Ephesians 5:11 and Exposing Evil – A Real Case

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible  (Eph 5:11-13)

Jesus exposed evil. The Light of the World does that. His people are the light of the world and we are to do the same evil-exposing that He did. His Word shows us the pattern:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. (Matthew 23:25)

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. (2 Timothy 4:14-15)

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. (3 John 1:9-10)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (1 Cor 5:1-2)

Need I go on? This is the pattern of Light exposing evil as God commands. Is it the typical pattern we see in churches now? Hardly.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Notice very carefully that the failure to expose evil hiding in the church is necessarily then to participate in that evil. When child molesters parading as Christians are tolerated, excused, “forgiven,” “loved,” and thereby not exposed for what they are, the church leaders and members who refuse to obey the Lord are in fact molesting those children themselves because by their disobedience they are participants in these sordid deeds.

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Sometimes it is the Christian’s Duty to Flee From Danger

Matthew 24:16-18  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  (17)  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,  (18)  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.

These verses are of course from the Lord’s words to His disciples which we call the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25). Jesus is speaking to them here about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, but we can correctly apply what He says to our own daily lives now as well:

We see that flight from danger may sometimes be the positive duty of a Christian. The servant of Christ undoubtedly is not to be a coward. He is to confess his master before men. He is to be willing to die, if needful, for the truth. But the servant of Christ is not required to run into danger, unless it comes in the line of duty. He is not to be ashamed to use reasonable means to provide for his personal safety when no good is to be done by dying at his post. There is deep wisdom in this lesson. The true martyrs are not always those who court death, and are in a hurry to be beheaded or burned. [J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, p. 318-19]

One of the most deceitful and wicked wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing that I have ever known used to love to push this business upon people. “Oh but just think of your reward in heaven if you willingly undergo this suffering,” he loved to say to people who were being reviled and maligned by some other wolf among the flock. Of course if anyone were to malign HIM, he would blow up in anger and not stand for it for a second. Abusers have double standards you know.  Always double standards.

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Financial Abuse – a typical tactic of the Abuser

Luk 19:8  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”

As we see in this account of Zacchaeus, one mark of a genuine Christian is concern for the poor. To mistreat the needy, to oppress a widow or orphan, is a great wickedness in God’s sight.

Unlike Zacchaeus many people who claim to be fine Christians regularly oppress the poor, and some of them even do so to their own spouse. The domestic abuser uses economic oppression as a tactic to maintain power and control over his target. Listen to the testimonies of scores of abuse victims and you cannot help but see it.

Many abuse victims live in poverty. At the same time, their abuser often lives quite high on the hog (apologies to hogs…I prefer their company that of the abuser). Financial abuse looks something like this:

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