Threats, accusations, and intimidation are tactics used by abusive leaders or groups to maintain power and control over their members.
. . we can't change the culture of an abusive church, because while an abusive leader is in power, there is a system of abuse involved. We cannot change an abusive system. But what we survivors can do is provide a safe place where personal stories are told, heard, believed.
" . . . unless the church treats all individuals as image bearers of Christ, we will not be the Body of Christ as the church was intended to be."
So . . . how are you doing with this pandemic? How is it affecting you emotionally and spiritually? Are you staying connected with people? What kinds of things are you doing at home? Are you doing anything differently?
We're taking a self-care break for the week.
So, then the question I'm learning to ask myself is: what pain am I avoiding, and why am I avoiding it? Isn’t numbing pain simply prolonging it? Why would I want to prolong pain? What would happen if I moved toward the pain and wrestled with it? What would that look like?
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."
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?
But what I missed in listening to the stories is that sometimes those stories resonated personally for me. Sometimes after listening to or reading someone's personal story, their story elicited a personal response for me. It reminded me of my own journey. My own unfinished business.
Spiritual Abuse, Jonathan Hollingsworth This is the sixth and final blog post referencing an article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church. The article resonated with a lot of people, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements one by one here,… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse: Is This Worth Dividing the Church Over?
The spiritual abuse I experienced will only be a blip in my life's story, and it doesn't define who I am, just as Notre Dame's 2019 fire does not define it. Abuse is part of my story and has shaped me, and has produced life-changing fruit.
Predestination and Children My friend, Ryan Stollar, posted this on his Facebook wall, and I was struck at how damaging Predestination can be to children, especially vulnerable children. Shoot, I think it could scare adults, too! Special thanks to Ryan for writing about this and giving me permission to share it. ~ja First off, what… Continue reading Caution: Children and Predestination
Spiritual Abuse, What Not to Say, Jonathan Hollingsworth, Reconciliation This is the second blog post referring to an article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church. The article resonated with a lot of people, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse: When People Ask You, “Are You Working Toward Reconciliation?”
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
*** Who is Fred Butler? I saw this tweet the other day. Long-time blog readers will recognize the name, Fred Butler, an employee of Grace to You, the radio ministry of Pastor John MacArthur. Butler's tweet references another tweet from the @9Marks Twitter account which quotes from an article recently posted on their site.… Continue reading Fred Butler, #MeToo and the Worldly Culture
Spiritual abuse, sex abuse, patriarchy, domestic violence, Sovereign Grace, Desiring God, CJ Mahaney, John Piper, Mental Health *** *** Part of recovery from abusive churches is coming to grips with what you were taught and how it affected you. Sometimes, and very appropriately, the ability to see this clearly results in anger. Jennifer Michelle posted… Continue reading Personal Story: What Did the Church Teach You about Yourself?
Bill Gothard, sex abuse, cults, lawsuit, Emily Jaeger, freedom, IBLP *** A note of introduction from Julie Anne: Emily Jaeger is one of the sexual abuse survivors and plaintiffs in the Bill Gothard/IBLP sex abuse lawsuit. Her official statement about the lawsuit was posted on Spiritual Sounding Board a few days ago. Then someone close… Continue reading Survivor Emily Jaeger Responds to Bill Gothard’s Reactions to Her Revealing She is “Jane Doe III”
David and Louise Turpin, Homeschool, Cult, Abuse, Torture *** Most likely you have heard the news about the large homeschooling family, the Turpins, from California. The parents, David, 57, and Louise, 49, Turpin who were arrested for torture and child endangerment, with bail set at $9 million each. Here are some of the key facts:… Continue reading The David and Louise Turpin Family Homeschool Cult
Spiritual Abuse, PTSD, Recovery, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Chuck O'Neal *** When someone deals with spiritual abuse, it can have lasting consequences. One popular response is making the decision to no longer go an institutional church. I get that. I'm pretty sure I relayed the story either in a post, or in comments, that one… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse, PTSD, and the Aftermath
When you are weary, how do you find rest?