Worship Me, or Else – The Abuser’s Command — Sermon by Ps Crippen

Worship Me, or Else – The Abuser’s Command
Sermon 2 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
Part 2 of a 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on August 1, 2010
Sermon Text:  Daniel 3

I would never in my wildest nightmares dream that my husband would ever abuse me, but he did. I took our two-month old son and fled after the 4th time my husband struck me. My husband is a Christian, but his rage at things was unreal and it doesn’t take much to end a human life when one is in an uncontrollable rage. I received counsel that it was my duty to stay and suffer for Jesus’ sake…I stayed with him then, misapplying Scriptures of how I was to act. I accepted what he did or didn’t do and just tried to work on me, doing what was right.

I was beaten and emotionally abused by my ex-husband. I left for six months, but when he saw a counselor and promised reform, I returned. I was not beaten after the return, but I found that my 4-year old daughter was – and sexually abused by him as well. The pastor I spoke to, the counselor I saw, the family doctor – all Christians – preferred to believe that I was lying, or at least to blame for the trouble. Even his divorce lawyer (another Christian) condemned my soul to hell because of my hardhearted refusal to try still another reconciliation.

Even now, seven years later, no one believes the story. And at this moment he has my daughter, thanks to a court order and gross misunderstanding of a letter she wrote to [a nationally known counselor]…My daughter, now 11, is reduced to the almost suicidal state I was in. She desperately wants out.

I did not leave until after his third murder attempt on me and still I believed in a reconciliation. I kept thinking that if I would do right things, he wouldn’t get angry. He never even admitted abuse. Our marriage was so ‘perfect’ on the outside that few people believed that I had been abused.

It’s been 4 months since my husband was removed from our home by police, and most people who know about it just pass judgment on me. You don’ t know what it’s like to wake up at 3 AM with your husband standing over you, not talking, not doing anything, just staring at you. You don’t know how guilty you feel or just plain confused when people you love don’t help or won’ t get involved. You don’t know my fears as a mother of three boys, of beginning to lose the respect of my sons. I can still hear my husband screaming at me, ‘you’re a Christian and God wants us together. You leave me and nothing will go right in your life forever.” [Battered into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home; by James and Phyllis Alsdurf]

Do those examples excite your interest in learning more about the psychology and methods of sin – particularly in relation to its evil desire for power and control over others? I hope that they do. Because it is my opinion that evangelical, conservative Christianity – our religion – has plenty of “dirty laundry” that needs exposure and cleaning. Evil men (and sometimes women) creep into our love feasts unnoticed –

 

Continue reading “Worship Me, or Else – The Abuser’s Command — Sermon by Ps Crippen”

Is Your Abuser a Christian?

1Jn 2:3-6 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. (4) Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (5) but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: (6) whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

This subject is one that often rankles people. Well, for that matter the entire subject of abuse arouses ire in many – but not for the right reasons. They just don’t want to admit that what we are saying about it is reality, ie, that abusers are hiding in most every local church and those churches most frequently are enabling them in their evil. But this specific issue – is the abuser a Christian? – really seems to churn up the waters. And yet we dare not ignore it because the answer that we give has huge consequences for the abuser’s targeted victim. Continue reading “Is Your Abuser a Christian?”

What to do When Hope Seems Non-Existent

“It’s hopeless.” If you are or have been the target of a domestic abuser or if you have a friend who is, then you have probably said this very thing. “There is no hope. She has no possible way that anyone can think of to get herself and her children away from this evil.” I have certainly thought this more than once after hearing a victim’s story.

  • No economic resources (due to his financial abuse)
  • No extended family to help her (he has allied them to his side)
  • No marketable job skills after decades of giving her life to him
  • No church that will support her in a divorce
  • No justice in the legal system (sometimes there is, often there is not)
  • No assurance that she will have full custody of the children

You just have to keep checking off “no” as you survey the landscape for an escape route.  It looks hopeless. It is not a sin to say it. The thing does appear to be devoid of any hope. And the fact is, humanly speaking, it is.

Continue reading “What to do When Hope Seems Non-Existent”

Sin of Abuse Exposed by the Light of Christ — Sermon by Ps Crippen

Sin of Abuse Exposed by the Light of Christ
Sermon 1 from the series: The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on July 25, 2010

3 John 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

This morning we are beginning an intermission in our study of the Gospel of John to begin a series which I have been studying and preparing for in the past few months. This series has as its subject a very, very important topic that we simply cannot remain ignorant of. Let me introduce it to you by explaining how I came to it myself.

Last year, I began to ask myself if there might be some way that we as a church could become wiser in respect to the deceptions and schemes of the enemy. That is to say, I was asking the question “Are there some typical, characteristic, common warning signs that will help us more clearly and more readily see the enemy when he comes to us disguised in sheep’s clothing?”
Why was I asking this question? Because over the past years, this church has been assaulted numerous times (as has any true church) by divisive men, by men trying to introduce false doctrine, by men like Diotrophes who craved to be first in the church, and so on. And we expect that there will be more attacks in the future.

Now, at this point, you are probably asking – “Well, we have the Bible. It is sufficient for everything. Why look any place else?” And you are absolutely correct – the Bible is completely sufficient to make us wise with God’s wisdom. And in all the reading that I have been doing, inevitably as I discover some more things about the psychology and methods of sin, I find out that sure enough, these very things are indeed in the Bible – but I had not seen them nor really understood them yet. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for the Church to have older members who have served Christ for many, many years – because we grow in Christ’s wisdom and understanding as He teaches us through the years – often in the “classroom” of life.

For example – we have already heard this morning that one deed of the flesh is jealousy – that another is sensuality, and so on. But just what do these sins look like? Are they always really that easy to recognize? And I can tell you, they are not. Sin, by its very nature, is a lie. It is deceptive and dark and crafty. The serpent in Eden did not appear to be such a threat to Eve.

Continue reading “Sin of Abuse Exposed by the Light of Christ — Sermon by Ps Crippen”

Unholy Charade is Not Affiliated in any Way with the A Cry for Justice (ACFJ) Blog

1 Timothy 1:3-6 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, (4) nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. (5) The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (6) Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,

I am now compelled, though reluctantly and with sorrow, to make a public statement about my relationship to the blog ministry A Cry for Justice, which is registered to and operated by Barbara Roberts. I need to make it very clear that I resigned from ACFJ last year (Oct 2017).  Over 700 of my sermons and articles remain online there, but please understand that I am not a part of ACFJ and more importantly, that I do not endorse the direction it has been going for some time now. [My first book, A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church, still bears that title. But that is not to be construed that I am still connected in any way with the ACFJ blog which I originally started some years ago].

Readers should also be aware that TWBTC (the woman behind the curtain) who has so faithfully worked behind the scenes at ACFJ for several years has also recently resigned from there. Her reasons for doing so are the same – ACFJ is no longer fulfilling the mission it was established to pursue. TWBTC told me, “I resigned Sept 6, 2018 as a result of seeing the direction Barb was going and because of other concerns I saw from the backend of the ACFJ blog.”

Continue reading “Unholy Charade is Not Affiliated in any Way with the A Cry for Justice (ACFJ) Blog”

The Quest for Power and Control – the Heart and Mind of the Abuser

3 John 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

At the heart and in the mind of all abusers – be they domestic, sexual, or spiritual – is this profound mentality of entitlement to power and control. You see it in this Diotrephes who the Apostle John is going to take on. Diotrophes “likes to put himself first.” And so it is in an abusive marriage. The abuser is to be top dog, or else.

Continue reading “The Quest for Power and Control – the Heart and Mind of the Abuser”

The Unholy Charade of the Domestic Abuser in the Church

2 Timothy 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…

Psalm 55:20-21 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. (21) His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

If you are a Christian, a genuine, real, child of God regenerated by faith alone in Christ alone, then it is essential that you become wise as serpents regarding the tactics and schemes of your enemy, the Prince of Darkness. Paul told the Corinthians that Satan and his servants come to us in disguise, masking themselves in a charade of false holiness in order to deceive and enslave us. Wise as serpents. Innocent as doves.

But most Christians are not wise. And as result, neither are they innocent because they foolishly become the ally of the wicked in oppressing their victims. This unholy charade is being carried out in the church which Christ calls to be a pillar of His truth! Continue reading “The Unholy Charade of the Domestic Abuser in the Church”