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The Helpful and Unhelpful Ways Churches Address Trauma

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2024 6:26 pm

The Helpful and Unhelpful Ways Churches Address Trauma

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 29, 2024 6:26 pm

Episode 1412 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

  1. Do we become responsible for Adam's sin at a certain age?   2. What is the significance of each piece of the armor of God?   3. How can the church help those struggling with trauma?   4. Why do so many churches seem to avoid classic hymns?   5. Who is Satan, and how does he tempt people?     Today’s Offer: TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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How can churches help those struggling with trauma?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open for the next 25 minutes or so, and we'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number.

The CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We also have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now. In fact, every weekday at 1130 Pacific Time, we're on YouTube, and you can send him your questions through our YouTube channel. Plus, email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This came in last week, and this is John. I heard the lady on the last segment saying that she didn't know how we would be responsible for Adam's sin. I've always understood it as at some point, we're not responsible for Adam's sin. You know, when we're a brand new baby, as we grow and mature, all of a sudden, at some point in our life, we see that we are responsible because we understand that we are sinning against God. And at that point on, I believe, is the time that we are responsible for it. So we're not really responsible for Adam's sin. We're responsible for our own sin.

Since we don't have Christ, if we reject him, we're prepared for our own sin and health. My heart goes out to this nice lady. I pray that the Lord reveals this truth to her, that he sent Jesus to die on the cross for her too. I just wanted to see if you thought that that had any merit, or if I'm trying to maybe bring common sense into it instead of what's actually said in the Word of God. I know that his grace is sufficient even for me and everyone else in the world.

So thank you very much, and God bless. Hey, Jon, I appreciate the question and also just your heart behind the way you presented that, you know, wanting to come alongside of this other sister with her own question, and try to get to the bottom of a sticky issue. We're dealing with the doctrine here of original sin, and, you know, most people recognize, okay, Adam sinned and that sin affected the whole world. But the question is, to what extent are we guilty of Adam's sin together with him, as though he was our representative in some sense? Or is it that through him sin entered the world and we inherit this sort of corruption that leads to our own sinning, and that's why we're guilty? And the way in which I think the Church has historically answered this on the basis of the teaching of Scripture is that actually we are, from birth, guilty also of Adam's sin, because Adam had this very special role that he was playing in the history of humanity as the representative head of humanity, the team leader, we might say. So that when he sinned, we sinned in him. You think of, for example, you know, a football team. The quarterback throws an interception, and the defense catches the ball and runs a touchdown the other way, and the team loses as a result of that.

I mean, the whole team is suffering because of this one man's mistake, even though, you know, you didn't throw the interception as an offensive lineman. Maybe that's kind of a lame illustration, but the idea is that as a result of Adam's sin, his sin, all of us have been affected. And of course, at the end of the day, we want to go to Scripture in order to determine whether or not this is true. And the key text to go to, this is one of those passages that was brought up by Church Fathers like St. Augustine, is Romans 5, beginning in verse 12. And the question is, well, is that all sinned, meaning everybody sinned after Adam and were responsible just for our own sins, or we all sinned in Adam as our representative head? He continues, for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam. So those who didn't sin just like Adam, they still died.

Why? Because in some sense, they were in Adam. And Paul goes on to say, who was a type of the one who was to come. But, and this is really where Paul is going in his argument here in Romans 5, the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for many.

And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin, for the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. So what's interesting about this is he's setting up, Paul is setting up Adam as the first representative head of humanity and Jesus as a second Adam. And he says, look, you are either in Adam, you know, there, you know, who sinned, dead in Adam, or in Jesus, the second Adam. In Adam, we find death, corruption, sin. In Jesus, the new Adam, we find justification and life. And so everyone, every one of us is either in Adam or in Jesus. And we have a hard time with this idea, right, of representation in this way, but this was a part of, very much a part of the ancient world. It's still, in many respects, a part of our world.

But I think part of the reason that we sort of kick against this idea so much is that we live in such an individualistic culture in society. So this idea of Adam, you know, being guilty, sharing in that guilt for Adam's sin is hard for us to wrap our minds around, and yet nevertheless, it's what the scripture teaches. And the good news of the gospel is that we who are guilty can be justified, not in Adam, but in Jesus Christ, the second Adam, when we place our faith in his name. Hey, again, John, thanks for reaching out to us, and God bless. Great theological explanation. Thanks so much for that, Adriel.

This is Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about doctrine, theology, something in the Bible that's always kind of confused you, or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're open to your call as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Eric calling in from Iowa. Eric, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, I have a question. I've been reading going through Ephesians. Ephesians 6, 10, starting in verse 10, talks about being strong in the Lord, and it talks about putting on the armor.

I was wondering if you could explain the pieces of armor, what they represent, and how we put them on. And the other question was, is this how we become strong in the Lord and the strength of his might? That's my other question.

Thank you. Great question, Eric. So this is all in the context of the spiritual war that we're in as the followers of Jesus Christ. And Paul, coming to the end of his letter here to the Ephesians, he says, finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. And we really need to emphasize that, right? It's not be strong in yourself, in your own might.

It's strength in the Lord, which sometimes is strength even through our own physical weakness. And then he gets into exactly what that looks like. And so you're onto something. You're saying, okay, are these two things related?

Yes, they are. The armor of God. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day. And so again, you see the relationship there between the armor of God and standing strong. And then he goes on to say, and having done all to stand, stand firm, stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. And the one thing I want to emphasize for you here, Eric, and for all of you listening, is that each of these pieces of armor, we're not talking about like, you know, physical armor that you put on.

This is a kind of clothing that you wear. No, each of these things are gifts that God gives to us. Righteousness, faith, salvation. Salvation is of the Lord. These are things that God gives us. And it's as if the apostle Paul is saying here, be clothed with the grace of God, with the gifts of God found in Jesus Christ. And then he sort of, you know, tops it all off by saying in verse 18, praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication. And so all of this is sort of accompanied by that prayerful spirit coming before the Lord in humility to receive these gifts that God has given to us. So these aren't, you know, things that we in our own strength create and clothe ourselves with. This is the gift of God for us. And Paul is saying, look, walk in these things, walk in this clothing, this robe of righteousness that the Lord God has given to you that you might stand firm, not in your own strength, but in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we, each of us have to be mindful of this, have to be clothed in the great grace of God that is found in Jesus Christ. And that's how we stand firm in the midst of the spiritual battle. Thanks again, Eric.

Really well said. Thanks so much, Adriel. And Eric, thanks for listening to Core Christianity and for calling in today. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we're going to be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the phone number.

It's 833-THE-CORE. By the way, at some point in your life, you are likely to have a conversation with someone who doesn't believe in Christianity and asks you some tough questions about your faith. And we want to help you to be able to respond. So we've created a resource just along that topic. Yeah, the resource is called Tough Questions Answered, and there are four chapters really dealing with science, world religions, the Bible, and morality. Some of those, you know, just topics that people have questions about, and we hope that you'll get a hold of this resource. We believe it's going to encourage you in your relationship with the Lord, but also equip you to have conversations about these tough questions with your friends and neighbors. And so head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to get a hold of tough questions answered. While you're at our website, browse around, check out some of the other free resources we have, including our CORE guides and our CORE questions. And by the way, if you're a regular listener to CORE Christianity, we'd ask you to prayerfully consider perhaps making a gift to this ministry. We don't play commercials here. We don't get money from a church or denomination. We count on people just like you to make regular gifts to keep this show on the air. And as part of that, we have a great group of people called our inner CORE who make monthly donations.

You can find out more at corechristianity.com. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. We do get voicemails, and you can call us 24 hours a day. Leave your voicemail on our system at 833-THE-CORE.

And here's one from Alicia. My question for Pastor Adrian is, what about trauma in the church? If someone has raised Christians and experienced something traumatic, how can they feel comfortable approaching Christ inside a church or even talking to other Christians about this? I know someone who went through this, and I'm just curious how you can help this person other than just praying for them and supporting them. It's a very touchy subject, and I'm sure many others have gone through this.

If you have any information or just thoughts, I'd be interested to hear it. Thank you, and God bless. Thanks for what you're doing. Alicia, thank you for that question and for coming alongside of this person who has experienced trauma within the church. And so the question is, well, how can I best do that, and how can this person get to a place where they're able to go and be ministered to in the church when maybe there are these negative connotations because of what they've experienced? I think the prayer that you brought up, besides praying, I think that is a big thing.

I think you want to continue to pray. I think patience is really important here as well with people who have experienced trauma, not pushing things or forcing things, but taking seriously what they've experienced and the pain that they've undergone. I think there has to be patience and sensitivity with regard to that.

You can't just sort of push someone back in. And then, additionally, your presence as a believer in Jesus Christ is potentially one of the issues. When I think of Christians, I have a negative connotation because I've suffered greatly at the hands of Christians or Christian leaders. They were not safe. They were not helpful. They hurt me in terrible ways. And so you understand when that's happened, and it does happen tragically, and Jesus has very strong words, by the way, to say with regard to those who cause the little lambs of Christ to stumble, those who are abusive and prey on Jesus' lambs.

He says it's better for them to tie a millstone around their neck and be thrown into the sea, really. And so Jesus takes this seriously, and I think that's one of the things also that you can highlight, is Jesus cares about you and he takes what you've experienced and gone through very seriously. But your presence is what I was getting at. Your presence as a believer and someone who's there and is understanding and is safe, you're there to encourage and to bring the grace of God and the good news of the gospel to bear even in the midst of this difficult situation.

I think those are all things that can help. And so continued prayer, patience, affirming, recognizing the fact that this person, and I don't know what exactly they've gone through, I'm just assuming the worst, but that they've experienced something really terrible. You might even consider how to come alongside in looking for other resources, and Bill, I think you might even have some suggestions here with regard to those who've experienced traumatic abuse, the kinds of resources, maybe it's therapy or counseling as well, but your faithful presence as a Christian. And none of that means, and I'm also not saying here as well, it's just the truth of God doesn't matter and this person doesn't need the church anymore.

No, we all need the church. But the fact of the matter is there really are people who have been terribly hurt by the church. And so it takes time for there to be healing and trust to be built. And as Christians, I think we want to pursue individuals, the wounded as it were, as Jesus pursues us. When one sheep goes astray, is wandering on their own, the Good Shepherd goes and pursues that sheep. And so you get to, sister, you get to be that pursuer for this individual. And may God use you, and may God bring this person to a place where they're able to sit under the ministry of the Word of God and to hear Christ, the Good Shepherd, the one who cares for this person, to hear the Word of God and to hear Christ's voice through the ministry, through the faithful ministry of the church. And may the Lord bring a lot of healing.

Bill, would you add anything there? Well, you mentioned looking for some resources, and I'm so glad you used the word safety or being a safe person. Two Christian psychologists, Henry Cloud and John Townsend, have written a wonderful book called Safe People. And it basically tells you, here are the characteristics, the personality characteristics of someone who's safe and someone who's unsafe. And as you read this book, you really begin to see how the sin nature has impacted us. But then one of the things that's interesting, Adriel, they have a whole chapter on finding a safe church. And they mentioned some of the red flags that people need to watch for, for example, lack of accountability, you know, an authoritarian structure.

You can't ask questions, things like that. And I'd recommend that to anyone who's been through a situation like her friend has. Yeah. Yeah. And again, you know, too many people, I think today we hear sometimes those words, you know, the safe space or safe church or whatnot. What we're not talking about is a place where, you know, sin is condoned. But we are talking about a place where people hurt by sin are comforted and received and nourished and where it's going to be a place of healing. The church has to be that, if it's anything. And so God help all of our churches to recognize the need here and to minister to the wounded.

And there are many wounded. And so if you're, I mean, if you're listening right now and you've been hurt by the church and it's been difficult for you to get plugged in again. First, let me just say again, as I said, Jesus stands against all those, quote unquote, ministers who prey on people, who abuse people and who abuse their authority. Christ has very strong words.

There's, there's a severe judgment for them. And he pursues you. He pursues you and he calls you to himself. Jesus calls you to himself to receive the healing and the mercy, the grace, the love that he has for you.

And God can still work in and through the church in your life, but you do want to find a faithful church that takes these things seriously. And so as Bill said, yeah, I think that I think you're right on there, Bill. And boy, you know, there's so much need in this area. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity.

We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us 24 hours a day and leave a question on our voicemail system. That number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Brian calling in from Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, gentlemen, I really enjoy listening to your program. I'm kind of picking up from the last message and comment from Pastor Adriel. I often wonder about this because, as we all know, when you go to church, you have a time of singing songs and things like that before the pastor preaches a sermon. And I often wonder why so many churches today have gone away with, you know, singing the old gospel songs, having church hymnals in the pews and things like that. Because those old songs like Rock of Ages, Amazing Grace, et cetera, et cetera, really touch a person's soul and inspires them to worship the Lord in the church. Because so many of what I call modern day songs, they don't mention the blood of Jesus. They don't mention the name of Jesus.

They just make references to him, his, and things like that. And if you bring to somebody that's not a Christian in, they're going to wonder who are they talking about? And I want your question of why they haven't done away with having those kind of songs sung in the church.

Okay. Brian, great question. So, you know, why has music in the church changed so drastically? You hear people say, man, when I look at those old hymns, there's so much rich theology, and it seems like they're so rooted in scripture.

I mean, not all of them are as good as they can be. I mean, even back then, I think we always want to be discerning and to think about, okay, what are we singing? Is it in line with what the word of God teaches? And is it going to help us fix our eyes upon the Lord and to glorify him?

And I'll just be honest. I think that you can do that with contemporary worship songs as well. And I think that there are also contemporary worship songs that are just not helpful. And so I think with everything, whether you're looking at a song that was written 200 years ago or 700 years ago or two months ago, you know, we want to examine the words on the basis of scripture. And then we want to think about, okay, how is this shaping us as the community of faith? Is this helping us to grow in our understanding of the word of God?

Two, as Paul says in Ephesians 5, verse 19, address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with our heart. Is this hiding the word of Christ in our hearts? Or is this, you know, putting the attention all on me and my sort of personal experience or something like that? And so I think we need to be discerning. There have been some significant shifts over the last century with regard to worship and how people think about music in the church. And I think that's a broader discussion, a bigger discussion. But that sort of helped to pave the way for a lot of the changes that you saw in how churches approach the question of music.

And so that's more of a historical development, especially over the last 100 years. But what I will say is some people are going to feel like they really connect with newer songs and some people are going to feel like they really connect with the older songs. I think we could be sensitive to one another and just say the real question is, are we glorifying the Lord truly with the music that we sing? Is it faithful to God's word? If it is, and if it's not a distraction, well then, wonderful. Praise God. I think there's room here for differences of opinion.

But if it isn't, then I think we need to examine it and make some changes. Hey, God bless, brother. Thanks for reaching out. Really well said.

Thanks for that, Adriel. We do get emails here at Core Christianity. Here's one that came in from Jack and he says, can you please tell me what Satan is and how he tempts Christians or people in general? I hear pastors saying things like, don't let Satan lure you or don't let Satan take control over you.

Can you explain this to me? Well, with regard to the first part of that question, what Satan is, Satan is a creature, a created being. And so it's not like sometimes people picture in their mind this sort of cosmic battle between good and evil, God and the devil, and they're in this arm wrestling match and sometimes Satan is doing better and sometimes God is doing better.

Well, no. Satan is a creature and God is totally sovereign over the evil one. And yet he goes around, like Peter tells us, like a roaring lion seeking to devour us.

And how does he do that? Well, you know, there are temptations, deception, false teaching, heresy, divisions. These are all things I think that the evil one and his minions try to produce in us.

It was C.S. Lewis who said, you know, Satan, it's not so much what he gets into our minds, but what he keeps out. And so I like that. I think the focus for us needs to be on filling our minds with the truth of God's word, the word of Christ, so that we might stand firm in that spiritual battle. God bless and thank you. Together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 03:25:34 / 2024-02-20 03:35:31 / 10

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