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.
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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.
‘Denominationalism’ and ‘traditionalism’ find their way into the teachings and become enmeshed so that no one can tell where Christianity begins and the traditions end.
describe spiritual abuse well when he said: “It’s possible to become so determined to defend a spiritual place of authority, a doctrine or a way of doing things that you wound and abuse anyone who questions, or disagrees, or doesn’t ‘behave’ spiritually the way you want them to.
Abusive churches are often performance oriented, with an “us verses them” or elitist mentality.
Questioning is often discouraged, forbidden, or branded as a sign of rebellion or lack of spirituality.
Fratranizing with people who have left the church is strictly forbidden.
People who have left the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination are shunned and considered “off limits”.
The joy of a relationship with God is replaces with a fear of God the “Cosmic Killjoy”.
Churches that abuse often focus on the penalty for sin.
Churches that abuse promote extra-biblical rules and standards and equate them as doctrine or at least as coming from God, with your salvation or spirituality in jeopardy if they aren’t followed.