Spotlight

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalEditor's note: The film 'Spotlight' is now out on DVD and Pay Per View. It involves spiritual abuse and is a great watch for anyone who has dealt with the issues of spiritual abuse. Both Cindy Kunsman and myself have written reviews of this excellent film. I personally love the film's tag line 'Break the story. Break the silence'There is a scene in the film Spotlight where Mark Ruffalo's character discovers incontrovertible proof that the head of the Catholic church in Boston not only knew about the child sexual abuse scandal in the church, but was complicit in its cover-up. He urges immediate publication of the story, and e … [Read more...]

10 Red Flags About Christian Celebrities and Ministries

Taken from the comments and written by one of NLQ's commenters Abigail Smith on Samantha Field's The Smell Test: 5 Signs of a Toxic ChurchI formulated these “10 Red Flags” about “Christian" celebrities and ministries during my escape from QF over the last few years1) Unbalanced- you just sense something is wrong but it sounds good and holy and everything is “backed up” with scripture verses (antidote: the gospel is so simple that even children can understand it) … [Read more...]

The Loneliness of Those That Leave Church

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserFrom your earliest recollection you remember the church.You remember the preacher, the piano player, the deacons, and your Sunday School teacher.You remember the youth group and all the fun activities.You remember getting saved and baptized.You remember being in church every time the doors were open. … [Read more...]

Psychological Socialism – Manipulating by Equalizing Blame

by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Watch the ShepherdWhat is “psychological socialism”?  I’m so glad you asked!  It’s a term I coined a few years ago as rough concept after reading a friend's Facebook status (more on that later). Since then, I’ve done a lot of research on abusive and unhealthy interpersonal dynamics.  What I’ve read about and heard from others is enough to make my hair stand on end, but it gave me a lot of material to finally write this article! … [Read more...]

Vulnerability and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission One might think that the first stage of healing from trauma involves recounting tragic circumstances, but it is actually about creating a safe place with safe people who can help you heal. In the previous post, I described a situation that I had with a counselor who I don't believe understood trauma very well and didn't use an approach that was helpful for me. … [Read more...]

“If You Don’t Limp” – (Another Trauma Trap)

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace as part of her series on traumaAll images either from NLQ or by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace used with permission Post Traumatic Stress Disorder causes several different changes in the way that the brain works, most notably, the hyperactivity in the anxiety centers in the brain. As noted in a previous post, the area of the brain that is responsible for acknowledging that something applies to the self also shuts down to a great extent. It allows for a sense of distance from the pain of trauma to help preserve a person's function when under threat, but when it fails to shut off when the threat has passed, it creates a … [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...]

The Most Blaring Contradiction of Them All

by Cindy Foster cross posted from her blog Finding Fundamental Recently, I read a poignantly and transparently written post at ‘Stuff Fundies Like’ titled “Pining for the Leeks and Garlic”.  Anyone with knowledge of the Old Testament accounts of Moses and the Children of Israel’s 40 year wilderness journey will immediately recognize the title’s significance.   I’ve followed SFL for quite some time finding the irreverent sarcasm to be perfectly refreshing for those times when I need to laugh at the stupid stuff.  But this one took me back to an emotional place I hadn’t visited in a go Recently od, long while.  … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]