Isaiah 1:1-4 ESV The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (2) Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. (3) The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” (4) Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.
Some years ago I was in a meeting with some local people who claimed they wanted to help abuse victims. One of them was a judge in a local court. I was explaining that attorneys representing domestic abusers in family court very often misrepresent (lie) the victm and use the court system to bring even more prolonged suffering on their target. Frivolous proceedings. Many of you have experienced this.
But what I wanted to share with you here is that judge’s response. He said “of course they do.” And the tone in which he said this communicated volumes. It was obvious that he was not angry about this fraudulent use of the justice system but took it as a matter of fact, normal and expected practice. He was accustomed to evil, and he no longer really cared.
Just as Israel became habituated and blind to their own gross wickedness toward the Lord, so it is today. People become callous to evil. They take it as just a normal part of life. And you see it in the churches. How many abuse victms go to their pastor and seek help/justice, only to get a response much like that of this judge I met? “Oh, well, of course. That’s marriage, you know.”
Christ said that His true people hunger and thirst for righteousness. That they have a zeal for the Lord’s truth and that they hate wickedness. Anyone who can be presented with evil – especially evil that parades as Christianity – and yet remain unmoved by it, well, they simply do not know the Lord. They are accustomed to evil and are actually blind to it. The thing has become normalcy to them.
I find it angering and shocking that any local church has an evil person in its pews. Not a sinner looking for Christ, mind you, but a hypocrite parading as a saint. I hate that scenario. I cannot tolerate it. That is why our church here locally is so small in number. I am not willing to dismiss ongoing, habitual, unrepentant evil by a person who claims to be a Christian and who wants to be in church with us each week. And yet it seems that local churches have grown so accustomed to this that it no longer (if it ever did) moves them to righeous anger. They dismiss the thing with the catch phrases coined by the enemy – “We are all sinners. We must love and forgive one another. We must show everyone grace.” Yada, yada, yada.
Such places and people could very fittingly adopt as their theme song, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face,” – meaning, as they sing it, the face of evil.