Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Magic, Superstition, and Biblical Faith

Acts 19:18-19 ESV  Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.  (19)  And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Magic is an attempt by man to direct and manipulate the spiritual realm. By means of incantations, spells, potions and other methods that are really witchcraft (forbidden by the Lord), practitioners of these dark deeds believe they can assume God’s role and bring about outcomes of their liking. These evils have no place in the life of the Christian, as the new Christians in Ephesus recognized immediately.
Much of what parades as Christianity is actually superstition and magic. Prayer becomes a christianized form of incantation (remember Jesus told us that we are not to pray like the Gentiles with meaningless repetition). Satan and demons are supposedly rebuked and defeated by assorted formulas that allegedly are derived from the Bible.  They are not.

How does all of this relate to dealing with evil, including the evil of the domestic abuser? Simply this – we must never dictate to God. We must not claim to know the details of His will in a given situation. We know His ultimate will – Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire – but what we know with certainty, we know because the Lord has revealed it to us in His Word. I know that God loves me and that He is working everything together for my good. But I do not know exactly how He is going about that. I have to trust Him. I have to have, faith.
Magic and superstition are traps. We set up in our minds the outcome and the course that we want to happen, and then we set about telling God what to do. And what happens? Things usually do not turn out as we insisted. In the end, for the Christian, we will look back and see that God’s plan was far better than anything we could imagine. Duh!  Ha, we should know that, right?

1 Corinthians 2:11 ESV  For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Many professing Christians and church leaders are guilty of these things. They tell abuse victims how God wants things to go, and how things are going to turn out if only the victims will……   They insist that the wicked man/woman will miraculously change and that it is God who is going to pull this off. They are wrong. God does not save the unrepentant. And abusers, especially those who are parading as Christians, are unrepentant.
Finally, it is vital that the victim of abuse not fall for this magical approach to following Christ. We simply do not know the details of the course He is going to take us on. We know what He has told us. He loves us. He is in control of every detail of our lives. He hates the wicked. He is going to enact perfect justice for us. But when and how this is going to play out – well, only He knows right now. We must not write the script. God does that, and it is a very good thing that He does.


The Wicked Demand Secrecy – Darkness Hates the Light


The Other Way to Peace


  1. walkinginlight

    I have known quite a few people who practice this “little god theology” and they have shipwrecked many a faith and have been a horrible witness for the Lord. Demanding that God act when they order Him to, and perform a miracle when they utter it out of their mouth. They are as false as the devil himself and need to be born again!
    It is also a horrible thing for them to convince a grieving and weary wife that if they just do as they are told by these know it alls, that the anti- husband will come around and turn into prince charming. They pile all of the burden onto the poor victim’s back being ignorant of the fact that the anti-husband loves being the evildoer and controller that he is, having no intention of changing or making a healthy marriage.
    I wish I had gotten a copy of Lundy Bancroft’s book “why does he do that” twenty years ago. It would have saved me incredible misery. It is a sad, sad day when a secular writer gives the victim the answer to “Why” and Pastor Crippen’s writings, then all of these wand waving charlatans claiming to speak for God.

  2. OMGoodness, mine went from being a hyper correct super conservative Lutheran to guzzling the name it claim it of Wommack, Corry Blake, Sam Wiggles worth, etc, almost overnight. Told the family he was going to lay hands on his mother and anoint her with oil for her fairly advanced bladder cancer. Didn’t work. Cancer filled up her bladder a second time before someone stepped in to get her some effective treatment.
    Shows up at the Lutheran denom and corners the elder to say ” your church does not have the Holy Spirit”.
    Now wants me to come home and trust and obey and he’ll change. Won’t get a therapist- God’s word has everything we need.
    I wonder if I’m getting good advice to RUN the other way!

  3. Innoscent

    It is too late for church leaders to come to the party once Christian women have fallen prey to Mr ‘Christian’ Prince Charming and then pose as marriage saviors. They have forfeited their role of shepherds of caring for their flock in the first place. They needed to teach and put in place preventive measures, warnings, Bible education in order to protect those women BEFOREHAND.
    Now they resort to magic-like formulas such as “try harder”, “submit fully”, “pray more”, “believe all is possible”, “love as commanded in 1 Corinthians 13”, etc. This is counterfeit faith, presumption. They play the heroes when they should have been wise about evil and taught their sheep about wolves characteristics and how to keep them at bay. And so they fail at every stage, only correcting a wrong with another wrong, fueling the abuse plague.
    Thank you Jeff for your message of hope, yes God knows every detail of our torment, and will render justice one day.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Well put!! Thank you👍👍

    • Sue

      Difference between most churches and a rough-neck bar is: you know, going into that smokey joint, there’s going to be grievous wolves looking to take advantage. Sadly it seems the juke-joint is safer, than many churches.

  4. Innoscent, I am coming to that belief myself.
    Sure wish I’d been trained in something MORE than sexual purity. Looks like somewhere along the line I got the idea that if we were sexually pure I would get a good man.. And if I forgave my mother for her bad behavior, then I was free in Christ and everything would be optimal. Talk about being deluded.
    It has been very helpful to look at my past and my husband’s present sibling generation’s conglomerate behavior through the lens of abuse or abusive conduct..
    For years I had wanted to create a seminar for young people outlining the non-Biblical reasons for sexual purity, have a nice, dress up dinner, have a little talk or speech or presentation about those reasons, then maybe a gospel presentation, then the Biblical reasons.
    Now I think I want to add this knowledge im gaining about abuse and especially red flags to the seminar. Not that I’ve actually put any pen to paper yet – full disclosure – but it’s percolating…I think it might have do be a full day seminar….

    • Jeff Crippen

      False reasons for sexual purity all are based on works righteousness and thus a false gospel. Roman catholic celibacy for instance. Paul told Timothy false teachers would come “forbidding marriage.” Also see Colossians 2 where Paul warns against ascetic practices that are of no value in battling sin.

      • We’ll, I meant “virginity until marriage” and “chastity thereafter”, not “celibacy and deprivation of marriage”. Sorry for any confusion.

    • Innoscent

      Nita, I’m glad you’re seeing through this evil. Sadly the church has become a gang of blind leaders leading the sheep to the slaughter instead of protecting them from the ravenous beasts.
      They seem to only save face in their arrogant delusion. All the while the abuse plague spreads from one generation to another.
      Good for you to desire and educate young believers, actually REeducate them, since most of them have been left in the dark and misled. The poor souls have no clue about how to discern evil, perpetrators, narcissism, psychopaths and the like roaming in and outside the church.
      That was me until a few years ago when God rescued me from my misery, healed my wounds and taught me about evil.
      I like your idea of exposing the **RED flags**. That’s crucial to prevent as many youths as possible from falling prey, bleed and have their life ruined. By RE(e)Ducating them from the Word of God!!

      • Yes! Innoscent.
        My mother educated me thoroughly about protecting myself sexually before I got married. Don’t go into these types of situations at night. Don’t be alone with the opposite sex. All men want is sex. Men are turned on visually, women in other ways. Diseases, virginity. Etc etc etc.
        I believed her and obeyed her and I diligently protected myself. I also married a virgin. I knew life would not be perfect, but good grief I wish someone had told me in the same ‘no uncertain terms’ about all the other red flags about relationships. Jeepers, screening people isn’t all about sex!
        I like your artistry “RE(e)Ducating” them, RED flags. For sure. May I add it to the percolations.?
        What I think I need to figure out is how to connect the Bible concepts to the abuse characteristics and the same thinking in reverse. Like, show the abuse characteristics , especially the hidden ones, and connect them to the pertinent passages. And then for the religious people, be able to think from scripture to show the abuse characteristics
        Thank you for the affirmation .

        • Jeff Crippen

          Nita – if you will excuse some shameless self promotion – my book Wise as Serpents deals with many of the things you want to know about evil.

          • Thanks. Jeff. I’ll prioritize it. Wasn’t sure which book to start with. Now I know. Thanks.

        • Innoscent

          Nita, I guess your mother cared for you and faithfully transmitted the little bit of knowledge and warning she knew at the time. But of course it’s only part of the equation. Satan is way ahead of the majority of the church leaders and folks! Now you’re about to do what your mother did and much more by filling the gap about abusers and the like.
          Sure, go ahead with the ideas around the RED wordings and theme as you meditate on your seminar program. I too highly recommend the books written by Jeff, especially ‘A cry for justice’ and ‘Wise as serpents’. You’ll find all the answers you need about abuse characteristics based on the Bible.
          God bless you richly in this work. Reformers have always been a minority, a remnant throughout the history of humankind, but the majority with God by their side! Remember, He’s with you against the Goliaths.

          • Innoscent.
            I think my mother hated my father and was just trying to have me not marry someone like him. She said as much.
            She was diagnosed bipolar, so I guess there was a reason behind her dysfunction.
            I think so much of what to avoid was her own characteristics, so she could not admit to those.
            But yes, I believe she thought she was being loving
            Now to get that book!

  5. Calalilia

    As a follow on thought to this post, I have found the justice of God to be one of his most comforting attributes. I can forgive my abusive husband and leave him in God’s hands knowing that his true and righteous judgment one day will be so much better and worse than anything I could have done. And it leaves me free to live fully in Christ.
    Pastor Crippen, I really like how you explain magic and superstition as creeping into the church. I had not seen it from the perspective you presented before, but you are so correct. Many create a syncretism of true Christianity and magic/superstition.

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