A Theory: Many Abuser Allies are Not Duped, but are Abusers Themselves as Well
It is true that the Lord rewards His people and that when we suffer for the name of Christ, the Lord sees it and will reward those who persevere through it to the end. Every true Christian experiences some degree of suffering. Jesus said that the world hated Him and therefore it hates His people. If we were of the world, the world would have no problem with us, but because we are not of the world, the world hates us. That’s it. That’s how it is. And we are called to faithfully confess the name of Christ and persevere in our faith in Him through it all.
Now, I have personally experienced something at the hands of abusers that many of you have as well. Abusers have no empathy and they know that people who are suffering are easier to control than people who are at ease. So an abuser will frequently (along with the appropriate perversions of Scripture) tell someone who is suffering that they should just be quiet, endure their pain, and think of how great their reward in heaven is going to be.
Once when this happened to me, it went down something like this. I was having to deal with some particularly wicked people in our church who paraded themselves as eminent saints. What they were really craving was glory for themselves through rising to positions of power and control in the church. They hated me and saw me as the competition. So they did all they could to make my life miserable. They spread lies, they made false accusations, they made threats. . . the whole bag of tricks. Well, one of the wicked who was particularly skilled at masking his true character and who, for a time, I thought I could trust, responded in this manner when I told him some of what was going on behind the scenes, threatening to destroy the church. He said:
- Is it really right for you to be telling me these things? Isn’t that gossip?
- Just endure and keep on and remember how great your reward in heaven will be.
No empathy. No zeal for real justice. Just — accusation. You see, the wicked really like to see people they are trying to control suffering. It furthers their purpose. They don’t want you vindicated or delivered. They don’t want justice so that the wicked are exposed. No. What they want is for you to be down so they can rise to the top.
And so I wonder. We talk about how abusers dupe so many people and win allies for themselves against their victims. But, it is my conviction that there are more abusers out there in the ranks of these “abuser allies” who are really not duped at all. They know full well what is going on, but when they tell victims to “grin and bear it” and all will be glorious for them when they are dead — they reveal themselves to be abusers too. That is, they have a profound entitlement to possess power and control and they use all kinds of typical wicked tactics to gain and maintain that power and control. If that means allying with an abuser against his victim, well, birds of a feather really do flock together.
And yes, I know what the implications of this are. It means that among other things, many of these “naive” Christians and pastors and authors and “biblical” counselors who seem so ignorant of abuse and who render rank injustice to victims, are of the very same DNA as the abuser.
“No, no, Jeff. Now you are going too far.”
I don’t think so.
For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” Jeremiah 5:26-29