Abuse as an Attack on Marriage by the Evil One
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
[October 31, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
(Genesis 2:23-24 ESV) (23) Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Satan hates marriage. This should not surprise us. He introduced sin into the world through a husband and wife. The devil knows very well that marriage is God’s divine picture to the world of Christ and His Bride, the church. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church, the Gospel is preached by that marriage. Satan hates that. He hinders the knowledge of Christ whenever he can —
(2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ESVUK) (3) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. (4) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
As I have studied the mentality and tactics of domestic violence and abuse, I have been continually impressed by what I call the Satanic nature of the thing. Describe an abuser — how he thinks, how he attacks his victim, how he deceives — and you describe the devil. I don’t know about demon possession in our day. We know it has happened because we have numbers of records of it in Scripture. Is there any reason why we should not expect Satan to actually possess a man in our day? What would such a person look like? I think that a good description could be given by many abuse victims as they describe their abuser.
Now, before you all run off and start designing exorcism rites for abusers, let me clarify that I am not saying every abuser is demon-possessed. I think there may well be a good possibility that some are. But what I am primarily considering here is that just as the Pharisees were of their father, the devil (John 8), so the abuser is of his father, the devil. He does the wishes of his father. He hates Christ and those who are of Christ, and he tries to murder Christ. He lies and deceives just like his hellish father, who was a liar and murderer from the beginning. In this sense, abuse is particularly Satanic.
And yet Christians and pastors and churches are most often oblivious to this. I don’t say that arrogantly, as if somehow I am superior to all other pastors and Christians, but because I was oblivious too for so long. We stubbornly cling to assumptions that abuse is just another kind of marriage squabble between a husband and wife that can be cured with counseling and improved communication. But what if we look at it this way. What if we see it for what it really is — the work of the Evil One. A Satanic attack on Christ through an attack on one of God’s primary pictures of Christ and His redemption — marriage? Once we grasp this, then we are in a position to begin to understand that what the victim tells us is being done to her and her children really is happening! We won’t just dismiss her as a talebearer — a silly woman whose hormones and thoughts are running amok and blowing things all out of proportion.
Ask yourself again — why should we not expect Satan to devote large portions of his energies to keeping the world blind to Christ and His glory by twisting and perverting one of God’s fundamental portraits of Christ — marriage? Abuse is Satanic. It is demonic. The abuser is in the grip of the Evil One. As you study abuse and come to understand how abusers think and how they persecute their victim — without conscience — you cannot help but start to realize that this thing is from the pit itself.
Finally, one more thing will happen when we come to this realization. We will re-examine our own methods for dealing with the abuser. This is spiritual warfare at perhaps its greatest intensity. So if we think that we can just have this fellow and his wife come sit in our office for a few times and have a little chat, and help them communicate better — well, what can I say? We are foolish. Very, very foolish.
[October 31, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to October 31, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to October 31, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to October 31, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 31, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
- Posted in: Abusers
- Tagged: church response to abuse, demonic influence, evil, Jeff Crippen
I believe you are so right on this one. Marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts. Is it therefore any wonder that it is the number one target of Satan?
Kind of related to this topic: Let me tell you an anecdote.
When I left my ex for the last time, one of the Christian women I told about the separation said to me “Are you going to let Satan destroy your marriage?” I felt devastated but I didn’t really understand why. I knew there was some truth in what she’d said (Satan certainly did have a big part in destroying that marriage). What I didn’t understand until much later was WHY I felt so devastated by her remark. Here’s why: She’d blamed ME for letting Satan destroy the marriage, when it was my HUSBAND who had been in alignment with Satan to destroy the marriage.
One more ‘blame the victim’ statement. The earth is full of them. Picture a giant gathering of victims / survivors out in a lovely field having a picnic, and listing the ‘blame the victim’ statements that had been dumped on them. We would laugh (“Oh, you had that exact same one I had!” “Listen to this! It’s even more outrageous!”). We would ache, nod in sympathy, spark in recognition…. I think we could be sitting there for many days, without getting to the end of that list.
Yes, same counselor who tried to tell me not to fear my ex breaking in and killing me, tried [to tell me] over and over again that I “must have had post-partum depression” when I told me ex to “get out” years ago when my youngest was born. Um, no, I did L & D [Leave and Divorce] and no, did not have it. Another friend who is a nurse, knew us at that time also says “no”. And I don’t remember this conversation at all, nor would I have said that at that time because I still believed in him and really thought I was just getting it wrong and messing up. I told this counselor that he recreates history, she saw him do that in emails right after he broke into my house (yes he actually did and then claimed I enticed him to do it so I could call 911). None of this was enough evidence for her, he said I said it so it must have been post-partum depression. Sigh!!!
Grrrr! to that counselor. She sounds like she sowed many painful seeds into your heart. 😦
Yes, but I realize she just doesn’t get it and truly wants to be right with the Lord. I figure she’ll learn eventually.
I have been searching your site today after an experience that happened in our home last night. I witnessed demon possession. I don’t want to go into too much detail publicly but what shocked me the most was I was trying to help this person, praying and saying Jesus name, while they writhed and wretched as I said His name, was my husband wouldn’t pray with me. I had no prayer support while trying to deal with this. It has totally thrown me….does he share the same spirit I ask myself? He later just put the situation down to trauma. That is not what I witnessed.
I have no where to go for help….there is no one in my life just now that I would classify as ‘close’ to God that I can trust to help or give me guidance.
[Paragraph break added to enhance readability. Editors.]