Stephanie’s Story – Part 4 (Communiques from the Devil)

Here are some of the typical emails and letters that were sent to Stephanie by her (now ex) pastor. This is the very kind of thing that is laid upon victims by their churches. I will just post a few here and more in a subsequent post, including the formal letter of ex-communication. I will be very interested in everyone’s comments in response to what this “pastor” says in these communications to Stephanie:

Good morning, I know you are still emotional hurt and upset but It is vitally important that [Pastor’s wife] and I meet with you without [abuser] asap. I saw your messages and there is no biblical grounds for divorce by either one of you at this point. As your Pastor, I’m duty bound to warn you that to do so at this point would be a grave SIN against God. I do agree that sometime apart for both of you to get counseling would be wise but that is totally different than divorce. I have been counseling with [abuser] and the Lord seems to be doing some amazing work upon his heart. Please let me know the earliest you are able to meet.
From [Pastor]

This next one is rather long, and in fact does not include the second half in which the pastor cites scriptures to forbid Stephanie from divorcing her abuser. But here is enough to handle for now. Wicked. It is like reading a letter from the devil:

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How Academia in Religion Can Enable and Protect Abusers

Today I received the following announcement from the Greystone Theological Institute, announcing another presentation in their Postgraduate Seminar Series. Let me say plainly up front that my purpose here is not to slam Greystone or to try to say that a seminar like this has no value at all. That is not my purpose. You can read the following quote from the email they sent me, and then I will tell you what my point here is.  As you can guess, it has to do with abusers in the church:

On 23 October, at 10 AM (EST), Greystone is pleased to host an online-only presentation by Dr Jake Griesel (Cambridge) as part of the Greystone Online Postgraduate Seminar Series. Dr Griesel will present on “Reformed Orthodoxy in the Church of England, 1660-c. 1730.” Here is a summary of his forthcoming presentation:

“The conventional historiography has long depicted the post-Restoration Church of England as having shed itself of its earlier Reformed heritage. Historians have supposed that, after the Great Ejection of 1662, Reformed orthodoxy in England was almost entirely restricted to dissenters, whereas Arminianism became overwhelmingly dominant in the established Church before being challenged by the Calvinistic wing of the evangelical revivals of the 1730s and 40s. This presentation will challenge the foregoing narrative by considering the abiding strength of Reformed orthodoxy within the established Church between the Restoration (1660) and the dawn of the evangelical revivals (c. 1730). Particular attention will be given to how the Church’s Thirty-nine Articles and Homilies functioned as confessional authorities as post-Restoration Reformed conformists strove to preserve Reformed orthodoxy against Arminianism as the official orthodoxy of the established Church.”

The subject of Dr. Griesel’s presentation will no doubt be interesting to many. The study of church history is important and can have great value. I would probably enjoy hearing it myself.

But….

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The Lord Holds All Responsible When Evil is Tolerated

Rev 2:14-16  But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.  (15)  So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  (16)  Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

I am sure that most all of you know of the longstanding evils being exposed within the Southern Baptist Conference. Case after case of domestic and sexual abuse being covered up by corrupt self-seeking leaders. It has been in the news. Google it if you need to get informed.

Recently I saw a thread on this subject on Facebook and I commented there that the SBC just needs to go away. In response, an SBC loyalist replied that it is wrong to judge 15 million Southern Baptists on the basis of the sins of a few leaders. She went on to list many “good things” these SB’s are doing and said that her church and pastor are known for not being active in the SBC, though they are members. So don’t judge them, she said.

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Why Aren’t Pastors and Churches Discerning Evil?

Heb 5:11-14  About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  (12)  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,  (13)  for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  (14)  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

This is one of the most important Scriptures for professing Christians and churches in our day. And yet most are ignorant of what the Lord is telling us here. This ignorance (or downright disgust) of these truths are causing all kinds of suffering to Christ’s people in so-called churches.

At best, most people who claim to be Christians are, as the Apostle says here, children. They of course fancy themselves to be quite the mature saints but the fact is that they cannot handle solid food. They don’t have teeth or the capacity to digest. Infants in diapers.

But that is at best. At worst, and I suspect far more common, is the reality that many if not most of them are not born again at all. God’s Word is therefore foolishness to them. And if that sounds unplausible to you, then just read on into Hebrews 6 because what the Apostle is doing here at the end of chapter 5 is introducing us to the topic of apostacy. 

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The Good Samaritan Story Exposes Most “Christians” as Counterfeits

1Jn 2:27  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

1Jn 3:10  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

These things John wrote about are true of every real Christian. Everyone who is born again, everyone who is in Christ, has been given a new creation nature and now loves God, loves God’s people, and loves God’s Word. No exceptions. No, we aren’t perfect and never will be in this life. But the very essence of who we now are has been radically changed.  This is why Christ said that a good tree bears good fruit and a tree that bears bad fruit is a bad tree to be cut down.

As you can see from the verses above, there is one particular fruit that evidences the new birth. That fruit is love. And specifically love for Christ’s people. Love for one’s neighbor. Where this love is absent, Christ is absent. Understand? The Spirit of Jesus is in us and teaches us to love as He Himself loves us. This is why, as a reminder, it is absolutely impossible for a domestic abuser to be a Christian. The thing is unthinkable. Not even a possibility. When abuse victims come to understand this truth, they have taken a real step toward freedom.

Now, the Good Samaritain:

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The Love of Money: Why Churches, Denominations, and other “Christian” Entities Abuse the Abused

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.

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A Lesson in Evil – and Not Being Deceived by it

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.

Continue reading “A Lesson in Evil – and Not Being Deceived by it”