A Cry For Justice

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

Wisdom in Dealing With an Abuser — Realize Everything he Says or Does is Evil

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.


Frequently abuse victims will send me correspondence from their abuser and ask what I think of what the abuser said. My answer is always the same because the words are always the same. “This is evil. Every word, every phrase, every nuance is loaded with accusation, minimization, deception, threat, self-pity, and more.” And this is something that we all have difficulty understanding, yet it is vital that we must if we are going to get free and not keep getting victimized.

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19)

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

Abusers are wicked and evil. From their heart. Their very psychological and spiritual DNA is that of their father the devil, as Jesus said above. Because their heart is completely corrupt, everything that comes out of their mouth is corrupt. And this is what we always see in these communiques from abusers. They do not have to sit down and think and plan long and hard, selecting their words with great care and cunning. No. The diabolic vocabulary is their language, their currency, and it comes to them as naturally as walking.

This does not excuse them in any way. In fact, it increases their guilt. They are culpable. Their intent and motivation behind the words is wicked. They are what the Bible calls ‘revilers.’ They ‘villify’ over and over again, accusing their target of being the ‘villain.’ Revilers end in hell. The Bible says so. They are murderers and they use their tongue to kill.

Jude 4, 10-19 (NASB)
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

… these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;  wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”   These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

I was talking to a federal penitentiary prison guard recently and I told him, “you know how to tell when one of the inmates is lying, right?” He immediately answered correctly, “whenever their mouth is open.” That is how it is with the sociopath, the narcissist, the abuser. When he is speaking, he is abusing and reviling. When he buys flowers and chocolates, he is abusing and reviling.

One time a wicked man who had finally been confronted told his long time victim, “but we did have a lot of good times over the years, didn’t we?” The answer to that manipulative question is of course, “No. We never had even one good moment together because even the apparent nice things you did were part of the cycle of your abuse that you were using to set me up for your next attack.”

So mark this down carefully and you will grow much wiser in dealing with the wicked. How do you know when an abuser is abusing? If his mouth is open, if he is thinking, if he is doing — he is abusing. Because abusers are what they are as surely as a leopard is a leopard.


Further Reading

There Weren’t Really ANY “Good Times” With an Abuser


  1. Anotheranon

    So true Pastor Jeff. Unfortunately so many of us had to find this out the hard way.

    John 10:10a also says it well, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy.” It took me a long time to realize that my (now ex-) husband only wanted to destroy me. He never hit me, but the constant stress he put on me resulted in several physical ailments that could have killed me had they been more serious. And, yes, even what seemed to be good things (fancy cards and candy) were being used to set me up for more abuse.

    Keep telling the readers here the truth. It was only after I found this website that I realized what was happening to me–that I was being abused. I was always so confused and overwhelmed.

    And to anyone reading this who thinks, “maybe he / she will change.” I waited 35 years and it only got worse. Yes, worse. Much, much, worse.

    • G’day, Anontheranon!
      We 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.

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  2. Amy

    It’s always interesting to me when a woman contacts me through my blog who is living with abuse and shares things that her husband and / or ex-husband says or has said, because the words are almost exactly those that my ex spoke for 20+ years to me and our boys. The words are always the same, always filled with excuses, empty apologies, and finger-pointing accusations. Sometimes when a woman shares a letter with me written by her husband pleading for her to come back etc, it stirs old feelings in me as if I’m reading something my ex wrote.

    It’s so important for those of us who have walked through abuse to share our stories so we can keep others aware of the dynamics of an abuser, because as you said, “their heart is completely corrupt, everything that comes out of their mouth is corrupt.” And I admit, this was a hard thing for me to believe about my abuser, but I see so clearly now that it is true and I pray I can offer support and encouragement to women that continuing in an abusive marriage will never get better, it will only lead to a slow death of the victim’s heart and soul.

    Ask me how I know?! 😉

  3. Anonymous100

    but we did have a lot of good times over the years, didn’t we?

    —Yes!, heard this over the years, those brief moments of “flowers and chocolates”, the hooks, meant to keep me from leaving. I began ignoring the hooks, even throwing them out (oh, how he hated that!). It was the beginning of the end to the most mind bending and soul destroying decades of my life. The finalization of the divorce or as I call it, Deliverance Day, is near.

    And when self-doubt and bouts of loneliness try to creep in I say the following:
    “I want to stay married to ____________, because I want to be lied to, lied about, mocked, berated, made to feel never good enough, ignored, cheated on, denied comforting in times of sickness & trials, falsely accused, projected upon, called curse words, go to yet another counseling session and be blamed for everything, made to be the bad guy in front of the children, kept in a cycle of illness and continuously gaslighted!” A few seconds of the reminders of what REALLY went on and it’s full steam ahead into my new life!

  4. HopeGlenn

    Love the statement, well not really love, “how do you know when an abuser is lying? when their mouth is open”. So true and so sad. Nothing the abuser does is ever held in fond memory of a “good time”. Each and every thing done is meant to destroy you and as many as they can take with you. A hard pill to swallow, yet necessary. Thank you again for your words.

    • Hi HopeGlenn, welcome to the blog. 🙂

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  5. Moving Forward

    This is so true. I see it more and more from his emails and what my children report back to me from any contact or visitation they have with him. They are starting to see it, too. I really appreciate the response that there are no good times to look back on. I am beginning to see that as I look back and wonder when it all began. Now I know, it began from the moment I met him. If only others could see it, too.

  6. A

    Something that has helped me a lot in dealing with my abuser (we have joint custody of our daughter) is recognizing that he is a liar. He lies about everything. I have caught him in stupid lies where he appeared to be lying just for the sake of lying. When I really grasped that he is a compulsive liar and grasped that he is just like his father, Satan, the father of lies, I felt a lot more ease in dealing with him. I don’t have to try to figure out whether or not he is telling the truth. I now just assume that everything he says is a lie.

    • joepote01

      I remember reaching a point where I would no longer even ask any questions, because I knew the answer would be a lie, anyway. If something happened to arouse my suspicions, I learned to just go with my gut and assume my instincts were probably fairly accurate…because I knew for sure my instincts were closer to the truth than anything she would tell me.

    • Tee3

      When I realized my now ex told lies every time he opened his mouth, it became easier to deal with him. I didn’t get confused any longer. I just knew he was lying each time.

  7. kim

    I frequently watch the tv show “Lock UP”, which is a documentary format series that films in prisons, interviewing prisoners, guards, victims, etc. I am frequently struck by the “convict code”, which seems to occur in all of the prisons. In the convict code, anyone who cooperates with the authorities, and tells the truth about another convict’s crime or infraction, is labeled a “snitch”, and THEY are the ones who are targeted for attacks and blamed for wrongdoing by the other convicts, while there is no condemnation of the convict(s) who perpetrated the crime / infraction. In the same way, victims of domestic abuse are often blamed for speaking about or resisting the abuse. Prisoners also voluntarily divide along racial lines. Many of them also testify to having “found God” or being Christians- despite having committed heinous crimes, some of which were perpetrated when they were already professing Christians. Jeff’s remark about the prison guard’s comment made me think of the analogy between the prison culture and what victims of domestic abuse suffer, as well as the fact that the followers of the father of lies are consistent in their evil, almost as if they got special training or a secret handbook. I am grateful for this community, which is part of setting free the captives of domestic abuse.

  8. I cannot unsee what I see now

    Thank you so much for your blog! I wish I had found it years ago in order to make sense of a very painful 30 plus year marriage. During a therapeutic separation the Lord answered my prayers to understand what was really happening in this marriage that was destroying me in every way. I am now free with all the attending heartache of divorce to my adult children and extended family. And I am grateful every day to be released even at such a high cost. The “godly man” has the support of my home church, I have been targeted by the pastor and have lost my reputation to many in this rural community. I am portrayed as crazy. And it is still worth it. The few “happy” times were later twisted around and destroyed. At one point in the separation, the husband asked me to return home as his “contempt and disdain (for me) had mostly dissipated over the last year.” The pressure I felt to make the marriage work was extreme. And I wanted it to work. I meant my vows. Thanks again for all you are doing to educate the church!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Cannot Unsee – thank you for coming here and for sharing. It is my conclusion that evil flocks with evil. That is to say, while abusers deceive, eventually Christ’s true sheep hear His voice and simply will not follow the evil one (John 10). Now, that “pastor” of the so-called church, shows his real colors by allying with evil. Mere naivete cannot explain such cases, particularly when the pastor refuses to be taught. The point is, you have been rejected by false teachers and false sheep, not true ones. Glad you are free.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Oh, and Cannot Unsee – it is a good idea for new commenters here to be sure and read the FAQ section on our home page and scan our resources page as well. Blessings to you.

  9. joepote01

    No. We never had even one good moment together because even the apparent nice things you did were part of the cycle of your abuse that you were using to set me up for your next attack.

    For me, this was one of the difficult realities I had to face after divorce…the realization that even the times I remembered as good times were actually not…they were all part of the manipulation.

  10. sheisovercoming

    This was so difficult for me to admit about our abuser. It only took him bribing my son to leave by saying he would begin to pay the support he should have been paying for two years. He then dropped my son off with strangers in another state – people my husband had never seen or met and refused to tell me where they lived. After that, I could no longer deny the level of evil we had been dealing with.
    Pastor Crippen was the first person to speak this truth to me that abusers have an evil heart, and I will forever be grateful for him breaking through the fog.

  11. Raped By Evil

    Title of new class being offered at every educational institution in the world; both public and private: “Reality 101″…………

    What you’ve written Pastor Crippen IS THE TRUTH / IS REALITY. The Bible describes it beautifully and the verses you’ve used are all so vivid and REAL!

    Jeff wrote:

    They do not have to sit down and think and plan long and hard, selecting their words with great care and cunning. No. The diabolic vocabulary is their language, their currency, and it comes to them as naturally as walking.

    ARE WE GETTING THIS ASPECT OF THE EVIL PERSON’S “NORMAL?” Their “normal” is as Pastor Crippen describes it: “DIABOLIC.” Dictionary definition of diabolic: “…belonging to or so evil as to recall the Devil.”

    I’ve been reading lots of books recently (some I’m reading for the second and third time) on these evil personality disorders written from many perspectives, and the one commonality I’ve noticed is that those who try to separate science from the Bible / God are always trying to come up with words that describe these evil people, their motivation and their effect on other’s who are capable of loving other people (people with these severe disorders are not capable of loving anyone but themselves) have the darnedest time coming up with words that don’t use “evil” or “demonic” to describe them. Why? Because EVIL / SATANIC / DEMONIC and any other name that is used to describe Satan, PERFECTLY fits on each of these abusers.

    THEY are not struggling in their souls because:

    …These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;… [Isaiah 66:3]

    THEY are not confused or burdened down with guilt or shame because:

    …These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;… [Isaiah 66:3]

    They enjoy the chaos they create, the havoc that they wrought and the destruction that ensues from (really) very little effort on their part. And they also enjoy that churches, psychology, political correctness etc. work to ENHANCE their evil while people with a heart to love lay like so much fodder on all sides of their hurricane-like evil.

    And we (humanity) have the audacity to wonder why NOTHING seems to be getting better in the world today. Since we’re not educating people or providing them with resources and ways to defend themselves and laws that protect the TRULY innocent, and we keep pretending that these evil people are rare; we deceive ourselves and our children and our hope for the future.

    Thanks for covering this ground again and again Pastor Crippen because it’s true every time you address it. The Bible does this same thing; repeats itself over and over, through the many different voices of the prophets and the writers of the New Testament. The least we can do is repeat it again and again like God does and add yet another AMEN! to the chorus of those who’ve gone before us and learned this evil first hand. Thank you!

  12. MoodyMom

    Boom! Truth right between the eyes! I need it to hit me there because it doesn’t seem to sink in all the way through to my backbone any other way. I hear that they’re evil all the way through, I see that they’re evil all the way through. I understand this in my head.

    But when hugs come, when a little kindness comes along, it all seems like – finally, a drop of rain in the desert! Someone’s being nice to me. And my heart hopes that someone will finally [be] kind. Or at least it will last a little while. I relax a little.

    My head knows better. My mind knows better. Keep the guard up. Unceasing watchfulness. Vigilance! Always vigilance!

    But my heart so badly wants to rest. Wants kindness. Wants to be able to trust someone and not to be lonely.

    But what price, peace? You open the door a little bit.

    Then they sock it to you again. And laugh. And tell you that you need to “get their sense of humor.” That you’re too sensitive. You’re just a girl. You’re just a female. All women are like that, like you’re being… Oh come on now! Stop crying (like a girl)! I wouldn’t hurt you! I love you!

    Or they justify and dazzle you with all the verses they’ve read, all the authors and authorities they can quote off the top of their head, all the studies they’ve done. (Of course, all of your intense research, searching for clarity, praying, studying the Bible, reading, studying about abuse and abusive people and the church doesn’t count… ACFJ and groups like it, well… they’re angry, they have an agenda. They say – as the expert here I’ll tell you I wouldn’t listen too much to what they have to say. And I’m the expert here on the Bible and John Piper and Augustine and Aquinas and Tozer and Sande and Luther and Emerson Eggerichs, so…)

    Once they’ve shown themselves to be wicked, or shown themselves to be apathetic to your plight (you did the leaving after all, you over-emotional, unsubmissive woman!), or out of their “generosity” they possibly just barely tolerate your presence as long as you don’t bring – “it” – up — once they’ve shown themselves, I have to understand they are dangerous and deal accordingly.

    Vigilance. And wait for a real friend from God.

  13. R

    I have been discovering lately through this blog that I am a victim of abuse, both emotional and financial. I have been married for almost 20 years and have trouble grasping that there were no good times at all and that even the good times were part of the cycle of abuse. My husband is very manipulative, a liar and a cheater but it sounds diabolical that everything he did was part of his plan to abuse me further. As would other abused women think, sometimes I wonder where God was in all this and why didn’t He prevent this marriage from taking place.

    • 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 changed your screen name to R as a precaution for your safety. Welcome to the blog.

      As you probably know, I’m a survivor. And I’ve noticed that it takes us survivors a long time to realise we suffered or are still suffering abuse, and it takes us even longer to realise that there were really no ‘good times’ in the relationship. I remember when Jeff Crippen first wrote a post about how there were never any ‘good times’ and I was taken aback. I asked myself, “Was that REALLY true in my marriage?”

      I’ve now come to realise that there were never any good times in my first marriage.

      I don’t think that was wholly true in my second marriage, but the ‘good times’ in that marriage were by the grace of God more than by my second husband’s being a genuinely kind person. I believe this second husband, by the grace of God and a bit due to my coaching this husband, was not wholly abusive in the first year of that marriage. But in the second year… And I now look back on the way our relationship developed from acquaintanceship to friendship and later to courtship, and I can see that he (that man who became my second husband) was deceiving me from the start, and playing me like a fish on the end of his line.

      If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog. And also our FAQ page.

  14. Momto7

    Thank you for this. I asked my husband for a divorce after 26 years of emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. Reading some of the stories out there makes this decision difficult because mine is definitely not the worst case. There was never any physical violence after I left the first time he pushed me against a wall in anger. But I know physical abuse would have been a part of my story if I [he?] hadn’t known I wouldn’t put up with it. Why I put up with the rest for so many years is beyond me.

    When I came out of the fog in February of this year I was filled with anger and so much pain. Looking back, it was a very ugly process but it has brought me more joy and freedom than I’ve had in a long, long time. Most of the “key” phrases that you write about have been used by my abuser. “Didn’t we have a lot of good times?” “It wasn’t all bad” “I never intended to hurt you” (I read a great article, probably on ACFJ, about how lack of intent does not remove guilt-very eye-opening).

    So thank you. Thank you to everyone who puts in so much time to ACFJ. You are making a difference! A huge difference in so many lives. The first article I read was “There were never any good times”. It’s life changing stuff, and I’m grateful to God that I found your website.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Momto7 – And thank you for encouraging us! So glad you are finding freedom. In a sense, all cases of abuse are a “worst case.” Why? Because abuse is abuse. By that I mean that abusers are members of the same diabolical brotherhood. Their mentality, their tactics, and the harm they cause is much the same regardless of its intensity. In our opinion, the most heinous, wicked, and damaging abusers never use physical violence against their victim, but focus on psychological, spiritual, and emotional tactics which in the end seems to do more massive damage then abuse that it right out there, visibly. And of course, the worst of the worst abusers hide behind a cloak of their claimed Christianity.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Also, If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog. And also our FAQ page.

  15. free7

    Wow. Is this ever true. Amazing how uncreative they are. My husband said that, too. He said repeatedly, “We had a good marriage for many years, right? Right up the the point where you changed and became a b*****.” Because when I started to stand up for myself and resist him, he ramped up his abuse tactics. And when I answered that I did not experience any good years or times with him, he accused me of being an actress, a manipulator, a fake. That was the last time I spoke to him. After I told him that, I told him there would need to be a 3rd party present in any future conversation, he suddenly lost interest in speaking to me. Surprise. Now he’s “besties” with the pastor who banded together with him against me.

    • Jeff Crippen

      That pastor is either willfully blind or a child of the evil one as well.

    • standsfortruth

      Abuse is a mind perception game.. Their lying perceptions against yours.
      No wonder they like to isolate their targets…
      That way they are more likely to get the target to second-guess themselves, and default to their lying perceptions.
      Once you have others to back you up, it becomes more challenging for them to keep up the game.

      • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      When they know we are ‘on to them’ they will discard us like rubbish. After all, this is sport to them, a diabolical game. The predator roams about seeking new prey, watching in secret for another victim, just as described in Psalm 10.

  16. minagelina

    One of my struggles is this: Is there such a thing as someone who was just damaged so badly that they are the walking wounded, or are those who abuse (even unconsciously like perhaps my husband) always evil? My husband is probably personality disordered and mildly abusive compared to other abusers. He seems to have somewhat of a conscience and loves his kids. But he is covertly aggressive with me, watches porn on occasion at the very least, and is a guilt tripper extraordinaire. It’s like two guys in one body. Very damaged or evil? Oh and he is not a Believer.

    • Hi Minagelina, this page has some links that you might find helpful
      Is my abuser’s mental illness causing him to be abusive?

      And this post may be helpful too; I’m pasting a bit of the post here:

      Domestic abuse is not, at core, a psychologically driven problem.

      “It is, at core, a CULTURALLY driven problem. Batterers, psychologically speaking — from the point of view of their mental health, how their emotional worlds work, how much they express their emotions, how much they suffer pain, how distorted their perceptions are — do not distinctly differ from non-battering men, on average.

      “They are also not dramatically different from non-battering men in their skills. Researchers have measured their conflict resolution skills, their assertiveness skills, their communication skills, and they test about the same as non-battering men. . .
      “When we look at their family of origin experiences, we do not find batterers having dramatically higher rates of having been abused as children. We DO find them having higher rates of come from homes where they saw their mother being abused. . .

      “What IS it about growing up in a home where you mother has been battered that specifically leads to so many boys growing up to become battering men? . . . The level of trauma is not significant. It is the extent to which the boy has taken on the batterer’s mentality. . . For example: Has the boy come to believe that his mother was to blame? Has the boy come to believe that females are inferior? Has he come to believe that women are endless full-time servants?”

  17. BreatheAgain

    I didn’t want to really believe that the abuser truly is plain evil. But this week I was shocked when he said to me, “If I am an abuser then you are an enabler. Are you going to apologize to me for that?” And in this same conversation he told me I will have to answer to God for my actions of trying to protect my child from him. Just…..no words.

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