Recently an abuse survivor made a very insightful comment. She said that she could always tell when her abuser (a professing Christian) was receiving support from a Christian. How? He stepped up the intensity of his abuse. She said that while non-Christian support for him would certainly encourage him in his wickedness, her suffering at his hands increased the most when professing Christians sided with him. This is very sobering.
First, let’s ask “why?” Why does an abuser particularly feel empowered in his wickedness when he receives support from duped (or worse) Christians? I suggest that the answer simply comes down to this: “Christian” support/enabling of the abuser makes him conclude that God is on his side. That he is in the right. It makes him out to be a holy jihadist, zealous for the Lord, ready and willing to wipe out any opposition. Christians who enable abusers actually hand over the keys to a new and improved torture chamber to the evil man, and they do so in the name of the Lord! That is blasphemy. It is using the Lord’s name in vain.
… they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the LORD.’” (Jeremiah 29:23b)
A second question: “What does this say about the culpability of Christians who enable the abuser?” It says that they share in the guilt for this wickedness. They participate in the oppression of the victim. They have blood on their hands.
You see, while we are errant human beings, falling quite short of perfection, nevertheless there are some things we simply must get right. A firearm, for example, must be handled wisely and safely. Because you just don’t get a second chance. I may intend to use fire to do good, perhaps burning up an ugly pile of debris in my yard, but I had better know about fire and follow the rules for its safe use. Because fire often doesn’t give us a second chance. So it is with evil. We have to get it right about the nature and methods of evil. If we don’t, then we become participants in its wickedness upon its victims.
So, Christian, remember this and mark it down well. The next time you preach things like “just go back to him and submit and pray for him more” to victims, the next time you preach a sermon about how husbands are to be masters and priests in their home and how wives are to submit to them in all things, you are a participant in the abuse being dished out to the victim and in fact you are increasing its severity because you have endorsed the wicked man’s thinking that he has God on his side.
God is most certainly not on the abuser’s side, and furthermore, He is not on yours either.