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Source: (consider it) Thread: Spiritual abuse is now a recognised crime
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:


If people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I wrote...

I don't think anybody really is. You appear to want to give religion a pass in this and pretend it is just about an abusive person who would have abused regardless.
Religion is a factor, whether you like it or not.

[ 09. January 2018, 16:15: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
You said, and I presume it was in response to my comment about elderly people remembering reciting Bible verses in Scripture lessons:

quote:
Mudfrog, I think you're failing to understand that spiritual abuse can happen regardless of what we believe about Dead Horse issues and whether UK education should look like it did in the 1950s.
I inferred from that that you were suggesting that 1950s-style Bible teaching was spiritual abuse.
That's the total opposite of what I said.
quote:
And I NEVER, not even ONCE said, hinted or implied that the case in the OP was 'trivial'.
You don't think it was abusive, though.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
The abuse stems from the motivation behind the action.

Not necessarily. One can engage in abusive behaviour unawares because one is part of an abusive system. I've done it. I'm not proud of this.

quote:
There is nothing wrong with teaching the Scripture, nothing wrong with 'teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,' (2 Timothy 3 v 16), nothing wrong in mentoring, spiritual formation, discipling, etc, etc.
And here is the root of the deception. You assume that so long as you are doing all these things, you cannot be behaving in an abusive manner. This is not true.

quote:
The motivation here is clearly not spiritual.
"Spiritual abuse" doesn't mean that somebody is being "spiritual" while they abuse. It means they are engaging in objectively abusive behaviour in a spiritual context and often using spiritual language, with all the added force that language gives to their abusive behaviour.

1) In the OP the abuse was not done unawares. No minister 'ministers' in such a way out of the best of intentions. If we believe he was doing this unaware of his actions, then we are a little bit naive.

2) What was the abusive 'system' he was making use of? It certainly wan't an official one. It was evidently one of his own design - which comes back to his own motivation in acting the way he did.

3) I never said you that so long as you are doing all these things, you cannot be behaving in an abusive manner.
You certainly can behave in an abusive manner doing these things; but the Christlike way is to do these things in the aforementioned Christlike manner. To rebuke does not mean to lambast someone or hit them over the head with a Bible!

4)
quote:
they are engaging in objectively abusive behaviour in a spiritual context and often using spiritual language, with all the added force that language gives to their abusive behaviour.
Yes, exactly. I've been saying that. They are using the spiritual ministry as a vehicle for their abuse. An abuse they would want to be engaged in whatever the context - spiritual, sporting, educational, sexual. The content isn't necessarily abusive, simply the manner it's presented and the motivation behind it. Teaching someone the Lord's Prayer is not spiritual abuse. Neither is suspending them by the ankles and beating them until they get it right. The abuse is the beating, not the teaching of the Lord's Prayer. So, it's not spiritual abuse; it's abuse. Period.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
There is nothing wrong with teaching the Scripture, nothing wrong with 'teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,' (2 Timothy 3 v 16), nothing wrong in mentoring, spiritual formation, discipling, etc, etc.
And here is the root of the deception. You assume that so long as you are doing all these things, you cannot be behaving in an abusive manner. This is not true.
He can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Mudfrog's concern is more with those posts on this thread that appear to be saying that doing those things at all is abusive. That's certainly the inference I've been reacting to in my posts here.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
1) In the OP the abuse was not done unawares. No minister 'ministers' in such a way out of the best of intentions. If we believe he was doing this unaware of his actions, then we are a little bit naive.

We simply don't know. I've met no shortage of people who are blissfully unaware of the moral implications of aspects of their behaviour, and that includes several people in full-time Christian ministry.

quote:
2) What was the abusive 'system' he was making use of?
Again, we don't know the details, but I'd argue that "spiritual directorship" and such, if not properly implemented, is abusive in nature.
quote:
They are using the spiritual ministry as a vehicle for their abuse. An abuse they would want to be engaged in whatever the context - spiritual, sporting, educational, sexual.
The point is
a) the spiritual context makes it worse because the abuser is using a person's core existential, transcendental beliefs.
b) many Christian contexts are hopelessly behind the curve on spotting abusive behaviour because of (i) a constant tendency to spiritualise it (Remember the Nine o'Clock Service?) (ii) a lack of proper governance to deal with it.

quote:
Neither is suspending them by the ankles and beating them until they get it right.
[Roll Eyes] once again, abuse is not necessarily physical. But that aside, it would be spiritual abuse if the abuser, in a position of spiritual authority, told the victim that this punishment was God's way of them becoming sufficiently holy, and that they had to endure it for His sake.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I think Mudfrog's concern is more with those posts on this thread that appear to be saying that doing those things at all is abusive. That's certainly the inference I've been reacting to in my posts here.

Which posts are they?

Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear where in the Bible it talks about exercising authority "over" others.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
There is nothing wrong with teaching the Scripture, nothing wrong with 'teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,' (2 Timothy 3 v 16), nothing wrong in mentoring, spiritual formation, discipling, etc, etc.
And here is the root of the deception. You assume that so long as you are doing all these things, you cannot be behaving in an abusive manner. This is not true.
He can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Mudfrog's concern is more with those posts on this thread that appear to be saying that doing those things at all is abusive. That's certainly the inference I've been reacting to in my posts here.
In the case of the OP the bad practice that has been judged as an abuse of the minister's responsibility is the motivation (which is extremely suspect AKAICS) and the intensity and relentless nature of the formation. Had his two hours a night every night been one hour a week I don't think we'd be having this conversation.

In the case of the young man complaining about his faith school, I don't think there was a moment's abuse.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I think Mudfrog's concern is more with those posts on this thread that appear to be saying that doing those things at all is abusive. That's certainly the inference I've been reacting to in my posts here.

Which posts are they?

Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear where in the Bible it talks about exercising authority "over" others.

quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you;

quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;



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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
In the case of the OP the bad practice that has been judged as an abuse of the minister's responsibility is the motivation

Can you quote the part of the ruling which is based in his motivation?
quote:
Had his two hours a night every night been one hour a week I don't think we'd be having this conversation.
It's a set of factors in which the duration and frequency of the sessions are but a part.

quote:
In the case of the young man complaining about his faith school, I don't think there was a moment's abuse.
I think mr cheesy introduced that in response to your implication that abuse could only happen in Muslim and Jewish schools and certainly not Christian ones.

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Baptist Trainfan
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AKAICS? [Confused]
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you;

quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;


See that word?

Having charge of someone means you give an account of what you did with and for them before God, not that you run their lives. I'm not convinced about prostamenous hymon meaning "over" in the sense of "having authority over".

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
AKAICS? [Confused]

Sp: AFAICS

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you;

quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;


See that word?

Having charge of someone means you give an account of what you did with and for them before God, not that you run their lives. I'm not convinced about prostamenous hymon meaning "over" in the sense of "having authority over".

I'm no Greek scholar but it does seem that there is an element of authority.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Eutychus
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It's far from obvious to me that "over" here means "exercise authority over" in the military sense of the centurion commanding his men as he wishes.

I think a top-down model of authority is conducive to abuse and I think it's far less present in these kinds of verse than we may assume - look at examples on that page like "presiding over a meeting", "setitng an example", "having a solid track record", even "taking a lead".

Certainly I moved in church circles in which people were forever going on about authority and more often than not about exercising it over other people. So far as I can see the authority Jesus grants us is over evil, not other people.

[ 09. January 2018, 17:02: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Gamaliel
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I think we have to consider how we are using the word 'spiritual'.

Most mainstream Christians would consider JWs 'spiritual' but 'spiritually misguided' perhaps.

What makes the OP example one of 'spiritual abuse' is that it happened in a spiritual context - and that would apply if it were a mosque, synagogue, Hindu temple or any other faith context.

I really don't see the problem with acknowledging a spiritual dimension in this case, however misguided the vicar may have been - he may well have thought he was helping to save the lad's soul or stop him from backsliding or whatever it was ...

I don't see any evidence that it was motivated by predatory sexual inclinations of anything of that kind - rather, it seems to be a somewhat over-the-top application of perhaps well-intentioned mentoring and guidance that morphed into something more sinister.

We all of us have to watch ourselves, even in the most anodyne of activities. Heck, back in the day I used to enjoy the attention I received from other members of the congregation for my fervent, Welsh 'hwyl' extemporary prayers - laced with copious biblical references ...

Does that mean that there is something intrinsically wrong with extemporary prayer?

No, but it does mean that I could overdo it at times to draw attention to myself or luxuriate in the sound of my own voice ...

Whether God was as easily impressed is quite a different matter. Hence all the warnings in the Gospels about practising our piety to be seen by men ...

The point is that any spiritual discipline or practice can topple over in unhealthy territory. There's nothing wrong with a good sermon, but an impressive preacher can let this go to their heads.

There's nothing wrong with spiritual mentoring and direction in and of itself but it can easily topple over into darker territory ...

Denying that there is anything 'spiritual' about this particular incident doesn't help.

It's a case of a form of spirituality gone wrong - that's what happened with the Nine O'Clock service - that's what happened with medieval flagellants or Origen castrating himself or those pilgrims in the Philippines who have themselves nailed to crosses at Easter ...

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Yet fathers are very important in their children's spiritual development.

Speaking as both a son and a father (and, God help me, a grandfather) I can only agree with this. But in my experience fathers are valuable as someone to turn to and have as a point of reference. The art of fatherhood is to nurture the child's own sense of responsibility, not impose an iron rule.
That's certainly the case in Western culture, yes. In some other cultures, I understand that far more deference towards the father's will is expected. Whether that makes their young men less responsible is a good question.

Re this vicar, I'm concerned that the mother and the congregation allowed this oppressive situation to go on for 18 months. It suggests that this church wasn't an empowering environment for the laity. The authoritarianism presumably created the kind of environment where people were afraid to question certain things, or leaders.

I wonder if the church has taken a different direction since this came out.

[ 09. January 2018, 17:35: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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L'organist
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I've the same concern Svitlana. For this man to have moved into the family home of a member of his congregation should have rung alarm bells with someone in the congregation - and I wonder whether local clergy were aware of what was going on: Rural Dean, Archdeacon, etc?

The mother's comments about not wanting to upset God if she intervened (or something along those lines) smacks of a priest who has been mis-using his position on a wider scale than just with this one family. If I were the diocesan bishop I'd be sending in a full-time experienced priest to take over the parish for an extended period to assess the situation and get the parish back on the right track.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Tubbs

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Christianity Today, has a very helpful article that includes a definition:

quote:
“ The term ‘spiritual abuse’ covers a wide variety of behaviours, but can be summarised as the use of spiritual authority or spiritual means in order to demean, manipulate, control or exploit someone.
If you accept that, then the Minister is guilty as charged. So are the teachers in the schools referenced in Mr Cheesy’s links. All the hallmarks are there - authoritarian leadership, a preoccupation with an image of righteousness / infallibility, suppression of criticism and alternative views, perfectionism and an emphasis on particular doctrinal / behavioural issues.

It happens at all levels of the church – leaders and congregation members. Personal experience shows that Christians are crap at dealing with it. We don’t like conflict so we dodge it by over-spiritualising issues like bullying. Forgiveness gets confused with letting people get away with complete and utter nonsense. Things get explained away because someone is so gifted in the Lord or seen as something that goes with the job. (Bitter. Moi?!)

All I can say, having read the stuff, is well done that curate! If they hadn’t been willing to report, this situation would probably still be going on. I’d imagine the congregation had been well and truly bullied into submission by the time he arrived.

This presentation (PDF) goes into how spiritual abuse can manifest itself within the various Christian tribes, looks at church policies and vulnerable groups. The section on the treatment of LBGT is particularly damning.

Spiritual abuse has the same effect as all other kinds of abuse – reducing people’s sense of self-worth etc. With an added bonus of, potentially, loss of faith. It should be taken a lot more seriously within the church than it is. The presentation’s conclusion that it is likely to be the next big scandal could be bang on the money. Based on this thread, the church isn’t likely to do itself any favours by its response.

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Moo

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There is a book, Ungodly Fear, which deals with many forms of spiritual abuse in the church. It was published around 2000, and the ship had a special board to discuss it.

Posters told how they had been exploited. There are two cases I specifically remember. One told of a church that not only insisted on tithing, but had its members show their payslips to prove their income. The other was a woman who was raped by a priest and told that it was her Christian duty to forgive. AFAIK nothing was done to the priest.

Unfortunately, the Ungodly Fear board is no longer accessible.

Moo

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
There is a book, Ungodly Fear, which deals with many forms of spiritual abuse in the church. It was published around 2000, and the ship had a special board to discuss it.

Posters told how they had been exploited. There are two cases I specifically remember. One told of a church that not only insisted on tithing, but had its members show their payslips to prove their income. The other was a woman who was raped by a priest and told that it was her Christian duty to forgive. AFAIK nothing was done to the priest.

Unfortunately, the Ungodly Fear board is no longer accessible.

Moo

Lent my copy to a friend and never got it back. [Frown]

It was, IIRC, one of the first books on the subject to be published in the UK and had interviews with victims etc. The book and the board were so helpful. It was comforting to learn I wasn't the only one but my experience was mild compared to some of the posters. Some of the stories were horrific.

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Eutychus
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I've got The subtle power of spiritual abuse (1991) somewhere. Also very helpful.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
This presentation (PDF) goes into how spiritual abuse can manifest itself within the various Christian tribes, looks at church policies and vulnerable groups. The section on the treatment of LBGT is particularly damning.

Having had a quick look at it, one needs to take it with a fairly big pinch of salt. It is actually polemical, not analytical. Not surprising given its author. I guess one would have needed to hear what was said in conjunction with the presentation to have a fairer view.

As an example of my disquiet with the presentation, on page 3, there is a bullet point relating to the CofE safeguarding information: '"Spiritual Abuse" first mentioned in Appendix 2.2!' (exclamation mark original) as if it has been tucked away out of sight, as if it is an afterthought. However, from the excerpts of the original she has highlighted, Appendix 2.2 is where all the different types of abuse are defined, and Spiritual Abuse is the first of the definitions.

Page 14, entitled 'The "Charismatic Leader" model' gives photos and names of various people, including Nicky Gumble of HTB and Steve Chalke of Oasis. Is the presentation claiming that all these people are spiritual abusers? Evidence please. Curiously, the author later on page 39 she quotes from a document, one of whose authors is ... Steve Chalke.

Page 38 is perhaps the most egregious. It is entitled 'Impact of Spiritual Abuse'. It features (alarming!) statistics on mental health among LGBT young people and gay men. However, these statistics are from surveys conducted by a gay magazine and by a LGBT charity. I doubt very much if these surveys were carried out among people with a church connection. So, these numbers bear little or no connection at all with spiritual abuse.

There is also a picture on the page of a young woman who committed suicide. From what I have been able to tell from this sad story there is no evidence at all for spiritual abuse. The church which see attended avoided talking about the issue.

Abuse as generally understood is essentially personal, by the abuser to the abused. This presentation is an attempt to shift the definition from this to the point where it is deemed abuse to express any view (perhaps from a position of authority) which might have a negative affect on some people. To be more specific, I suspect that the author would like to suppress the expression of views contrary to her own on the grounds that they are 'spiritually abusive'.

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Eutychus
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That was my take from a quick glance, too. The beginning looked good but it tailed of badly after that.

[ 10. January 2018, 15:17: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
This presentation (PDF) goes into how spiritual abuse can manifest itself within the various Christian tribes, looks at church policies and vulnerable groups. The section on the treatment of LBGT is particularly damning.

Having had a quick look at it, one needs to take it with a fairly big pinch of salt. It is actually polemical, not analytical. Not surprising given its author. I guess one would have needed to hear what was said in conjunction with the presentation to have a fairer view.

As an example of my disquiet with the presentation, on page 3, there is a bullet point relating to the CofE safeguarding information: '"Spiritual Abuse" first mentioned in Appendix 2.2!' (exclamation mark original) as if it has been tucked away out of sight, as if it is an afterthought. However, from the excerpts of the original she has highlighted, Appendix 2.2 is where all the different types of abuse are defined, and Spiritual Abuse is the first of the definitions.

Page 14, entitled 'The "Charismatic Leader" model' gives photos and names of various people, including Nicky Gumble of HTB and Steve Chalke of Oasis. Is the presentation claiming that all these people are spiritual abusers? Evidence please. Curiously, the author later on page 39 she quotes from a document, one of whose authors is ... Steve Chalke.

Page 38 is perhaps the most egregious. It is entitled 'Impact of Spiritual Abuse'. It features (alarming!) statistics on mental health among LGBT young people and gay men. However, these statistics are from surveys conducted by a gay magazine and by a LGBT charity. I doubt very much if these surveys were carried out among people with a church connection. So, these numbers bear little or no connection at all with spiritual abuse.

There is also a picture on the page of a young woman who committed suicide. From what I have been able to tell from this sad story there is no evidence at all for spiritual abuse. The church which see attended avoided talking about the issue.

Abuse as generally understood is essentially personal, by the abuser to the abused. This presentation is an attempt to shift the definition from this to the point where it is deemed abuse to express any view (perhaps from a position of authority) which might have a negative affect on some people. To be more specific, I suspect that the author would like to suppress the expression of views contrary to her own on the grounds that they are 'spiritually abusive'.

In this context it would have to be polemical because of reactions like this. The point the writer is attempting to make is that spiritual abuse isn’t highlighted as an issue in its own right up-front in documents aimed at faith communities; it’s buried towards the back. Despite the fact that spiritual abuse is most likely to occur in a faith community.

Most people don’t read appendices. They read the executive summary and the sections of the report they think are most relevant to them. Then they file it.

The section on tribes would explain what they are, with examples of leaders that you’re likely to have heard of to reinforce the point. I didn’t get the idea from it that they were accusing the likes of Chalke or Gumbel of abuse. Just that they were leaders in that community. (Although describing Chalke as a Charismatic might be considered a stretch).

If you’re a young person who’s struggling with their sexuality who’s told that being gay is sinful and you’ll end up burning in hell for all eternity that might well lead to the kind of mental health issues identified in the presentation. I’m not sure what the UK stats are but the equivalent US ones – which are church based – are hideous. And utterly shameful for a community that sings about wanting the world to know us by our love. (But including a picture of an individual was wrong IMO).

Abuse is personal. From abuser to abused. It’s also has a cultural context. Within Christian culture, some things make it easier to pass unchallenged.

It’s perfectly possible to express views, have strong opinions and challenge behaviours when in a position of spiritual authority without being spiritually abusive. The contention that it isn’t is or prevents us preaching the Gospel properly is rubbish.

[ 10. January 2018, 15:38: Message edited by: Tubbs ]

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12691 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:

Abuse as generally understood is essentially personal, by the abuser to the abused.

No, no it isn't. Institutions can be abusive, both directly and indirectly.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
From the edge
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I think the real problem with your link, Tubbs, is that we don't have the context - often a problem when you just have the slides and not the talk.

There's certainly potential for minorities to suffer abuse of all kinds and spiritual abuse of LBGTQ people is not hard to find. But it would be a mistake to assume that all abuse is directed at minorities and that it is denomination-specific.

Certainly charismatic churches are prone to it, but I think it's a separate issue to the emotional manipulation the presentation deals with.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think the real problem with your link, Tubbs, is that we don't have the context - often a problem when you just have the slides and not the talk.

There's certainly potential for minorities to suffer abuse of all kinds and spiritual abuse of LBGTQ people is not hard to find. But it would be a mistake to assume that all abuse is directed at minorities and that it is denomination-specific.

Certainly charismatic churches are prone to it, but I think it's a separate issue to the emotional manipulation the presentation deals with.

True. And it assumes that only people in positions of authority are abusers which isn't always the case.

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:

Abuse as generally understood is essentially personal, by the abuser to the abused.

No, no it isn't. Institutions can be abusive, both directly and indirectly.
This
statement from the Salvation Army in New Zealand is very thoughtful. The Power in the Church worksheet at the bottom is well worth a look.

Spiritual abuse is, like all forms of abuse, about the incorrect use of power. With the abuser using their position in the church or the Bible's teachings to justify their behaviour, avoid being held to account and making the abused person into the problem. With the bonus of being able to claim divine support. Them being the Lord's anointed, doing His work and all that. Standing up for yourself really can feel like challenging God.

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
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The Church Times reports on a survey which says that 2 in 5 Christians reported direct experience of spiritual abuse. An interestingly high statistic, whatever the term means.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Gramps49
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Now here is an example of spiritual abuse a friend related on facebook:

quote:
How to react to a pastor who took several hours getting showered, shaven and dressed before coming in to be with a family with a relative dying in the ICU. I was the chaplain, who happened be on call and came in without taking all that time since it was an urgent call. He asked the family if the dying relative had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior; they responded that they did not know. He then asked the family why they called him into the hospital since there was nothing he could do - the relative was going to hell and since he was in a coma could not accept Jesus. Later he asked me whatwas he supposed to do, and I suggested he could minister to the family in a caring way.

And they wonder why people are getting turned off to the church.
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