A Cry For Justice

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

You Were Right All Along: Let’s Start Listening to the Spirit of Christ

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:9-10)

One of the greatest sources of trouble for genuine Christians, and abuse victims in particular, is that we are not trained in real discernment. In fact, we are often directed quite wrongly in this regard. We feel one thing, we sense something, but those feelings and senses are squelched. “I am sure I am wrong. Mr. So and So, godly saint and pillar in our church, tells me I am wrong. Therefore I must be.”  We go on for years and years in this mindset.

We must study and read and absorb God’s Word, the Scriptures. It is by the Word that the Spirit of Christ in us leads us. In this article I am in no way promoting some kind of “spirit-leading” that is divorced from the Scriptures.  The Holy Spirit “breathed” the Word of God through prophets and apostles appointed by God, and He did so inerrantly. However, the Holy Spirit DOES lead Christ’s people. And it is this Spirit leading that I am trying to encourage every Christian to acknowledge, heed, and be encouraged by. The Word of God tells us “do not quench the Spirit,” but unscriptural church traditions, Christians who lack real wisdom and knowledge of evil, and false shepherds who lord it over us are doing just that.  Quenching the Spirit.  Let me give you some examples from my own experience.  I bet you will relate to them quickly.

So here we are.  My wife and I and a “pillar of repute” from our church some 10 years ago.  This was well before I had sorted out the nature and tactics of abuse. I wasn’t totally ignorant.  I knew that this “pillar” riding in our car with us could be abrasive and controlling, and he had already caused us much grief for a long time. Anyway, just before we were about to let him off, we were discussing a serious issue in our church that was being fueled by a lady who had a whole history of trouble-making. My wife said something like, “if she continues and will not heed warnings, she will have to be put out of the church.” That was a true and wise statement. But the “pillar” spun his head around, looked at my wife, and in a stern tone said “Well let’s show her some grace! You need to show her grace!”

This was a typical scene with this guy.  It was the kind of behavior that causes everyone to be on edge around him, and yet he was a leader and “eminent saint” in the eyes of many. I mumbled something in my doubt and confusion about, “well, yes, maybe so.”  He exited the vehicle and we went on home.

Now, I quenched the Spirit of Christ in me and I did wrong to my wife at that moment. I didn’t plan to. I didn’t even know that is what I had done until years later. What was really going on? This guy had a record of being abusive, abrasive, deceiving, and a rank controller. That is what he was doing to my wife at that moment. He was fueled by his arrogance and it was in his very being to seek out and destroy when opportunities presented themselves to him to exalt himself as more loving, more gracious, more godly than anyone else. That is what he was doing. And like all deceiving abusers and narcissists, he operated like this in a very fogged and confusing way so that it took you off guard.

Now, what would the un-quenched Spirit look like in me in such a scenario? Like this — “Jack, you need to apologize to my wife for speaking to her in that tone. Furthermore, you will never speak to her that way again, or anyone else. You need to repent of that wicked behavior. I have seen it in you many times.” Of course Jack would not apologize, but he would have been exposed and called out, and my wife would have been defended. But tell me, is THAT response, the response that I am saying is the leading of the Spirit response, what you have been taught is “spiritual”? I bet not.  I bet that Christians and pastors and sermons and books have told you that a Christian must never speak to someone like that ever. Well, they are wrong. Dead wrong.

Here’s another example.

At an informal church social gathering, one of the couples was playing a board game along with numbers of other people, including the same aforementioned “church pillar.”  During the game, the wife in this particular couple (who has a very lively sense of humor) chided/kidded her husband about a play he made. She told me later that as soon as she said it she realized “there would be hell to pay” — and she didn’t mean from her husband.  Sure enough, after the game was over, this “eminent saint” called her aside and lectured her about how she needed to give honor and respect to her husband and that her statement during the game was disrespectful. She told me about it. I didn’t say anything to Mr. Pillar.  We just chalked it up to life in the body of Christ with a guy who we have to be forbearing with.

I quenched the Spirit.

Inside me, once again, I felt very uneasy. I felt a sense of UN-righteousness. I felt….but I didn’t understand what it was I was feeling. Now I do. It was the Spirit of Christ leading me, and this is what He was leading me to do. “Mr. Pillar, I saw and heard what you said to our sister. You are lording it over her and putting yourself off as some nobility in this church, and I am calling you out on it. You have no right to control people in this manner, and that sister’s remark was between her, the Lord, and her husband. You need to repent of what you said to her, ask her forgiveness, and I do not want to see you doing such a thing again.” That is spiritual. Yep, it is. That is the Holy Spirit.

It is time for all of us to stop permitting people to control us when the Holy Spirit is leading us another direction. We are to be led by the Spirit, not “drunk with wine” and led astray by our flesh or by other people. If you belong to Christ then the Spirit of Christ IS in you and He IS leading you.

I could give many other examples. Those times when I saw that the Word of God was very plainly teaching things like, 1) If a person is a Christian they will not be defined by and habitually walk in sin, 2) that a marriage covenant has vows which, if broken in a serious enough degree so as to destroy the marriage, permit divorce, 3) when I knew someone was wicked and dangerous and I refused to permit them to be around my children but others in the church were telling me I was wrong….and many others.

To a large degree, Christian, it is going to turn out that you were right all along. Right about your abuser, right about the instruction you were being given sounds wrong, right about sensing that that guy should not be around children. It makes sense.  The Holy Spirit is in us.  He is leading us. He leads us in righteousness. He exposes the enemy’s lies with Christ’s truth.

Listen to Him.  Follow Him.

31 Comments

  1. Terry

    Pastor Crippen, please continue to preach the truth. The Spirit is in us and sometimes we do not understand, just like you said, why we feel a certain way but know it is wrong. When someone like that “pillar” sees something that is not sin but feels it is. He should pray for that sister. That the spirit would help her. There are some in the church that like to be the holy spirit for everyone. May God raise godly men and women who are articulate and full of scripture to explain all this. Send your Spirit,Lord.

  2. Gary W

    It seems to me that we sometimes quench the Spirit because we have misunderstood the call to mutual submission as being some sort of a commandment that we always and in every circumstance passively yield–even to evil. Therefore, we do not endeavor “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.” Isaiah 58:6. Because we are to break EVERY yoke, we need not hold back because the yoke we break is the one we bear upon our own shoulders.

    I like what somebody named Ali said on another blog about a year ago: “I thought submission was delighted deference to another, not coerced capitulation!” Of course, when we do not capitulate to the evildoer, s/he will as likely as not retaliate. We must be prepared for the onslaught. We must also guard against any temptation to think that the difficult thing we endure is a sign that we are out of our Lord’s will.

    Rather, we may celebrate His assurance that we are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for ours is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10) Because what we do for “the least of these” is done for Jesus (Matthew 25:40) we may rest assured that, if we suffer retaliation for having taken up the cause of the oppressed, the next verse also gives us cause of celebration: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Matthew 5:11 ESV.

  3. Brenda R

    I have noticed over the past few months that since I am single again certain men think they should take it upon themselves to give me instruction or their opinion that was not asked for. At this point, I feel the only one that I need to answer to is God. I did ask for feedback on a question that I had from one of the elders and he was quite gracious and answered in a humble manner. Wow, do I appreciate men like that. It is really too bad they are all married. lol Ps Crippen, we all quench the Spirit at times without realizing it. Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord is not done with us yet? There is so much truth in this post. Blessings to you, Ps Jeff.

  4. Still Reforming

    Oh my, I had chills reading this. And tears welling up. So many, many times have I heard things and not spoken – because women weren’t supposed to speak up or it might offend a brother or grace was to be on a pedestal at the expense of what was truly right. This happens so very often – and the Word of God is then truly but a flickering light and not a lamp stand in the churches and homes.

    Thank you so much for sharing the Godly wisdom in this post. When I started reading this post, I was reminded of a book I read (but won’t cite, so as not to cause more work) that had to do with spiritual discernment. It was a good book, in my estimation, and it pointed out the importance of discernment by way of Proverbs 26:4-5: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” Boy, was this ever a useful proverb in my own marriage – knowing when to speak and when not to speak.

    I think we tend to be cowed by bullies and abusers in church merely by their throwing the word “grace” or “mercy” around – cheaply in fact, and thereby lessening that grace and mercy, truly. As if they are the be-all-and-end-all authorities on the matter. It is right to speak up even when uncomfortable in so doing – perhaps, all the moreso is it right when it is uncomfortable, because, as you said, we are then submitting to the Holy Spirit, and not quenching Him. I pray that He give His children here at this blog the humility of spirit to do so, for His holy Name’s sake. Thank you, Pastor Jeff.

  5. Annie

    The behavior you describe of this “pillar” I deal with regularly from a close family member who considers himself a “pillar” of the family and regularly makes that clear (lol) . Yesterday this person joined us for Easter brunch. Other members of the family who usually come to our Easter brunch couldn’t come. I spent most of the morning cooking. I sent everyone into the dining room while I went into the kitchen for a few last minute things. When I went into the dining room I discovered that this person had rearranged the table and seating “since the others aren’t here this year I thought this would be better”.

    I was stunned. It would never occur to me to go to someone else’s home and move stuff around without their consent. I didn’t know what to say. I was paralyzed for a moment. Yes, this person is like this (controlling, narcissistic) and I know it, yet I struggle with the appropriate responses. I didn’t want to mar the day. Because if I had said something or just put it all back this person would have made a comment or otherwise made us all feel uncomfortable. It seems the “Christian” thing to do is to let it go. Yet that doesn’t feel right either. This person is elderly and actually moved to be close to me and my family.

    My husband didn’t say a thing. He can’t stand this person and complains privately to me about him. But when this person is around it’s like they’re best buddies–it’s like my husband’s found another ally who understands how terrible I am and I’m a failure who deserves to have her faults publically recognized. As much as he dislikes this person he never misses an opportunity to remind me this person is old and I need to be respectful!!! (For example, when we’re at family events say and I don’t bring this person a slice of dessert and he mentions it in front of everyone, my husband will agree and say you really should have brought a slice for him, you know he’s older).

    And to top it off this person calls me this morning. Wanted to know if I felt ok. Why? Because yesterday I looked like I didn’t feel well. What I wanted to scream was…

    what you think was not feeling well was annoyance at you!!!!I tried to hide it because I want to be a nice person!!! I’m sick of you always asking if I feel ok because you sense something isn’t right but you can’t phantom that it might because of you!!! It’s like you want to believe something is wrong with me!!! I’m quiet not because I’m sick but because I can’t stand you and I’m afraid I won’t be nice when speaking to you!! It’s you who’s the problem not me!

    Instead I said I was fine. Then he proceeds to cancel going to an event with me. This time I spoke up and said I wish you would have told me sooner I turned down someone else who wanted me to go with her. And the response is why I usually don’t say anything to him. The tone was very condescending as he said well, you can go alone and meet other people–that’s not really hard to do. No apology for waiting until the last minute to tell me that all along he had these other plans and decided to stick with them and leave me hanging. These other plans are more about him and he then goes on and on about the thing he’s chosen instead and I’m listening just amazed that he has no clue as to how self-centered he is! He just messed up my plans and thinks I want to hear all about his?

    My husband who usually makes any family event a trial didn’t make any waves yesterday. I guess he let my relative do all the heavy lifting.

    I feel like if I could deal with this family member maybe I could be stronger in dealing with my husband? Sometimes I feel like I am too sensitive like my husband always says

    • Jeff Crippen

      Our family had peace when we broke relationship with relatives like that and banned them from our home. They don’t change. Not ever. Send that guy packing and be free:)

      • StandsWithAFist

        Amen.
        I went NC with a family member like that, who succeeded in turning the entire family against me.
        What I find so intriguing, so revealing, so instructive is this: the family has a problem with my NC response to the abuse/abuser (because she is old–horrors! As if the elderly do not sin?), but they never had a problem with the abuse. Never. They accepted the abuse. They never called it out. Even my husband (like yours, Annie) gave her a pass.
        Nope–they were all quite content to allow the abuse, to let me be the scapegoat. As such, I am supposed to just “take it” while they all look the other way. When I stopped “taking it”, and went NC, then they accused me of being too sensitive, insensitive, bearing a grudge, spiteful, vengeful, unforgiving, arrogant, holier than thou, judgmental, vindictive, proud, insolent, unChristian, impatient, ungrateful, etc.
        Mind you–the ABUSER was never called names, only me. The ABUSER was never called to account, only me. The ABUSER was allowed to lie, manipulate, misbehave, to sin, to bring disgrace to the Word of God….while I labeled a troublemaker.
        Good riddance. Now I know the truth of who they are, and it set me free.
        But my DH has yet to be set free from this quenching of the Spirit. He was never allowed to speak the truth, he was the golden child, so this is his “normal” (which is NOT “normal”) & I am the “non-submissive wife” who will not cave in.
        I refuse to quench the Spirit any longer.

    • Moving Forward

      “I’m sick of you always asking if I feel ok because you sense something isn’t right but you can’t fathom that it might because of you!!! It’s like you want to believe something is wrong with me!!! I’m quiet not because I’m sick but because I can’t stand you and I’m afraid I won’t be nice when speaking to you!! It’s you who’s the problem not me!”

      My ex was always asking if I am OK, how was my day, over and over. He never heard the answer the first, second, or third time. Just recently, at a kid pick-up, he asked if I was doing OK. I answered I’m just fine except for these weekends. You can be sure he didn’t like that response! Only an N would take offence at a victim being not OK when he is around, and OK when he isn’t. I doubt he will ever get it.

    • Valerie

      Annie, what you describe is one of the reasons I knew my husband was abusive and not who I thought he was. After many years it finally dawned on me that my husband never stuck up for me. He didn’t throw stones with people but he sat back and watched them throw them at me. Then privately he would either show me why these people were right for treating me this way or he would say something bad about them (quasi loyalty to me)…but never defend me. It was sickening to watch him buddy up to some of these people who were cruel to me. Now I know that it was purposeful. Anyone against me was considered an ally for him. He would often keep tabs- come right out and ask me- who I was feeling close to or ask about people I had trouble with. Then I would see him cozy up to the people I had issues with while simultaneously putting down to me privately the people I felt close to. Sickening.

      Depending on what relationship this elderly person is to you, it might not be easy to cut them off without paying further consequences. What I have learned is a variation of the gray rock method. Let’s call it the smelly rock method. 🙂 Basically it is calling the person out on their behavior in a subtle way (I see what you’re doing and you’re not fooling me). With this response I have found that these people treat you like a…well…smelly rock…and naturally keep their distance. When they don’t get the benefits they are looking for they look elsewhere.

  6. MeganC

    This is so good, Jeff. This is one of the things I am still learning — to trust the work of the Holy Spirit in my life and to stop quenching. For SO LONG, I dis-trusted myself, often due to the Nouthetic methods drilled into me in my 20’s (“The heart is desperately wicked . . . ” taken somewhat out of context). But, He speaks to me; He knows me; He loves me; He lives in me; His Word is hidden in my heart. Why should I always have considered that I was wrong from the get-go? Plus, intuition is a gift, as well as discernment. Learning to listen to Him and empowering others to listen to Him is kind of a daily thing right now.

    • Anonymous

      MeganC – You’ve stated what is in my heart … I’m still scarred with past counseling and teaching practices which have me doubting and probably quenching the work of the Holy Spirit.
      It’s taking time to “trust” again.

  7. 2 things really struck me on a personal level.

    1) That this is exactly how “being a pleaser” can be so destructive, we won’t speak truth for fear of not being accepted, that everyone else’s opinion has value except ours, and I, for one, did it to MYSELF. Now I have a totally different view of my value and am practicing speaking the truth in as loving but truthful a way as possilbe (and sometimes, its just not possible to be “nice” depending on how caustic the person is and how damaging they are to me or those I love) and

    2) That God’s mercy and grace is for those who REPENT. Christians want to make God’s mercy and grace “endless” when, in truth, it IS endless for those who repent, who admit and see and understand that they are sinning in some way. Whenever I am confronted with the “show mercy because God shows mercy” I ask them, “So, nobody ever goes to hell?” and that starts an interesting conversation about free will and God’s “endless mercy…” Thank you, Ps Jeff. I have never heard truth spoken the way you do and it is refreshing and freeing to say the least.

  8. Mary

    Pastor Crippen, could I ask you something? What are the Bible passages that plainly teach that when the marriage covenant vows are broken in a serious enough degree, divorce is permitted? I was trying to have a conversation with someone about the topic (a compassionate, genuine Christian, but someone who I think doesn’t know/understand much about legal abuse), and he pointed out passages about submission, like in I Peter 3: 1, and all I could come up with were general principles about helping the vulnerable and getting as far away as possible from false teachers, and he said it’s not good hermeneutics to interpret a specific command in light of a general principle (not sure if I agree with that or not), but I couldn’t think of any passages in the Bible specific to marriage.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Mary- If you use the search box on the main page of our blog and search under words like covenant or divorce you will find numbers of posts we have done on this subject. Also check out our resources page for excellent books on this question. Thanks for asking.

    • Still Reforming

      Mary, with respect to your friend’s statement that “it’s not good hermeneutics to interpret a specific command in light of a general principle,” what would your friend say to Jesus’ statement that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath?

      Is that not interpreting specific commands related to the Sabbath in light of a general principle?

      Might your friend agree that Jesus would likely consider that marriage was not made for people, but people for marriage?

      Just a thought…..

    • also Mary, you can search our Tags in teh top menu. We have a tag for each book of the Bible, and tags for divorce, and remarriage. And a tag for secular justice. And for systemic abuse (which is often effected by using the legal system to abuse the target).
      And ultimately, if you are wanting to rebut false doctrines on divorce, I suggest you read my book.

      • Mary

        Thank you.

    • Barnabasintraining

      he said it’s not good hermeneutics to interpret a specific command in light of a general principle (not sure if I agree with that or not)

      I’m not sure I agree with that either. ? Especially since not interpreting a specific command in light of a general principle sounds like a general interpretive principle itself. :/

  9. Anonymous

    Powerful and amazing! Thank you (again) Jeff for describing what you would do differently today with situations that happened to you in the past–it so helps me! It’s occurred to me many times over the years as God was opening my eyes to abuse, that these “Christians” often take a person who is truly saved and has a heart and mind for and from the Lord and actually turn them AWAY from him with their rules and social norms. “Work, work, work!Behave, behave, behave! the way WE want you to so that we can then accuse you every time you step outside of the circle that we’ve placed you in!” Abusers care nothing for the suffering they heap on others or if they turn them from the Lord, and in fact they often believe that they are doing their victims a favor by “guiding” them with their superior wisdom.

    I’ve been mad at God so many times over the years because I couldn’t understand why he allowed and allows so much evil into the lives of his children. I looked at a few websites that allowed people to vent about their hatred of God. I noticed that many times these people were just so very heartbroken and when they had been honest and laid their heart open to people who were supposed to be Christians or at the very least empathetic, they were ridiculed or told that they should do more or that it was somehow their fault and responsibility. Many of them were like most of us here, shocked, overwhelmed with the truth about who we were married to or some other unfathomable relationship that we found ourselves in, and needed some love and truth from God’s word. But when over and over again they were berated and besieged with hatred, unscriptural advice or booted out of their church (which prior to this incident had been considered to be a place of safety and comfort) they (and me) ended up hating and blaming God, thinking that HE had hated me first. One of the most profound things that helped me heal was reading what some of the commenters said about still so loving and needing God even though they felt like he hated them. What I now know is that this was the Holy Spirit in me, letting me know the truth; that even though I was so angry and broken, I still so desired that God was good and that he loved me, because in my heart, I so loved him.

    “Christians who lack real wisdom and knowledge of evil, and false shepherds who lord it over us are doing just that. Quenching the Spirit.” Abusers/the evil one keep us deliberately naïve about evil so that we are unable to protect ourselves or avoid their tactics. Society at large denies us the right to acknowledge that evil exists, instead framing it up as something that we don’t yet understand or will find a cure for in the near future. As a result, many of us spend our entire lives squelching one of the very things Jesus died for. John 16:7, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” The pain we go through is intentional. God wants us to remember what the lies of the world cost us and him. Evil and lies don’t protect us although they seem safe and comfortable when we are unaware that they lead to death. But as you grow in wisdom and knowledge of God’s word, as he is creating a history with you where you are pretty much forced to rely on him (SUPER PAINFUL, I KNOW!) you will find that letting the Holy Spirit rule in your heart and mind becomes easier and happens more often. Thank you Jeff for dealing with this subject and for letting us have a place to write this. Any wisdom we gain is meant to be for all God’s children, to comfort and reassure them with His truth through His word, and in our lives.

    • Still Reforming

      Anonymous,
      I found what you wrote to be very powerful and raw. I appreciate the beauty in your words, pointing to Christ, very much.
      I never myself experienced what I would call a hatred so much for God for all that I have (and still am) going through with my abuser, BUT, I still feel ‘distant’ from Him. I never stopped praying, but… it’s not the same as it was in the past. And… I know there’s a purpose for it, and my trust is in Him to bring me back. I know I can’t do it of myself. Just as I couldn’t save or redeem myself in the first place, so He Who began a good work in me will complete it against that day.
      As you wrote so well, it is a painful process. In my head I’m accepting a lot of what I’m going through. Sometimes, I find that I even rejoice in it, knowing that He is teaching me much and that the pain is necessary for growth. I’m truly glad that He is teaching me through the trial, and yet… my sleep is interrupted. I sleep for four hours, then wake up and spend the rest of the night tossing, turning, and praying for more sleep. I feel I haven’t truly accepted what is happening in the trial and so my mind wakens me and I am sad to be so sad. I feel sometimes as if I must be a great disappointment to God, because my faith is not as strong as it should be to just relax and trust Him in the trial. I worry over money. I fear over the future. So much is uncertain, and I feel like I should trust Him more with it. All the love I thought I had for God seems so academic now. I am praying that God use this time to change me and draw me closer to Him in an intimate way – a knowledge that I didn’t have before, one that springs forth from the heart as well as the head.
      Anyway, I just wanted to write thank you for what you shared. I am grateful for it. It’s good to hear how people respond to God in these trials. Your testimony reminded me of Jesus’ words pronouncing woe to them who lead little ones astray – how bad it will be for them on that great and terrible day of the Lord.
      I hope for many blessings to you from our risen Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

      • “I still feel ‘distant’ from Him.”

        I have found that as I have grown stronger and more sure of the truth of the abuse and standing up for myself and staying separated, regardless of what “others” were and are telling me is the “right thing to do” has actually made me feel closer to God than ever before. It’s like when I felt that I “had no choice but to stay with the abuse and take it” (thanks to the wrong teaching of the church and my believing it) I felt that God didnt really care or that He had singled me out for some “extra tough stuff because He needed to teach me somehting or make me humble” or whatever wrong idea I had. Now that i know I DO have options and am FREE to make choices that protect me, I know that all that was a lie, that God does love me and has nothing in His plan for me that entails an abuser taking advantage of me. I just feel so loved by Him now. I will pray that you will feel His TRUE love as well, not the false condemnation that abuse targets are told they must endure to do “God’s Will.”

      • Still Reforming, you said ” I feel sometimes as if I must be a great disappointment to God, because my faith is not as strong as it should be to just relax and trust Him in the trial.”

        Hmm. What about Jesus in Gethsemane? Did he just relax in that trial? No; he sweated blood — a phenonemon that only happens very occasionally when someone is in fear of imminent death. The person is so scared that the blood vessels in the lower levels of the skin burst, and the blood leaks into the sweat glands and so comes out through the pores of the skin.

        Can you imagine Jesus ‘relaxing’ in Gethsemane? I can’t. So I suggest you let yourself off the hook of false guilt about the insomnia you are having because of the court case and your finances.

        hugs from barb 🙂

      • Still Reforming

        Thank you, Barbara. That was a very powerful example to help me.

        (((hugs)))

  10. Gretchen

    …this person calls me this morning. Wanted to know if I felt ok. Why? Because yesterday I looked like I didn’t feel well. What I wanted to scream was…

    what you think was not feeling well was annoyance at you!!!!I tried to hide it because I want to be a nice person!!! I’m sick of you always asking if I feel ok because you sense something isn’t right but you can’t phantom that it might because of you!!! It’s like you want to believe something is wrong with me!!!

    Annie,
    This so hit a nerve for me! Abuser/husband asked me EVERY day how I felt. I realized he wanted to plant the idea that I wasn’t feeling well so I would be in constant anxiety that there was something wrong with me. Truth was, he knew I was figuring him out so he used deflection to to keep me from coming fully out of the fog. Once I had the chance to be separate from him for awhile the confusion went away.

    If your husband is abusing you then he is having a field day having someone else attack you. It takes the focus off of him and he gets kudos from everyone else for being “so respectful” to an elderly man. All the while he hates that man. So sickening how they play both sides of the fence.

  11. Not Too Late

    Pastor Crippen, what invaluable teaching! This is really very freeing, although sadly, I must admit that I have quenched the Spirit many times myself.

  12. Dee

    I would like to express my appreciation for your article as I regrettably have quenched the Holy Spirit also. I have been in situations where I should have spoken up. I found your article informative and in agreement with God’s word. An incident comes to mind, when Jesus found persons selling in the temple, He had righteous indignation at the sin being committed and Jesus overturned the tables and drove them out of the temple; so I understand as the Spirit brought this to my mind, that there are times as Christians when we need to be courageous and bold in our reproof, also.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Dee, for the encouragement. It seems that at least in my experience the teaching I received from childhood Sunday school years on up was that really it is shameful to speak much at all of Jesus’s righteous zeal in the Temple. In doing so, we become guilty of fashioning God into our own image, which is rank idolatry. I’ve done it too, probably more than you have. Now we press on and fan the flame of the Spirit!

  13. survivorthrivor2

    Thank you, Pastor Crippen for this enlightenment, I am a bold woman and speak my mind according to what I feel the spirit is impressing upon me, even if unpopular in ‘certain circles’, however, I have quenched the Holy Spirit in my life, and God has had to work with me over the years when it comes to tact and restraint!

    Looking back, I see that I was confusing what was truly in my heart with all the ‘Christianese’ I was hearing all around me. I did not grow up in the church, but was around a lot of others who were after I got saved, and they all had the same language I called Christianese, a slant on Christian & Chinese. (Chinese because I knew it was difficult and hard to understand) I could not understand what they were saying, and I mean no disrespect here, but it was as if they had grown up and just copied what either their parents, pastors, teachers, etc., had said instead of listening to God inside of them and saying that. I am not referring to the truth of scripture, but the day to day living in Christ. The leading of the Holy Spirit is unique in all of us and our circumstances.

    My abuser and his entire family were the epitome of said Christianese. If I said anything that was “off” in their view (which was all the time) sometimes the room would go silent and they would just stare. It was bizarre to say the least! I would give you an example or two, but it wouldn’t be safe, and would be too telling. One thing I know for sure, my abuser will never be able to fall back on “I didn’t know” or “no one ever told me” or “I didn’t grow up like that.” If he didn’t/couldn’t hear from the Holy Spirit about marriage, abuse, abandonment, control, manipulation, lying, etc., he heard it from me.

  14. Thank you for this good teaching.

  15. CB

    Wow. Once again, wow. You have totally hit the mark yet again with this post. Keep on keepin’ on!

    I have never forgotten something said by a speaker I heard more than 30 years ago. Don’t remember his name, but he basically said, do NOT automatically disregard your hunches, because remember, when you got saved, your huncher got saved too! I.e., that “hunch” may very well be the voice of the Holy Spirit!

  16. Valerie

    Yes! Thank you Ps Jeff!!! A friend and I have been recently talking about the need for spiritual discernment and how neither of us were taught to have any. To be discerning wasn’t “nice”. Discernment was seen as judgment.

    I was nodding throughout your post. You have so clearly experienced these people and learned so much as a result. As with your backseat driver, another commonality I see with these types of people is that they do not uphold the holiness of God, but they may be quick to uphold the holiness (in their eyes) of the law. The backseat driver in your case was quick to shoo shoo your wife with pointed finger with a twisted view of grace but your wife was attempting to uphold the holiness of God by not profaning the church with a spiritual Tazmanian devil. He did not speak to your wife’s noble desire to uphold the standard of holiness and to not cause further division in the church by having her remain.

    The Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). Truth is truth- whether it is of circumstances, scripture or behavior. The Spirit, as I see it, gives us an eternal perspective rather than our earthly, fleshy perspective. That eternal perspective is not well-received by those who would rather operate in an earthly perspective- it is foolishness to them.

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