A Cry For Justice

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

The Lord Jesus Christ Offended the Pharisees — And He Still Does so Today

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.


Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)

We will be writing more on this passage in the near future, but here are some highlights for this Sunday morning, meant to encourage us all.

When we address abuse in the church, when we come to the aid of its victims, we are going to offend many people. “Offend” is putting it lightly. More like “make enemies of them.”  We don’t really make them our enemies. We simply expose the fact that they are enemies of the weak and the oppressed. Jesus said: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)  So you don’t have to be overtly and actively abusing people to be an ally of the abuser. You simply need to be a bystander, a watcher of evil, to be against Christ in this matter.

Now here is the point for this morning. We hear at ACFJ, along with most all of our readership, regularly tick people off. And with some frequency we have people write to us and say something much like the disciples said to Jesus – “Uh, you do realize, don’t you, that you offended ___________ with your article?”  Many of you have had the same thing happen when you confronted your abuser or went to your church to ask for help. “Whoa! Slow down! You are going to upset people here. You will alienate your spouse. You need to go home and take a chill pill.”

When I was writing the book, A Cry for Justice, I had several friends read the manuscript before it was published and they gave many very good suggestions. Not ONE of them ever told me to “cool it.” One did tell me this: “This book is very good. You realize it is probably going to make some people really mad.” Only he didn’t tell me to back off.  He said “press on and let them get mad.”  He was right, and we did.

“Do you know that the Pharisees were offended…?”  Yep. We know it. Many of the ring leaders of this sect today are simply plants — plants who have not been planted in their ecclesiastical positions by the Father. The truth will work to root them up and they fight against it. All who persist in following them will go down into a pit with them. God’s truth rocks our world. It shows us our errors and sins and calls upon us all to make some mid-course corrections.

We are calling upon Christians, pastors, elders, denominations, theologians and seminaries and authors and leaders of Christian organizations, to make some pretty radical mid-course corrections. Because when it comes to abuse in the church, here is the reality. Most of these people and organizations have been on a wrong course, headed for the rocks, for a long while.

But human beings do not like to be told that they have been wrong all their lives. At ACFJ, we even name names. We say “Don’t get on Captain John Piper’s ship. He is headed for the rocks and he will take you with him as he steers a course of no-divorce-for-abuse-or-anything-ever.” We have had people tell us “Oh, tone it down. You are going to offend his many followers.” They want us to be more like “there is a certain ship sailing from a town starting with the letter Q that is going to a city starting with the letter N, but it isn’t going to make it because….well, because something bad is going to happen. Don’t get on that ship.  Whatever you do, don’t get on it.”

And of course the whole point is that such people think that what we must do is always, always, always strive to make people our allies, to win them over to our cause, to… well, to bring the abuser to repentance and salvation by trying and trying and doing and doing and praying and praying… and most of all, by never offending.  We’ve all heard that line before. It doesn’t work. Jesus said that men and women, churches and church leaders, seminaries and professors, Christian denominations, planted and directed by the Father will hear His Word. Those whom He has not planted won’t. They are weeds in His garden producing bad fruit. Yes, we know they are offended by what we say. Leave them alone. They are blind guides headed for the pit. Don’t go with them.

If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? (1 Corinthians 14:7-8)


  1. Seeing Clearly

    It is going to make some people really mad.

    It often requires very strong emotions within to change the course of one’s life. So, yes, allow them their anger. Let them seethe in their anger (assuming mad and angry go hand in hand). For we must be shaken to the core if we are to radically walk away from comfortable and familiar. If we are to lay down our assumptions and tightly held beliefs, we must somehow unravel in humility, get on our knees in confession, and ask God to open our eyes to a truth that we’ve not seen.

    When church buildings remove the place to physically kneel at the front of the church building it communicates a lessening of importance of repentance. But then, I don’t recall seeing many ministers, or any, actually turning their backs to their audience to kneel in repentance on a Sunday morning anyway.

    These comments come out of a life that has very often sought after comfort, predictability, peace. But I have made the most positive, significant changes only in the midst of reality checks triggered by a developing storm that swept my chair out from under me. At first I was angered by the storm, angered inwardly, then became proactive, and used my anger as a compass. When it resonated with God’s anger, I could effectively change; with God, my not so silent partner.

    Yes, let them get mad.

    • Brenda R

      I go to a church that doesn’t have an alter call or an alter for that matter. They seem to feel that more people humble themselves with true repentance without it. I’m still not so sure. I haven’t seen a pastor with tears in many years. I have seen a young woman who told her testimony of being convicted of something that I found minor, but yet she publicly said that she felt the Lord working in her life and this thing had to go. For her it was major and standing in her way. She is a lovely young woman.

      I don’t try to get people to see my way of thinking or care if they are offended. Perhaps they need offending, but that is between them and the Lord. I spoke to a person yesterday who feels that divorce is allowed for any reason biblically. I had a hard time accepting divorce for abuse, adultery and desertion. Supporting divorce for leaving socks on the floor was not a pill I could swallow and said so. it ended in agreeing to disagree, but I cannot change anyone’s mind. That is God’s job.

      Ps Jeff, I hope that those that found themselves angry for what you have written were convicted and changed, but I am sure that some were just plain angry and unlikely to see their blindness. My mama always said, “you’ll just have to get glad in the same britches you got mad in”. I didn’t like that as a child, but it certainly is true.

      • Seeing Clearly

        I was not recalling the alter call, but recalling the place provided, symbolizing the need to encounter God on a regular basis specifically to allow an introspection and willingness to humility. It is somewhat the same in our homes when we take time to pray before a meal. Yes, the thankfulness is important, but it is perhaps the reminder that we need to stop often during the day to refresh our focus.

        Unfortunately, the pharisees in humanity defiled that place of kneeling so that it became as much a place of pridefulness and haughtiness. And thus, the negativity dissolved the original purpose. Just as prideful, loud prayers have created cause for skepticism when a group prays out loud in a restaurant.

        I probably have stretched this thot far past original intention.

      • Brenda R

        I love seeing people pray in restaurants, which is my practice. What a better place to show humility. A room full of people who may never attend a church service see what you truly believe in. I’ve not ever gotten on my knees in a restaurant but do ask the blessing over the food.

  2. MeganC

    “And of course the whole point is that such people think that what we must do is always, always, always strive to make people our allies, to win them over to our cause, to….well, to bring the abuser to repentance and salvation by trying and trying and doing and doing and praying and praying….and most of all, by never offending.”

    I will never, ever, ever live this way again! What striving . . . what exhaustion and what ungodliness. I don’t think there is ever a reason to really hurt anyone’s feelings (although it happens and it is different from offending with truth), but I refuse to chase after wicked people, anymore. This is excellent, Pastor Jeff, and it fills me with strength to press on!

    • Innoscent

      Megan, this really resonates with me too. It would be the worse nightmare ever to be back on the ‘abuse-go-round’ for endless rounds of desperately striving to bring the abuser to Christ. ‘Chasing after wicked people’ is one thing Jesus advised not to do. I mentioned that verse in a previous post and is so applicable here:

      ‘Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.’ Mt 7:6

      • Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

        Innoscent –

        I’m going to be chewing on that Mt. 7:6 verse for awhile. Thank you for posting it.

        Obviously Christ didn’t mean dogs literally, so who could He have meant other than those who continually refuse to accept His words time and time and time and time again? I think I tried to work with my anti-husband for 15+ years on the Word of God, and indeed – he is now turning and rending His very Word against me, wrongly of course. But … it does cause me to better understand this verse, by living it.

        Thank you.

      • Anonymous

        Titus 3:10-11

        As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once, and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

  3. a prodigal daughter returns

    My Bible reading today included the passage where Jesus made the whip out of cords. He then used it to create some serious drama in the status qua that involved oppressing the poor in the church and dishonoring God’s intentions for His house of prayer. In other words those with a profit motive made it place that is not safe for the vulnerable.

    Today, instead of money changers we now have misogynists that stand to gain power on the backs of the poor in spirit. The poor in spirit are generally women exploited by religious systems that strip them of voice. They do so to the benefit of the hegemony of male privilege and power that people like John Piper endorse in the name of good doctrine.

    I picture Jesus methodically and thoughtfully braiding together that whip in order to demonstrate God’s disgust at oppression, greed, and exploitation. Those with ears to hear get the message, the oppressed hear it as a sweet sound of deliverance.

    May God bless the words that act like a whip, you can be sure those with overturned tables don’t like the sound, but the ones who hear the voice of their liberator sing for joy and know their Redeemer has heard their cries.

  4. Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

    Indeed. As soon as I started putting posts from A Cry for Justice on my social media page, one of my on-line Christian blogger ‘brothers’ wrote to me saying that pastor (JeffC) is “bound to hear some backlash from the mainstream church. Don’t be surprised by that.”

    Comments like that always catch me by surprise. Why should that be a problem? I mean, why even bother to say it. So what if they do? Aren’t we as Christians to be in pursuit of truth? Not personalities or traditions, but digging deep and growing in sanctification as He leads us ever closer to His Truth.

    Secondarily, I would be disappointed if ACfJ didn’t name names. How silly would it be to say, “There’s a popular pastor out there whose name rhymes with Don Sniper. He is a no-divorce-at-all-costs pastor. Reader beware.” Frankly, I’m grateful for calling out pastors by name – not against them per se but for the sake of truth.

    Years ago I bought a boatload of Piper’s books at a $5-a-book sale. I’d rather not read them now. Just because he’s Reformed in theology (n’est-ce pas?) doesn’t make him right in every point (who is anyway?) but as we strive to all come closer to knowing Truth we need to make every effort to get things right. In this area, if the powers that be in the Reformed camp are making gross error in interpretation, mirroring the Pharisees more than Christ, then they need to know – as do we. One would think (or hope anyway) that they too would be more interested in truth than tradition.

    When I first read about Reformed theology years ago, it rose up in the face of everything I had been taught for four decades. My first thought on the matter was, “Can this really be true?” Then I went to the Scriptures, and it was like reading them all over again for the first time. I would have thought that these men expounding the Word of God would want to research the matter of abuse and divorce more closely as well, but I get the impression they favor tradition over truth in this matter.

    • it’s a very moot point whether John Piper’s theology is Reformed theology. Just because a man says he is, doesn’t mean he is. . .
      And anyone who teaches future grace the way Piper does is whacky and has verged towards Roman Catholicism.
      John Piper’s Works Righteousness “Gospel” (Part 5) — Working Your Way Through the Gate

      • Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)


        Going back through the series on Piper that Jeff wrote, I found this in part three: “we believe that Piper’s view of marriage, a very legalistic and enslaving one, is a fruit of his works righteousness doctrine of salvation. The two are intimately connected. And this subject is of vital importance to every Christian and in some ways of particular importance to abuse victims.”


        In today’s Sunday School class, once again I heard discussion about sin-leveling. I didn’t bring up why that isn’t a Biblical perspective in front of the entire class – for a few reasons, not least of which not wanting to start a debate (that from the “all sin is sin” side I could tell was largely based on emotion). After class, however, I did approach the teacher to discuss it, pointing out that our understanding in areas like this affect our walk as Christians, and I gave the example of how my husband could spin the car around in anger with his family in it, and the pastor can say that “Well, we’re all sinners.” That’s dangerously naive.

        The teacher said privately that he agreed that God doesn’t view all sin equally and that he tried to point that out in class, but it seems to go past the ears of some. (The class topic for the past two weeks have been sexual sins, with a focus on homosexuality. A few of the louder participants kept loudly proclaiming “Hate the sin, love the sinner” etc., which is putting forth a straw man argument, I think. I’m not sure of the exact category of logic it falls into, but it’s basically putting forth a false premise. No one in the class was saying to hate the sinner.)

        I think I’ll prepare this week by reading the confessions you linked for me earlier and come to class next week better prepared with Scripture, just in case. I may not engage those individuals because I don’t want to cause disruption or negative feelings in the class – but it’s good to be armed with Scripture in case.

      • Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

        Wow, Barbara. Thank you for that link! What a waste of $5 US I spent on each of his books I bought during that sale. Books like those won’t even go to the library, but the burn pile. Yikes! I”m so glad Pastor Jeff took the time to read and clarify the writing of Piper.

        I’m both shocked and not by Piper’s popularity. On the one hand, there are a lot of popular Christian “self-help” writers, it seems. I suspect that has something to do with our dumbed-down popular entertainment culture. On the other hand, I’m shocked because I tend to think Christians WANT real solid meat and truth, but …. perhaps many don’t.

  5. grace551

    What a great post, Jeff, thank you. There are worse things than offending people – like not exposing injustice and not warning the vulnerable of danger, when it lies in your power.

    I believe your work was given to you by God, and he will reward you.

  6. Brenda R

    Oh yes, before I forget. I am staying as far away as possible from John Piper’s ship and tell anyone who will listen and those who don’t want to hear it too.

  7. Apols from Barb: I only just edited this post now, to give it paragraph breaks etc. Usually that is all done before publication but I’ve been even more busy than usual.

  8. Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

    Sorry, last thought on the matter, then I’ll shut up. These two things leaped off the page at me for what will probably be obvious reasons to most readers here:

    A common tactic in Piper’s teaching: A preemptive strike to create wriggle room for false doctrine; getting readers to doubt their own reasoning [blog post] (part 1)

    Piper has many patterns. One is to say things so many different ways that by the time you think you know what he’s saying, he switches direction and goes at it from a different angle. Very confusing. He goes after time-held positions, replaces them with his own, then turns around and softens his stance….but the next chapter will find him attacking all over again. [Carmen S, ACFJ blog commenter] (part 3)

    These statements make me wonder what kind of man he is behind closed doors. I lived with those very tactics from my abusive husband for two decades. They’re common tactics among abusers – especially that ol’ switcheroo distraction technique. A confused person is easier to control. The same would apply to confused audiences and readers.

  9. Round*Two

    SR, that last paragraph hit home with me! The “Ol switcheroo” simply because my husband was the head of household it was ok for him to explain the Bible how he understood it. The thing is I rarely ever saw him read the Bible.. On Sundays yes, any other day, no. My husband would explain how ‘ignorant’ I was to the Word of God! He has labeled me a hypocrite, etc. Even told me I was involved in ‘witchcraft’ because I listened to ‘ungodly advice’ given by anyone! Christian or non Christian!

    • Round*Two

      He called any advice ungodly if it wasn’t coming from him 😕

  10. Round*Two

    We really to have an edit button on here. LOL I see my mistakes after I hit the comment button.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure that WordPress gives us the potential for that kind of edit button. Maybe TWBTC could look into it? Or maybe she already has and I’ve just had a lapse in memory . . that’s more likely!

  11. Innoscent

    Thank you pastor Jeff, Barbara and ACFJ team for blowing the trumpet loud and clear in Zion! Do not stop in spite of itching ears out there. We are protestant and we will keep protesting to uphold the truth as it is in Jesus.

    I am appalled at how some churches, organisations, counselors, people, etc. are dedicating a massive amount of energy and time to try and minister to the wicked, the abuser all the while the victims are not looked after properly or at all! They really are the ‘blind guides’ who need a complete paradigm shift in their thinking and biblical understanding about abuse. I think they don’t understand what kind of spiritual war we are engaged in… Shocking!

  12. rhondajeannie

    The one I got from Christian friends was ‘will it hurt the Church if you write this book’. In my opinion, and probably a lot of other people who believe that abuse of any form needs to be exposed; if telling the truth hurts the Church wouldn’t that mean there is something very wrong with the Church. I always put Christ’s actions before me, I never read where He went around trying to uphold the reputation of the temple. He exposed corruption, and cleared out the temple.

    • I never read where Jesus went around trying to uphold the reputation of the temple.


      • gratefullyfree


    • Robert Simpson

      Paul also offended the “church” at times, Acts 19:8-9, “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.”

  13. a prodigal daughter returns

    A spoonful of doctrine makes the arsenic go down (sung to the Mary Poppins tune). I bought a case of John Piper’s book “Don’t Waste Your Life” and distributed them in 2007 when the book made a massive impact on me to redirect my life with Christ as my focal point. A friend that loves Piper directed me to his ministry and it did have enough good doctrine initially to make an ardent follower out of me. I even considered moving to Minnesota I was that devoted. I do tend toward legalism and it is so familiar to me that it sounds like truth.

    There were troubling statements here and there but abuse victims learn how to ignore red flags or recast them as “I must be rebellious”. Two things opened my eyes about Piper. His endorsement of the infamously abusive, abrasive misogynist Mark Driscoll and John Piper’s wife comments about her purpose in life.

    My expectations of his wife were high, after all she is a role model of a godly marriage. To my shock her explanation of herself was that she liked to scrapbook and that her life was lived on a bicycle built for two. She took up the back position helping pedal but the guidance and direction all came from John and her job was to hold on wherever he went. I’m paraphrasing but my disappointment in her life and her lack of purpose or personality was a wake up call of what I did not want to become. I thought “is this all there is to your life” is this all Christian women can expect in life, the tail end of the bike, the back of the bus, so to speak.

    Women like Noel Piper substitute a marriage for a personal relationship with Christ. The husband defines their role in very limited terms, primarily homemaking. Thus marriage obedience, is their only true calling. It lets us be lazy in the Kingdom and adopt the view “my house is all that matters” in life.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Good stuff, Prodigal Daughter. Thank you.

    • Still Reforming

      prodigal daughter,

      That’s very interesting to me, because it accurately describes the roles defined in the church I just left. In fact, I distinctly remember one of the mothers tell her daughter at the latter’s bridal shower: “You are now leaving your father’s authority and moving under your husband’s authority.” There was something odd about it to me, since I had worked for many years outside of the home. Some just smacked wrong about it to my ears, as if this young woman were chattel.

      There were lots of things like that about the women in the church, not unlike Piper’s wife. I suppose someone else here put it best – it’s like a Biblized Stepford Wives club, which is hard to recognize until you’re out of it – and if you do recognize it, sometimes it’s hard to get out of it anyway. It’s hard to be the only one swimming upstream and even then if and when you do, you’re pelted with things like “not respecting your husband,” “unloving,” etc. So you stay and flounder rather than swim alone.

    • wow, thanks for that snapshot of Noel Piper, Prodigal Daughter.
      I don’t judge Noel or other women who have lives like hers. I just feel a sorry for them; maybe they truly enjoy scrapbooking and being wives and mothers who takes the back seat on the bike. But one wonders whether they had other gifts as well which were not given much room to be expressed, or had to be squished into the gender-normed box before they could be expressed in veiled form.. .

      • Brenda R

        I read Noel Piper’s books. Well the ones that weren’t for children. She seems to have been right where she wanted to be.

  14. Lisa

    I finally bought and read your book, Pastor Jeff. It was awesome and thank you. Be quiet???? Forget about it!!!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Preach it, Lisa! Thanks.

      • Lisa

        Your book is a written work of confirmation of God’s heart to victims of abuse. I had all the wrong thoughts and applied the scriptures in all the wrong ways until I really began to seek HIM and hear HIM for me in my situation. HIS WORD is LIVING and it was an amazing lesson for me of how we so often take the written Word literally without hearing the Spirit of the Word. God is Good.

  15. Anonymous

    There are SO many great posts on this website but this is one of the best of them. It sums up what so many of us know to be true. That many will be offended by the truth of God’s word and that these people will be IN THE CHURCH. We who belong to God outta be offended by evil–unless the evil one has successfully trained us to deny the Holy Spirit’s voice by forcing us to “think that what we must do is always, always, always strive to make people our allies, to win them over to our cause…” This would be true for most of us here until the time that God woke us up.

    I LOVE how when these people came to Jesus to let him know that he was offending others, he went on to offend them further–in case there was any doubt left in their minds that what he was saying was what he actually meant. And since Jesus was God and knew all the traditions and scriptures and their true meaning, when he responded to these people he did it perfectly–using THIER own teachings to try and teach them. Through the Bible we know the results of this teaching–that many were offended and also that many came to him because they had FINALLY been shown the truth and also because of the authority he had–he was “backed up” by God and the Holy Spirit.

    One aspect of all this abuse that really pushes me is how so many people–once they realize that someone they had previously thought was a “good” person turns out to be evil–rarely go back in their minds or in their lives to realize or acknowledge that the victim of this evil person was truly a victim. They usually stop at the realization that this person is evil and they usually include the victim in part of the blame. They rarely realize that it was largely due to the victim internalizing and carrying the weight of the responsibility of life that kept this evil one looking normal as well as keeping everything going.

    One example of this in my life is my dad. My dad was an unbearable monster socially–offensive in every regard and abusive to everyone. When he and my mom finally divorced and I was left with him, I had been so traumatized by what I had experienced and was so afraid of being homeless that I became unnaturally well-behaved and accommodating. I would never fight with him (he loved to stir up controversy and argue) because I would get sickened when there was strife and I was so shy and hated any attention on myself that I would go out of my way to help my dad appear to be socially normal. What was the result of this? That everyone assumed that my dad had changed and so after many years of me carrying the weight and responsibility of this and when I was worn out and nearly had a nervous breakdown at the age of 15–nobody wanted to help me.

    What did others do when I said I needed help and that I was depressed and had an eating disorder? They told me that it wasn’t that bad, that dad had been worse in the past so I should be grateful. They couldn’t see or didn’t WANT to see that it was ME that had transformed dad’s IMAGE and that it was because of me sacrificing my heart and soul that had allowed him to appear normal. (At the time I had no idea that this was all going on, this was just the way I had learned to survive.) They liked that they could pretend dad had changed and if they helped me it meant that it was all a lie and that dad had not changed at all.

    To this day (nearly forty years later) I am still blamed for my depression and there is no acknowledgement of the abuse that took place. Not one person has acknowledged that I was 100% a victim and that dad was 100% an abuser. My dad learned the value of behaving better publicly and learned to get his abuse fix through other methods–he never changed and loves what he is.

    Thank you again Jeff for keeping on with getting the truth out there. I means so much to me and I’m so grateful for a place to put this.

    • standsfortruth

      Anomyous, I fully believe you regarding your dad being 100% abuser, and you being 100% the victim.
      This type of evil is the worst, because it continues to exploit its victims undetected by others.
      I believe that this kind of abuser is actually employing the most subtle and difficult type of abuse to call out, because it preys on what the passive observer can’t see. Oftentimes it requires the target to believe in herself enough to stand against the onslaught of the abuser’s stupefied supporters, in order to free herself.

      This is “Psychological warfare against the very mind of the believer.”
      As they perpetrate this warfare, their plan is to make the targets doubt their perceptions, ideas and opinions and even their very own thoughts and words, so they will start second guessing their own memory and abilities and sometimes sanity.
      So the believer must know in their heart that it is all a “grand scheme lie” by the devil, to try make them doubt what they know is true, to try to make them to return to the abuse.
      But in reality only following the truth with faith in Christ will set them free.
      And all those who are in Christ Jesus walk by faith, and not by sight.

    • Free

      Hi anonymous.
      I stand with you and SFT and I believe you are the victim 100% and your dad the abuser 100%.

      You said

      (At the time I had no idea that this was all going on, this was just the way I had learned to survive.)

      I absolutely believe you. I see that survival reaction in myself and in others. I’ve been condemned about my not doing enough right, not having faith in God enough, shutting down and confusion and resistance to the abuse and accused that don’t believe in God, accused of returning to the abuser after he “repented” but it didn’t last so it was my fault for returning. Accused of being “sick”, mean, mentally I’ll, too emotional, too sensitive, and ice been beaten with scripture to be shamed and comply. I’ve hear others share those very things too.

      I find it seems I am highly offensive to others just by being present. But NOT to non abusive people. To non-abusers I find a healthy (not fake) interaction. I find respect and reciprocation and healthy and safe exchanges.

      I run from abusers as fast as I can now. There is a cost of doing that- abusers are gossipers, they live for themselves, and they live to stay on top as in in control of others. They love power that’s why they are in churches “to lead.”

      Someone once told me sheep are very stupid animals in that they will walk right off a cliff if they are not guarded and protected from it. My question to that is- But a Shepherd protects so where is the Shepherd? And who dares in keeping the sheep from their Shepherd? How much trouble they must be in when the Shepherd returns!

      Well I’m certain now (that I’ve heard the truth about God and justice and evil and His people), that I’m His sheep and that I’ve heard my Shepherd’s voice now (through the truth) and the cliff those wolves want to throw me over is clearly in sight. I stay close to my Shepherd. Very close. And now I’m near His other sheep feeding them the truth as they do with me, instead of the garbage out there that seems so popular and so plenty. IMO His sheep spit out the garbage and warn the other sheep. Thank you.

  16. Finding Answers

    From the original post:

    If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? (1 Corinthians 14:7-8)

    What is synesthesia?

    Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. The word synesthesia comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). Therefore, synesthesia literally means “joined perception.”

    (University of Washington)

    I have encountered a few people who experience music as colour. I wondered what colour discordant music produced.

    If a person is unaware they are synesthetic, they may be unaware the instrument is giving neither a distinct note or sound. The point of reference is missing.

    If a Christian is missing Christ as their point of reference, they may miss the road back to God.

    Not many musicians have perfect pitch, relying on outside sources to play or sing in tune. If the outside source is off key, the musician must know to search for another source.

    The key is the point of reference.

    • Good analogy about musicians who do not have perfect pitch. I am one of them. I once played in a small orchestra in a church where we were accompanied by the old pipe organ in the church. That organ was three semitones below correct pitch. To play in tune with the organ we all had to transpose our parts three semitones down. It was quite a mind-bender!

      I can tell if someone plays or sings an occasional note too flat or too sharp. But I can’t tell if the overall tune they are producing is too flat or too sharp compared to ‘concert A’ — the note A that all orchestral instruments tune to at the start of a concert.

      I did a singing class with a music teacher who had perfect pitch. The class as a group was singing a song unaccompanied by any instrument. If we got flat, he would immediately stop us and reset the pitch with his voice. I think it caused him almost physical pain if he heard music that was not at perfect pitch.

      There is a lot in this analogy.

      I’m thinking of one application: the difference between reading William Tyndale & Myles Coverdale’s translations of the Bible (which were published in 1537 in the Matthew Bible), versus the translation which was produced in 1560 by the English Puritans (the The Geneva Bible) and translations which came after that followed suit with the Geneva Bible.

      • Finding Answers

        I can tell if someone plays or sings an occasional note too flat or too sharp. But I can’t tell if the overall tune they are producing is too flat or too sharp compared to ‘concert A’ — the note A that all orchestral instruments tune to at the start of a concert.

        Tuning the orchestra crossed my mind when I wrote, though I didn’t include the details.

        And I thoroughly appreciate the way you fleshed out the analogy, extending it to the difference between Bible translations.

        I wonder then…..would Piper and his ilk be considered tone deaf?

      • Finding Answers

        Adding on to my own comment….

        And I thoroughly appreciate the way you fleshed out the analogy, extending it to the difference between Bible translations.


        Since my walls crumbled over one year ago, I have been learning to tune my understanding of Scripture to the equivalent of “concert A”.

        I have accessed different resources, eliminating those who appear to be tone deaf.

        As I progress, I come closer to playing in tune.

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