Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Why will so few Pastors and church members accept correction?

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

One of the chief impediments we face in exposing evil as it hides in local churches is the “haunches up” response by church leaders and members when correcting instruction is offered. Perhaps I have grown too pessimistic over the years, but I really feel little motivation anymore to try to teach church leaders about domestic abusers and other RASN types hiding in their pews. I would gladly offer help if I were ever asked, but I almost cannot remember the last time I was asked.

I came across this great quote recently in a book entitled Infallibility of the Church: A Refutation, by an Irish professor of divinity at Trinity College, Dublin named George Salmon. It is a collection of lectures delivered at the divinity school at the University of Dublin and is a refutation of Roman Catholicism’s claim to be the true, infallible church. He wrote this:

There are many nominal members of our Church (ie, Christian in name only) who adhere to the profession of a creed which was that of their fathers but who, in fact, have little concern for real religious truth. These kind are apt to think that a man’s religion is his own affair, with which other people have no business to concern themselves’ and that whether his belief be true or false does not really much matter.

Such persons are apt to regard any attempt to show that Roman teaching is false as a wanton attack on poor, harmless, Roman Catholics, and as little different from personal abuse of unoffending (ie, harmless) people.

I fear it will be a long time before men are so philosophic as to understand that a man is not your enemy because he tries to correct errors in your opinions, and that the more important the subject the greater the service he will render you if he makes you change your false opinion for a true one.

This is wisdom. It seems to me that this is the very attitude which infects so many professing Christians today. “A person’s religion is their own affair,” and no one else has any business intruding into it. No matter if the person’s beliefs are true or false. They are his or her business alone. Such thinking turns the body of Christ into a bag of marbles which never mix together. Each man is his own island, no matter that the New Testament tells us that we are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

This kind of individualistic mindset necessarily erects barriers against intruders into the private property of each person. So when we try to instruct those who are ignorant, attempting to correct their errors, our efforts are not seen as a kindness but as an attack to be repulsed. We are seen as trespassers and are told to get out, or else.

No matter then if someone holds to or even teaches dangerous, naive notions about evil and evildoers – it is none of our business to concern ourselves with. Such people simply do not want to understand that someone who tries to correct their false ideas is not therefore their enemy but is in fact attempting to do them good.

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3 Comments

  1. Lele

    Yeah. Definitely bumped into this when going back to the first church I was in when married to my RASN. At the time I had asked the pastor for help, told him what was going on at home. He told me he was going to do a Bible study with me and my husband. Each week would go by and he never made any attempts to set that in motion and I’d ask every week. Finally he made a date to start the Bible study on Christian marriage. The very first night of the study was the last because my husband got into an argument with the pastor because he wasn’t going to be told he should be more considerate of my need to not be yelled at or called names. The pastor threw his hands up and never pursued anymore classes just went silent on the whole thing. It wasn’t until my husband defied a direct order from the pastor to not spend alone time with young single girls alone that were also in the music ministry that my husband told me we weren’t going to that church anymore.
    After I had been divorced I went back to that pastor to try to help him understand what his ignoring the abuse problem had done to me and my son. He and his new assistant pastor basically circled the wagons and blamed me. I wasn’t even being confrontational just trying to point out a problem they needed to learn about dealing with.

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  2. Wilbur Atwood

    This is the reason there are so many churches when there is only one Bible that is self interpreting, therefore everyone should be able to get the same answer.

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