Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

A Christian Hears the Good Shepherd's Voice and Cannot be Deceived Indefinitely

My friend pointed out the follow verses to me today with some very good insight from it. Here is the passage:

2Ti 3:12-13 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (13) while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Now, most all of us have learned from hard experience that domestic abusers (and all other kinds too) who hide in the church, posing as wonderful saints, deceive many people. The result of that deception is that pastors and church members typically gravitate to the abuser’s side, discounting the victim’s testimony. Or at minimum they place a heavy burden on the victim to “fix” her abuser.
Now, the point I want to examine here is this business of deception. Yes, the wicked can deceive any of us for a time. Sociopaths and psychopaths can be incredibly skilled at their lying ways. Just the nicest guy, you know. Would do anything for anyone. Yada, yada. If we have not been properly taught about such people (and the Bible is filled with warnings about them), we can be duped – for a time.

I have lived through long years of such deception and so have many of you. But…one day, the lights came on. For me it was the day I decided to start reading up on sexual and domestic abusers because of a grievous sin in our church. I had not got but a few pages into that book when the scales came off my eyes. I realized that the mentality and tactics this secular writer was describing was the very pattern that I had seen and been targeted by over the years in the church. Eventually the scales came off numbers of other people in our congregation too and our ministry to abuse victims began.
But that was not true of everyone. A few continued to deceive (they were abusers themselves) and others refused to love the truth. They kept buying the deception and eventually that crowd all went their way apart from us….deceiving and being deceived.

2Ti 3:12-13 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (13) while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Christ said He is the Good Shepherd. And He said things like this about His flock:

Joh 10:3-5 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (5) A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

So what are we seeing in the churches when it comes to this matter of abusers hiding in wool disguises among the flock? Are we seeing large numbers of pastors and congregations hearing Jesus’ voice on this matter, having their eyes opened and putting away the deception of the wicked?
What we are seeing is the majority choosing to be deceived. That’s right…choosing deception. And if that be the case, then what does that tell us about the true spiritual condition of so many local churches? I hardly even need to say it – they are filled with people who do not know Christ. They are this kind:

2Th 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, (10) and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (11) Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, (12) in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A real Christian will not continue in deception. The Spirit of truth in him or her will eventually expose the lie and show the truth. When this does not happen as the years go by, you can be more and more certain that such people are counterfeits.
And here then is the punchline that I hope is encouraging to those of you who have been further oppressed by your church when you asked for help. The probability is that you were speaking to people who, for all their outward appearances, in fact did not know Christ, did not have His Spirit, who were still blind and deaf to Christ’s leading. Think on these things. I suspect they will shed much clarity on your experience.

1Jn 2:27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie–just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Sinfulness of Sin Denied by the Abuser —Sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen


Is Your Abuser a "Child of God"?


  1. sue

    i don’t think that certain new church lady abused anybody, but the first time she showed up, it was like she was fixing to give real pious sounding sermonnettes right from the pew. Creeped me out from the start … and again yesterday – i kept apologizing to the Lord for being creeped out, i wanted to go hide in the corner while she pontificated.

  2. anonymous

    I think the lie is seductive for many because when you have your eyes really opened and you see just how very few true Christians exist and how many evil, wicked people there are in this world, a person wants to believe the lie that all those in attendance on Sundays are respectable, God-fearing people. But it’s not so. Most people are going to hell. It’s very rare that I meet or know or communicate with those who aren’t worthless, wicked, abusers.
    It’s like you said — the remnant. And the more I live, the more I see, the more I experience reality as being just that.
    A person finds out really quick who is who when it comes out that an abuser is an abuser (monster is a monster) and I loathe the reality that people swarm to ‘help’ the abuser but not so with the abused. It’s rare that people are able to resist the grooming, manipulations, tactics of the abuser.
    Even the abused gets confused and wonders if they aren’t the abuser. It’s because of the endless lying of the abusers. It’s why we so desperately need to re-iterate these things and I’m so glad this blog exists because so much of everything else one reads in this world isn’t boiled down to this truth-telling but is more of the abuser-apologist, abuser-friendly nonsense presented as though it’s truth.

  3. Jane Smith

    Excellent post and comments. Just wonderful. With appreciation. But it is sad. Sad there are so many fakes and sad that we have to stand alone.

  4. Z

    Hallelujah for you, Pastor Crippen!! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your truth-telling about God’s Word and ALL it says about the predictable actions and the fate of the wicked/abusers.
    One would be led by most shepherds/churches to think the Bible is silent on the subject of abuse. But NOT SO!
    Thank God for your proper dividing of the Word and plain spoken truths.
    What a kind of “comfort” to know, as an abuse victim, that my horrible experiences with and betrayals and hurts by counterfeit christians aren’t rare occurrences, but, sadly, the norm in most visible churches. And it’s a comfort to know they are purposely left by God to their deceiving and being deceived-by choice-only for a season until the King of Kings-the Ultimate Righteous and Just Judge-calls them to account when it’s too late for them to choose to love truth. They will be condemned in their chosen delusions and deceptions and love of unrighteousness. (Given over to their depravity.)
    Thank you Pastor for telling it as “it is written”!
    It strengthens my spirit to know those flocking to my abusers, choosing to be deceived (although these particular counterfeits aren’t really deceived at all; they KNOW the truth about the abusers and their wickedness and still flock to the wicked) will reap worse sorrows than they’ve sown to me.
    What an Awesome and Just God we serve!

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