Grizzly Bears, Wolves, and the Denial of Evil

Act 20:28-30  Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.  (29)  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  (30)  and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

The Bible is filled with repeated warnings just like this one. Evil, wicked, creeps will always be at work creeping in among us in the church, disguised in wool. And yet, it would seem that the majority of people who claim to be Christians willfully blow off these warnings. Which is, of course, unbelief and disobedience to the King.

Let me give an illustration.

I used to live in a small mountain valley in Montana. Just before we moved away, the fish and wildlife people along with others decided that it was a good idea to re-introduce wolves and to increase the grizzly bear population as well. They have done so. What used to be a place to stroll through the woods, camp out, and so on has now become a place where a sensible person fears for their life.

But there are many who don’t seem to be sensible. Recently one of the business owners posted a security camera video of a sow grizzly and her sizeable triplets walking right behind their home and store. It’s not the first time by any means. The response by locals on social media? “Oh, how beautiful they are.” “My, how wonderful this is.” “I saw some the other day behind my house too.” Yada, yada.

Now, grizzly bears are beautiful, majestic critters and in some ways so are wolves. But then there is reality. Grizzly bears kill people. Ferociously. Wolves rip apart and decimate deer and elk populations – emphasis on rip apart. And I’m not really sure a human is all that safe with wolves on the prowl either.

But if you point these things out to people, you get hammered. I know. I’ve done it and received the hammer. “If you don’t like it then you can just move out of here. You don’t belong. They do.” As I watch the little kids waiting in the morning for the school bus.

Here is my point, regardless of what your wildlife theories might be. A very similar naive, blind attitude to bears and wolves in the church is a plague among us. There is a willful denial of evil that is widespread and those who point out the danger of wolves and bears sitting in the pews are the ones who get thrown to the wolves and bears. Most of you know this. Most of you have received just that kind of treatment. “Just carry some bear spray. That will calm him down.” When I lived in Alaska and carried a shotgun along when out in the woods, I have actually been looked at with derision by people who fancy themselves nature lovers. “How dare he intrude upon our peaceful world with such an evil tool.”

So now I sit back, watching and waiting. Waiting for the grim news report that a grizzly bear has killed a person. I wonder how many of these naive people have ever actually seen a human being’s remains after a bear got done with them? Oh, we don’t want to publish anything like that. It’s just too…..too….shocking you know.”

And how many of these protectors of evil in the church have ever actually seen the remains of a domestic abuse victim who has endured decades of evil at the hands of her “Christian” spouse?  “Oh my. I don’t want you to talk about such things. It’s just too negative and unpleasant.”

This is not Christ. These are not the people of His kingdom who hunger and thirst for righteousness and refuse to walk, stand or sit with the wicked.

 

9 thoughts on “Grizzly Bears, Wolves, and the Denial of Evil

  1. walkinginlight

    And I wonder just what these “positive spin” people think when Jesus said that if one loves their mother, father, brother, sister more then me they are not fit to be my disciple? These cowards love their human relationships (if even they are doing evil) rather then obey the word of God on WHO He tells us to separate from. Evil is evil described by the word of God and does not matter if the perpetrator is sitting in a pew or under our roof. God commands to take the evil out from among His people and stand up for the victim. Judge righteous judgement! Defend the widow, orphan and the oppressed. I really think most Christians “cherry pick” which verses they will take seriously and obey. But of course this type of person is what is referred as a “nominal Christian”. Someone who does not take the word of God seriously. I also feel that Rick Warren’s heretical teachings starting in the early 2000’s with everything has to be “positive” and don’t speak any negative words (also the Charismatics with the positive confession) also contributed to people ignoring evil and speaking up, let alone doing something about it as God commands in the bible.

    MARANATHA!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. C

    Nailed it, Pastor.

    People want too much happy go lucky cheap grace, play nice, blind to reality.

    You asked:
    And how many of these protectors of evil in the church have ever actually seen the remains of a domestic abuse victim…?

    Maybe they see that rather poor person in rather poor health, or the stigmatized divorcee.

    Maybe they see that child abuse victim being called a lyer and a slut. They see – to it, that the evidence will not be secured, the credibility of the victim ruined, the appearances kept.

    Mayby they see a person who stubbornly counters their rebukes with reasonable arguments, refusing to submit to their so called sound biblical advice.
    Meaning: Their advice sounds biblical.
    It mostly is the advice of Job’s friends, a Christian variant of it.

    Maybe they have only seen the heels…running away from an unsafe church.

    Isaiah (NASB):
    14Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter.
    15Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the LORD saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.

    May the Lord be the refuge for those preyed upon,
    C

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Natalie

    The defenders of abusers use the same old tired lines….
    “But he SEEMS so nice at church functions, I just can’t believe he would abuse his family.”
    “There are two sides to every story, you know, maybe she needs to look at HER part in it.”
    “If he is such an abuser, why did she have so many children with him?’
    “But he does good things in the community, donates money to the church, etc. Nobody who is an abuser would do those things.”
    “Well, she just may have to actually WORK and provide for her family now, after all, she chose to tear down her house with her own hands by divorcing her husband.” (in order to survive to raise her children)

    When the truth is, abusers CHOOSE to abuse and they are wolves, carefully selecting their prey and choosing to not prey on others, especially as it affects their reputation. There is a reason why they are called wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    The defenders of evil will tell the victim she was stupid for staying with an abuser, then turn right around and denounce divorce as an evil sin.

    They will come feast on her remains right alongside the abuser because they ravage her more with their passivity and refusal to offer anything more than advice and criticism.

    Why didn’t you just leave him? Are some of the cruelest words in the English Language. Especially in the church when to leave him is to plunge your children into poverty while the church looks on clucking their tongues at your “misfortune” and withholding the aid that could save your family from destruction.

    Yes, the church that claims Jesus Christ is the shield and protector of the evil abuser and wolves at heart. There is no sanctuary in the sanctuary of the modern church.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Z

    When I read comments like those above of walkinginlight, C and Natalie, it comforts me. Not because they show they know all too well the ravages of abuse and of “church people’s” horribly unbiblical reactions to it. But because I don’t feel so alone in that same situation. They get it. They’ve been revictimized by those who are supposed to administer CORRECT Scriptural aid, and any other help needed by the oppressed.

    And now their brains are swirling, just like mine, trying to understand how this could happen in churches, in “christian” circles. It happens in one’s professing “abusive christian” family and extended family too. We know there’s no such thing as a “christian abuser” not can enablers of abuse be true Christians. But that’s what they put themselves forth as. And we, their victims, suffer more and more because of them. This community is a “true church”! I thank God for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. no one down here

    Maybe they try to tell you that the person who abused you is not going to do it anymore. because now they have fixed him. maybe after you leave the church, they preach an entire sermon from the pulpit against leaving the church, because that’s in the Bible, you know. Maybe they blame you for not wanting to have communications with the person. Maybe they threaten you, if you dare to go free. Maybe they forgot that God is the avenger, the refuge, the provider. They dare to tell you that you are not going to make it out there … when God owns all the things?! I still can’t understand that last part.

    Maybe they think that your trauma should be done after 3 months. Why are you still traumatized 7 months out? There are not enough words to describe the actual physical trauma symptoms that persist. There are not enough words to describe the inner screaming and silent begging for relief. They don’t understand the lengths you would go to ensure that your children no longer have to live with evil.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Stormy

        Great question Pastor Jeff— I would love to ask that question and quote the scripture to the church planter, youth Sunday School teacher that sided with my abusive, harassing bully neighbor —-against me.

        Imagine a fellow church member, church planter and youth bible study leader standing with a bully against her sister in Christ?? Well that happened to me.

        How can she be so comfortable with evil? When all the while she’s planting churches and teaching youth bible study?

        We all know why because she’s a phony. She doesn’t love God she loves herself and she loves the power that the wicked man wields like a sword.

        She loves being associated with the powerful so she can be with her own kind. She overlooks and defends the evil bullying and she loves it.

        All the while being able to keep her phony Christian reputation in place. It’s easy to do that in today’s churches because everyone is comfortable with evil.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie

      Yes, this. We stay with the abuser for so long because we are the only thing standing between our precious babies and the evil man who abuses.
      After we escape, we watch as he twists their little childish minds, returning them from visits a little less of themselves every time.
      We see their personalities change, just like ours did.

      And yet, the church continues to turn a blind eye or criticizes us for our children’s new behavior problems.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. C

    Come to church and get your free grace ticket to eternity in heaven.
    Meanwhile – if your faith doesn’t hold for longsuffering – we promise you that our god is on your side when it comes to living well in earthly paradise….
    …just pretend hard enough…
    it might cost some human sacrifices but for as long as you are on the side of the wolves
    you might get some piece of meat.

    Is this really the Living God? The God of Light, Truth, Justice, Love?
    The God who sent many prophets to tell his people to turn their ways?
    The God who comes Himself in the flesh to die for our sins and to resurrect
    so that we can die to sin, resurrect and be saved through and in Him!

    John 15:19
    If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

    May the Lord bless you all and give you hope and strength,
    C

    Liked by 2 people

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