Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

A Primary Handbook for Understanding Churches that Abuse

Galatians 4:17 ESV  They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.

I am convinced that the most pertinent book in the Bible when it comes to dealing with churches and church leaders that abuse the abused is Paul’s letter to the Galatians. This letter ought to be a primary study textbook for us. Here we learn what God thinks of these people, identifies who they are and the tactics they use.

  • God pronounces them anathema (under His curse)
  • They always embrace and promote a false gospel, a false Christ, and a false Spirit
  • Most professing Christians readily accept them and their teachings
  • Their goal is to control us by severing us from the liberty Christ has given us

The verse quoted above is a powerful example of these wicked people’s tactics. They flatter. They “make much of you.” But, Paul says, this flattery is for no good purpose. They want us to worship them – “make much of them.”
I have been going back through some of the letters from the pit that I have on file which were written by pastors and elders to abuse victims who were seeking to expose the abuse and get free of it. These victims are a threat to the coveted control such men crave and demand. And I noticed that almost always these letters begin with a kind of flattery.

  • We love you
  • We appreciate you
  • We want the best for you
  • yada, yada, yada

But this flattery, this “making much of you,” is a pack of lies. They don’t love the victim. They don’t appreciate her (in fact they see her as a rebellious threat). They don’t want the best for her – they want her to shut up and remain in bondage. And so I have often told victims who receive such letters right out, “these men are lying to you.”
Abusers and the churches and pastors who ally with them make much of you but with no good purpose. They want you to make much of them. They want your worship. They want you to promote their kingdoms and that means if you are a victim of abuse who is voicing what is happening to you, you are a threat to their whitewashed halls.
And so, what are we to do? Paul tells us:

Galatians 5:1 ESV  For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.


A Short Post Consisting of Just one Question


Even the Best Bible Teachers Get it Wrong Sometimes


  1. wingingit

    These leaders are good at recruiting and brainwashing other women into the service of shaming abuse victims back into bondage.
    It is easy, play on the women’s fear of admitting that they are unhappy with the treatment that they receive in their own marriages or church. They will do almost anything to keep from upsetting their fantasy of the “perfect family, perfect home, perfect marriage”.
    They will even follow the will of pastors who twist the scripture and force other women to submit to the false reality of “godly submission at all costs”.
    It is easier to believe the wife is the problem than to face the reality that the church system is based on lies and is evil.

  2. Leslie

    My old church (which my husband is getting in the divorce) would rather me be quiet about the divorce and how they handled the info surrounding my abuse, his adultery and addiction to porn.
    My pastor and his wife were frankly “confused, and didn’t think either of us (husband or me) handled it well.
    What “it” is, I’ve no idea. But, I’m not confused. The Lord set me free from my spouse and I am experiencing that glorious freedom. And believe me, not a day goes by since June 10, 2018 in which I don’t, through tears, cry out in gratitude to my Lord.
    I needed not the church to confirm to me my freedom.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Leslie- thank you. I have concluded that most local churches in our day, most pastors and most church members are counterfeit. If they were the real thing and if they were truly regenerate people, they would hear Christ’s voice and not the teachings of liars. Yes, we all had to wake up and come out from under the fog of the lies that abusers and their allies spread, but eventually the Good Shepherd’s voice came through.

      • Innoscent

        This is the sad conclusion I also came to. The majority of the true church of God is no longer inside the walls but outside.
        The counterfeit and deluded church leaders have fabricated this “umbrella” of fake love and grace where everyone is welcome. They’re playing on people’s deep seated fear of pain and search for pleasure. And so it’s all about whitewashing the walls and crushing anything that would tarnish these. When true justice amidst God’s people has fallen by the wayside, you can be sure that the church has been infiltrated by agents of the enemy and is rotting to the core.

  3. Sue

    Dear Pastor Crippen and Friends, this all sounds like Christian persecution, western style. It’s as if satan has yet been unable to make faith in Christ illegal – like in other countries, where if they find a Bible, hidden beneath some old sweaters, in your bottom drawer, they haul you off to the local dungeon – so the devil, runs his wicked game in western houses, stirring up division between husbands and wives, parents and children. i know the Bible says, that a man’s enemies will be of his household (and yeah, i get it, that passage applies to women also).
    In the small church i worship, there’s less than 2 dozen of us, and out of that small number, atleast two or three of the members have been long-term messed-over in their own homes – one, maybe two, is a man. By the way, the average age among us is around 60-something.
    Just boggles my pea-brain, how people can be so mean (and act nicey-nice, at the same time).
    And, Pastor Crippen and Friends, you’re so right, most people are clueless.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Good point Sue. A primary motivation for abusers and groups that ally with them against victims is hatred for Christ and persecution of His real people.

    • Name Omitted

      I have wondered this. Abusers, like my ex, are nothing short of children of the devil. And they not only ruin the victim, but there are ripples of harm that spread outward.
      I can only imagine what life must be like for Christians in other parts of the world where Christianity is openly hunted.
      At any rate, abuse ruins victims. If severe and prolonged enough, it absolutely ruins victims. It doesn’t matter if they get away eventually because they’ve been ruined and tainted and destroyed. I feel corrupted by it.
      Wishing all victims some peace, safety, and security. Above all, wishing for all to keep the faith. Giving thanks to God that we have Him and that this world is only temporary.

      • Name Omitted

        I said corrupted but contaminated is a better word and the word I was looking for but couldn’t remember.
        Love to all you Christian abuse victims.
        And thanks again to the pastor and TWBTC and CRC for running these websites and providing us victims with a church, with support, learning, and regular meditations of sorts for abused Christians. It’s such a blessing!
        What a Wonderful God we have!

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