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Those who do not follow the rules may be labeled, shunned, shamed, or removed from church positions or even excommunicated.You may not be allowed to confront or question those in leadership as they are “God’s anointed”.Any form of questioning is considered an act of rebellion and the person is chastised for question the authority of the leaders.This “guilt trip” suppresses the person normal God given intuition that something doesn’t quite feel right about the church.Victims are often depressed about their inability to live up to those rules and standards, worried that they aren’t pleasing the Lord, and frustrated that they keep sinning.Victims often feel that they aren’t good enough and not able to live up to the expectations.Brief Introduction Spiritual abuse is similar to emotional abuse and occurs when the leaders of a church or religious organization use their power and position to manipulate, control and/or coerce their congregation/followers/members, whether on purpose or with good intentions.
Spiritual abuse is also the misuse of a position of power, leadership, or influence to further the selfish interests of someone other than the individual who needs help.In the church I was in growing up it wasn’t out right taught but the message was clear that if you didn’t go to an Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination you were not only decieved and sinnful, but also your salvation was questionable.The message was that the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination had the monopoly on the gospel message and the only way to be truly saved was to get saved from the message that the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination brings.The trouble with spiritual abuse is that the perpetrator often has been deceived him/herself into thinking that they are helping when in actuality they are doing more harm than good.Spritual Abuse has turned Christianity into ‘Churchianity’ where the church and it’s particular traditions have become more important than or at least equal to, the Word.
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The joy of a relationship with God is replaces with a fear of God the “Cosmic Killjoy”.