When in hearing the Word preached, and sins reproved in the congregation, some hearers misapply the same. As for example, the minister reproves the sin of swearing, of drunkenness, or any such sin; then someone guilty thereof, does not only surmise, but also breaks forth into this speech: Now the preacher means me; he speaks this of me; he censures my facts and speeches. Hereupon follow spite and malice against the person of the minister, and also rash censuring and condemning of his ministry. [From an unknown Puritan minister of long ago]
A friend sent me this quotation recently. They did so because all of us here in this church have seen this very thing played out many times over the years. We have been hated by the wicked because the preaching of God’s Word exposed their evil.
The wicked, and perhaps even especially domestic abusers pretending to be holy Christians, hate any kind of exposure and they stand ready to punish any hint of light shining on who they really are and what they are really doing.