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.
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.
Recently I addressed in some comments this subject of who a Christian is – and who is not. As you know, we have had the tiring mantra of “we are all sinners” thrown at us as an excuse for abusers and as a club to force us to “show love and forgiveness.” We aren’t buying that line anymore. The Christian is not a sinner. We still sin, but “sinner” is no longer the title Scripture gives us. Saint, heir, child of God, beloved, holy ones – these are the terms the Bible uses.
1Co 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3) If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Jesus said that we can know evil people “by their fruit.” That is to say, we watch the kind of fruit that their lives produce, that is visible – their words, their actions – the visible things you see. And it is what we can see that tells us what we cannot see – the true condition of their heart. Bad fruit = bad tree. Good fruit = good tree.
But sometimes discerning these things isn’t all that easy. No doubt many victims of abuse struggle with this. So let’s do some serious thinking about this.
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.
How many times have you seen those church signs as you drive along?
And so it seems in most local churches, everyone is welcome. “Come on in. Feel the love.” How foolish (or just plain rebellious) can we be!
Just a few moments of serious thought about what the Lord has written in the Scriptures will show us that in fact, not everyone is welcome in the Lord Jesus Christ’s church. Certainly not by Him. Why aren’t we following His lead?
One of the most common ways that a Christian is persecuted today is in the scenario of a Christian who is married to a non-Christian. Very often the unsaved spouse, the abuser, parades himself or herself as an eminent Christian, but is really only a Saul. And at the root of the abuse is a fear of Christ, as the abuser sees that the Spirit of Christ is in the victim, and a hatred for Christ and thus for the victim.
As I am contacted by abuse victims who are Christians, and usually it is the wife – I am learning this to be true. And it is something that the victims often have not yet realized. Here is the root cause of the abuse –
I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) 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
My two books, A Cry for Justice and Unholy Charade, were written because the evangelical, Bible-believing church has a problem – a big problem. Diotrephes is hiding in our pews. Or rather, he is hiding in plain view. He (or she) is the person who wears a mask of eminent saintliness, having convinced most everyone in the church of his godliness, but whose real motive is a craving to be first. Diotrephes likes to put himself first. He sees himself as entitled to power and control and regards himself as fully justified in using whatever tactics are necessary to ensure that he lords this power over the people of Christ. Perhaps you have known him?