Twisted Theology Produces a Den of Abusers Parading as “the church”
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.
With remarkable frequency we meet abuse victims, mostly Christians, who originally met their abuser in a local church. Or in a Christian college or similar setting. In the church! Why? How can this be?
Well, the answer is not only that abusers are exceptionally deceptive, but churches far and wide have embraced such unsound, twisted theology and warped handling of the Scriptures that evil, unregenerate people are readily embraced and pronounced “saved.” This is why, as we have said before, how we answer the apparently simple, but not so simple question — “Just who is a Christian?” — sets the course for what follows.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:5-9)
I know of a professedly “Christian” organization that repeatedly announces its “Christian” mission. It hammers that mission statement home to all of its employees and insists they get on board showing “the love of Jesus” to the world. And yet all kinds of vile language is habitually practiced and tolerated in this “ministry”. People who are in no way Christian, who don’t even profess to be Christian, are told to get on with the mission.
What does this tell us? It tells us that this “ministry” is in fact essentially universalistic in doctrine. That is to say, everyone is capable of being a Christian. Everyone is a Christian — as long as they mouth the “mission.” And this is precisely what is going on in so many local churches today. People who have not repented, who still walk in sin, but who mouth the right “Jesus” words on Sunday (or on Facebook) are pronounced saved and born again and the rest of us are told that the only real sin we could commit is to call such counterfeits on the carpet. That, you see, would be judgmental. And we must not be judgmental you know.
So what happens? The local church becomes the field of play for the wicked looking for an easy target. The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes. (Prov 21:10) Here comes young Sally who has been taught all the typical distortions about love, forgiveness, patience, and submission and BAM! He sees her, gets his hooks into her, and you all know the rest of the story from there.
Jesus came to a den of thieves like this and cleaned house. It’s long past time that we do the same. To refuse to repent and throw out the soul-thieves, is to participate in their evil and to be condemned right along with them.
These three passages are warnings to churches that are giving house room to abusers and exposing vulnerable folk to the predations of abusers.
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.” … And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. (Revelation 18:1-3, 11-13 ESV)
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV)
If slaves should escape from their masters and take refuge with you, you must not hand them over to their masters. (Deut 23:15 NET)