Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Oh, and by the way, did I mention he is active in church?”
Those words came from a friend recently who was helping an abuse victim understand what has been happening to her. After filling me in on some of the evils this man had been doing, he ended his note with the brief sentence above….he is active in church.”
I do not think that we need to hold back any longer. We are fully justified in just coming right out with it:
Local churches have become arenas of choice for domestic abusers, narcissists, and sociopaths.
Over and over and over again we see it. Virtually ALL of the many abuse victims who have contacted me these past 10 years are being oppressed by a “fine upstanding church member” spouse. Perhaps I can put it this way:
Local churches and other “Christian” entities have become the safe havens for abusers, like some kind of island retreat where pirates would go after raiding and pillaging. Robbers’ dens as the Bible would put it.
Now, certainly we realize that not all domestic abusers claim to be Christians at all. But our Lord warned us that one of the most common ploys of the evil one and his minions is to wear a disguise – wolf in sheep’s clothing and so on. Pedophiles, for instance, do not advertise themselves as molesters of children. They put on a very convincing disguise and go to work grooming people so as to gain access to their intended targets. And this is what your typical power, control, entitlement, conscienceless domestic abuser does. Wears a disguise.
This is why the Christian disguise is so appealing to the wicked. It is why they creep in among us. What better place to practice their wickedness undetected. But worse, most of these local churches, Christian colleges, Christian parachurch organizations, welcome them in with willful blindness. Then they teach these savage beasts a perverted theology that they call Bible doctrine (which of course it is not) that hands these evil ones a divine stamp of approval to their abuse. Or at minimum, when pastors and churches are forced to acknowledge the abuse, the abusers are handed a get-out-of-jail free card in the name of “forgiveness, love, mercy, kindness” and the ubiquitous “we are all sinners” proclamation.
So what does this mean? Well, it means that we must not assume that a church is a church, or that a Christian is a Christian, or that a Christian church or school is automatically a safe place. Quite the opposite. We must be on guard and apply the tests given to us in Scripture for discerning the true from the false. We have the Spirit of Christ in us. He is the Spirit of Truth and surely He has been screaming at us for a long time to beware. It is past time for us to start listening.