Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Why do People Gravitate to the Wicked?

2Ti 4:16-17 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! (17) But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

It’s true, isn’t it? Typically people do not stand with the oppressed, but with the oppressor. We see it all the time in different scenarios. Whether it be some kind of whistleblower or a victim of certain kinds of crimes or an abused person who tells what is happening and asks for help…generally the crowd will tend toward the evil one’s side. Why?

I think there are a number of reasons – none of which justify this refusal of justice. These reasons include:

  • People are deceived by the deceiver. Often, abusers are very deceptive, cunning, and convincing. So people are duped by them. The victim is lying, or crazy, and the abuser is such a wonderful Christian (just ask them)
  • It really doesn’t cost anything to side with the abuser. Normally the abuser is the one with money and power. I can’t remember the number of times abuse victims have told me, “he makes a six-figure salary but won’t let me buy things I need.” Being the abuse victim’s ally however, well, that’s a different story. It is costly to be the friend of the friendless.
  • Sometimes those who ally with the wicked do so because they are wicked as well. Those in power can be abusers themselves, for example.
  • And sometimes we (I say we because at one time or another we all have fallen into this trap), sometimes we fail to stand with the victim because our mental paradigm simply cannot compute these evils we call abuse or sociopathy or narcissism. They have not been part of our own experience so we simply don’t “get it.” As long as we remain in this naivete, it will look like the victim is the problem.
  • And in Christian circles, we have so often been handed man-made tradition which is parading as Scripture. It is wrong to divorce. God commands us to forgive and forget. Suffering is our calling. We are sinners too. All of this is fodder upon which the wicked thrive.

But what the Lord commands is that we stand with the orphan, the widow, the oppressed, the downtrodden. If we are naive about evil, then it is long past time that we get a clue and wise up about it. If someone is evil themselves, then they must repent or perish when Christ comes again. If we are carelessly swallowing false teaching that is being spooned up to us, then we had better pull out our Bibles and starting seeing what God really says.

Because He IS coming. He is coming to judge the earth.

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9 Comments

  1. Deb Bissell

    Dear Pastor Crippen, I thank God for your faithfulness in bringing light to victims of abuse and for training up those who have ears to hear. Thank you for not giving up and giving in. It gives us people helpers the hope we need to keep showing up and suiting up to support women in this battle.

    Deb B

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  2. Veronica Miyake

    Amen to what Deb said!! This is a comprehensive list of why people support abusers. Many people fall into several of those categories. I commonly see with unbelievers the one where they have not had an experience with an abuser so they just don’t get it. That’s why it’s important for victims to be able to talk to someone who does “get it.” Otherwise they feel like people are judging them and thinking they’re crazy (been there).

    The one regarding believers is a shame to them. As you said pastor, they are without excuse because the word is very clear. They just don’t want to deal with the messiness of supporting a victim. It takes a lot of work. And this “he’s just a sinner saved by grace” rhetoric has a major flaw in it: they’re assuming he’s saved! That’s the biggest assumption the so-called church makes that is erroneous.

    Two scriptures talk about the importance of being mature and why: Ephesians 4:11-14 and Hebrews 5:14. Here they are:

    And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.”‭ ‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭11‬-‭14‬ ‭

    “But solid food is for the mature — for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14

    Notice why it’s important to grow into a mature Christian: not be deceived by human cunning and to distinguish between good and evil! And the Lord said he gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers so that we would be trained up, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness! So that’s why those of us who have been in the church for years and decades are without excuse.

    Thank you, pastor, because I know I am safe in our church where we are being trained up in the work of the ministry and we will not be blown around by every wind of doctrine or deceived “by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.”

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  3. Carrie

    Excellent! Sharing on Facebook!

    • Dee

      Proverbs 17 :15 ” He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous – both alike are an abomination to the LORD. ”

      Pastor Crippen, your ministry makes my day. I can feel God holding me up by His mighty right hand by the time I finish reading what you have written. THANK YOU for being there for us.
      Dee R.

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  4. Free - beyond

    You will know who your true friends are, including family, church, etc. when you have to stand up next to a false Christ follower for their abuse in whatever form it may be. The more dangerous the abuse, the more difficult this will be.

    Those that are true friends, family and followers will ultimately not align with the abuser. They may initially be scared, confused, etc. – which knowing the cunning nature of the serpent himself, is understandable…… what matters is what they do with those feelings and experiences, and what steps they take if they had also betrayed you in all of it.

    If they don’t stand by you then, or correct it when they didn’t, it’s almost certain they won’t later – if they are aligning with the abuser by not supporting you they will weaken your much needed safety net. In all seriousness, they can weaken your focus on Christ – -almost like they are a constant draining white noise in the backdrop of your life.

    In these situations it seems the only one who will change is the oppressed – and what I have seen over and over again is that as they distance from these abuser-allies, they are finally letting those surface relationships be what they are. A bonus is that when you honor God, your life and the gift of survival of the abuse you naturally move, or want to move, in one way or another to shed the weight of the toxic relationships. A byproduct can be your gaining firmer ground on resisting the abuser-allies toxic attempts to drag you back into their games and / or scapegoat you…… it’s a whole new life – a whole new beginning – yet an amazing outcome when you look back. It’s the getting there that is hard, but the arrival makes it all worth while beyond our every possible understanding, but with absolute assurance the Lord is with you.

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