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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spiritual Abuse and Those Who Crave It





Some time back my dad and a family friend were discussing the strange and disturbing problem of abusive pastors.  Our friend, a pastor himself, told my dad that he had had a lady in their assembly come to him and suggest that he should be a lot harder on them than he was.  She somehow seemed to think that they "needed" to be beat up spiritually for their own good.  Our friend was puzzled and disturbed and definitely did not comply with her wishes!  This confirmed something he already thought - that the reason that there are so many abusive pastors is because the people want abusive pastors.  If they would get up and leave those churches, if they would fire those pastors, if they would speak up and tell "God's man" that he was out of line, there wouldn't be many of these monsters afoot.  The horrifying reality is that the people like it!

And no wonder.  God said that Israel had reached this point thousands of years ago.

Jeremiah 5:30-31 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

We might still wonder, though, how this state of affairs came to be.  Why do people like to be spiritually abused and mistreated by their pastor?

Continue Reading.

8 comments:

  1. I found the whole article extremely interesting. One thought came to mind. Have you ever known a woman preacher who works in this way? Is it a male need to subjugate?

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    1. That is an interesting question, Elizabeth. I have never known a woman preacher personally, but I can't think of any that I've heard of second-hand that were like that. I've heard of a few third or more hand that might have been abusers, but that is always a little suspect as stories tend to change the more people that have repeated it.

      Among the Baptists and Evangelicals (more conservative Christians) women preachers are not permitted, and so I would think that would be one reason that they don't seem so common. I have heard of some women preachers/"prophetesses" in more Charismatic/Pentecostal type environments that might fit into the realm of abusers, however. Also, since women bosses in the work place and other areas of life can certainly be abusers and subjugate others in some situations, I'd say that it was certainly possible in women preachers as well. But, I wonder if they are as prone to it.

      What does show up in even the more conservative circles, however, are pastors' wives, missionaries' wives, and other wives of "important" men who are abusive to others - particularly women (and even men in some cases) who they see as "under their leadership." This is not uncommon, I'm sorry to say. So, women in those capacities can certainly use spiritual abuse to beat others into subjection.

      For further reading, I recommend this article. It is one of the best I've seen and he makes it clear that he's seen women as well as men who are "Arrogant Patriarchs" -
      http://cbcquincy.com/2014/02/the-arrogant-patriarch/

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    2. Thank you. It's a thread worth following. As an Anglican I know that we do have women priests, and in fact one church that we attended was 'ruled' by a woman, not exactly abusive but rigid in her own opinion.

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    3. If you follow that thread and learn anything of particular interest I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know - if you can remember. :-)
      My parents and grandparents had Anglican friends when they were in East Africa, so my family has some knowledge of the Anglican church. Also my dad's parents lived in England for awhile.

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  2. I agree - a very interesting (and disturbing) read.

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    1. It is very disturbing. It is awful to see it in action.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this excellent post on a very difficult subject to wrap your mind around. I understand spiritual abuse only too well, but like you, the Lord was faithful and brought me through it, and I will never cease to be grateful and thankful to Him for opening my eyes. It is such a strange phenomenon, but indeed, there certainly exists a twisted mindset from the enemy where people believe they must be treated roughly in order to be saved. Such a terrible trick and lie of the enemy. I hope your writing on the subject helps someone who is struggling in such a situation. God bless!

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    1. I agree with you that this mindset is from the enemy. It is very sad and strange. Praise God your eyes were opened and you were willing to see! I desire to see more people helped out of it as well!

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