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.