Confessing to That Which I Did Not Do

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI was watching one of those real life crime drama shows recently.  I can’t remember if it was Dateline or 20/20 or 48 Hours, but the story was about a young woman who was interrogated bullied by the police for hours on end until she agreed with them that she had slammed a baby to the floor causing a head injury that led to his death.  She was convicted and in prison when the fact that the child had suffered a concussion weeks before that had caused his death.  Over and over, the reporter asked, “Why did you confess to something you didn’t do?”  And it was that question that brought revelation to me. … [Read more...]

The Upper Hand

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI just have to say I had the best time yesterday!  I and my family went to an auction.  One of our former church’s plants has bought an old building in the town where I teach and they were selling off old (and I mean OLD) doors, windows, cabinets, trim, etc.Now, you have to understand that my husband and I were repurposing long before repurposing was cool.  We live in a 103-year-old prairie-mission style home on an acre in the middle of mid-west farmland.  We completely returned our home to it’s original style (it had been “updated” back in the 70’s) using old trim and doors from the local city hall when they renovated, as well as v … [Read more...]

How to Keep From Spiritual Abusing People

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsTell the truth.That’s it.You’re probably thinking that’s crazy, but think about it.  If you have been spiritually abused, think about if the perpetrator had told the truth.“I am not open to questions.”“You have to support the staff and their decisions no matter what.”“We do not allow people to express concerns.”“I’m only interested in getting my own way.” … [Read more...]

Memories of My Own Cognitive Dissonance: Gothard’s Doctrine of Grace as an Example

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much Grace originally posted in 2010In so many words (!), I’ve already shared what cognitive dissonance felt like after some exit counseling and realizing that not everything I’d believed had been true.I’d like to discuss a bit more about the process that facilitated my acceptance of Gothard’s take on grace (and other ideas introduced at the Institute of Basic Life Principles conference I attended). I only briefly mentioned it in this post. Cognitive dissonance was easy to ignore for me when I first accepted his views, but when I revised my understanding after I left the spiritually abusive system; I had no other option but to let the process … [Read more...]

Differentiating Between ‘Cult’, ‘Cultic’ and ‘Spiritual Abuse’

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much GraceWhat is the difference between "cult" and "cultic?" (Sociologically Speaking) It’s a matter of degree. Defining terms is vital.Concerning things "cultic" versus a "cult." If you’re the average guy (or gal) sitting in a church or a concerned significant other of someone in a group, the first thing you generally notice is that something bothers you about the group. This realization is true of any subtle deception or of insidious problems such as something wrong with your car. You hear an unfamiliar noise and the right side of your brain become sensitized and unconsiously starts putting things together (as a built in defense mechanism). … [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...]

Why You Are The Problem

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIt was a few days before the meeting at which the board's official 'advice' was to be handed down to me. By this stage, it was pretty obvious what that advice would be. As they'd spent the past 3 weeks being 'unavailable' - far too busy doing 'important things' to talk to me - it didn't take a genius to work out I was being hung out to dry.I was sitting in the lounge room of elder R because I wanted to talk to him before I got officially shafted by the board. I was hoping (in vain!) that if I shared my concerns about the behavior of elder J and his wife, and the board members backing him, that he'd realize there was something … [Read more...]

Day 11 of 21 Days of Healing: Getting What You Want

by Elllen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsWe’re half way through the 21 Days. By this time, if you are working on changing your brain and reminding yourself of how God sees you, you will start to notice that you are turning the corner and beginning to believe more of God’s truth than the lies you received from the abuse you have suffered. Keep up the good work!Day 11When I think about what I wanted from my church, the list looks like this: … [Read more...]

Leaving Before You Are Ready

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixHow easy is it to leave a cult? For me personally, the answer is "not very." I pay close attention to the stories of those who have left a religious cult. I admit I am a little envious of the females who made their escape from their family's cult by marrying a man who whisked them away from it all. I wish I had that ticket available back then. It wasn't available to me because I was terrified of men. I was especially afraid of Christian men because of the religious Christian monster my father was. And I was also scared of the so called secular, worldly men because linking up with them meant my life would be cursed with demons attacking me, an … [Read more...]

Quoting Quiverfull: Fashion Leads to Lust?

by Stephanus Blignaut from Go Tell My People - Modesty: Discouraging Lust and Encouraging Godliness Women are so easily caught up in “what everyone is doing” or what is available in the shops and what is promoted in magazines and TV. They don’t think about how their body is portrayed and what it causes in men – the stumbling block it becomes for men. Women condemn lust in a man when they see it but somehow they don’t make the connection between the condemnable lust and their own clothes that they are wearing. Not realizing this makes them stand guilty before God as a stumbling stone because of the lust they caused. … [Read more...]


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