Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
I came across the following quote while reading the Hebrews Commentary (Geneva Series) by a Scotsman named John Brown (1784-1858):
A pastoral ministry destitute of vital religion (ie, of not being born again) is one of the most unnatural of all things and one of the deadliest curses which can light on a Christian church; and to the individual himself it is full of eternal hazard. An unregenerate man, after joining a Christian church, is less likely to be converted than he was previously. If he became (subsequently) a student of divinity, the probabilities of final impenitence are greatly multiplied; and if he enters on the function of ministry (ie, becomes a pastor) the hope of his being saved is faint indeed.” (Hints to Students of Divinity, page 27)
There is no harder, greater sinner to be found than the one who puts on a show of Christianity. To have the conscienceless audacity to claim to serve Christ when in fact one’s motive is entirely selfish is the mark of a person who has no fear of God.
And this is a primary reason why I have always said that a “Christian” abuser (reviler, sociopath, etc) never, ever changes. Never repents. Never is broken and humbled by his (or her) sin. To dare come into the holy of holies and offer “strange fire” before God is to invite oneself into hell.
Many men and some women down through the centuries of church history have dared to take on the office of the Christian ministry, preaching to others but never preaching to themselves. God sees it. He knows.
Rom 2:1-3 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. (2) We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. (3) Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
The fake Christian domestic abuser youth minister who sexually and physically assaulted me is now attending a prominent school of theology trying to earn a masters degree in Christian education. He is truly a reprobate. It’s the worst kind of sinner who only pretends to honor God. The horror of my situation is compounded by the ignorance and willful blindness of other believers who minimize the psychopathic criminal behaviors of these fake religious reprobates. I’m equally hurt by church members who refuse to acknowledge the depth of this evil. The abuse and criminal behaviors were traumatic enough then a second wounding occurs when church folks excuse and minimize the behaviors.
Thank you for sharing this quote. I also see that this is true. My husband was an admitted “fake” Christian all through the years. Now that he has come out and said he is an atheist, many say they are praying for him and that they believe God will bring him back. Often times I am just silent, but sometimes I express that I don’t see that being the case. For 25 years he pretended and when he had to admit his departure from Christianity, he at that point was even mad that he had to come out and admit it. He wanted to continue living his fake christian life. He said the admission was forced out of him. I still pray for him, but I see that he is solidly in the atheist camp and may never see his way out of it.
@ Stormy @ Esther
I feel for you. I try to educate others on such abuses. I continue to be ignored concerning John MacArthur’s ministry. The scandals are never taken seriously and he certainly never “confesses to being wrong”.
I’m feeling rather beat up over this but thankful for God being a witness to all sin.