Galatians 4:17 ESV They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.
I am convinced that the most pertinent book in the Bible when it comes to dealing with churches and church leaders that abuse the abused is Paul’s letter to the Galatians. This letter ought to be a primary study textbook for us. Here we learn what God thinks of these people, identifies who they are and the tactics they use.
- God pronounces them anathema (under His curse)
- They always embrace and promote a false gospel, a false Christ, and a false Spirit
- Most professing Christians readily accept them and their teachings
- Their goal is to control us by severing us from the liberty Christ has given us
The verse quoted above is a powerful example of these wicked people’s tactics. They flatter. They “make much of you.” But, Paul says, this flattery is for no good purpose. They want us to worship them – “make much of them.”
I have been going back through some of the letters from the pit that I have on file which were written by pastors and elders to abuse victims who were seeking to expose the abuse and get free of it. These victims are a threat to the coveted control such men crave and demand. And I noticed that almost always these letters begin with a kind of flattery.
- We love you
- We appreciate you
- We want the best for you
- yada, yada, yada
But this flattery, this “making much of you,” is a pack of lies. They don’t love the victim. They don’t appreciate her (in fact they see her as a rebellious threat). They don’t want the best for her – they want her to shut up and remain in bondage. And so I have often told victims who receive such letters right out, “these men are lying to you.”
Abusers and the churches and pastors who ally with them make much of you but with no good purpose. They want you to make much of them. They want your worship. They want you to promote their kingdoms and that means if you are a victim of abuse who is voicing what is happening to you, you are a threat to their whitewashed halls.
And so, what are we to do? Paul tells us:
Galatians 5:1 ESV For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.