Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Getting the Log Out First

Mat 7:3-4 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?

The Lord Jesus addressed these words (as verse 5 will show) to hypocrites who judged others in a condemning spirit all the while having huge sin in their own lives. They projected to others a speck of the very sin that they themselves were walking in.

I am not applying these verses to hypocrites as such, but I cite them to illustrate how vital it is that we look to ourselves before rushing off to instruct others. Let me explain.

With some frequency, survivors of abuse or of some other kind of evil will tell me, with great enthusiasm, that they have a great desire to help others who are victims of the same wickedness that they have been through. This happened to me recently when a lady came up to me (I didn’t know her and I am not sure why she picked me out) and began telling me how she had started a podcast with the mission of exposing child abuse hiding in churches. She said that her husband had molested her children (she had 3 and another on the way). And she went on and on (preaching, you could say) about this evil that is pervasive, how it is demonic….and she focused on the subject of spiritual warfare, tearing down fortresses, and so on. I literally could not get a word in.

Now, I don’t question her sincerity, but I do question her ability. I could tell that her understanding of this subject was flawed and that the advice she would be giving others would also necessarily be flawed. I finally was able to respond (I actually had to interrupt her in order to speak). I told her that her husband was not going to change (she objected to that idea) and that most probably she was going to end up going back to him. He would then, after convincing her that he had had a “spiritual awakening” and was now healed by the Lord…he would then molest the children again. She would not have that and objected to my counsel.

But here is my point. It takes time for us to grow wise. To get the log out of our own eye. And until we gain the Lord’s wisdom, we are not ready to launch out in some ministry of instructing others. Just think about how deceptive evil is. How your abuser had you duped for so long. How he (or she) convinced you of so many lies and how coming to see these things took a long time.

What I am saying I suppose is this: Until we are healed ourselves, we are not ready to help others. The physician who has not yet seen his own disease should not be opening up his own clinic.

When a person, like the lady who approached me, when such a person launches out and starts to instruct others – no matter how sincere their intent might be – when they do this while still having the log in their own eye, inevitably their “ministry to others” is really about themselves. You will see it in the online articles they write. You can hear it in their words. And while thinking that their goal is to help others, the fact is that they end up focusing largely upon themselves. This is not helpful to them or to anyone else.

It is true that the Lord most typically uses people who have been through the fire to help others who are still in that same fire. But, as he did with Moses, He first takes us into the wilderness until in His time and in His way, He is ready to use us.


What Goes on in the Mind of the Wicked?


Easy-Believism Introduces Evil into the Church


  1. Veronica Miyake

    Amen and amen to this, Pastor! As a counselor, I saw this all of the time.: Women who wanted to help others who experience similar situations they had, and yet the women wanting to help were not yet healed. They had not yet dealt with their sin and/or brokenness that led them to the situations in which they found themselves, which was usually in an abusive marriage. “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions…” 2 Timothy 3:1-6.

    I know you have quoted this scripture many times talking about the evil in the visible churches, and there’s truth in verse six about “idle women burdened down with sins” being victims of the evil men. I’m not shaming or pointing the finger at women who are or have been victims ; I am one of them. But the word is clear, and the truth will set us free. We women who have been targeted by these evil abusers must deal with our own sin (yes, we sin, and if we think we don’t, we are liars as the word says in 1 John), and allow the Lord to heal us before we can be of use to others.

    Let me clarify that just because we have sin to deal with does NOT mean we deserved the abuse. The Lord wants us to be free indeed and we must deal with our own stuff first. In my schooling I saw many people wanting to become therapists to work through their own issues, and most of them I would not have trusted to be any help to me or anyone else!

    I just want to thank you, Pastor, for pointing out the absolute necessity of being healed first.

  2. BB

    Jeff, thank you so much for sharing this, I believe it is a timely and divine answer to me asking God if I should be volunteering to help like-experience abuse victims, even though in my heart I know I’m not ready or healed despite so much time passing, recently confirmed by once again being baited, gaslit and triggered, this time in a public setting that seems to have been recorded and posted online. I thought I had finally gotten to a place of understanding and wisdom coupled with tools to not fall into his trap, but fall I did, and I sinned with an outburst of anger, which left me questioning the validity and strength of my faith. I am so grateful for your posts that help me to know truth and get out from under condemnation, while simultaneously helping me “work out my salvation “, and keeping enough hope alive that perhaps in God’s grace He will have mercy on me and set me completely free. God bless you for being a bearer of light.

    • Jeff Crippen

      BB – thankyou for your encouraging and humble words. I have on more than one occasion, experienced anger from abuse survivors when I have pointed these things out to them. In some cases they never speak to me again. They are just positive that the Lord has told them to start a ministry to others and they will not listen to anything else. Thank you again. May the Lord richly bless you in days ahead.

  3. Innoscent

    So true! Thank you for posting on this important matter. Yes God knows complete awakening, healing, unlearning, relearning, need to take place in order to rebuild the ones whom He wants to use for specific purposes.

    The life story of Joseph is the one that particularly resonates with me. It took a few years of servanthood, emprisonment and learning before Josheph could be fit for the position of Pharaoh’s prime minister. What may have seemed heartache, isolation, injustice and time wasted proved to be the very tools God used to reshape him in order to become the faithful and able ambassador bringing light to Egypt while assisting his own people.

    After God pulled me out of years of abuse and toxicity, it was time to focus on my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing and stop being the saviour of people as I was shaped to be. Such a long and challenging journey to sort out the true for the false, the good from the evil, yet marked so many times by the intervention of the Lord.

    I have no aspiration whatsoever to have some sort of ministry in the field of abuse. Rather the Lord led me to revive and develop creative and useful interests from my youth which had been stifled during decades of abuse. They focus on nature, holistic health, writing, useful handcrafts and the Word of God.


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