Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Narcissistic Radiation

Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;

Evil has many effects upon those in its presence – and none of them are good. I want to talk about one of those contagions here.

I have seen many cases in which people choose to remain in the company of evil. I emphasize choose because I want to be very clear that many people who are married to a wicked person really do want to leave, but circumstances prevent it for the present time. But I am speaking here of those who make a conscious choice to remain bonded to evil.

Evil radiates itself. Like a deadly disease, it infects those around it. And my observation in this respect is that eventually those who choose to stay in the company of evil start to become like it themselves. If, for example, a husband/father is a narcissist, the wife and children in that family are radiated by narcissism. I suspect you have seen it yourself. Others in the household begin to show traits of gross selfishness. Like father/mother, like son/daughter.

We know that Christ, in His mercy. protects His people from evil so that children from a wicked home can grow up in the Lord and become godly people. Many of you have experienced this grace firsthand. Nevertheless, apart from the Lord’s saving mercy, this is the result:

Num 16:31-33 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. (32) And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. (33) So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

Whenever possible, flee from this deadly radiation of evil.


“I Have Always been a Christian”


Forgetting and Pressing On


  1. Carol

    This is so true! My soon to be ex-husband and his father and sisters are narcissists and my children grew up around this their whole life. All my kids are grown now and the oldest is a full blown narcissist while the others have narcisstic traits. My oldest was carefully groomed by his family her entire life. She is unable to have any lasting relationship with anyone because it’s always the other person’s fault. So sad. No self reflection whatsoever. These people need strong conviction of the holy spirit to change. I was unable to leave the marriage early on because I didn’t even know what I was dealing with until just a few years ago. When I did realize it was narcissism I could not leave due to financial reasons and fear although I did try to get help. Sadly, everyone, especially the church, dismissed me or minimized my husband’s sin. I am finally getting out.

  2. notlongnow

    I strongly believe in this.

    When I was still with the abuser, I remember sitting alone in a deserted carpark for hours on a rainy day, just to escape him for awhile. As I sat in the car I was staring at a puddle of water and watching as each raindrop hit it, and its ripples went out. It suddenly occurred to me that that is what evil was like. It has this ripple effect that reaches out to everyone around it and keeps going. Even into the generations. That’s when I knew I had a responsibility to stop the evil infecting my and my daughters life, because there is not only the damage you can see, there is so much unseen damage rippling out to so many people.

    I do think that there comes a point where you if you are able to leave, but you choose to stay married to evil, or yoked to an evil person in some way (not all abusive relationships are marital ones), that some sort of ‘infection’ or ‘contamination’, so to speak, can happen. Your heart can harden, and you can start to become more and more like the abuser, even committing evil yourself as a manner of life. I suppose its like when you are exposed to something over and over and it becomes normalised or it loses its shock factor. Or maybe once you know someone is evil, you know that for a fact and you choose to stay when you could leave, maybe in some sense it is consenting to and partaking in evil too. (I know some people are genuinely trapped though). Evil people also require your service and will do what they can to bring you down to their dirty and wicked way of doing things. A slave who has joined them in their evil is unlikely to leave and they know it. Because this once victim will start justifying their evil behaviour too, just like the abuser does. This is how cult leaders also operate and explains how previously normal people start behaving in evil ways to please the cult and its leader. It’s quite astounding the power an evil person can gain over someone who is regularly in their close vicinity or who lives with them.

    It reminds me of this verse: ‘Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.’ 2 cor 7:1

    We have to be very careful what we allow ourselves to stay around, because there are things that can contaminate our spirit.

  3. Freedom is specific to the person

    I was an “I can’t” leave-type Christ follower – who stayed in a quietly toxic family of origin – their convenient scapegoat, a church “family” of controllers, and re-marriage to one of satan’s most disguised servants, yes, the Sunday school teacher, the all in volunteer when the calling was placed on them – the one who professed his quoting the Bible was just part of his display of his closeness to our Lord….. That last night, until almost too late, I did not fully accept or see that I was most likely seconds from losing my physical life by the abusers stage that he had set – until after I left …. It was that close a call….. and bad and good turns combined… I left everything but what few things I could throw in my car as I scrambled to flee.

    If you haven’t already, weigh your life carefully when you say you can’t leave, weigh the life of your children carefully when you say you can’t – the only certainty with abusers is they get worse as they age, they get more experienced at getting away with it – and they have more to lose the longer you stay. Each story is different- some can’t leave because the abuser will take your or the children’s lives…. for those that are in that camp, you do what you need to do, we pray for you each and every day, if or when the stage changes for you – at that time you will know ….. the rest, that are the other camp, which was me, the cost is ever so great to stay.

    May God depart every ounce of wisdom he can on you as you decide – over time – what to do. And may he bless you and your children every step of the way – may he depart precision to your every move – your and children’s lives depend on it.

    If you think you can’t leave because you will lose everything, your hard earned possessions, savings, your “family”, your “friends”, your “church” family…… think hard on that…… I am one that thought that and… I was right – I lost most of them and more by overstaying – only now do I rise from the ashes of the collective abusers’ destruction, solely by the grace of our God…. it was an immeasurable gift of losing their toxic control that I am better off without for the remainder of my life. No one in my inner circle told me these things…and now I see why.

    Those few who were truly your family and friends will be there for you and drop the abuser in a split second if they were true in the beginning. If they aren’t or don’t, that’s the depth of what the relationship was, that too is something we can’t change but surely are wise to be aware of.

    Whatever you choose – own that choice – even if you feel all other freedoms were taken from you then own the fact that you are here and alive and are doing the best that you can with the information you have. God lives you deeply – and that too is something you and he own together – no one can take that away – if you feel nothing else, then own and hold on to that with all that is left in the tears that relieve your soul.

    Not sure who you are but know you are out there…. and you are loved.

  4. Esther

    I have been married for 33 years and my soon to be former husband and I raised all of our five children in the faith. For me it was real, I was committed to and served my Lord and Saviour and raised our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I was home a stay-at-home Mom and homeschooled all of them. For whatever reason, don’t have room to cover those here, he went awall and became an Atheist. He began evangelizing his Atheism to our children and later admitted that he had his doubts about christianity all through the years following what appeared to be a conversion in 1995. After he came out of the closet about his Atheism, he sent videos about atheism to our children, he espoused this doctrine everywhere and it honestly it made me feel physically sick. I say all of that to say this…I felt the presence of evil in our home. I even felt like the loss of faith was happening to me, and now I can say that it probably was happening to me. He seeks to kill and destroy, there is no good in him. My former partner in life, had succumbed to being used as a platform for the enemy. There are those who serve God and those who don’t, there isn’t any middle ground. We often minimize evil in Christendom, but the Bible speaks of it everywhere! A person who admits to having lived the church life with no inward commitment, is confessing to living a lie. A person who would live a lie like that is not following God and is therefore living in the enemy camp.

    He is still in our home, though he is in an adulterous affair with a woman who is also married, and I am having to make decisions about what worldly goods I am going to give up, to get out sooner than later. We are in the midst of a divorce and he is fighting tooth and nail for his worldly possessions. Pastor Crippin, thank you for this article today as I really needed to be brought back to reality concerning this issue. I don’t want to be in the enemy camp and I need to take action to bring this to a close as soon as possible. I don’t need to extend these legal proceedings in hopes of getting more of my fair share.

    Thank you so much for speaking out on this subject. I have been reading your blog for sometime now and your counsel has helped me walk through this mind bending situation and recognize and call out evil for what it is.

    • lg

      “We often minimize evil in Christendom, but the Bible speaks of it everywhere!”

      This is such a good point!!

      Also a good point: “I don’t want to be in the enemy camp and I need to take action to bring this to a close as soon as possible. I don’t need to extend these legal proceedings in hopes of getting more of my fair share.”

      Trust God to provide instead of the Family Court. If your kids are older you are so lucky and blessed that you were able to homeschool them. Spend as little time and as little legal fees as possible in Family Court. You should get 50% and alimony but he will lie, cheat, and steal, but if you have 33 years and no small children then I would not worry about nickel and diming everything which is what he will do. Just go off the taxes and get out.

      Remember: “I say all of that to say this…I felt the presence of evil in our home.” What you felt was very real. Do not engage or if you have to engage engage as little as possible and get away. He won’t change, but will only get worse.

  5. lg

    This reminds me of the Israelites who were too afraid of the Giants to enter the Promise Land, despite Caleb and Joshua’s words of encouragement to not be afraid to receive God’s promises.

    As a result, the Israelites had to wander, lost, 40 years in the desert and never did enter the land, only their children could enter.


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