and every wife.   

One of the most common reasons given for FGM is the mistaken deception and lie that it will reduce the probability of fornication and adultery and promiscuity in the female. The following are some of the reasons given for not circumcising a female:

  1.  It is not called for, or even remotely recommended, commanded, implied or suggested in the Bible, the Koran, or any other “holy book”.

  2.  Matthew 15:19  “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” (NAS)   Fornication and adultery are a matter of the heart.  If one wants to reduce these, the heart should be circumcised, or cut out, NOT the woman’s genitals.  My wife and our daughters were never circumcised, and were never promiscuous, because their hearts were circumcised.

  3.  The woman’s clitoris does NOT cause sexual desire in the female.  It is the ovaries that produce hormones that control the libido, that is, the sexual appetite.  If one wants to decrease sexual desire in the man, the testicles should be removed, in the woman, the ovaries, and not the penis, nor the clitoris.

  4.  Cutting off the woman’s clitoris is THE SAME as if a man’s penis were cut off.  One may remove the penis, but if the testicles are left, sexual desire will continue.  Likewise, one may remove the clitoris, etc., but if the ovaries are left, sexual desire will continue unabated in the woman.  Cutting off the man’s penis does not remove sexual desire, if the gonads or testicles are left.  The itch is still there, in both cases, but the means by which to scratch the itch, and obtain relief is minimized.

  5.  Again: There are indications that FGM, or female circumcision may actually INCREASE promiscuity, fornication and adultery in a woman, in that, since she is unable or handicapped in her ability to experience an orgasm &/or pleasure, she may attribute her inability to a partner’s inexperience or lack of skill, and she may pursue pleasure elsewhere.  This may result in an increase in promiscuity.

  6. Ephesians 5:28 says,  “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;” and, Verse 33  “Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself.”  (NAS)  If a man loves his wife as his own body, and as much as he loves himself, he will desire that she experience pleasure just as intensely and as often as he, himself.  A man who is not interested or concerned that his wife have as much pleasure as himself, is IGNORANT, STUPID, INCONSIDERATE, and/OR CRUEL.  A father or mother who does not want their daughter to experience sexual pleasure in marriage is likewise ignorant, inconsiderate, crude and cruel.  Circumcising the female is the SAME as if a parent, worried that their little boy will be promiscuous later on in life, cut off the head of the little boy’s penis.  If they are really concerned, they will cut off most of the penis.  If they are really, really concerned, they cut off the whole penis!!!  If they really want to be cruel, they will leave the testicles to remain to continue to create sexual desire, but take away the means by which the desire can be fulfilled.  This is the EXACT male counterpart to female genital mutilation circumcision, when the outward genitals are removed, yet the ovaries remain to continue producing sexual desire in the woman.” 112

Female genital mutilation is a violence against girls and the women they will become. It is barbaric and unnecessary.  It is a practice steeped in superstition and fear. Those continuing the practice of FGM may be doing so with motives that make sense to them, but these are unfounded. Female genital mutilation needs to stop.

112 source:   page 6, then page 8, of this document / article 

20.  Family Neglect due to Ministry 

  • Definition of Family Neglect due to Ministry: where the wife and children of a pastor or bishop (or high government leader) are left to themselves, emotionally, psychologically and physically abandoned. 

Brian Croft writes,  “A pastor’s heart is no different from any other heart (in desiring significance, or success). A pastor’s neglect of his family cannot simply be blamed on the pressures, demands, and unrealistic expectations that have been placed on him. In the end, the struggle he faces—and the neglect of the family—has one root cause: a sinful heart.  113

From his website he writes, “Here are a couple of the more obvious consequences I concluded exist when a pastor chooses to neglect his family in the name of ministry:

1) The pastor’s neglect of his family reveals a disregard for the biblical imperatives commanded to every Christian husband and father (Ephesians 5:25-30; 6:4; 1 Peter 3:7) of which the pastor must excel in so to be an example of them to his flock (1 Peter 5:3).  Additionally, neglect reveals a disregard to heed the ongoing qualification to first and foremost “managing his household well” (1 Timothy 3:4-5).  The biblical imperatives that reveal the priority for the pastor to first shepherd and care for his family before his flock is clear, yet sin causes so many pastors to ignore the very task that allows them to biblically continue to minister to their flock.

2)  Any Christian man’s neglect of his family communicates a lack of value of his family to them.  There are even greater ramifications of this devaluing by the pastor to his family.  Because of the biblical calling for the pastor to be an example to his flock (1 Peter 5:3), he not only sets a bad example to the other Christian men in his congregation by his neglect, but even worse there is this spirit of hypocrisy that permeates in the pastor’s home felt by his wife and children.  It is very likely that the devaluing of the family by the pastor is a leading cause of the cliché that pastors’ wives and their children become disenchanted with the church and even Christ Himself.  114

Ken Nair of Discovering the Mind of a Woman 115 asserts that becoming a spiritual leader in your home means that a man is sensitive to the spirits of his wife and children and as a result ministers to their spirits.  He writes, 

“You can gauge the sensitivity of your spirit by asking, “Am I meeting the needs of my wife’s spirit?” How will you know it? Very simple. If your wife is unpleasant, difficult to live with, and frequently depressed and moody, then you are not ministering to her spirit. If your wife is pleasant, easy to live with, and able to handle the stresses of life confidently, then you are in all likelihood ministering to the needs of her spirit.”

The family of a minister will reveal neglect in the following ways: 

  • There will be deep loneliness in the wife
  • Children feel abandoned  (a sense that God loves everyone else but not them) 
  • The children will either rebel and act out in bad ways, or they will overcompensate to become perfect
  • The spouse will take on almost all home responsibilities  (burning out and becoming bitter as a result)
  • Fighting, quarrelling, arguments, disagreements over simple things
  • or Conversely, deep silence and words that things are okay, false peace (when they are not)

Neglect often shows up as power imbalances that lead to abuse of various kinds. 

For instance: 

  • Using Intimidation: Making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures; smashing things; destroying her property, abusing pets, displaying weapons 
  • Using Emotional Abuse: Putting her down, making her feel bad about herself, calling her names, making her think she’s crazy, playing mind games, humiliating her, making her feel guilty
  • Using Isolation: Controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes, limiting her outside involvement, using jealousy to justify actions
  • Minimizing, Denying, or Blaming: Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns seriously, saying the abuse didn’t happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavoir, saying she caused it
  • Using Children: Making her feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay messages, threatening to take the children away
  • Using Male Privilege: Treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the master of the castle, being the one to define men’s and women’s roles 
  • Using Economic Abuse: Preventing her from getting or keeping a job (or depending on her hard work for you lifestyle choices), making her ask for money, giving her an allowance, taking her money, not letting her know about or have access to family income
  • Using Coercion and Threats: Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her, threatening to leaver her, to commit suicide, to report her to the authorities, making her drop charges, making her do illegal things 

Whereas, equality is this: 

  • Non-Threatening Behaviour:  Talking and acting so that she feels safe and comfortable expressing herself and doing things
  • Respect:  Listening to her non-judgmentally, being emotionally affirming and understanding, valuing opinions
  • Trust and Support:  Supporting her goals in life, respecting her right to her own feelings, friend, activities and opinions 
  • Honesty and Accountability:  Accepting responsibility for self, acknowledging past use of violence, admitting being wrong, communicating openly and truthfully 
  • Responsible Parenting:  Sharing parental responsibilities, being a positive non-violent role model for the children 
  • Shared Responsibility: Mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work, making family decisions together 
  • Economic Partnership: Making money decisions together, making sure both partners benefit from financial arrangements 
  • Negotiation and Fairness:  Seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict, accepting change, being willing to compromise 

It is particularly important for the families of ministers to establish equal, fair, just, nurturing, family life. Otherwise we are doing violence to those we are called to care for most.

113 Croft, Brian and Cara Croft. The Pastor’s Family: Shepherding Your Family through the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. pg.45

114 Source:

115 Ken Nair, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995, 

21.  Pornography

  • Definition of Pornography:  printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

Pornography is not an innocent behaviour.  New research is finding that pornography is incredibly damaging.  Pornography affects the brain, destroys the ability to love, gives warped ideas about sex, damages your sex life, can lead to violence, becomes addictive, leaves you lonely, hurts your spouse and destroys marriages.  The pornography industry is full of lies. 

“To viewers, pornography can appear a fantasy world of pleasure and thrills. To those who create and participate in making pornography, however, their experiences are often flooded with drugs, disease, slavery, trafficking, rape and abuse…Part of the lie porn producers want customers to buy into is that porn is legitimate entertainment made by glamorous people who are doing it because it’s what they want; it’s OK for the user to enjoy it because the people they’re watching seem to be enjoying it. What they don’t say is that some of those people look like they’re having a good time because behind the scenes they have a gun pointed at their head. And if they stop smiling, it will go off.”  116

The damage of pornography is pervasive.  It damages the brains and sex lives of those who watch it and it is run out of an industry of sex trafficking which destroys lives.  It is impossible to watch porn and not  be destroyed by it.  Watching porn is violence to self, to a spouse, and to those in slavery to the porn industry.  117

What does the Lord say? 

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonour, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.” Proverbs 6:32-33

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16

“Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4 

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:37

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” Psalm 119:9-10

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
1 Corinthians 6:13b

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour.” 1 Thess. 4:3-4

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  James 1:14-15

116 source:

117 Go to to be fully educated about the destructive effects of porn.

22. Murder

  • Definition of Murder: the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.  
    source: google search ‘definition of murder’

Murder is the killing of another person.  There is premeditated murder, where an individual plots the death of another.  And then there are murders that would be described as honour killings, where the culture of a people believe that there are sins so great that death is necessary to avenge those sins and to keep a people pure.  

We find murder when: 

  • people kill another person as payback for wrong
  • a person is killed because of insult to a religious standard
  • a community rises up to inflict death on an individual 
  • a person hates another in their heart
  • a child or elderly person is abandoned to death 

What does the Lord say? 

“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 

“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:14 

“Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”  Matthew 26:52

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 

“The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”
Psalm 11:5

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19

“Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.” Isaiah 60:18

“Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.” Proverbs 3:31

“Do not plan evil against your neighbour, who dwells trustingly beside you.” Proverbs 3:29


“God we come before you today as a people tired of violence.  We are tired of receiving it, we are tired of giving it — God help us.  Today God we cry out to you to change us, to heal us, to touch us with your great love and freedom.  Thank you for giving us Jesus who came to take away the sins of the world.  How great is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Jesus, we turn to you.  We turn away from violence and we come into your heart and life of peace, please bring your heart and life of peace into our daily lives.  Today, I set down violence.  I declare that violence is not a solution to the problems of my life.  Today I declare that Jesus and all he might teach me are the only true solutions to my life.  Holy Spirit, show me what to do and how to be in this world and in my family and community.  I follow your lead.  Amen.”   118

As we go on to consider the simple poverty strongholds, we realize that a safe and stable  environment is critical for each one of us.  My own experience with strongholds of poverty, and my own subsequent freedom from these things were enabled by a safe environment and stability that gave opportunity for new habits and new thinking to grow and take root in my life.  

The pain upon pain must be healed deep within our hearts, minds, and bodies.  And the cycles of violence that come from this pain must be checked, stopped, disallowed, actively opposed — we must step away from being a people of violence. 

Summary – Violence 

Violence does not accomplish the purposes of God  

Isaiah 60:18;  Proverbs 3:31;  Matthew 5:38-39

Violence is against God’s heart Psalm 11:5;  Genesis 6:11;  Romans 12:19;  James 1:20

Violence increases poverty around the world   

Proverbs 25:28;  Matthew 23:23;  Proverbs 13:1-25

Violence creates bondage in the lives of people  

Hosea 4:2;  Galatians 5:19-21;  Matthew 11:12

The ways of the Lord are right  Proverbs 19:11;  Proverbs 21:5;  Psalm 103:6

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  Nelson Mandela 

118 It is important to note that the prayers I’ve included in this course are inner-healing and deliverance type prayers.  They are specific prayers for specific healing.  They are not instruction about how to always pray. There are of course, different kinds of praying.  There are heart-felt prayer conversations where we speak to Father God as a son or daughter.  In this kind of praying we we speak what is on our hearts and minds.  Then, there are declarative (where we declare and state something) prayers that loose and bind, that set boundaries and bring healing and deliverance.  These are the kind of prayers this course teaches. We use confession, repentant, declarative prayers to become free from the hurts and harms that we may have experienced over the course of our lives.  Harm done against us stays with us, until it is brought to the cross of Jesus Christ and washed away by living water. 

119 source

==> You are doing well. Let us go on to Pain Upon Pain

Capturing Courage International Ministries ::
College of Capturing Courage ::
Email Us ::