Standing Against Abuse Requires the Making of Enemies
UPDATE Sept 2021: Barbara Roberts has 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.
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. (Matthew 12:14)
If a person’s intent is to remain popular with everyone, especially with all the leaders of the visible church, then following Christ, standing against evil (especially evil hiding behind religion), and exposing abusers is most certainly not possible for them. Look at where Jesus walked and look at what He experienced at the hands of the visible “church” of his day and you will see the path He calls us to walk if we are going to take up our cross and follow Him.
George Whitefield, the great evangelist of the revival in the 1700’s, was not a controversialist by nature. He was a very gracious man. I have been reading the incredibly valuable biography of Whitefield written by Arnold Dallimore and I want to share with you a few paragraphs that illustrate precisely what I mean in this post. This is from Whitefield’s own journal:
…sat up till near one in the morning with my honoured brother and fellow-laborer, John Wesley, in conference with two clergymen of the Church of England, and some other strong opposers of the doctrine of the new birth. God enabled me, with great simplicity, to declare what He had done for my soul, which made them look upon me as a madman…I am fully convinced there is a fundamental difference between us and them. They believe only an outward Christ, we further believe that He must be inwardly formed in our hearts also.
Now listen more as Dallimore comments:
The realization that deep doctrinal differences existed between him and the majority of the clergy was of grave significance to Whitefield. These men were the officers of the Church that he respected so highly, yet allegiance to what he knew to be the truth of God separated him from them and required that he stand against them. The role of peace-maker came naturally to him, but it was now necessary for him to become a warrior and for this he was not at all suited by nature. The status of the respected clergyman must go and he must accept a position of being looked upon as a controversialist, subject to bitter misrepresentation and reproach.
In meeting this experience, Whitefield was aided by the example of the Wesleys. Their self-assertive strength allowed them to face opposition almost with contempt. Charles tells of a conversation with William Chapman, a former Holy Club man, who insisted that there is no need of our being persecuted now. ‘I told him,’ says Charles, ‘I was of a different judgment, and believed every doctrine of God must have these two marks: (1) Meeting all the opposition of men and devils, (2) Triumphing over all. I expressed my readiness to part with him and all my friends and relations for truth’s sake.’
Bluntly, almost defiantly – Charles asserted his clerical rights in a discussion with the Bishop of London, and said of an interview which he and John had with the Archbishop, ‘We told him we expected persecution.’
And so it is. This is the experience of every true follower of Jesus Christ as we stand firm in His truth.
We are surrounded today by professing Christians who insist that we must “get along” with most anyone who claims to be a Christian. We must “work together” and never speak harshly of another person who claims to belong to Christ. We need to “win them over” rather than alienate them. If they are teaching unhelpful stuff about domestic abuse, we must compromise, we must tolerate it, we must help them along and not be harsh on their ‘minor’ mistakes. But the thing is, when we try to teach such folks, they don’t want to learn, they bristle, and sometimes they even start spreading false reports about us.
Here at ACFJ we reject all of this ‘compromise’ thinking. Why? Not because we like making enemies, but because
- we don’t want to water down God’s truth
- we know that God’s truth about abuse has been watered down and contaminated by much false teaching in the church
- we know God hates the lukewarm and the false
- we know the compromise thinking lets victims down.
As a result, we make enemies. Most of those enemies are in the visible church.
The truth of the matter is that we have absolutely nothing in common with anyone who refuses to identify evil for what it is – evil. This means that people who waffle, people who seem to think that the devil himself is redeemable if we just love him enough, people who ride the fence when it comes to calling out church leaders and para-church celebrities for their errors that enable abusers and add oppression to victims, are not our comrades. In fact, if you have been in this fight against abuse hiding in the church long enough, you already know that such people largely are the problem.
All of us, if we are going to follow Christ and do battle for him against evil, are going to have to come to the same realization that George Whitefield did when he said, “I am fully convinced there is a fundamental difference between us and them. They believe only an outward Christ, we further believe that He must be inwardly formed in our hearts also.” There is no middle ground. Either we stand for truth or we don’t. Either we are born again or we are dead in our sins. Either we see evil for what it is and expose it no matter what, or we compromise with it and join it.
To this date we have never yet seen a Christian “celebrity” individual or organization truly admit to the damaging errors they have taught in their books and seminars and practices. Not a single one. What we have seen and what we continue to see is that these kind hate us when we call them to accounts for what they have done and what they are continuing to do. So we make enemies.
Sometimes enemies are very polite. To remain popular, they dance around a question without answering it directly. But if they are pressed to state their views full clearly, if their feet are held to the fire, they become mean … unless of course God works upon their hearts by bringing them to acknowledge their sins (but if that happens they will publicly repent and retract the silly stuff they’ve written).
Whitefield wrote about how ‘polite’ people are often resistant to the truth. After preaching at Keynsham he wrote in his journal
I insisted much on original sin, because there are many in this city who, I fear, have imbibed the principles of that polite preacher, Mr F . . . . but woe to them who deny that they are born in sin.
And speaking of Bath, the famous watering town in England, he wrote
Many adversaries must be expected in so polite a place as Bath.
So be it.
Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)
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“He was not at all suited by nature” (to be a warrior)….. “though the role of peacemaker came naturally to him”……
This applies to so many of us who are vulnerable to abuse ….. speaking out is so so stressful for us….. against our nature….. we do it – then we become the problem….. if only my nature was more naturally warriorlike, life would be easier…. I pray God will change me….
Hi, Tess, you might like to read this post also, which we re-blogged from A New Free Life’s blog.
The Art of War, by A New Free Life
The Art of War! Excellent – I had not read that before. Just excellent!
Speaking out is very stressful, no question about it. And yet now as I emerge and come out of the pit and continue to heal and reclaim my life, those who judge me for speaking out, doubt me or flat out don’t believe me become very, very insignificant. They just don’t matter! Making enemies as a result of speaking out against domestic violence in all its forms of evil, can and should be worn as a badge of honor.
When we look at the horror of abuse that was heaped upon our Savior, who was of course without sin, and to envision those Roman soldiers putting their filthy hands on our Lord, how could we even for a moment CHOOSE to remain silent about the evil lurking all around us today.
So to those CHOOSING to hear a watered down version of the Gospel, and to those do-nothing people who CHOOSE to remain lukewarm, can you really judge us as victims / survivors of abuse for speaking out because we, too, choose? We choose to take God at His word when he said, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16, ESV).
Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog [Internet Archive link].
I read that Winston Churchill quote, too, Anonymous. Being so widely hated is difficult, especially when smear campaigns and discrediting tactics, backlash, etc. are done to ensure most everyone hates you. Most bullies / abusers / criminals / wifebeaters / rapists run in packs of like-minded bullies / abusers / criminals / wifebeaters / rapists..
I love this posting. It’s so true. So many of us women have been heavily indoctrinated to be the peacemakers, to speak no ill of anyone, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all……..But this is not true Christianity!
God hates evil. God is wholly opposed to evil. God doesn’t ‘make nice’ with evil. God calls evil, “evil”, not some euphemistic term.
And I do think a lot of us are very vulnerable to abuse because we are peace-loving, kind, gentle people and such a spirit seems to draw in all sorts of abusers. I read an interview that a person had with a pedophile and he told how he actually preferred targeting Christians because they’d be way more lenient, permissive, ‘forgiving’ and tolerant than other potential victims. I don’t remember the specifics but he definitely targeted Christians in upping his chances of getting away with his crimes.
Isn’t that something?!
And it is on this website I first learned (maybe I had read it before but not remembered it) that Jesus didn’t just chase the money changers out of His Father’s House, but fashioned and whip, too! Playing ‘nice’ with evil is like playing with fire, where you end up getting burned.
Needing to be trained to be a warrior!
Anon, your reference to the person being interviewed who said he prefers to target Christians because they are more vulnerable, speaks volumes to what Pastor Crippen is continually saying about these wolves running wild in our churches, pulpits and pews.
Being a survivor of abuse from someone who tried to crush, destroy and ruin me with all his forms of terrorism, has left me pretty much fearless to speak out and call EVIL for what it is.
And evil ‘husband’ who glared at me with immense hatred while cleaning a gun, and would not speak to me, was left completely speechless when I said, “Are you going to kill me? I want you to know I am not afraid to die.”
Sometimes having enemies is just total affirmation, you are on the right track. Churchill nailed it!
Speaking out / being singled out / stepping out and seemingly stepping off the edge becomes our “normal.” In my life, it’s always been in spite of myself that I end up doing this and I have often resented it because it goes against my nature when others are actually “built up” by controversy.
These words are David’s. Over and over this man tried to do right with overwhelming odds stacked against him—except that one big one–that he belonged to God. He was a person after God’s own heart and I think that many of us here are “guilty” of this same “crime”–being a person after God’s own heart.
So I guess we’re right where we are supposed to be–ostracized by many people; natural enemies of evil ones,
For me the reason it’s so hard is because both the church and the world tried to sell me the lie that if I conformed to the “golden rule” standards, all will be well. From Wikipedia:
Anymore, the more I try to hide or blend in, the more God prods me and pushes me out. So out I am, in spite of myself. I have always dreamed of being invisible. When I was young I used to try to figure out how I could have enough money so that I could live as a hermit. Even though everyone in my large family loved the limelight, desired to be famous, I hated attention and hated myself for this because I “knew” that there was something wrong with me. Why was I the only person I knew who hated attention? Cuz surely I was defective.
Yep. Us “defective” ones are the ones who God uses. Um, thanks?
Anonymous, you might have been the scapegoat of a narcissistic family. That doesn’t have anything to do with you being defective at all.
Years ago, I felt that God “gave” me David’s words in Ps. 18:34: “He trains my hands for war …”. Ever since, I’ve often had to take a stand against unrighteousness and have incurred a lot of hatred.
This is something the church doesn’t want us to do. They want us to bow down and suck up to wicked people. It makes one wonder whether church leaders intend to groom Christians to become easy victims (cf. the pedophile’s statements above).
What you’ve written is true ACON–I was (for a time) the scapegoat of the family. My dad always scapegoated the oldest child so as the older ones moved out, the next in line were placed into this position. Before the divorce my mom was the scapegoat.
This phenomenon was known in our family but no one knew the name of it or that it was abusive, until decades later. It didn’t negatively affect the other children however as they have the same nature as my dad. I was not so fortunate and in addition to this I was in the position of being the oldest for a longer period of time because after the divorce many of my older siblings went to foster care or were homeless. I was terrified of ending up like them so I endured it all and internalized the blame as belonging to me. (Of course I didn’t even realize this was abuse until decades later. It was simply life as I knew it.)
And this part, “It makes one wonder whether church leaders intend to groom Christians to become easy victims…” is absolutely true whether it’s done deliberately or through incorrect teaching. And sadly, the more naturally easy-going a person is, the deeper the harm that’s done to them. Apparently it’s easier to keep the current status quo in place rather than opening the floodgates of truth written in God’s word and allowing MANY at the same time to wake up to the truth—there’d be so much to deal with cuz many aren’t yet aware of the treachery taking place. Why wake up the sleeping lion?
Thank God for you.
There is a time to speak, and I plan to when it is safe, but there is also a time to be silent. Spurgeon had a timely message for me where he said that Jesus was silent before His accusers. To quote,
This was particularly timely, as I just found out that my ex won almost everything he wanted in the court case, and I will be seeing less of my children. It was heartbreaking to us. Then he sent me an email from which I was able to list 24 accusations and blame that he hurled at me. Very trying times, but what I have learned over the last couple of years and this quote helped me to walk away from it, and keep my response polite and refer only to the relevant, single point that needed to be addressed.
I really liked the Churchill quote, and wrote it down for my quote book.
TWBTC, can you please add that Spurgeon quote to our GEMS page? Thanks!
Thanks for that Spurgeon quote!
And (((hugs))) for you and the kids re the court outcome.
Praying for you, Moving Forward!
There is a time for everything, no doubt about it. May God give us wisdom to know when to speak and when not to speak. “For lack of wood, a fire goes out.” (Proverbs 26:20) 🌷
Thank you both. I love this blog, and don’t know what I would do without it. My dream is to someday be able to help other women in my area and speak out on abuse.
Moving Forward, if there is a women’s centre or shelter in you area, you could offer to give them a copy or copies of my book. I give my book away for free to such organisations if they are willing to receive it. Please contact TWTBC at email@example.com if you want to do that, she can arrange shipping of the book to the women’s agency.
Moving Forward, seems you are already realizing your dream… You are helping others, you are helping me, and you are speaking out against abuse!
It’s often the case that those who dare to speak out againts abuse, or place any boundaries, are labeled as ‘narcissists’, (at worst) ‘immature’ (at best) and all in between: that’s the common accusation .. ‘You don’t get along with anyone… you see how impossible you are … no wonder they disalike you since you’re so difficult’…
It’s adding insult to an injury, and it happened me just recently.. again. It makes one want to seek cover and hide in the cave, but I am actually praying for the supernatural strength to be more assertive and confrontational when needed, not for the sake of it, but for the truth.
So tired of this superficial peace-keeping that allows abusers and liars a free pass, and sincere believers are taken advantage off.
Pastor Jeff wrote:
Standing for truth in some areas of my personal and professional life caused dissension in the ranks. I may prefer solitude. I may prefer peace. I may prefer to remain behind the scenes. Yet, inevitably, I am drawn into war.
Somehow, I don’t see that changing….
I have been “standing up” my whole life. I hate injustice and I know exactly where that comes from as I’ve a very, very good long term memory and it goes right back to when I was in in my second year in primary school. Sadly, I know ever since a trigger for my outrage was simple. Accuse me in the wrong and all guns come out like a transformer robot, I’ve got an arsenal hidden, lol, and I must put you right. I hate that about me and I’ve asked God to remove it or temper it. He has tempered my temper, but I’ve never forgotten this as probably the first mental trauma I can recall in my life. I “hated” that teacher for what she did to me at a very young age. I didn’t actually hate her though I did evermore dislike her. I did hate the calling out, the “in front of class” example and harsh punishment for something I never did. She saw no reason, she let her position and power go to her head. I’ll never forget her rage and calling me to the front. She had to blame someone over something as so silly as a little piece of wet paint on a lunchbox. I had made sure (as I did fear her) mine was nowhere near that wet paint [location redacted] she warned about. I knew by her tone, anyone touch that “wow you are in for it”. Now how silly it was of her not to realise that I had continually said someone had moved mine and pushed it against. There was no reasoning or finding out who that was, it wasn’t necessary to her. Nope, she made me out to be the scapegoat for severe punishment, to teach a lesson to a very young child she was boss and none dare cross her and you do it at your peril. Any wonder everyone hated her and was scared of her, and yes that’s exactly how she taught all through her career. Not my only teacher to severely abuse me, although others were physical. Strict some may call it, nope I call it bullying and dangerous. Teachers then got away almost with murder and I saw much teacher abuse. I wonder how many others crossed her and got the same? I do know of a few in my sister’s class who were targeted and received the same. I wonder how they [my sister’s classmates] reacted in later life to such and what their characters are today. A little dash no bigger than a cotton bud head [cotton swab] of paint on a lunchbox [details redacted] has changed my life.
I have always tried to see the bigger picture, get all sides to a story since, and never take things at face value and I’ve spoken up often….yip, you guessed it, the response has been as you have all commented here. I just read through and kept saying yes yes yes that’s it yes!!!
I know for years I’ve become a carer for the underdog in life, the oppressed etc. I see so much now falling into place as I think back….it’s a “light bulb day” almost every day lately….that’s why they said that / reacted that way. I’ve now started for the first time in life to see how many have been abusive and manipulative….not always directly to me, but also to others. I’ve always had my suspicions. Their reaction is becoming oh so much clearer as to why.
It’s no wonder I’ve become who I am and as has been said here, those whom people went to for help, and become the one who was kind caring and most important of all, one who really listened. I’m sure I still missed much, but I’m seeing so much now than even before. Am I going to stay quiet – nope!! No way, lives are at risk.
Yes, nice Christians have piled on their spiritual abuse, and I thought it had only come after my wife mentioned to my pastor that I wanted to leave her, but I see much before and after and in other people’s lives too.
This post is fantastic, as are comments below. Enlightening and encouraging. Thank you everyone. I’m still struggling I guess, but I’ll get there!
I am learning lots, but it’s overwhelming me and I’m going through another rough weekend. It’s not easy this healing and recovery business for sure. I can see why I am best not in a church of nice Christians, as it would be detrimental to my recovery. God makes no mistakes and I see how He is using my alone home time more and more. I’m just getting more and more affirmation that is OK. Though I get hammered often because I’m not in a church. I feel guilty, as it’s first thing nice Christians ask….where are you ministering / worshipping now??? When they find out nowhere, their face and reaction of silence says all….why I avoid these moments. I hate being outside just in case I bump into such people. I’m forever watching all around me. It’s wrong I know, but I’m always hiding.
[Age airbrushed for protection. Editors]
Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) commented:
My own “light bulb moment” from elementary / primary school….being made to stand in a particular class and repeat an everyday word. Just because my pronunciation was different, though not incorrect.
Until I read this, I always thought it was merely an incident of this teacher ridiculing me. An opportunity to poke fun at me, since unlike my older sibling, I was not this teacher’s pet. Now I see it for something else, a double-barrelled whammy. First, because I was already reading well above my age level, unlike the teacher’s pet sibling. Second, an attempt to show the “superiority” of that particular region.
Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) also commented:
(Bold done by me.)
Nope, not hiding, and no it’s not wrong.
The Bible does not say we have to attend a bricks-and-mortar – preferably “local” – “c”hurch / church. In biblical times, gathering with other believers was encouraged because of the times and circumstances in which they lived. Meeting / fellowshipping with Christians can be healthy and provide support / encouragement, but that all “goes south” when the folks are “C”hristian, not Christian.
Avoiding toxic folks is healthy and healing, no matter what is said or implied.
Many, many ACFJ commenters no longer attend a “c”hurch / church, pursuing alternate ways for staying connected with God and His Word / word. It is the “C”hristians who pass judgement on these choices, not Christians.
I wish a few of my immediate family and a few friends who no longer bother could grasp this. I feel an outcast and it cuts deep when those closest (Christians) just don’t get it. Nothing screams more that you are alone when Christians closest impress those feelings upon you. I try not to talk about things, I try to resist false guilt, but I know I’m no good anymore. I am treated as unsaved. I cannot say anything re church life. I’m no longer qualified to say anything. I am no longer allowed to give an opinion on any matter discussed openly in front of me. I used to be part of that leadership and my voice was valued. I’m now an outsider of church and Christendom. My voice is no longer considered of good value, it’s tainted with sin. It’s not to be listened to. So I’ve learnt to say nothing. If I do it always ends up with words of derision “sure why should we listen to you you have given up church.” I say little now to self-protect and keep the peace. It is not my home to bring upset in, I try to respect that and not upset especially my elders. I respect not getting into any argument for their health’s sake. It’s hard to shake these feelings though. I’m thinking little do they know in saying they are accepting and supporting, they in reality also commit acts of rejection. It’s tough for me. I am no longer worthy. It would break their hearts to hear this, as they do not see it, I think, but it’s nevertheless what has been happening. It breaks my heart too.
I’m hoping soon their eyes see more clearly, but the conditioning of church teaching has been terrible and has not taken abuse and survivors into any consideration at all. Your last comment is exactly how I’ve always felt, as I know others who left church and yet still hold God close to their hearts. I know the church holds them as still in sin as they do not meet for fellowship or prayer. It’s legalism, but they are blind. Those people have been deeply hurt. The Bible does not say these things are necessary for salvation, but it seems for some fellowships (who would agree), but yet in their practice and care say different. Oh the damage being wrought. Blind to their initial hurt and blind to the terrible response. If we do not speak out who will. I’m just trying without being harsh and condemnation, drop some little parcels of truth here and there. I’m convinced eyes are closed and denial re me is present. My life does not matter, at least that’s the great impression I’m being given. Sorry I’m in turmoil inside over this.
Thank you again, Finding Answers, and everyone for your patience with me. I guess everything just will take time. I’ve no one, but you all here and God’s help to get me anywhere.
I feel now I can’t say anything from way back. It’s like “just let it go and forget it” once I separated. Sorry for my blog posts [comments] everyone, I’m trying to piece life together, I’m trying to cut back and shut up, but so much goes on inside I’ll burst. I apologise to you all. Just pray for me.
Thank you for your patience. Love you all. ❤️
Hey, I don’t feel like I’m having to be patient with you, Now Free. 🙂 I’m just following your comments and responding as and when I feel led to do so.
Thanks, as I don’t want to be a pain or burden on anyone. I feel I am to people and I’m trying hard not to be. Sorry I say too much. 🙂