Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Another Diotrephes (Named, Haman)

Est 3:1-5 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him. (2) And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage. (3) Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?” (4) And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. (5) And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury.

I find it very, very interesting (and disturbing) that even though the Bible so often shows us narcissists like Diotrephes and this Haman, very few Christians (even in seminary) are taught about such wicked ones. It is a given that we are going to meet up with them in the church (and others places too), but we are tossed out to the wolves with no warning about these kind. It is as if they don’t exist and we are expected not to even think that anyone in the church could possibly be anything but….a Christian. [NOTE: the secular world seems to be wiser than we are about this subject. Just look on Youtube, for instance, and search under “narcissist” and see how this subject is addressed with great frequency there].

But look here at Mordecai and his experience with this murderous, evil emissary of the devil named Haman. It is classic. Haman demands to be worshipped. That is what a narcissist is (or we might call them a sociopath, a psychopath, a reviler, etc. Psychologists would differentiate the terms, but for our purposes we will just go with narcissist for now). Haman DEMANDS that everyone bow down to him and do his bidding. Mordecai does not. The result? Haman was filled with fury.

This is why domestic abusers rage with a murderous rage. Covertly or overtly they seethe with this same kind of fury when someone refuses to be controlled by them. Just say “no,” and the fuse is lit. Sometimes with literal murder as we have seen in the news once again recently.

The book of Esther, if I recall correctly, never names the Lord as the one at work behind the scenes in His perfect sovereign providence to preserve the Jews. But this very silence shouts His presence loudly. Through Esther, brought forward “for such a time as this,” Mordecai and God’s people are delivered. And Haman? Well, his end is the very same destiny his kind will all come to:

Est 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.

Christ is our Deliverer. His promises to His people are true and certain. Ultimately it is by the shield of faith and the Word of God which is the Sword of the Spirit, that we must take up. Trust Him, no matter how dark the path may be. The Good Shepherd most certainly brings His flock safely through.

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3 Comments

  1. Steph

    Thirty years I was married to a man the Bible refers to as a Scoffer. I believed him to be a Christian. I have spent the last three and a half years trying to free myself and my family. Yet, he somehow keeps managing to prevail over us in the court. His latest ploy, forcing us to sell our home. We are waiting for God to deliver us, yet we are still headed to trial with an unjust judge.
    I pray God delivers us from these dark times, but there must be an end this side of heaven. There must be a way to carry on with our lives without God requiring us to lose everything. We keep offering settlement offers and yet everything is rejected. There is even a law in our state that prevents this sale when our house is not in danger of foreclosure, but the judge is ignoring it. How does evil prevail so far? Please pray for us.

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    • Jeff Crippen

      Steph – I know this thing well, and so do many of the others who follow Unholy Charade. I am so sorry that you are being so abused, but I do know this. The Lord is faithful. He has made promises to His people and He is always true. Genuine Christians suffer in this evil world. And that suffering so often looks like there is no rescue, no deliverance, but there is. We cannot know the specifics of how, but Christ loves us and hates those who persecute His people. In my 40 years as a pastor, most of the time there have been revilers and oppressors just like yours. But I can tell you that the God of all comfort has always seen us through and has given me the ability to comfort others by believing them, validating them, and praying for them. Please keep us updated so that we can continue to pray for you. May the Lord bless you and protect you.

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  2. Dee

    Thank you, Pastor Crippen. Each Bible story like this, each validation is a healing balm. I am a narc abuse survivor and my heart goes out to you, Steph. I, too, am praying for you, as I believe each person that reads your reply cannot help but pray for you and your situation.
    It reminds me of a quote by Mother Theresa: “There is a Light in this world, a healing Presence so powerful it can overcome any darkness we may encounter. Sometimes we lose sight of this Force when there is suffering or too much pain. Suddenly, a Spirit will emerge through someone to help us cope.” Please hold on and endure til the end. In His perfect timing, you will find, your help is on the way and there will be an end to this. May our Lord place His hand directly on your situation and everyone in it. And when His mighty hand moves, may it move swiftly

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