A Cry For Justice

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

Shunning is Not Always Wrong – by Jeff Crippen

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.


Rather than putting Paige Patterson out of the SBC for all the cruel ways he has treated victims of abuse, the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary have just given Paige Patterson a golden parachute. They ought to have put him out of the church altogether and be shunning him for his facinorous (extremely wicked) pattern of conduct.

This is a repost  from Ps Jeff Crippen’s blog.
(Shunning is Not Always Wrong [Internet Archive link])
Jeff resigned from the ACFJ team last year.
He now blogs at Light For Dark Times [Internet Archive link].

Many times I have heard people criticize churches and Christians for “shunning” someone. And in many of those cases the criticism is valid because the person being shunned is in fact a victim of some evil which the church refused to confront. Instead, they blamed the victim and gave threw them under the bus.

Somehow the idea of “shunning” someone has become something that is thought to be always evil and wrong. But that is not so. The Bible is quite plain that there are people who we are to have nothing to do with. Who we are, you can say, to shun. Here are some scriptural examples:

1 Co 5:11-13 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. (12) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Rom 16:17-18 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (18) For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

2 Th 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

I could go on citing more, but this certainly should suffice to prove that the Christian is to keep away from, avoid, and not even eat with certain people. Namely and especially, people who claim to be Christians but who are walking in evil and therefore are servants of the devil.

This idea that shunning is always wrong and evil in itself is something that is often used to justify keeping the wicked in the church, enabling them in their evil. But to do so is to refuse to obey the clear commands of the Lord. For myself, I simply cannot understand why any real Christian would want to continue in fellowship with a counterfeit believer who has crept in among the brethren to destroy and harm. We are light in the Lord. Why would we want to associate and be bound together with darkness?

Notice once again (you see it in the verses quoted above) that it is not the average, normal unbeliever that is the most serious threat to the church, though of course we are not to be intimately connected with them either. I count numbers of unsaved people as my friends. But I wouldn’t marry one. I socialize with them (as Jesus ate with sinners) but I realize that we are not at all on the same page when it comes to ultimate truths of God’s Word. Nevertheless, the greatest evil, the most wicked and dangerous person, comes to us disguised as a sheep, yet is a ravenous wolf. If someone claims to be a brother in Christ but in fact bears evil fruit as a regular pattern of his life, then that is the person to shun.

So, yes, I shun certain people. Our church shuns certain people. And in doing so we are obeying our Lord’s command.


For further reading

Churches are sinfully honouring reprobates—Eli and his reprobate sons.

Wise As Serpents Digest

FAQs about Abuse 

Resources about Domestic Abuse


  1. joepote01

    Shunning Patterson would seem more appropriate than the retirement package provided.

    What I would really like is for the SBC to publicly shun Patterson’s dangerous teaching…something they have not done.

    On Counseling Against Divorce [Internet Archive link]

    Thank you Barbara and Jeff!

    • 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.


      Hi Joe, thanks for the encouragement. But Jeff is no longer on the ACFJ team: he resigned last year. Perhaps you knew that but it had slipped your mind. 🙂

      • joepote01

        Yes, I knew that. I assumed as author of post Jeff was likely monitoring comments.


      • Understood…

  2. Finding Answers

    The last ‘c’hurch I attended for any duration had too many wolves, from the pastor on down. When I submitted a request for prayer ministry, the written response quoted Scripture and said maybe it was “time to let it go”. Um, as many on ACFJ can attest, one does not “choose” flashbacks. Nor does one ignore the leadings of the Holy Spirit in crawling out of the fog.

    I got the feeling one of the issues was they could not add me to the “instant-fix” list of their prayer ministry – they DID make sure THOSE received much publicity.

    When I left, there were some who “warned” me I was falling into Satan’s clutches by leaving “their” ‘c’hurch.

    You could say I reversed the verses quoted by Pastor Jeff. I shunned the ‘c’hurch. Followed Jesus and shook their dust from my sandals.

    • As many on ACFJ can attest, one does not “choose” flashbacks.

      What a gem! TW can you please add it to the GEMS page? Thanks!

      • twbtc

        A gem indeed!

        I’ve added it to the GEMS page.

    • You could say I reversed the verses quoted by Pastor Jeff. I shunned the ‘c’hurch. Followed Jesus and shook their dust from my sandals.

      Bravo and Hallelujah!

  3. Donald B. Johnson

    A serial spiritual abuser planning to retire is either forced to or agrees to retire a few months early but gets to keep huge already planned benefits. This is a sham con job. Watch for fireworks next month at the SBC national convention. Wade Burleson plans to call them out on this.

  4. Sarah

    As someone who has experienced shunning it is a horrible thing. I was shunned for talking to an ex-member of my “church”. To this day, even children born after I was removed from fellowship, will see my car or see me and turn the other way. They have no idea who I am, and I have no idea what they were told I did. But somehow they have been taught to recognise me.

    I would definitely say remove these guys from leadership. But the shunning verses come alongside verses to woo the sinner back to fellowship.

    I don’t think there is an easy answer. They are false shepherds we know. Unintentionally or intentionally they have failed their duty.

    I guess that is why the Bible tells us that God judges teachers at a higher level than others.

    • The Pharisaic ‘c’hurch typically shuns the wrong person…they shun the victim rather than the person the BIble says we should shun – the abuser, the manipulative freeloader, the wolves in sheepsuits.

      What they did to you, Sarah, was wrong. And it’s still wrong. I encourage you to take heart from the story of the blind man who was healed by Jesus and then the religious leaders cast the healed man out. You can know and bask in the love of Jesus outside the temple much more than you can know it inside the Pharisaic ‘c’hurch.

      Here are some posts you might like to read:

      A mark of a true Christian is that he doesn’t always follow those in church leadership

      Christ Has His Remnant — There ARE True Christians

    • And I know this will be a long comment, but here is John 9:10-39 from the New Matthew Bible. The man who was born blind has just been healed by Jesus.

      (10) They said to him, How were your eyes opened then? (11) He answered and said, The man that is called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and said to me, Go to the pool Siloam and wash. And I went and washed, and received my sight.

      (12) They said to him, Where is he? He said, I do not know.

      (13) Then they brought to the Pharisees the man who a little before had been blind. (14) For it was the Sabbath day when Jesus had made the clay and opened his eyes. (15) Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said to them, He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and do see. (16) Then some of the Pharisees said, This man is not of God, because he does not keep the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles? And there was disagreement among them. (17) Then they spoke to the blind man again: What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes? And he said, He is a prophet.

      (18) But the Jews did not believe concerning the fellow, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the father and mother of him who had received his sight. (19) And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How then does he now see?

      (20) His father and mother answered them and said, We know well that this is our son, and that he was born blind. (21) But by what means he now sees, that we do not know. Or who has opened his eyes, we do not know. He is old enough; ask him. Let him answer for himself.

      (22) His father and mother spoke such words because they feared the Jews. For the Jews had decided already that if anyone confessed that Jesus was the Christ, he would be excommunicated out of the synagogue. (23) Therefore his father and mother said, He is old enough; ask him.

      (24) Then again they called the man who had been blind and said to him, Give God the praise. We know that this man is a sinner.

      (25) He answered and said, Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I am sure of: I was blind, and now I see.

      (26) Then they said to him again, What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?

      (27) He answered them, I told you already, and you did not hear. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to be his disciples?

      (28) Then they berated him and said, You are his disciple. We are Moses’ disciples. (29) We are sure that God spoke with Moses. This fellow, we do not know where he is from.

      (30) The man answered and said to them, This is a marvellous thing, that you do not where he is from, seeing he has opened my eyes. (31) For we are sure that God does not hear sinners. But if anyone is a worshipper of God and does his will, him he hears. (32) Since the world began it has never been heard that any man opened the eyes of someone that was born blind. (33) If this man were not of God, he could have done nothing.

      (34) They answered and said to him, You are altogether born in sin, and do you teach us? And they cast him out.

      (35) Jesus heard that they had excommunicated the man, and as soon as he found him, he said to him, Do you believe on the Son of God? (36) He answered and said, Who is it, Lord, so that I can believe on him? (37) And Jesus said to him, You have seen him, and he it is who talks with you.

      (38) And he said, Lord, I believe! and worshipped him.

      (39) Jesus said, I have come for judgment into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and those who see, may be made blind.

  5. Initium Nova

    Can I ask how do others manage flashbacks?
    This is what happened many years ago but it still affects me; to the point that when I am invited out at night, I force myself to go (especially when it’s windy or raining).

    When I do decide to go out at night, I often have flashbacks of the wild night and being asked to get out of the car.

    We were driving home from a meal with friends who live in a rural area about an hour away. While there, a wild electrical storm passed over. On the drive home there were branches and leaves all over the road. X had too many glasses of wine during the meal, and was driving too fast through the leaves and branches. I was very scared, so I asked him to slow down.
    I asked a couple of times, saying I was scared we would hit a branch.

    He pulled the car over with the motor running, it was still raining a bit, and he told me that if I couldn’t be quiet and stop all my fear, then I could get out.

    I refused to get out. It was dark, wet and windy and few cars go on that road especially in the middle of the night, so I decided it would be safer to stay in the car, and sit in silence for the drive home. But I have never felt safe driving at night since then, even if I am the driver.

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