From Victim to Victor

We've all felt like victims at one time or another.

Some of us may never have felt like a victor, with success or winning always just beyond our reach, while others may regularly celebrate their many victories in sports, music, film, business, or other pursuits.

But what do these words really mean?

According to dictionary.com, a victim is

  • a person or thing that suffers harm, death, etc., from another or from some adverse act, circumstance, etc., such as victims of tyranny, (or of a crime, rape, abuse, harassment, or discrimination);
  • a person who is tricked or swindled;
  • a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency, such as a victim of an automobile accident; (or terrorist attack);
  • a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency;
  • a person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed, as war victims, or sacrificed in a religious rite.

According to that same online dictionary, a victor is

  • a conqueror;
  • a person who has overcome or defeated an adversary;
  • a person, nation, etc., that has defeated an adversary in war, etc., as the victor army;
  • the winner of any contest, conflict, or struggle;
  • a code word used in communications to represent the letter "v."

The word victim comes from the Latin victima, meaning "a sacrificial animal."

The word victor comes from the Latin vincere, meaning "to conquer."

And herein rests the secret to our transformation from "victim" to "victor." But first, let's consider this:

Q. What does "Light" have to do with this transformation? (As in "Victory Through Light")

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Victoria Dorshorn
Writer & Speaker

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Book 1 in "Light" Series

A growing darkness threatens to destroy our culture and make victims of all of us. We don't have to look far to see the threats to our personal security and liberty, to the survival and unity of our families, and to the continued existence of civilized society.

Is this the set-up for a futuristic fiction novel? I wish it were. Unfortunately, that future is rapidly advancing upon us.

Many of the trends of the past 50 years have darkened the culture and confused the church, leaving a wide path of destruction. Responding to Light: Trading Confusion for Clarity is the first in a planned set of three books, the purpose of which is to expose the growing cultural darkness and call readers to Jesus Christ, who is "the true light" that "shines in the darkness," who empowers us to "walk in light" (Book 2), and who equips us to "put on the armor of light" (Book 3).

Using relevant scriptures, personal testimony, and modern parables, this book enables believers to see their way out of the confusing shadows and into the light of clarity, encouraging them to lead others to clarity and victory.

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RECENT POSTS

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y
2/6/2020 6:14:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

The parade to celebrate Kansas City Chiefs’ 2020 Super Bowl victory was Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Kansas City, MO. The televised parade showed streets full of fans celebrating the victory of their hometown team.

According to early reports, there was only one breach of barricade and only five arrests, which included two from that breach. Others were for minor things like falling out of a tree or riding a horse. There was no looting, fires, riots, or property damage. Indeed, they celebrated the big win with decorum, dignity, and controlled delight.

But what if the Chiefs had lost? Then the victory celebration would have been in San Francisco.

In a game, sporting event, political contest, war, or personal battle, where there is a victor, there is also a loser.

However, in our spiritual life, we can all be victors—because we are not one another’s opponent. Our opponent is “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

We aren’t battling individuals—not even individuals whom the devil uses to defeat us. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3.) We battle the mental and emotional force of evil, the influence of the devil on society, the impact of the devil on individuals opposed to our walk with the Lord Jesus.

The good news is that Jesus Christ has already won the battle for us. Our victory comes in understanding that and acting on his victory for us. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Jesus overcame the world, the prince of the world (the wicked one, the devil), and the evil spirits that the devil uses against us. Because Jesus did overcome, when we find our identity in him, as a new creation, we also have overcome the world, the devil, and the evil spirits (attitudes and influences of evil in the world).

In 1 John 5:4-5, we read of our triumph by faith over the world. In 1 John 2:13, 14, we see our victory over the wicked one by our new life in Christ. And in 1 John 4:3-4, we read that we have overcome the spirits of antichrist, because the spirit of Christ is in us (and he is greater than the spirits of the evil, wicked one, Satan).

Therefore, the loser in our spiritual battle is Satan and all that he uses to defeat us: lies, deception, error, hate, darkness, evil, moral depravity, perversion, false accusations, and even false lights. For example, the devil puts the new “tolerance” for righteousness and a twisted political correctness for morality.

However, the new tolerance is not “tolerance” but required celebration of and forced participation in that which is contrary to God’s righteousness. Today’s political correctness is not simply “grace and kindness for all” but preference of the immoral over the moral, substitution of collectivist thinking for common sense, and choosing a reprobate mind instead of logical critical thinking.

Who would have thought, even ten years ago, that the confusion of tolerance and political correctness would have reached the point it has? Children are taught that “scientific fact” (or even theory, i.e., evolution) overrules faith. But when it comes to their own bodies, they are told that the body parts they are born with do not determine their sex/gender. They are encouraged to toss science out the window and believe their “feelings.” And feelings are much less reliable than faith.

But in Christ, there is victory over even this confusion, which is part of the world, spawned by the wicked one and carried by the spirits of antichrist. Our victory is clear: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37). And he that loved us is Jesus Christ. He is the victor. And he is our victory.

And that spiritual victory far transcends the happy victory of the Kansas City Chiefs.

(Photo by Kansas City Star)
 

A Stable and an Empty Tomb
12/24/2019 6:01:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

Like many of my fellow Christians, I find that anytime I think about Christmas, I also think about the ultimate reason for it—the death of the Son of God for me, for whosoever believes.

We don’t celebrate a perpetual infant in a manger, though we do remember our Lord’s humble birth. But he came to die. To die for us.

However, he didn’t stay dead. He rose again, came from the tomb, and after forty days, ascended to heaven to the right hand of the Father. From there, he will come again for believers, and later will come with believers to set up his kingdom in Israel. It’s all in the Bible. Those who doubt can read it for themselves.

Unfortunately, those who choose not to believe will remain in their spiritual darkness. But even as the star in the east appeared in the sky to light the way for the wise men, so God has placed believers as lights in this darkening world, to light the way for any who would seek King Jesus, the Savior.

Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”—Matt. 5:16. Paul urged the believers to shine. He wrote, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light”—Eph. 5:8.

So, in the full glow of the True Light, Jesus, I wish a blessed Christmas to all. May you all celebrate the rest of God’s plan and dwell in his light.

Here’s a little poem I scratched out this morning. It’s not a “literary” poem, and I realize that, although it’s fourteen lines, it isn’t iambic pentameter, so doesn’t qualify as a sonnet. It’s just some precious thoughts I had while having my time with the Lord this morning.

Lines upon a Nativity Set

No trumpet announced His humble birth; 
No crowd shouted “Glory!” but angels who sang, 
And music, I’m sure, through heaven’s court rang. 
The shepherds, aware of the baby’s worth, 
Must have sung in their hearts: the privilege given 
To look into the stable to see Him there. 
Later, folks looked out of the tomb, for He was not there. 
Upon Him some looked as He ascended to heaven. 
Now, in this age, we look for the Lord, 
And we who are alive and remain to this day 
May see Him descend to catch us away! 
What awesome prospect! What wonderful Word! 
What glorious plan this babe’s birth sparked: 
The gospel of salvation to believing hearts.  

While listening to a sermon online, I just heard Greg Laurie say, “Jesus was born that we might be born again.” Amen.   

Do Definitions Matter?
12/17/2019 3:08:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

I’m old enough that I remember reading George Orwell’s 1984 in high school—before 1984. The science fiction novel was intriguing. When I read it, circa 1964, the year 1984 seemed so far away. But even then, as with much dystopian writing, the trends were already in motion. Orwell recognized this as early as 1949 and projected them to 1984.

In Orwell’s 1984 “newspeak,” the government rewrote history to manipulate the public and redefined terms to change public perception of ideas, attitudes, and behaviors. In reality, for several decades socio-political forces have been redefining terms to make unpleasant things seem good and to make traditional values sound bad. It’s all part of the darkening culture, and those who see it are chastised as “intolerant,” “hateful,” or (my favorite) “politically incorrect.”

Years before “political correctness” was an item, incremental changes in definitions had started the erosion of objective morality and traditional values. But even beyond that, things pertaining to law and order have been eroded. “Illegal aliens” became “illegal immigrants,” then “undocumented immigrants,” and now, “undocumented workers.” The word “undocumented” sounds much less hostile than “illegal,” and “workers” are definitely less alarming than “aliens.”

And that’s just one example. How about “abortion clinics” being called “women’s reproductive health centers,” and “abortion” being referred to as “reproductive health”? What is healthy about the torture and killing of a pre-born baby, often resulting in the sale of his or her body parts? It’s not healthy for the child and it’s not healthy for the woman, who is, most likely, headed for subsequent abortion remorse and feelings of guilt.

(My heart goes out to women who suffer those emotions and don’t know that they can be forgiven by God and placed in right standing with him, by faith in Jesus Christ. They will always wonder about the child they aborted, but they can find peace. I know because I did.)

When my sons were growing up in the 80s and 90s, I used to find the tween and teen redefinitions rather humorous. “Cool” became “bad,” “terrific” became “wicked,” and for awhile, everything was “awesome.” But kids will always play with words and come up with their own jargon. I think they do it to leave the adults out of their conversations. It’s part of the normal angst that drives the generation gap.

But serious redefinitions, like the “alien” and “abortion” examples above, go beyond this harmless wordplay. Our culture is rushing to redefine essential principles of good and evil, of holiness and sin. In fact, under demonic influence, our culture has rejected the concept of “sin” and, in fact, seeks to normalize the behaviors which are “sin.” The exploding cultural darkness has led to society calling biblical righteousness “evil.”

One has only to look at certain words in dictionaries from the first half of the twentieth century to see how the definitions have mutated today. In my forth-coming book Victory through Light: Responding to the Growing Cultural Darkness, I delve into the erosion of the meaning of “tolerance” and “tolerate.” And we know from classic literature that the word “gay” used to mean “lively, bright, sporty, merry, showy, and light-hearted.” Now we would be hard pressed to use it in that context.

All of this erosion and mutation of words leads to the reclassification of what is “good” and what is “evil,” what is “right” behavior and what is “wrong” behavior. I even witnessed the school system, including university level, purging the term “wrong” from grading rubrics and replacing it with “non-standard.” I can only assume that “non-standard” has now been replaced by something even less corrective, such as “unique” or “creative.”

But why does it matter? Shouldn’t society get to define what is good or evil? God forbid.

When that happens, a change in government leads to a change in definitions and expectations. Look back at Germany during the 1930s and into the early 1940s. That should be enough proof that humans, apart from the triune God of our Judeo-Christian heritage, cannot be relied upon to define good and evil in a way that is beneficial, fair, and just. In this country, some members of a political party routinely incite the public to carry out acts of aggression and racism against one group, while they pretend to cry out for equitable treatment for others.

Humans need an objective moral law by which to govern themselves. This nation had such an objective moral law in its foundation—the Holy Bible. Our founding fathers knew that. But today we have a vocal minority of God-rejecters who force their hateful rebellion on the rest of the nation. But it’s not the individuals themselves who are the enemy; it is the “spirit of rebellion” that drives them—the devil, who is “a liar and the father of [lies]” (John 8:44 KJV).

God’s arch-enemy, the devil, seeks to redefine “good” to make it “evil” and redefine “evil” to make it “good.” A sort of “reverse polarity,” to borrow a phrase from the original Star Trek series (1966-1969). But this moral reverse polarity is deadly. It calls the dismemberment of pre-born infants a “basic human right.” It sets up “sanctuaries” for those who blatantly break our laws and harm our citizens. It seeks to silence those who speak of God’s righteousness, while giving public voice to those who violate God’s standards of holiness.

Do definitions matter? Yes. And it’s time that biblical Christians take a stand for truth and righteousness, for the objective moral law upon which this nation was founded. If we don’t know what is “good,” we can’t do it. And if we let the devil-inspired culture tell us what is “good,” we will be accepting (and doing) what is “evil.”

Does this sound harsh? To some, yes. But maybe harshness is needed at this time. “Woe” is pronounced to those who have reversed the definitions and put evil for good and good for evil (Isa. 5:20). God doesn’t have much use for political correctness. So, I choose to be “politically incorrect” and “biblically correct.” And blessed we are who would rather “suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (1 Peter 3:17 KJV), following God’s true and righteous standards.

Darkness Creeping In
11/26/2019 10:17:00 PM BY Vicki Dorshorn

I noticed that I have some new subscribers who signed up before I had my “welcome” email established through Mail Chimp. So, a hearty welcome to you and to all who’ve recently subscribed to my blog list. Please bear with me as I re-establish the habit of blogging at least weekly.

I wrote the following essay in July of 1997. I found it recently while sorting out old files. It struck me odd that I saw this change that long ago, a change that is even more evident today. It was originally titled, “An Upside-down People Cannot Long Survive.” Here it is, slightly revised.

When a high school valedictorian is forbidden to mention Jesus Christ in a graduation speech, but junior high school children are shown homosexual acts as part of sex education and diversity awareness, our nation is in trouble. During that time, I attended a prison ministry luncheon at which the mayor of Denver prayed—in public. Even then, he was castigated on the five o’clock news, not only for praying but also for mentioning the name of Jesus in his prayer. Of course, the rest of the night’s television fare was politically correct—violence, sexual innuendo, and disrespectful language. (Remember, this was circa 1997.)

That long ago, I wrote about the forces that were joining to create a socio-political trend that would significantly affect believers in years to come. These were a movement to redefine sin to make it acceptable and desirable and a movement against public acknowledgment of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Relative morality and privatization are, in fact, two of many errors which have darkened our already dark culture. In Matthew 24:9, 12, Jesus warned of a time coming when his followers would “be hated of all nations for my name’s sake,” and when “iniquity shall abound.”

And iniquity does abound. Isaiah cried, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness . . . which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him” (Isa. 5:20, 23). Darkness is put forth as light by those who reject Christ, who insist that we not speak the gospel in public.

Consequently, if we who have true light are forced by society to hide that light in our homes, how dark will be everywhere else, especially as, in the public realm, works of darkness are extolled as “light,” and evil deeds are proclaimed “good.”

Therefore, we cannot hide our light under a bushel, but must shine it boldly that, perhaps, some will see it and be delivered from the cultural darkness. Those who insist on turning from the true light will walk in their own shadows, in increasing darkness. They will continue to drag us to the gallows of privatization, where they hope to take away righteousness.

In keeping with current trends, individuals will be tempted to either deny their faith or hide it. They may be coerced into compromise with new age philosophy or the social gospel. Some will stand firm in their convictions—at the expense of jobs, promotions, or businesses. They may suffer estrangement of friends or family. Discrimination will increase against those rooted in the Word of God.

Moreover, family structure is changing, and soon the traditional Christian family will be an oddity. As this trend continues, Christian families will either draw closer together as a unit or be split apart by the conflict caused by upside-down morality and inside-out justice.

The ministry may change as society seeks to dictate acceptable topics of sermons and topics which must be avoided to keep the PC police, and resultant lawsuits, away. Churches that fall to this compromise will fade in significance, letting their light go out. Now, more than ever, it is important for churches and individual believers to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). (Do we not see that happening now?)

We must pray that the deceitful web of privatization will be dissolved. We can work to insure that first amendment rights are granted to Christians in public office. We can even work to put more Christians in public offices. But the die is cast. Many in this country do not want to be reminded of their rebellion against the God who created them, the God who established this nation of liberty, the God who loves them and “gave himself for” them (Gal. 2:20).

We need to pray for the leaders of the land and for the individuals who reject God, who unwittingly seek to force their twisted bias upon us. They are not the enemy. The spirit behind them is.

Only God’s love can change hearts; only God’s love can turn the tide; only God’s love sincerely shown by Christians can reverse this dangerous trend. Christians need to “shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life,” (Phil. 2:15, 16). Only then will our nation’s end not be that spoken by Isaiah—“behold darkness and distress” (Isa. 5:30).