Blame it on the Smurfs – Post-Tramatic Church Syndrome

by Suzanne TitkemeyerWhen I first cracked open my copy of Reba Riley's book, Post-Tramatic Church Syndrome I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I figured it might be much like many of the series we feature here on No Longer Quivering: Girl/boy is immersed in a Quiverfull/Fundamentalist/Evangelical church and leaves for a long laundry list of reasons with a heavy burden of spiritual abuse and a heaping helping of depression only to be heckled/harassed/hounded by those well-meaning 'Good Christians' left behind. Usually the woman/man has a long road of healing with lots of twists, turns and tears before coming to a place that works on all levels for them. A sadder but wiser person. … [Read more...]

Covert Operations

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsMy friend quixie over at quixoticfaith posted an excellent video about covert narcissists. I have been told that I shouldn’t call my former pastor a narcissist because he isn’t an overt tyrant as many definitions indicate.  The video you can watch from quixie’s blog post is an excellent description of a “covert” narcissist and aptly describes much of what I observed in my experience with spiritual abuse.  Thank you, Quixie, for your post and video! Perhaps the most important section of the video is at the end when he discusses the effect on the victim.  I have written posts about how my self-confidence, my faith, my physical health, a … [Read more...]

Spiritual Abuse – Recommended Reading

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAccording to the Spiritual Research Network, “spiritual abuse occurs when a leader, church or belief system – whether well intentioned or not – dominates, manipulates or castigates individuals through fear tactics, mind control or some other psychological or emotional abuse.”I believe that Jesus dealt with a great deal of this phenomenon and that the Pharisees were the spiritual abusers of His day. They are shepherds who use, manipulate or hurt the sheep for their purposes.This is a difficult thing to understand at first, especially if you are in a church and believe that your pastor or church leadership has subjected you … [Read more...]

Helpful Links For Recovering From Abuse

One of the things that has happened in the wake of Josh Duggar's sexual molestation coming to light has been that both NLQ Founder Vyckie Garrison and myself have started to discuss what is the best response, in what way can NLQ help those that have suffered from similar things, to promote healing and wholeness. One thing we came up with was a list of different types of organizations and people who offer help or information. This is our list. … [Read more...]

Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI recently received a message on the Facebook page for When Church Hurts in which the writer asked if they should leave a church if no one cares whether or not they come back because they are seen as not contributing enough. The writer didn’t define what they meant by “contribute,” but it could mean any number of things – not enough money, time, energy, attendance, spiritual depth, etc. … [Read more...]

Post-Cult Trauma Syndrome

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAfter exiting a cult, an individual may experience a period of intense and often conflicting emotions. She or he may feel relief to be out of the group, but also may feel grief over the loss of positive elements in the cult, such as friendships, a sense of belonging or the feeling of personal worth generated by the group's stated ideals or mission. The emotional upheaval of the period is often characterized by "post- cult trauma syndrome": … [Read more...]

Is Spiritual Abuse Biblical?

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceEssentially, the most vivid examples of spiritual abuse come from Ezekiel 34 and Zechariah 11, with the consummate example of spiritual abuse embodied in the Pharisees and Sadducees. Though I’ve listed the references for these Scriptures below, I have also displayed the full texts on the Under Much Grace website, and you can LINK HERE to read them (and as of April 2012, they are also noted below).There are also two excellent articles that discuss whether or not spiritual abuse is actually found within Scripture itself. … [Read more...]

Kings and Other Despots

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalBack in the day, there was a concept known as the "Divine Right of Kings". This meant that if you happened to be lucky enough to be born into the right family, you got to rule - no questions asked.You got to do and say whatever you pleased and no-one had the right to challenge you. You got to dictate to others how they lived and what they believed.You had God himself in your back pocket! … [Read more...]

Creating Conditions for Abuse

by Emily cross posted from her site Christian Patriarchal Watch List For Parents "Bible-based groups that are authoritarian, legalistic, and sanction-oriented tend to create conditions for abuse within families. Survivor blogs/netoworks address how to recognize it and deal with it, with links to outside help and resources, and document family abuse in the Geftakys Assembly. Additional resources on the effects of family abuse, and the proper roles of spouses and parents, can be found in the Biblical Perspectives and Recovery sections of the site. http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Reflections/AbuseInFamilies.htm … [Read more...]

Like A Hero

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsDonald Miller has a post at Storyline (storylineblog.com) that stunned me in its accuracy in describing my former pastor.  The title of the post is How Do So Many Good People Get Away With Bad Things?  As my husband and I read through the post together last night, we agreed that no other writer has so precisely captured the characteristics that surrounded our experience. … [Read more...]


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