" . . . 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?
*** 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
* * * Have you met Boz Tchividjian of GRACE - Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment? This would be a good video to post on Facebook or send to church leaders. Until churches have safe policies in place and survivors feel safe to share their trauma to others in the church,… Continue reading How Safe is Your Church?
*** Before we get into today's article, we've passed an important milestone here. Today, I noticed in my Facebook's "On This Day" feature, that it is the 4th year anniversary date of the judge's decision on the defamation lawsuit brought on by my former pastor, Chuck O'Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church (BGBC) vs.… Continue reading Would your church be able to help someone in the midst of a crisis? How equipped are they?
Children Harmed by Spiritual Abuse Yesterday, I was talking with my programming language tutor and mentioned that I had a blog. He asked what my blog was about and I told him the long story. He was absolutely dumbfounded by what he was hearing and kept shaking his head, not wanting to believe it, even… Continue reading The Fallout of Spiritual Abuse on Our Children
Spiritual Sounding Board and The Wartburg Watch are supporting a Go Fund Me Campaign to help Brad Sargent finish the first stage of developing resources that will assist survivors of church abuse. Most of my long-time readers know Brad aka "FuturistGuy." I met Brad after spiritual abuse author Barb Orlowski pooled people together she… Continue reading “Do Good and Do No Harm” Project by Brad Sargent aka FuturistGuy
Do individuals suffer harm when they remain in verbally or emotionally abusive relationships? Cindy Kunsman illustrates the effects through an account of spiritual abuse. By Cindy Kunsman, UnderMuchGrace.com After reading Julie Anne's post questioning whether divorce from an abusive spouse is actually a “sin,” I found myself thinking of the loss of perspective and… Continue reading Loss of Perspective: The Cost of Enduring Abuse
*** How do we move on spiritually when we have based our lives around the teachings of spiritual leaders like Doug Phillips or Bill Gothard who have fallen? *** With the recent scandals involving Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, it is as if the spiritual rug has been pulled for some families. These men were so… Continue reading Crumbling Foundation: How Do We Move on after Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, our Spiritual Leaders, Have Failed Us?
*** *** Yesterday I did an interview with Doug Bursch from Seattle's KGNW radio station. Doug describes himself in his bio as "a speaker, writer, pastor, teacher and evangelist." We spoke about spiritual abuse, healthy and unhealthy churches. I've done quite a few interviews since the lawsuit, but this one is my new favorite. If… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse: Interview with Doug Bursch
*** It's difficult to find a safe and healthy church "system" with appropriate checks and balances. Lisa of Lisa's Leben shares what has worked well in her church and why she loves her church. *** *** Lisa has been blogging for about a month now and writes at Lisa's Leben. After getting tagged on the… Continue reading Guest Post: Why I Love My Church
* * * Learn to discern church websites, church discipline procedures, membership rules and accountability, attendance, and tithe requirements before joining a new church. A lot of information can be found on church websites. * * * * * * The other day,… Continue reading Learn to Discern: Church Membership Accountability and Discipline of Children
* * * Many people who have been hurt by religion want to escape from it. We'll take a look at an organization that is offering a refuge from religion, Recovering from Religion. Is this the answer? * * * * * … Continue reading Finding Refuge from Religion: Forever
* * * In our spiritual journey, many of us have had mountain-top experiences and maybe some valleys, too. Mountain-top experiences are pretty exciting and can fuel us for a while, but I'm not convinced that our spiritual journey should be based on one great experience. But in those times… Continue reading Spiritual Edification: What has worked for you?
* * * We've spent the last several days discussing a variety of issues stemmed from Brenda's very important topic of institutional churches failing to meet the real needs of their people who are suffering abuse. Quite a bit of the conversation shifted to the subject that church as an institution… Continue reading What Does Non-Institutionalized Church Look Like?
Stephen Smith from Liberty for Captives blog quoted comments from some of you and added more of his own insight. It’s excellent. Let’s keep talking! This is good stuff!!
Cults are bad even when they lead you to Jesus.
I came to know God in a church which turned out to be a Bible cult.
I was raised in this church and I stayed until I was thirty years old. Early on, I had no other experience of what church could or should be like. By the time I visited other churches in college, my worldview was steeped in the teachings of this particular group. In this unhealthy church I had a genuine conversion experience and was taught the Bible. In this church, the pastor sometimes acted with apparent patience, kindness, and love. He rose early and stayed up late in order to conduct the affairs of the church. He forsook vacations and seemed to eschew worldly praise. He gave money to congregants who were down and out. His words sounded spiritual—they seemed to float in calm, sanctimonious sunbeams…
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* * * This next story pains me. It's a personal one. Parenting is very challenging. Homeschooling children has also been a challenge. When we began homeschooling our children, we chose to do so for a number of reasons. We wanted to have better oversight over the curricula our children were taught because we wanted… Continue reading Ken Ham, Young Earth Creationism, Young People AbandoningTheir Faith: My Daughter’s Story
A few admin notes first: When I first was served the subpoena, I reached out to people on the internet who had dealt with spiritual abuse for help. One person was Barb Orlowski who reads and comments here. Barb put me in contact with a group of people, some who have gone through tragic stories… Continue reading Commenter Asks: Is Church Safe Anymore?