A Cry For Justice

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

Truth and lies, light and darkness, cannot co-exist

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.  Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. (1 John 2:9-10 ESV)  

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)

God’s Word repeatedly instructs (commands) Christians to embrace truth and reject falsehood. Walking in the light of Christ’s truth is the only consistent manner of living for a Christian. Lies characterize the kingdom of darkness whose prince is called the father of lies (John 8). It was by this serpent’s lie that sin and death came into the world (“oh no, you won’t die. In fact, you will be like God”). The Christian’s mind is being renewed: progressively set free from that which is false and led into life-giving, freeing truth. The gospel by which we are saved and which we proclaim is often called “the Word of Truth” in Scripture. We are to speak truth to one another and give up lying. Abuse victims know the power and freedom of truth as they experience its destruction of the lies they have so long believed by which they were held in bondage.

Therefore, let me ask all of those pastors, theologians, church elders, and Christians in general – “How can you send a victim of abuse back to her abuser? How can you tell her to go back and do a better job of submitting to him? How can you buy into his supposed ‘repentance’? How, in other words, can you maintain that light and darkness can co-habitate.  How can truth and falsehood live under one roof?” In light of the teaching of God’s Word, I think those are pretty doggone good questions!

Think about it. Living with an abuser means living in darkness and living with a lie. Anyone who knows anything much at all about abuse surely must confess this to be true. Lies, lies and more lies. Now, it is the Christian’s calling to expose those lies, not to be taken captive by them. Therefore, in dealing with her abuser, the victim’s role will be to call him/her out on deception. Quite often though, this cannot be done safely. Darkness doesn’t like light very much. Truth just can’t live in harmony with a lie. And yet, isn’t that exactly what so many people are telling victims they need to do? Do their best to be at peace with lies? That sounds a whole lot to me like something we call enablement, and it is my understanding that enabling evil isn’t really a very good thing.

The fact of the entire matter is simply this: when a husband or wife determines that they are going to walk/live in darkness and lies, then they have chosen to travel a different road than their spouse who is choosing the narrow road of light and truth. They have created a fork in the road. Forks divide. And it is the one who chooses the evil way who has effected the division. The evil road, you see, the way of the lie, is the path that is the detour.  Not the other way round.

If then the Word of God calls Christians to put away falsehood, to cease lying to others, to walk in the light of truth, why is it that we would ever tell them to remain bound to someone who is practicing just the opposite and demanding that they do the same? We tell people that Christians must not be bound together with evil. That we are to come out from among evil and be separate from it.

Why is it then that abuse victims are an exception?

46 Comments

  1. Because none of that applies when it comes to marriage. (That was sarcasm) I actually heard a pastor say that, and it’s disturbing that when it comes to marriage all other biblical principles fly out the window.

    • King'sDaughter

      “Because none of that applies when it comes to marriage. (That was sarcasm) I actually heard a pastor say that, and it’s disturbing that when it comes to marriage all other biblical principles fly out the window.”

      Exactly! God is three persons, NOT three personalities! Everything about Him is congruent and he violates His principles NEVER!

      How people can separate His loving kindness is BEYOND me! If God hates the abuse of people, He hates the abuse of ALL people!

  2. Debbie Prce

    Great insight!! Thank You!! It is Great to be Free!!

    • AJ

      Your right Debbie it is great to be free! It’s difficult for people to understand that walking the dark road leads to death (his chosen path as spiritual leader of the home) and leaving that to get back on the light road is so freeing. Every day is a gift now, even the bad ones because I am free to follow Christ and am no longer forced to worship my spouse and his dark ideas. Very hard to trust as you step off that dark path but God leads and comforts as you get back onto the right path.

  3. Katy

    Yes that’s the idea I was repeatedly given, through words & actions – “none of those scriptures apply to marriage”
    Marriage is treated like a separate religion. Basically — no scriptures in the Bible can be applied to marriage unless it is Ephesians 5 and the direct sayings of Jesus (in which case they will be misunderstood and horribly applied)

    • Amy

      I just heard a refreshing statement from our Pastor- we were in Bible Study and a man was wondering why man had to undergo circumcisiuon and women nothing-oh the roar in the room-even from some men! Hey, childbirth! No wonder the man is divorced! Anyway, our Pastor said “Man and woman were/are created equal in God’s image! ” We need to keep emphasizing that especially like this man who believes woman are subserviant-and then you get the ‘submissive’ taken out of context.

  4. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  5. davidandmegan12

    So so so good, Jeff. I think, if I used this argument (with is TRUTH), people would tell me that my ex is, indeed, a Christian. “He is saved”, they would say (why? because he said so??). Just a little misled. And it is my job to be a constant, bright, shiny light to lead him back to the truth. I think my dissenters would tell me that I “ran out” too quickly (as if 12 years wasn’t enough) and, who knows? Maybe it would be in that 13th year that he would have actually “turned back to Christ”. 😦

    • Anne

      That’s exactly what I’m hearing.

      “You can never know which ‘sorry’ will be the real one ad the start if something amazing. It might be this time or maybe next time. Do you really want to give up on that?”

      • Memphis Rayne

        True you dont know which sorry is going to be the real one…..but that is a trap, and that is laid so delicately in the mind of an abuser, they know you count on the NEXT time being the real deal…..if the real deal does come about eventually, then maybe that reconcilliation would be amazing, BUT the reality is, that is rare, BUT if he does truly repent, its okay to get on with your freedom until he does.

        I use to have to write, keep track on a calender the cycle in which we were abused…it was every nine days, followed by a few “good days” then the build up, the roller coaster, the walking on egg shells began….this went on for years THEN all the sudden the MIW made this miraculous change!!!! EIGHT full weeks, there was a steady lull, no cycle seemed to be happening?? I was just to the point of telling myself when I was driving home “”Oh ya? I can not feel stress, he is a changed being”…..I was just feeling as if I may recover from living in so much fear. Then week nine came, he was saving up the horror show, choked the hell out of my daughter (to lure me in) when i grabbed his arms to pull him off he turned on me and punched me in the head, then choked me, threw me on the ground and kicked the snot out of me….(i was 7 months pregnant at the time)

        In all my terror, when the pastors came to “”Pastor” him, I ask him WHY? Why was he so nice for so long? He proceeded to tell me “”I wanted to see what it was like”….there then was not even the pattern that I could rely on being consistant, however much kindness was shown, the MIW felt it was neccissary to equal that out with a little extra added.

        Now for those that think that is extreme, its the same wether there is the physical or not, the same fear, the same dread, the same misery, the same prison. The church is so sickeningly GUILTY, I wish I were the person I am today back then. They would have quite a ruckess on there hands, and I would not go away, I would fight for every single person they did the same thing to….Abusers rarely change, in fact they just mutate into what gets them more of what they want…. that is the truth.

      • Jeff Crippen

        And the last “sorry” might be the last for the VICTIM because she is dead!

    • King'sDaughter

      Yes, we certainly pose a problem for those in leadership who hold on to the false idea that everyone must be believed! They seem to be so terrified of offending anyone that they try to appease (and believe) everyone. Unfortunately, they end up offending the most important ONE and bring dishonor to His Church by not standing against evil. This adds understanding to the warning, “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you”. Certainly, not everyone is speaking well of those in leadership who tell the abused that their spouses must be Christians and that they can trust The Lord to chasten him, or tell the abused to chin-up and submit better to better demonstrate Christ’s love to the abuser (because we all know what demonstrations of true Christ-like love evokes in someone walking in darkness… lets see what did they do to Jesus again???) because those who have found the Truth simply cannot speak well of leadership that refuses to protect their charges. However, I still feel the warning applies.
      Victims who refuse to have fellowship with and “pet” darkness pose a serious problem for the all-truistic, all-believing folks!

      (I hope that made sense… it did in my mind. LOL!)

      • davidandmegan12

        It totally makes sense. I think that the people who are saying these things want to believe that a man or woman (the abuser) is a Believer . . . maybe because they go to church . . . . or are charming (since when did we evaluate a person’s salvation based on their charm?!) . . . the bottom line is that a person who habitually abuses another person/people is NOT a believer in Christ and are working for the wrong team. Of COURSE a healthy and godly relationship cannot happen between an abuser and a Christian! Crazy sauce!

      • King'sDaughter

        “maybe because they go to church . . . . or are charming”

        The odd thing is that I am surprised that people actually think my husband is a nice guy! The way I see it, he is always in a sour mood and doesn’t pal around with anyone or ever laugh or smile…
        Ya know the things that the Bible says reflect The Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self Control”? I have never caught but a glimpse of any of those traits in my “godly husband” and I’d challenge anyone who thinks he’s such a “good man” to say they have!
        I had a conversation with someone yesterday who needed to know about the abuse and they were very surprised that this had been going on the entire time they knew us. I suppose people just don’t look that closely and if you don’t talk much it is easy to present a false image? I don’t know? What I do know is that the person was about as shocked about the abuse as I was that they thought he was a nice guy!
        It must be the “because they go to church” part that gets them, heck it got me too! One thing I always loved was the way my husb. knew his Bible! I never really cared much for his preaching but he COULD teach…
        I know I’m totally preaching to the choir now, but watch out for people who can spout theology all day long but can not tell you about what God is doing in their heart right now or have obvious demonstration of “fruit”! Also, one thing I like as a litmus test for preachers is to watch their wives. Is she engaged when he preaches? Is there peace, joy and contentment in her eyes?

      • King'sDaughter

        Megan,

        Ha! “Crazy sauce!” Love it!

  6. Annie O'Sullivan

    Reblogged this on Broken Until Spoken.

  7. Kathy seldon

    So thankful for the encouragement from this blog, and for the healing and strength my heart is receiving from The Lord. My son woke up crying at 1:30 this morning saying “I don’t want to be throwed away”, he thinks his dad threw him away (not far from the truth). In moments like this it’s easy to start justifying and finding reasons to go back. I hate seeing my son hurt and confused and I have no idea how to help him. But I also can’t let a three year old dictate what’s best for us. My husband hasn’t changed, he’s found some church friends and started reading the bible, but the only result is a change in language. He still thinks I’m less than human because I’m a woman, and that I am not supposed to live life outside the headship of a man. He said he would have the money to come see the boys if he wasn’t paying $700 a month for me to be on vacation. Vacation! He doesn’t want to spend time and money to show his family this newfound love and commitment he keeps talking about, he wants us to spend our part of the money and come to him. He has also told me that if I just decide to “throw in the towel, give up on us and get a divorce” that he’ll be so heartbroken he will get the military to transfer him overseas and I will never see him again. While I admit, this idea really really appeals to me, how can he say that and expect me to believe he actually cares about his sons. But I can’t explain all of this to a three year old boy who is crying because daddy threw him away. So my heart is breaking, and I am once again having to remind myself why I can’t go back.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      Sorry for your little boy and your hurt , Kathy. I know, my ex-idiot thinks I am sitting around eating bon-bons on all this money he “gives” me. When I was trying to live on just his support, it just paid rent, utilities and not enough for food, let alone clothes, medical stuff and anything else. He has no concept how much things cost with kids( not that he ever got it in the 17 years we were together, his wants always, always came first)

      • Amy

        YES!! That is what I have been going thru for too long! I am scared too as he just left(good and a relief) but wondering if he’s going to give any $ for rent? I have no job, not alot of skills and 7 hungry mouths to feed! Gotta keep trusting God will provide and the abuser will get their just from God.

    • Memphis Rayne

      Uhg!! Kathy I so understand…hearing the “I cannot be what YOU want me to be because I am giving YOU all my money” blah blah blah… makes me wanna puike. Also as another commenter said abusers refuse any concept of kids needing anything financially….clothes, food, shelter…that all comes from the magic fairy dontcha know? They pretend like all their money is waisted on providing for the family? Yet isnt that what according to the CHURCH a man is suppose to do? Yet its just another thing they are given a free pass on?

      There is nothing more wrong than what this idiot is doing to his own children. You are there, YOU care, and YOU are doing what is best for your three year old….this guy is such a loser in so many ways, and you are doing the best thing, the right thing.

      Sorry if I just smacked down on that, but it REALLY is upsetting and I cannot pretend it does not upset me, Just know you are on the right path. He is going nowhere fast.

      • Kathy seldon

        It was not a smack down, no need to apologize. It’s getting easier and easier to recognize the lies of both my fleshly enemy and the enemy of the spirit. It’s so weird how it really is like two little voices on my shoulders. The enemy says “you’re the one who left, you’re causing your son this pain, why can’t you just go back for a little visit for his sake, you’re being so stubborn” but then the Holy Spirit whispers the truth “he deserted you, physically living with you does not exempt him from that charge, he doesn’t love you or those boys and going back now will only prolong the pain, you have done well and I am proud of you, say strong and trust Me”

        Thank you for your outrage, sometimes we need someone to be outraged on our behalf, so our own rage feels a little more normal.

      • Amy

        AMEN!!

  8. Mary Lloyd

    It is surely clear that Jesus requires us to help, protect and be alongside the needy, and I am certain most fellowships will even preach on that issue according to the scriptures. So we trust them, thinking that if they are preaching on it, they must believe it. By and by a day comes when it is WE who are the needy ones, and what happens? The testimonies of all here confirm that the practice was different from the preaching: it was hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is just another word for lies. It is saying one thing while doing another, play acting.
    In my marriage I have the same thing. I have the ladling on of the treacle to make me think all is well when it is far from well. But he is a master of play-acting, and he has successfully played me for 25 years.
    It was Mark Twain I think who said, “Love to man is but a thing apart; ’tis woman’s whole existence”. Well that certainly described my situation. In my case I believed all things, hoped all things (1 Cor 13:7) of my hb because he was my once-in-a-lifetime real love, so I thought.
    But the Lord had to deliver me of all the lies, in the church and in my marriage, and I believe that is the process I am in right now. It is necessarily progressive deliverance: knowing too much at once could have finished me off. We know the Holy Spirit is leading us into all truth, and if we are believing lies, it means we are having to some extent, to shut down on what God is telling us in our insides. How evil a process is that, that lies can make you shut down on God. And it isn’t our fault. We believed all things and hoped all things etc because we loved them. On our part we were doing well: it is not US who have done it wrong.
    No wonder Jesus reserved His most severe “woes” for the hypocrites.
    As to how come we end up being the “bad guys” for being abused in the most horrible, demonic and covert manner, is a mystery to me. I can be generous and say that the elders etc. lacked relevant experience while our needs were (eventually) for skilled professionals. But that doesn’t excuse them for putting the boot in when we asked for help. Why would anyone want to do that? It is one thing to not help the needy, but another thing entirely to abuse them further. It doesn’t make any sense, not of the normal Christian variety of sense.
    There are four basic things I feel we ought to be entitled to, as abused people: in my case I have none of them YET. They are Peace, Truth, Justice and Freedom. Before I found this site I had written them down on a card beside my computer, to remind me what I need, and what I should work for. I haven’t found anyone in my locality to fight for me or even to help me fight. What a sad indictment of the church that is. But maybe one day we will be called to fight for others in this way. We will be able to spot the abused ones because we have been there, and we know the signs. It won’t be US who abuses them further.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Mary – Most often it seems to me that church leaders fail to render justice to the abuse victim because 1) It is costly to stand with the oppressed. It costs nothing to stand with the oppressor. 2) There is a boys’ club mentality that comes into play. When the victim is a woman and church leaders are men (as is the case in most conservative churches like the one I pastor), there is so often a failure to practice the instructions of Scripture without partiality. Favors are shown. Reputations are regarded. And the boys stick together. The woman must submit, step back into her place, do what she is told. And the evil of this is multiplied (and must be repugnant to the Lord) when it is all done in the Name of the Lord and by means of perverting His Word. Don’t look for Peace, Truth, Justice and Freedom in those settings.

      • Mary Lloyd

        Hi Jeff, yes all that seems to be true, unfortunately. In another place I attended there were multiple family members in the leadership, and they all ganged up on me after a well-respected elder had made a pass at me. It was a long time ago and caused me a lot of pain at the time. I remember confiding in the pastor, who treated me like I was speaking a foreign language, like “help!” wasn’t in his vocabulary.
        Jeff I don’t go to those places any more, too many disappointments and bad memories. I know what I seek is not asking for the moon, but normal things that anyone should be entitled to. But sometimes I feel so sick of fighting. I miss fellowship, and I would love to worship with others who love the Lord. The closest I get to it is online fellowship these days.
        Thanks for your message!

      • Memphis Rayne

        Mary you are such a sweet soul. The people that treat you as they have, are not even worthy of the name Christian, I just am so tired of how horrible the ignorance is within the walls of what people call “church”. It makes me sad, but at the same time I am thankful that I am not a part of those kinda of churches anymore. You remind me of Megan, just so sweet, caring and loving, and so soo deserving of all those things that you are.
        What a bunch of BO-Yos!!!

    • Heather 2

      Mary, so many things ring true with your experience and mirror my own. I also was shown much grace and mercy by the timing of the Lord’s revelations to me. Had they been seen all at one time I would have gone stark raving mad. But He knew best and was gentle and caring in what clarity I was given. The same held true for the understanding that my mother had been abusing me. This is one reason that everyone seemed to be shocked by my actions. They came out of nowhere. We had looked perfect on the outside. I believed that love never fails… But underneath was a bedrock of lies and deceit, and I eventually had to reach the place where I realized that a relationship depends on two parties. My exhusband needed to do his part and truly repent. He didn’t. He wouldn’t. I don’t think he even could. No amount of love on my part would change him. I had tried for decades already.

      There definitely is a sinful mentality in churches. I remember hearing long ago that those who choose not to be saved see the “christians” and reject Jesus. I think I know why now.
      Thankfully God is still in the business of saving and healing despite the poor testimonies and witnesses of others. And those of us who have been where we have been have a better idea of what is true and what is not. It’s just too bad that the school was so painful.

      • Mary Lloyd

        Hi Heather, interesting re the family looking perfect on the outside, I know just what you mean. When it all started to go wrong at home I was expected to keep up the appearance that all was OK to one particular sister, and warned not to tell her anything. But after I got upset one day at some unkindness, this sister was so sweet to me, I wondered why I shouldn’t tell her. So I told her, and she cried with me, and then she told me she had experienced something similar and was made the bad guy for leaving her marriage. All these years we could have been helping each other!
        I agree with you God is still in the business of healing, and also, what the devil meant for evil God will bring good out of it at some point. We sure have learned some painful lessons sister. But we are still here. Do you ever get that Joseph feeling? Either in the natural family or in the church? I have wondered if the Joseph story speaks of a suffering remnant in the church who will, because of what they have passed through, be able to “feed” the rest in a time when God Himself has withdrawn favour, and has visited spiritual famine on the rebellious. Just a thought.
        Thank you so much for writing!

      • King'sDaughter

        “I have wondered if the Joseph story speaks of a suffering remnant in the church who will, because of what they have passed through, be able to “feed” the rest in a time when God Himself has withdrawn favour, and has visited spiritual famine on the rebellious. Just a thought.”

        Mary, How very insigtful! You put words (and scripture) to something my heart has also suspected!

  9. Anonymous

    And if I may say it, one of those “lies”, is “I am a Christian”, when there is little or no fruit of it, because that is the sign of being a Christian in the first place. Anyone can have “little fruit” just by being nice from time to time and faking repentance and faking being a Christian by being moral in areas.

    I too, was told that I could only apply Scriptures that talked about marriage, to my marriage. I was also told that Abigail’s story was a historical narrative, so it didn’t even apply to today. I wondered then, well why do we even read it? And what about 2 Tim. 3:16, “All Scripture”? Does that mean “all” or does it mean, only what the people who are supposedly divinely enlightened from their hermeneutics training say still applies today? I just believe that those people who bind Christians to walking in darkness, because they are scared to set them free, are walking in just as much darkness themselves, and will answer to God for binding His people to a life filled with darkness.

    Great and timely post!

    • Katy

      LOL!
      It is funny what kind of pretzel knots they must twist themselves into in order to ignore Abigail and her honor. “that doesn’t count! because….because…because I said so!”

  10. Memphis Rayne

    Ya I only remember this stoek type glaze over all the pastors wifes….most of them were so subdued it seemed almost hostile? It was hard to tell if they were engaged when their husband spoke, or if they were terrified of falling asleep? haha dont know?

    I agree though a guy just showing up to church is a Christian in the minds of everybody else, regardless if they have the personality of a “Great Guy” or that of a “Car Crash”.
    Remember quite of few of us have stories of the reapeted Baptisms. The MIW somehow got the pastor convienced to NOT Baptize me???? I showed up, right day, right time and they pretend like I was not there? How pathetic is that? Also If the MIW just did a “Drive By” that was considered attendance, NOT STALKING but “a guy who wanted to go to church, but perhaps was too shy???” haha What a bunch of Morons, seriously it just cannot get any dumber than that!!

    PFFFT!!! “CRAZY SAUCE” for sure!!

    • Amy

      I am so sorry Memphis you went thru that! Yes, I hated the roller cycle of abuse! That is scary he actually admitted he wanted to see what it felt like? Talk about twisted! I like above’Since when do we base someones salvation on their charms?’ So true-another one I will have to remember!

  11. Amy

    Yes!!! I knew deep in my heart that there was always a division in the house which of course caused strife and chaos! Those 2 questions are excellent, Jeff! How an light and darkness live together? And truth and falsehood! Yes, the victim is supposed to just suffer the abuse? That’s absurd! Thank You for writing this article and summing it up by those 2 questions should anyone wonder why you are not going to tolerate the emotional abuse anymore!

  12. Mary Lloyd

    Memphis Rayne, bless your heart! thank you for your encouragement. I couldn’t see a reply button under what you said, (I am just getting used to the way this forum works) – but I wanted you to know my heart is aching for what you are going through. I hope you are not living with that evil man any more?
    I don’t get the physical abuse, thank God, it must be awful for you! Your bloke sounds like he is missing something most normal humans have, like he seems to have no shame, no sense that what he is doing is wrong…and he must be so in love with himself that he does it just because he can. What a vile bully.
    I just remembered something.
    I have worried about my son and how he would grow up with a father present but emotionally awol, if you know what I mean, and I never told him what was happening to me until he was an adult and able to cope with it. But while my HB was deserting us and my son was small, he went through some bad bullying at school at the hands of a teacher. It was awful. She was like butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth: everyone thought she was squeaky clean and perfect. But she was making my son’s life a misery to the point that I had to take advice how to handle it.
    My prayer life improved, lol, I knew I had to assert myself on behalf of my boy and there was no option to fail, so I prayed and prayed before I went in to see the head teacher and make the complaint. Long story short, what flew out of my mouth at the meeting, I didn’t think about until afterwards, I remember thinking, wow that was clever! not like me at all! and effectively it proved what was happening to my son in a way that the head teacher had to acknowledge it and act on his behalf. Praise God! This is good for me to remember!!!
    Anyway back to you Memphis, what I wanted to tell you was my son has grown up and gone into teaching. No one messes with him now, but as well as having authority he also has a healthy sense of what is justice, and will fight for it. The bad stuff worked out good in the end. Your obvious love of your children in spite of these terrible circumstances will have had positive impact, no doubt. Physical strength might hurt but it is no match for your love. That is the truly strong stuff.
    Hugs from Mary

    • Memphis Rayne

      Im glad you are here Mary ….(tears a streamin)….Thank you.

  13. Martin

    Jeff. This is a great article. There are only two ways to walk in this world; (1) walk in the light (1 John 1:7) or (2) the way of darkness (John 3:18-19). No middle ground. Satan loves to use man’s inventions, i.e. popular distortions of earthly marriage and divorce in this case, to pull otherwise innocent souls into lives of darkness. Thanks for your dedication to the Truth.

  14. rjstephe

    Jeff, I’m a recovering survivor of child abuse. I always will be. I’m trying to get a better handle on abuse within a Christian context. I thank you for your work. Given my situation with a father who was a paranoid schizophrenic from childhood head trauma, I’m still a little “ify” about being able to discern the hearts of men to know who is a believer and who isn’t. I’m beginning to be of the same mind with you in regard to divorce as it relates to abuse. I feel for the brave survivors posting here. I don’t wish in any way to invalidate the difficult decisions they’ve had to make for their own safety, and that of their children. I’m just still in a confusing place given my background. Prayers for you all. Randy

    • Martin

      Randy.

      When children are subject to abuse, the matter indeed becomes one of great complexity and difficulty for sorting out. After years of sorting a similar situation in my life, I have come to trust the Bible as a Christian’s guide to a life of faith. While God alone judges the hearts of men, His word tells us that a person’s behavior proceeds from their heart (Mark 7:20-23) and that once regenerate ourselves we can and should judge character by a person’s behavior (Matt. 7:5,15-20; John 15:1-6).

      The Bible tells us to examine a man’s behavior for the following signs of unbelief; (1) a lack of love for others (1 John 2:10-11), (2) anger towards others (Matt. 5:21-22), (3) relentless sinful behavior (1 John 3:8-10), (4) the commitment of certain egregious sins (1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:21-22), and (5) the unwillingness to yield to church discipline (Matt. 18:15-18).

      As Christians, in marriage and all of life, we are responsible to avoid making bonds with evil – to avoid it completely (2 Cor. 6:14-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). When we recognize that we have been duped by darkness, and find ourselves married to readily discernible evil character, we are right to seek to be freed from the bondage.

      My prayer is that God’s word will further open your path to healing.

      • Martin, what a cogent and pithy set of scriptures.:) I would only add 1 Cor. 5:11 .

      • Thank you Martin and Barbara.

        Another verse to consider:
        Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19

        You could say the first part of the SEAL on the foundation is about the LORD KNOWING those who are his. The second portion is the criteria for how WE CAN KNOW.

        Does that make sense from your understanding?

      • Yes Randy, that makes sense to me. You’ve helped illuminate this verse for me.

      • Martin

        Randy. I like your take on 2 Tim. 2:19. Intimate relationship is ‘knowing’ one another in the Bible. God knows His elect and God’s elect knows Him. Some other interesting Scriptures on that line; Matt 7:22-23, John 10:27-28, 1 John 3:6.

  15. Anonymous

    Jeff wrote:”We tell people that Christians must not be bound together with evil. That we are to come out from among evil and be separate from it. Why is it then that abuse victims are an exception?”

    Because, to deal with the reality of evil or the enormity of the negative influences evil has had on Christians married to children of the devil, is far too hard! It is much easier to send these little ones back into the hell fires. If we helped them we’d have to

    1) …admit that there are many in the church who are children of satan

    2) …acknowledge that these true-hearted Christians had never been forewarned and therefore forearmed by the church to identify evil or stand against it, and if this is found out, then we may have to admit that our entire system has fostered evil parading as good in the church and even gone so far as to put evil ones in positions of authority

    3)… come clean regarding the actual amount of true Christians (very few) vs. the amount of children of their father the devil in the church. The church and society at large would implode! (it’s often the very few truly saved who carry the weight and responsibility for the masses. Who are we gonna find to replace them? We’ve tried using ads such as, “Needed immediately and for the rest of your lives–people who love the Lord and are willing to serve satan and his children for no money, no help, no love and little food. No applicants will be turned away!” but for some reason nobody wants the job!? It’s a mystery alright!)

    4)…continue to follow through regarding the care of these victims which may require YEARS of counseling and practical help, and as we know, we are always battling to keep these type of programs afloat because they require a lot of energy and a lot of love–something people who are evil don’t have (in the case of love) and regarding energy, evil ones only want to spend it on things that garner them glory, but only for as long as it takes to get a few snapshots as proof of their “loving care,” then they are on to bigger and better things!

    Clearly Pastor Crippen, the easier solution is to simply keep the current system in place. We can throw these downtrodden ones a bone or two by patting them on the shoulder and looking long-faced back at them and telling them that their reward is in heaven so don’t take too long of a break cuz those biscuits ain’t gonna cook themselves! Geez! Some people complain about everything! Serving evil ones for no love, no money……..what will they complain about next? That they don’t want to be raped either?! Ungrateful!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yep! It is always much easier to do nothing, which means in reality siding with evil, than it is to stand for righteousness and justice with the oppressed. But then….cowards will not inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus says so.

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