The Abuser’s Background of Being Abused is no Excuse — Don’t Accept it as Such
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.
He will render to each one according to his works: (Romans 2:6)
It is quite common for abusers to claim that they were abused when they were children and, when cornered, offer this as an excuse for their abuse of others. We must not permit them to do so. Let me explain why.
Firstly, there are many, many, many people in this world who were abused as children but who are not abusers themselves. And there are abusers who were not abused as children. The one simply does not automatically lead to the other (ie, childhood abuse produces abusers).
Secondly, the Lord does not accept this as an excuse for wickedness. Each of us will give account of our own deeds (fortunately for the Christian, Christ’s perfect obedience and atonement have provided us with a perfect righteousness). On that Day, the Lord is not going to accept an abuser’s excuse, “but I was abused as a child.”
Thirdly, the fact is that it really is immaterial from a victim’s perspective as to WHY the abuser abuses. Abusers LOVE to get us all caught up in some sympathy dynamic so that we feel sorry for them and excuse them. “Well, if you knew his background, you would understand.” No. When someone is treating you wickedly, when they are enslaving you, emotionally torturing you, destroying your sense of self, punching you in body or soul, alienating you from family and friends, it eventually dawns on you that WHY they are doing these things doesn’t matter. As a pastor, I really do not care why a man regards women as inferior to men or why he keeps her economically impoverished so she cannot escape him… I only care that he is DOING these things. And they are evil.
“Fred, you are an abuser. You have been playing the phony Christian card for a long time and now your number is up. I am not going to meet with you in a bajillion counseling sessions to try and find out why you are doing these things. Frankly, I don’t care why. I only care that you are wickedly abusing your wife, you are blaspheming the name of Jesus Christ, and Fred, we are going to protect your wife. Go ahead and go off to counseling. Go ahead and get analyzed. Go ahead and work on changing. But those efforts are really no concern of mine. You are an abuser, your wife needs protection from you…and…we are done here.”