A Cry For Justice

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

Badgering Badgers

TRIGGER WARNING

We occasionally get emails and comments from abusers who try to convince us to advocate for them and get them back in power. Here’s a comment Mike Allen tried to leave. He’s attempted to make us his allies in his abuse so many times that we’ve nicknamed him “Badger.” We decided to publish this comment as a post and let you see it the way we see it. So many of these emails and comments from the badgers are very similar. I have to wonder if there’s a form letter for gaining allies out there on the web…

Mike Allen’s comment as submitted to ACFJ:

Pastor Crippen you have done an excellent job of describing abusers. And you well note the different levels of depravity in scripture. So doesn’t it also make sense there are different levels of abuse? Just as there is a difference between physical and non-physical abuse, isn’t there difference between a verbal and emotional abuser who seeks power and control vs an individual who fails to manage work stress properly? Or are all these persons considered sociopathic and evil?

But the over all question that seems unanswered is, “what is the path to reconciliation?” What if the abuser is actively engaged in counseling, group therapy, has publicly confessed the sin, counseled with the family pastor, takes full responsibility for the abuse, has repented and asked for forgiveness and is pursuing a long term plan for continued recovery, growth and learning?

There is abundant information on what an abuser looks like and arguments invalidating help from scripture and clergy. But is there a distinction between an abuser and a chronically stressed individual who is not physically violent, yet has a critical spirit and is unaware of the extent the verbal and mental abuse causes? What is the path to reconciliation for a person without a history of name calling or overt put-downs, one who has a misdirected belief of being right which leads to an unrecognized inflexibility? Yet, now having blinders removed, is willing to change and has a period invested to that end?

Pastor Crippen, even your church’s early bylaws prevented women from praying aloud or voting, but this abusive environment was changed after the inspiration of the holy spirit. What was the process of reconciliation that changed your bylaws? Shouldn’t the abuser be aided by the same process, so their marriage may experience the same healing as your church?

Shouldn’t any path that details and justifies divorce take equal care in recognizing recovery and reconciliation? Wouldn’t bias in only the identification of abuse without reconciliation amount to persecution and a witch-hunt?

I agree that immediate effort and precaution be taken to protect even a person assumed to be abused. But after securing their sustained safety, do we then write off the abuser (and their marriage) as not having the ability to change or heal? In the vein of hating the sin, but not the sinner, when and how do we bring the recovering abuser in from outer darkness and back into the fold? Remembering that “hurting people, hurt people,” aren’t we remiss if we cast out the recovering abuser with no chance or assistance for reconciliation?

Here’s the same comment with my remarks in red. This post is intended to expose manipulating speech. My abuser sent the pastors, professionals we worked with, and me emails and texts very similar to this one. About the only thing missing here is a subtle or outright claim that the abuser’s target is mentally ill or menopausal (that’s right menopausal). We get those emails and comments here often as well. If you are a pastor or professional seeking insight for dealing with an abuser who claims to be repentant, our Resources might be very helpful to you.

Translation in red. Comments in purple italics.

Pastor Crippen you have done an excellent job of describing abusers. Suck up, flattery. And you well note the different levels of depravity in scripture. So doesn’t it also make sense there are different levels of abuse? No. Just as there is a difference between physical and non-physical abuse, Says who? Both are anti-Christ and both are works of the flesh (see Gal 5:19-21). isn’t there difference between a verbal and emotional abuser who seeks power and control vs an individual who fails to manage work stress properly? You’re actually saying that your job is more important than your family. Quit your job, declare bankruptcy, and live in a hut if your job is what’s making you mean. Or are all these persons considered sociopathic and evil? Straw man (aka gaslighting), but yes. You are more concerned with your very important job than the well being of your family. If that’s not sociopathic and evil, I don’t know what is.

But the over all question that seems unanswered is, “what is the path to reconciliation?” Your question is really “How do I get my power back.” It should be, “How can I devote the rest of my life to making up for the damage I’ve caused? And the answer is “Give her an amazing divorce.” And here’s a list of Lundy’s. Go read it. You’re presently violating the very first bullet point (among others), by the way. What if the abuser is actively engaged in counseling, group therapy, Like this? has publicly confessed the sin, counseled with the family pastor, takes full responsibility for the abuse, You don’t. You’ve blamed your stressful job and your critical spirit. has repented and asked for forgiveness and is pursuing a long term plan for continued recovery, growth and learning? He should keep praying about it from very far away and put no pressure, no demands, and no expectations of acknowledgement and absolutely NO COMPLAINING while being sure to make restitution for the damage he’s done (see the aforementioned list).

There is abundant information on what an abuser looks like and arguments invalidating help from scripture and clergy. Show your work. That statement is nonsense. But is there a distinction between an abuser and a chronically stressed individual who is not physically violent, yet has a critical spirit and is unaware of the extent the verbal and mental abuse causes? Don’t I get a pass because I have a super important stressful job? No. Go repent; be sorry for sin and hate and forsake it because it displeases God. What is the path to reconciliation getting my power back. for a person without a history Look, I wasn’t even that bad! of name calling or overt put-downs, one who has a misdirected belief of being right Assume you’re always wrong. Starting now and with this and every other attempt to get anyone to persuade your family to take you back. which leads to an unrecognized inflexibility? You mean heart of stone? Seek Christ, not power over your targets. Yet, now having blinders removed, is willing to change and has a period invested to that end? Change or don’t change, but do it from a distance. Leave your targets alone. The fact that you are continuing to look for allies in your attempt to get your power back is proof that you have not changed. Give her an amazing divorce. Show your change by making sure the people you previously targeted are provided for and free of your harassment.

Pastor Crippen, even your church’s early bylaws prevented women from praying aloud or voting, but this abusive environment was changed after the inspiration of the holy spirit (sic). Sin leveling. Look Jeff, you have been wrong too! What was the process of reconciliation that changed your bylaws? Seeking to honor Christ. You might want to try it sometime. Shouldn’t the abuser be aided by the same process, so their marriage may experience the same healing as your church? No. The abuser’s targets need healing. Your abuse ended the marriage. But go ahead and seek Christ. Your soul is infinitely more important than the marriage that your abuse destroyed.

Shouldn’t any path that details and justifies divorce take equal care in recognizing recovery and reconciliation?  I miss my power. Please convince my targets to tolerate my tantrums. Wouldn’t bias in only the identification of abuse without reconciliation amount to persecution and a witch-hunt? No. Go away. You are a wolf. Beware of the Shepherd.

I agree that immediate effort and precaution be taken to protect even a person assumed to be abused. But after securing their sustained safety, do we then write off the abuser (and their marriage) What marriage? Your abuse ended the marriage. as not having the ability to change or heal? In the vein of hating the sin, but not the sinner, when and how do we bring the recovering abuser in from outer darkness and back into the fold? We don’t. That takes an act of God. You still have a heart of stone. Remembering that “hurting people, hurt people,” Pity play. aren’t we remiss if we cast out the recovering abuser with no chance or assistance for reconciliation? Go change if you’re gonna change. But do it FAR away from your previous targets of abuse. 

My dear friend is in charge of the child protection policy at our church. She has studied child abusers and their tactics. She states that a truly repentant person will acknowledge that there is no excuse for his behavior, he will warn others, he will not attempt to be around children, but will tell people to keep children away from him for everyone’s good. The same rule should apply to abusers of all kind. That’s the opposite of this wolf’s assertions.

48 Comments

  1. Brenda R

    Bravo Ellie,

    You broke that down very well. This guy blame shifted to his job. So find another one if you’re not happy there. I like your comment about living in a hut. That was good. I have been saying for a long time that I’d rather live in a cardboard box than with an abuser ever again.
    So far the Lord has allowed me an apartment and hope he doesn’t take me up on the box, it gets pretty cold here in Michigan in the winter. But it is true, my safety and sanity have been healing since X has had very limited contact. He probably could have written a letter like this except there would be no punctuation, a lot of misspelled words and would need deciphering.

  2. Isaiah40:31

    Excellent! Thank you!
    As a victim of abuse who has been mislead many times by similar statements, it is so good to see the red print responses to such statements. It goes along way in helping to clear the “fog” the abuse has created.

  3. Barnabasintraining

    MUSH-ROOOOOM!

    Once in a while the abuser I know will come to mind and immediately the badger song begins in my head. He was such an incredible badgerer it was a wonder to behold. Always trying to sell his side of the story, which made good and sure to make the victim look like the problem-laden one. Complete with “her issues are the fault of several who preceded me” complaints as well.

    In other words, “I miss my power. Please convince my targets to tolerate my tantrums.”

    Oh gosh yes, this one!

    Change or don’t change, but do it from a distance. Leave your targets alone.

    Yes. Yes yes!

    The fact that you are continuing to look for allies in your attempt to get your power back is proof that you have not changed.

    Yes! And don’t I wish that had been recognized more broadly!

    Go away. You are a wolf. Beware of the Shepherd.

    Good words, Ellie!

  4. My abuser thought that if he just kept talking, eventually he would win. He knew I’d get confused, doubt my own reality and give in. So when I cut off contact, he panicked. This sounds *exactly* like the stuff he badgered my mom with. In fact, I’m pretty sure you hacked my account and found one of his emails.

    Guess it’s no wonder the fruit is the same when the root’s the same.

    • BeginHealing

      Ida my h would do the same thing. He would just go on and on. I couldn’t think clearly when he was done. He uses the fact that I cut off contact as proof that I am hard hearted and not giving him a chance…. sound familiar? Saying that I have not made any attempt to reconcile (playing the victim). Well of course I haven’t. His actions have shown me I am not safe to do so and I have told him as much. He won’t hear me though. I stood up for myself and deflected his blame shift that is what matters.

      • Ugh – same story here. I received a bunch of stuff from the florist the other day on our anniversary, despite having filed for divorce three weeks ago. The card, of course was a passive-aggressive slam. All about how he would choose to love me no matter what, even if I didn’t. Cuz God.

        But if that weren’t bad enough, he sent a copy of what he wrote to me in letters to the kids, and included some stuff claiming that the reason I’ve decided to divorce is because he’s been a workaholic, and I got fed up.

        Thankfully, my kids are way too sharp to buy the lies. What I heard from them was scornful laughter, along the lines of, “How stupid does he think we are?” They felt insulted and angry.

        The scary thing is that not very long ago, I would have bought it all. I would have caved under intense guilt, sick at myself for being so selfish, convinced that I was a second-class Christian because I’m so unloving.

      • Brenda R

        Marah,
        I am so glad that you and your kids see through this façade. You are not a second-class Christian, you are a first-class daughter of the King.

  5. Gary W

    The comments in red appear to assume that the abuser intends to convey a pleading, conciliatory, humble tone–however manipulative his intent. Well, it is also possible to read the abuser’s supposed plea as being written with angry, mocking, sarcastic, condescending, retaliatory tone and intent. In the first instance the abuser is “merely” seeking allies. In the second case, however, it may be understood that he is striking out, that he is seeking to punish with accusation, guilt tripping, shaming and condemnation, that he is in fact proceeding to abuse those who would come to the aid of his prey. Perhaps the abuser (dare I call him a predator?) is seeking credit for conveying a pleading, conciliatory, humble tone–while at the same time enjoying the private, concealed pleasure of thinking angry, mocking, sarcastic, condescending, retaliatory thoughts.

    • Perhaps the abuser (dare I call him a predator?) is seeking credit for conveying a pleading, conciliatory, humble tone–while at the same time enjoying the private, concealed pleasure of thinking angry, mocking, sarcastic, condescending, retaliatory thoughts.

      I think that just about wraps it up.
      Abusers are past masters at the art of doing one thing with multiple effects.

  6. BeginHealing

    Thank you for speaking up for us in such a clear and concise manner. I am getting letters similar to that from my ex. They confuse me tremendously. If it wasn’t for you, Leslie, Chris Moles, Barbra, and the many wonderful people that post here these tactics would have worked on me I am certain of it. I would have felt guilted and obligated to go back which would have equated to an emotional death for me. I still feel guilt but I am able to walk through it and not get stuck, thanks to all of you and a loving protective Savior that led me to all of you.

  7. IamMyBeloved's

    Boy oh boy, oh boy. That guy is something else. He represents all of our abusers in some way, doesn’t he? An advocate of the enemy. A tongue dripping with witchcraft. His words smooth, like melted chocolate pouring from his lips as he rips to shreds all that stand in his path between him and his victims. Hmm. Now there’s that form of “repentance” we all need to take notice of.

    “Pastor Crippen, even your church’s early bylaws prevented women from praying aloud or voting, but this abusive environment was changed after the inspiration of the holy spirit (sic).”

    This was my favorite. The abuser accusing another of being abusive. Wow! But in fact, it is not abuse to have a standard in place in your Church, learn it is not quite right, tweek it and move on. There is no abuse there. But then, Mr. Mike would not know about that, would he. Because Mr. Mike has no intention of really putting Christ first and being reconciled to Him, which is what the Bible speaks of when it speaks of reconciliation – another passage heinously misused and abused by people. So, Mr. Mike will just continue to abuse and because he still is not really reconciled to God, but rather using Him to get to his victims, he will never see his sin and abuse for what it really is. Very sad, because he will probably not find a pastor that is spiritually sound enough to read through his deceptive facade and really address who Mr. Mike really is either.

    Oh what a relief to have someone willing to read these abusive emails and detail them, so we can learn to see the gaslighting and abuse, for what it is, in every nook and cranny of an abuser’s mind.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Iam – One thing myself and our elders in our church have realized for some time now is that abusers who used to hide among us frequently criticized and attacked us for “changing.” I mean, through ongoing study of Scripture we would realize that this or that practice was unscriptural and we would take it to the congregation and discuss it with them and change it. I remember one such guy angrily opposing my proposal to preach the original sermon series on abuse in the church – the series that the Lord used to really start this whole ACFJ ministry. Anyway, this guy was mad and he said “We have taught things about marriage and the family for years here and now here you go again, just like you always do, changing it all!” Rather amazing, isn’t it? To be criticized for acknowledging something is wrong and resolving to change for the better. That guy, like all of his kind, had found power and control in the old way and changing it meant a real threat to his power over others.

  8. joepote01

    I have a friend who is currently divorcing her abusive husband. The comments highlighted in this post could easily have been written by her abuser…same tactics…same language…same minimizing and excusing…

    And, yes, the bottom line on all of this is that the abuser’s repentance, healing, and deliverance are NOT dependent on the abused spouse nor the responsibility of the abused spouse.

    That is the huge falicy that perpetuates the abuse…and is so obviously wrong!

    I love how you addressed this. “You want healing? Great, go be healed…far away from your target!”

    • Jeff Crippen

      “Lord, bless and keep the Czar (ie, the abuser)….far away from us.” (The rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof)

      • joepote01

        Exactly! 🙂

  9. Toffeemama

    Basically it boils down to, “But I SAID I was SORRY!”

    • Tammy

      If I had a dollar for every time my abuser told me he was sorry and never stopped cheating, I would be a very rich woman by now.

      • So true Tammy, it sickens me all the times my N apologized so quickly and so profusely, never changing one behavior EVER! And the flowers, and gifts and “suck up” speech that would eventually get him back in the good graces. All the time I wasted trying to make some sense of why this man calls himself a Christian, and why he doesn’t know that repentance means change! I just found out in the beginning of May that my husband is a N and has been all these years, it is still quite a mind boggling revelation for me. I suppose at some point all this ruminating subsides, anyone have any information or experience on this subject? I really want to stop, but…..

      • Survivorthrivor, I can really relate. The constant rounds of self-doubt, trying to get my head around the reality that I’ve been married to a narcissist for twenty years. I’ve done a lot of blind groping through the fog. One moment I can see the truth with crystal clarity, and the next my mind is spinning with doubt and second-guessing. It’s exhausting.

        I’ve done a ton of reading, especially “Why Does He Do That,” “The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” and Jeff and Barbara’s books. I’ve gone back though old posts here, especially seeking out anything to do with repentance, subtle forms of abuse, and abuser’s tactics. I’ve also had an excellent counselor, who truly understands the dynamics of abuse, both in marriage and in the church.

        It’s such a hard road. So bleak. But it does lead to freedom. That’s priceless.

      • joepote01

        I can definitely relate!

        Survivorthrivor, it does eventually subside…but it takes time to process it all…and time to heal…time to replace the lies with truth…and to replace the evil with God’s goodness…

        That realization that your whole marriage relationship has been based on lies…that it has no foundation in truth…that even the times you remember fondly were actually deception… It’s a lot to take in and process…but a necessary part of the process…

      • Valerie

        “That realization that your whole marriage relationship has been based on lies…that it has no foundation in truth…that even the times you remember fondly were actually deception… It’s a lot to take in and process…but a necessary part of the process…”

        Joe, how true this is. What the average person fails to understand is the layers of grief and loss with realizing you were married to someone with NPD or similar. You not only grieve the loss of a marriage partner but you must also grieve the loss as you realize you never actually had a partner. You were married to and in love with a ghost…someone who never actually existed because the entire relationship they lied to you about every aspect of who they are. You grieve the loss of all the years spent together as a hostage that you will never get back.

        Survivor2, I just realized that my husband has NPD last fall. It does get easier but the cognitive dissonance is debilitating at times. Realizing your spouse has NPD leaves you in a fog as you have to question reality as you know it. Kinda like The Matrix movie. If you want to email me personally to talk about it let me know. It’s a lot to process.

  10. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir and commented:
    Excellent comments. Well worth studying.

  11. Tammy

    Wow. May I just say this post hit a nerve in my world. My now ex used the same type of language just after our split. He is a sex addict and was falsely using the church to get back into my good graces. When I found out he was continuing his sexual conquests outside our marriage AFTER seeking marriage counseling through our church, and using the pastor to gain sympathy for himself (who was guilty of adultery himself) I threw my ex out for good. Shortly after our split, he actually had the audacity to tell me to my face that it was my fault he had ‘slipped up’ and that our ‘split confused him.’ He said, ‘I finally had my life back on track. Why did you throw me out?’

    Seriously?

    • Janey

      Yes, a similar thing happened to me.
      People who behave badly love to re-write history and blame it all on others.
      My mantra after the divorce became: “I’ve never forgotten why this divorce took place.”
      I probably had to say that to my ex-husband and his family dozens of times.

      • Tammy

        Sad, but true.

  12. Reblogged this on My Only Comfort and commented:
    An excellent analysis

  13. KayJay

    Oh boy, how many times have I heard the “stressful job” excuse? Or, “I’m in so much pain!” God seems to give abusers a special dispensation while the rest of us are expected to behave ourselves and forgive, forgive, forgive….Forget about repentance.

    I love Ellie’s recommendation: give her an amazing divorce! Yes!

  14. abusers don’t take no for an answer, which seems to be what his letter was all about, not accepting the no in “no reconcilliation”

  15. Katy

    Wouldn’t bias in only the identification of abuse without reconciliation amount to persecution and a witch-hunt?

    Bahahahahaha ! there were just too many good ones in there. Badger was trying too hard and his sheep-suit was all askew.

    And just to clarify — a “witch hunt” is used to describe a process where INNOCENT PEOPLE are accused of crimes. Badger being exposed as an abusive predator and then having his victim withheld (protected from) him is not a “witch hunt”. LOLZ

    • IamMyBeloved's

      Yeah, Katy. Most of us here know what “witch hunts” really look like!

  16. StrongerNow

    Ouch. Should have been a trigger alert with this one. I felt like I was listening to my ex.

    Yes, the fog has lifted now, but for too long these lines confused me. Even to the point that within the past year I went to my current pastor, who understands abusers and their tactics, and asked him if I should be working towards reconciliation. His answer, after hearing just the tip of the iceberg of what my abuser put me through, was a resounding “NO!” with the follow-up question of “Why haven’t you divorced him?”

    • Brenda R

      StrongerNow,
      You are blessed to have such a pastor!!!

    • StrongerNow, we will add a trigger warning at the top of the post.

  17. anonymous

    “…isn’t there difference between a verbal and emotional abuser who seeks power and control vs an individual who fails to manage work stress properly?”
    “You’re actually saying that your job is more important than your family. Quit your job, declare bankruptcy, and live in a hut if your job is what’s making you mean.”

    Oh my gosh…thank you so much for saying what I very much needed to hear! My husband blamed his withdrawal of affection on the stress of his job. He also blamed his changing his mind about growing our family (without ever discussing it with me despite agreeing three times prior to the marriage that we would) on stress from work and being a stepdad. When he abandoned us he refused to give our marriage the effort he gave to work projects. I think that is what hurts me more than anything…even being raped in college did not devastate me as much as my husband’s covert abuse and devaluation.

    Oh….please say it again! Please again denounce this subtle, devastating tactic of blaming work stress for all the abuse being quietly laid on a victim. I was made to believe that stress was an acceptable reason for my husband to go cold and shut me out of his heart. Even the therapist we saw made his behavior acceptable by allowing stress to be an excuse.

    I feel so deeply validated for the first time. I just keep reading your response comment again and again and imagine someone confronting my husband with it.

    Thank you and God bless you!

  18. ceekayellemm

    It is *such* a great service being done for all who are abused, by having this letter deconstructed like this! Thank you!! *This* is an excellent example of the “Be wise (shrewd/clever) as a serpent…” portion of a verse all too often pushed as only the “…gentle as a Dove” portion.

  19. Lydia

    I just want to say, BRAVO! You nailed it. Don’t you just love how abusers twist Christianity to hide behind?

    Thank you for not falling for it.

  20. soldiergirl

    Yes, thank you for exposing this insidious request to have you ally with this abuser to give him leverage to cohurse his victim back to him.. You are one in a million to see through all these slick willy tactics in his arseral.. I have lived through many pastors with this man that cannot see straight after talking to him… A very discouraging state indeed for well meaning pastors. You are a welcome lighthouse in a fog filled world of covert abusers and your blog is giving me more encouragement each day. .

  21. cindy burrell

    At the end of the day, abusers always, always, always put themselves first. The sick puppy who wrote that manipulative piece of work is sure evidence of that fact.

    Good job, Ellie, dissecting his blather.

  22. StandsWithAFist

    Bingo!! My abuser has actually said; “stop using the word ‘repentance’ ” and then goes straight down the rabbit hole demanding forgiveness. “Just get over it”; “Stop holding grudges”; “all families have their upsets”. “After all I’ve done for you”. Gag. People like this don’t want to repent or repair, they just want their power back. They’re going to make you see things their way “if you know what’s good for you”. (They are going to “force” you–but, they “love” you–yeah, right.) They are entitled to getting things their way, and will justify it because they are sad/hurt/old/alone/misunderstood/sick/addicted/Christians and well, they are just “not THAT bad”. I recently received an 8-page soliloquy from my abuser that was truly “diagnostic” for abuse. LIke Mike Allen’s letter, they expose themselves as abusers thru the “double-speak”, pity plays, blame-shifting and guilt-tripping. These people are so much alike in their abuse that in some ways it is almost comical.

  23. judy

    StandsWithAFist said: “These people are so much alike in their abuse that in some ways it is almost comical.”

    Is this not evidence that all these responses are, in reality, from the same source? The Evil One? or as Jesus said, “Ye are of your father, the devil”. and to the abused He warns, “Without Me ye can do nothing” …we are simply not programmed to fight the devil alone…which is why the abuser always seeks to do his abuse while he is alone with us and never when we have human backup…

    However, I feel the church has to examine more carefully its interpretation of scripture to weed out interpretations that aid and abet the evil one. The Reformation is proof we haven’t yet got it all right…We finally admit we have been wrong about slavery after 2 millenia, and some admit they were wrong to prevent women from praying in public services (but my former church still does not permit women to pray aloud in services, EVER). Too much is made of female difference from men…even though we were both made in the image of God with equal dominion over the earth until the Fall…yet all the gifts God gives women are treated as “in our imagination”…for as some pastors say, God would never give you whatever “gift” they say could not be of God because of such and such a scripture. How much of culture have we imposed on scripture interpretation?

    Jesus rejoiced that the Samaritan woman preached to her people and that many came to Christ because of her…it was here that he said The labourers are few . . . pray . . . that the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers …Paul called many women “co-labourers” (sunergos) in the Gospel…therefore it stands in the face of the interpretation of Paul that says women are to be silent in the church…WHY? Re-read 1 Corinthians 7:1 carefully, i.e., “Now considering the things whereof ye wrote to me” … and then the rest of the book of 1 Corinthians …when you come to 1 Cor. 14:34-35 consider that this portion is just another Question from the Judaizers (abusers) and that 1Cor. 14:36 is Paul’s strong rebuke. Greek had no such thing as quotation marks…so the many questions asked of Paul in 1 Corinthians appear as part of Paul’s own views…when they were instead taken from the letter from the Judaizers to Paul. It troubles me that the Judaizers (abusers) seem to have won this battle because of possible errors in Bible translation.

    We need to examine Jesus’ life and his treatment of women to find out what the church needs to do. The Bible says that Jesus had many female disciples. Jesus sent women to proclaim His resurrection to the men…He sent women to proclaim to the men that He had risen from the dead…God sent the female prophet Huldah to instruct King Josiah. God sent Deborah to judge and lead Israel for 40 years and blessed them through her. Only when Israel refused God’s reign and chose Kings instead of His judges did they have all-male leadership. God allowed and blessed Hannah to decide about Samuel without consulting her husband. God gave Abigail a prophecy for David. God raised up Jael to save Israel and Esther….and the “certain woman” and the “wise woman” of Judges and Miriam and Rahab. God gave Tamar boldness in the face of injustice to cause her father in law to fulfil the Will of God. Ruth proposed to Boaz and was honoured for her boldness. Jesus upheld Mary of Bethany to study at his feet and praised her unique understanding of His teaching in that she alone seemed to realize that He needed to be anointed for burial and that He was about to die. Bethany was adjacent to the Mount of Olives where He met the male and female disciples after the resurrection. Can you even find a submissive woman in the Old Testament? Jesus simply never treated women as the men of my several churches treated women…this Blog is the first sign of hope I have had for the recovery of the Church from the claws of Satan…

    Thank you Jeff Crippen for your work and others here, and may God continue to open eyes to the abusive elders and deacons in the many churches who continue to abuse women WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING!!! This insight really helped me, for an elder who EVERYONE thought was so upright would always corner me and insult me then turn around smiling to the others, and only I knew he hated me, even mocking the way I chewed my food and implying that I was fat or old ( I was neither at the time)…he continued to charm everyone else to the end and received amazing eulogies at his funeral of his superior morality and holiness…no one ever knew how he had often singled me out for sarcastic MEAN insults when he had a chance to do so without others hearing. God knew.

  24. Ellie, thank you so much for these posts. Sometimes, manipulative language is very hard to detect on the surface, even for those who have encountered it in the past. Your very frank interpretations of these messages get straight to the heart of the matter and provide much-needed insight for those dealing with abusers.

  25. survivorthrivor2

    Valerie, looking back on this post I forgot your invitation to email privately. I would like to do that if you are still available. Thank you

    • Valerie, if you are want to go ahead and to email privately with survivorthrivor, please email twbtc and she will pass on survivorthrivor’s email to you.

      BTW, readers, we only do this kind of linking when we ‘know’ commenters pretty well from what they’ve contributed to the blog and we believe the commenters are genunine and trustworthy. We are very conscious of our duty of care for our readers. 🙂 (Just saying this in case any of you are scared of having your emails passed on to others without your consent in a way that might increase your risk or danger. . . )

  26. Beautiful Mess

    a truly repentant person will acknowledge that there is no excuse for his behavior, he will warn others, he will not attempt to be around children, but will tell people to keep children away from him for everyone’s good.

    That passage gave me a bit of chills because my husband/abuser (who also abused our children) is a teacher. His whole identity is wrapped up in his being a teacher. His current job, which he started working at after I got a civil protection order and had him removed from our home (no criminal charges filed because at the time I called police, he hadn’t actually HURT any of us physically), is at a childcare center. He even says that his job there, “as a teacher”, has taught him how to be a better person and a better parent!

    • Hi Beautiful Mess, welcome to the blog 🙂 and let me say how much I love your screen name!

      Your husband saying his teaching job at a childcare centre has taught him to be a better person and a better parent. This gives me the creeps. Makes my skin crawl.

      Since you are a newbie, I encourage you to read our New Users Info page. It won’t take long, and it gives you tips for safety when commenting.

      Research shows that quite a lot of men who abuse their partners also abuse their children. You are not alone.

  27. Round*Two

    Mr Badger says

    “But the over all question that seems unanswered is, “what is the path to reconciliation?” What if the abuser is actively engaged in counseling, group therapy, has publicly confessed the sin, counseled with the family pastor, takes full responsibility for the abuse, has repented and asked for forgiveness and is pursuing a long term plan for continued recovery, growth and learning?”

    Yes, my husband engaged in counseling (walked out of two of our several counselings in a rage because I refused to admit the abuse didn’t happen, declared his NEW found love for me as God revealed to him he is to love me, he may love me (or not) but it is NOT how Christ wants him to love me, he continued to gaslight… stalked me every possible way. Has confessed ONE incident, he never took FULL responsibility for the abuse, and he won’t because he is INNOCENT! He promised to get help with his drinking… which he has been drinking most of his life BUT, drinking is NO longer an issue he says…. he twists everything, and he claims he is the abused!

    I am seeing abusers cannot do all of the aforementioned, Mr Badger, because sadly they DO not see they are doing anything wrong. This is life as they know it. Its the norm…

  28. Round*Two

    Actually, they see what they are doing is wrong, but because their behavior gives them power! They thrive on it!!

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