Stephanie’s Story – Part 5 – More Letters from the “Pastor”

We continue with Stephanie’s story of abuse not only at the hands of her ex-husband but in some ways even more so by her ex-pastor and church. If you have not read the first 4 parts of her story in earlier posts, be sure to do so.

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

Here is an email sent to her by the Pastor.  I continue to not use his name, but honestly he deserves to have his name and his evil words here posted on the mountaintops:
Please forgive me for taking so long to send this email but I have been extremely busy since last week. I have attached a copy of the minutes from the church meeting last week so you can see exactly what was discussed. Per section 4 of our church Constitution, The church cannot accept your letter of resignation at this time because I have recommended you to the church as a candidate for church discipline. This recommendation was given because at this point you have refused to meet for counseling since November of last year and you are not willing to continue to work on saving your marriage. The church will be meeting again this evening to determine whether to proceed with church discipline or not. If they don’t proceed with church discipline, they will be free to accept your letter of resignation at this time. I would encourage you to please come to the meeting to voice your side of the story before the church votes on this matter. If you can’t make it, you can call in by phone or you can send me an email that I would read on your behalf. Please understand that we still love you as a sister and we are deeply concerned and we are praying for you and your husband.
By His Grace and For His Glory,
Pastor ________
Can you imagine an abuse victim going to a lynch mob meeting like this at the church and “voicing her side of the story”?  Oh yeah. That would end well I’m sure!!
And here is the section from the church meeting minutes he sent her in which the entire church membership dove into the fray (against her of course). Words in brackets [ ]are my insertions:

Issue of the ______ family/recent communications and update (informational)
a. Review of constitution and discipline policies/procedures (handouts given)
b. Reading of Matt 16:13-19 “upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
c. Letter of Resignation has been received from Stephanie to families
of church that includes the details regarding the circumstances of her marital union
d. Records of all communication is available for church members who desire to know the context of the circumstances to review due to the public nature of the circumstances
e. “Love covers a multitude of sins…” issues were being worked on privately to counsel both Terrance and attempts to reach out to counsel Stephanie in pursuit of this biblical guidance
f. Details of Pastoral guidance were shared:
i. Meeting in October with [abuser] and Stephanie by Pastor  and
[pastor’s wife]; plan of action was determined
ii. Met again with Terrance and Stephanie in November with Pastor and another biblical counselor (a couple) at her request
iii. Ladies of church have reached out to meet and counsel with Stephanie;
iv. Most recently, Stephanie has not shown a willingness to be counseled by both Pastor and/or the other counselor;
v. Terrance confessed his sin against God and his wife before the
congregation; confessed his sinful anger, emotion at the counseling
meeting and vengeance regarding the naming of another woman
to a cruise manifest. He summarized that he has not been leading his wife the way the Lord has commanded him to. He is requesting that the church continue to pray for him that his wife returns to him.
vi. We have identified that the home is the center of contention and bringing the condition of the property to a mutually “acceptable” state is the primary issue
vii. Stephanie, at this point, has given up on the marriage and is not willing to continue to work on the relationship
viii. Working through the issue biblically and communicating in a Godly manner to resolve conflict is at the heart of the matter; there must be mutual submission to one another and reverence for biblical process to arrive at peaceful resolution
ix. Brother ________ asked if there is any house work that need to be done to help the issue.
x. Church discussed response to letter of resignation;
1. Brother ________ asked if there has been any adultery or physical abuse; it was assumed based upon the communication that has been shared that Bro. Terrance has not been physically abusive or
not in an adulterous relationship.
2. Persistent theme is the refusal to meet with or counsel with Pastor;
it is assumed that, according to her refusal to resolve this
in a biblical manner, there is a disregard of biblical authority and
unwillingness to abide by the constitution process adopted by the
church.
3. There is an acknowledgment in the communications received from
Sis. Stephanie that she has no biblical grounds to seek a divorce;
she has been absent from church attendance/meetings and
moved from the marital residence.
4. Bro. ________ suggested she be given an opportunity to address
the church regarding her resignation and the circumstances of her
estrangement from her husband.
5. According to the situational assessment of Pastor, she is a
“proper candidate” for church discipline and recommendation for
church response will be determined at a follow up meeting.
6. We are to pray for our dear sister and brother that they be
reconciled to one another and that Sis. Stephanie would be
reconciled to this church body.

And there you have it. What a horror story! I have no words.

14 thoughts on “Stephanie’s Story – Part 5 – More Letters from the “Pastor”

  1. walkinginlight

    Reading this just makes my blood boil!! This is the type of “Pastor” who would Challenge a child to make “nice” and “love” the pedophile abuser. This guy is as blind as a bat when it comes to understanding biblical truth and is blind leading his “flock” into a ditch. I feel sorry for people this deluded when they stand before the Lord. Loads of hugs to Stephanie for putting up with this horrible abuse from a egomaniac on top of the abuse from her demonic anti husband.

    MARANATHA!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Zadok

    Abuse of the covenant breaks the covenant.

    Period.

    YHVH divorced Israel over their repeated actions that broke their covenant. #fact (See: Jeremiah 3)

    The above puts, in writing, what happened to me in my life, but it wasn’t actually in writing, it was in actions.

    No. words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina

    This series of blog posts leaves me shaking, seething, hurt, angry and so many more emotions. This is the spirit of religion at work, at it’s finest. This is the reason some leave organized church never to return. This is why some blame themselves, stay with abusers, ruin their own lives and sometimes their childrens’ lives. This is why there are thousands of women, and some men, in support groups trying to make sense of it all and heal. And this is why we MUST continue to speak out, because some will hear and be healed and some will turn from religion to relationship and see how to love people like Jesus. Thank you for speaking out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Tina- I would just note that it is false religion at work just like Christ exposed in the Gospels. Christ and His true people hunger and thirst for justice and are defenders of the oppressed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. no one down here

    no words, no understanding, no comprehension of this. heart hurting for stephanie, for others, for all of us… to be honest, there is more trauma temptation from how the church handled the situation than from anything coming from the “husband.” Church is supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ. Christ is supposed to be there in the midst of his saints… but this is not Christ. This is angry, stubborn, people holding to rules they made up. If a church is going to be vigilant against sin (and it should be), why is there such a lack of focus on actual repentance of the vile sinner? Why are they hyper vigilant about reminding everyone that the man “wants to do” these things that are right… ? If he just did what he says he “wants to do,” there would be a completely different thing happening.

    Also, there is no such thing as being held to a church when you resign. Telling a church that you are no longer a member there is not a request, it is an action. A person cannot be held to a volunteer organization… unless it’s a cult.

    Praise God that He can heal even the hurt that comes from pastors who do not properly tend the sheep.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. C

    Yeap.
    S O S
    S ynagoge O f S atan
    What a terrible example of it.

    So they do not let go after resignation?
    Be glad this is not your church anymore.

    May Truth of Christ be a healing balm.
    Many hugs to you,
    C

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rowan on the high mountain

    The church that won’t accept Stephanie’s resignation and insists she stay to be disciplined is acting exactly like an abusive husband who demands his wife remain in the marriage and be abused. “Where do you think you’re going? Come back here so I can continue mistreating you!”

    And speaking of Matthew, as this pastor does, what about Matt 7:6? It seems to me that expecting a woman (and children, when there are any) to remain subject to unremitting abuse is very much a case of giving what is holy to dogs or casting pearls before swine. Since turning the other cheek, removing the beam from our own eye, or not casting pearls before swine are all different ways of dealing with how others treat us, aren’t we required to use discernment to know what the most Christian response might be in any given situation? I find I have trouble trusting the advice of anyone whose answer is always “Turn the other cheek,” because I’ve met too many people who use that as excuse for moral cowardice when confronted with serious harm being done to others.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Grace

    This so-called “church” has all the hallmarks of a cult. It was horrifying to read the account of Stephanie’s abusive husband, but the abuse from the church was even worse, and couched in selective Scripture, just like Satan did when he tempted Christ. I’m so glad she is free of this evil now.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Stormy

    I can also predict how this is going to look for abusive husband going forward — he will continue to pretend repentance, he may fix the house and do a lot of outward things to look good likes he’s a new man.

    He will then bring a woman to church that he’s known for about two weeks. The congregation will rally around him with words and gestures of support.

    When he announces he is going to marry new woman the church will have parties and wedding showers. It will be a celebration and show of support like no other. The pastors wife and former friends of the victim will be her abusers most supportive admirers.

    The fake con man abuser will relish in this and it will be a further abuse and punishment for his abused former wife. The church members will pat themselves on the back for being so loving. They will sleep soundly.

    The abuser will have won this battle but the victim has won the war. She’s out and free and the abusers and his allies will be judged accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. FreeIndeed

    I am reading this story and posts…especially this very last one…at the perfect time. I know God has led me to this site, as exactly this is happening for me right now…my abuser is taking a new wife and being celebrated at his PCA church. My story is so similar in so many ways. The letters from the “pastors” filled with blame-shifting, false accusations, gas lighting and the many fallacies detailed in the comments, all so pious and rooted in scripture (twisting); being excommunicated AFTER I withdrew my membership; the pastor and church session refusing to support the structured separation our counselors were recommending and then discounting those counselors and sending us to their counselors who they turned against me. My story is long and unbelievably evil as well. Perhaps it is time to tell it publicly. It is something I will pray about. I think it could help me to heal, and my fervent prayer is that it could help others. Oh, Lord, please let all that has happened not be in vain! The fallout of our divorce has been devastating. I ended up with an aggressive form of cancer and all of our children are having serious emotional and physical health problems and struggles in their faith after all our family has been through. So many prayers for you, Stephanie, and for all on this site who have experienced similar trauma. Yes, the trauma from my then husband was bad-very bad, but the trauma from the church trumped the trauma from the marriage by far. The gas lighting from the church was shockingly evil. I was not “allowed” to separate from my abusive, unfaithful husband; but he was encouraged to divorce me without biblical grounds for my “lack of submission” to their authority and for being “unforgiving”. Just praying about when and if to share….you all are in my prayers. Please pray for my children and me as we continue to seek the right help for healing…If anyone has suggestions for a solid Christian counselor who is experienced at helping women and children heal after abuse, I am seeking it out…

    Liked by 1 person

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