A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The church has been tolerating sin for so long that it’s unable to hear the Spirit

This is a guest post by our reader Sharpsheep. Many thanks, Sharp.

So often in attempting to find biblical support for dealing with sin issues such as domestic abuse, the abuse victims and those who believe them are faced instead with an invitation to join in collective denial à la the emperor’s new clothes!

If they were honest, many church websites should read: Where the bible and culture clash, we will take an opinion poll and check our approval ratings in order to cover our butts before making any final decision. We’ll get back to you soon.

Is it any wonder that wolves in sheep’s clothing find easy cover under leadership like this? Leaders who promote collective denial about sin issues in the church are virtually forcing the church into a period of intense persecution, for often the only way God can get through to us is by stripping away all of our comfortable and pleasant hiding places and melting off the layers of accumulated Eli-like fat in the heat of persecution.

Abuse is a symptom of a more serious problem. Its a type of depravity and evil, a rootlet sticking up out of the ground that is letting us know that the church has become seriously compromised and has been tolerating sin for so long that its been rendered insensible and unable to hear the Spirit. The fact that abuse flourishes in churches — and that even prominent pastors with a reputation for sound biblical teaching won’t deal with it — shows that somewhere, way back, the glory has departed and churches knew not that they had lost connection with the God who calls us to account.

I think there is something really, really wrong in churches when you repeatedly see pastors and members with glaring issues and inconsistencies who also, regularly, do NOT experience Spirit led conviction that leads to transparency from the pulpit, rather than self-serving cover up and image protection. When a professing Christian is without conviction, that is a good enough reason to ask if this person is really saved, whether he has a pulpit, a church, a steeple, a big ole cross on the wall and a bible college diploma, or not. The Holy Spirit is no cuckold. He will not condone, cater to, turn a blind eye to or otherwise wink at sin and evil. So if that is the sum total of what is going on in a church’s leadership, that sin is being minimized, covered over, tolerated and un-confronted and you are not hearing or seeing evidence that people are experiencing conviction by the Spirit over sin issues in their own lives, no matter how sound their doctrinal statement is, how good the music is or how great the programs are, what you have is a whitewashed tomb situation in which the glory has departed and they know it not.

It seems we’ve been knocked off our horses and are doped and dazed by the sin and compromise that has invaded the church for some time now. Abuse is evidence of sin and moral compromise when it is within the church and is finding cover. Integrity and purity never ever motivates cover for sin. The REAL gospel promotes purity, godliness and integrity; it does not good evil and vice versa.

What is an abuser but an unrepentant sinner, a deceived believer, and possibly a false convert? What is someone who colludes with that sin, and continues to cover and tolerate it after having the truth exposed? Even those being victimized have a responsibility to avoid the idolatry of making husband or even pastor a higher authority than God, though I readily acknowledge that it can be difficult given the amount of fog created by wimpy leadership and poor teaching. Saddle up people and ride hard to the dwelling place of the Spirit, whose conviction we cannot do without. There is still a war to be fought for truth and reality.

11 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  2. Jeff Crippen

    Sharp – This is the best statement of the condition of today’s church that I have read in a long, long time. Many thanks to you. I am going to send it to everyone that I can. This subject of abuse, as you indicate is MUCH MORE than some social agenda trip that we are on. As I have said before, abuse is by its nature one of the purest forms of sin you can ever find. It is satanic at its heart – “I will be like the Most High.” So what we are engaged in is really a quest for a new Reformation. The infection of this evil is so widespread in local churches that it reveals how far we have fallen from truth and from Christ. Like all bad fruit it evidences a tree gone rotten to its very roots.

  3. Saved By Grace

    Amen and Amen!!

  4. MeganC

    I just wanted to shout, “YES!!!!” So well-articulated, Sharpsheep. And incredibly validating. Before ACFJ, I felt like the lone wolf all the time (in the circles in which I ran!). I felt like no one was listening. You *cannot* continue on in sin (such as sexual sin, abuse, lying, porn, etc) and claim immunity because you are a pastor, husband, professor at a seminary, etc. I read this this morning and it even further drove it home for me:

    “But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen: “In the last days there will be people who don’t take these things seriously anymore. They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts.” These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There’s nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit!” Jude 1:17-19 The Message

    I guess I don’t understand why we all act like it is just too-shocking-to-believe that there could be wolves among the sheep? We are told over and over that they are there, will be there, and will be there later.

  5. thepersistentwidow

    Excellent post, Sharpsheep. It is alarming that much of the church is so shallow and fake. Thanks for stating the truth concerning the pathetic reality of the ‘c’hurch. It’s tragic.

  6. Brenda R

    Well said. From what I see sin is not to happen in church to where anyone knows about it. Just bring in more people and get them saved never to sin again. No one wants to hear anything bad is going on, all is well.

  7. annette621

    This is the truest statement for the so called body of Christ today I have seen anyone put out. Thank God! You and others can see what is happening in the Church. I sadly I’m not attending my Church right now. Not because the pastor is off base with the word but I feel that almost every church out there is missing it. Judgment must begin with us. And it’s not, pornography is rampant! In our churches. I am so sickened by it and we never hear it railed against from the pulpit. If something is ever said about this types of sins then the next comment is, what is or isn’t the wife doing to stop it or not doing for her husband. The Devil is running that part of the show because most men and some woman don’t want the truth of their sexual / abusive behavior stopped, they love it.

  8. That’s a hard word, but there is a lot of truth in it.

  9. Sharpsheep, I was really struck by this:

    “Even those being victimized have a responsibility to avoid the idolatry of making husband or even pastor a higher authority than God, though I readily acknowledge that it can be difficult given the amount of fog created by wimpy leadership and poor teaching. Saddle up people and ride hard to the dwelling place of the Spirit, whose conviction we cannot do without. There is still a war to be fought for truth and reality.”

    I have been convicted of this more and more in recent years myself. We are the church. Not just the leaders, all of us. We have to stand up and speak the truth, even from the sidelines. I appreciate this blog, providing all of us the opportunity to do so.

  10. Happy2bhere

    Great post. I had to laugh about the part that says, “If they were honest, many church websites should read: Where the bible and culture clash, we will take an opinion poll and check our approval ratings in order to cover our butts before making any final decision. We’ll get back to you soon.” Sad, but true. I felt that way too. I like the church I’ve chosen to attend regularly, but I still wouldn’t reach for their help with my situation.

  11. As I See It Only

    Ah, such an eloquent blog and such piercing comments. I had to copy and repost some of it so that others would follow the trail of breadcrumbs back. If have repented of making my husband and the church leadership my god. What freedom! I am now convinced that any church that harbours an abuser, a pedophile, or an adulterer CANNOT be a church of Jesus Christ. That place CANNOT be my Father’s house, good doctrine and preaching and worship aside. Therefore I CANNOT be about my Father’s business there, for it is the dwelling of Satan. Let’s get real, ‘saddle up’ and ride off before we are sucked back into the vortex of wickedness and apathy. Only then can we lead the way–when there is some distance between us and we are moving away. Let the New Reformation come and may the church be cleansed of all this wickedness.

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