A Cry For Justice

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

What do You Think of This Quote?

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.

***

No, the quote is not by me!  It is from Pastor Albert N. Martin’s farewell addresses to his congregation in New Jersey after some 46 years of ministry.  I have not seen the context of it, but I do know that this quote is posted in several places on the web in a positive context.  But…. well, tell me what you think:

“The four giant-killers of preachers—money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women—have killed their thousands. By the grace of God, they’ve not slain me.”

Ouch.  Women!  Those women!

33 Comments

  1. Talk about mixing your metaphors.

    Giant killers would be Davids, who– correct me if I’m wrong as I’m just female and can’t think straight– was the good guy?

    The giant would be Goliath who’s a Philistine and an enemy of God and his people.

    Whatever the context, he’s listing women as one of the enemies of pastors. . . interesting. Not lust, not prideful, greedy abuse of power to prey on needy, hurting women.

    Oh, never mind. I think he got his metaphor straight in the first place 🙂

    • Jeff Crippen

      Maybe thinking of Jack and the Beanstalk? Yes, why point to women, when in fact the real problem would be one’s own lust, one’s own sin, one’s own pride and abuse of power. At minimum this is very poorly worded. In my case though, I know that so often my “poor choice of words” really reveals what I really think.

      • True– but even in Jack in the Beanstalk, the giant is grinding up bones to make his bread and the giant killer is the good guy.

        A man who thinks of himself– and pastors– as giants has a problem that goes way beyond thinking of women as the enemy.

      • Jeff Crippen

        You got that right! Crikeys! A giant? What, giant of the faith? How many giants of the faith called themselves that in Scripture? Once they get to that point, you know their fall is coming. It shall not be so among you! The Gentiles lord it over one another. Not you! Giants in Christ’s kingdom are servants. One certainly has cause to wonder what the status of women is in that church? Well, call me pessimistic, but I think I probably know.

  2. Jon J. Cardwell

    You know, Brother Jeff. The Lord knows that I’ve said my share of stupid stuff from the pulpit… and interestingly, I’ve heard Albert Martin’s farewell message some time ago (can’t remember where), but thank God that I don’t often hear statements such as these, because it is beyond the mere stupidity of the corruptions of our flesh saying dumb things. My mind goes in several directions in attempting to figure out this statement; and I’ll tell you, none of those directions are any good. We live in perilous times, my friend; perilous times indeed.

    Haven’t listed to the Voddie Bauchum recording yet… but I didn’t want to listen to it until I am many hours away from preaching. Hope to listen to it tomorrow or Tuesday. Lord bless you this day. May the worship of the saints in the congregation you serve be incense before the throne of grace.

  3. With those words, he crushed the spirits of over 50% of his congregation – his wife, his daughters and all the other women who have labored long and hard for each one of those 46 years behind the scenes. They made him look good, and took care of his every need. A woman brought him into the world, women cared for him all his life, and a woman will probably prepare his body for the grave. What a fool he is.

  4. I believe the quote is being read out of context. Certainly he did not crush 50% of the women in his congregation.

    He mentions 4 things here. All of which are spoken of in the negative in the book of Proverbs. The is how the quote should be read.

    Certainly money by itself is not evil, nor is ambition, nor is pride when it is turned towards the right object. In other words we all use money and should be ambitious in the things concerning our jobs and the things concerning God. We are all proud of our children and grandchildren.

    Therefore he is not speaking evil of the wife who serves the Lord faithfully.

    He is speaking of the love of money or the proud look or the woman who sits by the gate to ensnare the young man who is walking by.

    I agree with your views of abuse, but do not go the opposite direction and over emphasize. In other words when individuals change position they usually go to the opposite extreme.

    Not every quote is speaking of the abuse of women.

    God bless.

    • “He is speaking of the love of money or the proud look or the woman who sits by the gate to ensnare the young man who is walking by.”

      We could pick this one apart all day. The instructions in Proverbs were to inexperienced young men (my son) and fools, not grown men or giants of the faith. By listing ‘women’ as one of the giant killers, this pastor is perpetuating the idea that women– fifty percent of the congregation and the population– are those who ensnare men and cause them to fall.

      Its subtle to be sure, but it underscores one of the foundational reasons abuse is tolerated and even encouraged in conservative churches. . . women thought of as morally weaker, more easily deceived, and less-than their brothers in Christ and for that reason, it most certainly pertains to abuse.

      And for those of us who’ve lived with ongoing prejudice and persecution– for no other reason than the fact that we are women–it *is* crushing. To those women who don’t see this as a problem, it still affects the minds and hearts of those who listen and will interact with both them and their daughters and sisters in Christ.

    • Pippa

      I defended the elderly pastor who said that Jesus would return on a certain day to acquaitances in the Church, saying “I think he meant well. I can see how he got that. Maybe he’s getting senile. You shouldn’t criticize him.” I defended the abuser, speaking of his childhood. I have defended a lot of people that perhaps I should not have. These so called “Freudian slips” or even loosening of the tongue with dementia do tend to reveal a lot about a person. Since this is a place to discuss the state of the church when it comes to some of the primary jobs the Lord has given it, eg to care for the orphan and the widow, I think you need to expect to read an analysis of what is heard from the pulpit today. If you have evidence to support your arguments then you should give it.

    • I had a similar line of thought. I did not hear a demeaning of women but of preachers who destroy their lives through lust.

      • Larry, you may not heard a demeaning of women, but of preachers who destroy their lives through lust. But if that’s the point the pastor was making, why did he not say “I haven’t destroyed myself through lust.” Why paint women as the destroyers?
        Sorry to be harsh Larry, but many men (and I think you may be one of them) are just blind to their own attitudes of superiority over women.
        Any language that diminishes the sinner’s responsibility and shifts blame onto the innocent needs to be challenged. Even if it’s ‘common parlance’. Especially if its ‘common parlance’.
        As kindly as I may, I’d like to say “Larry, get with it! Wake up!”

  5. Jeff Crippen

    Well, one thing is for certain. We all need, especially those of us who are pastors, to be sensitive to our listeners. We are fallible and all of us will say, as Jon pointed out, stupid and poorly worded things more often than we would like to think. The fact is though that this quote is being quoted. It is being set out by itself and in a way that presents it as a noble statement. But we can be assured that women, especially those who have been or are being abused, will see it as anything but noble. Many times I have used terms that have caused offense to someone, and I tell myself that the offended party is just too sensitive, that I mean this or that and not anything like they took it. That may be the case sometimes, but what I have had to admit to myself is that, “Jeff, you know, they have a point and I need to take a look at my thinking here and do an honest and thorough evaluation.” Let me give you an example. When I was a pastor in Alaska, I made reference to seeing a “native” man drunk in downtown Anchorage. I did this in a discussion of the nature of sin in our society. Afterward, I got a note from a native man in our congregation. He said he took offense at my description of the drunken man as a “native.” But he was! I told myself. This guy is just being overly sensitive, on the racial discrimination band wagon, etc. You know what though? Over time I have come to see his point. Why did I say “native” man? Why didn’t I just say there was a “man” who was drunk? I can tell you why. Because as a white man I see native men often as being drunks. And that is the point I would make about this quote from Al Martin. Any man who says that the Lord has graciously delivered him from “women” and calls “women” one of the 4 great giant killers of preachers, is, in my opinion, revealing something about his view of women. He may not have intended to. He may not think he was doing so. But that is indeed what we will communicate when we speak in such a way. And we need to accept correction when it is given. Pastor Martin’s phrasing was not wise. We can all learn from this. Myself included.

  6. Thank you Jeff and everyone here who tries to educate the churches and be supportive of us. But in my case I have not found a home church yet; it is not a top priority, but prayer is. Tomorrow I go to court at 11:00 a.m.; there was a hearing on March 2nd and the judgement from that has still not been signed. I go tomorrow in response to my objection letters that he not be able to pick them up directly from school or come to my house; I have a 100 yard restraining order here. The court
    is allowing him to do this; they make money off of him, every time he goes to court and utilizes their system; its part of the “Responsible Fatherhood” programs through the state, administered through DHS and the district attorney’s office. I just learned all this through someone else. If you think the churches are corrupt, just look at what’s going on with this. You can google “Federal Parental Access and Visitation Grants” being given to the states for the Responsible Fatherhood Programs. So every time he takes me to court which is often, they get a kick back. So the kids get handed back to their abusers because it’s being promoted. Church fellowship will not help us right now, except for prayers. I know a woman by acquaintance only, who couldn’t make it and gave her kids away to her ex-abuser through DHS. They then arrested her for failure to protect. Another woman found out her child was being sexually abused, reported it, they took both her kids away for failure to protect and put her in jail. Another woman, one of my neighbors, had her child taken away and was given back to her abuser; he worked for the national forest service and had lots of money, put her through all the custody evaluations and everything. He has extra wives in Armenia and will be taking the child there. JESUS COME QUICKLY. This is a horrible world we live in.

    • Oh Teresa. I will be praying.

    • Pippa

      Teresa, Let us know what happened today. Ditto on “Jesus Come Quickly!”

    • Pippa

      Teresa, Let us know what happened today. I agree, “Jesus Come Quickly.”

  7. Though Proverbs was addressed to young men, nevertheless elderly men or men mature in the faith do fall into temptation. Look at David the king.

    Shame on you Jeff for not wanting to cause offense. The reason you said native men is because you were around native men and not white men.

    Again I agree that there is abuse in the church, but do not lean to far the other way. We are to rebuke reprove and exhort for the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine but will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears and will turn their ears from the truth.

    Do not make every quote you see, as degrading to women or offensive. Do not cease to warn and exhort, because of feeling emotional towards a certain group that is suffering. If you do, you will fall from proclaiming the gospel.

    There are aged women and men who fall into temptation in the church. So reminding your congregation of this will not be degrading or supportive of abuse on either side.

    I have noticed that most who think God has called them to a particular ministry and emphases of the truth, usually neglect other truths.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Hmmm…Why thank you brother, for telling me what the thoughts and intentions of my heart are! I suspect that I know them better than you – what do you suppose the chances of that are? I was being insensitive to that native man. Don’t shame on me for recognizing that, nor imply that if I do recognize what I was doing I am going to be too fearful to preach the gospel without compromise. Why are you telling me what my thoughts are? Are you aware that is a very common abusive tactic? The majority of our readers are. I can assure you, you have not made any points with them and I suspect you will be hearing a few words from them.

      • reformedontheweb

        Am I stating the intentions of your heart?

        Are you not doing the same thing to brother Albert Martin that you have accused me of? Aren’t you taking a quote out of context and then trying to judge the intentions of his heart?

        The difference is that I didnt take your quote out of context.

        You have started out with something good , but have no lapsed into onesidedness with it. From now on you are going to accuse everyone of abuse if they say something negative. You will even result to trying to reinterpret scripture because you will not like the negative things it says about men and women.

        I am sorry that you cant see that Albert Martin’s quote is not saying what you are trying to make it say.

        I leave you to yourself.

    • Every quote he sees? You’re kidding right?

      I’d like to know how many quotes Jeff saw today before this *one* quote struck him as perhaps offensive toward women. He asked a question and, yes indeed, a couple of women concurred they felt it bothersome and gave a few reasons.

      But seriously dude– shaming him for *not* wanting to cause offense? For not wanting to alienate a native gentleman in his church? Oh please!

      Of *course* aged men and women fall into temptation. I believe you may be willfully missing my point– that the book of Proverbs was written to instruct young men who do not understand the ways of sin and who might innocently fall through ignorance. Not a grown man– or pastor who ought to know better.

      Which of course is completely off topic anyway.

      “The four giant-killers of preachers—money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women—have killed their thousands. By the grace of God, they’ve not slain me.”

      This quote, taken away from its original context and quoted about the web, takes on new meaning. Whatever the original author meant is lost. What it *says* is that money, pride, ambition and women are the four giant killers of preachers. He could just as easily have said ‘lust’ or ‘perversion’. He did not. He said, women. And we know good and well he’s not talking about being lured away to gluttony by a woman and her awesome cookie making skills.

      This blog is written about abuse and therefore, it should be no surprise that Pastor Crippen writes articles here on abuse. This particular statement– “Do not cease to warn and exhort, because of feeling emotional towards a certain group that is suffering. If you do, you will fall from proclaiming the gospel” –is unkind at the least and horribly unfair to Jeff and to all those here who come to seek healing and support.

      You sir, owe Jeff and apology.

    • Pippa

      “Do not lean to (sic) far the other way.” What does this mean? What would leaning too far the other way be? To completely refrain from abusing? To assist the widow in her suffering?

      Most who think they have been called to a particular ministry haven’t? Is this what you are saying?

      What is the truth? What is the Gospel? Are you “ordained”?

    • As I wrote to Larry above, why didn’t that pastor just say “I haven’t destroyed myself through lust.” Why did he paint women as the destroyers?
      He didn’t allude to lust, he alluded to seduction. Let’s put the genders in and tell it like it is: He didn’t allude to MALE LUST, he alluded to FEMININE SEDUCTION. He diminished men’s responsibility and shifted blame onto women.
      That pastor used pernicious slippery words.
      And yours, Sir, as just as slippery and pernicious. In my perception, Jeff isn’t doing what he does simply because of “feeling emotional towards a certain group that is suffering”. He’s doing it because he’s obeying Scripture which calls for justice, righteousness and mercy. You have denigrated Jeff by casting aspersions on his motives and labelling him “emotional”. Sir, you have displayed tactics that are typical of verbal abusers, as others here are pointing out. I could go on further, but will only spend the time if you show that you have really considered what I and others have said to you.

    • Survivor

      “Shame on you Jeff for not wanting to cause offense.” Why? Ps Crippen did not say that he did not want to cause offense with preaching the Gospel. He was careful not to cause offense that stumbles and hurts someone. Can’t you see the difference? If Jesus or the Apostle Paul were at that church, they would have been considerate of the native man and not done anything to cause offense (I Cor. 8:9).

      I echo what others have said – what is leaning too far the other way? Is there a thing hating evil too much or standing up too much for righteousness? Is Ps Crippen not rebuking, reproving and exhorting precisely because church leaders HAVE turned their ears from the truth?

      Where is the evidence that Ps Crippen has ceased to warn and exhort because of emotional feelings? Instead, he has continued to warn and exhort because of his passion toward the group of people Jesus most identifies with – the oppressed.

      While you have noticed that ministries who emphasise certain truths neglect others, you have not given any evidence of where that is happening with Ps Crippen’s ministry. He has simply pointed out what most people may miss – that the quote, intentionally or not, is misleading and misses the mark.

      Quoting women in that way is like saying that children are the killers of parents, since parents are tempted to abuse them. Or that Americans are the giant-killers of Middle Eastern Muslim adherents.

  8. Dear Reformedontheweb, maybe if you sat in a woman’s place for a day you might see things a little differently. Read Teresa’s post, and picture her hearing the pastor’s sermon, and then imagine the day she has ahead of her. My prayers are with you Teresa. I wish that we could all be with you in that Court room. We will be, in spirit. God bless you, dear.

  9. J. Ann

    Undiscerned Spiritual Pride from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards

    The first and worst cause of error that prevails in our day is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment, and the main handle by which Satan takes hold of Christians to hinder a work of God. Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.

  10. Belle

    So, money, pride, ambition and women kill pastors? I assume he isn’t speaking literally here since these four things don’t go around with swords seeking out pastors to slay. I’m
    sure he means these things can be the cause of a pastor’s fall from the ministry. So, I
    might give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t literally mean that women are the cause of downfall, but rather the lust for women in a man’s own heart. This parrallels the truth about money. Jesus said the “love of money” is the root of all evil. Money wouldn’t be killing pastors, the love of it in their own hearts would be.

    Not only is the quote not Biblically sound, it seems a bit strange to me. “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” It’s not a quote I’d be reposting.

    • Belle

      I mean to say, it’s not a quote I would be quoting in a positive light.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Belle. Very good applications of Scripture. Our intent here of course is not to slam Pastor Martin, but to hold one another accountable (especially as pastors) in regard to our words and how they can affect others. Proverbs has a lot to say about words that are inappropriate and poorly chosen:

      Pro 25:20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.

      Pro_12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

      Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

      One comment concluded we have labeled Pastor Martin as an abuser by posting and considering this quote. But we have not. The quote has been sent around many places and quoted. That is how we know about it and we are simply asking what we believe to be a fair question: How does this statement come across to people and in particular to women, and more particularly to abused women? If in our preaching of Christ we offend because the listener finds Christ offensive, so be it. We never back down. But where we offend and even hurt out of our own insensitivity – we need to be ready to admit it, and learn from it.
      Even if we know that our intent was right, we must also be ready to consider how our words strike upon others.

      • Belle

        I agree, and thank you for your work in this!

  11. May I recommend this blog article, titled “Unslain by Pride?” at this address: http://www.christianforums.com/blogs/u270437-e54306/

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: