Understanding Spiritual abuse

If His yoke is easy, then why am I working so hard?

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“Jesus would publicly call out people in the faith community who are guilty for hurting/violating others. He wouldn't sit back in silence. He wouldn't bury the evidence. Or cover up abuse. In addition, He would never ignore, condemn, or ostracize those who've suffered trauma. He wouldn't say, “Get over it.”

- Dana Arcuri, Sacred Wandering: Growing Your Faith In The Dark

Perhaps we should quit acting like spiritual abuse is something that happens to other people, and take a hard look at our own churches?

Where those who should be leading towards a new life in Christ (who has taken away sin) have instead become merchants of sin & morality.

1 Jn 3:9

Where a aura of holiness and divine calling is created around a leader who avoids admitting weakness while others are mercilessly confronted with a performance based set of rules and, thus, their own guilt.

1 Cor 6:11

Where leaders believe they have even tricked God with their performances, but live lives devoid of empathy, mercy, vulnerability, grace and real spirituality.

1 Cor 2:2

Where leaders demand the respect of their followers without earning it as a servant.

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Where leaders present themselves as having special powers, an exemption from normal civil law or an exclusive corner on truth - and cause those who disagree (or show them up) to live in fear of judgment, a loss of the free gift of faith and relationship.

1 Cor 5:19

Where leaders avoid accountability and surround themselves with "Yes men," to justify themselves and diminish others - instead of sharing a grace that made us all perfect.

Rom 5:1

Where the poor are marginalized or outright excluded and life is found in money or the purchased worship of others, instead of in Christ.

Matt 25:40

Where an arrogant leader creates a dependancy upon him or herself and demands compliance to avoid shame, fear or guilt based exclusion from community.

2 Pet 3:9

It's called spiritual abuse, and it's far from rare...

A spiritual leader is either a nearly invisible guide humbly leading us to intimate belongingness with a God crazy enough to erase the rules that trapped us in shame, fear and guilt, thereby granting us freedom, OR A SPIRITUAL ABUSOR.

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