how some churches manage the accusation of abuse

I'm not speaking theoretically here. This is real. These responses are ones I've either inflicted or been afflicted by. I'm not making this up. When some churches are confronted with the accusation of abuse… spiritual, emotional, sexual… whatever… these are some of the ways they manage it:EXPOSURE: When new people come with claims of abuse from a previous church, some pastors, even though they want the new members, fear the possibility that these people are complainers and may raise suspi … [Read more...]

Feed, don’t eat, my sheep!

I know many people argue that the shepherd sheep analogy is no longer helpful. In many ways yes. In some ways no.I like good food. I don't like being devoured. There's a lot of nutritious food out there. Learn what is good for you. Avoid Christian cannibals.There is a place that I provide where we promise not to eat you and spit you out, but provide nourishing food for your spiritual journey with others. Think of joining The Lasting Supper. … [Read more...]

the church and the normalization of abuse

Some time ago I wrote a post that became very popular, Why I Wouldn't Attend Pastor Steepek's Church. But it became popular for the wrong reasons.I was alarmed at the response. Actually, saddened. The overwhelming reaction was that it is not only legitimate but necessary and even divine to use shame to motivate church members. I used to think that spiritual abuse was happening enough to be a concern. Now I think it is prevalent.My conclusion: the church normalizes abuse and cultivates a … [Read more...]

spiritual abuse with good results

Paul regrets writing a painful letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 7: 8, 9). But he is pleased that at least they weren't as terrible as he was and they used their pain to do the right thing. He wrote a hurtful letter. He's sorry. But somehow they turned this terrible event around to make themselves better people. This isn't about the effectiveness of Paul's meanness. This is about the quality of the Corinthians.Unfortunately, many feel that this gives them permission to hurt others as long as … [Read more...]

a mountain of harmed people found in the foundations

Because I am in the business of analyzing and critiquing religion, including abuses within the church, I suppose I might hear a lot more about the people who are harmed than some. I get messages every day from people with their horrific and sad stories.But you can just read the news to see that the stories of church and spiritual abuse are refreshed daily.Some leaders and public figures will do anything to gain and retain their popular status and the growth of their ministries.Where … [Read more...]

venn diagram for spiritual abuse

I have been in and observed spiritually abusive situations. I think this diagram generally represents most of them. I can identify with all of them. You?I have entrusted myself, willingly, to leaders I admired. Even loved. I wanted to serve them, help them, and further their ministry. I believed in it. I was on board, on the same page, riding the same bus to the same destination. I voluntarily and enthusiastically signed up.I have also entrusted myself to leaders because I felt that I … [Read more...]

the old bait and switch and spiritual abuse

In unhealthy relationships, the tactics used to keep you are not the same as those used to get you.It's the old bait and switch!This happens not only in business: "What are all these hidden costs? You never told me about those!"It happens in romantic relationships: "I can't believe it! He was so loving. But as soon as we got married he changed into this monster!"Sadly, it also happens with churches: "The church was awesome until I became a full member. Then suddenly all these … [Read more...]

welcome to target Christians

Everyone knows how it feels to be objectified. Everyone. But some are more objectified than others, like women and those of the LGBTQ community for example.The church, when it succumbs to the subtle lure of power, objectifies people generally. People become commodities. Numbers. Members. Objects. They become something to reach out to, to convert, to assimilate into the institution, to belief and behavior modify, to manage, and to get to heaven. They've become targets.It's when people are … [Read more...]

blind and deaf to spiritual abuse

(Those receiving this in your inbox, click on either title "Blind and Deaf" and it will take you to the nakedpastor site.)I frequently get really sweet emails from really sweet people who say they've been in a perfect church their whole lives and have never seen anything I talk about, nor have they experienced it. They usually believe that what I talk about is a very rare occurrence and that I'm blowing it way out of proportion. Once in a while I believe them. But that's rarely. Usually I … [Read more...]

Sophia’s Back

Don't say, "Oh, poor Sophia!" She doesn't need anyone's pity. She's one strong female.These are battle scars from a personal war she's won. She's a strong survivor. She's liberated and liberal. She boasts about her wounds. She uses her tender but tough heart, her smart and sharp mind, and her prophetically pointed words to liberate others.Abusers beware! … [Read more...]