Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

"I will never leave you" – A Certain Promise from the Lord

Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (6)  So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

The wicked leave and forsake. They abandon. Oh, they stick around physically way too long, but only to destroy. They forsake – which means to abandon and desert. They do it everyday, beginning with their marriage vows. Those of you who have been victims of a domestic abuser know this all too well. Abusers forsake their victim economically, emotionally, physically, relationally – really in every way.

Joshua 1:5 ESV  No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
Isaiah 43:2 ESV  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

And of course as quoted above,

Hebrews 13:5b ESV  …for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Now, what I find interesting in this Hebrews passage is that immediately following this promise to never forsake us is this:

Hebrews 13:7-8 ESV  Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  (8)  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

My point is that the Lord is a Shepherd, our Shepherd, who will never, ever, ever forsake His people. Has never happened. Doesn’t happen. Will never happen. I will never leave you nor forsake you. This never changes because Jesus never changes – yesterday, today, forever – the same. And therefore all of His genuine undershepherds must and will keep this same promise to the end. Such leaders model Christ to us. They necessarily then model this quality of faithfulness. Of refusing to abandon, desert, or forsake.
Now, I can tell you that herein we have a very revealing test to utilize in doing this:

1 John 4:1 ESV  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

What happened to most of you when you went to your pastor or other church leader(s) and revealed the abuse you were suffering? When you asked for help? What happened? I can tell you. You were forsaken, abandoned, and deserted. Your shepherd threw you out to the wolf. What does this prove to us? I can tell you. It proves that such a leader is not the leader that we are to “remember” and whose faith we are to imitate. Look at it again:

Hebrews 13:7-8 ESV  Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  (8)  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

It does not matter how many theological degrees a pastor has, or how moving and magnificient his preaching ability might be, or even how apparently “nice” he is – if he abandons and forsakes a lamb who is being ravaged by a wolf, he is no shepherd of Christ. Furthermore, he has in fact NOT been speaking the word of God. His faith is a false one that is not to be imitated. He is a representative of a counterfeit Jesus.
Not even ignorance in this matter is an excuse. This is why I always say, if you want to really understand God’s Word, if you want to be wise as a serpent in respect to the truth about evil, then wise up to the nature, mentality, and tacts of the domestic abuser, of the sociopath, and of the narcissist. Get wise to these things and I guarantee you that you are going to find the lights turning on when you open your Bible.
There are famous men I used to try to imitate in regard to their ministry and teachings. I respected them. I looked to them for guidance. But no more. Why? Because eventually I found out that they abandoned the widow and the orphan. They even put them out of the church and allied themselves with the wicked.
But there is One we can trust who will never, ever, ever forsake us. Whose faith we can confidently imitate and who will never disappoint.
You know His name.


The Pain of Being Shunned – by Tiffany Ridyard


A Chief Reason that "friends" Betray Us


  1. Carolyn


  2. frankiesmith2064

    So good!!! and this message and your other messages always come at the right time. They come on the exact day and time I need to hear them. Like the lord himself is encouraging me. I’m currently dealing with two situations in my neighborhood. A fake Christian church planter, bible study teacher, counterfeit Christian who I at one time admired. Not any more. She willfully allied herself with an evil psychopath abuser who for years bullied me. This counterfeit church leader benefited from her relationship with this evil wicked person and allied herself with her. When the bully is called out by others ( strangers and acquaintances are appalled by her behavior) this church planter runs to her defense!! The psychopathic abuser fools people into thinking she’s the salt of the earth. All the tactics you point out as evil traits are expressed by this person. Yet my bible study teacher, my neighbor side with her against me. It’s horrific.
    I’ve seen it in another fake Christian church group where wives are being abused. . An abusive husband is given a pass as he terrorizes his wife. He has inappropriate “friendships” with married women, he physically abused his wife leaving marks on her arms and bruises. Yet the men of this group embrace the abuser and provide opportunities for this man to commit adultery. The wives ( bystanders) women in this group provide no comfort to the abused wife and their silence further gaslites the victim into the fog of abuse. I cannot or will not go back to that church or even speak to any of the people involved in this situation. I’m available to the victim but her husband hates me and won’t let her speak to me. When I tried to provide support for her she feared he was tapping the phone calls. It’s that bad. The woman’s health is suffering from years of this. Im not able to help !! Those phony church members are close to the situation. They could help her yet they side with and provide support for the abuser. I don’t want to know what their fate will be!! Their judgement for abandoning a victim to her tormentor will be harsh.

  3. Sue

    Having read testimonies on this blog (thank You, Jesus) concerning fake-christians, i’ve heard more than a few testimonies from people who drive 40 miles, or more – one-way – to church. Was thinking, surely, there has to be a (halfways) decent church that’s closer to home? … hhmmm, maybe not.

  4. Aimee

    This is all so true. It really is. I was blown off by two – even 3 – pastors over the years when I tried to get help – or at least compassion – for my situation with my abusive husband. It was so hurtful. Now I am free – almost – but the pain lingers. It’s real, and our children are also hurting. But I want to say for encouragement that eventually God has graciously given me a few real friends, far better than the old ones who have vanished into thin air! Though at times I have felt despair he has always given me the strength to carry on.
    Sounds like a cliche! But I’m still standing and it can only be through his power.
    He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
    Thank you Pastor and all who comment here. 🙂

  5. lg

    Thank you for posting this.
    I am often conflicted about what are reasonable expectations to have for a church — any church.
    I worry my expectations were too high and unreasonable…. but then this post reminds me that my expectations were not too high, but rather just not shared by others…..
    When I read this post to my daughter, she defended the church we attend and excused the people, as “they just don’t understand (the nature of divorce – divorce to a narcissistic / sociopathic abuser).” She is right, they don’t understand, but I also think it is because they don’t care enough or want to understand. I still attend this church but only for her sake and on my weekends when she is with me. She does not know anyone else personally outside of those from the church we attend who identifies as “Christian,” and so feels alone at school for her beliefs. It is also a place of continuity and familiarity for her, which she needs.
    On the one hand, the church we have been attending since we moved here is not a judgmental church (but the one I attended when I was growing up) and also it is fairly conservative by local standards, it seems like it is pretty diverse / divided in it politics, and I am learning, the people also seem to have a range of beliefs, even if the pastor is fairly conservative (by local standards). I am not really involved due to being so busy with a full time job and having to constantly be put in the position of having to respond to legal drama. I am disappointed more people have not reached out to help…they have….sort of…. but not as much as would have liked…. except for one single mom who has since moved away (to a more affordable part of the country) – but then my attendance has been increasingly spotty, but then my attendance is spotty because I am drowning in legal stuff and need help…and feel like I am drowning before their very eyes…. Notably the few people who have reached out to me over the years were the only women who did not have full time jobs/ careers….I think most of women in the church are just busy with their careers and own lives and families/grandchildren.
    I also am realizing I will have to move away to a more affordable part of the country too when my daughter is older and finished with school, so that makes me feel even more on the periphery.
    I wonder if a church’s primary mission is unclear to the people, or if the mission is too divided into a bunch of little missions, then that seems to weaken the church as well….?
    A large group of people (but not that large b/c the church is relatively small) in our church seem to think the primary church ministry is “healing prayer” and “centering prayer” and “corporate prayer.” At one point some people tried to start a ministry for refugees…. but I don’t think there was a great need because there are a lot of alternative secular refugee programs in this area.
    Other than that, I recently realized I have no idea what the mission of our church is (it is non-denominational) other than to provide a space for people to gather with other believers in a part of the country that seems to be primarily secular and agnostic or atheist. But I understand now that a “believer” does not necessarily mean “born again.”
    It seems like for many churches, their “mission” is carrying out their denominational traditions: jewish, catholic, messianic, baptist, presbyterian…..I remember in the Presbyterian church I grew up in taking a class at the church on James Montgomery Boice’s The Foundations of the Christian Faith and having to learn the Westminster Catechism.
    This was so different from Jeff Crippen’s focus on what it means to be “born again.”
    I think Jeff Crippen does an amazing job staying focused on explaining what exactly it means to be “born again” and how to really minister to widows and the fatherless. The promise that God will never leave or forsake His children is such an important promise that we need to hear repeated often.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you lg. You are sorting things out. Someday when you find a real church consisting of true Christians (ie, the born again kind that are the only real kind), you will know it. You will recognize them and they will recognize you.

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