So, really, the bottom line is love. Love your friends/family who are stuck in their abusive church. Show them what love is, what joy is, what freedom is, what mundane is. Invite them to share a meal with you (their favorite meal). Be boring. Be you. Be kind, loving, and accepting. This is so attractive to someone in a high-controlling church.
The key takeaway is this: anytime an abuser is given a platform, that space will never feel safe for survivors.
Let me be blunt: I believe Douglas Wilson has given the green light for all “Christian” men to sexually violate or rape their wives. Men penetrate, conquer, colonize, plant; women must receive, surrender, and accept.
There should be no place in Christian evangelicalism for Mark Gungor's behavior which devalues, disrespects, and demoralizes women. If Gungor is allowed to continue having platforms, then it is a clear picture that Christian evangelicalism is not, and probably has never been, a safe place for women.
"This performance is so sincere and heartfelt, shows a high level of skill, and may be the very one you love best of all. I think it is just awful, the perfect expression of a particular culture that I used to think was just distasteful and now believe to be rotten to the core."
I can't imagine the level of psychological trauma, pain & horror as Joshua (and Shannon) began to discover a lot of their framework for their life was built on religion & false fears & manipulated, pseudo acts of "love."
"Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now."
But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?
"They taught me that sometimes the exit door of an abusive church is held open by the gracious hands of friends who have nothing to do with church, or even with Christianity, but who simply would never turn their back on a friend."
Well, he finally did enough damage that even his elders cannot cover this up. James MacDonald was caught saying despicable and cruel things on a recording which was aired by Chicago-area radio personality and former Harvest Bible Chapel congregant, "Mancow" Muller. on WLS/AM 890. And he was fired!
It is people like Seth, who refuse to take sex abuse of children seriously, why we have had very little positive change in how child sex abuse cases have been handled.
Chuck O'Neal, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Spiritual Abuse, Negative Google Reviews, Defamation Lawsuit The other day, I got a call from my good friend, Michelle, who used to attend the cult/church we attended. Her husband used to be on staff at the church (Beaverton Grace Bible Church) and was fired. That led to… Continue reading Negative Google Reviews are Still Keeping People Away from My Spiritually Abusive Church 6 Years after Lawsuit
This story is not over yet, but I figure I better check in before people start wondering what's happening with me. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about my pastor and church. It's a long story, and one I hope to tell one day, but for now, I am grieving… Continue reading Another Sad Church Story
*** Both Jeff Owens and his wife Sarah recently sent out a thread of tweets regarding a recent experience they had at their former (unidentified) Sovereign Grace church. I think these tweets deserve a wider audience. What you will read is not healthy at all, and people need to understand the dismissive and bullying behavior… Continue reading Sovereign Grace Church Leaders Remove Wife from Women’s Small Group Leader Position after Couple Asks Questions
Domestic violence, Church response, Rob Porter *** You may have heard in the news recently about Rob Porter who worked for President Trump in the White House. Porter recently resigned his position as White House Staff Secretary after allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives surfaced in the media. It was disheartening to hear… Continue reading A Personal Story and a Sad Conclusion When Pastors Failed to Respond Appropriately to Domestic Violence
Bethlehem Baptist Church, Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, Excommunication, Spiritual Abuse *** Over a year ago (November 1, 2016), I posted the article, 1-1/2 years Later, Bethlehem Baptist Church Doesn’t Seem to get Domestic Violence: A Personal Story. I have a followup to that article. For those who have never read the story, I will repost most of the… Continue reading Bethlehem Baptist Church Excommunicates Victim of Domestic Violence
#MeToo, #ChurchToo, Sexual Abuse, Harassment, Church *** The hashtag #MeToo has been trending for quite some time on Twitter. Women who have been sexually harassed or abused have been identifying themselves as survivors of sexual harm, indicating it with the hashtag, #MeToo. But now, there is a new trending hashtag, #ChurchToo. The stories that you… Continue reading First #MeToo, Now #ChurchToo: Sexual Abuse, Harassment, and Mishandling in the Church
Dr. Dan Allender, Trauma, Music, Spiritual Abuse Recovery, Personal Stories *** Those who have been reading here for a while know how important I believe it is for survivors to tell their abuse stories. It took a while for us to believe the lies our church leader(s) told us about who we are and who… Continue reading Dr. Dan Allender: Trauma, Our Personal Stories, and Recovery through Music
Spiritual Abuse, Pastor Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse in the church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery *** Ok, here we go, plowing through Pastor Ken Garret's dissertation about spiritual abuse. I used the word plowing intentionally. For some of us, it will be work. It is not enjoyable to be reminded about difficult experiences. However,… Continue reading Blog Series: Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery by Pastor Ken Garrett, Wk 2
Spiritual Abuse, Pastor Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse in the church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery *** As I was reading through Ken Garrett's dissertation, I had to stop and soak up what I had just read. It took time to process and I felt like if I continued reading, I might miss something. It… Continue reading New Blog Series: Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery by Pastor Ken Garrett