A Cry For Justice

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

The Deception of Abuse: Scripture Memorization as a Remedy

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.

***

Ephesians 6:13-18 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (14) Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (16) In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (17) and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (18) praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…

It has been said that wherever there is evil, there is a lie.  This is one primary reason why the abuser is able to continue in his quest for power and control largely unmolested.  He surrounds himself with a bubble of lies and deception, thus veiling who and what he really is: evil.  Like many of you, I have worked with a number of such people for years, never making any headway at all.  I tried dealing with them according to the theory that they had a troubled past, or that they just hadn’t yet found their niche in life, that they were Christians but suffered from some malady (ADHD, etc).  But nothing ever resolved anything.  Confusion continued to reign.  Repentance never happened, and in the end, I left them to themselves.  Such people lie and deceive.  They sabotage any effort to resolve the chaos they create.  I have spent literally, and I do mean literally, years trying to discover what position/role/niche in life a person like this could function in without doing so much damage to others.  If you cannot find such a niche, it is because the abuser does not want you to.  He will be certain do act in such a way that he maintains control, and the chaos and confusion that emanates from him is one of his favorite tools to do so.  This deception takes different forms, but you can always identify it by realizing, after spending a long time trying to understand such a person, that the only thing to be understood is that he does not want anyone to truly know him.  If they did, they would have his number and he would be exposed.  So he continues to weave the deception.

Have you ever noticed that the familiar Scripture quoted above repeatedly refers us to the Word of God as both defensive and offensive armament in our battle against the evil one?  Consider –

  • the belt of truth
  • the gospel of peace
  • the shield of faith (faith has an object, and that object is revealed in the Word of God)
  • the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God

I am presently preaching through the book of Joshua and have been impressed and convicted of the importance chapter 1 gives to knowing, doing, and thus memorizing God’s Word.  Here is an example:

Joshua 1:7-8 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (8) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

How can you meditate of God’s Word day and night unless it is in your mind?  That means memorizing it.  And numbers of other Scriptures teach us the very same thing:

Psalms 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (10) With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! (11) I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalms 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; (2) but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Yes, these passages speak of valuing God’s Word, of giving ourselves fully to that Word, of submitting ourselves to the Word — but necessarily bound up in all of these things is to have that Word in us, and that means memorizing it.  Programming our minds with it.

Many of you are no doubt far more disciplined about Scripture memorization than I have been, but I am seeking of late to correct that deficiency.  I even found an iPhone app called Bible Memory Verses by Woody Hays, and it is free.  It has 1,000 verses already in it, arranged by topic, and you can add your own selections to it as well very easily from a number of Bible versions.

There is only one remedy for lies and deception — truth.  Our battle with sin, with the devil, with the world, and with the lying deceptions and convolutions of the chaos of the abuser is fought in our minds.  Like the walls of Jericho, sin and evil construct walls raised up against the knowledge of God and His truth, and those walls are in our minds.  They must come tumbling down, and it is the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God that effects that downfall and defeats the enemy.

Scripture memorization is not easy.  But its fruit is life-giving.  Take any opportunity that you have to immerse yourself in God’s Word daily and begin to hide it in your heart and mind so that you might not sin against the Lord, and that you might stand firm in the evil day when those lying, deceiving missiles are launched at you.

Oh, here is my first memorized Scripture.  I’m just getting started:

Joshua 1:7 (ESV) – Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

Pretty good stuff.

5 Comments

  1. Joey

    “He surrounds himself with a bubble of lies and deception, thus veiling who and what he really is: evil.” Eventually those lies will come to light and they will have to move on to new, more naive victims. Real change rarely occurs, only a new audience!

  2. KingsDaughter

    Good Word, Pastor Jeff! Very good word!
    “There is only one remedy for lies and deception — truth.”
    Why is it so hard? I believe THAT is part of the “we wrestle not against flesh and blood…” sometimes the battle is wrought right within our own hearts and minds and we don’t even percieve it! I know for me personally I get so distracted fighting the external battles that I neglect the true “heart of the matter” which is my own heart (hiding his word in it and guarding it)! Doesn’t life flow from that very place? Gah! Its frustrating to continually fail in this very basic area! Lets pray for ourselves and the body of Christ that revival would start in our hearts by the power of The Spirit and The Word!

  3. Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

    Yes please post lyrics in anyway you choose as they helped me through a lot.

    I’ve plenty more and wrote one when I thought of this site the butterfly and my freedom

    This was it, not great but it was all my initial thoughts at the time.

    Struggling to be free

    You can make it
    Although you are struggling, struggling to be free
    Cocooned by threads of evil
    No daylight can you see

    wrapped with chords of hurt, entombed with Words and deceit
    Binding you ever tighter closing in to a
    slowing heart beat

    But inside you are growing stronger
    Stronger by the day
    Feeling you are ugly and fearful to get away
    But one day you will struggle and struggle to break free
    Not stopping once started for you have found ‘the real me’

    Breaking out into the sunlight
    sounds of silence fills the freshest air
    Take a moment and breathe again no more despair
    You are the same person though no longer trapped and bound with ties
    Free to flutter beautiful in this world
    With strength to fly high!

    • Now Free, your lyrics are great! May I encourage you to start your own blog on WordPress and post all your lyrics there?

      Click this link for how to start a blog on WordPress.com

  4. Finding Answers

    Ephesians 6:13-18 New Matthew Bible (NMB)

    13 So then take up the armour of God, so that you are able to resist in the evil day, and to stand perfect in all things.

    14 Stand therefore, your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and shod with shoes prepared by the gospel of peace. 16 Above all, take up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray always with every sort of prayer and supplication, and that in the Spirit. And keep vigil also with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints –

    The Holy Spirit is my remedy, rather than rote memorization of Scripture. There are times when I encounter one of those emotional boundary blank spots, and I need help through the minefield.

    God is slowly etching His words on my heart, replacing lies with truth. The Holy Spirit leads me to the understanding, the pre-requisite to the words being etched. Then I have something on which I can usefully meditate.

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