A Cry For Justice

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

What “Do Not Think too Highly of Yourself” does NOT Mean

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8)

Satan and his reps are very adept at twisting God’s Word. This Scripture has been a favorite target for such abuse. Victims of evil have been taught, told, commanded, instructed… that God wants them to continue being abused. This twisted evil insanity goes something like this:

  • You are selfish and you are conceited
  • You need to humble yourself
  • You need to focus on others, including your abuser, and consider them more important than yourself
  • You need to be like Jesus and even die if necessary

Reporting abuse, desiring to be free of abuse, and exposing the wicked is not selfish! It is not arrogance! Confronting evil is NOT self-serving. If it were, then Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets would be guilty of selfish arrogance. They all confronted evil. The Christian, Paul is saying here, is to love his brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to consider their needs more than selfishly and pridefully demanding first place for ourselves. In other words, when it comes to abuse cases, this Scripture is calling upon Christ’s people to stop being cowards, to quit focusing on the consequences for themselves if they stand with the victim against the abuser, and to consider the protection and deliverance of the victim as first priority. All of this, of course, assumes that it is a godly and right goal to bring justice to bear upon the wicked and deliverance for the oppressed.

Abuse victims are not guilty of selfish arrogance when they call out for deliverance. If they are, then the fact is that the following Scripture is an example of that selfish arrogance:

Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer. So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! May his days be few; may another take his office! (Psalm 109:1-8)

So look out for this trap. Don’t let anyone twist Philippians 2 and convince you that seeking deliverance from and justice against your oppressor is to be guilty of selfish arrogance. It is quite the opposite.

 

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44 Comments

  1. standingfirm

    I agree with you one hundred percent Pastor Crippen! It is so sad in these last days so that so few within the professing church have the bravery to stand up to and confront evil. These folks must not understand what “sharply rebuke” means in the scriptures! God does not think very highly of “cowards” and labels them as such in the book of revelation. To sit back and watch or hear of someone being mistreated without saying anything is not what being a follower of Jesus is about!

    But sadly we live in 2 Timothy chapter 2 right now. People are so consumed with their own little world that much else matters to them. If the incident did not happen to them or effect them badly they tend to look the other way. The “I don’t want to get involved” attitude prevails. I have experienced this attitude within my own extended family the past twelve years. Anyone in the family can say or do anything they want that is hurtful to someone, and no one else will say a word of rebuke for the ungodly behavior. No one wants any consequences for sticking up for what is right!

    And in the church right now pastors will not challenge false teachings that have flooded in as they are also cowards and do not want to “rock the boat”. I have been persecuted many times in the past for speaking God’s truth in a situation. Mainly because I knew I was to do so and the Holy Spirit urging me to not keep my mouth shut or others might be deceived. I would rather stand up and do what God tells me to do instead of run away in fear of consequences from a bully.

    Shame on those who turn a blind eye to a bully.

    • Survivor

      So then what church do you belong to and attend and serve at? I have found the same and withdraw – recoil, actually – when it happens. It is so disconcerting. Horrifying, actually. I can’t deal with MORE abuse. When it’s coming from the body of Christ – this is so sick!

    • Amen to that Standingfirm.
      It seems to me we have more ex-victims, showing true courage willing to stand in the gap for the oppressed, than the at ease in Zion church goers.

      Just like the Saul and his army were sorely afraid to confront Goliath, the church is afraid to confront the abuser. But the Lord prepared David beforehand with trials like him defeating a mighty lion in hand combat and thus David was able to face Goliath boldly in the name of the Lord.

      Perhaps the church is afraid that the abuser may retaliate personally against them.

      I would relish the opportunity to make a stand against abuse, even in a church setting, because I personally know how devastating it can be to be held captive in it.

  2. M&M

    I feel like the hardest interpretations to undo are those that aren’t from a specific person but from our own minds (or the devil?). Sometimes it looks like God is doing nothing to help clarify when He’s actually working at His own pace.

    • “I feel like the hardest interpretations to undo are those that aren’t from a specific person but from our own minds (or the devil?)”
      That has been my experience quite often, M&M. But God has bit by bit undone the knots.

    • Still Reforming

      M&M,

      I am at a place right now where I am realizing that I have a huge wall built up, not only from the years of abuse (20+) in the marriage, but from decades before in my childhood and upbringing. Now that God has delivered me from my marriage and a church that was not there for me as I hoped the family God has given me would be – well, God Himself is revealing to me the bricks within these walls, fashioned with bricks carefully laid over the years, and He Himself is slowly removing the bricks – not eliminating the boundaries that I believe are necessary, but helping me to realize what those bricks are in the wall and which to remove and why, in the light of His Word.

      Perhaps that is part of what you mean by from our own minds (or the devil) that we have been wrongly taught over many, many, many years – if not our whole lives.

    • Not Too Late

      I feel like the hardest interpretations to undo are those that aren’t from a specific person but from our own minds (or the devil?).

      I suspect that that may be the case because of concepts taught to us by people of authority or significance in our community. Often, we may feel reluctant to change our minds (which essentially is what repenting is) as we don’t want to earn the disapproval of people we need acceptance from.

      The fact that Jeff Crippen felt the need to post this message is a sad reflection of the twisted teaching that exists in some corners of Christendom. It should be obvious that “Abuse victims are not guilty of selfish arrogance when they call out for deliverance”.

    • M&M

      I wasn’t exactly referring to beliefs that are entrenched in our minds from church tradition although those clearly are a problem. On my last post I was thinking about how sometimes I have read the Bible on my own and felt oppressed by what I read regardless of how anyone else interpreted it. When I was 12 I let a classmate abuse me (mostly emotional, some physical) because I had heard the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) and I was thinking “Jesus wouldn’t say ‘turn the other cheek’ unless he meant what he said so I guess I have to endure what she’s doing to me”. Part of the problem was that 12 year olds haven’t reached the stage of brain development for non-literal thinking, but also I struggled with that verse even after I cut contact with the abuser and was old enough for abstract thinking. Why would Jesus say that if he didn’t mean it? Some posts on this blog mention that most victims resist, but I was actively suppressing the urge to resist because of that verse. What I did do to resist is ask God if there was a way out which led to finding Matthew 18. For me that was the beginning of a slow gradual way out because it caused me to stop tolerating the physical abuse but I continued tolerating the emotional abuse for 2 additional years until another friend helped me break contact completely. If you search “turn the other check” on this site there’s a great post about how Jesus didn’t take it literally. And Matthew 18 isn’t the best for most cases, but it worked for me because the perpetrator’s fear of getting caught (I think) prevented the retaliation that can happen when adult perpetrators are confronted (search “Matthew 18” on this site for more cautions).

      Another major issue I had with the sermon on the mount is that when I was 20 I was studying abroad in a very poor country with a lot of beggars on the street including children. The verse about “give to everyone who asks” was tormenting me. Sometimes I gave money in situations that could have endangered me and other times I didn’t give but was tormented by Matthew 25 “I was hungry and you didn’t feed me”. Although that situation wasn’t submitting to the abuse of an outside person, I consider that my beliefs were abusing me. My emotions were severe enough that I developed physical illness from the anxiety. Years later I learned that many begging children aren’t bringing the money to their families but are under the control of organized crime groups. The movie “Slumdog Millionaire” portrays it very accurately (excluding the happy ending). Now I would advise not to give money because it might go to the abusive oppressor of the children.

      In both of the above cases, there were few if any people who agreed with the oppressive interpretation of the Bible and there were more people who told me not to be so literal. However, I felt stuck because it was emotionally hard for me to believe that Jesus meant anything non-literally. Why would He say something if he didn’t really mean it? I also had a habit of believing the most oppressive of interpretations because God’s wrath felt more real to me than God’s love in my emotions.

      Now that I’ve had many years to re-think, I think it’s not a matter of “He didn’t mean it” but “He meant it in the context of……” Since Satan used scripture on Jesus (Matthew 4) surely there is a such thing as a wrong interpretation. It’s not clear to me where the line is between the flesh and the devil when it comes to oppressive beliefs, but we don’t need to know where the line is to get free. Some need to get free from beliefs they were taught, but in my case the hardest ones were those which formed in my mind without a visible outside source. I’m not sure how I would have responded years ago if my church spent time on what those verses don’t mean. However, I know that now I love reading when ACFJ does posts on what certain verses don’t mean. I bet it would help some people if the church as a whole spent more time on what verses don’t mean. Of course, that would only happen if they acknowledged that misinterpretations lead to being abused.

      • Not Too Late

        When I was 12 I let a classmate abuse me (mostly emotional, some physical) because I had heard the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) and I was thinking “Jesus wouldn’t say ‘turn the other cheek’ unless he meant what he said so I guess I have to endure what she’s doing to me”. Part of the problem was that 12 year olds haven’t reached the stage of brain development for non-literal thinking, but also I struggled with that verse even after I cut contact with the abuser and was old enough for abstract thinking. Why would Jesus say that if he didn’t mean it?

        I see what you mean. I must say that I thought that way too. Unfortunately, so did my dad and his family, so I presume that’s what they taught me (not directly as they were not born again, but through “osmosis” – more caught than taught). You probably find this strange, but even today, most Christian people I know take the Bible literally and don’t consider context. The only time I notice they don’t is when they want to defend their position, or, in the case of abusive people, show their superiority.

        I wish I had come across more people (even one “credible” person would have been good) who challenged the literal and oppressive interpretations. Or books. Or teaching seminars. Of course, there is a possibility it wouldn’t have changed my mind because of my genetic disposition to take things in a certain way. But my natural inclination is to comply with authority anyway.

        I’ve also experienced/witnessed a similar thing with giving. A family member of mine is constantly broke because he gives “until it hurts”. He can’t pay his bills. That’s what his large contemporary church teaches and that’s what many of their young people do. I have never once heard that church teach on divorce, repentance, forgiveness or evil the way Jeff Crippen does. Instead, there is a lot of contrary teaching. You would literally have to leave those communities if you held views similar to those put forward here. With so much at stake, I am not surprised that people stay in destructive relationships.

      • M&M

        Dear Not Too Late,
        I know what you mean about people not thinking enough about context or misuse of scripture. At the same time I see some hopeful things. In my church I was happy to see that during the sermon on the mount I wasn’t the first person to talk about the non-literalness of “turn the other cheek” and the legitimacy of self-defense. On the other hand my church doesn’t talk directly about divorce for abuse. Yet they do say what submission does Not mean. They don’t allow women to teach men officially, but they do allow women to talk in Sunday school discussions even if they’re unofficially teaching men. They don’t warn about Piper and his type, but they don’t quote (that I’ve heard) the oppressive parts. I’ve heard at least 2 cases where they sided with the victim, but neither of those were a victim who asked for divorce. Still, I’m not aware of them making a victim stay. They’re not ACFJ, but they’re clearly better than the bad churches that I read about here.

        So I can understand wishing that more Christians were clear on these issues. I also wish they started thought about youth. Don’t assume that youth are so rebellious that they won’t be victims of abuse at home or school. And don’t assume that pressuring kids to save the world will lead to great missionaries instead of disillusioned burnout (that subset of abuse is a big deal to me). In summary, I agree with you!

      • M&M

        [to Not Too Late:] Has your broke relative read 1 Timothy 5:8?

      • Not Too Late

        Hi M&M, Fortunately, my relative is single and doesn’t have to support a family, but I certainly think that 1 Tim 5:8 doesn’t get too much “airtime” or consideration in those circles! Come to think of it, I know of people who sacrificed the wellbeing of their family by giving priority to their church giving, either materially or in time.

  3. Survivor

    The motivation behind this, it seems to me, is the belief that God so loved the WHOLE WORLD – who are we to stand in the way of His work with anyone? Corollaries that come to mind are:

    Only HE knows the heart. We are not to judge. His desire is not that any would suffer destruction/perish but that all would be saved. We are to share in Christ’s sufferings – and He was persecuted and killed, so what right do we have to draw a line and refuse to accept our cross?

    If an unbelieving spouse wants to stay with you, you are not to send him/her away, for do you not know that you make them sacred (by your relationship to them as one body, by your prayers, by your thanks)?

    Love your enemy.

    • The problem is that those scriptures you referred to are emphasised by the ‘c’hurch, while the scriptures that counterbalance them are under-emphasised or fiercely ignored.

  4. Came Alongside

    In Phil 2:3-8 Paul aptly describes the abuser’s behavior when he tells Believers how to behave as Christ would have them to. The malignant narcissistic abuser only thinks, plans and acts with calculated selfish interests and high ambition, is conceited in valuing himself above all others, and by habitual actions shows his assumption of equality with God. Any “humbling” is only superficial for show during attempts to gain allies or when grooming future prey aka narcissistic supply.

    And they are usually REALLY good deceiving the sheep and the shepherds since they’ve practiced this behavior a long time. They also are quite used to Christians reacting with their heart instead of their brain or Holy Spirit discernment. They can COUNT on the run of the mill Christian “giving them grace”, not believing the “bad (albeit true) reports”, and certainly not doing a John the Baptist “you brood of vipers” declaration. And if such a declaration is made, they have already fertilized (with you know what), cultivated and surrounded themselves with enough “Christian” sycophants that they skate away unscathed by the revelation of the truth about them quite handily putting the focus onto someone else.

    Want to confirm if someone truly fits the opposite of Paul’s godly behavior description, and if they are someone with whom you should put great distance between? Stand steadfast in opposing something they are pushing for (whether that be standing with the wife who says she needs help to escape abuse or a deacon angrily insisting upon his color of carpet in the sanctuary), if they start windbagging using Pastor Jeff’s four bullet points above, you’ve got your answer.

    • Anonymous

      Came Alongside – YOU positively nailed it!! I can relate to every word you said.

  5. surviving freedom

    Thank you for this, I have read/heard this often, it kept me trapped (and in the dark) about the true nature of abuse far too long. It also kept me carrying unnecessary guilt, thinking something was wrong with me for not accepting or submitting to the state of the marriage, anytime I would seek answers this is often what I’d hear to shut me down and accuse me (from others proclaiming to be Christians, and ‘trained’ in Biblical marriage counseling / mentorship).
    This again reminds me how so many will take certain Scripture out of the whole context of God’s Word and use it to keep people trapped and to excuse evil. It is good to remind myself, no matter what others may say against me, it is not selfish or arrogant to take a stand against (or have nothing to do with) those things that even God Himself says He will not tolerate. It is not self-serving to take a stand against deceit, lust, lying, etc … it is God-serving.

    • For Too Long

      Surviving Freedom, I can totally relate to the guilt you mentioned. I’m struggling against it even now as the echoes of what my church leadership told me just before I left still rings in my head, “God intends to develop Christ-likeness in you through your difficult marriage. It’s your job to submit to God’s plan for your life. You may not understand what He is doing, but know that He is going to bring glory to Himself through you as you stand for your marriage.”

      • For Too Long, sometimes when words have pierced my soul like that, I find this helpful:
        I speak them off out loud.

        What does ‘speak them off’ mean? I’ll use the example you gave us. Say out loud in a clear firm voice, with God as your witness, something like this:

        I speak off the words those elders said to me. They said God intends to develop Christ-likeness in you through your difficult marriage. It’s your job to submit to God’s plan for your life. You may not understand what He is doing, but know that He is going to bring glory to Himself through you as you stand for your marriage. Those words are false. They are the doctrine of devils. They are wicked. They are not from You, Lord.

        Dear God, please cleanse my spirit from the poison of those words. Please bring your justice and righteousness to bear on those who said those words to me. Help me to forgive those men for how they wronged me. Thank you for setting me free Lord. Amen”

      • Jeff Crippen

        This is the Sword of the Spirit. It is the armor of Christ.

      • M&M

        If you replace “marriage” with “struggle for justice” it becomes true. “God intends to develop Christ-likeness in you through your difficult struggle for justice. It’s your job to submit to God’s plan for your life. You may not understand what He is doing, but know that He is going to bring glory to Himself through you as you stand for justice.”

        PS. You are awesome when you stand for justice in spite of bad teachers.

      • LIKE ^

  6. Still Reforming

    Thank you, Pastor Jeff, for your relentless pursuit of truth and preaching it faithfully.

  7. Renewed Spirit

    My Church leaders have me under discipline for refusing to ‘reconcile’ with the man I married. They have ‘down-sized’ their admonishment and now are asking me to at least say ‘hi’ to him at Church on Sundays. If I try to explain my situation – one of them told me, “Listen, we know you have issues” (childhood trauma). When I ask if they might be wrong in their ‘assessment’ on another point they brought up, one of them said, “There’s several of us and one of you”. I want to keep attending worship services so my children see that I go to worship the Lord, not for the people. But I am also in recovery from a serious accident and my recovery is important [Eds: details removed]. This stress is hurting… Several of my children are in the family home – I have been separated from them for some months (since the accident). I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I’m struggling to let God take this burden – how to release it? This is the passage that was read at my last meeting with elders — Galatians 6:10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+6:1-10

    • Dear Renewed Spirit. The elders have botched theology big time (like so many in the church) when it comes to dealing with the abused and their abusers.

      You say you want to keep attending services so your children see you go to worship the Lord, not people. I understand you want to give that good example to your children. But in this church led as it is by foolish (or worse) leaders whose theology and pastoral ‘care’ is so botched, how much can you really worship the Lord?

      Of course, a believer can worship the Lord anywhere, and attending worship services is basically a good thing to do, but if the church is toxic and grievously harming people such as yourself (which it IS) what kind of church is it? A synagogue of Satan?

      What kind of example are you setting to your kids? They might be thinking “Mum is so sincere and strong in her faith: she even comes to worship the Lord each Sunday despite the fact that the leaders are mistreating her!” Or they might be thinking, “Mum must think this church is fine: otherwise why would she keep coming? And Dad thinks the church is fine! So the church must be fine. So we will believe in what the leaders tell us — what they preach, what they teach, and what decisions the elders make about how to treat each person in the congregation.”

      If they are thinking the latter, then if it comes to the time when the elders make your discipline public, your kids will think the elders must have done right in disciplining you and that you must be sinning by not reconciling with Dad.

      Now, we know that you are not sinning by not reconciling with your husband. You are in fact standing up for righteousness and truth. 🙂

      By going to the services, you could be teaching your kids to accept the ethos of a Synagogue of Satan.

      Now, you know your situation better than I do, but I just wanted to offer these thoughts to you in case they help break the deadlock in your mind.

      blessings and (((hugs)))

      • Renewed Spirit

        I ‘hear’ you! Due to post accident injuries and years of power and control relationship my brain is slow, my heart is torn and decision making is very difficult. I do not make changes fast or easily and if you knew the whole story of my life, I’m hanging by a thread at times not knowing ‘what to do’.

        The elders did agree when I said to them – you are not trained to deal with domestic situations. And part of me ‘feels for them’ – they are good men in many ways and in their families – but they are at a loss to deal with my chaos. I ‘get it’ in a way. I don’t get it always either!

        I just finished writing a draft letter to them outlining how I would like them to deal with me from now on. Would it be wise to share it here and get feedback?

    • Anonymous

      Renewed Spirit – yep. that’s the dog and pony show. Say hi to the wolf and don’t forget to smile. My abuser after a horrible all night long of ranting and raving with unwholesome talk and filth pouring out of his mouth, and even calling me wretched names on the drive to church would say say as we entered the church, “Don’t forget to put your arm around me and smile, after all people are watching and we have a testimony to keep.” So there you have it, just pretend everything is OK. In essence that’s what those men are telling you to do, just make believe everything is OK.

      • Renewed Spirit

        So tired! I think it’s my own fault . Blatant red flags were there before I married him – I obviously was not thinking.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Not your fault. Evil is incredibly deceitful. We have all been duped by it but we are all getting wiser and so are you.

      • surviving freedom

        Renewed Spirit, your comment:

        So tired! I think it’s my own fault . Blatant red flags were there before I married him – I obviously was not thinking.

        This really took me back to where I was a few years ago. Once my ex’s mask started to have cracks, once I was able to see through some of the manipulation and deceit … in the initial stages of getting out of the fog … I would look to the start of the relationship and and different times throughout the early days and I could clearly see him for who he was … For a long time I blamed myself for not seeing it then, wondered how I could have turned a blind eye for so long, what was wrong with me, how I could have been so stupid (sorry for the word, but these are the things I thought about myself. These things kept me stuck in a guilty state of confusion for so long. To add to this, the abuser (who I was still living with at the time) was finding subtle ways to blame me, the DV counselor I was seeing was telling me I needed to look at my “codependency” and “enabling” issues, a lot of abuse articles I was finding focused a lot on excuses for the abusers behavior and blaming the victim, and the church I was attending was using Scripture out of context to burden me with even more guilt. It was all a very confusing time … and it took a long time to get through.]

        Finding this site did wonders for me to work through all of it, but it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen over night. Eventually I came to realize that, even though the red flags are obvious to me now, I had no way of seeing them then … his manipulation and charm, wrong ‘c’hristian views, and being naive to how purposefully hurtful someone truly can be were blinding me to them. I can only see them in hindsight now because I am becoming wiser to the true nature of abuse and how the abuser is enabled by many, many people.

        It took me about a year to get to a place where I didn’t blame myself anymore and the first step was for me to discard any messages that added any extra blame or responsibility that weren’t mine to have. And I needed to do it the hard way. First I was much more careful about which abuse sites I visited, at the first sign of any kind of victim blaming or excuse-making for the abuser I clicked out and made a note not to visit that site again. Next I stopped seeing the DV counselor who seemed to only want to focus on my codependency, and finally I stopped going to the church that was contributing to the blaming messages. Once I was able to remove those things from my life, I began to let go of the self-blame, realize that even though I couldn’t see the red flags then, I can see them now, and now is what matters most. I still have moment, or someone will make a comment, that I step back into a state of questioning myself, but I don’t sink too far into the self-blame for very long. It’s important for me to stay grounded in the truth of how deceitful and cunning abusers can be, focus on God’s Truth according to His entire nature, stay away from anyone or anything that wants to extinguish or twist God’s Truth, and take breaks from focusing on the abuse and invest my time into taking steps to build my own integrity and life.

  8. standingfirm

    Please forgive me. On my post above I meant to say 2 Timothy chap. 3 (I was not fully awake this morning when I typed the post).

    But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

    I can see abusers described here and also the cowards that do not or will not stand up for the victim.

  9. standingfirm

    Standsfortruth, You said you would relish the opportunity to stand up for abuse victims. I will be praying for you that the Lord will open a door for you to do that. No one knows what it was like to be cut down in every way than one who has already walked in those same shoes.

    I assisted in a Christian Women’s abuse support group back in the late 90’s. That was way before I know what I do now. My greatest joy came from comforting others. I also pray that the Lord opens another door for me where I live now to do the same for other hurting woman. I love the ministry here at ACFJ. It is so much needed as most of the world turns a blind eye to the severe mistreatment.

    • I second that.

      In my first few months post-FinalSeparation (like many of us here, I separated several times and reconciled with my abuser before I left him for good) I wanted to find a support group for Christian victims of domestic abuse. I asked around at the secular services including the refuge where I had twice taken shelter with my child. The director of the refuge was a Salvation Army officer. She said to me: “I don’t know any support group for Christian women, but I am willing to help you start one.”

      That was a lightbulb moment for me. Someone thought that I had a good idea — and was prepared to help me put it into action! My sense of myself went up several notches: someone saw my idea as a good initiative! And was prepared to back me!

      One thing led to another. The Salvos provided a meeting room and paid for the photocopying for a little committee that I gathered together, mostly consisting of professionals from different welfare agencies (the agencies thought it was a reasonable inititive to be worthwhile sending a rep to, for a while, to see what came of it…) . We called the committe CRDA (Christians Responding to Domestic Abuse). The committee put on a public forum — an evening event with four speakers: a pastor, a social worker/family therapist, a counselor who was also a church elder, and a lawyer. Seventy people attended.

      At one point the committee was invaded by some Mormon women who wanted to donate a large sum to ‘help the work’. That put the wind up me, and I sought advice from a man who was pretty wise in Christian things about how to politely but firmly decline their donation. (Always the enemy tries to white-ant the work of Christ.)

      Later, we started a support group for Christian women who had been through (or were still in) domestic abuse. Only a tiny handful of women came, but I learned a lot in the whole experience. By that stage, the professionals had dropped out, but I had met a few survivors who wanted to be part of it.

      So, if anyone wants to stand up for abuse victims, they might like to try and see if they can, with the help of DV agencies (many of which are not faith based but ‘get it’ much more than most Christians do) start or participate in a support group for Christian victim/survivors of domestic abuse.

      There will be challenges, for sure. But it’s all a learning curve. 🙂

      Here is a post we have about Support Groups For Survivors.

      • KayE

        Wow if I tried any of that my ex would find out and all hell would break loose. But I’m thinking up a plan to get things changed. Because they have to change.

      • KayE, I think (from what you’ve told us on this blog, over the course of time) that your ex was and is a lot more dangerous than my ex was or is.

      • Renewed Spirit

        So pardon my ignorance – but why did you decline the donation?

      • Because the Mormon Church is a wicked cult; they would have been making the donation to try to get undue influence in what the committee did. They would have tried to use it as leverage to pressure the rest of us into doing things their way. And/or to get ‘kudos’ for the Mormon church. The Mormons say they are Christians but what they teach and believe is heresy.

      • KayE

        I do understand why it wouldn’t be a good idea to accept donations from the Mormons, they consider themselves to be the only true way and they would feel compelled to take over. But what kind of groups do you think would be OK to work with?

      • The committee was only informal, we had no Articles of Association, no elected office bearers, no constitution, no way of formally accepting large donations or accounting responsibly and transparently for how the money was spent. So it was way too premature to take large donations anyway. If we had gone down the path of setting ourselves up to responsibly receive and spend money, I might have thought it okay to accept donations from any evangelical churches, the SDA Church, the Catholic church and any reputable welfare agencies in the town. But we never did set ourselves up in that formal way.

        The only money we received was gold coin donations at the forum (ie one or two dollars per donation), and it was announced at the forum that the money would go to pay for the refreshments we had provided and for obtaining and distributing resources like books or pamphlets that could assist victim/survivors.

        To conduct the forum we were lucky enough to get free use of a venue from Lifeline, which is an organisation that runs a generalist telephone hotline in Australia.

      • Having said that, I do not think the Catholic church understands the gospel properly. And as readers here know, I believe that many many churches that call themselves evangelical are in fact riddled with sub-biblical doctrine and ruled by Pharisees. So my saying that in theory I would have accepted donations from such churches to help a grassroots work which was trying to raise awareness about domestic abuse, does not mean I consider that those churches are properly teaching what the Bible teaches.

      • Anonymous

        Not accepting the donation – I applaud you greatly.

  10. Anonymous

    Barbara, I love your example of “praying it off.” I will put it into practice. My wolf has decided to prey on me again but because we are separated, he spews his venom long distance. It is a reminder to me once again the power in words!! He has managed to once again cut me deeply with wicked words. I will “pray them off” and return to my place of solitude in Him.

  11. Renewed Spirit

    Strange – because he was always telling me I was the one who wanted the ‘good image’. I’m staying close to Jesus or I will end up loosing my heart and mind.

    I do pity the people surrounding the chaos – they a no trained and don’t understand the dynamics. At least the elders agreed with me on that account. I I I leave in the good Hands of the Lord – I don’ h energy for this show!

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