Why People Support Abusive Leaders in the Church

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsIn those crushing months after we left our first abusive church (read Part 2 of my story), one of the things I struggled with was, how could the people who knew that abusive behaviors and situations had happened to me as well as others not step up and speak out?  I didn’t ask myself that question after we were tossed out of our second abusive church.  Maybe I just knew that they wouldn’t.  After all, not only had I been through this before, but I have talked to many others and read widely on spiritual abuse, and I am well aware of the way that people rally around abusive church leaders. … [Read more...]


by Mari cross posted from her blog Mari's MusingsEditor's Note: Written from the perspective of someone that has managed to keep their faith after being through spiritual abuse.I was talking tonight with a friend of mine about ridiculous things that have happened to us at the hands of pastors and elders and whatnot from “Christian” churches.I don’t think that a lot of what happens in churches and between clergy and congregants is necessarily something that Jesus would condone and I don’t think He would be pleased with a large chunk of it. … [Read more...]


by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI remember well one of the first adult Sunday school classes I took at our former church.  It was being touted as a fantastic opportunity to take a class that was being taught by the high school’s head football coach.  Now, neither me nor my husband are big sports fans, but I was interested in learning as much as I could about walking in and living out my faith, so I signed up. … [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...]

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...]

The Dangers of Religious Leaders

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalI came across this article over the weekend which references a recent study whose findings will no doubt ruffle a few religious feathers. The title of the article declares, "Religious children meaner than agnostic and atheist kids, study finds".The article shares this quote: “Religion and morality are two different things,” said lead author Jean Decety, a Chicago University neuroscientist. “Past research has demonstrated that religious people are no more likely to do good than their non-religious counterparts. Our study goes beyond that, showing that religious people are less generous — not only adults, but children, too.” … [Read more...]

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...]

“Pay Now, Play Later”

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsWe heard this quote often at our former church:“Pay now, play later.  Play now, pay later.”One of the most impressive things we noticed when we first began attending our former church was that the senior pastor appeared to be very “servant hearted.”  Unlike the majority of churches that have a reserved spot for the pastor right next to the building, he would park at the far end of the parking lot so that others could park closer.  After services on Sunday, he would return all of his glasses (he usually had three or four glasses of water collected under his chair) to the kitchen and he would go into the restrooms and collect the … [Read more...]

The gods Have Clay Feet: A Few Thoughts About Pastors

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserThe Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian church has many gods. While they will profess to worship the true and living God, the God of the Bible, often their true object of worship is human and not divine. Most Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian churches have a congregational form of church government. Some churches have adopted an elder rule form of government. Regardless of what form of government a church adopts, there can be no doubt about who really runs the church. The CEO, the boss man, the head honcho is the pastor, also known as  the senior pastor, executive pastor, and prophet, priest and king. … [Read more...]

Pages: 1 2

I Have Trust Issues

by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living LiminalA few weeks ago, a friend asked me about whether I was thinking about finding another church to attend. I hesitated, talked around the question for a bit, and then I was finally able to admit out loud that I have trust issues when it comes to church leadership.There was a time when I would automatically trust someone because they said they were a christian. That went doubly so for anyone in leadership in a church. Stupidly, naively, I bought into the idea that christians in general, and christian leaders in particular, could be trusted. … [Read more...]