Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Why does Cain keep Killing Abel?

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

1Jn 3:11-13 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; (12) not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. (13) Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

In every church that I have pastored (3 of them, our current one for 30 years now), the same dynamic has happened many times. Cain kills Abel. What do I mean?

As I mentioned in my Sunday sermon yesterday, within the visible church there are two religions – that of Cain, and that of Abel. The religion of Cain is faith plus works (with emphasis upon meritorious works), while the religion of Abel is the biblical gospel – faith alone in Christ alone. And whenever these two meet, there is hatred, persecution, and even murder.

The religion of Cain is the “christianity” of the RASN (reviler, abuser, sociopath, narcissist). It is a religion of externals, the kind of religion not only Cain embraced, but the Pharisees and today’s counterfeits and hypocrites. They demand to be declared Christians because of their works. Abel offered his offering by invisible faith. Cain offered his by visible works which, according to Cain and his followers, obligate God to approve of them.

What do you suppose is going to happen when Cain and his kind are members of a local church and, mixed in with them, are members who are genuine believers, pursuing a religion of faith alone in Christ alone? Simply study church history to find out. Hatred. Persecutions. Murders. Economic hardships. Slanders. Because Cain and his kind cannot tolerate the heart-religion of Christ’s true people. They cannot tolerate having the light of Christ shined upon their fake religion, exposing them as unregenerate children of the devil.

Many, many cases of domestic abuse in which the victim is a real Christian and the abuser is a Cain come down to this very cause. Cain murdered Abel. Cain’s people hate Abel’s people.

Cain’s kind are very adept at accusing and blaming Abel’s people. And if we are not wise, we can end up wearing a huge load of false guilt and blame that is not ours to bear. I bet the historic Cain hated his brother long before he murdered him. He resented Abel’s godliness. And you can bet that Cain spent plenty of time accusing Abel of “self-righteousness” and “holier than thou -ism.” I wonder how many times he went to Adam and Eve and complained about Abel? And I wonder what, if anything, they did about it?

Cain is still killing Abel today. Be wise and know this. It is a tactic of Satan which he has been employing from the beginning.


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  1. Dee

    100% again, Pastor Crippen! The temptation is to have those 2 verses made onto a tee-shirt and wear them to the next church outing.

  2. Follow His Lead

    You hit it right on! Having grown up in a Cain-religion, and a multi-RASN family, the points you have made above resonate as ever so accurate then & now. This Cain-type approach is alive & well in the toxic family of origin …. not only is blame for their miserable existence somehow tossed over to their scapegoat- somehow the scapegoat is also responsible for the RASNs choices? False guilt, shame, blame – yes it the very effective RASN default. Physical distance from them & the Cain-church has been amazing & fortunately now, it is lives with often reminders Jesus did the same – he held to the truth & kept physical distance from them whenever he possibly could.


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