Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

"Never Say Anything Negative About Anyone" – The Wicked Love that Line

2 Timothy 4:14-15 ESV  Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  (15)  Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.

There is an atmosphere, a culture, an often unspoken law in many, many churches and professing Christian families and organizations. The thing is communicated in many ways, often covertly or by implication, but primarily it comes into view when it is “violated.” I am speaking of the notion that a Christian is never to say anything negative about anyone. We are expected to “love” the sinner, to show “mercy” to those who hate the Lord, and anyone who dare say something negative about someone else, soon finds out that they suffer the consequences of this unspoken law.

Now, how foolish and downright stupid all of this is. If we were to cut out every verse in the Bible that says something negative about a person, just how much of the Word would we have left?  Not much. The Old Testment prophets would be silenced and Christ Himself would be said to be a rather poor example of a Christian!
Of course there are sins we are not to commit with our words. We are not to gossip or slander or revile. But we are to speak truth, and truth requires the exposure of evil. Evil is always in a person and therefore to expose it we must expose the evildoer.
Now, how many of you have been victimized by this business? You went to your pastor and told him about the abuse you were suffering in your home, and what did he say? In many cases he accused you of dishonoring your husband! He told you that you had no right to say anything negative about the man. And he probably even told you that you had better knock it off or you would be the one suffering the consequences.
The thing is a lie from the pit. Evil, the devil, his wicked servants – they all love this stuff. And how they must jump up and down with hellish glee when they see us buying into this lie. Don’t fall for it. Speak the truth. If the wicked don’t want anything negative said about them, I suggest they stop sinning.


The Persistent Widow of Luke 18


"Everyone is a Christian" – Another Lie the Enemy Loves


  1. Amy

    Amen! One of the first churches my ex and I attended, about 10 years into the marriage, was pretty forthright in this. I tried talking to the pastor of that church a couple times about what was happening in my marriage, but he pretty much turned away from me, and I know it was said to me at least once not to be saying bad things about my husband but respect him, submit more and pray harder.
    The last church we attended was a little more open, but it was obvious that most people didn’t want to hear anything I had to say about my then-husband that wasn’t positive. I just needed to forgive as God forgives type of thing and remember that we are all sinners.
    So sad when I look back and think that maybe years ago, if I’d had more support from the one place it matter most to me, that I may have left that marriage sooner.

  2. walkinginlight

    How about the famous catchphrase Love the sinner hate the sin?
    Pastor Crippen, you hit the nail right on the head when you said “If the wicked don’t want anything said about them, I suggest they stop sinning”. I will always remember that phrase the next time a evildoer or one of their allies try to guilt trip me for being a “truth speaker”! Thank you so much.

  3. wingingit

    Thank you for this. So true

  4. Innoscent

    One time I was so desperate and just as well I was going to meet a couple who were running a marriage ministry. I thought that finally someone’s going to listen to my nightmare and help me figure things out.
    I told them of the wicked behaviour of my then-husband and gave a few examples. The first thing the man said to me was that I was making my love for my husband conditional, and that’s where I was getting it wrong. In other words *I* was the one with the wrong attitude.
    Needless to say I was shocked..!
    Following their ‘logic ‘I wonder how they’d listen to their daughter telling them how she’d been raped, and if they’d reply that she should “love that sinner unconditionally,”
    Such nonsense…
    Just the other day I was reminded of “the house of Chloe” who reported to the apostle Paul how the Corinthian church was riddled with contentions (1 Cor 1:11). They were looking at a problematic situation in order to solve it. Had there not been any problem with the Corinthians, Chloe wouldn’t have reported anything negative about them, just like you concluded Jeff.

  5. In my husband’s family, they have this mantra, to “put the best construction” on another person’s behavior.
    Since my mother was always impugning the worst motives to most everyone, on the face of it, putting the “best construction” seemed like a decent idea, at first, when I presumed that my husband’s family really was the godly bunch of dedicated Christians they claimed to be by virtue of their stand for doctrinal excellence.
    Well they are dedicated, but that “put the best construction on it” correlates to a couple of wierd phenomena…
    1. Never mind evaluating the truth about what the person really meant. Just decide to believe the best possible thing you can think of and react accordingly.
    2. It really covers over a LOT of verbal behavior that is so interpersonally bad it pushes the limits of relationship normalcy. Someone in the family will do or say something really bad or outrageous, and pretty soon at least that person and sometimes the whole family acts as if it didn’t happen. If you bring it up, there’s silence, or dodging, but an open acknowledgement is not common. It’s like the public ego can’t bear to admit this thing really happened.
    Putting the best construction on it is just as disingenuous/false as my mother’s horrific accusations, I’m thinking. Still working through it.

    • Jeff Crippen

      This is what the Bible calls lying or deceiving. It is also “saying they have no sin” and thus refusing to confess sin and repent of it. That is a family in serious bondage, walking in darkness.

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