FriJob 19:18-19 Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me. (19) All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.
I bet you all can identify with Job, right!? This is one of the most painful facets of wickedness and evildoers – our “friends” ally with them and abandon us. Family turns against us and takes up with the wicked one, feeding his facade of “godliness.” In a real way, victims of evildoers are seen just as Job was – unpleasant and unclean as if they contracted some kind of leprosy.
Every real Christian is going to experience this betrayal in one degree or another. Jesus said it:
Mat 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (35) For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (36) And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. (37) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
So, is this true or not? That is the question I would put to people who profess to be Christians and yet they insist on maintaining that this should never happen. That if “family” bonds are being threatened, they must be preserved at all costs. Is the cross the offense that Paul said it was?
Gal 5:11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.
The question then is not this (which is so often put to victims of evil): “Why is there conflict and alienation between you and your family members?” but rather this (which is properly put to those accusing the victim): “Why do YOU not experience any of this in your own life in your relationships?”
I want to write in another article about something I call “the Judas Moment.” The basic premise is this: there comes a time in everyone’s life – particularly in the life of a person who claims to be following Christ – when the Lord puts a pivotal question to us. Will we follow Him regardless of the cost, or will we look back at Sodom longingly? Will we take up our cross and follow Christ, or will we have one foot in the world and one foot in His Way? He won’t let us do it, you know. It is Him or the world. It is Christ or family and friends.
Most choose the world and you can be sure that when someone makes that choice, they are not going to walk with you in Christ’s truth. They will go their way, looking for someplace where they can continue to deceive themselves and others about their standing with the Lord.
Is it worth it? I mean, is it worth being hated by family and friends? Well, Jesus said it – if we find our life in this world, we will lose it. But if we lose our life here, we will truly find life in Him – and that is life indeed.
Interesting final question- you called it Pastor Crippen – it is absolutely worth it.
Here we go…. I grew up in a very religious family and all girls school- the cross – meaning the crucifix, was hanging everywhere with our dead Lord and Savior hanging off of it, head drooped, crown of thorns dripping blood, etc…. ironically it was great depiction of the walking dead “family” I was immersed in – that is literally how they act and treat Christ – as anything but risen, alive and worth living for!!! Instead he was reduced to only a dead, beaten, no-point in hope representation….as is their in kind behavior.
Fast forward 3-4 decades, after the heinous abuse in marriage and church (4 walled—church), etc. I know the cross, but this one has the risen, very much alive and saving Christ as the last stand, not the dead-no point-hopeless version.. Since then, you bet, there has been / still is nothing but continued quiet mud slinging, back stabbing, covert tactics of the love/hate/need you to make me feel better rollercoaster/of anything but genuine love.. from the religious “family” and sadly I now see it was also many “friends”. A trip to see them is stepping feet first into the cliff of conflict, lies and alienation – sometimes bold most of the time covert but so present at the same time… is it worth it? Seeing them? Definitely not!!!!!! Loving and living with Christ – absolutely.!!!!!! The contrast is irrefutable- and life with him, completely hard as it has been, is just that LIFE. It is worth it to be alive and not trying to survive the suffocating envelopment of the accusers, the walking dead. I’ll take their accusations, alienating not genuine love/hate fest behavior any day standing right here with Jesus – in a backwards way – yet forward facing way too, it is a reminder of choosing LIFE….. so yes, hands down, it WILL BE HARD – and – IT IS WORTH IT.
Heed – This is wisdom that is rare. I say rare because most of the people I have known who are in bondage to wicked family never separate from them to follow Christ. They often continue in the accepted family religion, but they will not break away, choosing the acceptance of the evil ones rather than Christ’s. Increasingly I am seeing young people having to deal with this tactice of the devil who works through parents, grandparents, and other extended family members to demand they stay in bondage. Freedom requires the Lord opening their eyes, bringing them to genuine faith, and giving them the ability and desire to hear His voice and follow Him no matter the cost.
I appreciate your sharing your thoughts. What you described…. I can relate to that – all of it. I will tell you and the readers – please do not let it go that far. I almost did… and it also almost killed me. I am only standing here with our risen Lord and Savior because of him and I am puzzled each day why he saved me – but I know he did… that is why I DO NOT turn back.. Literally – there were a few specific times when I am certain the abuser was going to kill me. The first it appeared he layered the story to make it look like it would have been suicide – the last – that it was an accident. I have physical injuries that I will never recover from – but I am alive and it is not by my doing. If you have never seen this from a family member – I pray you never do – but if you do – you WILL NOT EVER be the person of the past – regardless of your roots, genetic or other. I have seen the literal murderous look – the eyes – the gait – the posture – the horrendous strength in the murderous hands – the unbelievable physical strength – the way they move more as an animal, the way they don’t speak but yet the room all but screams with the surge of their TERRIBLE intensity and literal loss of life and hope…: it took that kind of abuse for me to see it – please I beg…trust the Holy Spirit’s prompting… call it a gut feeling or whatever you must – just do not deny the very communication the Lord has laid out for us. He has done his part, we must do ours – heed….he went through hell to rise and show us life in him. Accept it. God bless you all.
I had a “Christian” “friend” tell me that it was my fault I married an abuser because I knew he was not a Christian when I married him – so therefore I am somewhat responsible for the abusive marriage and divorce experience.
However, although I grew up in the Church I was not a born again Christian when I was married and did not really understand what that meant until after my daughter was born, and then even more so after the divorce and even more so recently since Pastor Crippen has been speaking on what it means to be born again.
Also, my ex, while not a Christian, appeared very righteous, moral, hardworking and upstanding and admirable – more than many so-called Christians I grew up with. Since I was not even born again, we did seem equally yoked. But now I know him to be a liar, a pretender, and someone who is really good a mirroring and who has no sense of empty guilt or remorse. He is a master manipulator and gas lighter so he can control and command worship of himself.
I don’t think any one deserves to go through what I went through (am still going through) and I go back and forth in my mind about how much responsibility I should bear for being the target of such abuse, for getting myself into this situation because I “went into the marriage knowing he wasn’t a Christian.”
Even though he never pretended to be a Christian, he did however pretend to be very righteous, seeking, interested in faith and godly, faith filled Judeo-Christian values – but then as soon as we were married and I was isolated with him in a foreign country he became like Dr Jekel Mr Hyde. I had been duped, tricked and deceived.
I feel like not a single “friend” or family member understands this and even when they are in full knowledge of all the evil he has done to destroy me during the divorce, there is still this sense that they blame me. Some days I feel Job in that I know nothing i did deserves the evil that has been piled on me, then other days I think God is using this experience to strengthen me in a way I don’t yet understand, and then other days I feel so alone, alienated and judged by family and “friends” that I can’t bear to talk to or interact with anyone outside of polite conversations at work. And it seems unhealthy to be so isolated, but at the same time it feels too toxic to interact with anyone who thinks in the back of their head that I deserved in any way any bit of the evil he has done….
But then am criticized and judged for not being social. In Family Court we live in glass houses where our every move, thought, action is open for judgment under the threat of custody removal.
It is interesting, reading the above comments: how intimately tied abuse is to forms of false religion or perhaps how much abuse is present within false religion (?). For me, freeing myself from false religion and finding a true walk with Jesus and His acceptance came first; and then I was able to break free from my abusers too.
When God opens your eyes, it is an invitation to let go of what you think you know and embrace his loving truth. While his gift to each of his elect is free, it is also extremely costly.
It will cost you family, friends, and reveal to you who are the wolves, who are the sheep, and who are the goats. Anyone who has appeared as godly on the outside but ends up being rotten to the core, we are commanded to remove ourselves from. That’s hard. None of us want to lose people, but the truth of the matter is that if your faith is genuine and you are obedient to Christ, you will not be able to hold onto all of your relationships. Your faith will reveal those who hate God in your midst. Don’t be surprised when you experience the hatred Jesus talks about when he tells us that they will hate us just as they hated him. We live in a day and age and a nation that refuse to be obedient to God’s word yet profess to carry his name.
It was hard leaving my entire family, including my extended family behind. While leaving my immediate family was less painful – they are a pack of narcissists wearing the guise of godly saints. I’ve had to purge most of my extended family and church relationships as well. They may not all be the wolves Christ mentioned, but they are also caught up in deception of false teaching around who Christ is, and what their responsibilities are as the Christians they claim to be. They refuse to separate from those who the Bible instructs us to avoid because they are family. Family means more to them than obedience. They refuse to seek to understand who God is for themselves nor gain wisdom in the face of evil. They let their ears be tickled by lies all the while being convinced they are walking in truth.
One of the things that has been so many fail to take seriously is that when Jesus said he’s come to separate fathers from sons, mothers from daughters and that if you choose family over obedience to him you are rejecting him. That instruction is missing in much of today’s churches. Rejecting unsaved family, especially if they wear the clothes of godliness yet are filled with dead men’s bones, is deemed unchristian.
How dare you be so unloving as to reject your family? Don’t you know you’re not being Christ like you know? And other such accusations are what you will hear from those who proclaim to be Christ’s yet refuse to obey him.
It’s not the narrow road for nothing. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But it’s not. It is hard and costly, yet nothing in this world is worth more than being Christ’s. Not family. Not friends. Not position. Not possessions. Nothing.
So to all those who are broken by wicked people parading around as godly, come out from the wolves den and live. You too can find the healing, hope and belonging your heart craves in the arms of Christ and his true sheep. No longer must you remain in the hands of wicked abusive people. Embrace the freedom granted to you by Christ. If the son sets you free you are free indeed.
This is absolute truth!! Thankyou very much!
I commented before that there are such similarities in our journeys of having to leave ALL family and extended family and friends-the ones who cowardly would not separate from known wolves (in my case EVERYONE KNEW about the abuses I’d suffered from childhood to present day still. They all twisted the “forgiveness” Scriptures for decades and I kept forgiving and reconciling. Until God orchestrated a divine intervention which parted my “Red Sea” and led me out of the bondage.
Even though I’ve been in No Contact with all of them for 5 years, the abusers and their allies STILL smear and lie about me to cover for the exposure of their fraudulent Christianity. ALL are professing Christians. But really are not, I now know, mainly through the truth taught on this blog.
I see a parallel between how church leaders, elders, congregants, friends, relatives…see “family” as an idol to be worshipped above Christ and His teachings about separating from evil. Just as abused wives are told over and over that “marriage” is to be idolized over Christ and His teachings. It’s all to keep us in bondage and to keep us from the freedom that Christ died horrifically and rose again to give us-His true followers. These “Christians” don’t want us to be free. There are many reasons-none Biblical. All self-serving reasons. “Broad road” mentality of walking in popularity with the world. Treating victims as lepers.
I commend you on doing the very hard thing. Walking away from all involved in the abuses and those who enabled or covered up or excused them. It’s all evil. I can attest to how hard that lonely place is when you walk away from everything you ever knew. There’s a book called “Crazy Was All I Ever Knew”. So it took us more than a minute to recognize the depth of evil we were facing. And that separating was the only answer. Starting over late in life is hard. It’s hard making new friends. And our trust issues make it even harder. Betrayals by SO many will do that to a person.
But, Jesus has walked the same road. Betrayals, abuses, false allegations, smears, lies, conspiracies, abandonment, isolation. And much more. Knowing HE KNOWS is a comfort to me as I let Him walk this road with me. As you are doing. He will continue to strengthen me and you for the “narrow road” we’ve chosen to adhere to in obedience to our God-regardless of the high and painful costs.
God bless you as you heal.
I forgot to add that “forgiveness” is also sometimes made into an idol. When abusers and their allies twist the “forgiveness Scriptures” to guilt us into continuing to allow the abuses, forgiving and forgiving…7X70…UNREPENTANT WICKED people who have no intention of stopping their abuses, they heap spiritual abuse upon all the other abuses. I fell for it since childhood and into adulthood as I was continually abused by family of origin. The “family” also was made into an idol by relatives who enabled the abuses for decades. According to their clan/cult thinking, I was to endure ANYTHING and forgive unrepentant wicked people, who meant nothing but harm to me, endlessly, when it came to “family”.
Thank God for Pastor Crippen’s blog which has UNTWISTED the Bible’s teachings on forgiveness. God led me out of the Egypt of my former family and friends, but Pastor confirmed it was the Biblically correct thing to do with those sorts of wicked wolves who call themselves Christians.
Thank you for sharing Z.
It is comforting that Christ knows and understands the pain that has been inflicted by wicked people upon us. He is with us, guiding and teaching us so we continue to grow in wisdom.
May God richly bless you and continue to pour out his healing upon your mind and body.
Don’t be surprised if you hear from those “friends” years later when they’ve been stung by your ex-abuser and they either want sympathy or your assistance with building a formal case against him. Beware when these enablers come circling back to you. Help them out if you feel it’s the right thing to do or if it will give you closure, but don’t assume you’ll be given a hero’s welcome back to their fold. Even if they’ve finally seen the light regarding one specific abuser, they usually remain in denial about abuse dynamics in general.
These types often take your help to rid your ex-abuser from their church or other group, then ghost you again once they’ve gotten your relevant data and testimony. You’ll be viewed by many of them as a “souvenir” of an embarrassing era they’d like to forget. The other possibility is that they’ll invite you back, but you’ll soon notice that they’re still supporting several other prolific abusers and they won’t put any meaningful best practices in place. They’ll insist the remaining abusers are “different” situations from the one with your ex-abuser.