But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13
“He who is given power will inevitably become an oppressor and exploiter of society.” ― Mikhail Bakunin
Throughout my years of dealing with other believers I’ve learned how Christians operate. When faced with blatant proof of their sin, many try to hide. It is as old as Adam and Eve. Christians don’t like to face the truth about their own sinful hearts. Although any believer can avoid facing up to their sin, when this becomes particularly heinous is when the sinner is a pastor, church leader, or forum monitor. They can “cover their sin” by banishing one who points out their sin, from a church, forum, or Christian school. Another tactic is ostracizing someone so that they leave of their own accord. The “accused” can be banned or ostracized for a period of time until he or she conforms (maintains the status quo that the leader is right and they are wrong). Or, the accused can be banished permanently. Thus, the cause of truth isn’t upheld because the sinning leader gets rid of the believer who points out his or her sin. And Christian leaders often have sycophants who stand with with them and agree with the leader’s actions, no matter how un-Christlike they are.
They do it because they can.
I recall reading years ago about how American soldiers unconscionably abused and murdered Vietnamese women during the war. They brutally raped and then murdered them. Witnesses would later come forward and say that this was “Standard Operating Procedure” and that the military condoned it. As shockingly ugly as this behavior is, we wonder why they did it.
They did it because they could.
For those with a strong stomach, you can read about this depravity in the article: American Rape of Vietnamese Women was Considered “Standard Operating Procedure” by ROBERT J. BARSOCCHINI
The above article can leave someone feeling hopeless about the depravity of the human heart and it’s propensity for evil. As I read the article I wondered if any of those soldiers thought about how they would feel having that done to their wives, sisters, daughters, or mothers. How were they able to so dehumanize their victims? That they were given a wink and a nod by their commanders factored in I’m sure, but how could they silence their collective consciences?
Maybe it was “groupthink” where the pack mentality operates. Dictionary.com defines groupthink:
the practice of approaching problems or issues as matters that are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently; conformity.
the lack of creativity, or a sense of personal responsibility, that is sometimes characteristic of group interaction.
That is why those in “positions” need to be extra careful because they can be deceived by their own prideful hearts. As we see in the Scripture verses below, all men are sinful and need to guard their hearts.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. – Romans 1:21
For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.- Romans 3:10
In 2 Samuel 16 we see Shimei cursing David. Abishai the son of Zeruiah offers to take off Shimei’s head for the offense. But instead of silencing Shimei, David had a teachable heart and saw that God was speaking through Shimei. But do you see that happening with many Christian leaders today? Would they recognize God speaking through someone who is speaking against them or would they seek to invalidate him and banish him from whatever Christian organization that they are ensconced in?
Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king. And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?