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.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Cor 10:12 NIV)
Many domestic abusers parade as eminently “holy” Christians, the pillar of their church, the greatest servant in the flock, the…..well, you know how this charade goes. In their quest for their drug of choice (power and control) they put on a masterful disguise, perhaps as a father who is the finest example of Christian fathering and husbanding in the land. Others in the church even wish that they could be as godly as he, and their children as respectful and obedient as this fellow’s. The women of the church strive to be the kind of saintly wife this man’s wife is, yielding to their man’s every wish. The men of the church see him as an example to emulate. If only their wives would submit more easily.
And others even doubt their own salvation or at minimum see themselves as second or third rate Christians in the Lord’s eyes because they think they fall soooo short of this man’s example. The whole thing is a SHAM! Do not be taken in by it. The spirit of bondage and fear are what reign in such a man’s home, not the Spirit of liberty in Jesus Christ.
Listen to these words by John Flavel, a pastor of long ago. I have changed the wording a bit to update the old English –
Do not say that you have no grace because of the high attainments of some hypocrites who, in some things, may excel you. When some persons read the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, they are startled to see to what a glorious height the hypocrite may soar. But the true Christian in fact excels the most “glorious” hypocrite in the world in at least three ways:
- Self is never de-throned in hypocrites, as it is in the true Christian. ALL that the hypocrite does is for himself.
- The hypocrite NEVER hated every sin, as does the true Christian, but always retains some Agag, Rimmon, or Delilah for his own.
- The hypocrite NEVER acted nor does he ever act out of duty from the leading of his new nature by the Spirit of Christ, taking delight in heavenly things. Rather, he is moved like an old clock by the weight of some external motive or advantage.
[End of Flavel]
In other words, like the Pharisee, the abuser who pretends holiness is white on the outside but is full of rotten, decaying, stinking evil in his heart. This is his true being. For all of his heights of “godliness,” he does not know Christ nor does Christ know him. He may cite detailed passages from Christian writers of old. He may have myriads of Bible verses memorized. He may appear to be able to carefully discuss some theological issue or debate. He may even use lofty words in public prayers so that listeners exclaim how pious this man must be.
It is ALL a sham. Every bit of it. He does not have the love of Christ in him. All that he does, he does for glorification of himself. If ever his supply line of praise and adoration, of control and power over others, is cut off — you can be sure that amid many threatenings and gnashing of teeth, he will move on to feed elsewhere, taking as many gullible ones with him as he can.
The simplest, newest Christian is infinitely more valuable in the Lord’s eyes than the most polished hypocrite. Be sure of it. Do not be deceived. He has never known what you know. He remains dead in his sins.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Rom 8:14-16)
9 thoughts on “Don’t Let a Hypocrite Make You Think You are a Second Rate Christian”
I believe this in my ex, but I can’t grasp how he could get through seminary, having studied Hebrew and Greek, etc. and never having reconciled himself to who God is. I paid dearly in so many ways to fill the role as pastor’s wife. These days, [number redacted] years past divorce, I am still in a financial tie. He has asked his new wife to handle it and she is doing it. It has to do with overpayment of spousal support / pay back.
As this matter has resurfaced, emotional upheaval resurfaces. I see so clearly that he believes (literally) that nothing is his fault, that his hands are tied, he is entitled to every dollar he can get his hands on. I am also angry with his new wife who falls for these lies, just as I did. She has known me for [about two decades], yet my integrity means nothing to her, she believes him!
Bottom line is that I so want to have the last word in this matter, and they each, in their own way, won’t allow it. So, I am spending my time, once again, seeking to lay down my weapons and allow healing at an even deeper level. I could allow myself to think I am a second-rate Christian because of these emotions and attitudes, but I won’t.
Actually, bottom line is that I slept with the enemy for [over three decades] and it will take a lifetime of learning and healing to let it go. In the past week, I have had separate encounters with 3 precious women who quietly shared tragic stories of their own with me. I know that Jesus weeps with us and wraps us in His ceaseless love. This is our hope.
Seeing Clearly – Sleeping with the enemy. Yep. That’s one that does take time to heal from. The betrayal. The lies. Telling yourself “how could I have been so duped?” Of course the answer is because evil is so evil and so cunningly deceptive. And we are not wise to it naturally. It takes time. A lot of time. I still occasionally catch a glimpse of evil ones who once paraded as eminent saints among us, who claimed to be friends, who flattered us and prayed so piously thanking God for us. And when I see them I think, “how could I have ever been so fooled.” But we aren’t fooled anymore. You aren’t fooled anymore. Now you see clearly and that is quite an achievement and something to thank the Lord for. Many blessings to you in Christ.
Ps. Jeff, after reading your reply, I re-read what I had written. I noticed that I had allowed him to draw me back into a relationship with him. Albeit, a short one, I am trying to tangle with him. Of course, strong negative emotions surfaced as soon as the first words of conversation fell out of his mouth.
He is a covert aggressive [abuser] as defined by Dr George Simon. Now I see how easily I was duped again. Today, now, I ask God to continue healing me so that I will discern the evil more quickly. It’s a simple fact: if I ever encounter him, I am encountering evil.
So timely for me to hear this today.
I’ve just had a lot of anger going around inside me lately related to abuse situation, read a post yesterday talking about not letting anger cause us to sin. I guess I started thinking about my harsh thoughts, how would Jesus feel, am I justified or not? When to work on letting the anger go…
Not too long ago, husband basically zinged me by going on and on with another Christian about not judging others or being angry towards someone hurting you because you don’t know what’s motivating them, you need to understand them … yadda yadda yadda. Other Christian didn’t know this, but it was a jab at me for being angry at an injustice, for not justifying something that was wrong because of wrongdoer’s situation.
At the time, I blew it away, didn’t let him guilt me, but I know I’m not where I should be with God. I’m not attending a church right now, don’t read my Bible nearly as much as husband, really can only concentrate on short devotionals… reading is hard for me now. I used to love it more than anything, but I just can’t focus anymore to read much.
But I’ve been letting the guilt creep up on me as he plays Mr. Super Uber Christian and I think of my own failings and shortcomings in comparison.
This post was PERFECT! Gave me what I needed today. Thank you so much.
Thank you for writing this. I needed it today.
Seeing Clearly, “Self is never dethroned”, you said it EXACTLY right. But think about this… Even as these puffed-up modern day Pharisee abusers sit on ‘their’ thrones, they ONLY remain there for one reason: God ALLOWS it (FOR NOW). He can with the wave of His hand and at any time He pleases do exactly what he said here: “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be King over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me” (Luke 19:27 NIV). Sobering!!
“You can’t grasp how your ex got through seminary.” My thinking is he did it the same way he got ‘through’ you, initially… lying, deceiving, plotting and planning. My ex (4 months now) also got through seminary. When we married I believed he was a God-fearing Christian man wanting to serve the Lord. I believed a lie; it was ALL a sham, at my expense.
I, too, wanted the last word. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops that my ‘husband’ is a wolf… a real predator, preying on women and preying on the church for money to support his ‘ministry.’ Through a lot of love and support after going No Contact with my malignant narcissist terrorist, I began to realize I don’t need the last word and in fact, I started feeling convicted for wanting it. BUT, I only felt convicted as I continually pondered God’s word in Romans 12:19: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. God put this on my heart and gave me such peace! I felt free and for the first time I no longer wanted to be in the ‘front line’ with such an evil man as my abuser. I started to see this ‘last word’ I was wanting was eating at me like a cancer. And it certainly was NOT changing my abuser. To the contrary, it was changing me, and not for the better!! Bitter roots started to grow – God has removed them and I am free indeed! And I have NO DOUBT, He will dethrone the hypocrite abuser at just the right time, and according to His plan.
We are not without hope and God really can give us back the years the locusts have stolen. As we run to the Scriptures seeking wisdom, and as you said, Seeing Clearly, “…seek to lay down my weapons…”, we can view these pearls of wisdom as stringing pearls and wearing this garland around our neck! It will keep us wise as serpents yet innocent as doves.
When I discovered this magnificent pearl, it put me on a new course and on my road to recovery: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
We can truly lay down our weapons because God said the BATTLE is his, he therefore claims ownership…
Seeing Clearly and Anne….you seem to be beautiful women….praying for you both.
Thanks Brenda. ☺
Thank you, Brenda. You are seeing the beauty that results from The Refiner’s Fire. I have been posting for a couple years and recently decided I should use a less identifying name. (Thanks, TWBTC.)