A Cry For Justice

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

Barbara Roberts rebuts “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”

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.


The Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism by Pastor D. Scott Meadows, of Calvary Baptist Church, Exeter, New Hampshire, has outraged me so much that I think it merits another to follow up on Jeff’s post yesterday.

Here is the comment I submitted to the post at Reformed Baptist Fellowship while our American readers were asleep. The Reformed Baptist Fellowship site moderates comments so nothing gets published immediately. When I looked at their post just now (9pm Melbourne time) it still had ZERO comments from women. And Wendell’s comment had not been published either, so I’m going to show you Wendell’s comment below mine. (He shared it with the ACFJ team by email yesterday.)

The comment that I submitted to A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism

I’m commenting because this post is outrageously bad. It is bad for multiple reasons. And some of the commenters seem to have as blinkered and bad a view as Ps Meadows does.

Why am I bothering to comment when you have not published all the other comments you have received from women? I KNOW you received them because many of our readers at A Cry For Justice have told us they commented here. I also know you have not published some comments from men who have been outraged by this article.

I am the co-leader of the blog A Cry For Justice, so I am Ps Jeff Crippen’s colleague. I am not an egalitarian. My theology is Reformed Baptist 1689 Confessional. So maybe, just maybe, you will listen to me and publish my comment.

Here are the things that are wrong with the post. This will be long. I will present my points roughly in the order of importance, with what I deem most important first.

If the Catechism were not meant to be used as advice for women who are being abused by their husbands, that should have been stated RIGHT UP FRONT before the Catechism began. The fact that this caveat was not given means that the Catechism will do harm to any woman in a destructive/abusive marriage who is exposed to this post or the thinking it embodies.

It is not good enough to just say in the comments thread that the post was not meant for abusive marriages. That kind of after-mention is one of the reasons we victims of abuse have been so marginalized and trapped in spiritual / scriptural / marital bondage for so long!

We exist, and we are intelligent. We read things. We scour books and the internet for things that will help our marriages! We are in the pews of churches and Bible study groups. We may not be overtly stating to anyone, even to ourselves, that we are victims of abuse. We may not even have realized that “abuse” is the term for what we are suffering! But we are all around you. One in four women have experience violence from an intimate partner at some time in their lives. And that’s only physical violence, not all the other kinds of spousal abuse. Not every one of these ‘one in four’ women have been subject to the ongoing pattern of coercive control which defines abuse, but many have. We should not be ignored or passed over, as Ps Meadows has done in the way he wrote this post.

FYI, our definition of abuse is a pattern of coercive control in which the abuser mistreats the victim (spouse, kids) using any one or combination of these tactics: emotional, verbal, sexual, physical (threats, stand-over tactics, assaults, property violence, or neglect of basic needs), financial, social, psychological abuse (gas-lighting) and the abuser always has a mindset of entitlement, a belief that what he (or less often, she) is doing is okay. That it’s not wrong. That it is justified.

Qns 4-7 expound that idea that if I am married I should love my husband with gracious gospel love, respect him for his position over me, and submit to him as unto the Lord.

A wife’s submission to her husband must be qualified and explained most carefully, or wives in destructive marriages (and pastors often don’t know who these wives are, because domestic abuse hides in plain sight) will think that they have to submit to all the subtle and not so subtle control and coercion tactics their husbands use against them.

What kind of ‘position over’ would you accord a hypocritical husband who is posing as believer but has actually been shredding his wife’s very soul over decades? Cutting her down. Bewildering her with Jekyll/Hyde tactics. Making her think it is all her fault. What kind of ‘position over’ would you accord a flagrantly unbelieving husband who abuses his wife and kids with the braggadocio of a coarse villain?

Abigail is one model to give to women who are married to Nabals. Abigail showed love for Nabal — by overruling his commands! And she didn’t tell him what she was doing until later when he’d sobered up.

“Submit to him as unto the Lord” is a phrase that needs to be most carefully explicated so that wives in destructive marriages will know what it looks like in their circumstances. There comes a time when many wives have to outright rebel against their husbands if they are to submit to the Lord. Any teaching aimed at women that fails to deal with this is making a grievous error. It is a failure of duty of care for the oppressed and the vulnerable in the Body of Christ.

The problem comes to a head in Answer 7: “That I will cheerfully acquiesce to my husband in all things consistent with the revealed will of Christ, but no further, from a sincere desire to please my husband and Christ for my husband’s good and Christ’s glory.”

FAIL! Because it does not recognize that there are times when it is IMPOSSIBLE to please a husband and Christ at the same time.

To please Christ, a woman may have to DIS-please her husband. Seriously displease him. He may become enraged or coldly silently angry to intimidate her into backing down. Or he may plot a nasty payback that will bite her unexpectedly where it most hurts. When such a man’s pleasure is threatened, he comes first and let God be d___ed. And he believes he must exert more control over his wife or else she will become even more upstanding for God and even less tolerant of his sinful ways. For a woman who is being exhorted to submit to her husband’s authority, this is a recipe for years of further misery for the victim.

But in the Pollyanna land that Ps Meadows lives in, this situation never arises. Wake up, Pastor Meadows! The unbalanced stuff you are preaching will be spiritually abusive to those in destructive marriages.

Am I exaggerating? No.

Am I misunderstanding the words of Ps Meadows? No. Here is my proof:
Q9. What is the primary means by which I can influence my husband toward greater faith and obedience to God?
A9. Setting a good example before my husband, without a word of nagging or disrespectful rebuke.

Ps Meadows clearly says that a wife must not ‘nag’ or disrespectfully rebuke her husband.
This makes is SUPER EASY for an abuser or a pastor to condemn the wife for how she rebuked her husband. All they have to say is “You did not show enough respect for your husband in the manner in which you rebuked him!” Catch 22! The woman cannot win. The cards are always stacked against her when she has to jump this high bar which is set as high as the male authorities want to set it, and they can make it higher whenever they choose. They can say she is nagging, or she is disrespectful — and the case is closed. She has no come back. She crawls back into her shell and who knows how many years or decades more of abuse she suffers from that anti-husband? We hear stories like this from survivors all the time, at our blog.

What, by the way, is ‘nagging’? Why are men seldom accused of nagging? Isn’t what people commonly call ‘nagging’ simply someone asking a person repeatedly to do what they should have done the first time they were asked, but they were too lazy or self-centered to bother doing it? And why, then, are women most often accused of ‘nagging’? Hmm. Maybe men are most often the lazy ones? Oops. I’d better be careful or I’ll be labelled a feminist. 😦

And Q and A 10 do not ameliorate the case.
Q10. Does this absolutely forbid addressing my husband about his responsibility for faith and duty as a man, a husband, and a father?

A10. No, but when it is right to address him about these things, I must speak the truth in love, with evident love and respect for him as my husband.

The wife can all too easily be faulted for not showing ‘evident love and respect for her husband’ in the way she addressed him. And even if the pastor is inclined at first to stand with the wife, all it takes is for a lying, cunning, manipulative abuser to get in the ear of the pastor, either himself directly or via his allies and accomplices, and the pastor will be swayed to not fully support the wife. And anything less than FULL support of the victim — any pastoral stance of ‘neutrality’ or ‘it takes two to tango’ — will abysmally fail to give godly justice to the victim.

Answers 11 and 12 are highly presumptuous. Is Meadows clairvoyant? How else can he know how bad a wife a woman is in her marriage? How can he know how good a husband that woman’s husband is? This is pride and presumption of the highest order. Furthermore, by telling wives that they should remind themselves every day how bad they are and how much they need to improve as wives, Meadows plays right into the game-plan of every abusive husband who masterfully manipulates his wife to think she is to blame for all the troubles in the marriage.

Q & A 13 insinuate that suffering of a wife in her marriage is like the suffering of martyrs who are persecuted for professing their faith. That is a serious category error. Domestic abuse is not conducted simply because the abuser wants to stamp out the gospel witness of the victim, it is perpetrated simply because the abuser believes he is entitled to treat his wife that way. Period.

There may be an overlap between persecution for the gospel and persecution just because the abuser is a plain ordinary spouse abuser anyway. The abuser may escalate his abuse at times in reaction to his wife’s strong witness for the gospel, and in many cases we hear of, the abuser makes a great scene on a Sunday just before or after a church service. But a partial overlap does not imply complete congruency. It’s important to make this clear, or a wife being abused will think that she has to remain and suffer in her marriage because Christ suffered on the Cross, and her marriage is her cross to bear which she cannot abandon without forsaking Christ.

Q 1. The main point of marriage. To say it is to glorify God and enjoy him forever is really too broad; it’s a motherhood statement if ever there was one. One could also assert that the main point of a job, a career, playing sport, drinking coffee, brushing one’s teeth, caring for one’s elderly parents, or whatever, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. It becomes rather silly, does it not?

The Bible makes clear in Genesis what the main point of marriage is:—
companionship, mutual support and love (not good for man to be alone; ‘ezer’ helper, i.e. strong helper, suitable-opposite for him);
and procreation (go forth and multiply).

The prevention of sin by maintaining sexual chastity within the confines of marriage is the third main point of marriage, to which the time-honored marriage vows from the old Anglican marriage service testify. Of course, it was not necessary for God to state the prevention of sin as a point of marriage in Genesis 2, where there were only two created human beings on the earth, so no risk of fornication! And the Fall had not yet occurred.

Q 2 Meadows has set up a false dichotomy by positing a distinction between ‘source’ of happiness and ‘occasion’ of happiness. The Bible does not make such a dichotomy.

Be assured I will be publishing my comment on A Cry For Justice whether or not you publish it here.

BTW, I also submitted this exact same comment to Confessing Baptist where someone called Jason had recommended Ps Meadows’ Catechism for Christian Wives. The Confessing Baptist site publishes comments without moderation, so my comment went live. But they may take my comment down if they are the same stripe as the men who run at Reformed Baptist Fellowship. I took a screen shot of the beginning of it. 

Wendell’s comment that Reformed Baptist Fellowship did not publish

Questions 11 and 12 boggle my mind. How does this pastor know how good a husband the man is or how good a wife the woman is? He is taking a huge leap here! Please try telling the woman who is beaten viciously every day or destroyed emotionally on a regular basis through his words that she is getting better than she deserves! This is nothing more than cruelty masked in spiritual language!
Tell me, what covenant is there when one side blatantly and repeatedly breaks that same covenant? Did the husband not also freely enter into the same covenant? Yet the entire burden is put on to the wife.

If the husband was not a Christian in the first place, did he even have the ability to enter into a Scriptural covenant? If you are going to use the covenant theology on one side, you must use it on the other side as God never entered into covenant relationship with any people or nation who were not His, unless they were willing to forsake their former life and allegiances to become a part of His people. An abusing husband cannot be part of God’s family and thus is outside the covenant relationship with God and is not capable of making such a covenant with his wife. Even if there is a valid covenant, he has violated it through his abuse and some remedy or escape must be provided the wife as the aggrieved party.

* * *

What can we collectively do about this outrageous Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism That Enables And Prolongs Domestic Abuse?

I am not a Twitter user, and I don’t think many of our team are. But Twitter is powerful. I probably need to start using it. If any of you tweet, maybe you could start a tweet called #TakeDownThatCatechism!   There was a great victory recently when survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates launched a twitter campaign called #TakeDownThatPost, calling on The Christian Post to take down a horrible article they had published by — yes — yech — a man convicted of child sexual abuse who had been a youth pastor and had abused one of the young women in his youth group. Read all about it at Spiritual Sounding Board. The victory on that case shows that social media is powerful. Collectively we can put pressure on these people who have been publishing terrible, abuser-friendly things, and get them to Take Them Down and, yes, even Apologize. I know. It’s amazing.

So if any of you want to start such a twitter campaign, feel free! The rest of us might even become tweeters ourselves, if we can get over the techno-phobias and other obstacles . . .

Let us know what you are doing in social media to put pressure on the Reformed Baptist Fellowship site. And if you submit comments over at their site, please submit the comments here too, so people can read what you say even if RBF don’t publish it.

I’ve started the ball rolling by putting a comment on the Reformed Baptist Fellowship’s Facebook page where they posted a link to the Catechism article.  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=769107329777990&id=331240613564666

Here is a screen shot of my comment:

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 10.18.24 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 10.18.24 PM



  1. Jason Delgado

    I am that “someone called Jason”… we don’t endorse sin and simply link to Reformed Baptist resources… furthermore as stated on the site in several places and on that post, a link doesn’t mean a personal endorsement. Here was my reply to Barbara’s comment:

    “I am personally not reading abuse into this post/link and would rather not assume that he [Pastor Meadows] is approving of sin.

    A similar concern was raised on the link to this post on our Facebook page and Pastor Meadows wrote the following (trimmed for relevance here):

    ‘I’m a guest contributor to that blog and have absolutely nothing to do with which comments are allowed… I also abhor and condemn spousal abuse. …I welcome your private inquiry for further clarification. God bless you.'”

    • Thank you Jason for having the courage to respond here!

      So why did you post the beginning text of Ps Meadow’s article and give a link to it, if you didn’t endorse it? What on earth was your motive?

      And in light of our concerns, isn’t it a bit unethical of you to do that? Maybe you did not read into abuse into article, but doesn’t that rather prove how serious our concerns are?

      I mean: Ps Meadows wrote about something which people like you may not have thought related in any way to abuse victims, but people like us who are abuse victims and advocates are painfully, excruciatingly aware of how much it relates to abuse. How much it HURTS victims of abuse. How much it will further entrap and expose them to abuse. So why is this enormous discrepancy?

      I can think of only two answers.
      Either people like us are making all this up and we can therefore be disbelieved and ignored.
      Or people like you are unawake to a MAJOR issue in the church that is hurting many people and needs to be addressed.

      I say it is the latter. And people like you who don’t read abuse into articles like Ps Meadows’ Catechism are needing major education so that you will become aware of the immense need for Christians, especially pastors, to think about how their words will be interpreted by Christian victims of spousal abuse. We are not going to go silent. We beg you to pay attention to this need and start reading our blog so you can learn a lot more about this issue. Truly if you are a man of God and willing to be openhearted to the suffering, you will learn a lot and have your eyes opened to things you had never thought of before. And we promise this will not involve you becoming a liberal, a humanist or getting infected with any dangers from the secular worldview.

    • Jason, can you please give us contact details for Ps Meadows so we can interact with him?

      • Jason Delgado

        Re. motive: We just make resources known… majority of those things were Bible quotes. Perhaps me not seeing abuse in the post does show that I am ignorant. I just don’t want to assume sin on someone when I don’t see it there or there can be an alternative explanation, or they themselves verify that they aren’t talking about abuse.

        Re. contact: Looks like the two links below to those Facebook post have his interactions so should be a good way to hear him on it. He is also to have one published for men and have an addendum to the one mentioned above (which I assume is regarding abuse).

      • Thanks Jason.
        I am off to bed now being in Melbourne. So if you comment here more and I don’t answer, it’s only because of our time difference.

  2. Rachel

    Thank you, Barbara. My own comment is still waiting moderation on their site. I simply asked for biblical references for Q and A 11 and 12.

    One of my friends, a wife in an abusive marriage, wrote this when she read the original catechism article:

    If this article isn’t for women in abusive marriages, why is it not? Did they have to write specifically that is was or wasn’t or would it be a more true statement that any wife would read a catechism for wives and believe it is for her, no matter the state of her marriage. How would a tattered and torn wife looking for help know that this article is not for her? Or would she cling to any morsel of hope, wondering if she would just do better, as the article states, that maybe her marriage would be bearable? To say it didn’t specifically point to abuse is ridiculous. It was to WIVES. Even wives in unbelieving and difficult marriages. Abusive marriages seem to fit in there very nicely and now there are countless wives believing they are even less than what they already thought of themselves, and are being encouraged to memorize that they are much less than what their husband deserves. This is spiritual abuse, not backed up by scripture, and another tool to control wives both in good marriages and bad.

    • Your comment has now been published Rachel. 🙂

    • joepote01

      “To say it didn’t specifically point to abuse is ridiculous. It was to WIVES. Even wives in unbelieving and difficult marriages. Abusive marriages seem to fit in there very nicely and now there are countless wives believing they are even less than what they already thought of themselves, and are being encouraged to memorize that they are much less than what their husband deserves. This is spiritual abuse, not backed up by scripture, and another tool to control wives both in good marriages and bad.”

      YES! Well stated, Rachel!

  3. virginia
  4. AsISeeItOnly

    As posted in Ps Meadow’s blog;
    For shame Ps Meadows. Trustworthy bloggers post whatever comments their blog raises (reserving the right to omit offensive language). This blog seems to be just an ego-booster, for you post only those comments your itching ears wish to hear.

    • healingInHim

      AsISeeItOnly – caught your comment at the ReformedBaptist blog … I’m in Manitoba:-) I’ve been praying for our nation and the churches within. Canadians have a reputation of being so tolerant and accommodating. This has infiltrated the ‘c’hurches. I receive the silent treatment when many discover that I’m being fed by pastors and leaders in the USA.

  5. Here is the Confessing Baptist FB page that relates to this:

    And here is where Ps Meadows is discussing it on his own FB page:

    • On Ps Meadow’s FB page he says he is working on “Addenda: A Clarification and Defense of ‘A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism.'”

      • Barnabasintraining

        In the event Pastor Meadows has been coming here and happens to read this, I wish to direct a request to him concerning his clarification and defense. I request that he include a statement regarding his position on abuse, and specifically on abuse as grounds (or not) for divorce. I trust Pastor Meadows is against abuse, as any decent person would be. I would like him to please inform us of his position on abuse as grounds for divorce.

        Thank you.

  6. Persis

    Thank you for your rebuttal, Barbara. My heart sank as I read through the list. Praying this puts the issue of domestic violence in the church on people’s radar.

    For what it’s worth, I responded on my blog as well: The unspoken question that won’t go away [Internet Archive link]

  7. Pat

    My comment was awaiting moderation when I noticed that other comments posted after mine were accepted. I don’t think that Meadow’s likes his patriarchal thinking to be challenged. Too bad he’s not a Berean.
    Here’s my comment:
    Pastor” Meadows is hyper patriarchal and, in his case, is a member of a “men’s club” misnamed the church which doesn’t support or equip women. I suggest that he read the popular Boundaries in Marriage book or learn from Leslie Vernick, a popular Christian counselor who knows about abusive men who have a Christian front and mislead naive “pastors” about their behavior behind closed doors in regard to the treatment of their wife. Then the children in this family learn how to imitate the terrible hypocritical behavior and pass it on to the next generation; all with Meadow’s approval and blessing. Meadows goes beyond Jesus’s words in Mark 10 as He saw the distinct possibility that a woman would need to divorce her hard hearted husband who broke his vow to love and cherish her. Meadow’s pharisee like advice amounts to marriage idolatry which can be defined as: keep the marriage together at all costs because the church likes the appearance of looking good on the outside even though the inside is full of dead men’s bones.

  8. Rachel Miller

    They still haven’t allowed a single comment by a woman through moderation. Since Pastor Crippen’s comments challenge the article, I have to assume it’s not simply an issue of critical comments not being allowed.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Rachel- It would appear that one of the very first places to begin with regard to wives and marriage would be to hear from some wives! And when we broached the subject of abuse on that blog, the most objective, natural thing for them to have done is to say “hey, maybe we ought to let some of these victims speak here.” Not seeing that happen. At the BJU conference a couple of years ago in which they were “addressing” sexual abuse, not a SINGLE victim was ever included in the presentations. We heard from lots of people, not not from one single victim. That is very telling.

  9. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir [This link is broken. Click here [Internet Archive link] for a copy….you’ll need to scroll down the linked page to find the reblog of Barbara Roberts rebuts “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”, July 9, 2014. Editors.].

  10. Sasanka

    Thank you, Barbara, your comment is brilliant, and also Wendell’s comment. I’m very curious what Ps Meadows responds to this if he does.
    The point about ‘nagging’ used to be particularly bewildering before I learned what I’m dealing with here. I went from normal assertive at the beginning of relationship, to careful and soft spoken, to walking on egg shells, to ‘choosing my battles’ to pretending it’s not happening rather than saying something and risking assault or dismissal. In important issues I went so crazy and despaired ..that I tried to ’email’ him legitimate requests or complaints, so I can’t be accused of ‘how’ I spoke disrespectfully in my tone and words. All to no avail of course, my ‘tone’ was just an excuse and responsibility avoidance of the issue. What I pretzel we turn ourselves into for these people to make our “Christian marriage” better….The poor wives who would read this catechism and have no clue about abuse are made into a sitting duck…with tied legs, wings and blinded eyes.

  11. Marah

    Even if they do add some kind of disclaimer regarding situations of abuse, this is still a dangerous piece of writing. Most Christian women in abusive marriages DO NOT REALIZE the relationship is abusive if there is not consistent physical battering. All they know is that they’re somehow failing in their responsibility before The Lord to be a good, submissive wife; if they weren’t, their husbands wouldn’t feel disrespected and sometimes “need” to behave in non-loving ways.

    To be clear: that last sentence doesn’t describe the truth of an abusive situation, but rather the abused Christian wife’s confused perspective on it…reinforced not only by the manipulative, controlling abuser, but by Christian leaders, pew sitters, books, seminars, small group studies, and ARTICLES LIKE THIS.

    I was sick with anger and grief when I read this last night. I’m so grateful for all of you who have been able to summon the strength to comment.

  12. Hester

    Kind of strange that it wasn’t for abusive situations given that they specifically said it was for “difficult marriages.” In fact it’s obvious from the introduction that the catechism was written primarily for women in negative situations; use in healthy marriages was mentioned but it was basically an afterthought. So this is apparently a document for marriages that are unhealthy but fall short of abusive. That’s a pretty nebulous category – just saying “difficult marriages” would include abuse in most people’s minds, I think. They should at least add a clarification / explanation. I’m also curious what their advice would be for an abusive situation.

  13. StrongerNow

    This is the comment I posted which is still “awaiting moderation” – presumably they can tell from my screen name that I am female, and therefore not deserving of a voice in this matter:

    This is a very dangerous piece of work when viewed and applied by a victim of domestic abuse. Please remove it and educate yourself about the dynamics and tactics of perpetrators of abuse. This is horribly damaging to victims.

    And later, Mark Womack wrote:

    I’m amazed. The time of this post, there have been 76 “thumbs down” on my two comments asking Pastor Crippen to defend his condemnation of Pastor Meadows’ catechism in biblical terms or else concede that he is appealing to extra-biblical authority for his position. I neither defended Pastor Meadows’ position nor attacked Pastor Crippen’s position. All I asked was that Pastor Crippen present a biblical answer to Pastor Meadows. Seventy-six “thumbs down” for this on a Reformed Baptist site. So much for sola scriptura as the basis for faith and practice.

    And I replied:

    And where are all of the comments submitted by women who have been abused in their marriages? So much for mutual respect.

  14. Reformed Baptist Fellowship has now published A Christian Husband’s Marriage Catechism [Internet Archive link] by Ps Meadows.

    Here is the comment I just submitted there. It has not been published yet.

    Another bad piece. The faults of Qns 11 and 12 have just been replicated here.
    And for those men who are abused by their wives, which does happen though it’s less common than wives being abused by husbands, this piece is going to be spiritual abuse and will potentially cause that male victim to stay in the abusive marriage longer, wracked with false guilt for how he is not giving up his life for this wife of his who is abusing him and treating him like dirt.

    Please read this post for an example. https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2013/04/26/a-male-survivors-story-by-friend-in-need-from-europe/

    As I say, it is much less rare than the other way round, but we know it happens. And we are advocates for ALL genuine victims of domestic abuse, no matter what their sex may be.

  15. Cindy Rapstad

    So they could deny that not a single woman was let through they let through 2 that totally agreed with them. Of course my comment was over over 24 hours ago and many after it were let through.

  16. The Reformed Baptist Fellowship site has now published all of the comments that had been held in moderation. All, that is, except my long comment which forms the main body of my post here. However they did publish the pingback (right word?) for this post, so I guess I have to be grateful for small mercies.

    Please go to the Reformed Baptist site and vote up all the comments you approve of, and add your own comments now they’ve opened the gate. 🙂

    And btw, I just submitted a comment there now, and it has not gone live. Are the rest of you finding that your comments are going live straight away? or do you have to wait a little before you see them live?

    Maybe the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog has blacklisted just me. 😦

    • The RBF have now published my recent comment [Internet Archive link] on the Wife’s Catechism post.

      Here is what I said, in case they take it down:

    • Barnabasintraining

      You mean your comment on the 1 Peter passage? Could it be that they have not published that one because they would take it as a woman teaching Scripture to men?

      • They have published all my comments now, except the first one I made which was the very long one which is the core of this post here at ACFJ.

  17. 1 Peter 3:1-6 was brought up at the RBF post (wife’s catechism) to try to dress us objectors down.

    I just rebutted that comment. Here is what I said. It’s been published (see here [Internet Archive link]).

    Mike Waters, Heritage RBC, Ohio, said:
    “From some of the above comments, it appears evident that your Biblically informed Catechism is very much needed! May it have a broad influence!
    1 Peter 3:1-6”

    This comment is typical of Christians who don’t understand domestic abuse and who interpret scripture woodenly, with a pre-set bias that is often so ingrained that they do not realise they have it.

    It is also a typical comment used by abusive husbands who profess to be Christians, who know their way round the Bible, but who are not regenerate but are actually wicked deceiving hypocrites.

    Please note, I am not saying that MIke is a wife abuser. I’m only saying that, whether he knows it or not, his comment is very similar to the way abusive ‘c’hristian husbands talk. So Mike, I think you need to learn how better to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse, so you can avoid saying things that enable abuse or ‘give it a free pass’.

    Let me address 1 Peter 3:6 somewhat briefly, to rebutt Mike’s comment. It is a text that I need to write a long article about, but haven’t had time yet.

    ESV: “as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

    KJV: “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

    NIV: “like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

    If a victim of abuse desires to obey scripture then she can feel herself to be perpetually knifed by the blade of the Word in 1 Peter 3:1-6. It seems to say: Put up with the abuse no matter how bad, because if you respond out of fear you are failing in your Christian walk.

    And “Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled” (3:14 KJV) seems to be an injunction to suppress emotion and stay in denial about the covenant destroying pattern of conduct her husband is showing, and the damage it is causing her and the kids.

    But there is a limit to what wives should suffer at the hands of ungodly husbands. The limit is set by Peter’s command to ‘do good’, to do the right thing, even in the face of intimidation.
    Peter tells wives to do good and not give way to the fear of what their husbands might do.

    We should submit to our husbands only in so far as righteous obedience to God will permit.

    When a Christian woman who is being abused by her husband attempts to do good to her husband by (e.g.) admonishing him for his sinful ways, resisting his abuse, setting boundaries against his destructive conduct, etc, the abuser tries even harder to make her afraid of him so that she backs down and complies with his wickedness, which will enable him to continue in his wicked ways. Such a woman does good and the result is: her husband escalates and intimidates her even more.

    Verse 6 addresses this situation. It tells such wives to nevertheless continue to do the good without backing down, without giving way to fear or intimidation. And bear in mind, it is not wrong to feel the emotion of fear; it is wrong to let the fear intimidate you into sinning. And sinning in this case, often takes the form of complying with the abuser and ‘letting’ him wield his wicked rule over her.

    NB I am not blaming the victim here for ‘letting’ the abuser abuse. The abuser chooses to abuse and the abuser is always responsible for his own actions. The victims, with immense creativity and problem solving, choose micro-moment by micro-moment how to navigate this path of eggshells and minefields to try to avoid ‘trouble’. Victims must never be held to blame for the abuser’s wrongful choices. Period.

    Back to my thread. Peter is telling you (abused wife) that it is wrong to let the abuser’s power and control tactics intimidate you into fearful compliance with the abuser’s coercion and control.

    It does the wife no good to be further oppressed and downtrodden because that leads to mental and physical and spiritual exhaustion, not to mention all the health impacts on the woman’s body. And the same for the kids. And it does the abuser no good because it just enables him to become further entrenched in his evil ways and entitled mindset.

    • Hester

      People like Mike Waters above, sound like they would have told my childhood friend’s mother to stay with her porn-addicted pedophile husband. Spoiler alert: she divorced him and is now happily remarried.

  18. Julie Anne Smith has just published a post about Meadow’s Catechism for Christian Wives.
    A Pastor is Challenged after Releasing a Disturbing and Potentially Dangerous Article Directed to Wives of “Difficult” Husbands [Internet Archive link]

    It’s excellent. And she allows comments from women, men, victims, advocates and bystanders. And from those who don’t agree with her. 🙂 She’s cool! We love Julie Anne!

    • Julie Anne

      haha – yes, I do allow comments 🙂 Thanks, Barb! Hugs to all the ACFJ team. I’m glad that you and Jeff alerted me to the original article. We’ll be watching for that addendum, won’t we?

  19. Anonymous

    Thank you ACFJ for your tireless efforts to alerting us to false teachings. I am also impressed with your desire to lovingly challenge and educate those whom may either intentionally or blindly condone such thinking.

  20. cboetcker

    (in reply to Jude calling people trolls as well as a response to why the catechism should be taken down) Jude, I am currently working on my Master’s of Arts in Counseling and one thing we learn is that when a victim has been abused certain things can trigger a strong emotional reaction. I currently counsel victims of abuse and I myself grew up in a “Christian” home where my father physically, emotionally and psychologically abused my mother as well as me and my brothers. I myself struggle with being triggered, for example reading this post on marriage (in regards to both men and women) made me sick to my stomach. Am I a troll? People are speaking out because this really is a serious and huge problem in the church. Sadly, my mom was counseled to essentially keep giving him a chance and to not divorce him UNLESS he committed adultery. Punching her in the eye was okay, shoving me when I was only 5 years old across the room was okay ….Anndddd once she finally divorced him when I was eleven I still had to visit my dad every other weekend and for a month and a half during the summer and so of course the abuse continued but now it was directed at me. I still cannot understand why pastors at my church didn’t investigate or try and figure out how my dad was treating us. My two younger brothers and I had all the signs of abuse victims and yet no pastor reached out, all the while knowing my dad had a history of hitting my mom. That’s why this catechism is a HUGE deal! People are speaking out strongly because this will most definitely be used by abusive men over women. My father was the master manipulator. He wielded the Bible as a weapon to crush mine and my family’s soul. If I did not accept the abuse, if I tried to get away he would remind me that I had to “honor my mother and my father”….it’s in the Bible he would remind me.

    So I will also make a public stand now and join in with those who have been victims of abuse and ask the pastor to please take it down. Or at least re-write it including passages to back up your stance. Especially in regards to the whole idea that “I’m much worse than I think” and my “spouse is much more than I deserve”. Honestly, this is the language of abusers! I still struggle with hating myself because my father constantly pointed out how much of a sinner I was and yet he himself was this great father and husband and the “victim” of bad kids and a bad wife! Where on earth in the Bible does Jesus tell us to look at ourselves as such a bad person, spouse etc? No! We are covered by the blood of Christ and can stand before God as holy and clean. Honestly I am so confused by those questions and answers!

    • Jeff Crippen

      cboetcker – Very, very, good. Many thanks to you for this excellent comment and for sharing a bit of your story with us. Not only are you and every real Christian not “trolls,” but we could make a long list straight from Scripture describing what we ARE in Jesus Christ: righteous, beloved, saints, children, adopted, heirs, blessed, lavished with His riches, washed, forgiven, justified, given boldness to enter the throne room of the King….and on and on. The fact that this “catechism” tells us that in God’s eyes no matter how wicked our circumstances, no matter how intense our suffering at the hands of a persecuting world, we need to just shut up, accept it and admit that what we have is better than we deserve, is a rank and gross distortion of the gospel of Christ. Jesus loves us, this we KNOW!!

  21. IamMyBeloved's

    Just went over to that site again and it seems that all of the comments are now published. I was surprised that they published mine, because I addressed all the comments that I knew women had put up, that they were not publishing and that all the comments published were men’s. Just letting everyone know.

  22. IamMyBeloved's

    All right, this is upsetting to me, so I am just going to post these last 3 comments from the link at Reformed Baptist’s site, on the post A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism. I just think it is important for people here to see these comments from this Mike Waters, pastor of Heritage Reformed Baptist Church in Ohio. He pastors a Family Integrated Church and I believe we here at ACFJ know what they believe and practice.


    I believe that I posed a legitimate question. Will a Reformed Baptist please be kind to answer it?

    Mike made this comment:

    If we must seek the psychologists opinion as to why abusers act the way they do, must we also seek their opinion as to why drunkards, crack-smokers, whore-chasers, thieves, liars, and sodomites act the way they do?

    I believe that Mike is implying that spousal abuse is sin, for which many of us would agree. Presumably the Reformed Baptists will exercise church DISCIPLINE for those who are drunkards, smoke crack, etc., but why will they not do so with abuse? Rather victims are given the lines in this catechism, basically to continue to joyfully submit to abuse.

    There seems to be an inconsistency in this and I am asking for clarification from Mike or any other who supports this catechism. Why is church discipline lacking for domestic abuse?



    I am sorry if you have had such an experience in any church (let alone a RB church). I totally agree, spousal abuse is sin and should be dealt with accordingly. I have been in RB Churches for 20 yrs and pastoring one for 10 yrs. I haven’t seen such abuse overlooked or ignored.


    IamMyBeloved’s RESPONSE TO MIKE:

    Really Mike? Really? Then you need to take a trip over to A Cry For Justice and view those blog posts or read Jeff Crippen’s book A Cry For Justice and see just how many women have been excommunicated from their churches, for reporting spousal abuse, and how many abusers have been believed and treated like gods by the same churches. Really, do yourself and all of us a favor and take a trip over there. I believe most of those women have been excommunicated by Family Integrated Churches or ones similar in practice. Your church is on their membership role, so it surprises me that you have no knowledge of this behavior taking place.

  23. Here is a comment I just submitted over at the RBF post. Putting it here in case they take it down.

    Kevin accused us of steamrolling over Pastor Meadows.

    Kevin, I think you need to understand that we victims of abuse have been steam-rolled over for a very long time.

    We are not steamrolling over Ps Meadows. We are calling him and people like you [Kevin] to account. We are calling you to account for your ignorance and for the way you are cherry picking all the scriptures to do with wifely submission — which leaves us in bondage and misery to abusers, unless we break your mold — and your associated DOWNPLAYING or IGNORING the scriptures that talk about:

    —justice and mercy for the oppressed, and for widows i.e. women who are bereft of husbands, and the fatherless (too many to list); and please note that in male perpetrated domestic abuse the husband/father is that in name only, but he is abysmally failing to fulfill his duties in that role, so in effect he is an anti-husband and an anti-father. Anti in the sense of ‘instead of’.

    —the purpose of marriage as companionship and mutual care and love and respect (Gen 2; 1 Cor. 7:4)

    —the importance of leaders not to ruling over their flocks with harshness

    —the importance of judging rightly and punishing wicked (too many to list)

    —the importance of challenging wrong beliefs ((Matt 21:28-45; 22:41-46)

    —the importance of telling the truth about sin and exposing it (Eph. 5:11; 6:14; 1 Sam 19:18a)

    —the importance of hating evil (Ps 97:10a)

    —the importance of rebuking sin (Lev. 19:7; 2 Sam 13:12-13; 13:16; Luke 17:3)

    —the importance of denouncing Pharisaic teachers in no uncertain terms (Matt 23; Luke 13:15)

    —the importance of not being hypocritical (Rom. 12:9; Matt 22:18)

    —the importance of not straining out gnats and swallowing camels

    —the importance of not turning things that were made for man (the Sabbath, marriage) into idols that are wielded like cudgels to keep the Pharisaic elite in power and the plebs in a position of fear and works-based righteousness

    —the fact that it is okay to pour out one’s complaint (Job 7:11)

    —our right use of, and our need to respect, the secular justice system (Rom 13:1-4; 1 Tim 2:2)

    —the principle of self-defense (Gen 38; Matt 9:4-6; 15:3-9; Acts 16:36-40; 25:8-11; 22:25; 26:24-26; 1 Co4 1–4; 2 Cor 10–11)

    —the righteousness of setting boundaries against wrongdoing (Num 13–14)

    —the principle of separation (2 Tim 3:1-5; Prov 22:10; 22:24-25; 23:6-7; 24:1-2; Rom 16:17-18)

    —the principle of fleeing from persecution (1 Sam 19:11-12; 2 Sam 15:13-17; Josh 2:4-6; 2 Chron 11:13-14; 1 King 19:2-3; Matt 2:13-14; 4:12; 10:23; 12:14-15; John 6:15; 8:59; 10:39; Acts 8:3-4; 9:23-25; 14:4-6, 19, 20;17:5-10; 19:30-31; 23:10-24; 2 Cor 11:33)

    —the fact that separation from the unrepentant is sometimes advisable (Mark 6:5-6; Matt 10:14; Luke 9:5; 10:11; Acts 18:6; 19:9)

    —the importance of not casting our pearls before swine, lest they turn again and trample us (Matt 7:6)

    —the fact that sometimes we should separate even from those who confess Christ (2 Thess 3:6-15; 1 Cor. 5:4-5, 9-13)

    Is that enough scriptures to satisfy you Sola Scripturites?

    Meadows’ catechism is not balanced. He should get a wooden spoon award for cherry picking scripture.

  24. Another comment I just submitted over at the RFB post:

    Why is church disciplining lacking for domestic abuse?

    Persistent Widow’s question is spot on. Why are the perpetrators of domestic abuse not being disciplined by churches?

    Why are the perpetrators not being treated as unbelievers? (Matthew 18)
    And better still, why are they not being put out of the churches promptly, as in 1 Cor. 5:9-13, without the long drawn out step by step process of Matthew 18:15-17?

    I Corinthians 5 sets down the model for disciplining heinous sin and it is ALMOST NEVER followed in churches these day. In fact, I am yet to hear of a case where 1 Cor 5 was applied to a domestic abuser.

    But I’ve heard of many cases where a shuffling, flaccid miscarriage of justice was done by supposedly following Matthew 18:15-17 — and those cases ended up with the victim being put out of the church by the leadership, or the victim choosing to walk away from the church because the process of trying to obtain justice was so injurious to her, so exhausting, such a rabbit warren of procedures where she was mostly kept in the dark like a mushroom, and so unlikely to lead to the right outcome, that at some stage she just decided to walked away, to save whatever tattered shreds might be left of her spiritual/physical/emotional/financial health and safety.
    Persistent Widow’s case is an example of this. But we know of others.

    When I wrote Not Under Bondage [*Affiliate link], I emphasized the application of Matthew 18 for cases of domestic abuse. I said that if an abuser is a professing Christian, the victim of abuse should try to follow the steps of Matthew 18:15-17 which entail asking the church to try to bring the abuser to repentance and, should the abuser not repent, treating the abuser as an unbeliever, which in my interpretation would then free the victim of abuse to divorce under 1 Corinthians 7:15.

    I have since changed my mind. I now believe that 1 Corinthians 5 is the right way to deliver discipline to domestic abusers.

    You can read my reasons here:
    Church discipline and church permission for divorce – how my mind has changed

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

      Barb, You are a wonderful defender for the oppressed. Thank you.

  25. and another. . .

    tomlassiter44 10 July 2014 at 10am said

    Mark, I am absolutely appalled as well! I gave you thumbs up, brother. I find it outrageous that so many have disagreed with this catechism! It is thoroughly biblical and most appropriate. So many these days have left the plain teachings of scripture and embraced modern psychology. I was floored to see how many in Reformed Baptist circles have done this. For me, it’s Sola Scriptura!

    Tom Lassiter, are you finished thumping your chest now?

    Sola Scriptura. I believe in Sola Scriptura too.

    That is why I wrote my book Not Under Bondage which demonstrates that abuse IS grounds for divorce. My book is full of scripture. It is not emotional. It is not my own personal story. It has an extensive bibliography and endnotes in which I refer to many biblical commentators, historians, scholars, and theologians. It also has a scripture index with many entries. And my book has been commended by such eminent theologians as William Heth, David Clyde Jones, David Instone-Brewer, Mark Hill, David Wheaton, and many others. See the reviews here.

    [The Not Under Bondage Reviews link was corrected to reflect the new URL. Editors.]

    Below is a nutshell summary of my reasoning. You can also find this nutshell here.

    Physical abuse, and indeed any pattern of power and control used by one spouse against the other, even if the conduct does not include physical abuse, is grounds for divorce.

    Why? Because if a person is not willing to live as a spouse should live in a marriage — showing basic respect for their partner — if that person is violating their wedding vows by decidedly and repeatedly mistreating their partner, then they are in effect pushing the partner away: causing separation.

    The scripture which applies to this is 1 Corinthians 7:15 — If the unbelieving partner separates (i.e, if their evil-hearted attitude and conduct creates separation, effectively pushing their victim away) then the victim, and the church, are told to let it be so, let the separation be so. Don’t try to pretend it’s not happened. Don’t lay guilt on the victim. The victim of marital abuse is not enslaved — not obliged to remain married to the abuser, and not obliged to refrain from marrying another for the rest of their life (as the persons in 1 Cor. 7:10-11 were obliged). God has called us to peace. And there can be no peace with a spouse who abuses their partner by a chronic pattern of power and control exerted in numerous ways, often not even physical ways.

    1 Corinthians 7:15 —

    But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

  26. Anonymous

    Did anyone experience deja vu every time a commenter implied that the reaction of victims was over-the-top and unnecessarily emotional? Have you ever been told to “calm down” every time you tried to air a legitimate serious grievance? It almost seems to be a red flag of conversing with a person with an abuser’s mentality. I’m sure Dr. George Simon, Jr has a name for that tactic. Perhaps it is a combination of minimization, diversion, and vilifying the victim.

    • shall we coin a new word?


      • Brenda R

        I like the word, Barb. But I don’t think I could say it.

  27. In God’s grace as an excuse for cruelty [Internet Archive link], Ps Sam Powell has done an excellent job of showing why Q&A 11 in the catechism are bad.

    Here are some snippets from Sam’s post.

    Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?

    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    Here the writer makes a deadly error. Here we see the error of using a word with several different meanings as if it only had one meaning. Let me illustrate:

    What he is saying in effect is this: Because I deserve eternal punishment in hell for my sins, it follows that I deserve to take whatever injustice and abuse that my husband wishes to dish out to me.

    . . . Are we to believe that since no one has ever earned any favor from God whatsoever, but has received every good thing by grace alone that it would therefore follow that my boss can withhold my paycheck from me, since I deserve far worse?

    If the blogger in question would be consistent with his univocal use of the word “deserve”, we would expect the following exchange: “My employer has robbed me of my wages. What should I do?”

    Answer, “Rejoice that you have received far more than you deserve and continue to work for him with a meek and quiet spirit. Don’t make a fuss.”

    Take it one step further: “My family was slaughtered by a wicked man.”

    Answer: “It was better than they deserved. Let it go, and don’t make a fuss. No need to involve the police.”

    It is indeed true that God’s mercy can never be earned – or deserved. We increase our guilt daily before God. We are fallen sinners. Unless we are born again, we deserve nothing but eternal wrath and damnation. This is taught clearly throughout Scripture.

    (Eph 2:8-9 KJV) 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    But this is speaking of our standing before the Judgment Throne of God. It does not follow that we therefore deserve to be treated with cruelty, hatred and dishonor by wicked men.

    If the grace of God can be used to justify injustice and cruelty, then words no longer have any meaning.

  28. Anonymous

    The comments of Christian bystanders again confirms the barriers that women face in obtaining godly justice. Just as Pastor Crippen and others have said on these posts, the response of the average uneducated Christian is to focus on the response of the victim instead of the sin and grievance being pointed out. It’s like being broken into by a robber wielding a knife who rummages through your belongings and assaults your kids, and when you confront the robber, you get, “I’m not going to listen to you when you are being loud and rude.” And he goes on violating your property, blatantly judging your loud cries of protest as offensive, while ignoring their own violating behavior. While the bystanders are not the primary perpetrators of abuse, they are condoning abuse and committing secondary abuse by their silence and/or refusal to stop aiding abusers with their actions.

    The responses also confirm that most people don’t know what abuse is. To call strong reactions “abusive” when abuse has been repeated defined as a pattern of coercive control shows that either Christians are ignorant or not willing to acknowledge the truth when it is presented. To the ignorant, the invitation is there to search out the truth. To those who are stubbornly hold on to their own ideas in spite of the pleas from their brethren to hear their position, no wonder injustice exists. Evil is not “somewhere out there” among the devil worshippers and secular humanists. Evil is in our pews.

  29. Brenda R

    Thank you for addressing Angela on her latest posts. I do not wish to respond to her any longer or on that blog. You said what I was feeling much better than I could. I doubt she will have any understanding of what was said or any of the other supporters for that matter, but we can only do so much, the rest is between them and the almighty.

  30. Julie Anne

    I’ve interacted with Angela a good bit. I’ve seen her go back and forth on her opinions of people and ideologies. For example, on Doug Wilson’s blog, she defended Patriarchy and Doug Phillips for quite some time. Then finally she saw the light and denounced him. Now it seems she has gone back to male-domination in marriage. I recall Angela saying she is married to an unbeliever. Let’s pray for her. I think she means well, but something is “stuck.”

    In general, when you see someone who is behaving in a way that dominates/puts people down, it makes me think that they may have been the victim of the same kind of treatment and haven’t processed through it correctly.

    • Anonymous

      Julie Anne – “…it makes me think that they may have been the victim of the same kind of treatment and haven’t processed through it correctly.”
      Your reference to Angela has me thinking the same.
      Keeping up with ‘all the comments’ on the blogs now dealing with the wife & husband’s catechisms is just so overwhelming and I hope Angela doesn’t take our comments out of context but it reminds me of myself just only about two years ago … I just couldn’t process what abuse was within the bonds of marriage and what was suppose to be a Christ-honoring one at that! The so called ‘c’hristian leadership within small local denominations and the well-known ministries like Piper and MacArthur had me convinced of the permanence view of marriage.

    • Brenda R

      Julie Anne,
      Angela seems to be in need of healing, but will not admit it. She did say that her husband is not a believer. I told her through out conversation that I would pray for her and I will keep my word.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      Well I definitely agree, she is stuck. But, at the same time, I think that we are victims as well and we would not let a man abuse us, so why should we allow Angela, just because she is a woman. Ps. Crippen and I have both dealt with a woman who is stuck, but at some point, she will have to come to her own on this, because she will not hear anyone else. In the meantime, I think it is also appropriate to pray for Angela, but not to engage in any of her games. I think that she was abused, but has learned a little abuserese herself and will not apologize for it.

      It seems to me she was even writing here at ACFJ for awhile, unless I am mistaken. Her last comment about the rest of us being jealous because she had been healed by letting it all go, and we all had just not been able to do that, was uncalled for. I don’t believe any of us are harboring and embracing our pain and abuse, we are all in search of and obtaining healing. We are on a journey to help others because of what we have endured and Angela is just in the way, trying to prevent anyone else from getting help. She seems to believe that she has the answer and has obtained her “healing”, but I think we would all agree, she is basically in denial.

      One thing I noticed, was that she was making a place for herself with those other men, by playing the good submissive wife role and demeaning all of us because we have been set free from the false doctrines of abusive men. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in biblical submission. Note: I said “biblical”. I would be willing to bet, that once those men had something negative to say to her, she would turn on her heels instantly and tear them to shreds. Ooops. Am I out of line predicting the future?

      In my opinion, until Angela decides which side of the fence she is going to sit on, I am not going to be interacting with her. People like that are just too easily used of the enemy, to draw us in, suck the life out of us and then mock us. Sorry if that sounds mean.

      • Julie Anne

        It sounds like you are using good and safe boundaries to me, IamMyBeloved’s. Things get very sticky when we are talking about victims who then use the pain they have endured and turn it around to hurt / control others.

      • Brenda R

        I think it is pretty accurate.

  31. IamMyBeloved's

    Brenda, God has shown me this morning, that all of them over there are in the wrong. We simply asked for our voices to be heard, like the martyrs crying out “how long, Lord” and they refused to listen, treating us as less than brothers and sisters in Christ, even less than human, lording over us their power and control, making us beg to be heard and then ignoring every cry. Abuse at its finest. Even treating one of their own as a pastor (Jeff) as less than themselves. May God judge them.

    These men are just exactly what Christ calls them – a brood of vipers, only interested in laying heavy burdens upon people, and never lifting a finger to help them even so much as carry the burden. They are wolves amongst the sheep, looking to devour anyone who does not go along with their own man-made catechism and doctrines, etc. They have no interest in what they are doing wrong or where their own sin is.

    I could not figure out why I felt so shunned and rejected. Part of the spiritual abuse I suffered at another wolf and his wife’s hands, but could not figure it out, until I stopped and just prayed for God to show me what was really going on. He then showed me that they were like Kings on thrones, dictating the things of God, but not being subjected to God themselves. They remind me of the pope and the hierarchy that exists in any false church.

    As for Angela, all I can say is she is one messed up woman. Dying for the catechisms?!? Whoa! The same mentality we see in these false pastors/elders, that says the woman’s spilled blood will somehow atone for the poor abuser and lead him to Christ. Nonsense. Heresy! Angela came back and asked me how she had done anything wrong. I started to copy and paste her comments for her to read, but then decided that anytime I am among false converts like that, I can get overwhelmed, confused and triggered and just prayed and decided not to address her blindness anymore. You cannot make blind people see. We should all know that, having either lived or dealt with abusers in our lives.

    I shake the dust. I leave them to their own demise. I leave them to be judged by One much, much greater than I. I leave them to their own wickedness and deception. Why? Because they love it. We all took the truth to them and they refused it. They said we did not bring the truth to them the way they wanted it brought to them. Even if that were true, they just threw God’s truths out. Now, I will just follow Christ’s command, to shake the dust off my feet, remove my peace from their “home” and move on.

    We are just not gonna win ’em all. We will however, continue to fight the good fight. This is faith. Knowing that God hates evil and loves justice. This is turning the lost parading in christian garb, to what is God’s truth. Some will come and most will not. That is just the way it is. The battle rages on and God has appointed His people to fight it and take the truth. That’s what we do here. We may not do it all perfectly, but it is the call and we do the best we can, while still in our torn, tattered, abused, mangled and beaten down flesh. Today, one way satan’s persecution of the saints is masked is through spousal abuse. So we really do cry, “how long, Lord”, as we struggle to still live in this dark place and cry for truth.

    My only prayer is that at the end of my days, God will just still give me strength to cry out one more time, “Hallelujah!” One long cry.

    A cry for justice.

  32. Brenda R

    I reread the conversation after her last ridiculous post wanting you to prove that she was being abusive. I was tempted to do the same thing–copy and paste. It would not have changed a thing. She is playing the victim and rewriting what she said before in her head.
    You are correct! It doesn’t do any good for us to continue to explain to people who do not want to hear. Time to turn them over to the Lord. If he wants to unscramble their brains, he will.

  33. Brenda R

    They have issued an addenda and have pretty much said that if we don’t see if there way and are skeptical of the scriptures that we are not Christians.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      Oh yes, the old “my way or the highway” mindset. Hmm…where have we all heard that before?

      That’s the thing that is scary with these folks. Pharisees running the show, believing themselves to be the saints and everyone else the vegetative lost crummy souls. Where have I seen that before. Where was that? Oh yeah!!

      The Bible.

      • Brenda R

        laina just added a beautiful response to the women’s catechism that truly reflected Jesus and how He sees us. Amazingly, she took it straight from the Bible. I was starting to think that wasn’t done anymore.

        Many of the scriptures that Meadows used (I have not looked them all up yet) are either taken out of context, one scripture taken out of an entire book that may or may not be pertinent to the subject or I didn’t see the relationship between his Q&A and the scripture.

    • Barnabasintraining

      They have issued an addenda and have pretty much said that if we don’t see if there way and are skeptical of the scriptures that we are not Christians.

      Thankfully, Jesus knows otherwise! 😀

    • IamMyBeloved's

      Brenda where is the addenda?

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Never mind. I found it. This comment by Max was there. It says in part:

        “…Those who oppose it, oppose the very principles of humility and biblical truth that the word of God so clearly teaches. Thanks for adding these verses and thoughts to your original catechism to assist those who were too biblically illiterate to grasp the truth of what you were teaching.”

        Biblically illiterate? I’m stunned.

      • Brenda R

        For myself, I don’t feel that I am Biblically Illiterate. I may have to look for certain things that I want to use, but doesn’t every one. If one is Biblically Illiterate they are either unbelievers or baby Christians at best. I do not believe I have any belief in this catechism with the scriptures that have been provided.

      • Not Too Late

        Sigh…I don’t think he gets it! I wonder if anyone there seriously read the responses to the 2 posts. Simply inserting Scriptures does not make it more Biblical. The devil knows the Scriptures too. It’s the application of Biblical principles in context that is paramount. More importantly, the objection is over the great potential for misuse of such advice by abusive spouses. Just the fact that these guidelines can be misused should lead to greater caution in how the guidelines are worded. Don’t they get that? Or does 35% of the church congregation not matter?

      • Brenda R

        They may be reading but they do not have understanding. They don’t care about the 35% or anyone new who may enter the doors of their church. There are only a few that are entering the conversation from their end. I wonder how oppressed their congregation is.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Not too Late – Ps. Meadows has stated that he intends to come back with some sort of statement about abuse. So I guess we will see what that says. I left a comment over there addressing Max Doner’s abusive remarks.

      • Brenda R

        I pulled up the womens catechism. At the bottom of the page there are old and new arrows. I pushed the new arrow that lead me to the mens catechism and another arrow showed up saying addenda part 1. I’m not good at links or I’d try to put one in here.

  34. for those who want the links to the three posts by Ps Meadows at Reformed Baptist Fellowship, here they are, in the order they were published.
    1) A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism [Internet Archive link] (this is the one discussed by Barb Roberts in this post right here)
    2) A Christian Husband’s Marriage Catechism [Internet Archive link]
    3) Addenda Part 1: Biblical Support of “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism” [Internet Archive link]

    Ps Meadows says another one is coming — which will be the Addenda Part 2.

  35. IamMyBeloved's

    I think where things get sticky with Catechisms, is that they expound on the Word and add a whole bunch of items to one commandment or just pull Scripture verses with one word that matches the subject, but may not be of the same nature or application at all.

    For example, a woman who refuses to let her abuser in the house, can be charged with breaking the 7th commandment, because she is denying him sex and in their round about way of twisting the Word of God, they say that she is committing adultery. They do this, because they as men, have broken down the Word into all these other areas that they make it apply to. They can do this also with the 5th commandment, if a person isn’t complying with the abusive leaders in the church, they say that they are not “honoring their father and mother” which would be that person’s spiritual fathers and mothers. That is how Ps. Meadows is using the Word here too. That is just how they do it, but I don’t think it is using the Bible wisely or accurately.

    • Yep. And you speak from experience, IamMyBeloved’s !

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Yepper! Lots of really abusive experience!

        One day, I am going to reveal all of that. Just will probably need 3 or 4 or 100 days of posts to get it all out there! ; )

    • Barnabasintraining

      Stunning! 😦

      That is just how they do it, but I don’t think it is using the Bible wisely or accurately

      This sounds like an understatement! It appears the word of God is putty in their hands!

  36. 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.


    Just letting readers of this thread know that there has been discussion of Meadow’s Addenda Part 2 over on Jeff C’s post which started this series. So if you want to read that discussion, go here
    This is BAD – Really, Really Bad – “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”
    which is the start of where we discuss the Addenda Part 2.

  37. If a pastor is supposed to preach the truth, but talks in generalities without limiting the application of what is spoken, how is that preaching the truth?

    That’s a quote from Wayne Boyd, one of our readers, on a another thread, but it’s so pertinent to Meadow’s Catechism that it’s worth repeating here.

  38. twbtc

    We wanted to let everyone know that the comments that stemmed from Meadow’s Catechism posted at Reformed Baptist Fellowship [Internet Archive link] [This link was replaced by an Internet Archive link that contains many, if not all, of the comments. Editors.] have all been removed. Yes, every single comment is gone — and there were close to 200 of them. Oh, the catechism is still there, but no comments.

    Hmmm…as Shakespeare’s Marcellus would say, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

    • Brenda R

      The low rating is still there. They couldn’t make that disappear. They wanted us to all go away and by taking down all of the comments in their minds, we did.

    • Barnabasintraining

      We should let Wartburg Watch know the entire comment threads were deleted from 4 posts! They have that “my comment was deleted section.”

      • I’m letting them know, BIT.

  39. Sassinsweet

    Still loving your work. Extra fabulous from an Aussie. So articulate, such a joy to read. I would not think of breaking down all the parts as you do. Liberating because of clarity. I feel God’s love.

    PS. I have recently divorced, and sometimes when I mention a tiny thing that was unjust in my marriage, my dad becomes very concerned that I might be a feminist. The ultimate sin!!! Lol

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Sassinsweet,

      For your safety and protection, I changed your screen name to the screen name you have used most recently on the blog, as the name you submitted with your comment might have been too identifying. If you would prefer having a different screen name, please email me at reachingout.acfj@gmail.com

    • Thanks Sassinsweet. It sounds like the ‘c’hurch has brainwashed your dad to believe that being a feminist is always sinful.

      Brainwashing messages have no nuances — they make absolute claims and give no exceptions. Many people believe those absolute claims. In the short term, it is easier to believe the claims of ‘authority figures’ rather than think for oneself. It is even easier to believe false claims if they fit with the way one already feels and thinks about the world.

      It is far far harder to evaluate the absolutist claims made by ‘authority figures’ in order to assess what the flaws or shortfalls of those claims might be.

      On the Day of Judgement, those who have believed the brainwashing messages of ‘authority figures’ will be dismayed when they realise they have believed lies and it is too late to repent.

      I observe a lot of intellectual and emotional laziness. And spiritual blindness. It seems to boil down to whether or not a person is willing to receive a love of the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2).

      Meredith Miller’s video on abuse dynamics — from the micro to the macro level is excellent at explaining cognitive dissonance.


  1. A Pastor is Challenged after Releasing a Disturbing and Potentially Dangerous Article Directed to Wives of “Difficult” Husbands | Spiritual Sounding Board
  2. “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”: A Rebuttal
  3. PART XXI-E: Christian Reconstruction, ATI, Abuse & Submission – Abuse of Women | The Pink Flamingo

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