Victim or Advocate? – Experiencing Evil’s Attacks is a Pre-requisite to Helping Victims

Mat 10:16-22  “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  (17)  Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,  (18)  and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.  (19)  When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.

(20)  For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.  (21)  Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,  (22)  and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

In this ministry at Unholy Charade and Light for Dark Times, we often come across people who identify themselves as “advocates for victims of abuse.” Now that is a very good thing – to be an advocate, to be one who speaks for victims. But with a fair degree of regularity we hear from such people and are left to wonder – do they really grasp this evil? Have they personally experienced it?  In people who have not been the targets of this wickedness, or who are still oblivious to what it really is, there remains a blindness. A lack of experiential, Spirit-given wisdom about it. And as a result, they really are not qualified to be an advocate for abuse victims. At some point they will fail those they claim they want to help. They will give false counsel and they will excuse the abuser.

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The Cognitive Dissonance Created by Hypocrites

The following is taken from a note from a friend. It is an example of how the Lord opens our eyes to the confusion and fog cast by those who claim to be fine Christians but aren’t. Let me define “cognitive dissonance” for those of you who may not be familiar with the term. Or rather, let’s call on good old Wikipedia for a definition:

In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefsideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.

In other words, for the genuine Christian in a local church, the contradictory beliefs are 1) The claim of those around me that they are also real regenerate people, but 2) Their attitudes and behaviors do not square with the Bible’s statements about who a real Christian is. Therefore I have this stress, this tension in myself which I try to resolve. And the way we usually resolve it until we understand what the truth really is, is to assume that my observations and judgments either about the people or about Scripture, must be wrong.

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Holy Talk and Smooth Words – What they tell us

1Co 2:1-2 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

C.H. Spurgeon, writing in his autobiography [Volume 1, The Early Years, Banner of Truth], recalled lecturing students in his Pastors’ College about the arrogant style of speech so many in, as he called it, the “Establishment” church use to impress their listeners. With the ingenious sarcasm only Spurgeon could utilize, he said:

“There is an ecclesiastical twang which is much admired in the Establishment, a sort of steeple-in-the-throat grandeur, an aristocratic, theologic, parsonic, supernatural, infra-human mouthing of language and rolling over of words. It may be illustrated by the following specimen – ‘He that hath yaws to yaw, let him yaw,’ which is a remarkable, if not impressive, rendering of a Scripture text. Who does not know the hallowed way of pronouncing – ‘Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us in divers places’?”

The point Spurgeon was making of course is that genuine pastors, and true Christians, do not put on airs in their speaking in order to be seen as unusually pious and godly. The thing is repugnant to a real child of God.

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