How Local Churches Become Enslaved to Evil, Part 3 – Yielding to Threats

Way back in January of 2013 not long after my first book was published (A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church), I was contacted by Matt Claridge, a Baptist pastor and member of the Credo.mag (an online magazine) editorial team. He had read my book and wondered if I would be willing to do an interview with him for Credo. Of course I agreed and we taped the interview.

Needless to say I was excited when the day came that the interview was to be published on Credo and that morning I checked and sure enough, there it was. Perhaps after all we were going to be able to reach even more people and churches now in order to expose this hidden evil of domestic abuse.

Well, it was not to be. I stepped away from the computer for a moment and when I came back, guess what? The interview was gone. Zapped. Erased. I contacted Matt and this is what he said:

Jeff,

This is going to be difficult. I have just been informed that our executive editor has pulled the plug on the interview. I don’t know the string of events or communications that occurred this morning leading up to that decision, but apparently he was receiving feed-back from unknown sources (to me) about it. The particular point of controversy were the tone of comments made by you and others on your blog toward certain men with whom you disagree on the subject of divorce. Matt Barrett (the exec. editor) actually felt that you have a real point and contribution to make on this issue, but he was also afraid that there was the possibility that Credo might suffer “significantly and unnecessarily” from this.

I had forwarded to him our interview when it came in, to make sure he was cool with it. He takes full responsibility for this happening. I am deeply sorry and upset. I do think you have something to contribute, and Matt Barrett also thought the interview was a good one. I’m not sure where we go from here. I would really have liked to start a discussion about the topic and see Credo as a platform. After all, we all have points of divergence from any one of those authors and teachers (Piper, MacArthur, Sproul, etc.), but apparently this hit a nerve.

You are free to ask me any questions or discuss the issue further, although, again, I don’t really know the specifics of what transpired. Let’s both pray that there will be a way forward on this.

Well, there was no way forward as it turned out – at least not with Credo magazine. I never heard from them again. As you can tell from his email to me, Matt was genuinely disappointed and I do not blame him at all. However, their magazine staff did in fact cave into what boils right down to threats and intimidation. Is that Christ’s church? Is the body of Christ a place where leaders use threats and intimidation to silence people? No, this thing smells of the devil’s stench.

Joh 9:21-22 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” (22) (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.)

But I am posting this information for all of you as an example. It is an example of the workings of the kingdom of darkness to hide evil and to punish anyone who works to expose it with the light of Christ’s Word. It is the very same thing that happened in the longstanding coverup of sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and in the Sovereign Grace Church denomination and in many other churches. Cover it up. Threaten and accuse those who would whistleblow so that they shut up out of fear. This is evil. This is the devil and this is his wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I was never told who specifically put the pressure on the Credo magazine editor, so I can only surmise. I do know that not long before all of this took place, I had critiqued a sermon by Voddie Baucham, a pastor who enjoys a huge following (why, for the life of me, I don’t know). I hammered him. I did. Because he not only plagiarized his sermon from a book that I had already read, but he was authoritatively announcing to his people that he and his elders forbade any of them from getting a divorce for any reason at all.  For ANY reason. He was pompous and he lorded his position over the flock. I received virtual hate mail from his fans after my critique was published online. And as Matt mentioned, I had also criticized and exposed John Piper for teaching that the Lord forbids divorce absolutely for any reason. And I told our readers that John MacArthur teaches that the Lord does not permit divorce for abuse. These are the “powers” in the visible church, you see and they are quite used to being obeyed.

Connections you see. Power. The usual suspects protecting one another. And if we permit this thing to happen in our own church and in our own pulpit, evil will certainly take control. Beware. There is something in our flesh that tends to conclude that if someone wields power, orders people what to do, takes advantage and puts on airs, then boy, they must surely be great in Christ’s kingdom. This is a lie. It is the exact opposite of the truth.

2Co 11:20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.

Go ahead to Part 4 of this Series
Go back to Part 2 of this Series

2 thoughts on “How Local Churches Become Enslaved to Evil, Part 3 – Yielding to Threats

  1. And I cannot stress how damaging and sometimes lethal that ‘no divorce for any reason’ teaching is. I know it helped further the harm my abuser inflicted on me. The number of teachers of the ‘no divorce’ camp versus those who talk about abusers as being reprobates and divorce being permitted is highly skewed towards the ‘no divorce’ camp. It’s bondage and slavery and costs women their lives. It serves the devil and his children (the abusers).

    Women’s lives are on the line. The pastors (and others) who teach the ‘no divorce ever’ line need to have their lives put on the line, be subjected to what they’d have abused women live with. Women are dying, trapped in these horror-story ‘marriages’ and seeking to serve and obey God and being entrapped in bondage to children of the devil and it’s up to pastors and the churches to stop teaching the ‘no divorce ever’ false doctrine.

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  2. This is what a TRUE servant of the Lord does. They name names of someone, anyone who is teaching CONTRARY to the truth of scripture. Thank you Pastor Crippen for not being a coward and warning us and anyone else who has ears to hear what the bible says about abusers.

    The others will sugarcoat truth just to remain popular and get a pat on the back from their superiors. I suppose they forget in James where the Lord mentions a minister of His word will be judged stricter then the rest of us. I have been with a handful of discernment ministries for over twenty years and they have all named names of those teaching contrary to the truth and exposing unbiblical practices in the church. They do it out of love for the Lord and to try and warn people. The Lord will say to you and all of the “whistleblowers” well done my faithful servant. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always speaking the truth.
    MARANATHA!!!

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