A Cry For Justice

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

The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

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.

Once I heard about a church down in the South (of course – the story involves fried chicken), that started giving cheap fried chicken meals to people in need, or for that matter, anyone who wanted to stop by.  As time went along, the fame of this chicken (that’s chooks for those of you who live “down under”), the fame of this chicken spread far and wide.  Customer numbers increased, so the church fathers decided to up the price.  The thing just kept snowballing and…. well, no one really remembers when it happened.  But today, that church building is a fried chicken restaurant.  There are just a few vestiges of the Christianity that used to dominate – you see it on the menu here and there – The Goliath (that’s a 12-piece bucket), or The Inferno (hot and spicy buffalo wings) – things like that.  Profits are big.  But the church is no more.

In the history of the Christian church, there are many examples of detour from mission.  Most of you have probably heard of liberal Christianity’s pursuit of the “Social Gospel,” which embraced social reform in place of the preaching of the gospel of Christ.  Maybe some things were reformed, but it certainly wasn’t done by the power of the gospel —

1 Corinthians 1:17-18, For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (18) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

As we are involved in this ministry to the victims of abuse, we must always remember to keep the main thing the main thing.  The main thing is Christ.  The gospel.  The main thing is to preach the Word of Christ to people who are lost and perishing in their sin.  For those victims we meet who are Christians, we apply the love of Christ in doing everything we can to help them get free and to heal.  While we do so in many ways that are similar to secular programs for the abused, we have an incredible thing that they do not have.  We have the gospel of Christ and the transforming power of Christ.  It’s the same when we deal with victims who don’t know Him.  Yes, we want to help them, to see them get free from their abuser.  But we don’t dare stop there.  We are commissioned by our Lord to present them with Jesus Christ and the redemption that is in Him.  That’s the main thing.  Because unless a person is set free from the ultimate abuser – the devil – in the end, for all of our efforts, they will perish for all eternity.

I think that ministry to victims of abuse is a HUGE mission field.  Is it not interesting that the firstfruit of the harvest in John chapter 4 was that Samaritan woman, who may well have been the victim of serial divorce (instead of the harlot she is often thought to have been).  And it was just after this that Jesus challenged the disciples –

John 4:35, Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

So let’s go for it!  But take care, lest we become a fried chicken restaurant, devoid of Christ.

8 Comments

  1. Now Free

    I’m smiling as I read this: “The main thing is the main thing”…first read this about 25 years ago, on my pastor’s office door. And I don ‘t recall ever seeing this phrase again until I read this post.

    This ministry to abused people is indeed a huge mission field.

  2. You are so right in what you have stated here. I try to be careful to always point the abused and abusers in the direction of salvation. If the abused are set free from abuse as you have stated, and they die without Christ – they still lose. Yes, we have something more powerful to offer the world – what will it take to wake up the sleeping saints?

    Keep up this good work.
    Terry Loving

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Terry. Yes, Christ is THE Redeemer and the only One who can set us all free from the captivity of sin and Satan. All manner of reform that does not include genuine heart-reform in Christ is only temporal. Community women’s resource centers are great and the work they do is wonderful. Many Christians volunteer in such centers and that is also a very good thing. But as the church of Jesus Christ, we must not – should the Lord so bless our efforts in exposing abuse and helping victims – we must not carelessly allow the main thing, which is Christ, to be slowly eclipsed so that one day we wake up and realize that our church has become a woman’s resource center, without Christ.

  3. Ben Mordecai

    Amen! Awesome article!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Ben!

  4. This is a mission I am thankful to be a part of as it is so desperately needed. God bless you, Pastor Crippen, for going where few have gone before in reference to domestic abuse: The Pulpit. Your sermon series has blessed many and my prayer is that the interest in it explodes.

    Soon I will be training to be a Christian-based Domestic Violence Support/Education Group Leader. It is my firm belief that without Him, effectively leaving is impossible.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Great to have you here Marie! You are very encouraging to us!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Marie – I had no idea when we began, when I preached the sermon series in our little church and put it on Sermon Audio, when Anna heard it and contacted me and people began to ask us to write a book…. that this many people would be heartened and thanking the Lord that finally they are being heard by fellow Christians and a pastor or two in the conservative, Bible-believing church. This tells us all that there has been and continues to be a HUGE problem in our churches, and that many innocent victims, women and children and sometimes men, are being dealt horrible injustices. This has to be exposed, and it does seem that the Lord is moving to do so. We are playing just a part in it. As more and more Christians like you come on board and even train, as you are going to, to be DV trainers and leaders, the groundswell is probably going to keep growing and growing. I don’t know at what point we will start to be heard, but we can pray that the voice will be sounded and a real reformation will take place in the evangelical church. This is not totally about abuse. It is about how what I consider to be a New Pharisaism has virtually taken over the evangelical mindset, so that the traditions of men parade as Scripture and trump God’s Word. It scares me to see what has been going on within the arm of the Christian church that I love and have been a pastor in for nearly 30 years. And it makes me ashamed. It is time to set things right. Thanks again and blessings on you in Christ. Jeff

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: