Churches That Abuse: Part 1 Why Good People Do Bad Things and why Bad People Do Bad Things

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserChurches attract all kinds of people with varying motivations for being a part of a particular religion. I spent fifty years in the Independent Baptist/Non-Denominational/Evangelical church. When it comes to other religions, I only know what I read in the media. The experiences and observations I share in this post come from the fifty years I spent in those churches, first as a parishioner, and later as a pastor. I spent twenty-five years in the pastorate, pastoring churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. … [Read more...]

A Model of Self – Retracing My History and Healing

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman used with permission from Under Much GraceAs part of my own pendulum swing of life extremes, I ended up in Quiverfull (QF) as an adult, though I never experienced the fullness of it. As Julie Anne Smith said to me recently, I didn't suffer the same kind of abuse as QF moms or their children, but I was also a victim of the system's cruelty. On top of my own natural grief and despite the experience of a degree of rejection by both peer groups of QF moms and their homeschooled kids, I did suffer my own heartache. … [Read more...]

Law of Kindness: How Christianity Affects My Ethics

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Samantha P Field.comI’m a spiritual abuse survivor, fundamentalist cult survivor, abuse survivor, and rape survivor; I’m part of the LGBT community and, as a feminist, have experienced harassment, rape and death threats. Because I don’t have access to a decent therapist I’ve found myself dealing with all of that trauma primarily through online support groups. Over the past three years I’ve faded in and out of a variety of groups with a multiplicity of purposes, mission statements, and moderation styles. … [Read more...]

Part 10 Pendulums and Plumb Lines – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. Like a swinging pendulum, when we exit a group, we can easily get caught up in the drama of life and created excitement, mistaking it for healthy living. (And keep in mind that as dynamic beings, we do swing out to extremes now and then, but we tend not to live in the extreme all of the time.) … [Read more...]

Turning Evil to Good

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living Liminal (An Update on my Story) In the biblical story of Joseph, his brothers hated him so much that they attacked him and then sold him into slavery in a foreign land. Eventually, he rose to a place of incredible power and authority in Egypt and ended up saving their lives (as well as countless others). After their father's death, the brothers feared Joseph would finally take revenge on them for their betrayal. Instead, he said to them, "Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it." … [Read more...]

Part 9 Reacting from a Place of Vulernability – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permissionBefore developing as fairly functional internal locus of control and as strong sense of worth, and until former members work through how to relate to others with both good internal and external boundaries, things can be very difficult for them. There's so much to do immediately. … [Read more...]

Part 8: Hypervigilance in the Wider World – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and used with permission from Under Much GraceHigh demand groups manage tension and pain which arise from natural and healthy disagreements and differences by forcing uniformity. Again, we come back to the fact of life that we human beings are very dynamic and diverse, something that a group purports to “correct” for the member, giving the illusion that they've resolved that healthy tension. Anyone who espouses beliefs that are different from the group are discounted or demonized which further galvanizes the control that they hold over a member. In doing so, they force and reinforce the idea that t … [Read more...]

Part 7: Finding a Healthy Locus of Control – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permissionWe've already noted that a person's concept of self suffers while in a high demand group or family, since the member's sense of worth must be derived from the group. Though they may appear to have autonomy, their choices are bound and limited to that which is determined by the group. … [Read more...]

Part 6: Building on Emotional Self Regulation – Adventures in Ambiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace In the previous post, we explored the challenge of developing a healthy sense of personal power that we encounter when we exit a high demand group. How on earth can we get through life with a faulty set of coping tools, where do we go to learn them, and how can we figure out how to be balanced when all we've seen modeled for us is extremes of power and of emotion?   This topic is a huge one, but a person can do a lot of good work on their own to develop healthy Emotional Self-Regulation after exiting.REMEMBER:  As with all things that make generalizations about groups of people, if this doesn't describe your experience after … [Read more...]

Part 4 – The Map is Not the Territory: Adventures in Abiguity

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images in the piece by Cindy Kunsman and used with permission. And the territory is definitely not the map.   This saying came from a scientist and philosopher named Alfred Korzybski who launched the study of how human understanding and the nervous system intersected, particularly concerning how language shapes our perceptions. He was a Polish-born Russian who served in World War I as an intelligence officer, but he became a citizen of the U.S. In 1940.The original phrase that Korzybski coined in 1933 illustrates the problem of mistaking an abstraction of something for the genuine article. Another wise f … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X