A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Conspiracy theory or conspiracy fact?

Many people scoff at conspiracy theorists, and with the variety of nutters this fallen world contains there is much to scoff at in many conspiracy theories. But the Bible says conspiracies really do exist. Here is one passage from the Old Testament.

Jeremiah 11:9-14

Again the LORD said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers.

“Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to make offerings to Baal.

“Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.”

In Jeremiah’s account the conspiracy is described pretty simply: the people of Judah and Jerusalem had broken God’s covenant and were going after other gods. Let’s now look at another account. This one describes the effects of the conspiracy in more detail. People were being hurt, and the leaders were the ones most to blame.

Ezekiel 22:23-31

And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to her [Israel],  You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation. The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst.

Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.

Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD has not spoken.

The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice.

And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD.”

Notice how it says widows were being created. I bet that wasn’t just because men were dying in war and suchlike. ‘Widow’ in Hebrew simply means ‘a woman bereft of a husband’, it could easily have included women being abandoned by their husbands and women fleeing abusive husbands.

And the princes — the leaders of the community (hem hem pastors and elders!) — were chiefly at fault. They made no distinction between the holy and the common. They didn’t teach the difference between the unclean and the clean. They allowed unbelieving wolves and snakes to mingle with the sheep. They taught the sheep to be so afraid of gossiping and ‘judging others’ that even the best believers were afraid to discern and were suppressing the promptings of the Spirit that told them “Watch out! Wolf scent! Beware!” The leaders were just a tribe of whitewash smearers. And what was their motive? Dishonest gain.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about not being ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11) but what has the church of today become? By and large it is ignorant of Satan’s devices. And it derides anyone who points them out.

God knows which conspiracies that are fact, not fiction. Let us cling to Him who laughs at those who conspire against Him.

… the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
(Psalm 2:2b-4)

* * *

And for word-lovers:

These leaders moil to make moil.

Moil

verb intr.: 1. To work hard; to toil. 2. To churn.

verb tr.: To make wet or muddy.

noun: 1. Hard work. 2. Confusion or turmoil.

In other words, wolfish leaders work hard to churn up mud to cause confusion and turmoil.

7 Comments

  1. Jeff Crippen

    One indicator that there is conspiracy is that the conspirators cling to a common party line and when that line is challenged, they immediately go into defense mode. We see this widespread in the evangelical churches today. Church leaders consistently clam up and get all defensive and even threaten to boot people out when their false teachings are challenged. Some of the most common perversions of Scripture this PC group in churches is expounding is that a person can walk habitually in sin, be characterized by sin in their very person, and STILL be a Christian. The crowd that pushes this stuff is then all about “fixing and ministering to” the wicked abuser, minimizing his evil and pressuring his victims to be quiet. After all, you know, he’s your brother. NO HE ISN’T.

    • healinginhim

      I’m still digesting this excellent post by Barbara.
      Pastor Crippen – You speak truth. I’m interested to know whether in all the years that ACFJ blog has been in operation whether you have had many pastors or leaders personally contact you for more input on abuse? OR is this still very much off-limits for many?
      I’ve attempted to point others including ‘c’hurch leaders to this ministry. Some say, “thank you” but can sense it is a polite gesture and they don’t feel they need any input. They are quite secure in how they “minister” to their people or dare I say control the numbers?

      • Healinginhim, I know you directed your qn to Jeff, and he may have more to relate than I do. But I can recall that one elder from a PCA church contacted Jeff and myself saying he was grateful for our work and asking some questions about how to educate the rest of the leaders in his church.

        Also I can recall one other man in leadership contacting us both; I’m not sure what denomination he was from; he was trying to equip a small group of people in his church so they would be better able to respond to victims of abuse who might disclose. We gave him some links to posts that might help him overcome the particular mindset he was coming up against in these would-be-supporters. There may have been a few more (my memory is imperfect) but only a very few.

      • healinginhim

        Thank you for the update, Barbara. It is disheartening to hear that so few are willing to be involved. The workload of providing such a ministry as ACFJ must at times be very overwhelming. Thank you for persevering.

  2. Gary W

    Interesting what is said about “widow” in Hebrew referring to a woman bereft of a husband, and not just through death. I wonder if this wasn’t the sense in which Paul, a self-professed Hebrew of Hebrews, was using the term “widow” when he admonished younger widows to marry. 1 Tim 5:`14.

    • Gary, I think it’s quite likely that Paul was giving that advice to younger women who had once been married but who were bereft of husbands through death, divorce or abandonment.

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