A Cry For Justice

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

Demonic attack on Christian families — common misunderstandings in the church.

The idea that the devil is trying to break up Christian families is very widespread where I live. The devil and demons get blamed for a lot of things, because every person is considered to be basically good. The view that everyone is good, and that external forces are always to blame for bad behavior is a belief that runs very deep in my community. For example there are always people proclaiming the innocence of psychopathic murderers, despite abundant evidence that those murderers were rightly convicted. So it’s probably not surprising to find those attitudes in churches, even though the essential goodness of man is not orthodox Christian belief.

Roscuro’s picture of demonic possession as seen in developing nations is interesting, it does seem more like the descriptions in scripture. I’ve seen many churches spend a lot of time praying against “demonic attacks”, but the actions that these churches attribute to demons definitely reflects more of Hollywood than the Bible.

Ironically although so many Christians are willing to contemplate evil in the form of supernatural beings, they have little comprehension of the kind of person who lies all the time, has no conscience and deliberately inflicts evil on others. There is no underlying good in such a person. The more you really get to know them, the more you will see that is repulsive.

But if a psychopath turns up to church services every Sunday and gives money to the church they will be considered outstanding Christians. And they will continue to get away with preying on their victims. That’s the terrible consequence of turning a blind eye to the evil that really is an integral part of some humans.

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This was written as a comment by KayE here, and it was so good we have made it into a stand-alone post. Thanks KayE for your wisdom.

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18 Comments

  1. one of the little people

    I sat in a church service a couple of years ago and the sermon topic was on gossip. The pastor gave several examples, the penultimate being a story he’d heard at a conference. A woman had come to her pastor to complain that her husband was beating her. The pastor quoted, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities…” to her and told her to go home and pray for her husband. She went back and laid hands on the man every night, waving her magic Jesus wand and TA DA, her husband became a Christian and showed up to church. The tag line to the story? If the woman had remained a gossip, she’d never have seen her husband saved. The entire church clapped and cheered and I cried. I did write an email to the pastor expressing my horror at the story. To his credit, he apologized and promised to correct the story with the congregation, which never happened. We do so love the Hollywood version of stories in the church.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Hollywood version, yep. So that pastor was and probably still is a liar. I grow sick of these “testimonies” that such people embellish and create in order to make themselves look good. That is really what that guy was doing by telling such jibberish – promoting his own “pastoral” ministry. People are such suckers for it. You hear these tales supposedly from the mission field or from some guy bragging about how he “led” ten people to Christ last week or about how that boozer kicked alcohol in an instant by calling on Jesus, or….on and on the stories go. Christ does change the sinner’s heart – radically. People DO get saved. But I have come to realize that most of these tales are just that – tall tales designed to bring glory to man. The way is narrow, and few are they that find it. Oh, and often “pastors” like the one you describe “move on” after selling their limited inventory to credulous congregations and then have nothing more to offer.

      • LorenHaas

        Jeff, I first came to faith in a Charismatic church. These folks were gracious and loving towards me when I was in a dark place. But we’re they ever suckers for the stories of instant conversion. One guy who was popular with the staff because he spoke in tongues which great flourish. They would parade him up on stage to tell his weepy conversion testimony frequently, to be met with joyous acclaim. I got to know him in a men’s bible study and worked with him as a usher. One Sunday as we are standing together at the back of the sanctuary he says, “I am picking up two strippers this afternoon and heading to my houseboat. I cannot handle these wild girls by myself, do you want to come along and have some fun?” I was stunned, but looking back I did see him frequently flirting/hitting on the young women at church. I declined, and later talked to one of the pastors about what had happened. He was not surprised and told me that this man was under demonic attack because his testimony in church was so powerful. The elders would lay hands on him he said. Apparently, it did not take, because he later “ordered” a wife from the Phillipines. (Our men’s group almost forcipally got him to rescind the deal) I left that church, but hung in there with the men’s group.

      • Jeff Crippen

        I mean, you can’t even make these things up!

    • Herjourney

      Forgive me if I laugh. But I did. Lol

  2. Jeff Crippen

    Thank you KayE. I plan to write a sermon soon on the following text. I conclude that Jesus is warning us in it of the danger of self-reformation, self-religion in which a person whitewashes the outside of the tomb but still rejects Christ and therefore once he sweeps his life “clean” he simply provides a more comfortable setting for evil to move in. And if that be the case, my theory is that “Christian” abusers may well often be the product of just such a process. They are fully responsible for what they are because THEY pursued the hypocrisy all the while rejecting Christ. The devil didn’t make them do it.

    Mat 12:43-45 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. (44) Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. (45) Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

    • Herjourney

      This scripture keeps me standing.
      When you’ve slept with the enemy … The desire is..
      I will sleep alone.

    • roscuro

      Yes, that passage in Matthew 12 made me and other Christians whom I worked with cautious in those cases where we saw real demon possession. We would quietly pray for those who were oppressed, rather attempt dramatic exorcisms. In one case where the family asked us to pray, we made sure to explain to the family that the demon could come back and only believing and following Jesus Christ (not just using his name) could give full freedom. In the culture, those who had power with the spirits would make charms to harness the spirits and sell them to others, so we never wanted the name of Christ to become just another charm. I grew up reading those dramatic stories of demons being cast out, but my real experiences taught me much about walking humbly and not carelessly trying to work miracles. Jesus seemed almost to discourage proving his power by casting out demons. He silenced demons who testified to who he was. In Matthew 7:22, he warns that not everyone who casts out devils in his name will enter his kingdom.

      When the seventy returned rejoicing that the devils obeyed them through Jesus’ name, he said not to rejoice for that reason (Luke 10:20). When the disciples could not cast out the demon from the young boy, he told them that much prayer and fasting, which are acts of humility and faithfulness, was needed to cast out such demons. Finally, in Acts 19:13-17, we have an account of what happens when someone misuses the name of Christ with real demon possession. Casting out demons is not something to be undertaken lightly, and certainly not something to show off.

  3. Herjourney

    Stop giving a tith and watch how the “church financial overseer” treats ya.
    I won’t give to a church that elevates and idolizes marriage . I show up to be a witness. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

  4. IamMyBeloved's

    All evil is rooted in Satan. But not all who participate in evil are possessed. Doesn’t the Bible say we are to expose every evil work? Doesn’t it say that we are to abstain and flee even the appearance of evil? And then rightly so, we should flee any spouse who is evil and abuses and also expose them. Certainly, if the Church had her head on straight, they would support these acts, instead of punishing and re-victimizing the saints who are brave enough to flee and expose the evil one they are living with.

    When the Church fails to support victims doing these things, she loses her power to do the righteousness of Christ that we as Christians, are all called to do. That then leaves the Church open to more evil, more wolves and an inability to rightly present the Gospel and truth. No matter how much a Church claims to be growing, the majority are false converts and have no real love for God or the brethren. They are the devil’s advocates sent by him to destroy the Church from within. It is a good thing that we know the promise from God to us is that the true Church will be victorious. Otherwise, we might lose heart.

    • Anonymous

      IamMyBeloved’s, the last paragraph where you talk about the majority of the new converts being false converts, yet the church pretends that they really do now belong to Jesus, reminds me of this bible verse, “”How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make a single convert, and when this happens you make him twice as fit for hell as you are.” Matthew 23:15.

      And I’m realizing that this is the way that they WANT it. Because these false converts slither right along with the evil deeds they do in the darkness and they ALL enjoy being against God and His children, and having power in what is supposed to be God’s church. Thank you for putting this truth into words.

  5. Anonymous

    “…promoting his own “pastoral” ministry. People are such suckers for it.” You nailed it pastor Crippen. I witnessed this first-hand with my ‘ex abuser ordained minister husband’. It would literally make me sick to my stomach watching him play Mr. Christianity while the ‘suckers’ would gaze at him with stars in their eyes.

  6. KayJay

    I have heard the mantra, “Satan is always trying to destroy the family and you’re allowing him to destroy us!,” from a spouse who has for over 2 decades been verbally and emotionally abusive. It hasn’t been Satan. Or at least not some outside evil force that is beyond his control. It makes me feel so sick that it took 2 days to actually respond to this post.

    • Oh KayJay! I honour you for having worked courageously and determinedly through that sick feeling, and writing your comment!

      I’m praying your comment will bless others who have felt sick in a similar way….

    • Those same false accusations were said to me as well from pastor, abuser, and multiple allies.
      These people cover up what is really going on by fabricating this lie to make the oppressed think that her fight is with a devil she cannot see.

      “Why are you going to stand idly by and let the devil destroy your family? as if- that is who we are battling- Not!
      Pure fantasy thinking this is.
      More smoke and mirrors from evil cohorts.

      • When I left my first husband for the final time, I got asked by woman, “Are you going to the devil destroy your marriage?”

        This woman was not entirely blind to domestic abuse. She and her husband had discerned that a certain guy in their church was abusing his wife. They’d picked it from the way he spoke to his wife. But she was still as naive and dangerous as most Christian bystanders, when it comes to knowing what to say to the victims.

  7. Anonymous

    KayE wrote:

    Ironically although so many Christians are willing to contemplate evil in the form of supernatural beings, they have little comprehension of the kind of person who lies all the time, has no conscience and deliberately inflicts evil on others. There is no underlying good in such a person. The more you really get to know them, the more you will see that is repulsive.”

    Reading the comments on this post and being on a website with quotes by Martha Stout had me thinking that these quotes helped explain how an evil person views life here on earth and how they are able to use and abuse us. All these quotes are from Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door .

    strange as it seems, most of the sociopaths are invisible.

    If all you had ever felt toward another person were the cold wish to “win,” how would you understand the meaning of love, of friendship, of caring? You would not understand. You would simply go on dominating, and denying, and feeling superior. Perhaps you would experience a little emptiness sometimes, a remote sense of dissatisfaction, but that is all.

    Sociopathy is the inability to process emotional experience, including love and caring, except when such experience can be calculated as a coldly intellectual task.

    Sociopaths have no regard whatsoever for the social contract, but they do know how to use it to their advantage. And all in all, I am sure that if the devil existed, he would want us to feel very sorry for him.

    And so without our primordial attachments to others, what would we be?
    Evidently, we would be the players of a game, one that resembled a giant chess match, with our fellow human beings as the rooks, the knights, and the pawns. For this is the essence of sociopathic behavior, and desire.

    And sociopaths are noted especially for their shallowness of emotion, the hollow and transient nature of any affectionate feelings they may claim to have, a certain breathtaking callousness. They have no trace of empathy and no genuine interest in bonding emotionally with a mate. Once the surface charm is scraped off, their marriages are loveless, one-sided, and almost always short-term. If a marriage partner has any value to the sociopath, it is because the partner is viewed as a possession, one that the sociopath may feel angry to lose, but never sad or accountable.

    I would like to add here that the fact that many of us have been in long-term marriages with these evil people is a testament to how very strong we are and how evil the churches are that tell us that this is God’s will. It was NEVER His will for his children to be shackled together with children who belong to their father the devil–that is 100% wrong teaching by the naïve (deceived) or The Deceiver’s children.

    More quotes from the same book:

    If anything, people without conscience tend to believe their way of being in the world is superior to ours. They often speak of the naïveté of other people and their ridiculous scruples, or of their curiosity about why so many people are unwilling to manipulate others, even in the service of their most important ambitions. Or they theorize that all people are the same—unscrupulous, like them—but are dishonestly playacting something mythical called “conscience.” By this latter proposition, the only straightforward and honest people in the world are they themselves. They are being “real” in a society of phonies.

    The politician, small or lofty, who menaces the people with frequent reminders of the possibility of crime, violence, or terrorism, and who then uses their magnified fear to gain allegiance, is more likely to be a successful con artist than a legitimate leader.

    This is what many leaders in our churches are.

    THIS is the enemy that is attacking us — a very HUMAN version of evil. Does the devil play a part in it? Sure, as the MODEL or MOLD from which the psychopath is poured and for us to use as a way to identify him (or her), but still very much a human.

  8. Lyn

    From my experience many of the beliefs about the devil being responsible is related to Deliverance/ Inner Healing Ministries- the most influential seem to be SOZO & Ellel – their teachings are that because of generational sin/curses or soul ties people are “oppressed” (not possessed) by Demons and that is why they do what they do… it can get very complicated, but basically they hold to what was said in the original blog, that people are essentially good- and this is a growing belief within mainstream churches due to the influence of these deliverance/ Inner healing ministries, mysticism, & “positive thinking” proponents (people like Caroline Leaf).

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