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...]

Siding With The Many

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI often reblog or link to the writings, wisdom, and insights of others, not so much because I couldn’t have said it myself, but simply because I fear that were I to address these issues, it would appear that I am simply trying to argue for myself.  As those of us who are intimately familiar with spiritual abuse, doing so would create an immediate dismissal of my writing simply because I would be perceived as only making an effort to defend myself.  In the world of spiritual abuse, this would result in making me the problem for pointing out the problem. … [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...]

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...]

Jane Eyre’s Sisters – NLQ Book Review

by Suzanne TitkemeyerJane Eyre's Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine's Story by Jody Gentian BowerI have to admit, I wasn't sure what this book was going to be about beyond how women write about the lives of other women from classic literature. If the focus had been only on the lives of women writers and the influence of society on their writings from the time of Jane Austen I would have been well satisfied. But this book was far richer in scope, opening up to me critical thinking about women, our roles in family, society and life. … [Read more...]

When Abuse Leads to Cynicism

by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Watch The ShepherdDo you know anyone whose faith has been turned upside down into cynicism because of hypocrisy or abuse within a church or a family?I do. I've lost count of those I know personally, and I have read about far more who have walked away from the Christian faith or at least wandered to the outer fringe of fellowshipI have been researching abuse and authority issues in families, churches, and religious movements for over seven years. … [Read more...]

Convergent Books and Evangelical Imprimatur

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Defeating the Dragons If you’re not familiar with the term imprimatur, it’s a Latin expression that means “let it be printed.” It’s associated with the Roman Catholic Church, and depending on the context, was used to actively censor books that either a) disagreed with the Church’s teaching, or b) could possibly damage the Church’s reputation. Many of these books– banned because they contained “doctrinal or moral error,” supposedly– would appear in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Books included in the Index could not be printed, and considering the influence that Roman Catholicism had over Europe during the dawn of movable-type printing, this reli … [Read more...]

Mary Pride denies founding the Quiverfull movement?

by Vyckie Garrison (Editor's Note: This was originally published on NLQ back around three or four years ago. Sharing again as it seems appropriate in light of our recent discussions about Mary Pride)A couple months back, I received an email from Mary Pride -- apparently, she's feeling the pressure since Frank Schaeffer mentioned her in his latest book, Sex, Mom & God, and has been talking in various interviews about her role in founding the Quiverfull and Christian Patriarchy movements with her book, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism and Back to Reality.If you Google "Mary Pride" -- NLQ comes up 4th on the results page -- I'm guessing that's how she ended up emailing me: … [Read more...]

What is the Bravest Thing You’ve Ever Done?

by AJ cross posted from her blog I am PhoenixThe bravest thing I have done so far in my life has been allowing myself to feel.I was able to make it as far as I did  in life appearing on the outside to be normal and functional because I buried the past. Completely. I didn't talk about it to anyone, and I didn't acknowledge it to myself.Being numb to it was the only way I could survive. I purposely hung around with people who didn't talk about feelings or emotional things. I buried who I was, even if it meant I also had to bury my intuition, my creativity, my feelings, my empathy, and any form of introspection. … [Read more...]