Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Abusive Tactics: The Kiss of Judas

Luke 22:47-48 ESV  While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, (48)  but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

It is the nature of sin to deceive and destroy.  Satan is the father of lies and he was a murderer from the beginning.  He deceives in order to destroy.  These elements are really present in the heart of any sin, but we see them very clearly illustrated in the nature, mentality, and tactics of the abuser.  This is why I maintain that any pastor or any Christian who desires to know the nature of evil, how we can expect it to operate, and how it thinks, can do nothing better than to study domestic violence and abuse in depth.

This will resonate with abuse victims.  The kiss of Judas.  They have received it.  Their abuser, claiming to love them and have their welfare at heart, professing to be a servant of Christ, kisses with his lips while holding a concealed dagger in his hand.  Christians, of all people, should be aware of this, because Scripture plainly tells us these things.  But Judas was good at his craft and so are his offspring.  Jesus was never deceived by him of course, but the rest of the disciples were, and they were in rather intimate contact with him for 2-3 years.

John 12:3-6 ESV  Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (4)  But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, (5)  “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (6)  He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

I don’t know if anyone knows if Judas was married or not, but imagine being his wife!  Ah, an eminent apostle of Christ!  What a lucky woman!
In the end, Judas went out and hanged himself.  And so it will be for all wicked, deceitful, abusive human beings who persist in their evil and refuse to repent.  That great Day is coming when everything is going to be brought to light and when much that is being done in Jesus’ name today will be found out to be wood, hay, and stubble.  The chaff will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous (Psalm 1).  Judas can kiss all he wants.  It will do him no good.

[Originally published in December, 2018]


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  1. RASN - a modern day Judas +

    This is EXACTLY it! Thank you Pastor Crippen, you have given a strong visual to the pain that lingers in the RASN impacted life. There is almost a whiplash you feel after the deception of the “loving, Christian” RASN abuser – and it is exactly this – like the kiss of Judas! The only difference is the RASN does not suffer as Judas did and show signs of genuinely acknowledging the wrong they have done.

    Further, seeing Jesus’s genuine affection for his apostles this resonates on so many anguishing levels when you see the after effect of a relation to a RASN. Thank you for the visual – this helps!

  2. Cordelia

    To this day all my children *cringe* when recalling the monster’s ritual of giving me a kiss.

    Every day, at the same time, announced with his *assigned title* for it, he made sure it took place in front of the children. He was attempting to sear into their minds that he was ‘so loving’ towards me. His true self is how he behaved and still behaves towards me when no one was/is present. My body and heart bear the scars, from all his cruelties carried out in secret.

    Deception and lies are an abuser’s baseline; *everything* they say and do emanates, from it. It’s how they operate at home, in business, at church and to the general public. They build a golden image of themselves, while tearing down their victim’s reputation. Victims are the unheard and unbelieved with most; my great comfort is that God is “storing up wrath” for these wicked operators.

    • Z

      In my abusive family of origin a similar ritual took place. All through my childhood of physical and other abuses and continuing in adulthood.
      Every night at bedtime, all of us children had to kiss goodnight and say “I love you” to our abusers. Both parents. They wouldn’t say it back. No. We were their puppets to let them feel not only their power and control over us and our helplessness to do anything about it or to escape it, but also to feel that they were “good people”/“good parents” despite what they and we knew the truth was. They were and still are lowdown vile hypocrite sinners and child abusers. (As well as domestic abusers to each other physically and in any other ways. But they deserve each other! We were innocent children.)

      As adults we still were expected to kiss them hello and goodbye at their house when we visited. My fake-obligatory infrequent appearances. And I HATED being such a fake myself. Just to keep the peace. And be a “good Christian” according to false teachings.

      This fake game of them being “loving people” eventually extended to pretty much everyone they met! They’d hug and kiss the supermarket cashier they’d seen a few times and say “I love you”! Same with salespeople, friends of their adult children they’d just met, and most all incidental people they came across. All to further the false impression that they were “good and loving Christian people”. I cringed every time I witnessed it. The absolute fakery of it all.

      Eventually, as my husband and I learned about boundaries and started setting them for their abusive behaviors towards myself and my husband, we started distancing ourselves more and more. We’d be stiff and non-responsive when they’d hug and kiss us when we left their presence. Telling us-like they’d just told repairmen working at their house-“I love you”. (“But you two get the Judas Kiss. And we will continue our abusive hostile acts and words towards you both. because you are onto our act.”) We tried to keep to our principles and maintain our dignity without causing an all-out family war. It was a hard tightrope to walk. We still thought we had to walk it though. However, we did not participate in that fake affection game anymore.

      But all of this boundary-setting and our distancing and non-responsiveness to their fake “I love yous” resulted in the typical responses of very UNSAFE and dangerous people. Instead of respecting our boundaries and changing their abusive behaviors, they escalated their hostilities and abuses towards us and they retaliated. Finally resulting in their criminal violence towards us. A sure sign of sociopathy and psychopathy. Thank God we discerned this and went permanently No Contact with them and anyone who embraces or allies themselves with these violent abusers. Those who enabled them all their lives and still do.

      God brought about something GOOD for us out of something demonic. He made a way when I couldn’t find the way. He gave me the reason (their violent criminal attack) and from that the way to finally cut off myself from them forever. Something I’d been struggling with for a long time due to false obligation and guilt. A result of all the false teachings from the very enablers of the abuse all my life! My counterfeit “Christian” relatives, church friends and lifelong family friends and church leaders.

      And now I and my husband are FREE of all of their disgusting fake charades and demented lying embraces, the “Judas Kisses” and “I love yous” to us and to utter strangers!
      Thank You Jesus for setting me free!

      • Cordelia

        Just horrible you were abused by your own parents. It outrages Jesus too:
        “…But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

        • Z

          That Scripture, among many others which speak to the fate of the wicked, gives me the ability to release all my wounds-mental
          and physical scars-to Jesus. Because He Himself said their fate will be WORSE than the millstone around their necks and drowned in the sea. So no punishment I could think up is better than the ones God has in store for them.
          Thank you for reminding me
          That Jesus is outraged FOR me. Because I belong to Him! He will fight for me and He will avenge for me. This gives me the peace of mind I need to keep healing. No counseling or videos or courses…have come close to helping me recover as much as Jesus being in me, for me, in front of me, behind me and beside me always. I commit each day-even hours sometimes-to Him. He will finish what He started>delivering me from such evil that I was born into.


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