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
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”