A Warning to Those who Harbor the Wicked

Jeremiah 7:5-8 ESV  “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another,  (6)  if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm,  (7)  then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.  (8)  “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.

Listen to Matthew Henry’s comment on these verses. The underlining is mine:

Those that had power in their hands must thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, without partiality, and according as the merits of the case appeared. They must not either in judgment or in contract oppress the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor countenance or protect those that did oppress, nor refuse to do them justice when they sought for it. [Matthew Henry, Commentary on Jeremiah]

We all know that abusers and other evildoers work very hard to gather allies for themselves. And frankly, in local churches, they don’t have to work all that hard to accomplish this. We have firsthand testimony time after time after time of how a pastor, other church leaders, or church members did exactly what the Lord is commanding Jeremiah’s countrymen to repent of. They do countenance (approve) of these wicked people and protect them from judgment.

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What “Do Not Think Too Highly of Yourself” does NOT Mean

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8)

Satan and his reps are very adept at twisting God’s Word. This Scripture has been a favorite target for such abuse. Victims of evil have been taught, told, commanded, instructed… that God wants them to continue being abused. This twisted evil insanity goes something like this:

  • You are selfish and you are conceited
  • You need to humble yourself
  • You need to focus on others, including your abuser, and consider them more important than yourself
  • You need to be like Jesus and even die if necessary

Reporting abuse, desiring to be free of abuse, and exposing the wicked is not selfish! It is not arrogance! Confronting evil is NOT self-serving. If it were, then Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets would be guilty of selfish arrogance. They all confronted evil. The Christian, Paul is saying here, is to love his brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to consider their needs more than selfishly and pridefully demanding first place for ourselves. In other words, when it comes to abuse cases, this Scripture is calling upon Christ’s people to stop being cowards, to quit focusing on the consequences for themselves if they stand with the victim against the abuser, and to consider the protection and deliverance of the victim as first priority. All of this, of course, assumes that it is a godly and right goal to bring justice to bear upon the wicked and deliverance for the oppressed.

Abuse victims are not guilty of selfish arrogance when they call out for deliverance. If they are, then the fact is that the following Scripture is an example of that selfish arrogance:

Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer. So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! May his days be few; may another take his office! (Psalm 109:1-8)

So look out for this trap. Don’t let anyone twist Philippians 2 and convince you that seeking deliverance from and justice against your oppressor is to be guilty of selfish arrogance. It is quite the opposite.

Don’t Make Traditional Church an Idol – A Great Article by Sam Powell

Christ Reformation Church reaches out via an online format to many people who have been sorely treated by and even cast out of local churches. We invite any genuine Christians or those genuinely seeking to know Christ to plug into this resource, and we receive comments constantly thanking us for this ministry and outreach and how the people “out there” really do consider CRC to be their own church family.

I very much recommend to you the following blog post by Pastor Sam Powell which can be found here.  It is about how making a narrow model of “church” is akin to Baal worship, and he refutes the notion that alternate models of meeting together – such as an online format – are not permissible by God. Pastor Powell believes, as do I, in the local church and we maintain that when there is a true church available that we can belong to locally, we should do so. Everyone that I know who is part of this blog family here or who is a distant member of CRC via social media believes the same thing.

Continue reading “Don’t Make Traditional Church an Idol – A Great Article by Sam Powell”