A Cry For Justice

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

Want to Read a Letter from Wormwood?

 

I did not send the prophets, yet they ran;
I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
(Jeremiah 23:21)

Here is still another example of the wicked, evil filth that victims of abuse are subjected to through the hands of their fellow “christians.” In this case the abuser is in a full-time ministry position. All the time he has been “serving the Lord,” he emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and sexually abused and tormented his wife. Ultimately she realized what was happening and left him. Later, she received the following letter from one of the abuser’s colleagues. Notice that this man is a false prophet, claiming to be announcing Jesus’ very words which were given to him to speak to her.

As I was lifting you up today, Jesus brought some thoughts to mind that He wanted me to share with you. First is that out of His love for you, He has extended His forgiveness and mercy and grace to you. He has rescued you from the enemy; the enemy who only wants to destroy everything good. Jesus is light and His light He has given to you. You are a strong woman and one which He has strengthened, blessed and chosen to extend His light to the world.

There is only one thing that is standing in the way. You must, out of love for [husband] extend the very same forgiveness and mercy and grace that He has extended to you. How else can the name of the Lord be magnified on the earth? This is your cross to bear. [Husband] has been a real [expletive]. Maybe he still is. Your leaving really broke him. That took real courage on your part. Out of it, the Lord got room in [husband’s] heart that might not have happened otherwise. Praise the Lord!

Now it’s time for you to receive him back. Just as the enemy tried to destroy your family through [husband], now it is his tactic to try to destroy your family through you. Do not be fooled. You must follow the Lord Jesus Christ now in His way, just as He washed the disciples’ feet. I beg you, if you can’t find reason enough in yourself, your kids or [husband], find reason enough to love and forgive and extend mercy and grace for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus — that the enemy would be put to shame and the Lord your King will be shown as the great and wonderful Savior that He is.

Please, [husband], just as you and me, isn’t worthy in and of himself, but he has been made worthy just as you and me. Please search your heart and the Lord’s and find the courage to take up your cross. May His name and His story be made great in you, daughter of the King!

Where to even begin in commenting on this evil person’s words? As we have already noted, he is guilty of being a false prophet. He claims the Lord spoke to him and sent him, which is a lie. He incurs the Lord’s wrath upon himself for this, just as the false prophets of Jeremiah’s day did. Let’s call him Wormwood (as this letter would have fit nicely into the Screwtape Letters).

Wormwood also uses the typical pious sounding holy talk lingo that makes him sound sooo noble and saintly. It is all designed to raise himself above the victim so that he can talk down to her. “I am an ultra-holy man. You must listen to me and obey, my child.” It drips of arrogance. And threats implied.

Then of course you have the standard perversions of forgiveness and reconciliation, complete with full-blown guilting and shaming. “Jesus forgave YOU, and now look at how shabbily you are treating your husband. He’s really broken. I know these things.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, ok, he abused you. I get that. But Jesus wants you back in that marriage so you can be abused some more because that is what Jesus does with us. Just think how you can shame the enemy and bring glory to Christ by submitting to more abuse and hey, maybe even getting killed. You would be a martyr! Isn’t that glorious!”

A person who claims to be a Christian but who habitually walks in evil, is still “worthy” in God’s sight. Did you know that? This fellow says so. Fundamentally, myriads of pastors and professing Christians completely dismiss Scriptures like 1 John and insist that a person walking habitually in evil is still a Christian. Abusers are Christians. They tell us they are. “Your abuser is a Christian. He says he is. He believes in Jesus. So we are going to receive him in the church.”

Thank you, Wormwood. You have shown us who you really are.

You believe that God is one; you do well.
Even the demons believe — and shudder!
(James 2:19)

***

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63 Comments

  1. Lea

    “Just as the enemy tried to destroy your family through [husband], now it is his tactic to try to destroy your family through you. ”

    Wow.

    I think anyone starts blaming the ‘enemy’ for stuff a person did, that’s kind of a tell, but to extend it to her? Yuck.

    • When I left my abuser, a christian woman said to me “Are you willing to let Satan destroy your marriage?”

      aarrrgggh

      • M&M

        Sheesh……it’s such a common teaching that “Satan wants to destroy your marriage”, but there’s a difference between mostly true and all true. I’m sure he loves destroying people through unbiblical divorces, but in cases where divorce rescues an oppressed from an oppressor it no longer serves his purpose of destroying people. I wish more churches allowed common sense.

  2. Lily

    A few years ago I received an email from ‘pastor’. I told my friend, and she said, “I don’t even want to read it. It will start and end with flattery and in between, you get crucified.”

    Forgiveness doesn’t mean restoring relationship. We can forgive and still go no contact.

    How dare he say the h was ‘broken’. How does he know that? Actors are abundant in this world. If he was broken, he wouldn’t be whining to his friend to guilt her back. And she would know. I got the emails and phone calls after leaving h #1, just like above, along with, “How would you know he hasn’t changed unless you take him back?” I knew. Oh, yes, I knew. Not even a hint of doubt there. Now, over 20 years later, they still believe him…….some of the kids, too. They have the act down to a very fine science.

    • Your friend’s comment about pastor’s email is spot on!

      When abuser’s allies write to the abused person, the letter typically starts and ends with flattery, and in between they needle, sin-level, minimise the abuse, falsely accuse the victim, shift blame onto the victim, depict the problem as ‘mutual,’ argue that the abuser is ‘broken’ and ‘repentant’, and crucify the victim on a thousand crosses.

  3. M&M

    It doesn’t sound to me like he’s saying that she should take more abuse, but that the husband has changed. But I’m sure he’s wrong about that and that the husband wants to abuse more.

    Lately I’ve been wondering what started this trend of sin-leveling and welcoming abusers. Is it because of James 2:10? Is it because “Jesus hung out with the lowest people in society”? Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if he “hung out” with any abusers? How abusive were the tax collectors? I know he “hung out” with tax collectors.

    Although I like the concept that “the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath” and the same applies to marriage, there’s no way I’d know that from the Old Testament alone. Numbers 15:32-36 and Exodus 35:3 make God look like the bad guy who kills people for wanting to be warm in the winter. I wonder how many victims feel disturbed by that.

    • Jeff Crippen

      M&M – Thank you. Actually, the Old Testament has quite a number of passages that show us the mercy of grace of God. When Moses asked the Lord to show Himself to him, it was the lovingkindness and mercy of God’s character that He revealed. Then you have Jesus quoting from the Old Testament when He rebuked the Pharisees for their distortion of the Sabbath –

      For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
      (Hosea 6:6)

  4. Whoopdedoo

    Sadly, this reads like the letter I received from my oldest son 3 weeks ago.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Whoopdedoo – Thank you for commenting. Yes, Wormwood seems to appear quite often. If you are new to the blog, welcome. And we like to recommend to new commenters that they might want to read our FAQ’s and New Users tabs at the top of our home page. Good stuff for keeping safe while commenting online. And thanks again.

  5. Jamie

    I am having trouble seeing through the correspondence coming from well-meaning people following my mishandled abuse case.

    It is extremely discouraging. They do not know your heart or your motives. They do not have the facts about your case and they write, representing the Lord, accusing and presupposing a whole, false set of circumstances.

    When they’ve sent scripture, it has proven to still be an encouragement, but it can be devastating to be under such constant, detailed critique.

    Helpful to see your perspective in examining this one.

  6. Renewed Spirit

    How would you respond to this angle? Paul also said “why do I do the things I don’t want to, and the things I should do I do not do”? The evil which still clings to each one of us is the ‘problem’.
    That is the latest approach I’ve heard.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Renewed – I would simply tell them to keep reading on into Romans 8. The bit they are misusing is in Romans 7, but in chapter 8 Paul makes it very clear that whatever kind of person he is speaking of in chapter 7, it cannot be a Christian who is habitually walking in unrepentant sin. In addition, even in chapter 7, the person who is yielding to the flesh is also a person who is GRIEVED over it and cries out in anguish to be set free from it. That doesn’t sound like any “repentant” abuser I have ever known.

      • Renewed Spirit

        Thanks for your help!

  7. cindy burrell

    This junk goes beyond offensive – it is appalling. Unfortunately, I listened to this tripe for years before I left my abuser – and after. Even now, these many years later, Christian know-it-alls have the audacity to question whether I “did it right.” It never ends.

    How often the ignorant come along after the fact and decide that the abuse victim must forgive and accommodate the “wounds” and needs of the abuser, while she must set aside her profound needs for healing, restoration and emotional safety. This Christian-ese form of manipulation that uses an I-speak-for-God form of judgment, coupled with a heavy weight of religious obligation, guilt and shame is truly nauseating. This is the kind of junk that virtually all Christian abuse victims face.

    Thank for you exposing it here.

  8. anonymous

    I’m getting really tired of those who elevate marriage to idol status, pat the wicked abuser on the head, and expect the abused spouse to live under heavy oppression and all kinds of wickedness, while they themselves will not lift a little finger to help them.

    I find this sort of attitude is especially rampant in the no divorce ever crowd. They are so merciless and their false doctrine starts to run into serious trouble when the sin of abuse and adultery raises its ugly head. They essentially preach the abused spouse must live under abuse and adultery, with an unrepentant reprobate for the rest of their days, no matter what, even if they end up getting killed. They will not say so, but this is sometimes (a spouse even being killed, but most certainly being spiritually destroyed emotionally) the end of result of their bad advice and they know it. Hence they have a desperate need to minimise the abusive spouses sin and instead make the victim out the be the sinner.

    As soon as someone glosses over vile sin like abuse and adultery, and instead puts the onus on the abused spouse, its time to cut that person off. They do not have the heart of God. How could they?

    • anonymous

      On a side note, I just read someones blog post (who strongly endorses the ‘divorce no remarriage ever’ doctrine) that said when you approach your husband to approach them as if you are approaching God, to imagine as if that was God you were approaching and how you would speak and feel and act. I know we are to reverence our husbands, but is that even biblical? It sounds a little bit out of whack to me.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Anonymous – Well, that is called idolatry. And of course the god-status is exactly what the wicked are after. The person that counseled the “approach him like God” is worse than an idiot. The truth is that we should approach an abuser as if we were going to talk to Satan.

      • DyingStar

        That makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not worshipping my ex, nope, not doing it. I think it would reactivate the PTSD I still have just reading what that website has to say.

      • Seeing the Light

        “The truth is that we should approach an abuser as if we were going to talk to Satan.” Thank you for this, Jeff. This hit me today like an epiphany. It could transform the approach I take when I have to communicate with my abuser husband over household and child issues that require interaction.

      • AW

        The truth is that we should approach an abuser as if we were going to talk to Satan. Amen to that. Abusers who wear the religious facade twist God’s words with such regularity and severity, they do their father proud. We should recognize them for what they are.

  9. Anonymous Grandma

    I’m imagining how I might answer this letter, if indeed I felt moved to answer at all. I’ve never been married to an abuser, but I did attend an abusive, authoritarian church for a while, where I was bullied by one particular sister whom everyone else admired and defended. In addition, I have a young relative living in my household whose mother was an epic lifelong psychological abuser. I can relate on several levels to the woman who received this letter from Wormwood, and so, if you’ll forgive the liberty, this is how I think I might reply.

    Dear Wormwood,

    Thank you for your concern, but I don’t believe you heard from the Lord. What you heard was your deep but misguided empathy for the pain X is pretending to feel.

    Please keep in mind that X is a dangerous and violent man. This is his proven track record. You’re a loving husband and father who would probably give your life to protect the women of your own family, yet you want me to take a monster back into my home and bed.

    X is not “broken”. I’ve seen his crocodile tears before. My friend, X is playing you. He’s a deceiver. Trust him at your own risk. I trusted him, and he repaid me with too many physical and emotional injuries to count and a broken family. The only difference is, he would never dare to physically assault you. He knows you wouldn’t tolerate it. And why should you? But then again, why should I? Surely God never meant marriage to be a license to abuse.

    Now that X can no longer harm me in person, he’s attempting to do so by proxy: you. What’s worse, you claim to be speaking for God, when it’s apparent to me that you’re merely speaking for X. Please prayerfully reconsider your position on this.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Anonymous Grandma

    • Jeff Crippen

      Perfect!!

  10. DyingStar

    I’ve had these letters sent to me more than once. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. I would venture to say most churches aren’t true churches at all, and the “Christians” in there are these hypocrites who do nothing but impose rules on everyone else. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t darkened the door of a church in almost a year. I can’t take it anymore. I’m tired of being judged. I’m tired of being blamed. I’m tired of being accused. I’m just tired… of all of it. I think churches handle abusive situations worse than ANYONE else. That is why so many people have turned away from church and a lot of times, God in general. I know I still struggle with it, having been through 3 abusers back to back (I know how to pick ’em!)

    I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever go back to church. I have YET to have a good experience in one. They have ALL sided with the abusers. “Poor so and so, his wife left him… ” I don’t even want to mention the posts he makes on social media about God being with him “through the tough times” and everyone feeling sorry for him. I’m sick of it! They don’t know how he used to slap me in the back of the head and think it was funny. How he demeaned me in front of my family, making jokes about going and being with other women. How he put down my appearance, saying how I had too much fat on my legs. How he acted like I was some sex slave and tried to force me to “service him” with bad hygiene. Oh, don’t even get me started. Those letters… I’ve gotten plenty. I blocked the pastor from contacting me after that. I knew he wouldn’t listen, nor would he care. All they wanted was to preserve the “marriage” as I was on the worship team at that church and they didn’t want their spotless appearance to be tainted.

    • kim

      D.S. You said “(I) know how to pick ’em). Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Abusers are predators, and they know how to size up a potential victim. Your loving, patient, and empathetic nature is probably what drew them to you. You are not destined to always be with abusers, and your abusers are 100% responsible for their abuse. Please don’t tell yourself the lie that it is your fault for winding up with abusers, or for being abused.

      • Jeff Crippen

        That is great advice. Thanks Kim.

      • DyingStar

        You don’t know how much I needed this today, Kim. It’s been a rough week so far. I beat myself up almost daily because of this. I always feel like it’s my fault. The trauma of back to back abusive men haunts me to this day. The sad part is, I’m only in my 30’s. I have been judged so harshly for it, referred to as “trash” and “a mistake” by numerous people. If I reveal everything about my past, I fear being an outcast (I already feel that way regardless). I hope one day I can get past it. It’s just that most people can’t get past the “number of times” and they instantly judge me. There have been times my mind has gone to a very dark place, thinking I AM a mistake, thinking I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t want to go to church. They’ll hate me there too, I think to myself. I’ve been labeled by some as somebody who throws men away like trash. If only they knew! But they won’t believe me anyway.

      • NotMyFault

        D.S I can relate to the guilt and the feeling of being judged everywhere I go. I also haven’t been back to my church for some time now, and I often doubt whether I was exaggerating and maybe it wasn’t so bad. I realised the other day when I replied to another post how much I need to tell my story I think we all do. Sending you big totally non judgemental hugs and prayers

      • kim

        D.S. The community here doesn’t view you as “trash” and God certainly doesn’t. God’s view of you is the one that matters. I am sending you a hug, and I pray God sends you some supportive, godly people to help you.

  11. Song of Joy

    This is what the letter writer *should have* said, using their own words minus all the poison:
    – – –

    “As I was lifting you up today, Jesus…has rescued you from the enemy; the enemy who only wants to destroy everything good.

    Jesus is light and His light He has given to you. You are a strong woman and one which He has strengthened, blessed and chosen to extend His light to the world.

    …[Husband] has been a real [expletive]….

    Your leaving…took real courage on your part….Praise the Lord!

    …the enemy tried to destroy your family through [husband], now…the enemy would be put to shame and the Lord your King will be shown as the great and wonderful Savior that He is…

    May His name and His story be made great in you, daughter of the King!”

  12. Sarah

    My abuser has a sign in his front yard that says “love everyone… always”.. it is from his church..and we see them everywhere… what does that say about the church and their tolerance? yeah….

    • DyingStar

      It’s simple. He’s trying to make himself look good. Mine all did similar things.

  13. Daffodil

    Mine tried to become a “Deacon” in the Catholic church even though he cheated on me and then dumped me. His new supply believes his facade evidently. I’ve repented that I didn’t have the courage to hand him his suitcase and stick to my guns when I asked him to leave and he caved in, but I realize that either way, he would have blamed me. Now I’m standing for God’s Truth, period, even though he doesn’t like it. Thank you so much for the reminders that we don’t need to take to heart what “Wormwood” says. God told me directly one morning, “You’re worth fighting for” and from a genuine Christian woman who didn’t even know me, “God says ‘You are my chosen child. Don’t be afraid of what man tries to do to you.'”

  14. celestebella

    I got to, “This is your cross to bear.”, felt like a punch in the stomach, then just skimmed over the rest. I can’t stand these wormwoods!

  15. Starlight

    “The truth is that we should approach an abuser as if we were going to talk to Satan.”
    I agree Jeff.
    I just read this today, I am thankful that God meets us in our time of need!
    “Do not Fret because of evil doers, Or he envious of the wicked: For there will be no future for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out! Proverbs 24:19 & 20.

  16. Gothard Survivor

    I want to call your attention to a new blog post at Douglas Wilson’s blog and mablog. He and many of those commenting view women as slaves who should be disciplined by their husbands.

    • Lea

      “He and many of those commenting view women as slaves who should be disciplined by their husbands.”

      I am not surprised, but I am deeply grieved that anyone ‘respectable’ in Christianity has EVER listened to that man.

    • Seeing the Light

      I checked this out and read much of the comments. How many of the people commenting there are even Christians? They bandy about the Scriptures, about the culture, about feminism and on and on and all the while, most of them sound like they have no understanding of the Spirit of Christ or the correct interpretation of the Scriptures they use to support their vile opinions. I feel like I need a shower.

      • Anything that comes our to the Doug Wilson camp is HyperPatriarchal. It is a hot bed of men abusing women and using scripture as part of their abuse.

  17. Debi

    My parents are Christians, but they believe you can love people into the kingdom of God. They know my husband tried to strangle me. They know he dragged me up the stairs by my hair. And they know that very recently I spent five nights sleeping in a motel and secretly in our church nursery because my husband became violent after a marriage counseling session, a session that he insisted upon. My parents continue to elevate him, and my dad is a friend with my husband. My husband tells me that my parents like him better than me. I believe my parents believe that I provoked my husband’s wrath, and that I somehow deserved it. Their sympathy seems to lie more with him than with me. How can a parent, knowing these things, continue to sympathize with and elevate this man?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Debi – Your parents profess to be Christians, but the reality is that they show no evidence that they are. To the contrary, they evidence allegiance with wickedness. Christ made it plain (John 13) that it is by our love for one another, by our love for the brethren (see also 1 John) that the reality of our salvation is evident. Your parents may talk about “love” but in fact they have chosen to be birds of a feather in comradery with evil. For a parent to knowingly require and allow their child to be abused and assaulted as you have been is evidence of a deeply twisted, dangerous mentality that probably is more extreme than perhaps you realize.

    • M&M

      Debi, if your parents were controlling during your childhood that may explain why they side with the abuser, but if you remember a happy childhood it must be even harder and more shocking to see them hurt you!! 😦 <3.

      Even the people I know who believe in "loving him into repentance" don't take it as far as your parents did. They expect themselves to do the "loving" and not the victim herself.

    • Debi, attempted strangulation is one of the red flags that the abuser could easily be lethal. I urge you to ignore your parents and to get help from the Domestic Violence support services who know about risk assessment and safety planning for victims of abuse. You are at HIGH RISK of being killed by your abuser.

      I suggest you go to our Resources page — there you will find links for Hotlines and Safety Planning. I suggest you seek safe accommodation in a women’s shelter, not the church premises where your husband could easily find you.

      I suggest you do not disclose to your husband or your parents or your other family and friends any of you plans. They will only use the information you give them to put you in further danger. If you have a friend you trust will 100% keep your secrets, then it’s okay to talk to them, but even then, many friends of abuse victims are naive about the manipulative tactics abusers use to extract info about their victim from the victim’s friends.

    • DyingStar

      I’m in the same boat, Debi. My biological mother is the same way! My parents who adopted me (mom has passed away) are/were amazing people who would support me no matter what. Bio mom, however, has at length told me how sorry she feels for my ex, how he “loves me and can’t get over me” and even went to tour his new house and came back to tell me how beautiful it was! Jeff is right. And my bio mom claims Christianity too. She throws the Bible in my face every chance she gets. I remember when I first left, I was living in a camper given to me by my grandparents. Ex husband came and took it away when I was at work one day (I work full time). I texted bio mom in a frantic panic, telling her I had nowhere to go. Her response? “You have a husband. Go back to him. He loves you.” I did not go back! I stayed with friends that week until I found a place to rent. You know people by their actions, not their words.

  18. standsfortruth

    ….,”Please, [husband], just as you and me, isn’t worthy in and of himself, but he has been made worthy just as you and me.”

    Another blind lie that does not stand up to the scrutiny of Gods Word.
    The letter writer is making the common mistake that the abuser is a born again christian?

    Only problem with that is it does not line up with Gods Word regarding evil people in this world.

    Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.
    There fore you will know them by their fruits..

    This person needs to be told that the abuser is an unrepentant wolf in sheeps clothing, and to be careful not to side with the enemies of God.

  19. KindofAnonymous

    Yikes. I guess what stood out to me is the amount of false authority this writer is projecting in God`s name, not to mention his thoughtless arrogance in taking it upon himself to decide for her what she MUST do. So much imperative language cloaked in supposedly righteous speech. Words that are threatening drawn swords held to her vulnerable throat and pointed at her raw heart. Who is he to decide for her or anyone else what her cross is to bear; what pomposity and presumption. He should check out Matthew 3:7

    ““6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 7But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his place of baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit worthy of repentance.“…

    Quite the opposite to what is commonly thought to be biblical love and charity.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Nailed it!

    • Lea

      “not to mention his thoughtless arrogance in taking it upon himself to decide for her what she MUST do”

      It seems common in these types of churches for ‘leaders’ to take this role where they should be offering support and guidance, and turn it dictatorial. I don’t think it was meant to be that way.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Yes, very common. I know a lady whose associate pastor demanded she let him go over her finances and then he started telling her she had to stop giving to anyone else except his church.

  20. Lily

    Today I was looking for a cartoon for the church bulletin, and ran across one where a shepherd was tied naked to a tree and a wolf was wearing his clothes (sheep following) saying, “Shepherd’s clothing is even better.”

  21. KindofAnonymous

    Jeff o my goodness, the pastor demanded to see her FINANCES? I remember reading, I think in Van Vonderen`s book on Spiritual Abuse perhaps, about a woman and her husband who were checking out prospective churches and who filled out one of those little visitor cards. They got a visit from the elders of the church who explained that they were “a full service church“ and then asked to see their financial statements! The woman coolly responded that “ we will show you ours if you show us yours “. I don`t think they liked that response but good for her for not being taken in by a coercive and devious religious authority trip with sinful motives.

  22. Jillian

    Deep sigh… It’s just more of the victim blaming that is rampant in the world of Nouthetic aka “Biblical Counseling” (not to be confused with Christian counseling). Nouthetic means to ADMONISH!!! The writer of the letter is trying to admonish the wife for unforgiveness and not wanting to reconcile…

    I loved your article about this: ( https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/10/02/abuse-and-nouthetic-counseling-a-firsthand-analysis-of-the-harm-it-does/ )

    Yup, evil is becoming more insidious… this is a stealthy case of mainstream Evangelical Christian misguidedness… “Biblical” aka nouthetic counseling as opposed to “Christian” Counseling is works based and denies the grace and work of the cross… also extremely hazardous to victims of any kind of abuse, as it labels all hurt as “sin”, denying that a victim was hurt by someone ELSE’S sin… beware. This is truly archaic and denies the 1 Thess 5:14 directive to ENCOURAGE the disheartened…. (And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.) The admonishment part was for the idle… NOT the victim….This kind of counseling approach is what “destroys everything good” as the author states… and it truly offers the death blow to any relationship that has suffered any kind of abuse…your welcome.

    • Hi Jillian, welcome to the blog 🙂

      I removed the link to your website which you submitted as part of the comments form. I did that as a precaution for your safety.

      We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I suggest you look at our FAQ page.

      I’m not sure that all Christian counseling is as safe or as good as you think it is. I’m not sure that all people who call themselves Christian Counselors (as opposed to ‘Biblical Counselors’ or ‘Nouthetic Counselors’ are as safe and good as you think they are. Perhaps you know of some people who call themselves ‘Christian Counselors’ who are indeed safe and are very astute to the evils of domestic abuse and do not blame the victims. I know a few such ‘Christian Counselors’ like that myself. But it doesn’t follow that all counselors who call themselves ‘Christian Counselors’ are indeed safe for victims of abuse.

      In our experience, some ‘Christian Counselors’ have done much much harm to victims of abuse.

      And some have woken up to the harm they have done and sought forgiveness from the clients they have harmed! See this post: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/08/20/interview-with-catherine-deloach-lewis-part-one/

  23. Raped By Evil

    When I read yet another letter like this from a supposed Christian man of the church, I of course get sick to my stomach and angry.

    There should be classes at seminary that address just this thing. Why this letter is so WRONG and so DANGEROUS. But guess what? They’d have to start teaching the TRUTH about God’s word at these places in order for these men to know what it looks like (the truth through God’s word), and from what you explained in another of your posts Pastor Crippen, the seminary you attended–the one that you graduated from with honors–when you’d sent them a copy of your book….had NO response.

    “Get back in the fold!”
    “Toe the line!”
    “Keep the status quo!”
    “Do everything in your power to keep everybody happy cuz you don’t matter only how you make us look to others matters!”
    “You have NO value, only how “your marriage” looks to the world has value!”
    “Your worth is based on your performance and how well you’re able to swallow, digest and excrete the lies and evil we have burdened you with. But you are not allowed to call it what it is and you must frame it up in terms like those used in the above letter; all while you are being watched, judged, graded and critiqued. The better your ability to hold it all inside, the more harsh and evil we will be toward you. It’s our right as elders of the church to do this, the bible tells us we are gods, so shut up and keep swallowing and you are NEVER allowed to explode or implode from all the evil being forced down your throat, but if you do we will be right there to say that we KNEW all along that you were mentally ill, selfish and evil and if you’d ONLY followed our stellar advice, you’d be fine. See, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT as usual!”

    On some level these abusers must realize that without the woman’s coercion, there’s no way to keep up the IMAGE of a happy marriage. But instead of even PRETENDING to value us they beat us down and trod on us. Foolish, FOOLISH PEOPLE! But then again, I’m glad to see them for what they truly are, I just wish we could help all of us BEFORE we get involved with them.

  24. This was submitted by a woman who has asked me to post it under my gravatar. She writes:

    My pastor’s wife sent an email to all church members telling them an emotionally abused wife who was leaving her husband was asking for an unbiblical divorce. Never mind the confusion about what is abusive, but an email???

    I have a serious and painful question though. My son is likely to become engaged soon. He treats me like his dad did. As a mom I see the good in my son and downplay the negative. Also as a mom I know him and see his dark side. I worry he will treat his wife the same way. What am I to do? I have often thought, “if only my mother in law would have warned me”. How can I bad mouth my son when I see hope? Yet how can I let his beautiful girlfriend walk into a possible emotional hell? (Clearly I cannot go to my pastor or his wife about this!)

    This is breaking my heart.

    • Oh wow! That’s such a tough one!
      Here are some things you might want to consider:

      Alternative 1. Telling your son that you are very concerned that he often disrespects you, and you are so concerned that it’s causing you to be concerned about him treating any future wife he might have with the same kind of disrespect.

      Alternative 2. Having a serious conversation with your son and his girlfriend together, and telling your son the thing I’ve outline above, and then turning to the girlfriend and saying to her that you honestly think you son is not showing the character required to be a good husband.

      Alternative 3. Having a private conversation with the girlfriend, telling her that you honestly think you son is not showing the character required to be a good husband, and WHY you think that (by giving examples of his behaviour to you).

      Alternative 4. Having a private convseration with the girlfriend asking her gently whether she has noticed any disrespectful behaviours in you son… and seeing how the conversation goes from there.

    • Anon.

      Thank goodness there are mothers like yourself, person who had Barbara post it using her avatar. Like you, I, too, wish the monster’s family had warned me, had been honest, had said something to me…..but they pitched my abuser as being this church-going, wonderful guy, and nothing could have been further from the truth. The monster used to make these veiled wife-beating jokes right there in my presence with family and friends laughing at such and I had no idea what the inside joke was…….we were merely engaged at the time, and I still had a chance and could have run……..and everyone would laugh — knowing that the monster would refuse to explain what this supposedly longstanding inside joke was referencing, why it was funny, what it was talking about, etc. as though such was too long of a thing to explain…..and here he was making jokes about beating me, right there with his family and friends and the extra funny part was how clueless I was as to what they were all talking about and laughing so hard……..

      If I was a mother, I’d hope that I’d feel more obligation to forewarn the future victim than any ‘love’ and loyalty for my son. But then again, my thoughts are worth very little because I am not a mother and have no idea what it’s like to have a potential wife-beating son whom I love.

      I wonder how many others wish their in-laws would have said something to them…….because it’s not like the abuser tells about how he was raised to see women as mere objects to be beaten, violated, desecrated, destroyed, etc…….There is little to no truth in abusers.

      • Lea

        “I wonder how many others wish their in-laws would have said something to them”

        I find myself wondering how much you would listen if you are young and in love and have not yet seen this kind of behavior that bothers you? I would love to hear people weigh in on that!

        OTOH, if she has seen behavior that concerns her, this might give her a way to open up and validate it.

        I wonder if you might open a dialogue with her in a way that doesn’t necessarily yell ‘run away’ but that lets her know she is free to talk to you if she has any concerns. That you are on her side? Maybe? Otherwise I would worry about alienating her and your son.

      • thanks Lea, I appreciate what you’ve said here.

      • Lily

        My in-laws were heard to say quietly to each other,”Maybe marriage will help him.” I was only 19 and had no clue, though, what they were talking about. I did, however, see that he tormented his younger sister and his nephews and got a charge out of their crying, but I didn’t, till years later, know that was a big red flag. If siblings are allowed to treat each other meanly, and not taught how to be kind to those in their own household, how will they ever know how to respond to a spouse?

        My mom used to say, “Treat your family better than company because they are the most important people in your life.” I just presumed everyone else’s parents taught them that, too. When engaged, I convinced him to treat his sister much better (and she still loves me for it), but didn’t realize that he would turn that on me instead.

      • Lily — ((hugs)) if you want them.

    • The anonymous commenter has asked me to post this on her behalf:

      “Thank you everyone for your comments. I’ve taken all your thoughts into consideration. My decision is to tell my son I am going to have a private conversation with his girlfriend to answer any questions she may have about him as a potential husband. When she and I talk, I will be frank about the good and bad, my feelings as mom, and my concerns. I won’t shout ‘run’ but will ask her what she has noticed, and if she has seen any troubling behaviors. Please pray as I want to do this soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

      • Stuck in the cycle

        I will certainly be praying for you, your son and his girlfriend. Like everyone else, I wish I had seen it then. It is shocking to me to see now how almost EVERYONE around me expressed serious, Biblical concerns (except his circle, which itself should have been a red flag), but to Lea’s point above, I didn’t want to hear them and didn’t take them seriously. The more negative they were, the more I thought they just “didn’t understand.” What would I not give to go back and hear those warnings from God?!?

      • Update from the anonymous commenter:
        “My son’s girlfriend broke up with him after seeing with her own eyes how selfish and proud he can be. That was my prayer, and I didn’t have to say a thing. Thank you to all who prayed with me. God always has the answer.”

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