Should We Repent for Allowing Ourselves to be Spiritually Abused?

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 6.31.41 AM

This picture was taken in my neighborhood a while back.  I took it from the driver’s seat of my car.  That is one big honkin’ tumbleweed and it always amazes me how tumbleweed can roll through fields, across a busy street and end up in our neighborhood.  I had this picture in my mind when thinking of Spiritual Abuse.  Were we like tumbleweed, being tossed around with no foundation?  

I came across an article on spiritual abuse Spiritual Abuse:  It takes “Two to Tango”  written by Stephen Crosby.  I noticed a TWW reader mentioned it, causing a little uproar as the reader challenged “survivor blogs”, and it was also referenced at SGMSurvivor site as a good resource for spiritual abuse survivors.  In the comment section of Crosby’s bio, he responds to a reader:

I have experienced the abuse myself and understand it spiritually, theologically, relationally, and psychologically; I help people recover, or perhaps discover for the first time, the reality of their sonship and relationship to their Father, rather than relationship to the church or Christian religion.

It sounds like Crosby spends a significant amount of his time helping people and he clearly has an understanding of spiritual abuse.  Here’s the part of the article that intrigued me the most, in particular the third paragraph (the bold parts were from the article, not by me):

I have dealt with literally hundreds of people who have been legitimately abused in unhealthy church environments. I am very sympathetic to their pain and have my own hair-curling horror stories I could tell of the things that have been done to me, my wife, and my children by “leaders” in the name of Jesus. I GET IT.

However, I’ve noticed a difference between those who are restored to spiritual health quickly, and those who remain in reactionary woundedness for years or decades. Those who recover quickly admit that there was something broken or unwhole in themselves that was a “hook” for controllers and abusers to play on. They do not just blame the perpetrators of the injustice against them. Healthy, whole, functional, adults–especially fully resourced believers (2 Pet. 1:3)–are not easy to control and abuse.

As legitimate as the mistreatment may have been, somewhere the abused individuals (assuming adults–not children or minors)  failed to exercise their God-given abilities to protect themselves. God has given every mentally whole adult the “power of no” to protect ourselves. How much more so believers who have the indwelling Spirit? The trouble is, we are often not whole and we often ignore the Spirit’s prompting because of the emotional cost of following what He says to us. Being Spirit-led takes more courage than people normally think, but then again, courage is one of the first evidences of being a regenerated, Spirit-filled, human being (Acts 1-4).

This is a recurring comment we have seen here when discussing spiritual abuse – that we are partly responsible for the abuse we incurred, we should have seen the faulty doctrine, the signs, the fruit in the leaders’ lives, etc.  Here’s more from the article:

Folks could have said “no” to leaders. Why didn’t they? Could be lots of reasons for that. What was the “hook” in the soul that folks could not say “no”? Folks can leave a ministry or church. They don’t. Why? Could be lots of reasons, some very difficult to face. They could have confronted.

What about wives in a complementarian or especially patriarchal environment?  Do you think they need to own their part of allowing the abuse when their marriage may in fact be a system where women have no voice?  In SGM-like churches and my former church, husbands are called the priest of the home.  They are responsible for the family spiritually.  Women are many times left out of the process.

Towards the end of my time at the abusive church I had to make the choice to “sin.”  I remember feeling strongly that I was in deep sin by doing what I was doing:  telling my husband I no longer could go to THAT church, that it was killing me mentally, spiritually.  Somehow I had the wherewithal to say, “enough is enough,” but there was a personal cost and a cost to the family.  I felt so guilty for saying I could not go back to that church and would be going somewhere else without the family.  I was completely bucking this religious system I was part of and had no idea what would happen next.  I was saying NO to my spiritual head.

I had difficulty reading parts of Crosby’s article.  Spiritual abusers are masterful manipulators.  They can pull the wool over people’s eyes.  I get confused wondering what I could have done differently.  And then the guilt comes again.  Am I supposed to be asking God to forgive me for obeying my husband by going to the church he led our family to?

The article then goes on to discuss that many of us had psychological needs met by our abusers and that’s why we chose to remain.  Ouch!  I think there may be some truth to that in some instances, but again, what about wives in patriarchal families where the father makes these decisions for his family?

The final paragraph:

If you have been seriously damaged in a church situation, I urge you to forgive quickly, take responsibility for your own soul, repent to God for not using the tools he has given you to protect yourself, find people who can love you without agenda, help you find inner healing if you need it, and be restored to a vibrant and healthy kingdom life.

Am I supposed to repent to God for not using the tools He gave me?  Again, ouch.  I think there is good information in this article, but for me, it was difficult to read on the emotional level – no warm fuzzies, that’s for sure.

159 thoughts on “Should We Repent for Allowing Ourselves to be Spiritually Abused?”

  1. Now I’m wondering if being a Calvinist is akin to spiritual abuse. 3 points you’re a Baptist, 5 points you’re a Calvinist. By the way, I like what Vernon McGee says. You see the door. It says “Whosoever will may come”. You open the door and go through. On the other side it says “The elect of God” They are both true.


  2. chapened24,

    I’m not minimalizing my former Pastor’s responsibility of being Stealth and I not going to consider myself a victim of circumstance, because what happen in our church was preventable.

    When you don’t look at a Doctrinal Statement or aggressively research the Pastor’s beliefs before he is offered a Pastoral Position you are going to have problems with a “Stealth or Covert” Hyper-Calvinist Preacher if you don’t embrace Calvinism.

    If you go into a Hyper-Calvinist Church not reading or understanding their Doctrine you are making yourself vulnerable. (words like “Election” or “Regeneration” should be a tip-off)

    By failing in doing this, My wife and I absorbed much of my former Pastor’s rebuke when we attempted to seek clarity, specifically referring to his Exegetical Style as a Methodology, unlike anything I’ve seen.

    Along the way I spit-balled my way through the turmoil making mistakes and making regrettable assumptions as I was circling around and struggling with his Methodology, all the while he knew exactly what I meant when I referred his teachings as a “Methodology”.

    I even suggested that he embraced his “Method” more than the Message. I have even suggested to SBC officials that my former Pastor “may” have practiced Sin for purposely keeping his Doctrine a mystery (bearing false witness) and possibly stealing because he accepted tithes and offerings knowing full well he was purposely keeping his Doctrine a mystrey, from the people that was supporting his Ministry.

    Again, lack of Biblical literacy stimulated my ignorance, when I finally prayed and seeked God’s guidance studying the Bible and Doctrinal researching, that is when God revealed our former Pastor’s Doctrine..

    This thread may be able to remedy the kind of problem that I endured simply by teaching all of us to do basic research and understanding of Doctrine before deciding on a Church or a Pastor. I would compare it to taking a spiritual vaccination.

    The Calvinism debate in the SBC has been going on for decades, but has really picked up steam during the last 10 years.. The Calvinist actually claim to be founders of the SBC long before the Civil War started.


  3. Well, now that I am more knowledgeable, I am the same as you, in regards to reading doctrinal statements. However, if we put ourselves in the shoes of others, most would believe that doctrinal statements of one church is going to be the same doctrinal statements in all churches. I don’t like doctrinal statements at all, to be honest. Here is the reason.

    In a denomination (any), you must conform to what someone else already decided, or else you are showed the door, or put in church discipline if you question the authority of the church, accused of being divisive, and disruptive, etc.

    When you belong to a non-denomination, the preacher reports, we decide.

    We believe
    We believe
    We believe

    Note to self: Who is we? People who made a decision for ME centuries ago (400 years ago) FOR generations to come. Why should I believe what the “WE” believed when the Bible has been scrutinized beyond what they confessed to believe?

    But the ignorant believe in the “WE BELIEVE” statements. So, how much of reading the doctrinal statements will they not know if it is right, or wrong? The preachers use the words of Christianity, even in the stealth mode.

    Anyway, Mark, I see what you are saying. And for you, I agree. But not for the ones who don’t know any better. That had to be clarified by me.


  4. chapened24,

    My intention wasn’t necessarily speaking for others, although I’m sure there are others that could’ve avoided the same kind of pain I went through by simply reviewing and understanding Doctrine. (but not necessarily in this thread)

    But there is a possibility that many who endured spiritual abuse, still may not realize that Doctrinal Indifference may have played an important role and if they don’t figure that out they may be vulnerable for more Spiritual abuse in the future.

    Anybody that has been a dedicated Christian for more than 5-10 years, in these times, should know the Doctrine of the Church and their Pastor for which they are attending. If they move they should be steadfast in reviewing Doctrinal Statements.

    If we only focus on each others pain and don’t look for understanding then this thread will only be a Pep Rally for people unable to discover closure. (instead of teaching others to understand what kind of church they are attending)


  5. I’m really trying to figure this out……….if this is spiritual abuse……all I know is that I hate going to church anymore…..

    What does it feel like when the pastor says, “ You are wrong, I am right” ?
    “No, you can’t lead that bible study….”
    That study doesn’t use the right method. You may only use “this” one.. even though my bible study causes me to love Christ and grow in Him. My mind doesn’t work the way the pastor’s mind works, so his “method” only brings me to despair .
    “That is not the way to read your bible…”
    Why is it wrong to read a passage over and over again so that it will seep into my heart and soften the hard shell….
    Why is it wrong to stay in a place that reminds me of the truth I keep forgetting?
    “All canned SS curriculums are second best…….”
    He alone has figured out the only right way? The only answer is his curriculum? He doesn’t care that the kid’s eyes are glazed over and they don’t want to come anymore? He dismisses all educational research about how kids learn………really?
    “You are not thinking biblically”
    Always a bit hard to refute this one……. the biblical thinking card……apparently only he is able to think biblically.


  6. Mark, I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. However, the should have, would have, could have is sort of a mute point, as that is in the past.

    You said:
    “If we only focus on each others pain and don’t look for understanding then this thread will only be a Pep Rally for people unable to discover closure. (instead of teaching others to understand what kind of church they are attending)”

    Onions have many layers, and each one of those layers, when uncovered, will make you cry. The spiritual abuse must be focused on, in order to help take away all of those layers of the onion for a healthy recovery.

    Pointing fingers at the victim and saying to them, “Well, if you only would have read the doctrinal statement, then you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place” is not the right message to send.

    And if they did read the doctrinal statement, are we going to tell the victim, “You knew what you were getting into when you agreed with the doctrinal statement.”?

    What will be the response from the victim? I would assume a bunch of four letter words.

    What they discover on their own journey to healing is what will make the difference in their lives. Everyone’s journey is different. Each have their own story.

    Romans 12:15 (NIV)
    15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

    1 Peter 3:8
    Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

    Empathy, sympathy, Love, and compassion needs to play into this.

    What does love look like?


  7. Christy

    I’m with you when you say…
    “all I know is that I hate going to church anymore”

    Keep the faith – In Jesus. Seems Jesus never asked anyone to “Go To Church.”
    Jesus always asked folks to come directly to him, to follow him, and learn from Him.

    Mat 11:28
    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    I left “The Abusive Religious System” in the early 90’s – To find, and follow – Jesus…

    John 10:27
    My sheep **hear My voice,** and I know them, and they follow me:

    For me, the “Spiritual Abuse” – eventually – had a tremendous benefit. 😉
    It caused me to go directly to Jesus – The Word of God – To get it from Jesus for myself.

    Seems Jesus is the best teacher – Yes?

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to *hear His voice,*
    that *He might instruct thee:*

    Psalms 32:8
    I will instruct thee and teach thee
    in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

    It does take a step of faith to believe and trust
    that Jesus “can speak to you” and **teach you** “ALL” truth. 😉

    If Jesus created ALL things by speaking – Then speaking to us would be easy. Yes?

    And, John the apostle, warns – Some will seduce you – You need NO man teach you.

    1 John 2:26-27 KJV
    These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
    But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you,
    and **ye need NOT that any man teach you:**
    but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie…

    If you have Jesus living in you – Jesus is always there for you. 😉
    And, when Jesus tells you – You’re okay – You’ll know for certain – You’re okay. 😉

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear MY voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}


  8. @A. Amos Love
    Wow…beautiful, perfect!!

    The only thing that I have to add to that is this:

    The Bible is a personal letter from God to YOU, and YOU alone. Make it personal.

    Matthew 23:13-14 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
    “How terrible it will be for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter. And you will not let those enter who are trying to.”


  9. chapened24,

    In my postings I have suggested not to isolate Spiritual Abuse, rather combine the diagnosis of Spiritual Abuse with Healing and Preventitve Maintenance.

    When you go to a Hospital and the Doctor discovered you had a Stroke, hopefully through guidance you will be given a prescription of Physical Therapy and to see a Dietician, hopefully Healing and Preventitive Maintenance will help you heal and get stronger.

    If you had an un-diagnosed Stroke at your Doctor’s office, it may make Healing and Preventitive Maintenance almost out of reach and it may even lead the patient into a deep “Depression”.

    1 Peter 3:8 is a great passage. I also like the whole chapter of 1 Corithians 13. Some Hyper-Calvinist seem to think by balancing God’s instruction to Love one another, that you are “tickling the ears”.

    My Former Pastor Aggressively, Proudly and Openly “Rebuked” behind the pulpit that he could teach about Love and Tickle the Ears in order to full-fill baby Christians ability to practice “Self-Love”, but he wasn’t going to do that.
    (not a good Doctrine to live by unless you embrace “Unforginess Theology” like he did behind the pulpit)
    (His Methodology didn’t allow him to focus on Love toward one another behind the Pulpit, while my wife attended his services for over a year, which is one of the major reasons why we stopped attending.)

    I have a feeling, you must think I’m “cold”. When in truth I have exposed what has happened to me. Much of the “Causes” of the Abuse (and my wife) I endured went un-diagnosed. Within the last 18 months we are still trying to heal and I thank God he has lead us to this point.

    The one thing I see you doing to me, is you seem to want to catergorize Spiritual abuse into one neat little compartment. When in truth Spiritual Abuse is a lot more complicated than that and all of us have a story to tell that is uniquely different and we can’t walk in the shoes of others.

    In my postings, I have attempted to avoid walking in other people’s shoes other than my own. I have suggested however that some of us may not have been Doctrinally Literate, which should be (in my opinion) included in the healing process. I have also suggested that many of us are still discovering Methodology was the basis for the Abuse.

    I haven’t minimalized the Pastor’s role by embracing the kind of Methodology that damages our Spirit. But make no mistake God will make us accountable for our “own” future actions, whether or not we were innocent victims of Spiritual Abuse.


  10. Mark, I don’t think that you are cold. But what I do believe is that we cannot focus on the would haves of the past, but to focus on the “what I won’t do” in the future.

    In order for empathy, we must not only walk in our shoes, but that of others, as well, else how would grieving when others grieve take hold? (Romans 12:15).


  11. chapened24,

    I have done minimal reflection on “would’a” “could’a” in my postings and during my healing process but you seem to want to magnify it anyway.

    Maybe your specialty is the trauma medic putting gauze on the wound in order to control the bleeding and you think I’m the wounded soldier blaming myself for getting shot at. (or Victim of Circumstance)

    Repent is not a bad word. To me it means change. But before I could change I needed to seek some clarity or the basis of the Spiritual Abuse that I endured in order to “focus on the “what I won’t do” in the future”. (you elequently described)

    Maybe you skimmed over my postings a little too fast, but I have been expressing that all along.

    In truth you have struggled with me assuming even a “tiny bit of” personal responsibility. I recognized my own arrogance and you seem to have a problem with it.

    Maybe in your case (and others) you were 100% of Victim of Circumstance and rightfully the Pastor was 100% at fault. I haven’t suggested that you or anybody else share blame for any Abuse you may have endured with your Pastor, that would be reckless of me. I don’t know your situation.


  12. Mark, what I endured was far far far less than what others here have experienced. What I experienced cannot even be compared. It was minimal in comparison.

    I thank you for your clarity. In what I know now, in regards to doctrines, I try to pass the word, in order to correct people (on other blogs, websites, etc.), but I get thrown under the bus, accused of being arrogant, not open minded, a heretic, etc., all for not buying off on the “We believe” statements.

    You have explained yourself well, and I apologize for skimming too fast in your original post.


  13. chapened24,

    I’ve been accused of much of the same as described in your last paragraph. It is easy to skim through lengthy postings. Sometimes, it is difficult to describe or explain personal experiences in 50 words or less.


  14. I am wondering if anyone else here has struggled to name what they experienced at their church as: Spiritual Abuse. I am ten years out of a church that almost crushed my faith in Jesus. I just discovered WTT and Julie’s blog a couple of months ago…O boy, things have been stirred up inside of me. I feel a little crazy, one minute I know what I went through was capital A ABUSE then I think I am being overly sensitive and I just need to get over it.

    I don’t understand why I am resisting to accept and call it abuse. I don’t want to go back into therapy, has anyone else had this struggle? Does this even make sense?
    P.S. I still stand by my earlier comments, not my fault, no need to repent for what was done.


  15. Gail,

    I have.

    I have described my former Pastor of simply embracing and practicing an “Abusive Interpretation of Scriptures”.

    I have described “Methodology” or “Doctrinal Indifference” as a qualifier in exchange of destracting my attention of enduring or feeling Spiritually Abused.

    In my case, if I dwell on being Spiritually Abused it slows the healing process keeps me bitter and unforgiveness stays close to my heart.

    I’m just grateful that the Father revealed to me things I needed to do to move on, which can be difficult.

    I believe the “Motive” of what moved my former Pastor was Methodology and this Methodology fit his Aggressive and Controlling personality.
    (I’m not giving my former Pastor a pass, but I discovered he carried some pain in his own background and brought it into our Congregation, with unresolved issues that intensified his aggressive Spirit)

    In the meantime, “Covertly” in his teaching he stayed within the perimeters of endoctrinating TULIP to the Congregation without our knowledge, that TULIP even existed in the first place.

    It might be helpful to understand that even Baptist Pastor’s aren’t all trained alike and they have been endoctrinated with different Doctrines and Methodologies. There is a war of words happening even within the Pastoral community over Methodology, so naturally it will trickle down to us.

    If you found a church that balances God’s command to Love each other with the hatred of sin and most of the people in the church has recognizable joy in knowing Jesus then you may be in the right church.

    If the unsaved can’t see joy in our hearts of knowing Christ then why would they want, what we have in Christ if by appearence Christians are more miserable than they are?

    In my opinion if we are in a church that lacks joy, there is something seriously wrong with that church and it may be time to move on or at least seek an understanding of their Doctrine.


  16. Gail, i hear you.

    i think, for every one of us, it takes time to process, once you’re finally outside the spiritually abusive environment, what they did to you. it takes time for some to even recognize it as church abuse. it takes time. and we’re only now as a community finding the words for it, for the wtf just happened to me?

    in the last few years i’ve found the words WOLF,,, SNAKE,,, and FALSE PASTOR to be quite helpful in the making sense of what happened.


  17. Mark- Just from being on this planet for 58 years I have learned that sorrow and joy commingles & life really brings it on at times. So, I need a church where people are given the grace to be where they are at emotionally & spiritually… After all we still suffer, cry and grieve as Christians right? Life can be difficult even Jesus wept.

    My old church was happy clappy, but behind the scenes of all that joy were people who were devastated by what life had brought rather cancer or a cheating spouse.

    Many were pulling a happy face because they didn’t want to be seen as a bad advertisement for Christ by the church leaders.
    A dear friend who lost her husband was rebuked for grieving his loss too long- He had only been dead a year.
    O, btw the only persons sin I can hate anymore is my own, I have many.

    I realize I am responding to you out of my old experience and might not have not heard you correctly. No offensive taken to what you said, I’m just not in the same place as you.

    “If you found a church that balances God’s command to Love each other with the hatred of sin and most of the people in the church has recognizable joy in knowing Jesus then you may be in the right church.”

    Monax- Thank-You. It is nice to be heard.


  18. Mark,

    On second thought, I want to point out to you, I only asked for advice on naming spiritual abuse. I wasn’t looking for an opinion on where I should go to church.


  19. SSB here, Gail. this is one of my churches…

    “where two or more are gathered in his name” there is a local expression of the body of Christ — a Church.

    our gathering here to love and encourage each other in our faith has the true nature of being and doing church…

    and thank Jesus there ain’t too many “church people” hanging out here! if you know what i mean?


  20. Monax- I am embarrassed to ask what is SSB? I’m new to learning all the names of churches that are being called out…
    I love that this is one of your churches, I never thought of that, but yes, gathering here to love and encourage has the true nature of what my dream church would be like! And I do know what you mean ( :


  21. Gail, I have a few books listed in the Spiritual Abuse Help tab. I have found so much of my help in reading the stories of others and finding the parallel mine, but asking myself what caused me to be attracted to this church/pastor/group, etc. A lot of introspection into what has made me who I am today (I had childhood abuse issues and so I know that can create control/trust issues).

    Always feel free to ask questions in comments here – even if it is unrelated to the post, because people read it and can respond and sometimes it is a question that many people might have and would be worth a whole post. That’s what I want this place to be – interactive in that YOUR voice is heard and we can bounce ideas off each other and support each other, too.

    This topic sure has generated a lot of interest. I think it’s an important one!


  22. Gail,

    I don’t disagree with your assertions. We may have endure opposite type of abuse too much Clappy in your case (I’ve been there but didn’t stay long) and too much anger in the Church I attended.

    I’m not suggesting we need to strictly attend a Happy Clappy Church. But the faces that left our Church every Sunday and throughout the week, during the 5 Point era lacked geniune joy and throughout that era.

    The unrealistic extremes of a Church that is Happy and Clappy or one that strictly embraces Negative Energy shows me the lack of balance that is going on in Churches today. (that may or may not be Center around their Doctrines)

    When our nation’s Pastor’s who profess the Gospel, are disputing their Doctrines, that must some how trickle down to Church Attendee’s which may exacerbate some additional Spiritual Abuse.

    I thought you made a good point, when you struggled to connect your pain and spiritual abuse together, because I have Wrestled with it as well.

    I’ve only been on this planet 53 years, so I may lack a little less life experience than you but not too much, as the years seem to be collecting kind of fast on me.

    I guess I’m not placing my words very well because I have compassion for what you endured, but by appearence I must not have come across that way, for which I’m sorry.


  23. Thank-you Mark! No hard feelings at all, it is very kind of you to say your are sorry. I am a pretty confused right now and know I get my hackles up, please pray for me, and I will pray for you too.


  24. “hackles” now that’s a new word for me…

    maybe `cause it’s an old word that fell out of popular currency, perhaps? i’m only 44


  25. Monax-
    It was a expression my grandmother use to say to me when I was having a temper tantrum. So, I assume it is an old word. ( :

    The hackles, or neck feathers, of a fighting cock are erected when the animal is angry. The cock is said to be with the hackles up.
    That expression was extended to dogs as well. When a dog is on the point of fighting, the hairs on its back and neck will stand up.


  26. Y’all are blowing up this post with comments – HA! Now I have to go up a ways and catch up with you. I’m out of town again and you guys are leaving me in the dust with comments.


  27. chapmaned24:

    Thank You, the more you dig you will see the need for Scriptually and Doctrinally sound members in a Church. But even for baby Christians, the new normal may be researching Doctrine of Preachers and Churches before they stay in that Church.

    Our former Pastor realizing he started off heavily judgemental from the beginning of his tenure, which was the only thing that tipped me off in referring to his preaching style as a “Methodology”. He changed his tactics about 6 months into his tenure, taking a less aggressive and “stealth” approach. (as described in the “reformed reader” you sent me)

    I’m not sure how long it would’ve taken for me to get on my knees, before God would’ve revealed to me the 5 Point “Stealth” Doctrine, if my former Pastor had taken a less aggressive approach from the beginning of his tenure.

    I still could identify that he was still staying within the boundries of his Doctrine which was still a Mystery.
    (truthfully it really puzzled me the sudden change in Preaching Style, the Congregation was relieved, but I became more curious which did exacerbate additional retaliation from him, toward me and my wife)

    In mean time he still stayed within the perimeters of TULIP, and attendance was slowly dropping. (tithes were dropping) He also wasn’t allowing kids to attend Sunday School unless parents were in attendance, eventually Sunday School ended for kids. Then when God finally revealed to me he was either Reformed or a Hyper-Calvinist, I disclosed it to the Membership. As an attempt to save face he broke out the Book of TULIP trying to openly endoctrinate, the leaders of the Church.

    He then got the existing voting Membership of the Church to close most of the Services and move it to the Small Parsonage apartment which was only large enough for about 10 or 12 people. (Sighting economic purposes) But the church still needed to stay warm in order for pipes to not freeze. So within a month the main service would’ve ended up in the apartment to justify his cost cutting argument.
    (draining the pipes and shutting off heat and electricity to the Church)

    At some point the pressures of having to disclose his Doctrine to those he befriended and the rest of the Membership must of stirred him, to resign, but not after he wiped out the church treasury so his family of 8, can send everything they had through the mail which included books for homeschooling and also Air Fare to Florida. (something like $12,000.00)
    (There was exactly 250.00 dollars left in the treasury, a strange number, why not 249.23 or 256.87?)


  28. JulieAnne,


    I really don’t want to disclose our location, (because that isn’t important) but I will go so far as to say we can only leave by air or boat.

    Where I made my original mistake, (one of several) was I purposely avoided being part of the conversation in filling the Pulpit. The Interium Pastor who’s Methodology I didn’t care for or his aggressive “4 Point” personality, which is a story by itself as he was going through some personal issues, that I felt he brought partly on himself.
    I saw a strange type of Preaching Style that had infratrated the Church during the time of a 6 year absense from the community and simply was a spectator for 3 years after our return.
    (being part of that church since 1980 is inexcuseable on my part for being a spectator when you know or feel something isn’t right)

    Our Church wasn’t affiliated with the SBC when my wife and I left. When we returned about 6 years later the church was part of the SBC family. I thought it was just an SBC thing, which is far from the truth even though the 5 Point Doctrine was heating up between SBC leaders. Many SBC Preachers don’t embrace any part of 5 Point Doctrine or TULIP.
    Some might agree with 1 Point or 3 Points. Not all Calvinist are alike. There might even be some parts within TULIP that have some truth, I choose however to completely avoid reading TULIP, because the Bible is sufficient enough for me.

    I’m a lot less critical of the SBC now. I’m less critical of Preachers who may have some Calvinist leanings. I find it strange though, because the Calvinist can’t even come up with a concensus to what they believe so why catagorize yourself being a Calvinist where there is clearly Doctrinal Indifference within Calvinism.

    A lot of Calvinist do disclose up front their Doctrine and do not condone the behavior of “Stealth or Covert” Reformed or Hyper-Calvinist

    But during the time when our church was getting certain Preachers, I was beginning to become geographically predijuce thinking we needed to avoid Preachers from “South of the Mason Dixon Line and East of the Mississippi” when in reality the swagger of the our Interium and former Pastor, was driven by 4 or 5 Point Calvinism instead of being prejudice against “Northerners”, like I thought they were practicing.

    That’s what can happen when we don’t “deeply” investigate Doctrine, which unfortuniately should be an emphasized requirement for “Seasoned” or “Baby” Christians alike in filling the Pulpit or in search of a new Church.

    Weird stuff goes through the mind, when we take our eye’s off of Jesus, or stop being obedient and lazy, which is what happen to me.


  29. Mark,

    here’s a fragment of comment by c.t. from June 2012:

    I personally think that *ideally* a church gathering is a gathering of *kings*. Individuals who are prophets, priests, and kings all in one. That includes males and females. And to really make an extended analogy, where in history do we see gatherings of kings? On battlefields. So if everybody can hold their own, biblically and doctrinally, then anyone who tries to lord it over anyone else in some off-the-mark way is in for quite a test of strength.

    i’ve posted c.t.’s full comment at SpAu

    c.t.’s blog is PLAIN PATH PURITAN
    ATTN Christy, here’s an absolutely hilarious recent post by him:


  30. Monax, you just have to warn people I am a rageaholic at times (and not proud of it). Thanks for the compliments. (Hi, Julie Anne.)


  31. Mark and Julie Anne,
    I just go home so I am a little bit behind, but last night, I just could not believe what I was reading from reformedreader. It was blatantly public, admitting to a systematic declaration of deceit by manipulation, pulling the wool over peoples eyes to achieve the desired effect.

    Mark, you have my complete attention now. I get it. You have definitely been vindicated. Calvinism needs to come to an end. Those who promote it, are deceitful. But this seems, at the moment to me, isolated to Baptist churches, as there are churches that are openly Calvinistic. But, I wonder how many unsuspecting churches that there are with similar situations as the Baptists.


  32. chapened24,

    Where the deceit comes from is when a Pastor purposely withholds his Doctrine while attempting to indoctrinate his Congregation, in our case staying within the perimeters of a 5 Point “TULIP” system as a guide to authenticate their own interpretation of Scripture..

    There are Calvinist in the SBC that “fully” discloses their Doctrine that do not condone and even criticize the “Stealth and Covert” behavior of 5 Point and Hyper-Calvinist Pastors that hide their Doctrine from unsuspecting churches.

    If you read my 11:00 a.m. posting to JulieAnne you’ll notice that I explained there are different Points of Calvinism. For instance a Preacher may embrace 1 Point Calvinism which is a far cry from the more aggressive 5 Point or Reformed or New Calvinist or Hyper-Calvinist.

    I also explained a little more thoroughly in response to your “reformed reader” @ 9:25.

    I have haven’t dug into the belief system of Calvinism because there are several versions that have created Doctrinal Indifference even among the Calvinist. It has also created Doctrinal Indifference in the SBC as a whole because there are a tremendous amount of Preachers in the SBC that aren’t Calvinist.


  33. It’s funny how some Calvinists will attempt to shy away from Calvin, even while teaching Calvin, just as the 7th Day Adventists will attempt to shy away from Ellen G. White, while still teaching Ellen G. White.

    Yes, I noticed that the answer to my question to you was answered already. While looking at my emails, I responded before reading all of the posts. Bad habit, sometimes.


  34. chamaned24,

    I know what you mean. At least with the 7th day Adventists you know they are 7th Day Adventist.

    A Stealth Hyper-Calvinist won’t disclose. Which is why we have to dig deep into a Candidate’s Resume’ in filling the Pulpit or seeking a new Church to attend.


  35. Greetings, Gail,
    Just wanted to add my Welcome to you here! Looks like you are getting to know some of the folks here and what ‘SSB’ is all about. 🙂 Glad that you are finding a home to hang out.

    I also invite you to check out articles on my website. I also have a book entitled: “Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness.”

    My website is: http://www.ChurchExiters.com
    If you have questions or comments, email me at: info@churchexiters.com

    We are all in this together! We learn from one another. 🙂


  36. My mother had to go through the exact same thing you did– so much of the abuse was specifically targeted at my mother or me when my father wasn’t present, and then the leader/”pastor” would deny all of it. It was a vicious circle that went on for years until my mom finally told my dad, after a two-hour-long conversation where my dad tried to convince her to “give the pastor one more chance” that if he made her go back to that church that she would kill herself.
    We left– and it was the best thing that ever happened to my family.


  37. fwiw, Samantha, aka forgedimagination, is a brilliant sister and story-teller. i’ve enjoyed reading her personal accounts since discovering her.


    “We will only love our story to the degree that we see the glory that seeps through our most significant shattering. To see that glory, we must enter into and read our tragedies with confidence that they will end better than we could ever imagine…. God writes our story not just for our own enlightenment and insight, but to enlighten others and to reveal his own story through our story.” ~ Dan Allender, To Be Told

    ”I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller.” ~ G. K. Chesterton


  38. Most people who get into an abusive are from an abusive family…thats what they know..thats what is comfortable…to some degree or another. So I dont believe they are held accountable…unless they see it and refuse to leave


Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s