The following is a comment made by no one down here in response to the post Willful Blindness to Evil Loves “Simplicity” and Hates Wisdom. I wanted to be certain everyone saw the comment and that we all give serious thought to it. This gem of Bible truth is obvious and plain as day, yet it is routinely skipped over and just plain ignored. Many thanks to no one down here for seeing this and sharing it:
Just saw something! Proverbs 2 … seek wisdom (Christ), seek understanding, knowledge… search as for silver or hid treasure… If you do this, you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Following this are the verses about the Lord giving wisdom, laying up sound wisdom for you, giving you understanding of righteousness, etc…
When wisdom enters your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you and understanding will keep you…
Why? to deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaks froward things who leave the paths of uprightness and walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil… etc.
There is more than an implication here… If you are seeking the Lord, you are going to recognize evil. By contrast, if you don’t recognize evil… [fill in the blank]
Never heard a sermon on this. Only heard sermons on the importance of seeking God, but never the whole context like that.
In other words, most professing Christians and church leaders are, dare we use the Bible term, fools. Because they do not hunger and thirst for God’s wisdom and seek it with all their heart, they remain fools, devoid of wisdom, and thus ignorant of evil, dupes and allies of wicked ones. And that is the best case analysis. Many of these are simply unregenerate. They don’t know the Lord and that is why they have no time for His wisdom.
And it is people like this who are so often doing the preaching, teaching, and counseling in the churches. Blind leading the blind. Both fall into a pit.
I am going ramble…may these ramblings be an encouragement to you. If you think they can be an encouragement to others you may pass it along…
I appreciate your blogs…they are tough to read sometimes, yet challenging. Our family has been going through a horrible DV situation the past 4 years. Well aren’t they all horrible? I have read your book Unholy Charade four times now…thanks for your insight. I looked up your church online gave them a call and they referred me to Veronica out here in Colorado. Our pastor has purchased your book and has given them to the other pastors/staff. I believe Veronica will be spending time with that group in the near future as they digest your thoughts. And yes some of your comments are controversial in the evangelical community as you have shared. I am in agreement there are many so called pastors/leaders in the body of Christ who are wolves. At the same time many will be deceived by Satan even the elect. That is when staying in the scriptures not commentaries is so important. “alive and active sharper then any two edged sword” All scripture is inspired and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. Psalm 1 is a life verse….I believe that is part of the problem in a general sense with church leadership. In an effort to perform or come up with a message every Sunday a pastor can begin to rely on someone else’s opinions on the scripture rather than reading and meditating on the Word. Over time the discernment that comes from God is not there. I also, believe our Lord is big enough He doesn’t need the bible to give us discernment but time and time again you read in the Word the importance of the Bible.
So with our families situation our church has done a pretty good job with handling the issue. They are not bullying the victim to stay in the relationship, they are not siding with the abuser, however I do not believe they have done enough. What I have learned is the victim needs to “feel” that her family and church family are completely on her side, aggressively surrounding her with grace and help. If you will, circling the wagons with the women and children in center and the men of the church at the perimeter keeping the evil out. Just “believing” the victim yet remaining somewhat neutral in the situation, not being proactive causes a sense of abandonment for the victim which then can snowball into the victim not trusting the people who truly believe her and love her.
Now to the discernment part you mentioned in this blog. Our daughter who is the victim attended a “sister” church. Unlike our church home that handled the horrible situation not well but reasonably so the leadership at this church handled this so poorly that in the end the victim was the vengeful one and the abuser was the repentant one. The question I had was the leader in that church duped by the abuser? Was the leadership and the body there deceived? I finally after a number of years ( I waited due to safety concerns for my daughter) was able to get face to face with the pastor. His reason for his position was he was convinced the abuser was repentant. I asked him what repentance looked like. He listed all the usual things…attends church regularly twice a week, is involved in a bible study…and has brought people to church…The day before our meeting our daughter was in a court of law and the abuser came up with a narrative to convince the judge of something…and that narrative was full of lies. I asked the pastor would a “repentant” man do that? The pastor then asked me if I had forgiven my former son in law. He did not answer the question. Instead of pressing the issue I went ahead and answered his question. I told him that it was miracle that I had forgiven and it was because of Jesus, however I don’t trust him and believe that my former son in law is an evil man…the pastor leaned over to me and said that he believed that I had not forgiven and had some bitterness. What troubled my spirit the most was not that he had deflected and accused me of something but it was his countenance. When he leaned over and told me he believed I had not forgiven there was a smirk on his face. I am convinced I was looking at an evil one.
Thank you Wade. I agree – face to face with an agent of the devil. Thank you for your wisdom and for sharing it here.
no one down here
Yes, to the smirk. Have seen that first hand in the “pastor” who believes the repentant spouse over my telling him current evidence to the contrary, including lies, deceit, control, manipulation… I cannot call that man pastor. I stopped telling him anything, because it was no use.
Also yes to the feeling of safety needing more than just belief and neutrality. No one is ever truly neutral. There is always a bias. If they are not actively for the wounded person, they will end up being for the wicked one.
Pretty sure they think that if they just continue to deny and deflect while using biblical phrases, they will win.
I am so sorry that you and your family have had to deal with this personally.
In Hebrews we are told that a definitive sign of Spiritual maturity in a Christian is the ability to *discern* evil from goodness. In point of fact, if we do not display this mature spiritual discernment characteristic, then we are still suckling-milk children, and not yet meat-chewing adults.
When clergy or counsellors are on the abusers side they make unforgiveness and a bitter heart the issue. You can bet there are abusive actions that are not being dealt with.
If the smirk is duping delight, that’s your clue that they think they are winning! (But know better/are dishonest.)
Anything to save the marriage, especially encouraging forgiveness and further chances instead of freedom from evil and chaos for the victim!
Thank you Leonie. True words.
This is really relevant to something I recently experienced. I volunteer occasionally at a homeless shelter (for men and women). The people that find shelter there are called “guests.” It’s an amazing local ministry.
There was a woman there, “Barb,” who was sharing a meal with other guests, two other volunteers and myself. The subject of spousal abuse came up. The one other volunteer, Margaret, had been an abused PASTOR’S WIFE! How interesting for me to engage with HER on this subject! The three of us volunteers were sharing our experiences and insights when “Barb” said she had to excuse herself as the discussion was troubling to her. I briefly commented “knowledge is power” or something to that effect as she walked away. This discussion was meant for “Barb,” I believe. She said a man of status and means was picking her up in a few days and taking her to “Canada” to live as his wife. She said he was retiring from the Army and had attained high rank. Not to be mean or unkind, but “Barb” did not necessarily appear to be temporarily homeless, but, perhaps, it is evidence of her lifestyle. By now “Barb” is either blissfully in “Canada,” leaving her homelessness and adversity behind and is living an immoral, but seemingly much preferred life, OR Mr. Army never turned up after all and she is further into denial and wrenching heartbreak, once again.
I repeat, knowledge is power; and I’m so thankful for the sharing of this precious Psalm and the post: “Willful Blindness to Evil Loves “Simplicity, and Hates Knowledge.”
Thank you suzzieq07. Truth here. Yes, as long as a person does not want the Lord’s wisdom, the truth is going to be troubling. I suppose it is troubling even when we start seeking it because it rocks our world. Things are not as we thought they were. But in the end the Lord’s wisdom is sweet because it sets us free of the enemy’s lies.
I’ve been a believer since I was a child and been hit by the fallout from 6 church splits. I love the Lord and He has set me free from the unholy charade. Only once, in all my church experience, have I seen a church body deal well with abuse. It was so noteworthy that I never forgot it, though I was looking in from the outside and didn’t have all the details.
I was a visitor at a home meeting. After simple worship with a guitar and a Bible study related to the pastor’s Sunday sermon, the group leader took prayer requests and made an announcement about a situation of domestic abuse. He said that the husband had been in prison for domestic abuse (I assumed it was physical because of the prison sentence) and had recently been released. The husband stated that he was repentant and wanted to follow the Lord. The church brothers took him aside and told him how he needed to treat his wife, since she was planning on taking him back. The husband seemed to take the words to heart. He went home and soon his wife reported to the brothers that the husband was abusing her again.
The leader then stated that immediately after her report, the brothers had quickly whisked her away to a safe location, then met with the husband and told the abuser that he could not have access to her, and that her location would remain private. The leader asked the group to pray that the husband would change. The leader reported that the brothers had told the abuser at the second meeting, “You better get your act together or you are going to lose your wife.” It was an implied that the brothers were circling the wagons around this wounded sister.
I don’t know what the ultimate outcome was (from what I’ve read since then, I have little reason to think that the abuser would change). However, I was impressed with the bravery and integrity of the men of that church. There was no victim-blaming and no sin leveling. Protecting the widow and the fatherless indeed!
Suzy H – In some ways the manner in which these men in the church handled protecting the victim and helping her is commendable and better than many. However, from your description they were still pursuing a dangerously false method of dealing with this wicked man. They essentially treated him as a Christian who could be “taught” to love his wife and stop abusing her. They asked people in the church to pray for him that he would change. Wicked people like this who parade as Christians will claim to be repentant very commonly. But they must not be regarded as “Christians who have sinned.” It is utter foolishness to in any way give approval to an abuser getting back into a marriage with his victim. This outcome of him abusing her again, even after being in prison, was entirely predictable. They helped her endanger her life. As far as telling him, after she was in hiding from him, that he needed to get his act together is entirely contrary to God’s Word. Such wicked people do not change.
I can tell you what the ultimate outcome was. He abused her again if he duped everyone including her to get back together with him and hopefully he didn’t kill her. Pressed for a truthful answer without equivocating, those men in the church would have to admit that they were dealing with the abuser as if he were a Christian who “messed up.” That is a false premise. The abuser’s behavior clearly shows that he does not love his brother (in this case his wife) and therefore he is not regenerate. Such wicked ones are to be put out from among us.