A few signs of spiritual abuse from a pastor NS

What are a few signs of spiritual abuse from a pastor?

A few signs of spiritual abuse from a pastor NS

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Member Question – Can you give some clear examples of signs of how a pastor or church leader is crossing the line from being a shepherd to a spiritual abuser? It would be helpful to know when to support a pastor when he is truly trying to defend and protect his flock from outside and wrong influence vs. a pastor who has an agenda and is above questioning or accountability. It seems like the lines are sometimes blurred.

Spiritual abuse happens when someone mentally manipulates another person in order to accomplish an ungodly agenda. All abuse, including physical and sexual abuse, is spiritual abuse.

You cannot physically or sexually abuse someone without harming their inner being–their spiritual selves. Your question is not asking about physical or sexual abuse, but solely about the internal harming of one’s soul.

Humans are two parts, or a dichotomy, which is physical and spiritual. The spiritual aspects of a person include the soul, spirit, mind, will, emotions, and so forth. The physical also has several parts, e.g., brain, bones, internal organs, and external body parts.

Spiritual abuse is abuse of the soul, which primarily affects the mind–how a person thinks. If the internal harming continues unabated, it will exponentially affect the person spiritually, especially how he (or she) relates to God, to himself (or herself), and to others.

A darkness comes over the soul, which can lead to depression, despair, despondency, and even suicide. It can also lead to erratic behaviors like unstable anger, fear-motivated withdrawal, or alleviating mechanisms like alcohol or medications.

This happens more than we generally think, which makes your question relevant. The most common place where you will find spiritual abuse is in contexts where someone has authority over someone, whether the authority is God-given or self-proclaimed.

The two most common places where spiritual abuse happens for a Christian are marriage and the local church. (It can also happen in work environments.) In these contexts there is a God-given hierarchical structure. This biblical structure is not bad or necessarily wrong. It is only bad when a person makes it so, which is the point of your question.

God has pre-wired us to follow others. Our culture calls this the...

Only the loved, valued, and wanted should live NS

“Only the loved, valued, and wanted should live.” – Pro Choice Advocate

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  • I believe women should be regarded as full human beings equal in value, purpose, and dignity with men.
  • I believe women should have the opportunity to use their God-given talents and intelligence to fulfill their purposes here on earth.
  • I believe in a woman’s right to an education and in her right to vote and let her voice be heard.
  • I believe in her right to own property and raise her children.
  • I believe in a woman’s right to her own body, her right to freedom not to be sold, bought,...

  • 28Oct
    How to separate well (from your spouse) NS

    How to separate well (from your spouse)

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    Sarah had enough. Their marriage stopped being fun many years ago. She appealed to Wally to change more times than she could remember. She hoped. She prayed. She appealed. Then she did it all over again. This cycle went on for years. Wally made promises of reform, but he never really changed. He modified his behavior, but his heart was the same.

    Nothing lasted very long; eventually he would return to his normal self. This was not good enough for Sarah. She began to lose hope he would ever change. Finally she bit the bullet and...

    What kind of church do you attend? Here are six models. NS

    What kind of church do you attend? Here are six models.

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    It is impossible for every church to be the same. Actually, it would be sad if they were all the same. Churches are different because people, cultures, regions, trends, and eras are different.

    These are just five reasons why it is impossible for one size to fit every person’s preferences. I am sure you could think of other reasons for church differences. Churches being different does not have to be a bad thing, though for some Christians, finding and enjoying a local church is a difficult process.

    A key...

    How to divorce well NS

    How to divorce well

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    Divorce is an awful experience. It is one of the most awful experiences a person could ever have, especially if the person going through the divorce desires to be married. Divorce is the radical (and sinful) separation of two people who married for life.

    There is a mystical, spiritual, and physical cutting away of the one flesh union and no matter where the separated people go, post-divorce, they will always, in some way, be reminded of the amputation of their union.

    Male and female he created them, and he...

    Should the church restore Mark Driscoll? NS

    Should the church restore Mark Driscoll?

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    I read an article last week that talked about Mark Driscoll being restored to pastoral ministry. I thought it was unfortunate as well as premature.

  • It was unfortunate because the blogger was using Galatians 6:1 out of context.
  • It was premature because it is yet to be determined if Mark is qualified for pastoral ministry.
  • Restoring the broken

    Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on...

    If you have been blessed... NS

    If you have been blessed…

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    If you have been blessed, encouraged, motivated, helped, and/or inspired by our ministry would you pray about making a donation to this work?

    Last year we went into every country in the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The outreach this year has been even greater with the launch of our new website, the growth of our Member Community, and the daily distribution of our Gospel-centered resources.


    Facebook_ A new kind of intimacy NS

    Facebook: A new kind of intimacy

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  • Jeremy posted the wrong age on his Facebook page.
  • Phillip has no picture of his wife in any of his photos.
  • Camille has replaced Oprah watching with Facebook.
  • Jan has reconnected with two of her old college boyfriends and has not told her husband.
  • Wallace has no idea how much time his wife spends on Facebook.
  • George does not state that he is married on his page.
  • These six scenarios are more common than you might think. I have personally met people who use Facebook this way, which speaks to how...

    Are Christians supposed to have fun? NS

    Are Christians supposed to have fun?

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    A Member asked on the Forum about having fun. She wondered if she was supposed to have fun, while expressing how there seems to be an element of mystery about what fun should look like for a Christian. Let me ask you,

  • Are Christians supposed to have fun?
  • If so, what constitutes fun for the Christian?
  • Do you have a fun theology?
  • Let’s get personal: Do you have fun? Are you a fun...

  • 23Oct
    Facebook_ A new kind of intimacy NS

    Facebook: un nuevo tipo de intimidad

    Jeremy posteó una edad falsa en su página de Facebook. Philip no tenía una imagen de su esposa en ninguna de sus fotos. Camille reemplazó a Oprah con Facebook. Jan se ha reconectado con dos de sus viejos novios de la Universidad y no le ha dicho a su esposo. Wallace no tiene idea de cuánto tiempo su esposa pasa en Facebook. George no dice que está casado en su página.

    Estas historias son verdaderas, aunque los nombres han sido cambiados.

    Si Facebook fuera un país, sería el tercer país más grande del mundo. Para la mayoría de nosotros es una...

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