John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
Recently I was reminded, as I often am, of some of the wicked people I have had to deal with and be targeted by in the church. One man in particular has to top all the rest of them. He practiced his wickedness disguised as an eminent, holy saint for many years (and is still doing so today elsewhere) and the Lord used him to teach me about the nature and tactics of the evil one.
One lesson I eventually learned from my experience with him is this:
Wicked, evil people such as domestic abusers and people like Diotrephes (see 3 John) who love to be “first,” regard people around them as their personal, owned property. This property’s very existence is to serve the evil slave master.
These kind of evil ones love the Bible, not because they love Christ’s truth, but because Scripture is so widely perverted and twisted into a powerful tool of oppression. For example, the abusive, reviling man I am recalling here:
- Bragged about telling his wife, “You must obey me.” And then he boasted about how much better his marriage was now that he made that clear to her.
- Told husbands, “you must fight for your wife whenever someone or something seems to be distracting her from you.” By this, he was not talking about a noble defense of his wife. No. What he meant was, “your wife is your property owned by you. If anyone tries to take what is yours, you need to fight to retain it, just as if they were trying to steal your car or wallet.”
Do you see the mentality? Just like their father the devil, abusive, evil people view the people they set out to oppress and control as personal property owned. This is why such men so often bristle if anyone talks to their wife or children when they are not present or without first obtaining “permission.” Personal property owned, you see.
And this is also why abusive men (sometimes women) fight so hard in divorce court for child custody. They don’t care about their children. Their so-called fatherly love is a sham front. No, what they are motivated by is the mentality that the children are their personal property.
If I knew years ago what I know now about evil, I would have called that man to accounts and put him out of the church when I heard him boasting about telling his wife she had to obey him. Because that is a sure sign of horrid evil that has crept into the church. And it is infectious. Under the disguise of “holiness,” this kind of thing spreads like leaven to others.
Mat 16:11-12 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (12) Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.