A Cry For Justice

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

Time for a Review

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.


I took a motorcycle riding course two years ago.  I learned a lot of really good stuff.  Good because it keeps me from crashing.  One of the most important rules is to look “through” the curve, because the principle is — you go where you look.  You can’t let your mind wander when you are riding.  Well, you can, but if you do then your bike is going to wander too.  You need to look as far ahead in a curve as you can and that will define the arc of your path as you go through.  That’s a bit simplistic, but in a nutshell, that’s it.

Every spring when I take the bike out for the first ride, it takes a bit to review and remember all those principles.  Really, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to review the course manual from my class every spring to brush up on the basics.  That could save some real trouble.

We all need to review what we have learned about abuse, and we need to review it pretty regularly.  Remember, we are dealing with a really sneaky, deceptive creature here and if we aren’t careful we can get drawn back into the fog of that deception.  Today I began to re-read George Simon’s great book, In Sheep’s Clothing [*Affiliate link].  which is about covert-aggression.  Listen to this fantastic observation Simon makes:

“What our intuition tells us a manipulator is really like challenges everything we’ve been taught to believe about human nature.  We’ve been inundated with a psychology that has us viewing people with problems, at least to some degree, as afraid, insecure or ‘hung-up.’  So, while our gut tells us we’re dealing with a ruthless conniver, our head tells us they must be really frightened, wounded, or self-doubting ‘underneath.’  What’s more, most of us generally hate to think of ourselves as callous and insensitive people.  We hesitate to make harsh or negative judgments about others.  We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they don’t really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect.  We’re more apt to doubt and blame ourselves for daring to believe what our gut tells us about our manipulator’s character.”

Now, go back and read that paragraph about 10 more times!  I have noticed in myself and in other victims I talk to that we easily tend to regress into the deception, especially if we continue to be in contact with the abuser.  How nice they can seem. And yet, be honest — your gut still tells you the truth.  You have spiritual and emotional heartburn whenever you are around them.  Feel the burn!  Don’t deny it.  It’s there for a reason.

So, what has been your favorite, most enlightening book or other resource that opened your eyes to abuse in your life?  Go get it, blow the dust off it, and review it.  Because you can be sure that in most of our situations, another examination is coming our way and we need to be ready for it.

* Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ  gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link


  1. “spiritual and emotional heartburn” ! Wow, that’s a great phrase.
    Let’s all use it till it becomes common parlance (like “the golden arches” is for Maccas).

    All you dog owners, when you’re walking your dogs I want you to recite this phrase “spiritual and emotional heartburn” over and over again. You could even put it to music. 🙂

  2. Jodi

    Books: The Sociopath Next Door and Why Does He do That? My eyes were really opened to the fact that he isn’t abusing me because he is suffering, but because he is bad.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Those are 2 really good ones for sure. Martha Stout’s book is a wake up call for everyone about the evil around us. No, he isn’t suffering. He isn’t a poor, tormented, confused individual. Just a person with no conscience, totally entitled.

  3. Carolyn Langdon

    What an encouragement it has been to have discovered your blog, Jeff, and your sermon series on abuse. I praise God for the men He is raising up to speak to this issue. Sadly, pastors just do not seem to be able to hear women. This issue of abuse (both in the home as well as in the church) needs men raising awareness and speaking out …. I am so looking forward to your new book and hope it is released soon! (BTW, I, too, have Simon’s book and very much agree with his paragraph you posted. It is so unsettling to think how hardened a heart must be to be able to walk a double life, claiming the name of Christ while at the same time knowingly and purposefully manipulating people… Without conscience… It is both chilling and heart-breaking at the same time).
    Keep up the good work and do not allow nay-sayers (so?) to discourage you or deter the message God has for you to deliver!

    • Carolyn Langdon


    • Jeff Crippen

      Carolyn — thank you very much for your encouragement. We can always use it! When it comes to this subject, there are indeed plenty of nay-sayers who either just don’t want to know about it and remain in the bliss of ignorance, or they want to protect their reputations, or…. for numbers of other reasons, all bad. We are praying that we will have more and more opportunities to speak and be heard.

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