A Cry For Justice

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

A Challenge And Response To Jeff Crippen

[July 12, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

As most of you know, ACFJ is heavily moderated in order to maintain a safe environment for abuse victims who come here looking for information and compassion. We let the following comment go through because Jeff Crippen felt it was the kind of comment that would allow him a useful response. The back-end team of the blog thought it might be beneficial to make this its own post so readers who feel inclined can respond, but also so that those who need to steer clear of the negativity can do so.

Here is the original comment from Mike Stacey:

Jeff, is your flock getting the full counsel of God? Abuse is a problem and needs to be confronted, but when overemphasized, it can send your sheep and yourself on a rabid witch hunt for “abusers”. This can also be used by Christians who are simultaneously sinful yet justified, as Luther puts it, to blame shift their problems or sinful behaviors on a past abuser.

I don’t mean to have an attacking prose but I wonder when enough is enough? Did Luther, Calvin, Zwingley, or any of the greats dwell on only one subject of the Christian life? I am afraid this might be getting to Cultic proportions. Let’s hear about grace that turns an abuser like Saul of Tarsus into Paul. Is the Gospel that there are people who can really never change and repent of abuse? Or is it that while we were dead in our sins, Christ died for us?

Here are the responses to Mike that were in the former thread.

We’ve shifted them [moved all but Mike Stacey, Jeff Crippen, and Barbara Roberts] from on that thread [Read Barbara Roberts comment here.] over to here [this post], and numbered each response in the order they were submitted so that you can refer to them if you wish. Mike, you can comment here too if you wish but we reserve the right to put you on the blacklist if we think your comments are inappropriate to the purpose and aims of this blog.

Jeff Crippen (1)

Mike – every so often I allow a comment like yours to be posted so that we can all hear still another example of why abuse is rampant, and hidden, in our churches. Be thankful that you aren’t in a room full of our readers who have been sorely abused by wicked people and by ignorant (at best) or wicked, abusive church leaders. They would have a few “enlightening” things to say to you I suspect. I hope that you are not a pastor.

Your comments couch typical accusations in “pious” sounding vocabulary, but we have learned long ago to see right through this fog. The full counsel of God? You have no idea what the pulpit ministry in our church is like. Currently we are doing an expository series through Galatians. And yet, here you are, coming to accuse. Hmmmm….where have our readers heard that kind of line before?

The fact is, Mike, you are either 1) totally in the dark about the nature, tactics, and mentality of abuse (aka “sin”), or 2) you are an abusive person yourself seeking to cover your tracks. It’s one or the other. If you knew anything about abuse, and were willing to be taught and learn, then you would know full well that the LAST thing that is happening with abuse in our churches is that it is being overemphasized. The situation is quite the opposite, and this coverup is allowing evil to sit in our pews undiscovered.

And so you move on to accuse us of being a cult? Well, let’s see, this blog is about abuse! What do you expect is going to be discussed here? So we are a bunch of fanatics because we have chosen to expose a great evil hiding in churches?

Grace? You want to hear about grace? Grace is not contrary to exposing sin and evil. The Gospel begins with admitting and exposing sin (Romans 1, 2, 3, for example). Nor is the Gospel contrary to the biblical truth that there are wicked people who never change. They are enemies of the cross. Was Moses supposed to pray for Pharaoh? No thank you, Mike. We have all had quite enough of your brand of “grace” that enables abusers, leaves them in our churches, and persecutes their victims.

Well, Mike, you’ve had your say. Now I suspect we will hear from some of our readers about your comments.

Barbara Roberts (2)

Mike, if you listened to Ps Jeff Crippen’s sermons at Sermon Audio (link in the ‘sermons’ tab at the top of this blog) you would see that he preaches the full counsel of God to his flock at the church where he pastors. He preaches exegetically and without undue emphasis to any one topic, IMO. Sometimes he does a series of sermons on a book of the Bible, and sometimes he does a series on a particular topic in Systematic Theology. His topics cover a much broader range (while staying within the confines of orthodox Biblical doctrine) than many of the churches I’ve been a part of.

It is unfair and illogical to conflate Jeff’s “flock” (a term which usually refers to a local body of believers in a local church) with the readership of this blog. So far as we can tell, most of the readers at this blog are victims / survivors of domestic abuse. We don’t know how many lurkers we have who read but never comment or how many of the lurkers are victims / survivors, but we do know that most of those who comment are victims / survivors of abuse. Naturally this blog is addressing and ministering to that particular audience, as well as seeking to “awaken the evangelical church to domestic violence and abuse”. Are we awakening you? Are you willing to be educated, Mike, or are you just wanting to criticize and undermine our work?

And yes, the teaching of the Bible is that without the drawing of the Father and the quickening of the Holy Spirit that enables the unregenerate man to feel conviction of sin leading to repentance, no one can be born again and love and obey Christ. Those who respond to Christ repent of their evil ways. Luther talked about the bondage of the will. The unregenerate man has no choice but to sin: the only choice he has is which sins he commits. He cannot change from being an abuser to being a person who treats his intimate partner with respect and mutuality, unless he becomes regenerate first, and then there will be MUCH work for him to do to unlearn all his habits. That’s why Paul talked so much about the importance of renewing your mind. But Paul never said you can renew your mind while you are still in the unregenerate state — dead in sin.

The case of Paul changing from a terrorizer of Christians to a great Christian leader is not the same as the case of a spousal abuser changing. Paul’s abuse was not towards his wife behind closed doors. Paul’s abuse was public and vaunted by the religious leadership who all saw Paul’s persecution of the church as righteous obedience to God. Yes, Paul had to unlearn a lot of religious garbage he’d imbibed from the Pharisees, and the three years he spent in Arabia may well have been part of him recalibrating his interpretation of Scripture. But he did not have to unlearn and change his entire way of relating to his wife. Changing one’s misinterpretations of Scripture is one thing; changing one’s entire way of relating to a spouse is another thing entirely, and it requires a much deeper overhaul of one’s personality and character.

Brenda B (3)

Paul was called out amongst all those who persecuted the church as a shining example of how Christ in him could change a persons heart and thinking entirely. He did not abuse one wife, he persecuted an entire mass of people, those who chose to follow Jesus. It I not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination. The Bible is the Inspired Word of God. It shows us what man can be in Him, not what they always will be.

God did not call out or change an abuser of his wife in his word, but he did show us what a husband should be in his word. An abuser is not it. Mike, is your wife writing in the blog? I have to wonder. It sounds like you are twisting what is being done here to make it sound wicked, when the people who write here are trying to heal and move forward in their walk with God. They want to help others. They want their spirits renewed. They don’t want to be downtrodden, spiteful or seek revenge. Each one here doesn’t think about the abuse they have experienced, but also want to seek to know Christ’s love more because of it.

Your view is quite sad. It is the voice of those who would keep those like us who write here, in the situation that we did not ask for. We married people who showed us a side of themselves that we did not end up with. They may have changed what they exposed over time or as soon as we signed the piece of paper that made them think they had ownership. Overemphasizing abuse. I am not sure how abuse can be overemphasized. Not spoken of at all – that happened for what seems to have been an eternity. I have heard a pastor say that marriage is only for a little while. Do you know how much damage can be done to a family in just a little while? Children can act out in all kinds of ways having experienced abuse: violence, sexual immorality, dropping out emotionally, etc….  It not only affects the spouse it affects the children. How can that be overemphasized. By not stopping the abuse within the family we allow it to go on to the next generation and the next.

This is not a cult or a witch hunt. It is about stopping the cycle before the next cycle. We want to be happy in what Christ did for us and are. We also want it known that Christ died for us too and doesn’t expect us to be persecuted in marriage. Persecution for the cause of Christ is not the same as being abused in marriage. This is not what God designed marriage to be.

The Persistent Widow (4)

Until the church implements sensible policy and procedure for handling abuse cases, I will continue to warn others about how dangerous their intervention is. Having learned firsthand, I think that it is my Christian duty to look out for the interests of others. It’s about saving lives. (Brenda B said  she agreed with this.)

Larry Dean (5)

Well said, Jeff and Barbara! A hearty AMEN to both!

Still Scared (6)

Mike, I had to re-look at your name. You sound like me ex-idiot. I don’t think you understand, at all, what abuse is and like to live under.

Jeff Crippen (7)

Thanks, Larry. The brand of “grace” that Mike boasts so much of, as you no doubt know, is totally devoid of repentance, though he mentions the word. How wonderful it all sounds! We are, supposedly, to just love and be kind and show mercy to everyone and anyone, and even announce their miraculous conversion when they utter a few words about having believed in Jesus. Then everyone else is bound to continue to be terrorized by them. I think the Bible does talk about that brand of grace. It is the “let sin abound so that grace can abound” distortion that Paul mentioned.

This stuff is not only heretical, it is just plain dangerous. We have it flying around here all the time and have to protect our flock from it. Professed Christians with “joyful” smiles on their faces are all the time boasting about how wonderful the love and mercy and forgiveness of God are — and by that what they mean is “this fellow over here who has professed to be a Christian for years but habitually abused others, has now received a bit of counseling, said he is sorry, and PTL — he is all fixed now! “What, what’s that you say? You say you aren’t convinced? That you don’t trust him? Well, you need to learn to be forgiving.” And on and on the line goes.

The result is that the wicked, parading as Christians, are brought into the church (or back into the church) where our people, including our children, are exposed to them.

Larry Dean (8) in reply to Jeff Crippen

I know. I had an abuser recently lecture me about how unloving I was for calling his behavior “wicked” and confronting him with the call to true repentance (after he admitted that he “had a problem with anger” and that it was sin). Sometimes I feel like I need a Klingon translator to even speak to these people. Grace, love, repentance, faith, godliness, all mean something totally different to them.

Katy (9)

I like how the concern is that we might go on a “rabid witch hunt for abusers”. lolz. Because if we did go on such a “witch hunt”, and we discovered people in our churches who were secretly hurting their spouses and children….what? That would be wrong? Because exposing evil people who parade as Christians is….not a good idea somehow? Women and children suffering in secrecy under abuse aren’t a priority, right?
The priority is ? tithing! proper gender roles for men and women! the 5 points of Calvinism or Arminianism! suffering for Jesus!
God have mercy.

Feel free to add your own comments and responses to Mike, and perhaps this will help others with questions understand the value of what we are doing on this blog.

Note: because this post is mainly about house-keeping and organization of comments, we are posting it on a weekend, out of the normal post rotation.

[July 12, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to July 12, 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 July 12, 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 July 12, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (July 12, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


  1. ejs

    I loved my husband and stayed with him for [almost four decades] until he died, having 7 children and 13 grandchildren. The emotional and verbal abuse was horrible. He has now been gone for a little over a year and I am just now beginning to figure out who I am anymore and what I want. I chose to live in that abuse – right or wrong. I still don’t know if I should have left or not. That is an individual call.

    Most people who abuse have some kind of a mental condition that probably does not include an ability to change, no matter how much they want to or how much they seek help from God and Jesus. My husband tried.

    But the worst abuse I suffered was as a member of a church. I worked in the office to help out and would be alone in the building most of the time. One of the Elders [about two decades] older than me decided to trap me in the office, grab me, kiss me, and push his entire body into mine. I felt so violated. But when I told the pastor and then the wife found out, I had to leave my job and my church because he had more money, more ‘handyman’ talents, and more prestige. To me, that was about as unChristian of a response as I could think of. And the congregation was simply told that my husband made us quit so the reputation of the Elder would not be tarnished.

    I am now getting my bachelor’s degree in psychology and taking extra classes through my state to get a license to be a substance abuse counselor. I plan to go on for my master’s and try to help the people who find themselves in difficult situations.

    I was thrilled to find this website and be able to read great information. It has been kept quiet and hidden long enough. The suffering and damage that is caused leads to great devastation, not only for the people involved but also for the children and grandchildren who witness it and are sometimes the target of it.

    Keep up the great work!!!

    [For safety and protection, some details have been lightly airbrushed. Editors.]

    • Hi, Ejs, and welcome to the blog! I am so sorry for all that you have suffered. The injustice and cover up is awful. Sometimes I have found the denial of the abuse by those people we disclose it to, is even more painful than the abuse itself. If that is possible.
      So glad you have shared some of your story here. And it’s a very good case for people like Mike Stacey to think about. We hear from a many survivors of abuse who suffered decades of living with an abuser. And we also hear from many people who have been mistreated by churches when they disclose abuse.

      But God is not mocked; He will bring justice in the end.

      Many hugs to you, Ejs.

      • Forrest

        Sometimes I have found the denial of the abuse by those people we disclose it to, is even more painful than the abuse itself. If that is possible.

        It is possible. Because it adds to the existing abuse and sows more confusion. It is betrayal by those whose responsibility is to protect. But they just throw the victim back to the wolves and encourage the whole pack to come in and tear a piece of the victim off for themselves.

        Christendom sees exposure of wickedness as an embarrassment. So they condemn the one who exposes it.

    • Kagi

      My mother has chosen (so far) to stay in a similar situation – almost identical, actually, there are seven of us kids and about 15 grandkids at this point – and though I worry about her a great deal, it is like you said a choice that only she can make. I don’t personally think anyone should have to be that strong, or take that much damage, in what is supposed to be a loving and supportive relationship, but I can understand there are reasons why someone might choose to. All the hugs, and best of luck to you in your new life!

  2. Barnabasintraining

    I don’t mean to have an attacking prose but I wonder when enough is enough?

    OK. So, because Mike thinks you should be done talking about it, you should be done talking about it? Hmmm.

    I wonder when enough was enough during the 1800s before slavery was abolished? I wonder if abolition preachers got the “when is enough enough” line?

    Enough is enough when abuse is no more.

    • Jeff S

      Enough is enough when there are no more sacrifices of faithful Christians on the altar of bad theology and misguided pastoral behavior that traps them in abusive relationships.

      We are nowhere near that line now.

      • Barnabasintraining

        You know, the more I think about it the more that “enough is enough” line really is ridiculous. The reality is more like at last someone is finally talking about this!

  3. 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.


    We have remembered that Mike Stacey sent in a second comment, in reply to Jeff C’s (1). We did not publish it initially, but now we have decided to make a full post about Mike’s comment we are publishing in fairness and full disclosure. Here is Mike’s reply to Jeff C:

    I do apologize for my less than charitable accusations. But tell me what your saying that’s more profound or Christ-centered than what the group at CCEF is doing?

    • I will not spend time answering the question about what we are doing that is more profound or Christ-centred than what the group at CCEF is doing.
      But I do want to point out that Mike’s question is a red herring and seems designed to put us on the defensive. This kind of question is not asking for a genuine evaluation of the respective ministries of CCEF and ACFJ. (If Mike wanted to make that evaluation for himself, he could freely do so, he doesn’t need us to do it for him.) This question is not a real question, it’s more like an attack: trying to make us defend our ministry and trying to infer that we are not as good as CCEF.

      Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:1-3 ESV)

      I say to Mike: “Why should our work stop while we come down and discuss with you whether our work is more profound or Christ-centered than that being done by CCEF?”

      CCEF = the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation.

      • Barnabasintraining

        I don’t see how Mike’s question is relevant. Good point about Sanballat.

      • thepersistentwidow

        A CCEF book that we reviewed is David Powlison’s, “Domestic Abuse”. You can read the review here, and if you find it helpful, feel free to vote it as such.

        Domestic Abuse: How to Help

        CCEF is nouthetic in its approach. There are several posts about nouthetic counseling on this blog that can be found in the search and we recommended that abuse victims avoid nouthetic counseling.

    • Brenda R

      Apology accepted. I hadn’t heard of the CCEF until today. I can see a big difference having glanced through the website….a search for counselors at $95 an hour. On this site we get insight to biblical truths from people who have extensively researched an individual topic, share our experiences and pray for one another. We grow and heal together.

      • Brenda R

        Barbara: Perhaps I accepted Mike’s apology a little too soon. I did take a look see at the CCEF website. I saw no similarities and appreciate ACFJ even more having looked. Satan is everywhere, Mike. Take a look at your heart. I asked before and I ask again, “Did you realize that your wife is writing in this blog?”

  4. Heather 2


    The above comments were excellent. I am so grateful for ACFJ and the support and encouragement which are difficult for Christian victims to find anywhere else.
    But what I have to add is this…. It is your kind of questions and criticisms which triggers the over-conscientious and neurotic souls such as myself. You claim that we might be going on a witch hunt. Please understand that many of us already have doubted our experiences and wonder if the reality is that we are the abusers! This is exactly what we have found in our churches….your opinions only serve to trigger us into further self-examination which results in more blame and a boatload of guilt.
    When will we be heard and understood, Mike? If not for pastors such as Jeff we would continue to suffer and feel the loneliness of no one understanding. Many of us would remain in danger.
    Before you further criticise this blog please set aside your misconceptions and spend time opening your heart to the painful truths of our lives.

  5. Trudy Mutcer

    Mike, Mike, Mike,
    Recently I was told to “disappear” from my church because my abusive ex had now started to attend (stalk). The minister took the stance “it’s finished now (divorce) can’t we just get on and forgive. Not dwell”.

    I personally am so thankful to Jeff, Barb and the team. A refuge where I can go and know I am not going mad. Knowing they understand. Maybe the only safe place. But I do not dwell here. I have teenage boys to raise in a safe (now) home to run.

    Do not knock my refuge for the great work they do. You need to walk a mile in a victims shoes, not just criticise.

  6. cindy burrell

    when is enough enough?

    It will never be enough. We are joined together in an uphill battle to minister to abuse victims and educate the church on the truth about abuse going on in our midst, where so-called believers create a mockery of marriage and exploit the grace of God. The full Gospel of God includes Romans 6, does it not?

    What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Romans 6:15-16)

    Yet, there are many just like Mr. Stacy who twist the grace of God and somehow buy the lie that they are doing the Christian thing when they embrace and accept wicked people among us who know how to feign repentance and put on a good show in public. Jesus’ half-brother, Jude warns:

    ….certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. [Jude 1:4 NASB1995]

    Is this not the full Gospel of God?

    Surely, Mr. Stacy knows that we need to call attention to abuse in the church in a variety of forums and ministries. Who is he to decide who should or should not take on this ministry? Or perhaps he enjoys the role of antagonist – as some do. Regardless, his attempt to diminish the value of this ministry is surefire evidence of his tragic denial about the magnitude of the problem. Those of us who support ACFJ have been there, so we “get it.” Mr. Stacy’s comments simply remind us that we still have a long way to go.

    • Saved By Grace

      Cindy, you are so right. Mr. Stacey does not get the magnitude of the problem of abuse in mainstream Christianity. He uses theological terms to appear like he understands, but his words, in fact, diminish and even condone abuse when it ought to be publicly condemned.

      I, at one time, was not as aware as I am now, thanks to ACFJ and to each of you who have shared your story on this blog. I am continuing to learn more and more about the depth and breadth of abuse in marriages and in the “c”hurch. I will continue to pass out this blog website to others to expose this hidden evil so that more and more can be aware of the evil among us; so as a group we may stand up and expose abusers, condemn this evil, and support victims.

    • Still Scared (but getting angry)

      Yesterday’s sermon at my church was on Matthew 7, the house built on a firm foundation that storms could not wash away. I just noticed yesterday while the pastor was preaching that this firm foundation comes after 1) narrow gate, 2) wolves among sheep, 3) not everyone who says “Lord, Lord”…. Isn’t that very telling about the firm foundation?? I don’t think we are building on that firm foundation if we are not pointing out the wolves among the sheep. Thank you ACFJ and Cindy!! Thank you!!

  7. Rebecca

    I don’t mean to have an attacking prose but I wonder when enough is enough?

    Shall we pick and choose then, which sins to address and which to not, and then determine when enough is enough? And who gets to make that choice….or perhaps not talk about any sin at all. Gosh what’s left to talk about in church….I guess we all just need to feel good and be happy. That sounds like a mask to me.

    Jeff, Barb, team ~ keep up the outstanding work as you share the Truth – you are not alone!

  8. Otter

    I’m glad Jeff C. posted this email. So many people have this opinion, but they have never experienced abuse. I think this is actually similar to what I’ve learned through chronic illness. People who have never had a chronic disease really don’t get it. I remember when I was young, I heard old women complaining about their arthritis. Now that I have arthritis, I am shocked at how I completely didn’t realize what agony these women were in. If I didn’t know the pain of severe arthritis, I’d probably give stupid advice like, “I know a great herbal supplement for that!”

    Abuse is the same. Until I experienced abuse, I thought I understood it, and I believed abusers were just suffering souls that could be helped with a little counseling. Then two years ago, I found myself in an abusive relationship. I prayed constantly that God would change his heart and a miracle would happen. We read Christian books together and counseled with godly people. Instead, he grew more and more violent, and he nearly destroyed my fragile health. Even at the end, I still clung to the hope he could change. Thank goodness a wonderful, godly counselor helped me understand that you don’t counsel with evil. I left my abuser one week before my wedding when I was confronted with the truth about abuse. I’m thankful for Jeff Crippen’s work (which has been pivotal to my healing), and as someone who has been through abuse, I think he’s one of the few people who get it. I could tell you several stories about how people in my church didn’t get it (for 3 abuse cases….not just mine).

    Mike – if you’ve never experienced abuse, you need to silence yourself and let others who have experience do the counseling. Sit back, read, listen, and learn. But most of all – close your mouth….everything you say causes harm for abuse victims. Concentrate on being compassionate and pray to God for better understanding.

    • Kagi

      I had arthritis by the time I was 23, due to having had corrective spinal fusion for severe scoliosis. I joke sometimes about feeling like an old woman, but it’s true, you don’t really understand chronic pain / illness until it is your life. I would share my spoons with you if I had any to spare. 🙂 Fortunately, I have an appt with a new doctor at the end of August and am praying they will be able to help me find a better balance of medications, the ones I’ve been on are causing problems.

  9. I don’t mean to have an attacking prose but I wonder when enough is enough?

    Following suit with what others have said about this, let us muse about when enough would be enough:
    When we no longer know of women who are sleeping in their cars because of homelessness and poverty due to domestic abuse and its common sequella: legal abuse whereby the abuser impoverishes the victim in his quest to obtain custody of the kids and exempt himself from child support payments….in cars, or in cheap hotels that some kind person has paid for a few nights’ accommodation for a woman and her kids because the shelters are all full.

    When as soon as we put out word in the church that a woman is struggling with poverty due to domestic abuse, Christians put their hands in their pockets and lay down their TV remotes and do whatever is needed to meet the need.

    When Christians have effectively lobbied and achieved such monumental changes in the legal and welfare systems that victims of abuse are no longer hung out to dry, and the best interests of the children are TRULY protected…. Who thinks it is best for a child to have contact with a parent who chronically lies and actively seeks to ruin the life of the protective parent of the child? Who thinks it is a good idea for a child to have contact or live with a parent who is a sexual molester or pervert? The family court and the system do, in some (many?) cases, and so-called Christians stand by and do nothing. Who in their right mind thinks it is sensible to call domestic violence divorce cases “high conflict divorce cases”? Family courts often think this. Lawyers and psychologists and mediators and ‘family co-ordinators’ and counselors often think this. They don’t understand domestic violence and abuse. And most of the church is sitting by twiddling their thumbs. So we have not yet done enough. Not by a long shot.

    • Saved By Grace

      AMEN and AMEN!! Keep up the good work, Barb, Jeff C and team.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      And I will add to your list, Barb: When pastors preach the Word of God truthfully and totally that includes no toleration of any abuse of any kind, for any reason, ever, and stop distorting the One and only true God and Who He is. Just the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

    • fiftyandfree

      Yes, Barbara….and enough will be enough when divorced women who’ve survived and escaped abuse (with no help or support from the church) are NOT judged as weak, sinful, and unforgiving. Enough will be enough when something is done about the lawyers, guardian ad lidems [GALs], parental investigators, etc who further victimize women and children via the family court system for the sole purpose of lining their pockets. Enough will be enough when emotional abuse is not seen as “it takes two to tango” so she must be at fault too, and / or “we’re all sinners” so it can’t be all him. And enough will be enough when the church recognizes and cares that women and children are not only financially impoverished by domestic abuse and divorce, but they are emotionally and spiritually impoverished too.

      • Brenda R

        Amen, Fiftyandfree, Amen.

  10. Anni

    Jeff, is your flock getting the full counsel of God? Abuse is a problem and needs to be confronted, but when overemphasized, it can send your sheep and yourself on a rabid witch hunt for “abusers”. This can also be used by Christians who are simultaneously sinful yet justified, as Luther puts it, to blame shift their problems or sinful behaviors on a past abuser.

    There is no evidence that abused victims / survivors who are getting educated by this site are reverting to behavior like “blame-shifting their problems or sinful behaviors on a past abuser”. If there are some that do, they are either still working through temporary post-traumatic reactions or they could [be] abusers who happen to be victims themselves. Neither are caused or inflamed by the presence of this site, and neither justifies questioning the value of this site because this site is needed.

    I don’t mean to have an attacking prose but I wonder when enough is enough?

    In addition to the excellent responses above, I have this to add, enough is enough when people don’t ask such questions. It may mean that people are finally getting the message that there is so much more to do.

    Did Luther, Calvin, Zwingley, or any of the greats dwell on only one subject of the Christian life? I am afraid this might be getting to Cultic proportions.

    In fact, many of the great names of the past (and the big names today) do tend to center on one of two great truths and seem to harp on and on about those topics. That’s how some of them gain their reputations and following, by sharing revelations on some topic that has been missed by Christendom.

    Let’s hear about grace that turns an abuser like Saul of Tarsus into Paul. Is the Gospel that there are people who can really never change and repent of abuse? Or is it that while we were dead in our sins, Christ died for us?

    We have heard and continue to hear about grace that turns people like Saul into Paul. That is probably a major reason Christian women stay in dangerous marriages for far longer than women in the world. I know of many women sitting in the pews of my church who are suffering silently in their abuse and believe that God will change their abusive husbands. I wonder how many will be alive or sane in the coming years, and God help their children.

    It is good news indeed that Christ died for us! Christ died for all, but not all believe. Not all want to give their lives to serve Him and make Him Lord and Master of their lives. Some reject Him outright, others pay Him lip service, and like Pharisees, they strut around, parading a spiritual image as they treat their loved ones with superior contempt, sure of their protection among the flock.

  11. Ellie

    I am beyond tired of seeing ABUSE in quotes “abuse” “abusers” “abused.” Why not just say what you mean? Don’t you mean alleged abuse? Supposed abusers? And so on? Grr. It’s abuse. No quotes, no air quotes. It’s abuse and it’s evil and it’s wrong. And if you’re tired of hearing about it, there’s a nice warm patch of sand to go stick your head into.

    • Kagi

      Applause. Well said.

    • psalm 37

      It’s kind of ironic how ignorant the abuser-protecting “Christians” are. They’re so pious that they’re of no practical help to those victims sitting in the pews around them or who are their own family members.

      My brother and I don’t talk any more because I got so tired of him telling me that “if I stayed married, who knows if I could have changed his heart?”. You have to have a heart (AND CONSCIENCE) to change one! And, only God can change someone. If you study the Bible, it’s very apparent that there are characters in the Old and New Testaments that were intentionally evil, and God destroyed them. Did David tell Abigail to go pray for Nabal? Did Paul pray for Alexander the coppersmith? Did Ruth feel she would be able to change Haman’s mind? Did Mordecai put his arm around Haman and say he thought he was the victim of a witch hunt? Even Jesus warned people about the Jewish leaders and exposed their intentionally evil deeds. He never once told His followers to be nice to them so that, by their good example, they would change their ways.

      This blog has done so much to give me hope and understanding. I lived with the Water Torturer for 15 years, and my Christian family members were about as loving as Job’s friends or Mike Stacey in his ivory tower. My mother even told me to “not only read the Old Testament, but make sure to read the New even though there are things in it that I might not want to hear.” (You know, the adultery passages.) I love this site and its members for their EMPATHY.

  12. Kagi

    You sound like rape culture apologists who spend more time worrying about ‘false accusations’ than they do about helping actual victims.

    The kind of false accusations they and you worry about happen a very small percentage of the time, about equal to false accusations of other types of crimes, 1-2% usually. Meanwhile there are hundreds of thousands of rape and abuse victims being told they are lying, being told to shut up and sit down, being told they are the problem, being told that no one will help them. Not even in their churches. And they are dying, both literally and figuratively. If they manage to avoid becoming suicidal, or being killed by their abuser, their soul dies by inches the longer they stay in a horrible situation.

    They have no hope, no help, and no one to turn to for mercy and grace and healing from the evil done against them. This blog is one of the very few places where we can find it.

    Yes, false accusations are a terrible thing; no one is arguing this. But they are by far the lesser concern here.

  13. His Child

    Pardon me? I thought ‘enough is enough’ normally means something unacceptable has gone too far. If I see someone teasing a friend or an adult relentlessly punishing a child, that’s what I might say. We should never say ‘enough is enough’ to actions that are good and Godly, like loving others, giving to the poor, and crying out for justice.

  14. Laurie

    Life is a bit crazy right now for me….but what God gave me at church yesterday seems to be very appropriate for this discussion, to which I wish I had the time to read ALL the comments. But I will input this one thought:

    (Spoken to the people of God):

    (Jer 22:3 ESV) Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

    • Song of Joy


      ….Deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed.

      And who has been robbed more than those who have endured the sadistic oppression of domestic abuse?

      Robbed of: Peace, confidence, trust, safety, security, health, children, family relationships, friends, community, church, reputation, education, jobs, talents, accomplishments, enjoyments, pets, sentimental and material possessions, beauty, freedom and sometimes life itself.

      Yes, the domestic abuser is the ultimate oppressor and robber! And the Lord commands us to deliver all our sisters and brothers who are tyrannized by them.

  15. Friend of the Oppressed

    Every set of statistics concerning domestic abuse I have seen says that one in four women experience abuse and that the problem is under reported. In all likelihood that number is much higher in conservative, evangelical churches because of the dangerous council and the ostracizing and shunning by the church experienced by women who have gathered up the courage to report the destructive conditions in which they and their children live.

    To put the numbers into perspective:
    If you are attending church with 28 wives, on average, seven of those women are in abusive marriages. To further put it into perspective let’s shine a light on the men. If the husbands of those seven women are attending church with them, then seven of your male friends are perpetrating great evil on their wives and children as they wear a self-righteous mask of hypocrisy. But domestic abuse focuses on women rather than men, making it a women’s issue rather than a men’s issue and men are given a pass.

    The unbiblical attitude is: “Poor silly men. Boys will be boys! Don’t you know wives are responsible for their husband’s sin and sanctification?”

    When one quarter of the population is being inflicted by any evil, and that evil is being covered up by the very institutions that should protect the victim;
    When great injustice is further perpetrated by the church upon the already oppressed,
    When those that perpetrate evil are protected and embraced by the church,
    When the church continues to claim ignorance and refuses the responsibility of rooting out evil men and neglect disciplining such evil in the face of scores of testimony from the oppressed and afflicted crying out for justice….

    When is enough enough?

  16. jritterbrunson

    The bottom line here is that your blog is dedicated to helping victims of abuse. Why would anyone expect you to write about anything else. Your blog meets a huge need, so keep it up. Too many victims don’t recognize that they are in an abusive relationship and need to get out. If they do recognize it, they need to know what their options are. Keep up the good work!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks, Jr!

  17. Jeff Crippen

    Here is the word of Mike vs the Word of God:

    I don’t mean to have an attacking prose but I wonder when enough is enough? Did Luther, Calvin, Zwingley, or any of the greats dwell on only one subject of the Christian life? I am afraid this might be getting to Cultic proportions. (Mike 1:1-3)

    James 1:27:

    Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

    So, when is the practice of pure religion too much? That is to say, when are we over the top when it comes to visiting orphans and widows in their affliction? And make no mistake, the orphans and widows of our day, in this country, include and perhaps even primarily consist of the wives and children of wicked abusers.

    “My people, I have a complaint against you. You are wasting way too much time helping the weak and the oppressed, standing with them against the wicked.” Huh? What god said that?

    James 2:13-16:

    (13) For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (14) What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

    So, Mike wants to hear more about justification by faith? Hmmm….it seems that the Apostle James, speaking the inerrant Word of God, is telling us that our faith is justified (demonstrated to be genuine) by attending to the needs of the poor, the downcast, the oppressed. AND anyone who blathers on and on about doctrine and precise orthodoxy, but who does not DO these things, is doing no good and is showing that their so-called “faith is worthless before God.

  18. IamMyBeloved's

    Well here we go again with the whole, “we are all sinners”, in an effort to equalize the abuser’s sin with the victim, or blame the victim for what? Taking too long to heal?

    This can also be used by Christians who are simultaneously sinful yet justified, as Luther puts it, to blame shift their problems or sinful behaviors on a past abuser.

    As for the “greats” he lists, that seems to be one of the church of today’s problems, is that we cannot move and grow past the old greats and their interpretations or doctrines. We are supposed to be continually growing, changing and being sanctified. That process did not stop with Luther and Calvin, but we all know that they stopped too short of moving completely away from Catholicism. They had great things they learned and shared with others, and we today have great things that we are learning and sharing with others, if and that is a big IF they are willing to listen, learn, be sanctified and change the way God wants them to. It will be “enough”, sir, when people like you learn the truth of Christ and Who He really is and stop misrepresenting Him; and also when the truth is learned and in operation within the church.

    • Brenda R

      Even the “greats” of today in many instances are way off base. I have heard Ps John Piper referred to as a hero. He writes a lot of books and while in Minneapolis I attended his church. He was away on a writing leave of absence so I didn’t hear him preach. But anyways, how is he a hero. His book, “This Momentary Marriage”, would get a lot of people killed, but was taught in my church. I didn’t attend the class. It was for couples and I did not ask my husband to go with me. It would have just given him ammunition against me. You can’t leave this is permanent no matter what–that is all I could think. I read the book independently to see if I could get help. No way. He says that this life is very short and so is marriage so stay in it no matter what. I’m kind of thinking that he would send a wife who had just been pushed down the stairs right back home and tell her to show him the love of Christ. Some people don’t pick up on that. They are mean, crude, callous and do not see or hear anything good, only evil. These books and those like them are meant for the pure Christian marriage, not for those who are pretending to be Christian and are someone else behind closed doors or unbelieving spouses.

  19. daddysdaughter2

    Mike, you stated:

    Let’s hear about grace that turns an abuser like Saul of Tarsus into Paul. Is the Gospel that there are people who can really never change and repent of abuse? Or is it that while we were dead in our sins, Christ died for us?

    My comment: God is the only one who graces with regenerating conviction of sin and the power to change and be converted. A victim of abuse, no matter how loving, GRACIOUS, meek, or humble, can change the hard heart of an abuser. Only God can do that. Victims remaining under abuse only feed the abuser’s self righteousness which blocks repentance. Natural consequences (separation from abuse) are life’s best instruments / consequences in God’s hand to evoke “a grace unto repentance”. ACFJ is an ongoing ministry which is out there for NEW people like me who just woke up to the fact that I have been “submitting to abuse and obeying my husband” to the point of disobeying civil law and biblical truths. Through ACFJ I have come to clearly understand that my children and I are made in the image of God and are precious to The Lord. We should never submit to and be “gracious” and allow another human being to bruise, cause visits to the MD requiring brain scans, emotionally debase and control through explosive anger, etc. ACFJ is needed on an ongoing basis for all the victims who have been and are still brainwashed by bad theology and perversion of Scriptures that “women just need to submit better and be more godly” which is actually a perversion of biblical grace. God’s grace and love is a chastening love with consequences – that is biblical grace, a grace that leads to repentance. ACFJ and Jeff Crippen’s ministry will be “enough” and “finished” and “silenced” when Christ has come back to reign with perfect justice. Until then, sin and wickedness abounds. God loves those who are willing to stand in the gap for the downtrodden and oppressed, the people of ACFJ.

  20. Terry

    I’m just wondering how this man even found this site and felt the need to respond? He is obviously not an abuse victim. Why is he on a site like this anyway? Possibly found it from his wife? Seems a bit odd.

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 )

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: