Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Man Cannot Cleanse the Sinner of Sin

Jer 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

The emphasis of this Scripture is, of course, not to somehow accuse the Ethiopian of being a worse sinner than other peoples (no doubt there have been wicked men in history who have tried to twist this verse to mean that). Rather, this is a declaration from the Lord that man cannot cook up his own remedy for sin. The sinner is a sinner. He can no more make himself pure and righteous than a leopard can decide not to have spots anymore.

John Bunyan illustrated this in part 2 of Pilgrim’s Progress where two fools named Fool and Want-Wit (ie, Witless) were trying to change the color of an Ethiopian’s skin by washing him. It reads like this:

They saw one Fool, and one Want-wit, washing an Ethiopian with intention to make him white, but the more they washed him, the blacker he was. Then they asked the Shepherds what this meant. So they told them, thus it is with the vile person; all means used to get such a one a good Name, shall in the end tend but to make him more wicked.

There are plenty of Fools and Want-wits around us today, and particularly in the local, visible church. Many professing Christians actually believe that by “loving” the wicked person, by “forgiving” the RASN, a fix can be effected. Filth washed away. Darth Vader becomes good once more because Luke just knew there was some island of goodness in him.

And notice – the more this kind of approach is taken, this business of human beings transforming the wicked into saints, the more evil the person becomes! A false gospel only produces counterfeits.

Have you ever had professing Christians get angry with you when you told them that RASNs never change? I have. Sometimes that anger has come from the actual victims of the RASN! One abuse victim told me angrily, “I don’t believe that! My God is bigger than that and He can save anyone.” I can assure you that her abuser has not become a saint.

God cannot save everyone. This is something God cannot do. Does this mean He is not omnipotent and sovereign? No. What it does mean is that God will never violate His holy being. He will not justify the unrepentant, unbelieving sinner. God cannot and will not and is not going to save Pharaoh.

I maintain that many local churches today are Fool and Witless. They are washing and washing and washing through all their self-invented methods, wicked people and the only result is that those wicked ones are just growing in their evil.


New Mid-Week Bible Study on Romans has Begun


Narcissists are all about Image


  1. George

    I believe your quote from Jeremiah 13:23 should read ” then you also can do no good who are accustomed to doing evil”

  2. Renata Smith

    Thanking God for the timeliness of your words!
    I have applied Jesus’ instruction in
    Matthew 18:15, 16, 17 but sadly
    no repentance on the part of the sinner.
    Ezekiel 3:7 (plus other Scripture)
    and the reality of the truth in your word presentation has helped me realize that I can now only pray for this particular sinner.
    Thankfully, God is truly HOLY &

  3. Kate

    Having lived my entire life with RASNs, the truth of this post is engraved in my mind and heart.

    The bible tells us over and over that evil ones LOVE being evil. Victims of these abusers are often abusers themselves, just lower ranking. Remember, in the animal kingdom as well as with evil humans who the bible calls creature of instinct, the hierarchy matters completely. It’s how they know the value and worth of themselves and others, who to flatter and kowtow to, and who should serve them. To them, Christians are the bottom of the food chain; worthless, stupid, and completely deceived and delusional. We make good slaves because we are easy to guilt, shame, make fearful. This equates to easy to control. It’s the opposite of how God sees us and the opposite of reality. But that’s the upside-downness of evil…it believes it’s god and knows all.

    It’s why we are always battling tyrannical governments and regimes because the majority of humans belong to the evil kingdom. (This should not surprise us as the bible says it’s a narrow gate.)

    They love to have us waste our lives on this earth, so if they can get us to squander our time by “helping” evil ones rather than noticing who the RASNs are and turning away and searching (through Christ) others who are the Lords, bully for them! The church today is the master of keeping Christians deceived, enslaved, and ineffectual. When the rare one does wake up to the reality and see the evil for what it is, they are attacked, shamed, denied justice, and ultimately kicked out. It’s no surprise to those of us here, the truth and reality of God’s word.

    Thank you Pastor Crippen, I pray God’s children find this website and grow in their understanding of truth through God’s word by the truths taught here.

    • Dee

      Thank you, Pastor Crippen. Their behavior reminds me of Jeremiah 7:14-16 which causes God to tell Jeremiah, “Therefore, I will do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your Brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. THEREFORE, pray not for these people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them,, neither are intercession to me: for I will not here thee. “.

  4. Julie Cleaveland

    Thank you, Pastor Jeff! This is so clarifying!.

    When bad things (abuse) is happening, our God-given instincts are “fight or flight.” However, from an early age, we Christians are taught, “Love your enemies” means staying with your abusers, praying for them relentlessly, serving them, tolerating whatever they dish out; all because, on some mystical day, light will dawn in their souls, they will finally realize what they’ve been doing to you, and they will finally love you back. Christian movies (War Room, Fireproof, etc) are all based on this.

    Just hold out. God can work. God can do miracles. God can change hearts. (But somehow) it’s all up to you. It’s all on your shoulders to put in the years of begging God in tears. You must be the widow to the Heavenly Unrighteous Judge. Wear God out with your prayers. He will relent to shut you up. (This always bothered and confused me. How can God be an UNrighteous judge, and why does He withhold justice and a changed-heart-spouse, if He loves us so much? Isn’t that out of character with the rest of His word?)

    But to hear you say it is out of God’s character to justify the unrighteous and unrepentant blows all of that “stay and pray” War Room stuff out of the water. And it makes so much more sense!

    Isaiah 8:20
    20 To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak in accordance with this word, it is because they have no dawn.

    This has become a favorite verse. For me, it says why the rationalizations and justifications that abusers throw at you always seem “off.” And it also explains why the whole slough of “Christian” teaching — stay ‘n’ pray, be silent and winsome, God can do anything, change any heart) never seemed to play out in real life. There was always some story in the Christian marriage book of “some fella after 30 years of being rotten has just come forward at the altar call, and he was changed!” Yet I never saw it ever in real-life.

    But like with any lab rat, or gambling addict, if there is hope of some future treat payoff, we will endlessly keep pulling the lever, saying to ourselves, “Next time, next time, next time… Tomorrow will be better, tomorrow the change will happen, tomorrow… there will be joy in the morning…”

    • Kate

      Excellent insights and so well stated!

      From your comment: “some fella after 30 years of being rotten has just come forward at the altar call, and he was changed!” Yet I never saw it ever in real-life.”

      I absolutely believe most of these stories are completely manufactured/altered/manipulated/framed up to deceive and keep us enslaved. I know maybe two REAL Christians in my personal life, but preacher after preacher I used to listen to, said that many will come to Christ if we endlessly witness to everyone. Without God’s/Holy Spirits guidance and leading us to those he desires to reach, we wear ourselves out.

      Thank you!

    • Noka

      It is true that many times in modern Christianity prayer is wrongly applied.

      But it is also true that God promised to give us what we ask for and He taught us to persist in prayer. For His glory and for our joy.

      But God also put parameters around this. It must be according to God’s will, we can’t ask for selfish motives, and we must abide in Him (be true Christians, not false converts).

      Among those parameters is God’s will… and that includes His instructions and promises. . We cannot expect Him to answer prayers when we’re going against His instructions. God has given us instructions for how to deal with abusers, and praying for them wasn’t one of them.

      That is why you will never hear testimonies from abused wives that their husbands changed after praying for them because God never promised to do such a thing. We cannot pray against what God has made clear. God never promised that He will change abusers and never gives us hope for it. He gives us instructions to avoid them, gain wisdom, discernment and understanding to know how to deal with them, to protect ourselves from their hatred and violence. But He never said ‘pray for them’. Once we identify these creeps we need to get away from them as much as possible because only God can handle such evil.

      If anything, these are the sort we’ve commanded NOT to pray for them.


Leave a Reply

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