Before I jump into a heavy topic like spiritual abuse I want to be sure to clarify that these blogs are written with the hope that things mentioned (much of which is personal experience not just a random railing against people) would cause people to draw closer to Christ and for people who are not saved, that they would truly begin to ponder their eternities. I am just as wretched as the one who is an enemy of God. Apart from Christ we are all at enmity with God. I am no better of a person than someone who chooses to remain separated from God. I want to make sure this is well understood by the reader as I understand some of my blogs can appear quite harsh at times. The biblical model of Christ Himself and the Apostle Pauls words and actions were very harsh and they did not mince words when it came to the purity of the gospel and contending for the faith against wolves and false teaching. I do not speak these things as if I am “holier than thou” no very much the opposite and very much the reason I need Jesus daily in my life. If someone says they have no sin they are a liar and the truth is not in them. I write about my journey in Christ in real time, raw occurrences, and real experiences. Nevertheless these instances only serve to draw me closer to Christ and cause me to see the reality of my dependence on Him, and Him alone.
If people are fortunate enough to have access to an uncompromised bible believing/teaching church I would say praise the LORD as this is quite the rarity. It’s becoming more rare as the days go on. I want to be clear when I say compromise — I am not speaking of peripheral issues, like music tastes or the curriculum, the color of church walls, to tithe or not to tithe, to have a church membership list or not, to how many elders should a church have or not, etc. I am speaking about essential fundamental teachings that if these essentials are compromised, then you are believing a different gospel that cannot and will not save you. Some examples of a different gospel (s) can be found here, here, here, and here. The Gospel of Salvation is the only one that can save your soul and can be found here.
Now onto the topic of spiritual abuse. When you find yourself speaking up and standing for truth within your “own” just know you will be shunned. Also know, you are not alone. Spiritual abuse is real and it is not new it’s just wearing new more sophisticated masks. Remember the prophets own people killed them. Spiritual abuse is much like a sexual predator they don’t come right out and scream hey—- rather they will groom you. The “love bombing” and “flattery” will pour into your life that is until you speak up about serious doctrinal issues.
“Love bombing and flattery” are probably the top two tactics used by people (people in spiritual leadership positions) other tactics such as withholding attention, affection, and outright threatening / intimidation generally occur after a person begins to ask too many questions. The retaliation against the “spiritual whistle-blower” with things of spiritual nature mimics the same within the secular world. This is very much like a grooming process that a sexual predator uses. So why are people who bear the name of Christ doing such things? Well, according to scripture we are to crucify our flesh and much of this is fleshly prideful behavior and sinful works of the flesh according to scripture. Then, as I’ve mentioned before we will talk about “heaven and God” but we are reluctant, afraid, or even unaware of the very real spiritual warfare and enemy we have. The very one Jesus Christ defeated. The very one who is after our souls of every human life. The father of lies who will do anything and everything to convince you Jesus Christ isn’t real, and should you realize Jesus is real, satan will surely try to find a way to have you believe in another jesus, or attempt to keep a true believer paralyzed and inoperative.
Leaders will threaten the sheep that God will kill you and your family or strike you with sickness if you speak up about false teaching. One of the most misused scripture with spiritual abuse is “touch not Gods anointed!”
See my blog here about: “Exposing Error, is it worthwhile?”
Questionnaire- here: now obviously no man made “formula” can determine what is or isn’t happening in your life. These are just pieces to consider if you are experiencing these things — and if you are I urge you to seek the Lord in prayer and measure your experiences to the Word of God.
I truly thank the Lord for protecting me through my stumbling in and out of cults and cultic atmospheres. Already just using that word cult — raises the hair on the back of most peoples necks. And I get it, I really do, and I also “get” that cults are real they existed in biblical times and exist now. In the day and hour in which we live this is not the time to become ostriches. This is not the time to put blinders on and just “wait for it to all work out.” No…. No…..No…. to the church, WAKE UP!
I actually responded to Christ while in a cult church. I heard the gospel there and understood that I couldn’t continue on the life I was in, I knew who Jesus was, I believed the gospel, and I understood I couldn’t make my way to heaven apart from Him.
This church was small, in a small farm town everyone knew everyone– and everyone knew the “pastors” of this church. The church was eventually shut down and on the news while the pastors had a stand off with the police. Harems of women at the married pastors house, allegations of suspected child abuse, and more. I want to pause here and say, so I responded to Christ while (unknowingly) in a cult church so am I not saved? Do I have to find some “real” pastor or “man of God” or a “prophet or apostle” to get “resaved”? Like I have to do a “redo” of calling out to Christ because the leaders were false teachers?
The answer to all of the above is a resounding no. Why? Because Salvation is not contingent upon a third party, a person, a pastor, church attendance, works, a “holy persons” presence etc. Salvation is a gift from God to be received. No man can give it to you, no man can help you earn it, no man can take what God has given away because salvation does not come from man or the law it is a gift from God alone.
I also was on the fray of WOF/NAR movements not realizing that this is a different gospel (s). I was attending a church and while this concept of reading the bible is becoming a foreign one, I was reading the Word of God as I was attending. I was being a good obedient Christian and “doing whatever I was told” not questioning it. I was even tithing out of fear because I was told God would curse me and I would be excluded from things if I didn’t. SO….I didn’t want to be cursed by God!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will stop here and this hot button topic would take a whole series of blogs to speak about tithing but I will leave this short video here to help some folks who may be tithing under compulsion which is definitively not what God wants. God does not need money. As time went on, and I was praying and reading scripture on my own, I was realizing that what I was hearing from the pulpit was not what I was reading in scripture and it was a perversion of Scripture. And by the Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit just nagged me with discomfort about this church and the teachings. It was not merely a “different way of worshiping” or “minor peripheral issues” no this was a completely different Jesus. Only later while journeying through another abhorrent system would I understand “it” to have a name. Needless to say I left that church and never returned. I would like to pause here as well and say to the “pastors” out there who are so quick to paint everyone with a broad brush in the sense of “church hoppers” a derogatory label as I (and others who dare leave a church for another one) would come to have. Perhaps just perhaps a sheep is searching other pasture because they have spotted wolves in the one they came from, as scripture describes it would be. Pastors ought to be focused on protecting the flock of God, that is after all what a shepherd does, unless of course he is a hireling as Jesus describes.
I then found myself at a quaint church and decided to go to a mid week service. I remember walking in and discreetly sitting in the middle outer row. I heard the words “please open to Romans 5:1 we are talking about justification tonight.” I wanted to leap out of the chair I was so excited! I was so….so…. so ….excited to FINALLY hear the Gospel and about Jesus! I thought this is it …..finally I have found a Christ centered church! My whole being by this point literally ached to hear about the one who died for me! I hadn’t heard about Jesus from the pulpit in such a long time. I wanted to get involved with things and be a part of the family of God that I had finally found. I really wanted to be a part of ministries that helped spread the Gospel. I am by no means an evangelist, I do share my testimony and speak to people one on one when the Lord gives me the opportunity. I wanted (and still desire) to see people saved and coming to Christ. In my new found emotional excitement, I somewhere along the way stopped discerning and testing all things and it took a little while to realize Jesus was no longer being mentioned. He was being sprinkled on and around things like a condiment but that same nagging from the Holy Spirit started again. Especially after I brought a friend to a Sunday service and he pointed out “The pastor hasn’t mentioned Jesus, is it always that way?” It was that moment that my broken antenna was quickly restored and I once again started paying attention beyond what the eyes can see. I was praying and asking for wisdom and discernment, and well, the Lord opened my eyes. The altruistic ministries were very sweet and random acts of kindness are sweet too. The leaving Jesus out was “good” for the false unity of ecumenism if you want to toss out everything God has said and follow the false peace that is coming by way of false unity as scripture accurately predicts in the end times. I was faced with a choice of following Christ or man. We ALL are faced with that choice and most choose to follow man and the tradition of the elders.
The random acts of kindness make us feel good, the feeding the homeless makes us feel like we did a good deed. All the while God calls these self righteous acts “filthy rags” and anyone with access to the internet can look up what God means by a filthy rag it’s quite descriptive and for people with weak stomachs even more so. People within a works based mode of salvation will say and partially quote from the book James “faith without works is dead!” Once again, the context of James needs to be read and also God tells us exactly what good works are in James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
Now, it’s a beautiful thing to house a widow or feed an orphanage of children. SO LONG as we are also feeding them spiritual food. It is a “filthy rag” to send a person to hell with a full belly. Widows are without a bridegroom and orphans are without a father. Jesus is described according to scripture as our bridegroom and we are according to scripture by the spirit of adoption no longer orphans. The point is (everyone) widows and orphans need to hear the Gospel, more than they need a hot plate of macaroni and cheese. They need the eternal Bread of Life more than a buttered dinner roll. We cannot rely on our altruistic methods to save us as sweet and kind as these works are, they are not what save you and a hot meal won’t save an orphan. This is what’s called the social gospel and it is a gospel that cannot save. It is a gospel that offers false assurance of salvation.
God is explicitly clear about exposing false teachers and He is equally clear when a person knows the truth but continues to partake in unfruitful works of darkness. The choice one needs to make is choose this day whom you will serve. I choose to serve the Lord and continue to pray for those I have come across who are leading Gods people astray. I also pray for the sheep to hear Gods voice THE Good Shepherd and not listen to a stranger.
Many folks will look upon exposing false teaching unfavorably. Interestingly enough usually the people who frown upon a blog like this are the very false teachers this blog speaks of. They will call me a “heresy hunter” or a “witch hunt” when in fact all I am doing is talking about my own life and it just so happens false teaching has been all I have encountered. Or other people have skipped a huge portion of Scripture and the travails of the Apostle Paul, the book of Jude, and Christ Himself which speaks of false prophets and the commanding by God to expose such falsities, mark and avoid such people teaching such heresies, and the command from God to divide from those who persist in unrepentant false teaching. Then the next group would be unbelievers people who passively sit by committing spiritual suicide by “not making any decision” ….no decision is a decision, and unlike The Shacks theology —this is reality and all roads do not lead to heaven.
You see over many years Jesus has been reduced to a “pot smokin’ sandle wearing hippie” where “ all ya need is love dude!” and everything will just all work out. Or Jesus is reduced to a perpetual baby when actually He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. And when He returns, and He is coming, He is not a baby, He is The King– there is no other. And every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.