Authoritative Preaching, Personal Stories, Reader's Prose, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Bullies

Personal Story: I am a Spiritual Abuse Survivor

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A spiritual abuse survivor shares her personal story

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A long-time reader recovering from spiritual abuse recently shared her story with me and has given me permission to share it with you. She is choosing to remain anonymous. It is very well written.  I’m going to issue a trigger warning for content related to:  spiritual abuse, spanking. This story is intense, so make sure you are exercise caution if you are easily triggered.

 

Responses to Lawsuit Filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries

 

 


 

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I am a Spiritual Abuse Survivor

by Anonymous

spiritual abuse, trapped, medium_3966603561
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I am a spiritual abuse survivor.
 
I am a spiritual abuse survivor.
 
I am a spiritual abuse survivor.
 

That six-word sentence is very hard for me to say. When my therapist asked me to write that down on my paper, I didn’t know the wave of emotions those six words would have on me. Am I really, truly a spiritual abuse survivor? That sounds so serious. So big. I struggle to grasp it. Sure, abuse can be physical, emotional, and verbal. I get that. But spiritual? Come on, that sounds pathetic.

Yet, here I am. Four short months from turning 30 years old. I can hardly sit through a church service without breaking down crying. My shoulders and neck often ache when I leave the service because I have sat so tense. In almost every service, I get a strong feeling to run. Run outside to get some fresh air because I can’t breathe. Run and just sit in the van. But I will myself to stay in my seat. My hands tremble and I squeeze them so tight my fingers hurt. My heart pounds and my emotions come in waves. I can’t stop it.

I know it’s ridiculous and I tell myself to stop – that I’m being over dramatic and stupid.
But I can’t stop.
No matter how hard I try.
I leave the service feeling exhausted.
Confused.
Conflicted.

Is this church ok? How can they be when they are not the traditional setting I’m used to? I’ve been warned my entire life about churches like this. I think of the pastors and leaders on the platform. What are they hiding? If I give them my heart and support their ministry, when will I get hurt again? Not if, but when. I don’t think I can take another rejection. I don’t think I can pour my all into a church and people, only to have them throw me away when I have questions. To disown me like I’ve never existed. I contemplate whether I even want to go to church anymore. I am so tired.

Four months from 30.
I have spent nearly 30 years of my life in church.
Nearly three decades. 1,549 weeks.
I have served in every way you can imagine, I have served my entire life.

Cleaning church buildings, doing church laundry, teaching many Sunday Schools, door knocking every weekend, decorating rooms, running and serving in VBS, singing with praise teams and choirs, playing musical instruments, being in church productions, helping plan services, using my artistic abilities, being a Children’s Director, working in the nursery, being a director in AWANA, and more. And what do I have to show for it?  After three decades, I have been rejected by almost everyone I’ve known in church.  I can count on one hand the church people, outside of family, who have stayed in contact with me on a regular basis. Less than 5 church people after 30 years. Sound devastating? You’re absolutely right.

You need to understand that church is all I’ve had most of my life. Growing up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist family, I was homeschooled and sheltered from the world.

There were no close, outside friends.
No play dates.
No sleepovers.
I was either at home or at church.
Period.

My church consisted of 20 people (my family of 4 included). I can still see the pastor up at his wooden pulpit. His black suit, white shirt and thin tie. I can still see his beady blue eyes, pointed nose and thin lips. The comb lines in his greasy, parted hair. This man reeked hatred. I can see him screaming at us with his veins bulging in his neck, face beat red and spit foaming at his mouth. I watch as the foam falls out of his mouth and onto the floor. I can see him pounding the pulpit, finger-pointing as he threw his tantrums like a toddler. I remember the time he completely lost it and cursed from the pulpit. I remember him walking on the backs of the pews just to intimidate. I can also remember him in the kitchen with my dad talking about my habit of biting my nails until they sometimes bled. His advice? I need more spankings. Like I hadn’t got enough already.

This man believed in breaking the child’s will. You spank until the child is completely conquered. He would say that when the child opens their mouth to cry and just air comes out – you got through. Horrific. I can remember sitting on pillows the next morning during school because my behind hurt so bad. I remember seeing the bruises after I got out of the shower. Blue, green and yellow. I remember getting the paddle broken on me and feeling relieved until the pastor supplied us with a new one. A piece of molding about 2 feet long. I remember getting spanked by my mom and waiting until my dad got home to get spanked again. I was told that I was spanked because I was loved. I hate those memories.

This man formed my first 12 years of life. His beliefs, ideology, standards and convictions were shoved and pushed into my brain. According to him, I was a worthless sinner who didn’t deserve anything from God. He would remind us how we were like “menstrual pads” in God’s eyes. Disgusting and worthless. God was just waiting for me to mess up, and then He would strike. Maybe it would be the death of my family. Maybe a house fire. Maybe a car accident.  God would use whatever it took to get my attention, and it would be all my fault.

My pastor would scream about hell and about us missing the rapture because we had a head knowledge of salvation and not a heart knowledge. “What a shame to miss heaven by 18 inches.” he would say.

I would be terrified.
I would go to the altar and silently beg God to forgive me.
To please not leave me after the rapture.
I would wake up some nights and think that I was left behind.
That God took my family to heaven and not me.

He would show us movies of people being left behind and getting beheaded by the antichrist. Christians who were burned alive and tortured for their faith. “God doesn’t play around,” he’d say. “You’re either all in or all out.” I reverenced this man. I thought of him and his family so highly that I honestly couldn’t imagine that they would ever have to go to the bathroom. How could people so perfect and close to God have such vile things come out of their bodies? Brainwashed? You betcha.

This mentality stayed with me into the next churches over my teenage years and adulthood. They were all Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches. I still didn’t have friends and my life still consisted of homeschool and church.  I remember at 14 going to the altar and repenting over my Frank Sinatra tapes.  Throw in Barbra Streisand, too. Why wasn’t I happy with just hymns? Patch the Pirate? It was my flesh. The flesh liked that music, but no more!

So I got rid of my tapes for the first of a several times. Fundamentalism ruled my life. My 14th birthday present was a book called Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie. I memorized huge portions of scripture for church. I went to fundamentalist summer camps where they pounded you with their standards from morning until night. No matter how far you came in your spiritual life, you were still so far from where they said you needed to be. It was never enough. The rules list was so long. It’s sad to think that the more they yelled, belittled and guilt tripped me, the better I thought the church was.

I met my husband in these types of churches. The rules list for courtship applied here too. The pain of our courtship was very sad. I hate talking about it even 10 years later. 2 years into our marriage, we decided to leave. We lost every one of our friendships and relationships, except one. I was told I couldn’t be around their kids because I wore pants. I was asked how a woman wearing pants could even be saved. We were told we were blinded by Satan. We would lose our kids, marriage, and God’s blessing. The threats and warnings seemed endless.

The church we decided to go was still IFB, still traditional, but much more lenient. After spending 6 years there and serving in every capacity we could, we recently left. Why? Because even though it was much less strict than we were used to, it became very abusive.

No matter how much we did, it was never enough.
Never enough serving.
Never enough money given.
I was called awful names.
We were shunned.

I was a Children’s and AWANA Director with 130+ volunteers under me. They all deserted me. Like I’d never existed. People who I did life with.  People who I babysat for. People who I visited in the hospital and bought gifts for. People I comforted and cried with. People who I had given my whole heart to. When we left, one of the pastors looked us square in the eyes and told us that the church would be able to see how spiritually mature we were if they heard we told anyone why we left.

The church has always been my identity – and I’ve lost it.
So here I am.
4 months from turning 30.
Standing with broken pieces of my heart scattered around me.
I am a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom (that changes next year), and I have no church home.
My family has no church home.

For the first time in my life, I am not serving in a church and I feel so guilty. I’m wonder if God’s going to punish me. I hurt. The church has left me with gaping wounds. Huge, horrific, deadly wounds. I am sometimes amazed that I still go to church. “The church is a hospital for the wounded,” I’ve heard. I disagree with that. In my experience, the church shoots their wounded. They beat you to a bloody pulp with their expectations, demands of service and unspoken rules, and as you lay there bleeding, they kick you and tell you to get up and keep going. They say, “Real Christians serve even when it hurts. Who are you serving – people or God? You need to give your all.”

Right now, I don’t have anything more to give.
Right now, the only I can do is will myself to stay in my seat and not run out of the door on Sunday morning.
Yes, I am a spiritual abuse survivor.

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126 thoughts on “Personal Story: I am a Spiritual Abuse Survivor”

  1. Oh, in my homeschool mama crunchy days (I was wearing Birkenstocks in 1985), grinding wheat, baking bread, making my own clothes, cloth diapering (used cloth for first 5 babies) etc, you can be sure I saw patterns for sewing cloth pads. I’m sure reusing cloth pads saves a ton of $$, unless you’re full quivering and rarely having a cycle. Hmm, I miss my old Birkenstocks. My college student says they are in again.

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  2. That’s what I use it for. Pork BBQ with Mimi’s BBQ sauce and my special KFC copycat coleslaw recipe is the bomb diggety. Hmm spellcheck doesn’t like. Oh well. I’m now salivating and instead have to go to my 2-hr math class.

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  3. I enjoy preparing a heavenly smoked chicken and making a angelic hickory sauce (with a devilish twist) from scratch to go with it. No doubt it’s heaven on earth. Had to stay on topic. 🙂 .

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  4. OCTOBER 1, 2014 @ 12:59 PM
    WOW!! The only other question I have is – WHAT have you people been SMOKING???

    Carmen,
    I might be a lone voice here, I ain’t smoking anything. Just want to say, I would love to have a glass of wine with you, hear your story, because everyone has a story imho.

    And I would tell you, that uncertainty is my position about Jesus. Somedays, I have no doubt, others, I am so troubled that I doubt everything.

    And fwiw, I have cringed at a few comments that have been hurled your way. If I was you, those remarks would have sent me running farther away from Christ.

    I cannot stand certainty, dogmatism. I hope you hang around here, there are many diverse voices, we are not all on the same page.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Brenda I thank you but honesty demands the man up stuff came when I was a young adult dealing with the nightmares of the childhood incident. I probably should have made that more clear.

    “A six year old in that condition should be held and loved. ”
    After 32 + years in the industry, no matter the age this is not and will never be an option. But it is a nice thought. Thank you for your kindness.

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  6. Thanks, Gail – that’d be great to share a vino but I expect we are far apart geographically! Believe me, even though I get myself in hot water once in awhile, Julie Anne has the grace and fortuity to put up with my shenanigans. There’s a reason she does that, even though we are not on the same page philosophically. She recognizes that I, too, see the grave importance of empowering people who’ve had their voices silenced – which, a great deal of the time, means women. (and, by extension, children)
    P.S. Even with these horns coming out of my head, I don’t smoke! 🙂

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  7. The reason I posted the truth of my experience pertains to the article at hand, “Spiritual Abuse” as it portrays itself in many different forms. My heart cries out for those whom are spiritually abused for many of us here at Spiritual Sounding Board have been abused within the institutional church system. I, personally, have experienced trauma, via the mouths of a pastor, his “leadership” yes men and women (some calls these lords “the church board,” while others label them as “elders, deacons, and deaconesses.”)

    It seems as with the “churched” in my community, there is always a hidden agenda of the heart. With my former friend, it seems as though we were “friends” as long as I was a Republican, but when I politely asked her to not send me anymore hateful emails regarding the Democratic population/politicians (many of which should NOT have been sent by a born again believer in Jesus Christ. It was a shame to my faith.), she pulled out the spiritual ammunition against me by sending me a email to view “23 minutes in hell” by Bill Wiese (And yes, I do believe there is a hell, but not Mr. Bill’s version for he is not privy to that kind of revelation, the canon of Scripture is closed and I will choose to believe Jesus’ version of hell instead, and dare not add anything extra.)

    She made the choice to transition from a political realm to the spiritual realm, which I believe was downright dirty. And I consider this abusive, my friends, for a disagreement in politics is not worthy of being threatened with going to hell if I choose not to be a Republican any longer. So the church is Republican….really? Where does it say that in the Bible….Jesus=Republican? Nope, cannot buy that one.

    I am sorry, for I know too much about the political system to actually put my hope and trust in those types of men and women who possess cold consciences. Psalm 118:8-9.

    Spiritual abuse prowls around in many different forms, and many within the church system do “know” what they are doing when they choose to abuse. My prayers are still lifted up to our LORD Jesus Christ for the author of this post. May God forgive us for neglecting those who are the recipients of spiritual abuse by the false sheep (goats.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Katy, you brought up something that I don’t recall being mentioned before- the political pressure that sometimes occurs under tyrannical leaders. I remember my pastor getting to those discussions as well. That is not the time, nor place.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The thing that irritates me a bit about Carmen here is what in my experience is common among many atheists: the “Do your research, people!” mantra.

    It’s such pretense, this notion that we simple-minded Christians haven’t done our research and if we only did, we’d see round this puerile Sunday school-level thought and grow up and become thinking people–like, of course, the atheists.

    I am a faculty member at a large state university. Research is part of my career, without it, I will be exiled–as my chair reminds me. I know research, I am staff editor for an academic journal, I review for a number of others. What I have found when I take the time to do a bit of research into the “research” to which the average atheist directs me, the devastating proof that my belief in Jesus is a delusion, that the biblical notions of sin and redemption and judgment are just Iron Age myths–or “twisted Augustinian theology”, pick your favorite insulting comment about our faith–I almost invariably find that it comes from either: 1). a fringe and disreputable “scholar” looking for a hit in a journal by positing some forced controversy, 2). a non-scholar producing balderdash fishing for a book deal, or 3). a complete pop culture fraud who is so out of his or her element that they cannot be relied upon to perform even undergraduate-level research. I have yet in five decades on this planet and over a decade in higher education to find a single legitimate exception to this rule. And I have looked for one!

    I am very weary of hearing of these theories; just because one happens upon this or that book or internet site. They are generally just silly.

    My rant is over.

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  10. “And I would tell you, that uncertainty is my position about Jesus. Somedays, I have no doubt, others, I am so troubled that I doubt everything.

    And fwiw, I have cringed at a few comments that have been hurled your way. If I was you, those remarks would have sent me running farther away from Christ.

    I cannot stand certainty, dogmatism. I hope you hang around here, there are many diverse voices, we are not all on the same page.”

    Me too, Gail. I have a lot of empathy for where Carmen is coming from. Doubt it good, you know if it causes us to dig deeper and really think. And I think the dualism and redefining of sin that Augustine introduced early on is one of the main culprits of all the confusion we have seen for millenia and all the evil done in the name of Jesus in church history.

    One thing that made a big change for me was how I viewed “faith”. I now see it as a commitment. I no longer see it as some mystical stance or something “implanted” in me with some sort of cosmic pixie dust. I believe Jesus Christ, period. And my belief and commitment to Him has nothing to do with those who use his name to excuse all sort of evil or deception no matter what their position or title.

    Augustine was able to spread the idea that we have no real volition in this life. We are born guilty and sinning. Others ran with this and systemitized this thinking. It is the main theme of most Protestantism.

    Here is something that might help some in how they view Jesus Christ, the Cross and resurrection. When you think of Easter (The resurrection) think of Gen 1. New Creation. Because that was the whole point of it. If it never looks like that AT ALL with those who represent him…even on this corrupted earth, then something is very wrong.

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  11. TD, you are right that his is not the place to debate Christianity or put it down. There are plenty of other blogs for that. One of the common results of spiritual abuse is leaving one’s faith in a precarious place. We don’t want to sabotage that relationship, but to encourage those hurting to seek Him, when emotionally ready.

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  12. “….that the biblical notions of sin and redemption and judgment are just Iron Age myths–or “twisted Augustinian theology”, pick your favorite insulting comment about our faith–”

    I think the problem is not “twisted Augustinian theology” but twisted interpretations that take the Augustinian route, totally ignoring historical context, grammar, re-translations after retranslations, genre, etc.

    . Augustine did not even know Greek nor Hebrew yet his interpretations of many texts are because his writings were in Latin that spread West quickly, were taken on and added to and systematized, etc, etc. Augustine is the Father of the Catholic church and the Protestant Reformation. He pretty much set the foundation for beliefs for a thousand years. It has barely been questioned at all through out history. But it is so close to Greek Pagan dualism it is scary.

    And I do think most churches are teaching a very wrong and hopeless view of sin and redemption which sends a message we are vile and cannot live redeemed lives and sinning is ok cos we cannot help it.. There is mass confusion out there because who can trust that???. We can be different now in Christ. But that seems to insult many. As if Jesus Christ is being righteous for us right now. He isn’t. We have to be involved and do our part. It is a relationship.

    I tell CArmen this: I have decided to make a committment to believe and follow Jesus Christ. Period. That also means I am willing to listen to other beliefs and even discuss things that make me uncomfortable like hell, etc. (I believe in a separation from God because I can tell you right now, I am not interested in spending eternity with Pol Pot)

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  13. I’m with you Lydia on two great and cogent comments you’ve made. It’s virtually impossible to make sense of ‘spiritual abuse’ without taking a look at its theological underpinnings even though the blog owner has made it quite clear that this is not the place for it. I respect that, and after some brief push-back on the ‘filthy rags’ thing up-thread, I’m done:

    It ties in nicely with your point about historical context and genre. In context Isaiah 64:6 is about the apostasy of Judah and the corrupt practices of their religious establishment at the time. It Is Not a blanket statement proving that you can do nothing ‘good’ on your own and that any good you do can only be sanctioned by a particular theology. There is no act of kindness and compassion that is ever a ‘filthy rag’ in the sight of the Almighty. It’s a lie from the father of lies.

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  14. “I’m with you Lydia on two great and cogent comments you’ve made. It’s virtually impossible to make sense of ‘spiritual abuse’ without taking a look at its theological underpinnings even though the blog owner has made it quite clear that this is not the place for it. I respect that, and after some brief push-back on the ‘filthy rags’ thing up-thread, I’m done:”

    Thanks Muff. And JA is right it is not just Calvinism– it is most of Protestantism from the IFB and their lawlessness of hierarchy to the seekers who claim Jesus hung on the cross so we could sin all we want to Calvinists who say we are puppets in a cosmic puppet show. All of it is infested with variations of Greek Pagan philosophy and the Roman chain of being structures which Jesus said NO to– big time. It is just that the Calvinists are causing the most havoc right now. It will be some other resurgence movement in a few years. Years back it was the Jesus Movement.

    And yes, it is impossible to make sense of it without looking at the theological underpinnings. I liken it to how some are taught to recognize counterfeit currency. One must really study and know the real thing to recognize the counterfeit.

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  15. FWIW, “pork butt” is another way of saying “Boston Butt,” which is of course taken from the shoulder of the hog. How it got its name I do not know, but since my brother went to school in Boston (oldest school there), I’ll say it’s because people at his school couldn’t tell the difference. :^)

    (just kidding, in case there are any Crimson fans out there)

    OK, seriously, for whatever reason, Calvin does start with the Apostles’ Creed and Augustine in the Institutes. I would hope we’d agree that the creed is a good place to start, even if we only say it’s a shorthand for authentic theology starting points, no?

    One minor correction; given that Augustine was from “Hippo” (Greek for “horse”) and received a classical education, it is almost certain that he was fluent in Greek, and he is on record as discussing certain ambiguities in the Septuagint regarding the death of pre-born children. Lydia would be correct, however, that many churchmen of his day were not conversant in Hebrew–Jerome is on record as having been exhorted to use the Septuagint instead of the Masoretic texts to translate the Old Testament for the Vulgate. I don’t know whether Augustine knew Hebrew, however.

    One significant exhortation; before we pile on Calvin, let’s make sure we’re arguing against HIS views and not the Synod of Dort, from whence the acronym “TULIP” comes. I have personally made a practice of asking modern “Reformed” people whether they’ve read much Calvin, and 95% of the time the answer is “no.”

    I’m personally at about page 400 of my first reading of the 1100 odd pages of the Institutes, and after I read it a few times, I think I might have the gist of his theology. :^) It’s really, really dense to modern eyes.

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  16. “OK, seriously, for whatever reason, Calvin does start with the Apostles’ Creed and Augustine in the Institutes. I would hope we’d agree that the creed is a good place to start, even if we only say it’s a shorthand for authentic theology starting points, no?”

    Bubba, I am completely, totally, happily NON creedal. (I know, GASP)

    “One minor correction; given that Augustine was from “Hippo” (Greek for “horse”) and received a classical education, it is almost certain that he was fluent in Greek, and he is on record as discussing certain ambiguities in the Septuagint regarding the death of pre-born children. Lydia would be correct, however, that many churchmen of his day were not conversant in Hebrew–Jerome is on record as having been exhorted to use the Septuagint instead of the Masoretic texts to translate the Old Testament for the Vulgate. I don’t know whether Augustine knew Hebrew, however.”

    There seems to be a lot of controversy about this. He mainly studied Latin Lit but there was no doubt some rudimentary Greek because he was schooled in the old pagan method. Most Greek lit was translated into Latin by then, anyway. Many scholars come to this conclusion because of some of his more bizarre commentaries on things like “original sin” and how he interpreted Romans. The fact that he was such a prolific writer in Latin for that time meant his view spread West like wildfire.

    “One significant exhortation; before we pile on Calvin, let’s make sure we’re arguing against HIS views and not the Synod of Dort, from whence the acronym “TULIP” comes. I have personally made a practice of asking modern “Reformed” people whether they’ve read much Calvin, and 95% of the time the answer is “no.”

    I have read the Institutes. I should say I have slogged through them. HIs teaching on reprobation is about all we need to know to know how bad his theology really is. According to Calvin…. you can look saved, act saved and think you are saved…..and not be and you won’t find out until you die! That is Calvin. But mainly for me, just reading a lot of history of that time and seeing what a brute thug he was— is all I needed to know.

    The funny thing about the Institutes is it is a lot like proof texting the bible. you can pull oyt a few things that sound great and other things that are down right bizarre.

    Basically, my take is Calvin was a lawyer that systematized Augustine’s thoughts and called it correct doctrine. I have this strange feeling from what I have read that I would have enjoyed a glass of wine with Servetus. He was quite the character. But he certainly did not deserve his burning. Nor all those other folks who were tortured, banished, imprisoned, etc because they disagreed with the Bishop of Geneva. Did you know he even got the petit council to ration the amount of courses that could be served at each meal? He also put fines on people who mocked him or fell asleep during one of his sermons. (which could go on for hours). The man was a thug.

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  17. Cindy K: I would think that someone who spends a lot of time and energy trying to help spiritually abused people may feel pretty stung when someone comes along who is badly triggered by your words and calls them toxic. This fact bothers me, a lot, and is one of the reasons why I never came back to this thread to explain my thoughts – I have a hard time speaking my mind sometimes when I think someone might be/get very hurt.

    The other problem with explaining myself is that I just cannot “go there” at the moment without getting upset (plus, so much to say and it would derail this thread). I mean, devastated. So, hoping you will forgive me for not doing so. My whole/only intention was to warn/ask you to please be more careful when discussing the subject of suffering. I was pretty worried that someone else would feel as I did. But it appears that no one here is quite as hyper-sensitive. So, a good thing.

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  18. I am an ex-IFB member and spiritual abuse survivor. I was fooled for nearly 30 years growing up there. I was run off for not adhering to their strict code and questioning some of it. Now my wife has left me to stay at the church. I got the kids back after she stole them away from school. (She did not want them in public school, but would not homeschool them either. ) I am fighting to keep my three kids (10, 12, and 15) away from The IFB and protect them from her multiple IFB types of abuses. They are all begging me to help keep them away from that abusive lifestyle but no one wants to listen to them. It’s the old “She’s a good Christian woman and would never do anything like that” argument that we constantly hear. I am living day to day financially from fighting for the truth to be heard. Is there any help out there. I feel like I am one little man fighting a well funded army.

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  19. Broken Father, my heart ached when I read your story. I’m so sorry that you have first dealt with spiritual abuse, but you are now dealing with one of the most tragic aspects of it – when your marriage fails because of it. You are paying (and suffering) the ultimate price. My prayers are with you. Please feel free to share here any time. Even if you just want to unload what you’re going through. It doesn’t matter if the post is on your topic. We will always welcome and support you here.

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  20. Sue C. First of all,to anyone who has been spiritually abused in any
    way, please don’t confuse Jesus Christ with the failings of
    a church. Even though it was His idea to form the church, He certainly
    does not condone abuse of any kind in any church. When a leader of
    a church or any member is not walking in love towards the other
    members, God is not being rightfully represented there. I remember
    when I was going through the worst spiritual abuse in my long-time
    church, I was listening to a christian program on my car radio, and
    the preacher was saying that many leaders in Christian churches were
    misrepresenting Him, and that He was “apologizing” for how many of
    those that pretend to represent Him were treating the sheep. Those
    words resonated with me in a powerful way and I took them personally.
    After that, I came to realize that God had no part in spiritual abuse and
    was against those that were abusing those they should have been
    serving. Not that God had to “apologize” since He can do no wrong…..
    I think He used those words to show that He was not behind any of
    it and condemned the things that were being done. Don’t give up on
    church, but don’t stay in one where you are being whipped into
    submission or told that you are a low-down sinner under the wrath
    of God. God says whoa to those that cause someone who believes
    in Him to stumble. But remember to forgive them! God loves them too
    and wants them to experience His grace. Often they have never known
    God’s grace and therefore have no grace to give to others.

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  21. I can relate. I am happy for you that you are now able to celebrate that you are a survivor.

    I have learned that Priests and/Pastors are just human beings but we fall in the trap of wanting to see them as God’s meaning our mindset says they should pot ray God’s image so we let our guts down….then they too start abusing us, whether intentionally or not.

    I find myself so angry with myself as to how come didn’t I see this abuse earlier before I got so hurt but I am also glad that I got out at the end.

    Be strong and courageous. I thank God that I have now learned to practice the spiritual things that they teach and remove myself from being attached to Ministry workers including Priests/Pastors. I go to church to listen to the word and worshipthen go home like everyone else.

    Thanks for sharing, it’s good to see that there’s other people who went through similar pains.

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  22. At least you are still young. Smile! I have hope for you! Not necessarily for me. Jk. I am 56 and I FEEL exactly your pain of not connecting any longer. I’ve been as many places as I could go after my abuse, still your words are mine. I keep trying! God help me. My abuse came from losing “friends” to affairs with my pastor, which was also my brother in law.

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