Teaching Our Kids Religion

bridgebuilding

by Lana Hope cross posted from her blog Wide Open GroundIn a post the other day, I mentioned that homeschoolers tend to be sheltered from secular ideas – to the extent that homeschool students are often not allowed to disagree with their parents or formulate their own opinions. The post lacked clarity in several areas. I am a graduate student and have been writing extensive term papers this month. So I rushed the post. Quite frankly, if I turned in a paper as undeveloped and unclear as that post, I’d get a bad grade. … [Read more...]

Sexuality and Shame: Part 3 Sexaltation

embracingsexuality

by Kaleesha Williams cross posted from her blog Kaleesha WilliamsI've heard so many sermons about sexual temptation, so much focus there, but they are occasionally balanced with messages about how holy and pure sex is within marriage.  Within marriage only.  Imagine, "Sex is sinful, evil, wicked...  Oh, now you're married--okay, you're free to enjoy yourselves!"   I wonder, what does a piece of paper or a pronunciation of "man and wife" actually change about the messages we've received all our lives regarding sex?  (Or about relationships in general.  Marriage is a very interesting institution, but I shan't go there now.) … [Read more...]

So I’ve Been Spiritually Abused, What Next?: It Became To Me a Dark Thing

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by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Watch The Shepherd"It Became to Me a Dark Thing" by Virginia KnowlesIt became to me a dark thing: Words spoken over me, into me Claiming divine light, right, might to rule. "Go down, worm soul, go down - You are unworthy to assume the dignity Of one with victory crowned." As if I had swindled treasure! Embezzled grace and glory from celestial storehouses -- A dastardly slave, masquerading as a devoted heir. Contrary! The enemy himself ransacked, then accused and confused this child.Truth: Every spiritual blessing is lavished freely From the Father's endless bounty of grace - And these are not even His only such gifts to … [Read more...]

Cults, Christianity, Toxic Beliefs and Health

backyard

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixI recently separated from a religious cult that I grew up in. During the time I was questioning the beliefs of this cult, I realized that many of these beliefs unfortunately are also foundational beliefs in modern day evangelical Christianity as well. So I ended up leaving not only the cult, but Christianity also. … [Read more...]

So I’ve Been Spiritually Abused, What Next? Tips: Dealing With Face to Face Confrontations

Silencespeaks

by Suzanne TitkemeyerOne of the biggest challenges I had during my recovery from spiritual abuse was what to say to the people from my old church circle when I'd run into them on the streets of my small town. They'd always want to rip into me on the subject of leaving that church, eager to issue 'Come to Jesus' talks or try and heap condemnation on me. I took to running the other way until I developed a coping strategy that allowed me to interact with them and put them on the spot. … [Read more...]

My Abusive Relationship Was Typical

Samantha

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Defeating The DragonsTrigger warning for abuse and sexual violence Last week, I wrote an article for xoJane and I shared some things about my past that I haven’t shared on the internet before. I don’t enjoy talking about my abusive relationship at all, and I especially avoid thinking about my last semester at PCC, which was nightmarish with exceedingly few good memories. I was extremely vulnerable in that piece, knowing that there would be people around the internet that would shit on it. … [Read more...]

Coming Out of the Cult Closet

be love

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixThe last year has been full of shifts, most of them tumultuous, but most of them ending up being quite positive. In the actual moment, each change didn't feel positive. It felt like I was wearing skin that didn't fit me anymore, and I was trying to wrestle out of it. Much like a critter shedding it's old skin. Painful, itchy, uncomfortable, exhausting. But then each time I shed an old layer, it felt great afterwards to relax and sit in the sun, so to speak with spanking new skin that felt all new and glowing. … [Read more...]

Part 4: I Submit and “Resign”

leavingchurch

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIn the weeks following that meeting with the board, there were many communications (mostly via email) which just deepened the wounding. As dramatic as it might sound, I felt like I was fighting for my very life. I begged for someone to listen to me, to hear what had been going on and help me find a way out of my pain. By this time, elder M had given up hope and resigned his membership. I desperately wanted to believe there was a better way to go, that people who claimed to follow Christ should be able to work this out together, that we didn’t have to stay trapped in an endless repetition of history! … [Read more...]

My Recovery Story: So I’ve Been Spiritually Abused. What Next?

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by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Come Weary MomsAn entry to the "So I've Been Spiritually Abused. What Next?" series.Four years ago, our family left a church organization which was and is facing major issues with legalism and abuse. It wasn’t easy to be there at the end.  It wasn’t easy to leave.  It still isn’t easy to navigate what I believe and how I relate to people.  Despite my deep disappointment and disillusionment, I have continued to rebuild my own spiritual life.  I have also looked back on several things that helped me transition out of more than one less-than-ideal-for-me situations.  I’d like to share these with you. … [Read more...]

Stand Up and Speak Your Truth

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by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixI have always had a hard time standing up for myself. I chalk it up to the way I grew up. I grew up in a cult where women and children weren't allowed to speak up for themselves, especially when we were abused. We weren't allowed to ask "Why?" even in a quiet voice. We were to take abuse quietly, submissively, like Godly females would. Otherwise, all hell would break loose. So, my sisters and I grew up with blank, obedient minds. We were trained to obey male authority without question, and we had a healthy fear of the chain of command above us. We were Godly, submissive sheep who obeyed at the blink of an eye. We grew up with no defenses … [Read more...]


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