What Can We Say About Allies of the Abuser?
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.
An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. (Proverbs 17:4)
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:30-31)
We have all been duped to one degree or another by the wicked. We know that one of the marks of the sociopath is his/her strikingly charming demeanor. “Nicest guy you could ask for.” “No better Christian than that fellow.” That sort of thing. I suspect all of us, myself included, can think back to times when we unwittingly enabled an abuser or at minimum were duped into believing his accusations against us. Stupid, stupid, stupid. How could we have been so stupid? The answer is, that is the craft and spell of the abuser …and it can be very beguiling.
But we came out of it. The lights came on. We saw what was really going on and what this guy really was. We quit being his ally and we ceased being deceived by him.
We need to deal, however, with what the Scriptures quoted above are teaching us. My take on these Scriptures is that there are people who are not just duped or deceived, well-meaning but naive, but who in fact LOVE the things the abuser says. When his wicked lips speak and his evil tongue wags, the people who “love to have it so” are in fact revealed to be evildoers themselves. They are liars, so they love the lies. They are wicked, so they love lips that utter wicked accusations. These are the true, full-blown allies of the abuser.
And such people are revealed to be something else, or rather, shown to NOT be something else. Namely, the truth is revealed that they are not Christians at all. Birds of a feather you know, and these kind really do flock together.
I believe that this is largely why abuse victims are so regularly rejected, shamed, and accused by their own pastors and fellow church members when they reveal the abuse and ask for help. Sure, this terrible mishandling of an abuse case in the church can be due to ignorance. But when that ignorance persists in spite of the evidence right in front of its eyes, we must move away from naivete as an explanation and begin looking at the very real probability that these church folks are evildoers themselves, in league with evil. They love the lies, they believe the accusations, they crave to hear more from the forked tongue, and they do so all because they share the same DNA, fathered by the prince of darkness just like the abuser.
Who we listen to, who we enjoy hearing, whether we crave truth or lust for falsehood all tell quite a lot about who we truly are.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Those times have surely arrived.