The Holy Spirit Enables Christians to Discern Truth from Error: So Why Aren’t They?
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.
They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (John 4:5-6)
We have been seeing lately, in our own church, that many professing Christians seem to have little or no ability to discern truth from error, or as we might also phrase it, evil from good. And yet the Bible is quite plain that all Christians are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ who is also known as the Spirit of truth. The Spirit enables the Christian to hear the Shepherd’s voice, to listen to and recognize God’s Word, and to reject all counterfeits.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5)
Abusers are of the evil one. For all of their amazing deceptions and disguises, ultimately they cannot deceive Christ’s people because the Spirit in us reveals to us who they really are. And yet we are seeing many who profess to know Christ stumble at all this. Evil is exposed. False teachers who abuse others and work to bring them into bondage are rebuked. Scriptures that speak to these very things are taught and preached regularly. Yet, we see many simply fail to “get it.” Why?
Most abuse victims and survivors will tell you that it took a long, long time for the lights to come on so that they finally realized over time just what this thing was that was happening to them. They started to see the real person that their abuser was. They will tell you how the Lord opened their eyes to see it. But they saw it. Eventually, they saw it. They knew.
Why then, we ask once more, are so many people who claim to be Christians not only remaining blind to the evil of abuse right in their own pews, but actively opposing its exposure? Why are they refusing to believe victims, and why are they enabling and protecting the wicked?
Could it just perhaps be that they do not have the capacity to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice? Could it be that they are still of the world, and march to the world’s drum rather than Christ’s?
Nothing exposes the real nature of a church and its members than how they respond to the cries of the downtrodden.