Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

He is Just the Nicest Man I’ve Ever Met — Beware the Charm of Evil

The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:24-25)

One of the important things we do here at Unholy Charade is to keep saying certain fundamentals over and over. Repetition is vital for all of us, and that is exactly what I am doing in this post.

Recently I was talking to someone who has regular contact with an abuser. I do not know the person I was speaking with well at all, but I do know the abuser through and through. This lady said to me, “Isn’t he just the nicest person you have ever met?”  I did not respond. People like this never listen anyway.

Most all of us can look back into the past and think of a time when we met a person who seemed “like the nicest person” you could ever ask for. The finest example of a Christian. We just knew it was so.

But it wasn’t.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor Timothy to be on guard. He said that there are people whose sins are right out there and easy to see. We get that part. What we don’t get hold of is the second category Paul warned of — “the sins of others appear later.” And Paul told Timothy this right after he said —

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22)

As I look back on my own life, I realize that I used to be way, way too trusting. Especially when it came to meeting people who claimed to be Christians. Oh, I understood and firmly believed that no one could be a Christian and yet live an unchanged life, habitually and characteristically walking in sin as they always had. But what I did not understand was that second category. Those evil ones whose sins “appear later.” And I certainly did not understand that there are many of these kind working their abusive quest for power and control in virtually every single local church.

As we grow in wisdom, this naivete changes. We understand that someone can appear strikingly “holy” and yet be incredibly evil. But as we grow in the Lord, we put away childish things. Childhood is a dangerous state to remain in.

So slow down. When you meet someone who seems soooo “Christian” and sooooo “warm” and “kind,” remind yourself that the verdict is still out on what they really are. Don’t let yourself get swept off your feet by someone’s charm, no matter how good it might feel to do so. If you permit yourself to be “charmed” and come under their spell, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to be able to warn you, and you will have to learn the hard, hard way as most all of us have had to. In the same way, as time will show the genuineness of a real Christian’s heart, so, in time, the wicked deceptive person will be revealed for what they really are.


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  1. Jacob


  2. Anonymous

    Thank you for the reminder and warning.

  3. Be free….

    This is it spot on! Almost hard to read without a “gulp”…. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, if you have that HS knot feeling/prompting, despite the charming show that you may see and everyone else seems to as well, and you listen as they usually chime in saying how wonderful this that and the other is about that person…. yes, that one you’re not sure about …… trust your prompt. Boy if I could go back in time… the worst, absolute nightmarish situations were always preceded by a prompting….. and these hellish experiences were a-l-w-a-y-s at the ultimate working of a wolf parading as one of the Lord’s own, who was actually the charming – exact opposite…..

  4. CLG

    Listening to someone tell you your abuser is “such a nice guy” when they know, in detail, how you have been abused is devastating. A woman in my support group, who listened to my story and heard weekly about the abuse actually said this to me after she met my husband. I was dumbfounded by her remark and said “He does SEEM nice”. In one brief meeting he was able to present himself as a great guy, even when she knew the truth.


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