Abuse in the Church Brings Judgment of Sodom

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

It blows my mind when God puts together a new insight from the Word when I’m not even looking for or expecting to find it. The night before last, He showed me the Scripture and insight that I wrote in my previous post, Abuse in the Church? Be Ye Warmed and Filled!. This morning in church He drew some additional connections to this.

First, I need to backtrack to a post I wrote a few months ago, Sodom and Gommorah & the Modern Church. I was astounded to realize that the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality, but pride, materialism and self-gratification, idleness, and failure to stand up for the afflicted and needy. In light of yesterday’s post, this underscores the significance and relevance of Sodom’s sin and the sin of modern Christianity.

This morning God showed me Isaiah 1:10-26. This is a long passage, so I am not going to copy it here. I strongly recommend that you stop and read it before proceeding.

Instead of copying it here, I am going to paraphrase it as I see it applying to the situation of the modern Church’s failure to stand up for the afflicted and oppressed inside its doors. Look at the original to judge for yourself that I’m not going completely off a reasonable understanding of an appropriate application of the text. I am not intending to be flippant or to twist Scripture. I think the context bears out the point I’m attempting to make.

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of the church!

“What are these many services and programs you multiply in offering to Me?” says the Lord.

“I have had enough of great music, and impressive media bites; and I take no pleasure in your series’ of missions offerings.

“When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this modern shrine of architecture and polished programming served to throngs of congregants each week?

“Bring your worthless offerings no longer, your programs are an abomination to Me…

“I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.

“I hate your festivals and your special events, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.

“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you;

Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

“Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,

“Learn to do good; seek justice, RELIEVE THE OPPRESSED, DEFEND THE ORPHAN, PLEAD FOR THE WIDOW.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord…
“If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly the mouth of the Lord has spoken!

How the faithful church has become a harlot, she who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, but now murderers…

Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone panders to what will bring in new members and large offerings.

They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them.

Therefore the Lord God of hosts…declares, “I will be relieved of My adversaries and avenge Myself on My foes.

“I will also turn My hand against you…
“Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; after that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.

Think this doesn’t apply to the church? Do you think this only applies to the Israelites whom God was comparing to Sodom and Gomorrah? The Word says the church is not exempt.

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Romans 11:17-22

4 Responses

  1. Not sure how current this post is…. post date not shown.

    I was surfing tags and came across this post. I am a Christian who has become uncomfortable with the Church experiences of my past. For many of the same reasons you talk about in your posts.

    I have no first hand expierence or knowledge of physical or sexual abuses like the cases you post about. For me, it is more the corruption I see and experience.

    By corruption, I simply refer to tendancy for churches to get involved in so many different agenda other than helping believers and carrying the message that Jesus taught.

    My church experience includes churches getting involved in large-scale promotion and corporate complexity. Leaders appear to be tained by prestige, power and money.

    I really wonder if the Mega-Church trend that is so popular in North America with its large buildings, staff, departments, beauraucracy, debt, and just plain old complexity…. I wonder if this was ever the idea of church as it was intended or if we are just out of control.

    Not unlike any organization of people with humble and simple beginnings that begins to enjoy “success”.

    I do not wish to be spiteful about all of this because chuches are full of a lot of well-meaning people who are in and of themselves wonderful truth-seeking people. Perhaps not all… but I do not wish to pass judgement. I am far from perfect.

    I more oppose the whole Corporate Church Machine that seems to exist more for perpetuation of self than it does to serve those it states it is there to reach and serve.

    It feels like there is a disconnect between what many churches want to do and what they actually do. I am speaking as in insider who was part of 3 very large churches for most of my adult life.

    Right or wrong…. I will not judge. I just do not see the effectiveness. And it is not for me.

    Anyway… will read up on some of your posts and add a few thoughts.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  2. PS…. was just reading another post and came accross scripture….

    Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

    Does this verse not imply that corruption “grows”? In other words increases over time?

    And also that the cause is by being drawn by “lusts”. In other words temptations? Furthermore there is deception involved in the way we are tempted. What I call a “bait and switch” process.

    Does this not describe the corruption of the corporate church. Where leaders perhaps believe that bigger is better. Yet in doing so, deceitful lusts like pride, power, and money slip in. They remain disgused behind the aparent “growth” of the church. But are they really leading anywhere good or effective?

    Furthermore, this scripture refers this behaviour as “former conduct”. In other words, conduct that we would have done before having been enlightened to the gospel?

    Suffice it to say that this scripture feels pretty accurate in describing the corruption I have experienced. And by reverting to “former conduct”, the church is really no further ahead.

    Bizarre.

    Ciao. Chaz

    • Oh, you are WAY ahead of the curve! Keep following God on this (looking at this and your original comment) because you are seeing truth that most people never realize. There is amazing freedom in learning to see God “outside the box” because He is way bigger than the weird Americanized boxes we’ve put Him in.

      At the same time, while it can be discouraging, there are three HUGE things to remember.

      1) This is not a new problem. The more you learn, the more you will discover this problem is nearly 2,000 years old. So panic isn’t necessary.

      2) God always preserves a remnant. Always.

      3) God is bigger than this. In spite of all this that you are seeing, the Holy Spirit is still, and always has been, using the church to lead people to Him in truth. So we can’t throw the Bride out with the bathwater.

      I wrote this post originally months ago. I just moved it from an old blog post to an article page today. I’m in the process of re-organizing a lot of things that have gotten shuffled into oblivion – I probably won’t get it finished today. Then I have to make a plan to get started on the pages and pages and pages of material I have notes on to write…

      Bless you on your journey of discovery. While it can be frustrating and discouraging, know this — you are not alone, there are other Christians who are seeing it, too though it may seem like we’re few and far between, and God is going to bless you beyond your imagination if you keep following the Holy Spirit down that path.

      — Danni

  3. Thanks Danni….

    … for the encouragment and input.

    I am not discouraged. A little disappointed, yes. But I concur that this is nothing new. Many of the epistles were letters written to churches that were already getting off base and interwoven with personal agenda and outside issues.

    Hey… even the children of Isreal whilst Moses was communing wtih God himself and receiving the 10 commandments somehow got so off base they created a golden calf and who knows all what manner of other behaviour. So I agree this is nothing new.

    I currently my find my connection wtih God and the outworking of my Biblical faith in the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Which of course was founded on the Bible by Christians… regardless to how it has evolved to this day.

    Frankly, the 12 steps are one of the most amazing gifts of God. It is a selfless gift that he does not even require recognition for.

    In any case, the amazing comparison is that in AA, we maintain a strict tradition in that we do not allow any “outside issues” into our fellowship. We are not a counseling service, employment agency, taxi service or bank. We are keenly focused on … “staying sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety”.

    Groups are run on strictly a volounteer basis by the people it serves. There are few positions, no salaries, and few opportunities to get sidetracked with prestige.

    We have no opinion on outside issues. The founders of AA and early pioneers tried working in outside issues and giving opinions on outside issues and it was always a colossal failure.

    Bill W, the founder refused the nobel prize and also refused to be Time Magazine Man of the Year. Quite a contrast with many of our high-profile Chirstian leaders. Bill W did not want to be distracted by issues of money, property or prestige. We practice these principles today.

    The 12 steps are such a selfless gift of God, that He does not even require recognition for the steps to work in someone’s life. There are no strings attached. No hidden agenda. No bait and switch.

    The fact that other members do not recognize God as I and many other Christians do does not compete with our faith. Church members often disagree on Gods characteristics and nature when sittiing in the same church so surely this is nothing new.

    I also recognize your point about the corruption being nothing new. Many of the epistles were letters of advice and correction to early church groups. So ya. Nothing new.

    Anyway… I have seen God show up in some pretty amazing place and unexpected ways. I certainly wont limit him by thinking he can only be at the established churches. Isnt this what Jesus opposed in his day?

    Anyway…. will pop by again.

    Ciao. Chaz

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