If You Want to Find the True Church Today, Look for Christians Who Have Suffered Evil
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.
Awhile back, Un-tangled made this wonderfully insightful comment here and it is so good and so true I wanted to highlight it here as a blog post of its own. See how the suffering of abuse, the personal experience of evil launched against us, leads us into an understanding of Christ and His Word in a degree of clarity that is sorely lacking among the mass of professing Christians and churches today. Increasingly I am seeing that the church, the true church, is once again meeting in catacombs and baristas and now in online locations. Christ’s people hear His voice and follow Him, and a stranger they will not follow.
Here is Un-tangled’s comment (link):
At sites dealing with abuse, I hear survivors speak with a clearer understanding of what Biblical truths such as good and evil, repentance, forgiveness, love, reconciliation really mean than the church does. The Bible is filled with descriptions of evil people, their behaviors, and how to deal with it (which many times includes “avoid, don’t walk with, stay away from…”). Yet, the church is so unwilling to see or offend or judge evil that it has become blind, gullible, and naive. It makes me angry because the church ought to have the deeper understanding.
Sometimes it seems to me that the church has blinders on, seeing only what they want to see. A little wisdom and common sense would go a long way. Their teaching is so contrary to what the Bible actually says, that I wonder if they actually read it. It’s like they put the Bible’s book cover on their own opinions. No, it’s like they are grooming victims to accept abuse.
Abusers groom their victims to accept abuse. The Bible warns about false teachers who pretend to be righteous and are infiltrating the church. I believe that many wicked people have gained leadership in the church where they teach a message to the congregation to accept their abuse. If we can’t ever call evil by its name, if we can’t ever judge between the righteous and the wicked — or the abuser and his victim — if we must always unconditionally forgive and unreservedly accept, if no true repentance is necessary, if we must submit no matter what the other person does, then we have been groomed to accept abuse.