A Cry For Justice

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

Christ Promised the Eternal Fire of Hell to Anyone who Covers up Abuse of His People

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:1-14)

In the visible church today (“visible” means it may or may not be the true church), it is shockingly common to find the same fame-seeking I will be first mindset that Jesus rebuked in His disciples. It’s a mindset that characterizes many who claim to be serving Christ. Jesus said that such an attitude ends up despising the weak and the little ones, marginalizing the lowly who believe in Him, and even causing them to stumble — most likely stumbling in regard to their faith in Him. This makes it harder for them to follow Him and to persevere in their faith.

Is this not what we are seeing so commonly today? The very opposite of what Jesus calls us to? Woe to the one by whom the temptation and stumbling comes! How many little ones who believe in Christ, who have humble hearts and want to follow Him, are being hindered today by these “great ones” who are using the name of Christ to advance their own personal quest for fame and fortune? Many.

And let’s not miss the somber “woe” pronounced against any who cause these little ones to be hindered from following Christ. Woe!! Eternal fire for anyone who despises these children of the Lord with humble hearts who are genuinely desiring to follow Him.

Church leader, big time celebrity “Christian” authors, did you hear those words? Those of you who cover up the abuse of children. Those of you who will not stand up and champion the deliverance of a woman sorely abused by a wicked husband. You who stand piously in your pulpits speaking to your adoring followers, but who ignore the cries of the downtrodden. Do you hear Almighty God’s words to you? Woe to you, He says. Thrown into the eternal fire, He says. Eternal. Fire. Woe, woe, and thrice woe!

9 Comments

  1. MarkQ

    There are lots of intersecting themes in the visible church today that are directed at the weakest in society. Here are a few I can think of:

    1) There is a pervasive thought that only those who are brought down to nothing reach out to God. While that may be true for many – that God had to remove all the things they held dear in life, that is not true for all. For example, Zaccheus was treated graciously by Christ, and yet salvation came to his house. But, in the visible church today, there is the idea that we need to break the wills of our children (and wives) so that they can be useful to God. I’d say this is a stumbling block.

    2) There is a belief that obedience to God is key to a good Christian life. While that may be true, there is also the belief that “training” children and congregants to obey by strong and strict discipline for any rebellion (i.e. saying “no” to any request) is the key to helping people obey God. It is also the key to driving children and congregants away from god (not the true God, but the church’s abusive caricature)

    3) There is the belief that outward obedience can produce inward fruits. In other words, if parents force their children to go to youth group, to attend worship, and to obey them with a smile, the children will somehow develop the heart for God that goes along with it.

    When you consider the intersection of just these three things, the natural product is Pharisees. People who hate God (or at least who they are taught God is), who maintain an external veneer of good works, and who then when they are in power try to force others to maintain the similar veneer. Talk about a millstone.

  2. Avid Reader

    Mark,

    That’s such a great point. Totally agree with you. It’s like they’re saying that the only way for people to make the right choice is if someone else makes it for them.

    • MarkQ

      That is definitely part of the package. The “will” is assumed to be depraved, so people in authority automatically assume that willfulness (rebellion) is the wrong choice, and the right choice must be forced.

      Interesting that in the most clear example of this in the Bible – Balaam and his donkey – the donkey’s “rebellion” was to save Balaam’s life, and it was rewarded with cruel beatings. Only when Balaam’s eyes were opened did he realize that HE made the wrong choices.

    • MarkQ

      That actually made me think. We assume the “sin of Balaam” was putting a stumbling block in front of the Israelites (Rev 2), but in I Peter 2 and Jude, Balaam is listed as a reviler and teaching error. I Peter 2:16 says “but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.”

      The donkey said nothing of the stumbling block Balaam put in front of the Israelites. Instead, the rebuke was because Balaam repeatedly beat his donkey when, in fact, the donkey was doing the right thing. That seems to match Jeff’s definition of reviling – calling something evil that is actually good.

      That would also match the passage in I Peter 2 more, I think. The false prophets and false teachers are calling good evil and evil good. For example, they teach that children’s willfulness should be punished, without regard to whether the willfulness is “good” willfulness or “bad” willfulness. I think it is the same misunderstanding of willfulness causes the church to side with the abuser over the abused, which is also reviling in the same sense. They assume that the abuser was merely breaking the will of the abused.

  3. Avid Reader

    Thank you, Mark! You just answered something that’s been bugging me for weeks. 🙂

    Why did Jesus reference the “teaching of Balaam” right before saying “in the same way, some of you also hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans?” (Rev 2:14-15 Berean Bible)

    That’s it, right there!

  4. ANONYMOUS

    More truth proclaimed via this post … Thank you!

  5. bright sunshinin' day

    Thank you for this clear warning, Jeff. Jesus set the example and loved the little children showing the disciples not to turn them away! You said:

    How many little ones who believe in Christ, who have humble hearts and want to follow Him, are being hindered today by these ‘great ones’ who are using the name of Christ to advance their own personal quest for fame and fortune? Many.

    The passages you quoted from Matthew 18 couldn’t be more straight-forward:

    …Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    To see those in positions who are supposed to protect the flock, instead welcome the wolf into the fold, is unfathomable. Your warning is sound:

    Church leader, big time celebrity ‘Christian’ authors, did you hear those words? Those of you who cover up the abuse of children. Those of you who will not stand up and champion the deliverance of a woman sorely abused by a wicked husband. You who stand piously in your pulpits speaking to your adoring followers, but who ignore the cries of the downtrodden. Do you hear Almighty God’s words to you? Woe to you, He says. Thrown into the eternal fire, He says. Eternal. Fire. Woe, woe, and thrice woe!

  6. Proverbs 14:25
    A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.

    I have not yet learned your story but for PLEASE continue to write and write and write.

    Currently, I am so exhausted I can’t bring myself to share my experience(S) at the moment but believe me YOU ARE RIGHT ON TARGET so please be encouraged in the power and authority flowing from your spirit to your mind which has found its home with paper and pen.

    SO MANY TRUTHS!

    • Hello dear exhausted sister! I changed your screen name for your safety. Welcome to the blog 🙂

      You are not alone in feeling exhausted. The abusers seek to exhaust us, so we don’t have the strength to speak out or escape.

      I urge you to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog. Please don’t use your real name.
      If you want us to change your screen name to something other than the one I gave you (TouchedByTruth), just email twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

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