Spiritual abuse comes in many forms. It can be subtle or overt. It’s damaging regardless of the shape it takes. Most spiritual abuse isn’t the sort that gets news coverage. When children are taken from their homes because a cult leader has sexually abused them in the name of God, it’s easy to […]
Have you ever been told to shut up in the name of Jesus? Have you ever been on the receiving end of a conversation being told to zip your lip by the power of the Holy Spirit? It happens on the radio, in line at the coffee shop, in church or ministry staff meetings, and at […]
One of the greatest disservices the Christian church has perpetrated against its members is on the topic of sex.
Yes, some churches discuss it. But even then, it’s all too often handled in a strangely provocative way. The pastor struts around the stage talking about great vacation sex or birthday sex (once you’re married, of course). Because, you know, he’s the leader of the cool church and you attract more new people if you have a series on how to have better sex.
Many years ago I went to see a pastor in the depth of my despair. As my life bottomed out, I needed help freeing myself from the pain and shame of years of childhood abuse. I tried to explain I had been sexually abused as a little girl. The pastor’s first question was, “was there penetration?” Then, I tried to explain the flashbacks and was told, “the devil is talking to you”.
This, my friends, is Exhibit A in the “Not At All Helpful” category.
I don’t believe Christian ministry leaders and pastors intend to injure others. Regardless of intent, damage often occurs. The hearts and souls they hope to nurture and influence become collateral damage in the name of pastoral counseling. Hearts and souls are wounded. Not for lack of a minister’s desire to help, but for lack of knowledge. I see the aftermath in my office every day.
Sometimes my blog posts sort of create themselves. Other times, I find, I have to tease them out. Nurture the words a little more for the page to convey my heart. This post is the latter.
I spent last week in the hospital with four ruptured disks, and I’ve got a shiny new red walker to show for it. There is no missing I look pretty hot slowly strolling around the cul-de-sac with that little baby out in front.