Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

RASNs Don’t Get “Better”

Mat 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Pro 26:11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

Some of you may have had occasion to target shoot and learn some things about the path of a projectile. We talk about “minute of angle” when we are sighting in a rifle, for example, with a telescopic sight. There are dials on the scope which are calibrated in minutes of angle and those minutes, like one second on a clock face, are 1/60th of one degree. Think of that. 1/60th of one second. 1/60th of one degree. Pretty small.


Until, you start talking about long distances. What begins as a very small deviation at range zero just keeps growing and growing and growing downrange, the further you go – the farther off target you get.

What does this have to do with sin, specifically, the sin of the RASN (reviler, abuser, sociopath, narcissist)? Well, it is this – RASNs don’t “get better” with time. They get worse. They grow harder. They stray further and further off course. In the case of some sinners, you might be able to get them to listen – “hey, you are getting further off course here.” But the truly nasty thing about this constellation we call RASNs is that they are never off course. They never miss the target. At least, not in their own eyes. You can’t correct them. Someone moved the target. It’s never their fault.

RASNs begin their lives off course, but the deviation might not be all that perceivable. The mentality is there – entitlement, superiority, no empathy, etc. As time goes by however, they don’t return to the right path. They don’t make those mental and moral ‘minute of angle’ adjustments. What might have been off an inch or so in early years grows and grows and grows as the years go by. RASNs don’t get “better.”

What does this mean for you if you are their target or if you are in some kind of relationship with one – at work, in marriage, a relative? It means that as long as you are holding out hope that one day a marvelous moment of self-realization accompanied by a thorough change of course is going to occur in the RASN – you are living in a world of fiction.

Whenever a person comes to faith in Christ and is born again, it is a miracle effected by the Lord. We are born dead in sin (see Ephesians 2). Only the Lord can make us alive. But there are people who the Lord, in his sovereign wisdom, hands over to their sin. They are people like this:

Heb 6:7-8 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. (8) But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

Mar 6:11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”

It is my opinion that RASNs are of this genre. Year after year they continue off course. They receive good things from the Lord and from people around them, but they only give a crop of thorns and thistles season after season. I wonder – how many of us waste years and years getting only thorns and thistles from these kind, still expecting that imagined harvest of good grain to come “next year”?


RASNs want to make you look bad so no one will listen to you


Jeff Crippen Interview on America Out Loud


  1. Deb

    When a RASN develops dementia, it only becomes more and more obvious.

  2. Sarah

    Thank you, Pastor

  3. Jill

    Very good post, Pastor Jeff. Thank you.

    • Cordelia

      Please pray for my child in earnest whom I believe is in danger from a former dating only relationship–no engagement, no marriage. I read a long text thread from the former date insisting to know about my child’s new relationship. The writings were manipulative, entitled, invasive, demanding; it was absolute insanity. My child found out who were in the date’s friend circle several months back-they are ALL absolutely crazy in the worst possible way, so my child broke things off with the dating partner. This person knows where my child works, lives, etc… The text messages left me shook. They know my child is kind and caring and wouldn’t hurt a fly, yet are trying to make my child out like they are mean and crazy. It’s ALL projection. I advised NO CONTACT, but found out they work at the same establishment!!! I wish I could explain the details. I hope you can garner enough of what is transpiring to pray for my child’s safety. Than you all so much.

      Pastor Crippen, as a former Police Officer, are there steps that should be taken when you have are being harassed/targeted/stalked that will hold up in court?

      • These stalking scenarios are often a crime so they should be reported to the police. Every single time. Other things to do are to vary one’s schedule, be careful to take note of your surroundings, be accompanied by others as much as possible. Restraining orders are a possibility. But IMO the bottom line is that when a person is targeted by a stalker, it is likely that they are the one who must be their own first line of defense. Self defense training is a step in the right direction.

        • Cordelia

          Thank you SO MUCH!!! I took a screenshot of your good advice and sent it to my child.

          • Be a people watcher. It can be positive too. But its called “situational awareness.” And don’t do things like gassing up late at night or going to an ATM late. Even doing these things midday require situational awareness

      • Em

        Dear Cordelia, if at all possible, can she transfer to another place/office/etc. in the same job? Perhaps she might think about looking for another job altogether, very discretely of course.

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