Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Another Accusatory Letter from Pastors to a Victim

It’s the same old story over and over again. Abuser abuses while pretending to be a Christian. His victim reports to her pastor asking for help and announcing she is leaving the evildoer. And then here comes the accusatory instrument disguised as “loving concern.” In this first case, the letter is from the pastor to the abuser husband. Notice the language that minimizes the abuse, and also how prejudiced in favor of the abuser this pastor is, and how he insists that he has authority over the victim to pronounce if she has or does not have the right to divorce. And subsequent to her receiving this evil letter, she received still another one from another pastor of a different church. These guys generally gang up on victims. I will publish that letter in another post soon.

Dear (Abuser) –

We had a conversation with (your wife) this evening, August 5th, 2021. We spoke with her for almost 2 hours. 

We told her that while we did agree that there have been many ways in which you have failed as a husband (which you have confessed and admitted to us), we did not believe that she has grounds for an annulment or a divorce. 

She alleges that you knowingly deceived her and married her under false pretenses, which we are not convinced of. Both she and you were very unwise in marrying quickly, without getting thorough premarital counseling. If you had, many, if not all, of these issues could’ve been worked out beforehand or at least discovered. However, we are not convinced that there was any intentional deception on your part. 

Furthermore, we believe that you are willing to at least attempt to be reconciled to her. Unfortunately, it does not seem that she is willing at this point. That may change, but as of our last conversation with her, she was not willing. We told her that God is powerful enough to restore a marriage even as fragile as yours. We told her that we are in no way saying that it’s her lot in life to remain married to you even if you never to repent. However, we told her that since she does not have grounds yet, she needs to use all the means at her disposal for the restoration of her marriage. She says that she is not convinced that this is the case. Sadly, but ironically, in many ways she is doing the very thing she accuses you to be doing, abandoning the marriage. 

We explained to her, that we do not consider her a member of our church, since she hasn’t been attending for over two years. I myself had not had contact with her until this matter was brought to us. We acknowledge that after the previous sad circumstances in our church with our former pastor, many people left and fell through the cracks. However, if she considered herself a member, we would’ve hoped for much more communication from her. 

That being said, since she is not a member of our church, we do not believe we have the authority to discipline her formally. However, I told her that if she persists in not seeking reconciliation, though we cannot discipline her formally, yet we would be left with no other choice but to question her profession of faith and to withdraw communion from her in spiritual matters, and to consider her an unbeliever until she shows signs of repentance.

As far as what you are called to do biblically in this situation. We believe that even now all things are possible in our Lord. If your wife were to persist in not seeking reconciliation, and if she were able to procure a divorce or an annulment, in that case we would consider you to be in the same situation as that described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:15-16, and we believe that you would be free to remarry under those circumstances, after the divorce is finalized. You would have the freedom to remarry or to continue to pray for her repentance.

However, until that happens, you are to do all that you can to seek reconciliation. I encourage you to pray and fast, that the Spirit would soften your wife’s heart and bring her to repentance, remembering that but for the grace of God we all would do the same. We encourage you to keep your elders well-informed of the situation as things develop, and to take to heart whatever counsel they give you.

We pray that the Lord would grant her repentance. We pray that he would bless you and use this heart-breaking situation, however it turns out, for your good and his glory.

In Christ,


Psalm 64 – Protection from the Secret Plots of the Enemy


Still Another Example of a Pastor and church adding to a victim's suffering


  1. Ugh. “for 2 hours” and what does that have to do with anything?

  2. May I say to the victim.
    File the letter(s)
    I have several that have no meaning to me today😀
    Actually one of the elders who signed the letters has past away.
    God will avenge
    Let Him
    The road to healing is left in Gods care.
    It’s been painful work to get to the road I’m on today.
    The glory is His.
    No! turning back.

    Rae Radika

  3. Diane

    This letter was not sent to me by my former church, but it very well could have been! It is disheartening to know that I find myself in almost the exact same situation, receiving almost the exact same response from the Church. As R.C. Sproul famously said, “What is wrong with you people?”
    Expecting the victim to remain indefinitely tied to her abuser in the hope for reconcile is traumatic for the woman. Why are pastors and elders not more sensitive to this? I can’t imagine this pastor expecting his own daughter to remain in an abusive marriage. My church has treated me not as a human, but as a theological experiment.

  4. Deborah J Peterson

    Honestly, this letter makes me want to throw up. It’s the story of my life of being married to an abuser for 35yrs and the church always made things worse and tried to level our sin. They’re always worried about how the wife has responded sinfully and needs to repent also. She must not be bitter or angry! That would be just as bad as his sin! Around and around it goes with them minimizing and not asking the right questions and drawing the wrong conclusions. They’re absorbed with their Biblical counselling techniques and fixing your marriage and don’t hear a thing or see the damage. Thank you for revealing truth. I wish you could speak with every pastor and teach them some discernment.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Debbie. Actually I gave up even trying to speak to pastors long ago. Very rarely one will contact me and genuinely want advice, but its is very very rare. Most all are arrogant and refuse to listen. Where I get my real enjoyment and encouragement is from validating and helping victims see the evil of the abuse they are targeted by and how they need not be further oppressed by churches and pastors who frankly are false shepherds.

      • emmellkaycee

        That letter is full of the white washed tombs with the stench of dead men’s bones Jesus spoke against.😑
        My response to that den of piousness:
        “Here, let me drag for years behind me this putrefying corpse of a broken covenant, tortured and maimed by the abuses endured, because in the piety of your so-called care and concern, you would burden me further, in order that your tender nostrils and haughty eyes not be reminded of my daily woe and my nightly despair. Instead, you would ban me from the hope I came to receive, giving me vinegar when I ask for water, drenching me further in bitterness against my own spirit for daring to believe I might find Christ amongst you. Woe to you! You have no Mercy of the Spirit… you don’t even have pity of the world!”

  5. After reading your introduction, Pastor Crippen, I thought I was emotionally prepared for what I was about to read. But as soon as I read the words, “She alleges…” I thought my heart would explode. As you warned, the pastoral arrogance and presumed authority to decide whether or not a wife (or husband) has grounds for divorce, and holds the right to both judge and discipline one or both parties was utterly horrifying – but not the least bit surprising. Coupled with the cynicism of the wife’s account
    My heart breaks for that woman and all those like her, while an righteous anger rises against those whose judgements are undergirded by blatant spiritual blindness and heartless apathy while enabling wickedness under the guise of spiritual leading.
    If you can’t tell, I’m a little more than disturbed by this all-too-common mindset among those who claim to know the God who established marriage as a sacred institution, loves genuine relationship, and holds all power and authority to lead us out of bondage no matter what any pastor says – or writes.

  6. joepote01

    Notice the phrase, “willing to at least attempt to be reconciled.”
    These misled pastors see this as the litmus test of righteousness in marriage.
    It doesn’t matter how egregiously the marriage vows have been violated, nor by whom. It doesn’t matter what crimes have been committed, how many times, over how many years.
    It all comes down to one thing.
    If you are “willing to at least attempt to be reconciled” you are righteous. If not, prepare to be kicked out of the church.
    It is truly bizarre!

    • Anonymous

      I have always wondered what these arrogant stone hearted pastors have as a line that isn’t to be crossed? If he is a serial killer who operates in darkness undetected for years? Maybe a pedophile? When you realize that the husband has been lying and his real self is shown it is horrifying. When you witness and experience the violence this stranger is capable of, it’s not far fetched to want to leave as fast as possible. Only to turn around and bump into another of his kind ☹️
      According to the elder and pastor of my church I was the incarnate of jezebel for asking for help, quickly neutralized as a crazy person. Seems rather harsh hypocrisy coming from the love them to lord group.
      I am happy to be rid of them and am sorry and sad for anyone that has to go through this nightmare of further abuse. It is deeply disturbing.

      • R

        Doug Wilson has already answered that question — even pedophilia is ok. Just ask the poor woman from his church who got roped into marrying a child molester who went on to confess sexual feelings toward his own infant son. There is no line. Once you’re married, you’re doomed until death.

        • joepote01

          This is truly sickening. 🙁

        • Sue

          Not surprised, almost all those big-name preachers give me the willies. Cannot help but have the impression, it’s all about jet-setting with those guy.

      • joepote01

        For those who have made an idol out of marriage, I doubt there is a limit.
        Here is a blog post in which I discuss this: https://josephjpote.com/2014/07/relational-idolatry/

  7. Anonymous

    I am praying for this woman’s protection and wisdom. I hope she has the option to walk away from this mess of fraud and deception (abuser and pastor and elders) as quickly as possible.
    This pastor is fully aware of his sadistic oppression and evil arrogance, as was the abusive con artist husband.
    Children are watching. Our own children and children that go to this church. In the end when they can make their own choices, most walk away from the church because of this cruel hypocrisy and say it’s all a scam. Which truthfully, in this type of church with this leadership it is.
    I am so very grateful for this group and Pastor Crippen and this ministry. Thank you!

  8. Meeya

    I’m absolutely disgusted.

  9. Free

    Absolutely agree with Pastor Crippen’s comments, it is the same story over and over – straight from the deceiver’s handbook. I also share the same sentiments as those who responded to this letter in the above comments.
    To the recipient of the letter: I am sorry you went through all that you did, and encourage you to continue to stand strong in your position and keep going forward in your journey away from the abusive marriage and church, living set free in Christ.
    As for the abusers, both the former deceiving spouse and the church leaders, they are all cut from the same cloth. I have a file for all such letters, it’s also known as the garbage, which is exactly what the letter was. You are in the right and they are not, it was blatant they were covering the tracks of the abuser.
    So if you need any reaffirmations, know you are not alone in this – there are others who can clearly see the deception and lies in the poisonous letter.

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