Putting Our Hands to the Good Work: Rebuilding Christ’s Church
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Nehemiah 2:17-20, “Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” (18) And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (19) But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” (20) Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.””
We speak about a lot of really bad things in this blog. We must. Abuse is evil, and far too long has (sounds like the Lord of the Rings talk), far too long has the church been blind to these wicked things among us. So we write and talk about things that most Christians would really rather not hear. We are in a bad situation, but it isn’t going to go away by ignoring it.
As we address these evils, and are disheartened by the pathetic condition of Christ’s church, we need to take heart just as Nehemiah did when he first got to Jerusalem. What a mess it was in! Talk about looking at an impossible job. Enemies on every hand and all the defenses down. Demoralized people. But Nehemiah, as a true leader sent by the Lord, called the people from gloom to action. “Come, let us build!” And everyone strengthened themselves and took courage.
Then, you know what was bound to happen. It WILL happen to us. It already has, Enemies speak. We have had some add their opposing comments to this blog. I don’t mean people who have differing insights or opinions — but real enemies. You can always recognize their language. And most of our readers have met these enemies, often in person, as we speak out against the injustices being dealt to the weak and oppressed by their churches. The dragon is going to roar, and we just might get singed a bit. Sure enough, this is how it was for Nehemiah and the people. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, the evil stooges of the devil. And what do they do right off, just as evil, abusive people always do when their target is beginning to succeed? They jeer and mock and speak despising words. They accuse us falsely.
What did Nehemiah do? Employ peacemaker techniques? Ha! He shot it right back at them. “The God of heaven will make us prosper …. and you have no right to be here at all.” Frankly, that is what we do here in this blog ministry when we hear “abuser-ese.” “We are building. The Lord has called us to this. His people are gathering, not just here but in many other places as well. And we will succeed because He will see to it. Now go! You have no place here!” We want to see the day when it is the ABUSER who leaves the local church, not the victim. For now, we can send him packing from here.
Nehemiah DID complete the walls. His enemies continued to shoot their darts at him, but he would not listen to them. He would not fear them. He is a very good example for us. We aren’t building walls — we are tearing them down and exposing what has been lurking behind them. The rats are screaming at the light. But, it is not we who need to fear. This time, the all-seeing eye is that of the Lord of Hosts, and it is His enemies who should tremble at His gaze.