He Speaks With Forked Tongue

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 16, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

(James 3:8-12  ESV)  (8) but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  (9) With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  (10) From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.  (11) Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?  (12) Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

We often hear people speaking about how someone’s spouse is “only verbally abusive, not physically abusive.” Somehow I don’t think James would like that take on it. Here, the Apostle says that the tongue is full of deadly poison. That sounds pretty potent. Paul apparently agreed when he said that the poison of asps is under their lips (Romans 3:13). When you get punched in the face, the thing is pretty clear (though even then the abuser can put the blame on the punchee). But when you get bit by the cobra of a wicked person’s words….it isn’t as plain. But you start dying anyway.

James says that the evil man’s tongue is forked. He speaks one thing, then another. He “blesses” the Lord, then turns right around with the same tongue and uses it to curse his brother. Guess what? The cursing is what comes naturally. The blessing is fake. That is why James goes on to say that a spring really has only one character — fresh OR salty. And a fig tree is only one kind of tree — it gives either figs OR olives, but not both. An evil heart cannot produce words that bless. It is all show. “Praise the Lord!” Yeah, right. In the next minute that pious “saint” will bite you with verbal fangs.

All of us have to work hard at taming our tongue, but in Christ the SPRING has been changed. The tree itself is not of the same stuff it used to be. Fresh water and fruit now come forth. Yes, sometimes there is a stinking word uttered, but now that stench and poison do not define who we are. We repent of it and ask the one we struck for forgiveness. Genuinely.

When you see a person who claims to be a Christian, from whose mouth comes blessing and cursing, the latter unaccompanied by true repentance or progress in holiness, you can confidently assume that the source that is animating that tongue is foul. No, that is too kind. James puts it this way —

(James 3:6  ESV)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

[October 16, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to October 16, 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 16, 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 16, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 16, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]

6 thoughts on “He Speaks With Forked Tongue”

  1. For those of us raised with evil, we may FEEL like we are full of vile filth because it has been dumped on us our entire lives.

    From birth lies were poured into my mind and soul, I was taught to believe that I was just like my family — and that all people were the same. But the truth is very different from the lie. I was and am NOTHING like my parents. They do not love others, in fact they hate them, and they love / worship themselves. Any behavior that I exhibited that didn’t coincide with their perceived version of being worshiped ensured correction (training, brain-washing, manipulation) until I learned to give them the response they desired. What happens to a child when this is done to them? To a child who deeply loves others and is told that all other people feel this same way? This child who has actually NEVER been loved, who wonders how people who are supposed to love others could treat them so cruelly with no guilt or shame or memory of the harm they’ve done? People who do this over and over throughout the child’s lifetime? And when this child seeks help she is told again, that all people are the same and that it’s clearly HER that needs to adjust her perceptions? Well, it keeps dumping in more vile, evil bile until it fills the child so full she is spilling over and spewing out buckets of anger and hatred and lies. Is this what James was talking about when he said that you can’t have both fresh and salt water?

    No, it’s not, but I BELIEVED that I was filthy inside. I carried the guilt and shame that my family was unable to feel. I was never even allowed to know that some people didn’t love others until I was in my forties at which time my healing began. We need TRUTH in order to fully heal. Truth about evil, truth about what we are and are not responsible for, and truth about how God sees things. Without the TRUTH about these things we won’t be able to fully grow.

    My parents, siblings, husband and children are what they have CHOSEN to be, but I AM NOT LIKE THEM. They have chosen to serve themselves until their conscience has been seared and they’ve blasphemed the Holy Spirit. They LOVE what they are. I, on the other hand CHOOSE to turn to the Lord. And because He first loved me, I am able to love others. Without websites like this and books written in the last few years that explain that some people have no [functioning] conscience and the character traits that go along with this, I would not have been able to get to this understanding so quickly, if at all.

    But I see everywhere that people are trying to squelch the truth that some people are incurable. The world is actually coming to this conclusion on some levels but most Christians choose to deny that the Bible tells us some people have chosen to be this way and God has allowed them to be. It’s written all throughout the Word but so many Christians refuse to believe it. So they end up dumping more lies into people who are actually capable of learning truth so that we all end up spewing out lies. We need to stop! We need to fill ourselves up with God’s truth through His word and allow these “hard” truths to be heard. I have come to realize that the hardest truths God has shown me end up making me the softest and sweetest because they are balm to my soul and soothe my mind and heart. When I am filled with them, the lies and evil bile that used to fill me is forced out and I am left clean inside.

    Jeff, thank you for this website. For leaving these early posts up, that are still so true and raw. I pray that any little one that God wants to help finds this website and that you’re able to continue and grow in strength — the strength of the Lord. I’m so grateful.

    1. (Struggling through the fog to find the words….)

      The Holy Spirit leads me to read this again….and I expand on my earlier ^^^That!

      With two exceptions, Anonymous’ comment could have been written by me. The first exception, I have no children. The second, I was in my fifties when I learned there are people that don’t love others.

      And with the incredible array of multi- and social media at our fingertips, Barb’s comment is a potent reminder of how the poison can have a ripple effect, reaching over incredible distances.

      How many people have been sunk by a thoughtless tweet, whether truth or lies, whether the abuser or the abused?

      How many people have been sunk by a video-gone-viral, whether truth or lies, whether abuser or abused?

      Pastor Jeff wrote:

      Here, the Apostle says that the tongue is full of deadly poison.

      We need the antivenin.

      But first, we need to know we have been poisoned.

      1. Your comment reminds me of the illustration Sam Powell uses in his sermon “Wicked Men Within the Covenant Community” at the 35:05 mark here: Wicked Men Within the Covenant Community — sermon by Ps Sam Powell

        (Despite his referencing a myth about Australia wildlife. 😉 We have the same trouble with tourists watching for ‘gators or moose in parking lots here. Although they show up there often enough that it propels the myth/(s).)

        I love the reminder that we don’t just need the antivenin. We have to stop the poisoning.

        No amount of antivenin can overcome the constant re-poisoning if the snake is able to continue to bite us.

  2. Thank you for including the timing mark on the audio in the sermon link, Jamie. It simplified finding your reference.

    I did like his snake analogy….and your tying Pastor Sam’s sermon to my comment was brilliant.

    No amount of antivenin can overcome the constant re-poisoning if the snake is able to continue to bite us.

    So true.

    Oh. And we, too, have our wildlife myths.

    And the plethora of witless tourists who “want their picture taken with the bear”. I’m sure they would try with the moose as well, but the moose are wise enough to stay at a distance. 🙂

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