Dear readers:

This is a good time to thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and for sharing OIC with your friends. So to all my readers: family, friends, acquaintances, Facebook, Twitter, Atlanta, Detroit, DC, NY, and Alabama, I thank you. It’s great to get some of these thoughts off my chest; it’s even greater to have someone “listening.”

Almost three decades ago, a family member of mine experienced a traumatic event at a church she was devoted to, and in which she had served faithfully. Her departure from the body of Christ and subsequent downward spiral affected our family so greatly that even after her reconciliation to Christ several years ago, I still suffer the effects of it today. I wish I could say that that heinous experience was the only time I’ve witnessed abuse in the church, but over the years, I have seen more abuse than I can bear to admit. I’ve seen pastors impregnate their members, steal from them, blackmail them, destroy their members’ marriages, assault them, curse them, use them, berate them (publicly or privately), humiliate them… and the list goes on and on.

This introduction is the beginning of a 10-week series sharing the different ways pastors and leaders abuse (or create abusive environments for) their members. Each Wednesday, we will discuss how some pastors abuse their authority using control, manipulation, alienation, false prophecy, false doctrine, dogmatic rules, and threats to foster co-dependency, enabling them to abuse their members

  • Spiritually
  • Emotionally
  • Mentally
  • Financially
  • Physically
  • Sexually

Please know that I am not attempting to bring reproach to the Lord’s church. It is not my intention to bash the church (or pastors) or make the church look bad. I really just want to bring this issue out into the open. Though I believe there are times when calling people and churches out to protect the sheep from the wolves is necessary and ultimately beneficial, OIC is not the forum for exposure. My goal is not to uncover any particular pastor or church.  All names and identifying details will be changed to cover the abused and the accused.  Instead, it is my prayer that this series will help identify and expose behaviors and tactics typically used by abusers so that you can identify a potentially harmful situation, or if you are in one, be empowered to get out. Plus, I think it helps to know that you’re not alone and that others can identify with your pain.  I hope that as you follow the series, if you relate to a particular subject, you’ll feel free to share your own story or insight in the comments section.

Again, thanks for reading and I hope you’ll find the series to be insightful and compelling. I will be praying that any painful memories that are stirred up will be brought to the surface so that the Master Surgeon can remove any infections they’ve caused  and heal your open wounds. Our God is able to heal, set free, and deliver – to the utmost.

I recommend you use the “subscribe” button on the right, so you will get an e-mail alert each time I post a new article (you won’t get any other mail from me, no junk mail, forwards, poems or anything else… just the automatic alert telling you I’ve posted a new article).

I look forward to hearing your feedback. And again, please join the growing number of OITC subscribers by using the link on the right. 🙂

In His Service,

LaRue

Read the first part of the series: The Abusive Church – The Control Factor

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