Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Abusers, Narcissists, and Their Sort all Wear a Disguise

Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Because the wicked are of their father the devil, just as Jesus told the Pharisees (white-washed tombs), they necessarily wear a disguise. In Christian and religious circles, their disguise is some kind of “holiness.” In the secular realm it can be a sort of morality or intellectual acuity – but in every case the disguise has the purpose of 1) gaining acclaim, and 2) hiding the real person. The dead men’s bones Jesus spoke of.

Now, what I wanted to point out here is just one aspect of these hypocrites and the masks they wear. Namely, when the mask slips, as it inevitably does in unguarded moments, or when someone sees through the disguise, this kind of person is going to lash out in cruelty, hatred, revenge-seeking, and other such assaults toward the person who dared expose them.

This, you see, is why the “christian” naricissist/abuser threatens his target with all sorts of harm if she ever dares to reveal the truth. “Don’t ever speak about what goes on in this home” – and that sort of thing.

There are other kinds of hypocrites lurking in churches as well. Their relationships are based upon a demand (often communicated indirectly, more felt than heard)…upon a demand that the secrets about who they really are remain secret. Only praise and adulation are permitted. Active censorship is always at work. And woe, woe, woe to anyone who exposes the real person behind the mask.

This is an all too common pattern seen in people who have chosen Christianity as their mask. So effective are the masks in many cases that it can take years before it is seen through. Some people never see through it and they are the people who will side against the victim when the evil one is exposed.

So be wise. If you are in any kind of relationship with a person who overtly or subtlety, even non-verbally, communicates to you that you must never, ever speak of things you are seeing in them behind the façade, then you can know that you are in a relationship with a very toxic and unsafe person. The deeds of darkness demand secrecy. Christ’s kingdom is one of Light.


Book Review: The Peacemaker — Peace at Any Cost?


A Very Helpful Video (only 12 minutes) on the Covert Narcissist


  1. Amy

    Over 13 years ago, my abusive then-husband walked out on me and our two boys in a what I would later learn was a well devised scheme he had been working on for months ahead of time to basically make me look like an ungodly, unforgiving wife to the church we attended at the time.
    Sadly, the men’s group surrounded him, this poor soul whose wife according to him had kicked him out of their house and was unwilling to forgive and reconcile. And many others in that church were unwilling to ‘take sides’ as one woman told me and let me know that God hates divorce and I needed to forgive and forget.

    That year I saw my ex carrying his bible everywhere he went (which he had never done before) and acting like ‘poor me’ to everyone who was willing to listen to his tale of woe. And if anyone ever did call him out on his abusive behavior, his dander went up and that evil side of him would begin to emerge. Many saw that side of him, but most just turned the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, including the pastor who in one breath told me how my ex had gotten in his face in a state of anger and then in the next would tell me how my ex was changing.

    My ex wore a disguise when out in public, but what those Christians never saw or knowingly closed their eyes to, was the evil behind that disguise.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Perfect example of this evil. Thank you! The Lord sees and the Lord knows.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Amy- these actions by the church members and pastor are what the Bible calls cowardice. It is a great sin. It is willful. Yes, we can be ignorant and naive for a time but when the evil is evident and people still refuse to confront it and stand with victims they incur God’s wrath. No coward will ever see heaven.

      • Be free….

        This hit home, in fact several times over – thank you for pointing this out!!

    • Elly

      Thank you for sharing your story 🤗. My ex will continue to go by his narrative including that I left the marriage, that I walked out. I refer to the covenant of marriage, and although I cannot confirm when this was broken in our situation, I know this will one day be revealed by God, our ultimate judge. My ex hides in the church as well, showing himself to the church body as an upstanding Christian, with me being the issue. Using the church and faith is just a different level of manipulation and evil. Stay strong in your relationship with God 🤗.

      • Amy

        It’s so sad, isn’t it. But God is so faithful and good, without Him I could never have gotten out and found freedom. 🙂


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