In black/white churches, you have two choices: follow along with the pastor, or you are immediately castigated as someone who has made the wrong choice. If people know of your "bad" choice, you may be called a sinner or rebellious.
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?
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.
But what it means is that we are being taken seriously. I think that gives us a bit more credibility. When we reach out to church leaders and ask questions, they will know we mean business.
What's interesting is if you address these people and question the way they are attack you and your beliefs, they quip they are telling you this in love and they are being Biblical. It never feels like love. It's rude. It seems like a clanging cymbal to me. Love is patient and kind, right?
Julie Anne Smith shares with Michael how she got slapped with a $500,000 lawsuit, uncovered abuse in her church and among evangelicals, and how patriarchal theology harms women. Hear this lively conversation as they discuss the prevalence and roots of spiritual abuse . . .
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.
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
Sex Abuse, Jimmy Hinton, Pedophiles, Illusionists, Magicians, Dr. Larry Nassar *** *** April is sexual abuse awareness month. It is very important for parents to know that nearly 90% of perpetrators are known by their victims. It is also important to understand that a pedophile can abuse a child while you are in the same… Continue reading Sexual Perpetrators and Magicians – How Both Trick People with Illusions
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, IBLP, ATI, Institutes in Basic Life Principles, Spiritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse *** The following was written by David Shere, who has been reading here for some time. He wanted to share his thoughts and advice as a Bill Gothard survivor. This was written after the news that the plaintiffs had dismissed the lawsuit… Continue reading From a Bill Gothard Survivor to Other Survivors: Free Yourselves
I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and New Year's holiday celebrating with family and loved ones. I've had a nice break from school. I had plans to get things done, but wasn't too successful. But that's okay, I'm listening to my body tell me that self-care is more important, and things can wait.… Continue reading Happy New Year and Personal Update
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
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 There has been heaviness for me this week, and it has wiped my writing mojo. But I have been thinking about a lot… Continue reading Doctrine, Debates, and Salvation. Will the real Christian please stand?
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
Hey friends, I'm still alive. I'm just swamped. Welcome to my world. Feel free to continue discussion on any post. I am checking in and responding to pressing e-mails. I'll get a post up soon. Thank you for your patience!
Bill Gothard, IBLP, Child Abuse, Discipline *** For some, the ramifications of following the teachings of an influential spiritual leader (or cult leader) can be lifelong. As difficult as this next personal story is to read, it is the reality for some, and that is why I will continue to post stories like this. Part of… Continue reading Victim of Bill Gothard’s Teachings Shares Emotional Aftermath
Free Thinker, Atheist, Christian Blogger, Thought Reform, Patriarchy, Spiritual Abuse, Cults Last Sunday, I had the privilege of speaking at a Free Thinkers group. Privilege, some might ask? You bet. I will take any opportunity afforded to share the truth, set the record straight, and especially let people know that I, as a Christian, am displeased by the… Continue reading Christian Blogger Invited to Speak at Free Thinkers’ Meeting about Abuse in Christian Churches
Phil Johnson, Grace Community Church, Sex Abuse, Domestic Violence, Twitter *** Blog reader, Christina, left an important comment on yesterday's post regarding an insensitive and callous tweet Pastor Phil Johnson sent out regarding domestic violence. His tweet created quite an uproar on Twitter. Because Christina's comment is addressed to Phil Johnson, I didn't want it to get lost… Continue reading An Abuse Survivor’s Response to Pastor Phil Johnson’s Insensitive Tweet on Domestic Violence