In the last couple of weeks I have received some comments from a few friends who all have survived wicked abuse. I decided what they said is too valuable to keep to myself, so here they are for all of you. They don’t address one specific tactic or subject, but here they are all in one place:
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever (Psalms 74:10)
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (Matthew 5:11)
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
I want us to think some more about this word “revile” and the person who is called a “reviler” in Scripture. Every abuser is a reviler. As you can see from just these verses, a reviler is not a Christian. Revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God. That is about as plain a way of stating it as you could want.
Now when they heard these things they were enraged,
and they ground their teeth at him. (Acts 7:54)
Recently I was reminded still once more of how the wicked react when their evil is exposed and they are called to account. The fangs come out. The bullying begins. They are like vicious, wild animals snapping at their prey. In this account here in Acts 7, Stephen has just confronted the Jews with their sins:
You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered. (Acts 7:51-52)
It sets them off like a pack of wolves and of course as we know, they murdered Stephen right there.
My recent experience with this sort was in regard to pastors who were rightly confronted with wickedness and spiritual abuse. They added to the oppression of victims and now it has come out. The response? Fangs. Gnashing of teeth. Direct assault against those exposing them. Vilification and reviling, demeaning and accusing. Of course they do all this in the name of “righteousness,” but they are anything but righteous. “Who are YOU to tell ME?” “How DARE you speak to me this way.” “You don’t know anything and I do.” “YOU are the guilty one here for slandering and gossiping.” See it? Fangs. Gnashing. It is characteristic of the wicked who are enraged when they are exposed. No hint of anything resembling repentance.