Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Get Behind Me, Satan – The Times we Tell People to be Silent

Mat 16:22-23 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” (23) But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

It happened again recently. A survivor of domestic abuse told me that two people had approached her (one a pastor, one a “friend”) and essentially (in one case literally) said, “the Lord told me to speak to you.” They each went on with some of the usual blathering about how she needed to forgive her abuser, love her abuser, and generally have warm thoughts and feelings about her abuser.
Now, I know this lady. What she is is a justice seeker. A seeker of justice. She isn’t trying to take personal vengeance, but she wants justice. Not only for what the abuser did, but also for the additional abuse her church laid upon her.
And yet, here come these self-identifying prophets insisting that they come with a message from the Lord for her.

Consider what Peter was doing in the Scripture cited above. What was he doing? He was claiming to instruct the Lord! He was telling Jesus that He must not go up to Jerusalem. But of course, the Son of God has a pretty good idea what His Father was telling him to do! So he rebuked Peter in strong terms. Peter was being used by the enemy in an attempt to short circuit the cross.
And THIS is the same thing that these kind of people do. A few months back a local pastor showed up in our morning service. Afterward he told me he was on a one year sabbatical and so he had been “led by the Lord” to “wash the feet of the saints.” Specifically, those of other local pastors. [Don’t ask me what this foot washing even meant].  How pious and godly it all sounds.
But I have learned that when people come to me and claim the Lord has sent them, and then they start telling me some “message” that the Lord supposedly gave them to give to me, they are phonies.  Arrogant phonies. And I treated this man as such. I sent him packing.
Christian, YOU are indwelt by the Spirit of God. You are led by the Spirit (see Romans 8 and Galatians 5). If the Lord wants to send a message to you, He is going to tell you! Not in audible words, but in His Word. Something will click in your brain. Lights will come on. You will think, “hey, this is exactly what John 10 says!” You will NOT think that or feel that or sense that when one of these self-appointed prophet types come along.
“This is what you need to do.” This is what you should do.” “You need to stop doing that.” “No, no, no. You cannot leave your marriage. You need to….”. But the clarity of the Word of God and the leading of His Spirit in you, showing you God’s will, showing you what is right and what is evil – there is the direction you want to go no matter who is telling you otherwise. Get behind me, Satan.

Isa 30:20-21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. (21) And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.


Preview of Next Sunday's Sermon (March 24, 2019) – False Teaching is Filling Our Churches with Evil


Opportunity to Help an Abuse Survivor in Need


  1. walkinginlight

    Excellent point Pastor Crippen. The Pentecostals and Charismatics (the deceived ones) are great for telling a person “God told me to tell you . . . . ” It is like they have some kind of special “inside” link with God that you do not have. I told them that there is only ONE mediator between God and me and that is Christ Jesus, and that God has no grandchildren! If the Lord wants me to know something, He will tell me Himself. These flaky people who believe they are a prophet or prophetess like to Lord it over other people and have others view them as “special” and “anointed”. They may have a “spirit” feeding them information (a spirit of divination) but it sure is not the Holy Spirit. Run for the hills! What I am writing certainly is not the same as receiving confirmation from another Christian concerning something that the Lord has already let “you” know about. It is a minefield out there! Thank you Pastor Crippen for having such a watchful eye and being such a good shepherd. Much hugs to everyone here.

    • Z

      Walkinginlight, You are SO spot on in what you wrote. I was raised by “professing christians” (they were not and still are not-wolves all of them). While I was an abused child by my “christian” family and the abuse was known about by the others and ignored by all the other “christains”. in my life. So there was that BIG DECEPTION.
      Oh, and the false doctrines they laid on me! Too many to list.
      But my eyes are opened now not only to THEIR deception of calling themselves “christians” at all but all the warped behaviors they exhibited as evidence they were “under the Power of the Holy Spirit”. A spirit of chaos. Yes. A spirit of divination. Yes. A spirit of copycatting each other.-falling down like dominoes constantly. Yes.
      Almost like voodooism. That’s what I saw and I never bought into it. (Especially as these same people were abusing me or covering for my abusers!)
      “Who the Son sets free is free indeed.” Praise God I am totally free of all of it now.

  2. Krikit

    Years ago when I was still long-term attending brick-and-mortar, and greatly struggling later with so much of this type of abusive *christianese* speak regarding relational problems within my marriage, I *knew* that I could not reconcile the “teaching” I was hearing with what actually was taking place in my home *and* in my heart—my own spirit rebelled within me against the pablum tripe I was being told. And yet, because I gave more credence to the idea that the Holy Spirit must somehow be something *more* in those ‘teachers’ than He could be (or even would ever be) in me, I spent years turning myelf inside out to try and make that relationship be what I was told it *should* be. I suffered, my daughter suffered, and my life as a whole remained mostly spiritually oppressed and without true hope for its future.
    It took YEARS for God to lead me out of that quagmire of emotional oppression and internal spiritual discord. Years of searching for what I knew *must* be the Truth of God that **would** ring solid within my spirit—the spirit He gave me and indwelt within. Truth that would finally q.u.i.e.t. my spirit and calm the strife within it. I will forever praise His goodness for that Grace!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Krikit- It is no wonder the Apostle Paul came down so hard on the false teachers, such as he did in Galatians. They put people in real bondage, as you experienced. And the thing is a plague. It is everywhere. I deal with it every single day as I hear from victims of “christian” abusers and they tell their stories of how they have been treated in their church. This is not mere naivete. It is willful blindness and willful evil. These kind will never, ever listen. The only solution is to leave them in the dust, realize they have no authority over you, and come to understand that the Lord is directing you into His truth.

  3. walkinginlight

    I praise Jesus for setting us all free, each in our own unique circumstances. Someday soon we shall forever be with the Lord and He will wipe away every tear. . . . forever! No more evil person will be able to come near us. Just the thought of that makes my heart thrill with joy!!
    “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, A people in whose heart is My law; Do not fear the reproach of man, Nor be dismayed at their revilings. “For the moth will eat them like a garment, And the grub will eat them like wool. But my righteousness will be forever, And my salvation to all generations. Isaiah 51:7,8;

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