Spiritual Abuse

June 21, 2007 at 9:30 am 47 comments

Yesterday, HeIsSailing posted a light hearted post. Today’s post is not so light. In fact, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a pretty easy going guy. However today’s topic is one of the issues that totally pisses me off and will cause me to lose my cool – it’s called Spiritual Abuse. I was inspired to write this post after reading Rebecca’s story on her blog.

Woman CryingAbuse, in my opinion, is the definition of evil – child abuse, spouse abuse, animal abuse, spiritual abuse, or any other form of abuse. Abuse occurs when someone uses their authority or their strength to inflict physical or emotional damage on another individual. A large part of religious teachings is the elevation of a certain group of individuals (such as priests or pastors) over another group of individuals (the laity). In any such structure there is the opportunity for abuse.

Sadly, there are many religious leaders who are insecure, weakminded individuals. When given authority and power, these individuals will abuse it. I had a former pastor who was a captivating, entertaining speaker but as weak and paranoid an individual as you can find. As a result of his charisma, he built a mega-church but has a revolving door within the leadership of the church because he’s a controlling, manipulative prick with no true leadership qualities. A few years ago, when I left this church, I was so shocked to find hurt, disillusioned, discarded ex-members littered all over our city. Their stories broke my heart and I wondered how I could spend so many years in this church and give this man the benefit of the doubt with everyone who left because they were “rebellious against God.”

I once read a book entitled “God’s Armor Bearers” by Terry Nance on submission to leadership. The list of duties of an Armor Bearer supporting their leader included:

  • Must provide strength for his leader.
  • Must have a deep down sense of respect for his leader, and acceptance for, and tolerance of, his leader’s personality and his way of doing things.
  • Must walk in agreement with and submission to his leader.
  • Must make the advancement of his leader his most important goal.
  • Must follow order immediately and correctly.
  • Surrenders completely to his leader, trusting him implicitly and obeying without hesitation his every command.
  • Carries out every plan of his leader successfully
  • Completes his leaders command perfectly
  • Prepares and cares for his leaders belongings
  • Anticipates his leader’s needs and demands so as to properly furnish and supply what is needed.
  • Exalts, respects, and uplifts his leader at all times
  • Works tirelessly and diligently on behalf of his leader, seek ways to advance his welfare and situation
  • Fulfills his leader in every way, getting along with him, and making him feel comfortable in giving orders
  • Sacrifices his own life and well-being for the betterment of his leader
  • Demonstrates total intolerance of any false charge made against his leader
  • Forgives his leader for any offense immediately and without harboring resentment or anger
  • Demonstrates extreme loyalty to his leader, even unto death
  • Esteems his leader as more important than himself

This type of bullshit is what makes religion dangerous. On one hand, there is the message by Jesus which states that leaders are servants of the people then there are those who believe scriptures such as Deuteronomy 17:12 which states:

The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.

I will continue to address this issue over time because I believe it is an important subject especially for deconverting or skeptical Christians who many times become victims of spiritual abuse.

- The de-Convert

Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Have a Jesus Day! You can reap what you did not sow!

47 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tony  |  June 21, 2007 at 2:02 am

    As a Christian myself, I agree with you here. The book excerpt you have provided is something I disagree with vehemently in parts. In contrast to what some of the excerpt says, Jesus used the washing of feet as an example that no man is greater than any other, in John 13:12-18. That book is merely promoting total submission to someone who could never handle it; “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” No wonder these megalomaniacs are coming to the fore, with some factions promoting this garbage

    Jesus brought a new covenant to the Jews and gentiles. This means that the passage quoted from Deuteronomy is not applicable to a Christian, it is only applicable to Jews who are under the law of Moses, so anyone using it as a defense for being a prick needs to have another read.

    I do wonder if this had been a Charismatic CEO if you would have worried about burnt out ex-employees?

    One last point is that we’re ALL human and imperfect, and are quite capable of hurting each other. Even pastors and CEO’s.

  • 2. agnosticatheist  |  June 21, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Tony,

    There is a movement within Christianity to stand against Spiritual Abuse. I actually read the book ( http://safechurch.wordpress.com/2000/01/01/16/ ) Rebecca mentioned in her blog.

    I understand humans are imperfect. However, when you create a system that says an individual is representing the Creator of the Universe and has authority based on a book he wrote, that can make those “imperfect humans” downright dangerous.

    aA

  • 3. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Bless you heart The de-Convert for sharing my blog with your readers.

    It’s taken me years to be able to write about this without feeling the shock of that night.

    I didn’t plan on that post that day. It was reading another woman’s pain on her blog, that brought me to my blog yesterday. I just sat and wrote.

    As I was finishing the tears started to flow. Gentle tears for me, a woman who finally can write about it without slipping into shock again (healing has come) and sad tears for those just starting the journey.

  • 4. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I just woke up. *Note to self: Edit your comments before posting them. *blush*

  • 5. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 21, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Rebecca,

    By no means apologize for what you are feeling!!!! This is how women’s voices get silenced. What you wrote was heartfelt, beautiful, and something we should all know about! I thought it was wonderful and expressed my sentiments exactly.

  • 6. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Thanks Moi. :)

  • 7. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Attitude is everything when it comes to healing. I’ve listened to many of us whine over the years about ‘abuse’. And before anyone gets offended by the use of the term ‘whine’, just wait. I was one of the kids sexually molested by Priests. At the age of 3. Bless those guys. Really.

    One, I was turned on to creativity at a very early age, far ahead of my generation and, learned how to direct it and apply it without any of the normal nonsense that comes with puberty. And two, I knew thanks to that, to NEVER believe the things they had to say. Once we know someone lies, we also know they’re no authority on Truth.

    Seems to me there is an equal responsiblity for lies, between the one that sold it and the one that chose to buy it. Similar to our President. Now, why everyone didn’t realize that man was lying through his teeth, I don’t know. It was and has been obvious to me from the start.

    Maybe ‘gullibility’ is more the real issue?

  • 8. agnosticatheist  |  June 21, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Sue Ann,

    It’s easy to define those who are following religions as gullible because they’re believing man-made myths as divinely inspired.

    However, many of us grow up with these teachings as a part of reality. As child would learn the color green (and don’t view themselves later as gullible for believing green is green as mom said), they also learn about God, Allah, Jesus, Joseph Smith, or whomever.

    I 100% believed in Christianity. Was I gullible? Looking back yes. However, was it because I am proned to believe myths and can be considered a gullible person? Absolutely not. I was a product of my environment.

    aA

  • 9. agnosticatheist  |  June 21, 2007 at 11:34 am

    BTW, I 100% believe we should “whine” about this issue. Our “whining” helps those who are currently experiencing these issues to know that they’re not alone, crazy, etc.

    I’m glad that women “whine” about abusive men. I’m glad that kids are “whining” about abusive parents. And it thrills me when those abused by religious leaders “whine about.

    BTW, I guess I did get slightly offended by the use of the word “whine” :)

    aA

  • 10. Heather  |  June 21, 2007 at 11:38 am

    **Was I gullible? Looking back yes. However, was it because I am proned to believe myths and can be considered a gullible person? Absolutely not. I was a product of my environment.**

    I think this is key. Part of the environment is trust in authority figures, and if one is raised with parents who believe in a particular religion, it’s only natural to assume that the religion is trusthworthy, because the parents are trusthworthy (this is in general, there are instances were it’s not true). And parents would almost put the religion and the church as above themselves, telling the child that God comes first, and God is manifested in the church. Gulliblity is more believing something no matter what. But parents and the church present faith and religion as something to be believed in both logically and naturally, and can skew the facts to support that.

  • 11. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Gullibility is an issue we all face, at one time or another. And considering ourslves as ‘products’ of anything, is a less then Respectful and Honorable self image to have. This Self image has been fostered and nurtured and it isn’t a Loving self image.

    We can claim to be mad or angry with others all day for feeding us a bunch of stories that were not true. But the one we’re really mad at, is ourselves for choosing to believe it.

    The easiest and laziest way to go through life is by questioning nothing.

    For what it’s worth, each individual will have to decide that on their own, I share this. What I see is a whole lot of us who have been taught to be emotionally dependent and to surrender our decision making over to others.

  • 12. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    ‘Whining’ does nothing to heal any of our wounds. I guess it’s simply a question of our values. Do we value healing? Do we value self pity?

  • 13. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    And btw…’offense’ can only be taken, never given. See what I mean about being Sovereign over our own minds and the way we choose to perceive?

  • 14. pastorofdisaster  |  June 21, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you!

  • 15. agnosticatheist  |  June 21, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Sue Ann,

    I agree that “whining” doesn’t help anything. It’s really all about what you consider “whining.” Do you see addressing the isssue (as I did in my post), sharing experiences (as Rebecca did), etc. as whining? If so then we disagree. I see great value to self and others with both of these.

    I’m a bit sensitive to this issue because Christianity has used the “Don’t talk about negative stuff” policy to further the spiritual abuse and never force accountability. When people quietly fade into the shadows, the issues never get addressed.

    aA

  • 16. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Being our own Authorities is exactly what Christianity and most schools of religious thought have NOT encouraged. The fact is, that most of us have never entertained an independent thought. The only ideas in our heads are those put there, by our religions, our govermments and our families.

    That would be fine if we were parrots. But as for me, I’m a human being.

    Many ideas have wounded us deeply. Mental wounds and emotional wounds. It is the ideas themselves that wound. The ideas are NOT loving, NOT Respectful, NOR Honorable.

    The only way to heal the wounds, caused by denying that we are our own authories over our own lives, is to claim that Authority, that we ignorantly surrendered.

    I understand, I really do. Think unloving ideas and feel unloving emotions. Cause and, effect. I’ll add in quantum mechanics, too. If I’m sitting here imagining all sorts of unloving and negative ideas about msyelf, then by Universal law, that’s all I’m going to attract into my life, beause it will be a mirror of me.

    Ignorance is no crime, no sin. Neither is gullibility. As you say, ‘they don’t talk about the negative’, well…claiming being gullible and ignorant is one of those negatives. I realize it doesn’t provide the same ‘umph’ to our insecure egos that being self righteous does. It does however, give us the POWER over it. We become EMPOWERED to do something about it.

    Like changing our minds and the way we think.

  • 17. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    ps….When it comes to issues of Accountibility, who exactly Is Accountible, for what we chose to believe?

  • 18. Karen  |  June 21, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Excellent post, and my sympathies to you Rebecca. I am so sorry you suffered such abuse and so happy that it led you to deeper questioning and eventually a way out.

    Our “whining” helps those who are currently experiencing these issues to know that they’re not alone, crazy, etc.

    One of the issues related to my work is elder abuse, which takes the form not only of physical abuse and neglect, but also of financial abuse.

    I cannot begin to tell you how many victims do not speak up due to shame, embarrassment and blaming themselves for being so vulnerable as to get taken for their life’s savings. It’s absolutely wrong to blame these people, or for others to blame them, in my opinion.

    The fact that victims remain silent because they don’t want to “whine” allows the abuse of all kinds to persist and flourish. We must get over the fear of speaking up and the habit of condemning those who do.

  • 19. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    ooops, forgot….

    ‘whining’ is when we’re blaming how we feel on someone or something outside our own ourselves.

    facing issues means we claim them as our own issues and, release those negative and dense emotions we experienced as a a result of the choices we have made.

    One claims the other blames.

  • 20. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    There are no such things as ‘victims’. If I’m radiating a negative field, I will attract a negative pole. Cause and effect. Sowing and reaping.

  • 21. DagoodS  |  June 21, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Wacky and Quaky.

  • 22. Heather  |  June 21, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    **There are no such things as ‘victims’. If I’m radiating a negative field, I will attract a negative pole. Cause and effect. Sowing and reaping.**

    Sue Ann,

    Just to clarify, is this an absolute statement? Would you say this about a rape survivor, or someone who suffered abuse as a child? Because that statement above can too easily be used on a rape survivor as, “It was your fault in the first place for attracting negativity.”

  • 23. agnosticatheist  |  June 21, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Sue Ann,

    You lost me there. I’m not big on the whole sowing and reaping thing anyway. You can sow all kinds of good seed and reap crap. You can be kind to someone and they return evil.

    On the other hand you can be an evil prick and have good things happen. The universe just isn’t that balanced.

    What happens when bad things happen to babies? What did sow?

    Not sure this whole discussion has much application to the topic of Spiritual Abuse anyway.

    aA

  • 24. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you Karen. :-)

  • 25. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Sue Ann,

    Just for clarification Sue Ann, are you saying my post and aA’s are coming across as a whining blame game and that we are playing the role of victims? It’s just been a bit difficult to understand your comments.

    It might help us out if you think we are blaming to just say, ‘Rebecca, quit blaming everyone else and playing the victim.’ Or ‘Rebecca, quit your whining.’ :-) Seriously, it might help get to the point because I think we all think that you are trying to say just that but in a “nice” way.

    If that’s not what you are saying, that’s fine. If you are then I’ll try and answer your concerns. If not, then I’ll use my energy elsewhere.

    Thanks.

  • 26. Karen  |  June 21, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    If I’m radiating a negative field, I will attract a negative pole.

    What do those words even mean? I can’t make sense of them, so I can’t even comment on what you’re asserting, except that it doesn’t sound either accurate or kind.

  • 27. Top Posts « WordPress.com  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    [...] Spiritual Abuse Yesterday, HeIsSailing posted a light hearted post. Today’s post is not so light. In fact, if you haven’t […] [...]

  • 28. tribalchurch  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    As a pastor, I can’t tell you how much it grieves me that so many religious leaders inflict spiritual abuse. I’m so sorry.

    It does, unfortunately, also occur to leaders as well.

  • 29. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Tribalchurch,

    Yes it does affect leaders. We were two leaders in the church ourselves. For several years I belonged to a forum for those who had experienced spiritual abuse. At some point along the way we sort of took an unofficial poll of how many of us had been in leadership positions and the vast majority had been leaders of some sort or the other in their churches.

    Leaders abusing fellow leaders.

    Leaders abusing membership.

    Membership abusing leaders.

    Where there is legalism, there will me mass abuse. It’s just often subtle at times and not so subtle other times. One thing is for sure, it’s makes for an awful sick mess.

    David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen look at it from all angles in their book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.

  • 30. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Congrats de-Convert! Your blog made the Top Blogs of the day list at WordPress. :-)

  • 31. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 21, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Rebecca, I ask for Patience. I ask for Compassion. I ask for Tolerance. For it is often difficult for me to convey meaning. Sometimes it feels like I’m an alien, because thoughts and ideas shared are so foreign.

    I seek to Understand, so that I will then have this Understanding to share, to express to others in response. I can’t give what I do not have.

    What makes a lot of it difficult for me to Integrate, to Understand, is that the ideas and thoughts are associated together in ways where nothing makes any sense. So I’m going to try another way.

    Whatever experience of pain and suffering you have had, has left its mark. Any outer wounds inflicted may have healed over, but results of the traumas we’ve all experienced during our childhoods, have never been attended to.

    I speak of ‘we’ and ‘us’ because I’m not seperating my self, from having the same experience. Been there. Done that. I know how much I would have appreciated someone being kind to me as I was coming out of it. And helping me to understand my self.

    It is a terrible hurt that flows forth from within us. But our perspective means everything as it does. If we see it as like a snake, that has been coiled within us, attracking more snakes by its calling, then the perspective changes.

    Tears of sorrow and suffering, change to tears of relief, that we are finally free of carrying it aorund locked inside of us. That we’re FREE of carrying around all this excess baggage that wasn’t doing us any good.

    A change of perspective can often put a smile on our face.

    Tears that remain unshed will flow forth sometime. Tears of healing. Tears of letting go of something that wasn’t loving to you.

    Yes, our issues…they need some Light shed on them. Maybe as in, the Light of Understanding?

    Not one code or belief system any of us were taught was founded on the Principals of UNconditional Love. All they are, are a bunch of conditions warranting exclusion. Judgment of condemnation, then exclusion. REJECTION in other words.

    Let me see….how many different reasons can I make up for not loving myself completely today?

    What is most likely confusing to a lot of people is the fact that I approach my relationships with others based on cooperation, instead of competition. I share and say, ‘to thine own heart be true’. I don’t ask for anyone to believe me. I guide inward, to believe in yourself and what your own heart would tell you.

    We’ve all been trained by Fear. Every single one of us.

    Fear is not a heart felt emotion. It’s from our guts.

    And it’s all coming from believing in any conditions of exclusion. Evil our most vile and evil acts have causes. If we seek those causes then we are empowered to do something about the effects.

    How many negative ideas did you think about yourself today?

    How many negative ideas did you think about others?

    How many negative ideas did you think about the World?

    How many negative ideas did you think about Life?

    Answering those questions will reveal the kind of polarized field in thought and emotion that surrounds us.

    And negative fields attract negative poles.

    Fear attracts what we fear, to us.

  • 32. rebecca shannon  |  June 21, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks Sue Ann for your comment. There is a lot in there and I will try to take some time over the next few days to consider your words.

    But, I don’t think you answered the questions about blame. Do you see us as whining and laying blame? I’m not intending a fight here, just knowledge of where you are coming from. I’m callng it a night here, so I will check in tomorrow. :-)

  • 33. Kelly  |  June 21, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    It’s quite terrifying what insecurity can do to the individual and the collective. This is all compounded by a lack of self-confidence. Religious leaders and dogmas are very good at creating needs and then “fulfilling” them. Oftentimes, the latter isn’t enough for the void religion has created, and the state of insecurity can continue. This obviously can lead to codependency, which can then lead to addiction.

    And the cycle continues…

  • 34. You can reap what you did not sow! « Agnostic Atheism  |  June 22, 2007 at 3:15 am

    [...] response to my previous post on “Spiritual Abuse,” Sue Ann Edwards stated: “There are no such things as ‘victims’. If I’m radiating [...]

  • 35. Sue Ann Edwards  |  June 22, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Rebecca, if I was floating down a river in a canoe, I would have one perspective. if I was on top a cliff, watching a person in a canoe, I would see another. A FULL life has nothing to do with length in years but, everything to do with how much it is loved. The ‘bad as well as, the ‘good’. Every moment is a Present.

    ALL of our experiences, are what have made us what we are. If we have judgments about our experiences, it means we have judgments about ourselves, which isn’t loving and embracing. If nothing else, these experiences have kept us alive until we reached the day to start questioning.

    Instead of cursing those who brought to us these experiences, it is healthier to bless them.

  • 36. HeIsSailing  |  June 22, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Sue Ann, in your responses, does blaming = judgment = cursing? Seriously, I am just trying to understand.

  • 37. rebecca shannon  |  June 22, 2007 at 8:02 am

    HI Sue Ann,

    Okay, I was going to attempt to decipher through your comments, however, your last comments are very confusing again.

    I think I’ll leave things alone at this time.

  • 38. rebecca shannon  |  June 22, 2007 at 8:22 am

    The de-Convert,

    Maybe I could decipher all this in an upcoming post? I could post in on my blog or here if you like.

    Let me know.

  • 39. mysteryofiniquity  |  June 22, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Yes, people, Sue Ann IS SAYING that those raped by fathers and step-fathers ASKED for it. She IS SAYING that those who are starving ASKED to be starving so they can learn a lesson about fear. Girls abducted by wackos wanted to be raped and killed by wackos. They drew the fear to themselves and manifested the evil. In other words, whatever bad happens in life it is YOUR FAULT. Can’t you see that?!! The answer? Think happy t’ots all the time and your mind can control others and whatever they do.

    (Obviously I don’t believe this load of *&*#)

    Brother, there are such people as fundamentalist new agers and they differ in no way from fundamentalists from other religions.

  • 40. Slapdash  |  June 24, 2007 at 8:18 am

    I am increasingly shocked at how much stock Christians put in the authority of their leaders. When somebody gets put in charge of something, they get this funny patina of divine authority and people immediately stop asking questions or challenging what that leader says or does. Most recently I have seen this play out in a Christian non-profit startup. Initially run by a group of 10 or so Christians who volunteered their time, the group decided to hire someone full-time to help run things. That person, once hired, started moving the organization in directions that several of the other “former” leaders weren’t comfortable with. Yet NONE of them were willing to openly challenge what the new leader was doing! I, as an outsider now since I had left the organization over a year ago, knew of four people on the original leadership team who had serious problems with the new direction it was going. Yet one of them literally said that she felt that she needed to respect the leadership of this person, that God had put that person there for a reason, and that her job was essentially to fall in line underneath her.

    I think spiritual abuse might be a little too harsh a term for what this full-time leader is doing in that group, but this person is able to wield the authority of the full-time position for their own ends and their own vision of what the org should be doing, because there are NO checks and balances built in to the organization. None. Zero. And I think this is the case for lots of other churches, parachurches, and Christian organizations.

  • 41. v  |  July 10, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Just ran across your blog. thought you might find this site interesting. The guy definitely has some interesting words, but as always make up your own mind.

    http://grailmessage.org

    http://grailmessage.com

    just a thought

  • 42. v  |  July 10, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    quote from the author of the grail message.
    “I do not speak to churches and political parties, to fraternities, sects and societies, but only in all simplicity to man himself. Far be it from me to pull down what exists; for I am building up and completing the answers to questions as yet unsolved, questions that must arise in everyone as
    soon as he thinks just a little. Only one basic condition is essential for everyone: Earnest seeking for the Truth”

  • [...] ministers with expensive suits and bodyguards with Head Microphones flanking them is abundant. In a previous post, I blogged on the concept of modern day ministers having “armor bearers” to serve their [...]

  • 44. Unregulated Female  |  September 30, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    OMW! I am doing a paper for college on the leadership style of the religious abusers – and came across you stating how such-n-such “pissed you off.” I knew I had to check your blog out. One of my absolute most hated books is the Armour Bearer by Nance. As a matter of fact, I keep it with my other books about spiritual abuse to remind me how this teaching fostered already delusional power hungry “pastors” to force their “sheep” into submission, by not “touching the Lord’s annointed” or questioning their practises. Also, we were to “lay down our vision, work for another’s vision, so that God one day will raise up our vision.”

    I am one of those rebellious Unregulated Females, w/o a “spiritual covering” and can say I have never been better since my escaping this sickness.

    While typing my paper, I had to research some of these charlitans, and to my amazement they are growing and becoming more and more influential. These so-called apostles do nothing about the poor or the social concerns of domestic violence, child abuse, or the cycle of addiction, yet they are going to somehow “take the city for Christ” and damn the person who tries to stop them… It is like a charismatic inquisition – submit to my authority and teaching or be blasted by their intimidation and deception.

    Hooray for all y’all for talking!! It is not the simple minded ones that cult leaders prey on – but the intelligent and influential ones. They need someone to do the dirty work of recruitment… (see American History X)

    Again – thanks and I look forward to more of what you have to write.

    UF

  • 45. Unregulated Female  |  September 30, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    sorry – the url is http://unregulatedfemale.typepad.com

    I added an s in the http….

    UF

  • 46. Ramon  |  July 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    A must see website:

    http://www.wickedshepherds.com

  • 47. rhoda  |  July 14, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    There is a huge difference between Christian leadership and abusive leadership, and many sites, books and other resources talk in detail about it. Christian leadership is servanthood. Some cult leaders and abusive leaders pretend to be servants but really prey upon the flock, which Christ and the apostles repeatedly warn us about. That’s where the expression “wolf in sheep’s clothing” comes from.
    It is oftensaid that people don’t join cults, but they do join groups that really challenge them lovingly to be their best etc. and they do sometimes put off leaving while a “crisis” “necessitates some changes” in the group. That’s why we need to be on our guard against the following:
    When a leader hurts someone or breaks important rules, do they immediately make the complainer the focus and insist that their actions were right, even changing the rules? Do plaintiffs find they are harassed and have no one to turn to?
    If a leader asks for money and labor, and someone declines to help, is the person held out as a bad example and threatened with doom or some terrible consequence?
    Do the demands for labor and funds just keep increasing?
    Is everyone required to act happy at all times and pretend to be glad for everything that happens? Are “negative” emotions treated as defects to be crushed, without regard to what caused them?
    Are people who leave the group for another group with basically similar beliefs told they will go insane, die or may never talk to their loved ones again?
    When you ask the leadership about the reasons for their beliefs, do they get defensive or angry?
    Is there one set of tenets newcomers are told about, and others only the longtime members are allowed to be aware of?
    Are the basic needs of food, water, time alone, rest or fresh air denied members for prolonged periods (days or more) at any time during membership?

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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