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.
[September 17, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
I am working right now on the second sermon in my series The Religion of the Pharisees. I don’t have time to do a full-blown blog post right now but I HAD to at least get this much out to you. It hit me hard when I read Galatians 2:4-6 as I had never understood it before. The following paragraphs are from my yet unfinished sermon. Oh man, it’s almost Sunday! Anyway, this is really, really good stuff that the Apostle Paul is telling us here:
Our churches are in bondage in many, many cases because the traditions of the Pharisees have been foisted upon us. Their traditions are always abusive, power-hungry lording-it-over in nature, and always put people in bondage. They kill the spirit of a person.
(Galatians 2:4-6 ESV) (4) Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in — who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery — (5) to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. (6) And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) — those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.
See it. Pharisees come in amongst God’s people secretly and their whole goal is to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ. They want to “catch” us eating what we want, going where we want, reading what we want, living as the Spirit of Christ in us frees us to live! THE PHARISEE CANNOT STAND OR TOLERATE FREEDOM!! And what is their goal in this spying? What do they do with the “data” they gather? They use it to condemn us, to accuse us, and to bring us into slavery to themselves in the damning, condemning system that they have created themselves from their Spiritless handling of the Word of God.
Also notice carefully that Paul says he did not regard “those who seemed to be influential” with any partiality. Hear that? One of the ways that we fall prey to the bondage of the religion of the Pharisees is that we idolize people who have managed, by hook or crook, to get themselves exalted in the Christian church. The big names. The big guns. This is a trap. And I am afraid that we have all gotten ourselves all snared up in it. Remember, it is the religion of the Pharisees that is very, very often (if not always) at the root of the abuse that abuse victims are being subjected to by their churches.
[September 17, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 17, 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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 17, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
7 thoughts on “Abuse and Legalism: How the Pharisees Creep In Among us”
Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog [Internet Archive link].
Amen! Wow, did I experience this last Sunday! I can’t wait to listen to your completed sermon! I feel like it is one spirit that has had me in a stranglehold my whole life. It just insidiously creeps from person to person, victims themselves really of this sinister one who uses them, torturing me with its bondage and judgment. Now that my mom is dead and my husband has left the home, it will use the church to keep me trapped. It doesn’t seem to care who or what has me in bondage, just as long as it can keep me there.
This reminds me of something CS Lewis cautioned against, in his chapter on “Connivance” in his book on Psalms, that is, the acceptance of powerful people who are abusive:
It seems like he is warning us not to rub shoulders with such people; otherwise, we run the danger of “conniving” with evil and becoming allies with them.
Good points….thought of this verse:
Being a follower of Jesus Christ makes one a true ‘counter-culture’ person!
In the world but not OF it….amen!
So so GOOD!!!
This is a great post and one you might consider re-running as many readers don’t have time to check the old posts. It means so much more to me now than it would have if I’d read this when you originally posted it.
This is my husband and those like him to a T! I realize it’s because they are only seeing through their minds eye which does not process empathy (which is the ability to put yourself in another person’s position). And because he is always deceptive and manipulative he thinks that others are as well. People like him aren’t fettered by normal things like guilt or shame and are actually lawless (without God’s law imprinted on their mind and heart). So when they see that we who belong to Jesus have freedom, they are angry and jealous. Why? Because psychopaths consider themselves to be above / beyond the law but by golly! the rest of us should have to be subject to it! Psychopaths see it as their RIGHT to flaunt established rules (behind closed doors and in their hearts, and sometimes publicly too) but they believe the rest of us to be sheep that should have to be shepherded and slaughtered at their whim and will. If some of these sheep have escaped the wolf in sheep’s clothing that they are, surely it is because they are sinning! In their mind they believe themselves to be god — so we are sinning against them!
My husband actually sets me up so that he can “catch” me “sinning.” (I realize now it is simply how his mind works all the time. He expects to be worshiped 24 / 7 so anything I do that is less than licking his feet and staring at him in perpetual rapt adoration is considered a direct violation against god! He believes he is benevolent because he hasn’t killed me yet even though in his mind, I deserve it.) Ah time! In the past I would have defended myself, tried to figure out why he would perceive this in me and on and on. Now I simply say, “So?” Psychopaths don’t feel sinful in the way God has made it so that those of us who choose to have a sensitive conscience do. Since they don’t have the feelings of shame and guilt, they can only see what produces this emotion in others and grab onto it and try to induce it to try to enslave them as Galatians 2 describes.
Another Bible passage that I never really noticed before that means so much more now. Thank you! I LOVE God’s word!
Legalism pre-supposes individuals prefer rules over relationships. “If x says this, respond with y.” “If x does this, respond with y.”
If the individual prefers relationships over rules, they are open to sharing outside their rule book.
Legalism may be predictable, but does not allow for humanity.