In many families, political and societal structures, including the work place, the following roles are often played out. There is a PERPETRATOR. A toxic personality, or even a segment within an organization, that act out evil and bad behavior to the detriment of the greater welfare.

Then there is the PASSIVE FACILITATOR. I termed this phrase to describe that person / group whose reasoning is fear based. These people are in bondage. For whatever reason they have opted to partner in evil through silence as a trade off for an imaginary goal of staying safe or perhaps achieving status, acceptance, or approval. They reject insight / conviction. They choose not to act on what they know within themselves to be true. For whatever reason they do not speak up or challenge what is blatantly toxic.

Then there is the hero / heroine. I call this person the CAUSTIC AGENT FOR CHANGE.

These are the three roles which always exist in spiritual warfare. Satan can not succeed in wrecking havoc unless these first two roles are played out. In keeping with His character Jesus Christ will then appoint and send into the mix the Caustic Agent for Change. The one person, or group of people, whose role is clearly mapped out... if they will only act. These are the people who have power and thus responsibility. They will be held accountable for such a failure. When they opt for passivity, God will often shift that hero/heroine honor to the most helpless and unlikely of His servants. And He said to me, "MY grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness (2nd Corinthians 12: 9).

A once vibrant church I'm aware of can trace the loss of families and resources to the hiring of a single man. (Always look at outcome.) In the first two years 80% of the original leadership staff was gone.  A long line of fine Christian employees and members were hurt, harassed, and had their boundaries of safety repeatedly violated by this man and his carefully groomed cohort and yet, the larger denominational structure, that had the power to change things refused to act.

Why is this? Avoiding conflict and bullied into fearing the loss of funds, they opted for self imposed blindness. They decided, for what ever reason, not to be the God ordained, Caustic Agent for Change, in defense of those who were powerless. Instead they became the passive facilitators. They adopted the coward's strategy, thus compromising all moral authority within a Christian context. And then... God does what he can only do. He removed his blessings. 

Jesus Christ never said that spiritual warfare would be easy.  He did, however instruct: But he knew their thoughts and said to them, "any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls" (Luke 11: 17).  The Perpetrators first job in a home, a church, an institution, a corporation is to divide people into factions; isolating the potential for goodness. 

God did warn us that taking a stand against personal and corporate bondage, though personally difficult, was a requirement for spiritual growth.  As we stand up for what is right we are not alone.  Behold I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you (Luke 10: 19).

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons. My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and he scourges every son whom He receives (Hebrews 12: 4-6).

To teach the practical elements of these three dynamics I developed a lesson series called: Recognizing Evil in a Narcissistic Age. In 1st Kings, Chapters 16 through 22, we looked at the events impacted by Elijah, Micaiah, and Obadiah. These three men were the Caustic Agents for Change. They were sent by God to draw a morally depleted people, bruised and beleaguered, back to Himself. They were to defend the rights of the weak and the helpless by reinstating Godly principals at every strata of life. They were to render safe those voices inclined to speak out against evil and bad behavior, to affect with patience and truth the marvelous potential of all people to change.

In any given circumstance, where evil and bad behavior is acting with impunity, where passivity and spin masquerades for good, people of faith are called to sprinkle a little salt upon the open wound of duplicity and apathy. By God’s command, beginning with the internal workings of our own conscience, Christian people have been commissioned in all circumstances to be His ambassadors. When necessary we are to risk, rising to the occasion and taking on the role of His agent. Within the context of our spiritual gifts, we are commanded to make a contribution that is reflective of His love and healing power; ushering in a new era, new patterns, that God can bless.

In this study we examined the actions of Jezebel, naming her the perpetrator. Never once do we read of God sending Elijah, the Caustic Agent for Change, to confront Jezebel about her injurious, murderous behavior. By the time we pick up the thread of Jezebel’s tragic fate in these few chapters, she has already sold out by choice to evil, pagan practices to the extent that her personality acts out the imprint of evil, which she has allowed to invade and dominate her soul. 

No successful perpetrator can operate without at least one other person playing the role of dependent facilitator. Often this deceptively neutral role becomes the model that others follow. Passivity always operates in the supernatural climate of satanically inspired denial, moving in concert with a human abdication of choice.

A close look at Ahab reveals him as a sometimes perpetrator, but more often as the dependent facilitator whose toxic passivity brought shame and suffering to the Hebrew people. It is a sad tragedy that over and over again, Ahab resists every invitation of God to change. He will not risk, opting not to feel or suffer godly conviction, which requires repentance.

This sad ruler/king, with so much earthly power at his disposal, is effectively rendered powerless. He gives over a divinely appointed gift of choice to a dominant personality and an evil system, which he himself partnered in creating. I've sadly seen many Christians, in leadership roles, do the same and I've tried to identify who is playing which of these three parts. Doing this helps to focus my prayer life. There is freedom in naming what we know in our hearts to be true. Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord (Lamentations 3: 40).

Through all this the Hebrew people, in the larger context, have joined Ahab in embracing the role of dependent facilitator. There is always a price to pay in confronting the person who has chosen, for whatever reason, the role of perpetrator. Those who play the perpetrator role are adapt at conditioning the system, or people around them, to understand that there is a price to pay through anger, violence, or passive aggressive retribution, which can sometimes be quite subtle. (Read 1st Kings, chapter 21).

Rather than marshal the power of numbers, the Hebrew people opted for cowardice in the mistaken belief that this would bring a modicum of safety as they weathered the storm of Ahab’s rule. They are now part of the problem; equally in need of deliverance. This victim identity of fear based silence has marked the larger population as fair game to demonic manipulation.

By the time Elijah arrives on the scene the populace is so much part of the dysfunction, so much locked by habit into a cowardly mode of behavior, that they are utterly useless to God. Now Satan, who abhors choice and does all it can to inhibit or kill the power of choice, has free reign to work through Ahab and Jezebel in perpetrating ever more callous acts of power and control.

My friend Sissy Ellison wrote a song called, He Wounded Me to set Me Free. To get the attention of the Hebrew people, God allowed drought and  famine into the land.  In First Kings, chapter 18 Elijah challenges the Hebrew people with this question: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

When we understand these roles it is easy to see why children that have suffered abuse in the home will express stronger feelings of outrage toward that one parent who remained passive in the face of suffering.  

Long before that child was ever abused, the Perpetrator had tested and groomed the Passive Facilitator, deconstructing noble characteristics to create a dangerous void of resolve. Through the battle ground of the mind, Satan claims its territory and becomes more and more operational as choice seems less and less a viable option. That we are without choice is always a lie. History has shown us that men and women will die for the gift of liberty, even knowing that they may never enjoy the fruit of such a sacrifice in this life time.

As in life these three roles can be murky and less clear. In my book, Woods End, the character of Judge Henry Capra allows his wife and children to escape the cult, even helping them to do so and yet lapses back into this evil system under the pretext that he can better shield his boys as they grow to adulthood. The judge’s eldest son, Guido, shows consistent love and forbearance for his father in the hope that he will finally escape the legacy of the cult and turn to Christ.

In the character of Andrea we see a valiant struggle for awareness and insight. For most of us, like Andrea, this awareness of our circumstances, learning to read behavior above words, is a process of growth. Reviving a lost faith, Andrea is finally armed and able to free herself from Dudley’s control and her mother’s dominance. The teenage character of Zach is the anti-hero. I liked Zach and often thought of what I knew of Brett's rebellious teen years as I fleshed out his personality to explain an extraordinary act of selflessness. And, because we often unknowingly play these roles I fleshed out the character of Jared to be the hero, fairly consistent in his role as the Caustic Agent for Change, whose quest for truth will lead him to embrace new faith in Jesus Christ.

Too often we see the battle between good and evil as an abstract within the frame work of world events. When we minimize or trivialize our own struggles and challenges, when we opt for passivity and safety, when we believe the lie that we are helpless or that we cannot bring change, we marginalize the power of the Holy Spirit to affect destiny through us.

Ask yourself: what role do I most often play in life? Has God called me, in some circumstance, to the be the hero or heroine; the Caustic Agent for Change?

And... not really relevant, but I did recently attend my first Tea Party meeting in Somerville, TN. It was inspiring to say the least.

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  1. These words are very interesting and oh
    so timely! "when we believe the lie that
    we are helpless or that we cannot bring
    change" ~~~ this is clearly what is happening
    to our country!!! It is so sad to realize
    that so many people are "allowing" a handful
    in Washington to put these ridiculous laws
    into place. Can't wait to read the book!
    it sounds great. kay

  2. Thank you, Kay. Glad the words resonated and thank you for taking the time to comment. You're an encouragement.


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