A Cry For Justice

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

“Peace, Peace” When there is no Peace, is the Pronouncement of the Wicked

“For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:13-15)

The false prophets of Jeremiah’s day kept announcing “peace and prosperity and God’s blessing on everyone” even though the thing was a fallacy. They minimized the seriousness of what was the real cause of troubles among them: “They have healed the wound of my people lightly.” They didn’t acknowledge the depth of their evil and be ashamed. They were arrogant.

I would suggest to you that this kind of thinking and utterance is characteristic of an evil heart. And I will suggest something else to you. Namely, that all of the minimizing and discounting of abuse victims in the “church” by leaders and members is a plain example of the very same cry of “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. There is NO peace in the victim’s life because her abuser is at war with her.  But what is she met with when she calls for help?  “You exaggerate.” They pronounce peace, you see, when there is no peace.

We must all take care in regard to how we deal with the oppressed. Not only because we should love them and want to help them, but because they are a special object of the Lord’s care. He announced to Jeremiah’s countrymen that he would bring these false prophets (and priests, religious leaders you see) down. Big time. He would punish them. They will be overthrown.

So don’t tell abuse victims “it isn’t that bad. He’s really a good guy. You just need to….”.  Don’t do it, lest YOU join ranks with the phonies of Jeremiah’s day.

15 Comments

  1. Valerie

    That reference came to mind often as I forged through the quagmire- all while wearing flip flops but clinging to my bible as though my life depended on it. And it did in a very real way. Others were telling me that in reality things were fine in the marriage or not nearly as serious as they truly were. The truth of God’s Word became such a bright light through that darkness and I praise Him for it!

    I also saw another version of this passage taking place as bystanders were proclaiming “peace, peace” in regards to my husband’s relationship to Christ when there was no peace. In this way they also gave him a false sense of security. Telling him to trust God and that they were praying for him in his “difficulty” while never addressing the real issue that he had no relationship at all. No peace.

  2. Greater Glory

    When I first stepped out and asked for help I was definitely naive that people, especially my pastor, would understand. To be fair I didn’t even know what I was dealing with until God lifted the fog. And, even as supportive as my pastor was of my choices, he never really understood the abuse cycle. Eventually I realized how few people get it so I stopped worrying about advice from others and sought peace at all cost. Thankful for this site indeed.

    “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Rom12:18

    “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no none will see the Lord.” Heb12:14.

    Took me awhile, but when I was ready the Lord showed me that “with all men” included with me, myself, and I! I didn’t have peace within my own self let alone make him understand he was making me crazy and to change. The only way to find it was to remove myself from him. My teenage daughter said to me the other day, “My grades the first 2 years in high school were about the same. But, after dad moved out and I wasn’t living in a toxic environment anymore, my grades improved greatly last year, my junior year.” I was blessed by her awareness and acknowledgement, yet sad I didn’t end things sooner. But God……..

  3. Greater Glory

    Oh and, LOVED your new book, “Unholy Charade”! BRAVO and THANK YOU!

  4. Anonymous

    PTSD. Why do so many people have it today? The traumas of life certainly, but the traumas could be handled better if we were all on the same page so to speak; if we were all on the same SIDE. This is one of the biggest problems in today’s “psychology can fix all or help us understand” environments that we currently live in. It’s one of the biggest lies of all time if you look at history. Why? Because we aren’t looking at things realistically/truthfully, we are instead plastering over evil behaviors with any number of excuses instead of actually LOOKING at the person and we have labeled abuse victims as neurotics or claimed that they are unable to cope because they have (rightly) been traumatized or destroyed by evil.

    Guess what? Some people ARE actually against everyone (on the opposite side) because they are what the Bible refers to as an antichrist in 1 and 2 John. Here’s what the Greek and Helps Word studies have to say about the word antichrist, “antichristos: antichrist, (one who opposes Christ) antichrist, either one who puts himself in the place of, or the enemy (opponent) of the Messiah, antíxristos (from 473 /antí, “opposite to, in place of” and 5547 /Xristós, “Christ”) – properly, opposite to Christ; someone acting in place of (against) Christ; “Antichrist.” Notice that it states that some people put themselves IN PLACE of Christ, as well as those who are against him. People without a conscience believe that they are God, they have put themselves IN PLACE of God. They have zero “natural affection” for others–not even their own families. 2 Tim 3:3, “….and lack normal affection for their families.” The Greek for this is, “astorgos: without natural affection/unloving, devoid of affection.” This word is used only twice in the Bible, 2 Tim and Romans 1:31.

    So what happens when we lie to society and tell them that we are all the same fundamentally (that we are all capable of loving others) and then put people who have zero natural affection for ANYONE in positions of authority and at the head of the family etc.? When we don’t discern between those who are “nurturing only themselves without fear” (Jude 1:12) and those who have a servants heart because they truly belong to Jesus? We end up with what we have today. Wolves in sheep’s clothing in charge of the flock. And when one of the flock miraculously wakes up and tries to escape rather than becoming another tasty morsel for the gluttonous obese wolf, we tell them that they are overreacting and that they need to fall back in with the flock because there is only peace there and anything else that they perceive is going on is because they are crazy and not looking at things correctly.

    It is no longer surprising to me to come in contact with this way of thinking. I still live with the unconscienced person that I married. Everyday testifies to the truth that evil claims that there is peace but actually war lives in his heart (Psalm 55:21). Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” –and no peace for those corralled with them either.

  5. The subject of peace has been on my mind. Thinking of my peace I give you…in me ye have peace. I don’t feel peaceful, because I am not. I sought The Lord about this. Am I trusting Him?
    My h flipped me off recently. He said he was playing around. But he was extremely irritated at life in general. He wasn’t kidding. I called him on it. He then admitted he wasn’t kidding and was wrong. I shared this with the p wife. She said it was good he acknowledged he was wrong. That was good news since he in the past wouldn’t acknowledge he did it or was wrong. Improvement???
    I don’t know how to feel about it. I started going down hill after that. Struggling to get out of bed,shower etc. I’ve felt angry at other things and skipped Bible study and church, thankful for sick kids to cover my absence. I started to feel guilty for making a big fuss in my mind and being so obsessed over it and other negatives.
    Other things are the same and then enough “help” comes in to make it seem like it’s all good. He will help do x,y z. I should be over the top happy, and it is a relief, but then it’s right back to the computer. It’s like I called the neighbor…”could you x” Sure! Does and and then says…anything else? “No” okay, bye! I feel guilty for not being satisfied. Is it true nothing pleases me?
    Weeks later I’m going through sermon notes in Romans…my spirit is twisted up in knots and I’m asking important questions of myself. Is this battle my flesh? Coveting what I can’t or shouldn’t have? I feel resistant to my h mostly over hurt feelings. Is it worth all this? What’s really going on? Un forgiveness? He is being pleasant and I’m chewing nails. He notices I’m out of sorts yet I’ve spoken nothing. I try to change my attitude and ask him to join me on errands thinking I need to change my mind set and include him and be pleasant. It ends up with him wanting to know WHAT HAVE I DONE WROnG NoW!? Talk, lecture. Before I can answer, I’m trying to chose my words carefully not being over critical and starting to think I had no right to these thoughts and feelings I haven’t shared yet, when out blasts what crawled up your but and died! And on it goes. And then he says I’m pulling stuff (because I’m now resistant.)Who wouldn’t resist when they are being screamed at. Like I really want to share my heart struggles with him under these circumstances. I was starting to freak out inside until I realized I hadn’t shared anything I was thinking but I’m being screamed at as if I did. Kinda weird. Like he read my mind(which I know is impossible) so my attitude showed what I felt and I sure got it. He used a very tender hurt against me and then said I deserved it and he did it on purpose because I wouldn’t communicate. Strangely I felt guilty and I felt I deserved it for “thinking” some of the things I thought. He also went on to say how hard he was trying to make it a special day for me. Wow, one pat on the shoulder and a greeting while walking behind me and away from me and I’m supposed to be falling all over him I guess.
    The p wife asked how the day went. I said depressing and how the hate was poured out. I didn’t go into detail like here. There was no response. Still.
    I felt sad and then it frightened me at the same time that there was no response. Why? I don’t know. Now I’ve slumped back into sad/angry.
    When talking with h about it later in the day….I said how horrible his words were and how hard it is to get passed all that he said. His response is well, you have to. At some point you just have to move on. He said he was glad I was happy again. No apology. In fact earlier he said he did it on purpose, I deserved it and he added I wasn’t innocent in this. Then it all flipped around. Took me to lunch.

    Obviously you only get my take. I know I’ve had it worse in the past with my ex or others. It just seems like it takes one click and he’s ready to pounce on me with his words. He actually said how I like being miserable and if it had anything to do with my family member then that’s why they are the way they are with me because of how I am being. Ugh. That’s coded, lol. But it was probably the lowest blow he could have delivered and he knew it. I just have no good feelings for him right now. He thinks all is well again. Do not let the sun go down on your anger…..ugh…I’m a sick puppy.

    • Jeff Crippen

      His Banner – What you are experiencing is the confusion of the cycle of abuse. The “good things” are just a set up for the next assault. Advice from the p’s wife? Most church leaders are completely uninformed about abuse and are not a reliable source of help or counsel.

  6. What response can I give when I’m being told how much better he is because he’s helping around the house,when this stuff is happening?

    They say 2 steps forward one step back?

    It is confusing!! Confusing that I’m so ready to be back to happy, yet not truly happy, and smiling which makes others think there’s something wrong with me(me too).

    • Jeff Crippen

      Banner – if it was authentic change (the claims of which I approach with extreme skepticism) you would be the first to know it. The fact that you have to be told by others that he is doing so much better is a warning sign. Because what you see doesn’t mesh with what these people are telling you. I say that when it comes to abusers, both of those 2 steps forward are feigned and fake and really are steps in to further abuse.

  7. IF it were real change….wouldn’t it be okay for me to be skeptical for a while and then let me decide to accept it months or even a year later? It shouldn’t make them go into a fit of screaming at me if I wasn’t sure or had questions in my mind,right?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Absolutely. The thing is, these decisions are yours alone to make, not someone else’s. You are the one who has to live there, not all these people who are critical of you. People who criticize when you don’t do what they tell you, or who keep telling you that you “should,” immediately show themselves to be incompetent to help abuse victims.

      • healinginhim

        Pastor Jeff, Your reply to HisBanner resonates with me. So many people tell me what I “should” do while they keep “attending” churches that are into the “church growth” or “leadership” philosophy. Christ’s righteous anger against sin is not addressed especially when it concerns spiritual and domestic abuse.

    • bright sunshinin' day

      HisBanner, love is patient and kind…says the Lord. Love is “fits of screaming” and some outward changes around the house…says mankind. Who’s right? God or man?

      Since the beginning of time, satan’s mission has been one of redefining or twisting what God has spoken which leads to confusion and death. In the garden, God commanded Adam (Eve had not been made yet): “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:16-17).

      Later in the story when Eve had arrived, satan the tempter approached her with a question which undermined God’s authority and twisted God’s command: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall NOT eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). When Adam and Eve listened to and acted upon the tempter’s perversion of truth, God’s consequences were enacted and death began its work.

      In marriage, God called the man to love his wife “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” and for the woman to “…submit to your own husband, as to the Lord” (Eph 5:25 and 22). Did Christ scream at His bride? For a husband to engage in regular fits of rage and claim he loves his wife…is like satan’s twisted words to Eve in the garden. Don’t believe the lies; rather submit to God and resist them.

      • Thank you.

        I said them and meant him.

        They are not screaming at me. To be clear. He did. If I said it was screaming he’d be arguing how it wasn’t. So it was…loud rough talk and below the belt remarks. And the no response person gave me a gift today meant for my birthday when this horrible thing happened. I know she cares. They don’t know what to say or how to handle it. I think it gets them frustrated and sad also. Especially when everyone sees little improvements. Making the bed, washing Sunday dishes, fixing broken things. Hey, I love all that. But the chewing out and never knowing when he is going to snap. Not cool.

        I’m listening to everyone. The cycle. Trying to think of all the good things about him and not dwell on the negatives was advice given. I know what that means….work on yourself and do your best. Been there for almost 20 years.

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