* * *
This comment came in on an earlier thread and there are so many answers. Because I spoke out against my former church, one of the most common questions in e-mails I get is: “should I speak out about our abuse to current members?” Here it is again:
Our family left an unhealthy church about 7 months ago. We were a part of the church for over 20 years. When we first joined, we were in our early 20′s. We were young, immature and unaware that unhealthy churches existed. I noticed something was wrong about 10 years ago. The pastor was authoritarian and a micro-manager.
We started visiting other churches but we didn’t find one we both liked. I feel we went back because of denial and fear. We were in denial of the spiritual abuse because it was so subtle.
There were good things going on and we prayed for change. We also were in fear of losing our relationships and fear of the unknown. What would happen if we did leave? Would we find another church? We finally left.
It’s been a painful but freeing growing experience. We haven’t found another church yet but we still visit some Sundays. This is such an important topic that needs to continue to be addressed.
Our former pastor sent a text to my husband telling us not to tell “his” members why we left. I feel it’s time for me to speak up….
Update/addition: I found this extra excerpt from Donna in another comment – it helps to see the full picture:
My friends tell me my real friends will call me to find out what happened and I don’t need to go back to say goodbye. But it still bothers me. My three daughters were raised in our former church. My youngest was born and raised there. They are young adults now. My middle daughter left a couple years ago. I think it’s been hardest on my youngest daughter. I look forward to seeing your new post.
I took special note of the last couple of sentences (I made it bold).
#1 – pastor does not want them to tell “his” members why we left?
Hmm – why not?
#2 “I feel it’s time to speak up.”
Of course you know I have opinions on this. Do you have experience that you can share with Donna?
Does speaking up help or not?
What problems can occur if she does speak up?
What problems can occur if she doesn’t speak up?
Does the Bible have anything to say about speaking out about spiritually abusive churches? I got a fair amount of push back from church leaders.
I’m not the only :::cough, cough:::: “expert” on spiritual abuse here. Let’s talk. I’ll be piping in, too 🙂
* * *