The Time I Got Duped by an Abuser
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.
“The” time I got fooled. I should probably say “one” of the times. But let me tell you this story. We were on vacation, so we visited a church on Sunday morning. We enjoyed it. Sound Bible teaching. good reformed theology. And we very much enjoyed visiting with the people afterward. I particularly enjoyed talking with one man, an apparently mild-mannered guy who showed every sign of loving Christ and being very well studied in biblical teaching. Let’s call him, Jerry. (I have to change the name to protect the guilty. The guilty should be warned however that Christ is not bound by this. He knows. He names names).
Some while later I had occasion to visit the same church, and visit with Jerry once again. Same result on my part. I did notice however that his wife wasn’t there. Over the course of time, others in the church (including the pastor) told me that Jerry had his “problems.” I had thought Jerry was well qualified to be an elder, surely. Not so they said. “What kind of problems?” I asked. Jerry has a rebellious wife. She has quit attending this church with him and goes to her own church. It’s a crazy, charismatic church with unsound doctrine. Jerry roos the day he ever married this troublesome woman. She is his thorn in the flesh. Poor Jerry. What a cross he was bearing.
It turned out, and I learned this firsthand through an interesting string of events, that Jerry himself was not the Jerry I had “met.” Jerry was a rebellious man. Jerry was a very controlling man. Jerry studied piles of theology books, then took what he studied and warped and perverted it. I actually had occasion to personally rebuke Jerry. I told him he was a rebellious and controlling man and he needed to repent. Jerry later told me this was not true. He knew it was true because after I told him that, he went to his 10 year old son and told him, “that Pastor said daddy is rebellious. Am I?” “Of course not, daddy. You are a good man,” the child replied. I wonder how many similar conversations Jerry had with his children – “Mommy says daddy is mean. Do you think daddy is mean?” “Of course not, daddy. You are a good man.”
And so it goes. I wish now that I could find Jerry’s (hopefully, ex-wife) wife and talk to her in light of what I have learned about abuse. She is probably a godly woman who has struggled for years in an abusive marriage, now ganged up on even by her pastor and her church.
Jerry remains in the pew. She is outside the camp.
And so it goes.