A Cry For Justice

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

If You Have Ever Exposed an Abuser, You Know the Loss of “Friends”

After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:1-6)

Abusers steal the hearts of those who once were close to us

Like King David, abuse victims know the pain of having their family and friends alienated from them by the deceiving work of “Absalom.” Behind the scenes, constantly accusing and slandering and insinuating, the wicked one steals the hearts of those who once were close to us.

I have experienced this very thing numbers of times, as have most of our readers. We have watched as children grew up loving us until the day came when they phoned and repeated back all the lies the abuser has used against us, then walked away. His spell is still on them. For them to admit otherwise — that the abuser is the evil one in truth — is totally outside of their thinking paradigm. They will have to find out for themselves, if they ever do.

As a pastor who came to understand evil some years ago, I have walked down this painful path myself. Men, women, and children who for years came to church on Sunday mornings with smiles — “Good morning, Pastor! What good stuff do you have for us today?” — now hate me. I have been disowned. Why? Because the evil of abuse was exposed. As you probably know, back in 2010 I preached a 22 part sermon series originally entitled “The Psychology of Sin” which dealt in detail with abusers, their tactics, and how they hide in the church. One man who hated this series said, before leaving, “These past few months of sermons have been hell for me and my family.” I suppose in a way they had been. After all, the truth of Christ proclaimed is a kind of “hell” for the wicked.

Without exception the wicked ones successfully alienated their families and “disciples” from me and those who once pronounced me “blessed” now will have nothing to do with me.

So yes, we here at ACFJ know exactly how victims suffer and this aspect of their suffering is one of the most cruel — the loss of family and friends due to Absalom standing at the city gate deviously working to win hearts for his own evil purposes and ultimately leading an armed revolt against his father the king.

Now, of course, those who are deceived by Absalom are not without guilt. Absalom was David’s son. How dare he stand at the city gate and “share” his desire to be king, claiming his father was not a good ruler! The people certainly should have seen that, but they chose instead to listen to Absalom’s fictitious promises. They chose. They did not want to see evil. And so it is today.

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Note: Jeff Crippen’s sermon series originally titled “The Psychology of Sin” was later renamed “Domestic Violence and Abuse”. It was from that series being on Sermon Audio that this blog came to be. Find the series here.

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19 Comments

  1. Seeing Clearly

    “His spell is still on them” In recent conflict with an adult child, it appears he has not forgiven me for divorcing his father. Yes, I think his father’s spell is still on him. Also, I wonder if the spell is generational.

  2. Amy

    “We have watched as children grew up loving us until the day came when they phoned and repeated back all the lies the abuser has used against us, then walked away. His spell is still on them. For them to admit otherwise — that the abuser is the evil one in truth — is totally outside of their thinking paradigm. They will have to find out for themselves, if they ever do.”

    For me, this has been the most painful part of when I finally chose to divorce my abusive ex who walked out on me and our two boys in ’09. Both boys listened to their father’s lies about me and although my youngest has come to know the truth, my oldest who just turned 25 never really forgave me for breaking up the family because that’s how his father painted everything. My ex led my son and others who would listen to believe I was this unloving, unforgiving, ungodly wife who refused to reconcile even though he (my ex) did not want a divorce because of course, he was a loving Christian husband who was willing to forgive me for my sins.

    Although I have more of a relationship to this day with my oldest son, there is still this strain between us and he now lives with his father which feels like a double-edged sword to me.
    I just keep praying that one day my son will come to see the real truth. And honestly, that is the part which baffles me to this day since both of my boys were victims of their father’s abuse towards them yet somehow he came out the ‘good’ guy and I was the one who broke up the family.

    • Moving Forward

      Same here. He walked out, yet I am breaking up the family, and that is what many at church believe as well. He no longer attends, and lives a few hours away, but spends more time with church people than I do (they don’t spend any time with me). I, too, am portrayed as an unloving, unforgiving, ungodly wife who refuses to reconcile. However, now that he has a girlfriend, he gets after me for making the divorce take too long (the joy of having to use a slow-poke legal aid lawyer, while he sits back and lets me pay for it all). The children don’t know what to think, some knowing the truth, others sitting on the fence, and the youngest falling for his words. So heart-breaking.

      • Jeff Crippen

        I always find it very interesting and contradictory that churches readily accept the abuser with the new girlfriend and reject the victim. It appears that “loving the poor fellow unconditionally” includes accepting the impropriety and (dare we say) sin he is involved in with his next victim to be. These double standards are evidence that such “Christians” are not genuinely seeking real truth and righteousness, but whatever scenario will benefit their own comfort and ease.

      • Amy

        Interestingly, it’s the same with my ex re: our former church family. From what I’ve heard he keeps in contact with several from that church we had once attended but I rarely see any of them.

    • Amy I think the children so desperately want love and acceptance from the abuser that they minimize his abuse in order to make it more acceptable. My youngest, who almost had a mental breakdown from his abuse (which is what he did to me), minimizes it now or refuses to connect the dots. She says all families are like this. NO, THEY AREN’T HONEY. She even tries to minimize MY experience of abuse. Nope. I told her you have NO IDEA. They truly want to believe the best about these psychopaths. It’s all part of the abuse unfortunately.

  3. Herjourney

    The spell over the abusers allies is spiritual! Evil and intentional .
    I would like to find out how to break it.
    It’s like they have amnesia .
    I pray for a break through.

  4. Anonymous

    WOW, Pastor Crippen, you surely do know and understand abuse! I have listened to every one of your 22 part series and some of them several times. They were a lifeboat for me when I first came to realize I was married to an abuser and of course as we all know, the world of confusion that comes along with it, keeps us stumbling around seeking stability as we make every attempt to get out of the fog.

    I could not make sense of what was happening to me and my ‘marriage’ but the clarity found within your sermons became my compass. Your courage and willingness to shed light upon evil and call it what it is, literally became a beacon of light upon which I kept my eyes focused while climbing up and out of the deep, dark pit where I found myself.

    It is NOT my intent to flatter or embarrass you, pastor Crippen. After all, and I heard it said, “The best of men, are men at best.” But it IS my intent to say I believe God is using YOU as his chosen instrument to continue to shed light on and speak out against the evil that is all around us. And you nailed it to say, “Now, of course, those who are deceived by Absalom are not without guilt.” Even now, post divorce, I see and hear of at a distance my ex/Absalom playing victim while seeking to turn others against me. I just keep handing it over to the Lord Who said, “Do not return evil for evil… It is Mine to avenge…” Romans 12:17-19.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you for the encouragement Anon. It is a huge boost to know victims are being set free.

    • Yes anon and the Bible also says have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them. Eph 5:11

  5. Fool me once

    My oldest child recently went through a period of conflict with my abusive ex and realized what had been going on all along. It was such a vindication for me to have him tell me, “I get it now, Mom. I would have left him, too.”

    By the way, for others wondering, all those sermons are transcribed into PDFs, so if you hate audio as much as I do, you’re in luck 🙂 Thanks so much to whoever did all that work of transcribing!

  6. Anonymous

    And pay attention to how Absalom had to put himself up against David (he had to USE David to compare himself) in order to have a springboard to spring from. This is what abusers need in order to initially gain acceptance. Another tactic is to come alongside the person / religion / government (whatever they are desiring to take over so that they can eventually, “…oppose and…exalt…[themselves] over everything…” (2 Thessalonians 2:4) so that it APPEARS that they are working WITH us and have the same goals that we do, but it is only a way to fool, use and destroy us. (Many of us thought we had married our best friend and biggest ally, only to realize we had married someone who HATED us and RESENTED having to even bother pretending that he was like us. But he had always planned to make us pay for this –and psychopaths are this way– they resent having to play these stupid games in order to get along in society but they are always working against it in some form or another. Anti-Christ. Anti-humanity. Anti-kindred spirit.)

    Once their regimen is firmly established they usually throw off these outer trappings they had used to masquerade themselves, so that the real soul of what they are is revealed but it is then often too late for the innocent to escape and the many that are like them (of the same evil mindset) are ensconced deeply in their governmental system of authority. We can always refer back to the Holocaust but that is just the most famous example — North Korea is a current example that is still in action. (From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_dynasty_(North_Korea) “Kim developed a personality cult that contributed to his uncontested 46-year rule and extended to his family…Four years after Kim Il-sung’s 1994 death, a constitutional change wrote the presidency out of the constitution and named him as Eternal President of the Republic in order to honor his memory forever..” So that he will be WORSHIPED forever.)

    Reading this post as well as “North Korean cult of personality” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_cult_of_personality makes me realize once again why Jesus chose to address how we are supposed to think about our family ties.

    Matthew 12:46-50 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Jesus shows us here that even though we may be biologically related to some people this is NOT who HE considers (necessarily) HIS brethren. It’s those who have the same mind and heart of God.( And once Jesus had died and rose again, we also had the same Holy Spirit.)

  7. Still Reforming

    That particular sermon series both ministered to me and educated me in ways that few other sermons have, notably regarding wisdom and discernment. I still highly recommend and share that series with others. Thank you for preaching it and sharing the link here.

  8. Gothard Survivor

    Wow. Thank you.

  9. 12wildflower

    This seems to be a continuation, not only for myself as a child that was sexually abused but also spirituality abused by the cult I grew up in, as well as in “Christian” organizations and churches. Both of my marriages were Domestic Violence with the entire spectrum if abuse. I hoped that marrying in a “Christian” Church to a “Christian” man would be ‘it’, be right. Better, surely Gods will.
    The tentacles of abuse continue to reach out and latch onto my, now grown, children and my one Grandchild. This has brought me, once again, to a horrifying trigger filled time that involved my oldest son as my Father reaches the end of his life. Lies and accusations that could only come from someone (we know how they hide) in the family or directed by those lies. I’m tired. I’ve fought for many years now, I’m an advocate for others (to my best ability) but I just don’t have the support that I need and the symptoms of PTSD, sleep disorders and pain have culminated in what I feel is the person I never wanted to end up being. I’m angry and so sad, not only for myself, but for my children and any Grandchildren coming into this family, this world. I’m a believer, yes, but please, I don’t want anyone to give me anymore pat answers. I don’t like to hand them out and I hate false hope, following bunny trails.
    Don’t say “I’ll pray for you”.
    I, we, need something more tangible. I’ve got to find something to hold onto at this point.
    Send in the Angels.

    • Anonymous

      12wildflower, I feel as you do and it has only been after many years of God’s unrelenting truth in my life that I no longer “care” what others think. (I actually care very much but not about pleasing psychopaths or their supporters.) This truth that you see, that I see, should be something we are taught about from our youth so that God’s children can find strength and comfort with each other. Instead we find in most churches the, “I’m okay, You’re okay,” or “It takes two to tango,” or “You must be getting a need met by interacting with him–so you have issues too!”

      We need to stop lying to everyone and tell the truth about evil and personality disorders and that the bible tells us ALL about it. We need to provide a safe haven for God’s little ones so that they have a place to go to find rest and solace so that they can rebuild and recharge in the strength of God’s word via His Holy Spirit.

      You shouldn’t be so alone in your fight, I shouldn’t be so alone, all of us here should NOT have been tossed out like so much trash but instead embraced with the love of Jesus and held while we weep and cry. We should not be told that, “Marriage should make us holy not happy.” (This is one of the MOST EVIL piles of garbage I have heard come out of churches!)

      We are not supposed to feel defeated and alone and like we are crazy. We are supposed to know through God’s word that evil ones will be found in the church and they will look like the rest of us but they will actually be, “These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted…” Jude 1:12.

      Take some time to look up the definition of these words.http://biblehub.com/nas/jude/1.htm The link provided allows you to click on each word to see the deeper definition. In this you can see how clearly the truth of what we now know was PLAINLY written down for us under God’s guidance so that we could protect ourselves and each other once the evil ones were revealed.

      For instance: the word for, “who are hidden reefs” is used only ONCE and means, “…of men who by their conduct damage others morally, wreck them as it were…”

      Thank you for sharing your heart and your life here as it matters very much to us and it is your life which is your testimony and is meant to be shared with God’s children so that they know that they are not alone.

    • standsfortruth

      12wildflower,
      if I could walk with you and help you any way through your ordeal I would.

      I know that is not the tangible help like you requested, but this blog is our only means of support.
      Since divorcing my abuser, the psychological wreckage he left behind after 3 decades -also involves all 4 of my children  . ( 3 now being adults)

      Being away from my abuser now enables me to offer some clarity to those children who are still lost in the fog of it.

      Being free from his direct abuse gave me an advantage in knowing what my he is likely to do in a given situation where I can tell he is setting up one or more of the children to be manipluated or decieved.   
       
      Using the hindsight I gleened from the decades of his abuse, I also can also predict and premptively counter his plotting undermining attacks on them, because I now know how he works. 
       
      Finding a plan to get yourself free or ultimately removing yourself from the abuse first- could put you in a likewise better position to help the others you care about.

      Even though things may seem bleak and hopeless right now  there are many of us praying for your situation…  

      And just perhaps God is preparing to soon send Angels “in human form your way”.

  10. Karen

    12wildflower,
    I hear you loudly. I wish we could all sit in a room and bear one another’s burdens and give each other hugs. For the despair is so great at times.

    You are still loved by Jesus no matter what.

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