Debating Bible With an Abuser is a Waste of Time
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 21:23-27 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (24) Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. (25) The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ (26) But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” (27) So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
No one ever won a debate with Jesus. Imagine, arguing a point from God’s Word with God! Now there is a formula for being made to look like a real idiot. Which is, of course, what happened to the scribes and Pharisees and anyone else who thought they could trip Him up.
Much like the Pharisees, the abusive person who pretends to be a Christian loves to quote Scripture to his victim. Then he asks them questions about it. “Huh, huh, come on, come on …isn’t that right?” It is my opinion that it is a waste of time to get drawn in by such a tactic, and you certainly will never convince him anyway.
Notice what Jesus did in the case above. He had a question all ready for them. I like that. “I will answer your question about the Bible telling a wife to submit to her husband, if you first answer this question for me.” Then put the question to him – “God says that anyone who claims to love Him, but hates their brother (or wife) is a liar. Tell me why, from the way you treat me, I should conclude that you are a Christian.”
One time I met a pastor in his office to confront him with being abusive to his congregation. He told me that unless I could open up my Bible and show him that God’s Word says what he had done is sin, then he didn’t have to listen to me. I told him I wasn’t going to do that (I had my Bible there). He snickered, not too subtly indicating that I was no match for him in a Bible debate. But I told him I wasn’t going to quote him chapter and verse because it would do no good. If he wasn’t ready to hear a fellow pastor who had known him for sometime, then no amount of Bible verses would mean anything to him either.
Abusers use Scripture to attack their victim. They use Bible talk to mask their own evil. Jesus had a way of stripping that disguise right off and getting down to the real issue – the evil motive and heart of His enemy. I suggest we do the same.