Thursday Thought — The Deadly Combination of Ignorance and Arrogance
Why do churches pour salt into the wound of those [domestic abuse victims] who are the most wounded?
First is the very real possibility that a given church is swarming with wolves in sheep’s clothing. No Christians want to believe that this is true of their own church, but God has told us in His Word that there are many false prophets, and thus we should test the spirits. He warns us that Satan can appear as an angel of light. The servants of Satan can appear as sons of righteousness.
But even in cases when the people of the church know and love Christ and want to see people be set free from sin, we still see situations in which abusers are protected and abuse victims blamed. Why would they minimize the abuse and render injustice to abuse victims?
A common cause for a wrong response to abuse is ignorance of the nature and tactics of abuse. Few Christians understand the ugliness of real abuse and how abuse affects its victims. When church leaders fail to understand a problem, they cannot deal with it properly. But despite this ignorance, Christians commonly express a confidence that they have the ability to pronounce God’s word on the situation…
Church leaders have preached on the great doctrines of the faith, even preached them accurately. Church leaders have taught about marriage and husbands and wives, and even taught these truths accurately. But this wisdom and teaching has not gone far enough.
Preachers who love God have failed to paint a clear picture of abuse as sin. As a result, the abuser can easily dismiss the preaching as being about someone else. He can sit comfortably in his Sunday seat, wearing the effective mask of the saintly Christian, confident that his church loves him and will support him if his crazy wife ever tries to talk to anyone about how he exercises his “headship.”
Church leaders have failed to understand the dynamics of abuse and have failed to listen to the words of their sermons through the ears of the abuser and the abused. Taking Scriptures out of context and applying them without understanding, Christian leaders and the Christian community at large have shown their arrogance and ignorance in counseling victims.
(Excerpt from Pastor Crippen’s book, Unholy Charade: Unmasking the domestic abuser in the church*, p99-100,125)
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