A Cry For Justice

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

Survivor’s story in response to Texas church shooting — a guest post

[May 22, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

While driving about this morning, I listened to a radio interview about the shooter who killed and hurt people in a church in Texas. It turns out this man had a history of domestic abuse that the military forgot to report onto his permanent record. This error made it possible for him to continue to purchase weapons, despite the federal law prohibiting the sale of weapons to people with charges of domestic violence. The interview went on to talk about the strong link between mass murders and domestic abusers. And I sat in the car yelling at the radio,

When are people going to see domestic violence as something other than a family matter that got out of hand??? When are there going to be real and lasting consequences??? When are they going to see the darkness of the soul of a person who can do untold damage to those he claims to love??? And if he can do that and be unaffected, how much damage could he do to someone he doesn’t know???

I listened as the people on the radio talk show listed the commonalities of mass murderers — every one of which fit my husband.

Generally, it fits a pattern of easy access to firearms of individuals who have very controlling kind of relationships with their intimate partners and are greatly threatened when their control is challenged.

There are a few obvious signs that someone is considering mass murder.

Individuals who are amassing a number of weapons and a large amount of ammo, that obviously is a red flag. Individuals whose violence generally extends beyond the family would be an indicator of greater danger.

Listening to the radio this morning I was faced once again with the cold hard fact that I could at any moment be in grave danger. The man they were speaking of could be my husband. He owns 20+ weapons — several of which are AK 47 and AR 15-type assault weapons. He has hundreds, if not thousands of rounds of ammo for each gun.

We are separated (and not for the first time) over domestic abuse issues. I recently told him I am filing for divorce. He is currently ignoring the legal papers that have been served him.

All the boxes are checked. He fits the profile.

I yelled at the radio because we have a long history in the court — restraining orders, GAL¹ intervention with my children, years and years of counseling, charges of felony abuse.  Behind our personal history, stands the courts, the police and the churches we attended during this time — all of whom colluded, without intention, to keep me in danger.

After I told a pastor I was afraid my husband was gonna kill somebody in our house, he replied, “He is only threatening you with heaven. Saved people should not ever be afraid of going to heaven.”

When counseling me that separation was wrong, this same pastor offered this explanation to the abuse, “Just as Jesus was beaten and bruised for our transgressions, perhaps God is calling you to the same?“ This same pastor who offered me no hope, only guilt and condemnation from God, never confronted my husband about this behavior and never asked him to step down from his leadership position at church.  He later admitted this was because he was afraid of him.

I went against church counsel (in my mind, also thumbing my nose at God) and went to the courts alone, asking for protection. I received from the courts — that the church described as a “humanistic court system” — what the church would not afford me: protection.

Based on the information I gave for the protection orders, the state stepped in and brought felony abuse charges against my husband.  It was my pastor who went to the courts, on behalf of my husband, asking that the felony abuse charges be dropped and in return the church would counsel him and hold him responsible. Seems like a laughable offer over such serious charges, but the court agreed and removed the charges.

Although there were restraining orders for myself and my children, within months the church and the pastor in individual counseling was pressing me to drop the orders of protection and allow my husband to see the children and move home. I refused. I was facing being removed from the church for being a disobedient wife. In actuality, they were threatening me with removal of the only social outlet in my life. I lived under such strict control that I was not allowed to answer the telephone, get the mail, or have private conversations — amongst a huge list of other things I couldn’t do. Yet, it was me who was repeatedly chastised for “living in fear” and being “ungodly” for suffering with PTSD. I was told if I went for “secular help” I would be removed from the church. I couldn’t fathom losing more.

The pastor never chastised my husband when he repeatedly broke the law by violating the restraining orders. I was repeatedly told “his sins are no different than yours in God’s eyes”. [Note from ACFJ Eds: that pastor did sin levelling which is wicked and unbiblical. You can read about sin levelling here and here.]

I found my husband in my home or found evidence that he had been in my home on multiple occasions. I called the sheriff to report Protection Order violations. The law went to my husband who admitted he had done it. Each time they told him, “the NEXT TIME you do that, you’ll be in trouble“.

The pastor told me I was being unfair. It was not natural for a man to go without his family. What I really needed to do was let him move home and start marriage counseling. This was my only option if I was going to please God. Divorce for any reason other than adultery was sin and God hated it. (How twisted is it to tell a woman and children that they would could have received a “get out of jail free” card had their father cheated, but if he is violent, controlling, and heartless, we just have to deal with that.)

I agreed to trying marriage counseling and him coming home. Within three weeks, my husband was violent again. I took the kids and stayed with a friend until he was removed from the house. I ended up fleeing the state with my children several months later. I felt abandoned by my church, by the courts and by God.

I found out later that because my husband had been charged with domestic abuse, he could no longer own guns. Rather than face the consequences of losing his firearms, the pastor took them to his house. When I left the state, he gave them back to my husband.

There’s so much more to the story, but my story is not so different than many others. Abusive men, time and time again, do not face the penalties of their actions. I honestly feel that had my husband had to face those felony charges, it might have woken him up to the reality of how heinous the actions of abusing his own family were.

Long story short, we were separated for somewhat less than ten years [detail airbrushed to protect victim] and we now live in another state from where the restraining orders and charges of abuse were filed. I allowed him to move back home, believing God had saved him.  He seemed very different. I was wrong. My husband used a false profession of salvation to gain his way back home.  My husband no longer used physical violence, but all other forms of abuse were being used daily.  I didn’t believe I had the right to separate again if he wasn’t physically abusive. I stuck it out for about half a dozen years more.

When I discovered he was purchasing firearms again, I went to the sheriff’s office in this state to ask how this was possible with his history. They told me their hands are tied unless it shows up on his background check. There’s nothing they can do. Another failure to report domestic abuse on someone’s “permanent record” gave my husband the right to purchase assault rifles and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Ironically, it was over ammunition that we separated this final time. He had purchased over $1000 of ammunition on a credit card I knew nothing about. I found a receipt in the garage. Bringing it to him and asking for an explanation began a six-month angry stonewalling / silent treatment that ended our marriage.

I tell you all this because I am no different than the thousands of other women who face these issues every day. We are not the ones protected by the courts and the law. Those “mistakes” of not filing domestic abuse charges on our abusers record have real and deadly consequences for us. Those allowances of lawless actions that abusers do to intimidate and strike fear in the abused, such as “NEXT TIME you are going to jail,” only embolden them and reinforce their belief that they truly are above the law. We are not the ones who find mercy and grace within the church. Most often, we make the clergy uncomfortable and our fears are chastised, minimized and / or ignored. We do not, and often cannot, stand up for ourselves because years of abuse by a man has stripped us of any authority in our own lives and has taught us that we are nothing and worthy of being ignored.  For me, the message my abuser taught me was reinforced by the courts, the police and the church when I reached my breaking point and asked for help.

We are the ones who go underground and continue living our lives as best we can. You know us as your neighbor, your friend or co-worker. I live a pretty normal existence, but this morning when riding in the car, I heard the radio story that reminds me that I and anyone who might be around me at any particular time could quite possibly be in grave danger.

The church, the police, and the courts, will be shocked and saddened when and if another tragedy happens — never realizing it actually will be BECAUSE of them that it happened.

¹GAL stands for Guardian ad Litem. It is a person the court appoints to investigate what solutions would be in the best interests of a child in a divorce or parental rights and responsibilities case.

[May 22, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to May 22, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to May 22, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to May 22, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (May 22, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


For further reading

America’s Mass Shooting Problem Is a Domestic Violence Problem

To Stop Violence, Start at Home

Feminist mobilisation and progressive policy change: why governments take action to combat violence against women — Research which shows that feminist activism is the most important and consistent factor driving policy change in violence against women.

The Bible DOES allow divorce for domestic abuse

Safety Planning

Legal Issues


  1. Anonymous Commenter

    And if the men are scared to impose consequences on the abuser, how asinine is it for society to expect abused women to go about doing so, let alone leaving their abusers which is so risky, so dangerous, and so scary for most to do because the abuser steps up the abuse, terrorism, criminal conduct, etc.

    I think the pastor’s honesty, in admitting he was afraid of the husband. was rare….at least in my experience. Abusers are terrorists. Some shoot bullets, others kill with words, looks, etc. All are the devil’s spawn.

    • Helovesme

      Nicely said. I too was a bit taken back but “cheered” when the pastor admitted fear of this man. It does take a brave person to admit fear. However, we need pastors like David who fight the lion and the bear to protect the sheep. I go out on a limb and suggest David may too have been afraid of fighting those large animals, but the opposite action (doing nothing) was not acceptable to him. The sheep were too precious to him. We need more pastors like Brother David.

      Absolutely agree that abusers are domestic terrorists (then may escalate to the outside world). Steal, kill and destroy. When I pray, I cannot list the many ways that abuse can be carried out, but the result is the same: stripped of worth and dignity. Only a true Savior can build back up what was so heartlessly taken away.

      • Helovesme

        I would add that even though the pastor claimed to be afraid of the abuser, he seemed to have no fear in threatening to expel the victim from the church for being a “disobedient wife.”

      • Anonymous Commenter

        Steal, kill, and destroy.

        As well as the inherent deception.

        Well said:

        the result is the same: stripped of worth and dignity

        One abuser commented how he treated animals better than his victim. Heartless and sadistic.

        Indeed, only a true Savior can rebuild what was taken from each of us who have been abused. And the rebuilding process is so hard. So difficult. But God tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and if I don’t try and live that truth, try to make myself believe it despite what doubt and brainwashing was sown into me by abusers, then I reason I am calling God a liar…..so I try very, very hard to live as though I am a person and one of worth, to boot.

  2. Suzanne

    It’s difficult to believe that this woman’s pastor was a genuinely saved, Spirit-filled Christian. He abused her and her kids as much as their husband and father did. He was also a coward. I wouldn’t want to be either of these men on the day they stand before the throne of God. May our loving Father surround this poor lady and her children with His angels to watch over and protect them from harm.

  3. Abby

    Your husband is quite evil, but when I think of what your pastor did…….excusing, aiding, abetting, rationalizing, and supporting your husband’s evil. It sickens me. If it weren’t for him (your pastor), your husband could “possibly” have been brought to repentance. I don’t understand why people are so afraid to confront evil, especially our pastors.

    • Seeing Clearly

      Perhaps not repentance, but at least to justice. Perhaps that would be short lived as well, as they are not afraid to re-challenge the system over and over, but at least his record would have more lines on it.
      I struggle with how much it requires of an abused wife, fighting an abuser, a reviler, and the system, to just get through a day. It is a new perspective on Micah 6:8….that the one being tormented unjustly….believe that true justice will come, probably not on earth….that she lavish herself in mercy in many ways, throughout each day….and allowing for the truth, no matter how hard, that our omnipotent God holds her in the palm of God’s gentle hand at all times.

  4. Lea

    After I told a pastor I was afraid my husband was gonna kill somebody in our house, he replied, “He is only threatening you with heaven. Saved people should not ever be afraid of going to heaven.”…[snip] This same pastor who offered me no hope, only guilt and condemnation from God, never confronted my husband about this behavior and never asked him to step down from his leadership position at church. He later admitted this was because he was afraid of him.

    Why was he afraid if he would only be threatened with ‘heaven’???

    In other words…Well. I don’t think I can say the other words, but that guy was a terrible, horrible ‘pastor’. And human being.

    • Why was the pastor afraid if he would only be threatened with ‘heaven’???

      This ^

      • Helovesme

        Exactly. Right on point. The words “heaven” and “threaten” should never be used in the same sentence like this. A gun shoved in your face is a violent threat period.

        It’s easy to condemn another person for their fears (and make light of them), but when you are the one who is afraid—suddenly it’s completely valid and serious.

    • He is only threatening you with heaven. Saved people should not ever be afraid of going to heaven.

      Jesus was afraid when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was so afraid His peripheral blood vessels broke open and blood came out of the pores of His skin. That is a medically documented condition which only happens when people are terrified of imminent death. So Jesus felt INTENSE fear. And He knew He was going to heaven.

      That pastor ought be booted out for his lack of understanding of scripture.

      • Anonymous

        I love this blog for so very many reasons. I especially love just how much I learn from it all. Your insertions of knowledge are so wonderful, Barbara. The Bible said Jesus sweated blood. I didn’t doubt it but it’s amazing what a person can learn from simply reading your writings.

        And how comforting to know that Jesus felt INTENSE fear as He had sure knowledge He would be going to heaven.

        Fear is fear. When you feel it, there’s a reason for such. Gavin de Becker has a book titled The Gift of Fear.

      • We have The Gift of Fear on our Recommended Books list.

  5. Seeing Clearly

    Since the church shooting, experts say they have yet to find commonality in the pattern / background of those who commit mass shootings. You have described here, a very real possibility that should move to the forefront for consideration.

    At a personal level, if an abuser destroys even one life (yours), it is great destruction. The daily stripping of your personhood is an act of shaking his fist at God, saying ‘I will destroy one who you love and created’.

    You communicate very well. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Abigail

    You are brave and those of us on this blog support you. We believe your story. May God show His powerful protection to you and I will pray that your ex ends up behind bars where he cannot harm anyone.

  7. Jeff Crippen

    There is no doubt that, in light of Scripture, not only is that “Christian” abuser in no way one of Christ’s people, neither is that pastor. The pastor is a false shepherd. Naivete alone cannot explain his actions in this case. Christ said of His true flock that we hunger and thirst for righteousness and that we take definitive action when we come across a victim of oppression. A faith that sees someone cold and naked but just says “have a nice day” without giving clothing and provision is a false faith, says James. I am convinced that what we are dealing with in most of these cases where the pastor and church ally with the wicked is an entirely counterfeit church with a wicked wolf as a pastor. Churches should all be crying out that pastors who do things like he has done be arrested and imprisoned. They are accomplices in mass murder.

    • Seeing Clearly

      Wicked wolf as a pastor

      So true!

    • Helovesme

      Thank you Pastor. One of my prayers now is that God removes from leadership anyone that is not “worthy” to be there (including in my own church). It is not an easy thing to pray, but it is the right thing to pray for. We recently faced a scandal where we found out our senior Pastor had been doing great harm and evil. I loved him as a brother in Christ and the loss is still heavy on my heart. However, he “got away” with a lot of sin for a long time, and I’m beyond grateful that the Lord brought it to light. Now my prayers turn to the victims and the many, many people he hurt.

      This pastor had many chances to repent, ask the Lord to show him wisdom, discernment and ask the Lord as to what truly needed to be done (or undone) that would be right in His eyes. He just kept ignoring those chances and kept escalating his bad counsel and actions (and non-actions). I do not know if he was so self-deceived that he really thought he was doing God’s will, so he kept going from bad to worse, but it sure sounds like it.

  8. Brother Maynard

    I’m sorry to hear that not only the Pastor of your church was enabling and afraid of your husband but the existing gun laws were not enforced either.

  9. TuffEnuff

    If the pastor gave firearms to a man who had a DVO [Domestic Violence Order] against him, then the pastor broke the law. He should be sued. That would teach the little twerp — and would send a message to other “Christians” — that they shouldn’t befriend the abuser. Really, ladies, it may be time to push back through the court system to bring some of this church abuse to light.

    There is a preacher in my town who is saying that members of his congregation have written to me and I have not responded. TOTAL LIE. I have receiving NOTHING from any member of the congregation. I received a screen shot of his text saying that to another preacher in another state about me. I am thinking about having my attorney write him a cease and desist letter to scare him. I’m sick of being bashed and of the support being given to my husband while I am the Scarlet Letter Woman.

    • I Cannot Unsee What I See Now

      If we could have a “meet up” of women who have been mistreated and mischaracterized by the church while the husbands have been suppported and defended, it would be a huge gathering…

      • Seeing Clearly

        I have carried a picture in my heart for a long time. It’s a very hot, sunny day with a huge shade tree in the center. Gathered under the shade are all the women I know who have been / are being abused. Jesus sits in our midst, with tears. The shade of the tree continues to spread further and further. (Including all abused by ministers.) I guess there must be thousands of trees, providing shade for millions of us.

      • Like. ^

  10. Stronger Now

    Spineless. Faithless. Evil. That pastor should be in jail.

  11. Helovesme

    Thank you, dear lady for being so brave and telling your story so well. I will be lifting you up in prayer. We all look and seem “normal” on the outside, don’t we? I have gone through a lot of pain and suffering in the past few years, but to look at me you would never know it. I try very hard to “hold it together” in public, but in my times with the Lord the tears won’t stop. Possibly the same has been true for you?

    There were plenty of “buttons” that your story pushed in me concerning the pastor’s “counsel” especially, but also concerning your ex-husband. It scared me down to my bones that this type of man was in leadership in that church!

    I noticed that the secular community let you down as well and did not offer you the full protection you needed. But I am beyond sorry that the very body of Christ was far worse. No one should have to fight your own family members (your ex-husband) but also your own brothers in Christ (your ex pastor).

    I am not a fan of guns but now more than ever I am not a fan. Not here to start a political discussion, honestly. It is the violence and the taking of lives that I truly hate, and guns do play a part in that. I hope many people read your story and listen to those warnings you gave, and many Christians / church leaders read your story and get on their knees and pray. Perhaps they too have acted similar to this pastor and the Lord used your story to “wake” them up. Blessings and comfort and peace and joy to you.

    • Liz

      This is why my pastor didn’t believe me at first, I think. You get so used to hiding and putting on a mask, and trying to let stuff wash over you so it doesn’t hurt as much. I found myself in a situation where if I didn’t show my feelings, nobody believed things could be that bad, but if I did show them, then I got told to trust God more and not be bitter or give up.

  12. Song of Joy

    I don’t want to get into the details of my family’s tragedy, but I want to say something here because this post is important.

    My father was a life-long, controlling abuser who had a very successful career…but he was also a secretly vengeful, hateful, paranoid man who stock-piled weapons and ammunition.

    And we did eventually have a homicide within our family.

    That is why I come here to ACFJ. Because I grieve still, and only others in abusive situations understand the complex, relentless evil that is domestic violence.

    The threat is real. There are men whose favorite hobby is fantasizing about and planning how to destroy others, and it needs to be addressed by both the church and society.

    • Helovesme

      Song of Joy I’m so sorry for the pain and trauma in your family. No words will suffice.
      This site has been wonderful for me as well to try to make sense of my own complicated life.

      I hope and pray it has been helpful and useful for you as a tool, but only our Father in Heaven can truly make whole what has been destroyed or taken away.

      I have noticed how an abuser (in my situation) can be smart, successful, respected in a career. But at home he was emotionally immature, incredibly insensitive and brutal in his words and actions. He is not a Christian, but he was well respected in the community. He did not stock pile guns, however, and I am fairly certain that he did not inflict harm on members outside of the home. So abusers have much in common, but also differences as well. The results however are the same: a lot of brokenness and tragedy to deal with.

      • Song of Joy

        our Father in Heaven can truly make whole what has been destroyed or taken away


    • Liz

      I’m so sorry for your pain and loss. And, selfishly, it makes me thankful that I’m in a country where guns are heavily regulated. I’m certain that if we had a gun in the house, someone in my family would be dead by now. Thank you for sharing your story and helping to shine a light on evil.

    • Clockwork Angel

      I’m so sorry to hear that your abuser’s violence claimed a life in your family. 😦

      I remember my father inheriting a gun from his own father when he passed. Mom wisely hid it deep in the closet for a reason. Around that time, my father was getting increasingly unhinged. He was always abusive, but the mix of alcohol, combined later with antipsychotic drugs that you’re not supposed to drink with for a very good reason, made him so unstable we were getting scared he’d kill us with that gun. Because the gun did not need to be registered in our state when it was inherited like that, nobody knew he had it on record. Hence even with DV charges and a ban on him having guns for it, he still had a gun that the police never knew about.

      I’m not normally against the average citizen having a gun for protection, but people need to realize that some people really really should not be allowed near any weapon. Granted, my father could just as easily have chosen to use a spoon to stab us with if he wanted to, but at least he couldn’t exactly go on a spoon stabbing spree. Guns just make it so much easier for the abuser, and so much harder for the victim.

      I do alternatively wish that restraining orders automatically granted victims a conceal carry permit without hassle (I live in a state where you pretty much have to be the sheriff’s favorite nephew to get one), with the understanding that if the abuser comes near them, the victim is entitled to self-defense. That’s my day dream.

      • Lea

        I’m not normally against the average citizen having a gun for protection, but people need to realize that some people really really should not be allowed near any weapon.

        I live in the south, and I understand people get very attached to their guns (especially inherited ones). I feel the same way about one I inherited.

        But I completely agree with you, some people should not have them. People with homicidal ideation OR suicidal ideation should either remove them voluntarily (which I realize is probably a pipe dream when dealing with an abusive man) or friends or family should keep them away.

  13. anonymous

    Evil people run in packs. They are the wolves & predators Jesus speaks of throughout Scripture.

    Stay far away from both these evil men whose ONLY goal is to kill, murder & destroy you! They plot and plan as their thirst for blood escalates, and then we turn on the TV and see a Texas massacre.

  14. Dave

    It is so sad (and also angering) that “This is what God demands of you” was used so many times by the pastor and others to push the writer into abusive situations and unsafe actions, twisting our loving and caring God into a cruel and hateful taskmaster, to the point where the letter writer felt that doing the right and necessary thing was “thumbing her nose at God.” That in itself is evidence that the abuser and the enabling pastor do not know God or anything of who He is.

    Those who claim to speak on God’s behalf and instead counsel abusively are just as evil, if not worse, than the abuser.

    And yes, the pastor admitting he didn’t confront the abuser because of fear, after having told the writer that her fear was wrong because if she were killed then she would go to heaven . . . there is no clearer summary of the deliberate wrongness of the pastor’s counsel.

    • Estelle

      Jesus told us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If you (generic you) are struggling to bear whatever you are told God demands of you, then those demands are not of God.

      • I would agree Estelle that if someone is struggling to bear what they perceive to be the yoke of Christ, a possible reason is that they have been taught a wrong concept of what God asks Christians to do.

        Another possibility is that they are simply grieving or suffering affliction of some kind and are not sinning in the way they are responding to that affliction, but they are just finding it hard to bear. Believers do have dark times sometimes. We can be sorely tempted by the devil, we can suffer persecution for our faith, we can suffer illness or affliction. And we all suffer to some degree or other because we live in a fallen world and we all will face death of our mortal bodies if Christ does not come first.

        But when churches lay man-made demands on believers, saying that these are the demands of Christ (like John Piper does in his book “What Jesus Demands of the World”) they do great harm to believers. They impose a yoke which Christ never imposes.

  15. Caroline

    This makes me absolutely livid. I am so appalled I can barely think. Whatever gave that pastor the right to think interfering with the court ruling (among all his other many sins) is beyond me. And why on earth would the courts agree!?!? Makes me want to scream!

  16. God Hears

    I wanted to share a positive story. Before I realized that there had been times when I should have called the police, one of the leaders of my church went to my husband and said, “If you do anything physical to your wife again, I am going to personally make sure she calls the police, has you arrested, and files a protection order.” I am still with my husband as the physical abuse has stopped and am in the process of implementing boundaries to see how he does with those. Throughout this time, the male leadership of our church has regularly checked in on me, asking how they can pray, asking if I feel I am safe, etc. They are treating me as their sister in Christ which is how all of us should be treated by our church leadership.

  17. CeeKay

    The righteous anger that rises within me as I read this account of EVIL done in the name of my Lord Jesus, is enough to choke me blind with bile before I can even finish!

    For me, there is nothing more personally disgusting than the blatant cowardice of a man self-proclaiming his position of shepherd within the Body of Christ, and then because of his own weak character, openly accomodating a wolf when he comes to destroy the sheep. Such a coward is worthy of condemnation.

    I have been convinced for more years than I can now remember, that the narrow gate Christ speaks of and the few that will enter, is vastly more narrow than anyone imaganes, and actions of spiritual cowardice will eliminate far more than are suspected. To spiritually house, feed, and support an evildoer such as this man, by this ‘pastor,’ is to knowingly put himself directly in the path of God’s wrath, might, and justice. Woe to him who is an evil fool before Jehovah! Woe to him who aids the wolf!

    • Seeing the Light

      Amen, CeeKay!

      I have been convinced for more years than I can now remember, that the narrow gate Christ speaks of and the few that will enter, is vastly more narrow than anyone imagines, and actions of spiritual cowardice will eliminate far more than are suspected.

      I think you are right. I almost shudder at the thought. When He speaks of those who will defend their work in His name as proof of belonging to Him, the same ones He calls evildoers and sends away from Himself, He says “many.

      These “many” claim to be Christians and appear to do Christ’s work – and they are evildoers.

  18. StandsWithAFist

    [Trigger Warning]
    In discussing this and the recent Las Vegas shooting with a dear & trusted friend, we both noticed how the public, the media & the “talking heads” all keep looking for a “motive”.
    They seem quite desperate to find a “motive”.
    They seem quite frustrated & perplexed about identifying a “motive”.
    Sure, it’s all about power & control & domination. I get that. I have been the target of such.
    But what is the “end game”? What do people like this want???
    What is it? Power? Control? Domination?
    Yes….but then why do so many take the coward’s way out & end their own lives.
    In the end: there is no motive, there is no “reasonable explanation”.
    There is only evil.
    Pure, unadulterated evil.
    Evil is…..evil.
    It does not need a motive.
    It does not need a trigger.
    It does not change.
    It does not value others.
    It does not listen to reason.
    It does not care.
    I am reminded about the demons that Jesus cast out. They begged to go into the swine. What did the swine do?
    They ran off a cliff & killed themselves.
    The metaphor is profound: like these evil men who destroyed lives & murdered others, evil needs no reason or motive to be evil, & they will in fact kill themselves.
    Perhaps the John Pipers of the world think evil can be redeemed, reconciled, restored.
    But our Lord says No. He cast them out.
    Demons cannot be saved or evangelized.
    They are beyond redemption.
    Jesus tells us to oppose evil.
    He made a whip (more than once) and He did not take it to City Hall, but to the Church.
    When oh when will the church get that memo?
    When will the church get it?
    These kinds of marriages & relationships cannot be mended, but need to ended.

    The church needs to get her theology straight about evil.

    Evil needs no motive to be evil.

    • Momof3blessings

      Well said, Stands. Cannot agree more. Keep spreading this truth!

  19. Kind of Anonymous

    He is only threatening you with heaven. Saved people should not ever be afraid of going to heaven.

    This is just breathtaking in its braindead, smug, egocentric stupidity. I was outraged and grief stricken all at once and wanted to vomit. It made me ill reading it. This man is in serious trouble with God. He aided and abetted evil for no apparent reason other than male privilege and pride. His actions in helping your former husband avoid consequences related to his weapons stash by taking them to his house and then giving them back later are tantamount to accessory to potential murder.

    If only there was a way for such as these to be removed from their pulpits over such things, sooner rather than later, because other Christians recognized the difference between true godliness and the profane character of an Esau who has not genuine conviction or repentance. Words fail me. I am so sorry that you have to endure such evil at the hands of those who should have had the most exemplary integrity and mercy and didn’t. I sometimes think these men do this out of self flattery, for they think somehow they are showing themselves to be really merciful, wonderful, outstanding pastors by showing such ‘grac’. In other words the image they are really falling down before is their own, not that of Jesus.

    • StandsWithAFist


  20. GypsyAngel

    Tribute to a life lost.

    I personally would like to thank you for this particular article. You see, I knew one of the victims. She was a survivor of domestic violence. She was in one of the recovery groups that I’m an Admin. in and a woman I called my sister. Another one of my ladies was her dearest and closest friend and also a member of that same church. She would have been there if her child was not ill. You cannot even begin to understand the level of anguish to have watched this amazingly strong woman grow from a damaged soul to a beautiful vibrant new bride and wife with her whole life ahead of her with a loving husband who truly cherished her (warts and all) and rebuilding a life for her family from the ashes of such abuse that I know she had experienced. She fought so very hard to recover from the abuse in her past, only to lose her life at the hands of another abuser that slipped through the cracks of a very broken system.

    God help me….I am so very angry…. and our whole recovery community, even now is still devastated by the loss of her. We owe it to her……I owe it to her, to NEVER be silent in the face of abuse. It is the hidden monster that is in everyone’s face. It is the insidious beast that devours families. It is the Jezebel spirit that lurks in the darkness of society, guarded by the rich and powerful elite, preying on the innocent caring souls of this world. We MUST continue to be a loud voice that refuses to be silenced. In our churches, in our towns, in our cities, in our states and in our country. God help us ALL.


    • Seeing Clearly

      I am so very sorry and thankful that you would tell us, I wrap you in a blanket of love and caring. So very sorry.

      • GypsyAngel

        Thank you for your compassion.

    • Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Gypsy Angel, for letting us know that the survivor community is connected like this….and you and your group of sister-survivors have been grieving all this time and you are one of our long standing readers at ACFJ — and you are putting out this call and this prayer —

      We MUST continue to be a loud voice that refuses to be silenced. In our churches, in our towns, in our cities, in our states and in our country [and the whole world]. God help us ALL.

      • GypsyAngel

        Thank you Barbara. Her loss has left us quite shaken; however, of stronger resolve to be a loud voice for reform.


  21. GypsyAngel

    And also…thank you all for giving a voice to those that the predators would silence. Thank you for being such diligent laborers for the Kingdom. Thank you for dispelling the lies and misconceptions that plague the church where domestic abuse / violence finds such a welcoming place to hide using the guise of piety. And thank you most of all for giving us scriptural truths on which to stand firmly in the heat of battle. There WILL come a day when the tables will turn and these dark spirits will no longer find refuge from the light of truth. The love of God Will find a way. May you ALL be abundantly blessed, in Jesus Name. ❤

  22. Finding Answers

    In reading the original post and the comments generated, I am reminded of computer analogies….

    Complete failure of the operating system, applications software, and user help-line.

    Bugs can be fixed.

    Patches applied.

    The operating system updated.

    But people aren’t computers, much as the world loves the analogy. God did not create machines, robots, automatons.

    The computer is a tool – yes, very handy and useful – and like any tool, can be used with wisdom or ineptitude. If the user lacks knowledge, they need a supportive help-line. If the software applications are faulty, competent experts are needed to integrate and implement effective updates.

    The addition of nifty new features does not repair the underlying lack of integration. The addition of fancier touch-screens does not repair miscommunication. The addition of fuzzy logic – computing based on partial truth, rather than true / false – can further exacerbate inconsistent responses.

    But people aren’t computers.

    And it’s not computers paying the price.

    In memoriam to the suffering.

    • Finding Answers

      Adding on to my own comment….

      God is my Master Programmer, and He is doing FAR more than tinkering with a machine, a robot, or an automaton in the process of healing me.

      But people aren’t computers.

      But God IS the Master Healer.

      • Finding Answers

        Adding on to my own comments….

        I commented:

        The addition of nifty new features does not repair the underlying lack of integration. The addition of fancier touch-screens does not repair miscommunication….


        I also commented:

        But God IS the Master Healer.


        Repairing miscommunication can require synchronizing different devices – computers / cell phones / tablets / etc.

        I also commented:

        But people aren’t computers.


        As a result of system overload as an infant, my own (human) communication centre was sent out of sync. (Omitting details for my protection.)

        Depending on the circumstances, words and pictures in my mind did not always say the same thing at the same time. Re-synchronizing my own (human) communication centre meant going to the source of the malfunction and untangling the memory that was causing interference in the exchange of information.

        The re-synchronizing of my (human) communication centre is complete, but I don’t know how it will affect my verbal / written communication. I still think in a combination of words and pictures in my mind, an ongoing flow creating complete sentences for complex concepts.

        While fundamentally I haven’t changed, the results of the re-synchronization process may / may not change my verbal / written communication.

      • Finding Answers, I like the way you keep getting more and more out of this analogy. 🙂

    • Finding Answers

      After re-reading my 24TH SEPTEMBER 2018 – 8:48 AM, I decided I’d add a more detailed explanation on fuzzy logic….

      In my comment, I wrote:

      The addition of fuzzy logic – computing based on partial truth, rather than true / false – can further exacerbate inconsistent responses.

      From Wikipedia:

      Fuzzy logic is a form of many-valued logic in which the truth value of variables may be any real number between 0 and 1. It is employed to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value may range between completely true and completely false.[1] By contrast, in Boolean logic, the truth values of variables may only be the integer values 0 or 1….

      ….Fuzzy logic is based on the observation that people make decisions based on imprecise and non-numerical information. Fuzzy models or sets are mathematical means of representing vagueness and imprecise information (hence the term fuzzy). These models have the capability of recognising, representing, manipulating, interpreting, and using data and information that are vague and lack certainty.[5][6]
      (Wikipedia: Fuzzy logic)

      • Seeing Clearly

        This has been an interesting post to return to after a few years have passed. Your fresh insight to “fuzzy logic” is a clarifying factor. Also, helpful in grasping so much rhetoric that has come to us via news broadcasters in the last few years.

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