Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

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I Have Married three Abusers — Am I stupid?

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:15-18)

Over the years in this ministry to abuse victims we have been fairly regularly contacted by victims who are not only presently married to an abuser but who have been married previously to other abusers. And in most cases they are asking themselves, “Just how stupid can I be?” Or, “What is wrong with me?” Or, “Am I going to be alone for the rest of my life?”  These questions and more.

I suspect many of you who follow this blog can relate very well to this scenario. And many people who are ignorant of abuse and abusers will be quick to answer those questions  — “Well, yes, you must be stupid.”  “Yes, there surely is something wrong with you.” But in reality all that has happened in most of these cases is that a wicked, deceiving person came along, identified some vulnerability in his target, capitalized on it, and deceived her (or him).  All of us have had that deception dupe us in some relationship or other and most often more than once.

Was the Samaritan woman at the well a loose woman who went from man to man? That is usually what is claimed, but surely there is a very high probability that she was the victim of deceiving, using men and she was an easy target for them.  Why? Might I suggest it was because she was “thirsty,” but she was looking for the wrong kind of water to quench that thirst.  John 4 is the record of that day when Living Water met her and she was never the same again.

Yes, I would suggest that a victim who has been duped by abusers several times does need to look within herself. Not to blame, but to try to understand what it is that is making her so vulnerable to evil ones. Does she fear being alone? Does she believe she is just rather worthless if a man doesn’t want her? Maybe she is just too naive about evil? Often she is just plain too “nice.” None of these possibilities is sin, but each one is certainly dangerous.

It seems to me that a woman who has been repeatedly abused in a sequence of “marriages” must be somewhat similar to the traumatized rape victim. Through deception and guile the rapist drew her in, used her by force, and cast her away. Or if she is still with the abuser, he is killing her slowly, just as a rapist so often murders his victim.

We know numbers of women who have been through this chain of abusive marriages, and I am sure that they could be greatly helped by our readers, especially those who have had the same experience. What have you discovered about why this happened to you? Did you have some awakening moments when some truth jumped out at you that helped you? How can a victim of this serial abuse make some changes to break out of this cycle of being a target?

Watch Out for this Leaven – It has Permeated the Visible Church

I received this email from a friend this morning and am very thankful to her for taking the time to write and point out a prevailing false teaching that is soooo commonly pushed in churches. This stuff will guilt and demean and it can sound so “biblical.”  The screenshots she mentions follow below and then my reply to her after that.

Dear Pastor Crippen,
Every morning we get an email devotional from the Institute for Creation Research. I am sending two screen shots of the devotional this morning. I was quite shocked to read the commentary. I thought it would be of interest to you. The passage that is mentioned has always been confusing to me but the interpretation given here makes it sound like women remain under “a sentence.”  That doesn’t make sense since I know Jesus redeemed me and freed me from the curse of the law. He paid for it all. I would love to hear your commentary on this passage.
Thank you for fulfilling your calling. I have written before but will say it again- your ministry is literally saving lives.
A concerned friend in Christ,

Here is the devotional that she sent. As she mentioned it is put out by the Institute for Creation Research.

Let Me Say this Once Again – Evil Claims it can Read Our Motives and Thoughts

1 Corinthians 2:11  For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

I have written on this subject before but it has happened to me so often that I believe it is an extremely common tactic of wicked people – domestic abusers, spiritual abusers, and others. In an effort to accuse and disempower his target/victim, an evil man will use these kinds of statements as a weapon:

  • I know why you did that
  • I know why you enrolled in that class
  • I know why you moved to that location
  • I know why you said that to me

And guess what? He will go on to complete the sentence even if you don’t want him to. He will attribute an evil or a stupid or some other kind of bad motive to you. It is all about accusing, guilting, and shaming.

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