The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
Activism vs. Support
What is the reason for Shattered Men?
Before I begin, let me explain why I am writing this. I got an e-mail concerning a recent news article stating a teacher who was having an affair with a student which resulted in the teachers husband killing the student. He was arrested for murder yet she has "no pending charges" In short, she caused the problem although she was in a position of trust which she violated and has now ruined the lives of two others. You can read about it on this persons
The e-mail stated this:
"Sometimes I wonder if I should post links onto Shattered Men or not, since this is considered "activism"...if YOU think it is OK, please post it on SM, if not I FULLY UNDERSTAND!"
There are two common areas that come to mind. Activism or Support. What should be the primary goal for us? Let's explore this for a few moments:
1: The use of direct, often confrontational action, such as a demonstration or strike,
2: In opposition to or support of a cause.
1: To bear the weight of, especially from below.
2: To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen:
When we look at the description of Shattered Men on our home page we can see a very important function is "support" given the definition's above. A major part of the ministry of Shattered Men is peer group support. This means that each of you are helping each
other and the moderators are here to help guide and to prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
When we look at the category SM is listed in, we also see it is listed as a "support" group. Since we know we are a support group...is there room for activism here?
It may help to break these two terms down a bit more.
Support would be like pouring oil on troubled waters which means it calms the waters. Support groups calm the storms within.
Activist however will often cause the troubled water...they rattle the cages of those around them. They make waves! We can see that it is often the opposite of support. Most men's and fathers rights groups would therefore be activist and of course, we know the
radical feminist are. (personally I think the radical feminist groups should be labeled "terrorist" or "hate groups" as should the more militant men's groups)
Given that the two terms are opposites...is there room for both here in Shattered Men?
Let me give another illustration to evaluate this.
Suppose we have a very busy intersection that has four lane highways meeting from two directions but it does not have any traffic control devices in either direction. Needless to say, there would be a large number of accidents and many people would be hurt or even
killed. Although most of those in that city could care less about that problem saying "it does not effect me, I do not go that way" others who do would be concerned. Some may even set up an emergency clinic nearby to tend to the wounded. This would be a support
group. Others may say...hey it is not enough to tend to the wounded...we need to stop making them wounded and we need to get some traffic control here. These would be activist.
Which do you think would be better? Ummm...just a moment...one of those groups that have an emergency clinic is crying foul....they do not want traffic controls. You see this clinic charges for each one they tend to but the other emergency clinic across the street would love to see traffic control because they tend to those that the other clinic refuses because they do not fit their profile to help....they are poor and can not afford to pay so they have to go to the free clinic if they can find it. You see, although the one they were just rejected from has huge signs saying EMERGENCY CARE, most can not see the fine print at the bottom..."for select groups" while the free clinic can not even afford to have a sign in the window of its beat up run down store front. Most do not even know it is there. Yet even given the fact that most do not know we are here...we have almost 1,000 people here. Through the six years this clinic has been here, we have had many pass through...even though we do not have the big fancy signs and the ads that the other clinic across the street has.
Now my friend...is it enough to just be a support group?
I very strongly contend that NO it is not. We must be activist too...we need to stop people from being wounded to begin with but instead of stop signs or traffic lights, we need to change the laws that enable some to be abusers while these same laws often punish
those who have been wounded. We need to change the Violence Against Women Act and we need to STOP the International Violence Against Women Act.
The only way we can do this is to expose this dangerous intersection. We need to show that just tending to the select wounded is not helping. This is why we allow the "activist" post such as the above that reveal the bias in our justice system that lets select groups of people literal get away with murder...and I do mean that literally as I feel that the teacher in the link at the top of this message is as guilty of murder as is her husband.
Support will always be the primary ministry of Shattered Men. We need to tend to the wounds our society has caused to those who come here. It is our desire to support anyone who comes here looking for help but we also want to stop them from being wounded in the fist place. Often and activist has to alert others to the danger of not listening. When more people see the danger, the faster it will be corrected, however it is not just the fancy emergency clinic that may not want something done. Some of the businesses down each side of the highways may not want it either. The body shops who need to fix the dents...the lawyers who both want to find out who to blame and the court systems where these decisions will be made may all want to leave it as it is. They often do not stop to think that
someone in their family could be the next victim of this intersection.
I have gotten other e-mails too...contesting both the supportive and the activism. I have been reminded that we are told to be "content in whatsoever state we are in" (Philippians 4:11) Others have told me that if it happens, it has to be God's will. Still others have
reminded me that Paul wrote to obey our government (Romans 13)
This is all true...but none of this means we have to or should lay back and take the injustice done...and certainly not when it is done to others. Some say...what about this "turn the other cheek" thing? This does not mean that we allow someone to beat us up without resisting them. On the surface, yes it does seem to say that but if we take all scripture in context, we will see that it does not. Just a short time before saying that, Jesus said "he who is angry with someone....without a reason is in danger. In effect, even Jesus said it is OK to be angry if there is a legitimate reason. It is what we do with that anger that makes it right or
wrong. Injustice should make us angry regardless of who the victim is. It should motivate us to do something about it....to tend to the wounded and get the situation that led to it changed. Although we all know that Jesus was very much supportive of the downtrodden. We know He tended to the wounds of the sick, the lame, the blind and the dumb but was He an Activist?
You'd better believe it. Just look at the woman at the well. Jesus actively changed the situation that would have allowed this woman to be stoned.
John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. That was activism my friend.
Many of the abused people Jesus healed were abused by "the church" They were abused by the religious leaders of that day. Many of those here in Shattered Men have been abused by religious leaders when they refuse to look at both sides of the domestic abuse issue.
I have been told of men being threatened with arrest by a large church because he asked for help from their domestic violence ministry. Others have asked for help from their clergy and been refused. As you can see from the e-mail that Pastor Art sent to a ministry for abuse our side is all but totally ignored. One thing I did not catch...this statement "Thanks for your input. I've passed it on to our editors for their consideration." was made on.....June
We have never heard back from them regarding this....Over ONE AND A HALF YEARS....how much consideration do they need?
I have been told that the reason we do not get some of these ministries to recognize us is because of my approach. I come on way too strong. Actually, I do but after we have tried other approaches such as to inform about the real facts of domestic abuse, facts
obtained from unbiased sources and not from "The Center for Abused Women" that one site told me their facts were from. It is only after several of these attempt that I do load both barrels. I have no problem with rattling cages that need to be rattled! After all, I have learned from THE Master. Oh yea...Jesus rattled cages. Look at the seven woes He placed on the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 23. Of course, I realize that they nailed Him to a cross because of it so I do not for one moment think that I would be immune from any
distress that comes with being an activist. I have gotten hate mail including a death threat a few years ago. I have been targeted by hate groups on both sides of the fence and I have been challenged by Christians for doing what I am doing. It will not stop me. I am here for the duration and as long as GOD has ordained the ministry of Shattered Men, and as long as HE has ordained me to direct it....folks....you are stuck with me!
My friend, it is my purpose to apply the Balm of Gilead to the wounds of those who come here. This balm is not simply a bandage that covers the outside while the inside is rotting away...this balm heals from the inside out. It goes to the heart of the matter and it works...it works because the only sinless person ever to exist throughout all eternity was....an ACTIVIST!
This activist confronted evil head on....while HE was nailed to a cross. This activist picketed hell itself...our our behave.
This activist knew I was shacked by a heavy burden and was pinned by a load of guilt and shame. Then.....HE touched me and I have not been the same. Since I met this activist...since He took this load of guilt and shame off from me....is there any wonder that I will not stop talking about HIM? Is there any wonder why I have a burden for you to go to HIM to get your burden lifted? You see, one day on Oct 1, 1958....He touched me and made me whole.
My friend, just as our society tells us that it is wrong to touch
anyone against their will....Jesus will not touch anyone...without
their permission but HE will touch ANYONE who asks to be healed.
Are you hurting? Do you feel guilty about the wrongs you have done? Do you want to have real peace and joy? You can have it in only a moment....simply ask for a touch...of the MASTERS HAND!
Here is how:
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Activism vs. Support Part Two
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month