God has great wrath for leaders who enable evildoers

[October 18, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.  (Ecclesiastes 8:11  ESV)

Justice. Crying out against injustice. This is what this blog is all about. The primary injustice is the abuse that the abusive spouse does to the target spouse. The secondary injustice, which is all too common, is the way churches, family and friends fail to hold the abuser properly accountable. The pain of this secondary injustice can be as bad as the pain and suffering of the primary injustice. We expect the church, our friends and maybe our family to support us: to declare the injustice of the abuser’s evil deeds and hold him accountable. And when that expectation is dashed, it hurts so much more because we had been holding out so much hope.

Were we wrong to hold out hope? No. After all, the Bible talks so much about holding oppressors accountable, not taking bribes from the wicked, judging matters rightly, bringing justice to the oppressed, upholding the rights of the widows, the orphans, the poor. And victims of abuse fall into those categories — if not in letter, certainly in principle.

But what do we so often find instead? Well, it’s pretty much summed up by Jeremiah 23:14-20. God has great wrath for leaders who enable evildoers.

But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.” Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?

Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.  (ESV)

[October 18, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to October 18, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to October 18, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to October 18, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 18, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]

16 thoughts on “God has great wrath for leaders who enable evildoers”

  1. Once again ACFJ exposes the sad reality of victim’s hopes being dashed. Thank you for once again reassuring us that the Lord is not blind to injustice.

  2. Abusers who have a Masters of Divinity and the title Reverend before their name, appear to have the trump card. Yes, they are exposed for a time by the divorce that is imposed on them by the target spouse. Confusion and near unbelief by church and family ensues. If the abuser thinks fast enough, he can posture himself as a humble, weakened individual. For the decades that the target spouse endured all that the N abuser dished out, she probably kept silent as an honorable pastor’s wife. After the dust settles and he remarries an honorable woman, it appears that he was unjustly accused. Religious family members pull Scripture out of context, seeking to restore the honor of the abuser. They allow satan to blind their eyes and choose to reject and disown the abused.

    The hope for the abused is exactly what Scripture states. The abuser WILL meet his Maker. This is a true and final statement!

  3. Why are so many “pastors” apt to side with the abuser and even join in his predations? I suspect it may have to do with the kind of personality that commends itself to people who are in charge of “calling” or recruiting pastors. These recruiters will tend to look for strong personalities they hope will be able to draw new members, promote programs, and motivate greater giving. Such “pastors,” a couple of whom appeared offended when I suggested they were more evangelists than pastors, are really just salesmen. I recall that in her book, Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process, Nancy McWilliams writes that people with moderately psychopathic (antisocial) tendencies make good evangelists. I’m not so certain of this, but I seem to recall that McWilliams said the same of salesmen.

    In other words, there appears to be a tendency to recruit “pastors” who come with built-in narcissistic and antisocial tendencies. They are by nature of their personality and character, abusers. Because like attracts like (the whole “birds of a feather” thing), these narcissistic, antisocial “pastors” will identify with and come to the aid of the other abusers in their midst.

      1. Sorry, Seeing Clearly, it is too vague a memory in my mind to be able to point you to it. I would suggest you just do some Googling. But be aware: whenever you Google ‘psychopath’ the name Sam Vankin comes up. He is a psychopath himself and makes his living out of ‘teaching the world’ what psychopathy is all about. (!!!) I would suggest you steer clear of any of his materials. Better to study the subject from proper professional researchers and mental health practitioners. Robert Hare is a good one. Dr George Simon is another. But I don’t think that research necessarily came from them; I’m just saying that I trust their work.

    1. Because like attracts like (the whole “birds of a feather” thing), these narcissistic, antisocial “pastors” will identify with and come to the aid of the other abusers in their midst.

      Gary W,
      Thank you, you have just put into words something I have been feeling and was trying not to look at. I believe this to be true in my case. I have been baffled by my x-pastor because of his total lack of discernment on a very basic level. A red flag went up when he said my friend’s husband was the person he has connected to most in the church. This husband (is not a Christian, and is very open about it), he is totally abusive in ways I do not even wish to mention here. He is also a very dangerous person because of the lies he tells about others. These lies are about people in the church – they are very subtle, but totally sully the reputation of the people he is talking about. I have even heard stories he has told about the pastor – which I know not to be true. It amazes me, that anyone in his company for a short while would not see the kind of person he is. But apparently the pastor does not see this AND has connected to him. YIKES!

  4. Even if church leadership doesn’t promote the agenda of the abuser, they still do significant damage to the target of abuse both emotionally and spiritually by simply looking the other way and NOT taking a stand. These may be perfectly kind men if you meet them on the street but still ones who refuse to act courageously and stand by Scripture.

    If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable. (Proverbs 28:9 [NIV1984])

  5. Thank you.

    I am married to an abuser who has never been punished even for his attempt to choke and kill me, my discs in my neck were protruding that night. Now he turns my speaking to him into an attempted crime….my daughters do not want to go to court-ordered visitations they are now afraid of him, my two sons said yesterday they are done. Were is Justice, God?

    1. Dear Outofzion, we know that abusers / wicked people will face God’s complete justice in the future. Meanwhile, God gives us the Law and authorities to protect us. The abuse you suffered is criminal and your abuser should face justice now from the criminal justice system. Have you tried talking to the people at your local Women’s Abuse Center? They recently helped a friend of mine who went to them; they called the police for her, and her husband was arrested. Later, a detective came to her house to hear her story and he also talked with her children to hear how they felt about it. I pray you’ll find the help you and your children need.

  6. Abusers want to get to the victims friends, relatives, influences, and associates and infiltrate their world so they will already have set up and in place established trustees and allies prior to the victim reaching out to potential friends for help…. If the abuser can start out with the pastor or leader of the church, gained as an ally, then he doesn’t have to try so hard to recruit the church friends, as he will let the pastor do his ultimate dirty work….(of course all under the guise of saving the marriage) it is just like “cutting her off at the pass” for the abuser.

    By sharing his struggle with sin, the abuser manages to create a relational camaraderie with the pastor that gives the illusion of a repentant sinner wanting to right himself. If the victim does manage to get some understanding and support from any fellow church goers, that support is likely to be soon challenged by the pastor, and shot down…. She will be labeled as being uncooperative by not submitting to the pastor’s recommendation for couple’s counseling. Then by sticking to her convictions that couple’s counseling is not [the] right answer, in the end she might be shunned and ex-communicated by the church. The abuser has effectively manipulated the pastor and his church to abandon and isolate the oppressed, the downtrodden and the afflicted victim…. The one God cares about. In so doing the pastor has joined ranks with the abuser to further his cause to abuse the victim instead of reaching out to help the oppressed be freed of their tormentor. Perhaps this is why Revelations 3:18 councils the Laodicean church to put eye salve in their eyes because their vision has grown dim.

    (17) Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, (18) I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. (19) Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:17-19 [NASB1995])

    [Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]

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