When the Abuser Quotes Scripture
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.
Matthew 4:5-6, Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple (6) and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”
I believe I have stated a theory of mine in other posts. It goes like this – abusers who parade as Christians are the worst kind. And perhaps the most dangerous. I maintain this because I believe that as a person’s conscience lessens, his ability to abuse increases. And it takes a much more calloused conscience to be an abuser while parading as a godly person that it does to just be a pagan. It is wolves we must watch for in the church.
As I read the stories sent to me by Christian women who have suffered at the hands of a “Christian” abuser, I am still amazed at the Bible “lingo” these evil people use. They threaten, they rage, they demand, they assault – and all the while they quote Scripture to support what they are doing, and to condemn their victim. The thing is incredibly confusing and deceptive. They can convince the average naive Christian that they are zealous for God and that it is their hard-hearted wife who just won’t listen to reason. They want to preserve their marriage and family. They are in tune with the Spirit of God. They quote verses about forgiveness – and then demand that forgiveness. They demean a woman and cite verses about Eve being the real culprit of Eden. Wicked, wicked, wicked.
Some years ago a person showed up at our church. I had never met him before. He sat right down in the very front pew, and immediately after the close of the service marched up to me and gushed “Pastor, you were just use by the Lord in a mighty and powerful way! That was a tremendous sermon! Praise the Lord!” He then put a check in the offering box right in front of me. He only lasted a few weeks. Once he did not receive praise in return, he saw that he wasn’t going to find an opening to work his self-exalting devices. He was gone.
Now, I don’t know with certainty that he was an abuser. But I can tell you this – he was up to no good. It didn’t matter if he said his “amens” during the sermon, or quoted Scripture, or flattered every sermon, or prayed piously in King James English. None of those things is a sign of godliness. The devil is quite capable of using every one of these devices and more. After nearly 30 years of hard lessons, I see this kind of behavior as a very likely sign that here is a person who desires self-glory. Wouldn’t it have been interesting to speak with this fellow’s wife? I suspect she has had a hard time of it.
Abusers in Christian disguise quote Scripture, just like their father the devil. Think of the Pharisees, for example. They were constantly pulling this business with Christ. And they prayed long prayers in public and blew trumpets when they put money in the temple treasury. They wore long religious robes. It was all for show. And they abused the people they were supposed to be shepherding.
Don’t let an abusive spouse who quotes Scripture and speaks in pious language fool or confuse you. It is a common ploy. Any person who does not love his wife, and then preaches at her may as well have a flashing sign on his back – “I’m a fraud. Guilty.”