Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)
When we address evil in the church, when we come to the aid of its victims, we are going to offend many people. “Offend” is putting it lightly. More like “make enemies of them.” We don’t really make them our enemies. We simply expose the fact that they are enemies of the weak and the oppressed. Jesus said: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30) So you don’t have to be overtly and actively abusing people to be an ally of the abuser. You simply need to be a bystander, a watcher of evil, to be against Christ in this matter.
With some frequency I used to have people write to me and say something much like the disciples said to Jesus – “Uh, you do realize, don’t you, that you offended ___________ with your article?” I say, this used to happen with some frequency but not so much anymore. These kind know they aren’t going to get anywhere with me as far as having me back off. Many of you have had the same thing happen when you confronted your abuser or went to your church to ask for help. “Whoa! Slow down! You are going to upset people here. You will alienate your spouse. You need to go home and take a chill pill.”
Continue reading “The Lord Jesus Offended Many – and He Still Does so Today”
Matthew 27:21-23 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
Barabbas was a notorious criminal. Jesus was perfectly righteous. Yet, in spite of the protests of the governor and the absence of charges, the Jews cried our for His death. “Let Him be crucified!” They chose a wicked man over a righteous Lamb. We all know how deceptive abusers can be. Sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths – how they can charm! And we know that this is one of the reasons pastors and whole churches are taken in by these wicked ones. Naivete. Ignorance of abuse and its tactics. All of us were there at one time ourselves.
Continue reading ““Give us Barabbas!” – When the Wicked are Chosen and the Righteous Rejected”
Today I was thinking about John the Baptist. The Lord Jesus said that John was the greatest of the prophets. John is a very interesting Bible personality because he was the last of the Old Testament prophets, coming on the scene to end a 400 year silence from heaven. Was John a man filled with the Holy Spirit? Was he a man commissioned by God to declare God’s Word? Totally! Absolutely! His ministry was even prophesied of centuries before:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3)
Alright then, here is my question: How would John the Baptist deal with an abuser who hides in the church, claiming to be a Christian?
Continue reading “How Would John the Baptist Deal With a Wicked Person in the Church?”