3Jn 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
This is the fourth installment in this series. It may have many, many parts because I have 36 years worth of stories to tell about evil in the local church. I say “local” church because in Christ’s true church which consists only of His genuine, regenerate people, such evil does not exist. In this present world, sure, there will be flaws and sin in the lives of the saints – but these we confess and repent of. The things I speak of here however are a different beast entirely.
In every single local church that I have served as pastor, Diotrephes has always shown up. It is in yielding to the offspring of Diotrephes that churches typically become enslaved to evil. It is this kind of thing:
2Co 11:20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.
There is something in the typical professing Christian that clings to a false idea of “greatness.” A worldly concept of it, you see. Greatness is power and exaltation. Greatness is authority. Greatness is the guy or gal who just seems to be the one who tells others what to do and “strikes them in the face” if they balk at obedience.
So here is what it looks like.
Continue reading “How Local Churches Become Enslaved to Evil – Part 4”
Rev 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
This is the second installment in the series of posts I want to share with you about how local churches become enslaved to evil, even to the point of no longer being true churches at all. I am going to draw from Scripture and, for illustration, my personal experience in Christ Reformation Church as it existed over 25 years ago when I first came here as pastor.
Continue reading “How Local Churches Become Enslaved to Evil (Part 2) – Leaving Our First Love”
2Co 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. (14) And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (15) So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Today I watched an ABC 20/20 program on a horrifically evil psychopath and serial killer who came to be known as BTK (Bind, torture, kill). He chose this nickname for himself. Dennis Rader murdered 10 people, including children, from 1974-1991 in Wichita, Kansas. His reign of terror ended after some 30 years when he was finally caught in 2005.
If you want to know more about how evil hides, about how wickedness in the operates and thinks in forms of, for instance, pedophiles and domestic abusers who masquerade as fine Christians, I highly recommend you watch this program (I watched it on Hulu but I think you can watch it in parts on Netflix too).
As I was watching, it struck me that abusers (and let’s just stick to the subject of domestic abusers for now) very much share some of the same mentality as BTK and other serial killers. I think this is vital for us to understand lest we underestimate the craftiness and seriousness of domestic abusers hiding in the pews.
Continue reading “How Local Churches Become Enslaved to Evil – Insights from the BTK Killer (Part 1)”