The Fantasy of Church Culture

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIn my last post, I mentioned watching the efforts of my ex-fellow elder to pretend he was unaware of my presence. I also mentioned how funny I found them. (I also admitted that I used to find this sort of behaviour deeply painful and hurtful.) So when a friend commented on my Facebook page that it gave her hope that she might also get to that same point of freedom from the pain, it made me stop and think about my response to his performance, and how I have got to this place myself. … [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...]

Scott Brown’s Seven Questions For True Believers

by Vyckie Garrison No Longer Quivering founderVery interesting ... Scott Brown recently added a video to the National Center for Family Integrated Churches network page with a disclaimer stating that NCFIC doesn't actually evaluate the churches listed in the network, and he lists seven questions to ask which supposedly will help True Believers™ find "healthy congregations." … [Read more...]

Is Spiritual Abuse Biblical?

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceEssentially, the most vivid examples of spiritual abuse come from Ezekiel 34 and Zechariah 11, with the consummate example of spiritual abuse embodied in the Pharisees and Sadducees. Though I’ve listed the references for these Scriptures below, I have also displayed the full texts on the Under Much Grace website, and you can LINK HERE to read them (and as of April 2012, they are also noted below).There are also two excellent articles that discuss whether or not spiritual abuse is actually found within Scripture itself. … [Read more...]

Random Thoughts

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI am a teacher.  Of 6th graders.  Music.  I often say that I teach so that I can rest up from my summer.  I’ve been on summer break for 10 days and I’m ready for some rest.  Taking care of an acre of yard, flower and vegetable gardens, various repairs that a 112-year-old house needs, and watching my 8-month-old granddaughter a couple of days a week keeps me on the run.  I’m also committed to helping both my son’s with their home projects – flower beds, flooring, new basement steps, refinishing woodwork.  Yeah.  Busy.  So not writing much lately.But here’s what I am thinking: … [Read more...]

Do Not Turn Yourself Inside Out

by Nora Woodhouse cross posted from her blog A Heart Like Mine"Do not turn yourself inside out trying to explain yourself to people who refuse to see you. You know who you are."I really liked this quote; I always seem to find things like this when I really need them. A wave of sadness had hit me yesterday, in part because I was still trying to recover and process from a nightmare the night before. I had this horrible dream Other Child was dying and there was nothing I could do about it. I was at their bedside forced with having to let them go. I think a dream like that is fairly representative of how I am still sorting through my feelings after making the choice to go no contact. … [Read more...]

Why You Are The Problem

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalIt was a few days before the meeting at which the board's official 'advice' was to be handed down to me. By this stage, it was pretty obvious what that advice would be. As they'd spent the past 3 weeks being 'unavailable' - far too busy doing 'important things' to talk to me - it didn't take a genius to work out I was being hung out to dry.I was sitting in the lounge room of elder R because I wanted to talk to him before I got officially shafted by the board. I was hoping (in vain!) that if I shared my concerns about the behavior of elder J and his wife, and the board members backing him, that he'd realize there was something … [Read more...]

I Am A Publican and a Heathen Part 2

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserOur family arrived in Elmendorf, Texas the first week of March 1994. I had resigned from Somerset Baptist Church in Somerset, Ohio, and after closing down the church and Christian school, I  packed up my family and moved us to Elmendorf so I could become co-pastor of Community Baptist Church.Community Baptist Church was an Sovereign Grace (Calvinistic) Independent Baptist church. The church was started in the 1980’s by Pat Horner. The church worshiped at a ramshackle former Southern Baptist church building on Labus Road outside of Elmendorf. The church property included several acres of land that ho … [Read more...]

Sea Legs

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsFor the first several weeks after we were tossed out of our church I felt like I still had sea legs.  I had learned over the years to walk somewhat steadily – or at least with a great deal of familiarity – as the wind and waves of spiritual abuse crashed over and around me.  Though I found myself on solid ground, my body, mind, and spirit continued for a time to lurch and sway as though I were still on board that hulking monstrosity of a church from whence my spiritually abusive treatment had pounded unabatedly. … [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...]


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