Joh 1:11-12 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. (12) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
I want to show you the fundamental reason victims of abuse are routinely and regularly rejected by their pastors and churches when they expose the abuse and ask for help. It actually is no mystery.
When Jesus came into this world as that baby in Bethlehem, He came as the promised Messiah of Israel. The Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, were His people under the Old Covenant. Jesus Himself was born as one of them, that promised Seed of Abraham. In that outward sense then, under the Old Covenant, Jesus came “to His own.”
We all know what happened. As John says, and his own people did not receive him. But then John goes on to say, but to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. In other words, the TRUE children of Abraham (See Romans 2:28-29) were not the people merely descended from Abraham phyisically, but those who were of faith – those who believed in His name. THEY are the true children of God, the true Israel – Jew or Gentile.
Now, why did the Jews not receive Jesus as their Messiah king? Because he was not one of them. In fact, he told them (see John 8) that they were of their father the devil! They did not receive him because he was not one of them. The Pharisees hated him with a murderous hatred because he was upsetting their program and their status. Their power and privilege was threatened by Him.
I have seen this same pattern play out over and over and over. If you read the biographies of Charles Spurgeon and George for instance, you will see it. Both men, wonderfully gifted and used by God for the salvation of thousands, were hated and scorned by the “clergy” of their day. They were regularly slandered and falsely accused. Why? Because they were true servants of Christ and they were, therefore, not one of the ruling caste of clergy. They were upsetting things. They were exposing the abuse and evils of the false shepherds. And these wolves hated them for it.
Think of what both Rome and the Jews did to the Apostle Paul. Think of what Rome did to the Reformers. Luther came exposing the abuses and evils and false gospel of the Papacy and they would have killed him a thousand times over had the Lord not preserved him.
Which brings us back around to the abuse victims in local churches in our day. Why are they so sorely treated and scorned and even cast out when they come for help to their “shepherds”? I can tell you. It is because these shepherds are no shepherds at all and their flocks are flocks of goats, not sheep. That is to say, the Christian abuse victim is not one of the counterfeits. They are a threat to the power and false reputation of hypocrites. So they are told to shut up, “in the name of the Lord,” of course. And then they are put out if they don’t get in line.
I am really just beginning to see what Christ’s true church is. And I can tell you, it is rarer and smaller than most of us have been told. It does not look much like the typical local church at all in fact. Because Christ’s people love one another, they hunger and thirst for righteousness, the are poor in spirit, and they are persecuted for righteousness sake. And they love the widow and orphan.