A friend of mine, a survivor of horrific abuse both at the hands of her ex abuser spouse and by her ex “church” and pastor, pointed me to the following verse recently. It powerfully rebukes the evil of people’s refusal to see the wicked for what they really are. Insisting upon being willfully blind, they ignore the testimony of those who have been the targets of these wolves in wool. Here is what the Lord says to them:
Pro 1:22-26 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? (23) If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. (24) Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, (25) because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
As my friend also said: “In my life these last few years, it hasn’t made sense that people believed their own third party perceptions of [abuser], rather than believe what his wife and kids (who lived with him!) were saying. To contemplate how highly they must regard their own opinion in such a situation is sobering.”
The wicked know of this willful blindness, and they use it. Here is a perfect description from Dr. Robert Hare, the man who knows more about the psychopath than just about anyone:
In the same vein, psychopaths in prison often learn to use the correctional facilities to their own advantage and to help shape a positive image of themselves for the benefit of the parole board. They take classes and degree courses, enroll in programs for drug and alcohol abuse, join religious and quasi-religious groups, and adopt whatever self-improvement fad is in favor—not to “rehabilitate” themselves but to look as if they are doing so.
It’s not unusual, for example, for a particularly adept manipulator to declare himself “born again” in the Christian sense—not only to convince the parole board of his sincere resolve to reform but to exploit the elaborate and well-meaning born-again community for its support not to mention its material resources. And now that “cycle of abuse” theories have become widely accepted, many psychopaths are eager to attribute their faults and problems to childhood abuse. Although their claims may be difficult to verify, there is never a shortage of well-meaning people ready to take them at face value.
Hare, Robert D.. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us (pp. 50-51). Guilford Publications. Kindle Edition.
Let’s stop being fools. Let’s cease loving simple-mindedness. Those who refuse to heed the Lord’s wisdom will certainly see the day when calamity is brought upon them by the very evil ones they enabled and protected. And then, by the Lord Himself.
Rowan on the high mountain
A thousand times this! Wisdom is uncomfortable and doesn’t make you popular, so it isn’t surprising so many people reject it in favor of wide-eyed simplicity. Also, people who choose evil are more likely than their victims to hurt others than, so it’s tempting for many to take their side in hopes of staying safe.
What strikes me is the contrast between Robert Hare’s comments that people will accept a psychopath’s claim he was abused in childhood as an excuse for his actions and the disbelief your friend faced. I’ve heard this song before–people first dismissing reports of abuse by the victim and then, once the evidence is unavoidable, suggesting the man’s potential history of abuse as an explanation. “He didn’t do it. And if he did, it can’t be his fault.”
I’ve actually read the research on the “cycle of abuse” Hare mentions, and the effect isn’t as strong as many people assume. The numbers show people abused in childhood are somewhat more likely to become abusers, but it’s still only a minority. Two-thirds of those abused as children choose not to become abusive adults. Childhood abuse may make us less trusting and cause trauma symptoms, but it doesn’t force us to become abusers.
It seems as if many Christian churches are more loving toward those who sin than those who’ve been harmed by the sins of others.
Rowan on the high mountain,
Perfectly said. Willfully blind “Christian” abuse-enablers and excusers welcome with open arms and hearts the wolf abusers who manipulate them for their own preservation and to do damage control once exposed as abusers. But they turn their backs on the VICTIMS of these wolf abusers who haven’t changed at all! They’ve just learned how to “work the system” like those prisoners Ware refers to. And they get the help of willfully blind “Christians”. We victims don’t.
But God’s Word says their day of calamity is coming and He will mock them on that day.
Don’t they read their Bibles? Or do they lazily depend on Pastors and teachers who preach false doctrines, deceiving others and themselves? These false teachers will be of no help when the day of reckoning comes for the willfully blind enablers of the wicked and those who abandon and reject the true victims of evil.
The Lord is not at all pleased with the cowards that do this.
HE WHO JUSTIFIES THE WICKED AND HE WHO CONDEMNS THE RIGHTEOUS, BOTH OF THEM ALIKE ARE AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD. PROVERBS 17:15
These people will be punished for not using righteous judgement which the Lord commands of His people.
no one down here
Psalm 7:11, God judges the righteous and is angry with the wicked every day
Proverbs 19:19, A man of great wrath will suffer punishment, for if you deliver him, you will do it yet again.
2 Timothy 3:1–5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Seems that there is no end to people who take part of Scripture to justify believing the wicked. Seems there is no end to people who deny major teachings in Scripture on identification of and separation from wicked people. Seems that while claiming to “let God judge the heart,” they actually feel that they know better than God on who is wicked and who is not. Seems that there are blinded eyes.
Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.
About the leaders of churches that turn blind eyes to abusers and refuse to see the complete lack of fruit worthy of repentance, it seems that Matthew 23 applies.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi…. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation….Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
of particular note:
1. They bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne… but they have life of ease.
2. They love to be exalted of others — You can definitely see this in church leaders who want to have a success story of a restored marriage, even though it would cost the very lifeblood of someone who has already given more than possible.
3. they devour widows’ houses – they refuse to give actual help to the abuse victim, instead preferring to lift up the hands of the abuser in support, grief, prayer, and love. Meanwhile, filling the pulpit with long sanctimonious prayers
4. Despite words to the contrary, they worship the outward appearance of good while refusing to admit that inside is filth – dead men’s bones
When God says, WOE, one ought to tremble in fear and change their ways.
Who could possibly argue with these Scriptures?! So they simply ignore them.
I Woke Up
I just shared this one on my FB page. Willful ignorance in my former church HURT my child and me tremendously. I was SO naive and fell for it. The Lord is grieved by these pharasaical churches who perpetrate further abuse upon the women and children they hold captive with their fallacies! I want to help others who are in bondage. I want my hard lessons to help make their yoke lighter!
Good work!! Very courageous.
In terms of recognizing EVIL, I always think about Hebrews where it tells us that the ability to discern between Evil and Goodness iis a characteristic of Spiritual **maturity** as a Christian, and that we are charged with having it.
When I did my full first-aid training and last refresher course, the 2 crucial things I was taught when carrying out initial incident assessment with mutliple casualties is to:
1. make sure whatever you do won’t injure anyone.
2. attend to the most critically injured first.
The world knows how to deal with casualties, the church does not… but especially in cases of abuse it does the opposite!
1. the church piles up more abuse and doesn’t believe the injured victim who is not rescued, left for dead.
2. the church flies to the rescue of abuser believing his narrative and acting.
Sadly, the church has bought into Satan’s first-aid training and procedures. Just like the priest and levite in the parable of the Samaritan…
Excellent illustration. Truth!
no one down here
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.
Truth!! Excellent observation. Thank you.
Interesting how abusers are believed without question when they DENY the abuse but wives/women and children are called liars when they cry out for help….
REbecca – Yes, that is quite interesting isn’t it? It tells us that the jury is in no way impartial. They benefit by covering for the abuser and don’t have to pay the price that is required to stand with the victim.