Christianity · humanity · life · religion · spiritual strength

The church that tolerated its abusers

I’ve noticed over the years, and especially in the last few months, how we as humans have this destructive tendency to embrace those who take advantage of us or abuse us. And we sometimes exalt people who promote the idea of abusing others.

Take for instance, the recent bestsellers known as the Shades of Grey trilogy. I’ve heard female coworkers, female friends, and female family members talk about how fascinating the books are. I haven’t read it, but from what I’ve been told, the trilogy starts off with a man who begins an abusive relationship with a female subordinate who sticks around to take the abuse he dishes out and that it is written in such a way that women believe somehow that this helps the female character discover herself or that it leads to her empowerment. Really?

Women in America were physically attacked, wrongfully jailed, and suffered other atrocities just to get the right to vote or to get other women’s rights. Many women are abused today by their boyfriends or husbands. When you add to that the instances of rape and human trafficking, how is it that any woman in our so-called advanced society would heap praise on a book about getting pleasure or empowerment from allowing oneself to be abused?

Then there’s the case of jailed polygamist Warren Jeffs. Even though he’s in prison for sexually assaulting young girls, he was reportedly still controlling the people (both males and females) who are part of his cultish sect. He supposedly was ordering people to get married or excommunicating some of them while imprisoned, and the people in his cult were doing what he ordered.

Also, a few weeks ago a young woman found dead in Kansas City, MO sparked an investigation that exposed a weird religious cult passing itself off as Christian where the members were having affairs. The dead woman was the wife of the cult leader and some of the men in the group claimed that they were not only in sexual relationships with the deceased wife, but were also in relationships with the husband.

These are the twisted, reprobate, and perverted abuses that tend to happen when people shun the truth and embrace lies. It was something the apostle Paul had to fight against in the Corinthian church. While members of the church were bad-mouthing Paul and unjustly criticizing him, they were accepting of people who were taking advantage of and abusing them when it was Paul who had the sincere love for them. Here’s what Paul observed about the church:

19 For ye suffer [put up with] fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20 For ye suffer [allow it], if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 2 Corinthians 11

And these were Christians allowing such nonsense in the church. God has spiritually freed us through the blood of the Lord Jesus in order for us to avoid mental, spiritual, or physical enslavement to false ideas. No one ever has the right to put chains on our brains because we are the King’s kids and we shouldn’t put up with it. History has proven time and again that when people turn from truth, progress turns into regress. But I’m grateful and trust wholeheartedly in the promise that he who has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Jeremiah 7

Harry A. Gaylord

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2 thoughts on “The church that tolerated its abusers

  1. Thank you for this bold clear clarion call, Harry. It is much needed. Too few Christians and pastors take a stand today because of what it will cost them…because they fear not pleasing ‘man’, and forget that only what we do for God will last. And yet in the end it will cost them everything to have compromised the riches of heaven. For what good does it do to win the whole world yet lose your soul? May God help the church to awake even at this late dark hour. “For we have the mind of Christ…” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

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