A Cry For Justice

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

Our Theology of Evangelizing Hypocrites is Protecting Abusers in our Churches

Joh 10:1-5 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. (2) But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (3) To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (5) A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Most churches today love to put signs out front with a slogan that has become odious to me:  Everyone Welcome! How wonderful and loving and kind it all sounds. But of course, as we have mentioned before in this blog, most certainly not everyone is welcome to be among Christ’s people. There really are only two categories of people who the Bible would have be in a local church: 1) Sheep. I mean, genuine, regenerate members of Christ’s flock, and 2) Sinners (even the most wicked sort) who are present to seek Christ, searching for a remedy to their sin burden. Who isn’t welcome? Hypocrites. Do you realize that? Hypocrites are not welcome in Jesus’ church. He said so!

Luk 5:30-32 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (31) And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. (32) I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Hypocrites are those “who are well and have no need of a physician.” They are “the righteous.” That is, they are “well” and “righteous” in their own eyes. Jesus did not come to call them. He came to call those who feel their burden and who are heavy-laden by it. Hypocrites have no burden. They are quite alright in their own eyes, and surely superior to everyone else.

Now, here is where abuse hiding in the church comes in. How many of our readers have been slapped with the following insane and unbiblical notions:

  1. We must pray for your abuser-spouse. It is wonderful that he is in church every Sunday. Who knows when the Lord might save him. Oh, you say that he is quite confident that he is righteous, that he is a fine Christian? Well then, of course he belongs in our church and just needs sanctification. Hey, we are all sinners you know.”
  2. Your abuser-spouse grew up in the church? Well, you know, sometimes people like that never truly get saved until years and years have gone by. So we all (especially YOU) must be patient and keep praying for him, even though he is, what did you say, “difficult”? No? Oh, really, it’s worse than that,huh?”

I could go on, but you get the idea I think. The point is that EVERY abuser who professes to be a Christian (and many, many of our readers’ abusers fit that very category) is a hypocrite. He is wearing a mask. And I want to ask every pastor and elder and Christian this pointed question:

Where in God’s Word can we find justification for a mode of ‘evangelism’ that focuses upon hypocrites in our churches who have heard and heard and heard and heard and heard (and heard to the power of 10) the gospel, rejected it every single time, and pressed on with their wickedness all the while claiming to be a Christian? 

Can anyone cite chapter and verse on that one? Well I can sure give you one (many actually) that says God tells hypocrites to STOP COMING TO HIS TEMPLE! Here it is:

Isa 1:10-17 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! (11) “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (12) “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? (13) Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations– I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. (15) When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. (16) Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, (17) learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

See it? Now unless I am totally out of my mind so that words don’t mean to me what they mean, the Lord is telling the wicked who claim to belong to Him to stop coming to church! He doesn’t want them there! They first need to repent! And notice that one of the things they had not been doing is pleading the widow’s cause. Plug in “abuse victim” there and you see the relevance to our cause.

God does not want abusers in His church! Did you hear that? God does not want abusers in His church! I will go further. Christ commands us to put them out. To meet them at the church doors and say “uh-uh, not you buddy.” Remember now, we are NOT talking about sinners who are genuinely coming to hear about the Lord and to seek remedy for their soul. If there is an abuser out there somewhere who IS repentant and his eyes are being opened to his evil, and he comes to our doors, we say as Bunyan did, “Come, and Welcome to Jesus Christ!” But the hypocrite? The “fine” Christian who needs no repentance? No way. [For anyone wondering how we identify the hypocrite, we answer, “start by listening to abuse victims!” And for anyone who is asking, “but hey, we are all hypocrites aren’t we?” — the answer is, no! Real Christians sin, yes. But they repent. They don’t go on and on and on wearing the mask].

Where in the world did we get the crazy notion that we are to welcome even the rankest, most abusive hypocrite into Christ’s church Sunday after Sunday so that “we can lead them to Christ”? You know where I think that idea came from? It came from arrogant Christians, just like the Corinthians of 1 Cor 5, who want to boast about how superior their degree of mercy and love and forgiveness is to everyone else’s. “Well, you say he abuses his wife? Then he needs to be here in this church even more.” Oh yeah. Such crazy thinking only gives sanctuary to the wicked and oppresses their victims.

Isa 1:18-20 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (19) If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; (20) but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

The hypocrite, hiding behind his “Christian” facade, is not willing and obedient. He refuses and he rebels, and the mouth of the Lord has announced his fate.

We live in a cow town. Dairy country. You can smell it most days of the week. But it isn’t the smell of cow manure that is obnoxious to Christ the King. Oh no. It is the regular “trampling of his courts” that is done by hypocrites who walk habitually and characteristically in sin, including in the notorious evil of abuse, dragging the stinking refuse of their sin on their hands and shoes and tracking it up and down the aisles and hallways and sanctuaries of Christ’s churches. And there is an accompanying stench. The rank odor of church leaders and members who allow this to happen.

Mal 1:10-11 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. (11) For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

How about it? Wouldn’t it be remarkable if next Sunday all across this land, humbled pastors and church leaders and members met abusers and rank hypocrites at the front doors of the church, slammed them shut, and refused them entry? Malachi, it sure sounds like to me anyway, is saying that an action like that would announce the greatness of the name of the Lord of Hosts.

His name IS great! It WILL be great among the nations. He WILL have the honor and worship due Him. Whether we give it to Him or not, He will have it:

Amo 5:21-24 “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. (22) Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. (23) Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. (24) But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Indeed. Let justice and righteousness roll!

45 Comments

  1. I so wish that so many hypocrites could have a “Sinners at the Hands of an Angry God” moment? Part of what makes them so hypocritcal is that they don’t know, or won’t admit that they have a problem. Their thoughts, ideas and beliefs have become an idol to them, morphing the Gospel into what makes them feel comfortable and good about themselves.

    Personally, I pray that I never go there again! Once was enough!

    • King'sDaughter

      ” Their thoughts, ideas and beliefs have become an idol to them, morphing the Gospel into what makes them feel comfortable and good about themselves.”

      Good description!
      I still pray for my “Saul”!

      • King'sDaughter

        But I do not continue WITH him.

  2. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  3. SJR

    The problem with keeping out the hypocrite/abuser is that they are so good at turning everything upside down and making the abused one into the abuser and the unforgiving grudge holder who isn’t really willing to work on the marriage to the extent the real abuser/poor me I’m a victim is.

    I’d rather the pastors got good at believing those who have been abused and recognizing the abusers tactics in blame shifting and false repentance.

    Let them go to church but have to stay near someone who knows their tricks and will keep them from using them. Hold them close and accountable for their words and body language.

    How long will they continue going to church under that level of watchfulness? They will definitely realize the church sees their behaviour as abuse even if they don’t. Groundwork for true repentance, see sin as sin. It’s hard for abusers to see their abuse as sin, or even abuse, when the church doesn’t.

    • Carolyn

      Excellent points, SJR.

      And thanks, Jeff, for providing the scriptural passages which show how hypocrisy is nothing to be winked at. It is common place these days for pastors to make jokes about it and in many ways allude to it being expected in the church ??? – somehow equating it with living the normal Christian life — that we are all hypocrites to an extent…
      Thanks for clarifying, though, that according to God there is a big difference between being a Christian who stumbles and falls from time to time and being a Hypocrite. The former is sorrowed over sin and doesn’t continue in it but rather takes ownership of it and seeks to quickly amend with others who may have been affected by it…
      The latter turns a blind eye to his sin and, furthermore, anyone who gets too close to exposing it or asking questions about it are wrongfully accused through use of numerous labels with an effort to deflect and protect…
      .
      It is amazing how twisted God’s Word has become and how few leaders there are these days that really care.

    • Groundwork for true repentance, see sin as sin. It’s hard for abusers to see their abuse as sin, or even abuse, when the church doesn’t.

      Well, that’s about it right there.

      • well this snowballs into “how much regeneration should we see in a truly repentant sinner? Is he saved and just working out his sanctification?” so maybe he stops hitting his wife but still struggles with verbal abuse. Would that be a sign that he’s not really regenerate?
        I can see this attitude among Christians where we apologize for habitual sin – uh. If he is saved it will be evident. Jesus is not BEHAVIORAL THERAPY. I have a friend who was a drug addict/dealer for 10 years, and on the moment of his salvation he instantly got rid of the drugs and hasn’t touched them in 25 years. Not saying that happens to everyone that quickly — but there’s gotta be a change, or it’s fake.

      • SJR

        That’s a good point.
        Holding their feet to the fire by requiring them to be monitored while at church, in my thinking, keeps them from gaining sympathy for their side of the story.
        If people realize the close monitoring is happening; then perhaps they will also realize that they don’t know anything but the elders are dealing with something serious.
        It’s kinda a halfway measure of church discipline. The reason I think of this one as a viable option is my H is just such a nice guy and gains respect at new churches so quickly. He is such a wonderful confessor of past “misdeeds” and is trying so hard to work on our marriage that he is even willing to come to marriage counseling with me. (And each and every time everyone has bought his load of crap!)

        I’m playing hardball now and for him, the worse that could happen would be for me to be believed and him to be scrutinized and called out on his sin. That’s never happened yet, because I’ve never been believed on the verbal and emotional stuff and of course the couple of times he slapped me are in the past so I shouldn’t be bringing them up. This time is different. I’m saying everything even the sexual stuff. I’d like to see him smooth talk his way out of this one with the pastor! 😀
        No bluff here. I’m all in.

        So no. I don’t think the church is a behaviour modification place, but it can certainly make it apparent that his behaviour is not approved. That is something he’s never had. And personally I’d like to see him actively not get away with acting like everything is fine when it isn’t. It’s hard to act normal when your every word and move is being observed and analyzed. 😉 (a little payback maybe?)

      • “If people realize the close monitoring is happening; then perhaps they will also realize that they don’t know anything but the elders are dealing with something serious.”

        While it would be interesting to see this idea implemented, can you imagine how many gullible church members would constantly be harping on the pastor/elders for “picking on” such a nice, upstanding Christian person? Their “gift of mercy” would certainly overshadow, everything else.

        You know the kind. Those are the ones, in the extreme, who would want serial killers to escape justice just because they made a profession of faith. The ones who want only to get along and treat everyone with a sweetness that is sickening to the stomach.

        If they are coming to the church, they must be redeemable, right? We are not to worry about doctrine, or actions, but simply “love” them. I actually had a guy in a discipleship class I taught try to use that to counter me every week! You just “love” them and everything else will work out just fine.

        Sometimes I think they believe that you could “love” satan out of the lake of fire!

      • King'sDaughter

        ” Jesus is not BEHAVIORAL THERAPY”

        Love it!

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Katy – the Word of God says that “revilers” shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Revilers there means “verbal abusers”.

  4. Good job Jeff! Well said. If there is anything at all consistent in the Word of God it is that those who call themselves “men of God” are to personally confront sinners (all of them) with their sins and call for repentance from them. I doubt we could find one in a thousand today who sees that as any part of his duty and responsibility. Keep on preaching brother.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Larry – Thank you. Churches are like gardens (I think Luther said something like that). If left go, the weeds always crop up and sometimes even take over, choking out the real plants. It is the Word of God that does the weeding, and that Word includes regular, ongoing, calls to faith in Christ and repentance from dead works of sin. The fact is, many if not most local church leaders and congregations don’t want the garden weeded.

      • Saved By Grace

        Amen! The garden image and weeding of the church seems so fitting and applicable. Jesus used garden and agricultural images when he preached the gospel good news message. Your words really spoke to me today. Thank you.

  5. Brenda R

    Just this morning my soon to be ex who claims he “found God” said that my attorney and I are scamming him, that I was a thief, used vulgar language, took the Lord’s name in vain and said that my attorney should “go to hell”. This was over a number of emails. Does this sound like a recent convert to anyone?

    • SJR

      Nope. Doesn’t sound like a Christian at all.
      Obviously playing the martyr and what a good Christian am I, is not his strong point. 😀 thank God they aren’t experts at everything!

      Not trying to minimize his abuser “skills” or it’s impact on you, but isn’t it a bit of a relief to know he can’t pull the Christian card on you? I’d say he got a strong F in acting like a Christian.

      I’d be glad if my husband wasn’t such a “good Christian”, and allowed others besides me to see it.

      • Brenda R

        Thank you SJR,

        The problem is he’s been pulling it off a little better with the Pastor and Elders of my church. They are not thoroughly convinced that he understands what salvation really is, but they think he is a “really nice guy”. He has put in application for membership, but they have put off responding to that request until they see what happens between the 2 of us. This has not set well with him and told one of the elders that what happens between us has nothing to do with the church. I do not share his opinion at all. He does get an “F” in Christian in my book. I see no change whatsoever. Even though it is a process and not a drastic change at first for some people, a person like him should show a drastic change with Christ in their heart.

        I have learned how he operates and am not fooled. I was pretty much over the relationship before I left and was ready to break free. I grieved while I was preparing to leave and am happy now. Looking at him now I can’t understand why I allowed him to do these things to me. He changes attitudes so fast it is ridiculous. He can go from bullying me to I love you in less than an hour and back again. Perhaps it is not being in the same room, hearing his aggressive voice and having him throwing things at me.

      • SJR

        Forward the emails to your pastor and elders. See how they handle it.
        Are they holding back on giving him membership to see if his repentance is real, or are they waiting to see if the divorce goes through?
        That would be a good question to ask. They need to be questioned on what their reason is for not outright denying or accepting membership.
        If they accept him in by transfer letter, or profession of faith in conjunction with a Trinitarian baptism and then immediately excommunicate him and put him under discipline, well that’s not a bad deal because your husband just put himself under their authority and now he can feel the weight of the church’s full discipline.

        That’s saying your pastor and elders have enough sense of their duty before God to not allow open or hidden ongoing sin to continue in the lives of their flock without confronting it head on.

      • Brenda R

        So far, other than to say “how are you doing’, no one has even questioned me. My husband has not been baptized. He went to a Salvation Army as a boy but was never a member. Quite honestly I don’t even know what there beliefs are. I have been asked what I thought and told them I don’t think he understands and they agreed according to what was said on his application. I did send the Pastor a couple of the emails that accused me of adultery and for a couple of weeks he looked empathetic. Now his sermons are speaking of submission and keeping the marriage together, almost accusational. Next Sunday I plan to ask one of the elders about a comment my ex has made to him. He said that our marriage was none of the churches business and went to the pastor about his membership or lack thereof and he was asked whether or not if he was granted membership would we be able to make nice. He assured him that we could, but all of the messages I get from him say otherwise. We cannot function together, it is not going to happen or at least not now. The Lord can make any change he wants at any time. I am curious as to what tone the ex used with these men. Is it the puppy dog tone or the one he uses with me. He used that tone with a former employer on a few occasions a few years back. He now has a different employer at a far lower wage.

  6. coming in here late as usual, while most of you are asleep. but I want to say how much I love the way all of you interact and support each other. You are my family — my true family, which is just as the Bible says: our fellow Christians are our brothers and sisters. In my case none of my blood family are believers, so this is black and white for me. I really appreciate all the people in the Cry For Justice family! 🙂 🙂

    • Brenda R

      Barbara, I know how that feels. I do have 2 who profess Christ, but I have doubt sometimes. My Mom and daughter do profess Christ as Savior, both live 2k miles away in different states and niether found a church home once moving from Michigan. I email my daughter daily but only talk to my mom occassionally. We work different shifts so it adds to the communication difficulty. My mother is busy enabling my brother and son. If their is a male in the family who is messing up their lives she is right their to help them do it. My abusing stepfather died about 5 years ago. I thought things would be better for her, but now she has them. She is 75 and still works full time at Walmart. I have no family in my immediate family.
      I have more relationship with those on this site than I do with my family of this world. My brothers and sisters in Christ are my family. We are only temporarily assigned to this world. We are just passing through until we reach our true home and the rest of our family with Christ. My heart goes out to you Barbara. Brenda

    • King'sDaughter

      Yes! True family!
      Not that anyone would complain if you moved to the states, but its comforting to think that the blog doesn’t just go to sleep (sort of like having watchmen on the wall).

      • I wish I could move to the States, KD, but US immigration is pretty strict so I am not sure there is a way.

  7. and this:

    it isn’t the smell of cow manure that is obnoxious to Christ the King. Oh no. It is the regular “trampling of his courts” that is done by hypocrites who walk habitually and characteristically in sin, including in the notorious evil of abuse, dragging the stinking refuse of their sin on their hands and shoes and tracking it up and down the aisles and hallways and sanctuaries of Christ’s churches. And there is an accompanying stench. The rank odor of church leaders and members who allow this to happen.

    Yes; and in domestic abuse an the abuser regular tramples all over the victim’s heart and sprays foulness all over his or her psyche. And when the abuser does this with the imprimatur (enabling) of the church, God has wrath for the leaders of that church and for all in the church who complacently sit on their hands.

    • Otter

      I believe so many churches do this and are fully ignorant that they are causing so much harm. As hard as it is to hear, I believe churches should encourage abuse victims to speak out and give their testimonies to church leaders, and church leaders should be armed with books like Jeff’s so they can understand the patterns of abuse. Reading so many testimonies on this blog has helped me to understand my own abuse, and it’s also helped me begin to understand that Christians can’t “reform” abusers. It’s arrogant for us to think we can “save” a violent person. God is the person who saves the abuser – we don’t have that power.

      • Brenda R

        Amen to that Otter. I spoke to my Pastor 3 years ago. All he said is “we’ve got to get him saved”. I am not in charge or that. God saves us through Jesus Christ’s shed blood. I think I am still taken back by that comment. I never went back to speak to him on the subject until I moved out a little over 2 months ago. I simply stated fact: I’ve moved out and filed for legal seperation. He offered his help, but too little too late. I worked with a Christian counselor for several months prior to my departure and felt justified in my decision. I knew God was on my side if no one else. I plan to give a copy of Barbara’s book to my Pastor. I’m not sure what his response to that will be, but I think he needs an eye opener. He also needs a book to know the different kinds of abuse. He sees that striking another person is abuse. Anything else should just be endured and it is where God placed you.

      • . . . I believe churches should encourage abuse victims to speak out and give their testimonies to church leaders, and church leaders should be armed with books like Jeff’s so they can understand the patterns of abuse.

        I’m not normally a ‘should-ing’ type [Yikes! Don’t use the ‘s’ word!] but those are some ‘shoulds’ I can go along with!

  8. thepersistentwidow

    I waited through the church ‘process’ for over a year and a half. When my husband began threatening my life, I told the pastor that this was going nowhere, but the pastor said that I needed to be patient because my husband was making ‘baby steps to repentance’. I asked for a biblical example of ‘baby steps to repentance’ and someone else from the church cited Joseph as an example. I still don’t understand what they were talking about, or where they got such an idea, but I think that my husband was making huge leaps away from repentance.

    • Brenda R

      Threatening you was making huge steps towards you being in the morgue and him being in prison. Joseph???? He didn’t need to repent. He didn’t sell himself into bondage. His brothers didn’t repent until they saw him and knew who he was. They didn’t tell their father what they had done. Their were no baby steps. I don’t think baby steps are mentioned in the Bible. You either repent or you don’t. Even once convicted you either repent or you don’t. I guess, I don’t get this either. Once threatened, I’m out. Do not collect $200 while passing go, just go.

    • Baby steps to repentace made by Joseph? That’s absurd. The Bible does not record any particular sins by Joseph, so it’s nonsense to use his story as an illustration of baby (or giant) steps of repentance.

      • In fact, Joseph is a great example of the difference between preference and actual convictions! Every temptation he faced, he made the right choice because of his convictions about who God is and his relationship to Him. It wasn’t based upon law, as the law had not been given yet. It wasn’t preference, otherwise he would have taken the easy ways out of everything. There were no baby steps there, but full on obedience!

      • IamMyBeloved's

        We are to “turn from” our sin. Now, who imagines that “turn” to be an inch at a time? What happened to the 180 degree turn, to flee sin and walk the other direction, now that we had been saved? This is complete nonsense. What if it were the other way around, and the wife were committing adultery once a month. Would we say that should be dealt with in baby steps? Like say, she now only commits adultery every 5 weeks, instead of every 4 weeks and so on. How long does anyone think that the spouse would be required to put up with that? It would take many years and many more acts of adultery, before that individual would ever really have “turned” from the sin. Instead of there being repentance, we are entertaining “mind over matter”, or behavior modification therapy or teaching moralism. Those do not, repentance make. We may have plenty of sins at the outset of our Salvation, to “turn” from and repent of, but we still do not make that turn an inch at a time. No wonder there is rarely any true repentance to be seen!

      • I agree Brenda, and so did the theologians in the 1600s who wrote the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

        Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?

        A. Repentance leading to life is a saving grace,[a] by which a sinner having truly realised his sin and grasped the mercy of God in Christ,[b] turns from his sin with grief and hatred and turns to God[c] with full resolve and effort after new obedience.[d]

        [a]. Acts 11:18; 2 Tim 2:25
        [b]. Psa 51:1-4; Joel 2:13; Luk 15:7, 10; Acts 2:37
        [c]. Jer 31:18-19; Luk 1:16-17; 1 Thes 1:9
        [d]. 2 Chr 7:14; Psa 119:57-64; Mat 3:8; 2 Cor 7:10

      • Brenda R

        I like that definition.

      • Brenda R

        Valid point. I always thought that repentance was a 180. Turn completely around. A whole new perspective and way of life. Of course, we are human and we’re going to fall. I don’t think anyone just falls into adultery. You can say no.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Any pastor or supposed Christian who learns that a wicked man is threatening to kill his wife, and yet who responds in such a manner as your pastor did, is much more than just naive or ignorant. They are at best cowardly, and thus they refuse to stand up to the wicked man and stick by the victim, or at the worst they really don’t think that abuse is such a big deal. For me, even before I understood the nature and mentality of the abuser, if I were told that a person in my church had threatened the life of his wife, I would have hauled him in before the elders instantly, reported him to the police, erased his church membership, and announced his evil to the whole church. Biff, boom, bah! I mean, come on — this is common sense. Not so common it appears.

      I think that I read recently in Martin Luther’s writings that he said that any man who fancies himself “called” by God to the pastoral ministry, but who in fact is not so called, can only effect damage and harm upon Christ’s church. His motives are wrong from the start. I am convinced that we have large numbers of pulpits that are filled by such fanciers, but who have in no way been placed there by Christ. And thus, the harm they do in EVERYTHING they say and do.

      • Anonymous

        “… any man who fancies himself “called” by God to the pastoral ministry, but who in fact is not so called, can only effect damage and harm upon Christ’s church.” AMEN!

        One of my psychopathic family members “dated” a Catholic priest for many years. He had many other women he was sleeping with and this family member loved the fact that she was sinning against the church. An added bonus to her evil! This priest shared with her something that he said was common knowledge among Catholic priests. He said that when gay men came into a new town and wanted to know where to find the best gay hangouts and men to romp with, they would go to the Catholic priests because they knew the best places. He said that the only reason he had became a priest was because his mother wanted him to because SHE wanted credit for having a son who was a priest. I still get sick to my stomach when I think of these things, but I can see the truth of them. (I am not Catholic by the way, and I consider it to be a cult.)

        Denying that evil exists doesn’t make it go away, but instead, gives it free reign. This is a paraphrased quote from another author that has proven true time and again.

      • Aarrghh … that story of the catholic priests having the best tips about where to find boys to romp with…

  9. As I See It Only

    This discussion rings many good bells for me. The support of on-line family, for example. The unity within this Body, even when opinions differ. The common experiences of being slimed when touching anything to do with the abuser. The clean new feeling when that is removed. These voices, united, cannot be silenced by our abusers. Eyes of church leadership that have been open can no longer be shut. God is moving in His church, to clean it up from the inside out, and all of us have brooms to sweep away the cobwebs of ignorance and arrogance the little abuse spiders have woven in the church’s rafters.

  10. Kimberly

    I have a question concerning praying for the abuser to be redeemed when at one time they claimed Christ but walked away. Can this person still be redeemed?

    I have a family member who is very confused about God hearing her prayers over the last 25 years for her husband to repent and for the marriage to be reconciled…….he committed adultery and abused her. Her marriage ended in divorce. She prays for his Salvation or a “Prodigal Son” kind of conversion. She wonders if God heard her prayers or has she prayed in vain?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Kimberly- She is under no obligation to pray for this man, though praying for him is certainly not sin. How God chooses to answer or respond to prayer is really his business and not ours. IMO, the passages in 1 John 5 and in Jeremiah that speak of not praying for a certain class of person apply to the apostate — someone who has experienced Christ in a way that is yet short of real salvation (as in Hebrews 6). She need not be anxious about her prayers. God knows. He knows how to deal with our prayers. WE do not always know how to pray as we should (Romans 8) but the Spirit does and always perfectly intercedes for us as we pray.

    • And to add to what Jeff said, I would reassure her that God has indeed heard her prayers. Him hearing our prayers is not the same as Him answering them (by answering I mean Him making come to pass the thing we prayed for).

      It is possible that this lady has been exposed to some of the Word Of Faith teaching. We believe Word of Faith teaching is faulty in many ways, not least of which is how it sets the prayer up to feel like a failure if her prayer is not granted. That then becomes part of the victim-blaming (or victim self-blaming) negative feedback loop. It’s a downward spiral for the victim: she can think that her prayer is not being granted because she didn’t pray it quite right, or she didn’t pray it with enough faith, or God is not granting it because of some secret sin she has done. That ends up with the victim of abuse navel gazing and constantly scrutinizing her self. And that means that she does not focus her analytical abilities on the real source of the problem: her abuser’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

  11. Anonymous

    1 Corinthians 15:33, ” “Bad company corrupts good character.” How much MORE corruptive (and corrosive) when we have an evil one entering our bodies in the most intimate way, giving them access to our minds, hearts and spirits–which belong to the Lord? Can ANYONE SEE that this is so grotesquely vile and offensive to the Lord? How we’ve been taught to let the most evil of people have complete access to that which was meant to serve and glorify the Lord–our minds, bodies and spirits–now being used as a prostitute. Evil teaching has FORCED those of us who belong to the Lord and who are married to evil ones, to become prostitutes. And they tell us this is God’s will! GROSS!

    When we are told to patiently wait for evil to turn into good and to never get mad, to love unconditionally, to forgive blah, blah, blah………..we end up throwing away our lives on demons and evil.

    Do we forget that we don’t do anything alone? When we belong to Jesus, we do everything with him–he is with us while we are talking to others, shopping, driving, and having sex. Same goes for evil ones. Where they go comes with them their father the devil. And most people (both men and women) in this generation who are like those described in 2 Tim 3, are also into porn. Do we not know that demons hang out at these websites and attach themselves to those who view them? That when these people then go to work, school, driving and having sex, that these demons are with them?

    My husband and my children who are like him LOVE Christians. They seek them out and manipulate them and use them. They are always ready with a sob story, contrived and framed up in just the right way, using just the right words, in order to maximize the rape they will then thrust on those who are unaware of psychopaths. Because of their many years being around *c*hristians and the churches described in Jeff’s post, they have learned to formulate their plans using all the above excuses, and they are very successful in harming many with their evil.

    Thank you Jeff (again) for letting God use you to help those of us who belong to him and who’ve been dismissed by the church and thrown onto the garbage pile, to have an oasis in the desert of these dark times. I’m so grateful.

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