I Didn’t Know What I was Dealing With – In Fact, I Didn’t Know such a Person Existed

Psa 73:6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.

In my years as a pastor (and no doubt even before), I have had to deal with RASNs (Revilers, Abusers, Sociopaths, Narcissists) many times. But for years and years, I did not understand. I did not realize what I was dealing with. I didn’t even know such beings existed.

Oh, I knew man was born in sin. And I knew that in this sense we all enter this world dead in trespasses and sins until Christ regenerates and makes us a new creation. I knew that. I preached the gospel for years, presenting Christ to the lost and God’s Word to those who professed to be Christians.

And there was trouble. Lots of trouble. Divisive people who worked to destroy the church and sometimes to even drive me out of the church. I knew about those kinds of sin and I confronted it often.

And yet, I continued to be ignorant of the fact that there are people, people who are church members, people who claim to be eminent saints – who are another kind of creature. These are not just sinners. No. They are a kind that the Bible speaks of quite often, but those warnings don’t seem to blip on the radar of our understanding. RASNs are not just “difficult people.” They are not the normal unsaved person. They aren’t even your standard hypocrite (though hypocrites they surely are when they choose the church as their playing field). No. These are something else.

And as long as I remained blind to what I was really dealing with, I failed to grasp how to go about doing battle with them. You cannot use the right battle plan if you don’t know your enemy. And I did not know my enemy. As a result, I even excused them quite often. I “forgave” them. And whatever blame was to be borne, I bore it. This, as you can imagine, is a formula for false guilt, depression, incredible anxiety, and a daily thinking about just giving up.

Did you know that in all my years in the church – Bible college, seminary, pastor conferences, etc – NEVER ONCE was this thing called Narcissism addressed. Never once were we educated about this wickedness that we WOULD encounter in our churches. Why? I think largely it was because we were being taught by people who didn’t get it either!

I look back now and I realize that for all of the sermons I heard and even preached on Satan and his demons, not a single series of messages really got right down to the essence of what Satan is and how we attacks. “I will ascend into heaven. I will be like the Most High.” But what does that mean? What does it look like. What is a servant of Satan who is driven by this same ambition going to look like? Well, here are some traits you can count on:

  • No empathy
  • No love
  • Incredible sense of entitlement
  • Belief that he/she is superior to all others
  • A user of people for his own glory
  • Driven by envy and jealousy
  • A deep-seated lust for vengeance when he perceives he has been wronged

And on and on we could go. Such a person is far more than “just a sinner like everyone else.” No, this is a child of Satan.

And unless we understand this, we are going to go right on making excuses for such “christians,” enabling them in their wickedness, adding to the suffering of their victims, and telling ourselves that surely we can “lead them to Jesus.” History is filled with the ruins of lives destroyed by that kind of thinking.

4 thoughts on “I Didn’t Know What I was Dealing With – In Fact, I Didn’t Know such a Person Existed

  1. What’s really scary is how often these sorts are pastors, because narcissists often appear to be great ‘leaders’ in their pursuit of self glory.

    1. agreed. I have seen first hand how those dedicated church members would go out of their way to invite the pastor for noon dinner after church to appear to be such great christians only because of appearance

  2. I believe it comes down to this: people in the visible church do not or cannot accept what His word says. They can’t accept that God would have Samuel hack to death king Agag, whom He told Saul to kill but Saul disobeyed. The Lord commanded the death of men, women, and children: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”” 1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭2‬-‭3‬

    They can’t handle that God allowed the families (including children) of the men who lied about Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den to be killed. “And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.” Daniel‬ ‭6‬:‭24‬

    They don’t believe God would be so “harsh” as to destroy Ananias and Sapphira. “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.” Acts‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭11‬

    They don’t want to believe Romans 9: “And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

    They ignore or dismiss these scriptures in Hebrews: “For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge His people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” Hebrews‬ ‭10‬:‭26‬-‭31‬

    And so, because most pastors are still giving milk to the people – not teaching them to be “wise as serpents” (they talk a lot about the part to be “gentle as doves”), tolerating wolves in sheep’s clothing, trying to save them, even though the Lord never says to evangelize the wolves but to kick them out – evil men spread themselves luxuriantly in the midst of God’s true children. “I have seen a wicked, violent man spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭35‬

    It is outright disobedience in the name of being loving and nonjudgmental.

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