How To Control Dissent in Your Church

  1. never quote from any other book except the bible;
  2. let it be known that dissenters will be refused positions of leadership;
  3. stop talking to them on a personal level;
  4. make them think that to disagree with you is to hurt your feelings;
  5. at least once a month quote the verse, “Thou shalt not touch God’s anointed!
  6. continually emphasize that love means total and unquestionable agreement;
  7. remind them weekly that you and the leadership hear directly from God;
  8. constantly confront and challenge them so that their dissent becomes laborious;
  9. emphasize submission to authority, service to others, and sacrifice to the church’s cause;
  10. invite dissenters to leave with your blessing.

Check out my BOOKS that address issues like this one.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Pat Pope

    “Slightly” tongue-in-cheek is right. I think I’ve seen all of these tactics used.

  • Magdalena

    You must know our bishop.

  • Roger Wolsey

    Ack. yep, that’ll pretty much do it. of course, in time those who employ those tactics will be a church of one. : P

  • nakedpastor

    actually roger i’m not so sure. in fact, i think the growing churches and mega churches employ these tactics.

  • Jacquie Kernick

    You’ve got that so right, David…growing churches employ all of these tactics. The only one that wouldn’t have applied at the church I went to was the last one….no-one ever left with the blessing of the church/pastor, quite the opposite. We’d be told we’d left “the cover” and been disobedient to God….and to be careful as satan was on our tail!

    People seem to have a need to be herded and controlled in so many of these churches…whew, I’ve escaped :)

  • Mar

    Reads like a play book …. Disregard. Demean. Deny. Dismiss. Degrade. Demoralize.

    All too deathly … Deathly true.

  • Kynan

    You should go by the title confused pastor instead of naked pastor. What happened to you that you are so cynical toward the church? What is even worse is that you have a bunch of other vagabonds following your foolishness. Repent and believe the gospel

  • Hermit

    Um … where’s the cartoon?

  • Pete Mc

    It would be funny if it didn’t actually happen; so very sad. So much of it is about fearful control. I prefer the model (I heard it from Frost n Hirsch) of the Aussie cattle properties (I think Yanks call ’em ranches) where there are no fences but instead deep wells. The sheep n cows stay near the wells because that’s where there is life. Thanks for that!

  • Micaëla

    Ah… I see that you know our bishop too. As well as the majority of the clergy within our diocese.

  • Hermit

    Careful, Kynan – we may have to withdraw from you … I would think you would have known better than to say such things about the Lord’s Annointed (graffiti artist).

  • David

    been there experienced it … and yep, dismissed with a blessing ……. and now … am no longer part of the machine, but … I still love Jesus

  • linda marie

    Unfortunately, sometimes these attitudes aren’t verbalized to a congregation. Many of us would “run as fast as we can” if they were… Instead, we stick around and get wounded discovering what’s being “kept a secret”… So sad.

  • Christine

    Number 10 can be the most insidious. It makes it so that “the church” in question is never wrong – just maybe the wrong place for *you*. Critique, concern and hurt are met with: “then let us make ourselves look like the open-minded soft-hearted good-guys while we simultaneously label you as ‘not us’ and show you the door”. It tries to guilt dissenters by making them feel like oursiders/betrayers/weaklings, while falsely comforting those that remain (“it’s not you, it’s them”) and shielding them from any real examination of the group by removing those that cross any lines too sensitive.

  • Kmansfield

    Just floating by. These are behavior modification techniques, and are terribly manipulative. You’re right, silence the dissenters.

    The same tactics are used in politics to maintain the cult and adherence to doctrine -talking points sent down from on high.
    They are the borg.

    Kayan is ironic; He projects cynicism, judges, shames, and insults to split the pure from the profane..

    You’ll never have such an unpretentious friend as a ‘vagabond.’ okay, ..maybe a prostitute, but most certainly a vagabond carpenter.

    Negativity is so tiring.