Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rape & God’s Solidarity with the Violated


Faith Improvised
August 23, 2012

By timgombis

Rep. Todd Akin’s comments about rape last week ignited a firestorm. His ignorance of female anatomy and human reproduction, and his insensitivity to rape victims caused great offense.

There is much I’d like to say about many aspects of this discussion, but I’ll make just this one point: If I were a policy-maker in power who claimed to be Christian, I would tread very carefully on issues like this so as to avoid God’s judgment.

I say this because those who are violated and treated with extreme injustice have a place near and dear to the heart of the one true God.

Christians confess that in Jesus God himself became a victim of abuse and injustice, his body being violated.

The New Testament is explicit that in being so treated, Jesus was the ultimate and clearest possible revelation of the God of all creation (Mark 15:39; John 17; Phil. 2:5-11).

If, then, God intentionally became a victim and one of the violated, and Scripture clearly indicates that the heart of God is for the weak, the powerless, the mistreated, the violated, then I would avoid making policy that did not take them seriously, or that left them unprotected or caused them to suffer further mistreatment and humiliation.

Israel’s Scriptures teach the sobering reality that when God’s people do not embody God’s care for the vulnerable, they are subject to God’s militant judgment.

In Isaiah 59:16-19, the God of Israel took up his armor and went to war against his people. God did this because Israel, while maintaining the practices of piety and the rhetoric of righteousness, exploited the weak, oppressed the poor, neglected the hungry, and ignored those who were in need (Isa. 58).

Rather than minimizing the anguish and pain of the violated (a group of which Jesus is a member and for which God cares deeply), policy-makers who claim to be Christian would do well to consider the character of the Just Judge who sees through the rhetoric of pious pretension and who judges fiercely and without partiality.

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