Doing the Right Thing

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“We must take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Sometimes we must interfere.  When human . . . dignity is in jeopardy . . . sensitivities become irrelevant.  Wherever men and women are persecuted . . . that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”  Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day … [Read more...]

Information About Spiritual Abuse

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsThis page is dedicated to helping the reader understand how to recognize spiritual abuse.SurveyOften, books, websites, and other information regarding spiritual abuse focus on cult situations or blatantly abusive issues such as sexual abuse in the church.  But, the well-kept secret is that spiritual abuse is much more pervasive than that.  Perhaps the best definition of spiritual abuse is found in the book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen: “The individual is left bearing a weight of guilt, judgment or condemnation, and confusion about their worth and standing as a Christian.” … [Read more...]

Back to Stage One Healing: More on Safety and Stabilization

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog from Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and from Under Much Grace used with permission. Article 3 pages total.It's been quite a month, and life is settling back into something like normal. Redeeming Dinah, the blog exploring the Duggar Phenomenon as a function of the family agenda promoted among many Independent Fundamental Baptists is up and running. It's been a month since the panel where survivors of the system talked about their experiences. Afterwards, I returned home from Dallas to be met with a couple of deaths of loved ones, some injuries, and the sadness that goes along with them. The dog days of summer do not make … [Read more...]

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Searching For the Non-Existent

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsIt was over Sunday brunch that our weekend guests brought it up.  This deeply committed Christian couple who trained in missions, worked in Christian publishing, and he being and award-winning author of Christian books, she having been an administrative assistant for a mega-church pastor at one time, sat at our dining room table and very casually mentioned that they had not been attending church for several months. … [Read more...]

Churches That Abuse: Part 3 – 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 GerencserIn my last post on this subject I wrote: In this post I want to deal with Churches that Abuse: Why Good People Do Bad Things. This post deals with a very difficult and controversial subject.  It is easy for us to understand evil actions in a church when they are committed by evil people: wolves in sheep clothing. It’s much harder for us to understand evil actions in the church when the evil is committed by individuals who are generally considered good people… … [Read more...]

Trauma: Where it Begins and Where it Can End

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman used with permission from Under Much Grace.Every few months, I read an online discussion that argues that when a person gets out of a traumatic relationship (especially a religious one), there are no guidelines on how to recover. While on one hand, that's true – because we all recover on our on timetable and in our own ways – trauma symptoms that cause problems in your life beyond about six months following the event aren't healthy.Unfortunately, though we may be reasonably healthy, the dynamics of a high demand relationship, religion, or group take a toll on us and cause us to loose the hea … [Read more...]

Day 9 of 21 Days of Healing: No Strings Attached

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10I hope you focus on this verse today because if you have suffered spiritual abuse, you have encountered a thief intent on stealing, killing, and destroying you. So cling to the life that Jesus gives – abundant life!And that’s what today’s post is about, too. … [Read more...]

Why Am I Not Surprised?

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI wasn’t going to post anything but the 21 Days of Healing series until after it was done, but seriously, this just deserves to be posted.When I was tossed out of my church, a “friend” from the church (who still spies on me by following this blog) invited me that next week to have coffee with her. We spent several hours at a coffee bar the next town south of where the church is located talking about what was happening. … [Read more...]

When Church Hurts: Part 2

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsSpeaking out against wrongs being perpetrated in the church . . . that was my most egregious sin.  And because of it, I had lies told about me, people eavesdropped on my conversations, and I received hate mail from a group of people telling me that I was a terrible person.My only response was to continue talking occasionally to the lay leader of the church, Denise, and to send Elliot  my questions and thoughts in emails – often asking if we could meet to talk, but never getting a response. At one point (perhaps more than one but only one I know about), Elliot shared my emails with the consistory and they wrote a letter telling me th … [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...]