A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Que Sera, Sera?

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 7, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

Que sera, sera — “Whatever will be, will be.”

After Josh Powell [Internet Archive link]1 hacked and burned his two little boys to death in Washington State recently, I was having a discussion with some acquaintances about the tragedy, incident — pathetic, cowardly act of terrorism. I was critical of the courts for allowing any visitation, supervised or not, with this guy who was the prime suspect in his wife’s homicide. Yes, he was the prime suspect. No one seemed to want to just come out and say that. Turns out that the house he claimed was his, the one he blew up, was just a fake. Whole thing was a set up.

Anyway, we were talking and one person said, “you know, there really isn’t anything that anyone can do. If a guy like Powell sets out, determined to kill his wife or kids, no one can do anything, in the end, to stop them.”

I am hearing that statement quite a lot. Is it really true? Whatever will be, will be? Should we be satisfied with that conclusion — “If he really wants to take her out, he’s going to do it no matter what”?

It doesn’t sit well with me. And somehow I think it would sit a whole lot less “well” with me if I was the one being targeted and sacrificed up on the altar of “que sera, sera”.

What do you think?

1[October 7, 2022: We added the link to Wikipedia’s page on the Disappearance of Susan Powell which provides more information on all the circumstances around the nationally publicized news story of Josh Powell and his two sons. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that Wikipedia page. Editors.]

[October 7, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to October 7, 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 7, 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 7, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 7, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


  1. Cecelia

    I can tell you firsthand that the court system is not set up to protect the children or the spouse….not really. When narcissistic predators are on the stand only those educated about them have a clue. So in private dealings with them it is even worse. Not to mention the fact that our culture / world has a totally misconceived idea of the concepts of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation (and consequences).

    As for your question: I think we should do what we can that is within our control in accordance with Scripture….that may not agree with the law or it may take great effort to find loopholes within the law. Powell was enabled to murder his children.

    [Paragraph break added to enhance readability. Editors.]

  2. Jeff Crippen

    I know that there is an reliable test to detect a psychopath, designed by Robert Hare and used in the corrections system. Surely we know enough now about the traits of dangerous abusers that we would have probably cause to have them tested. If they fit the picture, then we need to take action instead of waiting for them to kill. Is it really a travesty of freedom and justice if we lock up a person who has repeatedly promised to kill his wife or children, who has abused her for years, who stalks her and harasses her? At the minimum, churches should embrace and protect victims who are in danger. We could take many steps to do so, including hiding her in a safe place and even monitoring the movements of the abuser. That will probably sound too radical to most people. But why shouldn’t we know where the lion is?

    • annawood

      It’s been said that if a person threatens to kill themselves we are to take them seriously and keep them under watch. Why not do the same if they threaten someone else? I absolutely agree. Of course for the church to come on board with something this “radical” will require that the church is composed of real Christians rather than the “God is love” namby-pamby folks.

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