Is This Your Pastor?

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsHere is another interesting article on Covert Narcissism – specifically in the pastorate.  As I read the indicators, I was again nodding my head in agreement.Link to pdfThe bullet point list in the article talks about “one-upping you in conversation.”  I hadn’t thought much about this until I saw this point, but, yes, that happened in my very limited conversations with the pastor. … [Read more...]

Beware of Church Planting Networks

by Emily Nielson Jones of Christian Patriarchal Watch List For Parents "For every 1 church plant by a mainline denomination, there are 9 church plants by an evangelical group, and most evangelical denominations were more open to women's leadership 100 years ago than they are today - for example, Evangelical Free, Baptist General Conference, Assemblies of God, various Holiness denominations, and the Wesleyan church.” ~ Dave Olson, Church Planter, Evangelical Covenant Church (which has a gender-balanced leadership) http://www.christianitytoday.com/gifted-for-leadership/2009/april/final-church-barrier-for-women-church-planter.html … [Read more...]

Part 2 – Emotional Self Regulation: Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceIn the previous post, we explored the problem created by the black and white thinking that was forced upon us in a high demand religious group. This is especially difficult if we grew up in an ideological group, because we likely didn't see anyone model moderation or another way of thinking. We end up adopting the strategy that if one thing is bad and unsafe, it's extreme opposite is likely the best safe alternative.High demand groups don't tolerate uniqueness, and they make the mistake of defining uniformity as a type of unity. They don't tolerate much of anything that falls outside whatever their group defines as … [Read more...]

Part 1 – Black and White Thinking After Exiting: Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceI spent much time studying chemistry, thinking about the Bohr Model of the Atom, and I was so fascinated by the periodic table.  I suppose that along with math, it seemed like one of the few consistent things in my life.  Language could be misinterpreted, but chemistry presented a fixed, definitive type of truth.  And I lacked that in my life.How can something be true and untrue at the same time? … [Read more...]

Bonding and Bondage in Abusive Relationships

by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Watch the ShepherdIn case you're wondering why you can't "just get over it" from a painfully abusive or damaging or destructive relationship: Trauma bonding makes any relationship harder to end, harder to heal, harder to find freedom from through forgiveness, than the loss of a true love. The neural pathways burned into a brain in trauma bonding are laid down in powerful fear/anxiety hormonal rushes leaving even comparatively good memories with the person colored with the stains of those traumatic events. The loss of anyone we have loved -- whether they have treated us very well indeed or in a deplorable manner -- is something that will heal … [Read more...]

The Famous Ones

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsThere are big names out there in the spiritual abuse world.  Big name perpetrators.  Big name authors of blogs and books and Twitter feeds.  Big names whose social media accounts explode regularly over big names.  Big names getting the word out about big names who have committed outrageous acts of abuse.  And, of course, any time those outrageous acts are committed with any hint of ties to churchianity, we recognize them as not just sexual or domestic or physical abuse, but as spiritual abuse. … [Read more...]

Revisiting Generation Gaps and the Moral Imperative of Totalitarian Niceness

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much GraceThe following list describes the desired traits that non-Christian young people desire to see in Christians, particularly among their elders as compiled by the authors of “unChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity....And Why It Matters.” When I presented quotes from this book on my blog last year, I suggested that we as believers should extend the same considerations to those who follow patriarchy as well as to young unbelievers. I would like to use this list (from pp 194-5 of the book) as a point of departure for relating to young adults in general. Those interviewed suggested that these considerations would imp … [Read more...]

Learning to Be Human Again After a Lifetime of Self-Denial

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserOriginally written in 2009. Edited for grammar and clarity.Evangelical Christianity teaches that followers of Jesus must practice lives of self-denial. Self is the problem — the flesh wars against the spirit, the spirit wars against the flesh. Far too many Christians, thanks to this teaching, live guilt-ridden lives. Guilt over giving in to the flesh, guilt over letting self have control.It goes something like this… … [Read more...]

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...]

You Are Beautiful

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am Phoenix(Editor's note: Not precisely related to QF or religion but something important to remember in recovery. So many of us coming out of high demand religions have such a down negative view of ourselves that it's worthwhile to sometimes stop an realize we are all beautiful. It's a message that can never be repeated too often. We need to keep hearing this message as we recover.)Can you really fully experience being you if you never get outside of yourself?Do you really know who you are if you've never experienced yourself through the eyes of others? … [Read more...]


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