Rescue from the Miry Bog of Abuse
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.
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. 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. 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!
When you are attacked by an enemy, it is not a good thing to be standing in sticky muck that prevents you from moving. A miry bog, as the Psalmist describes, puts a person at the mercy of his oppressor. You can’t run. You can’t dodge blows. You can’t attack.
Abuse is a pit. A sticky, mucky, imprisoning pit. This is what we have so often called the fog of abuse. Abusers sow confusion and doubt so that their victims remain stuck. Then to make the pit even muckier, you have the allies of the abuser coming along adding to the uncertainty. Every step in the right direction, every movement toward truth, is impeded by the muck. Does this help us understand more clearly why she doesn’t “just leave the jerk”?
It is the Lord’s business to grab hold of the oppressed and, as the Psalmist says, “draw them up” from the pit of destruction. As Rescuer and Redeemer, as Light and Truth, Christ plants His people firmly on “the rock” where firm, secure footing replaces that sucking suction of the pit. All of a sudden the victim can move. She can run, go on the offensive, and dodge attacks with confidence. She can stand. And also, sensing this new freedom, she can sing praise to our God. This deliverance is to serve as a powerful evangelistic witness to the world. “Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”
“But,” you say, “it seems like this doesn’t happen very often today.” Well, let me suggest to you a couple of things in response. First, this rescue by the Lord does happen. Many of you can testify that He has effected this very thing in your live. He latched on to you, pulled you up out of the miry pit, and set your feet securely on the rock. But secondly, I agree that this kind of rescue and witness of the Lord’s glory does not happen nearly as often as it should. I can tell you why. It is not because the Lord cannot rescue, it is because that which professes to be His church will not rescue victims.
Think this through. There is all kinds of talk about “outreach” and “evangelism” and “winning the lost to Christ.” Churches spend piles of money hiring “ministers of outreach” and devising strategies and programs to “grow the church.” Let me propose that on the authority of God’s Word stated right here in this Psalm, if pastors and churches and church members would render true justice to abuse victims sitting in their pews, rescue them and deal also in true justice with their abusers hiding behind a “saintly” facade, might we not find out that “many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord”?
Because I can tell you this as I stand on the rock of certainty that the Lord’s truth has provided for me, blowing away the deceptions and fog of abuse, a “church” that enables and protects the wicked, refusing to rescue the oppressed, only causes the name of Christ to be mocked in the world.