A Cry For Justice

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

May the 4th be with you — Jedi Mind tricks don’t work here!


Guard: Do you have any identification?
Jedi: (waving his hand) We do not need any identification.
Guard: You do not need any identification.

Throughout this divorce process, I’ve joked that X has a Jedi power. It’s as though he waves his hand and declares, “Everything is Ellie’s fault.” And everyone within ear shot, including me, mindlessly repeats, “Everything is Ellie’s fault!”  But to be fair to Jedis, I think X would actually be a Sith  if he had lived “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”

It’s not really a power. It’s merely manipulation.

I reviewed a recent email from X and several words jumped out at me. They are “clearly, basic, just, actually, in reality, the truth is, reasonable, very minor,” and “last few.” These words are not only minimizing, but are also attempts to define reality. Perhaps that’s the same thing. But anyway, that’s part of his Jedi Sith power, his manipulative technique. He also states, “the fact of the matter is,” “the bottom line is,” and “to be honest” pretty often too. It is so empowering to learn these code words.  While we were still together, those words would have flooded me with doubt and confusion. I would have been tempted to feel guilty about not responding the way X wanted. After all, I was “clearly” wrong. His requests were “minor and very reasonable.”

It required more than leaving him to break free of his manipulative influence. I had to learn a new way to think. I listened to all of Jeff’ C’s sermons on abuse. Jeff C also recommended several other books. I located several that are available in an audio format and listened to them. I read books, listened to Tim Keller sermons, and several other ministers who encourage me. And X’s power over me decreased as my head was filled with truth. I have been learning the traps and the ways I was susceptible to false guilt. I am sure there’s plenty more to learn! God is faithful to provide the resources I need at just the right time. So X’s Sith power doesn’t work here anymore! And I will be equipped to avoid other Siths in the future.

Ellie is now offering a private translation service. For more info email her at EllieCriesForJustice@gmail.com. [Ellie’s translation service is no longer available. Editors.]


This post was first published on 9 Sept 2013 under the title The Sci-Fi Series Part 5: Your Jedi Mind Tricks Don’t Work Here


  1. Still Reforming

    In my stbx’s case, may the farce be with him. When he left our home, the farce went too. I realized this morning that I haven’t woken up with a headache in many months. It’s amazing the clarity that appears once the fog (horn) is gone.

    • Free

      I’m giggling about “the farce.”
      I just daydreamed about seeing the abuser, shaking his hand and saying straight-faced “May the farce be with you.” And walk away exploding with laughter.

      Oh man… I needed a laugh. Enduring abuse is brutal. The aftermath of leaving is another type of cruel. Thanks to God for the truth.

  2. freeatlast8

    Where can I find Jeff C’s sermons on abuse spoken of in this post? I am sure they are on the site somewhere, but I didn’t find them after a quick look. Are the sermons about abuse in the church or abuse in relationships? I have had great acceptance in my church (my ex thinks this is ludicrous and thinks my church is fraudulent because of this), so I am not dealing with church abuse, thankfully. If the sermons are on church abuse, do you recommend my listening to them anyway?

    • Jeff Crippen

      freeatlast8 – Yes, they are applicable. They are primarily on domestic abuse, not church abuse. You can find them at sermonaudio.com/crc and then go down to the “sermons by series” pull down menu in the middle of the page and you will see the series title, “Domestic Violence and Abuse.”

      • Remedy

        Hi P Jeff…..from Remedy, whom you met on Saturday at the luncheon. Since you responded about the sermons, I’ll inquire about the fact you mentioned Sat about not doing many speaking engagements on this and for your book. Where might information about this be posted and promoted that you are available to do that?

        Great to meet you and thank you in person for being a voice crying in the wilderness of the church…..to waken us to the inroads evil has gained to oppress God’s people.

      • freeatlast8

        I have started listening to the first message. It sounds so similar to my own marriage. I can’t listen to the whole thing right now and would like to pause the message to come back to it later. I don’t see any way to do that. There are not any “clickables” to pause it. I can only stop it and then it starts over from the beginning. Any advice?

      • 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.


        I listen to Ps Crippen’s sermons not by downloading them as mp3s, I just click on the words Play Now and then pop up small window comes up and the audio starts, and I can pause the audio at any time. The small window sits on my laptop until I want to re-start the audio, or till I just remove it.

      • Innoscent

        Freeatlast8, I’m glad you’ve started listening to Jeff’s sermon series on abuse, you will feel validated and uplifted! There is the option of downloading the mp3 audio files. I download the whole series onto my laptop. When you click on Download MP3, a pop up window will ask you if you want to subscribe to weekly emails. If you don’t, just click on Maybe Later, then proceed to download the sermons one by one.

    • 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.


      Jeff’s series of 21 Sermons on Abuse can also be found in our Resources — see our Resources tab in the top menu.

      Under the resources tab there is a page which lists sub-pages within our resources (because we have so many!)
      The link to that series of sermons by Jeff can be found in the sub-page Sermons: Sermons

      On that sub-page you can also find a number of other sermons we recommend, and instructions for how to listen to the live web-cast church services from the church Jeff Crippen pastors: Christ Reformation Church, Tillamook, Oregon.

      • Innoscent

        Barb, thank you for the link to the sermons page. I downloaded a few mp3’s but had no success with the pdf by Ps Bob Kerry on forgiveness because the link is invalid.

      • Shucks about the Bob Kerry sermon link being broken. TWBTC can you please trouble shoot?

      • twbtc


        Thanks for letting us know about the deadlink. It is fixed. The sermon in both PDF and audio format are on both the Sermons and What does Scripture Really Say? pages. And I’ve put links here for your convenience.

        What Forgiveness IS and what it is NOT (PDF version) [Internet Archive link]
        What Forgiveness IS and what it is NOT (audio version — mp3) [Internet Archive link]

      • Still Reforming


        I read the pdf of Kelly’s take on forgiveness. There’s much with which I’d agree in there, but a few points about which I am confused. Perhaps you or someone else could please help me?

        Kelly starts off talking about the Lord’s prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” sounds like we are to forgive as we would ask to be forgiven by our heavenly Father.

        But our heavenly Father does not forgive everyone – only the repentant. There will be unrepentant sinners who burn in hell.

        Are we to forgive more than God?

        I recognize that forgiveness does not have the requirements many might think. (For example, I don’t have to necessarily sit down and share a meal with him who I have forgiven, and yet, isn’t that how Christ forgives us?)

        Am I not understanding something here? What am I missing? Is there a forgiveness God has that is different from ours? Certainly all sin ultimately is against God (“against You alone have I sinned,” writes David in Psalm 51:4) and not against us, so there is a difference, because it is not our laws being transgressed, but it can be against us that the offense is directed.

        I don’t have animus against my abuser. I try not to think much about him unless need be, but I don’t know if I’ve forgiven him or not. I don’t know if I’m required to. With respect to the Lord’s prayer, perhaps I am required. I mean, he’s trespassed against me, but even if I haven’t forgiven him, I bear no animus and seek no revenge. Does that mean I’ve forgiven him? I don’t know.

        At a certain point, when my former pastor asked me to forgive a church leader something, I said I may have done, but I’m not sure I have because the leader was requesting a blank check, to forgive him “whatever I thought he had done.” (I thought if someone asked forgiveness it was because he or she knew what transgression had occurred and repented – which is why I said I wasn’t sure then if I had forgiven him.) The pastor replied, “You need to seek the Lord about learning what forgiveness is.” I told him that I had and that it made me wonder if that means my husband (who was then still under the same roof) gets a blank slate because essentially I would have to forgive him whatever he does in the future to me and/or my child. (That’s when the pastor told me I think too much.)

        So I shelved thinking about forgiveness at the time, but I still have questions niggling at me. I bear no animus and I leave my abuser (and others) to God. I just try to live according to what my Lord requires of me. Does that mean I’ve forgiven him (and them)? I don’t know.

      • twbtc

        Still Reforming,

        Forgiveness is certainly one of those topics that christians have twisted into a pretzel. A friendly reminder that we have a TAG for forgiveness on the top menu bar. I would refer you to that. And based on what you have said here this post might be helpful:

        The Lord is Merciful and Gracious: but He Does Not Forgive His Enemies

      • Dear Still Reforming, here is a little thing I do in my own mind to test whether I have forgiven a person who abused me but has as yet shown no sign of genuine repentance. I imagine this: If when I am in heaven I see that person is in heaven, will I be angry, will I bristle at them being there? Will I want to shun them or have contempt for them? No. I will be overjoyed that they came to Christ in saving repentance and faith while they were alive, and so have been translated into the kingdom of light.

        Now, admittedly, I find this little exercise harder to do when it comes to people who seem in many ways to be genuine Christians but who (IMO) have grievously hurt me (or others) by their wrong teaching of doctrine or pharisaic practices. But I have to leave that to God, who is testing every one of his believers and sifting his church, and I trust that He will bring it all out in conclusion with perfect justice and righteousness on that Day.

      • Innoscent

        Many thanks Barb and TWTC for your prompt action. I was able to download both pdf and mp3 successfully. 🙂

  3. virginia

    Great article, Ellie! These phrases are such common power plays, red flags for an unchanged heart.

  4. 7stelle

    I found Pastor Crippen’s audio series on abuse ‘googling’: “sermons on abuse”. Finally!, a pastor not using Scripture to further keep an abuse victim captive.

    I would also be interested in Tim Keller’s sermons; do you have the link for them? Thank you.

  5. Ellie

    I found this sermon to be so helpful Rejecting the Real Jesus [Internet Archive link]. It helped me to really grasp that X isn’t rejecting me; he’s rejecting having a King. When I start to feel despair I listen to sermons and I’ve recently found some Spurgeon books on Librivox that have encouraged me. This one has been particularly helpful. According to Promise, or The Lord’s Method of Dealing with His Chosen People [Internet Archive link]

    • 7stelle

      Thank you Ellie~

  6. 7stelle

    Barbara and StillReforming,
    There was a young man in my life I had a very hard time forgiving for years. I thought ‘what would heaven be like seeing him there?’ I wanted to be as far away from as I could; maybe heaven is so big I would never bump into him.
    Then I had a dream. He was dressed so respectively, but what really caught my attention was his countenance. The lust and shame was gone from his eyes. The anger and fear I felt about him was replaced with a desire to explore heaven with him; like being with a best friend. His presence was non-threatening, safe, and wanted. I was amazed at the transformation in my thinking towards him! It was like God was saying, ‘This is how I see him now through the blood of my Son; this is the real him; you only see the unsanctified parts of him.’ Maybe it became easier to forgive too, because I live no where near him and many years have past. I have often wondered why I could not easily apply that dream to my A-h. Maybe it’s because I still live with him, new wounds appearing, old ones having the scabs picked off them. I just know I need to forgive. I’m thankful that does not mean I have to trust him, because I don’t.

  7. Valerie

    Ellie- YES!!! It took me a long time to catch on to these subtle words and phrases but he would confuse, guilt and manipulate with many of the same words. He did this to the extent that I subconsciously saw him as someone so much wiser than me. (cringe) He still attempts these manipulative word choices, only now I see it. I have also found it so helpful to decode his messages to me. Sometimes it has even made me laugh as I saw it for what it is. It has made me so grateful to God that He has given me wisdom to see through this. Its like having a coat of armor in a way that he can’t penetrate.

    Still Reforming…thanks for the laugh! Yes, the farce is truly with them! 🙂

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