A Cry For Justice

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

Nope! You Can’t “Have Your Say” Here at ACFJ if Your Words Traumatize Others

2 Timothy 1:13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

We have had this happen to us here at ACFJ many times, and recently it happened again.  A staunch “defender of the faith” zealous for “the Word of God” made some comments.  He insists that the Bible is quite clear that abuse is no grounds for divorce. He offered the usual superficial arguments, though as is most always the case he was quite pleased with himself about how excellent his use of Scripture was. We let him have his say in a comment or two, and answered him and pointed him to some resources that would help him come to a better understanding of abuse and God’s view of marriage and divorce. He continued to comment but we did not approve those subsequent comments.  Then, the typical ending — he criticized us for being biased and not allowing open and free debate when someone disagrees with us. Here is, in part, what he leveled at us (which we did not publish)

I see that one is welcome to post as long as one has a view that is consistent with yours. Apparently this is not a place for understanding through truth seeking and commonality but a place for self promotion and bandwagoning.

Well, no. We don’t permit unbridled “open and free debate” of the kind he is talking about on this blog, and I will tell you why. Most of you already know. People like this fellow, oblivious as they are to nature and mentality of abusers and to the nature of the trauma this abuse effects upon victims, have no clue about what their caustic words do to people who are trying to find safe haven and support and recover from abuse. Here he comes, guns loaded for holy battle — announcing with certainty that God in no way permits divorce for abuse. Doesn’t matter that sound and godly people who are superior Bible scholars than this fellow come to a different conclusion, nope — this guy just knows he is right and he is going to set us all straight.  When we don’t permit his traumatizing remarks to be published and unleashed upon all of you, well, here come his accusations against us for stifling “truth.”

So, let me ask all of you to comment on this post and perhaps this fellow will see what our readers have to say.  What can you tell him about how his words affect you?  What happens when survivors of abuse come to this blog and are subjected to “I’m sorry. John MacArthur is right! God does not permit divorce for abuse. The Bible is very clear on this subject.  My conclusions are right and you are all wrong.”

So, Mr. Commenter — go and learn that God requires mercy, not sacrifice. And learn to guard your words. When your “understanding of truth” comments hurt people who are recovering from and STILL experiencing the evils of abuse, then no, you will not be permitted to have your say here. To allow you to do so would be equivalent to letting you go into a hospital ward and preach to everyone there about how you know that the Bible teaches anyone who is sick is guilty of sin. Nope. Not gonna let you do that here.

91 Comments

  1. Barbara#2

    Thank you for making this a safe haven.

    • Round*Two

      This person sounds like someone I personally know. Could it be, I wonder??

      • Jeff Crippen

        They all have the same father

      • Round*Two

        Agreed Jeff!

  2. shepherdguardian

    I see that one is welcome to post as long as one has a view that is consistent with yours. Apparently this is not a place for understanding through truth seeking and commonality but a place for self promotion and bandwagoning.

    Isn’t it interesting this is the same manipulative, sarcastic, unempathic, shaming language used by every abuser to steer conversation away from truth and toward their own delusional, narcissistic conclusions.
    Blessings,
    S/G

    • Scarlett

      Sir, you call yourself “Shepherdguardian”. If you are indeed a Christian, you should know that the home is to be the bastion of safety, peace, love and trust for a woman and her children, and the husband and father, the protecter of his wife and children.. What if, as “Shepherd/ Guardian”, you were allowed hypothetically to be in the home of your own daughter, behind closed doors, away from the public eye; a “fly on the wall”, so to speak, and witnessrd your loved one being brow-beatened, put down, threatened, bullied, verbally denigrated, as well as seeing your grandchildren witnessing the same? As “Shepherd/Guardian”, what course of action would you choose? To stand by, and do nothing? To tell the abuser and your daughter to work it out between themselves? What? Your own words, as well as your self appointed moniker leave me feeling frustrated, and a bit angry. You haven’t walked in our shoes. You are not our judge and jury.

      My feeling about “christian” people, both men and women, who feel like you do, is as follows” “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king”.

      I hope and pray the gentle Jesus will be able to soften your heart.

      • shepherdguardian

        Scarlett,
        I fear I may have been somehow mis-percieved by you.
        I quoted Jeff Crippen’s post in the part that was then quoting the language of a commenter on Jeff’s post. I then responded to that quote.
        I am in agreement with the post by Jeff Crippen. What I was trying to point out was how the commenter on the ACFJ site utilizes “abusive and manipulative” language to gain access, compliance, etc.
        I am so sorry about not wording my response better in such a way to avoid this confusion.
        I hope you will forgive me.
        I will do my best not to confuse again.
        Blessings,
        S/G

      • Scarlett

        My apologies in that case, for misunderstanding, and, for the rather severe response I sent, S/G. Thank you for clarifying.

        God bless you.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Scarlett – I have done the same thing before. Glad you have it all squared away.

      • All’s well, Scarlett.
        Thank you for your understanding and forgiveness of my clumsiness.
        S/G

      • Scarlett, good for you for defending victims! I’m glad you now understand that Shepherd Guardian was merely quoting the words of the man who disapproved of our blog and that SG was supporting Jeff Crippen.

        I’ve edited SG’s comment to make it clearer what portion is the quote from the fellow who dislikes ACFJ. SG had rightly put it in quotation marks, but as an editor who has back of blog access I can set it indented as a block quote.

      • Scarlett

        Thank you Barbara, and I’m pretty sure S/G will thank you as well. Might save him from another misdirected dressing down from someone else.:) Poor guy, i felt really bad about it later. I can get pretty vocal on the subject of abuse.

  3. Sarah

    I pray that God softens his hardened heart and that none of children ever find themselves in an abusive marriage (my guess they are being raised in an abusive household). Also, I pray this man does NOT work with children, young people or as a pastor of any kind. I also pray for his wife — as she is either an abuser or a survivor or both. I pray God finds a way to open his eyes – in whatever mean He sees fit.

    Not to worry – when this man has his emotional meltdown, it will be spectacular. God will show him the error of his ways.

    • Victoria de la Cruz

      My guess is that if his daughter ever found herself in an abusive relationship, she wouldn’t be believed. She would be told to endure, to try harder, that ‘there are two sides’ and ‘you made your bed, now lie in it’.

      Editor’s note: Victoria de la Cruz is spanish for ‘victory of the cross’. Thank you, Victoria de la Cruz, for educating this non-spanish speaking person with this translation. 🙂

  4. Searching

    You will never understand what it is like to be wounded, searching, lost in a fog of pain and confusion, and come to a place like this and feel safe for the first time in years. I so appreciate that we who come here are protected, because for many of us there is no one to protect us where we live. We are daily buffeted and bear it alone. I cry as I write this, partly in pain, and partly in gratitude for this safe haven, which I appreciate more than you can know.

    • Joyce

      What Searching said. She expressed exactly how I feel. Thank you all so much!

    • Kay

      Hi I feel exactly the same. When nobody else seems to care or understand I can go to this site and be encouraged to go on

  5. Brenda R

    I come here for continued healing. I do not need someone telling me what the Bible says or what God thinks. I have done enough praying, reading, listening to different view points and praying some more that I feel good with my decision to divorce and remarry if the occasion presents itself. I am also very comfortable with my singleness.

    I have no intention of debating the subject with someone who has shown they only want to debate so they can prove to themselves that they have the only answer even though they have no idea what they are talking about. That is very puffed up and making themselves as a god. I have no time for such as those.

    I have some different doctrinal beliefs as others here. They accept me as I am and I accept them.

    People here want to heal and gain support. As we heal we are able to support others. God is good in all things ACFJ.

  6. IamMyBeloved's

    Can you point me to his comments he left here? I would like to read those first before commenting on this post. Thanks!

    • Jeff Crippen

      IAM – if you go to this blog post on John Macarthur’s views of divorce and abuse, and go down to the more recent comments, look for those by Shane.

      Addit from Barb: I’ve made a hyperlink to Shane’s comment.

      • Sarah

        Sorry – can you be most specific – can’t find Shane.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Sarah – this is Shane’s comment. Thepersistentwidow and Annie both answered him well. He persisted but we didn’t approve anymore of his comments.

        “I see I’m way late to this party and I’m certain I would be on this sites “black list” of pastors/teachers. That said, I’ve read several of the comments above and in the sea of points and counter points I am left at the end of the day with the scripture. Of which does not instruct anywhere from Gen to Rev that abuse be it physical or emotional makes provision for divorce. Scripture is clear wherever it speaks. Certainly it speaks to this issue.”

      • Sarah

        Thank you!

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Well here is my response to Mr. Shane.

        Sir, if you find the word “marijuana” in the Bible, please let us know. If you find the word “crack cocaine”, let us know that also. That will help make it easier for us to determine whether those items are okay to use or not, whether for luxury, addiction or medicinal purposes. Perhaps you could use the theory that drug use is illegal and we must uphold the civil law as Christians, as far as it goes that we can, because domestic abuse is also illegal and perhaps if you can see that theory, you will be healed of your blindness.

        Do you see how ridiculous you are being in your interpretation of Scripture? Of course we do not need to see actual words to determine Christ’s desires and commands. You do err, however, as abuse is mentioned in the Bible and talked about. Reviler, in case you missed this, means verbal abuser, for one of several examples. Judges also gives a sad but true portrayal of domestic abuse and how God feels about it. Deut. 13 gives great detail about what should happen when an abuser leads his wife and/or children away from the Lord. See, marriage is temporal. Meant for earth. It is not permanent. Jesus’ Words have been so misused by the Pharisees of today. I do hope, that you will pray that God will open your eyes to the deception you are living in, the hardness of your heart, your misunderstanding and wrongful interpretation of His Word, and turn your heart toward Him.

        The pertinent question here is why Jesus would tell His sheep to go ahead and live in sin. Why would God think that being abused is okay. See, it really goes to the wrongful view of God that people have. Staunchly holding to what they believe the Word speaks, they misuse it and rigidly interpret it by their own thoughts and standards. However, context overrides interpretation and that is where we must look. The heart of God, would never desire His use for marriage to be turned into such a sinful union, as is abuse in marriage. That was and never will be God’s design for marriage. Why, oh why, do people who claim to know God, ever think that God is so cruel? I think the answer is that people know words on a page, but do not really know the God behind those words, nor His heart, which means they really do not “know” God at all.

      • thepersistentwidow
      • Still Reforming

        thepersistentwidow, Thank you for the link to Macarthur’s words. I have to admit, I too lived just like that – even to the point of suggesting to my husband directly that “if you won’t talk about the Bible with me, you should at least find a Godly man at our church with whom you can discuss Scripture.” Look at what I was doing to myself without realizing it! I was accepting that he won’t talk about the Bible or God with me, but encouraging him to seek another man. And I did this for his sake, all the while forsaking my own needs (and Biblical instruction to have the husband lead us – rightly, however, not as he would have done). So I did exactly what Macarthur says to do. Got us nowhere but deeper in the pit.

        I wish I could find a church nearby lead by a pastor like Jeff Crippen. I’m in a position now to be able to move (albeit probably not out of state), as divorce is imminent and we will have to sell our house and relocate (I’m thinking gated community, based on some recent stalking-like behavior of the anti-husband). But I fear ending up in a church with the same mentality as I’ve been living with. I guess I’m going to have to just start afresh and move to a more populated area with a wider selection of churches and start talking with pastors to find out how they view these scenarios in light of Scripture. I fear few and far between have the same understanding as those here on this site. Sigh.

  7. LH

    I am soooo thankful for this place to come and have some old wounds healed. I was in an abusive marriage for 27 years; was abusively treated by my (former) church when I finally spoke up; have ongoing health problem still… but God is so good. He took me out of my Egypt, and continues to bring what I need to heal emotionally (and hopefully physically). Keep up the good (excellent) work!!!

  8. One of the beauties of the internet is that Mr. Set-Us-All-Straight can go and start his own blog. I did. Jeff did. Anyone can. He should therefore go and do likewise. Better yet, don’t. There’s too much of what you’re selling out there already.

    The reason I started my own blog came back to having a safe place to tell the truth when the vast majority of websites out there would just love this guy. There’s no place for a hurting woman on one of those Shrines to the Institute of Matrimony, Holy or Otherwise. There’s no place for the man who’s wife is ripping him and his children to shreds on a daily basis. There is no place for discourse. No place for disagreement. No place for the reality of destroyed lives, suicidal children or woman that can’t stand to be touched any longer. Just a bunch of Pharisees, waving their carefully selected scriptures with eyes firmly shut, making the rest of us think that God must hate us all.

    There are plenty of places out there with free and open discourse–but not when you still have victims bleeding out all over the place. The fact that he doesn’t understand that one simple principle means he needs to go away and be quiet.

    Mr Set? Close your mouth and just listen. It’s hard, I know. Give it awhile. If you still have no compassion for the hurting, that’s between you and the Almighty and I’m convinced He will have something to say about that one day.

  9. Lisa

    Almost a year ago I was counseled by one of these types and it nearly killed me. I sought the Lord hard and diligently to be able to let HIM pull me out of the dark pit of despair and to believe He was leading me to safety through the open door of divorce.

    About 6 months after I filed ex was still denying what I did and wouldn’t leave the house. It was at this time I had the opportunity to have a talk with the Founder/Director/Reverend of the ministry I had been working in for several years. For 3 hours I listened to his reasoning about how I was not permitted by God to divorce and that he is not in the camp of believers who say an abuser has abandoned his wife victim. He gave me a “plan” to get ex to move out, but to stay married at the same time. (My state does not offer legal separation.) I tried to explain my position. But I wanted to do the “right” thing so badly that I began to believe his reasoning. Thank God for a coworker who said to me before leaving that day, “He doesn’t live in your home.”

    For the next two nights I woke up sobbing, pacing the floor as I was feeling myself slide back down into that pit only it was darker and deeper than before our chat. I cried out to God and said, “This CAN’T be YOU! There’s that feeling of wanting to die again. This ISN’T YOU, Lord.” The next morning I read someone’s post on FB “Don’t go back down into that pit!” I was soooo thankful to the Lord for hearing me and answering me.

    Well, needless to say, I left that ministry after 6 months as I put into practice boundary setting. Didn’t want to be around that type of person. I was sad to leave that ministry I loved, but proud of myself for recognizing the mindset and not staying trying to prove to myself I should be able to endure and grow through it.

    Anyway, it is very interesting how that manipulative abuser spirit becomes more and more obvious as we “come out of the cave and into the Light.” I am grateful. The writings of these character types are full of that manipulative, legalistic, abusive attitude. You can feel it and it’s like a slippery snake feeling. Such a stark contrast to God’s GRACE which HE has been teaching me to receive. Thank you for “sifting” through the posts. Even though I am at the post divorce stage it is incredible how caustic the words are and how damaging they can be. God loves us more than He loves His laws and rules. I finally grasped hold of the revelation: “Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead FOR ME, TOO! Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.”

    • Jeff Crippen

      Lisa – Thank you for sharing this part of your story. Christ indeed led you out of that place.

      Psalms 40:2-4 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (3) He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

  10. Scarlett

    Amen Lisa! God bless you so very much! I am so glad for the choice you made, and pray that your words will give other women in such painful and distressing marriages the courage to leave and trust God for the outcome. He will do it!
    Anyone who has ever read Coral Theill’s book, “Bonshea” will understand the depth of depravity and evil that can be hidden behind doors of a so-called Christian marriage, and then sanctioned by a legalistic, cult like church. http://www.coralanikatheill.com/.
    Coral escaped, (barely) with her life, but lost all her eight children in the process. Her husband hid behind his church, never “technically” committed adultery, yet in every other way was the very personification of Satan in human form.
    Coral’s book, “Bonshea” should be on the bookshelf of every church in America, in my opinion. I think many eyes would be opened to the truth of whether divorce is justified by God in abusive marriages.

    • Lisa

      Yes, HE sure did lead me out and it did take courage. One day the words of the plaque on my wall just jumped out at me, “Courage to change the things I can……” In that moment God revealed to me that all I needed was to get the courage to get the papers of divorce since I was already divorced by the abuser’s actions. He divorced me….I just had to take those steps to get the papers. I was able to change the legal status of marriage. I thought I was supposed to ask for “serenity to accept the things I can not change….” I had it backwards! I gasped when the Lord showed me that. Just like in the scriptures…due to their hardness of heart divorce was granted. I had a very difficult time believing God would take me this way. We all know [the slogan] “God hates divorce” and we live by that literally suffering all the while dying in our souls. Sure we function because we have to, but the core of who we are is being murdered til you realize you don’t even know who you are anymore and you are just doing what you have to do. That’s not living life abundantly as God wants us to. That’s enduring a type of hell on earth. There’s so much more HE has for us if we take HIS hand and TRUST HIM as HE leads. Listen, be still In Him. He is speaking……Love my pastor’s word, “Your destiny is greater than your dilemma!” Have faith and press on In Him.
      Thankful…….

      • Hi Lisa, I’m adding bit in square brackets inside the text of your comment, and also a link to my post that explains that “God hates divorce” is a slogan, not scripture. I trust you don’t mind. 🙂

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Scarlett. I didn’t know about that book. Just ordered it on Kindle. The place Coral was in with her abuser is not very far from where I live here in Oregon.

  11. He Is Faithful

    What do I hear when someone tries to “set me straight” about what God thinks of divorce? I hear that what happened to me is of no concern to you or to God. I hear that I should live a powerless life because that is God’s will for me, until such time that God chooses to change the heart of my abuser. You minimize the sin of the oppressor, and maximize the “sin” of divorce. I suggest you spend time in scripture studying how God views the oppressed. Change to word “abused” to oppressed. Change the word “abuser” to oppressor. See the heart of God, and then come back and tell me what God thinks of me. If you still say that God does not approve of divorce as a protection for the oppressed, then I daresay you do not know the heart of God.

    • Summed up very well! He is Faithful!! That’s exciting!! I’m going to write your comment down in my journal. 🙂

  12. Scarlett

    Thanks Jeff. I do know Coral has lived below the poverty level for many years due to her ex-husband’s legal machinations. But beyond book sales, her story needs to be told. http://www.amazon.com/Bonshe%C3%A1-Making-Coral-Anika-Theill/dp/1475981813
    I’m not recommending this as a Christian book per se. Obviously, Coral has plenty of reasons to be turned off by this brand of “Christianity insanity”. I commend Coral for the courage, and determination it took for her to endure, and to go forward with the truth inspite of all the hardships, threats, and loss she has been forced to suffer under the abusive legal and fake church system.

  13. Apparently this is not a place for understanding through truth seeking

    This is a place for empathy and healing. Not every blog on the internet needs to be about an open discussion of ideas. What you are suggesting is like an Atheist walking into a Christian church and then being upset that he is not allowed to disrupt the worship to challenge the sermon. There is a time and place for everything, and this is not that place.

    Beyond that, though, take some time and listen rather than presume to teach. The combined experience and gained wisdom on this blog, both in the writers and the commenters, is profound. Does everyone have every truth right? Nope- but when it comes to abuse, I guarantee that those in the trenches understand the topic a lot better than the John MacArthur’s or John Piper’s of the world who talk about this stuff in ivory towers but don’t get down in the mud and experience it.

    Or at least I assume, for their sake, they don’t spout the nonsense that they do having personally experience what abuse looks like in the lives of victims. Because if they had and still teach what they do, then that makes them monsters.

    God is not a monster. He does not create rules and law for our harm. Rather, the law is for our benefit so that if we follow it it will go good with us. I recently read an article about a woman who was beaten by her ex-husband at a trial. You can search for a youtube videos to see here wounds. It defies every reasonable picture of a loving God given in scripture that this woman would be required by God to return to the man who abused her, but that’s exactly what your theology would demand.

    If you have the stomach, search for the video. You’ll see what abuse looks like. That’s what men do to women in the real world. To presume that this was what Jesus was talking about when he answered the question “Can I get a divorce for any reason?” is madness.

    If you truly believe that abuse victims are not allowed by God to divorce, it’s time to get out of the ivory tower and back to basics about who God is. Because if this is the kind of God you are preaching, you are preaching a false Gospel. When we preach to others about a loving God, we better make sure that the God we are presenting is loving by any reasonable definition of the word. Anyone who would look at the woman in that video, or any of the women who post on this blog, and tell them “Reconciliation is reasonable here” is not acting in a loving way, and he is not representing a loving God.

    • This is such an excellent comment. I’d add only one thing:

      After you’ve had a look at that video (assuming you have the courage to look upon the truth of what you’re advocating), open the eyes of your heart and soul and see those same wounds on her spirit. See how she is bruised, bloodied, barely hanging on to life after years of wicked gaslighting, lies, manipulation.

      God sees it clearly. Pharisees, hypocrites, and lovers of the law of death refuse to.

    • joanne

      Jeff, everyone. I am so thankful for your understanding of abuse and your ability to articulate in light of scripture. I want to cut & paste your comments everywhere!

    • joanne

      I guarantee that those in the trenches understand the topic a lot better than the John MacArthur’s or John Piper’s of the world who talk about this stuff in ivory towers but don’t get down in the mud and experience it.

      Or at least I assume, for their sake, they don’t spout the nonsense that they do having personally experience what abuse looks like in the lives of victims. Because if they had and still teach what they do, then that makes them monsters.

      This goes with my comment

    • joanne

      Reviler, in case you missed this, means verbal abuser, for one of several examples. Judges also gives a sad but true portrayal of domestic abuse and how God feels about it. Deut. 13 gives great detail about what should happen when an abuser leads his wife and/or children away from the Lord. See, marriage is temporal. Meant for earth. It is not permanent. Jesus’ Words have been so misused by the Pharisees of today.

      Iam, thank you for sharing how we can interpret God’s intentions absent the word “abuse”.

  14. Theresa

    Edited with corrections to English.
    Thank you for standing up to these abusive and legalistic persons. Jesus clearly stated that anyone who says “Raca” (Aramaic insulting word) to anyone, is guilty of murder. Murder is in the tongue!! Jesus said quite plainly that “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”. If the heart is full of murder (Paraphrase from abuser – I’ll kill your thoughts and rights to know that you are abused), then this follower of John McArthur is a murderer as JC stated. Don’t like the “laws” of McArthur at all.

    Our Lord stood up for woman especially and He showed that women are to be cherished. Did this man have a counselling session with the maker of the woman? As they say, pride comes before a fall!! No to mouth murderers.

    The reason I took steps for divorce for abuse, is that I knew my loving Lord NEVER EVER intended me to have RACA said to me on a daily basis. He cursed my Holy Lord daily, he cursed the fruit of my womb, he cursed my female parts, called me a whore, a bitch, painted me as confused, discredited me on every platform, and to add insult to injury, shouted RACA at my friends, thus alienating me from my friends with his non-stop RACA put downs.

    I will NEVER EVER allow any person who says any form of RACA to me in private or in public to start the murder process again. “Thou shalt not murder” is one of the first commandments. So abusers like this legalistic follow of John McArthur think they can insist on people staying in a relationship with murder as an agenda. My Lord’s word is higher. The soon to be ex broke the commandment, “Thou shalt not murder”. I don’t like murderers as company.

    Look what happened to Reeva Steenkamp. One of her sms’s prior to her death to Oscar Pistorius before her murder was saying that she did not like him putting her down and making fun of her.” His murderous words led to murder. Eliminate the speaker of the murderous words, and then you give yourself over to life, not death!!!

    My Lord is still healing me, but NO ONE will ever say RACA to me again, in word, deed, thought or action. Please pray for me as the divorce goes forward. I left my local church because of legalists insisting on forgiving 70 x 7 times. Except Reeva’s reported sms woke me up. I was dying, and have been ill since 2011. By the grace of God, on my way to full restoration. Borders are up, and murderers are not welcome. To be free after 29 years soon. Still need prayer, lots.

    [Eds: paragraphs and formatting added for ease of reading]

    • Kay

      I will pray for you Theresa. God is going to bring you through. He is your protector, defender and the lover of your soul

      • Theresa

        Kay & Barbara,

        Thank you so much for your response to pray for me. Much appreciated. Prayers are the diamonds being formed in the hidden ground, only to surface later, to be cut into shape by the LORD, so that our flawless sparkle gives him the glory. I had a day of prayer of fasting yesterday, and amongst many matters asked our Lord to raise organisations and persons focused on setting free the oppressed to be raised to our King’s court, for protection of those who suffer and protection of those who protect too. I believe that He is raising me to ultimately give back too.

        Kindest regards,

        T

    • Theresa, welcome to the blog! 🙂 we are so glad to have you here. What a story! I love you application of RACA. I shall pray for you.

      Eliminate the speaker of the murderous words, and then you give yourself over to life, not death!!!

      Amen!

      • Theresa

        Hi Barbara,

        Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.

        No price can be put on the prayers we all need.

        Kind regards,

        T

    • Theresa, you may like to check out our New Users Info page; it has tips that you might find helpful 🙂

      blessings — Barb

      • Theresa

        Thank you Barbara,

        I so value the work you and your colleagues do.

        I know that I ultimately have a calling to stand up for the oppressed, and be there for them in practical ways too. Have a strong calling to up my relationship with the Lord, to “set the prisoners free”

        God bless you all at ACFJ.

        Kind regards,

        Theresa

  15. Jesus' Beloved

    When you live with abuse for many years and finally one day, God leads you to realize what it is that you are dealing with, it takes courage I cannot even describe to stand up to your abuser and say no more. One of the many prevalent things you will encounter is him , his family and friends, and even some of yours, and yes, the Church as well, telling you that you weren’t being abused. You are overreacting. You are imagining things. You are expecting too much. You are lying. And from what this commenter seems to be saying, you have no right to do anything about it and God doesn’t allow you to. Comments like this are as painful and damaging as the abuse itself. These comments keep you in the abuse, and that is a sin for someone to do that to another human being. A large part of abuse is pscyhological torment, and when you tell someone that what they experienced either wasn’t real or doesn’t matter, it destroys their heart. It destroys their worth. Worse, it makes them believe that their God could care less about their suffering. When you say that God expects a woman to stay with a man who does not love her as God commands him to and just put up with everything he does to her without any consequences, that destroys her faith. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve experienced all of this. No one has a right to do this to anyone and if you are doing this, you are fighting against God Himself, because our Lord is very close to the brokenhearted, the oppressed and the needy. In other words, He is close to abused women.

    Mr. Commenter, you WISH that God said it is okay for you to abuse your wife, or whoever you are talking about if not yourself.

    I stayed for far too long with an abusive man because I didn’t think God cared about how I was being treated and that He wanted me to show my faith in Him by staying. I wish I had bothered to ask God Himself what He thought of how I was being treated instead of countless others who were twisting and misinterpreting scripture. I would have left years ago if I had.

    There are numerous scriptures that very directly tell all of us what to do when someone is stirring up strife, is abusive, hard hearted and evil. There are numerous scriptures that speak of how God views people that abuse others and let me tell you, if you are an abuser, you should be very afraid, because God will not tolerate your sin forever. You will be dealt with if you do not confess it to Him and change your ways. There are scriptures where Jesus Himself says to you abusers that it would be better for you to have large millstone tied around your neck and for you to be thrown into the depths of the sea than for you to cause a little one to sin. And when you abuse a child, or abuse his or her mother in front of him or her, that does cause them to sin eventually. That leads them away from Christ.

    Titus 3:10-11 speaks specifically about what we are to do when we are living with an abuser:

    Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

    When people say that God does not allow a woman to leave or divorce her abuser and tell her she must stay and continue to be abused, they are telling her in essence to go against God’s Word and how it tells us to deal with such people. They are telling her to defy God Himself.

    One last word about how God — not people — views abuse…

    When I left my abuser, God provided for me and my children. He gave me a nice home. He protected us numerous times from unsafe situations in miraculous ways. He sent so many people to help us that I’ve lost count. He sent money to us when we needed it. The list goes on. If leaving my marriage was a sin, do you think God would have blessed me in all of these ways? NO. God never blesses disobedience. For this reason I know that leaving an abuser is something God completely supports.

    • Round*Two

      I’m almost convinced it is someone I know! The emotional religious torment!! ugh!

  16. ESR

    “…I am left at the end of the day with the scripture.”

    ME TOO!

    But I come to vastly different conclusions than you do. I am not from an abusive marriage – but God is still teaching me what His opinion is of abuse and a Christian’s obligation to tolerate it. So here goes my most recent realization, and you will have to forgive me for the lack of specific Bible references. I may try to fill them in later.

    The word abuse doesn’t actually occur in the Bible, BUT when you read the accounts of those who have been psychologically abused you often see the following behaviors: Lying, slander, Gas lighting, displays of temper, setting traps, financial deprivation and the list goes on. Basically, God has been very clearly showing me that not only does God HATE what modern English classifies as abuse, but if you have the means to flee abuse – He WANTS us to “Get out of Dodge,” so to speak.

    Lying, Slander, Gaslighting (all forms of false witness, which tend to figure heavily in any abuse narrative I have ever read/heard) – the Bible is very clear A) this is a reason for church discipline B) avoid someone who does this – see Proverbs

    Displays of Temper – Go see Proverbs, but I distinctly remember that it is advisable to avoid a person who has a short fuse.

    Setting Traps – see Proverbs and Psalms

    Financial Deprivation – We all know the verse about giving the beggar in the street your coat, we also know the verse about a loving father not giving his son a snake when he requested bread. Just how do you think God looks on someone who refuses the necessities of life to his own kids or wife so that he can buy himself toys or hoard money?

    The Bible is very clear that we are to avoid those people who choose to behave in this way. If divorce is not an option, how is a person to follow their conscience? Further more, John MacAurther harps on the whole “woman is a weaker vessel” thing. Exactly why does he also refuse to protect the so-called “weaker vessel” and insist that she tolerate behavior that the Bible clearly says we are not to tolerate (assuming we have the ability to avoid it), if he assumes that she has less of an ability to withstand it?

    So basically MacAurther and this commenter would bind people with verses that are a) sparse and b)very challenging to translate, and tells them the sparse/challenging/debatable translation verses override the plentiful crystal clear verses. That’s the part that God keeps reminding me of: It is crystal clear that He HATES abuse.

    So I have a question for you. Are you so sure that God “Hates Divorce” or does He hate the “Hardness of heart” (sin, abuse) that makes it necessary for Him to provide Divorce? Remember, Divorce would not be necessary if it weren’t for hard hearts, and the Bible is crystal clear that Abusive behavior is strong evidence of a hard heart.

  17. Still Reforming

    IAmMyBeloveds – You wrote: “Sir, if you find the word “marijuana” in the Bible, please let us know. If you find the word “crack cocaine”, let us know that also. That will help make it easier for us to determine whether those items are okay to use or not, …”

    I have not laughed in a long time, thanks to having been subjugated for so long and now immersed in the process of my deliverance, thanks be to God. And I cannot thank you enough for bringing a smile to my face with this comment of yours.

    As the (so-called) “man of God” who chose to provoke argument here in comments and sling accusations about against those who run this blog – as he digs through the word to find those terms, perhaps he could look for lightbulb as well. You see, I can’t find lightbulb anywhere in Scripture and so I don’t know if it’s really wise for me to rely on anything other than Jesus for my light. I suppose I should seek my husband’s advise on this matter, since that’s what Scripture says I should do, right? Of course, if he belittles me or tells me a lie or twists my words around, that’s okay because I’m subordinate to him and I should just shut up and take it. It would be disrespectful of me to ever counter any thoughts of his with my own.

    I’ll turn the sarcasm mode off now, because that’s really not my style anyway. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed how you made your point. Well done, and thank you. I need to laugh more. I miss it. Living a live trodden underfoot by spouse, church, and even family can take a toll. I thank God for new beginnings. Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

  18. Barnabasintraining

    I’ve read several of the comments above and in the sea of points and counter points I am left at the end of the day with the scripture.

    I have very little to say to the kinds of people who say these things because they do not have ears to hear it, but a number of things to say about that mentality.

    These people may know Scripture backwards and forwards and completely miss who God is anyway. Some things don’t need chapter and verse, and if they cannot figure out what love would do without specific chapter and verse instructions, I am not sure they know what love is. Do they really need to have a sign in their home reminding them that they must not murder their neighbor? Or how about something on their desk at work reminding them not to steal from their employer?

    They are not supposed to need a bit and a bridle. They are supposed to grow up in Him an learn His ways. They are not supposed to be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. They should not need chapter and verse for everything.

    The one thing I have to say to this man who says “I am left at the end of the day with scripture” is:

    You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of [Him]. But you are not willing to come to [Him] that you may have life.

    At the end of the day we here have the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath — Whom the Scriptures we all have record as saying (as Jeff alluded to), “The Sabbath is made for man(kind)* and not man(kind)* for the Sabbath,” and “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath,” and “If you understood what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

    If you miss Christ’s point that the Law is not to be used to enslave and deny justice to the oppressed and mercy to the afflicted so that the picture’s integrity is supposedly protected (it should be clear that marital abuse is a blasphemous misrepresentation of the picture), then you do not understand the heart of the Sabbath’s Lord. Which is why you do not have ears to hear.

    *I reiterate what I said in another thread that due to Patriarchal thought it is unfortunately necessary to clarify where “man” means males and where it means mankind.

  19. mom

    Why is it that so many “authorities” on Scripture sound more like the Pharisees than like Jesus? The Pharisees were also adept at interpreting the law… but they didn’t know the heart of the law-giver. The heart of Jesus was full of compassion for the hurting and HE (the law-giver himself) showed mercy instead of judgment:

    Luke 11:46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
    Luke 14:5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?”

    So if we’re going to pull a son or an ox out of a pit, why not also pull out an abused suffering woman??? Apparently, Jesus would do so.

  20. Grace

    I am so very grateful for this safe place, where people understand the experience of abuse and do not ‘put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter’, calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20) – judging the oppressed and defending the oppressor, as many churches do. This man sounds to me like one of ‘those who are wise in their own eyes /and clever in their own sight.’ (Isaiah 5:21.)

    I wonder if he has read David Instone-Brewer.

    Jeff and Barbara, you are my heroes.

  21. Everyone is entitled to their view on divorce and abuse, but a site like this, which is like an oasis of peace and safety for an abuse victim, does not seem the place for lengthy debate of different views. There are many other sites where that can done.

    I am not even divorced myself, by the way. At the moment I feel that God is leading me to persevere in the marriage. (Please pray that if I am wrong, God will show me. Thank you.)

    • Grace I will pray. And I respect your freedom to make your own choices 🙂

      • Thank you, Barbara. I appreciate what you say and your prayers very much. Also all the work you do on this website.

        I am sure God will reward you, and you benefit us who use the site such a lot. No doubt you also benefit abused people whose pastors, counsellors, friends and family are influenced by ACFJ and treat them better.

        Please keep going!

  22. Sunflower

    Who else is guessing that someone doesn’t want his wife (and maybe 30% of his best-paying parishioners’ wives) to find this website?

    I think a huge piece of the puzzle is that many of us have been led to believe that we can change someone else. Or that we can expect God to ‘change his heart’. God doesn’t go against His own laws. He has given us the gift of choice and if we don’t want to change, He lets us wallow in it. Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Note that when pharaoh wanted to harden his heart, God even helped him. He gives us the desires of our heart and sends leanness to our souls.

    • soldiergirl

      Shane, I would admonish you to consider how putting yourself in the position of defending these domestic violence perpetrators can affect your ultimate standing with God.
      Remember, the God we all serve is also the “Defender of the afflicted, and oppressed, and downtrodden in Christ”
      In taking a position to support and stand by
      these oppressors to further afflict their weak, weary and oppressed victims, you are alliancing yourself with the very enemies of Gods Word.

  23. His Banner Over Me Is Love

    I was told for years to stay and work at my marriage by the Pastors in my old church. They did not understand at all the abuse that was going on in my marriage. I was told it was always wrong to divorce. It was only years later, when their daughter found herself in a similar marriage and divorced, that they understood. At least they did apologize to me. Unfortunately, that is the only way some people change their opinions.

    • I’ve heard that called Daddy’s Daughter Syndrome — when the pastor only wakes up to abuse and changes his theology of divorce and remarriage when his daughter suffers abuse from her husband.

  24. Kay

    I needed to read this. I wish there were more pastors like J. Crippen. Many leaders think they can help these people but most chose not to be helped. My abusive husband was shouting down the phone at me tonight and unfortunately I shouted back. Why oh why do they think theynhave the right to control, manipulate and abuse another person and then dress it up in biblical a language. I feel so sad tonight as my own pastor who has been so good to myself and my son is now trying to help my abusive husband and dread him coming back into the church. However because of your website and the strength I am gaining I don,t think I am going to buckle. So sorry that even in a phone conversation my son had to hear cross words. Thank you thank you for not allowing this man airtime on your website. How clever to turn it around o you and say you are biased so typical of an abuser. Sometimes when I hear my abusive husband deny he ever did or said some awful things I actually think he doesn,t speak the same language. It’s like to communicate with a foreigner who doesn,t speak English. Thank you again

    • Still Reforming

      Kay,
      If my abuser returns to my church, I’m leaving my church. The leaders haven’t been all that helpful and if they defend my abuser’s right to attend, then our child and I will attend elsewhere. (My abuser and I are now separated.) Said husband-abuser showed up unexpectedly last Sunday at church after several months of absence. (That’s the day of the big annual Thanksgiving feast there, even though he’d told my family he’s not allowed to see our child “by court order” – no one’s yet been to court – and he told church leaders that he won’t return so as to not make others uncomfortable, and yet voila! There he suddenly was again. My children and I left without when we saw him. It feels like we’re being stalked.)

      I’ve already decided that we won’t return to church there if our abuser returns even one more time. People don’t know or understand just how intimidating and scary it can be to have someone feel free to just “show up” anytime – and I’m beginning to truly understand this “entitled” mentality, as if he owes no one anything except to satiate his own desires and feelings whenever he wants. It’s not about anyone else but him. And when we’re so intimidated we leave, then I’m blamed for keeping his children from him (though he deserted us).

      It feels like an endless cycle, but I’m not to fear the whitewashed tomb of the abuser. He’s an empty shell, but my Lord left an empty grave, and in Him is my deliverance and all of my trust. He’s given me wisdom thus far. I shan’t doubt Him now.

      If your pastor is going to try to ride two horses at the same time (support of you and your son, as well as supporting your husband-abuser), then perhaps it’s time to think about switching churches. Your pastor can’t support the both of you – at least not with any intellectual honesty before you and before God. I’m learning this same lesson the hard way, but it’s okay. I’ve prayed for deliverance from my abuser and from my church (for this and other reasons), and in the Lord’s timing, He’s delivering.

      • Theresa

        Hi Kay,

        My soon to be ex too did a dirty at the church too. He had not attended for donkeys years, because they were all hypocrites and well, he was perfect!

        Then the church prayed for a healing of our marriage, knowing full well that he had offended many in the church.

        To the credit of the senior pastor, he disbanded a Bible study group that the ex suddenly started attending when he was kicked out of our home. He used that group as a platform to paint me black.

        So, no problem to the soon to be ex, he joined another group in the same church. I don’t go there anymore, and yes, he is winning many over to his “changed ways”.

        After a day of prayer of fasting on my side for my children and I, the Lord suddenly de-throned Mr. I am in charge of our fnances, by having him made redundant. So yes, I do have extra financial challenges, but his power base is gone…..

        He who harms you sticks his finger in Jehovah’s eye.

        Holding you up too.

        Kind regards,

        T

  25. Annie

    To Mr Commenter who says:

    I see that one is welcome to post as long as one has a view that is consistent with yours. Apparently this is not a place for understanding through truth seeking and commonality but a place for self promotion and bandwagoning.

    My personal response:

    I see that one is welcome to post in your mind as long as one has a view that is consistent with yours. Apparently your mind is not a place for understanding through truth seeking and commonality but a place for self promotion and bandwagoning.

    Bare assertions sure sound silly because you can easily turn them around.

  26. “So, let me ask all of you to comment on this post and perhaps this fellow will see what our readers have to say.  What can you tell him about how his words affect you?”

    Words like his attempt to drown out the voice of God. They are words of bondage because they guilt us into staying in our private dungeons out of a manmade fear instilled in us that says we are disobedient if we divorce. We submit to the abuse because we love God so much we can’t bear to break our promise to him.

    Once we get away from the false doctrine of eternal marriage, we begin to really examine what God meant marriage to be. In that process we learn that the heart of God is not hard like our spouse’s. God has compassion and cares about the state of our spirits…He desires for us to be light, loving hearts that live and act in truth and courage.

    Through emotional and psychological abuse, I was reduced to a mere shell of who I was before marriage. Now that I am no longer under his total control, my spirit is reviving…it is safe to shine again. I cannot believe our God desires us to hide our inner light, which is His own creation, for the sake of an institution.

    Abuse is attempted murder of the spirit.

    • “Through emotional and psychological abuse, I was reduced to a mere shell of who I was before marriage.”
      Me too. I felt like one of those cardboard dolls that you used to be able to buy when I was a kid. The book contained few cardboard dolls which you pressed out of the pages (the edges of the dolls were dotted lines that had been part cut through already) and you could make them stand up on the table by little stands. And there were lots of cardboard clothes with folding tabs. You presseed out the clothes and put the clothes on the dolls, holding them on the shoulders and waists with the tabs. It was fun to dress the dolls as a seven year old. It was not fun being one in my thirties. . ..

      • Being treated as an object is so damaging! It is so sad that we lost our self-value (for a time) as a result of such treatment.

        During the marriage, I expressed in therapy and even to my husband that I felt like a piece of the furniture. I honestly could not figure out why at the time. Now I see I was only attention worthy when “new” and after that taken for granted until there was some problem that required him to do something…usually resulting in his bad mood. I was a non-person to him, and I am starting to think this is how he views everyone, which explains his lack of friends.

    • Brenda R

      Abuse is attempted murder of the spirit.

      Well said!!!

    • anotheranon

      I remember thinking many times–my husband kills me (emotionally, verbally) every day. Things are better now, praise God.

      • So glad things are better for you!

  27. marriedtomyself

    It sickens me to read the thoughts of “Christian” men who think a woman should not be able to divorce her abuser. It puts all abused women in a inner turmoil and she feels trapped in a prison by this kind of thinking while the abuser is enjoying his life at the expense of his wife, all in the name of religion. God wants relationships with us not religion. Religion is evil!!! He obviously don’t have a relationship with God because if he did, he would not think it was ok for women to stay in a abusive marriage!! God don’t abuse His children so why do abusers think its ok to abuse their wives??? I’m so glad I found this blog, it calls out evil without apologies.

  28. This post got a lot of comments, didn’t it! Jeff, thanks for hitting the nail on the head.

    And to Shane, though I suspect he is too proud to read it:
    If you had taken the trouble to read our publishing policy before you lambasted this blog, I suspect you might have been spared the ignominy of having been so thoroughly denounced and trounced in this thread.

    Well done to all the great commenters who’ve added to this thread! 🙂

  29. andrea

    This man appears to be beligerantly “proud of his humility” and knowledge of the bible and seems to be looking to more than likely justify his own abusive behaviors. He is obviously a bully and feels extremely entitled to voice his opinion and declare he is right no matter what the Word of God really says, or anyone else for that matter. And when someone is that much of a bully publicly, you can be sure they are many, many times worse at home with their family. His arrogance betrays him. Maybe he should stop trying to look for loopholes in the Bible to justify his ill behavior and begin studying up on pride, its many downfalls, what God says about the hardness of mens hearts (abusive behavior) and how a man is to treat his wife.

    Unfortunately, I live with an abuser. Ive been married to him for 20 years. My husband was a pastor of a church. He hid behind the pulpit for yrs and put on a beautiful show in public until he finally assaulted me to the point of having to be exposed. He was eventually convicted of a Class C felony for what he did to me. So I know the ins and outs of how a so-called “bible believing” abuser behaves and the arrogance that motivates them to twist the Word of God into what they want it to say. And this fellow most definately has the markings of one.

  30. StandsWithAFist

    For Mr. Commenter:

    “Woe to you, Chorazin! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”

    So said Jesus in Matthew 11 & Luke 10. Hmmm……the Bible from “Gen to Rev” has no record of miracles performed in Chorazin. Imagine that! Are we to think that Jesus was a liar? No, wait! John 20 refers to many “unrecorded miracles” of Christ, so that can’t be right. We know Jesus told the truth. Therefore, we have to apply what we know to be true to stay on the right path to truth. Duh.
    Anyway, Jesus deliberately made a whip and took it the the church to get His point across. Talk about “non-verbal communication”! He actually got angry! He flipped over tables & threw money out the window & chased people for abusing the Temple. So here’s a thought: If Jesus was so worked up over profaning the Temple then I think it’s safe to say he also hates those who abuse our body, which is now the temple of the Holy Spirit. He hates it when people hurt the body….as in abuse. Can you follow the parallel, Mr. Commenter? Because we really ARE supposed to apply the metaphor to get the idea.
    Meanwhile, back to Jesus b/c He was just getting started: He got so ticked off at those lazy, unrepentant cities that He openly criticized them and then…..(wait for it): Jesus “divorced” Chorazin. Say wahhht??? Yup. Then Jesus “divorced” Bethsaida! Yikes!! And Capernaum? Well, He sent Capernaum to straight to Hades. Horrors! And He quit doing miracles altogether in His hometown, Nazareth, because they were abusive, unbelieving judgmental jerks. In fact, He never returned to those cities. Nope. They had their chance.
    Then He told his disciples if they were being persecuted for telling the truth, to flee that town and get the heck outta there and keep going. And He actually suggested drowning people who hurt the vulnerable (wives, kiddos, disabled), even saying a heavy stone should be chained around their necks to make sure they won’t come back–that’s some serious punishment for abusers. Heck, that’s worse than divorce! Oh yeah, and those holier-than-thou Scribes & Pharisees? The ones who “tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.…”, He divorced them too, condemned their behavior, exposed their duplicity and told the people not to listen to them.
    He saved the best for last and went to the cross and took all the abuse so we wouldn’t have to… ever. And He died and was resurrected and divorced death, too. No more human sacrifice, b/c Jesus says so.
    I’m listening to Him, not you. I’m free in Christ. The Bible tells me so.

    • Theresa

      To this commentator,

      So well said. Thank you, you are re-affirming my faith in the educated sector of human kind.

      Kind regards,

      Theresa

  31. When you are married to a golden tongued abuser, you are in a continual fog of confusion, as your words are turned against you as soon as you say them. Then after a while, your own thoughts condemn you because you turn yourself into tiny circles thinking everything through over and over trying to avoid “error” as you walk on eggshells and try to do everything perfectly.

    I remember those days, even though they are far behind me. If this blog had existed for me then it would have been such a refuge! I am very glad you moderate comments. This is a wonderful place for the oppressed, the hurting, the gaslighted.

  32. This site is a sanity saver – literally. Every day I have to resist being brainwashed by the antihusband. It’s like being a POW. He would love it if I developed depression or worse cause then the lies that he tells family and friends that I’m psychologically unstable would be lies no longer, and he would have the perfect scapegoat to ‘our’ problems. I am enormously grateful to the people that make this site what it is!! Thankyou from the bottom of my heart!! ‘By their fruits you will know them’ the legalistic, judgemental types have no fruits of support to offer abuse victims, only cold stone hearts. They bask in their self imposed ignorance and blindness. Unless and until the horror comes to touch them personally. Only then do they understand what it’s like to be on the other side of the Conspirancy of Silence, desperately searching for the refuge and support that is so rare…

    • NotHeard, I agree with all you say. I have prayed for you, including that God will protect you from depression.

      I think your screen name is very good. It certainly expresses how I have felt – including by my pastor, unfortunately.

      This site is a sanity saver for me too. I think it’s the truth I find here as well as the support and safety. It would not be such a haven if people like Shane were allowed to go on and on – I am so glad they are not.

    • Still Reforming

      NotHeard, I feel exactly the same way. Every tiny thing I might do or say is scrutinized and held up as if I’m torturing the “anti-husband.” (That’s great. Do you mind if I use it too?) He can do whatever he wants and it’s assumed okay because he’s the authority who must be respected, while I’m called “the nagging wife,” “the dripping faucet,” “unmerciful,” “unforgiving,” etc. And those labels have no factual basis, but it doesn’t matter. They can be used because he’s wielding the Word of God against me. This website has done more to help clarify what I’ve lived with for decades now than all three marital counselors and all pastors with whom I’ve spoken combined. This site has encouraged me and shored me up for the battle ahead. And it is a righteous one.

      I’ve pondered over the past few months why mercy and forgiveness are so touted at the expense of justice and judgment especially by the church, but also by biological family and (so-called) friends. The only answer I can come up with that makes sense to me is (sadly) the same reason behind the anti-husband’s actions – albeit perhaps to a lesser degree – and that is control over others. Power also. Blaming and/or judging the victim over the abuser gives the judge (church) and jury (others) a sense or feeling of superiority and/or control or power. I think it makes them somehow feel better, because to come alongside the victim (like the good Samaritan) is messy. It’s mired in details, which I’ve been told flat out is not of interest to some in the church. It’s ugly. And it messes with their “theology” – one of patriarchy and power over the family, which can be used as they see fit in their own eyes, not God’s, but they can justify it by His Word. Woe be to them that call evil good and good evil.

      • I really appreciate your love and care, Grace! Good points Still Reforming. It challenges their little comfort zone/virtual reality to think of getting their hands messy. The thing is, sometimes life gets messy!! Unfortunately (or fortunately…depending on your perspective!) that’s when we find out what’s real and what’s illusion. Sometimes (often?!) Christians spend more time looking right, that they lose focus of being real. Thankyou for all the support!!

  33. gettingfree

    Thank you, ACFJ, for caring for and shielding your readers who are trying to heal from abuse from further trauma o these kinds of hurtful and comments that violate God’s heart.

  34. Gary W

    Having now waded through David Instone-Brewer’s “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible,” I am struck by how little Scripture has to say about grounds for divorce. Surely this is because our Lord is more concerned about that which constitutes the substance of divorce than about the grounds for seeking legal recognition of the fact of divorce. The substance of divorce is any act or omission that destroys the relationship between husband and wife. Lisa (11/26/14 @ 9:33 a.m.) is quite right when she says all she needed was to “get the papers of divorce since I was already divorced by the abuser’s actions.” God actually commands those who have committed divorce to grant a certificate of the fact to the betrayed spouse. If a spouse who has been divorced in substance is denied a certificate or decree recognizing the fact of divorce, they have been reduced to involuntary servitude.

    In it’s infamous 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially established the enslavement of blacks as the law of our nation. Those who would now deny a certificate/decree recognizing that a marriage has been destroyed by abusive acts are, in every sense that counts, making the abused spouse a slave of their abuser. In so doing, they participate in the same level of moral turpitude as was so callously perpetrated by the Justices in the Dred Scott decision.

    Yes, Shane, I am speaking to you. And to every “Christian” teacher and pastor who would, with you, enslave already-divorced-in-substance spouses to their tormentors. It is difficult to think of a more devilish position.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Gary. Well said!

    • soldiergirl

      Thankyou Gary, im sure I and many others wholeheartedly applaud your reply here.
      A truly refreshing comment from another man against the evil that has set its teeth against the women in the churches.
      I pray that God gives you the continued strength and wisdom to support us with your encouraging words.

  35. Valerie

    Pastor Crippen, I know you had good intent when you asked us all to share what words like his do to us but it is a useless effort, as you know. People who want to add more weight to the targets of abuse instead of looking for understanding of the issue are wise in their own eyes and have no desire to learn what this kind of mentality does to us. He will not be found here scouring the posts to see what he can glean in wisdom, instead he will scour the posts to see what he can call us out on.

    I call the Shanes of this world “poke and run”. They enjoy poking their sharp edged weapon through the bars we feel caged in and if we dare ever stand up in any way they just run. They enjoy the poking. I have no time for people like that in my life any longer.

    I haven’t been active here recently because the weight of my current circumstances has been too heavy lately to reach out to anyone much. With new garbage my abuser is hurling at me it has taken most of the energy I have keeping my head above water. The Shanes of the world don’t want to understand what this means but I know you all here do. The Shanes of this world only make me want to go back to bed and pull up the covers in a state like this.

    Thank you for making this a safe haven. This isn’t intended as a drive through restaurant where anyone and everyone can come in and kick their feet up to shout out whatever comes to mind. This is a shelter….a recovery room for those who have been beaten down in various ways. Even in a hospital you hold the right to refuse entry for people who you know will inhibit your recovery.

    • Brenda R

      Valerie,
      I am sorry to hear things are not going well for you. I do love your use of the term “recovery room”. That is exactly what it has been for me. The encouragement and Biblical truths have blessed my life. I pray that you will see the light at the end of the “Tunnel” soon. I do so love that song. There is light beyond the darkness. ((((HUGS))))

    • Even in a hospital you hold the right to refuse entry for people who you know will inhibit your recovery.

      Amen!
      And sorry to hear how you’ve been so weighed down, Valerie. (((hugs)))

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