A Cry For Justice

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

Some Examples of How People Become Allies of the Abuser

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. (Exodus 23:1-3)

Christians would give hearty “Amens” to these verses from God’s Word. They would be in agreement about the seriousness of the evils described here and certainly would never want to be guilty of any of these evils.

And yet many of them are guilty.

Look at the verses again in light of these questions. Do abusers spread false reports about their victim? Yes. Do allies of the abuser help him spread those false reports? Yes. Simply by believing them if nothing else. Do allies of the abuser join hands with him to spread malicious talk about his victim? Yes. Do allies of the abuser “fall in with the many” by repeating the same old man-made traditions like a script that keep victims enslaved to abuse? Yes. In doing so, they participate in a perversion of justice.

See it? If people allow themselves to be duped by an abuser and won over to him as his ally, then they are guilty of participating with him in his evils. They join hands with him. They believe his lies and by doing so they become malicious witnesses.

You see the gravity of it all? Christians MUST be wise! If we aren’t, then we are going to participate in the evils perpetrated by evil people. And many times this means that we must stand alone, or with very few others, while the “many” stand with the abuser.

You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. Many professing Christians are doing just that.

24 Comments

  1. Herjourney

    Not only did the leadership of a church side with my abuser.. My kids did also.
    At one point after the legality of the court matter was over.. Legal separation that is.
    The church was trying to get us back together. What a show of power and control… btw. I thought they were siding for reconciation. Nope
    It was a show for – Self glorification.
    I remember one meeting, where I asked for a witness to be present with me.
    The leadership informed me prior to our get together –
    that my witness was not allowed to talk.
    Only to sit and observe.
    Not duped any longer.

    • healingInHim

      Thank you for this post Pastor Crippen.
      Herjourney – Praying for you. It is only through God’s strength and the wisdom from His Word that I am able to cope with my children and many others siding with the very nice easy-going abuser. I really am at a point of not knowing who I can trust with my heart so I’m stepping back again from sharing too much and seeing how God reveals more truth in His time.
      There is only a remnant of pastor/teachers that really understand and I am grateful for the internet access to their messages. “Thank you, Lord for your grace and mercy.”

      • Still Reforming

        This is how I am beginning to think and feel – I’m beginning to wonder whom I can really trust anymore. I’m thinking it best to just stay silent and wait. Wait on the Lord. It’s hard to trust people outside of this website.

  2. Amy

    Ah yes, Christians siding with the abuser…amazing how often this happens!
    I was amazed when the people at my former church I’d attended with my ex suddenly either sided with him, believing his ridiculous lies about me or just quietly turned away because they didn’t want to “take sides”.

    I was suddenly the ‘bad’ one because I actually wanted a divorce but somehow his abuse was not anything so bad. Incredibly sad how it was so backwards and I, the abuse victim, was put on trial for not doing enough to save the marriage.

    • Charis

      Yes. YES!

      While I cannot in good conscience recommend the film: “The Usual Suspects” due to harsh language…it is one of the finest examples of misdirection, without the use of “magic” or slight of hand. It is pure manipulation; watching as the rug is pulled out from under the feet of those who “never suspected” – all in broad daylight.

      One of my favorite quotes from that movie: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” I haven’t seen the movie in years and that quote sticks with me to this day. Perhaps it is because I was married to it.

  3. anonymous

    I have learned throughout this painful ordeal whereby our abuser does get the sympathy and support of church, family and many others, I will no longer hang my head in shame or run from anyone. We are the ones that have been grossly abused, not the ones that side against us. So really, who cares what they think at this point?? They have not suffered the demonstrative evil that we have!! I always felt like I had to prove my victimization. What a dreadful time consuming, energy sapping, frustrating no-win endeavor this is and with no end in sight. In doing so, the abuser, as we know from experience, sits back and watches the show…loves seeing us squirm to defend against their wickedness. AND, we remain in their snare and are still being controlled. I am starting to “flick” it off, pay more attention to my own well-being, recover, and claim the promises of our LORD: “…you do not have to fight this battle; stand firm and watch and see what I will do to defend you…” ( 2 Chronicles 20) Revenge belongs to the Lord. We will do better, feel better, LOOK better and get on with life in an abuse-free environment when we leave behind trying to defend against the heinousness done to us. Our Defender will deliver us in his timing, and He is always right on time!

  4. Babylove

    My previous pastor and many many members of the church are guilty of allying with my abuser; i pray they repent and seek God’s forgiveness

  5. M&M

    I used to think it was normal that my church sided with the victim in the one case that I’m aware of-of course that’s what Christians do!! But now I’ve read enough to know that it’s not as common as it should be, which never fails to feel confusing. How hard is it to understand “love your neighbor as yourself”? But I admit I didn’t know what abusers do to get allies until I found ACFJ. Even after I learned a lot about how abusers control victims I still didn’t know about the allies issue for a long time. I can somewhat feel understanding for those who UNknowingly support the abuser, but I can’t feel understanding to those who knowingly support the abuser.

  6. Choose Life

    “You shall not spread a false report.”

    No victim need fear to open up and tell the truth. God speaks of a *false* report and since Jesus is the “faithful and true Witness” Rev. 3:14 we can boldly reveal the abuse; Jesus ☆knows☆ we are not speaking falsehood.

  7. Curious

    People that side with the abuser would rather believe that it is the victims’s fault. They may be benefiting from a relationship with the abuser (abusers can be very charming by giving gifts etc.) and standing up to the abuser would be putting themselves up for attack. They lack courage and don’t want to be involved. As Christians, we are called to stand up against evil. Thanks for the article.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Exactly correct!

  8. Friend of Target

    Pastor Crippen, your post is good and timely. My friend (Target) just last Thursday had been reading 2 Chronicles 17-19 and thought it should be on ACFJ as a post or comment. It fits well with your post today.

    From your post:

    See it? If people allow themselves to be duped by an abuser and won over to him as his ally, then they are guilty of participating with him in his evils. They join hands with him. They believe his lies and by doing so they become malicious witnesses.

    You see the gravity of it all? Christians MUST be wise! If we aren’t, then we are going to participate in the evils perpetrated by evil people. And many times this means that we must stand alone, or with very few others, while the ‘many’ stand with the abuser.

    King Jehoshaphat was the Old Testament version of a good Christian, but he chose to become an abuser’s ally and thereby brought the Lord’s wrath upon himself and was nearly killed for it until he cried out to God and God spared him.

    Chapter 17 is about how Jehoshaphat, the king over Judah, did the right things and sought God. God blessed him abundantly, with riches, honor, respect and a strong military. Verse 10: Now the dread of the LORD was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. (NASB)

    The next verses go on to describe how these countries gave him extravegant gifts and he became greater and greater among the nations.

    Chapter 18: Enter evil wicked abuser King Ahab, king of the northern kingdom of Israel. King Jehoshaphat allied himself to the abuser by marriage (verse 1). King Ahab, (entitled) wants to go to war with Ramoth-gilead and wants to use Jehoshaphat and his mighty Army to help him take it. So he throws a big feast for Jehoshaphat and charms him. Verses 2-3

    Some years later he went down to Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab King of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, ‘Will you go with me against Ramoth-gilead?’ And he (Jehoshaphat) said to him, ‘I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle.’

    Still, Jehoshaphat initially had reservations. He wanted to inquire of the LORD first. Ahab then got his 400 prophet allies that said God will give him victory, but Jehoshaphat seems to know they are not of the Lord. Verse 6: But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?’. So then Ahab reluctantly gets the true prophet whom he hates, Micaiah.

    Micaiah, stands alone, tells the truth, that God was enticing disaster for Ahab, through a deceiving spirit through his prophets. He tells them point blank that God proclaimed disaster on Ahab.

    Jehoshaphat, chooses to go with the many anyway rather than stand with the stand alone prophet and he does nothing to protect the prophet/stop Ahab from putting him in jail and starving him. Verses 25-26

    Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son; and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and wanter until I return safely.’ ”

    Jehoshaphat, the Christian of his day, aligns him and his people with Ahab. He loved Ahab. There is no such return allegiance/loyalty/love from Ahab, though. He’s a sociopath who is just using Jehoshaphat as a means to the end that he desires. Like all sociopaths, he only loves himself. In fact, he sets Jehoshaphat up to be killed in his stead, having him remain dressed as king while he pretends not to be a king. Verse 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes.’

    It occurs to me that Ahab like all abusers is like his father, satan and his demons. He seems to believe God, (Micaiah’s report) as satan and his demons believe God, but rejects God and thinks he can thwart God’s plan by pretending not to be king, having Jehoshaphat take the fall for him. Like Pastor Crippen always quotes the abuser’s/satan’s mindset “I will be like the Most High.”

    God will never be thwarted, however. Ahab was still killed by a seemingly random act no doubt planned by God verse 33: A certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. He then died at sunset (verse 34). (Note he tells Jehoshaphat to wear robes, but he himself was wearing armor.)

    Jehoshaphat would have died too, but he cried out to God who then spared him. Verses 31-32:

    So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him. When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

    So what if Jehoshaphat had been killed? Who would have caused his death? God? Ahab? No, Jehoshaphat himself!

    Christians who ally themselves with evil bring the wrath of the LORD on themselves!

    Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, ‘Should you help then wicked and love those who hate the LORD, and so bring wrath on yourself from the LORD?’ 2 Chronicles 19:1-2

    He then explains why God spared him in verse 3 But there is some good in you for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and have set your heart to seek God.

    As a sidenote, I started this earlier today before Anonymous quoted 2 Chronicles 20 (the next chapter, verse 15) where God tells King Jehoshaphat and the people of Jerusalem not to fear the countries that were going to war against them because the battle is the Lord’s. I thought that was kind of neat timing as well.

    • standsfortruth

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Freind of Target..
      I love how much we can gleen from the old testament!

      • Friend of Target

        You’re welcome Standsfortruth. I agree about the old testament. 🙂

  9. Sarah

    Anonymous… how do you stand on a scripture when God hasn’t moved on your behalf for years? The abuser keeps doing whatever and you keep getting targeted. How do you do that?

    • Herjourney

      Sarah
      Have you read the story of Joseph?
      It keeps my journey in God’s perspective. Being faithful in times of persecution. Knowing God has a plan.
      Trust His hands. Only He can bring beauty from ashes.

    • Sarah

      many times… still doesn’t help

  10. Still Reforming

    Anyone else just feel like weeping today? It seems like the abuse just never ends. Some days – most really – I feel like I’m managing it – looking away from the torment and focusing on what I’m supposed to be doing.

    Then a new trial comes out of left field and it feels like I’m teetering, on the verge of falling over. I want to cry, and I start to, but …. it feels like it doesn’t really help anything at all. I feel like I’m out of tears already and out of nowhere here they come.

    “Christian” organization after organization turn their backs. I trust God has His purposes in all of it – that are higher and better than I can possibly see or know, so why do I feel so forlorn and miserable? Everything seems to be falling apart.

    I know God has given me so much. I know things aren’t as bad as they could be. I know He never forsakes the righteous, whose children also have not been seen begging for bread, so I do remember every day to thank Him, even for the trial. So why do I feel like crying? Is my faith faltering? Do I disappoint Him?

    I just needed this virtual shoulder to place my weary head on today and lament. Thank you for being there.

    • healingInHim

      Still Reforming – I hear your aching heart. I totally agree and thank you for acknowledging one of my earlier comments. It is truly difficult to know who to trust.
      I just posted a comment on another blog in response to referencing the RC Sproul JR fiasco. The commenter is awaiting to see if their church still condones the Tabletalk devotional that Sproul maintained? This is my comment:
      ” NJ – an elderly pastor and his wife made me feel like they understood and cared for my situation. We talked at length as to why I don’t feel safe in ‘c’hurches; feeling abandoned. We spent time talking of his so-called retirement years. He seemed impressed by the pastor/teachers that I gleaned from via the internet. As I left from our introductory meeting he then handed me several old copies of Tabletalk. I thanked him and said I was familiar with the ministry.
      Hmm, this same couple then met with the father of my children (I refuse to call him my husband anymore). At that time we were still talking somewhat and ‘he’ said that the pastor implied that I had shouldn’t be ‘airing out the dirty laundry’. I was annoyed and retorted, “Well, I don’t like doing that either. Why don’t you give me some clean laundry to hang out?”
      This elderly man and his wife continue to carry themselves as humble spiritual people. I grieve because it is so obvious that this ‘p’astor is filled with pride at his so-called Scriptural knowledge.
      This is only “one” example of many who do not get it and don’t want to. Remind me very much of the Pharisees. So sad and I pray that the “blind will see.”

      • Still Reforming

        healinginHim,

        I hadn’t heard about the RC Sproul Jr.-Ashley Madison fiasco until reading your comment. I found the info on-line. I’m glad to see Ligonier has taken action at least – although a few things in Sproul Jr’s comments make me scratch my head.

        Also I like the way you now refer to your ex- as “the father of your children.” I like that better than saying “my ex-husband.” I shall try to adopt the same language. The more distance between him and me the better.

        I agree with you that many serving in church these days strike me as Pharisees. Some are doing so in innocence (lack of intimate knowledge of abuse and its ways), I think – mostly congregants. Others, like the leaders, are willfully ignorant or abusers themselves.

  11. a prodigal daughter returns

    Indifference toward the abused is a covert way of siding with an abuser. There were people that had a clue of the extent of physical suffering I was enduring. It should be obvious that in the process of getting a black eye or other scarring injury one would feel pain. Those that knew and resorted to the “he said, she said” argument or “I don’t want to get involved” or a trite “you should submit more” supported abuse. A friend sent cookie recipes telling me that if I had hot baked cookies when my husband came home it would help. Oh and I did it, it made no difference. I worked at one point and still managed all the homemade pies, cookies, cakes, that the pig in my life wanted. It didn’t help, but putting it off on me, that there was actually something I could do to improve my situation kept me prisoner and deluded for years that his choice to abuse had something to do with me

    Years down the road and after I finally left, a counselor heard my story and tears began to run down her face. I was shocked, it is supposedly not professional to express emotion. But, in doing so, and stating “a human being should not be treated like that” she modeled for me that what I endured was actually outrageous and worthy of tears.

    I did NOT know that. I was raised in tremendous abuse, married into it and lived in it for decades to the point that it was kind of normal for me. No one modeled outrage or sorrow or compassion. I didn’t know normal people might get angry, or sorrowful or broken because about abuse. When those in ministry heard about the abuse in my life their zero reaction told me “oh that, its nothing” Its not worth sadness or a tear or a reaction at all. I was shocked when someone was moved with compassion.

    So I wonder now, all those people that enable abusers either by siding with them or complete indifference to the person they abuse just have really hard hearts. Jesus was moved with compassion at suffering, and He took action. I suspect His followers might be moved with compassion and take action too. Matthew 20:34 Matthew 20:34 Then Jesus, deeply moved with compassion, touched their eyes, and at once they could see again. So they followed him.

    .

  12. KayE

    In my experience it’s been the rule and not the exception for Christians to minimize abuse. Many have actually taken the side of the abuser. Yet every single one of the non church people who’ve heard my story has been understanding, well informed and kind. To me that says something very frightening about the church community.

  13. anonymous

    Sarah, thank you for your question to me: “How do you stand on a scripture when God hasn’t moved on your behalf for years? The abuser keeps doing whatever and you keep getting targeted. How do you do that?”

    I stand on all Scripture and particularly those I cannot understand. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” I cannot do this in my own strength; I can only do this by grace, amazing grace! Believe me, it’s not always easy…often times I come kicking and screaming, because I want immediate gratification and want to see my abuser exposed and pay for what he has done to me and continues doing, albeit at a distance.

    Sarah, I can recall several months ago being trapped in that insane house with my abuser. I literally feared for my life and certainly feared for my emotional, psychological, and spiritual life. I went upstairs and locked myself in the bathroom, fell on the floor from sheer exhaustion and cried out to the Lord, “Dear Father, I cannot take anymore. Please rescue me.” Indeed He did. Within 24 hours I fled from that house out in to the dark night with no idea where I would end up and I said this, “Father, you lead, I will follow.” I have been back in my home state working with a therapist, healing, crying, resting and above all, surrounding myself with godly family and friends. Because of the trauma endured, I rely heavily on the counsel of those that truly love, shelter and protect me.

    But here’s what stands out to me above ALL else: I cried out to the Lord and indeed He heard the cries of my heart, and He rescued me. Cry out to Him, Sarah. He will hear you. I promise He will !! He never, ever wants us in the hands of an abuser. He wants us to rest in Him and He will deliver us!

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