A Victim-Silencing Abuser-Protecting Tactic of the Wicked – “An Evil ‘Pious’ Silence”
Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. (Psalm 35:19-20)
As we have written in other posts, it is very characteristic of evil people to use non-verbal means to communicate their abuse on others. One of these dastardly dark tricks is the evil man saying “I must not say anymore. I don’t want to gossip.” His intent with this false saintliness is to cover up, to hide truth, and to pressure others into being silent about evil as well. There is absolutely nothing saintly about such a person. He is a child of the darkness.
Let me illustrate more clearly how this works. Let’s say you are discussing some evil that has come to light. Perhaps the case of a church leader or member for instance whose hidden sin has become known, at least to some. Now, wicked people share this in common — they all lead secret lives, they dwell in hidden sin, they wear a falsely pious mask. So when some other cohort in darkness is threatened with exposure, they become very uncomfortable. And often they launch attempts to shut down any discussion, any light-shining exposure of such a fellow’s wickedness. (I have known some cases when we would have to insert “she” for “he” in our discussion here).
I have seen a couple of common means by which evil ones turn off the light of exposure —
- “I just don’t think I should say anymore about this. I probably have already said too much.” This kind of serpent-like craftiness most typically comes right after the evil man has said something like, “I think you are guilty of unforgiveness.” Then, when asked to explain and expound on that accusation, the shutdown comes — “I just don’t think I can say anymore about this. I probably should not have said anything at all.” Having effectively sown seed of accusation, he now uses a sickening “holy saintliness” to let everyone know that further discussion of the subject would be sin.
- Another way I have seen this same tactic used over and over again is in what I will call “Agenda Control.” This happens at church meetings or at denominational general assemblies. Some evil has occurred. Perhaps some notable pastor has been arrested and charged with molesting children. And right at the start of the meeting, the power-broker(s) stands up and says something like this: “Now, we do not want our meeting to become gossiping. We want to keep things positive and edifying. Here specifically is what we are here to discuss and we must stick to the stated agenda. If anyone wanders from it they will forfeit the floor.” So darkness reigns you see. Any opportunity for open, up-front exposure of truth is shut down.
- Those in power in churches and other “Christian” organizations will use the same type of tactic to promote their own desires, to get the vote outcome they want, all the while making it appear like they have allowed everyone to have input. “No, we are not here tonight to discuss that issue. We are here to have this motion put before us and to vote.” Anyone who would attempt to point out how sinful use of power and control has been at work in the proceedings is immediately deemed ‘out of order’ and their right to be heard forfeited. “We must not say too much lest we slander a brother. You need to be silent.” That’s how the thing goes, you see.
Domestic abusers and their allies do these very things. They plant a seed of accusation against their victim, but when the victim or anyone else seeking justice begins to expose the evil, the wicked man works to shut down discussion. “Now, you are saying too much. You are gossiping. You don’t have enough facts to even bring these issues up. You need to follow my example and keep silent.”
The real problem among us is not so much GOSSIP, as it is NOT TALKING about evil working in our midst at all!
There have been many “Christian” books published on the evils of the tongue. Yes, the tongue can be set on fire by hell. But generally we have been taught wrongly about just what kind of person has such a tongue. We have been told that it is the victim who is bringing the crimes and evils of the abuser to light. Wrong! It is the abuser and power-lusting Diotrephes (see 3 John) who is speaking to shut down that victim.
In contrast to all of this hiding and darkness that is so typical of evil, we have the command of King Jesus given to us through His Apostle. Notice His rebuke of those who were keeping quiet about (tolerating the evil of) the wicked man:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Cor 5:1-7)
One final but very important point regarding all this. THERE COMES A TIME WHEN ANYONE HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF WICKEDNESS MUST SPEAK OUT. Even if that speaking out means standing up and speaking ‘out of order’ at a church meeting or other such setting. If denominational or church association leaders for instance will not provide an open platform at a general assembly or other such church meeting, then it is time to violate ‘rules of order’. Like the prophets and apostles of old, and like our Lord Himself, it is time to stand up in the temple and cry out “there is wickedness here!” And then spill the beans openly even while the ‘pillars’ are gnashing their teeth and trying to shout you down.
Oh, and one other final thing — take care that, if you should ever see such a person standing up to expose hidden evil — take care that you do not immediately regard them as some ‘troublemaker’. Many of the Lord’s chosen people have done some pretty strange things to call wickedness to account.