A Cry For Justice

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

Watch Out for Wolves in Wool — a True Story of Disguises

Here at ACFJ we all know that abusers love to hide in the pews, wearing “holy” garb as a disguise. It’s one of their favorite methods, and a very effective one too.  I never cease to be amazed at how many of these mask-wearers are in churches.

Recently I did some searching online to see what had become of a fellow and his wife who I had known many years ago. They were church members and he was active not only in the church but also held a seminary degree and worked in a professional ministry setting with a well-known Christian organization. I found that he had died, as had his wife, and I located their obituaries and read them.

Now, the reason I am writing about this is to demonstrate to us all once more just how commonly things are not as they appear to be. And so it was in this case. The obituaries were lengthy and absolutely glowing. They told about the sacrificial, godly character of these folks, the self-sacrificing service for Christ, the awards for Christian service they had received, and how many lives were touched for Christ through them. Both obituaries lauded them as having run their race well and entered into the glory of their King Jesus. Hallelujahs and applause ring out.

Now, let me pop the bubble. In reality neither of these people demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Neither of them. Not even borderline. I knew them “behind the scenes.” They did not even get along well with one another. They were self-serving. They were very angry people who would punish others with that anger if they did not get what they wanted. I was the object of that anger more than once, as were many others. In my long experience with these people, I never came close to any sense of confidence that they were really genuine regenerate people. That is the real picture.

This thing is common. Very, very common. Every Christian needs to come to the realization and the wisdom of knowing that this is the very way evil comes among us and works to destroy Christ’s church and people. In disguise. In wool. Without shame, sitting right beside us and taking the bread and the cup at the communion table. We need to stop being so foolishly incredulous when a report comes our way from these kinds of peoples’ victims. “Jeff, I have to tell you – there are two Freds. The one you see at church, and the one the rest of us have to deal with through the week.”

But we are not wise. Not for the most part. Nope. Not wise at all when it comes to evil. If I were to find the people who gave the information for those glowing reports about these people whom I personally knew, and tell them the truth, they would not listen to me. They would be angry and they would accuse me of slandering the good name of fine, Christian brethren and tell me that if I did not repent of saying these things, the Lord’s blessing would be removed from my life and ministry.

I know. I’ve heard it. And so have many of you.

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

44 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    Yes, I know this all too well myself. My first pastor was a horrible abuser. He verbally, spiritually and psychologically abused everybody in his path. He even cursed people in his counseling sessions. Seriously, after leaving that church on reflection, I wondered if he was a Satan worshiper disguising himself as a pastor. Now, he had many devoted followers, and his obituary as well gives a glowing report of his Christianity. Only those who suffered under his abuse knows the truth.

    I also have a father in law who molested children, including one of mine. He also, was a pastor, worship leader and “devoted husband and father”. He was so much loved by almost all who knew him that when I reported him to the authorities hardly anyone believed it. My husbands entire family supported his father over us. We were the BAD guys! We were blamed!

    So, yes, I understand this article all too well. I am completely familiar with this kind of “Christianity”.

    • Jayne

      oh my…that is horrendous!!!! Unfortunately, I have know of many cases similar to yours. Wow…it is freaky that ppl who call themselves Christian can be so corrupt!!! My prayers are with you!!!

  2. I don’t know which is worse: the abuser or the people who enable him/her. Perhaps they are equally wicked.

    • Jayne

      agree

    • michelle

      I have made my decision on that one. I believe the enablers are much, much worse. After all, evil wouldn’t be growing as fast as it is if we all stood together against it like we are supposed to.

      • In Christ Alone

        Michelle… Agreed!!! I am still emotionally reeling from interactions I just had with two women who I have trusted and who have been part of my support network through this ugly separation and divorce from my abuser. I NEVER thought they would say what they did and yet, they both said the SAME THING to me in response to my pain, on the same day without knowing what the other had said. I swear… it honestly felt like a spirit of evil that was impressing them both to say what they did ~ because it was literally identical.

        They are both VERY “Christian” women, leaders in the church, etc… I feel like I was kicked in the gut and just lost two more allies in one day ~ within 1 hour of each other. My own spirit inside said, “That’s it. I’m done. I will never share my heart with you again. I cannot trust you. It’s over.” Then, of course I immediately questioned myself and wondered if I had overreacted just because of my pain. I’m usually over-forgiving, over-generous when people make mistakes, always “letting things go,” etc. But this time something just shut down inside. I have ZERO tolerance for Christians” who KNOW what I have endured, being ok with allowing my ex to infiltrate my safe haven.

        It’s a complicated scenario that I don’t think I could share here without risking my anonymity, but it basically has to do with my ex finding a way to TAKE EVERYTHING from me by getting involved in things I’m a part of and stealing safe spaces from me (it makes him look so pious and legit and me crazy for being upset he wants to be involved).

        Both of these women friends used my children against me as justification for their positions on allowing my abuser to partake in a Christian event (that I have been intimately involved with and is one of my only “safe” places). They both said: “Don’t you want him to find as much healing as possible, for the sake of your kids?” Whaaaaaaat????? Why is the church offering to help a man find healing from a situation HE single-handily created and continues to take zero responsibility for? I also just love how they both posed that statement as a question. I was entrapped because if I said “no,” it would imply that I don’t want the best for my kids and that I don’t desire healing for broken people. And, both of these women know that he continues to abuse and be manipulative and deceitful. From the leader of the event I got, “I hope you understand. We can’t discriminate against people who are looking for help and healing.” Are you kidding me?? It’s one thing to not know the history of a man that shows up at your event, but it’s quite another thing to know the devastation a man has caused and allow him anyway. And then one of them reminded me that my abuser was also a “child of God.” That was the last straw. I essentially hung up on her. I couldn’t even speak. There I was, a highly educated, professional woman who has held it together pretty well through this nightmare… sitting in my car hysterically sobbing, pounding the steering wheel and yelling, “No, he’s not! His father is the devil!!”

        I can DEFINITELY say the pain I feel from their betrayal is far worse than I ever imagined it could be.

      • Jeff Crippen

        In Christ Alone –

        From the leader of the event I got, “I hope you understand. We can’t discriminate against people who are looking for help and healing.” Are you kidding me?? It’s one thing to not know the history of a man that shows up at your event, but it’s quite another thing to know the devastation a man has caused and allow him anyway. And then one of them reminded me that my abuser was also a “child of God.”

        This is not mere foolishness, it is a flat out denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Scripture commands us over and over to put evil out from among us and to be separate from it, especially the kind that disguises itself as a so-called brother in Christ. So these people laying this filth on you have no desire to obey the Lord. They are in this religion stuff all for their own glory. After all, the more evil a person is, the more pats and kudos they get for being sooooo gracious and kind to….the devil.

        I hate it. I hate this stuff. Shake the dust off (a visual sign that you regard the object as cursed by God) and depart.

      • one of them reminded me that my abuser was also a “child of God.”

        There, right there, is her false theology. Thinking that all people are “children of God.” This is akin to universalism: the belief that all people are children of God and all will end up in Heaven.

        BUT —

        to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)

        … it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
        (Romans 9:8)

        For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:13-17)

      • Innoscent

        Barbara, the “child of God” mantra also made me cringe.. Another version of this –which I was told by a ‘friend’ to whom I had revealed much about my narcissistic H, is that she saw the both of us “as a brother and a sister in Christ..” 😦

        Thank you for mentioning those Scriptures! That we are all God’s creatures, yes, but all God’s children.. NO! We have to become children of God at conversion, it is a choice and a commitment until the end.
        To the Pharisees, Jesus clearly stated that the Devil was their father (John 8:44), yet they claimed to be children of God. Abusers, like the Pharisees, are self deceived in believing they are children of God.

        “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” 1 John 3:10

    • Concerned Mom

      I agree

      • Hi Trudy,

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      • sheisovercoming

        I believe it is more that being naive. I believe that underneath is pride…a pride that cannot acknowledge it is wrong…a pride that will look at any suffering the victim goes through as God’s judgement on her. “See, we were right. See how hard a time she is having? See the suffering and pain of her children? It is because she left. If only she would have listened to us, but he was right. She just wouldn’t submit to our counsel and return.” But, now she and her children are suffering because they were thrown out and left abandoned by those called to practice true religion toward her and her children. This has caused far more damage in my children’s lives than the evil of their abusive father. They knew he was evil. What they didn’t expect was for him to be lifted up by their “Christian community” and their “family”, and for themselves to be considered evil for seeking refuge from a very wicked husband and father. They didn’t expect those same people would only accept and care about them if they rejected their mother and follow in the ways of the wicked.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Overcoming – you nailed it. Your description is perfectly accurate.

  3. MoodyMom

    Yes. And when the wool costume slips from time to time, random individuals in ministries, churches, or the community who have just witnessed the “wardrobe malfunction” (an angry outburst, a cruel act) question themselves instead of the wolf. They can’t believe what they just saw. They question their own eyes, their own ears. They don’t want it to be true. They don’t want their idols to be stone-hearted – with smooth, slick. sheep-like masks. So they sit in bewilderment and say nothing, which the wolf counts on. Bewildered silence. Or they try to appease this wolf-idol, so they won’t see this “bad side” of someone who is otherwise “normally so great and nice.”

    That’s how these wolves who want to be idolized make it to their finish lines or the obit column without ever being challenged – with hallelujahs ringing in their ears. Only those closest to them see the wool slip and the tooth and claw come out consistently enough to know their true form. But those closest are now caught in the wolf’s temple/lair. They must either continue to sacrifice themselves and their families to keep peace with this wolf-idol, or eventually – hopefully – they escape the altar and run from the temple.

    When I’ve explained to people familiar with us why we left X, more than one person has said, “Oh, I wondered about…” and relate some story where they saw some tooth or claw come out. Their story always ends with, “But X always seemed so nice! So I didn’t say anything more about it. But it always bothered me…” Boy oh boy, what would happen if all of these people compared notes!

    But then most still chastise me for “breaking up the family” because THEY’VE only seen one incident at random, they assume there’s only been one incident here and there with someone “who’s basically a nice guy”; so that can’t be worth leaving home. I should stop being so over-reactive to X’s slip here, X’s bad day there and go home with the kids. Or I should just get over it and move on. They don’t see the panic attacks, the triggered nausea, the sleeplessness, the confusion and crying, the scanning of all parking lots checking for X’s vehicle, the scanning of church sanctuaries to see if X showed up, the jumping at every car door slam at home, the careful seating in restaurants to be able to watch the door. They don’t walk around all the dead animals’ graves in the back yard, courtesy of X. They don’t hold my bigger-than-me children as they swing between being scared for their safety if they are in contact with their father, and feelings of worthlessness and rejection when he wants no contact with them.

    They are not wise in the ways of evil.

    • Jayne

      wow, really appreciate you sharing this…If only ppl would GET it, that these ppl are truly dangerous…the Church would be a safe place like Jesus intended it to be. My heart goes out to you dear lady!!!

  4. Jayne

    I became a follower of JESUS at 23 yrs of age…now 32 yrs later, I have encountered countless numbers of ppl who fit this category, especially those who label themselves PASTOR. I am currently dealing with a man who is very well known in the House church arena who has caused much harm to me and to others in the Body. He spreads lies and gossip as he travels from house to house, about others who won’t bow to him. Is there something we can do? This man refuses to repent, and won’t listen to our concerns, reproofs and rebukes. He only steps it up more. These ppl are classic narcissistic personality types and few are willing to confront them…they think it is NOT loving…thus they are enabling him to continue to abuse others. 😦 I am not happy about this situation that I keep seeing in every church group I have ever been in. I find that the most dangerous toxic places are IN a church group. HOW SAD!!! Thanks for listening and for the bold stand you take to help victims. Blessings

    • Is there something we can do? This man refuses to repent, and won’t listen to our concerns, reproofs and rebukes. He only steps it up more. These ppl are classic narcissistic personality types and few are willing to confront them…

      You have already tried to express your concerns, to reprove and to rebuke. And he only gets worse. There aren’t enough people in power with enough spine or sense to stand up to him.

      My only suggestion is that you leave the group. That man is a Diotrephes (or Simon the Sorcerer) and the people following him are blinded. If you can wake some of them up so that they eventually leave too, that it the best you can hope for.

      If he shows signs of harassing or abusing you after you leave, document it all and report it to the police to see if you can get a protection order against him.

  5. Tee3

    Even after telling some close friends who are also church members the reasons why I left my marriage, they still chose to stay in church to support and encourage him because he’s their pastor. It’s so sad.

  6. cindy burrell

    Several years ago, I heard that “For God so loved the world…” had been replaced with “Judge not lest ye be judged…” as the primary Scripture that governed believers’ lives. The insufficient interpretation of this Scripture has swung the pendulum from an appreciation of righteous judgment to one that says we should avoid exercising judgment at all.

    Now, even when the emperor has no clothes, few are willing step forward to admit it for fear of being labeled a gossip or a judgmental person. The avoidance of truth in the name of acceptance with regard to certain individuals’ character equates to the accommodation of deception in the body of Christ.

    We are called to live according to the truth, not perception. We are urged to exercise discernment and sound judgment and to protect the afflicted and the weak. Yet, here we are.

    “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:24)

    • Now, even when the emperor has no clothes, few are willing step forward to admit it for fear of being labeled a gossip or a judgmental person

      I read this and had a sudden though extending it:
      Now, even when the emperor is acting lewd and sexually provocative or even masturbating as he parades down the main street with his retinue, few are willing step forward to admit it for fear of being labeled a gossip or a judgmental person.

      • Anonymous

        “Now, even when the emperor is acting lewd and sexually provocative or even masturbating as he parades down the main street with his retinue, few are willing step forward to admit it for fear of being labeled a gossip or a judgmental person.”

        Barb–this is so TRUE! But one of the grossest things about the times we live in is that many would be JEALOUS that THEY weren’t the ones parading down the street naked while masturbating! If only they had thought of it first! They would be FAMOUS!

    • PEARL

      “Now, even when the emperor has no clothes” Just what I was thinking the other day.

  7. TheUngodlyWoman

    I am just starting to find healing after an experience with wolves in sheep’s clothing. At the institution where I was studying for my M.Div.
    After going to the administration and voicing our concern about how the mistreatment of our family was spilling over into all other areas of our lives, they said “we’ll keep you in our prayers”. And that was the extent of their aid. They could have stopped it. The wife of one of their employees was the main perpetrator. But they didn’t. So, I withdrew from their program. That was my only recourse.
    Calling these wolves out and holding them accountable is impossible when they are being protected from on high….

    • Jeff Crippen

      TheUngodlyWoman – you are not the first person to share such an experience in the setting of a seminary or Bible college. Numbers of others who were suffering abuse in their homes and families were treated in the same manner. Ignored. Minimized. Guilted. And THESE are the places training the next crop of pastors!!

      • TheUngodlyWoman

        I have cried many tears over the state of the Church, seeing as I went to Seminary to ‘be the change’ that needs to come about. Somehow, I think they felt much relieved with my departure. But I am more troubled now than ever. If I can’t find the Spirit of Christ among Christian leaders in formation for leadership, what hope will unbelievers have in finding the Spirit of Christ in their future churches?!

      • Jeff Crippen

        I have the very same opinions, TUW. But it seems to me that historically the most visible churches have often represented false, compromised religion. Where is the true church? I think once again that historically it has been found hidden, out of sight, outside the institutional church. After all, such true Christians are hated by the world, by the established Pharisaism, and persecuted. Could it be that this is becoming more and more widespread today as we see such increasing wickedness in the “church”? The blind man healed by Jesus in John 9 had been in the temple, but was put out of it by the Jewish leaders. What happened? He found the real Temple, Jesus, outside that temple. More and more I think we are seeing real Christians having to find real fellowship elsewhere besides the brick and mortar building on the corner.

      • TheUngodlyWoman

        Thank you for sharing your insight. I agree completely. It’s been a very painful disillusionment, but I no longer believe there is a place for me in the institutional church. I’m hoping that means Christ is leading me to my place in HIS church, whatever that looks like now. After all, thats the only church Ive ever wanted to be a part of;)

      • Innoscent

        Thank you TUW for sharing your heartbreaking experience… God heal your soul protect you from the evil religious leadership. The wolves have now colonized most of Christian institutions and like Jeff I believe the majority of the true Church is out there. Going to church doesn’t mean being church. It is Satan’s goal to pervert Christian educational institutions and put his agents instead. Already at the time of Samuel due to the widespread corruption in Israel the prophet founded schools to teach God’s ways to godly young men. We can be assured that God always has another system to counteract the Devil. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, and they marveled; and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4.13. Rejoice sister, our Church is Christ. ♥

  8. StandsWithAFist

    I love Jesus; it’s “Ch-ristians” I can’t stand……

    • Bitter But Getting Better

      StandsWithFist, that’s great! Someone once said of the church: “It’s like being on Noah’s ark. The stench inside wants to make you jump but there is a storm raging outside that keeps you on board.” I’m afraid that the storm is no longer a reason to stay.

  9. KayE

    I’ve met some pretty bad and scary people in my time, including pedophiles and murderers. But by far the most objectively evil people I’ve ever met are people considered by themselves and many others to be “good Christians”.

    • PEARL

      It makes you wonder if we were ever taken over by Islam if these men would just blend right in and deny Christ and take up Allah. I looks to me that it would be a very easy transition.

  10. Innoscent

    I think what hit me the most during these chaotic years with my H was when I realized fully the HUGE discrepancy between his public and private figures. At first there seemed to be just several contradictions, mistakes here and there, but then they became increasingly unsettling until I read a book on narcissistic personalities and it all made sense. The awakening was brutal but so necessary to deliver me from my naivete.
    Since then I’ve had to learn to trust no one and scrutinize, and discern, and always check what I read and hear preached against the Bible like the Bereans. I have also learned so much here at ACFJ. Thank you!

  11. Anonymous

    I realized this about my husband many years ago when God was waking me up. He loves all the memorial stuff; the “honoring” those who are retiring, funerals, assemblies where they laud the attributes of those who’ve died or been successful. He loves to watch the biography shows on T.V. where they frame-up a person’s life experiences and present it as fact. People like my husband and those described in this post know how to manipulate others into doing this for them. It is like a “good ole’ evil boys (and girls) club” of people willing to lie and cover-up truth just to have the right things said about them after they retire or are dead and gone. It never occurs to them to actually BE the people they’re pretending to be because it goes with their heart–they are deceivers and manipulators and it gives them pleasure to think that others will be fooled by them even after they are dead. Never ending fun and games and lies and evil for these people.

  12. Anne

    My dear daughter is getting married. It’s been the most stressful few days of my life. Not because of dd, because of anti H. He has lost no chance of making me feel small and stupid. Talking to me slowly and measured, like a dull child. “Shut … up … and … listen … to me …”, “I… TOLD … you …”, “That’s … NOT … what … I … asked … will … you … just … be quiet … and … pay … attention…”.

    He went out with some dear Christian friends while I was helping daughter. Dear Christian friends say they aren’t taking his side, but I need to forgive and let go of my anger or I’ll never progress any further in my journey. That I should look at where he came from, his early life, parents, that he speaks highly of me, told them he knows how much stress I’m under with this wedding, that he’s just trying to help me. He looks like saint. I look like I’m an angry and unforgiving person. I know these people love me and even some come from more abusive situations than I have, but why do I have to allow anti H more slack than he ever offers me or kids? I don’t care what he SAYS about me while he’s with others. What I care about is that he never backs up what he SAYS about me to others by ACTING toward me in a way that backs up his words. I tell the friends that he’s refused to take responsibility for the abuse and they say that that doesn’t matter, I need to just be responsible for me and forgive or I’ll never move on in my faith journey, that they’ve forgiven their abusive spouse and moved on, wish spouse well, don’t hold any hard feelings.

    I am still at the stage where, after stuffing down my anger at anti H for decades, I’m finally letting it out. It scares me sometimes, how angry I feel, how much is in me and just hits me suddenly when I least expect it, but it is freeing to let it out. I don’t wish anti H dead, just out of my life. I feel very little towards him anymore. Why do I have to forgive church that aided him in his abusive attitudes, even if they do have some nice people? I don’t feel this place was ever good for my family, our kids. It’s run by leadership that is corrupt and doesn’t even live up to its own bylaws. But I have to let them off the hook? I can’t be angry at them for damage they caused or my unforgiveness will hold ME back??? It hurts, it hurts so much.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Anne- Not receiving validation and justice is indeed very angering. And it should be. A true Christian hungers and thirsts for righteousness (see Matthew 5). The anger you are increasingly feeling is not sin, but most probably the groaning of the Holy Spirit in you as He Himself reacts to the evil around you. You don’t have to forgive where there is no repentance, and even if there were you are not bound to reconcile relationships that would be harmful for you to resume. Yes, you can forgive in the sense of resolving to leave justice up to the Lord and not seek personal vengeance yourself, but God Himself does not forgive in the way that all these people are demanding of you. That is to say, God does not forgive anyone who does not truly repent. There are myriads of evil, unrepentant people, who will be under the wrath of God forever and ever. I suppose then, according to so many “Christians” around us today, that God is suffering from a “root of bitterness” and that He needs to “just let it go.”

      Yeah, right.

      Press on Anne. The lights are coming on for you and your righteous anger is an indication of that.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you Jeff for this response. The crap Anne had thrown at her is the same poop the rest of us hear from everyone–the world even says this stuff (which should help us see where it really comes from). If only we didn’t have that pesky old Holy Spirit inside of us showing us the truth of the matter–that injustice, lies, and those who deny us the right to feel and see them, makes us righteously angry and offends and maddens us–because these things offend and madden GOD. Maybe we should just tell GOD that HE needs to learn how to forgive, to let go or He won’t grow in His journey, that He should follow the other “c”hristian people who can be so holy as to embrace the unrepentant and love them too! Yes! That’s the answer! God probably just needs a good sit down so that He can finally get on board with the modern way of forgiving–then maybe He can turn the demons into humans so that we can forgive them too, because clearly our manmade way of forgiving is working better than His way. Yep–now we have the answer!

      • StandsWithAFist

        Thank you Ps. Jeff for this wise reply.

        Like Anne, I, too, have been accused of being angry and bitter, when in reality I am longing for righteousness and justice and truth. I’m tired. I’m weary. I’m disgusted. I’m grieving. I have a knot in my stomach most of the time when going to church, & it feels like watching a B-movie with a lousy script that can’t decide on comedy or drama. It’s not that I think I’m better or more pious, but rather, that I am thirsty & I have to spit out the lukewarm water. That, or go make a whip……

        I am no longer content with the superficial platitudes of silly sheep who follow blind guides and belch “sunday school’ prattle while they plan their predictable little parties and pretend to be holy. I’m sick of the charade. I’m sick of the pretense. I’m sick of the shallowness. I’m sick of watching them “practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them”. (Matthew 6). I’m sick of them ignoring the least of these, while making grand videos about their latest overseas mission while they can’t seem to pour a cup of cold water for their neighbor. And I am angry.

        So, it got me to thinking: are there any books or articles about the anger of Jesus? Jesus was not a one-dimensional love machine. His emotions were vast and pure and sacred, but we primarily hear about His love, not His anger; the same with God the Father. And I wonder why? The OT especially speaks of God’s anger, yet in modern times we are all reduced to bowls full of mushy “love”. Jesus was not a “hippie” or a pot-smoking, peace-not-war prophet. He wasn’t Ghandi. Jesus had grit. Why do we not hear that from our pulpits? Why is the church so afraid of righteous anger?

        Can you write on this?

      • Jeff Crippen

        StandsWithAFist – Excellent stuff. Yes, I will write about it. In fact I will do my next sermon on it as part of the Wise as Serpents sermon series which we plan to turn into a book. Barbara is going to help write the book too. It is about the nature and tactics of evil and is a rebuke of the church for being willfully ignorant about evil. A chapter on God’s righteous anger is a very good idea, and we thank you.

        And I LOVE your description of the typical local church “ministry” you write here. It is bullseye!

      • Innoscent

        Anonymous- That’s exactly it!! They ask us to forgive unrepentant sinners under the false banner of “love” (weak sentimentalism), rally to their great “God’s love” cause, parade and show to the church and the world a masquerade of the true love of God.
        It’s counterfeit love, counterfeit forgiveness straight from Satan’s bible!

      • Innoscent

        StandWithAFist- thank you for your words, you’ve described my very anger, my thirst for justice and action. Thanks. When I lived with my abusive H, he would go to great lengths to deny my right to be angry or prove that my anger was not righteous.
        Today when I long for justice I’m accused of having a revengeful spirit.
        I am so sick too when I witness the negligence, indifference and ignorance in the church and sometimes I dream of cleansing the temple like Jesus. They can donate for such and such mission field, cause or disaster relief and yet cannot help a sister victim of abuse and financially stranded. They can “perform” at church worship and sermon and hold luncheons, etc. and it all feels like a Hollywood studio, so fake and surreal. 😦

        Jeff- A book rebuking the church on these issues is well needed! It won’t go down well for many but it will waken a few hopefully. It’s worth it. Have you read The Other Side of love by Gary Chapman.. on how to handle anger.. is it any good?

  13. kim

    In Christ Alone: I just read your testimony above and I wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you. I’m sending you hugs and prayers. I pray God sends you true Christians to support you and that you remain strong in Him.

    • In Christ Alone

      Kim, thank you for your prayers and virtual hugs! It really does mean a lot to me. In the midst of such darkness, God has been good (as He always is!) and continues to walk with me. He has brought me out of Egypt and I’m fighting the last few battles now to enter the Promised Land. Sounds kinda corny, but those are the Scripture passages God has consistently led me to throughout this journey… Although these incidents were completely devastating, they needed to happen. I believe they are just one of the many merciful (and painful!) ways God has protected me. I think these women fulfilled a need in my life for a time and now that I’m stronger, He allowed me to see the whole truth. It just can’t be coincidental that these conversations happened within and hour of each other… I accept the loss as something that is making me more discerning and wiser. I can now recognize more subtle nuances that were there all along, but just didn’t recognize. God is patient and gracious with me. It takes a long time to undo the brainwashing and incorrect interpretations of abusive behavior that became so “normal” in my life.

      And, thank you Pastor Jeff and Barbara for responding to my post. Your affirmation of reality and support of truth with Scripture is so encouraging. I am, indeed, shaking the dust off and departing. I feel a peace about that.

      Thanks to all of you here that share, pray, and encourage one another. This blog has truly been a lifeline to me.

      • kim

        In Christ Alone- you will remain in my heart and prayers. You are not alone.

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