1Jn 3:7-8 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. (8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
1Jn 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
One of the most common lies laid upon us by wicked people, by “well-meaning” but ignorant people – is that a domestic abuser, a seeker of power and control, a “Diotrephes” who lusts to be “first” (see 3 John) – are to be regarded as brethren in Christ – just because they say they are. This willful blindness is said to be “love” and “thinking the best” or “not judging.”
All of this is nonsense in light of God’s Word.
The verses cited above by themselves expose these claims to be false, but if you want more just read through the entire book of 1 John.
1Jn 2:4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
1Jn 3:14-15 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. (15) Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
A person whose goal is to obtain power and control over others, who is willing without conscience to use evil tactics to obtain that power and control, who works every moment to hide behind a whitewashed disguise, is a fake, a phoney, a wolf in wool incapable of love no matter how hard he works to pretend it.
What are we to do with a wolf in wool that creeps in among us in the church. The answer should be obvious – expose him and put him out of the church. But that course seems to be odious to so many who claim to know Christ. Why? I think that the explanation lies not only in naivete about evil, but in sheer arrogance – “we are better than Jesus. We can reach some island of goodness in this wolf and save him. We will have another notch in our “saved souls log” and everyone will marvel at how loving and brave we are.”
The reality is that the wolf will still be a wolf, and will keep right on devouring the sheep, leading them astray in myriads of ways. I receive regular reports from abuse victims that such wolves are even standing in pulpits each week, pastors (“shepherds”) of local churches filled with people who refuse to see past the disguise. Once in a while the disguise will slip a little (“my, what big teeth you have”) but such slips will be quickly explained away.
Narcissists, sociopaths, domestic abusers and others of their kind are not Christians. They flunk the test – there is no love in them. They may be able to speak with “tongues of angels,” they may have “all theological knowledge,” they may appear to have incredible faith and by it be capable of constructing majestic temples (ie, mega “churches”), but it is all a sham. No love. The love of Christ is the thing that is missing. It is the sure and certain test they are exposed by.
Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”