With remarkable frequency we meet abuse victims, mostly Christians, who originally met their abuser in a local church. Or in a Christian college or similar setting. In the church! Why? How can this be?
Well, the answer is not only that abusers are exceptionally deceptive, but churches far and wide have embraced such unsound, twisted theology and warped handling of the Scriptures that evil, unregenerate people are readily embraced and pronounced “saved.” This is why, as we have said before, how we answer the apparently simple, but not so simple question—”Just who is a Christian?”—sets the course for what follows.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:5-9)
I know of a professedly “Christian” organization that repeatedly announces its “Christian” mission. It hammers that mission statement home to all of its employees and insists they get on board showing “the love of Jesus” to the world. And yet all kinds of vile language is habitually practiced and tolerated in this “ministry”. People who are in no way Christian, who don’t even profess to be Christian, are told to get on with the mission.
What does this tell us? It tells us that this “ministry” is in fact essentially universalistic in doctrine. That is to say, everyone is capable of being a Christian. Everyone is a Christian — as long as they mouth the “mission.” And this is precisely what is going on in so many local churches today. People who have not repented, who still walk in sin, but who mouth the right “Jesus” words on Sunday (or on Facebook) are pronounced saved and born again and the rest of us are told that the only real sin we could commit is to call such counterfeits on the carpet. That, you see, would be judgmental. And we must not be judgmental you know.
So what happens? The local church becomes the field of play for the wicked looking for an easy target. The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes (Prov 21:10). Here comes young Sally who has been taught all the typical distortions about love, forgiveness, patience, and submission and BAM! He sees her, gets his hooks into her, and you all know the rest of the story from there.
Jesus came to a den of thieves like this and cleaned house. It’s long past time that we do the same. To refuse to repent and throw out the soul-thieves, is to participate in their evil and to be condemned right along with them.
Isa 1:10-17 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! (11) “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (12) “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? (13) Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. (15) When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. (16) Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, (17) learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.