Depending on the amount of time you have been following the Ezekiel33Project, you may have noticed several quotes from Shannon Thomas of Southlake Christian Counseling on our Facebook page. We have been following her for some time now and believe her material is incredibly useful in understanding the threats our children and families face. We hope you have found her quotes useful and a call for awakening your inner watchman. One of our team was privileged to be on her most recent book launch group for, “Healing From Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse”. We highly recommend this be on your reading list. If abuse has not occurred and you want to be knowledgeable of the evil that children and those who care for them face, read it! If you or your family are dealing with the aftermath of abuse, read it! She shares the techniques that abusers use. Her book talks about gaslighting, triangulation, smear campaigns, love bombing, idealize/devalue/discard, and it even discusses those pesky flying monkeys. This book gives valuable insight to watchmen who are working to prevent abuse from happening, or for those working to prevent it from ever happening again.
The grandiose narcissist can be a very dangerous person to have your children around. A narcissist is incapable of reacting appropriately to others pain or discomfort, and a grandiose individual is one who is impressive, larger than life, easily attracting a crowd or following. James Martin in his November 13, 2011 article in americanmagazine.org indicates that research has been done in the Catholic sex abuse scandal indicating that there were two common traits among the priests that had been removed. Why is this concoction so concerning? We are not looking for a shady person hanging around a city park, the more likely scenario is these are people you already know and have access to your children.
If one is paying attention they have seen similar situations on the news. Often after an arrest some reporter will roam a neighborhood getting the opinions of neighbors. Most of the answers the reporter will get is that the person arrested was a great person and that they had no idea, and state that the offender loved children and would never harm a child. Many will mention the individuals volunteer efforts and even express that they don’t believe that the accused was capable of abusing a child. The grandiose narcissist is easily liked and can easily fool others to what they are really about.
It is extremely difficult to identify an individual in a child’s life that has these characteristics. Most coaches, many teachers, ministers, and family members can be viewed as grandiose by a child therefore your child wants to be around them. As a watchman have you noticed any boundaries being crossed in these relationships? A boundary being crossed can be an honest mistake or ignorance, but it can also be a telltale sign that your child is being groomed. When a boundary is crossed check the individual, look into their behaviors. If things begin to appear to be all about them, perhaps contact should be limited or ended.
When those that believe the grandiose persona more than the victim a tremendous injustice to the victim occurs. Often an accused molester will utilize pity as a defense mechanism which feeds his narcissism, but also removes focus from the victim.
Good watchmen will look for the small signs that a predator may be grooming a victim and do what they can to prevent abuse from occurring. In addition, a good watchman will not allow the pity card to be played by an abuser to the point that the voice of the abused falls silent.
Passivity breeds chaos. This is a universal truth that we find throughout life in everything around us. A poorly maintained automobile will eventually provide the owner with much frustration, as it becomes less efficient and unreliable requiring replacement way before the same model that had been maintained. A neglected home will require very expensive repairs before one can live in it once again. Relationships suffer from neglect. Look at your marriage, what would your marriage look like if you did not communicate with your spouse but for fifteen minutes every three months for a few years?
Luke 10:30-37 – 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Looking at Luke 10:30-37 who caused greater chaos for the man going from Jerusalem to Jericho? The priest and Levite made a decision to be passive in the situation and to not act as they passed on the other side of the road. The Samaritan, the one who chose to take action and be assertive had the most positive impact on the man who was robbed and injured. It is a common battle to fight passivity. Many are lulled into a passive state and do not even know it. This passive state opens these families up to
Genesis 3:1-7 – “Nowthe serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that theLordGod had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a]shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,3 but God said,‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b]she took of its fruitand ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her,and he ate.7 Then the eyes of both were opened,and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”
Men have been fighting passivity since the times of Genesis. We can go all the way back to Adam and see a man struggle with passivity. Adam did not step in and tell Eve that they needed to leave as the serpent was tempting her with the fruit. He stood there, watched and listened as she asked about the fruit, picked the fruit up and then took a bite of it. No protest from Adam is recorded in the Genesis account. Through Adam’s inaction sin came into the world. One does not have to have the news on long to see that we live in a fallen world.
Why is it so important to note that passivity is a challenge that men face? In the context of the Ezekiel 33 Project it is critical to understand that to be a good watchman that the luxury of being passive is not an option. Passivity is even described in Ezekiel 33:6.
“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”
Can one that calls himself a watchman be a watchman at all if they see trouble coming and fail to speak up? What good is the security guard that does not alert others and then attempt to stop a thief from breaking into a warehouse in the middle of the night? Wouldn’t a security guard who did such a thing be considered an accomplice to the crime?
When we look at the abuse of children and the use of deception to manipulate the child and then the abuser or the abusers advocate will then encourage deception. Deception in fact is the number one tool in the toolbox of a child molester. Molesters will deceive the adults responsible for the child to gain access, deceive the child, and then deceive other adults to have them stand up for the molester. What does the Bible say about deception? When a family member, even a parent asks us to cover the abuse of any child up no matter how insignificant it seemed, we have examples in the Bible regarding deception and why we should avoid it.
In order to deceive at least one lie must be told, but often in the case of child molestation there is a web of lies created to create a scenario of trust. That web of lies is used to create disbelief should the molester be caught. To begin lets define what a lie is. Webster defines a lie as 1) to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive or 2) to create a false or misleading impression.
Cain and Abel
Gen 4:8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
Cain implemented definition one listed above in the definition of a lie. God himself then called him on his lie.
Joshua 7:1 But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.
Joshua 7:22-23 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. 23 And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the Lord.
Achan implemented definition two of the definition of a lie. He took what he was not to take and then hid it in his tent. The casual observer would have had no idea what was in the tent from the outside it probably looked very normal. When the messengers that Joshua sent to the tent went in they found what was hidden inside and underneath.
David, Bathsheba and Uriah
We know about David and Bathsheba and how that was wrong, let’s look at what was done by David to attempt to cover up his sin.
2 Samuel 11: 6 So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David.
2 Samulel 11:9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,”
2 Samuel 11:14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.”
David tried to use definition two. He attempted to have Uriah be with his wife to cover the pregnancy. Uriah’s faithfulness caused him to deliver the orders that were David’s second more direct way of covering his sin and cost Uriah his life.
Ananias and Sapphira
Acts 5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Ananias and Sapphira used both definitions of a lie. Ananias laid part of the proceeds of the sale of his land at the apostles feet to make it appear as if it was the entire sum of money from the transaction. Therefore appearing as if he had done something that he had not. Sapphira came in three hours later and was asked directly if the offering that was made was the sum of the transaction and stated that the sum of money was the entire amount from the sale of their land.
Amnon and Tamar
2 Samuel 13
2 Samuel 13: 20 And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
Absolom told Tamar to keep quiet, and “not to take this to heart”, and David although angry did nothing and almost lost his kingdom as a result. Both David and Absolom thought it best to implement Webster’s definition two regarding Tamar. Although David had already done plenty to cause issues in his family, not directly dealing with the issue which likely caused Absolom to take matters in his own hands. Absolom’s reaction to his sister which was to “hold your peace” and “not take this to heart”, or act as if nothing happened, no big deal. In today’s terms, “let’s keep this between us”, or “your *insert family relation here* can’t handle this we need to keep this quiet.” Or “they’ve had a hard time of it, let’s not make it more difficult for them.” 
When we look at the two ways to handle the abuse of a child in your care, the old way and the new way, there is an obvious compare and contrast between those who deceived and how God viewed the deception based on the outcome of the situations. When the old way is employed, deception continues and the value of the victim is diminished, when the new way is employed, the actions one would take are the opposite of the examples that we have in scripture who deceived. We are called to expose unfruitful works in Ephesians 5:11-13, covering up the abuse of any child especially your own is certainly taking part in an unfruitful work. Exposing the evil that was done removes the forced silence, which is a barrier to healing. This is where Ezekiel 33:1-6 comes in to play. We are to be the good watchmen; if we are not, then what happens is on our hands. As leaders of our home we are to provide physically (shelter, monetarily, and security), and spiritually to those under our roof. I Tim 5:8. Decide which watchman you will be.
 Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace