I wonder…how many Christians are still locked into spiritual abuse in their local church or fellowship, and don’t even realize what they are giving allegiance to with their time, worship and money is “not all about Jesus Christ”, but rather man made doctrines, traditions of men that make the word of God of no effect.
As a new Christian, this happened to me during my first years after joining a church. I’d been studying the word of God, I’d prayed earnestly, I was “on fire” for God, yet, something was nagging at my heart. Doubts. I kept asking myself why this church and other ones I’d visited didn’t seem to line up with the biblical model of the church that Christ set up in the early church, described in the Book of Acts, and the epistles of the Apostles.
I knew that when I went to church and worshipped, the presence of the Holy Spirit would manifest, so I continued to rationalize that “church” as I experienced it, must be due to the change in the era. Still, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me that “Jesus doesn’t change”. He is the same today, yesterday and forever. I couldn’t shake this still small voice.
Finally, as I grew more mature in the scriptures, I started noticing there were practices in the church I belonged to that were mimicking the un-scriptural things they viewed on Christian TV. When I began hesitantly speaking to a few of my friends in church about these questions, they began to come against me. Looking back on the events that followed, I realize now, these were warning signals given me by the Holy Spirit.The upshot was that God Himself drew me out of this spiritually abusive prison house of apostasy I’d been trapped in. I cannot begin to describe to you the sense of freedom, and liberation in my spirit, once out. However, that doesn’t mean there were not after effects from the abuse, rejection, and sense of isolation I felt after leaving the brethren and fellowship I loved. There were many, and it has taken much time with Jesus to bring me through what was a very painful period in my life.
Folks, we should closely examine what our churches are teaching and practicing. For all of you who’ve come out of spiritually abusive churches, or..perhaps you feel you may be in one, I would recommend some of the excellent resources on the Internet where you can find help and fellowship with other Christians. This is one very good one that covers these issues in depth, http://www.charismatic-captivation.com/?p=5 . And of course, you are welcome to make comments here in this blog and tell your personal story. We welcome comments.