Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

The Root of the Problem

Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (22) On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (23) And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

1Co 5:1-6 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. (2) And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (3) For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. (4) When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, (5) you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (6) Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

1Co 5:11-13 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. (12) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

One of the common, recurring frustrations that targets of RASNs experience and cry out against is that RASNs are allowed to remain in local churches. In fact, it is quite often the case that the victim is the one who is put out – either formally or informally. In light of the scriptures quoted above, and many others, the wicked are to be put out from among us. But typically evil remains in the pews, permitted to go right on wearing wool while worrying the true sheep. Why?

The root of the injustice is something fundamental. It is the root of the problem. And I was reminded of this recently when I was going through some old records in our church files. (I may have mentioned this to you before, but it is worth repeating). I knew most of the names and faces that kept cropping up in those records (they used to keep a picture directory each year). I knew them because many were still here when I came – and so I knew their fruits. That fruit was almost entirely rotten. Not just borderline rotten. Not just “hmm, is this fruit good or not?” But rotten, rotten. These people walked and lived in sin. Christ was not in them, with very, very few exceptions.

Now, I ask – why? How can it be that a local “christian” church goes on with all the typical activities – Sunday School, church service, choir, sermons, missions committee, potlucks, children’s ministries – and yet the vast majority of the “christians,” aren’t. I mean, are not Christians. Aren’t born again. Still dead in sin. How can there be a good size choir, a skilled choir director and pianist, full pews, hymns sung, sermons preached, a doctrinal statement that is sound on its face – and yet there be almost no true children of God in the bunch? How can RASNs fit right in?

I can tell you why.

Because Satan has his churches. The Bible says there are synagogues of Satan. Satan is the great counterfeiter. He is the master coiner of the false church. His man will one day appear as a false Christ and the whole world will follow him. The quickest path for a local church to morph into the kingdom of darkness is to refuse to obey the Lord’s command to put the wicked man out from among us. To refuse to believe and confess that if a person claims to know God but hates his brother, he is a liar – he is no Christian at all. Most local churches protect professing christians who walk in sin.

I could take you through one of those old church directories and go through the names one by one, giving you firsthand testimony of the sinful, rotten fruit that characterized the huge majority. When did it happen? What year was it (the church was organized in 1957) that evil won the day and took over? I can tell from the records that unregenerate people looking for self-glory dominated the leadership for many, many years. Little wonder we hit the ground in battle as soon as we arrived here 30 years ago.

How does this affect you? Because the same evil scenario is played out over and over and over again in local churches. In the quest for numbers, in the lust for career advancement, a shallow easy-believism is preached and called the gospel. But it isn’t the gospel, and it cannot save. It is a message gutted of any call to repentance or of any pronouncement that when we are truly born again we will obey Christ and bear good fruit. The result? Your RASN fits right in. Might even be the pastor or an elder or other office holder. Such a place is dominated by the devil’s children just like the Pharisees, all of whom have as their goal – “I will be like the Most High.”

Following Jesus is costly. Following Him means taking up our cross, dying to ourselves, and walking through the fire He walked through. That message doesn’t appeal to the masses. Christ’s remnant is a remnant. His true church is small – it is not mega. His people are on the Narrow Way and few are they who find it. His real people love Him and they love one another. His saints crave to obey Him and cannot tolerate evil among them. In fact, evil is not comfortable among them. And this is the inevitable result where real godliness and holiness in Christ reigns-

1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.


The Lord is For His People


A Scripture for this Lord’s Day


  1. Kate

    This post reminds me of something.

    Recently I watched the documentary, “The Secrets of Hillsong.” Sadly, it is very typical.

    The founder, Frank Houston, was a pedophile and his son Brian who took over the ministry, covered it up. When Frank could have been prosecuted, a member of the church (a doctor) had him declared incompetent due to dementia. All a cover up. His son Brian eventually resigned because it was shown that he knew about the abuse and did nothing. (Brian said his father told him it was a “‘one off,” meaning it was only one time with one boy. He never reported it to the police because he said he didn’t know he was supposed to.) Brian even accused the victim who came forward of “tempting his father” into molesting him. Brian (the son) was able to keep all his money, which was millions of dollars.

    As with all RASNs, Brian is unrepentant and now wants to come back. As you view it, pay attention to how they treated people who quit the ministry like Geoff. (Someone from the church told him months after he quit and lost everything, that the church had tried to destroy him.) As you always say Pastor Crippen, you can tell if someone is a RASN if they attack you when you tell them “No.” And yes, entire organizations can be evil if they are full of mostly worthless-minded people.

    Thank you again! I am currently listening to your TULIP series. Great stuff!

    • Thank you Kate. Yes, that is really the same old story. Cover up. Get rich. Persecute the victim. They are of their father the devil. I wonder how many of the scribes and Pharisees molested children and abused women?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *