A Cry For Justice

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

Look Out for People Who Demand Personal Attention – A Common Sign of an Abuser

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)

Over the years in my experience as a pastor, I have had a very similar scenario played out numbers of times.  I think I have written about it before someplace, but it happens frequently enough that it bears re-telling. Some new person comes along. Maybe a visitor to your church. Perhaps they phone or write you. They are all smiles. Smooth talkers. Slick in appearance. Full of flattery — “Oh pastor, that was the finest sermon I ever heard.” That kind of thing. I have had this happen so often that these kinds of flatteries don’t even move me anymore.

And then they want something. In most of the cases I have dealt with, what they wanted was special attention of some sort from me. “I need to meet with you. When can we meet?”  Or, “I need to be discipled. Can we meet each week regularly for discipleship?” (Keep in mind, I’m talking about a person who has very recently just come on the scene). Usually they don’t give many details about what they want to talk about.

And I always respond to them with “No, I cannot meet with you. I have many other responsibilities. If you need more help, you can go to our blog and our books. If you live in the area you can avail yourself of all the ministries we have in our church like all the other members do.” [NOTE: That being said, if any of our readers visit our area and want to visit our church or give me a call just to see each other face to face, please do so!]

These people differ from the many genuine abuse victims and truth-seekers who contact us. The real article is humble. They are not demanding. They apologize for writing too long of an email. And if you have to tell them, “I am very sorry, but I just cannot go through all the material you sent for our review,” they totally understand.

But the character I am speaking of in this post is very, very different. Here are some of the responses I have had fired at me by them when the smile went off their face after I denied their request for special attention:

  • “Well, I can see that you as a big shot pastor [Ha! We have maybe 40 people in our church!]…I can see that you don’t have time to give to some lowly person like me.”
  • “How dare you refuse to give me your time! I came to you in good faith. You are obligated as a minister to help people like me!”
  • “I know that you don’t have time for people of my race” (this one has been played on me twice. Once by a young black man and again by a Mexican fellow. Both turned out to have long histories of causing destruction in churches. Sadly, one of them hooked a young woman and married her).
  • This one from a church member very shortly after I met him when I was a new pastor in a church — “Pastor, you know, the last pastor came over to my farm every Monday morning and we would talk about the church and how things should be done.”

Now, I don’t know if this kind of tactic is typically used by abusers in marriages, but I highly suspect that it is and that our readers can tell us some very similar stories. What such people are up to is that they are working to deceive and gain allies. In my case, they want to gain the pastor of the church as their ally. They believe that the world revolves around them and they insist that their demands be met. When they hear us say “no,” they blow. They accuse. They threaten. They judge and demean. And what they are looking for is for us to cave into them and apologize and give them what they want. Power and control you see.

It has been over 20 years now since I became wise to these kind of people. Every single one of them hate me to this day.

All because of one little word, “no.”


Futher reading

A Review of “BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People” by Bill Eddy


  1. But He Didn't Hit Me

    My best friend Betty, God rest her soul, once told me, if you want to see what someone is really like, tell them “no”.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Betty was right!!

    • keeningforthedawn

      Wow! Such profound advice! Thanks for sharing.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      My mother told me the same thing, adding that I should pick a huge argument with the man before I married him, as that would tell me a lot about him. I am not sure that would do anyone a lot of good unless they already know and are familiar with what abusers and their tactics look like, but I get her point.

  2. anon

    It is so true that these kind of people’s real agenda is to deceive and gather allies.

    I am always wary of someone who wants to be your new best friend over night…especially a new person on the scene, and then you find out they are also busy recruiting many others to be their new best friends overnight too. In fact I was only thinking a couple of days ago that these sorts of people are really busy bodies that go to house to house (or phone to phone, or email to email, or Skype to Skype), gossiping and also creating a personal team of supporters who they deceive into thinking they are such a wonderful Christian. They really can reel you in at first if you are feeling alone, they will trick you into thinking they are totally for you and understand everything about you, but eventually you realise you are just a pawn to them.

    If you turn away from them and turn down their intense offer of new ‘best friendship’, you get labelled all kinds of unkind things (harsh, judgmental, holier than thou), any accusation they can dream up really, anything to make it look like its you with the problem and not them. Worse still, you will find it is not only this person now against you, but their entire band of followers they have garnered, who are blinded by these people through flattery, charm and the offer of instant ‘friendship’. You will find yourself the topic of their ‘discussions’ at times (slander).

    In terms of the abuser, looking back I remember early on in our relationship he demanded every bit of time I had. Strongly encouraged me to cancel meetings with friends, every spare minute I had was expected to be with him. If I was rarely out with a friend, he would obsessively text and interrupt the entire and expect a prompt response. I didn’t know back then it was a bad sign.

    • Jeff Crippen

      anon – there you go. Perfect example of the same dynamic in an abuser. Demand that you devote all your time to him. “I didn’t know back then it was a bad sign.” Boy, we can all say that about ourselves too. Where were the grey-haired wise Christians who were supposed to be teaching us this stuff?

      • Abby

        Perhaps they fell into the pit.

      • MarkQ

        Jeff, think you hit the nail on the head. My experience is that our culture idolizes youth and energy. Elder material is essentially 25-35 years old, and if you’re not a pastor or Elder by that age, the church has no use for you except to sit in a pew and tithe.

        I grew up in that culture, and I was astounded when I was in a small group with a 60-something lady and her husband. They had amazing wisdom, but it only came out in bits and pieces, and I think that was because most ignored what they said to listen to the dynamic 30-something leader.

        I think the church has this view of the Eldership being primarily theology and energy-driven. So, I think the church tends to overlook the gray hairs because they are not so adamant about theology (I know I’ve softened quite a bit), and they are not so full of energy. Considering how much the Bible has to say about gray hair, perhaps our job description of elder needs to change.

      • Considering how much the Bible has to say about gray hair, perhaps our job description of elder needs to change.

        Yes! But oh dear, that might mean I have to stop dying my hair. I’m not ready for that yet 😦

  3. Dale Ingraham @ Speaking Truth In Love Ministries
  4. Herjourney

    Don’t refuse a certified letter or two sent in good faith that you will respond in obedience to their slander, lies and control?!
    I did..
    I said no! 🙌

  5. Sasanka

    Wow, they really are a whole sub-group of people, aren’t they? We all seem to have the same experience whether it’s marriage, church …. a wolf is a wolf is a wolf…..
    It all makes sense so much when I look back…

    The advice of finding out quickly who a person is by giving them a ‘No’ is absolutely spot on. Interestingly,

    I had this very conversation with my little daughter (11) recently, and gave her this advice of how to see who is a real friend by trying to say no nicely but firmly. You would be surprised, this manipulation and abuse starts in classrooms among older elementary children!!!!!

    I really wish there was a class in public school system where children would learn (high school latest) about recognizing and avoiding wolves. Imagine the impact in society, saved young lives, and whole different life trajectories for millions of people. Tell me this is not more important than some of what they learn!

    • Anonymous

      I really wish there was a class in public school system where children would learn (high school latest) about recognizing and avoiding wolves.

      EXACTLY! And in the church too. Because there are SO MANY of these abusers, it would help if these classes also held mock arguments so that the students could practice their skills with the many different scenarios and manifestations they could be attacked with.

      • What a great idea! Classes that hold mock arguments and role plays so students can practice their skills with many different scenarios. So long as there were safeguards so that the training wasn’t used by covert abusers to sharpen their skills of abuse. But I’m sure that could be done, IF the facilitators were very competent.

    • MarkQ

      Our school system has some anti-bullying measures, and they are teaching conflict resolution strategies that I think might at least give children the right tools. We talk about respect a lot, and that is reinforced by the school as well, both giving respect and deserving to be respected.

    • Abby

      I really wish there was a class in public school system where children would learn (high school latest) about recognizing and avoiding wolves.

      I’m old enough to know that it used to be taught at home. Most of the kids that I grew up with had a moral compass. There was right and wrong and we all knew what that was. If someone tried some manipulation tactic or bullying of any kind you would have support of others to stand behind you. So, two good things happened. You’d be protected somewhat from abusers and the little abuser would learn not to do that anymore because he didn’t like the consequences. In todays schools, there is a zero tolerance policy, if two kids get caught fighting they both get punished. Nobody cares to dig in and get to the truth of what really happened between the two kids and discipline them properly. Now it’s more important that everyone just get along. Everyone just be NICE. So they learn to play the game, which is actually survival of the fittest.

  6. Lori

    Hm, it seems that the “if you’re my friend, you’d make time for me” person falls into this category, too?

  7. LittleBoPeep

    *****long reply: may want a cup of coffee to settle in for a good ‘read’*****

    Right about this time last year I said “no!” to several other people on the steering team of our church, a fairly new “church plant” […]. I was acting as the chief leadership of the smallish-church. And, I was the “Children’s Minister”. After a several months-long study of possible ways to build a “children’s ministry” (all taking place while I was still successfully teaching the children and running the current round of programs installed before I came), I determined that the “usual” approach which we were used to seeing and which the fairly young pastor [age deleted] was a product of, was NOT the best approach.

    Mind you, my background and expertise is in child education [details removed]. I explained my findings, which they did not want to accept, and I told the group that I was willing to compromise and continue with “X,Y,Z” programs and possibly add “P and Q” groups or programming (all things they loved and wanted), but I was adamant that ALL children of ALL ages should not only be welcomed into the Sunday morning corporate worship service (instead of being “herded” off into age-segregated kids groups) but that they should be expected to attend with their families. I made my case, which had been a surprising discovery for me but was sound enough to change my opinion, and offered suggestions on what would ease us into making that transition. Let’s just say that the discussion was ‘lively’, for sure. But, the whole point of what they had been wanting from me was to create a Sunday morning program (circus show, I’d call it) that would draw more people in, and as it was clearly stated by the pastor, more people = more money. (Yikes!) But, of course, they wanted to “sell” such a program as being the best thing for kids… except that it wasn’t, as I had found out, and I’m one of the the parents whose kids would have been expected to attend. Well, the tactics they had employed to sort of butter me up and pull me in during those months while I was studying “behind the scenes” backfired completely when I quit right then and there in that meeting but not without first calling them out on EXACTLY what they were doing which could be summed up as… I don’t know, “group narcissism”?

    They were definitely ALL about “looks” and molding people’s perception of the church above anything else. And, I really mean the WHOLE group of them. I knew that several of them weren’t even all that familiar with the Bible and I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they were studying it at home, like I was, in order to be fit for this leadership position in the church. But, I was wrong. Though I quit that job, I remained on the board for several more months before resigning via email to the pastor with the explanation that working with them felt just like what I was trying to deal with in my abusive marriage (and, yes, I did at one point, look to them for help with understanding, “fixing”, leaving my marriage… but obviously that wasn’t anything they could understand well.)

    I had planned to stay with the church, attending the church, for my kids’ sake since it was a main part of their social life. But, a week after my resignation which was only known by the steering team, not church-wide, and which I can assume was announced to the team via the pastor reading my resignation email to them, I was confronted by one of the team members who handed me a tiny pocket notebook page with a one line message indicating that he couldn’t grasp my reason for resigning and two scripture references from the book of Matthew (7:1-2 and 13:24-30).

    That’s where I drew the line, walked away, and never went back.

    (I know this is a long ‘reply’ post already, but allow me to share two more pieces of info with you regarding that leadership group.Please keep the above scriptures in mind.)

    1) The man who handed me that message (who was not the pastor) had with the leadership team, months before, a “secret” that he had kept for decades (this disclosure was presumably prompted by the sermon series at that time …), which was that he was a closet alcoholic (yes, serving in the capacity of a church elder, in essence) and that his wife (also on the leadership board) had never suspected a thing. He is still on the leadership team.

    2) … another male team member was basically forced to disclose, due to pending investigation and foreseeable arrest, that he had (in the recent weeks before his disclosure) molested children […] which he basically blamed on stress and his being a closet-alcoholic. (His wife, who was the children’s worship leader at that time, had no idea.) This guy had also been “mentoring” my husband for a few weeks, regarding our marriage, and my husband continued to go to him for “mentoring” for months after that. Both of them, also, later went to a Christian-based 12-step program together for months. (None of this which did a thing to stop my husband from abusing me). Additionally, this man had been the pastor’s right-hand man for years. […] This man knew well enough to resign, but… the damage left in his wake, unbelievable!! Still the church was forced to somewhat rally around him, even as they rallied around his family whom he is still separated from, I think.

    Meanwhile, I was never offered support, nor were my kids, though I “outed” my husband and our abusive marriage near the end of December. (Immediately upon learning that I was being abused… embarrassing to admit but mind-control is powerful stuff.) Makes me wonder if I’d have received actual help if I had never said “no” about the children’s ministry.

    IDK. Writing it down makes is seem crazier than I thought it was at the time, although I knew it was plenty crazy. So, about that “shepherding the flock” stuff, for them? Well… not so much.

    • Hi LittleBoPeep, welcome to the blog. 🙂

      You had given quite a lot of potentially identifying detail in your comment, so I edited it. Please re-read your comment and see if it needs to be edited more. We do want to help you keep safe, and we want the blog (and us as Admins) to be safe as well. If you think there is any info in your comment which might put us or you at risk if those abusers and the allies were to come across it, please email us (our addresses are in the ABOUT tab at the top of the blog). We can edit the published comment.

      You know better than we do whether those people at that church are likely to be litigious. Remember: this is a public blog.

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And your account doesn’t sound crazy. It sounds like stories we hear OFTEN on this blog. 😦

  8. God Fearing Mom

    I think definitely in this scripture passage Jesus was referring to those that lean so heavily on pious sounding man made rule-keeping to the point of ignoring God’s commands.

    Like, somebody could say you should “go the extra mile.” or “Give to those who ask and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”

    But if they are going to hold you up to Jesus standard they better hold themselves up to it too. It’s all about the motive for asking favors. Is it a real need they have or are they being lazy at your expense? That sort of thing.

  9. cindy burrell

    Amen to this.

    The ability to get into a system – whether marriage or a business or the church – and create division and chaos behind the scenes feeds abusers’ sense of power and self-importance.

    Our instincts (the Spirit) will usually alert us to these types if we are paying attention. And it feels kind of strange to turn people down without sure evidence. But ‘no’ definitely reveals the truth about people’s character.

  10. keeningforthedawn

    Another related tactic — an abuser bombarding the potential ally with lots and lots of phone calls (calling for any little excuse) and keeping them on the phone for no less than 20 minutes a pop (sometimes more than once a day). It not only monopolizes their time, but it also ensures that their daily routine revolves around the abuser. (This does not necessarily apply to someone who has very recently come onto the scene, but it could. All the more reason to stand your ground.)

  11. anonymous

    “Every single one of them hate me to this day.” Pastor Crippen, I say BRAVO! Wear their hatred of you as a badge of honor!! All abusers hate those of us they cannot dupe and deceive.

    When my abuser’s mask came off and he came to the reality he could no longer ‘get over on me’, his rage was such that his face would turn bright red, veins would bulge on his forehead and while breaking out in total perspiration, sometimes even ripping his shirt off, he would get right in my face/space and shout, “Away from me Satan.” Petrified beyond belief, I would lock myself in my bedroom (not safe for me to divulge other horrifying details that followed).

    And yes, Betty was right with her comment (mentioned above). And there’s also this: When someone shows you what / who they are, believe them.

    PS – Pastor Crippen, If I am in your area, indeed I will introduce myself

    • Abby

      When my abuser’s mask came off and he came to the reality he could no longer ‘get over on me’, his rage was such that his face would turn bright red, veins would bulge on his forehead and while breaking out in total perspiration, sometimes even ripping his shirt off, he would get right in my face / space and shout, “Away from me Satan.” Petrified beyond belief, I would lock myself in my bedroom

      Oh Anonymous, You must have been terrified and we all understand that here. So, I hope it is OK for me to say that the picture you just put into my head with your words made me laugh. I hope it makes you laugh someday, too.

      • anonymous

        If I would not have witnessed his actions with my very own eyes during the times I did stand up for myself, it would be hard for me to believe anyone could put on such a display of bizarre and uncontrolled anger.

      • Jeff Crippen

        I saw a now ex elder in our church throw a tantrum in my office like a two year old acting the victim when he was told “no.” All this from a man who successfully dupes most everyone as the eminent holy man. I wish I had it on video.

  12. RainShowers

    This is interesting. My husband does this, but a little differently. Tries to become friends with church leaders, tries to find ways he can be of service. He is more subtle, though, because when he is dismissed (always kindly) he won’t say anything, but his body language speaks volumes. I will always heat the rants about it in the car or when we get home, though. He definitely wants people to see him in the best possible light, and be buds with those he deems important.

  13. Fellow Traveler

    Ah yes. The “no” word.

  14. IamMyBeloved's

    Well, I needed to read this. Very timely for me!

    I spend a lot of my time counseling individuals for free. I love doing it. But I need to better manage the time I spend doing it. Am thankful for the insight on how to redirect people.

  15. StandsWithAFist

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. 🙂

    I’ve read elsewhere that the easiest way to weed out a narcissist / abuser is to simply say “no”….the fail-safe narcissist detector!

  16. Hisbannerovermeislove7

    hi, I love this blog very much. I think this post contains very good points but there is one thing I struggle to agree with. Barbara said (paraphrase) that people with genuine needs ask humbly and not demandingly? well, I am not proud to admit it, but I am someone with genuine needs (physically and emotionally disabled, abuse survivor, unable to work etc) but I have in the past often asked for my genuine needs to be met in ways people tell me are manipulative and demanding. I have diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, have been in treatment long term and suffer a fear of rejection and very low self esteem. I am working on those things and learning to treat people respectfully, not with lies or manipulation or aggresion. I admit I have been abusive. I have lashed out at people physically, verbally etc. I have lied to get my needs met. I have bombarded people with emails because my fear that they will leave me forever or that they aren’t hearing me has been unbearable for me. I have self harmed. I am a sinner. but I don’t see myself as a sociopath or a false Christian. I never set out to trap people or calculatingly usurp their authority. I planned to ask nicely but the word NO to me often feels like a slight. like a rejection. often when I tried to get help over my dad abusing me I wasn’t believed. or I was dismissed when I told them my anxiety was causing me suicidal episodes. they called me a Jezebel and a false believer, a witch. evil.

    I admit I have treated people appallingly. but I don’t accept I am evil or a sociopath. I see a little girl who was verbally emotionally and physically abused by her Christian father. I see a girl who was sexually assaulted as a pre-teen and held down when it happened as her “friend” watched. then she was blamed later by grown ups for causing it. I see a 20 something year old trying to pluck up courage to leave that environment. I see this girl in her late 20s and 30s wanting to love Jesus but being so afraid to come into His presence because of feeling so dirty. I see this girl in torment because she believes God won’t let her into heaven. because she is broken. not good enough.

    no doubt you will read this and may think this is an attempt to garner pity. but I think self-pity isn’t the sae thing as self-compassion and self-love. I am seeing myself through eyes of compassion. yeah my behaviour was and is bad. my life is a constant cycle of repentance. but I cannot accept I am evil or looking to destroy a church. I can’t. if I am in sin accepting myself and seeking secular therapy and labels for my illness, then I am sorry. but I see that therapy and labels can work as long as God is first in my life.

    • Hi, Hisbannerovermeislove7.
      Welcome to the blog. 🙂

      All comments are moderated at this blog, that is why your comments were not immediately visible. Some of the comments you’ve submitted are more or less the same as this one, so we won’t be publishing them all — I understand you submitted the almost-duplicate comments because you didn’t realise that all comments are moderated.

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      I am glad are seeking to follow Christ. 🙂 And I think it is quite likely that the abuse you suffered as a child has contributed how your character has developed. Whether or not the BPD diagnosis is correct for you, is not necessarily the most important fact to know, IMO. If a qualified therapist can truly help you, that is a good thing. I hope the therapist is also good at dealing with trauma, because from the sounds of it that will be an important part of your journey as you are seeking to renew your mind and your habits now you have become a Christian.

      In my own journey of recovery from addictions and other bad-character patterns, I have found some help from secular therapists at different times, some help from Christian therapists, and I’ve also known bad therapists both both secular and Christian camps.

      The label Jezebel spirit is flung around in Charismatic churches far too glibly. You might like to read our post about that here.

      And there are some in the Charismatic church scene who glibly label persons as ‘demonized’ and some who even purport to be doing deliverance ministry but are charlatans. Having said that, demonic spirits were dealt with properly by Jesus and His power is no less today than when He walked on earth.

      I’m glad you are finding the blog helpful.

      BTW we have another reader who uses a similar screen name to you. She calls herself HisBannerOverMeIsLove (without the 7 at the end). That’s okay, I just wanted to let you know so you don’t get confused.

      • Hisbannerovermeislove7

        thank you. that is a kind and helpful response. I am seeking deliverance ministry at the moment. where I live in the UK it is hard to find good ministry that does both deliverance and inner wound I have had mixed experiences in both Christian and secular counselling- I really hope I am not in sin by seeking secular therapy as I find that many Christian counsellors have unrealistic expectations of people with trauma. They believe my trauma symptoms mean I haven’t forgiven. healing without forking out an arm and a leg in cost. but I haven’t given up! I will read the Jezebel link now. thanks so much for being so understanding and patient.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Hisbanner – take care, however. I am not certain exactly what you have in mind regarding, as you say, a “deliverance ministry.” That is a realm that has fraudsters and abusers lurking everywhere.

      • 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 second what Jeff said.
        And I’ve known several ‘deliverance ministries’ which did their ‘ministry’ by systematic formula — they were not really hearing from God at all.

        Bottom line: if something feels ‘not quite right’ to you, trust that feeling!

  17. hisbannerovermeislove7

    I am a a sinner I am a sinner. when I look in the mirror I see sin. I see someone who has abused people physically and verbally. I see someone who hates herself at times, who abuses her body with self-harm, food, laxatives and allows others to hurt her by looking for chaos and picking fights in relationships. but I also see a little girl cowering in fear from her own father. a man high up in the church. I see a pre-teen being sexually assaulted and later the grown ups calling her a liar. I see sexual abuse happening again and being minimised when this girl hits mid-teens. I see her cowering before her abusive father and taking overdoses to escape him. I see a woman in her 30s terrified that God won’t let her into heaven because she has demons. because she has trouble staying away from addictions she uses to fill the emptiness. I see a bad person. an abusive person. but I do not see a fake Christian. I see someone who sins a lot and confesses a lot and tries to repent. I see someone who tries to make amends to those she has hurt. I see someone with little fruit in her walk, but fruit nonetheless. before I was a Christian I had NO good in me. but I now see good. a tiny bit.

  18. hisbannerovermeislove7

    my prayer times are times of trying and trying to reach out to Jesus. to try not to cower from a male authority figure. to try not to feel too dirty to approach Him. I try and hold on to the fact that Jesus says if endure to the end and repent of our sins, we will not be lost. I cling on to that. I admit I find God scary. it is hard for me to love God. I was abused by several men and women growing up but the one that hurt the most was a Christian parent, high up in the church. I am not clean or pure. I am demonised and sinful. but I am not a deliberate abuser. I don’t seek to destroy churches or people. I just have no social skills and am unstable mentally. I know that is no excuse. I try to see myself as a child misbehaving due to autism or ADHD or something like that. I try to repent and correct my behaviour with compassion to myself, because I am just a social buffoon. I honestly mean no harm and have tried to make amends to those I have abused. your article is excellent because it is true that abusers DO use attention as a mean to harm, but please remember that not every needy person is trying to cause harm in a calculated way. I had no idea I was manipulative until a Christian sister pointed it out. then I sought the help of a Christian therapist who showed me how unreasonable I was being and how frightening people saw me when I was in a rage. she also showed me this rejection and fear of abandonment that was in me. not an excuse, but a cause. and something God can heal and is healing, bit by bit. NO, I was not blameless. I was not innocent. but I was a Christian and a true sheep.

    • ContentinChrist

      You do not need to feel ashamed or dirty coming before God. In Christ, you are righteous, holy and blameless. This is the key to freedom, to believe what God has done for you in Christ, to know your identity in Christ. I pray that you will find freedom from the wounds of the past. I believe God is in the business of setting us free and healing our wounds and that He is committed to doing this for you, His beloved child.

      Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      Ephesians 3:17-21: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

  19. hisbannerovermeislove7

    and I really hope that those in the church who have tried to help me with love and compassion are not guilty of anything. they are responding as Jesus did by not shunning me. if I hadn’t repented, I would deserve shunning. but I am in process of trying to stop sinning. I hope that I will overcome one day. and be a nice person not a bitter, hateful, rageful person.

  20. hisbannerovermeislove7

    thanks Jeff Crippen. yeah, I have had some awful experiences already and to be honest I am leary of going back to pure casting out ministries. I feel I need ministry that deals with inner wounds as well. I used to post under a different name on here. I was Iamsetfree82 and wrote about some experiences I had in ministry on some other posts on here. that was last year and my account closed hence the new username.

  21. Rebecca Davis

    Sadly, the spiritual abuses go in both directions — there are some in the “deliverance” camp who will see every problem as a demonic spirit that needs to be cast out. There are others in the “Biblical counseling” camp who see every problem as sin that needs to be repented of. Here’s hoping that more and more Christians will learn to understand trauma — along with the grief, confusion, and other life-altering effects — and who will gently help people see who Jesus really is and who they really are in Christ. He is the Healer, and He is the Shepherd. Our churches could well do with a lot more teaching on those topics.

  22. sunshine

    You are absolutely right! I’ve been slowly learning to spot demanding people like this as early as possible. Years ago, I didn’t see it in my husband until it was too late. Early on in our relationship, I told him “no” when he asked me for sex. He got angry and didn’t speak to me for 2 days. Then he returned and said that I needed to learn compromise. So many signs that I didn’t pay enough attention to, but I am now seeing a counselor to help me through all this. In the future I will pay close attention to how people respond when I say no.

  23. Some Anonymous Bloke

    You are describing a sibling of mine. (S)he has always been an attention-seeker. To this day it is astonishing to witness how (s)he monopolises my parents’ time and attention. (S)he has always been this way. (S)he is skilled in charming them, but it is obvious to me that (s)he is simply using them.

    I am at the point now where I no longer communicate with him/her, beyond a ‘pardon me’ if need be. Neither of us greet or acknowledge each other any more. I have decided after repeated psychological and emotional abuse that I need to keep as much distance possible from him / her. My mum and dad know why I do not engage with this sibling and have even witnessed his / her abuse of me, but they themselves have never truly held him / her accountable for his / her vile behaviour. (Whilst they do not endorse his / her behaviour, they are in many ways too permissive, emotionally exploitable and lacking in boundaries. Being the opportunist this sibling is, (s)he has always seen to it to take advantage of that.)

    I have come to the conclusion that this particular sibling is essentially a sociopath: (s)he displays shallow, fickle emotions; is extremely self-centred and self-serving; attention-seeking; unremorseful; highly manipulative; thrill-seeking (has extensively abused drugs and alcohol, and has likely engaged in other assorted illicit activity (though has yet to be convicted)); duplicitous and dishonest; chameleon-like in social settings; sorely lacking in empathy; parasitic emotionally, relationally, et cetera. The outside world would never suspect who they are dealing with. (S)he is generally polite, charming and favourably viewed by the public. If only they could have witnessed his / her explosions of anger and verbal, slanderous, emotional assaults behind closed doors. Perhaps then they would think twice about associating with him / her.

    Who (s)he really is is what I have witnessed throughout my life; (s)he has not changed. It has only been relatively recently that I have come to really understand him / her for what (s)he really is. Evil hides and wears a mask. It comes wearing a friendly smile, feigning concern for others, disarming all but the most wary. Mixed signals and mixed feelings arise when dealing with wicked people. You are always second-guessing, questioning yourself. That, I believe, is another indicator you are dealing with a dubious character, a con artist, a deceiver.

    I have always had mixed feelings about my brother / sister. I cannot trust him / her. On the other hand, I wish it were not so. I wish that (s)he is someone (s)he is not. (S)he is my brother / sister, but not a good one. The lives of my mum, dad and other sibling would have been enriched if (s)he had been a Christian. Such is not the case. (S)he is an abuser, out for ‘number one’. Believers cannot afford to engage in delusional or wishful thinking. No service is done to the truth when we minimise the harm that has been inflicted upon us by selfish, evil family members.

    (S)he has grossly slandered and verbally abused me, and even threatened me with physical violence. Still, my parents have never taken it seriously; even in our youth (s)he was able to manipulate them quite well. I was to blame when responding in anger (yes, with cursing and swearing) to his / her vile words and behaviour. This sibling just goes on with life as if the incident never occurred. If or when (s)he is called to give an account for the abuse, (s)he will shift the blame and proceed to slander, lie, gaslight and abuse all over again. To this day, he / she charms and uses my folks rather expertly. I have informed them of the kind of character h e /she is and have stated that he / she is more or less controlling them, but they only seem to understand in part. In some ways they seem dense, but wilful denial is partly in play (I believe).

    There is a great desire within me to see this sibling of mine exposed and held accountable for his / her actions. I do not hold out much hope for a genuine conversion. (S)he has now essentially invaded my elderly mum’s social circle at church and seems to be playing with religion and Bible-reading. After years of experience with this person and in the light of recent events (i.e. within the last year or so (not here disclosed)), I simply do not, and cannot, trust him / her. I do not imagine that (s)he will ever truly hold him- / herself accountable for his / her actions. My mum is an overly forgiving type of person and her perception is lacking when it comes to the shrewdness of evildoers.

    I have a great disdain for the kind of person this one sibling is. I believe him / her to be a fraudulent human being who lives a parasitic lifestyle and plays on the sympathies of anyone willing to listen to him / her. My folks to this day have not completely wised up. As long as (s)he is getting what (s)he wants, and everyone is either serving his / her whims or staying out of his / her way, (s)he can seem to be a kind, friendly character. If one did not know any better, one would never suspect him / her to be a slanderous, boundary-disrespecting, verbally abusive layabout who has been little more than a burden on his / her family since his / her youth. You will see him / her for who (s)he is when you attempt to hold him / her accountable. The mask is on most of the time, however.

    In any event, hopefully the above will provide semi-interesting reading material for a non-sociopathic (and, hopefully, Christian) reader. Enabling and being taken advantage of in a familial context by one wicked person negatively impacts everyone save the one reaping the benefits of abuse and exploitation: the evildoer him- / herself.

    • Thanks, Some Anonymous Bloke!

      No service is done to the truth when we minimise the harm that has been inflicted upon us by selfish, evil family members.

      No wonder you understand abuse so well! You’ve been a victim of an abuser.

      And wouldn’t it be nice if the English language had gender-neutral personal pronouns? It would make it so much easier to talk about abusers while still guarding our safety.

  24. Finding Answers

    Pastor Jeff wrote:

    All because of one little word, “no.”

    I have encountered a few non-abusers who didn’t like the word “no”.

    The questions were in fields within which I had greater or lesser degrees of familiarity, but certainly wasn’t an expert. Their frustration came because the people with the expertise were “not good bedside manner” / “not user friendly” types of people.

    In hindsight, I can see some – not all – of these “not good bedside manner” / “not user friendly” types of people were abusers. The remainder were just overworked.

    • Finding Answers

      Adding on to my own comment….

      In hindsight, I can see some – not all – of these “not good bedside manner” / “not user friendly” types of people were abusers. The remainder were just overworked.

      With the passage of time, and upon greater reflection, I would toss another piece of information into the mix: Where there is an imbalance of power. Abusers wield many kinds of power, whether personal or professional, secular or non-secular.

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: