Most “Christians” Cave When it Comes Down to Standing With an Abuse Victim
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.
At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. (2 Timothy 4:16-17)
And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. (Luke 22:59-60)
If you are an abuse victim or survivor, you know all too well what I am talking about in the article. Namely, that very, very few people (including professing Christians) actually stand firm alongside an abuse victim when standing is going to cost them something. That is when the “come on, just forgive the guy” business starts. In most abuse cases, the abuser holds trump when it comes to finances, influence, allies, health, and power. To stand with his victim means that his loaded deck just might come down on you as well.
And yet Christ has told us quite clearly that if we are not willing to stand with His people, especially when they are suffering or in need, then we do not belong to Him. Listen to Him for yourself:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:41-42)
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Matthew 25:41-45)
There it is. If a person who claims the name of Christ for themselves will not pay the price required to stand with the oppressed, like an abuse victim, paying the price for doing so right along with the victim, then Christ will reject them on that Day when He comes to judge all humanity.
We have seen this thing in our church over and over and over again as the years have gone by. If it is going to cost someone something to turn away from a wicked man and stop enabling him in his evil, the majority of professing Christians will refuse to do so. And I think that is one chief reason why we have all this distorted nonsense in our churches about forgiveness and reconciliation and so on. Because, you see, if an abuse victim will “simply forgive and forget,” then suddenly all is well and there is no price for anyone to have to pay. Except for the victim of course, but never mind her.
Refusing to stand with the oppressed is, as Christ Himself said in the above Scripture, equivalent to denying Christ Himself. And on this matter of confessing or denying Christ, the Scripture is very, very plain:
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
Yep, it’s gonna cost to follow Christ. The gospel separates and divides the sheep and the goats. Following Him means we all have to decide just whose side we are on. Christ is on the side of the oppressed. Are you?