An Abuser Showed Up at the First Church as Soon as It Opened: And He’s Still Doing it

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.


Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:1-7)

Christians really have no excuse for being naive about the evil of abuse and other forms of wickedness creeping in among them in their churches. No excuse. Right at the get go of Scriptural revelation we have the fundamental model of the serpent’s method and tactics exposed for all to see. There was a perfect church with NO sin in it. None. Only had two members, but there it was. Filled with the Spirit and blessed with the regular presence of God. And it was a beautiful, wonderful place.

And what happened almost immediately? Evil showed up. The serpent, the devil — more crafty and diabolical and deceptive than any other creature. He came to church. He spoke up in the place of worship, and he was permitted to speak as a “guest preacher.”

Presenting himself as a thing of beauty, he began to do what he does best — lie and kill. He countered God’s truth, and the congregation listened to him. They didn’t expel him. They didn’t kill him as they should have. They gave him the pulpit and he got them.

Now let me ask this of every Christian, every pastor, every Christian teacher — just what makes us think that he hasn’t been about this very same business all down through church history and in the churches of our present day? In YOUR church? Don’t answer too quickly. I can hear many people saying “Oh yes, Amen to that brother!” But voicing agreement is easy. What I want to ask is, what are you doing about it? What have you done about it? Who are the enemy’s agents in YOUR church, speaking against God’s truth, spreading soul-killing lies and a false gospel, teaching as God’s Word the mere traditions of men?

I was recently told a true story that illustrates what is going on like a plague in our churches. A church, after many years of being subjected to the evil, deceiving, destroying tactics of a wicked man, woke up to what was happening, consulted God’s Word on the matter, and put that agent of the enemy out of Eden. Yes, Eden. That is what our local churches are supposed to be. Did you know that? We are supposed to emulate Eden and the New Creation as a witness to this world of Christ. The church I speak of did just that. They did what Adam failed to do. They put the evil out from their midst, and the Lord blessed them for it. This was no spur of the moment action. It came out of a genuine awakening to the nature of evil, much like an abuse victim experiences when she begins to come out of the deceptive fog of abuse.

But the story I heard goes on. Some professing Christians from another church heard about this and commented on the matter. What do you suppose they said? “Oh, I just don’t think that was right. We must all forgive one another and be patient with one another. Why, we have never ever done anything like that in our church.” And I imagine they never had put a wicked person out of their church.

I want to ask — is it not true that in reality many local churches today and the members who fill their pews, really ultimately would have disagreed with Adam and Eve if they had expelled and even killed the serpent? Why, even the devil believes God is one, right? He holds true theology, doesn’t he? He is one of God’s creations, correct? And yet right smack on the very opening pages of God’s Word, we have it. Evil comes to church. Evil preaches theology and claims it is God’s Word.

And evil will, if permitted, take people straight to hell.

21 thoughts on “An Abuser Showed Up at the First Church as Soon as It Opened: And He’s Still Doing it”

  1. Yes, most would have and continue to disagree with Adam and Eve. The tactics of discrediting the truth tellers have been sharply honed by centuries of false teachings labeled the correct teachings. (c)hurches set the stage for this brainwashing by giving permission to leadership to be absolute authority. Give a human permission and a paycheck to be authority over God’s Word opens the door for a subtle exchange of heart and belief that their words carry more power than God’s. It is this gradual usurping of power that satan grooms in the heart and mind of those who love the platform to tell half of the lessons of Eden.

    1. This rings true also in the home. The home is the foundation of Gods plan. If there is evil in the home, He can and will lead the family into his deception. And please believe me. I lived with one for decades and trusted his leadership. I loved this abuser – backed his sin and covered his lies. He left one day and told his church and my kids I kicked him out. Played the victim to his advantage.

      The evil is out there masquerading as light. They hide in the church. They preach behind a pulpit. They spew false doctrine. Money and power is the tool that drives their flesh for more.
      They are crafty and will do and say anything to hide their appetite. God knows and sees all things!

      I for one am thankful for the intense trial. If not for God’s abiding spirit within I would be in bondage. Breaking free from abuse is not easy. In fact it has been the most difficult thing I have experienced. Into the light

      1. I experienced the abandonment / kicked out lie too…except he spread that falsehood at work because money is his god.

        Funny thing, he told the same lie to me about his first wife. I was too uneducated about these wicked tricks and took him at his word.

  2. Money and power is the tool that drives their flesh for more.

    —This is my anti-husband. The people he keeps company with at church are the top wage earners. One man is in an industry a-h wants badly to be a part of: even higher wages & excellent benefits & travel. He wiggled his way into this man’s life through our child, who is best friends, with the man’s child. A-h gives him a generalized sob story saying, “All I want is a good marriage.” This from the man who rages, calls me names, has physically attacked me & financially abuses me, has falsely misrepresented me to our children & abandoned me in times of severe illness.

  3. Do I dare share this article with the churches that have enforced forgive and forget and submit to abusive relationships?
    Thank you for more truth, Pastor Jeff.

  4. I actually took some action. I told my team leader for the ministry I serve that I didn’t want to work with Mr. Z because I discovered online that he defended the reputation of an admitted child abuser he personally knew. He is either spiritually blind or also wicked himself. Neither possibility made me sit easy.

    Maybe it wasn’t much, but it was a start. Keeping silent and gritting through serving with him would have been easier, but I want my church and my service to be an Eden, so I piped up.

  5. We call it the sanctuary, but church is no sanctuary when wolves are eating the lambs while dressed in their sheep disguise. Can it be that church is a sanctuary for perpetrators, but not their victims? The lack of discernment in those that should protect the vulnerable in their midst is a call that sounds like this “Come wolf in sheep clothing, here are some trusting lambs you can have. we will protect you while you devour them”.

    1. And really, if we let wolves in and they run the show at what point is it no longer the sanctuary of the Lord? I wonder how many local churches no longer have Christ in their presence?

      1. The protection and thriving of abusers and the persecution of their victims is just a symptom of how sick the body is. The lack of discernment about wolves, heretical doctrines and abuse is a massive reveal of how far from Christ many churches are. We are not reproving the works of darkness or having “nothing to do with them” but looking for a way to get by with as much ungodliness in our personal lives as possible. Greed, yes. Lukewarm, yes, secret sins consuming lives, yes… Hence, a powerless, dull of hearing and blind church. May God give us grace for the house cleaning He must unleash to purify what we call church.

        Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (9) (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) (10) and find out what pleases the Lord. (11) Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (12) It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. (13) But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. (14) This is why it is said:

        “Wake up, sleeper,
        rise from the dead,
        and Christ will shine on you.”

        (15) Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,

  6. I truly believe that God lead me to the church I now attend. I went to church in the same town with my Covert Narc h for over 30 years and whenever I mustered up the courage to tell a pastor that I wasn’t living with the person, Christian he saw at church – I was politely ignored! It was as if I had said nothing at all to no one.
    So, when I met with the assistant Pastor at my current church and explained who my Narc h was and what I had lived, and that we were now separated. I told him my priorities were that I be believed and that action would be taken to protect me, if necessary. He absolutely made both of those promises to me. Praise God!
    While listening to the Senior Pastor one Sunday, he quoted John Piper, yikes! I could feel the entire sanctuary go silent and the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I know that name and that celebrity pastor and it’s not good, not good at all for my Pastor to be quoting him. I couldn’t even remember the quote, but it triggered something in me and I had to do something about it or not go there anymore. I knew the latter would not be my choice. I still believe God sent me here.
    I had a meeting with the assistant Pastor on another matter, but I went to this blog, (thank you! thank you!) and searched the articles written on John Piper and when I met with him, (my pastor) was armed with the truth. I explained the situation on that Sunday and told him that quoting John Piper was not a good idea and here’s why, and handed him the articles I had printed out. He said he would read them and take them to the Senior Pastor. I told him I would like to hear back about it and the conclusion that was made, and he assured me that he would.
    I haven’t heard back yet, but am hoping to soon. After being in an abusive relationship, trust is a rare commodity, and it must be proved out in action – not just spoken. I pray these Pastors come through…..I really do.

    1. well done, Survivorthrivor2! You might want to consider what you will do if the senior pastor doesn’t give you any feedback on the posts about Piper that have been given to him. To me, it wouldn’t be acceptable to be just given the silent treatment. I would be politely pressing for some definitive response from him. Or for him to be willing to engage in a discussion with you about it.

      1. Herjourney,
        Oh, much has been written about Piper — too much to be said in a single comment. But in summary — he is not the abuse victim’s friend.

        We have many posts that expose Piper’s works righteousness theology, his permanence view of marriage, and how his doctrine encourages abuse. On the top of the side menu is a “search” bar. Type in “John Piper” and it will lead you to the many posts we have on him. There is also a tag called “John Piper”. The tags are found on the top menu bar. Using the tags as a search will also show you posts that are not directly about Piper, but that do mention him in the post.

      2. Thank you!
        I have listened to many of his sermons.
        What was disturbing to me was his view on sexual addiction.
        He has stated that if a husband is viewing porn.. The wife does not have a biblical right to leave the home where the porn might be an addiction. I felt uneasy about his stance. My own personal story might add some light to his reasoning. And of course
        He always backs his beliefs by scripture.

      3. I felt uneasy about his stance.

        I believe we need to listen to that “uneasy” feeling more. Too often we ignore it or push it aside – when in fact it may be the Holy Spirit directing us away from evil.

      4. Amen
        I believe your statement is right on.
        I can say this
        The more faithful a believer is to Jesus. The more the Holy Spirit wants to show His power through His vessel.
        The Holy Spirit has shown me incredible things.
        Either through the gut feeling.
        Or, by what I see with spiritual eyes.

      5. And of course he always backs his beliefs by scripture.

        But he cherry-picks scripture to do so. His interpretations are faulty because over-emphasizes some texts and underplays or ignores other texts.

      6. Thank you Barbara, I will definitely press for an answer (politely), on John Piper, but, ultimately I am praying for dialogue on the subject of abuse in churches. I am encouraged though, having never gotten this far before in a church. God is so good and faithful and I am expecting miracles!

      7. That is the question Barb, what to do if they stand by their man? If they think or say “well he is NOT perfect, but his doctrine is, after all no one is perfect”. What then? I was attending a church I actually loved. The Pastor quoted Mark Driscoll, I went to the pastor with a boat load of evidence of Driscolls misogynist scripture twisting. The pastors reply “well Satan certainly got in here and riled things up” regarding my vehement exhortation. It was painful to leave and feel misunderstood. Yes, I was called to that church but as a speed bump. They will never understand that I was laying down my life (acceptance and reputation) for the sake of vulnerable sheep. While the pastor never understood me, at least I gave him pause to think about what he was aligning with. I’m sure now that Driscoll has temporarily been publicly disgraced that pastor gets it, that I was a friend of the Church. My leaving was a statement. you go that direction I cannot be here….

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