As criminal investigators often say, “follow the money” if you want to get to the crooks. In this post I want to expose a chief and leading motive which explains why “christian” entities (denominations, seminaries, churches, missions organizations, Bible colleges, pastors, etc) so typically abuse the abused. Why do they cover up the evils of the wicked? Why do they try to silence the victims? Why is the wicked man so often allowed to remain in a church while his victim is ostracized? I think the answer is largely right in front of us and it is far more base and disgusting than we might realize when all the fog of excuses is blown away.
2Co 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. (14) And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (15) So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Recently I was asked a very good question by an abuse survivor who has had more than one experience with abusive relationships, one in which she was nearly killed. The question is stated in the title of this article, “how do I avoid getting tied up with another abuser?”
Well, the answer is not an easy one. There is no fixed formula with guarantees. As the Apostle Paul said in the scripture quoted above, evil comes in very, very deceptive disguises. How many of you for instance can tell about how charming and wonderful “he” was when you first met him? And how he is still thought of as the most wonderful, godly saint in your church? No, there are no acid texts. But we can still apply some pretty good wisdom.
I hope you realize that it also makes it appear as if you figure you have all the answers and don’t need or want input from your readers. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s just how it struck me.Dialogue does far more for people than lecturing or preaching. You are missing a good bit of your opportunity. Get a volunteer to screen your comments. Then you don’t need to moderate them yourself. That will give you an opportunity for more teaching and also to clear up misunderstandings with your readers. How do I know? Because that’s part of my job description at a ministry I work for.
I feel that we are better off to take the ‘no remarriage’ position rather than take chances… I feel that when we start opening doors for divorce and remarriage, we start down a slippery slope that has no end….I feel that for me to break my vows to my wife, even if she breaks her vows to me, would be wrong for me. That also is the position of most of the groups sponsoring this site and the church I am part of. I realize that this isn’t what you were hoping to hear from me, probably. But I think it is the only safe position.
Tit 1:10-11 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. (11) They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
1Ti 6:3-5 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, (4) he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, (5) and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
1Ti 1:3-4 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, (4) nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
I am compelled to sound still another warning to everyone I can, especially to people who have been targets of abuse and who are looking for help. Just as there are scammers who prey upon the vulnerable of all kinds, there are false victim advocates/counselors who are out to prey on victims. Wicked people, as you know, often start online scams to get money supposedly to support the familes of murder victims and so on. Pure evil.
1Co 2:1-5 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
It has become almost commonplace to read of still another well-known “happening” pastor being exposed in some wicked, hidden sin that has been going on for quite sometime, all the while he continued to preach to and teach others. We are all sick of it. And we are also sick of how these guys and their band of brothers treat victims of domestic and sexual abuse. One of the chief reasons for this oppression of victims in local churches is nothing less than the fact that the head guys are wolves.
But would you like to know what I am even more sick of? I will tell you – I am sick of these guys’ statements of “confession and repentance.”
I am going to give you a fairly recent example of just such a case and then I am going to point out to you why most all of these claims of “repentance” need to be rejected by us. Ready? Here we go.
Rom 16:17-19 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (18) For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (19) For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
In the soon to be four decades in which I have been a pastor, I have seen the visible church become more like a den of robbers than the body of Christ. What would you experience if you checked into a robbers’ den? A thieves’ hideout? Oh it looked good on the outside – a nice place to stay you thought. But inside? Well, you were preyed upon. Not prayed upon. Preyed upon. Beaten. Robbed. Turns out the place was filled with the wicked.
John 10:26-28 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
It is absolutely crucial that we regularly remind ourselves regarding the difference between the visible church and the true church. Otherwise we are going to get into all kinds of trouble.
With some sad frequency I hear from people who profess to be Christians and who have been mistreated or abused in their church, and as a result they speak of “the church” as being hypocritical, condemning, unloving, unforgiving. Recently one such person said that they would rather hang out with the most wicked in the world rather than having anything to do with “the church.” Why? Because, as she said, “the church” is condemning and judgmental and hypocritical. Better to have worldlings as companions than those in “the church.”
Do you see the problem? This lady lumps all who profess to know Christ together into one big mass and calls it “the church.” She fails to differentiate between the visible church and the invisible church. So let’s clear this up.